The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

Barbara Trautlein on Improving Change Intelligence


The world is continually going through a great deal of transformations. Whether these are digital transformations or sales transformations, they all mean the same thing: change has become the norm whether you like it or not. 

While some organizations change to deliver great results, many of them fail and in worst case scenarios harm organizations and individuals involved. We sat down with Barbara Trautlein , author of Change Intelligence, to discuss why organizations struggle with change and the role that leadership plays.

You are listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to help with the executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. So today we're going to get a little heavier than lately, a little deeper into a topic that many executives and sales leaders wrestle with consistently. A lot of sales professionals, I know, hate this word, but the fact of the matter is the world is full of change and we're all hearing about, quote unquote, and yes, I'm doing the air quotes, transformation initiatives their great deal of press lately, great deal of Focus. I know several organizations that are going through them. However, if you look at all the types of transformation and change, from digital transformation to sales transformation organizational transformation, they all really mean the same thing. Changes become the norm whether you like it or not, and while some organizations deliver great results, many of them fail and, in worse cases, actually harm organizations and the individuals involved in these initiatives. So, to tackle the topic with us today, I like to welcome Dr Barbara Trowel and a twenty year veteran in the change or transformation space, author of the Book Change Intelligence, a principle with change catalysts and creator of the Cq Change Intelligence System. It's a mouthful, but Barbara, welcome to the show and thank you for taking the time. Thanks so much for having me. Chad by everybody. All right, so lately it's all over the press. All of people are talking about it day in and day out and we're hearing a lot of you know, two topics we're going to focus on. So there's these different types of intelligence, and you and I were talking before we hit recorded about technical intelligence, that jet blow. Came up with two emotional intelligence and, of course IQ, and now change intelligence or C Q, and how transformation initiatives, or were large skillonesship, should happen and why they fail. So for some contacts. Let's get started with some background on how did you decide to make change, an area that most people fear, the focus of your of your career. Yeah, so, great question, and I actually started in this business almost thirty years ago now. I started in the mid S and for those of your listeners as old as I am, you might remember that in the mid S, where I was living and working, in the Midwest the United States, we're actually called the rust belt and we're called the rust belt because our lunch was getting eaten by far and competition, especially industry. Yeah, so I was working in as part of a consulting team. I was twenty five years old and I was working part of a consulting team that was working with, you know, some automotive plants and their suppliers to help them, you know, change, to remain competitive but keep the doors open, and so so I'll never forget my first thing on the job. As you know, twenty five year old woman in a steel mill, surrounded by all men, and they were all twenty or thirty years older than me, maybe forty. They'd all worked in the mill their whole careers. And I stand up and I introduced myself when I said, you know, we're going to partner together and we're going to transform you guys to high performance, total quality and self managed teams and their guy from the back of the room stands up, becomes right to the front of the room and he says we're steel workers and we don't listen to girls. So I guess just walking in the room I was a change for them right, a paradigm shift, as we used to say back in the day. And and yeah, we did partner together for two years and they return to solvency and and you know then. So pretty much my whole career has been helping people, teams and organizations lead change. Excellent. So we all know many of these change initiatives have a tendency to fail. Most of us wouldn't like to hear that or admit that, but I wouldn't be surprised if many of our listeners hadn't been part of I know I have been or affected by...

