Tag Archives: strategic planning

Nonprofit Radio for March 1, 2021: Leadership For Strategic Execution

My Guest:

Joe Pajer: Leadership For Strategic Execution

.

There’s lots of talk about strategic planning. Lots of time and money devoted to ambitious plans—which often sit on a shelf. It takes leadership to drive strategic execution. What does that leadership look like? Joe Pajer walks us through, with his experience from the corporate sector.

 

 

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[00:01:56.64] spk_1:
Yeah. Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d bear the pain of a chroma top CIA if I saw that you missed this week’s show Leadership for Strategic Execution. There’s lots of talk about strategic planning, lots of time and money devoted to ambitious plans, which often sit on a shelf. It takes leadership to drive strategic execution. What does that leadership look like? Joe Pager walks us through with his experience from the corporate sector. Antonis. Take two podcast pleasantries. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s my pleasure to welcome Joe pager to nonprofit radio. He retired from the corporate CEO office. He grew revenues, profits, customers and employees at three companies for private equity investors. He’s been on the boards of the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and in Pittsburgh, it’s Carnegie, not Carnegie. Now he’s a board member for the ST James School in Hagerstown, Maryland, and the Trinity School for ministry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was my fraternity pledge trainer at Pi Kappa Alpha at Carnegie Mellon University. Back then, he was zip. You’ll find him on LinkedIn. He’s retired in a board member. Doesn’t need to be anywhere else. Welcome to nonprofit radio zip.

[00:02:01.24] spk_0:
Thanks, tony. Good to have you. Real pleasure. Thank you. Glad to be here. I’m

[00:02:05.74] spk_1:
glad. Tell us. Tell me about this private equity investment firm work. What does that look like?

[00:03:22.24] spk_0:
Sure, that came in the latter half of my career. Before that, I was an executive at larger companies. But you know what private equity is all about? There’s many different models, but the particular group of investors I worked for, um, they by businesses and they grow them, and then they sell right. So, um, typically, we buy it from a founder, right? Someone who founded the business, he was ready to retire and would like to make some money off of the business. And they usually their businesses that these were technology businesses that that we could see tremendous upside to. Right. So we do a lot of searching for those with tremendous upside. You know, founders are good guys, but they often our unit dimensional. So we could add things like professional sales or new strategies, etcetera and or maybe even combine them with other companies and grow them. So that’s what I did for the last 12 to 15 years. Is, um, three different companies sequentially, We bought them. We grew them, as you said in terms of revenue customers, number of people. Um, and then we sold them to larger companies for a nice profit. And it’s very fun, Very fun. You got to walk in every couple of years to a brand new business, try to figure out the market in the business and figure out how to grow it.

[00:03:29.24] spk_1:
So were there, uh, potentials to make money that you’re not sharing with your with your friend tony-martignetti at the time? Was there like insider information? You could have. You could have snuck to me. Was there a way for me to make some money off these three?

[00:03:53.44] spk_0:
All of the information is inside because they’re private companies. So there’s no there’s no public listing of the companies that are strictly privately held, their owned entirely by the investors. So yeah, there was no opportunity for you to make money unless you’d come and work for us. In which case, then, Yeah, you could have made some money.

[00:04:51.44] spk_1:
Okay, We’re going to find out what that would look like if I had, indeed been working with you. Um all right, so you’ve got some You got some ideas. And, you know, we’ve shared some concerns about, uh, as I said in the intro Strategic plans. Lots of resources going to ambitious. Uh, maybe grandiose plans will just will be kind and say ambitious, but execution, Uh, I think. And you’ve you’ve heard stories, and I think you’ve seen some, too. Um, and even in the corporate sector, um, not not not executed. Just kind of sitting around and not really seeing the change that was envisioned by the by the ambitious plan. So I’m guessing, you know, I mean, we should start with, like, vision and goals, and right before we were gonna have a We got a vision to this before we can start to do the execution part.

