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Call Center Cactus Chat

Episode 24: Let’s Talk About Culture Index

Check out Eric’s interview with expert specialist and strategist Jackie Lord. They dive into the impact your business puts on everyone, and placing the right people in the right position.

Listen to the Podcast:


Intro: All right. Welcome to the show. Welcome back. There’s a reason why I just did a local knowledge translation. It’s never forgotten, started to really identify areas that we can improve in our company. So I want to introduce this to the listeners. And

Eric Mulvin: Welcome to the contact center cactus chat podcast. I’m your host, Eric Mulvin. And I’m back here in Tempe, Arizona, and I’ve got a special guest today. Got Jackie Lord here from culture index. So thank you for joining me

Jackie Lord: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me. Good morning.

Eric Mulvin: Good morning. All right. Yeah. Bright and early. Got a busy day today?

Jackie Lord: Yes, we do.

Eric Mulvin: And we’ve got a lot to talk about. So Jackie comes from culture index. And you. There’s something that pack this has been working with for about a year and a half now. But we’ve only been working with you for just a couple of months. I think December is when we

Jackie Lord: That’s December.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah. So I was started, he became our executive advisor. And we have been off to the races since then. So I what I wanted to do is introduce culture index, to our listeners, and to the guests here. But also get into your background of it, because we’ve been part of culture index. And I don’t know just feel like it’s been really amazing to work with you, everyone seems to know you, you bring a different kind of energy to this. And we’ve started to really identify areas that we can improve in our company. So I want to introduce this to the listeners. And then maybe if there’s potential clients that are listening, and because I’ve been talking about culture index more, hey, check out this episode. You know, I’ll send them a link. So you guys if you’re listening, because we talked from that club. But yeah, let’s get into a little bit. So tell me about your background. How did you get to where you are today with culture index?

Jackie Lord: Yeah, absolutely. So I coined myself as a recovering corporate executive, had a career and operations and financial strategy for over 17 years. Companies of Amazon Boeing, Mako wish, JPMorgan Chase, and a handful startups. So I’ve really kind of seen the full gamut. About five years ago, I had, quote, unquote, made it and my career and I was completely miserable. I also found out I was virtually unemployable and needed to be the captain of my own ship. What really drove me is the impact I was having on people throughout my career, I wanted to help as many people, as many businesses and as many companies as possible, quit everything one day to really start that journey. So this is a little bit of a personal story for me, I was the wrong person, right person in the wrong seat for 17 years. Very expensive on myself, emotionally draining soulfully. And then also, if you think about it very expensive for the businesses I was working for, right? They’re paying me X dollars, I am 50% checked in just due to the nature of that work, or my management structure, or the leaders above me. So really wanted to help as many people as possible. So I focus a little differently with culture index, I focus more on the people than that leads to the profit. So really, really focusing on the people at the core and again, kind of a personal story for me.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah. And how did you come across? Having that as your goal you wanted to help as many people businesses as possible?

Jackie Lord: Absolutely. So I started to really focus on outsourced interim COO work. When I started my business, I would build out these beautiful technology roadmaps process reengineer, streamline reduce expenses inside businesses, and when I went to go implement it, I would realize they have the wrong people the wrong seat and everything was falling short. So I would naturally start restructuring and sourcing outsourcing coaching, moving training folks. And so it really became my passion extremely passionate about people. I tell people, I wish I sometimes had a different passion or a different hobby, but I truly obsessed with people and getting alignment. And so about two and a half years ago, I decided to switch into the people portion. I was looking for a tool that was the strongest, most powerful, accurate data that allowed me to collect information to really move the needle and really help people. And I found it.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah, it makes sense. Your data focus coming from the background you came from, like how can you work at a place like Boeing or Amazon and not think about data? Like it’s impossible? I would imagine.

Jackie Lord: It is. And I majored in statistics.

Eric Mulvin: Oh okay.

Jackie Lord: So I love people. I love statistics. So really, this is the foundation of what we’re doing. And we’re using it to get employees engaged. And then as a result, we are severely growing businesses.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah. So let’s get into culture index a little bit. So introduce that for I’m imagining that a lot of the people listening probably all of them never heard a culture index. So set it up for us to tell us.

