GSK Transformation Journey with Nicolas Petit

March 13, 2023


Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Our guest, Nicolas Petit is a 50 year old executive, with 25 years career in management consultancy and in the industry in a wide variety of roles. He is passionate about people and data.

Nicolas occupied roles of increasing responsibility in a wide variety of functions, ranging from Marketing to R&D, manufacturing, Lean Management and HR transformation.

Nicolas main area of focus is culture transformation, ranging from the active shaping of internal ways of working to reach project driven organizational excellence (Merck, Ciba Geigy), to management of culture synergies in the context of mergers & acquisitions (sanofi & aventis), digitalization and data driven decision making transformation (GSK) and many more.

Recently global company culture transformation lead in a Fortune 500 corporation, Nicolas has pioneered innovative approaches to culture change, applying peer-to-peer behavioural science principles, orchestrating a community of 1200 influencers Worldwide.

Nicolas worked in many countries and cultures around the World, including the US, China, France, UK, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. He speaks French, English and German.

He owns a European Master’s degree in Management from ESCP (Paris business school) as well as a German ‘Diplom Kaufmann’. He is also an alumni of INSEAD – Singapore (on AI applied to employee engagement), and is currently completing a Master’s in applied mathematics at UCL in Belgium (on the use of machine learning to measure culture).

Nicolas founded “Humanize” in 2021, a consultancy aiming at leveraging the power of data to help organizations put humanity at the center of their operating models.

Living Room Conversations: GSK Transformation Journey with Nicolas Petit

Welcome to the LIVEsciences living room conversation my name is Jay McLean and I’ll be your host for today and today we have quite the conversation for you so today and what we do with the living room conversations is we want to explore transformative ideas thoughts processes sharing of various things and inviting people to these conversations as you would have seen USD before and today we have a special guest who is Nico Petit now Nico has 25 years a career in management consultancy passionate about people in data and currently has a main focus on cultural transformation so I’d like to invite Nico Nico to join us today in the conversation hi hello hello Nico welcome aboard great for you to join us how are you yeah I’m okay thank you nice nice to uh nice to see you Jan thank you for having me another problem thank you for joining us so please tell us tell us a bit about you things that you ultimately do in Pro professionally and personally so yeah so yeah I’m I’m Nico um I I’m French I’ve been living in Belgium for the past 15 years um and they’ve been working in the Pharma industry for most of my career uh and uh and I recently founded a routine consultancy focusing on cultural transformation after those 25 years in the industry and earnings um emotional consultancy so it’s a really exciting time for me I already have a few clients I’m working with and I I have an ambition to have more impact to humanize workplaces more than they are currently which is why my company is called humanized fantastic great stuff and one of the main focuses as in my introduction was talked about cultural transformation and my understanding we’ve kind of talked before was you’ve got quite a spectrum of various different um companies starting with a big Pharma and even smaller startups so well today’s conversation would be good to kind of start to talk a bit about that so it’d be great to understand from yourself cultural transformation what is that what does that mean as we look into say the big companies so usually big companies usually they aren’t already on the track they’ve um they’ve achieved so much and they they usually want to um achieve even more with the resources they currently have so they usually their logic is more to try and do more with less and um in that respect they have to you know exhausting some of the process optimization that you can do they start turning to people and how could we get people to do a bit more um not just working more hours but more keen working probably better hours uh being more thriving at work feeling great so that you actually give more ideas and you and you do more for the company um some of those companies have behind this objective also additional objectives of that are clearly related to people and they want people to feel better they have a very big diversity agenda and other things like this which usually joins the cultural change effort but the main driver in my experience of large companies is more around productivity Innovation um is directly serving the Ambitions of the company rather than simply just the people agenda fantastic and I understand that you’ve actually done a lot of this work with black say Smith client also known as GSK if I remember rightly would you tell us a little bit about that uh transformation Journey some of the the ways or what you were meant to be doing in that kind of space and some of the challenges that you came up with those yes so I was actually working for jsk vaccines which is um one part of GSK about 20 000 people leader in vaccines of course the vaccines markets tremendously changed in the past few years everybody on Earth would not have missed um and GSK was was not developing at the time a a coveted vaccine so it was focusing on its portfolio and the rest of the portfolio is really has a leadership in in the world now um despite this position and the company was growing so fast like it grew from 3 000 to 20 000 people over a bit more than a decade um it was uh it was really great success story and yet um internal surveys would be saying that people were not completely happy where some of them quite disappointed or even bitter or or some some level of non-commitment um that the company said okay we’re doing so well already with what we have imagine if we could have those people even thriving and feeling great at the company um what we could be achieving and so um it was um a CEO’s decision to to focus efforts on um I mean to launch an effort around