agile-applied-in-business

Podcast Ep. 100: Agile Applied in Business

agile-applied-in-business
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Episode Description:

In today’s episode, Dan Neumann is joined by Ed Buckley, the CEO of Peerfit, a company that creates a streamlined way for people to connect their health dollars with fitness experiences that people actually want to use. When COVID-19 hit, the company underwent a large restructuring process. Because of the unknown nature of the virus, the company needed something that could provide structure but allowed for flexibility later down the road. This is why Ed decided to work with AgileThought and consultant Christy Erbeck.

In this episode, both Ed and Christy share their 90-day reflections on how agile has worked for Peerfit and what it looks like when decisions are made within teams and not from a sole leader. Ed himself shares how this restructuring has freed him up to think about the future of the company, and how the 90-plus employees within the organization are managing the agile framework.


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Key Takeaways

  • How AgileThought and agile are applied in a business setting:
    • What gets you here doesn’t get you there. This year you were forced to take a different approach
    • Christy, as an outsider, had to come in and really take a top-down approach to see where there was a duplication of efforts and how to streamline Peerfit more effectively
    • Ed had to reduce his staff by a significant amount due to COVID-19; he was going to lose some key players and needed to adopt a more “fluid” approach in discussion-making
    • When you empower your people, you move faster
  • Reflections on how agile has helped Ed’s business
    • Ed feels free and can choose what actions to be involved with vs. letting his team handle it
    • Ed now has the opportunity to look forward instead of being stuck in his business and being the central point for making all the company’s decisions
    • Before, the company had very cleared departments or silos. AKA, the sales team, the account management team, etc. Now, they have three North-star teams and each team is attached to one north-star goal
  • How Peerfit restructured their team
    • It was a messy process trying to figure out who should be on what team
    • Some team members were afraid that if they weren’t put on the “right” team, they didn’t feel part of the organization
    • It is definitely a work in progress. However, Ed set up slack channels to help address concerns and keep people within the organization informed on upcoming changes
    • Clear communication has been key to helping everyone feel at ease and understanding who is on what team
    • In the beginning, the AgileThought team provided Peerfit with some options that they could implement and the pros and cons of each one

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

Transcript [This transcription is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate in its depiction of the English language or rules of grammar.]

Intro: [00:03] Welcome to Agile Coaches’ Corner by AgileThought. The podcast for practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes. Now here’s your host, coach and agile expert, Dan Neumann.

Dan Neumann: [00:16] Welcome to this episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast. I’m your host, Dan Neumann, and happy to be joined today by two guests, Ed Buckley, who is the CEO of Peerfit, who provides flexible fitness solutions. And I’ll talk a little bit about that. And Christy Erbeck, who is the Chief People Officer at AgileThought. So thank you for both joining me.

Ed Buckley: [00:39] Congratulations on the new title there, Christy.

Christy Erbeck: [00:42] Well, thank you, ed. I’m happy to be here talking with you again, and it’s always good to see you, Dan.

Dan Neumann: [00:49] Thank you very much. So at a pure fit, I had a chance to listen to some of the podcasts that you’ve been on with other folks, and I got familiar with Peerfit, but I don’t want to kind of butcher describing what your company does. So I figured I’d leave it to the expert and maybe just a little bit about what Peerfit does.

Ed Buckley: [01:04] Absolutely. Well, thanks for having me, uh, in the simplest form. What we do is we help health insurance companies and employers pay to get their members and employees to go to fitness experiences. So traditionally worksite wellness, uh, has been a bit of an eye roll or a little boring, or they lock you into a gym membership. And you know, the world is about freedom and autonomy today and flexibility. So we thought, you know, how can we help enable these rather large organizations? Think of Aetna Cigna, they’re very big. How can we give them the opportunity to let their members personalize their fitness and wellness journey? And so, you know, here in Tampa, I go cycling every week. I go to CrossFit every week and my health plan pays for that. I don’t have to do anything extra. It’s just all part of my peer feed experience. And, um, you know, all the members are none the wiser and know all of the things behind the scenes that we have to do to make that possible. But it’s really just about helping people getting to, you know, flexible fitness that is fully funded.

