Empowering teams in business transformations – Martina Hodges-Schell and Teresa Leighty "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs August 08 2021 False The Product Experience, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 6866 Product Management 27.464

Empowering teams in business transformations – Martina Hodges-Schell and Teresa Leighty

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What holds most Product people back?¬† Hint: it’s not ability. For this week’s podcast, we talked with Martina Hodges-Schell and Teresa Leighty about how to make changes in your company’s environment that actually work, for you, and your teams.

Featured Links:¬†Follow Martina on¬†LinkedIn,¬†Twitter and¬†her WebsiteÔĹúFollow Teresa on¬†LinkedIn¬†and¬†Twitter |¬†Heath & Sea¬† | John Chambers article¬†‘The key to business transformation? Empowering your people’

Episode transcript

Randy Silver: 0:00

Billy, I’ve been thinking things are going okay around here, but our stakeholders, they have expectations and there’s a lot of opportunity for us in this space. And you know, we’re just not capitalising on everything.

Lily Smith: 0:13

Randy, are you saying what I think you’re saying?

Randy Silver: 0:16

I think it’s time we do something bold, something innovative, something to shake things up. We need, we need a transformation programme.

Lily Smith: 0:26

So this is actually something that I would get super excited about, you know, a chance to evaluate how we’re working together, overhaul everything and use new tools and just generally have a refresh, but I know some people that would get quite freaked out about the prospect of dramatic change.

Randy Silver: 0:44

Exactly. We can’t do this half assed, which is why I brought on two experts to advise us on how to do transformation right? to people who’ve actually helped lead successful transformations. So today, we’re going to chat with Martina Haji shell and Teresa lighty.

Lily Smith: 1:01

It would be very nice to get some expert advice on this. So let’s get right to the chat. The product experience is brought to you by mind the product.

Randy Silver: 1:15

Every week, we talk to the best product people from around the globe about how we can improve our practice and build products that

Lily Smith: 1:22

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Randy Silver: 1:30

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Lily Smith: 1:44

My new product also offers free product tank meetups in more than 200 cities. And there’s probably one or you

Randy Silver: 1:53

Martina Theresa, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast tonight. Thanks for having us. I’m going to ask you before we jump into conversation properly, for anyone who hasn’t seen you to speak as a double act, or hasn’t worked with either of you, can you just give us a little bit of an introduction? How did you get into product? And what are you doing these days? Martina? Why don’t you go first? Absolutely. So

Martina Hodges-Schell: 2:18

I started out in the 90s. Looking at how can from design and innovation background? How can we make the internet more people friendly? And really carry that through to you know, looking at how do you then create the innovation practices in organisations, whether that’s in tech organisations in consultancies, and design agencies to really look at, you know, how do we create better products for people? How do we solve interesting problems, and valuable problems for people? And I found, what was really interesting is the question about how do we solve the problems outside of those practices in the organisation to actually set those teams and this practice is up for success. That’s how I got to business transformation today.

Randy Silver: 3:03

What about you, Teresa?

Teresa Leighty: 3:05

So started in a slightly different place, I actually started in management, consulting, and kind of doing traditional or design operational strategy work, but lived in San Francisco. So you know, you’re kind of required to go to a startup, if you lived there at that point in time. So went into several, and that’s actually where I was introduced to product and started applying the practices and moving into those roles. And as I finished my time in startups, I realised there was this opportunity to kind of put the two parts of my career together. And I felt like these these different practices, were going to have a lot of applicability with bigger companies. But only if you also looked at, as Martina said, the kind of the ecosystem that surrounded the teams. And so I have for a number of years now either led or supported different companies who are going through these transformations and bringing these practices into their kind of core.

Randy Silver: 3:55

And Martina, I know you and I have both worked either at or with some very big challenging companies, although we never overlapped it any of them at the same time. And when we first got to talking, there was something that about this, this approach that really made me want to learn more. And it’s this whole thing around what I work with a lot of product people, they all have that same, that same frustration at times of I can’t get anything done, you know, is it me? Do I suck at my job? Or is it the environment? That’s the problem. So how do I know how do I what are the common challenges? How do I recognise if I’m not very good, and it’s always just imposter syndrome? Or is it just this environment is set up so that nobody could really succeed?

Martina Hodges-Schell: 4:41

That’s a great question actually. And working with different organisations, what we often see is when we start discovery to look at, you know how the teams working today, what we see is their great, great product managers and their teams trying to do the right thing, but they’re not quite Seeing the not quite seeing the results that they will expect from the work they’re doing. And what we’re often seeing is things like, the organisation is quite siloed, right decisions get made before product teams get involved in terms of what should be made, or and then don’t have the capability to really iterate the way towards a better outcome. With that often we also see really management of outputs looking at looking at success by delivering on time and on budget. And, and not have we delivered value to the customer and to the organisation.

Lily Smith: 5:40

So you call this a kind of an operating model? And what encompasses that operating model that the rules by which a company operates, I guess, like, what does that cover?

Teresa Leighty: 5:53

Yeah, so it’s, that’s one of those phrases that gets thrown around a lot. So I’m glad you asked. For us it is how do teams come together to collaborate across functions? So there’s a structural element to the operating model, then there’s also very much, you know, at a at a really kind of generic level, how do decisions get made? And that starts with from a strategy lens that goes into, like, where are we going to focus on and what are we going to fund and do and then all the way into how teams actually do work. So kind of that soup to nuts decision making process, is a really important part of it, too. And then there is definitely the ways of working within the teams, that is an element of it, but it has to be looked at in the context of those other pieces as well. And so it involves not just, you know, practitioners, but also middle managers and leaders, and then collectively how they work together.

Lily Smith: 6:44

And do you find in a lot of companies, the operating model is the output of just instinctively how some of the people in the business work. It’s not like a conscious decision to work in a particular way.

Teresa Leighty: 6:58

There’s elements of both To be honest, you’re right, some of it is driven by this is the way I’ve always worked. This is the model that I know when I’m familiar with and so I, you know, bring it along the way with me, but it’s also a, an element of the comfort level of of leaders too. And as far as where they want to operate and get the level of detail that they’re used to seeing or being and and they make conscious decisions about that from an operating model perspective in terms of, you know, spans of control in terms of how we need to report things, etc, that are very conscious, and it’s based on their own comfort, sometimes related to leadership. So that actually is one of the big areas we work with in this operating model to change is how do I as a leader provide the right priorities, the right context, guardrails, maybe, but then give teams the ability to figure out the quickest path to value within that context.

Randy Silver: 7:53

So product people, you know, we’re leaders at a certain level, and some of us are sitting up in that rarefied air of the C suite, or, you know, at the table, but a lot of us are somewhere closer to the middle of the organisation. How can we influence teams, when we don’t have that organisational authority? What’s the best way for us to go out and start working with people who maybe work in a very different way.