Jackie Lord: Absolutely. So there are over 1200 behavioral assessments out there. That is the new recent number you can find your friend’s character, your Harry Potter character all the way up to you, harmony, you, right? So what we have here is we have one of the most powerful and the most accurate in the shortest amount of time. So that is one part of the equation. So we’re getting down to the core of how someone is hardwired to navigate the world with very accurate data, right? If you have bad data, and you get bad data out, so we’re just able to have legacy accurate data to make good people decisions. From there, we are quite different in the fact that only current or former CEOs are licensed to use this tool. So we are a very strategic growth oriented program, it is quite different than kind of anything out there. So what we do is we do 10% of what we do is hiring a lot of folks and want to think of behavioral assessments is just hiring 10% of what we do is hiring we need to get that equation, right. But 90% is that every single day stuff we’re working with leaders and managers on we’re working on how do you motivate someone? How do you make sure they’re engaged and checked in? How do you make sure they’re productive and happy? How do you make sure you manage versus lead them? If that is what they need? How do you understand where their confidence comes from? How do you know what they need from you every single day? Right? We’re also building up team dynamics, we’re building out the talent strategy, we are focusing in on leadership teams, making sure responsibilities are accurate, and making sure everybody’s on the same page. So really, it’s really a tool. And it’s what and then it’s what we did with the tool.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah, now you’ve covered a lot of challenges that this saw the fact I wrote down some notes here, like some of the things that you mentioned to me that it could help creating a world class, high-performing culture, how to align your people with profit are these are some topics to get strategic hiring 101 Feeling empowered the motivation, mindset and processes to create the success you want. Now, between the list you gave me in this, like, that’s a wide range of solutions. How can something like culture index help in so many parts of your company? Because it seems like it’s like, the magic pill? Like there’s no way that this one solution can solve all these problems?

Jackie Lord: Absolutely. Well, a company is made up of people. So your EBITA comes from your people, your growth comes from your people, your challenges, right? Your lot your cash flow issues, your lack of revenue, growth, your profitability, your turnover, your leadership team, it is all a result of people. So we are going to the core right CEOs tell us these days 80% of their challenges are people related. I would argue it’s 100.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah,

Jackie Lord: Right. So I, you know,

Eric Mulvin: How’s if you dig down, Yeah there’s a reason behind it.

Jackie Lord: Yeah if you dig down, right? It’s funny, I work with some companies that are in the m&a space or private equity space. And I tell them, when they go to buy a company, they’re buying an EBITA, right, they’re buying a factor of an EBITA. But what they’re really buying are the people that contribute to that EBITA without those people just nothing. Right, a company on the weekend is just a building. So it’s really amazing how many aspects of the business, both opportunity and challenges we are touching by just looking at who is the person in the seat?

Eric Mulvin: Yeah. And yeah, that’s a really incredible, because now we’re starting to see it, you know, we we did that 10%, that hiring process. And that’s how we use it, which is really valuable. I think, I mean, look and get your return out of this program, just from that alone, especially, you know, for someone like us when we’re hiring, how many people a year, then, you know, I think we interviewed over 100 200 people last year. So that obviously helps, but even for, you know, like people like okay, that makes sense. You got 200 People that pack this, but what about smaller companies, because it’s a little bit bigger of investment per person, or they’re not hiring as many people. And actually, it’s funny, I was, I was having this conversation with the tech CEO, and they have a smaller group. And they’re like, well, we don’t really, I don’t know, like, I could see how that could help. But we don’t have as many people. So what do you say to people like that? That were? I don’t know, I feel like the smaller the company the those hiring decisions, and the team is even more important?

Jackie Lord: Absolutely. For my current client base, I have a handful over a handful of companies that have less than 10 employees. I also have global companies across the world with you know, 200 leaders and 13 other employees. What is significant and where I’m a little bit more biased and more passionate about is the smaller companies. Number one one hire even if it’s an executive assistant is key it completely will make or break the owner or the business so every hire is even more significant at that size of the business. Right so if we put one person in the wrong seat you can you especially at a leadership position, you can make or break a business.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah.

