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Trust and Risk

Mr. Ahmed attended the Indian Institute of Technology, has a Harvard MBA, worked at Goldman Sachs and went on to work at Oak Partners (a prominent VC firm).


Today Mr. Ahmed is being sought in connection with a 65 million dollar fraud he appears to have perpetrated against his former employer.


No one saw this coming and when questioned, his old firm Oak Partners, talked about the environment of trust in place.


One reaction will obviously be; “lock it down! Compliance this, compliance that, seventy more cross checks are needed”. This makes sense because one high profile event like this gets spun around forever.


But what about all the others at Oak Partners, or who graduated IIT and Harvard, should they be seen now in the same light?


Regardless of what we may believe there will never be any amount of regulation or oversight or babysitting that will eliminate the possibility that an event like this will occur.


And in the end it is often “trust” that works to build a team. If you take regulation ad infinite it is quite possible that you lose that spirit and never get it back.   Every action in your organization could scream “I don’t trust you”. To say this isn’t healthy is an understatement.


Of course there must be the right balance but the key word is “balance”. Right now I am sure the pendulum will swing heavily toward the side of onerous compliance which consistently slows deal flow and demotivates employees. It may take some time for cooler heads to prevail

But, in the end, the absolute fact is that there is no such thing as trust without risk.

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