‘…be wary of sweeping generalisations of “the top 5 things to transform your training impact”’

A brief AretéThoughts Q&A with Chris Campbell & David Barr:

So David, you and Chris have just written the IBE’s latest Good Practice Guide – Trends and innovations in effective ethics education, what are your key takeaways:

Hmmm, I fear that’s hard to answer succinctly, or at least for me! It stems from what we heard clearly from all the ethics & compliance (E&C) heads we were fortunate to speak with. Which is: every company’s E&C programme has its own unique context – driving their risk profile, attitudes, resources and knowledge regarding E&C. All of which fundamentally impact what training actions (in the next 12 to 24 months at least) will have the greatest impact.

So, our first key takeaway: be wary of sweeping generalisations of “the top 5 things to transform your training impact” or “follow these key best practices for better performance”. But with that caveat in mind, if you step back far enough there were three key trends that in some way everyone we spoke with was grappling with.

Firstly, an increasing necessity to break down training and communication silos; and to co-ordinate, plan and co-develop training in a much more aligned way with other key corporate functions. Most notably HR and Health & Safety, but depending on context almost any function. This is simply necessitated by employee overload and ethics & compliance needing to impact behaviours and capabilities and not just knowledge and awareness.

Then, very closely linked with this is strengthening the focus on having the learner at the heart of your training strategy. We know this sounds almost too simplistic, but the E&C leaders we spoke with are being increasingly candid with themselves about how this core principle gets knocked off course. To their credit.

Then finally, and again these are all closely entwined, building out more informal and on-the-job training interventions, and not only relying on formal training, be it eLearning or live sessions.

Chris we heard a lot about putting the learner at the centre of your ethics training; how exactly can that be achieved?

For me, this is the big one and most ethics & compliance teams get it and start with the right intentions but through the process this becomes gradually lost or significantly compromised. It comes back to:

  • How does this benefit the individual and the organisation?  
  • Am I being efficient with their time and respectful of their knowledge and experience?

Using some form of profiling or test really helps, so that the content delivered (irrespective of medium) is relevant and can be applied. Use the technology for what its good at – targeting key information to the right person at the right time. Use the time you have face to face (real or virtual) to have purposeful conversations that allow a learner to really share their challenges and frustrations.

Being ‘learner centric’ means putting the learner at the heart of the training and considering everything through their eyes. How will a learner experience the education, how does the process of learning make them feel and what do we expect them to do differently as a result? Though I would stress it shouldn’t be read as simply “learner easy”. Training must still stretch and challenge; and it can still be demanding. 

David, can you share a short example of this?

There are many, but one we’ve been closely involved with and that’s having significant impact is the Responsible Business Discussion programme that Cedric Dubar and his team at Volvo Cars are leading. It stemmed originally from their Integrity Champions network being equipped with a suite of short discussion guides that they could draw from and use at local briefings or leadership meetings etc. These proved very popular with both the Champions and their colleagues. So with that foundation Cedric and the team pushed to receive backing from the Executive Committee to have nearly 4,000 managers run a Responsible Business Discussion every quarter with their teams.  Each discussion requires about 20 – 25 minutes of preparation time and supports an informal, but purposeful, ethics & compliance orientated discussion to be facilitated by a team member (normally the manager, but it doesn’t have to be). Each discussion focuses on a straightforward, but compelling case study or thought piece and will close with the team agreeing some specific takeaways that they can action.

For us this is learner centric, as it’s a team led discussion so immediately close and contextualised for the team, it results in the team agreeing their own actions, as team based there’s minimal disruption, and as 20 – 25 minutes once a quarter, minimal time. But across Volvo Cars they now have nearly 35,000 colleagues having a quarterly ethics & compliance discussion, led by a close colleague, where they develop and agree the actions. That’s remarkably powerful, and for us, very learner centric.

How do you think the pandemic has shaped the delivery of ethics training and are those changes here to stay?

