Excalibur Business Show → on Resisting Culture Change

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Jeff Arthur Excalibur Business Show

In this Excalibur Business Radio show interview conducted by Jeff Arthur on Healthy Workplace Culture, Judy Ryan focuses on the reasons leaders are sometimes reluctant or unsure about how to adopt culture change.

Interview Transcript

hello America welcome to the Excalibur business and life coaching show with host Coach Jeff Arthur hey everybody hello there my name is Jeff Arthur this is the Excalibur business and life coaching show I am joined today by wonderful in studio guest Judy Ryan Judy who exactly are you explain what you do all that good stuff okay thank you I appreciate being on here my name is Judy Ryan and I am the owner of Life work systems I am a human system specialist and I work with leaders and Executives to help them to create productive teams and internal leadership so that they stop driving away their good people and making a Haven for their disengaged people basically say that last part again most of the time people have conditions in their workplace their home their school wherever that invite people that are disengaged to remain and actually force and drive away the people that are their best most engaged people how do they do that most of the time time we don’t realize that the environment the culture the way that we’ve set up our practices with regards to the human systems things like how people think speak act and feel when those aren’t in place we actually have a really high probability that we’re not going to have a healthy workplace and so what happens is the people that are fully engaged that really like to participate and do very creative things they won’t stay around if the organization is unhealthy and the people that are the most disengaged the gossipers the naysayers the negative people they’ll hang out there as long as you tolerate that sort of behavior in the workplace ah there’s the word there’s the word I find it amazing uh and again lobbing up a softball question for you I find it amazing how much leaders will tolerate right why why do you think that is I think their biggest challenges are understanding how to get their culture to transform they may have been reading because it’s becoming more mainstream for people to look at workplace culture and the importance of that that but they have no idea really how to get their arms around it and even your top people are often uncomfortable with how do I do that transition without looking like such a newbie they may not know how to overcome the people that are going to be resistant there’s lots of reasons that an an executive will struggle with changing the environment or the culture and a lot of times they think it’s just too costly and it’s not worth the money because they haven’t really examined what is the cost for not doing that right well it’s it’s interesting that you say that because as I work with business owners they know how to manufacture the widget that’s why they went into business to do that whatever that widget is for them but they’re not always gifted with people skills or Finance skills or they haven’t gotten a degree in business they haven’t they I just know how to make the widget and you know I started doing that in my garage and now I’ve got to figure out how to expand because the orders are you know blah blah blah and etc etc so when we start talking about then the culture in the in the business well the I’m I find that the culture may have been set up because that’s what the owner liked which is not healthy for everybody else or the owner is so focused on manufacturing the widget somebody else that was unhealthy came in and set up the culture the way they wanted it and so okay now we’re going to change the culture and again anytime you can tell me no I’m off am I pretty close no you’re you’re very close on I think the only thing I would add to it is that most of the cultures that are set up happen almost as a default to the way we were raised and The Way We Were educated in school absolutely because that’s what I know then that’s what going to recreate if I’m in charge of it right and in that case what we don’t know actually is hurting us quite quite a lot so absolutely well the whole effect of the blind spot I don’t know what I don’t know and I don’t even know that I don’t even know it therefore I’m going to recreate it right but then I’m going to change the culture and the thing you said there five minutes ago that I’m leading all this to come back to okay we’re going I okay Judy I need to change the culture okay I need to change the culture but I don’t have the confidence in myself or in my idea to change the culture to move forward especially whenever and you said the word there as soon as I hit the resistant people okay well now I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do right that’s why I think it’s so important I I even within a couple years ago changed my company name to have the word systems in it because what happens is people sort of try to piec meal things together to create a culture and you really need to approach culture change in a very systematic way so that you understand that how to even hire how to fire how how to orient people a great example of this is the book by Tony sheay who is the founder of zapo it’s called delivering happiness and it’s about creating a specific type of responsibility based value based culture and how do you go about doing that that’s that’s one area is focusing on how do we integrate uh values for example but there’s lots of elements to the human systems in a workplace or a school or home that most people don’t know know those elements to it so they’re they’re coming in sort of trying to pull these tools schools they go to a workshop