Changing Conversations To Change Behavior - Finding Ways To Connect

June 22, 2022 00:36:09
Changing Conversations To Change Behavior - Finding Ways To Connect
I See What You Mean
Changing Conversations To Change Behavior - Finding Ways To Connect
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Show Notes

I've known this week's guest for 25 years. Terry Leberfinger has been a client, a fellow New Orleans Jazz Fest krewe member, a friend and now a podcast guest with uncommon insight into organizational change. Terry's an executive with a long background in transformational change. He's held positions in human resources, environment, health and safety, in settings ranging from offices to global manufacturing operations. He's equally comfortable on shop floors and in executive board rooms - both places where he has a knack for changing conversations which change organizations. We cover a lot of ground in two episodes, and here are some of my favorite ahh-ha! moments from Part 1:

1:46 - What are people on the same page about as the pandemic winds down

5:57 - A different safety mindset following the pandemic

9:22 - Employees are taking ownership of their own well-being

20:20 - As executives our job is basically to remove variances

22:01 - A great perspective shift: Some small number of injuries seems acceptable until you ask leadership to name the people to be injured

23:23 - Some costs of injury are easy to add up. But one man documented costs we don't usually hear about - to his mental health, marriage and family.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to I see what you mean a podcast about how people get on the same page or don't, or perhaps shouldn't today. My guest is Terry Lieber finger. Terry's a senior vice president of human resources and safety as Sanders KW companies. Terry has a long history of transformational leadership in manufacturing settings, especially in areas of health, safety, and risk management. Terry, welcome to the show. Speaker 2 00:00:28 Thanks Lou. Great to be here. I look forward to our conversation. Speaker 1 00:00:31 We're gonna have a good conversation. Why don't you start with a short bio about yourself? Speaker 2 00:00:35 Thanks. As you mentioned, I'm currently executive vice president for human resources at Sanders KW companies. We are a family held privately owned, uh, company out of Troy Alabama. I've spent the last 30 plus years in global business management in several multinational companies. I've served multiple roles, include environmental health and safety mm-hmm <affirmative> risk management, human resources, and now executive management, my education, a bachelor of science degree in environmental health and safety management MBA. And also a second master's degree in management that I've been toying with for some time <laugh> lots of change and, uh, and becoming an agent of change in my background. Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> I I've been blessed to work with the likes of McKenzie and company, the Wolf Boberg and associates, as well as a Bri Daniels international. A lot of my type of, of change has not been what I'd call incremental, but more transformational change, a wholesale change of how we look and think about the business. And so, like I said, 30 plus years of, of change management experience Speaker 1 00:01:46 And, and you're, I know some of the background of the transformational change, like you said, large scale, not, not small scale, you weren't nibbling at things and that's raises some very interesting questions for getting on the same page. Let's start with where we are today. Meaning health and safety in the workplace has been on everyone's minds for what now? So two and a half years or something in a, in a way that it wasn't before it was for you. And it became on everyone's minds in a different way as the pandemic winds down. What do you see? What are, what are you getting on the same page about what does it mean for people to be on the same page about now that we've had this experience than it did before? Speaker 2 00:02:27 Yeah, I, I think the common thread that I see currently is a general concern about personal health and wellbeing that, that I've not seen before. I, I think the pandemic has raised a lot of personal issues for people. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> making sure that they, they are working in a safe environment, a healthy environment, asking a lot of the right questions with regards to what we're doing as a company to promote a, a, a healthy work environment. People always express the concern about the safety side of it. Speaker 1 00:03:02 Yeah, yeah. Speaker 2 00:03:03 Right. But now the common theme seems to be about health wellbeing and, and not just the physical wellbeing, but I'm also seeing more questions around the mental wellbeing and what are we doing to help them from that perspective? Or, or what types of counseling do we have available that, that, that could help them just periodically talk to somebody. I think the pandemic raised a lot of issues in terms of people being alone and whether you were quarantined or yeah. You know, following CDC guidelines and being at home, people were at home by themselves and I'm seeing the, what I wanna call maybe the, the offshoot of that mm-hmm, <affirmative> where people don't want to be on their own. And if they are forced to be quarantined, who can they call and talk to, or interesting, who can, who can they, you know, have some counseling sessions with that are maybe