LifeBlood Podcast → on How to Evaluate and Correct Systemic Problems

Share this...

On this episode of LifeBlood, we talked about how many of society’s problems are systemic and similar in nature, how to evaluate problems and take an integrated approach to correcting them, and how to protect other people’s sense of self with Judy Ryan, author, consultant, trainer and CEO of LifeWork Systems.  Listen to learn how to get down to the root cause of the problem you’re working to solve.

Interview Transcript

come [Music] on the strong the powerful Judy Ryan has returned to money Savage welcome back Judy George I’m so happy to hang out with you this morning thank you yeah yeah excited to hang out with you Judy is an author she is a consultant trainer coach speaker and the CEO of Life work systems and again back on money Savage excited to have you back on Judy tell us a little bit about your personal life some more about your work and why you do what you do I’m always hesitant to say this about my personal life I’m a mom but I’m also a grandmother of nine grandchildren makes me sound like M Kettle um but I’ve been I was born and raised in St Louis and um I do a lot of hiking and walking in the in nature I live purposely by a lake complex in Maryland Heights called creep cor Lake and um I’m an Avid Reader of all different kinds of things and a lot of psychology and business but also you know suspense and science fiction and um I love to present and write so I have two columns that I write and I have a published book and as you know I’m going to be doing my own podcast with you soon so are some of the things that I’m doing but the thing I would want people to know most about me is that my mission is to create a world where people love their lives and right now it doesn’t feel like a lot of people are loving their life but that’s truly what drives the car for me in my life is to remember that and to bring myself back to that so uh I think when I discovered what that mission was I’ve always been that person even when I was a little kid so so that’s a little about me I love it