culture and um a group of people including me were put together and uh to come up with something whatever it was we had pretty much you know open field we could do whatever we wanted and um and um very open line of budgets and we could we could just provide something that was different that would make the culture of the company much more supportive of um of its business ambition and thank you for sharing is there any kind of key things that along that Journey kind of really stood out which kind of helped you formulate how that transition could had become where it was going where it might be changing its course in part when we talk about culture there’s a lot there to to unpack and a lot of different areas within that space could you share a little bit about that kind of navigation you did on the journey yeah so um like like any cultural transformation project the first thing you you want to do is to make sure that you are clear on what you want to achieve in terms of culture and why um and we were starting with a list of values um that were there pretty much you know very very standard I would say um would make GSK particularly different company when uh your values and expectations from from people were around transparency respect um or or accountability you know so very simple basic um things that were that were listed there and our ambition was to try and understand this better in real life so okay it’s it’s all fine it’s all nice we have posters on walls and so on it’s really nice and we we communicate around those but what what do people do every day I mean how do they behave every day and how come that people don’t have the impression that those nice messages are
(08:21) not translated always into day-to-day behaviors and so we started to um Pro people internally lots of qualitative research done uh into this but also quantitative understanding all of the data you could think of not just the surveys but also how people reacted we did some to internal meetings we did some sentiment analysis of anything that was going on in in the internal communication channels and all of that and and we ended up with a number of things that people wanted change and surprisingly enough they were very much in line with the values but we did not start from the values we started from the voice of employees and you know just listening to them we also did some external probing with with people working with the company to understand what their perception was and there were a number of key themes that were coming out and we thought okay now we need to work on that to to make a change um I can carry on and explain a little bit um some of those themes or how how we made them emerge but there’s one thing that I think one choice that we made that was really um The Game Changer I think in the approach that we took is that we started to think about okay we could do the same thing again so we could say we could we could communicate and we could create posters and nice visuals and so on and make a lot of noise but um we would be competing with other priorities of the company for a share of voice and was that really going to have to to trigger change so we decided to do it in a different way we did not use communication channels too much and we did two things differently I think one we um the behaviors we displayed were not values um which are Concepts there were behaviors of every day and those behaviors were questions so the behavior is to ask yourself questions and we listed eight of them example of questions was is this bold and courageous enough was one of the eight questions and um The Hope was that when people ask themselves that question it would trigger something in them and behind that was the idea that you don’t tell people to change it must come from within and if you come with a ready-made answer then nothing much is going to happen it’s com it needs to come from the people themselves so if they ask themselves a question and we don’t provide answers and we’re not so much interested in the answer itself we’re interested in the process what is happening in the mind of people when they ask themselves that question um and the Hope was that it would trigger a different set of behaviors as a as a result of asking yourself those questions it had a big impact on me on my life personally those questions um and uh that little voice in my head was keeping you know talking to me as a result of me asking myself that question that’s the first thing that we did really differently which I think was um an important contributor to the success of the program the second thing that we did differently was to leverage informal networks so we did not rely too much probably uh we should have done a bit more of that but we did not rely too much on leaders and the formal hierarchical channels and we uncovered who were the real change makers in the organization who were the nodes in this web of interactions and relationships between people and we start we call them catalysts and we started working with them they’re represented about seven percent of the overall organization and at the scale of the company that was a bit more than 1 000 people and we worked with them individually directly to have an impact on the organization I think those are the two main things that we did in a different way that you could take away from from this particular experience fantastic sorry and uh and thank you for sharing and I guess when we look at the the scope of the amount of people impacted and asked those questions how was it trying to decipher that data because there’s a lot of data that’s coming in a lot of ways to try and navigate and figure out where do we go where do we turn where do we where how do we be able to enable these people these employers to come out from themselves to then meet those right decisions or be feeding courageous to do those things was there anything that you found that’s really stuck out for you that you said ah I never really realized this aspect or something he said aha now we know which what was the kind of a turning point this direction we should head in um one thing really surprised me was the power of informality I was you know I I’m in corporate world for for a very long time and um I sort of got used to little frustrations I was feeling and those little disappointments