How ‘Star Wars’ references in E&C training can help employees avoid the dark side

From Training to Learning

Compliance practitioners learned how to become ethical Jedi masters during a panel discussion at Compliance Week’s 2023 National Conference in Washington, D.C.

Brian McAlhaney, associate general counsel, diversified businesses at Bridgestone Americas, kicked off the session by introducing his boss—“my Yoda to my Luke Skywalker; my Doc Brown to my Marty McFly,” he said—Adam Balfour, general counsel and vice president of corporate compliance and global risk management at Bridgestone Americas. The movie references set the tone for a discussion on how pop culture can aid efforts to train employees regarding ethics and compliance.

“Everybody knows ethics and compliance is important. Employees know it matters. They know fines are in the billions of dollars. They know people go to jail. They know people lose their jobs if they violate policies,” Balfour said. “But the problem with a lot of this is ethics and compliance can seem a little bit scary and abstract.”

Balfour explained how Bridgestone changed its compliance and ethics program pillars from training and communications to focus on learning and engagement.

“I think with training and communication, we’re looking at the intent. ‘Did compliance set up a training? Did we send a communication?’” Balfour said. “But what is the impact of that training and communication?”

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