and with everything going on and with with your mission being to help people love their lives how do you how do you sort of is it with with each organization you that that that you’re working with are are are you digging in to figure out what the major pain points are for the employees and then kind kind of Remedy that it’s like how do you start peeling the onion well I I feel like um the way that I do it is probably not always immediately focused on the pain points per se but it’s more about uh well it is and it isn’t it’s more about helping introduce to people a new onion you said peel back the onion a lot of us uh a lot of people that we work with don’t even realize what they don’t know that they don’t know and so I I mean even if you look at the nature of what’s happening right now in our country um it’s a system problem and people talk about it that way they say we need systemic change but they don’t really know what system needs to be dismantled and what systems need to be put in place so part of what we do is educate people on a system that many of them have not heard of or they’ve heard of it but they don’t know how to implement that sort of thing so um typically they don’t come to us unless they have a problem or that or they are doing well and they want to make sure they continue to do well so that’s a little bit about how we approach usually they find us because they’re looking for how do I improve my culture or how do I retain more of my people that kind of thing like we don’t know exactly what’s wrong just that something is wrong broken and it needs to be fixed I just uh wrote an article a couple months ago called pulling out all the roots because one of my own people called me and said you need to get into the police departments and fix them you know and my response was don’t you remember how we do this we don’t do this by just focusing on one group we really focus on all of the stakeholders like if I was working with the police I would work with all the local politicians and churches and Community groups and help them all learn a new system together because it’s not really one group’s fault it’s a system that’s causing lots of problems for a lot of of people so that’s one way we do it that’s a little bit different even when we go into a company a lot of times the companies think that I’m just going to work with the senior team I’m like oh no no no no no we’re going to work from CEO all the way down to Frontline staff so um a lot of times what’s happening is we’re we keep trying to remedy what’s on the surface but not what’s under the surface and that’s the real thing that if it doesn’t change we will continue to get the same results this episode is brought to you by money alignment Academy if you are looking for a financial Wellness platform for your company your organization and your employees check out money alignment or click on the link in the notes of the show that sounds that sounds it sounds really common sense it sounds super smart right so why don’t we do that is it is it because it’s too hard I don’t I don’t know that it is common sense to the common Community um there’s an evolution of human systems right now and a lot of people think they’ve seen it all they’ve tried it all and that there’s nothing new and I’m not saying that what we’re doing is completely new it’s just never been mainstream so it is common sense but until people recognize what’s actually causing the problem they don’t know what to discard and so they try even if they bring in new ideas they build them on top of a foundation that’s faulty um a lot of what I do is focus on what causes a breakdown inside people and inside teams and organizational groups what is that set of conditions that causes that problem and for many people they don’t realize that the deepest problem that we face is humiliation and a sense of um a challenge to our our sense of um worthiness when we recognize that then we can make changes in a system but until we see that the system itself perpetuates humiliation we’ll continue to have systems that perpetuate humiliation and the more humiliated people become the more misbehaving they become which then reinforces in the minds of a lot of authority well now we need to use more of the same of what we’ve been doing which is just a vicious cycle I don’t know if that makes sense yeah I it certainly I I think that it does and I’m reticent like everything that my brain wants to do is is is to come up with analogies to this and that’s not necessarily what I should be doing but if you look at problems like like like law enforcement or or homelessness I think that those are probably good analogies because the problem is not getting better it’s getting worse and worse and worse is is is that evidence of it’s It’s the humiliation piece that I am in a position where I’m at risk of homelessness and then I fall into hom homelessness and it just it’s like a death spiral no I think it’s bigger than that it’s why do we have homelessness to begin with you know it’s more like that question like I don’t know I love analogies by the way like when I wrote uh ripping out all the roots it reminded me of when my dad used to teach me how to garden he’d say Don’t just pull the roots off at the level of the dirt you know because they’re just going to grow back so when I um think about homelessness as an example I don’t know if you follow Dan price but he is a perfect examp example of a system change he was the guy who worked for Gravity payments who decided that he researched and found that if everyone makes at least $70,000 or more that they can be more service oriented and help you know be create a better company so he took money out of his own coffers to make sure every single person made a minimum of $70,000 and what happened is they tripled their business and he he so adored that his employees all went together and bought him a Tesla I mean they they really love him so in my mind that’s a successful business person and what happened is beyond that he when they got bigger they moved into a neighborhood where there was a