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Kirsten Liston Rethink Compliance

Kirsten Liston

Founder & CEO

Rethink Compliance

Location: Denver

Founded: 2015

Industry: Compliance & Ethics

Kirsten Liston didn’t set out to start and run a company – she set out to solve a problem. The compliance industry was stuck in a rut, providing out-of-date solutions to increasingly complex challenges. After 15 years on the front lines of developing compliance training and Codes of Conduct, and listening to what compliance professionals wanted, Liston knew they deserved and needed better answers. She decided to do it herself by launching Rethink Compliance.

Rethink Compliance is an ethics and compliance industry leader dedicated to empowering organizations to create and sustain a culture of integrity. From training and communications to codes of conduct and consulting engagements, Rethink’s modern, hands-on approach helps its clients deliver truly effective compliance initiatives in many industries across the world.

Since its inception, Liston has led Rethink Compliance through double- or triple-digit growth every year and has recruited and nurtured a strong management team with a shared philosophy.

“Kirsten has proven herself an adept leader by listening first – to her clients and her people – and then delivering on whatever was needed to provide a solution,” said her staff. “She’s not afraid to educate herself about something new to her but also has the humility to know she’ll never be the best at everything; rather, she empowers others to step into their expertise, creating better results for Rethink, its clients and the compliance training industry as a whole.”

Liston, one of the early players in the global compliance industry, created one of the first-ever compliance training libraries, with more than 500 titles and 20,000 translations. Under Liston’s leadership, Rethink Compliance has introduced a data analytics solution that helps companies not only track the impact of their compliance training programs but also provides actionable recommendations for continued improvement.

As a result, the firm is a three-time honoree on the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies and was named as one of the 2023 Fast 50 for the Denver metropolitan area by the Denver Business Journal. Liston was named one of the 2023 Enterprising Women of the Year and a 2023 Woman2Watch from the Women Presidents Organization and JPMorgan Chase.

“I would let my younger self know that an innate affinity for leadership was waiting in the wings for me,” said Liston. “It took a clear business purpose with promising market impact, along with a big dose of courage, to step onto the stage and into a role that feels like it was meant for me all along.”

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Did you know?

My secret superpower is that I can learn anything I need to know — and I am a fast reader, so I have access to a lot of smart people who have solved similar problems before.


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