Dan Neumann: [02:06] That’s super cool. And I know when I’ve had gym memberships through different employers, it’s been a, you know, you have to go to this particular club or we’ll refund you some kind of amount and you have hoops to jump through.

Ed Buckley: [02:18] And, um, yeah, it’s a non starter. It’s, it’s still, it’s a total mess. I mean, think you’ve probably got 20% of the population who will work out no matter what, there’s a hurricane outside. They’re going to go for a 5K there’s 20% who will never, ever exercise. You can pay them a hundred dollars a day to go to the gym and they’re not going to exercise. The rest of us, sit in that middle ground. Right. And so you need to make it as easy and captivating as possible for them to go. And when you lock them in, you make barriers, you make restrictions, you make them have to fill out paperwork. It’s just not worth it. Right? It’s just not worth it. And that’s what we figured out.

Dan Neumann: [02:54] And you said you figured it out your, is it still safe to describe you folks as a you’ve been around for awhile, but is that, does that label still hang with you or do you prefer a different?

Ed Buckley: [03:04] Sure. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t really, you know, you know, there was times when, when we were kind of growing really fast and we thought, well, maybe we’re a growth company and not a startup. And, you know, COVID happened and we retracted from a size perspective at this point, whatever people want to call us, I’m more happy as long as they call us Peerfit. Instead of sometimes the name of where the phone is, you know, are you saying pure fit or beer fit? I was like, if I invented beer fit. I’d be on an Island already.

Dan Neumann: [03:33] I’m resisting the urge to see if that URL is available. Right. Oh, that that’s wonderful Ed. Um, and the, what we’re going to explore today is some of that, uh, business agility, some of that change and growth, and what led you to some of those changes, a lot of times agility is stuck within IT. Scrum is seen as an IT thing. Agile is seen as an IT thing. And, um, I want to explore that with you as well as some of the engagement that you did with AgileThought and Christy helped you folks out with, as part of that, that growth and exploration of agility.

Ed Buckley: [04:20] Yeah, absolutely pumped to dive into it. I mean, we certainly subscribe to the philosophy. What gets you here? Doesn’t get you there and you don’t always move up into the right. And I think this year 2020, everyone learned that. And no matter how good new, old legacy innovative you were, you had to take a different approach. Right? I mean, either you had a business model that was perfectly suited for COVID and you had to take a new approach because you were scaling so fast or you didn’t, and you were either going to survive or not survive. So I think this year was a test of what kind of organizational DNA do you have and what changes do you need to make and where were you? Were you willing to change them? And so we were very, very fortunate, you know, not just to have AgileThought, I’d met Dave many years ago and we have a nice Florida, Florida state rivalry, but, you know, the team that we got assigned was Christy. And I think, you know, we all think that we’re special. We certainly think we have a unique culture and a unique, uh, philosophy. And, you know, it was, you always have to be worried when you bring in an outsider, do they understand you? Do they truly know what you want to accomplish? Christy will tell you, you know, we weren’t the easiest with the timelines and how aggressive we felt we had to be not wanted, but what had to be, and you know, didn’t miss a beat.

Dan Neumann: [05:42] That’s awesome. And so let’s unpack the end, Dave, the Dave, you referred to I’m assuming is Dave Romine, the one of our co-founders and yeah. Yeah, for sure. Um, and so I think you’re accurately pointed out COVID brought challenges for everybody, whether it was, you know, the Zooms of the world that had this platform that people said, Oh my God, I need that now. And skilled so fast that really put pressure on the organizations or entities like restaurants that went, Oh my God, I can’t bring people into my restaurant. What do I do? And you said, you brought in AgileThought to explore and to help Peerfit with some of those. And I don’t know, maybe Christy, this would be a good chance to kind of, from your perspective, cause you are coming in then as an outsider into Peerfit and needed to build rapport needed to support some aggressive timelines that that Ed was saying, they felt they had to hit and respond to. What’s that like?

