Webinar: Adult Learning – How to Take Training to the Next NEXT Level

August 18, 2022

Transcript for Adult Learning – How to Take Training to the Next NEXT Level

Nick Gallo: Welcome to our webinar about adult learning best practices. I am here with the one and only, Kristy Grant Hart. Kristy, how are you?

Kristy Grant-Hart: I’m fantastic. So excited to be here with you.

Nick: I think there’s our first one of 2021, isn’t it? Together.

Kristy: Yes, it is, yeah, it’s May. How did that happen?

Nick: I don’t know, we need to talk to someone about that. So I’m excited to talk about topic together, this is how to take your training to the next, next level, this is a phenomenal bunch of information, a bunch of great research went into this and I think there’s gonna be some really cool actionable tips and tactics that you’re gonna be able to implement into your own program.

So why don’t we jump in and start talking about the agenda and talk a little bit about you, though, to start. So Kristy Grant Hart, if you don’t know her, welcome to Earth. Kristy is the CEO and founder of Spark Compliance. She’s a speaker, she’s an author, she’s a thought leader. She’s someone I’ve learned so much from and is just a great human being, multi book author.

And she’s a adjunct professor of law, Chief Compliance Officer, if you’ve never checked out her book, How to Be a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer or the accompanying workbooks, absolutely need to do that immediately, Hang up this thing right now, go get the book, check it out. It really brings a great mentality to the type of impact that we can have as ethical compliance professionals.

So Kristy, welcome, thank you so much for joining us.

Kristy: I’m so excited. This is gonna be great. It’s such an interesting topic. And I think that there are absolutely fascinating insights, like you said, that people just haven’t heard in this industry before. And I didn’t know until I started researching.

Nick: Let’s do it.

Kristy: Let’s do it.

Nick: So we’ll run through a little agenda and just dive in. So we’re going to talk to a few points, first of all the assumptions of adult learners. Then we’re gonna spend a little time talking about the theories of adult learning.

How does that intersect with trends that we’re seeing in the compliance training space? And then what plans can we put together to improve whatever it is we’re doing?

And then how can we measure those changes to see are these actually being effective? Are they generating the new behaviors that we’re looking for in our workforce?

Kristy: Perfect. Okay.

Nick: Next slide. Let’s do it.

Kristy: All right. So I started this journey several months ago, when we started putting together our compliance, competitor training and working with Dr. Benjamin Hayes, who is a leading psychologist from the University College London, he’s a professor there. And we really wanted to make sure we incorporated best practices, which is a word that I’ve heard basically thrown around in compliance so much, I’ve probably used it myself.

But with him, I started to actually focus on what does this mean? And going down that rabbit hole was really interesting.

So the first thing is that there was this person called Malcolm Knowles that’s the grandfather of this. And in the 1970s, he started to say, “Listen, adults learn differently than kids.” Right? And which seems obvious. But if you think about it, when we think about training or school, we think of a teacher teaching people or of a compliance officer talking at people.

And what he said was, we need to rethink how we are thinking about adult learning. So he has these five, what he calls assumptions, that underlie basically every theory of adult learning.

The first one is that adults want to be independent, they stop being kids who are dependent on a teacher, and they want to be learning independently, or choosing to learn, right? And we have mandatory training. So that’s difficult for us to manage. But adults ideally like to be independent.

The biggest one for me was remembering that adults are experienced, they have life experience, they do not come to this with a blank slate, like a kid who’s learning math for the first time or letters, they already have experience. They’re filtering through their experience when they’re learning.

The third one is social roles. So underlying the assumption of why adults learn is because they want to be able to apply these things. And he separates that into applying for work promotion, or being better at your work, and also for social promotion and being somebody that people want to know or want to hear about.

And the fourth one is this problem focused. So adults don’t like to learn to learn unless they’re choosing subjects, like you know how to make somebody fall in love with you or how to make more money, like those kinds of things where they’re like, I want to do it for myself, which is number five, but they want to be able to have immediate application of the things that they’re learning, because otherwise why am I bothering to sit through this?

What do you think of these assumptions? Have you thought about them before? What are your thoughts on this?

Nick: So I think it’s pretty spot on. I think that that it experienced piece is a big one that helps kind of frame out the implications of the other ones. You know, you said it yourself that they’re not like children, you know, when you’re teaching a child something, they’re just trying to figure it all out, like, they’re trying to fill all those spots in their brain with how things work. We get to some point, to your point, where we kind of know how things work.

So the approach to the learning, to your point, is there’s this constant kind of algorithm running to say, like, how does this fit into this sort of crystalline structures that are already in my mind with respect to how, you know, things interact with each other? And how the world works? You know?

And, you know, I think that that problem focus and that motivation piece are…because we have compliance training, as well. And as we talk to various people out there, I think this is probably the one that can move the needle the quickest for folks. Because it’s such like a framing game.

So if you can reframe, you know, so what I’m kind of interested in just broadly is like, how can we get a lot of bang for our buck? How can we create a lot of leverage without having to, like, you know, knock down the building and build a whole new one, right? Like most folks in this game right now they have a lot of things in place. I mean, everyone’s going to be in a different point on the spectrum, but like, okay, how, how can we make that marginal improvement, that’s going to give us kind of a 10x return for that new effort we’re putting out.

And just that problem focus thing helps to kind of, you know, like I said, reframe, like, where the battle is, the battle is not on your side, pushing out a bunch of training, it’s really on the learner side, and you framing it in a way to where they want to engage with it, or they can at least see why they’re spending the time on it.

Kristy: Perfect. Exactly. So let’s talk quickly about four theories. But we’re not going to talk about the theory, we’re going to talk about application, right? It doesn’t matter what the theory is, it matters how do we apply it to make it win?

Okay, so the first theory we’re going to talk about, go ahead next slide, is called andragogy, or andragogy, depends on if you’re in Britain, or if you are in the US. This is the theory that Knowles created in response to his assumptions. So we start with that. And what we then end up with is immediately you have to go to why. Why are these learners here? Why do they care? What’s in it for me? Right?

So most of the training that I’ve seen begins with the FCPA is, or anti trust is important because. No, don’t do that. Right? And never mention the Sherman Act, it’s just ridiculous. Like, start with why are they here. And you want to start with trying to figure out whether the answer should be something about application to work and promotability, and-or there’s some kind of a social element of it, right?

