53 episodes

Helping listeners find a path towards simplicity.

Wrestling With Chaos Gary Monti

    • Business

Helping listeners find a path towards simplicity.

    0060 WWC Recession Prep - processes and employees

    0060 WWC Recession Prep - processes and employees

    This episode is the first in a series on preparing for the next recession, “Recession Preparation - Processes and Employees.” The entire teamCMC contributes their expertise: • Gary Monti: change management, business analysis/planning, people & politics, project management • John Riley, Agility expert • Jeffrey Cochran, Human Resource expert The conversation was based on a point-counterpoint approach, i.e., which is more significant during a recession, a bad process or a bad employee? For this argument the definition of “recession” provided was, “A shrinkage of sales.” John started the conversation by saying organizations frequently want to cut employees were cut products in preparation for recession. He stressed what is important is to look at the efficiency of your processes and the value to the customer of your products. Consequently, the best place to start in terms of recession is to look at the value stream of your product. Jeffrey responded by starting with the observation that separate from a recession the bad employee is affecting your bottom line. A better employee typically has a compounding effect on the organization by influencing a drop in morale, productivity, and added stress for fellow employees. In line with this, Gary referenced an excellent book, “The No A*****e Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t,” By Robert Sutton. Jeffrey went on to point out one of the biggest problems with difficult employees is failing to show up for work. The discussion proceeded to talk about the impact absenteeism has on the workplace. The big point regarding this is how organizations will adapt the dysfunction in an effort to keep products or processes moving forward to sustain cash flow. An example was given of how Detroit's Big Three, back in the ’70s when production quality was terrible, argued that Toyota would never catch on in terms of significant sales numbers. The rule at the time was, "you never want to buy a car was manufactured on a Friday or a Monday." The reason being absenteeism was so high. John picked up on that and turn the conversation back towards its impact on processes. He emphasized that with process execution one of most important aspect is retrospectives throughout the product delivery process. During those retrospectives the quality of performance by the team is one of the key elements to be addressed. And one of the key elements in addressing quality is individual team member performance with this issue being addressed directly by fellow team members rather than senior management. The function of senior management is to set the goals and to support the team during execution. The team should be empowered to address whatever it takes to deliver the value to the customer. In other words, the team being very direct with regards to retrospectives conducted on a routine basis is critical for survival during a recession. Vulnerability, then, becomes a key issue because senior management needs to risk turning power over to the team in addition to shouldering responsibility for determining what direction the organization should take. Jeffrey asked an excellent question with regards to owner stepping in and modifying the process in an attempt to adapt to the dysfunction in its present. There is general agreement that this is the case now the company is put it greater risk of failure because senior management is now pulling back ownership of the process by dictating how the team should adapt to the dysfunction. Gary proceeded to point out how power then shifts from senior management to the dysfunctional employee who becomes the tail that's wagging the dog. Once this inappropriate shift of power occurs the company is destabilized to some extent in the risk of failure during the recession goes up accordingly. An example is given of an employee who was guaranteed employment as a condition of her former company being bought out. Feeling bulletproof, the employee

