Whole Care Network → 05 Podcast: Building Capacity for Culture Change

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Chris MacLellan, CEO of Whole Care Network interviews Judy Ryan in podcast 05: Building Capacity For Culture Change

Change can be hard; breaking out of our rigidity helps us access our capacity while seeing our potential in a new reality. On this episode of Culture Change In A Box, Judy Ryan and Chris MacLellan take the listeners into the deep dive of building capacity within ourselves to be able to move through change holistically.


Interview Transcript

are you suffering from staff turnover too many lost business opportunities is your reputation at risk if so you know your workplace culture needs Improvement but determining how to do so and where to start is about as fun and effective as trying to assemble a puzzle with no picture to guide you culture change in a box is a show that takes you on a compelling Deep dive into an effective real-time culture change process so you can begin to feel hopeful and re-energized about your business and now here are your hosts for cult change in a box Chris mclen and Judy Ryan well greetings everyone it’s Chris mlen from the hare network with my good friend Judy Ryan from Life work systems it’s great to be here for another episode of culture change in a box I’m so happy to be doing this Judy how you doing today I’m doing really great I’m excited I’ve got all this information and I’m just bursting it want to get it out so well wait till we start doing video uh podcast and they’ll see all our all our notes on our table and everything and for our listeners those are coming soon we uh I think we’re into our sixth show today pretty exciting you know we’re working out the Knicks and crannies but uh um you know we’re we’re creating change ourselves yes it’s very exciting to be able to tell a story to all of you listeners that may be bringing you hope and making you more re-energized about what’s possible in your own workplace or in any culture that you’re creating because we’re really all about creating a life to love we are my purpose statement is to create a world where people love their lives and I think there are very practical things we can do to make that happen and it’s just a matter of getting that information out and one of those Avenues is building capacity for change yes you know when we hear those we hear the word building we hear the word capacity sometimes that word capacity kind of gets lost in the shuffle yes I think that people don’t recognize that they’re not um accessing the capacity within themselves that is possible and so they don’t even have this idea of themselves as somebody that is capable of breaking out of the rigidity of the way that it’s always been done and really waking up and being able to um make sure that they can effectively move in the direction of change without freaking out really and truly there’s a lot of people that just the idea of change itself is freak out for them so how do you minimize that fear and help them build the courage that it takes to go through a change process because that’s what you’re doing I’m going to back up just a second because you said a word I think rigid rigidity yes if we rigidity that’s a tongue twister early in the morning but I think if we if we can eliminate that well the truth of it is there are some people that regardless of how they intellectually think about a problem just the idea of moving into to change is is confronting for them and some more than others you know for my temperament that is not a problem I like to see if if I can get to from A to B quicker I’m all over it right but some people are like well no we just can’t do it that way it’s not the way it’s been done so one of the biggest challenges that a leader has especially when they’re bringing in a responsibility based model where everybody’s expected to be accountable for their relationships and their productivity and their engagement is that leader has to be able to expressly uh communicate the responsibilities the commitments that are required and help people to have the courage and the bandwidth to be able to pick up those changes and actually live them out so capacity building if you don’t do it you will actually set yourself up for failure you’ll actually set yourself up for sabotage because you will be ignoring those cues that have you aware that somebody’s saying no I won’t you can’t make me capacity building is all encompassing it’s more than just dollars and cents it’s more than just training it’s more than just mentoring it’s this whole way of saying how do I help keep intention on what I’m building with my culture and within each person and how do I help them keep focused on that at the same time and so part of it is that there there’s a learning curve there’s a real big learning curve for the owners the leaders the executives but there’s also a learning curve for every employee in a responsibility based workplace because it’s not that that burden is just shouldered by the top people so but it starts with the top people so they have a lot to understand around how do I introduce this to my staff how do I have conversations that as soon as they show some things to me that I’m able to comfortably talk about the elephant in the room because that is something that in and of itself is part of a responsibility based workplace culture and you have a lot of leaders that may not even want to hit things head on so that’s why they have to understand this is what you’re doing and saying and how you’re presenting it and what do you do if somebody says no thank you I don’t want to do this culture right how do you help them because if your mindset is not clear about how you want to see people and how you want to address resistance and rebell in a way that is not coercive and force overpowering right that’s a most people don’t know how to do that cuz it hasn’t been modeled very well and it they don’t expect it to be as frequently occurring as it actually does and so so what happens is it starts out great like usually the uh leader understands okay I have the responsibility to introduce to my people you know why are we doing this what are we doing um why this company why now so the the leader has this obligation to First clarify this is we’re doing a workplace culture it’s this type of culture we’re bringing in this person because they have this very formalized process Etc right that’s the easy part the difficult part is when they say will you come this way with me and at first they might even think that they have a yes and