that the kind of communication you get um is a little bit tasteless I mean it comes to you when there’s this corporate jargon and pretty much the same is used everywhere I knew because my other friends working in other companies use the same job and all this it’s it’s like a different language almost and um it feels um it feels tasteless it feels like it comes from people who don’t really want to connect with you um it’s sad because it’s communication so it should be like it should be engaging but it’s not really and it’s not just because there’s not enough stories or there’s not enough um heart in it I think it’s because there’s not enough genuine authenticity and I realized when we did the project and we were working um hand in hand with some of those influencers that the magic really happened when you could open up to them and have a one-on-one conversation talking about the family and everything that people you know normal employees do between themselves why should it be different when we interact with top management and when we communicate in the communication channels why should we use a different language than the language we use every day why should we pretend that everything’s always great when we clearly know it’s not and and all of that I think grows in the minds of people like they’re lying to us so if they’re lying to us why would we why would we open up why would we try and make an effort that means probably they don’t really care too much about us anyway so we’ll just protect ourselves um we’ll we’ll get we will be physically there but we’ll be emotionally not connected or not committed and this emotional non-commitment is what we measure you know survey after survey in the employee engagement surveys or satisfaction surveys that are running around so the whole world goes crazy people are disengaged but I think if you don’t show them true um if you don’t show True interest um genuine curiosity towards who those people are what they might want to bring um then then you’re not going to get a very big emotional commitment and my big learning was if you get informal with people you create bonds and they would do anything for you I guess the best leader is know that because it’s a formula they apply I had never seen it apply at corporate level like at scale really and this is what we did here um it was quite disturbing for some people for some leaders in particular because they were feeling they were losing power or they were not in control anymore but it was so powerful some people suddenly just it’s just like an Awakening they were suddenly realizing that we value them that what they say and what they think is valuable and uh the solutions they they they want they are going to find are great and will be looked at um and and not even looked at we’ll just trust them to just implement so that trust there came back after introducing this informality and also the format of the questions as behaviors was also quite engaging it was telling to people you know empowered you you can ask yourself questions we don’t we are not going to tell you what to do you know better than we do and that was a really interesting learning for me I I realized that it’s not because you’re in a big cooperation with processes and lots of complexity that you can’t just also use informality and not just for one-on-one conversations but as um as a language for the company that’s fantastic yes that’s a lot of powerful stuff they mentioned I think you know as we as we a lot of people out there journey into any company whether it’s a big company a small company it’s interesting to see how the individuals themselves they reflect react and then sometimes the big companies we sometimes get caught up in our work and forget about the things that we as individuals want to contribute which is ironically the we as the individuals started when we went through that process of joining the organization finding that Common Ground finding that purpose and then saying okay this is what I’m going to be and then getting caught up in the mechanisms of a corporate how that sometimes can influence and it’s amazing to hear your example over GSK in that transformation from talk show and behavioral perspective how you helped shape that realignment to remind people hey there’s another way remember who you are like how I guess that kind of brings me then to the the next Avenue of this is as we move from the big corporations and the big Pharma what’s your experience or could you share something that you you’ve most likely have have done with the smaller companies what’s that what’s the take there because there’s different Dynamics there’s more differences of what people bring the processes and and some of the some of the areas are really kind of controlled a bit more maybe not not as strict as it might be the bigger corporations is there something you might be able to share there with the cultural transformation yes um I I first want to react um once one of the the words that you’ve used before because I think it’s just really something that will that is specific to Big corporations in big corporations the obsession is alignment so you use that term alignment so being clear and being aligned as if we were like cogs in a wheel as if we were um pieces of one big machine because big corporations are managed that way um they are managed like machines and we forget that our organizations are living organisms because the cells that compose those living organisms are human beings so they are by definition they have a role today but they have their own uh life they have their own unpredictability and I think the magic is to try and and work and learn to work with this unpredictability and that’s why I think informality is so important to give space to people and that they know they have space it’s not easy as a leader in a big Corporation because you’re pressured to be aligned to Cascade we even use that term awful in terms of cascading information from the top to the bottom and it falls on people and they get all wet you know this kind of image of cascade and water going down I think it’s um it’s it’s not by chance that that we use those terms they they correspond to reality which is people receiving tons of things on their head and not having time to process it instead of the other way around which I think