Coming Back From the Coronavirus as a Stronger Organization
Hello and welcome to today's webinar, coming back from the coronavirus. Is a stronger, organization. I'm paul michaelman, editor-in-chief. Of mit, sloan management, review, and i'll be your moderator, today, today's program is sponsored by skillsoft. Our speaker today is george westerman, george is a senior lecturer, at the mit, sloan school of management. And principal research, scientist, for workforce, learning, at mit's. Jameel, world education, lab. George, over to you. Thanks paul, delighted to be here and thanks for everybody who has come to the the event i'm looking forward to sharing, these thoughts with you and hopefully you'll find them useful as you try to come back stronger. From the coronavirus. So uh, as paul said i work here at at the sloanman, school of management. And i've been here for almost 20 years now uh. And uh also. I've been, the last few years working in workforce, learning at j well what we're trying to do there is, using these digital tools and using the kind of ai and analytics we have available, how can we get the right skills, to the right people the right way at scale. Now's a chance to reinvent, that and so i'm really focusing a lot of my time on that right now. So, i've been, doing, work on digital, transformation. For about 10 years now. We have one of the first great books on the topic. We. Have some great work that we've done with sloane management view on there, and until february, that was the conversation, that was happening in most organizations. Technology, is the endless agitator. Of the business world, and all the conversations. Seem to be about how can we, make sense of the technology, how can we use technology, to transform, where we're going. And so um. What we learned there though is, moore's law is changing technology, really, quickly. But, there's another law i call it george's, law uh the, smr, people wouldn't let me call it that we call it the first law of digital. Innovation. And that's the technology, changes quickly. But organizations. Change much more slowly. And that gets lost in the technology, conversation. Because if the technology, doesn't provide you value. The value comes from changing your organization. Or if we want to say this way digital is not the main problem transformation. Is. And that also meant that in that case it's not really a technology, challenge it's a leadership, challenge to make these things happen, now up till february, we had a lot of really interesting things to say on that, and then along, came this. And i remember this very clearly because we had done at this wonderful, event march 4th. Had 100 people, into mit. Uh to talk about human skills, and how you measure them and how you use them what do you want to do with them it was a phenomenal, event, and in may 6th, we were told don't come to campus anymore. That everybody, then went home and we'd have not been back to campus, at un until now. And, that was. Troublesome. It's still a lot of scary stuff going on but we as organizations, have figured out, how to deal with this, in a. Remote, way. Uh in fact if i were to think about it, what we were talking about trying to do in digital transformation. Happened, pretty darn, quickly as soon as the virus came along, and so this i'd love to take credit for this i have no idea who did it but i'm happy to share it and, if you know who did it let me know, um. So much this, covid, made us in two months change faster than we had in five years normally.
And What happened is things that were impossible, became possible. Things that felt like they wouldn't work suddenly, did work, but here's the biggest challenge we've got, as mit, starts to come back to school and all these others comes back to school as companies, start to think about how to bring workers, back. Or how to continue, work now in a steady state with the workers, remotely. The challenge is this, when covent came on we changed, really quickly. But. Did we change well. And i would argue that in most companies. The change, happened. And we're still catching up to where that change led us and where we need to go from there. But. Even as that's happening. Some companies are moving quickly. Some companies. Are. Able to move ahead. And all of us are trying to move forward. And as we think about it, are we ready for the change to come. What we really need now is not the technical, part we know how to do remote work, we know we know how to combine the remote, and the physical, work when that's happening. There's a lot of detail to work out but that's happening. But what we need at this point is. Resilience. We need agility. We need energy to drive forward because nobody, knows what the future looks like, the only thing we know is there will be more uncertainty. More change. In the coming months, as we all adjust to figuring out what the. Covid, and the postcoded, world starts to look like, here's the thing though, if you're looking at that. Resilience. Agility. Energy those are not technical things. And, just like. The first law of digital innovation, said technology. Was quickly organizations, change slowly. It's this same thing here, these are people challenges they're not technical ones, the answer to this is not going to be to put more tools in place, to invest more in infrastructure. Yeah you probably have to do that, but the real place to invest now to be ready for the future, is leadership. How can we help to build the resilience, the agility, the energy and the people how can we get the people. Moving, and empowered. To make change now and to continue to adapt, and grow and improve, the organization. Over, time. So. What i want to do with the rest of this time is share. Three, major research studies, that my teams and i have done over the last. Couple of years, that are directly relevant to this idea of managing the people, side of covet. And so if i can think talk about it then, there are really four ways to think about how to get this people element going. The idea is you've made some changes now how do you make the organization, ready to help propel you forward, and adapt, and grow and innovate. In this new world. So how can we come back stronger. How can we manage the people side of kovitt. I just want to lay out four things to share with you. First is change the why. Why are we in business, why should, people come to work for us, why are we, working this hard, number two change the culture to be more agile, and more resilient. Then change the way we learn so people can. Get the skills they need and have the capabilities, to continue to change over time. And last is to change what we pay attention to, because. And we'll get to that. Sometimes we're paying attention to the wrong things and and we need to build up one more, today, so what i want to do is go through each of these now in the next half hour or so. Just quickly touch on these three major research, studies, and then we'll have some time for q a at the end. So starting with changing the y there's not a research study on this this is something we've, known for a while but we forget about it sometime. What is the sense of mission, that we have in this organization. Why should people come to work, here. And not anywhere else, the thing that's happening, is, certainly. In this remote world we had to learn how to work remotely. But now that we can work remotely. And we were all doing that originally, you know many organizations, had remote workers we had global workforces, we were tying together, but it's just become the norm now, the question is, if i don't need to work at the office.
