Leadership, Org Design, People & Culture,

Role, goal & decision clarity, and never designing around a person with Ron Schwartz

Expert author: Ron Schwartz

In the podcast interview, Ron Schwartz discusses the importance of organizational design, emphasizing the need to identify roles, goals, and decision rights. He advises against designing an organization around individuals, instead suggesting to design around what is needed to execute strategy and plans. Schwartz also highlights the importance of open conversations in the organization, particularly when dealing with changes. He suggests that leaders should have the ability to deliberately design a conversation, considering the outcome and impact they want to have on the other person.





[00:00:00] Amy Springer: Welcome to the org design podcast. Thanks for joining us,

[00:00:02] Ron Schwartz: Hi.

[00:00:03] Amy Springer: so Ron Schwartz, he's an org design consultant with Brass Tacks Consulting. So happy to have you join us

[00:00:09] Ron Schwartz: Thanks for having me.

[00:00:11] Amy Springer: Jumping right in. Tell us how did you become an org designer? Was it a clear, chosen path or have you been a have you unwillingly fallen into it.

[00:00:21] Ron Schwartz: I fell into it, probably 26 years ago. I actually studied as an industrial designer, never practiced and I thought it would be an education. It was three and a half years. I thought that I would never use it again. I went into the business world and then ended up doing organizational, well actually, I guess corporate sustainability consulting is probably best way to define it, and it was actually the human capital side of that, that was most interesting, forget about the, you know, forget about, the financial success or economic success of companies, forget about the environmental measurement component. The, you know, they're all really important components, but it was really the human side that attracted me, and from there it was a matter of a few stumbles and ended up at a company called Human Synergistics that does measurement of leadership and culture, and it was there that it all exploded for me. That moment when you realize what is possible. When you start thinking about individuals and teams, organizational culture,

[00:01:25] Amy Springer: I'm really intrigued that you said that you started out more in corporate sustainability. Was it someone you worked with? Was it the methodology? Was it the outcome you saw that drew you to human capital?

[00:01:40] Ron Schwartz: It was probably the outcomes. Back then you know, I was doing that 26 years ago. There weren't that many people doing corporate sustainability and there was a very, very heavy focus on the environmental side of it. People like John Elkington and Amory and Hunter Lovins were pushing the very, very much that side of it. But the more you dove into it, the more it came down to people, it was cultural.


It was a cultural shift that was required to get people to focus on a holistic view of success rather than purely economic or financial, and that was what really opened my, my mind and started me thinking about, you know, what, what is possible there with the human side? Isn't that really exciting?

[00:02:25] Amy Springer: Okay, so it's not specifically, I guess, the sustainable part of the people in the org, keeping people happy and healthy, you mean in order to achieve these bigger goals we have, whether they're economic, environmental,

social, whatever they are, requires a certain group of people

[00:02:43] Ron Schwartz: Yeah.

[00:02:44] Amy Springer: in a certain

[00:02:45] Ron Schwartz: So I, I took it and I started looking more internal than external. So it wasn't the social impact of the company in the community, it was actually the social impact of the company on its people and how its people worked to, you know, to, to really optimize where the organization was going and how it achieved financial success without compromising all the other things.

[00:03:08] Amy Springer: So you, as you mentioned, training was in a totally different space. Have you done all of your learning about org design on the job, or did you choose to do some specific training.

[00:03:19] Ron Schwartz: I've done little bits and pieces of specific training you know, obviously accreditations in different tools and processes. I ended up doing a business degree as well where I did spend quite a bit of it on management and management theory, where org design was obviously something that was talked about, but back then it wasn't called that, but most of it has been on the job. Most of the training has been on the job through trial and error.

[00:03:46] Amy Springer: Yeah. And what are some of the most consistent themes that you see come up that you

[00:03:52] Ron Schwartz: Most consistent themes, obviously leadership, and you know, it's not unique to hear that from a practitioner of org design, but leadership is absolutely essential, the other thing that, in the last decade as a theme that I've that I've been pursuing and also seen emerging a lot is that, you know, historically a lot of people thought of org design as boxes and lines. You know, it's the org chart when in actual fact we've narrowed it down to three key elements, the way we apply it, role clarity, goal clarity and decision rights, and what we're finding is that quite often it's the latter. It's that third one, the one that's ignored and is causing a lot of conflict inside organizations. It's not about a lack of role clarity or goal clarity. It's that the decision rights are misaligned with that role clarity and goal clarity.


[00:04:44] Amy Springer: okay. Can you give us an example?