they might but sometimes they don’t and so what happens is that we’re schooling them and recognizing when they don’t and how do they have uh those tough conversations around that and it’s usually happen happening in really small ways so um one of the things that we we do we do is we help to practice with the leaders the kinds of scenarios that they could come up against that would actually cause them to be uncomfortable because it’s so early in and all of a sudden I’ve got this conversation with somebody where they’re not bought in what do I do right and so that is really why capacity building is something we talk about directly that you know this is going to be part and parcel of your responsibility for this kind of culture is that you’re going to have to recognize that you’re going to have to help people to become holistically able to move through change in ways that um cause the least amount of discomfort and distress and and destruction right so we have holistic we have responsibility we have capacity yes all three words that you don’t often hear going together at the same time but they’re so critical well think about it if you could help increase people’s capacity to be accountable and responsible what kind of workplaces would we have what kind of homes would we have what kind of communities would we have so those three are really I never thought of it myself but those are really relevantly tied together because you can’t have freedom and without responsibility and accountability you can’t have joy without responsibility and accountability but you can’t have either of those without building the capacity to do it different and so it is so important so what we do is we work with the entire team but we keep coming back around to what is it that everybody has to learn in this process so what’s the knowledge and what are the responsibilities of the owner president CEO of an organization what are the responsibilities of all the senior teams and managers and supervisors what are all the the uh new knowledge that needs to be acquired by the employees and so they go through a very detailed list of these are what we’re asking you to commit to and then we go through we’re going to be asking you to commit to all different kinds of behaviors so let’s say I say to you you’re an employee and I’m your boss and I say hey I’m going to bring in this model it’s going to require that you do mentoring sessions with me every month it’s going to require that you do training sessions every month and that you do workbook workbook you know activities and so on and all of a sudden it turns out that you come to a mentoring session and you haven’t done your work and you were supposed to have what does that conversation look like right that’s where capacity building the rubber hits the road right so what we teach people is how do you have a mindset that does not become coercive so part of the the change the building the capacity for change requires that the leader have a mind that is non-judgmental but firm at the same time so what it looks like is I would say to you if you were my employee and I was that kind of leader I would say Chris we talked about these commitments you actually wrote a letter of intent saying yes I’m on board but I’m seeing in your behavior that you’re not actually on board because you’re making excuses you’re coming to you know these sessions without preparation Etc I want you on this bus Chris I really want you on this bus um and right now you’re not so what are you going to do about it right and and that conversation can be dicey because the person typically will say something like um I just don’t have time for all this I’m sorry but I have a yeah I have family and this is not you know like I I’m not being paid for well yes you are being paid for it by the way and I know that it is easy to get overwhelmed but this is the direction we’re going Chris so what will you do and you’re waiting for and you’re asking for their commitment cuz right now we’re at a stalemate Chris we’re you’re you’re saying I am int and I’m uh committed and intending but your behavior is showing that you are not and so what will you do and and I’m in a place where I’m not willing to continue without addressing this until we resolve it right that’s a hard conversation but it’s more important in the very beginning of our project than any other time when little things are starting to show that the owners recognize that’s an opportunity to build capacity sure because this person even probably most likely unconsciously is in resistance and if I as the leader come at that person as though they’re bad and this is the trick we’ve all been raised with so much punishment reward oh goodness that’s what we’re going to do a whole show on that yes yes so part of building capacity is that I as the leader or the leaders we train they have to be able to look at their employees and go you know what they do have a right to choose but I’m also standing in my choice and and it may be that I help them gracefully get off the bus if that’s what it comes to but I am going to be really clear that it is about choice and they’re not right or wrong for their choice now that’s the that’s like the Mind twist right because we automatically want to say well this new culture is the right way and you not choosing it makes you bad right and we have to really work with leaders to help them not have that mind of judgment to have that mind of I’m going to be um authentically observant of what’s going on but I’m not going to make it I’m not going to make it something that says you are bad or good and in when you can come at somebody in a firm way where there’s no judgment they will feel it that way they will feel it as if you’re saying to them it’s okay if you don’t do this I want you to do it though and I want you to work through your barriers and I’m here to help you through those barriers oh goodness that’s so important because when you’re so when you’re used to working out of a system and I’m I’m just going to I’m going to use the word negative yes that uh power and control yes U you know do it my way or no or yes it it’s hard in the beginning it is but you know what’s interesting about it is yes you have to invest more time up front but in the long run you have people that you can count on and they can count on you and you’re providing a leadership level that they’ve probably never had before and so the long-term sustainable improvements are what we shoot for that’s why we talk about building capacity for change early on because it is part of what has to be occurring