What A Library Scientist Taught Me About Using Information To Get People On The Same Page

September 29, 2021 00:40:37
What A Library Scientist Taught Me About Using Information To Get People On The Same Page
I See What You Mean
What A Library Scientist Taught Me About Using Information To Get People On The Same Page
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Show Notes

Esther Dyer has spent a career leading change and helping the CEOs of professional associations, not-for-profits, and healthcare, philanthropic and commercial organizations get people on the same page, with change. Learn how she draws on library science to make complex information usable, and to help executives prepare for and use "moments of change" as catalysts. Here are a few ahh!-ha moments I had:

 

6:28 Moments of change as inflection points

8:06 Moments of change need preparation

9:52 Engaging an exec with a vision in his or her own "how"

19:17 An exec who got in the trenches to lead change

24:42 Guiding change by being a guide to information

35:57 Collaboration technology has left the watercooler behind, and communication is worse for it  

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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 and stay there or don't, or perhaps shouldn't today. My guest is Esther Dyer, Esther, as a fellow principal at executive HQ and founder and proprietor of art ed studios in new Orleans. I asked her to join me because she's has a very interesting leadership background with experience getting many different kinds of people on the same page in different settings. Esther, welcome to the show. Speaker 2 00:00:34 Thanks so much, Lou. It's a pleasure to be here and, um, an exciting time as we all look to work differently, um, to talk about this topic Speaker 1 00:00:46 And I, I agree it is, it is good timing and actually moments of change is something that we're going to talk about Tommy. So give our listeners a short bio, so they know what I meant by my statement. You've done a lot of things in your lifetime in leadership positions that would have had to do with getting people on the same page. Just give us a short bio. Speaker 2 00:01:06 I grew up in upstate New York and was very lucky to have scholarships and got my doctorate from Columbia university in library science and, and what, um, I was 25 at the time. And what my professor said was, you know, you need to be a university professor, which I was for six years and I, and I worked in 26 developing countries at that time. And, um, and also had the first bilingual grant from the office of education for to train, um, librarians and teachers in, in Spanish and English delivery. Um, as I was looking at that, I then, um, I was very poor, um, well traveled, but very poor and, um, got a consulting job with empire blue cross to run their archives, which morphed into a 12 year stint, uh, where I was, um, head of public and governmental affairs manage the radio and television shows and actually did something I would aspire to do at some point and hope everybody gets to do actually, um, gave away and, and provided corporate contributions. Speaker 1 00:02:19 Um, why did you say what was the special by being able to give away the corporate contributions? Speaker 2 00:02:25 One of the interesting things about giving away corporate contributions is you're able to look at what does well for the organization you work for and what makes an, a positive impact in the community. And, and when you do that, you also deal with all of the CEOs. Everybody wants to talk to you. It's a really interesting time because you might get 500 applications and you're, you can only give away 10 and donate. It's not necessarily giving away, right. It's really social investing. As I learned when I became an executive director or a president of a nonprofit people don't necessarily want to talk to you as much when you're asking for the dollars. Speaker 2 00:03:10 And so it was an interesting journey from one side of the table to the other, but one of the most interesting assignments I had an empire blue cross was I was a staff person for a committee of the board of directors. It was a subscriber advisory committee and empire was the largest health insurer in the country at that time. And we would always have to go for rate increases and asking the community to get on the same page with you when you're looking for a rate increase or a change or looking for their impact, because you also have to, to, to be responsive to it. At that point, empire was a nonprofit insurer and the insurer of last resort. And I also managed all of the, um, the claims for, um, special needs. So whether it was a congressmen or an elected or anybody else where we had refused their, um, uh, to pay their health insurance bill. So it was an exercise in understanding and exercise and communications, but mostly it was about how do you create and maintain Goodwill. So an organization can move forward. A lot of that had to do and tie back to the corporate contributions, supporting the folks that, that you wanted support from showing up when you need it to show up for different events and, and other things, and really being recognized as, um, as a very strong community player. Speaker 1 00:04:42 And so you're consulting today. You've, you've owned you own a very interesting piece of property in new Orleans, which made it through Ida, okay. Say what the studio is. Speaker 