[00:04:47] Ron Schwartz: There was a client, a, a startup that we were working with. That was cycling through CMOs. CMOs weren't staying long. I think the longest they had been there in was seven months in this organization. The CMOs role was very clear. They had ownership of brand advertising and, you know, creating leads for the organization. Their goals were abundantly obvious. You know, there was certain number of leads to generate. There's, you know, there was brand recognition in the market. The problem was every time the CMO wanted to do something with the brand and for some reason It seemed to come down to a billboard. There was this billboard that they, I don't know whether they, or the previous CMOs spoke to the new CMOs about the billboard, but it was like this big billboard, every time someone wanted to do something with it, the founder would step in and say, no, no, you can't do that. That's not our brand. And it started a dialogue with the, the founder, where it became obvious that the CMO actually didn't have the decision rights to do what the CMO needed to do with the brand if they were being judged on the success of those initiatives, and if it is clearly within their scope to own the brand and to do those sort of things. So it that, that's a great example of where the decision rights were misaligned with what was a very, very clearly defined role with very clear goals that were easily measurable, and resulting in the inability of the person for who those roles and goals were defined to actually execute on them.

[00:06:29] Amy Springer: Okay. And so what are, what are the steps you're able to take with them to overcome that decision?

[00:06:36] Ron Schwartz: It, it's like a lot of that is really hard. It's quite often a negotiated conversation. We often do it with intact teams, so we'll do it with executive teams where we actually sit down and try and identify what are all the key decisions that need to made be made regularly. And who is the best owner of those based on the roles and goals that have been defined, what are the big ones that everyone wants to be involved in and needs to be involved in, and which are we willing to let go of? And let whoever's, you know, within the, within the scope of their job as it has been defined by the roles and goals, they can go and do those things. So it's essentially establishing some tracks, you know, some boundaries to work within. There's no real special sauce. It is a painful process. That being said I'm going to push the product here, Functionly, was something that appealed to me because it did make that a lot easier. Because we couldn't allow, or we could set it up in a way that decision rights moved with the different responsibilities around the organization. So that, that was something that made it a little bit easier. But it is still very much a negotiated conversation that takes time and energy. But once it's done, it makes such a difference. It releases a lot of energy.

[00:07:54] Amy Springer: Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up 'cause I was gonna ask, you know, what role does accountabilities, Play in that, you know, at Functionly we do talk about breaking down the work that's done in a company into functions and accountabilities and handing that over. But it's sounding like almost like that person had the

[00:08:10] Ron Schwartz: Yep.

[00:08:11] Amy Springer: but they still weren't really able to own that

[00:08:14] Ron Schwartz: Yeah. and and, and I think you know, the accountabilities word is a key one. Because so many people look at the word accountability and think of it as punitive. You know? It's like I'm holding you accountable, I'm punishing you. But in actual fact, if you take the approach that an accountability or holding someone accountable is supportive. It's truly humanistic. It's you know, the best thing you can do to help someone is to hold them accountable. Then when you have clarity of accountabilities and the responsibilities that fit under that, it actually is a liberating thing. It liberates the organization from some of the politics and some of the other things that have been holding it back.

[00:08:55] Amy Springer: yeah.

Absolutely. Gives people momentum

[00:08:58] Ron Schwartz: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

[00:09:00] Amy Springer: Yeah. You did mention group decision making though as Do you think there's sometimes a time when there is maybe a group accountability or is it more about defining, the word I use is watermarks, what's the decision that can be made below or above the line? You go forth, you can de decide below this line or, yeah. Is that, yeah. So do you think having a group accountability is okay, or it should be more of an individual, and then define when does everyone have to be consulted

[00:09:30] Ron Schwartz: Yeah, we, we tend to focus on individual accountability. Find that that is more likely to get an outcome. I hate to use, I hate to, use the term, but if an old client used it, and I'm sure everyone's heard it the idea of one throat to choke and one back, back to Pat, um, without that accountability, it's easy for people to hide, and I, I can I just think of a couple of examples even recently where, there's been confusion over accountability on a very, very key action, and they end up pointing to each other and it's very hard because, well, we've actually got two people accountable, so either they both get punished, for lack of a better word, or they, they both have to fix the problem or no one fixes the problem, and it's usually the latter, I'm finding.


[00:10:18] Amy Springer: So you mentioned you guys focus on role clarity, goal clarity, decision rights. What else are you looking at, positive or negative? What are the warning signs?