I think we have all rapidly accelerated our capabilities and comfort with virtual sessions. Virtual delivery used to be wrapped in complex set-up instructions, guidance on backdrops and how to be “professional” when online. For the most that is gone, many people don’t want the corporate backdrop and like the brief window into each other’s lives. I think virtually delivered content will be a bigger part of the delivery mix, I think it will eat into eLearning as well as live physical sessions. And with regard to live sessions as Joni Mitchell said “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” There is a greater respect for the value in being face to face and having a focused session that allows you to really dig into issues.

David, I know you are a big on your Podcasts, what would you recommend that those of us in the ethics & compliance world listen to:

It would have to be Tim Harford’s More or Less on BBC Sounds. It digs into numbers and statistics quoted in the media and encourages a questioning, but overall positive mindset. I’m a huge believer in being comfortable to question and kindly interrogate what is presented as fact!

And from you Chris what about a book?

The Tyranny of Merit by Michael Sandel. Sandel has been described as the greatest living philosopher, I have always found his writing to be entertaining and accessible. This book forced me to challenge some uncomfortable truths about my attitude to meritocracy. Thoroughly recommended!

Chris Campbell & David Barr are the co-founders of Campbell Barr.

Culture & Conduct Deep Dive: Leading Culture/Behavioural Change

1LoD has launched a new Culture & Conduct Deep Dive which will examine culture and conduct in more granular detail than ever before. The event will take place in 3 hour blocks starting at 13.00 BST / 08.00 EDT in a safe, off the record environment.

The in-depth analysis into Culture and Conduct will ensure high quality interaction between delegates through content rich panel discussions, keynote addresses, and a series of carefully managed private interactive discussions.

And talking of panels, I hope to see you at:

The Challenge of Leading Culture/Behavioural Change

12 May 2021 – 15.05-15.55 BST

  • What are the challenges that leaders and their executive teams face in leading culture/behavioural change?
  • How well equipped are leaders to cope with the challenges of leading change?
  • How can financial institutions better equip themselves in the future?

Panel

  • Dr. Roger Noon – Moderator, 1LoD
  • Nancy Harrington-Jones – Chief Culture & Conduct Officer for the Americas, Société Générale
  • Rebecca Goad – Global Head of Business Risk & Culture, Global Banking, HSBC
  • Ruth Steinholtz – Managing Partner, AretéWork & Author, Ethical Business Practice and Regulation: A Behavioural and Values-based Approach to Compliance and Enforcement
  • Femke de Vries – Managing Partner, &samhoud; Professor in Supervision at Groningen University
Download the full agenda for both days here. 

Don’t miss out. Book now. 

The Culture & Conduct Deep Dive is CPD certified so that delegates attendance can be utilised to demonstrate professional development.

Audit Firm Culture: Challenge. Trust. Transformation

Just in from the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) – a welcome international conference on the importance of culture.

Audit Firm Culture: Challenge. Trust. Transformation.

The conference will explore the link between audit firm culture and audit quality with the objective of accelerating the pace of change for cultural transformation in the audit profession.

The conference will comprise of a week of lunchtime sessions, involving speakers and panel debates. There will be leading academics, directors, regulators, standard setters and culture change experts. They will be speaking on topics ranging from the link between audit quality and audit firm culture, developing an auditor’s mindset of professional scepticism and challenge, the role of the audit committee, how to assess and measure culture and the role of the regulator in supervising culture.

The conference will consist of five lunchtime virtual webinars (21 June 2021 – 25 June 2021) and will be of interest to audit professionals, audit committee chairs, academics, international regulators, culture change experts, directors and other stakeholders.

LEARN MORE & REGISTER

Countering Corruption through Collaboration: Youth Perspectives and Engagement

Just in from our friends at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):

Coming up from Monday 24 – Wednesday 26 May 2021:

Youth Forum on Countering Corruption through Collaboration: Youth Perspectives and Engagement” . The event is being held virtually – learn more here:

The Youth Forum is being organised as a special event that will directly contribute to the United Nations Special Session of the General Assembly (UNGASS) on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation to be held from 2 to 4 June 2021 at UNHQ in New York.