especially in the front end in order for the long-term gains and and so it could easily be that a leader would look at this and go oh man this sounds really hard but if they lose sight they only feel that way if they lose sight of the end goals of having those really sustainable success stories oh there’s so many directions I want to go with yeah how do you get people on the bus though um well part of it is you have to know why you’re getting them on the bus so one of the things that we do first and foremost with leaders is we walk them through what we call our blueprint process so we let’s talk a little bit about that yeah yeah so let’s say you were a new client and you had said okay I kind of get this workplace culture model that you’ve introduced to me what do I do first right one of the first things I’ll do with you is I will walk you through a process where you come up with some memories where you felt the most like the biggest version of yourself the mo the best version of yourself where you felt really open and connected and alive and I would help you to conclude what you were causing what you were doing and what you were creating all of that and and that becomes the ultimate idea of what you like to cause in the world and there’s many ways you could say it like mine happens to be I want to create a world where people love their lives but I when I finally got clear that that’s the way that I wanted to hold my stake in the ground because it that’s the thing about words they can help you hold a stake in the ground so we help the leaders to identify what they want to cause that’s hard for a lot of people because it can seem very abstract um it’s kind of like a lot of leaders when they get to their own purpose statement they say o this this feels like something the doy Lama would say or Gandhi would say you know this isn’t me and and what does this have to do with work you know um recently I was working with a leader where his purpose statement was he wanted to cause greatness like it was so obvious in his examples and and in how he lives his life but just the word freaked him out he was like greatness I don’t I don’t want to I don’t do greatness I’m not great and we really had to work through because it wasn’t that he didn’t recognize that purpose it was that it just scared the B Jesus out of him right and so um when we work with a leader the very first thing we do and the thing that we recommend they do going forward is always open every conversation with every client with every coworker with every colleague every vendor this is what we do this is what we cause this is our purpose we’re causing greatness we’re causing it with ourselves we’re causing it with one another we’re causing it for you and with you and within you and so when they identify their purpose that becomes the reason why they’re doing the culture change we’re doing and and now we know we have to operate a certain way in order to cause greatness for example and so that’s a really big part of capacity building because what I’m doing is I’m helping the leader always look up to that star as opposed to getting freaked out that oh my God these people aren’t I’m not sure I know how to get them on board on the bus and he does it or she does it through the power of that purpose because that’s a bigger picture in your mind of what you’re all about do you think people fear being great they definitely fear being great I still sometimes go through that um but me too but yeah yeah I mean there is a quote that I don’t know but verbatim but it’s our deepest fear is not that we’re inadequate our deepest fear is that we’re powerful beyond measure it’s not our darkness that frightens us it’s our light that it’s our light that’s yeah and there’s a a part of that quote it’s by Nelson Mandela that says um our playing small does not serve the world that we were that we were like little children we were born to be great we were born to manifest the glory of God and I believe that whether you believe religiously or not I believe we were here to manifest the glory that is possible that is Godlike and most people tend to think well that’s not me and the truth of it is if we were given the right conditions the right systems and the right conversations we all can be that purposeful and that um incredibly creative with our lives and be able to focus our energies in such a way that we are truly um living from the light but it is frightening because we have been ra Ed in this system of punishment reward and and judgment and that prevents us from actually stepping into the joy of being playing big because we think well gosh if I screw it up I’m going to be in big trouble and I’m going to get punished and that’s that’s the hardest thing to overcome and that’s why capacity building is so important because it requires that a leader um approaches or her people as Guiltless oh that is so beautiful yeah it is and it’s hard because when they’re acting out a certain way they sure look guilty but you have to hold them as you are Guiltless I I get away with saying a ton of challenging things to people because they can feel my um what how I hold them as being good people oh goodness I I’m going off topic though but that’s one of the reasons why you and I connect so well yes is there’s you know we can have these open and honest conversations because you know we know how we feel well and I would say to your audience those of you that are listening our our audience um the reason you’re listening if you’re listening to this is because you resonate with creating practical applications of love that’s the way I I put it a person that’s running a company that says uh that’s baloney I don’t need to care about how people feel I just need them to do the job and shut up right that is not our our our audience our audience are you that realize that people deserve to feel that they are lovable and that we believe in them and that we want to um see and call forth the greatness in them and that that is that’s like a high for us right and so that is why we connect because we believe that people and inspiration and authenticity all that’s important and don’t you don’t you want to work for somebody that has that philosophy work with people that has I I do sometimes people have a temperament where just the feeling nature of a responsibility based culture is a little overwhelming to them sure um we we teach things like all people need to feel empowered lovable connected and contributing and sometimes we’ll have people say well that’s ridiculous like who like why lovableness doesn’t have anything to do with