The OKR Podcast
The OKR Podcast

Episode 32 · 1 month ago

Driving agile transformation in a self-directed culture at IBM

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Anthony Coppedge, Principal Agile Digital Sales Global Transformation Lead at IBM, sits down with Deidre to share how he introduced OKRs across Sales and Digital Marketing to ensure the creation of customer value is the focus of every employee in the org, and why a self-directed culture is at the core of successful business transformations. Running his business on fact-based data enables Anthony to validate business goals, navigate with headlights, and inspire deep trust amongst his people.

You're listening to the okay Our Podcast. We talk about the power of lateral alignment and outcome mindset and empowering teams to do their best work from anywhere. We also talk about operating as a digital company, which is crucial now her journeys, learnings and victories from our guest speakers, and get expertise from our host to scale your leadership capacity and operate with high impact, trust and efficiency. Here's your host daydream pack nod. Hello and welcome to the okay Our Podcast. Today. My guest is Anthony Coppage. He is a deep thinker on okay as an agile and quite frankly, he's one of the funnest conversation partners you could ever have on these topics. I'm delighted to have you on the podcast today, Anthony, what a setup. Wow, I can't do anything but succeed now. Thank you. So let me share a little bit about your background so people have context where you're coming from. Then I'll ask you to add on to that. So, Anthony is a business transformation leader who focuses on driving prospect engagement and embedding customer intimacy through an internal cultural transformation using okay rs and the principles of business agility. Anthony leads the global digital sales Agile transformation across all of IBM's worldwide sales centers and continues to be at the forefront of okay Our adoption for the company. He has extensive experience in digital marketing and digital sales for B two B organizations, and he publishes his work on medium, dot com as well as the social media sites and DIN and Twitter. So impressive, huge scope and of course customer intimacy at the center is what just about every company is trying to do. Tell us a little bit, particularly about your agile and okay our journey. Kind of the scope of added IBM. It sounds like that's a footprint broader than just the sales and the go to market functions. It is dare and for IBM. Okays have been around for us for a while, but you've seen different levels of adoption through different parts of the organization, as you would expect with most large enterprises. So the CEO's office, chief information officer, they have a probably the biggest footprint at IBM for everything. With okay RS, I brought okay RS and agile over into sales, which is non conventional to say the least um here you have, you know, the opposite of what you would have in many software development of project management, which are typically coordinated groups of people working on the same thing at the same time, trying to deliver something together. And sales is individually motivated, individually compensated people trying to accomplish something for the quota or whatever to bid, bring value to customers, and work with business partners for example. So it was an interesting difference right off the bat. The challenge was how do you get a bunch of people who are individually motivated and compensated to work together. And that's where I started the end and say the answer was agile with okay rs. But what got us there was my own personal journey and that I have to go back to two thousand nine. Previous to that, i'd been in sales and had done a lot of work in the B two C space and then starting to do B two B. But in two thousand nine I joined a company as a director of communication to lead everything they're doing for their existing clients and to the community side of how we brought that together and told them what's coming and got them involved, but then also the prospecting side, working with sales. And on the first day of the job of this ninety nine person company, I was employeed ninety nine. Remember walking around with the CEO and we went through different parts of the building and he's introducing me to folks, and then he took me to the software development area and it was cool. It was dark, and it was hip, and there's a bunch of people working quietly. But on the wall was this the sixty ft wide, ten foot tall magnetic whiteboard and all these index cards, colored index cards being held. I remember they were magnetic chess pieces from a chessboard set, and that's how they held him to the wall. And I'm like, what is that. He's like, Oh,...