[00:08:10.14] spk_0:
That’s right. That’s right. Listen, we’ve all we’ve all seen organizations, companies, nonprofits, maybe our own households. Who knows that, uh, well laid plans that never happened, right? They just never happened. Um, and you know, I learned this early in my career. I was once asked by a nine year old hockey player that I was coaching. He said, Coach winded. When did you decide that you wanted to be our CEO? And I thought about it for a few minutes, and I said might have been the first business meeting I ever sat in because I knew what we were talking about wasn’t gonna get done. It drove me out of my mind. Right? So, look, we’ve all been there. It starts, though. Obviously it starts with having a good plan, a plan that you believe in before you ever get to the execution part. So, you know, just real briefly, I’m sure you have plenty of shows on how to build a strategy and a plan, and there’s plenty of people out there doing that. Are we have, yes, but a couple of criteria. One you ought to be able to answer for me really quickly. What you want that business, what you want your organization to look like three years from now, and you ought to be able to do that in three bullet points. I’ll give you five if you go to seven. The last two better be really interesting. 85. So you know you have that vision and that’s a vision. All right. You know you can have visions that are this. That the other thing? No, no. Just tell me if I show up three years from now. What’s going to be different about this place, right? And look, that’s not easy. You got to think about it. You’ve got to work hard on it. It’s another job, necessarily just for the CEO. It’s also a job for the board in a non profit. They need to share that vision responsibility and then then below that. Okay, that’s the vision. That’s what we’re going to look like at three years from now. What are the 5 to 7 things we need to do? Those are the strategic initiatives. Alright. Now here the board has less of a role in my opinion, and the CEO or the director in a non profit has a very large piece here. All right. They need to know their organization where they need to take it. Um, and then a 3rd 3rd point, you know. So if you can if you can clearly show me that Hey, we’re going to do this and that’s going to lead us to that. Well, then you’ve got a good strategy, or at least a good strategic plan. There’s another piece to it, too, though, which is, and this is the tricky question that sometimes people trip up on. Tell me what you’re not going to do. Tell me what people around here have been saying we ought to do, and you’ve decided I’m not doing that. All right, We’re not going down that path. So if you don’t do that, you’re going to run into problems with resource allocation and focus and people’s commitment and engagement. So a really good strategy will tell you what you’re not going to do. All right, so, you know, that’s all I’ll say about strategic planning right now Is the output of that has to has to fit those three criteria,

[00:08:35.24] spk_1:
you emphasis believing in the plan because because later on we’re gonna talk about allocating resources around the plan to the plan taking resources away from those things were not going to do anymore and putting them towards what we are going to do. So if you’re going to do that with confidence, you’ve got to believe in where you’re headed.

[00:09:42.54] spk_0:
Let me touch on that really quickly. It’s a great point. I hear from people we don’t have the money to invest in this. Well, that either means that your plan is garbage. All right, that it doesn’t really work mathematically. So you haven’t really worked hard enough on your plan. I got an idea, right? I got an idea. And if we go do it will grow our organization in this way. All right. Well, if you grow your organization in that way, you’ll have the money to fund, you know? So either you don’t believe that’s actually going to happen, right? Or you don’t actually buy into the idea. So you know, when you come when somebody comes back to me and says we don’t have enough money to do this initiative, right? And you thought This is where I want to be in three years? This is critical to doing it. I’ve done the math. If I invest in it, it will happen. And it will benefit the organization if you come back so we don’t have the money to do it. I’m just saying you don’t understand the plan or you don’t buy into it one or the other. Right now, it could be that the plan is wrong. In which case, sharpen your pencil, Go back to work.

[00:09:48.34] spk_1:
Maybe you have something to talk about, but right, it’s either a belief in the plan or or you or you believe in the plan or you or you or you don’t.

[00:10:06.94] spk_0:
Yeah, you’re either resisting it or yeah, but the plan says that will accomplish. That’s the key. The plan says it will accomplish your goal. So how can you not find the investment? To do that, you must write, all right, or you haven’t worked out. Point

[00:10:35.94] spk_1:
is either got the wrong plan or you don’t believe in what you the plan that you have. Okay, what about the board? You mentioned the board’s role in the vision, but not so much in the the, uh, tactics are going to use to get there. What about the interfering board, or or even board member or a couple of members? Maybe it’s not the full board, but a lot of times it doesn’t matter. What about those? Those interloping interfering board members who do get involved in the tactics, the methods we’re gonna we’re gonna use to execute.

[00:10:40.14] spk_0:
Yeah. So, um, for the record, very clearly, I’ve been on four very good boards for perfect

[00:10:46.11] spk_1:
boards. And

[00:12:24.54] spk_0:
we don’t have this. We don’t have that issue anywhere. Um, look aboard. Um, a board of trustees for a school or a private private education institutions. They are responsible for preserving the vision and the values defining the vision and the values of that school. That’s what they’re there for, right? Um, they’re responsible for hiring the person to get them to that vision. Um, that person needs to create the strategy with a lot of good input from the board, but it’s their responsibility. Whoever that leader is of the organization. CEO, headmaster, director, whatever their title, um, they’re responsible for that. That’s their job. That’s what you should have hired. Alright, if somebody, because the board will never have the day to day feel for the business that that person does, right, because they only meet quarterly. Um, So if you have an interfering board member, I would argue that you have a governance problem and a strategic problem. Um, not necessarily a person problem, although it may well be a person problem as well. And I’d recommend that you go by any number of good books of how to set up good boards and go fix your board. Right? All right, you cannot. Now listen. There’s people who can help, right? There’s people with contacts. There’s people with experience. There’s an absolutely, you know, tap into them. But ultimately, the head of that organization is responsible for running that organization.

