Retrospective: Looking Back At Episodes 1 - 20

February 23, 2022 00:20:05
Retrospective: Looking Back At Episodes 1 - 20
I See What You Mean
Retrospective: Looking Back At Episodes 1 - 20
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Show Notes

In this week's episode of I See What You Mean, I highlight ideas and insights from the first 20 episodes.

Several guests discussed what they think it means to get or be on the same page. Each guest discussed ways they get people there in the work they do. Below are time-stamps and guest names so you can jump to their summaries or search for their full episodes. 

I want to thank each guest for taking time to record an episode with me, for freely sharing their knowledge and experience in the hope that a listener will grab something and run with it.

1:41 - Definitions of getting and being on the same page.

3:13 - Evan Scott uses several techniques to ensure a strong fit between companies, positions and candidates.

4:00 - Tom Oates gets his team on the same page by transferring power to them.

4:50 - Esther Dyer uses information to get people on the same page, especially during change.

5:30 - Erik Jens gets teams on the same page, especially during times of change, using supraordinate goals coupled with a unique way to determine what gives team members energy, and what drains them of it. When he knows individual and team motivations he can distribute tasks accordingly, with each person playing to their strengths.

6:17 Don Weber uses goals, measures and milestones to get people on the same page. But he'll also retire organizational debt to improve work conditions, and add a nay-sayer to a project team to get the benefit of their knowledge.

7:00 Douglas Cameron uses financial data analytics to get buyers and suppliers on the same page about risk and risk mitigation. 

7:54 Bob Nunnally checks his own communication when he's not on the same page with his team. He describes several specific communication techniques including asking, "What do you think we should do?" 

8:57 Danelle Barrett got people on the same cybersecurity page by talking to people about how it mattered in their job, especially to achieve their "no-fail" mission.

10:22 Bill Stanton gets customers from the boardroom to the maintenance crew on the same page by knowing their numbers, including different returns on investment for different parties. 

11:26 Tim Cooke gets Federal government contracting officials on the same page by busting myths about acquisition innovation, using contracting officials as the messengers to contracting officials.

12:48 Rick Dudek gets business people on the same information security page by moving infosec conversations all the way upstream to when lines of business are contemplating doing something different. Wait until the end and Rick's infosec shop becomes the Department of No.

13:25 As an elected official, Susan Valdes gets people on the same page by listening to learn, especially when someone disagrees with her. She shares her views beginning with her values, and before speaking asks, "May I be candid?" 

15:06 Alex Porfirenko gets people on the same page by understanding the rationales of sales teams, technical teams and the customer. By understanding why each thinks what they think so he can see the "art of the possible" in their overlaps and intersections.

16:14 Joe Launi will tell you everything that goes well in project management involves good communication, and everything that goes badly involves poor communication. Joe teaches project managers a servant-leader approach to projects, including living Stephen Covey's dictum, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." 

17:19 William Randolph shares some thoughtful ideas for getting government and industry on the same acquisition page through, of all things, better marketing! Not "look at how great we are" marketing, but by adding real value. And not just when working an opportunity, but every day.  