...that's a scrum wall, and I'm like, like rugby, He's like no, no, no. So I had no idea and that was my introduction to the first things that was really was scrum, which is pre actual, but actual really took the values and principles and applied them in a way that wasn't framework centric. And that's what I learned. I learned over time that the reason our software development teams were so effective is that they were taking, and they were they were reducing the risk. They're mitigating risk by chunking work up into smaller bits, delivering what they could, learning as they went and adjusting the product roadmapped as they learned. So we didn't have something that said, in a year from now, we'll exactly be here. Instead it was we know we're going towards this, but the way we think we're gonna get there's probably looking to look like this. And it was my first exposure to that kind of thinking. So I immediately said I want to do this marketing and communications. So I went back and built a combine board, and and and put on a corkboard and then said I'm gonna do scrum and boy and about four months of crash and burn. Because their work was very head down, non interrupt driven. Well, marketing and sales are extremely interrupt driven. It's the very nature of the work. And so that same structure really didn't apply well. And that was when I started learning about lean and combine and six sigma Toyota production system. And it was a wonderful journey to figure out that there were multiple ways to approach the same thing, and that the thing wasn't the point. It was the way was the point. So when I learned about okay rs during this this was the biggest aha, because I saw okay rs as the way. They weren't a thing to do, they were the way we could approach and create clarity with alignment, and I saw it dovetail perfectly with agile. So now you fast forward to take all those years and experience the different organizations come to IBM and they're saying marketing and digital sales are tied at the hip. How do we become agile and sales? And I said, I don't know, let's go find out. So I was hired to invent it basically, and that's what we did. Very exciting and love the distinction between the thing and the way. Let's go from there actually and just jump into the conversation because one of the things even today I heard in a conversation with a large European company was we have so many transformations going on and we want to we want to do this. We want to revamp our operating model and our operating rhythm and adopt okay ours, but we don't want that to be another transformation. How should we think about it? And you know the answer is first of all, as you have several transformations going on at the same time, it becomes the way then you drive near term clarity on what needs our focus now on very very long horizon transformations right there. Realization of the full transformation is years from now, but it becomes the way that we prioritize that we progress, that we get the confidence and clarity we need. So that takes me to transformation and a conversation you and I have had a bit of in the past, which is the particularly for companies that do need to change the nature of their business the business model at the speed of their business. Transformation is not the same thing as optimization, and for a time we've been optimizing the business, right, that's not what we should be doing in sure. So I use this analogy quite a bit so as if somebody has heard this before you sorry, but it's it's such a good one, I can't come up with a better one. And that's this. You know, caterpillar in a butterfly have the same DNA, exactly the same data, It's the same organism. The differences there was a transformation from one state to an entirely new, different state. It wasn't a better version of a caterpillar. The butterfly is a wholly new creature. So the DNA being central to both organisms are the same organism. Really two states is very transparent for boltanny organization. The DNA of your organization is unique to you, and it's probably one of the best distinctive you have against your competition,...

...and it probably is the thing that will help people believe what you believe in value what you value. Those would be your best customers because they will align with your beliefs and the way you go about that. So keeping that in tact is super important. I think transformations people often think of as dismantling something or optimizing the old way to just be a better version of itself. And that's just not the case, because if I put butterfly beings on a caterpillar, it is not an optimized caterpillar. It is a less useful constraint caterpillar. Right, It's actually worse off than it was before. And I hear a lot of this happened in actual transformations where the transformation failed. I'm like, really, so, was it more clarity, higher accountability, faster speed to market, better team coordination, collaboration and communication, which one of those weren't working for you and we didn't do any of that. Well, I'm pretty sure it wasn't agile that failed you, right Like that sounds like your culture and your processes and your legacy thinking failed you, new failing you, not agile filing. Right. So I just look at it and say, well, so what are the principles and values that we can abstract from that? And what we've done is we've said there are five values. There's respect, openness, courage, empathy, and trust r O c ET rocket and we we lean into those because if at any point, any person at any level of the organization and we try to make it feel flat as much as possible, senses or experiences a dissonance in respect, openness, courage, empathy, or our trust, they have the responsibility, not just the opportunity to responsibility too in a penalty v free environment, talk about what they've experienced or what they're perceiving, what they're feeling, because if it's not that, it's not going to be agile. And so what we want is to actually create this very customer centric, dynamic organization that's not reactive but responsive to the market right, and you can't optimize the old thing to do a new thing right. You can't put new wine in old wide skins right. So you're gonna have to have a new thing. But the key, this is the key. Your DNA cannot change, right, the truth of why you exist in the way you are, as long as what you're doing is adding value to others, keep it right. But the expression of that DNA needs to be so different. It's not even recognizable the butterfly. There's nothing by looking at it that says I can see that you came from a caterpillar. Nor can you look at the caterpillar and say I see potential for a butterfly. It's it's not the same organism. So that kind of transformation is scary. We don't want to optimize, We want to transform, but to do so, the best way to do is with trust. Right, the opposite of fear is not courage. Courage is action in spite of fear. The opposite of fear is trust. So we not only delegate the responsibility for their work to our teams and the change to our teams, we delegate the authority that goes with it. So when I say you are going to make this shift and we're not going to have any status update meetings at all. They will no longer exist. Everybody cheers and then goes, oh crap, what does that mean? Like how do we And I'm like, okay, So instead, here's how we're gonna think about our work. And if anybody pushes back on not send them to me. So I I provide the air cover, and I provide the person and the point person or other team members. And I'm just giving myself as an example, Dedre. But it's the idea. I've got your back, and if somebody has an issue, haven't come talk to me because I'll help them understand. What we're trying to do is really accelerate the business so that we can deliver and creating deliver value for our customers and our business partners. If we can do that, will be successful. Like by products of profit and revenue come, they just happen, right, Because if you're decent product, a good product in your in your fairly priced, then your focus should be on creating deliver value because if you do that, people will buy a matter of fact, they'll be like, shut up and take my money. Because if you can solve a problem or create an opportunity for them, why would they not? Yep, let me pull this right a little bit on that, trying to make it caterpillar butterfly without the transformation...