So social elements can be not getting in trouble or being able to follow the policy easily, making their teams better, because things move faster. They don’t have to deal with compliance issues. That’s what we’re learning today, let’s go.

Or it can be you know, you’re here, because you have responsibilities for this gift and entertainment thing. I’m going to teach you as fast as I can to do it, and you’re going to be perfect at it. Let’s go. Right. So immediately start with why. I will never do a training session again as long as I live that doesn’t begin with here’s why you’re here, this is the benefit to the learner.

Nick: Yeah, and then you also pre-swayed it a little bit in that delivery, in that framing, you said what the end result is going to be. And I think that’s an important component as well, because you have to paint a picture of some kind of a future state that’s going to be desirable for someone to say, “Okay, you know, do I need to pay attention to this?” Yes. Why? Because X, Y, or Z, not because I need a history lesson on the Sherman Act, to your point, it’s about how do we change our behaviors.

And you know, it’s also kind of a matter of respect, in some ways, like, you have to imagine, they’re probably not as jazzed up about the Sherman Act as you are, know what I’m saying?

Like, you have to kind of have that respect and just give them the high points. If you’re really concerned not just about pushing something out, but about changing people’s behavior because you need that attention to get it.

Kristy: Absolutely. And that’s why before you go into, God forbid, the Sherman Act, but you know how to deal with competitors, you want that immediate application, they need to know that they will be able to apply it or understand how to apply it immediately, which means you need learners who can apply it. We’ll talk a bit later about the risk based approach element.

But if you can’t come up with a scenario where the people you’re training would use this, they shouldn’t be in the training session. And that’s a paradigm shift that we’re going to make over time, I think. But if you can’t come up with how they’re going to immediately apply it, they shouldn’t be there. And if you know they can immediately apply it, you should tell them that they’re going to be able to as soon as the training is over.

Nick: What do you think is at the root of that, like why do you think you even had to say that? I mean, you had to say it, obviously because it’s happening, but what’s the root of that type of behavior?

Kristy: Lawyers who create training in particular and I am a lawyer feel like they need to say everything you say.

Nick: So you can say it, you can say whatever you want about lawyers.

Kristy: Exactly, right? That’s my people. I think that there is a desire to say everything, right, and a fear that if you don’t say everything, like it started with the Sherman Act and the Clay Act in the 1920s, in the, you know, cartels, you are afraid that you’re not going to get credit for it with a prosecutor or that they won’t know everything, instead of actually focusing on what they specifically need to know that is action based.

Nick: Good point. I think that’s right. It’s hard. You know, it just kind of depends on what the focus is, is it defensibility? Or is it about effectiveness? And those are going to be different playbooks, probably.

Kristy: Hopefully, they’re in the same one. But, you know, I understand the fear of that. And the last one is wanting to plan and evaluate. So this is, you know, all the surveys that you’re now getting. I have been bugged three times by the fact that I got an eye test a week ago, literally three emails, please review us on Google, tell us how we did, give us a star rating. I don’t care that much.

But I think that, you know, the evaluation piece is actually really important to adult learners, that they feel like they have the ability to give feedback, which I found pretty fascinating, that it makes them feel like they’re part of the conversation. So I think that that can actually be useful, that they feel like they’re engaged, because they’re getting you something back by evaluating whether it was good or not.

Nick: Yeah, and I think there’s a little hack with that, you know, that frame you gave at the start, also incorporating like, “I’m gonna need you to tell me how this could be more effective. At the end, you’re going to be great at this. But you’re also…I need you to help make the next class even better.” So that’s going to incorporate a new part of their brain, it’s going to give them a new ear to be listening to, or a new eye I guess, for the training. And just again, you’re looking for engagement, you’re looking for attention. And that’s another way to kind of hack it.

Kristy: Absolutely. And you can do that in eLearning, too. Right? Your eLearning should say why, what’s the benefit, and also that you’re going to be wanting feedback on this at the end. And it really does engage people because they feel like they’ve been given a task at the beginning that they’re going to need to fulfill.

So the next time is called transformational learning. This was developed in 1978. Again, building on andragogy. And this one I love, I love this. It’s using complex problems. So the theory is that people come with their experiences, their assumptions, right? And this is really helpful for like high risk groups, they assume this is how business is done. Or this is how it’s done here. It’s always been done this way. Right?

You are to use what they call disorienting dilemmas. So this is your ethics challenges, your conflicts, your challenges of why is it always done that way here? Why is business just done this way, including things like bribery and using introducers? And you want to avoid easy answers.

So a lot of this is group training. But you want to identify the current beliefs which can be really hard, they don’t even feel like beliefs. They just feel like this is how it is. And challenge them with why and the goal is to transform that thinking from an underlying unconscious assumption to thinking about whether we should change that. And if we did, how?

Nick: Yeah, that’s such like a deeper way to actually change it. If you can get to that root, and you can sort of reexamine whether that root of the of the belief is valid. And you can question that, and you can make that change there, then, you know, presumably, naturally, the behavior is going to stem, you know, from that.

We got a great question in the chat from Kenneth Hey, Kenneth, how you doing? He said he noticed that the interactive Q&A portions of any training he’s delivered are always the best reviewed portions because adults love to ask clarification questions. And they also like to kind of argue a bit. It’s just kind of us chewing on the information. And us kind of feeling out, you know, the weight of it, you know what I’m saying?

Kristy: Yeah, absolutely. And I could not agree with him more that, that they feel engaged. Right. This is a dialogue. And I think that’s part of the andragogy evaluation is actually in the discussion. They are evaluating it as they go.

Nick: Sarah just added something great here. I agree around immediate application relevant scenarios. But does that mean you have to have multiple tailored versions of each module? So if you have an eLearning mod with anti bribery, can I use one mod for different roles? Or in an ideal world do I build multiple tailored versions? What a great question. This is something that’s pretty like tactical like, “Okay, how do I sort of start to put that into practice?”

So what do you think about the unique mods? Is that where the action is? Or is it really on this scenarios and a bunch of gray answers, how do you think about her question?

Kristy: I mean, look, in an absolutely ideal world, every one of our groups would have a variation of that. But if you’re in a company of 150,000, that’s pretty difficult. So I think you really do a risk based approach where you’re super high risk groups get that tailored information. You can also do it in email, that maybe the emails to the group say what the benefit is immediately to them. So that even though they’re watching the kind of group module, that they have an understanding of why they specifically are doing it.

