Webinar: Culture Hacks – How Training Can Supercharge Your Employee Experience

Transcript for Culture Hacks – How Training Can Supercharge Your Employee Experience

Giovanni Gallo: Hello, everybody, and welcome to our webinar today. We’re so glad that you’re joining us and we’re excited to share some of our day with you and share some insights from a great panel of experts on Culture Hacks: How Training Can Supercharge Your Employee Experience. I’m Giovanni Gallo co-CEO of ComplianceLine along with Nick Gallo here, my brother, Roy Snell, and Kirsten Liston joining us. In case you don’t know and you haven’t been paying attention, Kirsten Liston is the principal and founder of Rethink Compliance, and they help the greatest companies build compelling and effective compliance programs. Glad that you guys could join us today. We’re excited to jump into a really exciting topic that is important to anybody who cares about the people in their organization. So, Nick, why don’t you take it away, kind of handle any other logistics and we can get started? And I’ll let you guys run it. Thanks for joining us, everyone.

Nick Gallo: Thanks, Gio. Yeah. Welcome, everybody. So, we are going to do another book giveaway. We bought several copies of Kirsten’s book, which is “Creating Great Compliance Training In a Digital World.” And that’s available only through the SEC. It’s like a $70 book. I think it’s worth like $1,000. So, we’re gonna have another trying for these. So, everybody who attended gets entered into the drawing. Our team will be reaching out to see if you have any questions, if you want the replay, and asking, you know, if you have any questions or any takeaways from it, that will get you entered in a few more times into the drawing. It’s a phenomenal book, so we’re excited to get that out there and get that information out into the marketplace. A little bit of logistics. We’d like these webinars to be very conversational. We’ve, in the past, had a lot of great conversations and participation and we wanna keep that trend going. So, if something pops up when we’re talking that sparks a question, please drop that into the chat and we’ll do our best to incorporate that. Yeah. And I guess that’s it.

So, with that, why don’t we just jump in? We have Kirsten and Roy. And Kirsten, just to kind of get started, you know, you worked at one of the first companies that offered clients training, right? That was Integrity Interactive. Over the years, how have you seen the training game change and what are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve, you know, learned from that experience that you still carry forward today?

Kirsten Liston: Yeah, totally. So, first of all, thank you so much for having me, Nick. I appreciate your inviting me on to talk both about training and about culture. Culture is near and dear to my heart. And I first got to know you through your LinkedIn activity and you definitely convey a very strong culture there, so I was excited to discuss that with you. And I’m super excited to have Roy on as well. I would be remiss if I didn’t say the book exists because Roy thought of me for it. So, thank you very much, Roy.

To answer your question, I was so lucky to join Integrity Interactive. This last September 4th was my 20th anniversary of joining. So, September 4th, 2000, I moved to Boston to this little startup company that had eight people, and this dream of putting compliance training online. And they had six kind of, I’ll call them beta courses because they didn’t have any clients and they didn’t have any revenues and they didn’t have any contracts, which I didn’t realize until I moved across the country, brought all my stuff and showed up for work on my first day. So, they were believers. But it was super exciting. And Integrity along with one other vendor that existed at the time really came in at the right time and got to pioneer the compliance training space. And so it wasn’t just Integrity getting up to speed. It was the industry as a whole saying, “What is global compliance training?” Previously, if you wanted to do global compliance training, it was two lawyers with a three-hour PowerPoint that could go to 40 countries around the world. They loved it and they hated it. Right? They were away from home for a long time, but they got to go all over the world.

But with the internet, all of a sudden, you could press a button and things to go everywhere. And the industry really had to figure out, “Oh, if we can talk to a global audience about harassment, how do we do that? Because standards are different in different places and laws are different in different places. Well, we’re the same company and we wanna have a standard approach. How do we talk about export controls where, you know, it’s all by jurisdiction and country and it changes all the time?” So, I say that to say in the very early days, industry was just setting itself up and at the same time, they were figuring out compliance. They were figuring out everything else. Your average Fortune 500 company didn’t yet have a compliance officer. They were starting to put one in place. They were starting to get codes. They were starting to put in helplines. It was all new. So, to answer your question about what’s changed the first 10 years, give or take, depending on the company, were really about just nailing the stuff down or getting this industry set up and figuring out, “How do we do this?” And they hired a lot of really smart people and we were lucky to have organizations like the SEC that promoted professional standards and did a lot of kind of practice and knowledge and tree craft sharing.

And then so, round about, I would say about 2010, companies kind of were, like, “Okay. We’ve got this.” And now instead of compliance officers being brand new, you had someone who had been running a major program at a Fortune 500 company for 10 years and they were starting to think about what was next. And they started to say, “Okay. This training we did the first day it was great. But it’s 2010, I have an iPhone in my pocket that does cool things. My 14-year-old just made a social studies like PowerPoint presentation that’s interactive. Why does my compliance training still look like a PowerPoint?” And they started to ask about modern stuff. They started to push on the codes of conduct because they were like, “Well, we’re this big branded company. Why is our code on our website a Microsoft Word document?” Right? And in your industry, I know they started to say, “What other options are there for a help line or for reporting and stuff like that?”

And they started to move on to the next level questions. Not only how do we make training and code and everything better, but could it work better? Could we get more information? How do we refine what we’re doing? So, my biggest observation has been, you know, the biggest change is the questions the industry is asking. We’re a much more mature and established industry than we were 20 years ago. And as far as the biggest lessons, I was kind of thinking about this ahead of our webinar. So many things I was so lucky to learn, right, like ground-up education and compliance, fabulous mentors, and, you know, about how to run a business and everything else. But I really think the biggest lesson I learned is, it’s possible. It’s possible to have an idea that you know a market, like, will buy and you can set up a company and grow it into something great. I think that can be a mental leap for people. And unless you’ve seen someone do it, it can seem philosophical and abstract and scary instead of just a real thing you do when you don’t have to know all the answers on day one. So, yeah, that’s what I would say to answer your opening question.

Nick: Yeah. And that’s such a good lesson to learn that you don’t have to know the answers because nobody knows all the answers. You’re never gonna have all the answers. At some point, you just have to kind of get moving.

