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The Conversational Sweetspot

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Craig Weber offers excellent advice and material on the most basic way of creating success, our conversations. An excerpt from the Business901 podcast, Working Conversations; "We don’t focus on the ...

Craig Weber offers excellent advice and material on the most basic way of creating success, our conversations. An excerpt from the Business901 podcast, Working Conversations; "We don’t focus on the conversations much, partly because we lack the frameworks. We’ve got a lot of good frameworks and strategies out there for how to structure an organization, how to set up your IT. Yes, all the technical stuff we’re good at. The conversation stuff we kind of lack a little structure, lack a little rigor. We’re just not trained to pay attention to it or to give it as much focus as we’re at other aspects of building a good work relationship."

This is a transcription of the podcast. Working Conversations;

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The Conversational Sweetspot The Conversational Sweetspot Document Transcript

  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901The Conversational SweetspotGuest was Craig WeberSponsored byRelated Podcast:Working Conversations
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901Craig is the founder of The Weber Consulting Group, an allianceof experts committed to helping organizations and teams buildtheir capacity for engaging tough, wicked, adaptive challenges.He’s consulted to an expansive roster of world-class clients,helping them improve theirperformance by treating dialogue asa discipline. His unique work isoutlined in his ground-breaking newbook, Conversational Capacity: TheSecret To Building Successful TeamsThat Perform When The Pressure IsOn.Craig has worked with leaders andteams from such diverseorganizations as Boeing; BoeingDefence Australia; The Royal Bankof Canada; NASA; Clif Bar; Los Alamos National Labs; NASA;Novo Nordisk; The CDC (The Centers for Disease Control &Prevention); Pfizer; Vistage: An International Organization ofCEOs; legislators from the states of Georgia, Alabama, NorthCarolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Colorado; SuncorpInsurance & Finance (Australia); and The Upper Valley WaldorfSchool.For more information visit us at weberconsultinggroup.net or seeThe Weber Consulting Group on Facebook.
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901Transcription of PodcastJoe Dager: Welcome everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host of theBusiness901 Podcast. With me, today is Craig Weber. He is thefounder of Weber Consulting Group and an internationalconsultant specializing in team and leadership development. Hehas spent the last 18 years helping to grow a roster of world classclients improve their performance by treating dialogue as adiscipline. His unique work is outlined in his new book,“Conversational Capacity: The Secret to Building SuccessfulTeams That Perform When the Pressure Is On.”I would like to welcome you Craig. I’m impressed that someonecan make a living off creating better conversations. Could you fillin the gaps and start off by telling us what you do and if I hadsimplified it too much.Craig Weber: No, not at all Joe. First, I’ll thank you for having meon your podcast. I appreciate being invited and I look forward totalking to you about this. You did a good job of setting it up. Asyou said, I work with a lot of clients around the world big andsmall not just businesses but organizations, governments youname it. Helping them have more productive conversations bybringing a little more rigor, a little more discipline, and a littlemore structure to how they communicate about their toughestissues. There is a particular framework I help them develop fordoing that. I’ll say at the outset, the stuff I do, it’s not stuff I’vemade up which is not uncommon in my field of work. Mybackground academically is in organizational development andorganizational psychology and not the most rigorous fields in theworld.The core idea is I kind of help people develop and cultivate ourgrounded in a phenomenal body of social science research, ChrisArgyris and his collaborative work with Don Schon at MIT. The
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901founding fathers of what we can call organizational learning. WhatI do is make some of those core ideas perhaps a little more userfriendly over the last couple of decades.Joe: So all these ideas aren’t made up. There is research behindthem.Craig: Yeah, which isn’t always the case, a lot of the ideas outthere about improving conversations are sometimes sadly, it isfrom people who just kind of made things up. There is a lot ofgood research behind the work I do. In the beginning of my book,I actually talk about standing on the shoulders of giants toparaphrase Sir Isaac Newton. I really am as I present these ideasstanding on the shoulders of very impressive intellectual giants.Joe: I thought your book looked like it was well researched. As Iread through it, the references showed that you were very wellread. Each chapter had great references in it, and I wanted tocompliment you. It was obvious there was a lot of background init. Let’s start out by what is conversational capacity?Craig: It’s kind of an interesting concept. There are several waysyou can talk about it. The simple definition is conversationalcapacity refers to the ability of an individual or a team or anentire organization and for having open balanced learning focusedthrough non-defensive discussions about inherently difficulttopics. Let’s say a working relationship or teams with highconversational capacity can put its most difficult, wicked painfulissue on the table and get good work done around it. That doesn’tmean there isn’t tension, conflict, disagreement. I mean despitethis, they’re able to hang tight and do good work. Lowconversational capacity means a minor difference of opinion canscrew up a meeting or a discussion or a decision. So, you canhave the right people at the table, you can have a great productor service, you can have a good strategy or a goal in mind, but if