    • 1 hr 6 min
    0059 WWC Influence People by Brian Ahearn - Book Review

    0059 WWC Influence People by Brian Ahearn - Book Review

    In this episode I review “Influence People: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade That Are Lasting and Ethical,” written by Brian Ahearn. In addition to influencing people in general, information is provided for those who need to improve their sales cycle. His approach is very practical, laying out key principles and associated acronyms that can be used to practice sharpening you ability to influence people. His overall tone is about helping the read as an entire person, not just one aspect. The work is based on solid research. He boils the information down to 7 key shortcuts which basically are sound principles. They include: 1. Reciprocity - behave in a way that encourages others to relate to you 2. Liking - people want to do business with their friends or people they like 3. Authority - experienced or knowledgable - use it 4. Consensus - when no authority use how groups are moving in a given direction 5. Consistency - channel a person’s consistent behavior in a desirable direction. Be consistent yourself to develop trust. 6. Scarcity - people respond more to what they might lose than they do to what they might gain 7. Unity - people like to relate with people with whom they have a sense of belonging and with whom they may have common experiences Additional tools are presented: ▪ Compare and contrast - set the stage to make it easy for the other person to go in the direction you want, e.g., “This normally is $799 but since you are here I can give it to you at $599.” Another example is given with wine lists. When the wines are listed in decreasing price people buy more because they feel they are being practical by buying a good bottle but one not so expensive. When listed from lowest price to highest people buy substantially lower priced products because they are only seeing an increase in price rather than an opportunity to “save” ▪ Consistency vs authority. Consistency is driven by client history in terms of thoughts, feelings, and actions traditionally going in a specific direction. Authority is used when your expertise legitimately points the person being persuaded in the desired direction. This especially helps when the client is uncertain. ▪ Conformational bias. Present information that is ethical and honest but plays in the direction the other person wants to go. ▪ “Because I said so.” The word “because” allows people to be gracious and help. This works especially well when put in the form of a question, e.g., “Would you please get your report to me by Monday because I have to roll it into a larger report?” If they say “no” you can have a backup position of Wednesday. “How about Wednesday?” Usually people don’t want to say “no” twice in a row so with this approach you increase the odds of getting their report when you actually need it. They have a sense of reciprocity. Decision making and rationality are the next topics he presents. Most decision-making is essentially irrational, with some researchers believing >90% of our decision-making is driving by the unconscious. What you are exposed to and the order in which you are exposed sets the stage for how the decisions will flow. This gets back to the reality people respond more to concern about what they might lose compared to what they might gain. Several examples are given. Brian goes on to give about 15 tips for improving your bottom line. Case studies are then provided, some of which are fascinating and make it worth purchasing the book. This includes: - How Kodak went from having almost 100% of the image market to almost nothing - JCPenny losing 40% of it’s stock value by making changes that failed to take the customer’s wishes into consideration - How Bernie Madoff used the principles in this book unethically to swindle $65 billion - Why Starbucks is so pervasive even though they don’t advertise. What’s their secret? The etiquette for using social media is discussed. Use it to network and connect…d

    • 26 min
    0058 WWC Coaching vs Therapy - Dr. Katherine Barteck, PsyD, Interview

    0058 WWC Coaching vs Therapy - Dr. Katherine Barteck, PsyD, Interview

    This episode is an interview with Dr. Katherine Barteck, PsyD, about the differences between counseling and coaching. She starts with definitions of therapy and coaching. Counseling, or therapy, is about taking an in-depth look at what is creating the current problems. The person can benefit from psychotherapy without necessarily having a diagnosis. Simply having the desire to explore one's past is efficient to gain benefits from psychotherapy. Also, the person who lacks a specific diagnosis may be going through a stressful period and needs help in sorting things out. The therapeutic process can be used to directly impact behaviors and business. This can be, at times, an essential component of change management. Gary describes, in line with that, the client he worked with who'd been chronically abused as a child. It's critical when doing this work for the coach to understand when it's time to bring a therapist in. On the flipside, work may be required to perform the basic act, e.g., negotiating with others, which a therapist can help with but where there really is no underlying pathology. Dr. Bartek points out coaching is not a protected medical privilege. If subpoenaed, a coach can be required to reveal details of the relationship in court. The coach can benefit by having discussions within the therapist's office, where privilege does apply. The coach can maintain privilege by generating a list of action items, to do lists, or behaviors that need changed in taking those lists with the client out into the business world where they can be discussed and worked on without referencing the therapeutic process. In the end, what needs to be considered is whether or not the client needs a therapist, a coach, or both along with where the boundaries lie between the client and these professionals. The conversation switch to the differences between how therapy and coaching are framed. In therapy the client is in a protected space where they can open up fully and flesh out their entire frame of mind and associated feelings in order to work on improving. In other words, it is a safe space. The client can safely choose what they want to take to the outside world which is where they would work with the coach. The client can then explore in the outside world and bring the results back to the safety of the therapist office. Coaching, on the other hand, can be more open and more diverse and application because the working assumption is the coaches working with the healthy components of the client. Consequently, a psychotherapist has to be careful when they are coaching to avoid going back into a therapeutic session during the actual coaching engagement. It is important to maintain the distinction between the two. The issue of shame and seeking counseling was brought up. An article, "The Very Real Dangers of Executive Coaching," by Steven Berglas was discussed. He talks about how important it is to avoid downplaying psychological issues when coaching powerful people. Specifically, there can be prestige associated with an executive having a coach which can enhance his or her sense of grandiosity. Berglas goes on to distinguish between a "problem executive" versus and "executive with a problem." The former is able to be trained to function effectively while the latter is best helped by psychotherapy. Coaching may also be viewed as a way to get simple answers with quick results while therapy typically is more involved and takes a longer period of time to show results. It is important to set expectations accordingly. Gary provided an example where inability to follow through thoroughly with therapy led to hampering of the client's company's performance leading to the eventual sale of the organization. Dr. Bartek went on to talk about two cautions critical for coaches to pay attention to. The first one being the overplaying of behavioral techniques in order to gain quick responses when therapy is more appropriate, and the second being the avoidance

    • 1 hr 8 min
    0057 WWC Address Fear, Organize Your Business - Britanny Dixon Interview