they try to come back and integrate something but it’s not necessarily built in a really stable framework that people can go back to and that will sustain over time well it’s interesting that you say because uh going back to the word systems because you’re right they go you know this isn’t working well you know it’s working over it you know how did zapo do that or how did how did uh you know whatever from Google to what how do they do that okay well I go to the workshop or I go to the seminar or I read the book or I listen to the podcast whatever else and I grab hold of two or three nuggets of information I think okay I finally have found the keys to success here and how I’m going to whatever only to at some point realize no I found two or three nuggets that were not together but as you said that’s one piece of one system within the whole conglomerate of whatever okay well I may have found a nugget for system you know just for clarification for for part one of system one and a nugget for part six of system 2 and a nugget for part 20 of system 3 and I’m trying to put it all together and I can’t figure out why this isn’t working yes no yes exactly one of the um images that I could speak to for your listeners is the um image of a house and the foundation being trust trustworthiness and some of the elements in the rooms are things like emotional and social intelligence and intrinsic motivation and collaboration all and and the eight values that build trust and and having a Distributive mind model where everyone in the organization gets the tools most of the time what happens is a leadership team will go off and they’ll they’ll do a retreat or something but nobody in the levels below them get the sufficient information for that entire house to be built so it’s kind of like if you’re trying to build a house and you say well I think I’ll just choose that bathroom but it doesn’t fill in you know this larger picture absolutely well and I you say that and I go right back to lynon and I think it’s the four whatever of the executive where it’s you know once you have your team place you and you have your vision you’re going you over communicate yes you communicate over communicate yes communicate again because because you think you know it and because you think you’ve said it does not mean that they have understood it all it’s really interesting that you mentioned him because one of his recent articles was called the last competitive advantage and he says he says the last competitive Advantage is organizational health and what he’s talking about in that article he he references sort of vaguely six things well those six things that people need to have Clarity around and have approval of are the purpose what are we trying to cause besides profit what are the values that we have to operate by to to achieve that and and how what are the visions that we have for expressing it at this time and then how do we set smart goals around all of those visions that we’ve created it’s it has to happen in that order and he’s talking about making certain that people have Clarity around that making sure that the the leadership team is cohesive around that and that everybody approves of that so that everyone’s moving in the same direction will willly yeah what I try to do with people is I try to help them achieve a level of balance in a physical emotional mental and spiritual level to help them then deal with the stuff in their life I say that to you and you say what I say that it’s great that you’re looking at it from a holistic comprehensive approach that people are not just one facet they’re not just their work they can’t shut off parts of themselves that everything does affect everything else so I love to hear that you approach it from that balance why do you think people struggle with that to meaning that okay we’re going to look at this from a holistic approach because it all affects one another and yet whenever I talk with people about that that’s almost I don’t want to say Like A New Concept but it is something that they don’t always really understand at first what do you think that is I think most people think that they’re supposed to already know a lot of things that they don’t know one of the reasons that I talk a lot about human systems with people whether I’m doing life coaching or whether I’m doing business coaching coaching is that we all have this idea that we’ve been taught everything and most of us have not around creating balance around how to get along with other people about how to stay internally motivated all kinds of things so we’re sort of Faking it a lot of times until we have the need for a life coach and then we realize you know we can open up about you know I don’t have a clue what to do over here in this situation my personal belief is that everybody needs coaching and support because we have blind spots and I know myself I will always have a coach because I can’t see my own blind spots right it’s it’s interesting as you say that and I love the phrase when you say that you know I I you know a lot of times we fake it as we go through how many people do you think are faking it I would say the majority of people when people work with me they often have this relief when they realize they’re not the only one that has those feelings or these ideas or this lack of uh Clarity or awareness about what to do in their lives whether it’s in their workplace whether it’s with their family brenee Brown is a researcher on shame and vulnerability and she talks about we’re the most overmedicated overweight over financed culture because so many people are hiding the vulnerabilities they have the places where they don’t feel that they have it all together and not only do I agree with that I will add on to that and then please respond to this whenever I sit down the