I see much more in smaller companies so people the leaders truly interested in in their people and wanting to serve them wanting to help them grow and so it’s not a Cascade that is falling on the head of people it’s it’s almost grass on which they are flowers and everything around them sorry for those images they may not feature and and create create an environment for them to thrive really and that’s that’s what leadership really is about um and I think we’ve lost touch with that Pro leadership because we are obsessed with control and process and Alignment in big corporations so to your question about what is different in smaller companies actually the I I gave the example of why people would do a culture change in a large corporation which was mostly to do more with less in smaller companies I’ve seen I’ve seen other situations um of people wanting to embark on coffee change one of them is not particularly specific to big or small companies um it’s to be in a situation where you have to make a strategic shift something’s happening to your industry um to your Market or to your company that forces you to take a big turn and that big turn goes together with different behaviors uh maybe more Innovation Maybe maybe you want people to to them or maybe you need to take more risks than you used to and either in need a different kind of people or you need to change the people you currently have uh change the people it’s probably not the right term but need people to unleash that what they have inside them in this direction and how do you do this uh if you’ve always been a very controlled organization to unleash this potential and the second other situation that I’m facing with people who are really interested in culture is people who are companies are growing so fast that they have the impression they’re losing their identity they’re losing their soul uh in hyper growth process and um and here they are trying they’ve sort of been functioning in their early age um when they were below 200 people Without Really formalizing who they are without really formalizing and defining the culture they really want uh what defines them usually goes with the personality of the founders and the founders are still around they know everyone and so it’s it’s sort of it’s there because they can you can copy them and then behave in a similar way but when the company is hyper growing and suddenly leaders do such with the first layers of the organization it’s highly frustrating for them and it leaves people without a clear romance or not roadmap without a clear understanding of how they should behave to fit in and so some subcultures are starting to appear and then because you’re hyper growing you need to bring people in usually they come from larger corporations they have a different way of Behaving and suddenly you are one year two years down the road and you’ve lost yourself in this process so some some smaller hyper-growing companies have become aware of that challenge and uh uh and I’ve become aware of the impact that that challenge has on them and they’re starting to work uh work on it this is a really interesting situation this one because they’re you have less Heritage the history is is a bit lighter and so you have more space to shape the culture in the direction you want to shape it also most in most cases your process is not yet completely in place um leadership is changing a lot so it’s it’s a very um flexible material to work with compared to what you do with big corporations well-established corporations and so yeah I have clients that are also in this space and I find this super super interesting to work with them on that and you get I think you get results faster than you get in large corporations brilliant thank you I think um it kind of there has a really resonation with with a lot of people with regards to senior differences between corporate myself having history incorporate you can see even I still got that kind of shoulder chap a little bit of alignment and working my way times and actually there’s a different way to think about it and then you look at the smaller company the startup keeping the identity working with that then also trying to find their way but what about the we’ve seen organizations that sit right in the middle where they’re you probably alluded to that before we’re growing quite fast then what if they have the structures but they see that the identity is starting to change it starts to go into a different direction maybe that where they originally started was because they remember their original purpose their original cells how they contributed how they started and I know we spoke before about uh you know the five dimensions and four steps approach is this something that you would apply across these areas maybe you can talk a bit more about that too yeah so there are things that you need to get right when you talk about culture and those things don’t really are not very different um because I I explained three different situations those principles are are going to remain there um but if you step back and you think about culture um there’s one very important principle that you need to keep in mind and then and then I’ll explain what I think are the five planets that you need to align to get to get to the culture you need but there’s one very big principle is that culture is not something that you work on in the same way as you work on other dimensions what I mean by that is that usually the way we we run our companies um is is about Flawless execution so it’s about achieving a Target that we’ve set before and making sure we get there and and tracking anything that could go wrong to fix it so that we don’t have uh problems and we can reach the target um that that works really well when you run an operations um it works really well when you work in quality uh it works well when you run processes but when you talk about culture it doesn’t work and the reason why it doesn’t work is because culture is is a com is a is um has endless limits if you want so it is never going to you’re never going to reach culture you’re never going to achieve culture culture is always going to change because because people will change but even when you will change people you will bring new people in you know some people leave but even the people you’re bringing in