    0057 WWC Address Fear, Organize Your Business - Britanny Dixon Interview

    This episode is an interview with Brittany Dixon of Process for Profit. and continues our look at the relationship between fear and bad habits (see the previous article, Fear and Bad Habits - Give Yourself A Break and/or listen to the previous podcast of the same title) . Specifically, we dive into addressing obstacles fear creates which leads to wasting time, lowered efficiency, and an aimlessness in terms of moving one’s business forward. Brittany is an Operations/Efficiency expert. Brittany went from event organizer to home organizer to business organizer. She found she loved organizing everything "behind the curtain." When she went out on her own she started with a side hustle organizing cluttered homes. Over time, this evolved into helping people organize their businesses. She found that clients strayed from their "zone of genius" and were getting distracted by all the aspects of their business about which they lack familiarity. Brittany emphasizes that simply relying on hustle is insufficient to grow business. Organization is critical. The conversation switched to dealing with resistance and its relationship to Fear and Bad Habits by walking through the 5 basic fears and addressing how Brittany deals with them: 1. Fear of uncertainty in one's world could fall apart leading to rigidity. Brittany addresses this by providing case studies to show the benefits of moving away from the old behaviors. Goals, goals, goals; 2. Fear of being consumed leading to people-pleasing to cover vulnerability. Saying “no” is critical if one is to grow their business. It’s important to be one’s own gate-keeper; 3. Fear of being isolating leading to wanting to do everything and be everything for everyone. Without narrowing down to a specific niche growth is almost impossible. Boundaries are critical; 4. Being riddled with self-doubt leading to way too much busy work and over-explaining instead of believing in themselves and making simple decisions. Working through the fear of success and moving forward is critical; 5. Fear of being clueless leading to just falling apart and being unable to see the big picture. Here is where Brittany works with the client on developing strategic goals…thinking a year out and then choosing tactics that will get to those goals. These individuals need to take a more proactive position rather than reacting to everything. This behavior may be influenced by the jobs they had before going out on their own, i.e., being a hero at work by picking up and reacting to every problem. Working with Brittany will require changing one’s sense of significance and how that is derived. Hustle is not sustainable. Also, being organized helps in determining how best to form relationships that are in your best interest instead of just trying to get relief and engaging in dysfunctional relationships. Organization helps with generating a clear plan along with associated strategies and tactics. We closed out the conversation by Brittany talking about how she has to apply to herself the principles she uses with her clients. To find out more about Brittany and her work helping clients increase pr ofitability through process improvement listen to her podcast, The Process for Profit Show, or go to her website, Process For Profit. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram. She also has a membership site, Hustle To Flow. Need help dealing with complex situations? You can download CMC’s free e-book MINDSET – 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO LOOK AT COMPLEX PROBLEMS and learn how to find a simple vantage point from which you can resolve challenges. Your feedback is important. Choose from the following options: • place a review in iTunes, • click on “leave a comment” below, • send any comments along with your name and the show number to support@ctrchg.com Listen to future episodes for our reply.

    • 30 min
    0056 WWC Fear and Bad Habits - Give Yourself a Break

    0056 WWC Fear and Bad Habits - Give Yourself a Break

    In this episode the relationship between fear and bad habits and the importance of going easy on yourself are covered. You may notice that when trying to break a bad habit resolution fades and suddenly you're back to the bad habit maybe even more so than before the resolution. There's a good reason for that in this podcast is going to cover that issue. We will look at the chain of events that goes into the creation of a bad habit with a special focus on how bad habits interlock and are mutually reinforcing, making it difficult to shift to healthier, more constructive behaviors. Bad habits originate in one of five fears which, specifically, are: - fear of instability - fear of vulnerability and being consumed - fear of isolation - fear of not being good enough and getting destroyed - fear of being nothing With the fear of instability the belief that everything in one's world is going to fall apart. This leads to rigid behaviors which in turn leads to a sense of being trapped by the very things one’s trying to save. With the fear of vulnerability and being consume leads to trying to get along with everyone which, when taken to extreme leads to just freezing in place. With the fear of isolation one tries to do everything for everyone in order to dominate the situation to ensure sense of significance and not being left in isolation. One is left feeling burned out from trying to do everything in order to ensure constant recognition. With the fear of not being good enough rather than simply standing up for oneself the urge sets in to give endless explanations, create white papers, and slide into workaholic behavior rather than simply standing up for oneself due to fear of getting destroyed if a stance is taken. With this fear one is ultimately torn apart by trying to do more and more busywork. With the fear of being nothing a blankness can set in which leads to a fragmentation of one's worldview and not being able to see the overall picture. In other words, a sense of cluelessness is present. Ultimately, with this fear a sense of dissolving into nothingness develops. So these fears the result from reacting to situations lead to the creation of projective emotions, more commonly called projections. These comprise: - rage - greed - instinct - desire - jealousy - pride With rage there is the urge to tear people and situations apart, to destroy. With greed there is the urge to consume everything, never getting satisfied, and only wanting more after something has been gained. With instinct a reptilian type of behavior sets in it is a moral and simply focuses on having urges satisfied. Desire is a little more subtle and can be reflected in concerns about societal position, e.g., wanting to live in the right neighborhood, have the right job, have the children go to the right schools, worrying about one's image, seeing one's children as simply as an extension of themselves, etc. Jealousy is a projection of feelings of inadequacy. The individual is always wanting what others have and can harbor a deep resentment when the issue is actually all about not taking care of oneself in a healthy way. Pride comprises the projection of a sense of superiority over all others, treating them like objects to be manipulated on a chessboard. A tremendous insensitivity is present which, when combined with greed, becomes hugely destructive. So far, everything that is been described from the initial fears to the reactive emotions is inwardly focused. This negative energy, though, ends up being thrown into the outside world through the creation of negative, or karmic, behaviors. Karma, is commonly misunderstood as "what goes around comes around." This is not necessarily true. Many evil people die without experiencing the repercussions of their behaviors. The better way to view karma is as a negative behavior put out into the world the takes on a life of its own in an unpredictable manner. Karma comprises four elements: - actualization - execution - objecti