Kirsten: Just get moving. And it’s true for compliance programs too. You can’t… Don’t wait around for the perfect plan because life is happening. So, make a plan and execute it and then look for the gaps and then make another plan. Yeah.

Nick: Kind of an interesting transition that you’re talking about there. We talk a lot about compliance 3.0 and that being the new era that we’re stepping into and it’s about effectiveness. And there’s 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, you know, framework was kind of…you kind of spoke to that, right? That 2000s to 2010 was kind of that 1.0. That ’10 to ’20, that was 2.0. Okay. How can we make this more interactive? How can we lean into technology? And now it seems like things are really moving towards efficacy. Can you talk to us a little bit about, like, the Department of Justice guidance and how you’re seeing that play out in training and what major gaps you’re seeing in most of the organizations that you come in contact with?

Kirsten: Yeah, totally. It’s funny. I don’t mean to keep calling back to you, Roy, but every time I think about the DOJ guidance, I think about you because we sat in Minneapolis at SEC conference, and I think it was 2016. And the first time we chatted, had released the Department of Justice guidance, and I remember talking to you about it. So, for us, you know, if you’re deeply involved in this industry, you can feel trends coming. And so for us, the Department of Justice guidance could not have been better timed because we decided last fall 2020 is gonna be the year of analytics. And something I see in our industry, and I think it is down to the fact that our industry is evolving. It’s still a young industry and we’re still moving and pioneering and evolving, right? But you start to see an idea come around, and people are talking about it and they’re thinking about it and you get asked at every conference and you get asked at every client meeting. But there’s not a lot of traction and people kind of haven’t figured out a solution yet. Maybe one person has tried this thing, maybe one person has tried this thing.

So, in the era of analytics, we said last fall, “Okay. 2020 is gonna be the year of analytics.” And then to be very candid when kind of COVID hit and there was a lockdown, we found ourselves with a little bit more time on our hands and we said, “Well, let’s really get this analytics thing solved.” And it was great because what we do is we kind of think hard about the problems, develop a point of view, run that by clients, think about what could work. And we were into beta testing a solution with some trusted clients and prospects that we felt like we knew where we were going. And the Department of Justice guidance came out. And when you compare it to previous guidance, it’s clear that they’re doubling down on, “No, we really mean it. No, we really want to see data. We understand you have a good gut feeling about your organization. We understand you’re out talking to employees and taking the temperature of executives. And you may be right.” At least this is my interpretation. The Department of Justice didn’t say that. But we want you to base it on something. I was at a conference last year where Wei Chen said, “We need to move from instinct-base program strategy to database program strategy.”

So, that was our takeaway. And as far as what people in the industry are doing, you know, as we’ve released a new kind of analytic solution that’s embedded in training, we’ve gone around to like talk to people about it, and we always ask, “Where are you with it?” And almost everybody is at the very beginning stage of thinking about this stuff because as an industry, we’re at the beginning stage of thinking about this stuff. And the biggest piece of advice we give people is just get started. Just start asking questions. And I guess the second biggest piece of advice we give is, you already know how to do this. Good compliance practice is about putting something in place, and then checking to see how it works, and then improving it and doing it again. And we have been doing that from the beginning of the industry. Joe Murphy has preached it from the beginning of the industry. He’s always said, “It’s amazing what employees will tell you if you just ask.” But we haven’t really built it into our formal approaches and we haven’t really had the technology to support doing it in wider ways. So, that would be my answer. The industry is very, very interested in it, for sure.

Roy: Nick, I think that this is a really important point. If you go back to the very beginning when they wrote the original Chapter Eight of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, it talked about compliance a lot. So, the point at which when the first revision came up, the advisory group that they brought together to help them update the chapter eight guidance said, you got to get ethics in here. And it’s hard to really know exactly what went on. But the read I got was, “Okay. We’re gonna put ethics in here, but we want more than talk. We want auditing and investigations and action.” And so then we went through this period of compliance and ethics and now the government is saying, “Essentially, prove it. Give me a date.” I’m tired of the talking. I want action, which Kirsten emphasized. Just do it. Go. And I want evidence that something changed as a result of your behavior.

And on this note, when I was running the SEC in the early days, I would see people creating things in our office and they will be polishing the apple and polishing the apple and polishing the apple. And finally, I had him… Might have been like a meme. I don’t know. But I put up this big poster that someone created. I can’t remember what the picture was, but the word was “Finish.” I think we spend 20% of our time in the first 80% of the work that needs to be done for something, and then we spend 80% of our time on the last 20% just trying to make it pretty. And frankly, we only make it maybe 10% better. The ROI on polishing the apple in making something perfect as opposed to getting it out, in this case, in education and having people have new information. It’s get out of the office. Go see the people. Kirsten is absolutely right. I’m absolutely fascinated to see where she goes.

One other point on just history is I talked to you, Nick, a lot about the Joe Murphy kind of being, in my opinion, the godfather of all this. And I don’t know if you put the two together, but he was one of the partners in Integrity Interactive that Kirsten worked for, learned from, and now she’s got her own company. And one last thing, and I digress a little bit. I digress a lot. But right now there’s a lot of discussion in the world about equality. And everybody get an equal chance to perform. And if you pay attention at all to the compliance community, it’s always been a balance of male and female. We never didn’t have it. And it’s not just at one level, it’s at all levels. And so we’re seeing people like Kirsten, Grant Hart… And Kirsten, I bet you could name many others. I’m becoming a little more out of touch every day. But starting their own companies and being very success…I would say wildly successful, which would have been a play on words with some of the stuff that Kirsten is doing. And we’ve had these folks do presentations on this topic. And it’s just fascinating to me, to sum it up, to watch from 20 years ago or whatever to now and that some of the things that Joe Murphy did sowed seeds that ended up with what Kirsten is doing. I think it’s just really cool.