Then, Why do i need to work anywhere near home, and if i don't need to work anywhere near home and i've, got good skills. Why not work for a place i want to be not just a place that's, near me that will pay me well. And. That's the sense of mission that we want to build up, why are we in business. Now this is not your typical, mission, statement. You know those mission statements, are, it's hard to know where they come from but they're usually pretty darn bad. Uh this is more the sense of mission you want to think about when you think about. Missionaries, or your local non-profit, that's trying to help the poor, or when you think about what the un, and the world health organization, are doing right, they're they're doing this because they believe, in what they're doing, they're doing it because they feel that they can have important. Impact, on people's, lives. What can you do as an organization, to try to build up that kind of a mission. Right. So um. That can be tricky right and some of the missions that are kind of interesting right disney wants to. To give the, entertaining. And inspiring, people through unparalleled. Storytelling. And if you know disney that it kind of fits really well and people join because of that idea. Uh nike. Bring inspiration. And innovation, to every athlete. That's, a mission right and and certainly we know what the startups do. What can you do about building a mission, and if you're not at the, point where you can change the mission of the company or, or tell the stories of the mission of the company, what can you do, to help your group, have a mission to make the company, better. So number one is mission. Why are we in business why should somebody work for you rather than somebody else. What will inspire, them to come to work. Beyond just the pay side of things. So that's the mission piece and it's really, important. Although we sometimes. Forget, about it, now i want to move into the three studies, and and share some other things you can do, if you can get this compelling mission going or even as you start trying to develop this compelling, mission. What can you do to make put that resilience, the agility. The energy, into things, the mission will help with the energy, and then being able to make progress, and and constantly. Move forward. Will drive that energy, even, farther. So the first is uh change your culture. And. This started. This is research, that we published in sloan management, view. Last june about a year ago. And it was really. Talking about how can you get a culture that's close enough to the digital, leaders that we know of, to really keep up. And even it's even more compelling, now as we go through so if we talk about georgia's law right, uh technology, changes quickly organizations.
Change, Much more slowly. But here's the thing organizational, cultures. They change even more slowly, than that. In fact you hear all the time culture each strategy for lunch. You hear all the time well i tried to make that change but the culture, wouldn't let me you hear things like organizational. Antibodies. Getting in the way, that's culture right when you're trying to do something that's against the culture. It can slow you down, but that doesn't mean you stop, that means you either find a way to align it with the culture you find a way to change the culture to get where you want to go, now i heard over and over again back in this research. We'd hear i wish i had the culture of google i wish i had the culture of amazon i wish i had the culture of one of those new startups we hear. But you know if you are a. Swedish. Appliance, manufacturer. Or you're a. Midwest, steel manufacturer, or something like that you may not be able to do that you can't hire people that way you can't fire them that way you can't necessarily, do some of the rules that they have, in there, how can you get close. The thing is, those cultures were not necessarily, something that you really wanted to have. All the way there anyway if we think i want to share something that's a. Oh sorry. Here's my favorite definition, of culture by the way. There are lots of good academic, definitions. But this really gets it well, when the boss leaves the room how well do people work, how do they work together are they innovating or are they just kind of slacking, off right, that's the culture, that's where we want to build we want to get the organization. Ready to move. And, to change and to grow. Without the boss constantly, saying hey let's do that. So for example here so here's a really very good digital company in the boston area called hubspot. And, the question is do you really want the culture that they had, when they first started, out this is the culture that they published. They are maniacal. But the mission and metrics. They're always working to solve for the customer, the com the companies, and profits are less important, than, solving for the customer. Radically, and uncomfortably. Transparent. Right. Autonomy. To be awesome. Picky about our peers. And about, individual, mastery. Constantly question the status quo those all sound very good and they sound exactly like the kind of thing you'd want to have if you are a digital startup. But the thing that happened with hubspot, as they grew. They started thinking about going public, as they got bigger and they had they had a different mix of people involved, they started to change this, and so here's the set that they have. They had more recently and it's changed again. We commit maniacally. To mission, and metrics, right it's not maniacal. It's committing, maniacally. Number two, they look to the long term and solve for the customer you see how these things are changing. Right. They aren't radically uncomfortably, transparently, they share openly, and they're remarkably, transparent, so you see what's happening right the organization, has. Taken some of the edges, off. And, they've. Started to realize, that, there's more to life than just work, and maybe breaking all the rules is not the best thing to do you want to challenge the rules but not break them. And this is what we. In. We find over and over again, that the biggest parts of those digital cultures. Are a little too far to go. At netflix. They don't, they keep you on board as long as you're a star they say we're a sports team not a family. The minute you're not a star we'll get rid of you and hire a star, that's, that's how they used to talk about their culture there, not the kind of thing you want to do in most companies, so i spent a lot of time on this to say.