...a lot of time. And I want to come to culture later because I very exciting and deep topic. But a lot of times what I see to go back to your point about agile and why does it fail? And I think similarly, okay rs and why do they fail? I think the things I see and here fairly often are two things right. One is, we took the acronym and we applied it to the exact way. We were already doing everything right. So we have targets we look at, we evaluate them at the end of the period. They're backwards facing. They go straight to your performance and compensation. But hey, we're doing okres. You're not doing O cares, and you're doing yourself a disservance by saying you are right. It's sort of a dress up the old thing with a new label and think it will actually have any different impact than the last twenty five years when you've been doing it that way, right, I see that a lot the second transformation fail. I see is actually the expectation that you can do something transformative in minutes and it requires no learning and adaptation. Right, So we did okay are as the team did. Then we had lots of our kay rs. Oh my god, they have so many. Isn't that a problem? I don't think it's a problem that every team has objectives and clarity on their outcomes. I think that's a gift. But okay, tell me more. Why that's a problem. Well, they're not very good, they're terrible. Oh that's a second gift. The gift there is how little clarity your team really has about what really matters, and the gift to you exactly now you get to work on it. Now you get to work sit But I hear that often like, oh, we tried to ocare as it didn't work. Why, well, the okare is aren't very good. Like, so what you decided to do was when you finally had transparency on what people really understood about what they should contribute, and you didn't like what they thought, you decided to not look anymore. Does it sounds right? That sounds like a Dilbert cartoon, right, yeah? Yeah? But the bit an agile as well, it's our expectation of as leaders, our expectation of how quickly we'll able we'll be able to think and operate and be comfortable in a new modality. We expect that to happen really fast and cares in particular the new modalities. I'm going to think about outcomes, not output. That is a big shift in modality for people, and not when they can't make, but when that we need to help them make. I think the worst is one. They think they know it's one because they know the word outcome and they know the word output. They think they understand. And I'm not talking about the intelligence of people. I'm talking about the lack of insight. You you know, if if I had a job title that was super fun way to describe what I do, a tongue in cheek, it would be I help people who think they know what they know to realize that they don't know, so that they can know what they don't know. You know, that would be my job title because I just want to help people get to the place of being open to the possibility that what if it's not what if it's not that, and what if it could be this? So it's it's just being open and receptive to asking those. You know, the typical disconnect between executives and employees is based on the lack of shared understanding around how the customers experience does or does not equate to revenue. So this big thing about targets and goals that you're talking about here, you the way we've dealt with it specifically because we're in sales and that's a big part of what we do. The same thing with marketing is that we're saying we do have goals and targets. I think the the goal is the shorter term thing and the target is the longer term thing. But you know, if I were to give some distinction there, but they might be synonyms in your organization. And what we're saying is those are still true. Those are what's in it for your business, and you should have them because you should know if you're moving the needles that matter on your business. But the more important thing, and this is hard for a lot of companies here, they're like, there's nothing more important than than revenue. I hear you, But what if that's not true? What if you have the ability to have a direct correlation to revenue, to where revenue...

