Policies are like laws… we need them, they give structure. But policies tend to be reactive, just like law enforcement.
Take, for example, the war on drugs. Passing drug laws alone isn’t enough – we have programs in schools to teach kids, communities offer programs to help people get off drugs. This is, of course, because knowing what one is supposed to do sometimes isn’t enough to make a person comply.
On the other hand, creating a living, breathing program brings your policies to life and creates a living, breathing culture of compliance. How can you do this in an eDiscovery context?
How do you do this in an eDiscovery context?
“Creating a culture of compliance”
One definition of culture is: “the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular group.”
This implies that a culture is created by the behaviors of a group as a whole. The individuals that make up this culture are living, breathing people. Where rules are rigid (and great in abstract but often lost in day-to-day practice), programs involve people, and are dynamic by their very nature. They create culture.
To create a culture that reflects your eDiscovery policy you need eDiscovery programs that are alive.
“Living, breathing programs”
These include: training, analysis, awareness, two-way communication, support.
Have a program in your organization that corrects any non-compliance issues. Find the gaps between where you are and where you need to be and bridge the gaps. The bridge is training, it enables people to create a culture that is living and breathing a policy. It’s easy to say we have a policy – it’s much tougher to say we have a living program.
“Get everyone involved”
The sum of a culture is a combination of its parts. You need buy-in from all members of the organization. How do you get everyone on board, including senior leaders?
Let’s start at the top. What are some strategies to gain buy-in on data management programs from upper management?
Everything comes down to economics these days, it seems. But the solution in a tough economy is sometimes simpler. And that is this: the quickest route to management’s heart (or pocket) is ROI. Demonstrate ROI to get management on board with any idea. You can do this by identifying quick wins – low hanging fruit.
Begin with programs that don’t take a lot of resources. Show what you’ve been able to accomplish with limited resources, then propose what you could do with more. Use numbers! Quantify! Show the percentage of the organization that has put these programs into place. Market your program – not only that it’s viable and the right thing to do – but also show that it works.
Another dictionary defines culture as “the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent.” When all parts of your team are trained, communicate, and live and breathe your eDiscovery policy, you have successfully created a culture of eDiscovery excellency. Breathe life into your policies, and watch your eDiscovery culture flourish.