Teresa Leighty: 8:21

So we were working with a large retailer Home Improvement retailer, and this company was just starting the transition from working in a very kind of flips to a project, and then we break up and we go do something else to a true product model. And these last several of their large initiatives, they had to on a cadence go present to the exact team and talk to them about their, you know about what they were doing. And so as we started to work with one of these product teams, we said, Hey, hey, to your point, Randy, this is this is your opportunity to influence more broadly outside of your direct area. So how might we go tell this story in a very different way? Yeah, you may have to do the regular reports. But let’s actually change the conversation. And so they went in with the things that that you’re all very familiar with that like this is the problem space. This was the risky assumption. This is how we tested it. This was our hypothesis. And the interesting part was, it was a very experienced exact team, several who had come up through the ranks. And so we’re from Merchandising, and things like that. And they thought we know the answer here. We already know what the answer is, we just want to know where you’re at. And the aha moment was they actually realised they were solving for the wrong problem. And it was literally one of those lightbulb moments and the team by virtue of coming in and talking about it that way saved, you know, millions of dollars ultimately for not heading down a path. The other really cool part of it was the CEO said, I want everyone who comes to talk to us now to use this format. And so from that point forward, that one team actually enabled a much broader, you know, impact because they they chose to tell their story in a very fact you know, that Based way, so it was really, really neat experience.

Lily Smith: 10:03

Do you find that when people kind of go to the C suite, or the kind of the the leadership team with various sort of product lead research and decision making, that it always works that way, because in my experience, and you know, there can sometimes be a certain element of perhaps even just fear of this language and terminology that they’re unfamiliar with, that makes people feel worried about what product people are talking about, and that they might not understand. Is that is that your experience as well?

Martina Hodges-Schell: 10:49

So yes, absolutely. And I think it’s interesting to see, you know, the difference in language, the difference and that fear of not understanding the other, I think it goes both ways, or multi directional, across across functions. And I think three important to pay to try and translate into into the language of the other create that empathy for so how does business communicate success? You know, what goals do they have? How can I? How can I communicate what I’m solving for what I’m trying to achieve? How can I translate perhaps a customer outcome in context of business outcome, and vice versa, being able to demonstrate that what you’re doing is actually contributing and adding value to, to what they’re trying to achieve, I think, is a really critical baseline for being able to communicate with, with leadership, for example,

Randy Silver: 11:46

let me dig deeper into that one for a moment. So one of the things we talk about in product a lot is the idea that we should fail fast, learn from it and iterate. But I’ve advised any number of people that I work with never to go to the senior manager and say, we failed, but at least we did it fast. I try and advise them is okay, we need to change the terminology. It’s about learning. It’s about cost avoidance and risk avoidance and lots of nice phrases that work better with those type of people. But what how do you approach this? What’s the way that you help to know when you’re working with these organisations? How do you embed this in so that the communication is clearly understood at both levels?

Martina Hodges-Schell: 12:31

Absolutely. And first of all, a data driven approach, you know, where we’re trying to measure outcomes, mature topic that’s very familiar and don’t necessarily don’t mind which format you use, whether it’s okrs, or others, but having clear objectives and measures of success are metrics that are actually numbers, you can share it with care when moving closer to, to achieving this outcome or moving further away. What did we learn along the way? What was the data different decision that was that we needed to make, rather than my gut feel or my personal opinion, so I think it’s very important to create that those data points, but in fact, create that learning to make a more informed decision to remove uncertainty. And that tends to work well for leadership or for for any other part of the organisation as well, in terms of communication. It’s just important to not to say, oh, we’re just, we’re just failed fast. That was, seems, seems almost reckless, or irresponsible.

Teresa Leighty: 13:38

It’s interesting that, you know, to your point, Randy, I think and you know, a little a little of what you were saying earlier to failure is one of the loaded terms, I found, like one of the most loaded words and transformation work and, but also, it, you know, it’s important to not be hung up on I have to call it this, I have to call it a hypothesis, I have to call it fail or whatever. The point is more, how do I get the concept across in a way that actually someone’s going to embrace. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the exact proper, you know, language or whatever, it’s more about trying to get people to be open to the concept and the idea, you can add the other things as you go, by getting into embrace even being, you know, willing to listen to you is that is the first step really,

Lily Smith: 14:21

that’s a really good point about through us. So how do you get people to listen to you, you know, how I guess it’s all about trust at the end of the day and kind of building credibility within the team in order to gain trust and then become a more empowered product person or or product team? And that how do you get to that point, if you’re not in, you know, if you’re not empowered in the first place?

Teresa Leighty: 14:49

Yeah, we have a lot of teams and people don’t come to us. And we’ll start by saying, well, I just can’t do any of that because my manager won’t let me and I think are very respectful pushback. Is Yeah, you can do some of that there is an area that you do control where you could go do some kind of a quick experiment, I just as an example, and do something differently. And then how do you use what you learn from that to continue the conversation. So it’s about sort of taking small bites, not necessarily trying to have a big change out of the gate. And, you know, inviting people to participate that and very to participate with you and very targeted ways. So you’re bringing them along the journey a little bit. Hey, so and so from compliance? You know, I appreciate that. Normally, we have to go through it this way, you know, how might we I understand your outcome super aware of it. So not trying to avoid the outcome, but how might we work together a little bit different on it. So finding some champions that you can start to bring along with you. But you know, having, you’ve got to have measured expectations, it’s not going to change overnight transformations are longer term things, and you know, there will be success, and then they do get momentum and go faster, but you have to start somewhere and be a little patient.

Randy Silver: 16:03

So when we talk about these transformations I’ve been part of Oh, God, I don’t even know how many at this point. And one of the things that always frustrated me about them is there was never a definition of success. for them. There was never a point where we would have finished the transformation. Is that just the experiences I’ve had? Or is that a common problem? How do we in that? If it is how do we avoid it? Great question, I

Martina Hodges-Schell: 16:27

I think t ere are two parts to it. On t e one hand, it’s very much lik a product, right? It’s an t e operating model, not the tra sformation, the operating model hould never be done, per se, it should be a living, evolving, o ganic thing that we’re constantl improving. But that doesn’t ive us that doesn’t stop us f om actually making progress rom current state towards a futu e state. So what we would ad ise is, you know, have transfor ation goals have transformation objectives, but also measure of success that you need o have some transformation met ics to see, are we moving n the right direction? are we reating the impact we’re expect ng? If not, what do w need to do differently to actu lly be able to achieve those? S absolutely defining where we ne d to get to what we want to chieve, and seeing that we re actually checking in reg larly, that we’re seeing that we re actually moving in the righ

Lily Smith: 17:25

So what would be an example of transformation metrics? That sounds super important? And very interesting, I’d be really, really interested to know how how you can measure that?