...and profitability are the byproduct of something, Well, then what would be more important than that is value? So if I provide to you a way, right, the way that says, here's how we help your team get to the place where they have autonomous clarity and the ability to generate value to by themselves, to work with others to scale that value and then deliver it to our customers. Would you want that? Who wouldn't welcomed? Okay? Rs right? And so a tool like workboard is super helpful and saying, well, how do we know that, how do you visualize that, how do you represent it? And how do you ask better questions because you're more aware. Well, that's part of the problem right now. We spend so much time at tail lights. We meet on lagging metrics with lagging indicators to talk about lagging things that have already happened. And it's it's one of the most painful experiences in all of the business role I've seen, is we keep going through that seemed well and expecting it to produce non bitter water. That's not going to happen. So I want us to look at head lights, not tail lights. Right, How do we get ahead of it? Yeah, I think the leading lagging labeling it's actually particularly you try to take cares and measurement of outcomes to a broader part of the organization. Leading in light. He's like, Oh, I don't know what that means. I'm not sure. Headlights and tail lights is so unbelievably a tail lights are Oh, this is the parking lot I just pulled into at the end of the drive. Headlights are shining a bright light on the ground in front of you, so you can see where there's a pothole, where there's a wall, navigating right, so much more evocative. It actually enables me to drive forward right, not see where I've parked, and that to away from end of period financial metrics to the headlights, let us drive. And I would argue that a lot of transformations how we make the revenue number is actually a part of the transformation. Oh. Absolutely, and so that's kind of that's one of the by products of having that forward looking view, right, is that you're not able to just anticipate more, you're able to respond right now. I would make the statement that I bet most of the people, really smart people are really good companies doing their very best. Listen to this podcast are reacting to their markets right now, we would rather respond to the market. What's the difference, day Dre And I think you've just described It's why I use your headlight tail. I think I love that from you. It's if you would be able to look forward instead of backward, how much more likely would you be able to respond versus react? Right, if you hit the pothole, yes, you're going to have to control the wheel, the steering wheel after that impact. Wouldn't it be great to not hit the pothole? Totally? Exactly right? Exactly right. Actually, some of your colleagues from IBM we're talking at an event we held this morning for the broader community, and they talked about how data data in their moment, in real time actually gave them the facts they needed to adjust course and their words to turn the crank faster right, which is not all of my responding. I'm starting to anticipate what's next, right, and I know when and how to accelerate and where not to accelerateau I accelerate off a cliff right. The fact base of what's in front of you or what's the next increment, I think is pretty powerful. People. Let's follow the customer thread a little bit. So you talked a little bit about it, and you laid out this idea of what if we could deliver value, right if everybody knew the value that they created and brought forward. And there's a shift part of the I'll called broader transformation markets in general to of course customers centristy, putting customers at the center of our world. That's a shift in mindset for just about everybody in the company, certainly leaders who think about how we're going to profit from customers and get value from customers too. How are we going tocus on creating value for customers, and...

...not just in how we transact with them, right, but in all that we do. Take us through that a bit more. How do you think about that? How are you approaching it? How how is your own sales organization rethinking value at the center for customers and customer value at the center of behaviors. It's it's such an important part for us that I actually wrote a natural manifesto for sales, right, and in that I actually describe what we value. And so for us, there's a lot of truth to what you're talking about is saying, how do you make it for something rather than against something? Right? How do I be for the client rather because you are against your client? If the if they exist to be your profit center? Right? I am a hundred percent sure that everybody listening to this none of your clients went into business to be part of your profit center. That is not their purpose. I guarantee it. Right. We all know that, But yet we think about what can we extract from them? Now? What value can we deliver to them? Don't extract, go deliver because one of them is both a what's in it for me? When me is us our company? But what's in it for me should be them where me as the customer? We should ask that with them w I F f M what's in it from R W I FM? What's in it for me? Where me as the customer? Is? How you know that? So when you find people who believe what you believe in, value what you value, have your ideal customer base. The rest are gonna be people who value what you value but may not believe. Or they'll believe what you believe, but they may not yet value the way you do it. Anybody who doesn't set either of those criteria will not be a good client for you, I promise, and separating the weight from the well. It's separating the wheat from the chap. And it's not saying we don't care about them. We simply give them the opportunity to go to somewhere else where they do value that because they're going to be very challenging for us to convince, convert, and then maintain versus Oh, we've got to convert and now we've got to help you grow. That's just a world of difference. And I think that so often and B two be in particular, we're so focused on what's the lifetime value, Well, flip it backwards. What's the lifetime value for them? So if they're with work Word for five years, what's the value and how do they calculate that? Because they should be able to They should be able to absolutely understand the value of investing in work Board and the coaching and consulting that comes with that, and say because of this, all of these things have been possible over time, because again there's no short fix. If you want a quick fix, you know, go they go the internet and I'm sure somebody has written something about a quick fix. There's five keys to everything out there, right, But if you want to actually solve for how does your business stay in business and how do you help your clients receive value, then the lifetime value is about their lifetime value. Now, by the way, you will benefit because your rate goes down your yeah, absolutely, and and the ability to retain and then also to expand because they trust you, they'll try new products and services, they'll invest deeper and wider. These are the things that happen when you actually do what you say you're gonna do from an authentic point of view that says we're in it for them, not for us. Now we benefit, We need to stay in business. This is not just a purely altruistic thing, but there's nothing wrong. In fact, it's completely reasonable to make a profit when I deliver extreme value. The key is the value has to be the focus, not the price, because what I know dedres if price is the focus and guarantee you value is not agree. Yeah, I actually think this is one of the As you know, I was IBM bought my last startup company that IBEM for a number of years, and so I had it was there for a number of years as opposed to a number of months. So I had an opportunity to lead a business inside IBEAM, and then an obviously opportunities to start businesses and grow them. And one of the things that is so different between the two is when you're starting something you never ever started for profit. You started because you believe there's a problem that really valuable to solve for somebody, right, And you actually started because you believe there's a lot of buddies, not just one somebody that you can solve that...