[00:12:29.35] spk_1:
It’s got to be the CEO

[00:12:31.17] spk_0:
got to be. Yeah,

[00:12:53.04] spk_1:
all right. You got some, uh, sort of steps or, you know, some. Yeah, a pathway. The pathway to, uh, to strategic execution and not surprising. Uh, lots of folks say this. We’re starting with what we’re gonna measure. Yeah, metrics. What’s your what’s your What’s your advice around here?

[00:13:10.64] spk_0:
So, a couple of things, um, let me start. Let me let me back up just a half a step and talk about something that’s, uh, near and dear to my heart called. Um, I’m stealing this from I was trained as a Baldridge examiner. That term probably doesn’t mean many too many things to people.

[00:13:16.86] spk_1:
We got jargon jail on nonprofit radio. Yeah. Just committed an offense. Baldridge Examiner

[00:13:48.34] spk_0:
folks that are younger than you and I would never would never even have heard of it. But it’s an old quality thing, Sort of like Six Sigma. And the idea was, it was run by the U. S. Federal government was quite a good program, and there was a set of criteria for a business. And you would examine the business against these criteria. And you could potentially win a Baldridge Award, which was a very big deal. Um, companies like Motorola paved. Malcolm

[00:13:52.14] spk_1:
Malcolm. Malcolm Baldrige.

[00:14:04.54] spk_0:
Absolutely. Malcolm was the cabinet with the secretary of Commerce under Ronald Reagan. Believe he died in a horse accident. Um, and they named this thing after all. Right, So

[00:14:07.51] spk_1:
Congress, A bizarre polo accident.

[00:16:09.14] spk_0:
Yeah. No, it was more like Western rodeo stuff. He was a tough guy. So civilized. The horse was tougher in any case, so it’s named after him. He was part of the driving force, and and his death actually helped get passed in any case. Long story. They had this method of when you examine a business you find out, right? Do they have a plan? Right. What result is it that they’re trying to improve? Let’s say they’re trying to improve market share, right? Do they have a plan to improve market share? Right. And you say Look at their plans. They have to produce one. And if they had a plan, they would get sort of a 10% of the total score. Right? Um and then you would look at how do you measure it? And they look at the result. And if you were measuring the result, you might get another 20% mhm. But 70% of the score on that was associated with proved to me you’re actually executing the plan. Show me that you’ve actually done it. All right, because so many people will use the sporting analogy here. So many so many companies and so many organizations have the plan, and they look at the results. And if the results go bad, they go. The plan was wrong. They never checked to see whether they actually implemented the plan correctly. So, you know, sporting analogy, a team goes out, hockey team goes out to play on the ice. Um and and the coaches say This is the system we’re going to use and they go out and they lose the game. And of course, winning or losing was the metric and come back in and say we lost. We’re changing our system. No one would ever do that. They go, let’s look at the video and see whether we actually use the system. Right? And this is a big This is a big thing that happens. Um, in businesses and other organizations, that middle step is what I call strategic execution. And I’m telling you, it is it is more rare than you think. Right?

[00:16:11.14] spk_1:
And you’ve seen this on the corporate side as well. This is absolutely for some revolution revelation that you’ve only seen on the on the not for profit side. Yeah,

[00:16:19.64] spk_0:
over and over again. The execution

[00:16:29.34] spk_1:
all right. And that, you know, we were talking earlier, and you’ve made the point that, um that leads a lot. A lot of CEOs to create reorganization

[00:16:33.93] spk_0:
so

[00:16:35.29] spk_1:
that they can They can say they’ve done something. I mean, they’re linked in profile is now more robust. They reorganized around something.

[00:17:12.04] spk_0:
Yeah, You see it a lot I don’t mean to bash large companies, but because large companies are much more difficult beasts, right. But very large companies do this all the time. They say that their strategy is to reorganize them. And yes, it makes them feel good because they can check off a box that they indeed reorganized. They laid off some people here. They put somebody new in charge here. They restructured, etcetera, etcetera. Um, I don’t want to be too negative, but golly, I don’t know what that gets done, and I work.