Teresa Leighty: 17:39

Yeah, so a couple of Bachelor point around learning that we were talking about a couple of minutes ago. So speed to learning or speed to validation of assumptions that you have, and being able to really kind of show that your learning velocity is increasing, is a really big one and and an earlier indicator versus speed to market, which people tend to think about, like, Can I get things out faster, but it’s really more how quickly are we able to learn and validate know that we’re doing the right thing. There are also some some interesting when it depends upon the context. But if you think about this idea of empowered teams, being able to decide, you know, their, their path to value, we have a client in the FinTech space that we work with that has had a lot of challenges prioritising and so we have worked with them to have kind of an overall opportunity backlog there. They’re a smaller company. So they’re able to do this. And so we’re measuring as part of the transformation, how many things just get started outside of that process by somebody deciding like, hey, I want you to go do this. And so, you know, we want it to go through that that opportunity backlog. So the teams have the ability to then take that and run. So those are a couple examples of things that we’ve looked at.

Randy Silver: 18:56

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Lily Smith: 19:16

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Randy Silver: 19:33

Find out more and book your place on a monthly workshop at mind the product.com slash workshops, that’s mine, the product comm slash workshops. It sounds like there’s, you know, different ways of going into this and is it always bespoke for a different company, or there are models that work And are repeatable. You know, we hear about the Spotify model we hear about safe, we hear about any number of other things. And I mean, I’m allergic to hearing these stories at this point. But I’m curious, do you have a different viewpoint on this?

Martina Hodges-Schell: 20:14

I think it’s a great question. Because we often get asked, so which model? are we actually going to implement? What are we going to apply? Or, similarly, you know, what’s the one book on each read? And I mean, I emphasise, understand that this is a time of uncertainty, we don’t really know where the journey is going with this, give us give us some comfort in knowing give us something tangible, something concrete. But to be honest, it’s it’s not dissimilar to a product parallel again, we’re not just copying and pasting what our competitors are doing. But we really need to look at what makes sense in our context, what are some of the priorities that we have, in terms of in terms of goals? What’s stopping us from achieving those right now? How do we need to resolve that? So it’s definitely contextual, it is based on on common principles and common best practices, but not not a fixed model off, you know, as you were just saying, we’re going to med spa five model or something like that?

Lily Smith: 21:15

Do you think, as a product manager, you can run a business transformation product, project yourself? If you kind of see the need for one and the business that you’re in? Can you instigate

Teresa Leighty: 21:31

you can absolutely instigate it. And you know, as Martinez said, there are a lot of, we try to think about how we apply the product principles in the context of transformation, because we think they work, it’s not something that’s just exclusive to, you know, product development, I think that you would have to as a product manager, learn some of those other parts of the ecosystem, and how to influence those above and beyond your specific product knowledge. But we’re big fans of get started, too. So don’t don’t wait for everybody to give you permission and everything to be lined up perfectly, because you’ll be waiting forever. So if you have an ability to take on something and be able to influence it in a positive way and use your knowledge as a product manager, we would be, you know, certainly encouraged that

Randy Silver: 22:16

when you say get started. So there’s a couple of different ways of doing that. And it’s Yeah, I’ve certainly been guilty in the past of trying to go big straightaway. Do you? Should you be trying to influence the whole system? Or should you be working on something small and trying to get credibility with that and get the ball rolling. But, you know, if we take that approach, sometimes it just feels like we’re not doing that much.

Martina Hodges-Schell: 22:42

On the one hand, you really need to look at all the components together to really look at what’s influencing What, what? Where were the challenges, what’s not working? Well, right now, terms of all components of the operating model, but then you really need to prioritise you know, where are the most important sticking points what you need to address, and then you start smaller than you’re absolutely iterating, figuring out in terms of designing a future state of off the opera of those aspects of the operating model. You start small, operate with that with a small group of people. Once you see it working, well, you can scale that up. So so then you’re it’s a start small and scale as you as you’re getting confidence in it and removing uncertainty and what the right solution is.

Randy Silver: 23:34

So it’s the real secret patience. A little bit

Teresa Leighty: 23:41

with with maybe some targeted inpatients at times as well, to to help make sure things are are moving forward. But yeah, I mean, you can’t expect it to change overnight, but you also can’t be complacent. And think, Okay, well, we got this far. So we’re good. Good enough. You know, if you really want to see things fundamentally change, there’s, there’s a need for some change makers who are willing to push a little bit.

Martina Hodges-Schell: 24:03

More often than not, I find that there’s more, more inertia, like it’s more comfortable to to stay where you are, rather than pushing the transformation forward. So it’s more often like needing to nudge it forward, rather than slowing it down.

Lily Smith: 24:18

And how about making time for transformation? If you’re working in a busy company, and you know, everyone’s really busy, obviously, it takes time to change from the way that you’re currently working and try something different a new like, how do you advise people on trying to make time for this?

Teresa Leighty: 24:39

It’s it’s the classic problem that I think every single company we’ve worked with has this issue because it’s really about kind of reassembling the aeroplane in flight. It’s it’s the classic piece of that. So what we were encouraged in a couple different ways. Certainly part of it is educating leaders about the time that it does take because people don’t tend to factor that and they want outcome, they don’t want to necessarily be able to put in the effort. So part of that is education. The other part is to think about there are some things you’re going to do anyway. So how about you just do them differently? And so where are those opportunities? Because they’re more than you think. And as opposed to just saying, Okay, I’m just going to carry on this way. Okay, let me just change it up a little bit. And then I’m already starting to apply some of the things that I’ve learned. So it is, it’s a huge point of tension and one that you know, we face, but there are ways around it as well.

Randy Silver: 25:31

So we’ve been talking a lot about how we work and how we communicate. But I’ve done things with people, and we’ve had some success. And then it gets to a point where it has to go to governance, it has to wait for a committee, and it just stops dead in its tracks, because of the way that the company is making decisions is there’s something about challenging that bringing it to a different level and just challenging the way the company works. From that perspective, how do we how do we address that and bring that to the fore?

Martina Hodges-Schell: 26:03

Absolutely. And when we say we’re addressing all aspects, different components of the operating model, this is a foundational one that needs to align with the, with the collaboration structures with ways of working as well, because if governance and decision making and and planning doesn’t align to your point, everything grinds to a halt. That’s not just part of how were we rethinking the operating model, but also how we’re approaching the transformation work itself. If that is governed in that way, this is also not going to move forward and in a successful way, or at the kind of pace in achieving the kind of outcomes that we’re trying to achieve. So we’re really looking at sponsorship and buy in from senior leadership. But we also want a cross functional team that can dedicate yourself to has the permission to actually do this work and figure out what does the future state look like, and also bring a lot of other practitioners across the organisation on that journey. So this is not something that is done to you by other people that I think it’s really important to have a dedicated people to have permission to make decisions to do the work, but also have a leadership bought in and supporting and, and enabling this change.

Teresa Leighty: 27:27

It’s it’s definitely one of the hardest things to tackle. Because when you’re, you know, coming from an environment where there are a lot of steering committees where you know, lots of people have permission to say, No, and things like that. And one of the things that we try to get people to work with people to figure out is, you keep saying you want this outcome where you’re able to do things faster, and where you’re able to, you know, really understand the customer and really be responsive. But then you say that you want everyone to participate in all these steering committees, those are not going to work together. And so you know, how are we going to start to change that dynamic and and you just have to be really kind of, you know, call people out on the disconnect between those concepts. And but the other part of it is that it also means that the teams, the cross functional teams, Martine was referring to, they have to be really transparent about what they’re doing as well. Because otherwise people think, okay, I backed off, I’m not, you know, I’m not coming in, you know, looking at everything you’re doing and having you come in front of me once a week. But you need to help me be comfortable. And that requires transparency in terms of what teams are doing.