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901the conversational capacity of the team, the working relationshipis too low relative to the challenge you’re taking on, it is going togo sideways on you when it counts. That’s kind of the workingdefinition of conversational capacity.Joe: Do you find that people are not trained in having dialogue orconversation?Craig: Yes, very much, I think that is part of the problem. Ialways like Joan Magretta’s quote at the Harvard BusinessSchool. She said, “Managements business is buildingorganizations that work.” I love that. It’s elegant, it’s simple, andyou know that building an organization that works at differentchallenges depending on what you’re asking your organization todo, but it’s a great high level definition. What I see happen iswhen thinking about building an organization or team that works.What tends to happen is we think about the technical aspects ofthe challenge; financing, strategy, structures, staffing, processand systems, which are all important. What we tend tounderestimate is how well people can interact and work togetherwhen they’re dealing with difficult problems.So we don’t focus on the conversations much, partly because welack the frameworks. We’ve got a lot of good frameworks andstrategies out there for how to structure an organization, how toset up your IT. Yes, all the technical stuff we’re good at. Theconversation stuff we kind of lack a little structure, lack a littlerigor. We’re just not trained to pay attention to it or to give it asmuch focus as we’re at other aspects of building a good workrelationship.Joe: Why do you think topics like this are coming to the forefrontnow? I mean we’re starting to talk more about people issues, andwe’ve all this technology. Is technology solving the other issuesor they created new issues for us?
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901Craig: I think probably a little of both. I think in some ways thetechnology makes it easier to communicate and connect withpeople around the globe. What we’re doing right now is a greatexample of that. This is incredible. On the other hand, what itdoesn’t do is address more of the fundamental issues that wehave. We’ve haven’t been paying as much attention. For instanceconversational capacity, maybe a critical aspect of building acompany or a team that works well under pressure buttechnology can help us build our conversational capacity.Something we have to do internally, some hard work we have todo as human beings and no amount of technology cancompensate if our conversational capacity is too low.The second part of that question is why is this getting moreattention now? I think because our world is getting much morecomplex, much faster paced partly because of technologicaldevelopment. We’re far more interconnected, the world is a moredynamic place where change is coming quite rapidly. I think werealize that the skills that may have served us well in the pastaren’t the same skills that will get us where we’re going in thefuture. The complexity and the rapid fire change are somethingwe’ve to get better at.Joe: We talk about the T shape person. We talk about thespecialist. Then, on the other hand, when I taught to peoplewithin the organization, they said, this department over here justtosses it over to us, and we have to deal with it. Is that the typeof thing that we’re looking for in conversational capacity is how tosolve those types of problems?Craig: I think if we’re going to solve those kinds of problems, wewill require high conversational capacity. The tougher theproblem you’re facing, the more stringent the change you’retrying to foster, the tougher the strategic direction you’re trying
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901to head. The higher the conversational capacity we need. Whenyou’ve got an either a friction point in an organization or you’vegot what I would refer to us as a baton pass. So when one groupis got to hand that project or a decision off to another group, weneed a lot of good conversational capacity to manage that batonpass in a productive way or else it just becomes a flip it over thewall and let them worry about the problem, and that doesn’t tendto serve complex problems solving well.Joe: In my world we talk about DevOps. Where it’s thedevelopment side and the operational side getting together. Weall stand in front of this wall to discuss things. That doesn’t solvethe conversation issues; we still have to have the conversation.Can you explain, what gets in the way?Craig: That’s a great question and so maybe we can back up asecond. We want to do another definition of conversationalcapacity, and this is the one I use in the book, quite a lot is aconcept called the sweet spot. In any meeting or conversationthere is a sweet spot, and that’s that place where theconversation is as we mentioned are open, they’re balanced,they’re learning focused. It’s where good work gets done andwhat tends to happen in difficult circumstances is that people willtrigger out of the sweet spot towards the more defensive ends ofthe behavioral spectrum. Some people start to shut down. Theybecome more guarded, more cautious, and more careful aboutwhat they’ll say. Other people go the other direction and start toheat up, they get loud, they get argumentative, and they getupset. We can define conversational capacity as that ability tostay grounded in the sweet spot doing good work in situationswhere most people and most groups will trigger out of it.What tends to trigger is out of strong differences of opinion,misunderstandings, conflict, competing definitions of the best wayto get something done. When you got to say, operations and