client one of the very first things I tell them is that we’re going to be gathering information but there’s no judgments M because as you’re explaining all that all I what I hear in my head is people feel so judged and Lead their life through a fear of I’m afraid that Judy you might figure out that I don’t have all the answers and then you’re going to that’s going to change your perspective of me or change your opinion of me I’m going to fake it one way or the other even if I fake it into a brick wall of my life I’m going to fake it because I don’t want you to know that I don’t have all the answers because I’m afraid that I’m going to be judged because I don’t know what I’m doing yes absolutely and I think that one of the things that I try to help people with with right away is do whatever you have to do to let go of worrying about people’s love approval and acceptance because it’s not as needed as we think it’s really more important that we love approve and accept of ourselves and others that’s actually what causes us the greatest joy and so I’ll just tell you a quick story about this that kind of it reminds me of it I went to an event where this man was presenting and he had about 50 people in the room and when he came in and he met everybody when he started the event he could just name everybody in the room he’d call out on people real easy and remember their names and I said to him afterwards do you have some kind of technique that you use to remember everybody’s names cuz I was so impressed and he said no what I do is when I pull up to any event where I’m going to be you know in the public I sit for a few minutes and I say what am I afraid of being judged for and I give myself permission to be those things that I’m afraid of being judged for and he said then when I walk in I have no guard up he said you know how many times we walk up to somebody and we shake their hand and 2 seconds later we’re like what was their name I just they just said their name it’s because we have this protection we’re always looking is it safe in here are people going to judge me so when he deals with that within himself beforehand he’s fully present when people say their name I just thought that was fascinating but as you as you tell the listening audience here okay allow yourself to not be judged and allow yourself to not worry about the approval however you said that how say that again the love approval and acceptance of other acceptance of others so people are listening they’re going holy guacamole that’s sounds really cool now you just gave an example of a gentleman who cuz my question is to my question to you is asking this for the audience is how do I do that now you just gave a technique where this guy actually on purpose it sounds like emotionally and mentally aligned himself to say I’m not worried about judgments here I’m going to go in I’m going to be who I am I’m so glad that you asked this question because it’s a great clarifying question it’s not so much a mental thing like I’m going to just not let people bug me what is important and this is I’m something I’m working on still in my life is just to sink into those places where we’re judging ourselves cuz really that’s what we’re projecting on to others anyway oh they’re going to think I’m fat well it’s because I’m thinking I’m fat or they’re going to think that I’m stupid it’s because I’m worried that I’m stupid so it’s it’s really about allowing yourself to be sensitive to what it is that you’re most afraid of within yourself and I think that’s what he was describing when he said I sit in my car and I look at what am I afraid of being judged for his process was more internal I’m going to sink into this fear and I’m going to let go of my judgment of myself around this and that’s really the harder thing to do well I was going to say CU that right and I mean that all comes back to I’m being led by my fears which leads me right into the self judgment which then allows you to control me and I give power of my life over to you yes this is a very exciting conversation for me because most people don’t want to face the fact that they’re leading by fear and that’s why we over drink we OV eat we over you know now you get into how I kill the paint my name again is Jeff Arthur this is the excaliber business and life coaching show I am sitting here with Judy Ryan the founder of Life work systems yes you can find her on the web at Lifeworks systems.com yes that’s correct and I I’m I’m saying that slowly because systems is plural you got an s on the end on the end of it but not on the end of works right so life work systems correct thank you uh you added systems because as as you’re helping people or helping the the companies put the culture in place it is all about establishing the system yes if you don’t have good systems you’re all the tools and strategies in the world aren’t going to get you the results that you want it’s kind of like saying well I’ve got all the tools and Hammers and uh this idea of building a house but I don’t have any kind of a blueprint or framework to build it within absolutely absolutely whenever I go into a company the very first thing I do is I work with the CEO to help them identify their values their vision and their mission on a personal level do that with the executive team and then help them identify their values and the vision and mission for the company before we go anywhere else yes or no absolutely in fact we measure those things and and work with the leadership team and and the top Executives on that but in addition to that align those are alignment questions we also look at how well even within the leadership team are people living to the eight values that build trust and so we set the systems in place going right back to where we ended last segment said the systems in place