I recently had the pleasure of participating in the 2014 Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE) conference in Chicago. Here are my top 4 takeaways from SCCE 2014.
1. Information Security is — and should be — your top priority.
James Comey, the Director of the FBI, put it best: People know they should be cautious when in dangerous neighborhoods, yet the Internet is the most dangerous neighborhood in the world and people aren't taking the right precautions. Even seemingly innocuous messages — like resetting your password — can open up your system to malware and hackers.
Clearly, all of us need a short awareness course in this field to start protecting ourselves and our confidential data. To remedy this, I'm working with my team at Emtrain to add two Information Security experts to our Experts roster. These experts will be working on an engaging and short course that we'll be previewing in the near future on the blog as part of our Essentials Library.
2. There are serious cultural obstacles in using an employee hotline.
SCCE speaker and Emtrain Expert, Sally March explained why there is such a resistance in Europe to using an employee hotline. In countries that have experienced totalitarian regimes, the idea of an anonymous hotline where you report someone "to the authorities” just doesn’t fly given their cultural history of retaliation and violence. Similar issues can happen in a U.S.-centric compliance program if you don’t take the time to understand the perspective and cultural nuances of the areas where you operate.
3. Your ability to influence others will be your greatest skill.
The CEO of SCCE, Roy Snell offered insight based on his current role and past in-house experience. Regardless of your subject matter expertise, if you can’t positively persuade and influence people, you’ve got nothing. So how does a compliance officer persuade and influence?
- You need to directly engage your audience
- You need to provide them with value
So, how do you engage your audience? Ask any trial lawyer and they’ll tell you that delivery is just as important as the actual message. Stop using "corporate speak" with people. Bring your tone down to a human and relatable level — you'll be surprised how much more engagement you'll get.
How do you provide them with value? Show the “what’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) in every communication. All compliance rules stem from people or business issues. If you focus on the underlying issue rather than the details of the compliance rule, you’ll end up conveying the WIIFM and provide value.
When you're positively engaging and providing value to your audience — you’re persuading and influencing them to make the right decisions within your organization.
4. The first gen eLearning community is selling out and the new gen is taking over.
A big change is afoot in this industry. Corpedia is now owned by the New York Stock Exchange. We Comply is now owned by Thomson Reuters. Skillsoft is now owned by a Private Equity firm. SAI Global is selling itself to a private equity firm. Heck, rumor has it that Navex Global is next in line to sell to a private equity firm.
Clearly, the first wave of compliance eLearning teams are “cashing out” and making way for next-gen eLearning teams, like Emtrain, who can bring some innovation and product development to the compliance market.
In summation, it's a great time to be involved in compliance. Exciting changes, challenges, and methodoligies are coming and I'm excited to use these to keep evolving the solutions we create for you.