The E&C Pulse - December 20th

December 20, 2018 Ben DiPietro

Did You See That? Did You Say Something?

We’ve all been in a situation where someone in the group said something that can be construed as sexist, racist or homophobic, or where we saw one work colleague bullying another, or making an unwanted sexual advance.

How many of us said something, either in the moment to the person misbehaving, to management after the fact, or even to the victim to offer them comfort and support? How many of us chose to stay silent, figuring the person enduring the abuse would speak up when she or he was ready, or that is was none of our business?

As more attention gets paid to anti-harassment education and training, one area gaining increasing focus is that of the bystander, the person who saw what happened or heard what was said.

LRN this month introduced a new course to help companies turn their employees from bystanders to upstanders, or people who don’t ignore harassment and take action to stop it.

It’s an issue of significance, since statistics show between 40% and 70% of women said they experience sexual harassment in the workplace, as do between 10% and 20% of men. Nine in 10 of those who experience harassment never report it; 44% of bystanders stay silent.

Even though more attention is being paid to bystander training--New York City mandates it, California recommends it, other jurisdictions are considering it--people may not know how to come forward, says LRN’s Knox Huston.

Before bystander training, employees first should get a foundational-level course that addresses harassment in general, meets state or city regulations, or identifies values the organization wants its people to live by, said Huston.

Many people still feel a stigma about speaking out—the president’s recent “rat” comment is the most recent example of what some people think of those who come forward—so how does a company overcome that and get people to act when their social conditioning tells them not to?

Huston said some people may feel uncomfortable stepping in, but there are many ways to be an ally after the incident. “Listen actively, don’t rationalize or explain away behavior, stand up for the person being harassed, and go beyond cursory involvement to truly understanding the situation,” he said.

Devising training that lets people play-act harassment intervention scenarios lets people practice what they would say in an actual situation, said Huston. A facilitator guide is included in the course that comes with questions to get the discussion started.

“A team leader or respected peer can show the video scenario to a group of colleagues and discuss the scenario using a guided set of questions: How would you react? What are ways to intervene not shown here?” he said. 


                                                                                                                                                 BEN DIPIETRO


LRN Embarks on New Chapter With Leeds Equity Partnership

LRN will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2019, but took one last action in 2018 that will propel the company forward into its next 25 years.

The company on Wednesday announced a strategic partnership with Leeds Equity Partners, LLC. The agreement includes an investment by Leeds Equity, which specializes exclusively in the knowledge industries and, like LRN, has also been in business for 25 years.

The convergence will bring together two companies that share the objective of helping companies elevate behavior to reduce risks and to create sustainable competitive advantage.   

This is a time of intensifying focus and scrutiny on corporate and individual conduct — where ‘do it right’ corporate cultures are an urgent imperative and command unprecedented resources from management and boards. “Society continues to set higher and higher standards for companies and their people, and therefore, now is the time for LRN, as the recognized leader in the industry, to make a transformational move," said Dov Seidman, LRN's founder and chairman.

"Backed by Leeds Equity’s expertise and resources, we will grow through even greater investments in technology and further innovations in our products and services, such as mobile delivery, adaptive learning and data analytics," said Seidman, who will remain as chairman. That will enable LRN "to better support our client-partners in educating and engaging their employees, assessing workplace conduct, guiding the right kind of principled and profitable behavior, and demonstrating the ROI of effective ethics and compliance initiatives.”

The partnership and planned investments in organic growth and mergers and acquisitions will seek to support LRN’s objective of continuing to be the most valued and valuable company in the ethics and compliance sector, said Jeffrey T. Leeds, managing partner of Leeds Equity.

"We are privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to partner with Dov and his team and to be a custodian of this remarkable and unique enterprise," said Leeds Equity. "We admire how LRN has steadfastly acted on its belief, now widely acknowledged by business leaders, that behavior and culture not only matter but are often the difference between success and failure."

The partnership brings together two companies committed to innovation in education and training, said Tim Shriver, chairman of Leeds Equity's Advisory Board. "This is the kind of work Leeds Equity was formed to do and the kind of company Leeds Equity was founded to partner with and support."

Since its inception in 1994, LRN has been a pioneer in the ethics and compliance space, and the partnership with Leeds Equity will allow the company to remain the leader in helping and inspiring people to do the right thing, said Seidman.

"Most significantly, LRN's over 250 uniquely talented colleagues, deeply committed to our mission of inspiring principled performance, are truly what makes this partnership with Leeds Equity possible," said Seidman.



LRN's Program Effectiveness Report asked to what degree the code of conduct of the respondent's organizations inspires a commitment to ethical behavior, and found 97% of those at high-performing companies said it did, compared to 54% at low-performing companies.


What does it mean to be ethical in the age of artificial intelligence? Jonathan Shaw poses the question in Harvard Magazine.

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday charged Chinese nationals with hacking at least 45 U.S. tech companies and government agencies, CNBC reports.

The New York Times explores Huawei's "wolf culture." The paper also wonders if corporations should be held liable for crimes committed by their employees.

Barclays agreed to pay New York State $15 million for its chef executive, Jes Stanley, trying to learn the identity of a whistleblower, FCPA Blog reports.

Sportswear being sold in the U.S. was traced by The Associated Press to a factory at an internment camp in China. Also, do you know who made your sneakers? Fast Company reports it probably was a slave.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking public comments on the idea of reducing the number of times companies have to report earnings or make quarterly reports, Pensions & Investments reports.

The chief compliance officer at CBS is not looking good in the company's Eliza Dushku sexual harassment matter, Radical Compliance reports. Dushku tells her side of the story in The Boston Globe.

Caterpillar's decision to recombine the chief executive and chairman roles is a slap to investors, Joe Cahill writes in Crain's Chicago Business.


LRN has announced today a strategic partnership with and a significant investment from Leeds Equity Partners. Together, we plan to expand our ethics and compliance solutions for our global community, and continue to invest and innovate.


Did you know, we are on track to exceed 12 million course completions by the end of the year? Learn more about our top topic areas in 2018 and our values-based educational content that goes beyond rules-based compliance. 


Previous Post
The E&C Pulse - January 3, 2019
The E&C Pulse - January 3, 2019

Ben DiPietro checks out ways compliance officers can better engage their boards to spend time on their issues.

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The E&C Pulse - December 18th
The E&C Pulse - December 18th

Ben DiPietro looks at a survey from the Institute of Business Ethics that finds British people are more tru...


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