[00:17:14.41] spk_1:
There’s a lot of wasted, a lot of wasted reorganization

[00:18:28.84] spk_0:
and the issues, the things that need to be changed, the things that need to be executed, no pun intended right are or what you’re doing right. And where you’re focused, right? It’s not who’s leading it. And I mean it is who’s leading it, but it’s not entirely who’s leading it, and it’s yeah, so it’s just to avoid Listen, all of this is hard to work, right? Um, the reason the reason I did it was because if I did and I’d lose my job, these investors, you know, they weren’t interested in people who weren’t actually growing the company, right? I mean, you could have as many board meetings where you said all the right things and pretty slides as you wanted. If the company wasn’t growing, it wasn’t your job anymore, right? And by the way, very, very few people in my position work for the same investors twice. They usually do one, and then they find a different set. And I’m the only person who’s worked for this set of investors three times, okay, on three different companies. So it’s all about finding that thing that has to happen to grow the company and then making sure it gets executed. That’s why I have sort of a particular affinity or sensitivity to this issue.

[00:19:12.14] spk_1:
But so much of this is moving people. You know, people people don’t like change. I don’t care how much they’re paid. They’re still human beings. I don’t care how long they’ve been there, you know? Of course, the longer the maybe the more difficult to change. But, you know, people are resistant to change. You talk about the family, you know, people don’t like to move. People don’t like to change jobs. People don’t like change within their jobs. People don’t like to have to go to a different supermarket in the middle of a pandemic. People don’t like not being able to go out and have dinner with friends in a pandemic. People don’t like change, but so much of what we’re talking about is driving change. Yeah, you’re driving change in a company that’s driving change among a bunch of people.

[00:19:17.14] spk_0:
That’s

[00:19:32.44] spk_1:
what the company is made of. It’s, uh, it’s it’s got, It’s got assets, got hard assets, It’s got people. The the Howard assets are easy to move around. You can ship those, you can sell these, you can acquire some. But moving the freaking people, that’s that’s what we’re talking about. Moving people to change that they don’t like

[00:19:59.14] spk_0:
it is. And I would imagine that it’s more difficult in the nonprofit sector than it is in the corporate sector. And the reason I would say that is because in the corporate sector there is a big forcing function called competition right and investors, and you have to make the numbers, so if you don’t change, you know, you go away quickly and and so let me let me talk a little bit. Then about about what I see about how you do strategic execution. Because it is exactly that. It’s about changing the people.

[00:21:03.94] spk_1:
It’s time for a break turn to communications. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times You want to be in papers like that? What about CBS Market Watch? The Chronicle of Philanthropy turn to has the relationships with these outlets and lots of others like them. They’re known in the industry so that when the outlets are looking for experts on charitable giving or non profit trends or philanthropy, they call turn to turn to calls. You. You know that because you’re their client, they’re going to call you. They can help you get the exposure. The media that you’re looking for relationships, right? It’s all about leveraging relationships. They’ve got them. Turn hyphen two dot c O. Now back to leadership for strategic execution. All right? Yeah, because, yeah, I’m gonna I’m gonna rant here about

[00:21:09.41] spk_0:
change

[00:21:19.44] spk_1:
before we get to metrics and resources. You know, you got to move people. You got to motivate people positively or negatively, I suppose. But you got to move people and you get people to do things that they don’t want to do.

[00:22:38.34] spk_0:
I used to tell this story really, in big, big, setting, small settings everywhere. I said, You know, you get on the airplane, you read in the airplane magazine and they’re interviewing some executive and a question answered thing and you’re going through it. And at some point they go, What’s the secret? And the executive goes, It’s all about the people and you go, Oh, crap. Like everybody gives that answer really again. And then I thought about it for a while, and I’m like, Gosh, it really is all about the people. It’s right. It’s a boring answer and it is the answer. Listen, here’s how you get people to change. Yeah, One of the things I loved about my career was I would walk into a company that had not accomplished something for a long time, and they had many things in front of them that they could accomplish, and we would go accomplish it and people would go. How did that happen? And they feel good about it, and they’d have a I used to say, I want to give them a story to tell their grandkids when they’re sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch. Right about business. Most people go through their business careers going. Yeah, there’s that over there. And then all the stuff I like over here. And I want to have something they like from their job. So, look, how do you change? How do you get people

[00:22:55.14] spk_1:
before the first? Okay. Before the first milestone, right before the first home run. This company has now achieved something that it could have achieved 10 years earlier. But, you know, there’s a bit of a founder syndrome, and they were unit dimensional, as you said. And so how

[00:22:55.34] spk_0:
do you get them bought in

[00:22:56.38] spk_1:
before that first home run? How do you get some momentum going And you get interest?