...problem for. And then the first years of your life are actually about deeply engaging with people who have that problem and trying to get to a place like did we solve it yet? Did we solve it yet? Is it valuable yet? Is it valuable yet? Those early iterations in company's life are so deeply centered in the value we're giving the customer and whether we're giving them enough. And so there's a the internals inside a smaller company growth and a tech company, a young one, I should say, is it's actually the customer value is so at the center because everybody who joined it joined it somewhere in this journey. Is that enough value? What more value can we provide? How are they experiencing that value? And so on, and in a larger company, right, one that is as storied as I bem more than what's a hundred and ten years old. Now, I think the why did we start? Why are we here? You have to work a little bit harder to create that and with the kind of passion and clarity that you have super important keeping and revitalizing really the connection to the value we create for customers. And there I would go, I would go beyond revitalizing. I would call it reinventing, right, because if you're true to your d n A, that essence is going to exist no matter what. But the way you deliver it, just like the butterfly coming from the cocoon, right, the way it came out of that concoon is not the way it went into it, right, And that's on purpose, that's actually with great intentionality. So when I talked about value, that the way I would say it. I told you I wrote the Agile Digital Sales Manifesto. I'll read just the quick part because it's all about value. It's I don't said about value, right, So here as that goes, we value creating client value over extracting value from clients. We value better outcomes over more outputs. We value collaboration for client centricity over silos of individual work. We value data driven insight over conventions and opinions. We value building a sustainable work culture over prior hising last minute requests. We value teams focusing on client centric okay or aligned work over lower value b A. You work. That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. I don't think that's a sales manifesto. I think that's just a manifesto, right, Like that's just the way we should work. And I think it's there's so much truth in it. It would go out on a limits. It's actually the way we all want to work, if we just gave ourselves permission to do that and we aligned on working that way. I think people who want to work in psychologically healthy, healthy ways would agree with you. There are many who do not um and therefore they would they would stick. And you know, there's a reason people stick with what didn't work before. There's an intrinsic motivation for them in that. And and until you understand that motivation, it's pretty hard to understand why change is so hard. Yeah, and ultimately it may come out back to like how closely connected you are personally, how much you believe in the creation of value for customers versus the creation of value yourself, which is a reflection of culture. Right, yeah, and let's go there. And culture is you have a pretty provocative point of view on this and I love it. Which is culture is not from the topic. Culture is actually from everyone, Like we're all compriputer participants in that you have a constructor and self directed culture. Tell us a bit more about that. Well, I think that the culture is not what we say it is. It's it's what we discover, it's what you see in action. It's kind of like your brand. Your brand is not your positioning statement and your logo and the cleverness of everything you produce on social media. I think your brand is what everybody else says your brand is, right, So if if everybody thinks your brand is junk, then it doesn't matter how polished your stuff is. It's why it's so hard for companies that have faced huge PR crisis is to recover at times because the brand took such a hit that the trust was you wrote it often seemingly instantly, and so what you have to do is you have to do the long hard work of maintaining brand relevance through brand...

...transparency. And the better the company isn't doing this, the organization is doing this, the more believable trust that they are, and usually the more successful they are. Right, there's a lot of variable scare, but I think self directed culture is a big part of why I love agile so much. I think angel the idea that you can take groups of people, and even very small groups of futule I would go down to say even individuals, and and have the ability to think, learn, experiment, test, validate, and repeat again and again again and and and trust people to use their instincts, to use data and to come together and really build something well, sooner rather than later. Risk is mitigated because you're you're taking smaller risks, but you're doing it much more frequently, and so you have the ability to pivot and learn that The key of that learning culture is key. So I think agile at its core, it's not a soft development thing or a project management thing. Agile is a culture play because if you change the culture, dedream boy, you can change anything. But if you cannot change the culture, usually anything you bring no matter how good it is, usually won't stick because people will revert to what doesn't work because at least they know it and it's comfortable. Yeah, they know what those steps look like. Right. Let's poke on that a little bit though, because there's a lot of conversation about as if culture is created at the leadership level and everybody else is just to participant in it. But you don't believe that. You think culture team level, not at the executive level. Absolutely, I think you gets caught not taught, right. And so you can have all the clever things and post it in the workspace series and the break rooms, and we can even put it in every power point dock, we can put it on our website, we can talk about it at all hands. But ultimate culture is what you experience, and so what people experience informs their view of what the culture actually is. Go to glass door, look up any company, and you're gonna find out what people think about their culture, not what the company says the culture is what those people think about the culture. And you know, there's a lot of things that makes that challenging because in a very large organization, you have so many layers of leadership and so many different opportunities from management. You know, the acxiom of people don't need companies to leave managers is pretty dang true. So you're gonna have some bad apples in there, and that will unfortunately affect the company's reputation. But you can tell which company's value feedback and which don't. You can tell which one of those have that kind of positive, healthy, open culture versus those that don't. I think these days you can tell which company to set a layoff and which one's heaven. But I think Last Door, I'm not a fan because I think it's terminated people and hiring managers only. You're probably cynical, but you're probably some good truth in that I just find. But but but here's the thing. Good to be going to say something nice to somebody, like do a shout at like we have an enormous internal culture of recognizing each other and shrink for the company, And and nobody's saying that on glass door. It's like, don't even remember the glass door exists except for those two instances. Those two situations, well laid off or I'm hiring and the people that got laid off last year are so funny. The only complaints, right, it's a who's motivated to go to glass door? Is? I would throw a question at you, and that like the answer is not very many people. We can skip this one all together. Let me let me go this way. I think that for self directed teams in a self directed culture, what you're really talking about is changing the culture, because if you change the culture, you can change and if you can deal change the culture, not much changes. Angel is a way. And what we've brought is not the frameworks of scrum or safe or combine or lean or six. We've just said there's some tenants, and there's values and principles, and if we apply the values and principles, they are transferable everywhere. Right, Like that just goes everywhere because humans, right, and people are human ing the best they know how to human right. So I think what we need to do is help human better. And so...

