How to get people to follow the rules: lessons from the pandemic’s ‘great experiment’

When a deadly global pandemic broke out, compliance — the act of following rules — became critical. Yet many people didn’t adhere to the rules.

On May 9th, lawyer and compliance expert Richard John, adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, held a live webcast through eCornell to explore the COVID-19 pandemic as a global compliance experiment, applying its lessons to the daily challenges organizations encounter in maintaining rule systems.

“When it comes to compliance, businesses usually have far more time, they’re looking at a much smaller subset of people than the entire nation and they have the advantage of paying its employees for leverage,” said John, answering questions from an audience of over five hundred listeners around the world. “But the pandemic was such an experiment — the ‘Great Experiment.’ Suddenly, you needed the whole country to pay attention, figure out what the rules are, and follow them — and do it in an incredible hurry. And while this has been a tremendous tragedy…to some extent our rules worked.”

Read the full story on the Cornell Chronicle website.