they stay and they change um the interactions change so the culture is is a product of interactions between people and so there’s no such thing as a Target in culture so you can’t manage the way you manage others usually you put like you put a PPI and you you manage your business with kpis and say oh I want that Target everything that is green you don’t look at because it’s going fine so I don’t Focus my energy on this and you focus on where it’s not going right and you try to fix it so that you could reach that Flawless execution to reach your Target in culture it’s exactly the opposite so you uh you’re not defining your circuit because you can’t you’re interested in the momentum that you’re creating in a direction that would be the right direction but you can always be surprised what is going to be on the way to that direction and if you focus on things that are not going right you’re putting your energy there you’re giving airtime to this this is what people are going to talk about and you’re going to get stuck what you want is focus your energy on things that are going well on successes on on examples of what a great Behavior could be and what it helps you achieve Focus there talk about these still stories about that to inspire others and then others who want to copy these and when they copy these they adopt that behavior and more and more people adopt that behavior and your culture is Boom created or shaped until it goes in another Direction anyway and so it’s all about shaping it constantly not so much about fixing something to achieve a Target I think this is a very important thing to keep in mind when we work on the culture because people will want to because they manage the rest of the business like this top management will will ask you okay what’s your kpi and because they struggle to find a kpi you don’t I can’t kpi UJ I mean what am I going to take you know your your eyes your your whatever your shirt your your who are you I mean you’re far too complex to summarize to one temperature check or one information about you if I I could be focusing on exactly the wrong thing and if I focus on that one information so of course in culture you can’t do this um but they will still be wanting you to and because they have no other option typically they go to an internal survey and they ask questions to people and they say oh you know 73 of people say they’re engaged and we want to reach 76 or 74 say that we are not diverse enough so I want to reach 77 by the end of this year yeah so they they try to simplify what culture really is but filter is so much more than that culture is about you know how interact with you how I say hello it’s about how you make me feel when I when I I work with you it’s about how my leader treats me it’s about all of that so of course you can’t put one kpi on this and still doesn’t mean that you should not work on it I mean that’s that’s the whole it’s it’s crazy sometimes you know I don’t work on things I can’t measure okay but then what do you do at home I mean how do you measure love with your belongings uh with your family how do you measure and you have a kpi because if you don’t have a kpi then you don’t work on it so the lock is not important to you this is this is really crazy so I I think this is something that we need to keep in mind when we work on culture work on culture because you want to develop something you want to um nurture a movement and and get people to go in a certain direction but you don’t want to fix a problem people are not the problem to fix they are the solution and I think I I told you I would I would share also um the five planets to align yeah so because I think they are relevant for for anyone working in this business so typically um my five planets will be five themes or five things to get right and typically companies work on two of those planets so one of them is communicationbecause obviously people need to know that it’s something serious that it’s an ambition that the company has to move the culture in this or that direction if something needs to come from the top something needs to come from the official channels and so some communication needs to happen to Define where we want to go and then talk about it if people don’t see this whatever you do on next to it is not going to sound credible too much so they’re going to say oh yeah you tell me to do this but it’s never been in the official communication so why should I should I behave like that um so that’s one thing and that’s an very easy thing to do I was talking at the beginning of our chat about posters you put on walls with your values and you will create stories you will say my value is this and it’s not that and you will explain you will talk to the brain of people so they understand what you mean and that’s an easy thing to do um communication people love that kind of stuff the second thing that is usually done is usually people say okay but um if my culture is changing then I need to change my my internal processes and especially the HR process I need to change the way I recruit people um to attract people that are a good fit to my culture are not going to help me shape the culture in the direction I want because this is the way they are or I’m going to change my talent management process or I’m going to change my promotion on my remote and recognition processes and all of that and that’s also a very easy thing to do you know you take your current process you re-engineer it um and boom tick the Box I’ve done my job the problem is this is not going to change your culture those are enablers that are not the engines that are making your culture the way it is and those engines are in between those two planets and there are three other planets that you really need to get right so put yourself in the shoes of someone in the company and you would like them to be having before it say you want them to be more courageous to challenge more okay like okay yeah you want me to challenge but is It Something official because this is quite risky so if you start challenging and then I get backlashed because of that I don’t want this um you know I have a family at home I need money in my bank account in the at the end of the month I can’t take that risk so first of all they will look for signs it’s an official objective so that’s your planet