One Year in a Hidden Industry
This post is by Ryan, our design lead.
I recruited Ryan from a digital strategy agency a little over a year ago to set up and run the design team here. And like most of us that found our way to the field, Ryan hadn't heard of ethics and compliance until he found himself doing it.
Here are his reflections on what that year has been like. ~ Ricardo
By nature, designers work in disparate industries as we go through our careers.
Think about the industries you've applied your expertise to, and count how many separate industries you've been a part of. (Actually, I'm really curious about this, so please let me know what types of industries you've worked in.)
Corporate compliance and ethics is a field I didn't even know existed before last year, and as of last week, I have been working here for a year.
Perhaps it's the fact I have only worked at small companies (largest had 50 employees), or the fact I grew up in a small town in Louisiana (my exposure to large corporations was next to nothing), but I had no idea what corporate compliance/ethics were.
My only familiarity with “compliance” came from a dystopian comic book, which doesn't exactly frame it in a positive light, and "Corporate Ethics" could have been the ironic name of a criminal biker gang for all I knew.
After a year, I've started to notice things like this:
"Wait, we have an HR?"
The problem doesn't stop at disclosing interoffice relationships, it also extends into corruption, fraud, anti-trust, cybersecurity, and beyond.
My team has created pieces that show employees how to spot modern-day slavery in the production line, and pieces that train finance departments on how to spot money laundering, fraud, and bribery.
"It's a gift. That's how it works here."
(Plot twist: for the type of stuff we do, even if this actually was intended to be a "gift," depending on the value of that Beanie Baby, it could have been viewed as a bribe.)
We've even redesigned a DOJ document to make a useful workbook so that companies and organizations can audit themselves on compliance and ethics issues. This workbook was 100% created in PowerPoint. So we meet people where they're at. There's no room for snobby toolsets here.
Over the years, I've created work for many clients to solve tons of different business-problems. When I started working at Broadcat, I thought compliance and ethics were just another niche industry in the list.
I didn't intend to discover that compliance and ethics is design.