Lily Smith: 28:36

Is there a Is there a good time to take on business transformation within a kind of company’s growth, like life cycle or whatever? Because I imagine there are times when you’re, you know, as a as a business, you may be way more up against it than other times? Or maybe you’re just always advocate. You know, is there a good time we were, you know, you look at kind of what’s happening in the business. And you think, right, actually, this is a really good time to just put a stake in the ground review the way that we’re working and everything and, and look to make improvements across the board.

Teresa Leighty: 29:14

So an interesting thing. So when when COVID started, we were working with a couple of different clients, you know, one in the healthcare space, so very, very immediately impacted. Another one was a large insurance company. And the interesting part was, if you thought about that, and if I would have asked, you know, which one do you think slowed down on their transformation initiative, you probably would have guessed the health care company because they had all the things happening. They actually put the gas pedal down and went faster, and the insurance company backed out and the CIO. So to answer your question, it’s like there’s never a perfect time, but in this way, a lot of things as a result of COVID for that healthcare company. They had a lot of of the motivating things that they had been looking for. They were front and present, even though it’s really stressful thing to do in the midst of all the things that they had to be able to handle from a COVID perspective. But they said, If there was ever a time, this is when we’re going to do it. So you kind of have to lean into it and never look for all all the stars are not going to align in a perfect way. Going back to our earlier point, you just have to figure out how to get started.

Lily Smith: 30:24

And I imagine some people embrace the process more than others, and some people really struggle. How do you? How do you support? How do you identify the people that are really struggling? And how do you support them through the changes that you’re making?

Teresa Leighty: 30:42

Yeah, so how do we identify the people? So So doing stakeholder analysis is very much a part of transformation work and are similar again, to how you would think about if you were looking at a product and understanding? What do I need to do to get people to change their behaviour? What are their motivations, so a lot of the techniques that you use from a product lens are also very applicable here. And then you think about, you know, understanding their motivations and trying to get them to change their behaviours, what’s going to help them get there. And, you know, some cases, it’s just pure education, they feel way out of their depth. And so, you know, it’s super, you know, concerning and makes them very nervous to think about doing something different. So how do I, how do I get them comfortable, sometimes it’s just showing people you know, what is good look like? I’m not sure. And so there’s a variety of different techniques. And you know, some again, that would be familiar to the audience in terms of that they’ve used from a product lens, and there are some people who are not going to come along. And so you don’t want to focus on them to start with, you know, you have your traditional folks who will be the early adopters, they want to go they want to figure it out, they’ll bring along a set of people with them, and then the others will just decided to do something else, or whatever if they really, truly don’t want to be a part of the process.

Randy Silver: 31:53

So we’ve been talking a lot about larger companies, and you’ve talked about how it’s different for them, depending on where they are in their business cycle. You know, did you just say that the insurance company was sound very much like the never waste a good crisis type of moment. But is this different for companies of different sizes? Is their unique challenges that come with scale versus being a startup or being a scale up and things like that?

Martina Hodges-Schell: 32:22

Yeah, absolutely, I think we definitely see different patterns at different size, different scale, different maturity of an organisation, that’s often an inflection point, when a startup is started, really growing scaling rapidly, often come up come to a point where there’s a lot of new people coming into the organisation, and all of a sudden, you need just more scaffolding to align everybody. And it’s, it’s that point where you really not need to be intentional, intentionally designing your operating model, to have that fine balance of enough guidance, but not stopping that. having that opportunity to innovate at speed at the larger organisation gets, the more governments that have the space in place that easier it is for that innovation was to slow down and scale up really interesting, a problem space. And the second point there is really often you know, as organisations get more successful, they want to hire and more experienced leaders from large proven organisations and, and they come in with experience of, hey, I’ve made this work at this enterprise. And I’m bringing this level of success of governance of processes into this organisation and, and it might just be a little bit overkill for that earlier stage and much more, much more organisation. On the other hand, when we’re looking at enterprises, they really haven’t come up through innovation through finding successful business models trying to protect that and for very good reasons, trying to put more bureaucracy in place to to make sure that we’re that we’re not messing up the successful thing, and trying to figure out, but how, what are the unintentional consequences of that? How have we slow people down and trying to get their work done? We’ve worked with so many out teams where they spend more time trying to, you know, procure tools or resources, or try and get experiment signed off, rather than spending time on designing and delivering on products and services. So really trying to find that balance and figuring out how do we best enable that while managing risk and uncertainty.

Lily Smith: 34:41

And you mentioned earlier, you know, that business transformation is can take quite a long time and getting to that point ever have an empowered team. And so how long does it you’ve obviously worked on a few of these projects. Like, are we talking months or years?

Teresa Leighty: 35:05

Yeah, it’s, it’s it’s usually years. But that doesn’t mean that it’s big bang, I get all the benefit at the end. You know, the benefit definitely in the impacts can start very quickly it’s about and the size of the enterprise. Of course, the organisation matters on this, but it’s also once you kind of do the first piece, you realise that the next piece is attainable, and you can actually kind of go a little bit bigger than you might have thought out of the gate as well. So it gives you that opportunity to continue to expand it in a way that makes sense for your company. But you know, all the ones that we’ve done, we’ve never seen one, you know, done and under, you know, an under your they’re always multi your efforts.

Lily Smith: 35:44

Amazing. Martina, Teresa, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. It’s been really great talking to you and hearing about your experience and expertise with with lots of companies creating transforming businesses. And thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having us. Thank you very much. I just know that there are some people out there that hear the words business transformation and get really excited. Maybe some people get a bit nervous. But I have three young boys. So I just immediately think of you know Bumblebee with a business style and make over

Randy Silver: 36:32

Yeah, I mean, I prefer my business transformations had Optimus Prime as well, but I haven’t been that lucky yet. Anyway, please like and subscribe and if you have any feedback at all, if you have any advice on how we can be even better a transformation. Then you hit us up on LinkedIn or Twitter or ESP. I think most people are communicating with us by ESP.

Lily Smith: 36:58

That’s the normal way to do it these days. haste, me, Lily Smith

Randy Silver: 37:10

and me Randy silver.

Lily Smith: 37:13

Emily Tate is our producer. And Luke Smith is our editor.

Randy Silver: 37:17

Our theme music is from Humbard baseband power. That’s p au. Thanks to Nick Hitler who runs product tank and MTP engage in Hamburg and plays bass in the band for letting us use their music. Connect with your local product community via product tank or regular free meetups in over 200 cities worldwide.

Lily Smith: 37:35

If there’s no one near you, you can consider starting one yourself. To find out more go to mind the product.com forward slash product tank.