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901development sitting down in a meeting to kind of do a batonpass, they need higher conversational capacity to manage theirability to stay in the sweet spot especially when there are strongdifferences of opinion or some sort of misunderstanding.Operations have one idea about how to move forward anddevelopment has a completely different idea. You need tonegotiate those differences in a productive way. What tends tohold this in a sweet spot is relative balance between candor andcuriosity.I’m comfortable sharing with you what I think we should do tomove forward. I’m equally curious to hear what you thinkespecially when I recognize you may have a different point ofview, and that’s what tends to holds us there. Now what oftenhappens is under pressure I drop one pole or the other and ifdrop my candor, I’m guarded, I’m cautious, I’m being overtlycareful. I’m telling you I agree with your idea when I don’t. If Idrop curiosity, I become arrogant, argumentative, combative andas often say my mind shuts and my mouth opens. That’s a realproblem here. That’s why it’s so hard in an organization, whenwe’re dealing with top problem with strong differences of opinionsor we’re trying to manage one of those baton passes in theorganization where we’re talking with different, we’re talkingabout a problem from different functional perspectives. You needhigh conversational capacity, but our differences often triggerthose two reactions. I drop candor or I drop curiosity, and nowwe’re in trouble.Joe: I’m doing this podcast and thinking, what’s going to be mynext question sometimes rather than listening to you. How do weget over something like that because that seems like a big part ofwhat you’re talking about?Craig: That can be a problem, and a bit of a conundrum. If youwere not doing that, you wouldn’t be doing your job effectively. I
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901liked Ron Heifetz, a gentleman at the Kennedy School ofGovernment at Harvard and he wrote a book called “Leadershipwithout Easy Answers” and he talks about when exercisingleadership, we often spend too much time down on the dancefloor kind of work the problem in the detail. We’re not upon thebalcony thinking strategically. And often in a tough circumstance,we need both abilities at once. I need the ability to be in theconversation engaging people but I also need part of my mind tobe up on the balcony kind of saying, we’re focused on what’s ourpurpose here, what we’re trying to accomplish? How do we inLean terms, maximize the value in the meeting and minimize thewaste let’s stay on focus.I think when you’re orchestrating a podcast like this one; you’vegot to be doing both answering questions, engaging the speaker.At the same time, you need to be upon the balcony thinkingwhat’s the next question. That’s hard, that’s really hard.Joe: How do we build it? I mean are there steps; is there a waythat we can get better at this?Craig: Yes, that’s the good news. The bad news is conversationalcapacity is really hard to build because in some times our ownhuman nature works against it. As I mentioned, we’re in thesweet spot of having those balance conversations when we fly offcenter to one pole or the other, what tends to trigger is the issueso is it conflicting perspective, a different point of view. Someonesays something in a way that’s kind of catches me wrong andsuddenly I react and when we’re triggered what’s been triggeredinternally is that the fight-flight response. The low conversationalcapacity is usually the manifestation of the fight-flight responseplaying out in the conversation. If I flee the discussion, I’mshutting down, I’m leaving the conversation early, I’m pretendingto agree when I don’t and when my fight response gets triggeredI can get loud, I can get argumentative, I can be dismissive, I
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901can call people names, I can be extremely aggressive in thediscussion.That is not an easy tendency to get rid of in fact you can’t, it’shard wired in our human nature. What you need to do is developthe ability to start recognizing a little more clearly when one ofthose two tendencies might be pulling you off your conversationalgame and in developing the capacity to manage those reactionsin a more disciplined way to stay in the sweet spot balancingcandor and curiosity when a tremendous amount of emotionalenergy maybe trying to pull you off center and that takes a lot ofwork.Joe: Should we try to be doing this in all our dialogue orsometimes not. Should we always try to be in the sweet spot?Craig: That’s a great question actually. No, I think there are a lotof situations where it’s not that critical for instance casualconversation. We don’t need to spend a lot of time focusing on amore structured disciplined approach to a casual discussion and ifthere is a fire in the building we don’t need to worry about iteither. Someone barking orders, taking control and you know,even screaming out loud to get people moving out of the building,so that, you get out safely. That’s appropriate. I think where weneed to focus on the conversational capacity, a lot of those issueswhere it’s really difficult to put on the table because it’s stronglydifferent points of view. There is conflicting perspective. Thereare some serious mistakes. It’s important. When it’s difficult andimportant, that is where we would need to slow down and maybetake a more structured approach to how we craft our dialogue.Joe: My listeners are mostly Lean and Agile people. We’reimproving businesses. Improving conversation seems not apriority to spend our time with. Should we?