one I explained earlier then they will say okay fine it’s it’s official but I still see people being promoted around me I still see people around me getting uh recognized for work that is not in line with your challenge thing they are recognized for um other things than the the challenge that you would like me to display so that’s your planet too which I explained earlier you know being consistent with all your processes I’m not going to say okay it’s official and it’s in the it’s in in show the company shows that it means business because it has updated all of those internal processes and it seems to be consistent okay but is my boss really doing it because if he’s not doing it or she’s not doing it then I’m at serious risk because I’m going to be judged for challenging and then probably I’ll get punished for that or get some remarks and so that’s my boss in the end he or she is deciding for my future so I’m not going to say Chris so if I see my boss being serious not just communicating but doing it then I’m starting to think oh okay I see what they mean so Planet one they communicated on it Planet Two they align all the processes Planet 3 my boss is doing it yeah yeah yeah but my boss is not going to stay forever and what if another guy comes in or if I exchange team what am I going to look like so I want to make sure that not only my boss and also my my co-workers my my the employees next to me are also doing it otherwise I’m going to look like a fool they’re going to tell oh you’re doing the same as the boss you know you are you’re ass licker you want to progress in the company therefore you do what the boss does and what people say but this is not the way we do things here so and you badly need to belong this belonging thing is absolutely key for your mental health but also for just existing in this company so even if your boss is doing it if your colleagues are not doing it you’re not going to challenge so let’s talk planet 4. and then so you have Planet one it’s official you have Planet Two it’s consistent across the company Planet 3 Your Leader is doing it Planet four your colleagues are doing it you’re going to have to start doing it yes but what about outside of my team because I see my colleagues doing it in my boss doing it but if I change team is it the same everywhere in the company because if it’s not um I should be cautious um not just because of the belonging stuff but what about if I if I move around and tomorrow I may stay in this company so I’m going to get information about what’s happening elsewhere and that’s your planet five and it’s not the easiest way to work on but you need a process to not just a process also a mindset to reinforce the right behaviors you need to collect stories of things happening everywhere and talk about them so that people see that it’s happening in the organization it’s not just um it’s not just a spray and pray attitude yeah I’m going to say to everyone oh let’s do this and then I’ll wait and see it’s it really is happening if you have those five planets aligned then people are going to start moving my boss is doing it my colleagues are doing it it’s official it’s consistent and it’s happening everywhere um so I have no choice but to join really basically and I’m going to start challenging too so of course I’m painting to you like the average employee some employees are going to of course start already adopting those behaviors right away and some employees are going to complain and be resistant to it all the time whatever you do the trick is to uh not pay attention remember don’t focus on red focus on what’s going well and give air time to what you want to see so of course you’re not going to focus on the the resistance the five to ten percent resistant people you find in any group of individuals you’re going to focus on the ones that are early adopters get stories from them talk about those stories everywhere um and you need those in your employee population and in your leaders population for them to change too um and once you have this you start a movement and then your movement won’t stop because you have your five planets aligned but of course it requires quite a bit of orchestration uh it doesn’t happen by chance um you need to know where you’re going and you need to intentionally focus on interactions between people and on on the direction you want to want your company to go to um and that is true whether your large corporation wanting to do more with less or whether you are a small company hyper growing the same will apply the sequencing will be key you can’t just say okay we’ll focus on communication first and on and on our processes will work on leadership next year it’s not going to fly because people need those five signals at the same time if you want them to change so it’s it’s a lot of planning and design and a lot of discipline and execution to get the the uh the results you want so that’s my learning that’s the way I would approach it um with the these five planets fantastic all right thank you so much for that there’s definitely a lot a lot there in a lot of things that we can absolutely take digestion and learn from and have those ideas as we go into our own individual ways of working as well as we look forward so just looking at roughly the the timing I I know you’ve also founded your company harmonize um I would like to invite to talk about about that what kind of things that they’re doing I know it’s going to be around five planets um anything you want to you want to talk about there with some of the clients or with the company itself maybe internal transformation I I think um um I think it’s important to have um to be clear about what you want to achieve and to rely on data this is another notion I would like to introduce here is it’s because when you when people talk culture usually they think it’s a fluffy kind of thing and so yeah how do you define the behaviors you want well basically you do interviews and there’s a vision from the CEO and based on that you will develop um you will you will develop your own approach but you can do this in a very data driven way the same is true with so how what do I mean by that for instance there is a way there you you can use psychometric tests and use Simple statistical analysis to identify correlations in your company um between certain