going to help them get over that, that period or, or feeling of loneliness. Speaker 1 00:04:03 So the, the conversation changed then in and in the pandemic, we just had to get through it. Right. And I know that you and leadership position, other leaders were just figuring it out as you, as you went along. Right? Speaker 2 00:04:18 Correct. Yeah. There were no guidelines. Speaker 1 00:04:20 Yeah. There was no playbook, Speaker 2 00:04:21 Basically. Just all of a sudden, here you go, CDC may have offered some things, but you know, how do you implement those while at the same time, thinking that you still need to make a product, you still need to service customers. Yeah. You know, we were deemed a necessary industry, so we continued to operate and we, we have a very strict, uh, number of people that we need in order to operate effectively. And if all of a sudden 25 30 people were outta your workforce, what do you do? Speaker 1 00:04:55 Having your background? You had a great starting place for what to do during the pandemic. You stood up some health and safety measures, not just for people on the manufacturing floor or the manufacturing operation, but for the office for everybody. Right? Speaker 2 00:05:10 Correct. It was, it was, uh, pillar to post Speaker 1 00:05:14 <laugh> and, and some of it, you were figuring out as you did it and what you, what we never knew. People forget hindsight's 2020. What we didn't know when we were in the middle of it was what would happen next? Would it wind down soon? Would it, would another variant come along and, and resurge would there be another resu surge of this? So you're, you're you put some things in place, you're moving through it. Now we get through it. And I suppose you guys are back to more normal operations, more normal practices. Speaker 2 00:05:42 Correct. Speaker 1 00:05:43 But you're here in the conversation change. Now employees are asking some different questions and you are probably having different con fir first line supervisors are probably having different conversations with people. And so are you right? So that's what you're saying is different. Speaker 2 00:05:57 Yeah. The, uh, just the amount of communication and the types of communication, the types of questions that are coming around you, you can sense that change. And it has impacted us positively. Yeah. In terms of people working safer, people, not taking the shortcuts that they took once before people being mindful of the policies and the procedures, because they know that it they're put in place to keep them safe. So if I need to take a positive away from the pandemic, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it is the mindset. It is, it is that change in mindset that, wow, this could all be taken away from me tomorrow. It isn't worth the shortcut. It isn't worth risking my life over. I'm gonna follow the company procedure to the letter. That's what I'm seeing. Speaker 1 00:06:51 Interesting shift in perspective, right? Speaker 2 00:06:54 Yes. Our, our results are showing, you know, with regards to the, the numbers of injuries, the severity of injuries, all of those are down significantly for us. And, and, and the level of questions and the types of questions ha have increased significantly about how to do the job the right way, what personal protective equipment or what procedures do I need to follow. It's been an interesting dynamic to watch. Speaker 1 00:07:22 Interesting. So there's greater awareness of the kinds of things that you want focused on, right? Speaker 2 00:07:27 Absolutely. Speaker 1 00:07:28 But maybe, maybe people weren't for there are more now. Speaker 2 00:07:32 Yeah. You know, you, you always look, uh, or at least I do from a endless, as I moved into positions of executive management, I have never forgotten where I've come from in terms of being a safety professional at heart, I'm always going to have a concern about the work environment and making sure that our people have a safe working environment. That that part is never gonna change for me. But, but you always look for those critical moments or those, um, uh, what call tipping points. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> where, okay, it's gonna, it's gonna tip to your favor. No one in my wildest dreams, when I think a pandemic was gonna be the tipping point. Nope. For, for Speaker 1 00:08:11 Paradigm, nor would you have asked for it. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:08:14 E exactly, exactly. Right. I would've looked for something much smaller, I would Speaker 1 00:08:18 Think <laugh>, but, but there, it was, Speaker 2 00:08:20 It, it was. And I guess if there's a silver lining that, that you constantly look for in these types of situations, that would be the silver lining. Speaker 1 00:08:28 So how did the conversations change amongst the employees? What are you picking up on that they're doing different differently with each other, whether it's in the office setting or manufacturing. Speaker 2 00:08:40 Yeah. There's, there's a general concern about everyone's welfare. Interesting. Um, if, if, if they're, they're concerned about their coworkers in ways that they've not expressed before they are concerned about themselves in ways that they've never expressed before. Interesting. Uh, for, for example, you know, how often are we cleaning the buildings? How often are we disinfecting? Are, are the cleaning people aware of the changing CDC policies? Uh, wow. You know, so, you know, people are, are on those websites and are asking