Conformity for its own sake is pointless

Posted by Martin Holzke on 23rd June 2019

Compliance and conformity with all sorts of requirements becomes ever more omni-present in all walks of life. No doubt as auditors we add our cent to it.

It strikes me though how often people simply conform for the sake of conforming up to the level of political correctness. What’s gone amiss is the understanding of the intention behind the requirement we are ask to fulfil.

Whether these are legal or regulatory in nature or a voluntary code like ISO standards, in either case the authors had a reason for drawing them up the way they did and had intentions what to achieve with them. This concept is nothing new, but indeed goes back as far as our ethical norms often having been expressed in religious or philosophical terms for centuries. Ignoring these intentions hence makes every effort to satisfy the requirements rather pointless as the context has gone lost in transit. Worse even, it means investing lots of energy without any gain to show, which for sure wasn’t the idea in the first place.

No matter whether I teach a course, provide consultancy or assess an organisation at certification or accreditation level, I always ask them to be guided in their activities by digging deep and understanding the intention, not just the letter of the requirements.

Why do I do that?

Because I strongly believe that rules and regulations are there to improve our lives at a societal level rather than being a burden we cope with unwillingly and only under mostly silent protest. However, we will only gain that positive impact once we truly understand their sprit. This demanding to start with, however the fruits reaped from it are well worth it. Will you join the journey?