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:06 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 me, not really. After 20 episodes, I thought I'd take a look back at the insights and ideas. My guests shared and summarize them in a retrospective episode. I launched. I see what you mean in September 21, as a weekly interview style podcast, about what it means to be on the same page with someone at work at home, in our communities anywhere. My plan was to talk to people from all walks of life, to get different perspectives on how and why we get on the same page or don't how and why we stay on the same page or don't and what to do when we can't, or even shouldn't be on the same page with someone I was especially intrigued by what the show title refers to those aha moments. Speaker 1 00:00:56 When a flash of insight makes it clear what someone has meant by what they've been saying or doing and what that has to do with getting on the same page. If anything, I also wanted to discuss my idea that being on the same page doesn't mean everyone agrees with one another. We might disagree about something, but agree to take a next step together, to see what we learn. Wasn't that being on the same page, not only did that seem like a useful definition and a good goal, but it also seemed like an honorable and respectful way to behave in case we can't get on the same page. So I've looked back at each episode and distilled a key point or two from them divided into two categories. The first answer is the question, what does it mean to be on the same page? The second answers, the question, how do we get on the same page? Speaker 1 00:01:41 So let's take it from the top, a working definition of being, or getting on the same page that I use is agreeing enough to take a next step together. Some of my guests had definitions which were close to that, and some were very different. Amy fajita thinks that getting on the same page, you have to set aside what you think long enough to see through someone else's eyes. You don't have to agree, but you have to see, she thought that shifting perspective helped you understand what mattered to someone and why. And that had a lot to do with getting on the same page. Dale alluded. He thought that same page has existed and it was our responsibility to discover them. Bob, Nunley had a definition like mine of, do I understand what you understand or do you understand what I understand? Rick? Dudeck had a definition that echoed bobs and had to do with understanding a situation or an objective from the perspective of others who are contributing to the effort with you. Speaker 1 00:02:38 So you could actually try to help them accomplish their goal as they should help you accomplish yours. And Andy Robinson had an idea that was unique in the 20 episodes so far that you had to get on the same page with yourself first, before you could get on the same page with anyone or really anyone could get on the same page with you. Those are some great thoughts from guests about what it means to get on the same page with someone that imply what we have to do to make it happen, how we get there. So let's look at those next Evan's. Scott runs an executive search firm and finds himself in a very interesting position between a company and the executive hiring and a job candidate. So he can see the match or not. He gets his clients, the hiring organization on the same page by easing them into an engagement to mitigate their risks and his, and he likes to get to know the company, some to be able to stay ahead of, to anticipate his growth and hiring curves. Speaker 1 00:03:39 He gets on the same page with job candidates through what he calls a 360 review, which is talking to the candidate himself and talking to several people who had different roles and responsibilities in the candidates, worklife who could give him multiple points of view on what the candidate was like, his or her performance, et cetera. Tom Oates is the deputy director of a national clearing house for child welfare, best practices. His team of 90 people work with customers across all 50 states. So Tom has a lot of people to get on the same page to accomplish the program's mission. Tom thought that getting on the same page had a lot to do with giving power. That's often viewed as the quote bosses to his team. He differentiated between empowering, which he understands the point of, but objects some to the notion, because it sounds like he keeps the power and lets others have some from time to time and what he called emancipation by which he meant freeing people up to think and even act in accordance with their thoughts on something, by giving them the authority to do that. Speaker 1 00:04:47 Esther Dyer spent a career leading change and helping the executives of many types of organizations. Professional association is not for profit healthcare. Philanthropic get people on the same page, especially with change. Esther Dyer is Dr. Esther Dyer. She has a PhD in library science, which I found very interesting because she talked about how she used the library science training of making complex information usable. And she used a great line in our discussion about guiding change by being a guide to information makes sense for a library scientist, but it was a great idea that I hadn't thought of that I or anyone could use. Eric Yens has been getting international businesses on the same page in luxury industries for decades, including through a major turnarounds and transformations. He's just something I was well aware of from my conflict resolution studies, to get people on the same page superordinate goals, but it also uses something I had no knowledge of and which I found fascinating. Speaker 1 00:05:50 He uses a method for determining what engages people in their gut, in their heart, what energizes them or conversely what drains people of energy. When he knows that for each individual, he knows the team composition and he can work with the team to distribute tasks and activities in accordance with what people are motivated to accomplish. Don Weber has deep programming project management experience, including leading change efforts, which span companies, countries, and cultures. Don uses some time-tested project management techniques, such as project targets and outcomes. And he loves milestones to get people on the same page. He told a couple of great stories about how he retired some organizational debt to keep a team together and how he involved a naysayer or somebody who was strongly objecting to the approach. Don was taking to implementing an ERP in the implementation. So that