Ethics Ambassador Programs – Elevating Effectiveness

May 24, 2024

In this episode of Creativity & Compliance, Tom & Ronnie discuss creative strategies to unlocking the potential of ethics ambassador programs.


Tom Fox

Ronnie Feldmen


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About This Episode

Ethics Ambassador Programs
Elevating Effectiveness

In this episode of Creativity & Compliance, Tom & Ronnie discuss creative strategies to unlocking the potential of ethics ambassador programs.

Whether you call them Ethics Ambassadors, Compliance Champions, or something else, the idea of embedding advocates within the business to be a listening resource as well as a mechanism to cascade information throughout the organization is a wonderful concept. One of the challenges is that these folks are typically volunteers and this is an extra responsibility. To unlock the potential of these programs, we need to make sure these volunteers have the communication skills, tools and resources to be effective. In the wonderful world of improvisation we have a saying.


“Make your partner look good and they will make you look good.”


Ethics & Compliance is all about influence. We need to find ways to empower others so that when difficult situations arise, there is an army of your colleagues ready to encourage them to follow the right path. Ethics Ambassadors (and leaders in general) are an extension of the program. They have the potential to help or hurt the reputation and effectiveness of the program. Will they know what to do when problems arise? Will they pass along tools and learning resources without an eye roll? To unlock their potential we need to do the following:
  • Make it simple and easy to cascade information forward
  • Make them look good when they do cascade information forward
  • Give them easily accessible tools and resources and teach them how to use them
  • Provide communication skills-building opportunities
  • Give them reward

If you’re giving them a long, boring PowerPoint deck, or asking them to chase down completion rates to your annual e-learning, you’re just getting them to annoy their colleagues instead of you. Providing simple, short videos, job aids and microlearning that have some entertainment value is helpful. Pre-packaging these resources so they are simple and easy to deliver is key. Giving them a deck with 2-minute video and 2-slides or better yet, giving them a link to a video that has 3-4 tips next to it. This makes it simple and easy for them to play as a commercial during a regular Zoom/Teams meeting or they can forward along via email or post on the local intranet. If this resource is creative and perhaps even fun, then they will be excited to deliver this information. Your influence is multiplied.

If we want to project an environment of trust and support, then we need to ensure that our Ethics Ambassadors have the communication skills to support that culture. Active listening is a skill. Diffusing emotional situations is a skill. Collaborating to find solutions together is a skill. These are muscles that can be built through practice. We teach these skills through workshops that use improv and theatrical techniques so that the learning is both experiential and fun. It also can be used as reward. No matter what resource you use, it’s important to educate and empower this group to give them the best chance to succeed.

These are volunteers. If their responsibilities become a chore, they are less likely to do a good job. We need to give them reward. Feature them in company newsletters and give them shout outs. Providing them learning opportunities. Interview them on your company podcast or talk show. Make them look good and they will make you and your program look good.


There are a few ethics & compliance professionals, some Ethics Ambassadors, and even more leaders. If we want to cascade our influence across the organization and improve compliance and speak up culture, we need to spend more time educating and empowering others. So spend time developing these short, creative tools and resources and make your partners look good!


Ronnie Feldman is the President & Creative Director at Learnings & Entertainments, a learning content provider made up of comedians and entertainers with a focus on corporate risk.

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