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  • Richard Bistrong

The Pen is Mightier than the Compliance Sword

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

Nicole Rose brings a breath of fresh air to compliance. 6 years ago she swapped her legal practicing certificate for her pen and has been thriving ever since.

She founded Create Training almost 3 years ago, and over this time has penned over 150 animated compliance training videos. Her work reaches 100’s thousands of learners worldwide.

As a regular contributor to leading compliance publications, Nicole has written about everything you wouldn’t expect to read about in relation to compliance. She passionately believes that creativity, cartoons, animation, emotions, and neuroscience are all essential ingredients in any compliance diet. She is now serving up some much needed creative inspiration with her new book, Compliance With Attitude.

Here are a few questions to Nicole about her new book and her methods, in general.

RB: Nicole you were once a lawyer and compliance specialist. Why did you change?

NR: I like to think that I simply evolved.  I am still a lawyer and spend many hours each week researching and putting myself into the legal shoes needed to deconstruct a case. But I was tired of stopping at the ‘what’ i.e. what had happened in a particular case and what needed to be done in order to mitigate the damage. I wanted an ongoing solution that really helped people to change behaviors rather than just try to avoid getting caught, as had been my experience up until that time. I always loved art and believed that the pen was mightier than the compliance sword, so decided to incorporate my pen into what I was doing.

After doing face-to-face training around the world with a whiteboard and some hastily drawn pictures, I realized that people weren’t interested in the quality of the art, they were just interested in seeing an image come to life to explain something. After that, I started making some short animated videos and the feedback was tremendous. I couldn’t believe the delight and interest in compliance that an animation could bring to people.

RB: Given you produced a fully illustrated book on compliance training in addition to all the other work and writing you produce, it seems you may have a magic formula for working at speed. Can you share?

NR: Many people don’t start a creative endeavor because they think they don’t have the technical expertise. Before I made my first animation, I had never made a video. Before I wrote a book, I had never published a book. My advice: find a non-interrupted space, craft the main body of the work in one go if possible and then research every which way you can so you can finish it. The main body is actually the fastest thing to put together and will keep you motivated for the longer more technical part of the process.

RB: How did the idea for the book actually arise?

NR: I joke that my pen came to me one day and asked me to write instead of just draw. But that’s basically what happened. I was inspired to share my ideas so I started writing crazy articles about compliance with heart, compliance and neuroscience and compliance and animation. I was amazed when people wrote to me telling me how much I inspired them. I realized that there were loads of compliance professionals who, like me, wanted to be more creative in their compliance role but maybe didn’t have the confidence, methodology or technical expertise to do so. I believe that creativity is a mindset rather than a talent and wanted to teach people to develop the right mindset and methods to be more creative in their roles.

RB: So what’s in the book?

NR: I found there was no one single book on creativity, compliance and producing your own training, so I created it. This book is essentially a toolkit to create your own great training. It’s packed with tips and ideas on how to inspire people and relate to your audience, how to engage people with short training, how to animate people (literally bring them to life) and loads more. I basically wrote the book I wish I had read when I went into compliance many years ago.

RB: I understand that you are currently offering this book for free. How can people get hold of it?

NR: Next week it will be sold on Amazon. I want to share my ideas as widely as possible, so I’m giving away the EBook version. It includes links to all of my tools and videos and can be downloaded here.

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