2 00:04:55 Sure. So, um, after empire, I became head of the March add-ons for New York city and then have worked over the, the last, uh, you know, 20 years as, as head of the American attendant cancer foundation and represented the European school of oncology in the United States. And most recently as the president of national medical fellowships at the same time for the last 20 years, I bought a Daryl like warehouse in new Orleans. That was a former produce warehouse and transformed it into what I call Arctic studios. It has 50 different units. It currently has a bar, a distillery, and a music recording studio is as core tenants and everybody needs a passion and a hobby. And this is in my passion and my hobby. It was a hundred percent rented before Katrina, and then there were none and it took 18 months to rebuild. We were very lucky with Ida. We were out of power for six days, and now it's back up and running with three tree limbs. Yeah, Speaker 1 00:05:57 Yeah, yeah. You were lucky. So you've had that. So I just such an interesting background, including library science, which I want to come back to. You mentioned when we were prepping moments that require change. So were there in your thinking and your, in your work, in your approach, did you notice moments where you're looking for moments? Did you have a way to capitalize on moments and then how did you get people on the same page? Speaker 2 00:06:28 You know, I think, I think, um, I think it's a really interesting catalyst moments of change and, and catalysts happen in, in many different ways. And it may be change that I needed to do or change that an organization needed to do or change that a board needed to do. But, um, you know, moments of crisis and moments of inflection really are those that require people to rethink. For example, when I was at a former nonprofit, the charismatic chair and founder died, he had selected his, his successor who was a very unlike him, who was a much more abrasive person and, and someone who others were not necessarily as engaged with. And, and so creating the opportunity to, to support him and, and to get everybody back together with what, with what had been a very cohesive organization, really required some discussions with him because he ran his own company, high wealth, individual, um, and somebody who was not used to consensus. Speaker 1 00:07:42 Okay. Speaker 2 00:07:43 And it was, uh, it was more of a business conversation than one you might have with, um, other types of non-profits and boards that are, um, are more invested in how things work as opposed to what the results are. Okay. Speaker 1 00:07:59 That makes sense. But what kept, I just, how did it come together? How did you bring it together? Speaker 2 00:08:06 You know, a lot of it has to do with pre-work, you know, you don't go having the conversations cold, you never have a conference station. At least I never did with a board that or board members without making sure they were fully prepped and knew what the, what the, um, what you want it from the end result. Speaker 1 00:08:26 Exactly. Yeah. So when you were having conversations with, would you call prep? You're having conversations with individual board members, presumably before a board meeting, because that's not the time to surprise somebody. Speaker 2 00:08:37 I was having conversations before Pete, before people would have a conversation with the new chair and before a board meeting. So, you know, as you go around, Speaker 1 00:08:47 You're not only getting their heads in the issues, preparing them for what's coming on the agenda and the co in the meeting, but you're hearing what's on their minds. Right? Exactly. And then you, if you talked, you know, you're sort of in a, in a, in a third party position there, if you had five conversations or eight comments, doesn't matter what the number was. You have all those one-to-one conversations, you're in a unique position to see alignment, misalignment overlap. And, and, and, and you're not talking about this a little bit before you were in a position to see differences and differences, creativity and energy can come from dealing with differences. Well, absolutely. So you were in a unique position to see a lot of things that you knew could emerge in the board meeting or in board member conversations, one-to-one or small groups, lunch drinks, and how did, what did, what kind of things did you do to channel them or funnel them into the mission productive direction? Okay. Speaker 2 00:09:52 Uh, you know, what's what was really interesting about this organization. Unlike a lot of whether it was, I worked at the March of dimes or at my last last position, these were, um, high wealth individuals with, um, a lot of who, who were CEOs of companies who also cared about the mission, but cared about how things were managed so that, you know, what, whatever time they spent was spent well, and, and so as, as you talk about, um, their visions and things, you know, what I learned at this organization, which is somebody suggests something, and it sounds like a great idea going back to them and then tell me how you would do it. And, and, and what are the resources you can bring to do that. And, you know, as a result, several new opportunities to raise dollars, emerged several new engagements, new people, new people came up to chair, um, the annual fundraiser, you know, all of that, as people thought about what they could do, right. Came