How I learned to stop worrying and love the regulation

regulationsI had an interesting conversation with a representative of a UK Regulator over the festive season. Having been involved in a number of regulatory and compliance programmes it was refreshing to hear the frustrations from the other side of the corporate electrified fence. Regulation is seen as an unnecessary evil, a mishmash of red tape and endless compliance routines that ultimately constrain how a company operates. Whether it’s Health and Safety or Banking codes of conduct the Board see it as overkill and a burden on profits. A typical scenario in an exec meeting goes like this:

CEO: The Regulator has created a bunch of new rules we need to meet.

CTO: Ugh. How much is this going to cost me to change the systems ?

COO: Ugh. How much is this going to cost me to change the process ?

CIO: Ugh. How much is this going to cost me to change the data ?

CMO: Ugh. How much is this going to cost me to change the message ?

CEO: So what’s the minimum we can get away with ?

So what’s wrong with this picture ? Each is worried purely about their cost centre, the impact on their individual silo of the enterprise, and just how little do they need to do to keep the Regulator from their door.

But….not one is interested in the impact on the Customer.

What each fail to realise is that regulation is not meant to constrain the customer experience but enhance and protect it. Many complain that the rules are often nebulous and the onus on them to interpret a rule is lazy but a Regulator waits for companies to exceed the rules of compliance and reshape processes that improve on customer service and protect the customer experience.

Sadly most are bent on scraping over the finishing line and in doing so, do more damage in the process. The knee-jerk reaction to focus purely on internal cost and impact is systemic of an archaic Board mentality which is why so many larger organisations struggle and buck against the Regulators (which actually takes more effort and legal cost than to meet and exceed in the first place)

2013 will be filled with more regulatory and compliance programmes than in previous years as consumer and economic protection takes hold and become the focus of many governments and regulatory bodies but CEOs should stop worrying and learn to love what’s to come.

If your process exceeds your customer service will succeed.


Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Compliance, Customer Service, Disciplines

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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3 Comments on “How I learned to stop worrying and love the regulation”

  1. January 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    If you’re interested in regulatory compliance and the intersection with process improvement, you’ll like High Performance Operations by Hillel Glazer. It argues that you can improve processes AND meet regulations simultaneously, driving value out of regulatory compliance, which is otherwise mostly waste.

  2. January 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Actually, Brad, this post reads a whole lot like Theo already has! 🙂

    • January 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Yes, indeed. Theo is a regular contributor and we cross-post some material. Thank you, Hillel and I’m headed over to read your piece that Brad suggests. The link is

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