Nick: Yeah, it’s really cool. And again, it speaks to something that Kirsten was saying about how, you know, while we’re a young industry many times we can recognize a trend and put those trends into practice before whatever moves into the Zeitgeist or the general sort of conversation. And that I think puts us in this really unique position to not…because of that, and then also because of the fact that, like, where we sit in most organizations, we can wrap around a lot of these other functions and actually affect the people and provide the information and guidance to them so that they can live out that mission. So, I just… I think it’s such a great picture of this broader thing that we’re talking about as we’re moving towards effectiveness. Let’s change gears a little bit and talk a little bit about the pandemic, right? The pandemic really forced a lot of change, it forced a lot of, like, super-rapid, you know, lightning-fast policy changes, and so forth. So, I’d love for you to kind of speak to, you know, what are you seeing, how are you seeing sort of compliance training change in the context of the pandemic? And where do you see compliance training, like, not getting involved where it should be in order to provide a better guidance out to the workforce in this new normal that we’re all trying to sort of get accustomed to?

Kirsten: Yeah. And we’re all living through it, right. And we’re all seeing evidence of this stuff every day how it has changed us. Yeah. I’ll share a conversation I just had the other day because it gave me information about an angle I hadn’t really thought about in relation to compliance. So, the woman I was talking to. So, I was working with a global multinational company. And these are companies that often when you try to roll out compliance programs that are all these fault lines, you know, because like HRS is in eight places and they don’t all have the same website. There was one company I worked with that had 27 websites. So, if you’re gonna do a code, you have put it up in 27 places. And this was a company that had been hampered by some of those things. And when there was a lockdown in March and everybody moved home really quickly, guess what? They saw those technology issues really fast because otherwise, their business wouldn’t have worked.

And so she was talking about the fact that, like, we were already having technological change, and then this accelerated it. We all started using video chat. I don’t know about you, but my video chats were in the minority before. I was on conference calls all day. Very rarely were they video. And I think we looked for…when we were physically separate, we looked for other ways to build human connection. I saw a lot more activity in, you know, the social space and stuff like that. But then the woman went on to say something I hadn’t thought about but ties into this effectiveness thing. And she said, “I just really worried because our company…” Because she said people used to worry people couldn’t work from home. Well, obviously, we can. Our business has now been going for six months. People used to think you needed business travel to connect. Well, obviously, you don’t because we’ve been connecting for six months. And she said… Can everybody hear me okay? Oh, yeah. I just got a little message. But what she said is she said, “I really worry that I’m gonna have a hard time proving to my leadership that I need to travel to be face to face and I need to walk the halls to be face to face.” And she said, “Because that’s what I’ve come to rely on.”

And I was thinking about that in the context of effectiveness. If anything, it kind of has to accelerate because what she’s talking about is that gut feeling you get that so many good compliance officers have where you just have a read on your organization and the people who do that do that so well. But we’re being pushed towards a situation where that gut feeling. We’re gonna have less opportunities for it. And so that’s where I think accelerating the whole data-driven stuff is critical because, otherwise, how are you gonna take anybody’s temperature? And yeah, we know this. Silicon Valley pioneered the digital space over the last 20 years. We see ways that people collect information about their audience and do it really well and do it better sometimes than human beings can do. Humans can do it in a kind of gut-based, instinct-based way, but data can tell you a lot.

So, I think it’s probably a move towards how do you take the temperature of your organization in a world that has totally changed? And then I think it’s also, how do you speak to people when we all have different work experiences now? We made a… People would ask us, “Do you have a work from home course?” right after this happened. And I filmed one over the weekend with my dog locked down into the pandemic. But we were thinking hard about what compliance issues come up and, like, harassment. If someone is being harassed in the middle of an office, people know it. They don’t always address it. They don’t always address it correctly, but they know it. If someone’s being harassed by a co-worker who can just get to them one on one and no one else can ever see it, especially that their manager or a leader or someone with power, you know, like, how do you even spot that stuff? So, those are some of my thoughts on trends that I’ve seen as far as a pandemic goes.

Roy: Nick, what’s really important, there’s gonna be some pros and cons. The pros, I was thinking more about before… Kirsten brought some important stuff to my attention. The pros are that people are gonna be more used to online interaction, online training, and they’re going to probably be a little bit more positive about that. On the flip side, I’ve been preaching for 20 years that, you know, I did my best work in the hallway. I got my best tips. I got better stuff in the hallway that I got in a hotline, and that was a long time ago. So, a lot different now in volumes of people and all that. But, man, I got… And the wording Kirsten used is great. It’s like you feel. When some of these companies fail and leadership wasn’t necessarily involved in the failure but were being blamed anyways, I always felt that was a little unfair, except for the fact that if you can’t feel that the culture is not right, you’ve got a problem. You’re not in touch with your people. You’re not getting out with the people.

And that’s maybe a big part of compliance. The C suite likes to think. I’m sure they spend a lot of time with the people but I’m not sure that they do with the right subject matters where like, “Let’s get the production done. Let’s get the marketing done. Where are we gonna go next? What products?” Whereas we walk the halls and say things like, “Have you seen anything that was inappropriate or whatever?” We’re having a little more different conversations. And Kirsten is right. We’re not in the hallway right now and you cannot duplicate that or you cannot make that happen on the tool we’re using right at the moment. It’s one layer too many.

Nick: So, just pull out your crystal balls, and like 10 years from now, what does this whole thing look like? Because there’s this natural translation that needs to be made from this intangible thing that is culture that is feeling that is sort of that gut instinct thing that Kirsten was talking about, and on the other side of the spectrum the sort of database, the analytics that we’re gonna get better at to see, “Hey, it’s behavior changing and so forth.” As we switch from kind of one foot to the other, how do you think we solve that middle ground on a go-forward basis, because it would be terrible to sort of get this increased efficiency and maybe a glimpse into, you know, an increase, you know, effectiveness, but then have that false positive or something because if you’re walking the halls, you feel something different?

Kirsten: Sure. And we all live in a social media world and social media is full of people being like, “Everything is beautiful. Everything’s great.”

Nick: Exactly. That’s a good point.

Kirsten: Including people for whom things are great behind the surface, right? What comes to mind when you ask that, Nick, is one thing I really love about compliance and I feel like we got lucky except there were really smart people putting this into place. So, I got lucky. There were actually people who were smart who developed this. We have some core principles that don’t change. There have been massive changes in what kind of leading processes for the different pieces of a compliance program are, but no one’s ever said, “Who needs a risk assessment? Don’t start with a risk assessment.” And no one’s ever said, “Why do we have a stupid code of conduct that spells out all the areas we could get into trouble? Why are we doing training on this? Why are we measuring it? Why do we have a helpline?”

