Opportunity cost

There is so much we could be doing in the world of ethics and compliance. More than we could ever accomplish. 

Thus we must be mindful of the opportunity cost and not let the good be the enemy of the best. 

The choices are not only between activities like training and audit and investigations, but also within all these activities. Will we train on conflict of interests or on corruption or on harassment? 

We must draw a list and prioritize it by asking “If i insert this item on the list, what other activities can i push down? Which one can I afford not to do?” It sounds obvious but too many of us get caught in the activity trap. We realize it only when something goes wrong and someone asks why we weren’t able to prevent it. We protest by pointing at our full plate, and that’s usually when we have our first critical look at what’s on it. 

I have found that saying a mental “no” to new activities is helpful. If abstaining doesn’t shock the conscience, then it might be best to do so. 

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