It’s not that difficult to write an email for the sales team versus the marketing team, right, to say, “This is why you’re taking this and what you’re going to get out of it.” So they at least start with why in the framing of coming into it.

But I think that you can use a bunch of these techniques together. So things like understanding in the beginning what that is, but then having more complex scenarios with difficult non-answers, or gray areas, particularly around the ethics piece, I think you can get a lot of engagement, despite what the actual organizational piece that you’re talking to is.

Nick: Great, great tips. Thank you, Sara. Keep these questions coming guys. This is fun.

So talk to us a little bit more about the transformational learning. And, you know, I love this. I love this term, disorienting dilemmas. So many times in sort of the more bass compliance and ethics training, especially in videos, like, you kind of know who the bad guy is, he may as well be twisting a mustache and have somebody tied up on the on the train tracks.

So it ends up kind of speaking to the test, because it’s a very black and white thing, the guy’s greasy and sweating or something, you know, I’m saying he’s breathing on people’s necks, you know, I’m saying like, you can smell the cologne.

So talk to us, I guess a little bit about the disorienting dilemmas and how we can use this concept kind of inaction.

Kristy: So he disorienting dilemmas really work when they are ethics problems that are linked into this scenario based training, which we’ll talk about in theory three, which we may as well move to and then we can talk about how they work together.

So theory three is experiential learning, and that is where you go through an experience in the first person. Can you turn to the next slide, please? So when you’re doing disorienting dilemmas, you want to start with what happens in an actual compliance scenario. Somebody’s got a conflict, I love these, somebody went too fast, they are now responsible for something going wrong. Somebody was told that they have a problem, asked not to report it, because somebody is just a friend of theirs and they were just venting and you know it’s an issue, but you’re going to betray your friend if you turn it in.

Things that happen in everyday life, particularly the good people acting badly, or accidentally getting in these situations where they, you know, the voice in your head said you shouldn’t do this, but you did. That, or going along with a crowd, hierarchical pressure, there’s so many variations you can use. But that can be disorienting, because putting yourself in the hero shoes, which is this element of experiential, right, requires a hands on approach, and requires active participation.

So you can do this also in eLearning, by the way, like having really engaged scenarios that have got these really gray areas that lawyers like to write out and hate. You want to have a time for reflection. So the separation between the transformational learning itself and the experiential learning ideas is that they need time for reflection.

So go through the scenario, think about what happened, and then in experiential learning, the additional piece is to proactively ask them to think about what they have learned and apply it in a totally different scenario or to see it somewhere else.

And that’s to me where the real learning takes place. It’s okay, don’t bribe people, what are the weird gray areas or conflicts? And then how could I apply that somewhere else? And that’s what the quizzes can do well, by the way, is to get through this scenario, reflect on it, understand it, and then the quiz can help you to use it in a different way than you were originally looking at it.

Nick: This is kind of the Miyagi thing. Remember, he had him waxing on, he’s waxing on and he’s doing this thing, and then he’s in the fight. And he does that exact same thing. It’s the application of this sort of muscle memory that’s built over here into this new scenario to where you can now make a new powerful connection.

Steve had a great comment. So Steve says, Hey, Steve, what’s happening? I like the idea of complexity, because…this is kind of a lot of what you’re talking about Kristy…because it requires people to integrate the various things that they’ve learned from different trainings. This helps people think in ways that avoid compartmentalization.

And so much of the lack of sort of effective experiential learning is really rooted in a lot of what he’s talking about. Knocking those like, to your point, like when you have a real life situation, it’s not going to naturally just fall into one thing. There’s a confluence of factors and personal things and social things and business things that are all in the mix.

Very few things are just super clear cut, right? Like there’s always these trade offs that we have to deal with. So smart experiential learning, where it’s an application of that of that transformative learning that we talked about on the next slide, X posts some time for reflection, can require you know, that participation is going to bring people to make those new sort of… I mean, we’re talking about neurological connections at the end of the day, right?

So they have to go through those motions at some level to start developing that muscle memory.

Kristy: 100%. And I fundamentally believe that the future compliance training is integrated. Frankly, that like single module, here’s how we do data privacy thing, it makes me kind of nuts at this point.

So when I took the California Bar exam, they hand you this sort of nastiness that goes into real estate that has a contract issue that somebody, you know, battered the window, because they’re mad about the person squatting in their house, right? You get that because no one comes to a lawyer and says, “I have a contracts issue and nothing else,” right, or “I just have a real estate problem.” There’s always something else going on.

And that should be true in compliance training as well, because any compliance professional that’s ever done an investigation knows that it’s never just one specific straight thing.

Nick: Yeah, and that kind of goes back, you know, your bar example, kind of goes back to this thing, learner as the protagonist, I’d imagine on that test, you’re the one who has to solve it, and you’re the one who has to apply all these different principles.

Another way to kind of reframe this, I think, is you know, if you come from legal, you come from accounting, you come from some of these sort of like principle based professions, we’re used to thinking about applications of a few simple principles and various different kind of grace scenarios. That muscle memory within us is already there.

Somebody who’s just come up through sales, they might not look at things in that same kind of structured way. So you, we have to, you know, again, if we’re talking about meeting people where they’re at and being effective, we have to keep that in mind and give them those opportunities to make those principal to application connections through this kind of experiential learning.

We’ve got a great question in the chat. This is a stumper. This is from Michelle. Hi, Michelle. So my leadership team does not see the value in quizzes as learning tools. And they say it’s like treating our staff like children, how can I counter this?

Kristy: We’re going to talk about measures of effectiveness. So one of the easiest ones to simply say, did I learn anything, is frankly, to quiz people, right? Because at the end of the day…there are different ways to quiz them. So let’s just start there, that just having, you know, pedantic, rote, you know, “Can I bribe people? Yes or no.” Questions is really not useful.

However, your leadership team has a point. The trouble is the Department of Justice, that’s your problem, is that there’s still a sensibility that there should be proof that you learned something. While I do agree that it makes you feel like a child. But the other part is that adults like to respond to what they know they’re going to have to do. So if you have nothing at the end that they have to do or say or respond to, it’s easier to tune it out. Because, you know, you don’t have to learn anything, basically, if you’re not interested in it.