all off of what I would consider the foundation of everything or the platform of everything which is the the vision of the company where are you going the values of the company what do you stand on what is this about and even within those values what sort of organization do I want to do I want to run do I want to run one that’s control driven using a lot of autocratic methods a lot of bribing and incentives a lot of judgment and evalu or do I want an environment in which I my primary objective is to transfer responsibility to other people so that their responsible for how well they get along with other people that they’re responsible for how much they get done and how motivated that they are that is the bigger challenge is how do we do that how did you you had the autocratic and how did you define the other there’s three really common control- driven methods you can see them in homes schools and workplaces they’re coming in like I’m the boss you do what I say I’m paying you the bills I’m going to dictate everything the second one which most people are not aware of is there’s lots and lots of research that show that there’s a lot of really harmful effects by carrot and sticking people putting um incentives and rewards out there and then the Third Way is using a lot of judgment and evaluation in a sense of you’ve got to please me I’m going to give you my thumbs up my thumbs down all of those things are extrinsic motivators and what they do is they weaken people’s intrinsic motivation and they create they come from a lot of fear within the people using wait Define those words for me extrinsic means what extrinsic means I’m doing something as though uh the responsibility for the the outcome is outside of me I’ve got to please someone else someone else is giving me the motivation from outside of me as opposed to being motivated from the inside so I was going to say it’s the very thing we end the last segment on of I’ve given my power to you it’s the extrinsic you’re in charge of me that’s the carrot dangling that’s the Judgment that’s the whatever right all those control driven methods are what they do is they actually weep not only are they not very helpful but they actually weaken people’s internal motivation it’d be like if somebody carried somebody around all day long they wouldn’t have very strong leg muscles correct and so most people don’t know how to transition from managing motivating and evaluating people to being a manager or leader who really focuses on being a good Mentor to his people or her people well you and what’s interesting there and again lobing suff up you use the word manager leader mentor and all three of those are different roles absolutely none of those are the same thing and I I think that a lot of times people put all three of those in the same category and they are not they are not because a great manager is not a good leader and most good leaders are not very good managers and none of that means I can actually Mentor anybody because I don’t know that I can teach you what I know or I may not know how to teach you the most effectively because there’s no framework of systems you know most people could go into an organization and say we need to make sure everybody’s trained on the sales systems or we need to make sure they’re trained on the computer systems or the accounting systems we don’t have a thing in place that says let’s train everybody on the human systems on the culture systems that is typically not something people have in their toolkit no because it scares them because now you’re getting into the psycho Babble stuff that I don’t know what you’re talking about and that’s going to freak me out and can’t can’t they just go can’t Judy can’t they just go push the buttons that manufacture the widget and leave me alone and it’s going to be okay right that’s you there’s some truth to that and even when somebody’s not afraid of it because they’re you know they know it’s more than any kind of psycho Babble it’s just getting your arms around it because it’s it’s as if it’s the untalked about unspoken area that people don’t want to admit I don’t really know how to do that and I and I don’t know I don’t know where to even start which comes back to where we started the whole show with I don’t admit that I don’t know what I don’t know because I’m afraid of being judged and looking like I don’t know what I’m talking about therefore I will keep my mouth closed and my fears yes to lead me yes and that’s why we were just talking during the break that I love the book by lenion called getting naked CU it’s all about jumping in and being helpful and putting aside whether you look like you know what you’re doing or not and if people could again not worry about whether they’re loved accepted and approved by others we’d get so much more done and we wouldn’t be so worried about the process of change and how you can go through awkward stages getting there so well then see it’s interesting again because as soon as you throw out the word awkward stage I don’t want to do that right that that triggers I think that triggers a fear in people because I don’t want to look awkward in front of me especially if I’m the leader if I’m the founder if I’m the CEO if I’m the leader if I’m the whatever oh my gosh if I look like I don’t know what I’m doing and I look like I’m awkward I look like I’m you know stumbling around here Judy why would you follow me if I don’t know where I’m going right right and what’s so interesting is the greatest asset we have is our vulnerability and our honesty that’s why the foundation of the culture that you build is trustworthiness and most people are not able to live to the values that actually build that trustworthiness and that trust between people and so one of the things we talked about before the break was that