Recognising the effect of corruption on young people, and the value of youth perspectives in working to curb it, the Youth Forum is intended to provide a platform for young people to share ideas about how to amplify youth-led actions and enhance youth engagement in anti-corruption efforts around the globe.

The main elements and ideas discussed at this Youth Forum will be directly communicated to Heads of State and Government through a Youth Forum Summary Statement to be delivered by a youth forum representative during the opening segment of UNGASS itself. The Youth Forum Summary Statement will also be transmitted to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Over the course of three days, three thematic panel discussions will be held on the topics of:

  1. Corruption and its effect on young people
  2. Youth engagement in preventing and combating corruption
  3. Youth expectations for UNGASS and beyond

REGISTRATION – Open until 5 May 2021.

Further details about the Youth Forum will be provided to registered participants after 5 May, including how to get involved in discussions in the lead-up to the event.

Please help disseminate information about the UNGASS Youth Forum to your networks.

We hope you will join us to stand #unitedagainstcorruption!

Crystallising value in a  Purpose Oriented Culture

I hope you’ll join me for this at the Conduct & Culture Summit organised by Armstrong Wolfe – Three days of virtual webinars for the Financial Services Global COO and CCO community.

Theme:Purpose and Leadership
Date:19th April 2021
Time:1:00pm-2:30pm BST
Topic:Crystallising value in a  Purpose Oriented Culture
Format:Keynote

It is an opportunity to hear from industry and regulatory leaders, prominent academics and those at the forefront of behavioural science on how culture and conduct are shaping the Financial Services industry.


About:
Advanced and progressive thinking in relation to managing culture and conduct.

What it is not:
The dissection of established operational processes, policies and mandates in place today.

Who should attend:
Business heads accountable for culture and conduct and the appointed executives responsible for determining how best to protect the franchise from evolving threats.

Its focus on culture, the importance of cultural cohesion and the changing demands of the conduct agenda have never been more important and complex than now. The COVID-19 crisis has placed the industry into a uniquely challenging place but with every test there exists opportunity to embrace change and meet this contest with innovation and courage.

REGISTER FOR THE SUMMIT HERE

‘In the rush to get back to normal, don’t lose track of what worked during the pandemic.’

A brief AretéThoughts Q&A with Adam Turteltaub:

What is the most important contribution ethics and compliance can make to the lives of people in organisations?

I think the greatest contribution it can provide is stability. What I mean is that if the compliance program works you avoid the tremendous disruptions that come from non-compliance.

Now that may not sound like much, but it matters hugely. People want to walk in the door – or these days log onto the VPN – with a sense of confidence that there job will be still be there, that the company will do the right thing, that they’re part of something good and stable, and that if the company is in the news, it’s in it for the right reason. Likewise, investors want to know that the only time their expectations aren’t met is when they are exceeded.

If we can provide that stability and confidence, we have done a lot.

What one thing would you change about anti-corruption regulation or enforcement?

I think the one thing I would change is something that is already changing: greater transparency by the enforcement community into what they expect from compliance programs. We are now seeing much more guidance, and starting to sometimes see in settlements and press releases what has earned organizations credit. The more we can understand what the government expects, the better we will be.

What is your current favourite book or podcast and why?

I just finished reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It’s a novel about a man who was sentenced by a Soviet tribunal to remain in his hotel for the rest of his life. It is in many ways the perfect book for our time, even though it was written before it, since it’s a story about how to build a world for yourself in a very limited one.

Turning the tables somewhat, it is also fair to say that I hugely enjoy hosting the Compliance Perspectives podcast. We have had great guests and a terrific reception by the compliance community, with over 600,000+ downloads to date.

What action could a company take that would make a difference to successful recovery from the pandemic?

In the rush to get back to normal, don’t lose track of what worked during the pandemic.

