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Dancing around the compliance maypole

Susan M. Korbal ( is Insurance Compliance Manager at The Auto Club Group in Dearborn, Michigan, USA.

The month of May brings the hope of rebirth and growth. Holistically, the human race rejoices as the vestiges of winter fade and the sunlight feels warmer again. History reveals the use of rituals, feasts, and festivals to celebrate the transition of seasons. One such ritual is dancing around a wooden pole adorned with brightly colored ribbons, otherwise referred to as a maypole. Dancers hold the ribbons while gliding in and out around the pole until a woven mesh of color resides at the structure’s base. Credit often goes to Germanic Europe for the origination of the maypole, although its specific purpose varies widely among scholars. English historian Ronald Hutton agrees with Swedish scholar Carl Wilhelm von Sydow that maypoles were erected as “signs that the happy season of warmth and comfort had returned.”[1]

Taking cues from ancestral history, we as compliance professionals can create a warm, comforting environment by educating our colleagues on the foundational ribbons that surround the organizational compliance structure. With a solid framework and a little bit of fun, here are some memorable days in the merry, merry month of May to reinforce the components that make up an effective compliance program.

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