I keep staring at my triangle of purpose.
At that big green Compliance section at the bottom.
So much of what is crossing my desk these days is driven by fear.
Tracking of “mandatory” activities to cover our tails.
Is any of this “mandatory” training reducing the number of legal cases we have?
Increasing our “win” rates if we have cases?
Making any impact whatsoever on our “business” (which is, ostensibly, education)?
Making any impact on our culture (other than to make the audience even MORE jaded and cynical about the value of compliance and compliance training and, by association, training in general)?
There has got to be a better way……
I’ve been reading Rodger Dean Duncan’s Change-Friendly Leadership.
In it, he quotes Stephen M.R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust:
“Compliance regulations have become a prosthesis for the lack of trust, and a slow-moving and costly prosthesis at that.”
In our environment, the proliferation of these compliance trainings is costing resources (development and delivery effort + technical resources like LMS space) and time (for the audience – who could be doing more business-friendly things, like research and teaching classes and supporting those who do so).
I am convinced that the increase in the number of “mandatory compliance trainings” leaves our staff and faculty with the message that:
a) we don’t trust you and
b) don’t screw up.
I am pretty certain this is NOT the intended effect.
Duncan puts forth the idea of natural consequences vs imposed consequences.
- Imposed consequence: “Anyone caught blotting her lipstick on the bathroom mirror will be sent to detention!” Result – the undesired behavior increased because it didn’t dawn on many of the girls to do that. Now the girls have a new game to play.
- Natural consequence: The janitor demonstrates to the 10 most popular girls in the school how he cleans the lipstick off the mirror – by swirling a brush in a toilet and scrubbing. Magically, the behavior stopped.
Change was the result of an honest appeal to natural consequences.
- How can we appeal to natural consequences to prevent unwanted behaviors?
- How can we leverage the higher levels (Professional Development and Performance Support) to support a naturally “compliant” culture?
- How can we create an environment where “compliance” is a natural behavior and much easier to do than non-compliance?
How much of what we are trying to “train” in compliance is really a problem in our environment anyway?
This is where the issue of measurement comes in.
Compliance training wants to measure the number of people who “completed” whatever.
Prove to whoever that yes – people were exposed to the notion that x behavior is bad.
Shouldn’t we be measuring the behavior – then whether the training actually reduces instances of it?
There has got to be a better way….
And I’m tired of taking “We Don’t Know Any Better” as an option.