Whole Care Network → 06 Podcast: Defining Your Culture Change

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Chris MacLellan, CEO of Whole Care Network interviews Judy Ryan in podcast 06: Defining Your Culture Change

Once leadership buys into the process of culture change, what’s next? In this episode of Culture Change In A Box, Judy Ryan and Chris MacLellan discuss the specific steps, and the process of change that allows leadership to create positive change in work place culture.


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 culture change in a box Chris mclen and Judy Ryan well greetings everyone it’s Chris mclen from the whole Care Network you might know me as the bow tie guy haven’t used that in a while in our last couple episodes but I am the bow tie guy yeah you sure are I sure are that’s Judy Ryan from Life work systems hello everybody Judy it’s great to see you I’m great happy to see you too happy day you know we’re here and we haven’t talked about our little facility that we yeah beautiful beautiful facility here in front neck Missouri which is a suburb of St Louis my hometown it’s great to be back great to be back in the hometown here beautiful room lot of natural light a lot of natural light we’re living a life for love and you know we we mentioned it before but we will be doing some video podcast to people will have some audience participation as we as we wrap ourselves around our our new little project here we’re having a lot of fun yes yeah so you know in our last episode of culture change in a box we um we talked about building capacity and today we’re going to go into the deeper dive of what happens when we kick off culture change yes and I am so excited to talk about this there’s a lot of moving Parts with this I can imagine so I want to try to be succinct enough and clear enough of how we do this but what really happens is that once we have that critical buyin from the top leaders um we have to kind of put them through the Mill in a sense because there’s a lot to learn pretty quickly for them and a lot of processes that they just kind of have to trust us to take them through so one of the things we do is we sit down with them and we do a pretty long planning session it’s usually about three hours and we um really we really go through all the details for the project that they’re getting ready to enter which is a um how to create an extraordinary workplace culture so we go over things like the timeline what are the roles and responsibilities of everything body what are the initial Communications that they’re doing what are the commitments that they’re going to be speaking about and and having conversations about what are the potential challenge that challenges that they’re facing we’re also working with them to clarify and set performance targets so uh like for an example a performance Target area might be gossip somebody might say we have a problem with gossip gossip in the workplace yeah is that does that happen yeah that’s almost you know people almost think it’s just a a built-in thing but it’s really not and it’s very problematic so that’s actually a Target area a specific performance Target would be to say we have this many incidences of Gossip happening every day or week and we want to reduce it to this number so that’s where you clarify you know what are these return on investment kinds of changes are we going to make whether it’s retention or gossip or raising revenues or increasing satisfaction of customers or employees things like that so we’re um helping them to set those targets and to Define their purpose and values so there’s that’s that’s a lot right there um and what we also do is we take them through a process of understanding various temperaments kind of similar to like a Myers Briggs or or a dis profile only we use a model that’s very memorable it’s based on colors okay and it allows people to recognize significant differences in temperament and personality so we go over with the employee uh I mean the leader uh and their team what their colors are and what their temperament and values are and what their combination of values will um produce and where they may have blind spots and where they have strengths as a result of those and so we’re going over that information we’re also introducing to them who we are through our colors and our value system and the way we function and so there’s a a deep level of social interest social intelligence around who all the play are and how we’re going to interact together and we’re working with them on understanding what’s going to happen next at the kickoff session what’s going to happen uh with their people we’re reviewing the seven steps the scope of work the general timelines um we’re helping them to identify a plan that works for them specifically and so there’s a lot of things happening all at once for those leaders and so we make sure that we spend the time to help them understand um this is what what capacity building is this is what your timeline looks like this is what the time requirement is and we’ll go through things like this is the specific objectives and steps for mentoring people and these are the reasons why you’re going to be mentoring people and this is what it will look like and these are some of the scenarios of things that happen and these are some of the things that um are happening out in the larger world where culture change is occurring both the good and the bad things that are happening right as they go through that process of change and we start uh to actually facilitate with them how do you lead these group sessions because we’re going to have you up and running like a patient that just got surgery you’re going to have them up the next day right well we’re we’re kind of a baptism and fire with them as well so when they