[00:10:27] Ron Schwartz: One of the big warning signs is from. experience, probably one of the failures that I looked back upon was with a law firm, where we were called in to, to help them as a part of a redesign. They, you know, they weren't working as effectively as they could. We were engaging with the managing partner. We were told that the managing partner had the authority to make decisions on behalf of the organization, which he did, but , the partners very often would start as soon as there was something they disagreed with would start forming coalitions. They would start undermining the decisions of the managing partner. They would start undermining our work. And in actual fact that client was the only client that we've ever fired. Where we actually just said, sorry, can't do this. Here you go, give you back whatever you've given us and let's agree that, we'll, part ways, and it was more, if I summarize it, it's just the context. It's not having the right context in place is, you know, one of those things that kills the project. It was really, really painful for us to actually have to constantly go back and find, you know, build new coalitions. We only ended up, I think we, I think we were there for eight weeks. It was meant to be a eight or nine month project, about eight weeks in, we just said, no, this is just isn't gonna work, because it was taking to six times the amount of energy and time that it should have. So, as I look at org design, I always step back and try and understand the context first. We spend, it's not an analysis phase that you often get in project. It's actually, you know, really deep getting to understand people. You know, one of the, the big learnings that we've had is that as practitioners where often too reliant on data, we're too reliant on measurement, and there's a lot that can be said for, if you go back. Is it 150 odd years to the, you know, to the heyday of anthropology, um, where observation was actually critical, where observation was the way they did what they did, and if you think about Franz Boaz was, you know, the godfather of modern anthropology, and one of the, the terms he coined was this idea of cultural relativity. How can we judge another culture when we're not in the culture? So for us to be using all these analytical models to judge a culture or judge an organization those models already have a bias in them. So actually sitting in and spending some time observing, really understanding the context of what's happening there, we could have very easily measured in that law firm, and it probably would've said everything that the managing partner said. However, when push came shove that they didn't want to do what he was saying, they just, as soon as there was anything that they disagreed with, they would undermine the whole thing and the project went to hell. If we had observed a couple of meetings, a couple of decisions through the process, see what happens, we would've seen that in action and realized that actually what we were being told and what the measurements said clearly weren't clearly wasn't what was going on inside the company. So I think, I think there's this importance of observation as well as measurement.

[00:13:47] Amy Springer: Can you give some examples of what that looked like? You know, what is a, a warning sign that actually an org design project's not even possible because a whole bunch of other stuff needs to happen first.

[00:13:57] Ron Schwartz: So the, the, the, I mean, the decision making process is very obvious and, and you can see it in meetings. So if you observe critical meetings that where they're making big decisions, there are certain warning signs you know, like, an approval orientation where you can see that someone is not actually speaking up, they're just going along with the flow in the meeting, and you, you watch out for that and you watch that person as they leave the meeting and they start having conversations with people straight away afterwards about the things that they wanted to say in the room. There are a little Cues and triggers that you can, that, that we look for in those situations.

The other things that we look for are the rituals inside organizations. What do those value, those rituals actually demonstrate is important to the company? And is it aligned with what our client is telling us? Because quite often you'll look at things and they'll say, oh yeah, yeah, we love our people. and I'm not kidding in this a client I had many, many years ago used to say, oh yeah, we trust our people. But there was a two page form that you had to fill in in order to get anything from the stationary cupboard. So know that, that, that process tells us. Hey, they don't actually trust people, so we need to go back and think about, is this actually going to work? Is this org design process going to work, or do we need to address that first before we go into org design?

[00:15:32] Amy Springer: So, that would be not quite ready for an org design project. Some things to look out for if we had a leader listening to us have a chat right now, what are some things that you think they should look for that you're like, Hey, actually I think org design is what you guys are needing, and you'd be ready to hit the ground with an org design project.

[00:15:51] Ron Schwartz: The sort of signs, you know, in, in meetings, people sort of pointing to each other, "Hey, that's your responsibility". The people walking around asking questions about, what does, you know, what does success look like? You know, how, how are we being judged on this thing? You know, that's a clear sign of a lack of goal clarity. Because if we go back to the definition of org design as being involved in role clarity, goal clarity, and decision rights, they're the sort of things, you know, when someone's saying, "Hey, I, I don't know how success is being judged here. What are the outcomes? You know, what, what are the objectives we're trying to achieve here?" Things like that are already warning signs. And then the decision rights one that you know, when you look out for two people, if you see two people who think they have the decision right on something that tells you that there's ambiguity, that's something that you should look to. And whether you need a full org design process or whether you just need to clarify, no, no, you do that and you do that. That's still org design. Clarifying who does what. So it doesn't need to be complicated, but looking out for those things. And I, I sort of bring it back to the role clarity, goal clarity, and decision rights.

