Return of the JediToday we continue our celebration and exploration of the first trilogy of Star Wars movies with a look at Episode VI. Return of the Jedi. In this final movie from the original three, the good guys win in the end after overcoming incredible odds. Many fans and critics panned it for including the incredibly cute and furry Ewoks on the moon named Endor as a part of the storyline. Many thought one very tall Wookie was enough cuteness for the series. Yet the Ewoks did provide the setup to one of the movies best lines. The Ewoks thought one of Luke’s robots, C3PO, was a god. Solo asked him to demonstrate some ‘god-like’ powers to which C3PO replied, “It is against my programming to impersonate a deity.”

This movie’s big reveal was that Luke and Princess Leia were twins and that she was now free to unabashedly pursue bad boy Han Solo. While Episode VI was the lowest grossing film of the original three, coming in at only $572MM worldwide, it was still a great ride and visually stunning. George Lucas’ in-house organ, Industrial Light & Magic (IL&M) certainly earned their title for their special effects in the movie. The Sarlacc battle sequence was great, the speeder bike chase on the Endor moon was way cool and the space battle between Rebel and Imperial pilots was a great ride. At the Academy Awards ceremony for movies of that year, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston, and Phil Tippett, all from IL&M received the Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects Oscar award.

I thought that the growth in special effects and how IL&M grew was a good introduction into today’s post, which is from Jay Rosen, Vice President for Legal and Language Solutions at Merrill Brink and my collaborator on the 3 episode podcast series that I am running this week. Jay moderated a panel at the recent SCCE 2015 Compliance and Ethics Institute, which he based today’s post on. His title is I Moderated an Advanced Discussion Group and I Think I Liked It…

On October 5, 2015, during the 2015 Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Compliance and Ethics Institute, I had the honor of facilitating Advanced Discussion Group 8.  I alliteratively entitled my session — From Bangkok to Bogotá and Boston to Brussels, Global ABC and FCPA Benchmarks, Best Practices and Boot Camps:  One Size Does Not Fit All.  While the session ran from 4:30 – 5:30, I was happily surprised to find early birds staking out space for the discussion.

The first come first serve attendance feature was heartily embraced by this year’s attendees. In prior years, members were required to sign up in advance and if their schedules changed, some sessions had excess capacity that would go unfilled.

This past March, Al Gagne reached out to see if I would be interested in leading an ADG. I was flattered that Al would think of me. I had written an article for CEP and at CEI moderated a panel on “Best practices for localizing your code of conduct for a global audience,” so this seemed like a logical progression.

I had prepared 7 open ended questions of which made it though 3.5 slides, so I believe we accomplished the first goal of engaging the audience and spurring a robust conversation. One of the tenets of the ADGs is that what is discussed in the ADG, stays in the ADG.  What I will share is that we had a broad spectrum of CEI attendees – AmLaw 100 attorneys, in-house attorneys, attendees from the following industries – insurance, technology, rental cars, manufacturing, and the list goes on.

The group was extremely generous with their sharing and made everyone feel right at home. The session flew by too quickly. At the end of this year’s conference, I looked back at some of my favorite sessions. And like the ADGs, I found myself drawn to presenters and subject matter experts who challenged their audiences to participate in an interactive 50 minutes of learning.

While many presenters sometimes PowerPoint their audience to death, I know that I got the most out of the extended sessions on Sunday and Wednesday as well as those panels where the session leaders found ways to bring the attendees into their presentations.

The ADGs provide a great atmosphere to connect and benchmark with fellow attendees at the annual CEI conference. My hope is that perhaps future presenters realize that less is more PowerPoint-wise and from the side of audience engagement, increased interactive opportunities will lead to greater satisfaction and learning!

For more about this year’s conference please see Compliance & Ethics Professional Special Edition — Highlights from the 2015 Compliance & Ethics Institute