Ronnie Feldman on Encouraging People to Speak Up [Podcast]

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Post By: Adam Turteltaub

How do you get people to come forward and report issues? Ronnie Feldman (LinkedIn), President and Founder of Learnings & Entertainment, has an unconventional suggestion:  Learn from improv groups.

As he explains in this Compliance Perspectives podcast, improv performances only work because the members of the cast know that they have unconditional support from their castmates. They embrace the concept of “yes and”, looking to embellish what each other did and move it forward.  That gives them the ability to take risks.

Improv artists also practice their listening skills to make sure that they understand what each other is saying.

This creates a psychologically safe environment where people can bring ideas forward without fear. Harvard Professor Amy Edmondson, argues that the best organizations do the same thing, he explains.

How does an organization get to that place of psychological safety where people can feel come forward and say what’s on their mind safely? By constantly reminding people that it is okay to point out what is wrong. And a good compliance program, he explains, is one that creates this environment.

How can a program get there? For one, he argues that compliance training needs to be improved. Taking the trouble to do it right both engages employees and shows the company is committed. Stories of incidents that happened at the organization can be particularly impactful.

Then think more like an advertising agency and seek to get the message in front of people as many times as possible and as creatively as possible. And, as you do so, be entertaining and interesting. He argues that this will help put compliance in a more positive light.

Listen in to hear more provocative ideas for encouraging more employees to come forward.