Nick: So your answer is how to counter is…

Kristy: Is not to. I mean, I think that in the world that we live in now, it’s very difficult to get away from that. And I know that there’s some really forward thinking people. You know, I watched something from the broadcast last week, that was really fascinating. And, you know, he’s all about this kind of don’t test, don’t quiz, don’t do these things. And just monitor outcomes. I think that’s a really smart way of looking at it. But I was a FCPA defense attorney and have sat before these people. And I think that it’s dangerous to not have something you can show them.

Nick: Yeah, it kind of diversifies your controls, you know, against kind of a bad outcome. It diversifies years sort of defense against a bad outcome coming that you’ve at least done something. You know what I would say, Michelle, to kind of dovetail or add on to what Kristy was saying is, you know, bring them into the process and bring up the DOJ thing that Kristy just said like, “Okay, well, then how do we solve this requirement or this guidance? Like, what ideas do you have?” And they may, after having to kind of take that monkey back onto the throne back, they may be a little bit more inclined? Or they may come up with an idea that you haven’t thought of.

Kristy: Yeah. We’ll keep talking about that when we talk about effectiveness, because we have a whole section on that, on ways to judge it. So I think that it’s not singular, like don’t say quizzes are the only way, but they may be part of your arsenal.

Nick: Steve had a great idea here, with respect to this transition. In this reflection time, he said, I wonder how we could build processing time into trainings, it gets your idea of the need for reflection, so often discussing what you’ve learned helps cement it into the brain. That’s a great point.

And I think over next few years, we’ll talk about your innovation here in a minute, but I think we’re gonna see a bunch of eLearning kind of based, like innovations in this space, where there’ll be these kind of hybrids between sort of self directed trainings that are based but they also have a component where you’re in a breakout room or perhaps, you know, it’s kind of an eLearning based training, but it’s scheduled so that there’s enough people in a Zoom or something to go and have a breakout room and sort of discuss those things.

Because Steve’s absolutely right, you know, just talking about something and processing it in a new way starts to really reestablish those pathways better. Alright, you don’t jump to the next slide?

Kristy: Yep. So the fourth theory that is applicable, really, in our world is self directed learning. So now we’re attempting in this theory to believe that there are motivated self learners, right? They want to figure it out, they need access to tools and access to a teacher, mentor compliance officer.

And I like to think about self directed learning theory as being about your comms, being about your infographics, your toolkits, your guidance documents, like that’s where you use these things. And people don’t think of those pieces necessarily as training. They think of them as part of policies, they think of them as part of the communications solely, I like to think of that as a bigger package. That your infographics, to a certain degree or posters, but really your guidance notes, your guidance documents, these things are really helpful for self directed learners who want to understand more.

Nick: We had a great question in the chat. It says, “Hey, are there any trainings you have seen, that you think are best in class that covered these elements?”

Kristy: I’d like to say the game we developed, because it is. I will talk about that later. No, I think that there are terrific training sessions, and particularly some of the live ones where this…this stuff is easier to do in live sessions with high risk groups.

So I have seen fantastic training that has really complex problem solving that’s got groups working on challenges, that has reflection time where you’re talking about it. So that is certainly easier. But I have seen some really clever eLearning that has more engagement, and that has more thoughtful, nuanced approaches that are in multiple compliance topics, which I think is what lends itself so well to this adult learning theory.

Nick: Yeah, I think a lot of our own training is built on a lot of these principles. But after going through this presentation together, and just learning some more about this, and just cutting that against kind of my interactions with clients and potential clients and so forth, you know, I just don’t think there’s anything that’s going to be off the shelf, that’s going to account for the nuance in your workforce, your work from home scenario, the countries that you’re in, all those things. The constraints on people’s time, and so forth, like there’s so many different factors, it’s probably going to be a couple of off the shelf things that are mixed and matched and applied in some palette of sort of training colors that you’re painting your sort of learning picture with, I can keep going with this. All right.

Kristy: We are going to talk about how to create a great training plan, because I think that your color palette thing is, is really important. But this self directed learning piece, I think is ignored far too often, that the guidance and the infographics and the secondary pieces of information really dovetail with those, and bolster the other things we’re looking at.

Nick: Yeah, and there are ways to let people self direct into their trainings by providing a couple of different options that again gives them, you know, lets them feel like they’re in the driver’s seat more and can account for those different learning types, which I think we were we were kind of, you know, talking to you a little bit.

And just expanding that scope is so powerful. It’s, you know, your training is not just the eLearning or the in person sessions that you’re having, your policies are included in that. And there’s so many little things you can do to get people to process that information and digest it. And so if somebody is visually making your point, an infographic of something that’s already existing, it’s going to help them digest that information, you know, more readily. All right, should we go to the next slide?

Kristy: Let’s talk about what these compliance trends are, and how to essentially apply and why some of these actually work with adult learning.

So the whole big buzzword for the last couple of years is micro-learning. And micro learning is brilliant, because it is really focused on one thing, why, what’s the benefit? Right? It doesn’t ever start with the Sherman Act, right? At least I’ve never seen one that does.

It really is here’s our gifts and hospitality policy and how to apply it. Here’s a reminder of what to do…do’s and don’ts of the trade association meetings, it really tends to be quite focused. Red flags for your third party, is like really focused.

And that focus learning engages adults because oh, I’ve got two minutes. I’ve got six minutes. I’m going to do this. It’s quick. It’s easy. I know why I’m getting it. It’s much more effective.

Micro-learning is a palette piece though. I think trying to use it entirely by itself can be a bit dangerous. You can never have transformational learning in micro-learning. You’re not going to get experiential in a really powerful way. So I think that that one is a great addition to our longer sessions that we’re trying to shift behavior, but it’s so good for reinforcement.

Nick: Yeah, you know when you go to the salon you get your hair done. That’s your pillar annual training. Micro learnings are just you want to pop out during lunch and you get a blowout? You know what I’m saying? I spruce it up a little bit.

Kristy: Nick, I never know what you’re gonna say, it’s kind of amazing.

This multi channel, okay, so we’re talking about the palette, right? So for me when we’re creating a plan, it is for our clients, it is 100%, what are all of our channels?

We have a checklist that we can provide, and we can send with you that’s 60 different communication techniques. Like 60, Iit’s not just email, write emails, videos, blogs, intranet, Yammer, all of the different ways. You know, we have flash mob on there, which I’ve not ever seen anyone use, but would be kind of amazing, right?