Randy Silver: 37:45

Product tech is a global community of meetups driven by and for product people. We offer expert talks group discussion and a safe environment for product people to come together and share earnings and tips.

[buzzsprout episode='8905373' player='true'] What holds most Product people back?¬† Hint: it's not ability. For this week's podcast, we talked with Martina Hodges-Schell and Teresa Leighty about how to make changes in your company's environment that actually work, for you, and your teams. Featured Links:¬†Follow Martina on¬†LinkedIn,¬†Twitter and¬†her WebsiteÔĹúFollow Teresa on¬†LinkedIn¬†and¬†Twitter |¬†Heath & Sea¬† | John Chambers article¬†'The key to business transformation? Empowering your people'

Episode transcript

Randy Silver: 0:00 Billy, I've been thinking things are going okay around here, but our stakeholders, they have expectations and there's a lot of opportunity for us in this space. And you know, we're just not capitalising on everything. Lily Smith: 0:13 Randy, are you saying what I think you're saying? Randy Silver: 0:16 I think it's time we do something bold, something innovative, something to shake things up. We need, we need a transformation programme. Lily Smith: 0:26 So this is actually something that I would get super excited about, you know, a chance to evaluate how we're working together, overhaul everything and use new tools and just generally have a refresh, but I know some people that would get quite freaked out about the prospect of dramatic change. Randy Silver: 0:44 Exactly. We can't do this half assed, which is why I brought on two experts to advise us on how to do transformation right? to people who've actually helped lead successful transformations. So today, we're going to chat with Martina Haji shell and Teresa lighty. Lily Smith: 1:01 It would be very nice to get some expert advice on this. So let's get right to the chat. The product experience is brought to you by mind the product. Randy Silver: 1:15 Every week, we talk to the best product people from around the globe about how we can improve our practice and build products that Lily Smith: 1:22 people love. Because it mind the product calm to catch up on past episodes, and to discover an extensive library of great content Randy Silver: 1:30 and videos, browse for free, or become a mind the product member to unlock premium articles, unseen videos, ama's roundtables, discounts to our conferences around the world training opportunities. Lily Smith: 1:44 My new product also offers free product tank meetups in more than 200 cities. And there's probably one or you Randy Silver: 1:53 Martina Theresa, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast tonight. Thanks for having us. I'm going to ask you before we jump into conversation properly, for anyone who hasn't seen you to speak as a double act, or hasn't worked with either of you, can you just give us a little bit of an introduction? How did you get into product? And what are you doing these days? Martina? Why don't you go first? Absolutely. So Martina Hodges-Schell: 2:18 I started out in the 90s. Looking at how can from design and innovation background? How can we make the internet more people friendly? And really carry that through to you know, looking at how do you then create the innovation practices in organisations, whether that's in tech organisations in consultancies, and design agencies to really look at, you know, how do we create better products for people? How do we solve interesting problems, and valuable problems for people? And I found, what was really interesting is the question about how do we solve the problems outside of those practices in the organisation to actually set those teams and this practice is up for success. That's how I got to business transformation today. Randy Silver: 3:03 What about you, Teresa? Teresa Leighty: 3:05 So started in a slightly different place, I actually started in management, consulting, and kind of doing traditional or design operational strategy work, but lived in San Francisco. So you know, you're kind of required to go to a startup, if you lived there at that point in time. So went into several, and that's actually where I was introduced to product and started applying the practices and moving into those roles. And as I finished my time in startups, I realised there was this opportunity to kind of put the two parts of my career together. And I felt like these these different practices, were going to have a lot of applicability with bigger companies. But only if you also looked at, as Martina said, the kind of the ecosystem that surrounded the teams. And so I have for a number of years now either led or supported different companies who are going through these transformations and bringing these practices into their kind of core. Randy Silver: 3:55 And Martina, I know you and I have both worked either at or with some very big challenging companies, although we never overlapped it any of them at the same time. And when we first got to talking, there was something that about this, this approach that really made me want to learn more. And it's this whole thing around what I work with a lot of product people, they all have that same, that same frustration at times of I can't get anything done, you know, is it me? Do I suck at my job? Or is it the environment? That's the problem. So how do I know how do I what are the common challenges? How do I recognise if I'm not very good, and it's always just imposter syndrome? Or is it just this environment is set up so that nobody could really succeed? Martina Hodges-Schell: 4:41 That's a great question actually. And working with different organisations, what we often see is when we start discovery to look at, you know how the teams working today, what we see is their great, great product managers and their teams trying to do the right thing, but they're not quite Seeing the not quite seeing the results that they will expect from the work they're doing. And what we're often seeing is things like, the organisation is quite siloed, right decisions get made before product teams get involved in terms of what should be made, or and then don't have the capability to really iterate the way towards a better outcome. With that often we also see really management of outputs looking at looking at success by delivering on time and on budget. And, and not have we delivered value to the customer and to the organisation. Lily Smith: 5:40 So you call this a kind of an operating model? And what encompasses that operating model that the rules by which a company operates, I guess, like, what does that cover? Teresa Leighty: 5:53 Yeah, so it's, that's one of those phrases that gets thrown around a lot. So I'm glad you asked. For us it is how do teams come together to collaborate across functions? So there's a structural element to the operating model, then there's also very much, you know, at a at a really kind of generic level, how do decisions get made? And that starts with from a strategy lens that goes into, like, where are we going to focus on and what are we going to fund and do and then all the way into how teams actually do work. So kind of that soup to nuts decision making process, is a really important part of it, too. And then there is definitely the ways of working within the teams, that is an element of it, but it has to be looked at in the context of those other pieces as well. And so it involves not just, you know, practitioners, but also middle managers and leaders, and then collectively how they work together. Lily Smith: 6:44 And do you find in a lot of companies, the operating model is the output of just instinctively how some of the people in the business work. It's not like a conscious decision to work in a particular way. Teresa Leighty: 6:58 There's elements of both To be honest, you're right, some of it is driven by this is the way I've always worked. This is the model that I know when I'm familiar with and so I, you know, bring it along the way with me, but it's also a, an element of the comfort level of of leaders too. And as far as where they want to operate and get the level of detail that they're used to seeing or being and and they make conscious decisions about that from an operating model perspective in terms of, you know, spans of control in terms of how we need to report things, etc, that are very conscious, and it's based on their own comfort, sometimes related to leadership. So that actually is one of the big areas we work with in this operating model to change is how do I as a leader provide the right priorities, the right context, guardrails, maybe, but then give teams the ability to figure out the quickest path to value within that context. Randy Silver: 7:53 So product people, you know, we're leaders at a certain level, and some of us are sitting up in that rarefied air of the C suite, or, you know, at the table, but a lot of us are somewhere closer to the middle of the organisation. How can we influence teams, when we don't have that organisational authority? What's the best way for us to go out and start working with people who maybe work in a very different way. Teresa Leighty: 8:21 So we were working with a large retailer Home Improvement retailer, and this company was just starting the transition from working in a very kind of flips to a project, and then we break up and we go do something else to a true product model. And these last several of their large initiatives, they had to on a cadence go present to the exact team and talk to them about their, you know about what they were doing. And so as we