Christy Erbeck: [06:36] Well, it was, it was certainly challenging because they, they did have some deadlines that we had to meet and some constraints that we had to work within. And yet I think we did a wonderful job partnering together to make it happen. Like we had a common goal, a shared vision of what we wanted the outcome to look like. And that was very important that we define that upfront so that we were marching towards that outcome, that desired outcome. And we weren’t at cross purposes during the engagement because of the timelines. And there were others from AgileThought that worked with me on the engagement. And so we had our own internal working that we had to collaborate with as well as then collaborating with Ed’s team. Um, and overall, I think we did a really great job of coming together as a united group to identify and then work through the details of the problem that we were trying to solve for Ed and his team and come to a variety of solutions that they could then choose and, and really be masters of their own destiny as far as what direction did they need to take in order to achieve fully the outcomes that they desired.

Dan Neumann: [07:52] You talked about that shared goal and having a shared vision of the outcome. Um, we talked about shared visions with teams, having a team vision, having a working agreement and making sure that there’s that type of alignment. Um, cause without that you don’t know if your odds are, you’re not pulling in the same direction to be quite honest. And it creates lots of, lots of potential conflicts there.

Ed Buckley: [08:14] Well, and when you’ve got such a tight timeline, the tiniest bit of misalignment can be catastrophic. And so, you know, what we knew was a lot of the things that had to change and we knew that there were blind spots. And so I’m always a very, very firm believer in, you need to have someone else be your mirror, right? I mean, let’s go back to fitness for a second, right? What our company does, why do we try to send people to group fitness classes? It’s not like they’re creating some sequence of pushups and sit ups and squats you couldn’t do on your own. It’s the fact of, you’re probably not going to push yourself as hard. You’re probably not going to push yourself the same amount of time if you’re doing it on your own. So you get a coach, you get a trainer to push you every little step of the way. And you know, I know from our team’s perspective, it’s uncomfortable, right? I have no problem raising my hand and saying, Hey, let’s go with AgileThought and have them come to your mirror because really what they’re going to be looking at is everyone throughout the org. Uh, and I’m choosing to make that, you know, a decision, everyone else, all the sudden, they’re going to have a mirror and they think to themselves, what is the purpose here? Are they trying to get rid of me? Are they trying to consolidate my department? Right? It’s the fear factor sets in of, you know, we’re asking these people to talk to a stranger and say, tell us what you do. Right? It’s it’s like the scene from office space, right? The Bobs it’s like we bring in the bobs and it’s like, well, tell me what to do here, Peter. And so you hopefully have a great culture and great communication enough that people get what you’re trying to accomplish. There’s the red stapler love it. Right. Um, I think that, that, that there’ll be honest. And you know, one thing that I knew was I couldn’t, I shouldn’t be in those meetings. And so shout out to Monica here. Monica is my chief of staff. She literally was brought in at the time to spearhead this project with Christy. I know my own personality and I know the effects and what the organization will do if I’m in meetings. And I don’t want to suck oxygen out of the room, I need people to be honest and be blunt about what’s working and what’s not working. And so Monica spearheaded this project on our side. And once again, kind of handheld our organization to say, look, the goal of this is not to come in and fire a bunch of people or lay off a bunch of people. It is, this culture has dramatically shifted from a growth company a year ago to COVID layoffs to we’ve had command and control decision making. We need to democratize decision making. We need to democratize information. How are we going to do that? And you can’t do it without someone being honest and then having an objective source hear that and tell you kind of the analysis that’s, that’s how we saw it.

Christy Erbeck: [11:01]
And I think the other thing that we were able to pull out of the work was that you were looking to create efficiency and effectiveness and a better way of life and way of working for your people as well. So it wasn’t just about, um, you know, understanding how you worked because we wanted to under, you know, do your job. It was really about what’s what is going on in the organization that’s causing duplication of efforts. That’s causing us to reinvent the wheel when we have these established processes, but that information isn’t getting communicated. So how can we help our people be more effective and deliver the excellence that we’ve been delivering to our clients without burning them out, especially in COVID where the, I think that the tendency was to lean in over lean in to being online all the time, being always available. And that sets us up for a burnout at a faster rate than we had pre COVID. In addition to all of the work that we were doing, that there was a better way. We just knew there was a better way.