learn this process and this project like literally within weeks they’re going to be facilitating group meetings they’re going to be sitting down and mentoring staff in ways that they’ve never done before so it’s quite uh quite an education and it’s it’s quite a you know hit the ground running kind of of activity I want to go back to something you said earlier uh about the colors yes I I I I as I as I think of what I heard you say is it’s really a way for people to understand themselves and each other a little bit better absolutely I think that we make a lot of assumptions that everybody sort of thinks the way do we do and and values the same things we value and sometimes we hit smack in the face that we don’t right uh but most of time we just think that’s some kind of weird anomaly but the reality is that we’re all operating on a very diverse sets of values and in the model we use it could be a combination of of at least I think it’s 64 or something like that models or combinations because um we are affected by our highest priority values then the next level of priority values and all of those value systems that are within us combined to create very specific ways that we approach life the kinds of work we’re drawn to the kinds of of ways we like to show up and it’s really really helpful to understand that I can usually sit with a person for about 15 minutes and already know what colors they are what value system they’re operating out of I’ll know how they like to be communicated with how they like to lead what causes them conflict and stress all kinds of things like that and that’s really helpful for me so that I can make sure that I’m able to be more effective because of that person you’re an effective Communicator cuz you understand where the person is coming from yes yes so for example there’s a combination of colors um in particular that do not like they almost shun emotional expressiveness I happen to have one of my colors that is that way and my secondary color that is not that way so it kind of balances me a little but sometimes you’ll have somebody that has two of the four colors that are like really averse to emotional expression for example so it is not uncommon for situations to occur where the emotional component just kind of freaks them out well it’s helpful if I know oh well they’re this color this color and I can be um responsive in a way that addresses it through maybe the intellect so that that they can um uh receive the information in a way so it’s kind of an advantage to understand who you’re talking to and what matters to them and what frightens them and what causes them stress so that you can actually hit head on uh things that you don’t understand how to do otherwise what a great tool for a manager to be able to use in order to make this deeper dive in the culture change it is a great tool it is only one though and I think the important thing to remember about um the the the model overall is it really does have a significant amount of moving Parts um there’s something that I’m going to just say this so that we know I’m going to take a minute and find this information so one of the things that we we do is we create documents that help the leaders look at what’s occurring kind of simultaneously so some of those tools are things like just an at a glance timeline so it identifies all the things that they’re going to go through in that first meeting all the things they’re going to go through in terms of their scheduling all the things that they’re going to go through at the kickoff session the kickoff session is the one where we go in side by side with the leader and we deliver the information on you know here are the guidelines for this project and this is what everybody’s going to be engaging in and here’s the surveys we’re going to be doing and here’s the game plan and so we we’re always over communicating to the leaders on the various steps that they’re going to be doing over a year-long project that’s typically what happens and then usually they’ll go into a year two or three because culture change the goal of culture change for us as a company has always been how do we help them um how do we work ourselves out of a job with them where when we leave they’re self-sustaining in that culture model model and we’ve done our job in effectively transferring all the components of making it operational into their hands so that usually takes a couple years if you’ve got you know 10 15 people even sure and so what we do is we go over with them this is the scope of the work that you’re going to be doing so there’s going to be certain Key activities that you’re going to be going through and you want to know what the corresponding new condition is that you’re creating because I don’t know if you’re like this but to me if somebody’s helping me I want to understand what problem are they solving for me oh very much so and and what does it look like what what what does the endgame look like mm then I can more easily move through the Key activities to getting there so we really focus on you know going through processes around how do how are we assessing things how are we and and using analysis with you so you’re analyzing a lot of things you’re analyzing things on the micro level and on the macro level and then how are we what are the key activities that that have to do with implementing it’s training it’s mentoring it’s implementation processes so there’s a whole set of Key activities and then new conditions that are created and then we have a whole set of activities that are related to testing and integrating and maintaining the culture changes that are going on so we’re always bringing them back around on the on the micro level it’s how do I help people manage relationships productivity and engagement but on the business side of