Due to the legend, Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, the “The Red Vineyard at Arles”, today to be seen at the Pushkin Museum for Fine Arts in Moscow. Other sources doubt this, but it is confirmed that especially in his later years (he came originally from a middle class family) he lived in poverty, as he was not able to create the deserved demand for his art. The critical acknowledgment started only after his death.

In opposite to Van Gogh, the Apple Company is a master in creating successful communication and marketing campaigns. To keep up the hype, the company continuously launches new products, which meet the established high quality level. Communication is important, but it can only work, if the delivered products and solutions can satisfy the promised quality.

2016: Apple Shop, New York

Two relevant examples for the Compliance Officer, as he or she is also a salesperson, selling the Ethics & Compliance message. As Van Gogh shows, it is not enough to have a good product, it must be accompanied by an adequate marketing. The CO not only has to control the company’s gifts & hospitality processes, but further can learn from the sales colleagues.

Every Compliance training is also a sales pitch! It is not enough to only inform the employees, but you have to motivate them. Even the best Compliance controls and processes cannot prevent that intelligent employees could find a way to bypass them. That is why it is imperative that employees do not only comply because they know that there are processes and controls, but because they believe in the sustainable success of clean business. To reach this goal, the tone in the trainings may be different from country to country, but always has to include a certain entertaining factor. This ensures not only that the target group keeps up the attention level, but also humor may inspire to think about the message. Such creativity, of course, requires an adequate and intelligent form of humor, such as irony or sarcasm.

Such communication supports also in another way. As employees talk about the training, the participation rate will go up and the training target gets reached faster.