we measure not only alignment like things around purpose values and vision and all of those things right we also measure a couple of other things and one of those is how well our people especially in in in the beginning measuring how well is the leadership team living these eight values that actually create Trust straightforwardness honesty receptivity disclosure recognition respect follow through and seeking excellence and again these are eight values that help build the foundation of trustworthiness which is everything for everything I think that when you can build that you can admit to people hey we’re we’re transitioning to a new culture and what’s going to be a little dicey in the beginning because we’re all learning and you won’t have that fear of I have to look like I know what I’m doing at all times and and and many other things besides so what we do is we’ll describe for example straightforwardness because it’s very different than honesty we can be honest as the day is long but not necessarily tell people what we expect and what we’re what’s going on for us and what we want so we would say we would have a description and we’d say okay how important is this to you on a scale of 1 to 10 and then we’d say how well is this actually being done within our leadership team and if that if there’s a four or five point gap between that that’s called the trust Gap and what we are able to do is measure that all on all of those values and then then say if you move the dial on this you’ll see a lot of lot of Returns on that investment of change of working on those issues and so there’s just lots and lots of ways that we help them to improve and close that trust Gap yeah it’s really it’s really interesting how I everybody talks about how we need trust but nobody uh nobody really identifies okay so what are those characteristics or traits of the trustworthiness and as I look at these eight traits and I mean holy guacamole you know from the honesty to the straightforwardness to etc etc but the thing that jumps out at me on this particular list it’s the follow through and how whenever people whenever the leaders don’t follow through or don’t follow up or don’t finish whatever it is that they said they were going to do how that absolutely just undermines everything else right right absolutely follow through on commitments is a big one let’s go back to what we were talking about during the break why people get into the stuff they get into and the blind spots and lead them and and the the personal struggles they have and they don’t realize what’s going on well one of my favorite things of all to talk about is what does it really mean to be personally responsible because when you talked a little bit about falling through on commitments or really lots of things that we do or don’t do what happens is we don’t realize that we operate at times from a belief that our Authority is outside of us so we have maybe it’s an actual person that we’re we’re feeling powerless to or it might be an inner Authority from our childhood it could be Sister Mary Josephine who just you know really put it in our heads that we should we ought to we have to we need to we can’t whenever we’re thinking or saying I have to do that I really need to do that I really should do that we’re in what’s called other directed and when we’re in other directed we’re really coming from either resentful compliance or rebelling and resisting say that again resentful compliance or rebell in and resisting I’ll give you a quick example of absolutely that’d be great but that’s at the root of why we’re not accountable if we’re aligned and we’re self-directed when we know that we’re making our own choices we’re thinking through the consequences all kinds of things and we’re we mean what we say and we say what we mean so we will follow through on a commitment when we don’t it’s because we’re inadvertently in this other directed mindset so for example I’ll just tell you a couple quick ones there was this guy that I dated one time who he would never put his safety belt on in the car and my father never wore his but I knew why my father father didn’t so I asked this guy why is it that you don’t wear your safety belt I’m just curious and he said to me well I’m not letting the government control me now that’s a that’s a good example of somebody that’s not in Freedom they’re in reaction to what they perceive as some authority figure and so they’re going to rebel and resist they’re not thinking about what’s the consequence to my kids if if I get killed or what’s the consequence to me it’s all about reacting or um let’s say your teenager and your mom says to you look you think you’re going to go out with your friends today your room’s a mess you get in there and you clean that room and you go to that belief that I don’t have any choices that I’m sort of the victim of her correct then if you clean that room it’s going to be with resentful compliance so you’re only going to do it at maybe 50% you’re not going to do it at an A+ job correct or you might just say no I won’t you can’t make me and either way you’re coming from a place of reacting to that Authority instead of saying what am I feeling and what do I want and what would be the consequences of all my choices and I’m going to be responsible for the you know the decision around the task the decision around my relationship with my mom if I’m in the other directed side I’m going to be saying to my friends you know oh I’m in a bad mood CU my mom made me in a bad mood or or you know in some way I’m going to be saying it’s all her fault or it’s all this other so we’re blaming we’re uh being a victim we’re being mean-spirited many many bad things are happening in the world because people aren’t slowing down and saying what is really authentic in this moment for me