Posted on

February 9, 2019

All working professionals, in their careers, would have undergone some kind of compliance training or the other. I won’t be wrong in making this assertion, will I? And most of these training run as eLearning, where learners learn in a self-paced mode.

So, what’s the imagery most of us carry when the words “Compliance Training” are flashed before us? Cold and Dreary or Warm and Sunny? A Documentary/Art movie or Commercial cinema? I guess it’s anyone’s guess :)

Does it really have to be this way? I don’t think so. Can we change it? My answer is a vehement YES!!

So, where do we begin? It’s all in the design or shall we say it’s all in the designer’s mind! Imagine, if the designer is from the fine arts background rather than from an audit/legal/fraud management background? How would the story flow? At least, there’ll be a story for sure!

If Compliance Training were to be rendered via a movie, what would the genre be? Both, art cinema and commercial cinema deliver the same message, albeit the approach is very different. Since what reaches the masses is commercial cinema, shouldn’t this be the de facto approach for the majority of employees in a Company? And, of course, there could be the art version, targeted at a much smaller segment. So, looks like we'll require 2 versions! Even better still, if we had a magic wand that could dynamically create a movie somewhere in the “art – commercial cinema” divide, depending on the learner’s preferences. And by the way, let’s not forget that we are dealing with a very important topic for the Corporation – a matter that can significantly impact the top line, bottom line, Company Branding & Goodwill or shall we say the very existence of the Corporation! We also have to keep in mind that like the Censor Board, the Risk & Compliance board has to approve our movie!

Do magicians exist? Does anyone have a magic wand? The answer lies somewhere in the surreal and sublime or as Khalil Gibran would say “ in the dawning of our own mind”. And the dawning of my mind tells me that the magician is “Technology”. However, this magician doesn’t understand our audience very well and has to undergo some training/trials to become more effective with an audience who have only seen cold and dreary views - sudden sunshine can overwhelm them which can lead to unhealthy outcomes! The art of subtlety makes things human and technology has to be designed/enabled in a manner that this (subtlety) is not lost – remember, I started off by saying that it’s all in the Design!

Imagine the next time you undergo Compliance Training and it runs like a cinema that is absolutely personalised for you ( on the commercial – art cinema divide), wouldn’t all the typical shortcomings of Compliance training go away? Wouldn’t the training be:

  • Interesting; may even get you to watch the movie multiple times, if we create a block buster!
  • Able to influence your behaviour via inspiration, reflection etc.
  • Able to modify your key experiences in the business/work world like
  1. Dealing with temptation so that you are able to prove Oscar Wilde wrong when he said “ I can resist everything except temptation!”
  2. Thinking from the company/larger stakeholder stand point rather than merely your standpoint
  3. Ability to see how effective and efficient compliance can help reduce risks and increase your project/account/unit/company performance resulting you getting rewarded in return ( if the Company does well, you do well!) - a) More profit sharing b) Your stock options ( assuming you have them) become more valuable and not remain mere pieces of paper!
  4. Helps you win a major contract visavis an incumbent as you were compliant whereas the the incumbent got complacent and erred on a non functional area like Compliance
  5. Rather than thwarting innovation, it actually helped ensure that the innovation, during the design stage itself, had factored in the constraints of the real world making it sustainable
  6. And the examples continue…

While technology helps render these “movies" in a dynamic and personalised manner, the other 2 variables need equal focus:

  • Creativity in story telling and visualisation
  • Instructional design that ensures “Transfer of Learning” using concepts like spaced repetitions, imitations etc

For successful outcomes, a designer ought to handle the advantages and trade offs of all the three variables above! This is not easy to find in one person/entity and is the primary cause for poor outcomes.

Needless to say that you can reach out to us, if you need help with your Compliance “cinema” and we’ll be only happy to help.

And finally let me leave you with a thought – shouldn’t all learning be handled in a similar manner? Why a step motherly treatment for others?

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