started to work with one of these product teams, we said, Hey, hey, to your point, Randy, this is this is your opportunity to influence more broadly outside of your direct area. So how might we go tell this story in a very different way? Yeah, you may have to do the regular reports. But let's actually change the conversation. And so they went in with the things that that you're all very familiar with that like this is the problem space. This was the risky assumption. This is how we tested it. This was our hypothesis. And the interesting part was, it was a very experienced exact team, several who had come up through the ranks. And so we're from Merchandising, and things like that. And they thought we know the answer here. We already know what the answer is, we just want to know where you're at. And the aha moment was they actually realised they were solving for the wrong problem. And it was literally one of those lightbulb moments and the team by virtue of coming in and talking about it that way saved, you know, millions of dollars ultimately for not heading down a path. The other really cool part of it was the CEO said, I want everyone who comes to talk to us now to use this format. And so from that point forward, that one team actually enabled a much broader, you know, impact because they they chose to tell their story in a very fact you know, that Based way, so it was really, really neat experience. Lily Smith: 10:03 Do you find that when people kind of go to the C suite, or the kind of the the leadership team with various sort of product lead research and decision making, that it always works that way, because in my experience, and you know, there can sometimes be a certain element of perhaps even just fear of this language and terminology that they're unfamiliar with, that makes people feel worried about what product people are talking about, and that they might not understand. Is that is that your experience as well? Martina Hodges-Schell: 10:49 So yes, absolutely. And I think it's interesting to see, you know, the difference in language, the difference and that fear of not understanding the other, I think it goes both ways, or multi directional, across across functions. And I think three important to pay to try and translate into into the language of the other create that empathy for so how does business communicate success? You know, what goals do they have? How can I? How can I communicate what I'm solving for what I'm trying to achieve? How can I translate perhaps a customer outcome in context of business outcome, and vice versa, being able to demonstrate that what you're doing is actually contributing and adding value to, to what they're trying to achieve, I think, is a really critical baseline for being able to communicate with, with leadership, for example, Randy Silver: 11:46 let me dig deeper into that one for a moment. So one of the things we talk about in product a lot is the idea that we should fail fast, learn from it and iterate. But I've advised any number of people that I work with never to go to the senior manager and say, we failed, but at least we did it fast. I try and advise them is okay, we need to change the terminology. It's about learning. It's about cost avoidance and risk avoidance and lots of nice phrases that work better with those type of people. But what how do you approach this? What's the way that you help to know when you're working with these organisations? How do you embed this in so that the communication is clearly understood at both levels? Martina Hodges-Schell: 12:31 Absolutely. And first of all, a data driven approach, you know, where we're trying to measure outcomes, mature topic that's very familiar and don't necessarily don't mind which format you use, whether it's okrs, or others, but having clear objectives and measures of success are metrics that are actually numbers, you can share it with care when moving closer to, to achieving this outcome or moving further away. What did we learn along the way? What was the data different decision that was that we needed to make, rather than my gut feel or my personal opinion, so I think it's very important to create that those data points, but in fact, create that learning to make a more informed decision to remove uncertainty. And that tends to work well for leadership or for for any other part of the organisation as well, in terms of communication. It's just important to not to say, oh, we're just, we're just failed fast. That was, seems, seems almost reckless, or irresponsible. Teresa Leighty: 13:38 It's interesting that, you know, to your point, Randy, I think and you know, a little a little of what you were saying earlier to failure is one of the loaded terms, I found, like one of the most loaded words and transformation work and, but also, it, you know, it's important to not be hung up on I have to call it this, I have to call it a hypothesis, I have to call it fail or whatever. The point is more, how do I get the concept across in a way that actually someone's going to embrace. And it doesn't matter if it's the exact proper, you know, language or whatever, it's more about trying to get people to be open to the concept and the idea, you can add the other things as you go, by getting into embrace even being, you know, willing to listen to you is that is the first step really, Lily Smith: 14:21 that's a really good point about through us. So how do you get people to listen to you, you know, how I guess it's all about trust at the end of the day and kind of building credibility within the team in order to gain trust and then become a more empowered product person or or product team? And that how do you get to that point, if you're not in, you know, if you're not empowered in the first place? Teresa Leighty: 14:49 Yeah, we have a lot of teams and people don't come to us. And we'll start by saying, well, I just can't do any of that because my manager won't let me and I think are very respectful pushback. Is Yeah, you can do some of that there is an area that you do control where you could go do some kind of a quick experiment, I just as an example, and do something differently. And then how do you use what you learn from that to continue the conversation. So it's about sort of taking small bites, not necessarily trying to have a big change out of the gate. And, you know, inviting people to participate that and very to participate with you and very targeted ways. So you're bringing them along the journey a little bit. Hey, so and so from compliance? You know, I appreciate that. Normally, we have to go through it this way, you know, how might we I understand your outcome super aware of it. So not trying to avoid the outcome, but how might we work together a little bit different on it. So finding some champions that you can start to bring along with you. But you know, having, you've got to have measured expectations, it's not going to change overnight transformations are longer term things, and you know, there will be success, and then they do get momentum and go faster, but you have to start somewhere and be a little patient. Randy Silver: 16:03 So when we talk about these transformations I've been part of Oh, God, I don't even know how many at this point. And one of the things that always frustrated me about them is there was never a definition of success. for them. There was never a point where we would have finished the transformation. Is that just the experiences I've had? Or is that a common problem? How do we in that? If it is how do we avoid it? Great question, I Martina Hodges-Schell: 16:27 I think t ere are two parts to it. On t e one hand, it's very much lik a product, right? It's an t e operating model, not the tra sformation, the operating model hould never be done, per se, it should be a living, evolving, o ganic thing that we're constantl improving. But that doesn't ive us that doesn't stop us f om actually making progress rom current state towards a futu e state. So what we would ad ise is, you know, have transfor ation goals have transformation objectives, but also measure of success that you need o have some transformation met ics to see, are we moving n the right direction? are we reating the impact we're expect ng? If not, what do w need to do differently to actu lly be able to achieve those? S absolutely defining where we ne d to get to what we want to chieve, and seeing that we re actually checking in reg larly, that we're seeing that we re actually moving in the righ Lily Smith: 17:25 So what would be an example of transformation metrics? That sounds super important? And very interesting, I'd be really, really interested to know how how you can measure that? Teresa Leighty: 17:39 Yeah, so a couple of Bachelor point around learning that we were talking about a couple of minutes ago. So speed to learning or speed to validation of assumptions that you have, and being able to really kind of show that your learning velocity is increasing, is a really big one and and an earlier indicator versus speed to market, which people tend to think about, like, Can I get things out faster, but it's really more how quickly are we able to learn and validate know that we're doing the right thing. There are also some some interesting when it depends upon the context. But if you think about this idea of empowered teams, being able to decide, you know, their, their path to value, we have a client in the FinTech space that we work with that has had a lot of challenges prioritising and so we have worked with them to have kind of an overall opportunity backlog there. They're a smaller company. So they're able to do this. And so we're measuring as part of the transformation, how many things just get started outside of that process by somebody deciding like, hey, I want you to go do this. And so, you know, we want it to go through that that opportunity backlog. So the teams have the ability to then take that and run. So those are a couple examples of things that we've looked at. Randy Silver: 18:56 Fancy levelling up your product management skills, always. Are you ready to take that next step in your product career? Of course, Well, you're in luck mine, the product is offering interactive remote workshops where you can dedicate two half days to honing your product management graphed with a small group of peers. Lily Smith: 19:16 You'll be coached through your product challenges by our expert trainer and walk away with frameworks and tools you can use right away. You can choose from product management, foundations, communication and alignment metrics for product managers or mapping to solve product problems. Randy Silver: 19:33 Find out more and book your place on a monthly workshop at mind the product.com slash workshops, that's mine, the product comm slash workshops. It sounds like there's, you know, different ways of going into this and is it always bespoke for a different company, or there are models that work And are repeatable. You know, we hear about the Spotify model we hear about safe, we hear about any number of other things. And I mean, I'm allergic to hearing these stories at this point. But I'm curious, do you have a different viewpoint on this? Martina Hodges-Schell: 20:14 I think it's a great question. Because we often get asked, so which model? are we actually going to implement? What are we going to apply? Or, similarly, you know, what's the one book on each read? And I mean, I emphasise, understand that this is a time of uncertainty, we don't really know where the journey is going with this, give us give us some comfort in knowing give us something tangible, something concrete. But to be honest, it's it's not dissimilar to a product parallel again, we're not just copying and pasting what our competitors are doing. But we really need to look at what makes sense in our context, what are some of the priorities that we have, in terms of in terms of goals? What's stopping us from achieving those right now? How do we need to resolve that? So it's definitely contextual, it is based on on common principles and common best practices, but not not a fixed model off, you know, as you were just saying, we're going to med spa five model or something like that? Lily Smith: 21:15 Do you think, as a product manager, you can run a business transformation product, project yourself? If you kind of see the need for one and the business that you're in? Can you instigate Teresa Leighty: 21:31 you can absolutely instigate it. And you know, as Martinez said, there are a lot of, we try to think about how we apply the product principles in the context of transformation, because we think they work, it's not something that's just exclusive to, you know, product development, I think that you would have to as a product manager, learn some of those other parts of the ecosystem, and how to influence those above and beyond your specific product knowledge. But we're big fans of get started, too. So don't don't wait for everybody to give you permission and everything to be lined up perfectly, because you'll be waiting forever. So if you have an ability to take on something and be able to influence it in a positive way and use your knowledge as a product manager, we would be, you know, certainly encouraged that Randy Silver: 22:16 when you say get started. So there's a couple of different ways of doing that. And it's Yeah, I've certainly been guilty in the past of trying to go big straightaway. Do you? Should you be trying to influence the whole system? Or should you be working on something small and trying to get credibility with that and get the ball rolling. But, you know, if we take that approach, sometimes it just feels like we're not doing that much. Martina Hodges-Schell: 22:42 On the one hand, you really need to look at all the components together to really look at what's influencing What, what? Where were the challenges, what's not working? Well, right now, terms of all components of the operating model, but then you really need to prioritise you know, where are the most important sticking points what you need to address, and then you start smaller than you're absolutely iterating, figuring out in terms of designing a future state of off the opera of those aspects of the operating model. You start small, operate with that with a small group of people. Once you see it working, well, you can scale that up. So so then you're it's a start small and scale as you as you're getting confidence in it and removing uncertainty and what the right solution is. Randy Silver: 23:34 So it's the real secret patience. A little bit Teresa Leighty: 23:41 with with maybe some targeted inpatients at times as well, to to help make sure things are are moving forward. But yeah, I mean, you can't expect it to change overnight, but you also can't be complacent. And think, Okay, well, we got this far. So we're good. Good enough. You know, if you really want to see things fundamentally change, there's, there's a need for some change makers who are willing to push a little bit. Martina Hodges-Schell: 24:03 More often than not, I find that there's more, more inertia, like it's more comfortable to to stay where you are, rather than pushing the transformation forward. So it's more often like needing to nudge it forward, rather than slowing it down. Lily Smith: 24:18 And how about making time for transformation? If you're working in a busy company, and you know, everyone's really busy, obviously, it takes time to change from the way that you're currently working and try something different a new like, how do you advise people on trying to make time for this? Teresa Leighty: 24:39 It's it's the classic problem that I think every single company we've worked with has this issue because it's really about kind of reassembling the aeroplane in flight. It's it's the classic piece of that. So what we were encouraged in a couple different ways. Certainly part of it is educating leaders about the time that it does take because people don't tend to factor that and they want outcome, they don't want to necessarily be able to put in the effort. So part of that is education. The other part is to think about there are some things you're going to do anyway. So how about you just do them differently? And so where are those opportunities? Because they're more than you think. And as opposed to just saying, Okay, I'm just going to carry on this way. Okay, let me just change it up a little bit. And then I'm already starting to apply some of the things that I've learned. So it is, it's a huge point of tension and one that you know, we face, but there are ways around it as well. Randy Silver: 25:31 So we've been talking a lot about how we work and how we communicate. But I've done things with people, and we've had some success. And then it gets to a point where it has to go to governance, it has to wait for a committee, and it just stops dead in its tracks, because of the way that the company is making decisions is there's something about challenging that bringing it to a different level and just challenging the way the company works. From that perspective, how do we how do we address that and bring that to the fore? Martina Hodges-Schell: 26:03 Absolutely. And when we say we're addressing all aspects, different components of the operating model, this is a foundational one that needs to align with the, with the collaboration structures with ways of working as well, because if governance and decision making and and planning doesn't align to your point, everything grinds to a halt. That's not just part of how were we rethinking the operating model, but also how we're approaching the transformation work itself. If that is governed in that way, this is also not going to move forward and in a successful way, or at the kind of pace in achieving the kind of outcomes that we're trying to achieve. So we're really looking at sponsorship and buy in from senior leadership. But we also want a cross functional team that can dedicate yourself to has the permission to actually do this work and figure out what does the future state look like, and also bring a lot of other practitioners across the organisation on that journey. So this is not something that is done to you by other people that I think it's really important to have a dedicated people to have permission to make decisions to do the work, but also have a leadership bought in and supporting and, and enabling this change. Teresa Leighty: 27:27 It's it's definitely one of the hardest things to tackle. Because when you're, you know, coming from an environment where there are a lot of steering committees where you know, lots of people have permission to say, No, and things like that. And one of the things that we try to get people to work with people to figure out is, you keep saying you want this outcome where you're able to do things faster, and where you're able to, you know, really understand the customer and really be responsive. But then you say that you want everyone to participate in all these steering committees, those are not going to work together. And so you know, how are we going to start to change that dynamic and and you just have to be really kind of, you know, call people out on the disconnect between those concepts. And but the other part of it is that it also means that the teams, the cross functional teams, Martine was referring to, they have to be really transparent about what they're doing as well. Because otherwise people think, okay, I backed off, I'm not, you know, I'm not coming in, you know, looking at everything you're doing and having you come in front of me once a week. But you need to help me be comfortable. And that requires transparency in terms of what teams are doing. Lily Smith: 28:36 Is there a Is there a good time to take on business transformation within a kind of company's growth, like life cycle or whatever? Because I imagine there are times when you're, you know, as a as a business, you may be way more up against it than other times? Or maybe you're just always advocate. You know, is there a good time we were, you know, you look at kind of what's happening in the business. And you think, right, actually, this is a really good time to just put a stake in the ground review the way that we're working and everything and, and look to make improvements across the board. Teresa Leighty: 29:14 So an interesting thing. So when when COVID started, we were working with a couple of different clients, you know, one in the healthcare space, so very, very immediately impacted. Another one was a large insurance company. And the interesting part was, if you thought about that, and if I would have asked, you know, which one do you think slowed down on their transformation initiative, you probably would have guessed the health care company because they had all the things happening. They actually put the gas pedal down and went faster, and the insurance company backed out and the CIO. So to answer your question, it's like there's never a perfect time, but in this way, a lot of things as a result of COVID for that healthcare company. They had a lot of of the motivating things that they had been looking for. They were front and present, even though it's really stressful thing to do in the midst of all the things that they had to be able to handle from a COVID perspective. But they said, If there was ever a time, this is when we're going to do it. So you kind of have to lean into it and never look for all all the stars are not going to align in a perfect way. Going back to our earlier point, you just have to figure out how to get started. Lily Smith: 30:24 And I imagine some people embrace the process more than others, and some people really struggle. How do you? How do you support? How do you identify the people that are really struggling? And how do you support them through the changes that you're making? Teresa Leighty: 30:42 Yeah, so how do we identify the people? So So doing stakeholder analysis is very much a part of transformation work and are similar again, to how you would think about if you were looking at a product and understanding? What do I need to do to get people to change their behaviour? What are their motivations, so a lot of the techniques that you use from a product lens are also very applicable here. And then you think about, you know, understanding their motivations and trying to get them to change their behaviours, what's going to help them get there. And, you know, some cases, it's just pure education, they feel way out of their depth. And so, you know, it's super, you know, concerning and makes them very nervous to think about doing something different. So how do I, how do I get them comfortable, sometimes it's just showing people you know, what is good look like? I'm not sure. And so there's a variety of different techniques. And you know, some again, that would be familiar to the audience in terms of that they've used from a product lens, and there are some people who are not going to come along. And so you don't want to focus on them to start with, you know, you have your traditional folks who will be the early adopters, they want to go they want to figure it out, they'll bring along a set of people with them, and then the others will just decided to do something else, or whatever if they really, truly don't want to be a part of the process. Randy Silver: 31:53 So we've been talking a lot about larger companies, and you've talked about how it's different for them, depending on where they are in their business cycle. You know, did you just say that the insurance company was sound very much like the never waste a good crisis type of moment. But is this different for companies of different sizes? Is their unique challenges that come with scale versus being a startup or being a scale up and things like that? Martina Hodges-Schell: 32:22 Yeah, absolutely, I think we definitely see different patterns at different size, different scale, different maturity of an organisation, that's often an inflection point, when a startup is started, really growing scaling rapidly, often come up come to a point where there's a lot of new people coming into the organisation, and all of a sudden, you need just more scaffolding to align everybody. And it's, it's that point where you really not need to be intentional, intentionally designing your operating model, to have that fine balance of enough guidance, but not stopping that. having that opportunity to innovate at speed at the larger organisation gets, the more governments that have the space in place that easier it is for that innovation was to slow down and scale up really interesting, a problem space. And the second point there is really often you know, as organisations get more successful, they want to hire and more experienced leaders from large proven organisations and, and they come in with experience of, hey, I've made this work at this enterprise. And I'm bringing this level of success of governance of processes into this organisation and, and it might just be a little bit overkill for that earlier stage and much more, much more organisation. On the other hand, when we're looking at enterprises, they really haven't come up through innovation through finding successful business models trying to protect that and for very good reasons, trying to put more bureaucracy in place to to make sure that we're that we're not messing up the successful thing, and trying to figure out, but how, what are the unintentional consequences of that? How have we slow people down and trying to get their work done? We've worked with so many out teams where they spend more time trying to, you know, procure tools or resources, or try and get experiment signed off, rather than spending time on designing and delivering on products and services. So really trying to find that balance and figuring out how do we best enable that while managing risk and uncertainty. Lily Smith: 34:41 And you mentioned earlier, you know, that business transformation is can take quite a long time and getting to that point ever have an empowered team. And so how long does it you've obviously worked on a few of these projects. Like, are we talking months or years? Teresa Leighty: 35:05 Yeah, it's, it's it's usually years. But that doesn't mean that it's big bang, I get all the benefit at the end. You know, the benefit definitely in the impacts can start very quickly it's about and the size of the enterprise. Of course, the organisation matters on this, but it's also once you kind of do the first piece, you realise that the next piece is attainable, and you can actually kind of go a little bit bigger than you might have thought out of the gate as well. So it gives you that opportunity to continue to expand it in a way that makes sense for your company. But you know, all the ones that we've done, we've never seen one, you know, done and under, you know, an under your they're always multi your efforts. Lily Smith: 35:44 Amazing. Martina, Teresa, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. It's been really great talking to you and hearing about your experience and expertise with with lots of companies creating transforming businesses. And thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having us. Thank you very much. I just know that there are some people out there that hear the words business transformation and get really excited. Maybe some people get a bit nervous. But I have three young boys. So I just immediately think of you know Bumblebee with a business style and make over Randy Silver: 36:32 Yeah, I mean, I prefer my business transformations had Optimus Prime as well, but I haven't been that lucky yet. Anyway, please like and subscribe and if you have any feedback at all, if you have any advice on how we can be even better a transformation. Then you hit us up on LinkedIn or Twitter or ESP. I think most people are communicating with us by ESP. Lily Smith: 36:58 That's the normal way to do it these days. haste, me, Lily Smith Randy Silver: 37:10 and me Randy silver. Lily Smith: 37:13 Emily Tate is our producer. And Luke Smith is our editor. Randy Silver: 37:17 Our theme music is from Humbard baseband power. That's p au. Thanks to Nick Hitler who runs product tank and MTP engage in Hamburg and plays bass in the band for letting us use their music. Connect with your local product community via product tank or regular free meetups in over 200 cities worldwide. Lily Smith: 37:35 If there's no one near you, you can consider starting one yourself. To find out more go to mind the product.com forward slash product tank. Randy Silver: 37:45 Product tech is a global community of meetups driven by and for product people. We offer expert talks group discussion and a safe environment for product people to come together and share earnings and tips.