those types of questions. Wow. I find it very interesting. Yeah. It's interesting. It's refreshing. It's just a little bit different level of conversation than we've had before. Speaker 1 00:09:22 So it sounds like they are taking more ownership of their, their wellbeing. Speaker 2 00:09:28 Yes. You know, in safety, we use the term that everybody's responsible for safety, right? It's, it's not one person's responsibility. Right. I I'm finding it out the same way in our offices and in our work environment. Now, when it comes to the health side, it's not one person's responsibility to everybody's responsibility. And if, if somebody blows their nose, they want to know. Okay. Or knows. They wanna know, okay. When was the last time this person was tested, are they are, they can pages? And so, you know, it's interesting to kind of bridge the gap between HIPAA and Speaker 1 00:10:01 Oh, I bet. That's interesting. Speaker 2 00:10:03 Yeah. Trying to keep people informed and we try to be as transparent as possible because I like the fact that people are asking these questions. Sure. I know you do. I like the fact that they've taken the ownership that they have never done before. So to me, like I said, uh, a refreshing approach. Speaker 1 00:10:21 So in a way, the pandemic served to get people on the same page. I remember when I, when I first here's here's let me say this. And then when I come back to the question, I remember when I got a motorcycle and I was in, uh, 20, 21 and the guy that taught me to ride it told me, you first ride a motorcycle, you got some fear. And then he helped put the fear in perspective. You could hurt yourself if you have too much fear, but he wanted me to know, I should never for never lose a healthy fear of the machine because then I could get hurt for different reasons. So you've got people who are alert now and aware we don't want people to work in fearful conditions, but they're alert and aware. What are you thinking about now, how you'll, how you'll foster, that, how you'll maintain that, how you'll keep some of this conversation going, how you'll keep some of the practices and behaviors going. What's your thinking, going forward the rest of this year, and in the next year, Speaker 2 00:11:17 You know, traditional safety programs have always had some form of a safety committee. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so, you know, we, we looked for volunteers to start our safety committee and, and like everyone else, we, we kind of took a pause during the pandemic. Sure. As I restarted those meetings six months ago, uh, back in January, um, the level of volunteerism increased significantly, right? What was once a eight, nine, maybe 10 person committee is now 40 people. Speaker 1 00:11:52 Right. Speaker 2 00:11:53 And, and, and I don't turn any of them away. Um, I, I want them there. I want them participating. I want their input because in turn, I want them being able to take that information back and, and share it with the rest of the workforce. And, and I've noticed every month when we have these meetings, the population grows just a little bit more and just a little bit more because now people don't want to hear it from somebody else. They, they wanna come in and hear it from themselves. Interesting. Uh, and, and, and they wanna know, okay, now, now what can I do to help somebody else? Wow. What, what can I do to take this back and, and maybe educate someone Speaker 1 00:12:32 And they are the best ambassadors for those messages. You'll do it. Absolutely. You'll do it, cuz it, it, you should, but they are the better ambassador than you. And you know what I mean by that? Speaker 2 00:12:41 Absolutely. I, I think peer to peer, whether it is positive feedback, positive reinforcement, uh, a constructive criticism, right. Is always better peer to peer Speaker 1 00:12:54 Let's. Let's talk about that some more, but to do that, I want to go back to work. I know you've done before that was manufacturing safety or the risks and the manufacturing operation and the safety about those things. Where in a former position, in a global company, heavy manufacturing, you worked from the boardroom to the shop floor to change the thinking about health and safety. So let's go down two paths, but the first one we're already on let's stay on it. One is you involved guys on the floor, especially by shift so that they were working together in a different way with each other. You weren't there, you weren't home. You were, you were at work in the office, you were other places. They, they, they, they owned safety. They came to own safety on the shop floor. And, and so part of the question I'm wondering is how are you fostering that? Speaker 1 00:13:46 Whether wherever in the office environment or on the shop floor, the second, the second part of the question, which we can get to is you showed people more results of safety than they understood were there. And so that sometimes that was financial. Um, but, but sometimes that was productivity. So there were more, there was more gain to be made by people for being safe than they realized than when you showed it to them. They're like, well, geez, then I'll, then I'm in. So maybe we can go down that second path and see how, how that's, how you see that shaping up today. But with the first idea was how are you, how are people engaging each other? Or how are you fostering them to engage each other in groups that are logical groups where they work? Speaker 2 00:14:29 So a as you stated, safety is a great rallying