...these types of inities, but I'd love to get your perspective, with your experience, on why is it that these initiatives fail? Yeah, exactly, and that's the question I asked myself about seven or eight years ago when I went down the path of developing the mouthful that is the q system. And and so I sat back and I said, yeah, you know, there was research that John Cotter, and it's called leggs at Harvard did when I was first getting into the business and the S and early s, that that came up with a statistic that seventy percent are more of major organizational changes fail. So those are things like, you know, changing your company sales approach or implementing a new crm system or merger acquisition or new product launch, your expansion. Seventy percent fail. And then about again a decade ago, just before I was starting to write my book and came up with Change Intelligence. They Mackenzie and consulting, the global consulting firm, did a similar study and came out with a similar statistics. So in the span of about twenty years we had it moved the needle in our ability to design and implement change. That sticks. So I sat back and I said, you know, why is that? And at that point I had been, you know, working with many different organizations in different industries to do pretty much two things. To manage change and it's to develop leadership capability. And so, considering this huge gap and failure rate that we had, I set back and I said, well, maybe it's a combination of managing change and Developing Leaders Aka leading change, developing the capacity to not just manage change and not just develop our overall leadership skills, but really build our skills and leading change. And so I decided that, yeah, what we need is to be smarter about leading change, any change, intelligence, and Cq was born. And so, all right, so it sounds like, you know, you see back, you think about it, it sounds like most of the failures, or a lot of the failures, come from people's inability to manage it rather than the process or approach they choose to take. Now, that may not necessarily be a popular perspective for people that have led failed initiatives, but when did you start realizing that people were causing the majority of failures instead of process? was there a light bulb moment, an epiphany? Yeah, absolutely. So our to your point when, if you look at the literature on managing change, the large bulk of it focuses on overcoming resistance to change, overcoming resistance to change. So what is the focus of that? The focus is on doing something to other people or against them, or even in spite of them. Right, it's, you know, we're not trying to manage the change will lead the change or trying to change the people, do something to the people. And so you know, and you know. What can we control, though? What can we control? We can control ourselves, right, only ourselves. We can't force change on others, anymore than we could, you know, you know, force them to force them to change. We can influence them, we can partner with them, but we can't force them. So, if the only thing we can control as ourselves, we can't control other people, then what can we do? Well, we can turn the mirror back on ourselves. And my view is that so awten. It looks like resist out there in other people is a lack of change leader, you know, ability to really, you know, encourage people to get it to one and and be able to do it, in other words, and appart tune. Need to look at ourselves and do something differently as change leaders. So this is where CQ comes into play, right. So, so help our audience understand how CQ is different from Iq or Eq? Sure, absolutely so. You know, IQ is your raw emotional intelligence, right, and it's something you're born with and it's actually pretty challenging to really impact a lot after your early years. Right. Eq, on the other hand, is your emotional intelligence and it's all about how where you are your own emotions and what triggers you emotionally and how you were where you are of others emotions and use that knowledge to build effective relationships. So it is a skill that Eq is a skill that we can build right. We can increase our awareness, we...

...can increase our ability to, you know, control ourselves, manage our behaviors, and we can also increase our ability to be more sensitive to other people's emotions and use that information of build relationships with them. So, very similarly, change intelligence is the awareness of our style of leading change, how we ly change, and then the ability to adapt our style so we could be more effective. Because, again, what can we control? Only ourselves. So that's how it's an intelligence. It's being more intelligent about how we are, how we are leading to change. So it sounds like, and correct if I'm wrong, it sounds like definitely an increased mindfulness, right, and the level of authenticity and vulnerability at an executive or leadership level. That I mean. I I've been around bit around the block to so we're in the same age bracket and I've had executives where, if you were to say those words authenticity of vulnerability. If they weren't screaming at you to get out of the room, then the glance you got was typically sending out of the room. But it has become increasingly more important. So from your perspective, why has that ability to, and it's your quote, engage the hearts and equip the hands become so critical today? Yeah, absolutely so. You know, it's interesting because so many of the you know, I I work with leaders at all levels, from the front line to the sea suite, and people think, you know, some