Compliance and Breaking Bad

compliance and breaking badI was up last night hooked into latest episode of Breaking Bad. Besides it being a great show, it highlights a focus of compliance. How do you prevent your employees from going bad?

For those of you who haven’t seen the show, Walter White, a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher helps ends meet by making drugs. As the story progresses and Walter makes a series of bad choices, he transforms into the murderous drug lord Heisenberg.

Perhaps the evil has always been inside Walter. Perhaps it was a mid-life crisis gone horrible wrong. Perhaps it was pure greed.

Walter’s first choice was clearly across the line when he met with his former student to cook his first batch of crystal meth. As he escapes each increasingly threat to his life and his livelihood he moves progressively further from Walter to Heisenberg. The success of each bad act leads to more bad acts.

One goal of company’s compliance program is discourage an employee from going bad. And to the extent an employee goes bad, to promptly catch them to prevent further bad acts.