SpeakUp® Success Model: An Introduction

Since 2004, we have been assisting organisations develop an effective detecting SpeakUp Programme, often referred to as a ‘whistleblowing policy’. By virtue of our roots in organisational consultancy, we are intrigued by the elements which can propel the SpeakUp Programme to success. We have observed organisations and have identified differences on the scales of time, culture and people. It has been a wonderful journey so far, a journey that keeps on teaching. It is great to see that our SpeakUp tool and best practices complement each other!

A preliminary note on terminology: We favour the term ‘SpeakUp’ programme, policy or procedure over ‘whistleblowing’ programme, policy or procedure. Not only because of the negative connotation of ‘whistleblowing’, but also because it is in essence something different: An effective SpeakUp Programme should ideally prevent whistleblowing from happening. While we recognise that whistleblowing has to have a spot somewhere on the table, we believe that it should not be the centre piece. If it is, we expect to see a negative effect on the true purpose: establishing transparency by means of speaking up so that ethical wrongdoing can be detected, corrected and, hopefully, prevented as early as possible.

With a SpeakUp Programme we make reference to a set of characteristics and policy decisions that together constitute an organisational environment in which people are willing to speak up, so that ethical wrongdoing can be detected and corrected as early as possible.

Organisations frequently ask that we merge all our insights into one overview. While challenging, this is a request we would love to make an effort for. Therefore, we came up with the first version of the SpeakUp® Success Model. How did we do this? We first created one huge mind map gathering all feedback, knowledge and best practices of all our years of experience. We then aggregated all that under eight main components which can make the SpeakUp Programme a success. The purpose of the model is to create an all-embracing framework. More importantly, we hope to inspire and encourage an alternative perspective on the topic. The SpeakUp Success Model components are:

All eight components are related and intertwine with one another in various ways. Each component will be separately discussed in the following posts. During onboarding, we can help guide your roll-out strategy. We suggest a more gradual path: Start small by focusing on certain must-haves, then allow your SpeakUp Programme to evolve organically. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day…

One final and honest remark: Please feel free to share any feedback. We appreciate transparency in everything, not just our software.

You can find the first blog of our SpeakUp Success Model Series here. More will follow soon!

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