Dan Neumann: [12:22] Maybe now’s a good time to explore that better way. And I loved it Christy, as you held up the red staplers. And so that’s what, that’s what you have your, you have your Swingline stapler from office space. I love it. So let’s, let’s maybe explore a better way of decision making. Cause I think Ed, you were, you were talking about your tendency to, um, to kind of lean in or for other people to maybe defer decision making to you or to change the conversation when you’re in the room. And it sounds like there was a realization that, that wasn’t going to serve Peerfit well in your current situation. And as you continue to go forward.

Ed Buckley: [12:56]
Yeah. I love reading books of all shapes and sizes when it comes to different management philosophies. And you know, when I read this year was about blitz scaling and it’s this idea of like, you have to scale really, really fast. And it talks about in that book, how you have to live with certain deficiencies in order to scale, and you have to have a very centralized decision making process. And I think a year ago when we were growing 4X and doubling head count every year, it by virtue of myself and some of the other leadership, you know, decision making was very centralized and it just kind of, we pushed decisions out to the org to be done. And I think, I don’t want to say it was okay or not okay. But it was effective for that time, right at that time when COVID hit and we had to reduce our staff by a significant portion that we did and you were going to lose certain players, you know, I will say this, they were team members who I thought would always be kind of ride or die. There’s no circumstance. We wouldn’t need them. And vice versa. There are people who I always thought, when the going gets tough, these people aren’t gonna make it. And, and really I was wrong on both of them. Some of those people, we had to actually work out of the system because they become, gotten so rigid and wanted to command and control and certain people who in the face of the pressure of COVID and all of the things just were even keel. Right. And we found who we really needed in this next here to there phase. And I think looking at my own, you know, kind of like peace time to war, time, more time to peacetime leadership style was all right, I’m going to get rid of some of the leadership processes around me and we need to push this and democratize this down, right. We created three Northstar teams and said, these three teams will each independently decide around this one metric to the company around this one metric to the company. So we had three goals. These are the only three things that are important to the company. Right? All of your goals, sub goals should roll up to them. You, we mean sure. Not to have senior leadership in them, but to still have leadership that had enough authority to make decisions they would be cross departmental. Um, and the idea is that they would pitch debate and decide the roadmap and execution of the future. Um, and I think it was drastically needed. The, the culture was craving some autonomy and synergy between departments that they weren’t getting in the past.

Christy Erbeck: [15:33] Well, it was interesting too with that was that what we know about teams that operate and that are empowered when we push the decision making down to where the information resides, we get better decisions. And when we have more people than just the singular leader, making decisions, again, we have better decisions being made because of where the information lives. If we think back to like David Marquet’s greatness speech based on his book, turn the ship around, um, that whole concept of, um, empowering the people and setting the intent for how we’re going to go about doing the work, um, just helps us move faster, but it also helps us stay aligned in a much greater way.

Ed Buckley: [16:24] And I personally, Christy we haven’t actually spoken. So for those of you listening, Christy and I like our orgs, we’re incredibly close for a couple of months, and this is almost kind of our first look back. How, how are things now? I mean, I’ll tell you myself, I feel so kind of freed up to actually choose what to get involved with rather than being whipsawed into constantly, you know, doing stuff. And so just, I can only speak for myself. I’m I think the org is doing better, you know, from talking to people, but I personally feel so, um, just, I think in a better position to help the org rather than having to make decisions all the time. So, you know, here we are in our, our 90 day look back and I’m certainly happier.

Christy Erbeck: [17:10] You seem more relaxed.

Ed Buckley: [17:12]
Thank you. Thank you.

Dan Neumann: [17:15] It’s not just because of the Tampa Bay lightening one Lord Stanley’s cup last that’s correct. That is correct.