workplace you know and they get rattled but part of it’s because um they’ve been sort of conditioned to believe that it’s not stable to get emotional it’s not stable to think of emotions it’s not stable to talk of emotions and so we’re able to bring intellect and the conversation of emotions together so that those people that are typically frightened of expressions or wears this head am I going to go into some deep dark murky place that’s freaking me out we’re able to help them overcome that fear and move past it oh alleviating those fears creating capacity yes creating capacity it it one goes with the other it is absolutely essential for culture change is you need to be sensitive and willing to confront any place where people need to stretch into the capacity to change and that is an Ever moving Target and it requires resiliency uh capacity it it really requires strength determination perseverance all of that stuff that a good leader has so how is a how does a a leader a good leader recognize that they need capacity change um well first of all we teach it to them directly we have um we actually Practice Things the more we know about how to do this better and better the more that we actually present them with scenarios and ask them to uh like okay let’s say you’re sitting with somebody and they do this what are you going to do about it you know so that they get the feeling in their physical being because there’s nothing like learning through the actual experience we can read a book about how to do this we can we can talk to people about how to do this but we don’t really know what it’s like to we do it right right so we put people that are in the senior team leaders um position into situations where they are confronted with how would I do what would I do how do I feel how would I um get out of my own Dark Places like not seeing what’s happening not wanting to go there um and that’s really the responsibility of Life work systems is working with the people that are trying to change a whole community so that they are supported to create you know this dynamic in which the whole culture is moving in the same direction I hope that answered your question oh very very much so the more we talk the more I realize we have so many future topics for shows oh absolutely I mean we’re just we’re just getting started yes and I I love what you you said we’ve got this Future Path because we are always trying to help the leaders remember that they’re in a process they are on a road map they are not lost we know where they are in the process we’ll help them remember where they are so they have that sense of I’m not floundering alone out here not even knowing if I’m making progress or not so we really help them to know where they are on that road map so that they can they can continue to build their capacity to change so before we get to ready to to close this episode I I wonder what what would be the first indicator or if there would be an indicator to a to a manager or an owner that they’re seeing they’re seeing a culture change they’re seeing that this work is is actually um benefiting I love it that you just asked this because it it just happens to fall upon a day where I um did some data analysis on a client yesterday and it was a client that I’ve been working with for 18 months we’re getting ready to start another year here um I did two measures of their um trust Gap so I measured their trust Gap from their employees in uh January of last year and the trust Gap is how well are people living these eight values that build trust so the questions that are asked are like uh hey Chris straightforwardness is this how important is straightforwardness how well is it being fulfilled so we take that how what how important it is to you and how well you think it’s being fulfilled and the difference between those two is called the trust Gap well we do that over eight values so this particular company’s overall trust Gap wasn’t horrible it was actually slightly better than the international average which is 14.7 I think and theirs was something like 13.7 so they’re they’re already got a narrower Gap they have less problems than the International Community but in one year at the end of the year we had reduced that trust Gap by uh seven something so they went from 13.7 to 5.5 wow that’s a tremendous amount of improvement so all of those places being honest being straightforward being receptive being disclosing of information without holding back showing respect following through on commitments seeking excellence and uh giving recognition all of those in every single category had improved and so that’s what’s exciting is they’re telling me the anodal stories of what’s better but I actually have the hard data even though it’s not necessarily directly tied to their profit margin those numbers are statistically um connected with retention rates Etc well you’re and that’s seeing culture change in reality in reality you can see actual data supporting that people are learning how to communicate effectively how to confront things in a in a um not only confront things in like the ugly way but confront things in the positive holistic way because otherwise you wouldn’t be building that sense of respect and and all of that I know we’re we’re I’m going to go back to a topic that we talked in a previous show but that’s that’s actually how you can measure morale in an office absolutely it is definitely one of the vital signs we always check even though it doesn’t have the direct correlation like you know improving retention Etc it is a clear indication that things are going well so this is awesome stuff yeah this is awesome it’s pretty fun because it helps people create a life they love it does and so many of the time uh my favorite thing to hear is I didn’t think we could turn that around I really didn’t think we could turn that person that circumstance that situation around and we have and that is that’s my that’s my juice that keeps me going and that’s why we invite all of our listeners to join us in creating a world in which people love their lives Judy thanks for thanks for being here today thank you Chris this is get it gets more fun as we do it ites there’s a lot a lot of moving parts thank well you know culture change in a box is a part of the wholecare network check us out online at Hare Network and be sure to visit Judy Ryan at Lifeworks systems.com and I’m creating a life to Love by being with awesome people like Judy Ryan see you soon for another episode of culture change in a box bye-bye

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