Word-Deed Misalignment – Do You Walk Your Talk?

‘Let’s do lunch next week’   ‘I’ll call you next Friday’    ‘I’ll send through the contract on Tuesday’    ‘Of course I’ll speak up’    ‘I’ll email you with the report’   ‘I’ll advance your concerns’ Ever had any of these said to you?  Perhaps you’ve said them yourself to others?  The [...]

February 27th, 2017|

Persuasions for Silence – Commission, Inducement or Bribery?

“It takes a team to pull off a good corporate fraud.” – Floyd Norris (New York Times, 2007) Have you ever been in a position when someone in a position of seniority has offered you a commission or an inducement to influence your behaviour? I have. One year before blowing the [...]

January 31st, 2017|

SELF DECEPTION – The Ethical Bleach That Removes The Willingness To Speak Up

“To see the self as deceiving itself has seemed the only way to explain what might otherwise be incomprehensible: a person’s failure to acknowledge what is too obvious to miss” (Bok, 1989) Most of us would like to believe that if we had been at Enron or at any of [...]

December 22nd, 2016|

Alone against the Group: Threat or Challenge?

Have you ever been in a situation when you’ve anticipated feeling negatively threatened, only to be surprised to experience the positive invigorating experience of challenge instead? Most of us have, whether it’s before a test, a competition, social interaction, public speaking or speaking up. New research from Associate Professor Mark [...]

November 26th, 2016|

VW: The Challenge of Whistleblowing on Business as Usual

A hand shot up from the lecture hall.  ‘I don’t understand’, a young Economics undergraduate said, looking perplexed, ‘surely a company’s executives would want to know about unethical practices in the organisation?’ I was lecturing on Corporate Governance at Warwick Business School and had just introduced the topic of Whistleblowing [...]

October 28th, 2016|

Why Didn’t You Just Ask? Are You Underestimating Your own Influence on others?

Like most whistleblowers I felt utterly alone before and after speaking out, especially in the knowledge that my peer group knew what I knew but had remained silent.   But what would or could have happened if I had asked individuals in my group to join me in speaking out, [...]

August 24th, 2016|

Are You A Co Operator Or An Accomplice?

When last did you co operate without asking questions? In my own experience, as an executive team member who refused to co operate without asking, I was dismayed by my peers' bias to co operate blindly. It was partly due to their co operation that unethical practices cascaded into significant [...]

August 1st, 2016|

Will The ‘Smartest Men In The Room’ Hear Your VOICE?

As a corporate professional operating as the Group Treasurer at Board level I found myself being the only female executive in my team.  As a result, I was mainly excluded from what I experienced as gender orientated-tribal behaviour; the back slapping boys club, often spoken over or crowded out. I was [...]

July 16th, 2016|


It happens every time.  As I walk off stage having shared my story of whistleblowing on the biggest corporate collapse in South Africa’s history, individuals converge to engage with me.  Some shake my hand and thank me for speaking out, others inquire about best whistleblowing practice or the laws protecting whistleblowers.  [...]

June 28th, 2016|

Mind the Gap between Account and Ability: The FCA + the Senior Managers Regime for Accountability

The new UK rules on personal responsibility places firms and senior managers into a new world of regulatory requirements and obligations. It remains to be seen how industry standards will develop to protect well-intentioned senior managers from being held responsible for their firms’ regulatory breaches and how firms might structure [...]

June 5th, 2016|