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901Craig: The tougher the problem you’re facing. The more difficultthe change, you’re asking people to make. I think the higher theconversational capacity you need to have productive influenceand to deal with the defensive reaction you’ll provoke in people. Ilike the notion that there is what they call in law enforcement ormilitary operations, operational momentum. An organizationdevelops a certain culture or inertia, a certain way of doingthings. For instance, we’re going to try to become more Agile, weare going to focus on becoming more Lean. We’re going to havesome hard decisions to make and some hard changes to address.Conversational capacity is a key part of that. You can have thebest idea in the world on how to build a more Agile or Leanenterprise, but if you can’t orchestrate productive conversationsthat actually move the needle on the decisions and changes, it’s agood idea they’ll go anywhere. I think it’s a fundamentalleadership tool that ability to both recognize when theconversational capacity is in where it needs to be and the abilityto build it. I always liked Bob Keegan, an adult developmentalpsychologist at Harvard. He said, “Any organization is acommunity of discourse, leadership is about shaping the nature ofthe discourse.” If we’re going to exercise the kind of leadershipthat helps us build more resilient, more agile, more effectiveorganizations that perform when things are difficult. We can’tignore conversational capacity.Joe: Can these ideas be utilized by the entire organization? Imean is this something that the entire organization has to buy into or how do we start this with an organization?Craig: That’s another good question. I see that happen in avariety of ways. Sometimes one individual starts, learning theskills, they attend a workshop or something and learn theseskills, get excited about it and then they go back in the businessbegin using these skills to try to foster more effective meetings.
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901Other people pick up on what they’re doing and it starts that way.A lot of my work I start with executive teams and they’ll startlearning the skills to work at the executive level and then whenthey’ve developed a certain confidence, they start filtering itdown into the organization. So it really depends.What I like about these skills is that they aren’t dependent oneveryone knowing them for them to work well. One person withthe high conversational capacity can sort of affect a meeting in avery productive way. Now everyone in the meeting is aware ofthe same skills. It’s even more powerful. But it’s not necessarilyrequired.Joe: Do you need a facilitator sometimes to make this all happen?Craig: Yeah, sometimes that can be a helpful way to go. In fact,in a lot of the teams I worked what they end up doing is appointsomeone and it often rotates a member of the team to either bethe kind of a conversational capacity monitor or facilitator and themonitor would pay attention to how well we’re doing this thing inthe sweet spot balancing candor and curiosity. They’re actuallytracking the use of the skills and then from time to time, theyprovide the group feedbacks. Listen what we’re doing really goodon the candor side of the scale, a lot of rigorous discussion butwe’re a little short on the curiosity side after the break, I suggest,we focus on X, Y or Z.A facilitator would actually intervene to help the group stay in thesweet spot. Some groups find that a little too intrusive othergroups really like it. But yes, having someone who is assigned tosort of help the group pay attention to how well they’re using theskills is important. And that’s what nice about the framework isthere are tangible skills for how we can actually shape theconversation in a more productive direction.Joe: When we think people talking in diversity and we always
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901think of our sales guys, OK, our sales people. Is this a skill thatthey should develop?Craig: Yes, absolutely. I think whether you’re running anengineering group or you’re heading operations, whether you’re aline supervisor down there trying to do improve performance dayby day. That ability to have hard hitting pragmatic balancediscussions about difficult issues is key and so it’s I would be hardpressed to find a role where these skills wouldn’t be useful. So it’scertainly not just for sales. I mean the higher you’re going in anorganization, typically the tougher the issues are grappling with,the harder the choices you have to make and therefore the higherthe conversational capacity you need to exercise your roleeffectively.Joe: What would you recommend for someone to improve theirskills? How would you get them to just, you know, the first coupleof steps?Craig: First, I’ll really start thinking about what are the