Compliance and St. Patrick’s Day

My office is next door to Boston’s famous Irish pub, The Black Rose. It’s hard to ignore the celebrations, with patrons going in for a pint, while I’m going into my office. So I had to find a compliance angle.


One of the miracles attributed to St. Patrick as part of his sainthood was driving all the snakes out of Ireland. Legend has it that St. Patrick chased all the snakes into the ocean after snakes attacked him during a 40-day fast.

St. Patrick gets credit for the absence of a problem. No snakes, no problem.

Compliance often works in celebrating the absence of a problem. Employees are not caught doing bad things so compliance is working. Employees sit through compliance training, sign certifications, get subjected to email review. So compliance must be working. It’s a miracle!

The problem with the legend of St. Patrick is that there is no evidence that snakes were ever in Ireland. He is credited with for fixing a problem that never existing.