And so while I don’t know the details of how we’ll solve it, what I love about the compliance industry is we have the framework to put it into place. We’re not starting from a blank slate and saying, “Throw it everything we’ve ever done in compliance programs. This is a new day.” We’re saying, “What does a risk assessment look like when you can’t have employee focus groups in person? What does a risk assessment look like when, you know, it’s harder to get access to people?” And kind of the word that people keep using with me right now is survey fatigue. People have been trying to get in touch with our employees but as a result employees are taking survey after survey after survey from, like, IT and EHNF and whatever.

To Roy’s point, I think we’re lucky we’ve come as far as we have in online training and communication. It’s pretty well accepted. If this were 2003, we’d certainly be scrambling. But at least we have a history there to build on. So, I think it’s gonna be humans figuring out what are the compliance fundamentals which don’t change, and then how can they get executed in this new more virtual world that we’re probably not fully ever going back from even after… I hope as soon as the pandemic ends we can all, like, go to parties again.

Nick: Yeah. So, with respect to… This topic is about training and culture and how we can really tweak that. Where do you see people fall flat? And where do you see the sort of proper connection between these two things, this lever that we can sort of pull and do something with and sort of the output of it, which is sort of the result in culture? Where do you see kind of people fall flat there?

Kirsten: People fall flat. Well, I’ll say the three of us have all run organizations, so we know culture or we know… We know culture. I’ll start there and say, I think the thing that people get wrong is they put culture on their list as a to-do item that they’ll get to later. We’ll tackle culture, but first, we need a new code of conduct. We’ll tackle culture, but, you know, we got to get the training initiative out. We’ll handle culture. And culture isn’t a to-do list item. It’s not something you do once and you’re done. Culture… And we know this. If you’re kind of shaping an organization, culture is something…

Well, as somebody told me, every company has values, it just may not be their stated values, right? Every organization has culture and every organization has a culture related to ethics and compliance whether or not you get in there. And so I think the biggest mistake that compliance people make is treating it as a task or a project and also kind of as a subset to that, that they have to know everything that they… They have to have a big plant. They have to have a big fancy plan to always point about just finish. And the people who are doing it well… Well, people who are doing it well are fortunate if they have leaders who kind of do this on a natural basis. You have a little bit more of an uphill battle if your CEO doesn’t take to heart the fact that you need to have ethical culture messages on the regular. But honestly, the people who do a good job with this just start. And one of the reasons I love being in compliance is people who are talented at compliance, they’re like octopus.

My grandmother was a docent at a marine center, and the octopus, if you gave it just a little crack, would get out and be waiting for them on the floor in the morning. The octopus was just like, “I will take any opening you can give me.” And in compliance, we often have limited budgets, limited time, frankly, limited authority, all that stuff. And the best compliance people are like, “I don’t have a way to get to my managers formally. I’m gonna send a survey manager to all the…Survey Monkey to all the managers I can find, you know, an email address for. Oh, I don’t have airtime at this meeting. I’m gonna X, Y, and Z. And it really is just about people saying, “What can I do today to move this forward and then I’ll build on that? What can I do tomorrow to move this forward?” And it doesn’t have to be big and expensive and planned out in advance. You kind of just have to start.

Nick: Yeah. I love that picture you painted. And I think that corresponds a lot to some analogies we used with respect to culture where it’s really like a bonfire. It’s not like flipping a light switch when you step into a room and then it’s just on. Think about a bonfire, if you’re sort of setting up camp or something, the size of that bonfire needs to grow if there’s more people around it. And it takes constant work. You have to keep feeding it and so forth. And I think I can take that analogy a step further in the context of some of what you said with regarding, like, just get started. You’re not gonna set your whole camp up for three days before you say, “Okay. We gotta get around to starting this fire.” You’re gonna get that going right away every time. It’s gonna change as the camp grows and so forth. So, just getting something going. And just to echo your last point, culture is like an accent. Everybody has an accent whether you recognize it or not, but it takes some intentionality to start doing something with it. How does that correspond to what you’ve seen, Roy, both in the organizations that you’ve run and been a part of?

Roy: I would like to pick up on something that Kirsten said that I think is really important. We tend to be project-based people in the compliance profession. We wanna have a beginning, a middle and an end. We do audits that take, in some cases, months. We do risk assessments that have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Investigations, even training. You’ll roll out certain types of training. It’s a month-long activity. And Kirsten is absolutely right. When I was CEO of SEC and HCCA, culture… Building an ethical culture, and what you and Gio talk about all the time, Nick, the positive work environment, supportive employees get the best… I mean, Kirsten is the same way. She wants her employees to think this is the greatest company in the history of planet Earth in terms of their own fulfillment of their work, you know, accomplishments or whatever.

But the thing she said that is really key that I experienced for almost 20 years running that place, it’s all day. It’s every day. It’s every chance you think of. It’s a little email. It’s a short conversation. It isn’t a three-month project. Building a culture isn’t a three-month project like audit, risk assessment, investigation, or some pieces of training. All other compliance and ethics program activities come in chunks with a spreadsheet, a work plan, a beginning, a middle, an end, and a team. Culture is not like that. Improving the culture is not like that at all. It’s 1,000 little things throughout the course of the year. It’s hard to teach. It’s hard to explain. It’s hard to list. It’s hard to have a work plan. I would like Kirsten to solve that problem for us and just come out with…

Nick: Yeah. And silver-bullet that for us, please, Kirsten.

Roy: Somebody could turn this into a little more manageable, you know, conceptual thing as opposed to hairy fairy vague. Culture is so important, but most people are vague.

Kirsten: Right. Yeah. It’s funny, there can be buzzwords in an industry and people are just kind of waving their hands, you know, culture. And I’m kind of my own… And everyone has their own personality, right? And I’m a project person, Roy. That’s why I can call it. That’s why I can call it. A project person has to learn that there are certain things you do every day. And we were talking about this a little bit before the call started. But like, if you have a dog, you have to feed your dog every day. You can’t have a big project where you feed them once a year and it’s the best food ever. If you’re training for a marathon, you kind of have to run every week. You can’t, like, have one giant run and, you know, you get yourself in trouble. But one of the things…

So, as a personality, I am like that octopus. I like to look for opportunity and to make that… I find, like, in compliance it’s about making it super specific and super practical. Right? It’s about saying, “What is the problem? Define the problem. What kind of solution do we need? Define that solution.” And then working with the tools and budget we already have. What is one step we can take towards that? And I find that that helps get you away from the high-level buzzwords, guy in a fancy suit here to sell you something you don’t really understand towards, “What can I…” And what I love is, every time we solve something like that, compliance people are like, “Oh, yeah. Right.” Why don’t we just ask people questions about ethical culture and tell you what they said?” Oh, yeah. That would be a really good way to start.