But there’s so many different ways to have this multichannel. And one of the reasons…you said something about visual learning, one of the pieces of adult learning theory is also that there are multiple ways to learn, right? Some people are auditory, some people are visual, some people are kinesthetic. And some people like to just really study and read and write.

So in our business world, we tend to do visual. So think about these things. When you’re doing multichannel, how can you make it auditory and visual? Subtitles are a perfect answer to this question, right? Have it out loud, have it in person. When we go back to in person. There are exercises where people move around the room, right? Do you think answer A is right? Or answer B? Stand up and move.

That seems a little bit like ‘what are we doing?’ but for your kinesthetic learners, that is really powerful. So think about multichannel in terms of yes, we’re using these other trends, we’re going to be using gamification for some of this. Microlearning, real learning, longer learning, infographics, videos that are recorded. Cartoon videos, as well as your leader speaking out loud, think about multichannel in that direction.

Nick: And I would say it also, like, if you’re talking about it once a year, it’s not enough, right? So again, peppering it out throughout the year, seasoning your dish over time is going to be the best way to do it. And that does a couple of things. It the odds of hitting somebody again, and then making that connection, again, is obviously higher.

The odds that whatever sort of ethical challenge or compliance challenge, they’re going to have, the odds that that occurs within the first week of the forgetting curve is obviously low if you’re only talking about it once a year. But there’s also other knock on effect that occurs.

Like if your company is talking about this stuff a lot, then at some subconscious level, people start to say, “Okay, well, I guess they’re serious about this,” or, “Oh, I guess this is something that I should actually pay attention to.”

But you have to see a commercial 10 times before you try a restaurant, you have to see something a bunch to kind of break through that wall of inattention that we’re all kind of plagued with in our sort of, you know, our high stimulus world, you know what I’m saying?

Kristy: Yeah, but you also don’t want to see it all the same way, right? The eighth time you’ve seen that Burger King commercial, you’re like, “Oh, my God next,” right.

Whereas if you were to see, you know, the billboard and the advertisement, and you get the reviews, and you see that there, you want to do that, you want to market your training that way.

Nick: And, you know, there’s some good hacks to like, you know, along with this, where we’re saying, you have to have a higher frequency of touchpoints, you have to have a wider array of touch point types. There’s also luckily for us, this like, dropping like a rock factor of what we’re willing to watch and look at, right?

Like think back 50 years ago, for anything to be valid, it had to have like this really high production value. This pendulum has swung so far to the other side, when you see what people, you know, people will spend hours on TikTok, and they’re not all like high produced videos, you know what I’m saying?

And the tools, the tools to produce these kinds of things have been highly democratized. So the point is, you have people on your team, you have people in your organization that you can crowdsource some of this stuff for. You can get some GenZ-ers to make you TikToks or make you little videos that are then sent around on social or on your Slack or whatever.

Just have another touch point. And to again, you know, the more stuff you can crowdsource, the more people you can bring into it, the more tailwinds you’re going to have as you kind of push this stuff forward.

Kristy: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that that leads to gamification. So gamification simply means making something a game, competition, having winning and losing, that actually ties into the social element of the Knowles theory. So when people are engaged in games, their ego gets involved. Right? And not everyone gets their ego involved, but most do especially if the game has done well.

And so people want to win, certainly part of that social hierarchy bit, but it also gives them according to Knowles, it gives them agency in it. They want to be participating because now they’re participating. Games are inherently require participation. And that shifts the dynamic to make it more interesting.

Nick: You said if they’re done well, what do you mean by that?

Kristy: I mean it. Any game is frankly better than the Sherman Act. But there’s some very clever things I’ve seen people do with polling, particularly in the virtual world, like the Zoom poll piece of it can be really interesting to see, put people in teams, Breakout Rooms work brilliantly for this to compete against each other to get the right answers.

I think that there are really interesting ways, a lot of the eLearning can be very sophisticated with the games that I’ve seen. And people sometimes, one of our clients post essentially competitions and people use…they can almost like a video game they put in that their name is, you know, complianceXstar. And they compete all across compliance and ethics week, and they answer questions on line, and they have a leaderboard and a score.

So there’s some really cool things people are doing with gamification that I think will continue to be popular because games make life more fun.

Nick: Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about this compliance and ethics in one.

Kristy: So important. Well, all the transformational learning and experiential learning does best when you’ve got those two things together.

People, I think they try to do ethics training by itself. That can be useful, but actually putting compliance and ethics together makes it make sense. Why is this important? Right? Why is this important together?

And that leads into this risk based approach as well. When we’re doing third party programs, we do a ton of implementing third party programs and reviewing them. The first thing I say, because everyone, they want to include everything, right? Everybody’s in scope, and so okay, if it’s bribery due diligence. If you can’t come up with a scenario where there would be a bribe, they should not be in scope. And it’s amazing how quickly that gives clarity.

This is true with training, right? If you don’t go to a trade association meeting, and you have nothing to do with resale price management, why are you in this course? So come up with a why.

And it takes a lot of courage to do this, because it’s easy. One of my friends said it’s so easy to add everyone to eLearning. It’s hard to decide to exclude them because you want…”Well, what if they have to learn? What if they change jobs?” You’ve got to have respect for that application period piece.

Nick: Yeah, what’s that quote, it might be a Lincoln quote, you know, sorry, for the long letter, if I had more time, it would have been shorter or something like that. Like, it takes more time to cut your words out. And it takes more time to think through scenarios. And, you know, but what it ends up doing, I mean if this is a helpful reframe for you, if you’re scared of that, of mustering up the courage that Kristy’s talking about to say no to things, think about how counter effective it is for the learner to be sitting through a training five minutes in being like, this is so stupid. And then they’re there for another 55 minutes.

Like, think of how they bring that that lens to their next training that you’re putting on that might actually be germane to their job. You have an uphill battle right there. So if you’re, you know, it’s funny how this shift toward effectiveness, or this goes hand in hand with the risk based approach that you’re always talking about Kristy, and it gives you some, I don’t know if it’s some added tools, or it just makes it easier to say no to things because you at least have a reason or a framework to do it. And there’s usually a couple sides of that coin, you know what I mean?