lot of homelessness and they started to work within the larger Community to apply certain ways of operating so that they could rid that area of homelessness and even right now in the pandemic he asked all of his employees to uh work with him to figure out how they could extend the life of the company through the pandemic rather than laying people off and they all collaborated on pay cuts and things that they were willing to do to work together to create something completely different so that’s way bigger than just making sure people have uh are provided food or a shelter to go live in it’s it’s a a bigger system of change I think yeah I think that that’s a that’s an incredible analogy right there that he recognized in his company if we really want if we really want engaged and committed and and Evangelistic employees here we need to we need to get them to $70,000 a year minimum so he did that even at the expense of his own income tripled the company and then the area that they were in they saw okay maybe we’re experiencing some some minor theft of vehicles and stuff like that what’s what what what’s going on here oh there’s there’s there’s problems with homelessness in our area what can we do to invest in our surrounding Community to to help alleviate this and I’m sure that they took a really a multi-pronged approach for lack of a better term and you know figure it out the couple thing that’s interesting about it is I don’t understand why more Business Leaders don’t see that he tripled his business and say aha maybe that’s a good idea and what’s so interesting is even some of his employees that had been there longer they were resentful at first because they had that mindset of they don’t deserve as much where why would that matter to them they’re not going to have their pay cut you know so it was it was an adjustment about having social interest which means caring about what we’re causing for the people around us that’s what I love about Dan price he’s just such a solid example of that but I also see that like for example I saw a video clip on social media about the NBA and it says is this a good idea or is this socialism that’s what the article was about but the NBA what they do is they operate in a uh win-win type of collaborative uh set of of systems so even if they’re dealing with a smaller excuse me a smaller basketball team that’s less recognized less popular less well-funded they’re going to make sure that all of those teams within the NBA are equally successful because they know that they can’t be as successful if they become of the Monopoly you know on on basketball and so they’re all there to make sure everyone Rises together and that again I’m like why aren’t more people seeing that because we do that in our work one time we worked with a company that has um had hundreds of facilities that they worked in long-term care facilities as a a rehab company and we took 15 of their facilities and we helped them they the biggest challenge they had was they weren’t getting enough billable hours for all their different therapists and what the the company was doing was using a lot of gestapo tactics putting little wristbands on them where they had to push the button when they were in a billable hour and then they’d get censured if they weren’t getting billable hours it was very it became kind of cutthroat and fear fear Laden and so when we came in we taught them how to be results oriented as a collective so all of the 15 facilities worked on helping one another to get the billable hours they needed so that everybody was able to focus on quality and was adequately supported instead of competing against each other for various things like patience and billable hours and and they got an increased amount of billable hours because they changed the way that they were functioning as human beings and it was aligned with who they most wanted to be as opposed to feeling like they were being you know uh tracked and policed all the time yeah yeah nobody I can’t imagine a single human being that would want to uh to be under that kind of scrutiny or control yeah right yeah um in terms of go going back to some of the people that that at um at gravity payments that that were resentful because they’d been there for a long time and they’re looking at these newbies that are now making 70 grand was that a challenge to their worthiness I think yeah I think that because people are so protective of am I okay they judge how okay they are a lot of times by how far they’ve climbed the ladder what’s so beautiful about Dan price as an example is he doesn’t measure success that way success to him is being in a happy healthy Community whether it’s in his company or whether it’s in his neighborhood that is a successful person and you can look at him and listen to him and you can see it and I don’t I know he’s not the only one he’s just the one that stands out for me um but I I think it all comes down to humiliation inferiority complex sense of self the only way we really get sense of self is when we care about what’s happening to all of us I really believe that my uh one of my favorite remembrances of The Twilight Zone was a story about a guy who dies and he goes to he sees these pearly gates with all these people smiling at him you know and they say oh we’re here to give you whatever you want and every day he asks for more and more and more I want a sports car I want a mansion I want money and by the end of the week he can’t think of anything else he wants and finally he says to the people I thought Heaven would be a little more fun than this and they said who said you’re in heaven many of the coolest gifts I’ve ever received have been Transportation related my first bike the pedal powered go-kart I got for Christmas one year and most recently my electric bike it’s the perfect gift for the Explorer the Eco Warrior and the parent on your list or as a treat for yourself and starting at just $799 these ebikes are friendly on your wallet plus you get hundreds of dollars in free accessories when you purchase this holiday season at electric