Dan Neumann: [17:25] I have an exciting opportunity I want to share with you coming up on October 29th, we will be hosting a live global virtual community event focused on the present and future of agile. Since the agile manifesto’s creation in 2001, agile has become a household term and agility has reached all corners of the world. So how has agile evolved in nearly 20 years? How is agile expressed in different parts of the world and in different industries during this agile thought virtual community event, guest panelists, Gabriela Correa from Brazil, Ola Berg from Sweden, Abby Osoba from Nigeria and Chandan Lal Patary from India will join AgileThought’s Transformation, consultant, and agile competency lead Quincy Jordan to share their perspective on the present and future of agile. Join us on Thursday, October 29th at noon Eastern time for this live virtual community event, you can sign up and learn more at agilethought.com/events to reserve your spot today.

Dan Neumann: [18:28] But what you described sounds like it would have been very taxing. So, so blitz scaling, uh, you know, taking on these inefficiencies, doing the telling, doing the directing it’s it’s fast, it’s efficient, but then you’ve put yourself in a position where everybody comes to you. Okay boss telling me what’s next. That’s what I’m imagining from what you’re describing.

Ed Buckley: [18:46] That is how I would, would remember it. Yes.

Dan Neumann: [18:49] And now it sounds like you’ve got the right people on the bus in, and they’re aligned to outcomes. They’re supporting each other in the right seats on the bus. They’re aligned to particular outcomes and they can do what they do best. They can get a guidance or feedback from you as needed, but you’re not the guy who’s doing all the telling. And then perhaps frees you up to engage in the things that align with your passion and your capabilities, instead of having to do everything from a, from a deciding stuff. That sounds pretty awesome.

Christy Erbeck: [19:22] And it also allows you to look forward into, whereas as CEO, you need to be looking forward, where, where are we going next? So, and you’re, you’re empowering your team members to do that day to day that tactical execution, because you’ve given them the guardrails and that North star. So now you’re free to look forward into what are those next North stars that we need to be preparing for thinking about, um, identifying. And I mean, to me, that’s the right balance of that strategic, um, perspective and the tactical execution that needs to happen in an organization.

Dan Neumann: [20:01] What you’re describing with, with these teams and able to use the, this North star for navigation to align with their goals. Um, how does that, how does that manifest itself from teams? Like I’m assuming cross functional teams, but I don’t know that to be sure. Uh, maybe you could describe what these teams look like as far as skillsets and, and, uh, ability to make decisions.

Ed Buckley: [20:23] So let’s go with what we had before. We had very clear silos based on your skillset, the sales team, the account management team, right? The front end engineering team. I mean, it isn’t even like the engineering team because the backend was on one team and front end was on another and mobile was on another and even they were siloed from each other, right. So that’s what we started with. And and Christy talked about this, right? We laid out a couple of options and we kind of pieced together what we thought would work for us, where we were, and we were trying to go. So we still have skill related teams that meet on executing things, right. But what we do is we have three North star teams and each sourced team is attached to one North star goal. And so I’m just, I’ll, I’ll walk through them kind of quickly here. Uh, for instance, the first one, we feel that there are three very key order of operations to make us successful. The first is taking, um, an employer or a health plan, all of the people that are eligible for Peerfit and how do we maximize eligible to sign up for a peer fit account, that process, okay. Then there’s Northstar two, which is, if someone has an account, how do we make them active in a given month? Right? And then North star goal three is of everyone who’s active. How do we make maximize the profitability of their usage? Right. So three very distinct. If this works, then this works, then this works, but you can look at them all in a vacuum. And what we tried to do is find people that would have the most skin in the game to help debating the roadmap of build campaigns strategies. Right? So think of Northstar goal, three profitability of activity. We’ve got a lot of finance data team, account management, right? In that, when you look at Northstar two have everyone who has an account, how are we maximizing the percentage of people that are active? Right. Same thing. We’ve got a lot of marketing and product front end people, right? The hooks, the stickiness, what are we going to do there? So, uh, each team has approximately eight to 10 people. And, you know, once again, it’s mixed from, you know, um, junior, uh, individuals all the way up to team lead and department heads. But what we don’t do is the C suite is not on those teams. They might come in if they are needed for something particular, but no C-suite members on that team. So it’s, it’s VP’s and below only cross-functional, um, you know, and each one has one team lead who runs the North star and one project manager. And so even that decision of which team lead, once again, we made sure. So, uh, North star goal three that works on profitability of usage. That is our chief revenue. Well, he he’s just become chief revenue officer, but he wasn’t at the time, he’s our VP of our wellness solutions. So all of our gyms and those contracts and how we reimburse, he’s the one that’s leading that, right? Max, who’s our VP of product. So think of that user experience, he’s leading North star gold two. So helping people stay active, what features are they seeing? And, and, and so on. So, um, once again, we really tried to democratize and I wouldn’t say messy in a negative way, but it was a messy process decide who got to be on their seats. Everyone wanted to be on every team, you know, and you might be the sales team and out of the three teams, you might get a personal and one and three, but nobody on two. And you might have three engineers on team two, but not on one and three. Right? So it was truly, um, an interesting iteration to get to even what is the right teams, what are the right cadence of these meetings? And so we knew that it was going to be a work in progress, and we told them on day one, this is just step one. You’re going to have to make it to step two, three, four, and you’re going to make mistakes. And that’s okay. Cause we’re in a far better path towards independence and democracy than we were before.