[00:17:05] Amy Springer: Cool. So we've decided, all right, we've got some, some gaps. We need to step in. You've already mentioned using observation, using data. Do you have some examples of what are inputs or principles when you start the process? I guess what, what else are you looking at about the business?

[00:17:25] Ron Schwartz: What else are we looking at? It's a good question. So what are we looking for? We look for the complexity in the organization, it was first Tim who said it to me, where he said, organizations break in multiples of three and 10. You know, when you've got two co-founders in a startup, you get the third person in the same communication mechanisms, the same processes that the two of you use to stay on track don't work anymore. You know, once you get to 10, you've got too many people to be effective in a single team. so looking at the various multiples gives you an indication of where they're at in their journey and the, the interesting thing is that you need to break for your next design. You, you, you need to design for your next breakpoint. So if you're at a hundred, you're designing for 300. So whatever it is that'll get you there, and what we often look for will be in both positive and negative, will be the people who are both resisting and championing that vision for what the 300 person company could look like. those, those who are resisting are still attached to the 10 people, whereas those who are championing the 300 can see what's possible and what's going to be required to get there. Those people are important people in the transformation process.

[00:18:46] Amy Springer: In terms of having a healthy org design culture, it's okay to have both of those types.

[00:18:51] Ron Schwartz: Absolutely. Yeah, because a lot of the people who are resisting are the ones who got you to where you are today, and it's not that what they ever did was wrong. It got them to where it got the company to where it is today. It's just if they keep going where they're going, it may not necessarily be aligned with where the company's going in the future, and one of my old clients a while back, I asked him what was the biggest learning from the process, he retired, and I just asked him what was his biggest learning as a CEO and as a client, and he said not to wait too long to actually remove the people that are misaligned with where you're going, and a lot of the time they'll self-select out, but occasionally it is an unfortunate choice that a leader has to make to move people out.

[00:19:36] Amy Springer: Mm-Hmm. have you seen that be done? I guess firstly in a, in a bad way, but also in a really done beautifully, in a really

[00:19:44] Ron Schwartz: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So the, when it's done badly, it's avoided, it's hidden, it's done in, you know, death by a thousand paper cuts. And unfortunately it often results in the person who ends is leaving 'cause they inevitably will leave for whatever reason, but they're less likely to leave with their dignity intact because of the way it's happened. When it's done really well, it's an open conversation. It's done based on the roles, goals, and decision rights, and it's designing and aligning them in order to meet the future needs of the business, and if that person isn't attracted by what that job looks like, then it's that conversation. Well, hey, let's, clearly it's not gonna work for either of us. Let's help you find something that will. I can, you know, I can think of a couple of companies that have done that really well, where they actually helped people Find something new based on the skills that they knew they had, but those skills weren't going to be helpful for the company moving forward. I can think of a couple of tech and media companies that I worked with in the US that, that did that very well. Likewise, there's one that I can think of that did it atrociously, where they held a pool of high performance talent in reserve for an org redesign. When they did the a redesign after telling all these people that they were going to be needed in the, in the future, they did the, org redesign, they couldn't figure out where these people fit, and so they just let them all go, and it was, they let such good talent go inside the company and it was done in such a bad way that there were a whole bunch of other staff that they did want to keep that left in disgust.

[00:21:27] Amy Springer: Yeah. So, the goal of the org design podcast is to get what's normally closed door conversations out in the open. I guess part of that is acknowledging there's gonna be stages in an org design process that are sensitive and be shared. But it sounds like you're saying let's get those conversations with those people happening

[00:21:45] Ron Schwartz: Yeah.

[00:21:46] Amy Springer: as

[00:21:47] Ron Schwartz: Yeah,

[00:21:47] Amy Springer: is that what you're saying there?

[00:21:49] Ron Schwartz: You know, if there was a superpower that I think every leader should have, it's actually the power of deliberately designing a conversation. Think about how much of our world is done through conversation and how little time we spend designing them. We design everything else in our lives, you know, our, our phones, our apps, our homes, our you know, our food. Everything is designed deliberately, but for many leaders, there's very little time put into conscious design of a conversation. To actually step back and think about conversation with a design eye. If we could all do that, the conversations we have would be that much more effective.