You Can be digital enough and get there and this is what this study. Is is about here. We define digital ready culture, as a shared and mutually reinforcing. Set of values and practices. That enable, innovation, execution. In a digital, world, this is not digital, companies these are digital, enough cultures, digital ready cultures, and traditional, companies. And we see it built on. Four values, and a set of practices, you can implement, in stages. The values. Number one. Impact. I talked about mission. Certainly the startups, are all about changing, the world. Really, really, making big impact on the world, and the same thing. We'll come back to that mission thing i said earlier. How are you in the business of making the world better and not just making money. Number two speed. Three, autonomy. People have high levels of discretion. Rather than formal structure, and and sign off processes. Typically you hear, you can act within swim lanes where you can act within guide rails. And within there you're fine then you might need to talk to somebody if you get beyond those guide rails. And then the last is openness, engage with whoever needs to be to be engaged. It doesn't matter whether than your organization, doesn't matter whether they're even in your company. We hear, often. That. Talent is more important than title in this thing. Now none of these. Go against any rules, of how organizations. Should work, all of them can make you be more digital, ready. And, more. More digital ready. More agile. Better at meeting the market and meeting what your company needs to do. But those values, are fine. The problem with the values, is they're just, words. And the values need to be linked into practice. So what do we think about the practices. Here. Well here are a set of practices, we identified. In the research. For um. For. How you how you get these this work done, they move from the left-hand, side, experimenting, rapidly. Self-organizing. Driving decisions with data, things that the digital companies do well that that, the typical traditional, company at least in our surveys, comparing, digital and traditional companies, the traditional companies didn't do nearly as well in there. Then we moved in the middle. Obsessing, about customers, focusing on results. Company, digital and traditional companies, felt they do these about the same. But they do do them very differently and i'll get back to that. Integrity. Stability. These are things you hear. When the, when the digital companies, get in trouble. They have forgotten. About these practices. And as they grow up they start to become more careful about these practices. The good thing is our research, shows that if you pay attention to these it doesn't have to hurt your innovativeness. At all. And less is something that tends to happen in traditional, companies and not in the digital ones at all. Using rules, stick. Having a rules orientation, and often using rules to stop progress. That tends to happen more in the traditionals, and it's just a bad idea this is the one thing we found that was that, negatively, associated, with performance. In the surveys that we ran. So how do you get these things built well, let me just put them on in stages, here. Number one if you want to get this more digital ready if you want to get digital, enough to really make progress. And as i mean by that not just, digital. Progress. But also this resilience, and this agility, that we're trying to build up in a coronavirus. Era. Number one is work on building. These really, these things that the digital companies have. Rapid experimentation. Self-organizing. Focusing, on the data. To see whether we're making progress, or not. These are things that we know the digital companies do the good thing is these are things that, every, traditional, company, can do, now. If you're a large company your it organization, already knows what agile is whether they're doing it or not, if you're not there are many people that could come in and help you figure out how to be more agile. What i will say though is that the point about being more agile. These practices, are very doable.
We Know how to do them there are coaches that can help you. But don't just leave it in the it organization. And if your it organization, is doing it work with them don't have them try to do it on their own, because the change that happens. Remember earlier i said. That you know it's not a technology, problem it's a transformation. Problem, the change is going to happen is on the business side not on not just with technology. So number one build up these agile, self experimentation. Self-organizing. Practices. And make them part of the way you work. Number two, preserve, the integrity and stability, you've worked hard to get there, make sure that you keep those because that's important, for your reputation, but also just important for, the kind of improvements. You're trying to make and the improvements, that the way you're trying to treat your workers. Number three. You think you're customer responsive. You think that you're moving to the results but you're not doing it the way the digital people did and what do i mean by that. Well. It. If you ask your customers, what they want, you're often going to get an incremental, improvement on what they already have. The great companies. Lead their customers, to on to help the customers, understand, what they need, and so you're constantly trying experiments, to see what the customers, want there's an old story from henry ford i don't know whether it's true or not but henry ford said if i listen to my customers, all i would have was a faster horse. And that's not what they needed they needed a whole different mode of transportation. Same thing happened with the. Iphone. And and those kinds of, things that have come out of apple regularly. The other is results orientation. If you're. Looking at your quarterly numbers you're basically looking, backwards, all the time. Where you want to be doing is managing, by today's results. The week's results. Not the quarters, results. Because then as you make a change you do an experiment you see quickly whether something has happened or not, so, you need, we need to reorient, what it means to be customer responsive, customer obsessed we need to reorient, what it means to be driving by the results. And last. If rules are getting in the way stop it, we all know and we've all been guilty of using rules to try to stop something we didn't want to happen. But we need to change that way. This the organization's, not about rules the rules should help us make better progress not and get away get in the way of making progress at all, so these are four steps we know how to do these. We just have to do them and this will make you digital enough it'll make you agile, and responsive, enough to really thrive. Without having to go all the way. To where the digital, companies, are, in terms of paying and hiring and managing, and also making some of the mistakes that they made over time. So that's the culture piece. Uh we talked about you want to have a, build, help engage people in a mission that they believe in, and then the good thing is as you got that mission that mission is going to want people want to drive people to change to do better in an organization. And so we need to unleash the organization's, culture to allow people to make great, things. Happen. And you know i said this is digital company this is traditional companies not digital. Dbs, bank was the worst of the top banks in singapore, for customer, experience. The story was that dbs, stood for damn bloody, slow.
Now That's not exactly, the brand. Reputation, you want to have in an organization. So they decided to change it and they knew they changed it not through. Some marketing, effort by but by engaging, the whole culture and making it happen. So they talked about becoming a 22, 000 person startup but they started with a mission. Let's make banking, joyful. Let's try to figure out how to make it the best experience, our customers, can have because if it's the best experience that they can have, will be better company and more profitable, over time. So they engaged the workers in that they helped they did all kinds of opportunities, for people to contribute. Ideas, and even be part of making change happen, and they did some learning things which i'll talk about in a minute, to make that happen, they went from worst to first, in in their or in, in. The customer, experience for the company, they launched a new digital, effort in india they could work for lower. Income people and still be profitable. And the whole company, is just different. In the course of, about four years than it ever was before. We've certainly seen interesting stuff with ing, with hire, in china. Big traditional, appliance, company, working into micro, units that can work in a much more agile way and connect across, as they need to create businesses. And even at carmax, you know you don't think about. Selling cars as being the most innovative, digital. Agile. Thing. But at carmax, shaheen muhammad, who won our contest, this year as the best cio. For sloan. He in five years worked with making the culture more agile, more ready. Starting in i.t and moving up through the rest of the business. And in five years. They. They went from, 14 to 20 billion dollars in sales, they grew their eps, by 70, over the course of five years, and it's just a different, company not the typical, thing you'd think of a car retailing.
