Compliance Is Not Hard
Compliance requires a new set of healthy habits and the self-discipline to make those habits stick
I've been paying more attention to what I eat the past few months. I'm not dieting, although I would like to lose about 10 pounds, but I am trying to eat healthier. The human part of maintaining self-discipline is a challenge, because fats and sugar taste great! And we are genetically wired to eat more than we need so our bodies can save calories for times of famine (which is not the same as when I forget to buy more cereal).
The other big challenge is that bad food choices are more commonly available than good choices. I'm on the go, and I eat lots of meals while traveling. Sure, most restaurants have salads and "healthy" choices. But the most common food choices are served in huge portions and loaded with unhealthy, but very tasty, ingredients.
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So what in the world does eating have to do with compliance? Both are a matter of focus and discipline. It is easier to start a diet, or focus on compliance, "tomorrow." We know we need to pay attention to our personal and business health. Yet most of us defer because it is so much easier.
People tend to look at compliance the way they look at diets: as "extra" efforts. We are all busy, and when busy, anything extra is the easiest to defer. Sure, we know that one day poor compliance behavior, just like bad food choices, will require a much bigger effort to correct. We struggle because today is filled with deadlines, distractions, and temptation.
The reality is that the businesses best at compliance, just like people who eat the healthiest, don't think of it as something beyond what is expected of them. Being healthy is not an extra activity -- it is a lifestyle. Compliance is not extra effort; it is how your organization functions every day over the long haul, not merely a short-term initiative.
Changes to create a better business or personal lifestyle are rarely timely and usually inconvenient. And they require strong leadership, discipline, and commitment. Those who make smart, nutritious food choices spend less time on health problems. Their food choices become a habit, not a challenge, and successfully adopting a healthy diet is contagious; it builds momentum and excitement in other aspects of their life.
For businesses, the upside of a daily focus on compliance and security is the ability to function more efficiently. These organizations spend less time on crisis situations, in general, and are usually able to avoid creating their own crises. Companies that lack the self-discipline to become compliant suffer a great many self-inflicted wounds.
You should get over thinking of compliance as something hard. It actually only requires a new set of healthy habits and the self-discipline to make those habits stick.
Glenn S. Phillips hopes you choose your compliance and food habits wisely. He is the president of Forte' Incorporated, where he works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand the often hidden risks awaiting them. Glenn is the author of the book Nerd-to-English and you can find him on twitter at @NerdToEnglish.