Damien mentally went through the topics Susan had just outlined: Confidentiality of Information, cybersecurity, conflicts of interest…engaging? It could mean a dozen different things. Visually appealing? Professional voice over? Drag and drops? Puzzles? Games? He was pretty sure she didn’t know much about instructional design, so he was curious: “What do you mean by…um, engagement?”
“It’s important that employees know what to do with all of these policies and regulations, so I want it to be as engaging…” She searched for the right word, “I want it to be as practical…as possible.” Now, she really had his attention. He’d never heard a corporate attorney say anything close to that before.
“Okay…and what does engaging look like to you?” he asked.
Susan perched her chin on her hand and looked up toward the corner of the ceiling. Damien leaned forward and waited. Her brow was furrowed. Then, a small smile. She almost spoke but instead picked up her pen and scribbled something on the page in front of her and handed it to Damien.
“I’m not a training professional, but that’s what engages me.” Damien looked at the paper and read her note out loud: “I love a good story?” It came out as a question.
“Tell me a story and you’ve got me!” She smiled. Damien smiled back. He wasn’t sure what to say to that. Susan stood. “Thanks for stopping by, Damien. And let me know if I can clarify any of the points.”
“Sure,” he replied. There was a lot he wanted to clarify, but before he could think, he was already on the way out the door. “What happened to checking boxes?” he thought, “I’m not a novelist…”
“Thank you,” he said over his shoulder, “I’ll be in touch.”
Damien spent the next two days wrapping up another project. Now, he had the list of Compliance topics on his desk. Susan’s hand-written note at the bottom of the page seemed to both taunt and challenge him. “A good story,” he muttered to himself, “…about Compliance?” No, he could not imagine it.