things the system level we’re focusing on how do you assess analyze test maintain and Implement change and so that’s really you know kind of a double whammy for those leaders sure can be a little scary it can be but I think that’s why and I I know this is going to sound like a a a ruthless uh plug for myself but it’s really helpful to have people that can think in a systems manner that have built the machine so that you don’t have to reinvent anything to understand what are these key activities and how how are we stepping through the road map to creating these new conditions that we want to create does that make sense sure well of course having the road map is essential to helping create the change yes and and having the road map and having the Consciousness to be aware of when people are in rebellion and resistance and it’s our job when we’re working with the leaders to recognize where they get discouraged and they hit barriers and so um we are constantly sort of scanning for how can we make sure that they maintain Clarity around why this is Meaningful to do and what your end game is that you’re going for so that they you know they can move through there most of the time when people are rebelling and resisting I want to just talk to that for a minute it isn’t because they’re bad it isn’t because they’re control freaks themselves it’s usually that there’s a barrier in their way that they don’t know how to overcome so oh yeah yeah I mean go ahead you were going to say you know it and we I think we we’ve chatted about this before it’s you know change can be hard for people it can and I think that it isn’t even just change it’s understanding how do I reconcile this change with who I am and sometimes it takes a little you know getting to that so that you can um actually go move into acceptance as opposed to resistance so when I have somebody confront me with a barrier I look I kind of rub my hands gleefully together like a mad scientist like Oh yay you know this is an opportunity and so when when I I think I mentioned that one time recently we had an employee that wrote in their survey I can’t believe you’re telling us we have to care about lovableness in the workplace culture right well a I knew this person’s colors and that that would be hard for them right B I knew that they wouldn’t have shared that information with me if they weren’t crying for help right so most people would have gone like oh well that’s terrible look at she’s really resistant no she needed me to help her to see this through a lens that she could accept the information so I used an intellectual approach with her and said look if you had two scenarios and this person felt lovable in this one and didn’t in this one what’s going to bring the best result for forward right so I used statistics I used um information that’s best practice that have been proven peer-reviewed data because that person needed to overcome the barrier that felt too squishy with her around the words until she could oh I get that I can I can get on board with that and so part of what we’re always doing is helping people to recognize their barriers so they can get over them and most of the time they do well sometimes the hardest thing is to recognize it it is so hard I think we think that we’re being really compliant and we’re or even Cooperative when we’re really not and that’s why we don’t like to see it in other people and call them out on it because then it means I have to know when I’m doing it too so I that’s why I have to keep doing my own work and have my own coach CU otherwise I could become very blind to you know helping someone else if I’m not doing the work myself and isn’t a lot of this being aware of our purpose and our values being aware of our purpose and values is a choice the the really beautiful thing about being a human being is we have free will we can choose to be purose driven or we can choose to say no I don’t want to be purpose-driven the reason purpose is so important is because in the vacuum of it if it’s not there our default is typically to go to the dark side I know that sounds very dramatic but it really is true you’re you’re tired you’re discouraged you’re confused you feel inept you feel um powerless um where does your mind typically go it goes into kind of the guttery places like those are the dark side like I don’t know what I’m doing I’ll never be able to get out of this that’s kind of where we go purpose is like an anchor when I’m having a hard time I’m looking at what do I need to do to get back to the place where I love my life and and what values do I need to pull on that will help me get there like some of my values are things like meditation and Faith you know because those for me personally help me back when I feel the most lost for my purpose but the purpose itself is like a trajectory that I’m shooting for sure so if if I leave that up to Chance the default will not be pretty generally unless you happen to be raised in a household where you were incredibly loved and supported and kind of understood that intrinsically without ever having to understand it intellectually most people have not been raised in that kind of a culture is that why people get stuck they do we all do we get stuck because we have limiting beliefs and we don’t often know how to get out of that or and or I would say we have a certain way that we digest information and we need somebody to be sensitive to that so one of the things we do is like I had one of my kids had a friend who she couldn’t take a test at school unless they read it to her like she was an auditory learner and part of the reason why there are barriers are that we even have barriers around the way that we assimilate information and receive it effectively so we’re always thinking about things like what are the kinesthetic