Mm-Hmm, so if we have that strength, if we all have that superpower, it means the hard conversations aren't that hard. It means that they're more likely to achieve the outcome and we are able to raise these things that, you know, behind closed doors that often happen behind closed doors. We're able to do them more openly. We're able to do them more deliberately and in a much more focused way.

[00:22:55] Amy Springer: Yeah. Do you have an example of what you mean by that?

[00:22:58] Ron Schwartz: Think, think about design, in design's purest sense. You start with an outcome in mind. What? What is, you know, what is the impact that I want to have on this person? What is, what do I want them walking away, repeating Now? What tools do I have at my disposal to help that person? To achieve that outcome or to walk away doing, you know, saying what we want them to say, and the funny thing is we often talk about you know, what message do we want them to hear? But a higher bar is what message do we want them repeating? 'cause that forces us to be simple. Mm-Hmm.

It forces the conversation to be designed in such a concise and precise way, because they'll hear a complex message, but it'll be very hard for 'em to repeat it. So if we start thinking about it from that perspective, you know, what is it that we want the walking away repeating? What impact do we want to have on this person? What tools do we have at our disposal? And then what is it that I would be able to say, do ask, you know, deliver order to achieve all of those things. And then, you know, iterate, plan that design, rehearse it, you know, and actually think it through. And you can't do this all the time, but for some of the big conversations, we absolutely, absolutely should be thinking that through.

[00:24:13] Amy Springer: So having some pre-planned statements, having a practice. All very helpful,

[00:24:20] Ron Schwartz: yeah. Have, have a series of questions that, you know, work in certain situations, test them, constantly, test them, refine them. Almost like a, you know, you've, it's almost like a traffic jam of questions in your head. You know, you'll let the first, you'll let the first car go through the lights. Then if, if it doesn't go where it needs to go, then the next one, then the next one, then the next one. But being able to sense where, where each of those questions is going and when's the right time to let one through the lights, but have them all there. Those ones that you know work and you know what, they may not work. Find a new one then start building up the, that bank of of questions in your mind.

[00:24:58] Amy Springer: What this emphasizes for me actually is org design is hard, it is also incredibly personal. You know, someone might be sitting back and designing a whole org, but that's an individual's life.



there . It's where they go every day. It's what's paying their mortgage, these are very, very personal conversations and we can't lose

[00:25:21] Ron Schwartz: And, and the other thing, if we, if we flip that and look upwards into our organizations, organizations don't change if our leaders don't change as well. So if the purpose of an org design process is to help an organization change, if we've got our leaders doing the same thing that they're always doing, but in a new design, it's not gonna work. So an organization won't change if our leaders don't, and that's the other personal element of org design is that it will often come down to the individual leader within a team, within an organization to be able to execute.

[00:26:02] Amy Springer: Actually, you've made me think of, you know, org design might happen at an organizational level, it might happen at a team level. You did mention thinking about complexity and is, is how many org units are we here? For leaders maybe of a smaller department rather than an entire organization. Do you have any tips for them and applying org design principles more at a department level rather than in a whole organization.

[00:26:26] Ron Schwartz: Yeah, one, one of the big ones a core principle is don't design your organization around the individuals.

[00:26:34] Amy Springer: Mm-Hmm

[00:26:35] Ron Schwartz: we'll often design the organization, whether it's our team or the whole organization around key people. And those key people get upset. So we redesign the job and all, all of those sort of things. It's the exact opposite of having the hard conversation with someone when they're misaligned with where the team or the organization wants to go. When you do that, and the, this is I'll give you an example of a client where they had a key person, a key executive that they wanted to try and keep in the company but that there was actually no job after the redesign for them. Their skills weren't actually specifically needed and their experience wasn't specifically needed in the way they had designed the organization. So they created a special projects role for him and they created an infrastructure. He had an ea, had direct reports, all those sort of things, and then after a while he worked out what was going on, that it was a special projects role just to keep him in there. He sort of knew it anyway. He decided to move on. Unfortunately the company, rather than recognizing what they had done, they backfilled for the special project role and this inefficient part of the organization that made no sense. So when you design, when you bastardize the design around the people, and I say this to team leaders because they're the ones who actually often connect very personally. You know, we, they, they are the ones who are, you know, in the trenches each day. They're the ones who are connecting with their direct reports every day, and they don't wanna let them go, they don't want to have hard conversations with them often, especially if they haven't been trained to have those hard conversations. So, you know, the advice I always give 'em is don't design your team, don't design your organization around the people that you have, design it around what you need in order to execute on your plan, on your strategy, on your ambitions. Then make sure that the people you have can deliver on that, and you may need to recruit people, you may need to train people, you may need to let people go. But the point is that you then have the organization to deliver on what's expected of you and your team rather than have an organization of people that you've worked with before, and because you worked with them, you like them and trust them, and you wanna keep them around you. Obviously we can try and fit them in and train them and various other things, but if they're not gonna fit, they're not gonna fit. There's no point push putting the square peg in the round hole.