people think, Oh, I'm not a change leader because I don't have that you know, sea sweet title or director title or Vice President title in my in my description right, my job. However, I know that even at the very top of the house there's a lot of figure out there, there's a lot of fear, there's a lot of imposter syndrome that wow, yeah, that I got here right and I've been successful my entire career, but I don't know what to do now. I don't know what to lead, how to lead my organization through this next big thing, and so that can sometimes, you know, mask as the kind of behaviors that you're talking about. Right, and so I think that'll you know, Marshall Goldsmith wrote this great book. What got you here won't get you there, you know. And Yeah, and it's all about the fact that we need to continue to build our capacity to, you know, lead change, lead people, you know, leadership in general, to continue to deal with increasing challenges. So so you're absolutely right that it can. You know, some people can take take on Bards to that. And yet we know that the most effective leaders and the most reflective, you know, the ones who actually kind of, you know, look at their successes and also look at where they've stumbled and use them as fodder for continual learning. So so, yeah, so that and so anyway, that that's that's what I would say to that. When you mentioned equipping the hands and engaging the heart, well, maybe it's a good time to step back and talk about what the change styles of leading change are, because I think that it helped with the conversation about focusing on senior leaders. That help. Okay. So so what change intelligence is? My definition, it's the awareness of your style of leading change in the ability to adapt it so you can be more effective across people and situations. Right, you can be more authetic, more transparent, all that good stuff you talk about. So so what I say, and this might be interesting for your listeners to think about, they can kind of self diagnose their style leading change, and so I've distinguished that there are three styles. Some leaders lead from the heart, so when they lead they focus on the people that are impacted by the change. So they spend a lot of time engaging with people, communicating, building teams and Building Trust. Right. Then the other second style is leading from the head. Folks who lead from the head, they focus on the vision, the strategy, the big picture, the future, visionary and strategic leaders. Then the third styles, leading from the hands. Those folks like to figure out how to get from here to they're they're very planful, efficient, tactical, detail pointed right. So all of just like all of us, have a head, you know,...

...a hard and most of us have two hands. We all can and do engage in all those kind of behaviors, but most of us tend to have a preference and right. And so I have a research database that shows pretty clearly that folks at the top of the organization, the higher uppy goal, the more likely it is that you lead change from the head right, which makes sense because that's kind of the executive job, leading the organization. However, that's a strength, but any strength overdone is not so much a strength anymore. Right. And so sometimes executives or people who lead primarily from the head, they can they're very excited about the change right basic, they're thinking about it, but and they're on the bus and the buses leaving the station. But they look around and they look behind him and nobody's on the bus right. So, so that's why I say that it's very beneficial for, you know, executives, for senior leaders, to engage the heart, to remember that you need to deal with people, that not everybody's going to be excited as you and that you need to engage the heart. You need to connect the change with people's emotions, understand their fears and concerns. You need to customize your communications to really connect with people instead of one size fits off, fits on messaging. And when I say equipped the hands is because that's the least prevalence style anyway, at any level, is hands oring to type of change leadership and that's one reason I think we have the high failure rate of change, because a leader might be charismatic and get people on the bus, but a lot of times the bus derails because people don't have the plan in the process and the tools, or there's berries in the organization preventing good people from behaving consistently with the change. So that's why I say that leaders. You know, again, we might have a great vision, might have a great mission, that change might make a hack of a lot of sense, but if we're not engaging the heart, getting people on board, and if we're not equipping the hands helping him get from here to there, then we're not going to have successful change. Okay. And so, in order for for people to increase their CQ right, you have to know where you are in order to know where you want to go. So you've developed a CQ assessment. You tell me more about that, how it works and and what you've learned analyzing the data? Sure, absolutely so. You know, many of your listeners are probably familiar with the disc or the Myers Briggs or the strength finders and so and a lot of people are assessment out and I'm an organizational psychologist, so I use those those tools all the time myself. But why created the CQ assessment is to laser focus on leading change right as opposed to other aspects of your leadership style, your work style. So it's an online assessment. It aches, you know, just about fifteen minutes to complete. It's about twenty items and