point. Every everybody can buy into it. And I've worked in union facilities, non-union facilities, technical offices, managerial offices, manufacturing environments, mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, that safety seems to be a common thread that everybody can rally around. Okay. You're not, you're not gonna buck. Oh, I, I, I want, I'm showing concern for your safety and wellbeing. You're not gonna kind of push back on that. Right. You're you're gonna be supportive of it. So to your point, if I'm, I'm a big believer that small successes lead to larger successes. Yes. If, if you know, you, you, you mentioned about a past company that I worked for a, um, a multinational international organization, 10,000 employees, some 70 manufacturing plants around the world. I, I don't think it's a mistake that a company has over a thousand injuries a year, a thousand workers comp claims and seven and a half million in annual losses. Speaker 2 00:15:33 And five years later is voted one of the safest companies in America and have reduced that to, you know, under a hundred injuries, under a hundred workers comp claims and, you know, 300,000 in, in losses. <affirmative> no, it's not an accident. Um, you know, it it's it's yeah, exactly. No pun intended. It's not an accident. We strive to basically focus on, on both ends of the spectrum, get getting the hourly employees to understand how to work safely, how to counsel each other, how to provide that peer to peer feedback at the same time, moving up the chain to the other end, where you've got the senior management or plant level management to understand why it's important to their business. Mm-hmm <affirmative> in terms of, you know, reduced turnover, mm-hmm, <affirmative> reduced training expenses, stability of a workforce productivity gains, financial gains. You, you, you learn to speak that language of business and, and that's really how you get both sides going. Speaker 2 00:16:38 And a little success will breed more people jumping on board mm-hmm <affirmative> and what I, what I mean by that is when, when I stated that we wanted zero injuries, mm-hmm <affirmative> and you know, first thing you hear is we're not an ice cream manufacturer. You know, this isn't a golf course or a country club. We, we, you know, we make steel, we process steel, we do this, we do that. And then all of a sudden you have that first month of zero and all of a sudden, Hey, how we get that? How'd we do that. Um, now, now, how do we do it again? And you know, now, now I'm on board. Now you've got my full support. And, and when you watch that happen, 50, 60, 70 times over to a point where, where multiple facilities around the world are having zero injuries, because you've got buy in from everyone, it was easy to then take that same methodology and apply it to other business applications. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative> whether it was human resources, whether it was transformation, it, it is, it is change management. It is big time. It is a choice, right. For people to work safely. And, and my goal was to find out what motivated Speaker 1 00:17:55 Them. Okay. Uh, that was gonna say, tell me a little bit about the methodology, because the, the health and safety messages have been known for a long time. I'm gonna say this word, it might be a little unfair, but I think, you know, I don't think you'll object strong. Haven't been preached for a long time. Yeah. Espoused, right? Yep. Programs put in place and you know, the drill, you're the expert in it, and it didn't always pay off. So something was missing in some of the approaches. So you tell me a little bit about your methodology because you caught whatever was being missed, and you probably just, you said something right there about motivation, I think was a big part of it. Speaker 2 00:18:33 I think when you're, when you're taking a topic like safety and, and probably the methodology is, is replicable mm-hmm <affirmative> across any business function, right? You, you, it starts with leadership. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, it starts with somebody having the managerial courage to say, I'm going approach this differently. I don't have be satisfied with this particular result. There's got be a different way, a better way once you do that. And, and it just so happened that, you know, I was blessed with those opportunities and, and blessed with coworkers who were senior management level. That basically said, I believe in safety. I believe there's more to the results than just no injuries. There there's a financial wellbeing. There's a cultural wellbeing. There, there are other benefits to it. Let's get committed toward that. Speaker 1 00:19:30 Let me, Paul, let me, can I interrupt you there for a second though? Speaker 2 00:19:33 Yeah. AB Speaker 1 00:19:33 Absolutely. I know something had happened. So I respect the idea of the values that, that they espoused that you said and the vision. But one of the things that happened was everybody had come to accept a certain number of incidents as normal. Now you knew that they could be improved upon, but when people come to accept a certain number of things, as there's just gonna happen, they still can feel like they've got the value of safety and the vision for a safe place, but maybe this is just the number of accidents we're gonna get. So you had to change something in their thinking to make that vision and value that make the values and vision expressed differently in, in practices, correct. And