Company. Going forward. So this is what i'm talking about you don't need to be digital you just need to be digital enough and you can do it. So we got the mission. And. In that mission we're going to then unleash the culture so the culture can help people, feel they're having that impact and see where they're going, where do we want to go from there, well as this culture. Happens. We then want to help the people. Be more ready, to play their role, and that's changing, the way that you learn. So this is another study, that we just published. This january. And. It's about changing the way that we train people in organizations. So what we've seen in talking to. Many companies, around the world, is that there are two models, of how we do learning and development. Now if you're like me having grown up in organizations, for a while, learning and development, was not known as the most strategic. Not known as the most, customer, responsive. Not known as the most dynamic, organization. In. In your organization. Um. It had a real trainer mentality. The idea being, hang up a slate of courses, if you feel like taking those courses okay wait four months that course will be available, for you. And. If you need a new course, well we'll, you know, give me a year i'll see what i can do for it, not the greatest reputation. Not the most responsive, people in an organization. And as a result they've been under budget pressure and under questions about their value, for, increasingly, over the last few years. What we've seen is emerging, is a new model called the transformer. Chief learning officer. This is not, let's hang up let's add let's take orders and hang up a lot of courses. This is hey the organization, needs to go somewhere. I'm going to sign up and take personal responsibility. To help the organization. Get there, that's personal responsibility. Personal, risk, personal, stress. But we are going to help the organization. Be ready, we're not just going to, take orders and kind of hang back and let somebody else take all the risk. The idea here is that the transformers. Are playing a critical role in helping the organization, be ready, helping develop the skills we need for that new culture, helping develop the capacity. To change. In ways that they've never done before. In fact we see that this model learning development. Is better for organizations. And better for the workers, and the reason for that, is that they're changing three different ways, number one they're changing the goals. They're going from developing, skills to developing the right mindsets, and capabilities. So not only we can perform our job now, but also we can adapt, much more smoothly, in the future. So it's not hey skill what skills do you need here we go it's more let's get to the mindset, let's get the capability, to change. So you can do this and you can grow, and you can be more comfortable, helping the organization, to grow. Number two the methods, much more personalized. Atomized, digitized, than they ever were before much more learner, center. Than they ever were before, and that also means the department has to change much leaner more agile more strategic, than it ever was before.
Uh These words, lean agile, strategic, were not words i had ever heard about learning and development, when i, was, working in my career and working with companies. This new model is emerging, very well now, and it's going to grow, over time. Now i talk about the transformer, clo, but this is really something that applies to everybody, in the organization. Because everybody in organization, needs to learn, and if you're a leader, you need your organization, to learn, and so if your clo. Doesn't look like this. Then, um. Maybe it's now's time to work with the clo, or to help people. Make that change, we have a poll so why don't we pull up this poll and just do a quick one. I'm going to tell you more about how to make these changes, happen, but can we pull up the pole and look at where people stand on this. Dichotomy. So it's, just a very quick poll, what do you think when you think about learning a development organization, are you thinking more trainer. Hanging up a bunch of courses, and hoping people take them and taking orders or the transformer, where they're taking an active role. In making this, happen. So uh now i'm just waiting to see what the answers say we have an awful lot of people on the call so let's see how the things work. Can we see the results. Okay i am not seeing the results. Here. Hmm. Hi george this paul i'm going to. Pop in quickly because i can see the results, okay great yeah what are they. 54. Trainer, 46. Transformer. That's, really, interesting, 54, 46, because that's uh that's better than i would expect. We, saw. Around 20 uh. Around 20 25 percent of the people that we. Interviewed. For the study were in that transform robot now the fact that people were willing to be interviewed probably meant they were farther along than they wanted to go, so the idea that half of you already feel like you're in that mode is really good news.
The Other half. The story is get there. Because. If you don't have it you need it and if you're a leader who isn't that, you need to become that one pretty quickly. Uh so let me just share what it means to become that way and and what you can as as a. As a leader. Or as a, employee in a company, can expect, when learning, development, is being done right. So i talked about these three changes let's go through them. One at a time. Number one is transforming the learning goals. It's about, changing leadership, developments, it's not just about leadership but it's about how the drive change how to get the ex rapid experimentation. How to change the way we collaborate, in ways we never did before. How to grow your people better, sometimes leadership development has been doing that many times it was a different kind of thing, next is democratizing. The learning, you know we heard over and over again that. Our top people get great learning and other people just get whatever's, left and that needs to be improved, also democratizing. Meaning. The learning is often being delivered, by people in a company not by trainers. It's being delivered by subject matter experts and that's better for everybody. And the last is the skills the capabilities. Curiosity. Growth mindset. So julie durbin at cargill said if we're going to grow we have to change if we're going to. Change we have to learn, that's really a critical way to talk about it, uh and really. Also importantly with what amelie, villanova, said uh at ubs. We don't know what the next couple years are looking at now this was back, last fall a year ago when we did this interview. Think about you know how how we think about now we have no idea what the world's going to look like in the next few months, we don't want to focus on building little skills, for people. We want to be able to build, the capabilities. So people can get the skills they need and they can grow and adapt, over time. So that so dbs, bank for example when they were doing things they talked about well everybody needs to have to know enough about digital so that we can as we make these changes. People will understand, that didn't mean they maybe need to be, digital experts. But they tried to get everybody up to a common, language, here. We also see an awful lot more about. Growth mindset. And about, having people get into situations, where they have to, think beyond, what they're able to do, so they can, stretch themselves a little bit more, it's about the capability, to change it's about this basic, understanding. Not just about particular, skills you need for your job. So number two in here, transforming, experience. Well. Digitized. Atomized, personalized. In the flow, we're not going to classrooms, as much as we used to we are going to digital classrooms, but those digital classrooms, if it's just a matter of, watching, some professor, talk, on, tape. For. You know a day. Not a great model. Even even at sloan when we do our executive education, now. They're quick hits of professor, talking. And a lot more talking among each other. In our, asynchronous. Courses. There a little bit of video a lot of we, working, on ourselves and working together. To really learn how to do this. And so we're seeing changes that happen like this. A lot of peer teaching. Letting the experts teach it they might might not be the best teachers but they know the topic really well. And we can help them be good teachers. Um. Daily, questions. Many leaders, now. Many companies are now sending a daily question to a leader. Or to an innovator. To just say are you doing this have you thought about this and the idea is by asking the question you help people internalize. What they should be doing. Right. Pin boards. If you got it if you know one of the the best thing you got on machine learning pin it up here the best thing you know on, building in resilience, in a company put it up here, and these pin boards become then sources of knowledge for the organization. One place we had at accenture this is becoming a critical, element, of how they learn and there are hundreds of these pin boards now, with really good material, those pin boards also feed the development, of classes. Global classrooms, so people with different cultures and different parts of the world can get to know each other you can think more globally, a lot of simulations, and games.