At the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) we never did virtual events before the pandemic, and while they do have limitations, for example the lack of an effective way to enable networking, it’s shown us that there are great opportunities. We have done several one-day conferences on more vertical topics that would never work as a live meeting but have done very well online.

We can’t wait to get back to doing in person meetings, but we will continue to offer virtual programs as well to address topics and reach audiences that we can’t successfully via an in-person event.

Adam Turteltaub, CCEP CHC is Chief Engagement & Strategy Officer at the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

South and Southeast Asia opportunity: International anti-corruption summer school

Just in from our friends at UN Office of Drugs & Crime – please help spread the word so as many eligible students as possible are reached:

Corruption is one of the most serious global threats of our time.  

It is a complex social, economic and  political phenomenon, which has disastrous effects on the economic development, stability and  environment and is linked to a crisis of democracy and rising inequalities. Although corruption has  been an ever-present problem in societies, old and new, it continues to cause far-reaching problems  all over the world, undermining the institutions, civic and ethical values, and justice. 

Effective anti-corruption efforts must go beyond legal and institutional approaches. Addressing  corruption is linked to our own actions as individuals living within a society, as the most serious effects  are not from one act of corruption but from the combined effects of many unethical acts. Many  everyday situations challenge our integrity and ethical judgement – from skipping a line to using your  position to give someone an undue advantage over others. Hence, combating such a complex  phenomenon requires multiple and collective approaches, including education programmes that seek  to transform societal attitudes and practices and empower future generations to resist and prevent  corruption.  

In this vein, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Anti Corruption Academy (IACA) are joining forces to organize the first international anti-corruption summer school for students and young people from South and Southeast Asia. The summer school will  be held online via IACA training platform from 24 to 30 May 2021.  

Objective 

The summer school will build ethical skills and mindsets in students and young individuals and will raise  awareness among them of the values and principles of integrity, ethics and anti-corruption. The summer school’s programme is designed for young passionate individuals that want to become ethical  agents of change in their community and will provide them with knowledge on how to resist and  prevent corruption. With this programme the participants will understand what corruption is and what  are its harmful impacts on the society. 

Participants  

The first international anti-corruption summer school will be open to stduents and young people of age 18-29 from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal. Participants will be selected based on their language skills (proficiency of written and spoken English), educational background and personal  interest in the topic. Participation in the summer school will be free of charge.  

Methodology 

The summer school will be delivered in an interactive manner and will include seven substantive online sessions. Each session will be delivered by an internationally renowned professor or practitioner. The  lecturers will provide draw from their knowledge and experience in the field of anti-corruption to  enrich the classes with practical examples and provide a unique insight of the sessions’ topics. 

Upon completion of the summer school, participants will be rewarded with a Certificate of completion  of the programme from UNODC and IACA. 

LEARN MORE

P.S. Outside the age range for this yet still keen to learn? Check out the other programmes from IACA.

‘…biases in how we make ethical decisions can’t be captured in policies, rules and procedures, or a code of conduct.’

A brief AretéThoughts Q&A with Richard Bistrong…

What is the most important contribution behavioural ethics can make to the lives of people in organisations?

As Ann Tenbrunsel and Max Bazerman share in Blindspots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do About It:

“…our perceptions and decision making are constrained in ways we don’t realize.”

And those biases in how we make ethical decisions can’t be captured in policies, rules and procedures, or a code of conduct.

By better understanding behavioural ethics, we can appreciate and address what might influence people in what I call the “I’m not sure zone.” That’s the zone, speaking as former “commercial Richard,” where employees might think they are in the cross-hairs of competing corporate objectives, between the pressure to succeed and the pressure to comply.

If we can use social psychology and behavioural ethics to understand those pressure points and blind-spots, then we can help those who face both risk and opportunity in their work to realize their true potential as ethical agents, and to make good choices when it matters the most, and a tough ethical decision is at hand.

What is your current favourite book or podcast and why?

What I really enjoy are books that are not written for Ethics and Compliance leaders, but which have significant implications and are engaging reads for E & C leaders.