back to the benefit of the organization. And, you know, really that board was pretty much, um, board members met once a year. Oh, wow. So it was pretty, pretty much one-on-one engagement throughout Speaker 1 00:11:15 The year. It was a lawn Speaker 2 00:11:15 Chair. Yeah. A board chair who, you know, the treasurer of the company was the treasurer of his. And so, you know, very engaged in the results. Speaker 1 00:11:24 Okay. Interesting. Speaker 2 00:11:26 Very interesting model. Speaker 1 00:11:29 I don't think they're getting on the same page as the end, the right result for everything. Sometimes it's not what should happen. So I'm not presuming that that's like, that's just, you know, a moral good in all cases. So if there was a time talk about a time when people didn't get on the same page and why not, and if they shouldn't have that's cool, why not? And then how did you help manage the differences? So let's say relationships were protected or a mission could be still advanced with some differences existing between people, Speaker 2 00:12:02 You know, getting people on the same page as a wonderful concept. Having people understand that there may be more pages in a book and that the book may represent the mission or the organization is, is also important. And, um, and so some of the interesting things that perhaps the, the most interesting ones that happen are the ones where, where vision for the futures may or may not be the same. And, and so for 10 years, I was the technical assistance person for the MacArthur foundations fund for war affected children and youth in Northern Uganda. It was funded by the MacArthur foundation. And, um, after the conflicts and, you know, MacArthur's vision was that lots of other people would want to donate well, if MacArthur is putting in the majority of the money, perhaps that's not what other foundations are willing to do, but the work was, was really important, particularly, as people were coming back and back into societies after you had had women and children and others taken by the Lord's resistance army. Speaker 2 00:13:14 So there was really good work that was done, but it was part of the work that I did was to help administer the grants, to do whatever small activities. They had a few folks that had donated otherwise, but also to, to help with the chair and the others to think about what is the future of this. And I helped to select an executive director that was not a us person, which had been the history before being brought in, but that was local. And really thinking about the vision as you talk to the people in Northern Uganda. And one of the things that was really challenging because I had never done it is really thinking about the future of it as MacArthur also changed its leadership. And so the organization became an independent and approved NGO. And my part when I, when I helped them hand it off was I had gotten it registered in Uganda and approved as a, as an NGO. Speaker 2 00:14:10 Okay. And so thinking about something where a major organization invested in kind of owned and it's like a child, right. And now this child has to stand on its own right. And, and become approved. And so to me, that's different pages, right. You know, it's probably different pages of history, but the organization and, and the last I was involved with them was about seven or eight years ago is still thriving. Wow. On its own in Uganda. So it's a different vision as it was a social mission investment by, by MacArthur. And now it's an organization that's continuing mission to help Northern Uganda with education and livelihood and workforce training. And it's finding a way to survive without a major us partner. Speaker 1 00:15:03 It's often critical that organizations change over time, not randomly not, but in response to circumstances, in response to shifting conditions in response to maybe having accomplished some of a mission, and maybe you need to redefine the mission to CA all right. So there was a moment of change somewhere in there. Moments of change could be the end of an organization too. If people don't get on the same page, or if people don't maybe leave, if people don't agree they could leave and others could come in to get who support, let's say a revised mission, a new mission, a new, a repurposed mission, or calling what were the conversations like when you, when you realized that there had to be a graduation, there had to be an emancipation that organization had to move into a new stage. What made it, okay. Let me say that, Speaker 2 00:16:01 You know, I think, I think that for many organizations, large funders like MacArthur or the GE foundation, or any of the others investing in something for 10 years is probably about their limit. It's not a lifetime contribution. So there was always in, in, in the foundation's mind, there was always an end date, a change of leadership, the head of, of, uh, the woman who was the, um, program director of the board of the, of the, um, social justice was, was leaving. And she was on the board of that, you know, really a lot of the change and a lot of the move to make, to make the organization self-sufficient and independent came from a charismatic board member who really was, it was, was, uh, in some, in some ways he always reminded me of a minister. He was great at fundraising. He was great at getting people together and really great at rallying people eventually to his point of view. Speaker 2 