Nick: I got a great question that just popped up here. So, Roy is absolutely… Roy, did you submit this? It says Roy is absolutely right. Okay. Roy is absolutely right. Culture is very subtle. Whilst it’s hard to put a finger on something like culture, it also isn’t the sole ownership of the compliance team. HR are also involved. These other departments are often involved. Who else should be included when building the culture and what are some practical sort of methodologies that people in compliance if they’re gonna be that catalyst to kick it off and start to employ within their organization using the tools that are at their disposal?

Roy: This is just freaking me out. If you were in my mind, you’d be terrified right at the moment because I was wanting to interrupt and answer this question before you read it because when I said… I’m saying it’s not a project, its activities every day, but I’m not getting out practical. What can you do tomorrow to make it happen?

Nick: Right.

Roy: And this question is brilliant. The answer to this question is, train leadership on a regular basis. Things like, your culture is not a project. It’s not a work plan. It’s not a once a year video from the CEO. It’s not… It’s all these things in that… So, what I would do is I would get leadership together and say, “Here’s how you make your culture better. You have to tell people over and over and over again in big groups and in one on one little things. Have your meeting, talk about marketing, but just slip in that one little thing. And remember, always tell the customer the truth or never… There was one that was really unethical and when I used to sell software, we would sell futures. What I mean by that, well, some… And Kirsten, you are gonna totally… Well, both of you guys. There are software in development. Sales people sometimes sell that software as if it’s already there. And if for some reason it takes an extra six months to get that… So, I’m a leader. I’m in the room. I’m sitting around… There’s leaders from every department. And the marketing person gets up and says to everybody, “We gotta sell more. We gotta make money. We gotta go all this stuff.” And by the way, don’t fall into the trap of selling stuff we don’t have yet. By the way, my joke was, “Buy futures. Don’t eat them.” I don’t know. It used to make more sense.

Nick: He was joking.

Kirsten: It rhymes in Norwegian or something. Yeah.

Roy: It makes sense somewhere in Reykjav√≠k, Iceland or something. So, a great question. Every time you talk to leadership, throw in one sentence about their role in culture, 24/7, 365. That would be a fun… I would dare the listeners. Somebody out there steal this idea. Dozens of you, I would hope. Start the 24/7, 365 culture plan. It’s just an idea that just came to me. Beat on it for a year. Get it in everybody’s head that it’s every moment of every day. Slip in a sentence that will help improve the culture.

Nick: I like the idea. How are you seeing folks… Oh, go ahead, Kirsten. Sorry.

Kirsten: No. I was just gonna build on what Roy said because if culture isn’t a project, it also doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. It can be a sentence. It can be an email, right? If it’s not a project, you don’t have to put it off for a long time. And it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be ongoing.

Nick: Yeah. And if you wanna transition to the healthy lifestyle, you don’t have to start doing two a day, waking up at 5:00 a.m. and only eating salads. You could start by getting your steps in or doing something a little. And I think…

Kirsten: Yeah. Think in ladder.

Nick: Start whittling away at it. How have you seen people institutionalize this with respect to their training programs across kind of the cadre of sort of types of training whether it’s the pillar training or the micro learnings or those little sort of things that are in emails, in-person. We’ve talked about some ad hoc things just to kind of blow some wind in the sales. But how do you kind of leverage this for somebody who maybe has a limited budget right now to start getting some of this culture, you know, expansion?

Kirsten: Yeah. I think two things come to mind. The first is, I started speaking publicly at conferences around 2012, 2013. And the mechanism is you come up with ideas, you submit many speaking ideas to the conference and something gets picked. And what gets picked tells you a lot about what the industry is interested in. And from, I wanna say, 2012 to, like, maybe 2015, it was all about tone from the middle. That was kind of the first culture problem that companies were trying to solve. And it’s hard because you can buy training off the shelf and roll it out and done training. You can have someone write you a code or write your own code training. You can have the CEO record a video, tone from the top. Tone from the middle wasn’t a thing you could buy off the shelf, and people really wanted to talk about it. And the companies that took action, found ways to put simple, repeatable, practical, relevant compliance messages in the hands of their managers. And it wasn’t about equipping them with that three-hour antitrust training. It was about equipping them with exactly the type of thing Roy is talking about. Okay. You have a staff meeting once a week. Here’s, like, one compliance message you could pull from that literally is a sentence, but it gets it on the map.

So, that’s one way that I’ve seen people do it. The companies that master or started making progress, I guess, I’ll say, on tone from the middle. It’s kind of like there’s a principle about broadcast communication whether it’s marketing or anything else, that the further a message has to go, the simpler it has to be. So, it’s about super simple messages. And then the second thing I’ll say is that we in compliance when we sit down to write training can also often start with what do people need to know? And it’s evident even in the way that we title our courses. We call our courses bribery, because we have a checklist that we have to get our bribery course. But that’s not a checklist on our audience’s radar. They care about doing their sales job.

So, you can start out by titling your courses and even putting the content in more of kind of a values-based, principle-base. This is the kind of company we are away. You can call your course bribery, but then that’s gonna tell your employee, “I have a subject I want you to know about.” You can also call it, you know, succeeding at sales while, you know, blah, blah, blah, or avoiding bribery risk in successful selling or something like that because it ties into your audience’s kind of, you know, mindset and what’s interesting to them. And then something I see, and we work with a company that right now is… We’re working with them on several compliance training courses. And something that they’ve done well is they always, always, whatever course it is, they lead with their value. And they say, “This is our values. This is what kind of a company we are. Okay. Now we’re gonna talk about X, which can come up in X way.” But throughout the course, they come back to the values. When you ask a question, you know, “For people to apply learning, what would you do in this situation?” The answer isn’t just it’s right, it’s wrong. It’s under our requirements, you need to do this, but also our value is blah, blah, blah. And that’s the way we wanna show up in the world. So, I think there’s ways to do it and how you word things.