Kristy: And this is document document document, right? Because that, from my from my FCPA defense hat, document why, put your logic down, make sure it’s documented so if there’s ever a why didn’t this person get training? How dare you? Well, I was looking at this from a risk based approach and taking this time.

You can also justify it to your business leaders, if they’re afraid, right? With saying our average employee earns $30 an hour, this 10 minutes is going to cost over the organization this much money, I want to spend that money where it really matters. And that can really help reframe the time question for executives, if they’re afraid of letting it go.

Nick: Yeah, and the other side of that time or money piece is that’s a helpful way from your own standpoint, as you’re building your training program to look at it and try to minimize that cost of like wasted seat time. Because it can be really astronomical for an organization to get people off of their job and be doing a training, particularly one that’s not really you know, relevant to their job.

Kristy: Which is where we get to task oriented. So more and more of the training is really about how do I do this? It’s not about necessarily all of the theory behind it or all of the law behind it. It’s what exactly do you need me to do? And I think that that is the best that application in practice. It’s not about teaching them the theory of it. It’s teaching the application by itself and again, that can be scary for the lawyers around but really just teaching what do I need to do?

If I’m going abroad and I have data privacy concerns, what do I need to do? I need to lock my computer, I need to make sure I know where it is, and if I lose it that I tell them, I need to not attach the wrong email. I was in China a year and a half ago, pre-pandemic, and I couldn’t even access half my files because they were behind that firewall piece.

So knowing that that was going to happen really helped me, I downloaded some stuff to the computer so I didn’t have to try to access it on through the internet. So teach them that. Don’t teach them about all the rest of it. What do I need to do? Be very specific.

Nick: That’s great.

Kristy: And the last one is this group work element, which is, we have the pendulum right? Everything is eLearning. Let’s go back to doing some group. Right? Because people when they talk, I think it was, I don’t know, if it’s Kenneth, or one of the other great commenters said that the Q&A parts work the best. Well, that’s experiential, because you’re reflecting. And you’re also engaging, which is the andragogy.

Nick: All right, next slide, please.

Kristy: All right, so we’re going to talk about putting together a great training plan, and then about measuring effectiveness. So this really is your palette, use all of your tools or all of your colors.

So one of the reasons that I think it’s pretty great to learn about adult learning theory is that you can put your plan together saying, right, okay, how and why, what am I doing here? Which ones are transformational? Which groups do I want to apply that with? Where do we need to challenge assumptions? Wherever you keep hearing that’s how it’s done, that’s how we’ve always done it, how do we get transformational learning maybe into their world, or experiential learning?

So I think that when you have these different theory backgrounds and the self directed learning, what am I creating for people to follow up with and to read if they want to understand more, I think that using all those pieces is really critical.

Nick: Let’s talk about like, how do you actually do it? Like I’m talking about what do you do? You get an Excel sheet, you put these different concepts across the top and you put your trainings on the side and you just start filling in?

Kristy: Yeah, so what we do with clients is basically like put like a quarterly planner together, where it says, like, we’re doing antitrust training this year, and then it’s gonna be you know, who and then it’s like, Q1, they’re gonna get the big long, the in person, Q2, they’re getting the micro learning Q3, we’re gonna push out that infographic, Q4, we’re gonna have a mixed training reinforcer that includes an antitrust piece, right?

So pick your topic that you want to reinforce, you can’t do everything. That’s another thing, particularly with Code of Conduct modules, man, if you have 50 topics, nothing is being done in depth, nothing’s being written about. So I think that really…what are your main themes? It’s like, we’ll do another analogy. What is this, your song? Right? What are your high notes? What’s your brain that you keep coming back to? Right? So you remember that that piece of the song?

So yeah, when we do training plans, it’s literally topic, audience and then medium, is how we do that.

Nick: Gotcha. I mean, think about, I mean, it’s kind of like a marketing plan. You know, people in your organization that are filling out these kinds of plans and thinking about, you know, talk to the those people and get some tips, it’s a good way to build a bridge in your organization, or kind of knock down a silo wall that that may have popped up, and you’re probably going to get some time saving hacks, for someone who’s doing a similar type of thing.

Applying, you know, and applying that to your training in your learning plan. What do you think? I just want to go back to this the second bullet, your courage to take a risk based approach? I know we’ve talked about it a bit, this is a refrain that you sing a lot. Talk to us about, how to incorporate this and how to, you know, do we put a little checkbox on the bottom of our plan to say like, was this courageous enough? Like, how do we actually apply this courage?

Kristy: If you don’t know what everybody does by function, you call the leader and say, “Is there ever a time where you know, you’re making decisions about, say, email marketing people or text marketing or using their data?” No? Great, then that group is off, right? We already know there are certain groups that are never going to have that. We already know that HR is going to deal with personal data, period. Right? So we already know that that’s groups in scope for what we’re doing.

So what I like to do is figure out who’s in scope for whatever the issue is, or issues are I like to be able to go oh, HR has these discrimination issues, DNI issues, they’ve also got data privacy issues, how do we get that all together for your main training session? And then where are we hitting those points throughout the year again?

So I think your risk based approach is simply saying who has exposure, writing down how you got to that information or how you naturally chose it, and then picking what your highlight points are in any of these areas of law that are going to be most relevant to them. So that may be your annual eLearning is a bigger… is less specific, but then your secondary information for them, so your infographic maybe can be for marketing because you your red flags are all red flags.

So that part’s the same on your infographic, but your why and your how to apply, it could be different for them. And that’s literally changing text, right changing bullet points at the top of that infographic, that’s a much smaller ask than redoing an entire eLearning video.

Nick: Yeah, and so much of a lot of what you’re talking about, Kristy is about making little tweaks to stuff that we already have. This is not again, burning down the whole house to rebuild it, this is us taking a policy that’s five pages long, and infographic sizing it. Or us taking, you know, an hour long training and cutting that up into three minute clips, and sending those out throughout the year and changing up, you know, releveraging some things that we already have in place.

And you know, I think, I think this is kind of a point we were talking about a little bit before. But it seems less risky to take the non risk based approach where it’s like, all right, everyone do everything.

