There are many things that make baseball special. It has a long and colorful history. It is a leisurely game that allows the spectator time to watch, discuss, and savor (to the unsophisticated, this makes baseball boring). But, one thing that makes it unique is that it is not timed, or played against the clock. For other sports, such as football, soccer, and basketball, a large lead near the end of the game can be insurmountable simply because time will run out. Not so, in baseball. Baseball must be played to the final out. Many games that are seemingly in hand are lost in the last inning. Thus, you must be persistent and play with focus and vigor to the very end.
Our work in compliance-related industries is very similar. There is never a time when we can say, “Time to relax, the game is won.” A momentary lack of focus or inattention to detail can result in an injury, lost batch of product, or recall. And, just like in baseball, a single person that fails to perform properly can turn the entire conclusion from “compliant” to “noncompliant.” For those of you that have had the privilege of participating in an FDA, OSHA, or DEA inspection, you know that many of the records reviewed were completed months earlier. The investigator will ultimately render a decision on our state of compliance based on how well every individual in the organization fulfilled requirements, followed procedures, and documented their actions. A single error might completely change the outcome of the inspection.
So, a significant part of our job as leaders of compliance functions is to ensure that every participant remains persistent to the end. We must ensure that every employee maintains the right level of focus to fulfill every activity with timeliness and accuracy. Attention to detail to the very end of the game is critical. Then, when the game is over, we can enjoy pizza and relax. Creating the environment that allows and ensure that we persist to the end may determine our ultimate success.
Have an awesome day and thanks for everything you do to create and maintain a culture of compliance!