What use of the word “compliance” can tell you about maturity.

There’s a simple relationship between maturity, and the way an organisation uses “compliance”.

Organisations with low maturity use “compliance” to describe compliance imposed externally.

Organisations with high maturity use it to describe compliance driven internally by organisational policy.

Policy is simply a tool of organisational agreement. Its function is to make clear how the organisation should behave, and to remove individual decision making power about an issue. 

Policy for instance, could mandate that information is only ever to be captured once. Compliance would require information is re-used, rather than recaptured.

If your organisation regularly uses phrases like “it can’t just be about compliance”, they’re both wrong, and missing opportunities to structure and standardise organisational action. Everything can be about compliance, it’s the mark of a mature, deliberative, policy driven organisation, and it can absolutely be a way to win.

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