...agile is a way for us to bring people together and say what do you think we should do? And as leaders, our job is and this is a big shift because as a manager and a leader in an agile organization, I don't tell people what to do and I don't inspect their work. In an agile organization. What I'm doing is saying, how do I support what you need and remove impediments out of your way and escalate the things that are beyond you that I have some relationship with an opportunity to do for you. And number two, how do I scale you up so that you have a better career path? Full stop? That's your job. And by the way, that's way more valuable than telling people what to do inspecting their work. We don't seek to inspect, we seek to understand. We don't want to tell people what to do. We want them to tell us what they need us to do. Do you see that huge dichotomy, and it really is the idea of flipping from one of them is what's in it for the shareholder? How do we create revenue? And one of them is what do we create value? Well, when you focus on the customer, it's got not to trickle down effect requires a direct, focused effort to achieve that, which means from the person doing writing the code, or writing copy for the website, or posting the social media, or on the phone selling or doing HR operations. Picket right, every person has the opportunity to be client centric, even if their work stays internal to the company because the client is who you serve. Yeah, we exist to serve them, and and that has to be such an integral part of our hy for transformational change that if you don't have that, you're not likely to transform anything. You'll just go back to optimization. Completely agree with you that agile becomes substrate for the culture the way we show up right, and it's a permission even to show up as an imperfect person who's iterating and learning based on new information and new new skills they acquire doing the work right. I think the second part of that, the sort of managers kind of directing and inspecting. I almost think that that's the root cause of at is from a vacuum that I think the okay our is fil which is we the okay our cycle itself is we have this conversation about what value we're trying to create. We are clear about it, and the key results are not opinions and fuzzy. They're distinct and clear and measurable, and there is no ambiguity between us about what our hypothesis is for where we're going to create value. They're not themes, they're literal outcomes. Right with a way of assessing or not right. And then I think the last part of that is and then we shake hands, and when we shake hands on it, and then I think people on our teams can confidently go off and do their best work confidently because they know that what they're working on is like, Hey, we're locked and loaded, let's go on that. That's great. I mean, this is exciting. I can't wait to have this impact. Right. And then I don't have to direct because we had a mechanism and a shared language for getting to clarity. And then if I'm using data, I don't have to inspect. I can just look. And part of the reason I inspect is I need transparency myself because as a manager, I'm depending on on my team, right, and I'm dependent on the team's underneath my team. The inspection comes from I don't have any fact based on what they were trying to achieve where they are now, right. But when you do, yeah, it shifts from inspection to understanding. I do want to visualize where we are. It's why we use work forward to understand what is our progress towards the things that we've committed to and why is that not? Are we achieving it or not. I don't actually care. Yes, I said that out loud. I care what we learn, right, I don't care if we get a hundred or eight percent. What I want to know is what did we learn? Because if I have people's sandbag on my current KPIs that you know, if you're not using our kr as yet and they stand back and they hit them all, is that really success? Because no, it's not. So what I want to do is say, hey, we want our in your language at workboard, I think is great. What's your best possible, not your most probable? And I love that language because...