it results in a report about, you know, how you lead from the head, hand. Hands are heart. And so, to your point, I do have a database of several thousand change leaders and it is very interesting. I mean what the data shows. I talk briefly about the differences by organizational level, but the prevalence of the change leader style, I think is very interesting. The data shows that slightly more people lead from the heart than from the head, but it's very close. About forty percent in each category. About forty two percent from the heart. That's the people's side, a change about forty percent from the head, the vision, the strategy, the smallest percentage, only about eighteen percent lead from the hands. And so people who lead from the hands. That's what's all about, the implementation, the sustainability, and I think that's one of the big reasons for the high failure rate to change is that, you know, strategy is sexy right, and Oh we know so much about the bottom line benefits of it, of engagement, right from productivity, customer service, retention, you know, Gallop and you know, we know a lot of about research about engagement. So we know we need the heart, we know we need that head. However, what gets what's undervalued right and downplayed and neglected and seen as tactical right, is the leading from the hands,... the implementing and the making change stick. Everybody wants to think big thoughts. Nobody actually wants to do the work exactly. That's right, as you're right, and the people who are doers right, are looked at right, as you know, implementers, not initiators, right, you know, team players, and that team leaders, and so so, yeah, I think there's a lot of layers to that onion, but I do think that those preferences that people have in those stereotypes has, you know, is part of the reason for, you know, our failures as change leaders sometimes. And so do you in that day to do you see differences in Cq by region or culture, geography, or maybe differences across the silos of an organization, say sales versus offs versus finance? Yes, definitely. And if people are interested in slicing the nicing the data in different ways and the research results. You know, they can feel free to get in touch with me. I have lots of research reports, but just big picture wise in terms of around the world, that really surprised me. But one of the most interesting differences, I think, is that there are no significant differences, that I found those thus far in the prevalence of the styles and different regions of the world. Oh wait, so you mean people are people, are people. That's right here all the time and the media and yes, that people are people, are people, and so I think that's very edifying in some ways and it's also consistent with some research that people who study organizational culture come up with. That really what that organizational culture. So kind of the norms inside your organization trump regional culture, which I think is very interesting thing, and the workplay. That's right. People always find those results hard to believe. Now what I will say is that you know so, for example, one of my after the you know, all the plant closings and the economic challenges of the s and the S, I started getting more and more involved in startup organization, some new facility startups, and when steel mill I help start up was a Japanese US joint benchure and the management in the Union wanted to start it up with a self managed team approach, and I tell you that the perception of what a team should be by the American owners and versus by the Japanese owners were very, very different. So I think that while the prevalence of leading from the head, hard hands, focusing on the people, perfect purpose or process might be similar in different regions around the world quantitatively in terms of how they answer the assessment, I think the behaviors, qualitatively that they engage in right, what it means to lead from the heart in Japan versus in America, right versus in Europe versus in Africa, might be different. So isn't that like a cultural overlay? So I mean you've got people, are people, so you've got heart, heads and hands and and it sounds like that's pretty significant, but the implementation, the realization of that goes through a cultural filter. Would that be fair to say? That's my guess. That's my guess and I actually have one thing that the first thing people asked me when the assessment came out of my book was published was can we get certified in this? So we can, you know, use it on our organ Asians and what our clients? And so now I have there are C Q certified change agents in thirteen different countries and that's one of the things that we're working on is really looking at the answer to that question. So I'm excited to see how things are emerging. But yeah, definitely that, you know, I'm we're seeing some interesting, interesting differences. So I like how you said that cultural overlay. Yeah, I mean we see it a lot. I spent a lot of time doing, you know, CX customer experienced design. So how do you create a frictionless experience combined physical and digital for an optimized experience for consumers or be to be and we spent a lot of years doing it and it was interesting to see that while, much like you have found, people are people are people, the the realization of perception of reality as a result of the cultural overlay changes their perception of different elements in that experience. So something that American may find frictionless, you know someone from a pack would just absolutely they would stop them in their tracks, and so...