first, the individual understood the greater context for what he was objecting to and lessened his objections. Speaker 1 00:06:55 And second made strong contributions based on his individual area of expertise. Douglas Cameron helps buyers and suppliers strengthen relationships on the basis of a financial health rating with the data to back it up. He works with some companies who have hundreds or thousands of suppliers in their supply chain. He analyzes the suppliers data through publicly available and privately available data sources. And he creates a risk rating that reflects the risk to the buyer of the supplier's operation. I thought that might be threatening to the suppliers, giving the buyer some leverage, but it turns out buyers are willing to step up to help suppliers as partners when needed. If they know they need to, with transparency and intelligence, he could put them on a good path for solving problems together. So he used data and analytics to create a same page for companies to get on. If Bob Nunley and his team aren't on the same page, the first thing he checks is his communication. Speaker 1 00:07:57 Other things could be happening, but if his team's not getting his meaning and intent, nothing else matters. He also knows that he's modeling leadership behavior in how he handles a situation. So he handles it by checking his communication first and bringing questions to his team. He described a mission briefing contract, which he used when he was a Colonel in the air force with pilots. He talked about being on the same page as knowing his role in attacking a problem and knowing everyone else's part and what he needed to do to assist if needed, when not on the same page with others, he would ask, we're not on the same page. Tell me what you think we should do that helped him understand what someone else saw, what they made of what they saw and why they thought something should be done. As a particular means to a particular end with that rationale. Speaker 1 00:08:47 Bob had much more information to get himself in the other or others on the same page, retired rear Admiral Danelle got a lot of people on the same page in her Navy career, in telecommunications, in cybersecurity. She talked about how conventional cybersecurity training isn't as effective as it needs to be because it's disconnected from what people do in their jobs. So if she found ways to talk to people about how cybersecurity mattered in their job and how their job mattered to cybersecurity, people were much more ready to accept change. She talked about risks in specific operational terms to help people understand why they were risks. And she talked about the mission in a very unique way. She talked about it as a no fail mission. One of the things I like best about government from my own government service and consulting to government clients is the commitment to mission. Speaker 1 00:09:41 It's not just chiseled into the side of a building above the door. It's in the hearts and minds of people who work in those organizations. Mission is talked about a lot from the broadest organizational mission down to team missions and everything in between. But to now talked about it in a way that helps people change behavior because they thought about the no-fail mission. What must we do? What cannot fail? And so what do I have to do to ensure that we don't fail? I thought that was a great way to run at the question of getting on the same page that was novel and perhaps fresh, a fresh conversation for the people she engaged. When I met bill Stanton, he was on point to make sure more than a hundred thousand led fixtures were selected, ordered manufactured, shipped, delivered, and installed in more than 240 public schools in greater Tampa. Speaker 1 00:10:32 Not only was it a big job, but it had to happen fast. Bill knew his business along with a handful of others and God had done. And Bill's way of getting people on the same page was always data. In his case, mostly numbers. He's a blue collar guy, often working in a white collar world. So he called himself a gray color. And the reason he said blue jeans in the boardroom worked was because he knew the math. He knew the math better than his customers. He knew what they had overlooked or underestimated or overestimated. He knew the math for the CEO and CFO for a mid-level manager for a maintenance crew. It's not always financial math. Sometimes it's I run around changing light bulbs 10 or 12 times a week. And it takes me and number of hours away from other things I'm supposed to be doing. Speaker 1 00:11:17 Bill knew the math and he got people on the same page with it getting on the same page is a significant challenge in federal government. Contracting experts from government and industry have widely varying responsibilities and aims. And it's not easy to get everyone on the same page to either write a solicitation that the government issues or write a proposal or evaluate the proposal or get the work done successfully. One of the ways that Tim cook got people on the same page was helping contracting officials bust myths with each other. The far the acquisition regulations is a voluminous document or documents. And a lot of mythology develops around what is, and isn't permissible within. It gets the Bible of federal contracting. So if you're under a mistaken impression, chances are you will limit your ability to do something which is permissible. No one takes extra chances under the far, everyone becomes quite risk averse. Speaker 1 00:12:16 So Tim's helped contracting officials, bust myths and eventually change a mindset about risk-taking under the far by working with earlier adopters in the acquisition innovation curve and having them be the messengers to their own colleagues about what they did, how they did it and why it was okay. That's how Tim and his company get federal contracting officials on the same page with program people to hopefully get contractors on the same page with them. Rick Dudeck works in information security and what he calls the department of. No, because it's often the InfoSec people who say no to things that lines of business want to do, but Rick knows the technical people and business aspects of information security, and it gets people on the same page by moving conversations far, far, far upstream to the very beginning of musings that a business line has about what they might do to create a new product, to use a new channel, to reach the customer. Speaker 1 00:13:16 Anything that could involve cyber security, Florida state rep, Susan Valdez knows a few things about getting people on the same page. She served