Jim Nortz

Jim NortzJim Nortz is a nationally recognized expert and thought leader in the field of business ethics and compliance, with over a decade of experience in the field of health care compliance, serving multinational pharmaceutical and medical device corporations.

Jim spent the first 17 years of his career as a litigator and corporate counsel before becoming Crompton Corporation’s first Vice President, Business Ethics and Compliance in 2003.

Since then, Jim has served as a compliance officer at Crompton and for five other multinational corporations, the most recent of which was Chief Compliance Officer at Carestream Health. Jim has extensive experience in implementing world-class compliance and ethics programs sufficiently robust to withstand U.S. Department of Justice scrutiny.

Jim is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business, RIT’s Saunders School of Business, St. John Fisher College, Nazareth College and other law schools and universities around the country.

Jim writes the monthly business ethics columns for the Association of Corporate Counsel Docket magazine and the Rochester Business Journal

Jim is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and serves on Conscious Capitalism ROC’s Steering Committee. Previously, Jim served on the Board of Directors for the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association (“ECOA”) and the Board of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation.

Jim is currently Founder and President of Axiom Compliance & Ethics Solutions LLC, a firm dedicated to driving ethical excellence by helping organizations implement effective compliance and ethics programs.

Addressing compliance risk in the real world

For a Westerner, the experience of driving in the crowded streets of Mumbai is nothing if not chaotic. And yet, the vast majority of the people on the road – taxi drivers, pedestrians, cyclists – fare just fine every day. If there are rules of the road, they’re not often followed; instead, a universal expectation of cooperation keeps things moving. Could the...

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Motivating Ethical Mountain Climbing

Some of the most ambitious and highest-performing professionals find immense satisfaction in overcoming challenges. Others are driven by chiefly by financial reward, but it’s important for employees to find meaning in their work beyond the size of their paychecks. There’s an important lesson here for leaders hoping to build a culture of ethics.

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Fresh from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics conference

Words matter. Responding to a colleague’s request or suggestion with a “no, because…” or a “yes, but…” effectively shuts down the conversation. As an alternative, Jim Nortz proposes a method used by improv groups to keep the dialogue open. And the exercise can do more than stretch your creative muscles – it may just strengthen your work relationships, as well.

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A lax ethics and compliance program could indicate a sizeable risk appetite

What’s your organization’s risk appetite? Some organizations rank way up there with surfers and stunt men. Others like to play it safe, taking on the level of risk you might associate with putt-putt golf, but most fall somewhere in between. To determine your company’s ethics and compliance risk tolerance, consider the direction provided by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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Pay equity a boon to ethics and compliance

For some reason, ethics and compliance professionals rarely participate in big picture conversations about employee pay. It’s a strange state of affairs, given how many legal and ethical risks are involved. The wage gap is getting more and more attention, and firms with significant executive-to-employee wage disparities will answer to the court of public opinion sooner or later.

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Are your compliance programs long on policing and short on effectiveness?

In the wake of a government investigation or prosecution, it’s expected for an organization to shore up their compliance programs. Closing the gap that caused the initial problem is only logical. What doesn’t make sense, however, is implementing overly restrictive controls and overblown processes that look good on paper but offer little substance in terms of results.

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Lessons in business ethics can come from the most unlikely places

When instances of corruption and cronyism come to light, it’s easy to point fingers and cluck our tongues at the guilty parties. What’s more difficult is looking inward at our own corporate motivations and business practices and uprooting the malicious or purposefully negligent behaviors therein. What harm are we doing on the long-term in the name of short-term gains?

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A Wonderful Thing Happened on the Way to the Courthouse

Despite the existence of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (instated to allow for leniency toward corporations held criminally liable for the actions of rogue employees), for more than 20 years there were approximately zero instances of the federal government cutting businesses slack based on the merits of their ethics and compliance programs. Until 2012, that is.

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The Danger of Playing the Blame Game

As satisfying as it may feel to point fingers when something goes wrong, finding a scapegoat only serves to focus a group's frustration; it does nothing to solve the underlying problem. Visit a boardroom in the wake of a corporate scandal or tune in to virtually any political discussion and you'll find the blame game isn't an exercise unique to children. How...

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