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Compliance as Culture Change: Takeaways from Our May 20 Webinar

by Kirsten Liston

On May 20th, Andrea Falcione and I gave a webinar for the SCCE called “Emerging Trends in Compliance Learning”—if you’re interested in hearing it, you can find the recording here.

Now, like most professionals these days (and most compliance programs, for that matter) our team has limited time and resources. But we find preparing for and giving these SCCE webinars to be an excellent use of our time.

For one thing, compliance as a profession is in the midst of a shift—so it’s always valuable to step back from day-to-day tasks and try to articulate our observations, identify trends and share new approaches that are working for our clients. Once we do, the feedback and questions we get are incredibly valuable—helping to further shape our thinking and round out our understanding of where compliance practices are headed and what actually works inside of companies and programs.

A few takeaways:

Observation 1: The updated DOJ guidance in April had a big impact.

Ahead of our webinar, prospective audience members wrote to ask whether we would cover the updated guidance. (We did.) During the webinar, there were questions on how to actually measure training effectiveness to assess impact and whether the guidance applied to higher education institutions as well as companies.

Anecdotally, both in conversation and online, there’s a lot of chatter about the 2019 update—clearly, the message has gotten through that it’s not enough to have a program in place. Instead, the program has to work—and you need to be able to prove it. (For an interesting take, see Hui Chen’s latest. Certifications are for prosecution, not compliance? Ouch. I’m still digesting what that might mean for program design.)

Observation 2: Moving from audit trail to culture change is a seismic shift in our industry, and we’re still figuring out how to deliver on it.

For a compliance program to have impact, you have to be able to communicate with your audience in a way that matters. This is hard work! Capturing human attention has always been difficult. And capturing human attention in the age of digital media—with mobile devices and the “always on” Internet—may be harder than ever before in human history.

As a profession, we’ve seen this change coming for a while—in fact, I have a photo of myself presenting on this very shift at an SCCE conference in 2013. But seeing a change is different than being equipped to meet it. Sometimes, it’s a matter of embracing new tools and methods—like shorter, better-designed learning. Sometimes, it’s a matter of a mindset shift—having the courage to strip a message down to its key takeaways and save the detail for the policy.

Kirsten speaking at the SCCE Conference in 2013

For the 109 attendees who showed up for the webinar, we appreciate the time you took to hear what we had to say and join in the conversation. And for those who weren’t able to make it, we’d be happy to have a no-strings-attached discussion about these trends and what they might mean for your compliance program. Email me at kirsten@rethinkcomplianceco.com or reach out to us for a free consultation.

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