behaviors that people are displaying and uh and business results and by establishing this correlation you can show which behaviors are propelling your business in the direction you need it to go you can even quantify this and you can predict so it’s a predictive modeling it’s called regression analysis in statistics and it can be quite powerful some tools exist on there to my knowledge the best one is culture scope and um but you can reach out to me people listening to to know more about that that’s one data-driven Behavior identification um approach there is another approach that I think is really key when we talk about influencers some Studies have been made on that if you ask a leader who are the influencers in his or her team they would typically Point extrovert people that are talking a lot and are quite visible and they would think that those people are influential um the data shows differently the data shows that many of the influencers are actually not all of them many of them are introverts why because there are people people trust them because they are not trying to shine because they’re not trying to they’re not going to repeat what you tell them they’re going to speak last in a meeting and they are going to give Sound Advice um they don’t appear like people having a hidden agenda um they don’t put people in a difficult situation by um sending back to them the image that they’re not able to communicate properly I think we have an organization we are biased towards too many extroverts in general and when I say the data says this I’m referring to an organizational network analysis which is also um a tool that is used with mathematical algorithmic um approach that helps based on questions you ask people about others and how they relate to others that helps identify the strongest interactions and the notes so people who are sold out by others and you can you can do this analysis it’s a very powerful way to do it and when you do this you have your real influencers and this is what you need you can’t just rely on I think those are the biggest people or they raise their hand therefore they must be quite willing to help and it’s already good to have people willing to help well sorry but it’s not going to be very helpful because they want to help but if they’re not influential this is not worth much people are going to watch them and so if if if you don’t work with those who are being watched by others then you’re not going to have impacted scale so you really need to know those people and you cannot just rely on on chance you have to be data driven so those are two examples of how to use data in in culture transformation but it’s uh it’s critical to do it uh in a systematic way I think um I don’t actually got two questions that’s come through so I’m going to read out uh the first one so we have a question here from Matthew Turner and the question is office culture in many places promotes camaraderie among teammates but it can be difficult to
(48:26) encourage genuine authenticity with bosses as we need to wear masks what can we do to start fixing this um genuine authenticity is a really interesting concept uh in in companies I don’t think it has to do with wearing masks or not wearing masks um we can slide with the eyes just as well as with the mouse so it has to do with how people are ready to open up my take on um my take on on true authenticity is that it does not necessarily come from people being buddies at work and creating a kind of atmosphere where you have you know you have your ping pong table and your um kicker and your whatever lounge chairs and so on to create this an atmosphere of people being close to one another you can have remarks and very acid toxic behaviors in an environment like this just like others it has to do with more feedback being given and received and I think the real trigger is when people start asking for feedback not giving asking for feedback because when you do that then you create an environment where people think oh my God he’s trusting me he’s asking me for feedback so he’s showing vulnerability so it’s okay to show vulnerability and it’s trusting me so I can’t disappoint him or her I can’t shoot in the back someone who’s opening up to me and um if they do this then I might do this soon and you start creating a different atmosphere work atmosphere and this is where genuine authenticity is born is in an environment like this not I don’t think it has to do with the Masters we’re wearing and hopefully we’re not going to wear them too much in the years to come yeah so too on that one thank you and another question that we have for you here from Gabby on I I would love to know what was your best change they implemented small or large uh that really helped Propel the transmission your company early on um I I think I I’d like to focus on one aspect of the the transformation would be the GSK is about um because I I think what I want to say is that your transformation is worth what is worse for the people in your company so um you need to understand how people are going to relate to it uh a successful transformation is transformation that will last and it will last if people have been impacted see the value and want to keep doing it if it’s just a project that is run once and then stops uh it’s not going to last if it’s only your project that aims at achieving um a business Target it’s probably not going to last so what is really important is when you get people to when you change the lives of people and they are forever grateful and therefore will want to adapt their behaviors for good and I have a few examples of things that we’ve done doing this using the questions um those powerful questions I mentioned to you I want I’m going to tell you a story once I was discussing with a guy and I was saying Okay um how can you help us with those eight questions and is there something that you could do he was an influencer to to help us do that and he said to me you know Nico when you started with the day questions I did not believe in it too much I thought this is something coming from management one more time and I made I don’t think I want to be helping them too much um but I was curious so I tried those questions at home because I didn’t want to appear like with my colleagues like I’m um I’m I’m following what management