00:17:04 And, and so he planted the seed. Okay. And, and then the execution was, was difficult. And it was a couple of years in the making, but really very powerful to do. And, and, and so you had to have a champion to be able to do that and a champion of stature. And, and so I think, I think that one of the change factors are always having champions or ambassadors for viewpoints. You know, if organizations are going to change, you need, you need folks who are willing to speak out about that change, but it can't just be change for change sake. It has to be planned purpose. It has to be purposeful. It has to be something that's, um, you know, that, that amplifies and doesn't just destroy the past. So I, I really attribute the, the ability to do that, you know, to aim and vision Speaker 1 00:18:03 Good point. So I've questioned besides the charisma, which has a place that can be significant in leadership, but besides the things we could put under that heading of, of, of maybe an energy or, you know, uh, a charm, a way of being with people whose own passion, okay. What did you see him do that, that, that was effective when he articulated the vision that other people could, he brought them along. He got them on that page. And here's the thing about getting on the same page. And I want to ask you, maybe there's something that you can think about to answer this question from that situation. Nobody wants to every, w we all can only be on our own pages. That's just life we're on our own page. We don't want to give it up. We don't want to abandon it. We want to make it become something else in a service of maybe something greater. So, but so it's important to hang onto something. What did you see that was effective? Or how did you do this yourself? Helping people repurpose their own page, rethink their own page, um, finding maybe new energy in it. Right. How did, how did they, how did he bridge that? Speaker 2 00:19:17 You know, um, in a couple of ways, amen, you know, did a lot of field work. He went and talked to, you know, what, what they call beneficiaries, you know, to really look at the impact of what, of, what the funds were doing and, and, and really to bring back some of the voices of, of, of the community and, and some of the, um, Speaker 1 00:19:43 Can I interrupt you for a second? There must have been a respect that people had for him for going out into the field. Absolutely. So he didn't stay in New York. He didn't stay at the top of the Nope. He went out to see what was going on to talk to them. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:19:58 To, to see, you know, there was a girls school and really looking at some of the things that allowed that school in Vidar and in, um, Northern Uganda, where they provided for, for women, with babies to be able to get an education and looking at some of the things. And one of the things he brought back from one of his trips, which was so, um, interesting, you said, you know, the girls would like a wall. They're not feeling very secure. And part of the vision was, uh, you know, it was really the security of the folks who were now going back to their homes, reclaiming them, and still being in a, not, not a war zone, but a conflict in a conflict situation. And, and so the, um, the fund funded that funded number of other things, but amen also not just talked about what the fund should do, but what others could do. Speaker 2 00:20:53 And he made major donations to do, to support some of the work for individual organizations. And, you know, some of those that were supported really thrived and some did not. I mean, you know, it was the small investment for a beekeeper or the small investment for somebody to get ox to till fields that hadn't been tilled in 30 years were nice to do, but lasting impact was not. And as the fun learned the stories and the impact from the field, in addition to what was seen on paper, because, you know, looking at, it's not as if they've all got grant writers to help, to help get things right. Really made a difference about what could a small fund wasn't very large do that could make a major impact in, in this kind of thing, to be able to create an organization that could survive. And it has, Speaker 1 00:21:46 That's pretty cool. I did want to ask you about your formal education. What did library science lend to you? Models, methods, theories that help you think about process of getting people on the same page Speaker 2 00:22:01 He knew. And I think it's, it was a great degree for me. I have a master's and a doctorate in it. And one of the, one of the benefits of it, it makes you think about information in a different way. Okay. You know, we've got a lot of complex information. How do we make it understandable and how do we package it so that the people who are going to look at this information, understand it and, and have a guide to things. And so I think if, if at the essence of whether you call it information studies or libraries studies is, is making complex information understandable. And, and so that has really guided much of what I've done, whether it's, it's creating grant proposals, or it's looking at developing a strategic plan, but really how do you distill what becomes complex information very often jargon full into something that is usable and appropriate for, for its use. And everybody can understand it. Speaker 1 00:23:03 That's interesting. And it's really cool. Like, I mean, I'm a kid