...that sensitivity is something that has always fascinated me. Now absolutely, and just to your point, you know one bit of coaching that I give a lot of times when I'm working with frontline leaders or middle management is that the most important change leadership competency is leadership courage. Sometimes you have to give that upward feedback that you know there are things that the executives are doing or not doing that standing in the way of a successful initiative. Right, either it's being under resourced or this final two ship isn't strong, or people aren't seeing the senior leaders walking the talk, whatever it is, it's important to give that feedback because what you see depends on when you sit right and and and the United States and Europe. Those messages are well received in Asia. That's a challenging message to hear, right. It's it's not considered appropriate in every organization, right, you know, take you know, Japan for example, to to provide that kind of feedback upward, and so that is a cultural prescription that, to your point, would create friction, shall we say, different ways to be able to get that job done. So so I like how you said that. So let's get specific in terms of evolving one CQ, and I'm not, you know, I don't want you to give away all of the whole of the magic. But if there were three things an executive or a change leader could start doing today to improve their Cq, what would they be and why? Yeah, so again, what's the definition of change intelligence? It's the awareness of one style leading change in the ability to adapt it. So I would definitely start with awareness. Obviously you could take the assessment and yet oftentime you can look at your people that you're leading through change to get pretty good insights about what your style might be and what some of the gaps are blind spots might be. So, for example, if you see that your people are, you know, kind of afraid right or or, you know, the there's resistance that seems like it comes from more the emotional space right, then that's the opportunity potentially for you as a change leader to build some skill in engaging the heart, to communicate and connect with people, to try to unearth their fears and their concerns and try to address them. Sometimes what we see instead is that, you know, people are working really hard and they're, you know, there are you know they're attempting to, you know, get on board, but they just their efforts in misplace. They're just not achieving the goal, and so maybe they need more clarity about what the goal is. Maybe it's very clear to you where we're going, but maybe not so much your people. So you need more of that, you know, working around the the vision and strata and the mission and the you know, objective outcomes for the change. And maybe, though, they're like, they're paralyzed, they're deer in the headlights. They just can't get UN stuck in into effective action. Well, maybe they need more hands, maybe they need a plan and a process, maybe they need more tools or more training, or maybe they've had a one off training, but they need more coaching. And sometimes there's barrier stating in the way of good people behaving consistently with the change. So, for example, there could be a compensation system or communication system or an operation system that is, you know, consistent with the old way of doing things but preventing people from working towards the new. So that's what I would say. I would say is, you know, attempt to become more aware, through self reflection and through other observation, about your style and what your strength might be and what your gaps might be, and then work to close those gaps. Okay, so when we look at change initiatives that you obviously have to have the awareness, right awareness and a what you're good at, where you're not figure outs fill the gaps, as you were saying. But there's also different types of change initiatives or there's ones that are completely internally focused and then there's kind of a hybrid where, like, for example, sales transformation. I have a wholeheartedly believe you cannot do sales transformation in just the silo of sales right. You have to go across silo inside an organization, get alignment with marketing, but, more importantly, you also have to include kind of outside influences, so customers.

