Compliance Lessons from Venice: How the Lion’s Mouth Informs Your Internal Reporting System

Thomas Fox
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The week of Thanksgiving is the time of our annual trip to the most beautiful and unique city on earth-Venice, Italy. With travel to Italy shut down this year due to Covid-19, I am visiting Venice virtually and mining this rich city for compliance lessons. This episode concludes my podcast series on how the city of Venice informs your internal reporting system. The symbol of Venice is the Lion of St. Mark. The use of this symbol led to the maxim ‘straight from the lion’s mouth’. This adage came about because the Republic of Venice See more +
The week of Thanksgiving is the time of our annual trip to the most beautiful and unique city on earth-Venice, Italy. With travel to Italy shut down this year due to Covid-19, I am visiting Venice virtually and mining this rich city for compliance lessons. This episode concludes my podcast series on how the city of Venice informs your internal reporting system. The symbol of Venice is the Lion of St. Mark. The use of this symbol led to the maxim ‘straight from the lion’s mouth’. This adage came about because the Republic of Venice had its own hotline system where citizens could report misconduct. A citizen could write down his concern on paper and literally put the message into the mouth of statues of lion heads placed around the City. This system was originally set up to be anonymous but later changed to require that a citizen had to write his name down when submitting a message.

As podcast series on compliance lessons from Venice draws to an end, I am reminded how much the western world has to thank the Republic of Venice. From the forms of republican democracy that the US Founding Fathers drew from to helping to establish a world-wide trade and banking system which still reverberates today. But, if you look closer, ancient Venice had many good government techniques which also still inform the modern world. Straight from the lion’s mouth to your company’s internal reporting system is just one of them. See less -

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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