Christy Erbeck: [24:34] I remember, um, Monica reaching out and, and being a little bit concerned about the messaging of, well, if I’m not on this team that I don’t have a place in the organization, and I know you needed to work through that of no, it’s not about just, it’s not about if you’re not on this team, you’re not part of the organization or you don’t have a future. Um, talk, talk to us about how you ended up addressing that concern.

Ed Buckley: [25:01] Great question. So this is where I thought the teams should have been 13, 14 people. So just so the listeners at home know we’ve got 90 people in the organization. So you do the math right. Three teams. So I thought there should have been about 13, 14 people. You ended up having half of the company involved. So no one person would be probably more than an employee or two away from being able to talk to somebody about what’s going on. They wanted to be an Amazon pizza rule, right? They wanted like seven to eight people per team. So that’s how we ended up landing on about nine people. Um, and he seemed kind of, you know, chose on that. So we did was the following was every Monday in our exec team meeting. We also scrapped how we did executive meetings. Now we do about five minutes on company metrics, you know, uh, revenue profitability. Here’s where we are this week on everything. And then the rest of the team meeting is North star teams. Each team says, here’s what we’re debating. Is there something we’re missing here, right. Gets input from the rest of the leadership. Um, here’s what we’ve decided to do. Here’s what you all can expect. Please take this back to your teams. So one thing that we found there was while we thought we were mandating and recommending that the team, uh, department heads take this back to their teams, it just wasn’t like there was something being lost in translation. So on Slack, we created a North star channel where as people were debating or wanted input, they could do that. Every week, that set of slides that were being updated to the exec team were being instantly uploaded to the North star team. So anyone in the company can see what’s going on. And then in our all hands that happens once a month, same thing. We scrapped that agenda. And rather than going department by department silos, what we now do is same thing, five, 10 minutes on industry trends, company metrics, and then the other, you know, 45, 50 minutes, our North star teams. So there are three teams that present everything, they get input from everybody. So that’s definitely been a work in progress. Um, you know, everyone, like I said, everybody wanting to be on a team. So we didn’t have to just deal with that to say, it doesn’t mean you’re good or bad. This, you know, there’s just certain people that maybe are intersections of teams that were really good fit here. We don’t know when we’re going to change these. We might change them up every couple of months we might, you know, so we told them, look, we’re always looking for new ideas, but it’s the same thing we have. What started as a corporate social responsibility committee and has morphed into a employee engagement, diversity inclusion community team, and suddenly everyone wanted to be on that. Well, we can’t have a 25 person team, right? We’ve got to have a five to six person team. So we just always make sure that people understand, um, you know, what’s going on, that they can still give input that they know who are on those teams and make sure that there’s regular updates with communication. That is a two way street.