auditory visual needs how do we use humor data processes inspiration things like that because there are so many different filters that people have and we have to be able to help them to hear the information and wake up to the information and we can’t do that if we’re not aware of who they are so when we’re taking that deeper dive we also have to be aware of the filters yes not only of them but of us but of uses yeah and sometimes for many people you know they didn’t even know they had those limitations in those filters so um do you want to talk a little bit about that with the the regards to so one of the things that is really important to know is that change requires a high level of Consciousness and commitment okay and we all think oh well I’m on board for that I’m doing that all the time right well the statistics show that 90% of all companies um don’t have a or all people don’t have a planning process for anything they just don’t make plans they don’t think it through like so winging it’s not a plan winging it’s not a I know people who do that drive me nut um also only 50% of the time do people Envision what they want so we go into things Without Really clarity around what is the endgame I’m going for what’s the end game and and out of the whole population about 71% are disengaged so those are really important statistics and the last one is 88% of all businesses don’t have a specific plan for how they’re going to grow their business and that could be on many levels like my company has recently had to work on how we’re going to grow the business fiscally you know how we’re going to guide the business going forward in its its growth and its um development but that but we don’t do it on any front some about 88% of the companies don’t even have a plan A business plan or otherwise um so one of the things that happens is we don’t even know how asleep we are so I’m going to I I I talked to you a little bit about I’m going to do this exercise and I want the listener you listeners to go through this exercise as if you were in the room doing this exercise with us so let’s say you’re in a big group of people and you are the main volunteer that has come up to the front of the room and I have some ropes and blindfolds doesn’t that sound fun right goodness when we do this with real audiences it’s really funny cuz they we asked for four volunte five volunteers to come up and there’s a main one and then we bring out the ropes and the blindfolds and they’re like oh my gosh what did I get myself into so imagine you are that Central volunteer and I’m going to put a rope around your belt and I’m going to tie this rope in a tight bow like you would tie a shoelace right and then I’m going to hold up this huge representation of something that you love like most the time we use a big chocolate bar so we usually ask for a volunteer who loves chocolate but if you in the audience love steak more than chocolate imagine a big steak right and that that visual is representing all your goals all your dreams all the things that you want in your life and I’m going to be placing that chocolate bar somewhere in the room and you’re going to be blindfolded and the four people that are around you are going to take a rope and they’re going to Loop it over your rope belt so they’re kind of Tethered to you and their instruction is to carefully and safely take you to the chocolate bar you can’t see a thing cuz you’re blindfolded right and they’re all taking you but they can’t do anything except for use the ropes and they take you over to the chocolate bar and you succeed in getting to it right so that’s phase one of the exercise and then I take the chocolate bar and I say just like in life when you think you’ve fully arrived you you don’t necessarily you still have more to do right and so I take that chocolate bar and I say this still represents all your goals and dreams and joy in life only this time the four people who are Tethered to you they’re going to be blindfolded and you’re going to be able to see where the chocolate bar is but they won’t see where the chocolate bar is and this time their job is to not cooperate with you and you getting to the chocolate bar and at this point I say to you Chris you can do anything you want you can beg you can plead you can negotiate what would you do in order to you know you’ve got these four people Tethered to you who are told to not cooperate with you and get into it what would you do so I want you and the audience to think what would I do what’s the first thing um there’s lots of different answers to that Chris what would you do oh my gosh I my I’d probably be very scared okay so you might be scared but if you’re seeing that chocolate bar yeah what would you do well I I’d certainly want to go to the chocolate bar okay well you got four people saying hold you back hold you back and but I that’s what I want okay so what what are you going to do to make make it happen I’m going to I’m going to negotiate so you would your first go-to would be I’m going to try to negotiate with people and how how long do you think that would take you to do with four people I don’t you know H it probably could it probably could take quite a bit of time okay if you don’t have the right tools okay but if you had the right tools and you did it it would probably still take a little time take a little time to to convince four people sure yeah so that would be your approach would be to negotiate let’s say you tried every trick in your bag to negotiate and they’re still like no I won’t you can’t me what would you do next well I you know I’m not an autocratic person so I’d probably acques to their so you might give up I I don’t know if I’d give up but I don’t think i’ I’d go that I might just go on my own how would you do it they’re tied to you oh yeah that’s