of the sixties. I had just got to say, I always use that word. I don't even know what IM what does it mean? It's cool because if people can't commit to something that's complex, complexity means ambiguity, uncertainty. It generally means risk, right? If something's complex and we don't understand it, at least a first initial reaction and intuitive reaction will be to pause to hold back or even to pull back. So if the same information is presented clearly in that clarity, the clarity is more compelling. It makes people maybe curious, want to lean in, find out more. And as they do, they might understand that it's not for them, but they might see more hooks that they can hook their interests to their goals, their objectives, what matters to them. So I think there's something essential to getting on the same page that has to do with helping people see from their own pages, what a same page might look like in a way that they can make connections to. Speaker 2 00:24:15 It was interesting to me, because as a university professor, you know, you would fill pages and you talked in paragraphs and, and, and, and so really dense. And so as I came to empire blue cross, um, I had a wonderful mentor who was, who was my boss. And I wrote something up about, I only remember what, and he looked at it and he goes, so put it on one page or one sentence. So Speaker 1 00:24:41 What, what are you talking Speaker 2 00:24:42 About? Nobody's going to look at it, come back to me when you figured out how to tell me what it really is. And, and, and that really turned a switch for me. And I said, oh, I've got it. You know, it isn't about how much I can put on the page. It's about what it is. You need to know about this particular piece. Yeah. Yeah. And between, you know, being a guide to information, which is what a librarian is thinking about the end user more than about me, that's a really critical change for me. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:25:16 I had that same experience. I have a master's degree, so didn't have to do the dissertation, but certainly from all my papers, you learn to write in a certain style. Um, you might even learn to think in a certain manner because of your training. And then I was a consultant to government for a long time where there's a way proposals are written. There's a way deliverables. There's a way those are, are written. And then in my independent consulting, as I move more in the direction of my own marketing, it's all, none of it works. It's, I've got to go, I've got to get it down to one sentence. Um, if there was a flow of thought, there could, the flow could be two or three sentences or bullets. Their sentences are not paragraphs. And I've had to clean up constantly when I re read what I write, I shortened it. I cut. Speaker 2 00:26:10 Exactly. So I'm curious in your work, um, tell me about, about a moment of change and how you managed it to get everybody on the same page. Speaker 1 00:26:21 That's right. They both come to mind dummy use the proposal writing example. I got good at writing proposals, which are just deadly to read proposals for the federal government for consulting services, generally management consulting, and an evaluation panel once told me in the boss I was working for at the time that the proposal that we'd submitted, which I wrote was breathtaking. No one uses breathtaking. So, so what I did besides some art in, in, in writing was I'm not the subject matter expert in the many requirements to be written about, to, to be evaluated in the proposal. So I work with a lot of people on, in a team which could be within the company and consulting companies team all the time. So you've got people in other organizations and they're subject matter experts in two to 10 areas, 20 areas. And what I got good at was they would always give you language that you could like cut and paste into the, but, so that's how a proposal got to be. Speaker 1 00:27:24 Just, mind-numbingly poke your eyes out, dull, dull to read. And they all sounded like that. And if you can imagine being an evaluation panel and reading 10 or 50 of those, you want to, you just want to find something else to do for your life. So I found ways to talk to people and I didn't just email and say, send me a paragraph that addresses this. I started out that way over time. I found ways to talk to those subject matter experts to hear in their words, what they cared about is that if we have to meet this requirement for it, security or for change management, what should we be thinking about that? We would tell them that if, if I had a conversation, I got different ideas than if I asked them for language. I had written for a previous proposal with a similar requirement and they send it to me and then I would call and try to unpack it if I had the call first, and the conversation was personal and one-to-one even over the phone, but it was a conversation, not an email exchange. Speaker 1 00:28:26 I got different information. And then I would always ask what's the business probably should be trying to solve for them, even if they didn't ask us to. Now, you have a subject matter expert who cares about the subject, and it would be engaged in that conversation of here's what we should be focused on for them. Then I could find ways to write that into an evaluate, a proposal that would evaluate well, that was where the art came in, or my, some of my talent came in the writing, but it was in the