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The Lion/Run Framework For Compliance
Humans are innately capable of complex risk assessment.
Thousands of years of evolution have honed us into creatures that can instantaneously respond to perceived threats, from the metaphorical lion in the savannah to the real challenges in the workplace.
Knowledge feels safe until it’s not
Let me clarify: you don't need to know everything about a lion when you spot one in the wild.
What's its age? Its weight? Its dietary habits? No. You need to know that it's potentially dangerous, and you should start running. That, my friends, is the primal essence of our survival instincts and serves as the heart of the Lion/Run framework.
The Lion/Run framework is a different approach to training colleagues, particularly in the context of regulatory compliance. This isn't about transforming every employee into a compliance expert, just as we're not asking every person to become a zoologist who can differentiate between an African lion and an Asiatic lion. It's about understanding how to spot a potential risk in the context of their roles and knowing what action to take.
The danger, however, is that knowledge feels safe.
Knowing a lot feels safe until the moment reality hits you.
The complexity barrier
But, why is this important? Because complexity is a barrier. Overly detailed compliance training often leads to a cognitive overload, reducing the ability to identify and react to potential issues effectively. When we make it overly intricate and laden with jargon, we risk creating an environment where violations go unnoticed or unreported.
On the other hand, the Lion/Run framework simplifies the process, just as our ancestors did when they spotted a lion in the wild. It hinges on two fundamental ideas: recognizing the signs of risk and knowing the right action. The goal is not to churn out employees with encyclopedic knowledge of rules and regulations, but to have individuals who can effectively discern the potential "lion" in their work, understand when something feels off, and take appropriate action.
Now, this doesn't mean that specialized knowledge isn't essential. We still need compliance experts, just as we need zoologists. Their role is to dive deeper, understand the intricate workings of regulations, and provide guidance when complex situations arise. But expecting the same level of detailed knowledge from everyone is, in essence, setting them up for failure.
Consider the Lion/Run framework part of your company's broader risk management strategy. By reframing how we approach compliance training, we can create an environment where everyone feels empowered to act and "run" when they see the "lion." And just like our ancestors who survived and thrived despite the omnipresent threat of lions in their world, a company that can swiftly identify and respond to potential risks is more likely to succeed in the wild, unpredictable world of business.
The bigger-than-life lesson for compliance
At the end of the day, we need to remember that simplicity often outperforms complexity. Whether escaping from a lion or identifying a compliance risk, the quicker and clearer our response, the higher our chances of survival. Use the Lion/Run framework. Make things simpler, not complex. After all, as we’ve seen through the lens of history, it’s not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Bringing this bigger-than-life lesson to compliance means that you need to train people with flexibility in mind: providing them the skill to spot risks in reality and giving them the tools and reminders to take the right action.