Putting You immersed, in a situation, where you actually have to think through the problem. A very different way to learn and we've done this with human skills, and and. Other places. Very different way a more difficult way to set up the course but what an amazing way to help people learn and to retain, what they've learned. One of the other real challenges, here is you should expect that everything. You do, involves instruction. Introspection. And immersion, the three eyes. And the reason for that is if you, you know eighty percent of what you. Learn, you'll forget, quickly, if you get the chance to do introspection. On it it, will stay in your head even more, if you get immersion, you find out what you know and what you don't know very quickly so what what's an example of that, in the call centers at fidelity, investments. You learn in the classroom, you talk with other call center agents and in the afternoon. You get on the switchboard. And they route calls, with that new capability, to you so that afternoon, you get to try out what you've learned and learn what you don't so when you come back the next morning you're ready to learn some more stuff. That's linking it all together. At cargo what they do. In the minute you can get some micro, learning on a topic. You then apply it at work and then you write up a little thing, that you can share with your peers on whether it worked, and your peers can give you feedback. And that they reverse these eyes a little bit they uh but the idea is that by putting it together in work you learn and you can share with others so they learn, so if your learning process, is not, this. Sorry, if your personal learning process is not this. If it's not this. If it doesn't involve the three eyes, it's time to change that process, and if you are l d, you can change it if you're not l d you can demand it and get that. Last to transform the l d unit on here. Uh the organization's, smaller. Faster, more agile. There are new roles coming out here experienced, designers. Curators, their communications. Roles, that weren't there, and also it's much more created, from creation to curation, and co-creation. Much more peer learning. Much more learning in multiple sources, and more more formats. So. We are doing an event on this topic we're getting, together a lot of people on september, 15th in a virtual way to think through these ideas. So if you're interested. Please join us here. You can go to that site there, bitly trainer to transformer, and see what we're doing, and i'll tell you now if you send me an email i can send you a discount, code, to join us there we've got some amazing. Close. To help we're going to think together, about what this means for how organizations. Can learn better, and the idea is to, help you give everybody some ideas you can work with and also, find some ideas that we can continue, to push forward, over time. So that was uh so we've gone through. Three, of the four. I just want to highlight, one more. That's to change, what you're paying attention, to. And what do i mean by that. Well. There's an awful lot that we have we the way we worked at the office. That we may or may not have been good at. But, there was, if we work at it, often it was very subconscious, some people were good others were not. And, um. Moving, remote. Has made it even more clear. That what we're doing subconsciously. Needs conscious, effort. And it also makes it very clear that people were missing these skills are missing them in a big way now and we need to help them get there, and what do i mean by that, continuing, on this theme that is not really about the technology, change it's about organization, change. That it's really as human as it is technical, to get these. There's a really important, element here we paid so much attention to technology, skills and teaching people digital and teaching people ai, and even you know should everybody learn to code. What we we've dropped out of the conversation, and we need to bring in is human skills. Human skills matter more than ever. And the the. They've mattered before covet, they matter even more now, that you've all heard, the statement.