Nick: Yeah. And I think just the way that you frame things… So, I have kind of an accounting background and I think accounting is kind of easy. I know some people think it’s really hard because there’s all these rules. Well, all those rules are really just an extension of these, like, seven foundational principles. So, if you can internalize those principles, well, then now you can kind of guess what the right thing to do would be in this situation or that situation. And I love what you said about kind of tying it back to values because those values are really just kind of guiding principles if they’re real and they’re done right. And something else you said which I think really speaks to this as we’re moving from 2.0 to 3.0 is, you know, we many times are like, “We have this information and we need to give to people.” We don’t actually care about the information conveyance. We care about the behavior as a result of that information conveyance. But many thanks to your point, we’ve limit…we’ve sort of put the training itself in a box just by the words we use to describe it or how we sort of conveying information.

Kirsten: Yeah. Both of you guys, and I appreciate it, on LinkedIn shared with you…like Software mouth and shared further the video we made your voice has power. And we deliberately that’s a speak up video that is not about conveying information. It’s not called speak up. It’s called your voice has power. And it’s not about the logistics of speaking up or the mechanics of speaking up or the finer points of why it matters to a company. We went out and found a British spoken word artist who the whole point is to appeal to people, like, you know, conscience, heart, interested in the company doing well, self-interest. Yeah. It’s all about… We started… Before we worked with that artist, we worked with a different artist. And he talks about how when he makes things he wants people to think, feel, and follow along. He wants people to understand it, but to have a human feeling about it, a human response to it.

And so want to do something in response, and you’re right, it’s… I mean, giving people information is better than nothing. I think when the early compliance program started, it’d be like giving people safety information when we hadn’t given them safety information before, right? Safety in the workplace made great strides in the 20th century. When compliance first started, people really needed to know the mechanics of bribery risk, and that was a start. But if it was just about giving people information, we’d be done. Right? We could just say like, “You have, like, 20 courses in your library. Call us when you’ve exhausted all of those.” Just give it to them every year and it’ll be fine. But it’s giving people the information as a start, but… I mean, we all have information we don’t have time in our lives. Why would employees get any different?

Roy: Kirsten, I got a… You can’t just blow by that video that quickly… Have you done some of those?

Kirsten: We did three with an artist named Gary Turk and now this is one with Catherine Willoughby. So, we’ve done four total spoken word videos. I don’t know if we’ve publicized all of them, but to the same extent.

Roy: I’ve seen two of them, and they’re the two number one and number two best videos I’ve ever seen related to compliance topics in 20, whatever years. And it’s the thing everybody strives for to try and get that feeling across, the message across. But before I ramble any. Where can people find those?

Nick: We’ll send that in the follow-up if people are interested.

Roy: Excellent.

Kirsten: Perfect. Yeah. Take a look at it. Yeah. That’s great.

Roy: It’s phenomenal. But I mean, it’s based on this premise, right? You don’t buy a car because you see all the specs. There’s some feeling with that car, right? A logic makes you think. Emotion makes you act. Obviously, we need logic. Obviously, we need this information. But in 3.0, in this new era, we’re really concerned about efficacy and we’re concerned about behavior change. How have you seen companies make the transition from what I would call a training organization that says, “Hey, I gotta do my trainings. I gotta check the box on this. I gotta push this information out,” and so forth, to the other end of the spectrum where you’re really a learning organization where life is learning and we’re continuous improvement and we’re continuously learning and fighting against that, you know, inevitable forgetting curve that we’re all kind of subject to as human beings. What hacks have you seen in that area?

Kirsten: Yeah. And I love that we’re talking about hacks. I think that we haven’t addressed that word, like, full-on since the beginning, but I think we’ve been kind of implicitly talking about it. But I love that idea of hack. I’m in a writing group and the editor who is this awesome published writer, when we’re reading other people’s manuscripts, she says, “Cue the lazy editor. We’re not asking you to rewrite this stuff. How do we just fix this? How do we fix this and move on?” But as far as what hacks I’ve seen, I think it’s…I think it’s mostly being willing to start thinking from that mindset. There’s plenty of material and content out there, I’d love to say just from us, but honestly, from other organizations also. There’s plenty of it. It’s having the courage and the heart to basically…confidence to move to that. And one thing that I see a lot of worry about is, “Oh, how do I explain to my company lawyers and stakeholders that we’re not reproducing the whole policy?” or, “What will the government say?”

And one of the best responses I’ve heard to that is a client that we work with who does kind of this campaign model. They do something that’s three minutes. They’ll do a substantive training that’s seven minutes. They’ll follow it up with three. They really think about how do we deliver basic literacy, but how do we deliver persuasion? And they’re really good at doing that. They were under a monitorship and a DPA. And as part of their monitorship and DPA, the monitor reviewed their plans, which, by the way, I mean, they’ll roll out something along if they need to, like, for California Sexual Harassment. But the majority of their training content range from three minutes to seven minutes, but there was a plan and a purpose. And they got high marks every time from the monitor. So, to me, that is a data-driven example not just in… There’s this instinct faceful. It should work. It works in advertising, but that is a data-driven example of the government scrutinizing a program and having a monitor on-site looking at this stuff and saying, “Yep. I give this high marks.” So, that’s what I would say.

Nick: Because they’re seeing the results of the efforts in some sort of validated data-driven way.

Roy: Nick, I wanna…

Kirsten: Yeah. Exactly.

Roy: I wanna comment on this. I’ve been fascinated by the word hack for a long time. And I’m gonna define it my own way. But it… I’m not necessarily sure it’s the correct way. But it is like a trick or a quick and dirty way to get something done. As you and I have talked, Nick, before, it’s a little effort and a lot of result, high return on investment of time and money. And maybe we could tie it into Kirsten’s… One of our themes today has been just do it. Go. Stop analyzing. Stop writing. Stop thinking. Get out of your office and go execute something. A hack is more like to me the word means a process, a philosophy about getting stuff done. A hack is the opposite of a one-year-long enterprise-wide risk assessment that’s out of date by the time you get it done. That’s the opposite of a hack. And I love that philosophy. Just do it. Go. Get it done. Finish. However you wanna word it, just do it.