right they are tied to me they B might have to sit outside while I get their chocolates yeah exactly so here’s the thing we we usually have lots of different responses from the person in that position and and those of you listening might have had a bunch of thoughts go through your head some people say I’m just going to rush it like I’m going to just use physical Force to try to get over that chocolate bar right especially if they’re really big they might think they can handle that right um and they might be able to but there’ probably be some pretty big negative consequences of that right and so and then there are people that say I would beg or I would offer a bribe I would say look if you let me go over there I’ll give you part of the chocolate bar whatever right so there’s lots of ways that in and of themselves are very telling of how we handle things but what most people don’t see is that I’ll usually stop the exercise and say what kept you from just taking the belt off right oh yeah that’s right cuz it’s because the instructions are you can do anything you want and we don’t hear that we hear the part that says you can beg you can plead you can negotiate because those are all tried and true things that we’ve done and we don’t think outside of the box it’s kind of like leaving the baggage behind yes yes I mean it’s the obvious simplest thing to do but it even says a lot about us that we don’t think of that thought because the idea of untying ourselves in our mind thinks now I’m separate from the herd and I won’t ever be able to reconnect and that’s a fear of a lot of people sure I had one recently where a woman in the audience or a woman in the main role came up with a solution that I had never seen and I’d done this exercise over 100 times and it it made me look at myself she said I would just ask one of the people out in the audience to go get the chocolate bar and bring it to me never Ur to me that I would do you know somebody else to do it yeah because they weren’t told not to right and I was like where in my life am I not seeing resources that are available to me because I’m not looking and they’re right in front of me yeah I mean it was that’s the way that this deep diving takes you it takes you into places where you didn’t know you had limiting beliefs you didn’t know you had blind spots and I you know I hesitated to give this exercise up because it’s one of the experiential exercises we use in our work but it’s so eye openening to and it’s a very visceral experience to be in the room watching the person struggling and what’s really interesting is after we do this exercise a lot of times will’ll say who thought of this answer and a bunch of people say I thought of that answer not even a bunch usually just very few and I’ll say why didn’t you why didn’t you speak out for her to do that well I didn’t think I could well why not well because you were the leader of this and we didn’t you know you told us you didn’t say we could do that and I said well what if I’m Hitler right and same with the people that are um time to her or him you know why did you obey me to not cooperate with her would you do that to somebody in real life if they’re trying to go for their hopes and dreams and goals no I’ve never ever had the team of four ever say I’m not doing that never and all the times I’ve done it so see how conditioned we are to operate from limiting beliefs and what we’ve always known and what we’ve always thought is possible and so that’s kind of what uh that’s where the real deep dive happens the deep and the Deep dive is Rec recognizing our limited beliefs yes and doing and breaking out and doing it untying that rope untying that rope over and over and over again in many different ways just like me learning from that exercise something that I was not aware of that I do in my life I’m always learning by doing this process and so being able to help people to really enter fully into the change process is is again what we’re just diving into so I love this diving diving into change yeah deep diving can be a great adventure if you um face it with courage and with the end game in mind it’s you know the analogy I’m thinking of using the dive you know if you’re a scuba divers is getting into the water what do they need they need the oxygen they need the oxygen they need to have self-confidence they need to have faith that everything’s going to work and that the people that are around them with the equipment that made the equipment are reliable you know there’s a lot of things they need a plan they need a plan they can’t wing it right and they need to understand the progression of being good at it so yeah I mean it takes some time and practice and you becomes you know easier isn’t this fascinating work it really is it’s really fun so and and you’re and you’re getting people to do a lot of deep Dives yes we are and and they’re actually enjoying the results and the effects of that because there’s nothing more fulfilling than authentically being who we are like to me when I say I want people to live their lives and love their lives I want them to love their life well you can’t love your life if you’re not awake you can’t love your life if you’re not conscious if you’re not making actual real free choices and that’s why we always invite our guests to join us in creating a life that they love yes absolutely please come join us Judy you’re awesome thank you you are too goodness well culture change in the box is a part of the wholecare network check us out online at hcare network.com and be sure to visit Judy Ryan atworks systems.com I’m Chris mle and I’m creating a life to Love by being with awesome people like Judy Ryan Judy thanks for doing this today thank you you’re awesome too Chris thank you

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