Maybe Its Part of a Greater Issue, Maybe....
So, What are the Alternative Models?
Long Term Vision and the Reduction of Risk
Again, from my perspective, a longer term horizon with respect to the international sales cycle means less exposure to corruption risk. Why? In many countries and regions the sales cycle is unstable, subject to delays due to regime change, personnel turnover, funding delays and procurement instability. Much of the history of FCPA enforcement relates to companies trying to "overcome" these instabilities. Thus, a long term vision, as stated by Mr. Berman, includes:
- An upfront "investment of money and time to understand the growth challenges" in the perspective country.
- "Senior management and board involvement." Adding that "companies playing development to win have CEOs traveling to the region 2-3 times per year, supported by engagement of the full management team." Accordingly, here we have the involvement of the C-Suite in the international business development process, stepping outside the normal organizational groupings of sales and marketing personnel.
- A vision of earnings, investments and returns which are "long term" and "its common to invest for a decade or more before shareholders see material earnings."
In my view, this shift takes the entire debate on corruption and compliance, both in terms of ethics and programs, to a different level of engagement. I am looking forward to reading Success in Africa, CEO Insights, from a Continent on the Rise, for deeper understanding.