...it really helps us think about what if what if? And we don't have to hit it. I love the old phrase of if you aim for the stars, when you hit the moon, you didn't do so bad. Right. So we we do stretch ourselves because we think there's value in trying to create extreme value and surprise and delight at every step. We don't always hit that, but but that's what we're trying to learn is why not? Why what? And it is not punitive. There is no scorecard to to slap someone's risks and go look at it what you didn't do? Instead there's a conversation. There's a conversation to know what we could do better because I have a belief. I believe that green is not good in these colors right, and red is not bad. And go to any chart, anything including work board, green is not good, red is not bad. They're just true. So what I tell our teams is that if you're green, I'm still going to ask the same questions as if it's read why because dedri If we're running at of something and I go, great, how are we doing that? And it turns out that we're doing that in spite of ourselves, and it could be I should never be satisfied with the green. Likewise, if I look at the red and I go, why is that? We have too many dependencies? How can we change that? We can't great to know, let's go have a conversation about what it's going to take to do that. No one's at fault. There's no blame and shame in our game. Instead, there's the opportunity to have honor and respect because honors given, respect is learned, and what we want to do is always lead with that honor and then say how do we learn to build those communication pathways to have those handshakes that you talked about to build the trust and respect. When you do that, you're running on facts, not opinions. You want feedback to validate the data, because let's be honest, any spreadsheet, I can make it sing and tell it whatever I want you to see, right, I can make any a set of numbers look good or bad. That's not the point. The numbers need to be validated by what people tell us. How do we know what they tell us because we actually do feedback loops And this is the big difference. And I actually have a I know we're on an audio only podcast, but I have a I have a graphic I've posted to you know, I've done this so many times now, but I've I've posted it to LinkedIn and Medium and others, and it's it's basically shows a loop and in that loop and the top right is business goals. This is when your senior leaders come, we want to achieve X, and so they define some goal and then they say you go down to the bottom right strategic objectives. We think the best way to do that is ABC and then great bottom left keep going around the loop and we say that's where we visualize our progress. This is where workboard is key, because we're visual in progress towards outcomes, not outputs. We're trying to understand what happens, what's the impact we're learning about, and how were we making changes based on what we learn. Then we take the data because that's data, and we take the feedback from the team's doing it, and we create feedback loops that include both qualitative and quantitative data. Both are valuable. And we we didn't package that and take that and say hey, leaders, we show them work word. We pop open the screen, we say, here's your dashboard, here's this busines review. We're gonna show you our learnings and give you recommendations to either validate that the business goals were correct and if so, finers we're learning or they're not, we should potentially change them. And at the very least look at the strategic objectives and say are those the best strategies? Because what we're discovering is it's way better to give somebody a destination than a mapped out route. I want to give somebody the destination and hand them a GPS and say these are the constraints we have, but you tell us what it takes to get there. You tell us the best path, right, Because when I started this is an easy story. When I started in sales, I actually had a maps Go, which was a printed bound map, but a spiral thing and you turn to page forty and that's where the street continues. And so it was it was a way for me to map out where I would visit my clients, based on the time of day, in which traffic routes to avoid. And I literally had highlighter going across page after page, and I knew I could do my routes that way. That was before GPS was available on a...

...smartphone. This is before we had that availability that technology. Today, I would be foolish to route out someone's routes because the answer is it depends is their traffic, is their construction, was the Iraq, do we have congestion, whatever it is, It's going to use the real time data of thousands or millions of other phones and it's gonna say, you know, these phones are moving at three miles an hour, probably means this portion of the freeways slow down. So I'm gonna reroute you, right. So now the GPS does the heavy lifting for us and it gives us a better path, where not the route. The route is the byproduct. Now what is the what is it trying to do? Reach a destination? So we want our people to have a destination is clear, because I think to be clear is to be kind And if okay R is there anything? I almost don't use the term okay are all that often? I use clarity with alignment. So to be clear is to be kind. And if we have clarity with alignment, how can we not understand the destination? And then how can our teams do anything but give us suggestions and learnings on better routes to get there, including the ones that we relied on that worked forever that aren't working anymore. We have to be willing to to say all of it is up for grabs. I think helping figure out the route to the destination is an invitation to bring your full self and your full brain power and all the domains for fees and all the sleeves rolled up, let me figure it out, like energy and mojo that people can bring to the teams, especially as a team. Right, that's right? Yeah, And when you give them the route, there's no invitation there, there's no invitation to show up with your full brain power. It's just just show up and take the steps I gave you. And I don't think that's where the most innovative, most creative, and most motivated people want to work, the kind of thing they want to want to be doing. Now, the level of trust across teams and any organization deadre is inversely proportional to the level of fear present in their culture. I'll say that again, the level of trust across teams in any organization is inversely proportional to the level of fear president in the organizational CRUP culture. Do you have lots of fear, you have very low trust. It's that's simple. And how do you know? Because you will see it when people don't share, when they don't raise their hands, when you hear the scuttle butt of you know or on it, but they won't say it in a meeting, they won't say it to an executive. That's a symptom of fear. And so you need to address that by inviting and demonstrating psychological safety. Trust is what we run on. We have to run on trust, and so I have to as a leader. If there's anything I do it say, serve, how do I serve best by ensuring that I build psychological safety, that I have their back, that I take the hits for them, that I'm the one where if they have issues, they can come to me and they will be protected. Right Because sometimes there are people that don't have the best of intentions in an organization and you just have to be able to to brute that out and talk about it very plainly and clearly. But I don't want people to feel pressure right of that if I signed up for leadership, I signed up for that job. They didn't. They can because I want them to understand that conflicts not bad health. Healthy conflict is actually good, only unhealthy conflict is bad. But I want to make I want to demonstrate and build the trust over times where they know that they can and actually want them to. But that for for some organizations, that's going to take a lot of work. Yeah, yeah, I mean there's calcified layers of this is the way we operated, and when people grow us the same company, they operate the way the companies always operated. Right, I'm going to use that. That's really good. Let's end on and going back to your since we're on the topic, of trust and people. Let's go back to that to rocket, take us through what that means, and let's wrap with the with the culture impact again. Sure, so Rocket is respect, openness, courage, empathy, and trust. Respect, openness, courage, empathy, and trust. And what we've sound is that if those five are present, boy, the...