Nick: So, we got a great question from the audience.

Kirsten: And to your point…

Nick: Sorry. Go ahead, Kirsten. I’m sorry. You were gonna respond there.

Kirsten: No. I was gonna say, and to your point, Roy, instead of a year-long enterprise-wide risk assessment, what information can you collect at every step? What if you took that risk assessment and it was just an ongoing process? That’s a great hack. But sorry, Nick. Go ahead.

Nick: Oh, no. That’s a great idea. And I think you’re kind of speaking to this question. So it says but the material that is out there is actually training not a hack. What do you see as a difference between normal training and hacks?

Kirsten: Oh, gosh, that’s such a good point. I would say it’s all in how you use the train. There are companies who come and look at our library. And one of the things that we did when we set out to make a library is we looked around the space and it wasn’t hard to do because we’ve been in it for a long time. We looked around the space and said, “Where’s the opportunity?” There are thousands of 45-minute courses in the world. So, if anybody wants a 45-minute course on exports, they can have it. And it’s not gonna be hard to find. But where are the opportunities? And for us, we really found the opportunities in short communications. And something we’ve been in… And as with your voice has power thing, they can sometimes do the job depending on the topic. They can sometimes do the job of a 20-minute training. You can have a 20-minute training on speak up. I’ve written one. Or you can have a two-minute video.

And so as far as I’m gonna hack it, yes, the training is available. How are you using it? And we often say to clients, “A course doesn’t have to be the solution.” I think it’s so common to say, “I have a bribery risk. I need a bribery course.” And I think it’s worthwhile to stop and say, “Yes, you have a bribery risk. Totally. Where is your audience with it? Have they already had a lot of bribery training? Are you getting a lot of questions to the helpline? Is what they need a reminder? Is what they need, like, a wakeup call? Is what they need reassurance? Is what they need… What is your audience need?” And sometimes the solution is a really big long training. But sometimes the solution is a really great video that just, like, refreshes the basics, help them keep it top of mind. So, what I would say is, there’s no difference between training and a half, but it’s all about how you use it and how you put it together.

Nick: Yeah. I think… Go ahead.

Roy: One other idea is to… The difference between training the hack…training an old school way and compliance is, “I’ve got to do it all. I have to be in control of it all. Nobody else can do it.”

Kirsten: Yeah.

Roy: And if you wanna hack, you go to…

Nick: And I need data on it at all. And I need data on it all. And I need data on it all.

Roy: Right.

Kirsten: It needs to be mandatory. I need to prove they took it. Yeah.

Roy: But a hack would be is you go into HR and you say, “When are you getting together? When are you gonna do some education in the future? But would you mind slipping in a couple of sentences for me?” Or all of the attorneys in the company are gonna be at a gathering and you go to the general counsel and say, “Would you mind just sharing a couple of sentences?” You get everybody else doing your training? That’s a hack.

Nick: Right.

Kirsten: Yeah. Well said, Roy.

Nick: We figured out a way, you know, to kind of have this off the shelf training that’s super easily customizable. So, sliding in that slide or that page that has the values on it before every training, that’s a pretty quick, easy hack to just, you know, reinforce this broader initiative that we’re trying to push, “Hey, we’re a principle-based, you know, values-based organization.” And to your point, you know, we sometimes lean too heavily… I guess to my point. So, we lean too heavily on the need for data when at the end of the day, the data is not the end result, right? Proving that somebody took the course when they could have just kind of clicked through it doesn’t really matter. We’re really trying to influence that behavior. And again, just dropping that speak up video in a company-wide email, you don’t know if everyone’s gonna watch it. It’s not a mandatory thing, but you’re doing something to push some snow into this culture department.

Kirsten: Yeah. And I’ll say what’s cool… Oh, go ahead.

Roy: I just wanna be real clear that going to get another department slip in sentences into their training that is related to culture, ethics, compliance, is not to replace the fact that massive training is going on on a regular basis all year long by the compliance department. I’m just saying supplement it with this little trick.

Nick: We got a little delay. Sorry about that. It helps you present a united front and it helps the people buy into this message like, “Okay. My company actually cares about this stuff because I’m hearing it here and I’m hearing it from mom and I’m hearing it from dad and I’m hearing it from all these different sort of people in the family.” So, we’re right toward the end. I have one more question. And so what is the most kind of common request you’re getting, Kirsten, from compliance professionals today? That’s the first question. And then second, what is one great takeaway that you’d leave folks with that they would be able to implement right now to start this elevation process?

Kirsten: Yeah, I would say the most common kind of inquiry we’re getting from compliance professionals has been around what we’re talking about, but it’s like, “How do I reach people? How do I make this real for people? And how do I measure it?” And in a serious tell me the nuts and bolts way, not in a deliver a philosophical dissertation and why it’s important. So, that’s the first one. And then the number one takeaway I can have is start with your audience. Marketing and advertising already knows how to do this. But instead of starting with what you need to tell people, start with, “Where is my audience? What are my goals relative to my audience? And what can I give them that will be persuasive to move them towards my goals?” Because you can make the best training in the world but if it’s tone deaf or kind of isn’t speaking to where your audience is, you’re not really gonna get the benefit from your work. So, those would be my two answers.

Roy: Nick, I’m gonna just toss in one little thing. I’ve said this way too many times. I apologize. In the last few years, I’m on a big jag about, he did trading go into the department, he did training and a couple of days later walk the hallways, ask people how you did and then ask them if there’s anything going on that we said shouldn’t be going on, because that’s when it’s on their mind, it’s hot, you look them in the eye. They might not call the hotline, but they probably won’t lie to you in the hallway. But also, an answer to this question, you do what Kirsten was just saying, and that is keep in touch with the people. Ask them how it went. How did that work for you? What did you get out of it?

Nick: Right. Get that feedback.

Roy: Do you have any ideas? Yeah. And how to do it better.