gathering of the pieces and working with a lot of people to who contributed those pieces, that I was able to put together something that functionally was the same page, right. That document stood as a, as a, as a one place where all those ideas came together. Speaker 2 00:29:09 Great talents for a librarian. Speaker 1 00:29:12 How, in what way? Speaker 2 00:29:14 Yeah. Creating the, taking all this complex information and making it understandable, um, making it breathtaking, which, you know, it's beyond that, that's the real art part of it. Speaker 1 00:29:27 But, but, you know, it's, it's, it echoes some things that you said, um, going out in the field. So there w there was a time when I was doing some consulting and a senior official wanted a part of their organization to be more innovative about some things. Well, that word means a lot of things. So I talked to him about what that meant to him. And then I went and talked to the people in the shop, the, the, the, the, the division that he wanted to be. And I said, the boss wants things to be more innovative around here. What's that mean? What do you think? Or what's your reaction when you hear that word? I love to get the gut reaction of things, because that's the honest response. We can find ways to parse it. We can find ways to describe it. We can find ways to make it more professional to put in writing. Speaker 1 00:30:12 The gut reaction is where I always like to start, because it was the entry into a lot of important. And so someone rolled their eyes and said, I know, and I'm not opposed, but we can't get to it. What can't we get to? Like, I would just keep using their words to ask them to elaborate on what they meant. And it unpacked very valuable information, even as a starting point. And this is not the ending point, then it's the basis or a foundation for just the next step. And I always like to have that Esther get people agreeing enough, just right now, where they are to take the next step together. If you can do that, you can step through things maybe until you finish, maybe until you hit a wall, you can't go past, but she agreed enough to take the next step, gets people on that page. Maybe not the ultimate page, but it gets them on that page. And maybe that's, there's more to come. Maybe that's the best you can do. That's one of the ways I like to try to do it Speaker 2 00:31:14 Well, you know, and, and I think that one of the things that the pandemic talking about innovation has done for all of us is, is to think about new ways to communicate new ways to work and, and new ways to, to, um, to think about teams, you know, organizations are all about teams and teams working together, and nobody can do everything, but how do you do that? Um, and connect folks in new ways. Right? And, and so I, I think when we talk about moments of change and, and an inflection, whether it's a disaster or it's a, um, or, or the pandemic is, is, is in many ways a disaster, um, it creates ways for people to rethink tradition and how they've worked and how you want to keep many of the things that, that have happened, but you want to, you need to do it in a new way. So it's an interesting time to see the impact on, on war, on work and how work will morph for the future. Speaker 1 00:32:23 Yeah. I think the pandemic made us ask and answer a new, all the right questions. How are we working as a team? How will we know, how are we just getting people's ideas? Like a substantive idea? What about there? What about their gut? You know, what about their heart? Are we missing that? Are we capturing that? What does a team, are they really functioning as a team, or is it a team of nine? And I knew so many teams that were really teams in name only they weren't functioning as, as, as teams where some, where you were getting some, you know, effective the, the whole is greater than some of the parts that, that kind of multiplier effect. Yeah. I think it made everybody ask and answer a lot of those questions, uh, um, because of the change in workplace work conditions, stress, you know, Speaker 2 00:33:14 Absolutely. And, and, um, and for a company small or large, a major portion of, of expense is real estate, whether it's a rental office or an owned office, um, uh, or place of work. And, and so having made that investment now, one needs to revisit what is, what is the workplace and is the workplace a technology investment? Can it be dispersed? Does, do you really need to go back because, you know, you can to what was before and how do you repurpose reuse, um, some of these investments that you've made to still make them valuable. And I think, you know, in, in, in, well, you know, I think about, you know, wall street companies and I, and I think about New York where, you know, major, big, big companies, um, have, you know, huge buildings, lots of rented, rented space. And, and, um, now there's, there's not much use of it. Right? Speaker 1 00:34:24 There's uh, um, Speaker 1 00:34:26 What happens to it is a business model I like to use is called the business model canvas. And one of the components of a business model is the channels by which you reach your customer. Well, what you're just talking about was applied to people within an organization, what are the channels by which we reach our people. It used to be, they were in the office, in the building. So we didn't even ask that question anymore. Asters down that hall lose on that floor. Right. They