Dan Neumann: [27:50] And I love that your communication strategy, there’s a game we played as children where it was the telephone game where you’d have a line of people 10 long, let’s say in the first person whispers something to the second and the second whispers, what they heard to the third, et cetera. And the message by the end is completely jumbled because what you thought you heard, isn’t actually what was said. And with your communication where you said, Hey, we expected these managers to carry the message back to their teams that wasn’t effective. So you knocked that down, used technologies like the Slack channel. And so you flattened the communication. So there is a sender and a receiver of the message not send their receiver. They send someone else received. So that’s super cool.

Ed Buckley: [28:30]
Yeah. I mean, w we tried to triangulate as much as possible, so Hey, if you’re on a Northstar team, when you get to your skill set, team meetings, bring up what you’re working on. There’s a Slack channel where it can be two way communication. And then once a month at worst, you’re going to have direct access in these all hands where you can ask questions. So really with any month cycle, you should have two, three, four touchpoints.

Dan Neumann: [28:51] Nice. You said a lot of interesting stuff. And one of the things I wanted to circle back to a little while ago, you were talking about you had the silos and, uh, working with Christy from AgileThought said, Hey, we brought options. And a lot of times I see or get the perception that companies are looking to buy a magic pill, that somebody is going to come in and install the thing that’s going to solve their problems. And, you know, if we had a magic pill, we charge a lot more by the hour to sell you the magic pill. Uh, and so I was kind of curious, so exploring the options and helping figure out what worked for pure fit is what I inferred from that. And I’m kind of curious what degree I’m right or wrong with how the framework was set up, either Christy or Ed.

Christy Erbeck: [29:47] After doing the assessment, and then spending a good amount of time with the teams. Uh, the AgileThought team said there is no one right way for this to be implemented. So the best thing that we could do for pure fit is to say here’s some options. And then talk about the pros and cons share those pros and cons for each option. And then in the end, um, we said, it’s your choice. You could implement one of these options. You could implement none of these options. You could even take and do a hybrid. And I think that’s what you landed on. It was the hybrid of a couple of different ideas from those, those three options. I think we gave you three options and, and then you made it your own. And to me, that is exactly what an empowered client needs to do, because it is your business. We walk away as consultants, we walk away. So we cannot be more invested in the success of your organization than you are when, when that happens, when that is upside down, then, um, really nothing good comes of that. But in this case, we presented some really, I think, well, thought out options that you then were able to take and make your own and you continue to evolve it. And I think that’s wonderful.

Ed Buckley: [31:10] The great part about the options were, um, the flexibility, because once they I’m thinking backwards, that was in the peak of COVID. We weren’t sure if this was going to last 90 more days, nine more months, right. We had no clue. And so we knew that whatever decision we were going to go with was going to have to both give us the structure of what we needed right then, but also the flexibility that if God forbid we’re 90 days down and things are getting worse in the market, and we had to consolidate again, which luckily we didn’t have to. Right. Um, it was, it was going to provide us a framework of cross departmental interactions that we weren’t going to have to we’re losing people. We’ve got to force people together to try to get knowledge out of them. So that was really something at RF. I mean, that was like may right. We’re talking right in the heart of 20, 20 shelter in place. Nobody knows how long this is going to last. We still don’t know how long it’s going to last. Um, but that was what I thought the conversation led us to was a conversation of both structure immediately and flexibility longterm.

Christy Erbeck: [32:21] Which creates resiliency, which is a large part of what business agility is all about is that resiliency. And that ability to pivot intentionally pivot from a place of choice, not from a place of reactivity or scarcity. And I’m glad to hear that it’s lasting and supporting you, you know, in such a great way right now.

Ed Buckley: [32:44]
You’re like the, uh, HGTV people that came in and flipped our house for us. And we’re coming back, you know, 90 days later to see how much we enjoy living in it. We’re loving it.

Christy Erbeck: [32:55] That’s great.

