Building a Responsible Network, One Conversation at a Time

September 30, 2014

It’s one thing for a company to manage employee decisions and behaviors—to provide the training and guidance, to offer a sounding board, to be there when the questions arise, to suggest a new approach.

It’s another for a company to collaborate with its far-flung alliance partners and vendors, its distributors and ad agencies, its marketing and educational consultants—and to engage in conversations about concepts of ethics and responsibility in distant corners of the world.

Over the past four years, through a wide reaching program led by Sheila Stranks, Head of International Compliance, organizations partnering with Shire have had an opportunity to sit down in face-to-face dialogue to discuss Shire’s emphasis on doing business with integrity—and their own approach to responsible and ethical behavior.

“We believe in investing in the time it takes to build real relationships—to learn about our partners, to see them in their cultural environments, to talk to them about their philosophies, and to share Shire’s policies.”

Sheila Stranks, Head of International Compliance

“We believe in conversations,” says Stranks. “We believe in investing in the time it takes to build real relationships—to learn about our partners, to see them in their cultural environments, to talk to them about their philosophies, and to share Shire’s policies. Online training can only take a company so far. We’ve decided to go farther.” 

Shire has traveled to more than 30 countries, including Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Central Europe, and South Africa, as part of the program. If, at times, it has met with some early apprehension the meetings have resulted in many positive gains. 

“To be honest, we’ve had a phenomenal reaction to the program,” says Stranks. “We haven’t always agreed with our partners. But we have always worked collaboratively, been willing to listen, discovered practical solutions. We’ve built trusted foundations for our partner relationships that have served us well and helped us mitigate risks that can arise from the unknown.”