Retaliate at your own risk

The top five editors of a Hong Kong media outlet were arrested yesterday because they published articles calling on foreign agencies to impose sanctions on the Chinese government.

Leaving politics aside, they are being punished by their government for criticizing it. The result, and perhaps the goal of these arrests, will be to silence others who are thinking of making similar claims.

In the corporate world, this is the type of retaliation that we seek to prevent. We know that employees who fear retaliation do not report the wrongdoing they observe. When wrongdoing goes unreported, the best compliance programs collapse.

And when that happens, the collapse of the entire organization is not far behind.

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