Kirsten: Because the world… And Nick, you said it so well. But technology gives us opportunities to do things compliance didn’t have in the past. And one thing I love about the kind of compliance 3.0, which is about starting to really integrate some of that technology into compliance, is we’re not the first to do it. We’re not the first industry to try and get feedback from an audience. There are companies who’ve been doing that for 10, 15 years. So, you can take their methodologies, take their tools, take their approaches, and figure it out. It really is just about actually doing that. And to Roy’s point, there’s a physical version of walking the hallway. There’s probably a technological version of walking the hallway. So, how do we get that incorporated? Just like you said, when it’s fresh on their mind, and they’re probably gonna give you an honest answer.

Nick: That’s a great point. So, we’re getting close here. But this other question came in, I’d like to ask, and if we go over, then we’ll send around the recording to anybody who wants it. But a lot of the new Department of Justice guidance is about moving away from this check the box to, you know, effectiveness, right? This is what we’ve been talking about kind of throughout the year. The question is really about how do we help prove out the behavior change, which is the Nirvana that we’re going to? So, like, if we have a cybersecurity training, it’s very easy to send somebody a phishing email as a test to see if they respond to it correctly, and if they don’t, then you follow up that training. That’s very efficiently sort of deployed that test. In some of the softer areas or more interpersonal areas or whatever, bribery, whatever, how have you seen some good ways to kind of shortcut toward that, like, high confidence interval that, okay, behavior change is occurring?

Kirsten: Right. This is where I go back to Joe Murphy’s line, “It’s amazing what employees will tell you if you ask.” And in compliance, we have a history of, like Roy said, doing risk assessments, doing training needs assessments, doing ethical culture assessments. There’s no reason those have to be separate necessarily. And so you can ask people questions about knowledge, you can ask people questions about their own assessment of their competence. You can ask people questions about their ethical culture. There are certain areas where you can match that up with behavior, but sometimes just asking is a great place to start. I would say if I were sitting down across the table from this person, I would go to the next step of “What topic do you want to know about?” because then we could think about “Where might there be data generated?” or “Where could you create data?” But a lot of this stuff is solvable. It just is sitting down to figure it out.

Nick: Yeah. Thank you. That’s a great answer. Gio, welcome back.

Kirsten: Thank you.

Giovanni: Thanks. I’ve been furiously taking notes. This has been such an awesome discussion, Kirsten, Roy and Nick.

Kirsten: Thank you.

Giovanni: We’ve talked about culture, we’ve talked about kind of approaching this with more of a quick action and get to work kind of hack mentality. We’ve talked about a bunch of ways to reimagine our training so that we’re not just getting something done and having some kind of plausible deniability that this thing got finished, but actually impacting our people so that they think about this in the right way that they live our values, and ultimately, that they behave in a way that, you know, keeps people safer and more engaged in the workplace. Any kind of parting thoughts as we finish up?

Roy: I’ll share one real quick one, Gio, that kind of ties in a lot of the philosophy that Kirsten has, and frankly, both you and Nick do. The first time I got asked to speak in compliance was by United Healthcare in 1997, ’96, ’95. And I was just bringing in 100 compliance people from around the country and I was really blown away by the fact that they asked me… And the Chief Compliance Officer asked me to speak on compliance as a verb. And I said, “I’m so honored to come speak, but I have no clue what you’re talking about. And I think as a speaker, I probably ought to have a clue.” And she said, “Well, your counsel told me you do compliance by walking around.” And it’s an underlying theme of everything we talked about today and what you two do in running your organization. Kirsten, I’m sure does, running her certainly as a trainer. It’s get out and talk to the people more. Now, we got a little problem with that right now, of course, with the COVID thing, but even by email and phone calls and these Zoom meetings and whatnot, but never, never forget, no matter how high you are in the organization, wander around. If you want people to learn and you wanna be more effective at training, you’ve gotta find out where the people are at.

Nick: Great. Great perspective. Anything to add, Kirsten?

Kirsten: It would be… Adding on to that, as Roy was saying that I was thinking to myself, how important it is to very specifically define the challenge because what Roy is saying is a critical part of compliance and a critical part of compliance as a verb is getting out and talking to people. Our current world has introduced some challenges to that. But when you frame the problem, like, I need to make sure I’m having direct communication with employees who are receiving this, how do I do that in a post COVID world? That’s a solvable thing. And quite frankly, and I see this from some COVID solutions, my grocery store started doing boxes, I’m like, “I always want them to do boxes.” You are only physically in one place. So, compliance by walking around works in your location, but if you can find a way to be in touch with people in the valuable ways that compliance by walking around gave you, now you can serve your global audience that way and that’s kind of a value add. So, I would just say, define the problem really specifically because they can open up some great solutions.

Nick: And I know you weren’t asking me but what I would add to kind of dovetail off of that, Kirsten, is there are opportunities all around us to be more effective.

Kirsten: All around us.

Nick: To your point, if we’re looking for them and we have that confidence and that chutzpah, as you said, to kind of push forward and squeeze through whatever crack, like, the octopus as we are, we really can use this time to really elevate whereas otherwise we just be kind of sitting in the passenger seat or worse, the backseat being driven wherever the organization takes us.

Kirsten: Yeah.

Nick: So, thank you, everyone.

Roy: Thank you.

Giovanni: This has been great.

Kirsten: Thank you so much for having me.

Giovanni: Thank you to everyone who has been on and who has stayed on with us. You’ve trusted us with some of your day and I hope that this has been a way that we can serve you and help you elevate you and your organization through to compliance 3.0 where you’re not just getting things done, but you’re helping people and you’re being effective. Nick, you wanna wrap up with anything else or talk about the book or anything?

Nick: No, that’s it. So, be on the lookout for an email from someone from our team. We’ll be hitting you up to see if you wanna replay, see if you want the slides, and if you have any takeaways or questions. We’ll follow up on those. And get those… Try to supercharge your entries into the drawing. This book is really phenomenal and I’d be shocked if someone read it and didn’t have just a ton of dog ears and highlights in the thing. So, thank you guys so much coming here.

Giovanni: Yeah. That’s our value.

Nick: That’s our value book on deck here.

Kirsten: Yeah. Thank you, all.

Giovanni: Thank you, Kirsten, Roy, and Nick. Everyone, have a great day. And keep the conversation going with your teams and also keep it going with us if we can be more helpful and share some more insights with you.

Nick: Bye, everyone.

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