    • 22 min
    0055 WWC 12 Steps To Flow - Ch 12 - Small Steps to An Agile Strategy

    0055 WWC 12 Steps To Flow - Ch 12 - Small Steps to An Agile Strategy

    This podcast covers Chapter 12, “Small Steps To An Agile Strategy” of “12 Steps to Flow: The New Framework for Business Agility,” by Haydn Shaughnessy and Fin Goulding, developers of the internationally acclaimed workshop, Flow Academy. The authors start the chapter by stating a good Flow workplace is one that challenges the idea of big strategy and grand plans. The new method is to build strategy from small steps. How to achieve that will be covered in this chapter. The first problem pointed out is that the core elements that people focus on in strategy and planning are necessary but nowhere near sufficient for success. This necessary-but-not-sufficient problem is typical of the digital world. Many intangible factors, often intangible, have a significant influence but are difficult for traditional strategist to grasp. An old style of marketing is used, e.g., "Build the platform and market the hell out of it." The key problem is the platform is seen as a technology stack rather than a relationship nexus. So why are the issues associated with platforms so interesting to the Flow frame-of-mind? First, platforms invented modern agility, providing the ability to roam into any space choosen with a lot of activity taking place on the network along with having the ability to update with high-frequency and low-cost. Also, products are digital, which means there is no conventional supply chain to manage. Second platforms are almost impossible to plan and this is really critical because execution needs a huge amount of iteration and a commitment to real-time executive direction. For example nobody can say what it will cost to be successful at developing the ecosystem of third-party actors. Consequently, platforms force designers to take small steps. These hundreds of incremental steps requires Flow. Business often gives the impression that there is one big solution, e.g., a new platform, or a single answer to complex problems. This is just wrong. Success in High-Performance Teams In delivery terms, the economy is shifting towards small. Good leaders recognize this and see the critical gains lie in the margins, in the detail. That's why in Flow, work units are only ever a maximum of two days long. These are the micro-units where you can get 1% gains to scale up into something significant. Interestingly enough, incremental changes that scale can apply to strategy as well as to delivery. The short cycle times of two days or less force people to interact more which is good for both productivity and quality. The authors feel this is superior to long planning cycles which can drift away from providing the value required to meet the customer's needs. Small Steps to a Big Platform One problem with setting digital strategy is that many people get the core ideas of agility and scale wrong. With the digital transformation the dominates the agile world companies seek network effects where there is little disruption caused by the platform. The stability or lack of disruption by the platforms is supposedly created through: - open APIs - two-sided or multisided markets - network effects - cloud infrastructure The authors view this is flawed because: 1. Great platforms exist without having an open API 2. The idea of two-sided and multisided markets feel superfluous 3. Network effects are powerful but rare, e.g., Facebook 4. There's nothing special about Cloud services, all companies have access to Cloud infrastructure The real power of platforms lies in the ecosystems that grow around the successful ones. This is a real nightmare for traditional strategists because success lies at the other end of intangible investments in relationships, promotion, content, and likability. Services with no allegiance to the platform can exist on that platform thrive and do well and benefit the platform service at the same time, for example book arbitrage on Amazon services. Customers may pay more after successful in finding what they need. The successful com

    • 21 min

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