what am I feeling what am I choosing am I weighing the consequences and when we don’t do that it’s always something bad that’s going to come of that what I have experienced with the people in a lot of those situations where the struggle to be authentic and say what is it going on right now I’m not sure that they value themselves enough to even identify what is authentic for them that’s often true that we’re so used to being afraid to really say I’m okay right and well car coming back to the word you used 25 minutes ago that shame the guilt the shame and the guilt LED either by the fear or the fear leading the shame and the guilt yes which then sucks me into this Vortex and what we call the insanity cycle is just you know I’m going to be destined to repeat this over and over again because I don’t know what I don’t know and I don’t even know that I don’t even know it and I’m going to continue to struggle and to actually value myself enough to say is this is this okay for me am I giving my power away am I actually going to Value myself more than the acceptance and the judgment and all the other stuff that that comes with people I think a lot of times struggle with that yes no absolutely that’s why I think when you’re changing a system outside of you you’re also changing a system within you are the systems within you and you that’s why I say everybody needs a coach because you can’t do that without support often and and in even when we do value ourselves maybe this is a fits with what you’re saying about being driven by fear we’re just all moving too fast absolutely we don’t give ourselves time to say is this really um if I hear myself saying I should do that I have to do that I ought to do that I want to make sure slowing down enough to go wait a minute that’s a clue something’s not quite lined up well I don’t I think I think going too fast can be actually an effect of the fear of looking inward because I don’t want to actually know what that answer is yes I I think you may be right I didn’t even think of it that way so the moving fast is the defense mechanism of I don’t want to know that yes and I or I am so afraid that I’m going to look like I don’t know the answer that if I slow down I’ll look stupid or something so folks taking the principles of what we’re talking about here and you can see this playing out in the family mom’s got her defense mechanisms dad’s got his defense mechanisms and every one of the children have their own and everybody’s fighting or struggling because we don’t know what we don’t know with each other take it into the business world uh the executive or CEO is going to lead everybody the same way the way he likes to be or the way she likes to be led the problem is she’s got a team or he’s got a team or they got multiple layers of teams that do not respond to the same way that I respond whenever I’m LED therefore there’s already a breakdown in communication systems because I don’t understand that these people don’t respond the same way I might respond because I’ve set the culture up to respond the way I like it and therefore all of a sudden now I’ve got dysfunction out the woo and I haven’t even got it started yet and all I want to do is manufacture the widget but I don’t understand what I’m not doing correctly and all of a sudden the culture is beginning to implode on itself and I don’t understand what’s happening and that can happen in my home that can happen in my school schools that can happen in my job that can happen in my relationship husband wife parent child blah blah blah that’s why it’s so funny because we’ve done work in schools we’ve done work in families we’ve done work in companies and and when I’m teaching in a company they’re saying to me oh my gosh this is working at home with my kids when I’m working with families they’re saying oh my gosh I can take this to my workplace well that’s not to interrupt you but when I’m working with when I’m working with a client either personal at the work I know that they are understanding it whenever they say to me you know um maybe I should be re-evaluating how I’m parenting my child yes yes as soon as I say that I’m thinking oh congratulations I’m glad you’re with me now and now we’re actually making a difference because that’s where the rubber hits the road that’s that’s the real stuff and that’s why I love working with the executives because they really carry the responsibility for how things are going to be run oh my gosh absolutely and it’s so amazing because whenever you’re talking about the victims a while ago when you got the when you you have the direct reports and they’re so convinced that corporate or the the upper echelon they don’t have a clue they don’t know what’s really going on they don’t carry the responsibility and then you work with the executives and oh you’re right they’re the ones working 20 hours a day mortgage their home for the company they are the ones that have that have worked on the weekends for years to get the company where it’s at they’re the ones that view every one of those employees as their own family on I mean it’s like this incredible communication disconnect where the where they don’t understand what the other one has invested and one of the things don’t understand the love one of the things that you said that I think is so key is my one of my first goals with Executives is to help them have a balanced life where they’re not working 20 hours a day because if if they’re good at transferring responsibility effectively all the way through the organization they should never have to do that yes Judy we’re out of time what the heck this is Judy Ryan from Life workk systems you can find her at Lifeworks systems.com my name is Jeff Arthur we’re done folks have a great day see you later

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