A few examples are Can You Hear Me: How to Connect in a Virtual World, by Nick Morgan, which I think is a must read given our current virtual and hybrid training environment (with thanks to Christian Hunt, one of my favorite podcasters, for the recommendation).

Another all time inspiring read is Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies by Denise Lee Yohn. This is one of my “must” compliance reads, where Denise demonstrates how when we fuse external brand messages with internal culture, that we unleash untapped talent, engagement and culture within organizations. It’s essentially a call for organizations to think as much about their internal culture and value messages as they do they external branding. By the way, I have a “My Compliance Library” column in Compliance Week, so if anyone would like to email me I would be happy to share my book reviews!

What action could a company take that would make a difference to successful recovery from the pandemic?

Business leaders are rightfully distracted right now, especially as they try to resume operations and recapture market share, often in new markets and with a redefined product/service portfolio. And we know that when there is an increase in workforce stress, uncertainty and anxiety, that there is greater likelihood of an increase in workforce misconduct along with a decrease in workforce engagement. But this doesn’t have to be a perfect storm if we affirmatively address this tension. And I think there are two pillars to proactive outreach:

The first is that it needs to be done often, and avoiding what Amy Edmondson in The Fearless Organization (another favorite book), calls “Dangerous Silence.” No news does not necessarily mean good news, so if you want to make sure that everyone appreciates that as E & C leaders, you are there to make sure that no one person, or the organization as a whole, is left with a regulatory crisis after the current health and economic crisis has passed, then multi-channel outreach is so critical.

The other pillar is to help your business peers appreciate that in this crisis environment, that when messages of ethics, integrity and sustainable business practices come out of their voice, the voice of business, that it sounds so much louder to the workforce. When business leaders are on a forward foot when it comes to setting ethical expectations, it sounds like doing what’s right isn’t a support function, it’s “how things get done around here,” through the corporate narrative, not just the legal one.

Richard Bistrong is the CEO of Front-Line Anti-Bribery and spent 20 years as a global sales executive. He can be reached at richard@richardbistrong.com or his website at richardbistrong.com where you can subscribe to his newsletter. And he tweets, and tweets often at @richardbistrong.

Women to Watch Q&A

I recently sat down with the Risky Women team for one of their Women to Watch Q&As – here are the questions they put to me:

What makes you a Risky Woman?

It gives meaning and purpose to my life – I want to make a difference by supporting risk professionals to move beyond policies and practices and focus on culture and values. I have lived my own life in a risky way; rarely taking the easy path and always hoping to leave a place in a better state than when I found it. Risky Women is a fantastic organisation that can make a major contribution by networking us together and helping us all learn and grow.

Name your top 3 achievements

Invented and implemented the concept of ethics ambassadors while GC at Borealis and since then assisted various companies to create ethics ambassador networks Learned to speak Italian fluently – not just the language but also the culture Forged an international corporate legal career at a time when it was unusual

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?

Leaving San Francisco alone as a young lawyer and coming to Europe to make a career without the support of a multinational. In the 1980s there was no established career path, and I was not admitted to practice in any European jurisdiction. Not only did I start in Italy (Milan) but I then spent 3 years working in Cairo. It was a pretty crazy thing to do, but other than from a financial perspective, I don’t regret a thing!

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I love road cycling; both doing it and watching pro cycling. I have the optimal number of bikes (D-1) road, Keiser and folding!

What is the best quality for successful leaders in Risk?

A balance between System 1 and System 2 thinking; in other words the ability to access sound intuition and to analyse issues based on the available data.

Read the full Q&A here.


Find lots more Women to Watch: riskywomen.org/profiles/

And help add to the list:

Crowdsourcing Resources for Designing Compliance Programs with Behavioural Science

The good people over at Ethical Systems are maintaining a super-helpful resource list. Anything you think has been missed? Please help add to this list of resources by filling out the form directly on the Ethical Systems website – it helps all of us. And do encourage others too – here’s on you can RT:


NB: Do remember that compliance is an outcome, not an approach.

P.S. Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash