Today’s HR pros are seeing a shift in their roles within organizations, from administrative managers and leaders to playing an integral role in business strategy and success. How to successfully navigate that transition and deliver value to the organization can be a challenge, and one that many are looking for help and guidance on.

That’s where my guest on today’s Future of Work Talk comes in. Ed Muzio is the author of Iterate: Run a Fast, Flexible, Focused Management Team and his expertise on this front is well-documented.

Ed is the CEO of Group Harmonics, a company focused on helping companies create culture change, boost performance, and provide practical solutions to work place problems. His clients include not only HR pros, but business leaders as well, and his message across the board is all about iteration, adaptability, agility, and continuous learning.

Successful managers are the ones who can learn to move away from silos, wasted time and effort, unnecessary competition within teams, and who can embrace intelligent goal setting and attainment as well as effective management of resources.

That’s what Ed’s latest book is all about, teaching managers and business leaders how to iterate, and build and grow strong, successful teams.
The premises there are really no different for HR pros than they are for other business leaders and managers within an organization.

In our conversation today we tackle challenges HR pros and other leaders face face, and how to embrace an iterative mindset and management/leadership style. Whether you’re in HR or a senior executive, Ed’s advice is timely, relevant, and sure to add value to your strategies moving forward.

If you’ve not yet subscribed to our Future of Work Talk webcast on YouTube, we hope you will, as we have many more fascinating conversations ahead.

If you prefer the podcast, you can find the Future of Work Talk podcast here:

Transcript:

Shelly Kramer: Hello everybody. Welcome to this week’s episode of Future of Work Talk. Today, I’m really excited about my guest, and he’s really somebody that’s focused on change and iteration, and that’s something that I’m very passionate about. When, with good reason. In today’s crazy, fast paced business environment, I think change is the number one given. Being able to, regardless of what your function in the workplace, being able to embrace change, to actually learn to love change, to learn to embrace continuous learning and all of those things are really what make all of us successful today, and actually not only successful, I think maybe help us find happiness in the workplace as well.

That’s not always easy, and so that’s where I’m excited about today’s guest. Ed Muzio is the author of Iterate: Run A Fast, Flexible, Focused Management Team. Ed is fully immersed in this space. He’s fully immersed in the world of change and he works with businesses on that front all the time. He also works with HR pros. That’s really what we’re going to talk about today. Ed, welcome. It’s great to have you.

Ed Muzio: Shelly, thanks, it’s great to be here. Thanks for having me on.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. You’re the CEO of a company called Group Harmonics, and that’s a company really kind of focused on helping companies create culture change and boost performance and some other things. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and your company and your background.

Ed Muzio: It is Shelly, thanks. Group Harmonics, our mission is to create culture changers. Our idea is, we have really good information, actually, we’ve had it in this field for 50 years about what makes people work well together, what makes teams produce intelligent output, and yet, that’s not really common practice out there in many businesses. Our idea is, all of the firms for all these years that have been trying to get people to do it, haven’t managed to do it, so we’re going to focus on getting people to create culture changers and let those people do it, because people are better equipped to change their world from inside anyway, so we just equip people to understand what behaviors are helpful and then help import those behaviors in a way that they get picked up and taken on as part of the culture, as opposed to in a way that makes them feel like something somebody hung on a poster from another company that we’re going to look at and nod at and then kind of forget about.

Shelly Kramer: Because, those are so effective, all those posters on the walls with motivational sayings.

Ed Muzio: They just keep hanging more and more posters with more ideas.

Shelly Kramer: We do, we do, we do.

Ed Muzio: It’s not really getting us anywhere.

Shelly Kramer: I think that this is really, incredibly applicable to the HR profession as a whole, and for practitioners, for senior executives in HR, because in many instances, HR kind of owns the business of culture and of employee engagement, and of really understanding, of all the people within an organization who are in the people business, it really is the HR team, I think, who are the most immersed in the people business and who should perhaps, who do and should if they don’t really understand what motivates employees, what motivates teams, and also be able to effectively communicate with senior leadership about those things and about, kind of guiding the company as it relates to employee development, employee kind of immersion and that sort of thing. Talk to me a little bit about how you see the role of HR evolving in today’s workplace. What are you seeing there, as it relates to your work with HR pros?

Ed Muzio: Well, you know, I think my viewpoint is a little bit unique because I run this company that’s ostensibly an HR company, and I get called for essentially culture and HR consulting kind of engagements. About half of those engagements come in the way you’d expect them to come in, which is HR calls me and says, “We’re working on this or that. We’ve determined this need. Can you help us with this?” We go from there. That’s half.

The other half come in sort of around HR, which is somebody in the business calls me and says, “We’re having this problem and my HR can’t seem to help me.” They don’t always say it that bluntly, sometimes they do. You know, “Our HR can’t figure this out. I’m trying to achieve this output with this group. Can you help me do that?” That puts me in an awkward relationship to HR in those companies because then I sort of, I didn’t go around them, but yet I did.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: You know, what I’ve sort of learned from that is the distinction we make between output and culture is, on one level important, because if you just focus on output and you say, “We’re all about output,” you can neglect culture and you can neglect the way that groups work and those kind of things. You need to bring a focus to it, but it seems like sometimes we accidentally or intentionally kind of draw this vertical line and say, “The business has output and HR has culture, and let’s not get them too mixed up with each other,” and they are tremendously mixed up with each other.

In my work and the work I have done and studied, they go together. The culture and how the output gets produced are hand in hand, and so if you’ve got an HR that sort of has divorced itself from the business, intentionally or accidentally, they really have a hard time serving the business. You can’t be a strategic partner if you’re not deeply immersed in what’s trying to be produced.

Shelly Kramer: Well, you’re absolutely right there. I think that, you know, some of the challenges of today’s HR teams is that they want to be considered an important part of the business strategy development and have a seat at the management table when it comes to plotting a strategic course, not just as it relates to HR, but from the business as a whole forward and that sort of thing. Sometimes people in HR have a hard time with that, so why do you think that is the case? Why do people in HR occasionally have a hard time getting that seat at the management table or being taken seriously by senior leaders?

Ed Muzio: Well, you know, one of the things that I’ve seen a lot, and I actually have a program called Own Your Seat for HR people, it’s the only program that we have that’s us talking to HR, and we even run it open enrollment sometimes to try and help with this. I always start by saying if I go to a room full of people that are in production and I say, “What are you for,” they’re going to say things like output rate and quality level and meet production targets and those kind of things.

They’re not wrong, but if I go to the executive leadership team of that company and say, “What’s production for,” there’s an input, a box, and an output. All of the stuff they just said goes in the box, and production’s job is to hit it’s targets. Given some finances, given some people, hit the targets, deliver the products. The same is true if you talk to sales and marketing. The sales people will tell you one thing, but the executives will say, “Hit the targets.” Right?

Then you go to HR and you say, “What are you for?” We almost have these two categories of HR people, these two camps. There’s sort of the traditional camp that says things, “We do compensation and benefits and we do employee development and we do legal issues and sort of litigation avoidance and management and that sort of things.” That’s sort of one answer. Then the other answer is, there’s sort of a group now that says, “No, no, we’re the evolved HR people. We do talent management. We do talent strategy. You know, we do game changing …” and then whatever goes after game changing.

Shelly Kramer: All those buzz words.

Ed Muzio: Right. They sort of smirk a little and go, “We got the right answer.” But, when I go back to the executives, if I have that conversation, both of those things go in the box. The executive equation is, on the input side I’ve got money and people and resources, and on the output side I want to hit targets.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: HR’s job is the people. You know, is it to get the people in the seats? Well, if that’s all I can figure out for them to do, then yes, but really it’s more than that. It’s about how the people work as a platform to manage the money and the resources and organize themselves and each other to product the outputs. The really, I would say, high functioning HR groups that I work with that are really have a seat at the table, they’re not leading with, “We do compensation/benefits.” They’re also not leading with, “We have a strategy.”

You know, when you have someone to do a job and they say, “I have a strategy,” you go, “Great, are you going to do the job?” At that higher level, it’s not about the strategy. It’s about, we’re going to arrange it so that the left side of your equation, the input side, the people and the platform and the pieces that have to work together, are going to be optimized. That means how management works, that has implications into [inaudible] of hiring and things, but that’s not the conversation at the executive level.

What I’m finding, to kind of net out a very long answer, is when I talk to people that are in human resources about the concepts from my book Iterate, which is how to get the management teams and the leadership teams to run in a more agile, more nimble, more adaptable way so that they’re constantly adjusting without unnecessary conflict, and also without unnecessarily following a plan blindly even after it’s wrong, that’s really what’s keeping the executives awake at night. You know, “I can’t turn the wheel and turn the ship. I turn the wheel and nothing moves or the ship is headed off a cliff and I can’t change it.” Right?

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: That’s the conversation the executives want to have, and all the sudden, when you’re in that conversation, there’s no more of this, “Please, can I have a seat at the table?” It’s more like, “Sit down, we need you here,” and the whole dynamic changes.

Shelly Kramer: Well, when you can come to the conversation with an understanding of that need for rapid change, agility and all that sort of thing, you really, you are contributing something really, really important to the organization and to its goals. You know, it’s funny, when somebody comes to work for our family of companies, one of the first things I ask them is how do they feel about change. It’s really interesting to see what people say.

One of the things, I mean, I have been, every part of what I do for companies is about change and I’m a change agent. Every time I go into a new environment, some people love me and some people don’t particularly like me all that much. Those nuances and understanding that success today, I don’t care what business you’re in, I don’t care what business you’re in, change is a given, rapid change is a given. Understanding that and understanding, though, how to put the pieces together in such a way that, because in some people’s mind, most of us as humans don’t love change. We’re not wired to love change. I think there’s a handful of us, probably you, probably me, and a few hundred thousand others, but we’re not everywhere. I think it’s also something that we’re kind of blessed with in terms of a personality and the way that we think and change kind of excites us.

I think that when we have to bring those, part of our challenge as business people is bringing the concept of iteration and change and agility, and that we can talk about a plan at the end of 2018 for what we’re going to do in 2019, but that’s going to change. I think that HR pros understanding and embracing change as sort of part of their, just how they’re wired, and then being able to work with different business leaders throughout the business to help them understand those things and implement those things as well, I think that’s part of the secret to success. What do you think?

Ed Muzio: I think so. You know, one of the things that I’ve noticed is, and this is, change as you said is sort of near and dear to my heart because my whole sort of work is about, how do we get you more adaptable and able to change because the plan you make in January is not the plan you’re following in later January, which is definitely not for March. Right?

Shelly Kramer: Definitely.

Ed Muzio: One of the things that I’ve noticed that’s happened, and I always talk about, you know the story the Inuit Eskimos have 50 words for snow and the ancient Greeks had six words for love to distinguish different forms, we have some trouble with language in management. I advocate for, we need to start to separate our terminology in management, because you have one thing that’s very popular right now is change management.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: You know, when we contemplate a very large change, we’re going to reorganize in a major way to face some competitive pressure, we’re going into a new market or something, then we have to do change management. It’s important, and there’s a whole body of work around it. It’s good work. We have a lot of professionals that know how to do it. By the way, it’s not easy. You need a plan and a communication strategy and identify early adopters and late adopters, and usually an executives sponsor. That’s important. That’s change management.

Then we have, if I have people who work for me, we have what we call managING with a capital ING, and that is, I have to help them develop. I have to set their goals. I have to deal with their problems. I have to model and set policy. All of these really important things. Again, a lot of work’s been done on that, and if you have anyone who reports to you, whether or not they’re a manager, you have to do those things.

There’s a third thing that I’ve taken to calling, for want of a better term, manageMENT with a capital MENT, and that is, what does it mean to be a member of the group of managers who, together, are chartered with the authority for the resources in the corporation. Your job collectively in this group of other managers is to constantly adjust and readjust what the company is doing with the resources in light of what’s changing around you. That’s what I mean when I say to iterate and for management to iterate.

What I’m noticing is that, in some companies, especially those companies that have tried hard to get good at change management, is they’re mixing those things up. They’ll try to apply change management where I would say what you really need is manageMENT, which is, “We need to produce 20 percent more. We need to go after a different customer. We need to change the way we do this business process. Let’s get an executive sponsor and let’s get a communication plan together,” and they start to do all this, and again, while those things are extremely important for really large scope changes, if you don’t have management that can manage change as part of management without launching a change management campaign, then you’re stuck because you have to make too many changes. You can’t do change management on all your changes.

My work is really focused on that middle ground of saying, “We need change management, but we need change to be manageable by management at a smaller scale so that we’re constantly adapting, instead of, every adaptation is a big deal.” That’s really where I kind of focus on saying, “What do we need those managers doing as a group so that the organization is constantly adjusting course?”

Shelly Kramer: That’s one question. Let me back up a second and ask you, specific to your HR team within an organization, and these members of the HR team or one of them or several of them, whatever, understand what it is you’re talking about. They want to be able to work with different business groups to help do this, to help other business leaders understand, embrace, do. What questions should an HR professional ask these business groups when they begin this process? Are there some key things? I think the thing that you just said is one of them, but let’s back up a little bit and think about, if this is something you want to take on and you want to do in your role in HR, where do you start? What questions do you ask?

Ed Muzio: Let me sort of back up even a little further from there and say, conceptually, what you’re looking for when you ask questions. What I believe HR should be testing for, in this context at least, is, is the organization or are the managers in the organization doing something that looks like what I call iteration?

The way I explain iteration is, I say it’s like, imagine like, the most boring thing that happens to you today. You walk out the door of the mall or some big office building, and you look at your watch and you decide you’ve got three minutes to get to your car to stay on schedule. The next thing that happens is the most boring thing that happens all day, which is, you head off in the direction where you think your car is, although you’re not sure, and you get there in about three minutes or less, and then you get in your car and drive away.

A simplistic sort of organizational parallel to that would be, the CEO set a direction and an output requirement, and then the workers, which are the feet down under my desk at the bottom, carried it out and you got there. If you look at what really happens systemically, that’s the first thing that happens. But, as soon as you start walking, there are things going on about the surface. Is there gravel? Is it slippery? Is it wet? The workers are making adjustments without executive intervention in getting their work done.

They’re also using a resource, blood oxygen, and that can be called for from middle management, cardiovascular system, if we need more. If that escalation isn’t enough, middle management can escalate up to here and you get that sort of feeling of, “I’ve got to breathe harder or walk slower.” You’ve got this upward communication happening and decisions being made at lower levels. At the same time, you’re, in your executive office, you’re looking saying, “There’s an obstruction in my way. That’s not my car, I was wrong,” and you’re feeding information back down.

The net effect of all this is that you take a step, and then that step provides new information. Then you learn from that step, and you incorporate that knowledge into the next step. That’s the action of the system. It’s step, learn, incorporate, step, learn, incorporate. This is how you get to your car optimally. This, by the way, is how computers simulate weather patterns. This iteration concept is everywhere, but in an organization what it looks like is, what decision are we making today to put ourselves on track or keep ourselves on track or put ourselves back on track toward what we’re trying to achieve? That’s the context.

That leads to the question. If you’re an HR person, one of the first question, I think the first question you ask a business leader is, not only what are your outputs, and not what are your goals, by the way. What are your outputs? What measurable output are you trying to produce? If they can’t answer that in brief form for you, that means they can’t answer it in brief form for the managers they manage. That means we don’t really know what we’re trying to do.

There’s that, but the second part of that question is, and how do you forecast them? If you’re not looking out over the horizon and seeing a difference, meaning if you’re not in a meeting saying, “I was going to make this many, now I’m going to make this many,” or, “I was going to achieve the milestone by this date but now it looks like that date,” if you don’t have that information baked into your graphical presentations and your discussions, then all you’re doing is hypothesizing. “Tell me how it’s going,” and you have one of these tell me how it’s going meetings and everyone talks and everyone listens and nothing happens. Right?

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: That’s question one, is, what are your outputs? How do you forecast them? How do you know when you’re off? Then you can kind of nudge into, what do you do about it? That gets into question two, we’ll get into that in a second. That’s question one, what are your outputs and how do you forecast them?

Shelly Kramer: Right, well, that makes perfect sense. I think that what we have in a lot of instances, I think that we have, going back to the description of HR pros, you have the folks within your HR team who are performing administrative functions in some way or another; benefit management, learning management, that sort of thing. Then you have this other faction who, and you know, I don’t think that they’re buzz words. I don’t think that they don’t make sense. You know, people who are in the business of talent management are key. They’re very, very important to an organization.

I gave a presentation to a group of senior level HR pros in New York for the conference board this last October. It was really interesting, because one of the things that I said was that it almost feels like, I have four children, and in the business of HR today, it almost feels like it’s your job, you’re raising children. It’s hard to attract top talent. It’s hard to keep top talent. It’s hard to get management to understand what is changing and how difficult it is from a talent attraction standpoint, and how HR really kind of needs to embrace …

You know, one of the things that came out as a result of conversation around my presentation that I’m talking about is that some key players in the room were talking about how they’ve shifted from an HR mindset to a marketing mindset in terms of being able to, not only attract top talent, but keep top talent and ask themselves, what’s changing in the dynamic of employee retention today? What do they want and how do we keep them happy? Is that different today than it was last year? What does that look like moving forward? How are we going to get that input from them?

I think that’s iteration, too. It involves asking those same questions and kind of trying to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on. How do you help HR pros that are looking for guidance with regard to the need to iterate when it comes to their changing role within an organization?

Ed Muzio: Well, like you pointed out, I mean, there are people at a lot of different levels, and that’s true in the business too. You have people in the administrative level, people in the higher level management, and they have sort of different scopes. Having said that, I think when I hear HR people talk about, and I am one, when I hear my peers talk about moving to a marketing mindset I usually first think that’s a good thing.

The reason is, you can talk about marketing for talent, we’ll talk about that in a minute, but even marketing yourself internally to the business, the good part about a true marketing mindset and a true sales mindset is the really good sales and marketing people understand that the way you bring someone around to your offering is not to convince them that you’re right and show them stories about how smart you are and how good your product is.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: It is to understand what they face and to put something in front of them that is a solution to a problem they have and that is in a language that they understand.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: You know, you and I can talk about talent management and talent management is important and it’s an important terminology for us in the HR world, because we know what we mean by it. I don’t think our partners in the business understand the distinction when we talk about hiring versus talent management versus a talent strategy. That’s okay. I don’t know that they need to, and I think that’s where I get myself kind of at odds with a certain part of HR.

They say, “Well, they need to understand what I’m doing,” and I say, “Look, I work with people across all different parts of the business; sales, marketing, production, development, R&D, and what human beings have in common across all those sections is they all say, ‘Those people need to know what I’m doing,’ and the answer is always, ‘Maybe, but it would be useful if those people are the ones that depend on your work, for them to understand how what you’re doing affects them in their language.'”

You know I think that that’s on the internal side of marketing. Now, certainly in the hiring side of things you were talking about, when you’re talking about bringing talent in, how do you make that more attractive, there are many tools for that. Again, my specialty is in sort of getting management running well, and I will say that when the management is running well and when you have a scenario where you have these groups of people that are working as managers and under managers who are clear in what they’re doing, who are clear on how their work, we haven’t talked about this yet, but how their work affects the next level up, that’s a key part of what I’m talking about.

I understand that my forecast matters, because if I forecast a variance, my peers step in to help me because they need my output or they step in to lean on me because they need my output. When we start to build these environment where we actually are all working on complex problems together and everyone’s work matters, no one’s working on low priority things because we’re readjusting those people onto more higher priority things, what you find is a very engaging workforce. That’s where you find the, back in the day, the Intels, the Ciscos, and now it’s, I think the Amazons, not that Intel isn’t anymore, but there’s the newer companies that do it.

Where, when you talk to people in management, they talk about, it’s exciting, it’s engaging, in some ways it’s consuming my life and I’m worried about that, but that’s not because someone is yelling at me to work more. It’s because I’m so engaged in trying to solve the problems, that’s the kind of engagement I think that the business is after, and it’s the kind of engagement HR is after too. You know, it’s sort of like, get your house in order. You can market however you want, but if the thing when they get there isn’t running well, that gets out. We have Glassdoor, we have ways for that to get out. It’s much better if they land in a high performance environment, a real one.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah, and I think that, you know, I’ve been a marketer for all my business life, so funny, there are negative connotations attached to the word marketing, but really to me, it’s about messaging and how you communicate in sort of a transparent and honest and open way. I think that is kind of the secret to success. It’s certainly been the secret to my success, whether on behalf of marketing clients or whether I’m working with HR teams in trying to shift that.

I think too, as it relates to an HR pro sort of navigating this path, I think that when you can show how the role that you’re playing within the organization, whether it relates to talent recruitment or talent management, whether you can show, you know, our ability to put these systems in place to retain employees results in this impact in terms of our bottom line and our productivity and our brand reputation. Understanding, I think, the role that those things play in being able to bring those things to the conversation are, I think, ways that senior leaders can really understand.

It’s not about, you need to understand what I’m doing. I think the data’s right here. Employee engagement is a significant issues in companies, and actually, I think that, I did an interview recently with Jill Christianson and she’s written a book on employee engagement, and her research shows that some 80% of employees are really not actively engaged. They come to work, they do their jobs, they check in, they check out. They’re not engaged. Well, that has a very definite impact on the entire business’ ability to be meet goals, to be successful. I think when you can think about, what is your output from an HR standpoint in those pieces of the equation, and then you can actually articulate that with some data behind it, I think that’s part of also maybe the secret there.

Ed Muzio: Absolutely, and we’ve been talking about sort of this concept of iterative management, and it’s easy when you’re in HR to talk about sort of advising the business to run this way, but you also have to turn your focus inward and say, “How are we going to run this way?” Right?

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Ed Muzio: How am I, that same concept of, what am I measuring that, A, I can measure, B, I can forecast and I can look ahead and say, “I can make a commitment, I’m going to deliver this or that,” and now I can say, “today, I’m still on track for that commitment,” or, “I’m not, I need some help, or adjust your expectations,” whatever. Then, you know, once I have that figured out, where do I bring it to? In other words, how does that roll up? How does that measurable thing that I’m doing get connected at the next level up to say, “Yeah, that produces a benefit at the top level.”

The same way that the head of production or the head of sales and marketing carries targets that are rolled up, you know, the head of HR carries targets that are rolled up. What the senior levels, you know, how are we moving the needle, how are we measuring that? Part of that story around this idea of forecasting your output and what we know happens in these iterative organizations, is people forecast their output so they can make a commitment, so they can meet it, so they can become more trustworthy. The secret to trust is making and meeting commitments.

If you’re doing a bunch of work, the easiest things you can do to be more trustworthy is tell people what you’re going to do while you’re doing it, so that when you get done, you’ve met a commitment. Now, it’s not the only reason we do it, but it’s one of the reasons we think it happens in these iterative organizations. The other is, so you can come in at the middle and say, “Now things have changed. I had committed this to you. Now I’m adjusting to this.”