We Hire for hard skills, and fire for soft skills. Well we need to pay more attention to the soft skills, the the what we call the human skills in there, and what we did is we went out and tried to find what these things were, and we found 41, different, frameworks, of them out there, uh each of them had lists of things that looked important, for these human skills. And so what we did is we organized, those. We added a few that were not really there but needed to be there we did a lot of expert, work and card sorts and other things together right and we put it into this meta framework. And so one of the things you want to think about in terms of human skills is, yes we all know we need those soft skills we need those human skills, this is a way to think about where they are and how we might develop, them, certainly in the background, an awful lot of basic literacy, we need. Digital literacy. Cultural, literacy, organization, how organizations. Work, how the monies where everybody needs to know some of that, but then we want to think through these skills and the way to think through it, the top is doing the bottom is leading. The left is me, is me, the right is others. And so, one way to think about it is how good am i, how good are my people. At, thinking, well. At interacting with others, how good are we at managing ourselves. How good are we leading others, no matter where you are in the organization, all four of these are important but of course some of them will get more important, than others over time, right. The other thing is there are things we know, critical, thinking. Collaboration. And empathy. We forget it sometimes, we know right, planning and organization, professionalism. You know project management, we know these, there's some though that are coming to the fore that we need to pay more attention to. Thinking systemically. Having a comfort with ambiguity. Because of all the change that's happening, right. Persistence. And integrity. So and and also. Even from the start how do we have a vision how do we empower others from the bottom now from the top, so. We are building out some ideas, on here we're looking to work to collaborate, with others to build these things up, so. This is really the idea of, these human skills matter, we've organized, them here to help you and if this helps you think through the human skills and if you want to think more on it then, then we can talk let's talk about that later. Okay, so in summary, we talked about four, different, things. Right we have changed. The um. Technology, changes quickly, pandemic, of course changes it even faster. But organizations. Change much more slowly. We've done the technical side but now we need to leave the people side right, we need to help build up this resilience. The agility. The energy. So we've listed four things and i think we have time for just this this next poll if we could can you put the poll up. And i won't be able to i don't think i'll be able to see the results but i'm going to try something else to see. Can you is that pole up there. George the pole is up, okay great. So if you can just answer it quickly let's see where we are. Okay. Of the four challenges. Which needs, the most work in your organization. Change the why, or mission, 7. Change your culture, 58. Change the way you learn. That transform, clo, 19. Change the way you pay attention. Change what you pay attention to or human skills, 16. So you have changed your culture as the overwhelming. Choice. You know this this is so tough because if you're in the middle of an organization. It can be tough to think about changing the culture. Certainly you can talk about changing the culture, in everything, that's below you, and the critical, piece was don't try to be the digital people, but the steps that we laid out there they work, and they're not. Yes they're hard but they're not impossible. So start doing these things, by the way if you're in the middle of the organization. And you can't necessarily, change the organization. You can still start some of these, you know start making the case to do some experiments, or do some experiments, yourself start collaborating, in a different way than you did before. And you can start to make this and together with some friends you can start to make this change happen. So culture, is a perennial. Challenge, to change in organizations. It does not need to be, and it sounds like from the from this group here we this is the place where we want to pay attention to it the most. Great by the way what did they say was the best paul, in terms of. What needs the least. Mission. Mission needs the least, yeah. Okay great, so that's good, most of you feel like your company is doing something that's compelling, to your people that gives your people energy, and that's really exciting. That's good. Okay. So um. Let's just do, the kind of put this all together so with then we can go on to the questions.
If We're going to come back stronger, if we're going to build the resilience, the agility to energize. That's the leading the people side. It's not the technical, thing the tools are important. Those infrastructure, are important, but the how it's going to power you forward is not the tools it's going to what's going to power you forward is a set of energized, people working in an agile and a resilient, culture. So what do we do we change the y with this into mission. Change the culture, with a digital ready culture. Change what we learn with a transformer, clo. And pay more attention to human skills, than we ever have before. So great so why don't we jump into do some questions, paul. Great. I want to give you a second to turn on your webcam. Um. We have got. Um. Quite a few questions, that have come across, um and just a reminder, to our audience you can continue, to submit questions. Via the questions, module. Um, and. Um i will do my best we're not going to get to all of them because i can see how many there are but we'll. We'll see how many we can tackle. Um george i want to begin, by revisiting. A couple, of, the slides, that were early, in your presentation. So you have a great you have a great line we changed, quickly but did we change, well. Does this, question, kind of risk diminishing, the significance. Of changing, quickly, i mean there's some real value in just knowing you can do it isn't there and that was a revelation, for a lot of companies who were forced to adapt. Particularly to remote work. Overnight. It was just. Insane. How fast organizations. Changed, and, it was really, really hard to do especially if you're on the technology, group. Uh it was just a nightmare, for these people. We had our people you know mit, was pretty good at digital learning before we started and yet our digital learning team, the team that really empowers, our professors, to do their part internally. Was working, night and day for weeks. I will say that the fascinating, thing is we took. Something like 1200. Courses, online, in two weeks, we had 20 calls to the help desk. So, this team, working night and day was able to do some amazing things now the good thing is we had started off where most courses, already had some pieces. Every school did it every hospital, did it every company, did it, that they really moved mountains to get there but the challenges, in moving those mountains. We often are focused on moving the mountain, not necessarily, getting where we want to go. So now's the time to think about that. So on that note when it comes to changing, culture. How do we decide. What to keep and what to jettison, how do you ensure that there's continuity. Between. Who we were or who we are and who we want to become. So we're not trapped by our past. But we're also, not becoming, kind of a cultural dilettante. So number one is really if you can get that mission right and people can rally around that mission will know what the right thing is to do. Uh you know at kaiser permanente, for example they're really about keeping their, communities, healthy. That doesn't mean keeping their hospitals, filled. And so since people are rallying around this idea keeping the communities healthy, now people can come up with other really interesting ideas like can we just take a van out to that poor neighborhood. Do some blood pressure screening. And that becomes legitimate. So one is link around the culture, link around the mission. And number two constantly be checking in with people. To figure out is this working for you or how can we push it forward, and when people do push back and they will push back. Question, in the right way. Is this real. Or is this just something that you're complaining, about. So get the mission straight. Start. Engaging, everybody, in it and then check in. Make sure people feel like they're really coming along in the right way. You talked about being digital, enough. How do we know when we've crossed that threshold. And is that a good enough end game or is that just stage one. So that's the fascinating thing digital enough actually is a good enough end game. Because the the uh. You want to be fast and agile but you want to also make sure you're taking care of your people, and you're taking care of society. So the idea that the, keeping, your focus on integrity, keeping your focus on stability, for people. Doesn't, hurt you. That's a powerful. Finding. And it's something that's really important and in fact the digital companies they have to learn that.