shop and even running errands take a second let your mind wander where would you go on your new electric bike where would you go with your friends where would you go with your family that fun that you’re imagining it’s a lot closer than you think your electric ebike ships for free free it comes fully assembled and it’s foldable for easy travel and storage anywhere you go get hundreds of dollars in free accessories with any electric ebike purchase this holiday including America’s bestselling ebike the XP 3.0 visit electric

this is the time of year I wish I had just a little more time time to shop for presents decorate the house and get ready to host family and friends we’ve all got a lot going on during the holidays let ship station do the heavy lifting so you or your team can put your time money and energy into more important things plus when it comes to those inevitable holiday returns ship station automates recommends exchanges and gathers customer feedback so even if they bought the wrong size or color they’ll still have a great experience whether you’re shipping from your house or multiple warehouses ship station can increase your holiday profitability and it’s easy the ship station dashboard is intuitive very straightforward and if you’re not sure if it’s right for you there’s a 60-day free trial and it’s super easy to get set up and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the pricing meaning you’re probably going to save money by partnering with ship station let your customer shop risk-free this holiday season with shipstation go to and use code lifeblood today and sign up for your free 60-day trial that’s code lifeblood isn’t that a kicker nice that that I don’t that’s I think the only episode I remember of that show but it just stuck with me because we’re we’re really doing that in our lives we’re climbing up that wrong ladder step cvy says you know we’re we’re we’re seeking success where it really isn’t there and it can um that’s why I think we can see movie stars or celebrities that overdose on drugs and die even though they’re beautiful talented acclaimed and all of that yeah that’s a really powerful thing the only time that we really get a sense of self is when we really care about everybody else MH so it everything that that you’re talking about it it’s is really resonating with me and I’m thinking about how you can apply this in in in in just your family life with helping help if if like I’m thinking about my son James he’s four and uh he’s giving me a run for my money and I’m thinking about what can I do you know to to to help him just just improve his situation but it’s with with spouses and business partners and it’s everything I’m glad you bring that up because I raised my family on this and when they were three and four I mean they very intelligent at those ages and they’re already trying to um understand the way life works so giving them a different picture of how the system of Life can work is hugely valuable we we did a lot of school reform projects where we worked with parents teachers School administrators uh the students themselves which most people don’t include and a a Cadre of the neighborhood so all the stakeholders in the life of that child were inv involved in learning the tools and Concepts the difficult thing is if we were working in the most at risk schools in the city of St Louis which is pretty difficult to do I mean these are schools with um metal detectors and so it was just hard to keep that funding going even though we did like an $800,000 project and a $300,000 project but recently we went back to a proposal we had done for Build-A-Bear and it was back when the founder was um in St Louis Maxine Clark and and we proposed a diversification for them because they have an Outreach to all kinds of parents and all kinds of people that have children whether it’s teachers or parents and we said why don’t you create a new focus on build a healthy P family build a healthy school that way because when I was doing all of this I didn’t have friends in family that knew what the heck I was doing I would have loved it if I could have been able to talk to my kids teachers and we would have all been on the same page about how to rir negative behavior or how to communicate or how to increase this or that and so we pitched that back in 2011 but because that particular company had been in such Dire Straits from the 2018 recession they right when uh Maxine wanted to go forward with us she ended up selling the company instead because they were really getting close to being in the red so we just went back to them this year and we proposed the same thing and we even sent them the the presentation I did for Maxine and now they want to talk in the first quarter of this year because I bet they’re in the same Straits they were in 2008 because their stores globally have taken big hits and really the community at large needs an intervention for parenting and and educational reform around behavior um like it like more way more than it did in 2011 so we’re hoping that maybe the time is right for that but you’re right human systems are applied everywhere when we work in corporations people tell us this is helping me at home with my kids this is helping me with my neighbors or my relatives and God knows a lot of people need that right now with what’s happening politically right for sure help me not kill this person in my family right you know um and so right now uh and when we work with parents and Educators they say oh my gosh this is helping me with my co-workers because really good emotional intelligence and human systems are good everywhere so you’re absolutely right about that and and I love fouryear olds by the way they have that crazy logic like my uh sister said to her son when he was four um can you he had to go to the bathroom and he goes mommy mommy I have to go to the bathroom she said can you hold it he said I can’t reach it I mean that that’s the awesome yeah H that’s that is amazing right there it’s so fascinating right that that if if we’re we’re attempting to reform the a school and educational system and we’re talking to everybody except for the kids um that’s a whole another podcast right there so oh my gosh you know one time we were asked to demonstrate a family meeting because that was one of the practices we did and we had the four-year-old run the meeting she was either four or five and I asked the audience how many of you are surprised that a four-year-old could run a meeting and they’re like all raising their hand and I go what you don’t know is I’m a dominant mother who loves to steamroll little kids at times I had to learn how to be a good follower to a five or foury old you know and that’s what’s missing in a lot of companies there’s a lot of people trending in the direction of what’s called agile Enterprise agile agile technology you know philosophy and what they’re recognizing is we don’t have people that have confidence or sense of self and they don’t know how to lead or follow as the needs dictate oh I’m not a leader don’t ask me to do that right and what we taught our kids was how to flex between both of those positions of leading and following so that they’re not uncomfortable with either love it well Judy Savage Nation is ready for your difference making tip what do you have for them all right I would say I there’s two things one is I live my life from this motto if it’s not a hell yes it’s not a yes too many times we’re sacrificing our own happiness because I should I have to I ought to I was just asked this week if I wanted to be uh put a chapter in some a book with a group of people and I was was like I don’t want to do that I just knew it wasn’t a hell yes so I said thank you so much but no thank you and also I mean I’m at an age right now where one of the most valuable things I’ve learned is surround yourself with the people that make you happy and that enrich your mind and your heart and the people that don’t do that if you have to be around them be caring and respectful but don’t invest more than that in them because they will be a big drain on your energy and and it what happens is when you stop trying to be with those people you open the space for the people that can and do uh enrich your life and share your values that sort of thing so those are two huge things that I feel happy for having adopted well I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets it come on come on if it’s not a hell yes it is a no maybe even a hell no Judy I love it yeah sometimes sometimes well thank you so much for coming back on uh how can Savage Nation engage with you well there’s lots of ways but I would say the most helpful and easy way is to go on either our LinkedIn on just my LinkedIn because I love to have that connection with people and I’d love to get to know them um invite them on our podcast and all kinds of things but also our website has our phone number and our email addresses and everything and it’s life work and I say it that way because everybody wants to call it life Works systems and it’s not it’s LifeWork and if you go on there you’ll find you know all the kinds of ways you can connect with us and we’d love to get to know you perfect Savage if you enjoyed as much as I did show Judy your appreciation and share Today’s Show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas you can find Judy on LinkedIn as well as Lifeworks thanks again Judy thank you George it’s been a pleasure always and until next time keep fighting a good fight cuz we are all in this together

LifeWork Systems Logo white with transparent background

Join Our Mailing List