top of page

Future Thinking Compliance with The Eight Mindsets and Hugh Bigwood

Hugh Bigwood drawing by Nicole Rose
Eight Mindsets Podcast with Hugh Bigwood, illustration Nicole Rose

What’s the one thing we all do brilliantly?

The one thing we are all experts at, whatever our profession, role in life or demographic? Here's some clues:

  • It’s innate within us and something we seem compelled to do all the time.

  • It’s how we learn.

  • It’s how we process information and it’s how we share stories.

  • It's how we relate new things to existing memories. It’s human nature.

  • It's how we teach and it's how we learn

  • And it’s impossible to live our life without this innate skill.

It's looking backwards.

A critical complimentary skill

And here’s the thing, it’s also possible to live our life so much better if we also develop one other skill. A skill that is not so innate but still critical.

A skill that takes skill, patience, and confidence to develop and share.

It’s looking towards the future.

As a lawyer and educator who loves nothing more than a back story to share and a learning moment to ‘eek’ out, the habit of having one eye to the future took some work. But it was precisely the skill I needed to adopt when I moved my work life to Risk, Compliance and ESG.

And I had a coach, support, and mentor on my journey of future thinking in the name of Hugh Bigwood.

I worked with Hugh producing an entirely new compliance training strategy across 60,000 employees at Rio Tinto when he was the Global Head of Compliance.

And during, preceding, and now in his new career (which you will learn all about), he is a veritable giant when it comes to innovating compliance.

In the latest episode of The Eight Mindsets Podcast I chat with Hugh about the compliance function. What this really is and why the name of the function is the least important part of what we do.

He shares:

There are more compliance people in jail than there are lawyers.

The ethical issues faced by compliance officers are incredible. Hugh explains:

This is why ethics and integrity are meaningless words. It’s not what you call yourself, it’s what you do.

As Hugh points out:

We could all call ourselves bananas and it wouldn’t change anything.

Compliance and legal as business partners

Hugh and I discuss ho you get a seat at all the different tables in an organisation.

It’s what I call “The inconvenient job’. How do you become part of the business?

Hugh shares his tactics of creating self service for the business.

He explains that if you can think of adding value to the business, they will add value to your program.

He shares how one organisation he worked in used data from the Transfer of Value disclosures (required by healthcare individuals to disclose all money ever paid to a healthcare individual) to save the company money and prevent compliance risks.

Through this analysis, the organisation stopped wasting money that was reaping no return and in turn removed the risk of fraud and bribery and corruption.

There are many other golden compliance nuggets that Hugh shares in our podcast. He speaks about the real role of compliance – which as he calls is:

the conscience of the people in the organisation

Hugh also shares his predictions for the compliance industry, including:

  • The future of speak out hotlines

  • How to support small and medium size companies with compliance – i.e., making it accessible regardless of budget and number of employees

And in typical Hugh fashion, he also gives his own perspective and tactics for developing a successful, innovative compliance function. These include:

  • The DIY of compliance – try it and see!

  • The ‘love it or hate it’ test for training

  • Team building and the strength of suffering together

  • Why perfection is the enemy of good

And, finally, for anyone who is interested in how to develop their career, Hugh shares how his strange career choices have led to amazing opportunities and learning in his own career.

And finally, if you listen to the end you will hear our Eight Mindsets compliance anthem for the episode. Not to be missed!!

Listen to the Eight Mindsets latest podcasts at or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

To speak with the hosts of the Eight Mindsets email us at

If you want to speak with or connect with Hugh, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

This article is written by Nicole Rose co-host of The Eight Mindsets.

Nicole is a lawyer, compliance professional and artist. She works with global organisations to help them to build a culture of Compliance and understanding of ESG through upskilling, training, and education of boards and employees.

Nicole's specialities and passions include Anti-bribery and corruption, AML, Due Diligence, ESG, Modern Slavery and professional wellness. Learn more about her work here.

Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn or book in for a chat with Nicole here.

And if you want a portrait or just a doodle, take a look at Nicole's work here.

11 views0 comments


bottom of page