[00:28:57] Amy Springer: So it sounds like if we think through a straw man org design process, we've heard strategy and and goals at that high level. Okay. What are the, what are the teams and positions needed to achieve that and only then bring in the people.

[00:29:12] Ron Schwartz: Exactly. Exactly.

[00:29:14] Amy Springer: Obviously at Functionly, sponsor of the Org Design Podcast, we also like to break it down by functions and accountabilities. and then the people, and actually, I thought of that when you're talking about removing that person, you know, the person they'd built the team for, the benefit of having that functions, accountabilities, roles, responsibilities, similar to what you said, role clarity goal clarity, decision rights. If those are sitting in that position, you remove the person. Okay, let's look at that.

What's left behind? All right. Can, can those things actually be moved somewhere else? Should they be done else before just putting someone else in.

[00:29:52] Ron Schwartz: Yeah. And, and this is where the, the, the Functionly model works so well. You start off with what's the strategy, the aspirations, the plan for the business, then what are the functions that need to be performed in order to deliver that? How do we break that down into the accountabilities? It's essentially the model, the, the process of aligning roles. Then you've got the KPIs that you can put against the accountabilities and the responsibilities, which is the goal alignment, and you can actually use the tool, we've, we've tried to do it and it's worked a couple of times where we actually put a decision right against the accountability, and so it moves with the person.

[00:30:33] Amy Springer: Yeah.

[00:30:33] Ron Schwartz: And that way you've always got the clarity that you need, and like you said, if someone leaves, where does this logically fit? Has our role changed enough that we can break this up and put it elsewhere? Or is this just a matter of backfill the existing position?

[00:30:49] Amy Springer: So an org design moment, it might not be redoing the whole org, it might not be a new team, it could just be someone's left, they've left behind, all of these activities that need to be done. Where now going?

[00:31:00] Ron Schwartz: Yeah. Yeah. It's I, I think I. My, my old boss used to say that we often look at org design and org transformation and things like that as this really slick process, you know, you know, it's sort of James Bond, and it's actually more Max Smart. It's this occasional stumbling, it's, it's sometimes funny. It sometimes hurts. But we get there. We always get there. We just, it may not be the way we expect it.

[00:31:31] Amy Springer: Any, any other insights you can share with us, Ron, that you had hoped to get across to the, the listeners of the Org Design podcast before we wrap up?

[00:31:40] Ron Schwartz: I, I guess bringing it back to the conversation component um, this idea of the power of a conversation, it's amazing what can happen through conversation. if You think about what behavior change is really about, you know, if you want to change what people say and do, you change what they think and feel. And you can probably put some systems and processes in place to help that. But ultimately it comes down to a conversation with people to influence what they think and feel, which will then change the way they behave and what they say. We shouldn't under, underestimate the power of the conversation. And I guess I boil it down to this very, I guess it's a throwaway statement that the simple unit, unit of change is a conversation. The smallest unit of change, the simplest unit is a conversation, and we can all do that. There isn't anyone in an organization that can't have a conversation.

[00:32:36] Amy Springer: And just to clarify, you mean that's not only. The change is about to happen. This is, this is where you fit into that. Are you also including that listening? Back at the start, we were saying, you've gotta sit listen. The data's not gonna tell you

[00:32:49] Ron Schwartz: Well, the, the data will tell you, it will tell you a lot, but you need to see it. Yeah. It's, it, it's content, not context.

[00:32:57] Amy Springer: Yeah.

[00:32:58] Ron Schwartz: Yeah. Con- conversations are wonderful things. When you're involved in them and when you observe them.

[00:33:05] Amy Springer: So it sounds like if anyone listening, the one thing to get right going forward is listening conversation

[00:33:14] Ron Schwartz: I, I,

[00:33:16] Amy Springer: before making any change.

[00:33:17] Ron Schwartz: Yes. ab absolutely. Absolutely. You know, listen and observe and have the conversations that seem uncomfortable. Don't hesitate to have them. Never know where it's gonna take you.

[00:33:32] Amy Springer: Amazing. Thank you so much for joining us,

[00:33:36] Ron Schwartz: Pleasure, pleasure. Thank you.

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