is saying you know another example of what I was saying earlier about the necessity to be long and he said I tried at home and he said to me you know what happened to me last week my daughter was coming back from school and she said dad you’ve changed so I said oh what do you mean I’ve changed well when I was coming back from home with bad marks and so on you used to yell at me and you know you were really angry with me now you sit next to me and you ask me questions I feel valued by that and this is great I have the impression you love me more than you used to before and that guy told me Nico this has changed my life and so because it’s changed my life at home now I’m going to be behind those questions forever not because management is asking me to them because I have seen the impact it has for me and my family and the people I care for therefore you can ask me anything you want I will keep using those questions and I can maybe I’m going to change company name gear maybe I’m going to change role maybe I will keep using those questions this is a way to I mean it shows me that um a behavior to be truly adopted by someone when it’s truly adopted by someone will change your culture not now not for the next two years but for the next 20 years and that’s what you want to aim for not a fake commitment from people and I’ll go back to that term alignment but a troll engagement a true buying a true commitment um that we we need to now behave in a different way and that comes from that comes from um irrational space um it comes from informality it comes from the heart brilliant thank you so much um just a question come through and I know we have to be quick on this one if we can um so a question from Dina as it’s coming saying hi Nico and Jake here it’s so much simpler for workers to wait to be told what to do because when something goes wrong the blame goes to the boss you made a decision what is a good way to start getting people to take on responsibility that’s a that’s a that’s a great um case of applying the five planets I talked about earlier so when people don’t commit it’s because they’re waiting for the bus to just decide for them if um your goal here is to have people who take more responsibility then you need them to see that their colleagues are doing it and that their boss is doing it of taking responsibility not not making decisions for them just taking responsive detail there are real responsibility and if they have no real responsibility then the boss should hold them accountable for that particular area asking questions being curious what would you do I trust you for doing this that way in our case in the eight questions we had two questions that were related to this one was can I do this veteran differently so the boss would show that he’s asking himself that question and colleagues next to them which show that they are asking their sales ad questions and influencers we would work with would show that it’s interesting and important to ask yourself that question so can I do this better and differently and another one was about my promises so imagine if a whole organization asks themselves those two questions every day can I do this better differently and have I get my promises they ask themselves that question you don’t tell them what they should be doing just let them ask themselves that question and show the value of asking it imagine the impact it could have on responsibility and how people will take it absolutely thank you so much Nico I think that this has been a brilliant conversation today and thank you for those who have posted questions and for those who are tuning in and yeah thank you Gina Matthew Gabby for your questions really nice thank you fantastic so just uh to wrap up one thing to say is that if you enjoyed today’s living room conversations please do like follow subscribe to us as well and so you can stay tuned for the next ones we’re going to Flap flash up on screen or actually it’s already there fantastic um if you have your phones ready please do look forward to the next living room conversation conversations uh the first one on 22nd of March which is going to be with Alex and then follow up on the 5th of April which has Christian this will be our 49th and with Hans Christian our 50th episode of the living room conversation so definitely look forward to those and um absolutely stay tuned now for yourself uh Nico what can I say I think it’s been a great conversation it’s been a pleasure for me I’ve even learned something during the conversation about alignment so it’s definitely some takeaway and the example there about these behaviors and taking them home and you know and thinking about things internally I think that’s something that I definitely want to remain something I do as well I really want to hand before too is there anything that you’d like to share with the viewers today think you want any upcoming events or anything about your company floor is yours if you have any final words no I well I I just think we should all be on this mission to help people unleash their potential and not hide behind the boss like uh do you know we’re saying earlier um it’s it’s a it’s exactly about this about it’s it’s about helping people to free themselves um from from those um behaviors they impose on themselves and and just be themselves at work and if we manage to do that um and create this atmosphere we will humanize our workplaces and get so much more not just business results but also so much more people thriving uh so much more people happy in their lives um because we are individual at home or at work we’re just the same um I think we have we have a responsibility to change the business World by um activating those like five planets like I said earlier I think it’s really key and anyone of us can do it in their own environment um and so I rely on everyone to do that and I’ve decided to do this for the rest of my life and and I hope to have uh even more impact and that conversation with one way of maybe trying to get other people to do it so thank you for hosting no problem and on that note we will close so to our audience I do have a great rest your morning afternoon or evening depending on the world you’re from and thank you for tuning in and see you at the next one thanks everyone thank you thank you thank you Jay thank you