...teamural their ability to deliver their excitement the mojor you described, it's palpable and it's contagious. So we love to see that in any time. That's not what we teach and say again and again until we're boo in the face because you know, you've got to constantly. It's like vision you got to talk about all time. Is if you don't feel any of those, you have every right to say something. And if you want to come talk to one of us, feel free. We're happy to help, but we're gonna empower you to for Rocket to be true for you. And then we have another side of that. You know, for for us, it didn't just start and stop with Rocket. Rocket was the way we started to think about what we were doing as a is our our cultural normative. But what it's really also tied into our our principles. So we have five values r O C E. T. And then we have three principles and those are clarity of purpose, where we begin with clarity about the outcome and let it guide every step. We have an experiment learning iterate belief, which is we listen, learn, iterate, and course correct rather than follow us strict plan there's your GPS versus following a path with a route predetermined route. And the third one is self directed action. So we collaborate, innovate and find our individual paths and share our learnings as a team. And then we go one step further at the program level. We share learnings across teams. So we do retrospectives. And we'll take the retrospectives and it's a tool of created called the retrospective radar. It's free on creative Commons to get look at look it up retrospective radar, and it's able to say if they're giving us feedback along the dimensions of more of less of, start doing, stop doing, keep doing, and they're gonna say it for their manager or for senior leadership. We can actually then hone in on the feedback and make it very actionable. We know who it goes to and what it's about. And when we do that, we do that for all the squads, all the teams. So when I have twenty six teams and I take the feedback from teams, I didn't run it through Watson Natural Language Process, sir, and guess what I get? I get text analysis of qualitative text based verbatim feedback, and I'm able to pull out insights, trends, patterns, and we're able to then show the breakdown of that over time to say, did you know these are the truths that our teams are facing? Did you know this is a common theme? Did you know this is a common issue? And now we're using data to talk about systemic things right when we're not doing it with an opinion of this is a terrible process, this tool sucks. We're now saying here is the impact, and here's how often what's being brought up, and here is the love, beloved dissatisfaction around that. And we also include, because we gives us the data, we put the sentiment in tone, So if they're sadness or anger, we show that because we want to say this is real so their feedback is valid. We validate the feedback, and then we show them that we've taken their feedback and it leads to change. This is how you get that trust built. When you show them their feedback leads to change people man will give you more feedback and better feedback. And that's a big part of that cultural piece of how do we build that culture? You've got to build it with trust and so how do we do that. We've put a model in place, five values, three principles, and it's okay rs to have clarity with alignment and agile so that we can change the culture right and really respond to the market, whether than just react to the market. And that in a nutshell is what we're doing. Of course, there's a lot to that, and workboard is has been central to how we visualize it all and represent it. But that's the essence of what we're doing in agile digital sales that I be am fabulous. I don't think we go anywhere from there. I think that was the perfect summary. Thank you very much, Anthony for sharing your wisdom, for riffing and for giving us the benefit of the constructs and the approach you've taken and the opportunity to learn from that, borrow it and apply it in other organizations. You're so welcome Daydrea. Thanks my friend that absolutely you've been listening to the Okay Our Podcast. Subscribe in your favorite player so you never miss a moment. Thanks for listening. Until next time, A long n fool.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (33)