ECI Best Practices Forum on Technology

Last week I attended the latest Best Practices Forum organized by the Ethics & Compliance Initiative. This one focused on the use of technology in E&C.

The highlight of the event for me was the Technology Showcase. During a two-hour session, about 10 companies presented on stage how they implemented a new technology, and then showcased that technology at a booth, taking questions from the attendees. There was a mix of low-budget and not-so-low-budget applications. A most practical approach to learning.

Here are some of my notes from the event:

  • E&C is not keeping up with innovation. Attendees blamed a lack of resources and cultural misalignment. I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that regulators are not keeping up with innovation. For decades, organizations have taken their cue from the law to shape their compliance program. Now, regulators are watching advances in blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning, and can’t seem to understand what can or must be done.
  • Data used to be provide to humans. Now humans create the data by using mobile devices (e.g. phones), platforms (e.g. Facebook), wearables (e.g. watches), and thousands of products linked to the internet (e.g. thermostats). While everyone is generating data, only a few are leveraging it, some for good and some for bad. This data is never anonymous but instead needs to be anonymized. Because this data is created, analyzed and leverage by human, it is tainted by human biases (e.g Amazon recruiting AI project who hired more men than women).
  • When deploying new technology, start small. Think of a narrow piece of a problem. Identify your smallest viable audience/product. Just small enough to learn the benefits and dangers of the technology. Then scale as necessary. If using a vendor, ask for a beta.
  • Chat bots are relatively easy to create but they need several months/years of use to get smarter. When creating a chat bot, see the previous bullet (start small and narrow). They are a perfect tool to direct employees to existing information on the intranet (e.g. policies). They replace the need for E&C professionals to respond to emails and phone calls, improving their job satisfaction.
  • Technology has created a new wave of employee activism (e.g. Microsoft/ICE, Google/military drones).
  • Marketing has been using behavioral analytics for decades trying to sell us stuff. E&C should be using the same science to nudge employees towards compliance.
  • To my surprise, Salesforce.com appears to be a viable platform to create certifications, chat bots, CMS, etc.
  • Notable quotes
    • Education is not training. Education is information; training is application.
    • Trust and innovation are the two currencies of business today
  • Book recommendations
    • Nudge

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