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Simplicity Bites Back
Simple rules can't deal with a complex reality. But well-trained people can.
A man was strolling down a street when he spotted a sign that read "Keep right." He dutifully followed it, only to fall into a pothole. A passerby chuckled, "That's what happens when you blindly follow rules." But the man responded, "No—that's what happens when you mindlessly obey signs."
At first glance, the man abides by a rule. But it did not serve him well. It serves as a reminder that the real world is complex, and the cut-and-dry nature of rules may not always align with the nuanced situations we encounter.
We often seek out straightforward guidelines to assist us in navigating the complexities of daily existence.
Black/white. Yes/no. Stop/go. Hold/Release
This is what people expect, clarity.
While clear rules can be helpful in many instances, there are occasions when adhering to them too strictly can have unforeseen repercussions.
Recently, I've been pondering this concept quite a bit when drafting a new procedure for sanctions compliance.
What do we do if we encounter a customer in country X? Should we block every supplier requesting this type of payment method?
In compliance, it is vital to be precise.
But at the same time, we need to give people the minimum awareness, context, and knowledge to make decisions independently. Or to tell them that asking questions before acting is recommended.
If it’s not desired that a rule answers, let people come up with the answer. For this to happen, they need to be trained well.
Compliance training should not repeat the black/white rules written in procedures.
Compliance training should prepare people to have the correct reflex.
And that’s what I like about crafting compliance trainings. You need to be creative.