Shelly Kramer: And here’s why.

Ed Muzio: And start a conversation, “Here’s why and here’s either,” you know, usually it takes one of two forms. It’s usually either, “With some help from my peers or somebody I can get back on track,” or it’s, “I don’t believe this is recoverable. Let’s adjust overall our planning around what I now think’s going to happen.” Those conversations, we can get into how the decisions happen. There’s a lot to doing that well, but you know, conceptually, doing that well equals bringing information sooner, and to your point, being more honest and more transparent.

If I’m somewhere in HR, whether it’s low, middle, or high, and I go to my client and I say, to keep it simple in terms of staffing, right, I’m trying to meet a hiring ramp, “I was forecasting to have this many by this time. I’m now seeing it’s not going to be that high, here’s the difference. Here’s what I now think the forecast will be. I know that’s different than what you want. I’m bringing it to you as soon as I know it, and let’s talk about solutions.” That is powerful. Right?

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: I think, too often, the temptation for humans in all contexts, including HR, is to sort of gloss over that and try and peddle hard and fix it and that kind of thing, but really, you’re more trustworthy when you’re giving information early and when you say, “You’ve seen over time I meet my commits. This one, I can’t meet unless A, B, or C happens. Do you want to do those things? Do you have other ideas for me? Let’s figure it out.” That’s another part of establishing your worth, is be a real partner.

Shelly Kramer: Right. I think that’s really important, be a real partner. I think, then, I think back to, you know, experiences in the workplace. Somebody, you know, you get worried that you’re not going to meet a goal, you get nervous, sometimes you try to bury it, sometimes, like you said, you try to peddle as fast as you can and there’s just so much to be said, and I try to teach our teams this as much as possible too, come to me with the bad news. Come to me with the worries, whatever. I mean, that’s my role here as the leader of this business and as a business strategist. I mean, I can help you fix this probably faster than you can fix it on your own. Just bring it to me. We’ll figure it out together.

Ed Muzio: Right. We always say bad news is good news, because I can deal with it early. Good news is no news, because there’s nothing to talk about in the meeting.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Ed Muzio: No news is bad news, because if we don’t know what’s going on, we’re in trouble.

Shelly Kramer: We’re in trouble, that’s right. Well Ed, I think that, I haven’t yet had a chance to read your book, and I think it’s on its way to me so I’m looking forward to that. I’m going to back up and say, Iterate: Run A Fast, Flexible, Focused Management Team is probably something that you should put on your must-read list for our audience, and I don’t care whether you’re in senior management, middle management, HR, I don’t think it really matters.

I think that based on what you’ve shared and what I know about what I know about living in today’s fast paced business world is that, the more you can understand that change is a given and that it’s going to continue to happen, it’s going to continue to actually happen more quickly and more quickly and more, I mean, that’s just the nature of our workplace. Understanding how to build management teams around that, understanding how to function as part of a management team, understanding how to teach people, how to lead people, I think all of those are key. I think that your book also has, are there some workbook components to it or something like that, that are companions?

Ed Muzio: It does. It has some sort of, some workbook kind of stuff, questions you can reflect on with your group. It also has a number of links to videos. If you get the book, you get a code, and you can set up an account and you get access to these four minutes videos where I’m describing these different concepts. If you’re in HR, you can play them in front of the business team, or your own team.

Shelly Kramer: Great.

Ed Muzio: It’s just a bunch of resources there that kind of back up, because all of the concepts, I try to boil them down to these really small, actionable things, and give some tools about how to do this one or that one, so that once you pick the one you need, you can go deep with it and actually go try that one thing and get it right, and then go from there.

Shelly Kramer: That’s awesome. Well Ed, thanks so much for hanging out with me today. I love what you’re doing. I think it makes a lot of sense, and you’ve been a fantastic guest. Thank you.

Ed Muzio: Thank you, Shelly. It’s been a pleasure. Have a great day.

Shelly Kramer: All right, well, we’ll talk to you again soon.




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