Over Time right as as their twenty something year old employees turn into thirty something, as they stop working 16 hours a day and start having families, they have to learn how to make it work for people other than people right out of college. So, digital enough, really, is, right. And digital enough sounds you know it's enough it doesn't sound like but get there that's a huge step. If you can get that far the self-organizing. Experimentation. You're gonna win. Thank you. So let's get to some audience questions, do you have advice for people in risk-averse. Organizations. Such as government, agencies. But probably not just government agencies. Where most people want to go back, to the way we did things, before, coronavirus. So one piece of advice. You got the hard chargers, in the organization. And they will be hard chargers. And many people just want to do their work and go home and let's not forget about that there's absolutely, nothing, wrong with that, and sometimes we call those people wrong that's not the right way, what do you want to do energize, people around the mission, and the good thing is government agencies, many of them have a strong mission. Sometimes we forget about it in the bureaucracy. So. Help people, understand where the mission, is. Help people feel respected, with whatever they want to do, and engage people in making that change happen, we will never go back to the old way of working. Because we go back to the old way of working. And our competitors. Are working in a more agile, more. Fast. You won't be around for long. Same thing with government. If we're in government and we're working the old way, when society, expects us to be working in a more customer responsive, agile way. Eventually, that should that change should come to you too. Any advice for people who maybe are in the middle of an organization. Who see the world how you see it but are dealing with leaders who do not. Yes. Number one don't wait to be asked start making these changes happen on your own, you know, stretch the rules don't break the rules. Number two. Make help your bosses, understand. How other people are doing this effectively. In contexts. Like yours. So you know it's easiest to say yeah that sounds great for google it'll never work for us, but if you say hey look it just worked for this bank next door or this manufacturing, next door that's a whole different thing, so do your thing, and constantly, just. Message. The people that need to be messaged. And you'll either you'll have two chances either you will make the change happen. And you may even be seen as the star who can make this change happen other places. Or you'll find out change isn't going to happen and, you know you can go somewhere else. Can you talk about the skills, background, experience, that a transformer, needs. The same skills, background, experience, that the existing, l d leaders have. What you want to do is have a more business focus. And you want to you want to take on more responsibility. And authority, than you might have been asked to in the past. So it's it's signing up to take on some personal, risk, to help the company move forward. And in everything else you have the skills to do it. If you're a new clo. What is the, one data point you need to follow what is that one kind of critical, kpi, or metric. Wow, uh, if you only had one i would give a net promoter score for our learning and development. Function. Now i would say go beyond a little bit make sure you got the financials, worked out make sure you got some other things but nps is a pretty darn good score. Can you actually explain nps real quick for some people who might not be familiar, well you know, if you've gotten these. More and more you get these one, one question, polls from companies. That say how likely are you to recommend, our service to other people.
And The nps, is just taking the top, the top numbers, you know the seven through 10, 8 through 10, and drop off the bottom half, and so how many people are active. Supporters. Dropping out the people that are not supporters. And you'll have you're pushing the dial into real supporters, as opposed to average people. It's uh you know the scores you can you can find how to calculate those scores online, it's a pretty darn good measure for a single question and then you can go beyond that. Um so this question comes from someone who is very familiar with your work, considering, that culture, assumes, such significance. For digital transformation. Would you say this aspect. Has been adequately, adequately. Tough word covered in the digital maturity, model published in your study with capgemini. In 2012. Would you change anything, in that model. In light of the covid, pandemic. We were the first. I can say this we were the first. Really great, book. Sorry that feels bad uh anyway we have a darn good book and we were the first one out want me to say it, yeah. Your study with your study in the book was was was was a, was a. Was a major, pivot in in our understanding, of digital transformation, you really introduced a lot of the language, um and structure, as we understand it today so i've said it now you can go ahead thank you i appreciate that uh, but you know we were the first and so as. As the book came out in 2014. We continued, to learn and the you know we always knew that this was about two things, it was about doing the digital stuff well and getting it into your customer experience, and your operations, and your business models, it was about. Leading the change envisioning. And and enlisting, your people and making that change happen. The culture was always something that we knew would happen, but it wasn't happening yet when we started, so this culture has come along, as as we've gotten better at it, this culture, work has come in if anything, the stuff that i've worked with on with you paul and your team, and other work we've done. This people, stuff has become more important, over time. Very technology, focuses become much more about. Making sure that people are ready to go and we're arming them with the right skills to change. Yeah. Where does the buck stop in organizational. Learning who owns. It. Certainly, the clos, need to sign up to own it more than they have in the past. But in the end the learning is going to really come for the individual, to learn for yourself. If you're powered the right way and to be to empower those individuals to learn from themselves it's going to become the supervisors. To empower, their people, so that was a long complex, answer is the clo need to take more responsibility. The supervisors, need to take more responsibility, to help their teams, move up. And last you know individuals, need to sign up with that growth mindset to make it happen. So the bucks stopping all over the place. You gave me a sideways answer but i'm going to let you get off. The boat. Where are organizations. Most likely to misstep, in trying to implement, the transformer. Clo, model what should we be on the lookout for. Don't spend, too much money. Before you really make the changes, happen. Uh there are so many tools that are out there there's so many consultants, that will sell you a zillion dollar transformation, package. But in the end it's really thinking about the employee, experience. It's thinking about what really the state of the art is here, and how we can really make this thing work for employees. And make the company ready to change. So the biggest place you can lose is by spending too much without putting the rest in yeah go ahead.