were there physically when they stopped going to work to try to manage the spread of the virus, the obvious thing was the channels were to their homes. Okay. But that's the that's obvious. Then that means more things. How do we support that? There were a lot of it questions about how to support that there were, um, a lot of people found, especially with kids at home who couldn't go to school, that their days were really, really hard to get work done while at home. And, um, there's a lot written about how some companies had to be flexible with the hours that people worked. Maybe you couldn't work a strict eight to five or something because you were getting, you were getting on zoom calls with teachers at some times, and you had to work earlier or later. Um, I think the companies, so I think the companies who thought about the channels by which they were reaching and working with their own people, discovered ways to do it well, or at least had a better chance of right. Speaker 2 00:35:57 Yeah, I think you're right. But I also question, um, you know, and it's a, it's a metaphor if we think about the water cooler or the coffee pot and, um, in a physical space, you know, the ability to walk down the hall and ask somebody a question, or, or you meet up and spontaneously say, gee, I'm working on this. What are you working on? Um, where is, where is the water cooler in a zoom call? Right. You know? Um, and, and so all of these technology solutions are very scheduled and very purposeful. And, you know, you've got the agenda. How do you, maybe it's going back to what we used to do to connect with people. You picked up the phone and said, what do you think about it? But it's, it's so alien to how we've all worked recently. Speaker 1 00:36:48 No, you're absolutely right. There are certainly trade offs. I, my point about the channel was it, I think it made companies be more thoughtful and reflective explicitly about how they were reaching. But then one of the things that should have been seen was what you just said is, you know, we're missing something too. We're missing partly the, just the informal interaction that goes to some camaraderie. But partly it was more than that. It was also, we might be missing some information exchange that is necessary for tasks or projects or success. I just had a call with a buddy that I used to work with, who is a dyed in the wool. He's a techie, he's got all the letters behind his name for all of the certifications. He's really good, but he can talk to people, Esther, right? Like, you know, engineers, you know, tech, tellers, you know, people who are have that brain, but also can have a conversation. Speaker 1 00:37:47 He's one. And what he said to me was now companies are adopting practices like scrum and agile and things that are, have been held out as best practices. And he said, now everything is so formalized. Everything is so purposeful. If you bring up something that's off of the agenda, you're told to stop. And he's like, but people can't anticipate everything there should be talked about, perhaps with the agenda planning. If there's no place where you can just say, like at the water. Cool. Did you hear, did you hear about, I heard what'd you think, like you just said, what did you think about something where you get at a gut reaction to someone, has it as something which then leads to information, maybe how they assess something, right. How they size it up, what they think should be done? Well, none of that, might've been on an agenda for a planned call or a planned process. Exactly. And he's saying that's missing and we need to get it back. Speaker 2 00:38:50 You know, I'm curious about some of the, you know, artificial intelligence, things like Verbella, it's a virtual world. You can have an office, you know, um, executive Q has a, uh, a team office there, but they've created opportunities to have a cocktail hour with your avatar or a, you know, you can go to a beach party, but it's very artificial, you know? And, uh, I appreciate the effort, but, um, if I'm going to have a drink with you, I'd love to be able to do it in person. So I, you know, I think that there's lots of potential new thinking about how to recreate human ability for humans to communicate in different settings. And so I think we'll see a lot of things that, you know, maybe coming down the pike that nobody ever imagined. Speaker 1 00:39:40 Yeah. If nothing, it's a moment of change and we'll see some good things will come of it. We'll, we'll, we'll we might reinforce our thinking about some old school things that we should not lose and some new things will emerge it. Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:39:56 This has been an interesting discussion and, and certainly thought provoking for me to think about some things I haven't thought about for a while. Speaker 1 00:40:05 I've enjoyed it. Thank you for your time. It's always fun to talk to you. Speaker 2 00:40:10 Thanks, Lou. Have a great Speaker 1 00:40:11 Day. Thanks you too. Bye bye. And that's how we see it. My friends, I want to thank Astro for recording today's episode with me sending questions and suggestions through the app. Subscribe and give me a five star rating unless you can't. In which case, I hope you tell me why and join me next week. Will we take another look at how to get on the same page with others and stay there? Unless we shouldn't.

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