the greater Tampa area in elected positions for almost 20 years first as a school board member. And today as a Democrat in a substantially Republican Florida house of representatives, she was my district's representative. And I had the honor to interview her about how she gets people on the same page. We all know the saying about having two years and one mouth. So we should listen twice as much, but as Susan put it in an interesting way, she said, sometimes listening says more by that she meant active listening, paying attention, listening to how someone says things, listen to what matters, asking good questions and trying to learn listening is learning when you do it right. And she was always in a position to try to learn what does a student need? Speaker 1 00:14:08 What does a teacher need? What does a constituent need to solve a problem? I think she not only perfected the art of listening, but she wisely used the art of speaking in a respectful and I think productive way for getting people on the same page. When someone spoke to her about what they needed or hoped would happen and asked her what she could do, she sometimes would ask, may I be candid? Do I have your permission to be candid? No one would say no, but then she had their permission to be honest, including if that meant disagreeing, disagreeing with an assumption disagreeing with a course of action, disagreeing, disagreeing with a goal. But Susan got people on the same page, doing that by seeing they had any common ground that they could stand on with respect to their differences and out of respect for differences, it sounds like something, our nation's politics could use a great deal. Speaker 1 00:15:03 More of today. Alex was another guest who was in an intermediary position where he could see the needs and interests of different roles and try to bring them together. He works for a software company and talks about getting on the same page in three ways or three places. One with his internal team, two between his sales team and a customer three between his delivery team and a customer. And sometimes the customer, although one organization is different people within it. He was very, very big on getting on the same page by asking questions sort of in the Japanese five wise, not in an obnoxious, annoying way of why, why, why a two-year-old, but asking for more information about what someone saw, what they made of it, why they thought of it that way he knew if he could understand someone's rationale a little better, he could line up other rationales, other objectives, or even constraints as much as possible to be on the same page. Speaker 1 00:16:05 He talked about conversations like that, creating the art of the possible. And that's how he got people on the same page, Joel lawn. He's been in the project management business for 35 years. And he'll tell you getting on the same page has everything to do with communication. There's more to it than that. But what Joe says is anything that needs to be done is done better with effective communication. He loves the line from Stephen Covey's seven habits of highly effective people seek first to understand then to be understood. He tells a great story of a colleague, a subcontractor to him who had decided not to get a Corona virus vaccine for her reasons and how that could affect his use of her in consulting engagements. He was concerned about it, but the story he tells her is one of asking her to talk and preparing himself for the conversation by saying, I need to listen. Speaker 1 00:16:57 I need to ask questions and understand her decision and why she made the decision before I say anything. And he tells through the story, how her explanation changed, what he was thinking. And they were able to reach a very amicable, mutually agreed upon solution. I retired federal contracting officer turned contractor, William Randolph had some great ideas about how government and industry could get on the same page. Through of all things marketing. He especially had small businesses in mind because small business owners have far too much to do. Then I have time or energy or resources to do and marketing. Isn't something that always has high on the list. In fact, sometimes it's the thing that a small business owner who has some subject matter expertise in environmental audits or artificial intelligence or cyber security knows how to do, but he had some wise observations about how a business, who markets to show the government value at a time when the government is not asking for something. Speaker 1 00:18:03 In other words, there's no solicitation on the street, a contractor who puts value out there through blogs, perhaps webinars or other means can show the government value. So the government's not just aware of them. They're not just seen by the government, but the government might look to them for some ideas might look to them for some answers and how that could lead to better conversations about what a requirement is. The government sometimes is challenged to issue requirements that are easy for contractors to respond to with the best ideas. Sometimes it's because government doesn't know the questions to ask or ask them the right way. And we'll talk about how the right kind of marketing using social media platforms readily available today for very low cost could position companies to be looked to as thought leaders to help companies get on the same page, better with certain government clients and to help all bidders for solicitation get on the same page, better with government, through their smarter proposals. Speaker 1 00:19:09 At the end of every episode with a guest. I thank them for joining me for the podcast and say that I had fun. I learned a lot, which I always do. They're just smart, talented, committed people that I love to talk to. I hope my guests learned something from each episode. And if you've listened to this one, I hope you see some themes emerge for what it means to be on the same page and how to get there things that you could use that you could try. I want to thank all my guests for recording the first 20 episodes of, I see what you mean with me. And I want to thank listeners for listening in sending questions and suggestions to me through your app. A website is coming where we can communicate easily there I'm on LinkedIn and you can email me or message me from there. Subscribe. Do I see what you mean? So you get the next week's episode and join me next week. When I take another look with a guest at what it means to get on the same page and stay there, unless we shouldn't.

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