Apologies, For uh stepping on your, last semester. Um, as we think about kind of formal and informal, learning structured, and unstructured, how should we think about coaching, and matter, mentoring. Being integrated, into the l d process. It's really, critical, and frankly companies do it well for the top of the organization, they don't do it as well. For the rest. We ask supervisors. To mentor people. Many times companies are setting up formal mentorship, programs which rarely, work. Uh and so what they say is go find a mentor. Which is fine if you're the kind of person who doesn't really you know who's already a hard charger. But the people that really need it aren't. So, mentoring, is very important. It, what we're seeing is really that we need to empower the supervisors. To do this well. And we need to follow up with the supervisors. To make sure they're doing it well. And second we need to give people tools. So they can they can arm themselves if they want it with some ideas on where they go, what question to ask, what to expect. So mentoring is being done very badly in most organizations. The people that need mentoring, that that are great. Find the mentors, and the people in need of mentoring most don't know how to find them and it's not working for them. In terms of the poll results, um the first poll regarding trainers, versus transformers. This audience member, says i found that companies, at least most of the large, industrial, companies we deal with, view their transformation. Progress, through the rosiest. Of colored glasses. Your comment. Well it depends who you're looking at right so, you can often hear the the top of the company feeling pretty rosy about it because they're hearing the change the transformer, drivers, giving all the good messages. And you often hear the people at the bottom of the company saying oh my god they're doing this to me again. So. I don't necessarily, see the rosiest, pieces of it, i think sometimes, if you're getting only the rosy picture you need to ask a little bit deeper, to find out what's really going on. Transformation, is really hard. And if you're paying only attention to people at the top, you're missing what the employees are going through. Here's another question about metrics, what metrics would you recommend, for assessing, whether you have achieved, digital, enough. You'd want to look at your speed metrics, you'd look at your innovation, metrics. How. What are we doing that's new that's working. What are we doing that's new that we cancelled because it wasn't working. How energized, does the company feel, not only, how energized, the company feel to go out and make a great new mission happen. A lot of those are going to be perceptual, measures, from you know engagement kinds of things. And that's, you know, certainly we can look at initiatives. Initiate, you know created and failed, but you're going to have those those kind of perceptual, engagement things. Just because they're not quantified, doesn't mean they're bad. We've got a number of questions, coming in um, about, the applicability. Of some of these ideas, to small. To startups into medium-sized, businesses.
So Uh here's here's an example how does how does all of this apply to a startup with 50 employees, and no clo. Can you still can you still follow this way of thinking this model. So. Startups, have a remarkable, way of sharing information, with each other. And, you want to just make sure that as you grow you continue, to do that right so when you got you know five people in a garage. You can't help but share. As you get to 50 people. Now, some you know some of that's happening but people are busy and so they don't, so what can you do you can put together informal, times. Where maybe there's a lunch where you get together and you share some ideas or some challenges, over time, or maybe every once in a while you have somebody who's done something really cool and they can create a video or they can just do something, after work over beers. To think about it, so in a smaller group, you can encourage this with just less formal, process. Before, expecting, to come back stronger, postcovid. There are many, ifs and buts to address. This audience, member notes organizations. Have to put in a great deal of effort just to survive. And they also need external, support. Can you list a few things an organization. Needs to do itself. Versus what they might be able to rely on external, partners to accomplish. Well certainly you know their every government is thinking about how much money they should still invest in companies to keep them going, and certainly if you are a movie theater. Or a restaurant. Or many of those places that are really really struggling, it's hard right now and so you know, government support those kinds of things. Other people smarter than me can share on that. One thing you might want to think about though in this. World. Is to really think hard about what you should be doing, and what you should be having other people do for you. And so it may be an opportunity, to start saying. There's something here that i'd be much better outsourcing. So i can concentrate, on what i'm good at. There are certain things that i might do one for me but if my employees were to move to a different company they would have a whole career path in this field, where they might be stagnated, where i am, so i would think a lot on the outsourcing, the partnering, in ways that we didn't before. Not only because it's a way of, moving costs around, because, it allows you to focus on what you're good at and let your employees in those functions. Find a career for themselves, they might not have for you. Um. Let's uh we've got a few minutes left so let me. Get in two more questions. Um, as we look forward. To a period, and maybe a permanent, period. Where organizations. Become, hybrid. Right, um. Partially, partially, located, together partially, dispersed. Um you know what challenges, do you expect. Um with respect to cultural, change in that kind of environment, right we've gotten used to we knew how to work together. We've gotten used to working completely, remote, and now we're going to be in a bizarre, kind of hybrid, model what do you see as some of the most significant, challenges, to kind of keep the culture, strong and keep people connected in that environment. So the bizarre hybrid model was already happening in large firms, around the world, and we're already struggling with some of those things, now other people are in that world too, it's the human skills. That you know how are we going to coordinate. How are we going to make sure that that people. Work together as people. Not just as task, doers. We. How can we find empathy for a person we've never met and we only ever see by video. How can we. Find, teams get cohesive, at working together. When. They're never in this place together. So we got to pay an awful lot of attention, to human skills. The other thing that i think we want to pay attention to and it's partly the human skills but it's partly just, the idea, of serendipity. Paul i don't know about you but you know i've lost count of the number of things that occurred to me just by, seeing somebody in the hall stepping out of the bathroom, or whatever. We have a quick conversation. Suddenly this amazing, idea came up.
And, We are so formal, in our. Video, conferencing, right now that those moments of serendipity. Are not happening anymore the idea going off and having coffee with somebody doesn't happen anymore. So what i worry about in addition to just the pure empathy the prayer getting along. Is will we lose our innovativeness. From those hallway conversations. And how can we get those back. Final question. I'm, going to revisit, some of the characteristics. That you talked about in transforming, the learning experience, for everyone digitized. Atomized, personalized. Optimized, in the flow. George this sounds really hard to do, are we all up to the task. Uh you know. I will tell you that most people, want to be up to the task already. I had to change the. My min my, old minivan, the door wasn't going up and down anymore and i had to change those little brackets that hold it up, and i found a five minute video that taught me how to do this job and it saved me about 200, of repair work. We all do that now. We're all happy to go out and find those things and make them work why aren't we making that available, for people. So i think in many ways it's not, it's not the people, who aren't ready to change. It's the organization, that hasn't stepped up to the challenge yet, and we can get there. On those words george westerman, thank you so much. Folks that is all the time we have for today's, presentation, over the next few days please look for a survey, via email we would greatly appreciate, your feedback. This concludes, our program, thank you all for attending, thank you george westerman, and thanks to our sponsor, skillsoft. Have a great day. Thanks. Everybody.