But the power in this risk based approach is really the thoughtfulness on the front end, that saves you a bunch of wasted effort down the road, right? It’s that bottom up approach, it’s that sort of detailed amalgamation, or you know, those detailed building blocks that build into this larger structure, it allows you to cut out a lot of waste, that ends up leading into this branding problem that a lot of compliance training has, because people are sitting through things that are interesting, or everybody has, you know, shoulder pads and perms or whatever…

Like, whatever the thing is that’s causing people to disengage, you can start to curtail some of that and be a little bit more, you know, middle of the fairway with what you’re, you know, what you’re putting out there.

Kristy: Yeah, and that’s part of the using comms to support. I think that people overestimate how much training they need to give versus what kind of communications can do to support and what tools can do to support.

I think also, you know, we’re, we’re going to be in a world where we’re going to have this combo stuff for a good long time, right? People are going back in the office in some places people are going remote forever in others. We really need to figure out what we’re going to do about that.

And for me, the answer is recording your webinars and also having breakout rooms. I just, I can’t tell you how important it is. We did a big session this morning, with all the compliance coordinators at 150,000 person company. And you know, we did, and the breakout sessions are where all the talking takes place.

The other thing is the chats, like the chat functions really can help people have that conversation where they don’t feel necessarily confident with the whole raising the hand and like talking to the whole 40 person group. Somehow it feels different to just chat.

So I think, and you need to be aware that there’s this thing called proximity bias. So people when they’re in the office together, or they’re in the learning place together, they tend to focus on the people immediately in their space, right. And that’s just human nature, I can look at you, I can see you, I can feel your energy in the room. But if you’re focused on the people in the Zoom or in the Teams meeting, you will necessarily be able to bring in the people who are already in the room with you.

So really think about how that engagement takes place between your remote learners and your learners in person, it’s going to be really important.

Nick: This is a great question, well timed. Thanks to whoever added this. So I’ve sent out brief trainings by email and requested acknowledgement, read receipts, for the training, but I’ve had very little complaints with this. How do you get staff to take this seriously? Great question.

Kristy: You pick a different medium, I think. I think that if it’s going out by email, it’s probably something like a PowerPoint list. And I think that it’s probably going to be more effective to try to push that honestly, like through a learning management system. But I would start to go multichannel on that. What else can I do to get it more engaged? How can I begin to do things like look at the number of times someone’s looked at this blog, or try to maybe have a more interesting, maybe pick a game to try to get people to come to it that you can say that they have attended.

I think that there are much stronger ways than that push out. And I know it’s challenging. If you don’t have any technology behind you, that can be more difficult. But hopefully you can get people to participate in other ways. Because I think that’s the least interactive version of it is open it up and respond to it.

The other thing is, if that’s what you’ve got, that’s what you’ve got. That’s it. You have to have it not be coming from your push, it has to come from management’s push, right? You must, at that point, mandatory means mandatory, and you get chased by your manager until you say yes, I opened this PDF.

Nick: Yeah, that was what Kenneth just suggested, he said that a leader or boss or manager sends the training link to people and says that it’s required, you’re going to get some naturally a little bit more, you know, engagement from that. And again, it just gets back to this thing that we’re always talking about, like use the tools around you, use the people around you. They should all be singing from the compliance song sheet. They should be all singing from the ethics song sheet, because we all want an ethical organization.

And they know that their sales team or their production team or their engineering team, or whoever is underneath them, these other managers in the business, they know that if they can do their jobs properly, it’s going to save them a bunch of headache.

So there’s a natural alignment for between you and other managers and leaders in the organization that I just have seen people, I’ve seen few people leverage to the extent that I think it can be. And this is a great example of it.

Bring them into the process on the planning side. So you’re going to get that buy in, you’re going to apply that fair process on the planning side, and then once we’re rolling it out, lean into those folks, hit those people up periodically, monthly, quarterly, hey, just a reminder to, you know, remind your team of our anti-retaliation program. Or you know, please reforward this little video and do things to help them be more effective. And you start to get some really, really nice synergy within the organization by, you know, stealing’s the wrong word, but kind of borrowing their power for your initiative.

Kristy: One of the things…so employees love hearing about what actually happens. I’ve got a bunch of clients right now that have an initiative to give the statistics about how many people were fired based on complaints, how many people had, you know, how many investigations do we have? How many were substantiated?

But more importantly, you know, what were the outcomes? Or the trend that has been around for a while to basically have a newsletter sharing some of the anonymous or confidentiality of FIDE, whatever that is, anonymized versions of what actually happened in the reports. And it’s so critical, because that, people pay attention to that right? And then you can say, and here’s the lesson from that. It’s not just about that it’s about you know, what could they have done differently, what should they have done differently. And that’s a really good way to have application based learning.

Nick: Yeah, and it lets the people that you’re relying on to crowdsource your risk management understand that, hey, if I’m speaking up about something, someone’s doing something about it. And wow, this is a company that is super transparent, as a company that’s actually living out its values or trying to close that gap between our actual and sort of, you know, aspirational culture. We are at about 10 minutes, I have a great question. So why don’t we switch to the next slide, unless there’s anything else…

Kristy: Let’s talk about that effectiveness element, because we’re gonna be getting into effectiveness, let’s do…

Nick: …to the next slide. And maybe before we do that, listen to this, from Sarah. Hey, Sarah. Any tips around Accessible Learning? My 2021 challenge is to reformat our learning to make it more inclusive for colleagues who say they have a disability.

So you know, you touched on one before Kristy, that is, perhaps, you know, set up a Zoom, where you go by yourself, you do the training, and you send it to rev.com, or one of these websites that can do the closed captioning, and boom, you’ve just sort of created some leverage for yourself without spending 1000s and 1000s of dollars unnecessarily. What are some other ways to kind of make stuff more accessible in an effective way?

Kristy: So I love Rev. By the way, we use that for so many things. If that’s the one thing you take away from this, it does transcription for you, it’s fantastic. And it’s really quite good.

So that’s one way is, is doing transcriptions. The other thing you can do is pictures, where I think now Microsoft’s default is to say alt text here, so that it’s written down, or it shows what the picture is supposed to do.

You can do really interesting things with color blindness. You can look at how colors interact, and try to make sure that your pictures or that your slides actually are colorblindness manageable like that. Yeah.

So I think it’s all about auditory, visual. And then when you get this multiple capacities for different types of training, I’m not sure exactly which disabilities they’re speaking to, obviously, like physical disabilities, people can still read or hear. So I think that the biggest thing is to just be you know, conscious of it. And obviously, things like diversity in your pictures, right, we’ve got multiple races and making sure that people feel included, even in the pictures that you’re putting in and the stories that you’re telling.