You could have vastly different people responding to different types of change leadership, internally, for versus externally, working with customers versus internal employees. So are there things that you have seen or recommendations for how to manage that hybrid or how to better determine how to mix those types of change leadership to make things like that effective? Yeah, absolutely so. The most effective change leaders adapt their style continuously, right, so they can be optimally effective for the audience that they're working with, the type of change initiative, the stage that you're in and you know basically what you're talking about is influencing without authority, right, whether it's across organizational silos, whether it's outside your organization. So I think the number one thing to do there is to build a relationship. As I always say, you know, start with the heart and relationships get results. So, as we know in sales, right, you know that the opportunities to build that relationship put deposits in your emotional bank account with other people, right, because when it comes to change, changes hard and you're going to have to make a withdrawal. R So, so when you know so, talk about a return on your investment. The more you can invest in building relationships up down, across inside and outside the organization. So people understand that what your intent is, right, even though sometimes your impact on them might not be ultimately positive. Right, if they can understand that you have positive intent, that you are simultaneously trying to optimize both their positive outcome as well as the change goals, then they'll be a lot more likely to partner with you towards them. Excellent, excellent, a right. Let's change the directions just a little bit here. I ask all of our guests kind of two standard questions towards the end of each interview. The first is simply in sales parlance, as a leader of an organization yourself, that makes you a target or, in the politically correct world, a prospect. And so when sales people or anybody's trying to get in front of you because I think they have something that you know they want to sell you or a solution that will help you, how does somebody best get your attention and build credibility when there is no other existing relationship? Yeah, absolutely well, I want to know that somebody you know cares about me, has done some research about me, understands my world right, and that doesn't have to be me personally, but that means the business that I'm in right. And so I want to understand that you have some clue about out eight point right and my aspirations, and that I you have some thoughts. Right, you're not going to waste my time. So I so I feel that I feel that in you. Right again, that old dad is that it doesn't you know, people aren't going to remember what you say, they're going to remember about how they made you feel. Right. So I want, I want to feel some sense of that and then I want to know that you're not wasting my time, that you have some tangible ideas about how you can help me serve my clients better or at least, you know, reduce my the pain of my administrative burden within my so that's what I want to know. I want to feel that connection and that's that's another thing getting back to. You know, in a way people in my field, in the change management field, we're all salesman. It's all about selling, right, it's all about selling the change, trying to get people on board selling the change. And then when we talk about that, we we talked about the fact that it's all about sales. And so the bottom line is that how can you again, that's not to overstate something, that that sounds right, but you know what is? What is that win win, right, you know, that relationships that get results. And so how can we focus on again? Some people think that how people change psychologically is that they learn a fact. Right, they learn a fact or they see an analysis, right, or some data that helps them think differently. So therefore they change. So it's kind of like John cotter talks about this, that you think, you analyze, you think and then you change. In fact, what makes people change is that they see a new...

...possibility and that makes them feel differently and then they change. Right. So really, while facts and figures and data and thinking is important, the intellectual aspect of change, the cognitive aspect, in fact, what really causes behavior change right, and that could be moving forward with a new change initiative, it could be moving forward with a new sales partner. Right in a sales process. It's all about feeling, you know, seeing something, seeing a possibility, feeling it, and then one changes. Yeah, we teach it's funny, we teach it our classes that, you know, people make emotional buying decisions and then justify it with logic. And there's all that research out there. I'm drawn up like on who did it, but there's the study of people who had had I think was the Amygdala damage and they no longer literally were registering emotions and you couldn't tell until you ask them to make a decision as simple as which direction should we go, or which shoe should you put on first? They just had no ability to make decisions. So that emotional connection is is critical. So I'm glad to hear you say that so last question. We call it our acceleration insight. If there's one thing you could tell a sales, marketing professional services person, one piece of advice you could give them that, if they took it in, actually listen to an applied it tomorrow morning, would make them more successful. What would it be and why? Well, again, I don't know that this is going to be brand new for your audience, but as a psychologist, as a change leadership professional, I can say it to enough. Start with the heart relationships get results right. Investing in the relationship is going to be an investment that's going to make a return on your investment much more so than most other activities that you might engage in. Perfect, Barbara. For listeners interested in talking more about the topics, getting access to the data, looking at some of those reports you got touching on anything we talked about today. What's the best way to get in contact with you? Sure, just go to my website, change catalysts, with an s at the endcom, and you can find all kinds of resources you can download. There's a way to contact me there. You can check out two free chapters in my book. So lots of great resources. Awesome, Barbara. I can't think you know if it's taking the time day. Has Been Great having you on the show. Thanks so much chat. Appreciate it. By for now. All right, everyone that does it for this episode, please check us out a be to be REV execcom. Share the episode with friends, Families Co workers. If you like what you here, please shoot me an email. Send us a review online. Do something on itunes or Android, whatever it is, right as of you. We do pay attention of that stuff so we know what type of guests to bring on. Until next time, we have value prime solutions with you all. Nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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