Jackie Lord: Right. And also the company is so small, the team dynamics are essential to understanding one another. There’s usually one leader that is wearing 17 different hats when they’re that small company. turnover is the single most expensive thing that doesn’t show up as a single line item on your p&l. And we’ve talked about this. Yeah, right, that the conservative estimate is five times a salary after one year. This includes interviewing, lack of productivity onboarding, this also includes opportunity costs, if you got this right, how much more productive and value add would this have been to your p&l? And to that person? Right. So what we’re talking about is, I love working with small businesses because of the impact as well as the proactiveness. Now we’re being proactive instead of some of the companies I come into, there’s sometimes some cleanup. There’s that we have to check in on every employee and say, Is this person engaged? Is this the talent we need to get to the next level? Is this someone we should promote into the COO position? So these are exciting strategic decisions. But it’s really fun to take that proactive, right? So getting ahead of the curve, yeah, not taking two steps forward, two steps back, because you make the wrong hire. And really, really building up the business from, from a strategy perspective, rather than a reactive perspective.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah, right? Yeah, and I mean, that’s the kind of stuff that we’re working on, which I’m really excited about as well, because we’ve got really important roles in our company from supervisory account manager, you know, the people on the phones, but we’ve specialized those roles. Now we’re eight years in, and it’s not like there’s just one person on the phone. That’s it, there’s different tiers and different levels. And depending on what tier you’re at, you need different skills, different behaviors. And that really comes down to, like certain personalities are really designed for, like, for example, one thing that I’m really excited about, we’re doing more virtual assisting than ever, and we’re getting ready to train the two account managers. On this program, we only had HR, and we’ve had some other leaders in our company. But this is really a big step for us. Because we want to make this like the forefront of how we do virtual assistant connecting the, the business owner or the client with that virtual assistant and making sure that it’s perfect match. Because before we were just looking at skills, and like, Okay, we think this person has some skills that could transfer now we’ve got all this data to make these decisions. So but that’s just one of like many examples of things in our company that we’re putting this in place it so that’s

Jackie Lord: Exactly and you know, between you and I, especially working together since December, right, we’re starting to tackle them 90% of the of the program the value here, right? So how do we understand who we promote in the business, right, who gets promoted from the phones up to a lead or right? And oftentimes, we will promote based upon loyalty, or we will promote based upon performance. But is that person really hard wired now for people management? Or are they supposed to be rock stars, we also see this a lot in sales organizations, you take your top performer, your rock star, and you move them into people magnitude, and now you take a huge hit to your revenue. And the entire team is in distress, because now you put a leader who is great at outside sales, but is not necessarily great at execution, people management and holding holding the sales team accountable.

Eric Mulvin: Yep. And being in the sales organization, many different ones over the years. I can tell you Yeah, there’s definitely some people that aren’t in the right seat. And, yeah, I mean, it really like people quit, because a lot of times, they don’t have a boss that they like, right? So

Jackie Lord: Absolutely, you can have we can work our butts off and get the right person the right seat. Which is not, which is not entirely easy to find that person so we can work our butts off, get that right person the right seat, get him in the door. And then we can completely miss manage them, and force them or cause them to uninformed or leave. So it’s two parts of the equation. They’re working with that leader and manager to make sure they understand how to manage and or lead that person. And then also making sure from the other direction that we do have that heart those heart hardwired traits to meet the needs of the role.

Eric Mulvin: Yeah, yeah,

Jackie Lord: Absolutely.

Eric Mulvin: Awesome. Well, I think we’re getting close to the end of this first episode here. So I hope you guys got a good foundational understanding of culture index, but we have more to talk about. In the next episode, I want to talk to you about AI. Because I think, especially these last couple months, it’s been really in the news. And, you know, for a company like mine, that’s a people company and AI is, you know, talking about replacing jobs. So I want to talk to you about that. Because, you know, you talk about culture index helping bring people back into the business. So I think there’s a good, good conflict there. We can discuss like before I got Yeah, and yet we’ll just continue the conversation about culture and index. So thank you guys for listening and catch us in two more weeks. We’ll come back with part two with Jackie Lord from culture index alright until next time see you guys later