policy and procedure and practice. Speaker 2 00:20:20 Correct. And, and I wish I could, uh, I wish I had the silver bullet <laugh>, uh, because I'd be able to, you know, name it and sell it. I'm sure. I don't, I don't know if I just wore people down <laugh> or, or, or, or it was really the approach. I, I really think when, when you take a business minded approach with logical business, mind people, and, and you can paint a path of stability because our job as executive managers basically is, is taking out variances and removing the variances and, and understanding why you're off track. So we're, we're problem solvers. When you're talking about safety and you're talking about people, I think there's a sense of intimidation about how am I gonna get 500 people, 1500 people, 5,000 Speaker 1 00:21:13 People. You're right. Speaker 2 00:21:14 Yeah. All, all on this, all rowing in the same direction. Yeah, Speaker 1 00:21:17 You're Speaker 2 00:21:17 Right. But it starts small. It starts with one win that, that breeds to two to 10. It doesn't happen at the, at the flip of the switch. No, there's there's effort. And there is time and there is sacrifice put into all that in order to make that happen. Speaker 1 00:21:33 Well, tell me this, cuz I know, I think that you were able to challenge some assumptions that were embedded. Yeah. So they might have thought that they had some predictability and stability and they might have thought that the variances that they had were maybe in elastic, like you couldn't move them much, but you challenged some assumptions embedded into thinking that, and then you demonstrated some things following that, that made them go, oh, okay. Maybe I I'm not looking at this. Right. Speaker 2 00:22:01 Yeah. I think you bring up a good point. People become very regimented and they, and they like that routine. Mm-hmm <affirmative> when, when the results, we, we will somehow find a way to justify them. <laugh> we, we, you know, what, to your point, right. Nobody wants to any one person to get hurt, but if we have 10 injuries a year that that's okay, that's acceptable. Cause that's better than what we had. But when I started asking them to name the 10 people, they wanted to get injured Speaker 1 00:22:30 <laugh> Speaker 2 00:22:33 You know, then, then all of a sudden it, I, I made it Speaker 1 00:22:35 Personal. Oh, that was different. Yeah. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:22:37 Yeah. Um, so, you know, part of my job, I guess, has been how, how do I dad's sell that change? Speaker 1 00:22:45 Yeah. Poking and prodding Speaker 2 00:22:47 How my best. Yeah. How do I best sell the change? And, and if I need to be a little dirty with it, um, and challenging, you know, name, name 10 people that you want injured this year. Well, then I guess, well, uh, a guilt guilty as charged. Speaker 1 00:23:01 Well, that's just vivid. That just brings a, that makes that's a perspective shift in an instant, in the mind, because if you thought of a number 10, it's a number. If you think of whoa, 10 people, 10 families, well, I don't want that to happen to anybody. And then you're in a conversation of, well, let's try to get it to zero. Speaker 2 00:23:21 Yes. Speaker 1 00:23:21 <laugh> Speaker 2 00:23:23 A, and you know what, that's a good point. And, and one of the videos that I would typically show mostly hourly people, but it would have the same type of impact on management people as well. There, there was a video that would show somebody getting injured and you know, the me, it would be in the media, this person was burned on 80% of their body and yeah. Uh, they were transported to the hospital. Yeah. And they're gonna have to go through surgeries, but that's the last you hear of it then. Speaker 1 00:23:51 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:23:51 Ooh. So this gentleman wanted to walk you through the rest of the story. Oh Speaker 1 00:23:57 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:23:58 You know, and how it impacted his family and how his daughter, you know, basically got, you know, addicted to drugs because that was the only way that she could cope, cope with cope, watching her father, you know, he ends up being divorced because he goes through this personal depression and he doesn't blame his wife. He doesn't blame his kids. He blames himself. And he said, those are the stories that nobody ever talks about. Yeah. Nobody talks about being burned on 80% of your body and going into a stainless steel tub where they've got tore your wounds, you know, with wire brushes. Yeah. And a disinfecting solution. And everybody is going through the same thing and a screaming at the top of their lungs. Speaker 1 00:24:40 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:24:41 Those are things you don't think about. I think your point that that vivid story will, will trigger emotion. Speaker 1 00:24:48 Yes. It'll make somebody think rethink, I call the show. I see what you mean, because it's about that aha moment that we can have when we have that realization. So what you, you've probably created a lot, a lot of aha moments for people in your work that made them that, that there's like a, a, a perspective shift of reframing, seeing, seeing more than they saw that maybe just a flash of insight, like, wow, okay. That's not how I thought of it. And if I think of it this new way, I can't feel the same about it. Speaker 2 00:25:20 Right. Speaker 1 00:25:21 There's a total. My go ahead. Speaker 2 00:25:23 I was gonna say, I had a mentor who taught me a lot about business, but, but also was my partner in making a lot of these shifts. I was new to a company. He was new to the company. He called me his very first day and said, you know, can you make time for me? And I said, this unit president, absolutely. You know, when, when do you wanna see me? And he said, right now, Speaker 1 00:25:45 <laugh> Speaker 2 00:25:46 And you know, we, his first day on the job, we spent four hours together in the morning. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> talking about safety. And, and more importantly, his aha moment was three fatalities in one day, right? Yes. With, with, you know, opening, opening a new facility with media and board of directors and owners, and, you know, basically dealing with, with three fatalities. And he said, you know, I can't name the dates and times of every promotion, every raise, every positive sale or, or customer experience, but I can certainly name the date and time of the worst moment of my life. Speaker 1 00:26:24 I'll never forget that, Speaker 2 00:26:25 Which is these fatal. Yeah. And so when you go through it, from that perspective, that's got an impact on you. Yeah. That hopefully somebody else doesn't have to replicate and live through to learn from it. Speaker 1 00:26:38 I, I wrote, I jotted something down here. I want to come back to, we, there's an idea of total cost. That's lurking in what we've been talking about for a few minutes. I, I, so there's a, if a gentleman shows films his life after an injury and the recovery and the downstream things that stop the media stop covering, but he wants people to know he's showing the total cost of the injury. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> in a very personal way that has a powerful impact on people who would watch it, who were in the situa in the circumstances where they could see themselves being injured and, and had a more complete picture in their minds of what the total cost of the injury could be. You've also hold that for a second, cuz same concept, just to a different part of the organization. I know you have shown executives, maybe even boards, the total cost of injuries. Speaker 1 00:27:30 Like you, I remember you you've told them we're not capturing the total cost of this. Here's how we have to. And so in their minds they have in their minds, it's like a comprehensive thing. You you've got safety is a value. You've got a program, you've got practices, there's, uh, there's operations. There's a certain number of injuries of different kinds. It all kind of comes together in a hole, right? In a, in a, in a comprehensive hole. And there's a certain amount of mental accounting people can do that makes it okay. It, it, we, we become familiar with that. We there's a, there's a bias to, this is, this is how, this is what we have, what we get, we're doing the best we can. We're pretty good compared to other companies, our size, our type of operation. But when you said, wait a minute, we're not looking at the total cost of, of injuries. We're missing something we need to start factoring in same kind of thing. Different, same concept, total cost shifted thinking whether that was a shop floor with injury, with personal effect of, of an in, on an, in of an injury on somebody or family and a business effect. And I'm interested in that, in that aha, that, that, that shift you did when they, when they re the total cost, made them re re reassess something, I think, Speaker 2 00:28:47 Yeah, there was an interesting situation. So same company, mid two thousands company is a well known company. I'm not gonna mention my name, but they, they are fortune 500 have been on, you know, fortune 100 best places to work. I, I think 6, 7, 8 times mm-hmm <affirmative>, um, they, they truly are a world class organization because they did not have somebody at that central point, uh, a single point of contact, so to speak, you know, it's easy to miss when you've got multiple business units. Yeah. You know, you've got, you know, a hundred thousand, a couple hundred thousand in this business unit, maybe a million in this business unit. And nobody rolling that up. It's easy to say, well, it's really not a problem. It's a cost of doing business, but when you roll it up and you say it's seven and a half million dollars, and you divide it by the, the number of shares that are outstanding, and you say, this is the C price per share that we are doing. And oh, by the way, safety professionals will tell you, the actual cost is five to 10 times that amount. Yeah. That's all of a sudden, you've got, Speaker 1 00:29:52 You got a different conversation going on. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:29:54 Yeah. Now, now you're talking the language of business and, and more importantly, you're speaking dollars and cents. And, and, you know, when they're looking for every single penny on a, on a cost per share or a price per share, and, and I'm sitting on a plum quarter, <laugh>, um, I've got to attend. Speaker 1 00:30:14 Yeah, you did. Speaker 2 00:30:15 You know, there there's, there's several aha moments that will go on at that point in time <laugh> Speaker 1 00:30:22 And they were, and they were, you, you rode that a long way. You were very successful with that. Speaker 2 00:30:29 Yeah. It was to, to the point where this company is, is very well known for their profit sharing program. And so, 20, basically 20% of all of the earnings get shared back with the employees as a result of our injuries dropping