situationsand what are the issues and what are the maybe the behaviorseven the kind of people that tends to push me out of the sweetspot. So becoming more conscious of your tendencies, what arethe circumstances where I tend to drop my candor and becomemore guarded and cautious in a meeting? Then maybe, whensomeone raises their voice or when someone brings up a strongopinion and asserts it is an absolute truth. I tend to shy awayfrom the conflict by pretending to agree when I don’t. It may bejust the opposite when someone does one of those things, myhair rises on the back of my neck and I start to getargumentative because I’ve take a front of being, told to how tothink. So becoming aware of your tendencies is really importantand then developing the skills that help balance those tendencies.What I mean by that is we talked about two tendencies in
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901conversational capacity. I dropped candor and what I would callminimizing. I’m minimizing tension, I’m minimizing conflict, I’mminimizing the level of negative emotion in the discussion oftenat the expense of what I’m trying to accomplish. So I’m beingcareful when I should be speaking up. At the other end of thespectrum we lose curiosity, we trigger to win, to win theconversation to be right, to get my way. I want to sell myperspective to the team. So, I’m just raw unadulterated advocacyand I’m doing a lot of listening and I’m not doing a lot ofenquiring in other views. When I’m being triggered into one ofthose two states, there are some counterbalancing skills that canhelp us manage the reaction. So for instance, I tend to be astrong minimizer. I don’t like conflict, I like to be Mr. Agreeableand what helps me in a meeting avoid being overly cautious andguarded are two skills. I develop the ability to put my clear pointon the table, my position, my idea, my view, my concern or mysuggestion and then I develop the capacity to explain the thinkingbehind it.What I’m basically saying in a meeting when my tendency wouldbe to be a little guarded. For example, let me tell you what Ithink we should do to solve this problem and give me a couple ofminutes here to describe why I think it’s a proven course ofaction. And those are the two candor skills. Putting forward aclear position and explaining the thinking behind it. I can practicethis. In fact, every meeting provides an opportunity to get betterat those two skills.If on the other hand my tendency is to win, to get argumentativewhen someone says something I don’t like. The two skills thathelp me manage that tendency would be to test my ownperspective to actually encourage people to challenge my thinkingbecause they may be seeing things I’m not. They may have adata I don’t have access to. I need to put forward my view toexplain and to test it. I’ve laid out my thinking in terms of what
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901we should do and why. You may have a different take on this.You’re from a different side of the table than I am. What’s yourreaction to what I’ve just put on the table? What I’m really doingis treating my view or my idea or my suggestion more like ahypothesis and less like a truth. It makes perfect sense in myown head right now but Joe may have some ideas that mightchange how I’m looking at this if I listen. I’m going to invite himinto the conversation specifically asking him to share his reactionto how I’m looking at this. The other skill is inquiry when you say,I got to be honest I don’t think you’re suggesting will fly ratherthan get defensive and say, “Oh, OK, forget about it.” What Iwould do is inquire into it to try to understand more of thethinking behind your point of view, behind your position. And soto answer your question what can I do to kind of get better atthis. Well, learn to recognize when you’re flying off center oneway or the other and learn to instead of responding in yourhabitual way use these four skills to stay grounded in the sweetspot.Joe: Maybe I just have a few cheat notes on each side of mynotepad. So I know when I am moving one way or the other fromthe sweet spot?Craig: You know, that’s not a bad strategy, in fact in a lot of theorganizations in which I work, they actually have a frame postersup in meeting rooms where they have a sweet spot up on the wallwith two arrows, one going upwards, the minimize side of thespectrum, the other going out towards the win side, right. So it’skind of a visual reminder of what we got to be watching out forand they don’t have a separate sweet spot below it with the fourskills. So on the one side is position and thinking, the candorskills pushing away from the minimize side of the spectrum backtowards the sweet spot and on the other side of the sweet spot,they’ve got testing and enquiry to curiosity skills pushing fromthe win side of the spectrum back towards the sweet spot.