Dan Neumann: [32:57] Hopefully there’s much less drama than there are the HGTV shows.

Ed Buckley: [33:01] I don’t know, we got 90 people. There’s, you know, there’s always people, good drama.

Dan Neumann: [33:07]
And people are a really important part of what we’re doing. Obviously, you know, there’s why else are we doing those? You know, your pure food is a business, serves people. You’re serving the people in the organization, as well as the customers. So love that the organization has created this resilient framework, like you said, structure for now and flexibility for whatever’s whatever’s next. Well, thank you for exploring the business agility ed, and being incredibly transparent with, you know, some of the, the situations Peerfit has found itself in the way you’ve responded to those. Hopefully that’s super helpful to some other folks out there who are, who are listening.

Ed Buckley: [33:45] Yeah, absolutely. Look, I think this year hopefully taught everybody whether you learned the hard way or the easy way, but, you know, we all learned lessons about yourself, about your team, about the, you know, the direction you’re going. And I’m always happy to be transparent and be self critical of, you know, what we were doing and what we learned. And hopefully we’re significantly better today. I mean, certainly by the numbers were a much better company than we were six months ago, and we would not have gotten there on our own if we hadn’t sought outside counsel and, you know, kind of the necessary tough conversations to have to land us into the position that now we can go forward and be confident with. So thank you. Thank you all for being there.

Christy Erbeck: [34:32] You’re welcome. Our pleasure. I think there’s actually more gifts to uncover within 2020. And, uh, you know, if we have the right mindset and the right approach, those gifts will unfold and will make us better. As you said, for the rest of this year and beyond.

Ed Buckley: [34:53] And I would just like to say 2020 is not a total wash, I guess, at the time of recording this last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley cup. So clearly 2020 as, uh, brought us something.

Dan Neumann: [35:17]
It’s good that I can live vicariously through other people whose teams are winning. Oh, shoot. Yeah. Good times. And one of the things we ask guests a lot of times is, Hey, are you reading something that’s got you inspired or part of your continuous learning journey. And I’m curious what you’ve been consuming and, or by.

Ed Buckley: [35:38] Yeah, I look, I love, um, the time that I’ve had, cause my freed up time Christy. So I’m, I’m doing about two books a month. And this past month I read one of the most fascinating books and most of mine are usually on business and this one was not. It’s called lifespan. And it’s by a research scientist from Harvard medical school. And the entire premise is, think of the innovative, disruptive ideas we think of with startups for you take something that you think could never be done and you just do the impossible. What if we looked at aging instead of something that had to happen and looked at it as a disease? What if we looked at the body mechanisms that cause aging and the things that we think of as aging, right? The degradation of ourselves and all that. What if we looked at it as something that didn’t have to happen the way that we think about cancer. What could we do with it? And I will say it is just one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. I actually shared it with one of our board members, Jim Philip and he told me, he said, this is a life changing book of, you know, how I’m going to approach, you know, what’s going on. And the goal is how can we get more people in our society to live to a 100, 150, except have them be much, much healthier, not just increase the age where they’re sick those quality years. And some of the research that is going on out there is, like I said, almost like a science fiction novel. And it just, it was inspiring to see that level of thought and disruption going on into real health and medical, um, uh, you know, kind of disciplines.

Dan Neumann: [37:11] That’s super cool. You’re kind of challenging some of those foundational beliefs about, Hey, this is just how things are, which could be a great thing to apply in all facets of life and society in some ways. So wonderful. Well, thank you. We’ll throw that into the show notes and other people can consume the book lifespan and be inspired as well. Thanks for your time. Both of you and Christy. Awesome.

Ed Buckley: [37:34] Thank you.

Christy Erbeck: [37:35] Thank you, Dan. Thank you, Ed.

 

 

 

 

 

Outro: [37:38] This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought. The views, opinions and information expressed in this podcast are solely those of the hosts and the guests, and do not necessarily represent those of AgileThought. Get the show notes and other helpful tips for this episode and other episodes@agilethought.com/podcast.

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