Nick: Great. All right, so let’s jump into how do we demonstrate effectiveness in the application of all this sort of adult learning, theories and tactics that we’ve spent the last hour talking about?

Kristy: Perfect. So one of the things that you can do is tiered testing, which I quite enjoy. Now, this does rely on this quiz element, right? But what you can do there is you can have a subset of your population that you ask a follow up question to three months later, six months later, nine months later, 12 months later.

And what you want to see is let’s say you’ve done a data privacy training piece that six months later, somebody can tell you when they need to give you this privacy impact assessment, on the marketing team that that’s one thing they have to do on a regular basis. It’s task oriented.

So ask them three months, six months, nine months later, you can see that effectiveness over time. What we don’t want to see is the one and done. Yes, I can answer a question four seconds later. Can I can I tell you where to find the gifts and hospitality portal three months later? Can I tell you some application three months, six months, nine months later, by tracking the percentages that I can do that, you can show the effectiveness over time that what you trained on is actually known.

You can also do test out. So this is one that’s controversial as well, but I really like it.

Nick: Why do you think it’s so controversial?

Kristy: Because they don’t get the training again. Which to my mind is if you don’t need the training, because if you know it, why are we doing it? Like, aren’t you proving you know, if you know all of the anti bribery red flags, why am I teaching you that again? Why am I sitting here for an hour? At that point, your microlearning and your infographics are secondary applications to help you keep that memory. 

But if you test out 10% year one, 15% year two, 30% year three, they’re holding that knowledge over time. And that’s effectiveness.

Nick: That’s great.

Kristy: You can also do this with pre and post quizzes. So don’t use the same questions for heaven’s sake. But if you can show in the beginning people got 30% right, and at the end on the first try, and at the end, they got 75% right, you’re showing that they learned something over the course of that period that they were in this.

Nick: And if you have a decent LMS system, it should be able to tell you what your completion rates are, how many, you know, people crapped out of the test at this time. Some of them are going to require kind of a certain level of engagement, so somebody can’t just be on Instagram the whole time. Like there’s other kinds of data points you can point to as sort of backup and sort of secondary tiers of like, effectiveness. But I like some of those things you just talked about.

Kristy: Yeah. And I think one of the most interesting ones that’s brand new that I’ve seen is these confidence questions. So one of our clients is using, “Tell me how confident you are in your answer before you answer it.” And where you find people having very strong confidence but getting the wrong answer, more training is needed.

If you see people that are not getting that they’re not confident, but they’re getting the right answer, that tells you something. If they’re getting confident, and they’re getting the right answer, they get it. Right.

So that helps you over time as well. If your confidence levels change over time, that can also… and the answers are more correct, that can show confidence, which shows that they have learned, which is effectiveness.

Nick: Here’s a great question. How do you make sure that the test out questions are difficult enough? Hold on, though, that has an exclamation in there. So pretend I exclaimly asked you that.

Kristy: Well, it’s easier with multi-subjects, make them scenario based, right? So you know, should you bribe people, yes or no? Is not a good test question.

But if you can get into nuance, or add ethics dilemmas into your test out, into your questions, I think you end up with a lot more capacity to get people thinking.

There is a fear of giving people more than about two sentences. I think that’s dumb, you’re dealing with adult learners, stop thinking that they need spoon feeding.

So actually having two complex questions or one complex scenario with three or four follow ups, or a choose your own adventure type thing, we’re seeing a lot of that right now, is getting to the point where you can like have tier, like you made this choice, now you have this outcome, you made this choice, you have this outcome. Now what? That kind of storyline quizzing, I think is really interesting.

Nick: Yeah, and you know, if you have some of those confidence questions, you can start to get a sense of what nuance or what facets of the shape that you’re teaching do people struggle most with and use that to help inform your test out question.

So we got a couple of minutes left, let’s jump to the next slide so we can talk about this freaking awesome thing that you mad, Complaints Competitor. So we did this a couple of weeks ago, and it blew our mind. Like, so much of what we spent the last hour talking about is incorporated in here. It’s fun, it’s engaging, there’s..so why don’t you talk about it, because I’m just gonna start ranting and raving here.

Kristy: Okay, it’s an online game that is for groups of four to 50. It’s facilitated either by one of us, or you. And we do all of this difficult, not right answer stuff.

So groups get together in breakout rooms, have to pick the least worst answer, and they immediately see the effect of their choice on stock price and on fines and on revenue. Which gets all your business folks revved up.

They learn the right answers in the facilitation session where we focus on what, you know, okay, the policy was totally not followed. What’s our policy? If you were in a conflicted situation where you’re dating the sister of the person who’s had misconduct and you’re the boss, what do you do? Those kinds of really built in ethics dilemmas and we find when people see it, they want it. We’ve had annual licenses from eight of the largest companies in the world in a month of showing it.

So let us show it to you and you will have fun with it. It’s kind of…I’ve been amazed by the response. It’s just engaging in a way because of the way that we put it together with the psychologist that has been pretty fascinating.

Nick: Yeah, I mean, I can just be kind of speak firsthand to it. So, you know, we’re running out of time here. So we’ll be sending around a replay of the slides, we’ll be sending out a way for you to find out some more about Compliance Competitor.

And someone else on here said that they’ve done the demo and it was incredible. So that’s great to hear. So it’s hitting a lot of notes. And if you’d like to see some examples of some of this, some of these concepts that we’ve talked about applied for an eLearning scenario, all these things are demo-able, so we’ll send around some options for that as well, whether it’s discrimination training or code of conduct training, we have some good options there.

So if there are any questions, please send them to us. Here’s our contact information. You can reach out to Kristy directly, find her on LinkedIn. If you don’t follow her yet, you should because her writing and her thought leadership is really amazing. Really help you elevate. And that’s my actual mobile. So send me a text or something if you want.

Kristy: Fabulous.

Nick: All right. Thank you, everyone for joining us. Kristy, thank you so much for teaching us so much. Yeah, this was a lot of fun. And check out that Compliance Competitor. It is a phenomenal, game changing experience that really engages people that don’t nerd out on compliance all day.

Kristy: Thanks Nick. I love this as always, take care. Have a great afternoon.

Nick: Take care. Bye bye.

Kristy: Thanks, guys. Bye