off. So significantly, uh, we were over in short, so they were able to take some ridiculous number, like $26 million out of reserves and back into earnings. And that, you know, 20% of that got shared amongst, you know, 7,000, 8,000 employees, long story short, everybody got about an extra $1,000 into profit sharing check that year, needless to say, I was a pretty popular guy at that, that point Speaker 1 00:31:11 In time. <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. And so that's just so powerful that, uh, it happened to be a, a, and I'm harping on this. Maybe I got the, maybe I got it wrong. You tell me if you think of it differently, I'm harping on that total cost notion. Not because that's the be all and end all, but because in a couple instances I knew of it was a concept. It was a way that you, that, that, that you reframed what people were thinking and made them reexamine it. And out of that came, I think different policies, procedures, and practices, whether from the boardroom, with the owners, the executives, the show all the way to the shop floor. Speaker 2 00:31:48 Yeah. That was also a transition moment for me because it wasn't long thereafter that the same methodology was applied to the entire business. Uh, and instead of total cost, we were talking about terms like total landed cost. So from, from the point, the product would show up as a raw material and every element, aspect, treatment, whatever we were doing to it, mm-hmm, <affirmative> all the way until it was landed at the customer location. What was all of that? And what were the facts interesting that, that went into that? What were the bus business assumptions that went into that? And all of the sudden places where that company thought they were making money, they were not, when they start to factor all that in, and that became transformation. Now we're talking about how do we change an entire business segment yeah. By looking at the facts differently. Speaker 1 00:32:43 Well, at that point, yeah. Speaker 2 00:32:44 And losing, losing the assumptions. Yeah. Losing the gut, feel, losing the sacred cows, but just strictly unbiased unfiltered facts. And today they' that particular company is on what they refer to as transformation 2.0, because it was so beneficial. The first go around, this is a company that was basically stock price will go to $20, a share drop down to $12, share up to 20 down 12, the owner of the business, or the largest shareholder chairman of the board basically walked into the room and said, I'm tired of playing the game. I wanna play the game to win mm-hmm <affirmative>. And he, and it, and it really became well, what was winning mm-hmm <affirmative> well, part of winning was a $50 a share stock price mm-hmm <affirmative> and the, the heads around the room are like, we can't get above 20 mm-hmm <affirmative> how are we ever gonna get to 50 mm-hmm <affirmative>? And the answer was, we can't get there incrementally. We've got to think a different way of handling our business and how we do our business. And right now that company is near $50 a share. Speaker 1 00:33:51 Yeah. That's pretty cool. So Speaker 2 00:33:52 That's pretty cool transformation and, and, and change. I, I, I, I cannot point to the safety transformation and say that was the impetus, but to me that was one of the, maybe the small successes that led to the larger action Speaker 1 00:34:06 Then. Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Well, and especially the interesting how the idea of looking at total costs, or maybe just look, if, if they didn't say that phrase, they're asking themselves, what are some hidden costs? What are we missing? Where can we, where should we look? What questions should we ask? I love the idea that you change the conversation, you get different information. Speaker 2 00:34:29 Exactly. And, and instead of asking somebody who's in the know who already has a builtin bias, even though they don't know that they've got a builtin bias, right. They will be naturally defensive. We basically took five people that didn't know. I don't know if just saying didn't know anything about the business, but they weren't ultra familiar with the business, but they were ultra familiar with how to ask the right questions. Speaker 1 00:34:56 Ah, yeah. Speaker 2 00:34:57 And so I just happened to be a part of that team and it was, instead of, we can't do it that way, the answer became why can't we, and, and can't should not be in our vocabulary. Tell me how you're going to make this work. Speaker 1 00:35:12 Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:35:13 Yeah. And so a again, back to, we know the excuses, we know the reasons why that it's not gonna work. Your job is to put a plan together that is going to be successful and is going to work with no excuses, nothing but just the business results. And here's the expectation. So when you, when you put it to somebody and you remove the noise, you remove the excuses, all that you're left with is the facts. And hopefully a change, same Speaker 1 00:35:42 Results for results. That's right. That's right. Yeah. That concludes the first of two episodes. Terry and I recorded join us next week. When we talk about how Terry defines getting on the same page as the destination, the grieving process, he sees people go through with large scale organizational change and why he collects and shares employee stories, especially elders of the tribe to foster an organizational culture of safety.

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