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901So it’s a great reminder of what’s going on in the meeting, let’spay attention to how well, we’re doing and if we’re noticing we’renot where we need to be, here are the things we need to beconscious of, here are the things we can do, this more disciplinedstructured approach to conversation, to make sure we’regrounded in the sweet spot.Joe: So really to get something out of the conversation, we wantto be moving towards sweet spot but moving back and forth andalways working towards it.Craig: Yeah, if we start to slide in one way out of the sweet spot,we can actually use the two skills to get back. If, we notice themeeting starting to overheat for instance, lot of arguing, coupleof people really getting their tempers up. There is a lot ofpositional back and forth, a lot of positioning. One person mightjump in and say, “Look, it seems as if there are a lot of stronglydifferent points of view here. I think it could be helpful for theteam if we slow down and try to understand the difference.” Youknow, why do we see it so differently? You might say John youtend to hate this idea take a couple of minutes and describe whatthe team why you think it’s a problem. Jane, you love this idea.Once he is done, I would love to hear your thoughts about whythis works. One person is trying to slow the conversation thenand deepen and pull people back to the sweet spot.Joe: Now, when I read the back and went through it, I thoughtthe book would be a great instrument for a discussion group.Could you see it being used that way? Do you have anyrecommendations and how you would begin?Craig: Yeah, in fact that’s kind of what I had in mind when Iwrote this. You know, if people can’t attend a workshop Ifacilitate how can we help them develop these skills independent
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901of an outsider resource. I thought well, write the book in a waywhere as a team can sit down, read it chapter by chapter anddiscuss it. Where does it affect us, where do we find ourselvesdrifting out of the sweet spot under pressure? What are practiceswe can employ to get better at this overtime? In fact, I wrote achapter on developing disciplines some things a team and anindividual can do to get better with this overtime. How to apply itto decision making, how to apply it to meetings and to problemsolving? How to manage conflict in a more effective way?Joe: Was this book directed for any person? I mean really withinan organization or out of an organization but for really just aboutfor any group wanting to improve the conversational skills?Craig: I think that’s exactly right. For anybody who wants tomake a difference when making a difference is difficult. I thinkthese skills should be helpful. I worked with people, I worked witha number of CEOs around the world but I’ve also worked withsomeone driving a forklift on the factory floor, and you knowwhen they see an idea for improvement out there, they feel likeno one is going to listen to me. I’m just a lonely guy on the totempole here. I want that person to be able to raise their hand and tobring up and idea for how to improve a process or how to makethe organization more Lean and efficient.Despite the fact that they are just driving a forklift. That doesn’tmatter. I like the idea that a good organization is meritocracy andthat good ideas are utilized no matter where they come from.Joe: Craig, one problem I had with reading your book. I wantedto have a conversation with someone about it. OK and it seemedlike the book was written as a two-way street. I mean it talked tosomeone about it. What’s probably somewhat of a compliment,but it seemed like I needed a partner.
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901Craig: I like the fact that it hit you that way. I think ideally again,you know, sitting down with other people and having someconversations about conversational capacities are better way tolearn these ideas and to explore them, and there are a couple ofreasons for that. One often times, someone else will pick up onan aspect of the book you’re missing. I had that experience manytimes. A friend and I read the same book, and he picks up onsomething completely different than I did and I like that’s right,wow even see that, when I read it but also when we’re talkingabout this issues around conversational capacity colleagues,friends, loved ones will often help us see our tendencies and howthey affect our behavior even more clearly than we can see them.Other people are around the receiving end of our behavior. Weare always on the delivering end. As a result, they are often moreclear on how we react in meetings, how our body language comesacross. If we read the book with other people, we often get a lotmore crystal clear feedback and information about some of theconcepts. Precisely, because we are reading it and discussing itwith other people.Joe: Where can someone get more information about the book?Craig: You can go to my website, the weberconsultingroup.nethas a little information about the book and then of course there isa bit of information on barnes and noble.com, amazon.com.Joe: What’s the best way for someone to contact you?Craig: Again through the website. Send me an email and if youlike to chat, find the time to get on the phone and talk.Joe: Craig, I would like to thank you very much for theconversation, and this podcast will be available on thebusiness901 website and the business901 iTunes store.
  • Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWorking ConversationsCopyright Business901Joseph T. DagerBusiness901Phone: 260-918-0438Skype: Biz901Fax: 260-818-2022Email: jtdager@business901.comWebsite: http://www.business901.comTwitter: @business901Joe Dager is president of Business901, a firm specializing inbringing the continuous improvement process to the sales andmarketing arena. He takes his process thinking of over thirtyyears in marketing within a wide variety of industries and appliesit through Lean Marketing and Lean Service Design.Visit the Lean Marketing Lab: Being part of this community willallow you to interact with like-minded individuals andorganizations, purchase related tools, use some free ones andreceive feedback from your peers.