[00:23:30.84] spk_0:
Exactly. So look, um, what do you say? Well, what you do is this. First you got to find that strategy that’s all important. And you got to find the planets, and then you must communicate very clearly. Okay, You must communicate. And look, there’s some pieces to that communication. First of all, I heard a long time ago and always strive to do this. You should speak at an eighth grade level. Okay? You have to understand How can

[00:23:32.74] spk_1:
do a bunch of engineers at a tech company M B A s your CFO?

[00:23:55.24] spk_0:
Yeah. Your operations team who are hourly workers. Right. Um, so you’ve got a range. You’ve got a range in there. Speak at the eighth grade club. Secondly, make sure what you’re saying is a story. All right? I’ll go back to coaching little kids in hockey. I could go up

[00:24:20.74] spk_1:
hockey. It’s about your your affinity for hockey’s obviously coming out. Yes, I want I want you to know, uh, for for listeners because you won’t be able to see video. This is the sound of this. That’s me, uh, flipping pages through my pi Kappa Alpha Pledge book. So there’s there’s lots of there’s lots of history in these pages. Joseph Steven, pager from Meriden, Connecticut.

[00:24:23.68] spk_0:
There you go.

[00:24:24.74] spk_1:
Uh, and hockey is. Hockey is prominent on your page,

[00:24:28.21] spk_0:
and it remains. This would

[00:24:30.22] spk_1:
be from 1980. I still have this from 1980

[00:25:59.04] spk_0:
throughout my career. Uh, but here’s Here’s the deal. I can sit in front of a group of 15 year olds, and I could show them all the exes and ohs on the whiteboard and say This is what we’re gonna do today. That’s what we’re gonna do today. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And they’d all be fidgeting and not paying attention. Or, like 15 year olds do. They’ll be staring at the floor, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, then But if I if I came in and said, Let me tell you about a game I played in college and what happened? Their eyes are beyond me. They’d be lifted up from the floor. We respond to stories, Okay? People learn from stories. They don’t learn from textbooks, right? They learn from stories. This is what you must do as a leader. You must tell the future story. Okay? You must say, here are the great things were going to do for our community in our space. Here’s what we’re doing today. Here’s how that’s going to change and be even better three years from now. Yeah. How are we going to get there? We’re going to do these three things, okay? It’s going to feel a little different to you, but we’re going to do these three things. And do you know how many people are going to buy into that? the first time you tell them. Two. There’s if there’s 50 people in the room. Three

[00:26:03.21] spk_1:
allies you’ve got to allies you can leverage.

[00:29:09.74] spk_0:
So what do you got to do? You’ve got to tell them that same story over and over again and person by person as they ask questions. And your job is over the next 6 to 9 months to reduce it to the impact on them as an individual and how they can contribute and how they can be a piece of a piece of it. This communication aspect is very important. What I see, what I see executives do is they think, what I said that last time. I’m going to change it this time. No, no, you don’t understand. Just because they heard it once from your lips, they don’t believe it, and they probably don’t remember it. You’ve got to keep saying you got to keep saying it. Then of course, you’ve got to lead by example. Right now, you’re in a position this will go back sort of into metrics and resource allocation. You’re in a position to make a bunch of decisions and to make them in front of everybody. They have to be consistent with that vision you’re describing. So you might decide to move resources from a status quo kind of a project to the new project, and you would explain it that way. Even if they’re upset, you might decide to set certain metrics and review those metrics on a monthly or quarterly basis. Really, the metrics that you set and everybody knows there’s a billion metrics for everything. You got to pick the two or three that make a difference to your strategy and just work on those If somebody wants to know some other thing, here’s an example. Software company, last software company, Iran. We would sell the software. Then we would install it for the customer and run it for them. We call that activating it, and then we would, um, run it for them. And if they were satisfied all the time, we would make a lot of money because they would never leave us, right? So the sale part we call booking the middle part we call activating the third part we call just satisfying. And I just reduced it to that. We only have one mission here. Book activates, satisfied all of you are involved in one of those three. Okay, Now, let’s talk about how you’re involved and what you can do and get the managers in. They’re talking. This is 400 people. But that became, You know, that became our mantra. Book activates satisfied? Well, where’s gross margin in that? Where’s cost savings loses. Where is entering a new market? Well, we have stuff to do there, too. That’s it Was secondary to those three things. If you did those three things, you didn’t have to know what I used to say. If you do those three things, don’t you worry about profitability? Like a knife through butter will be profitable, I guarantee it. Right. And you don’t even need to see the profitability. So you got to make it simple. You gotta make it pity. You gotta make it catching. You’ve got to say it over and over and over again. And if you do that for six months of those 50 people in your organization, you’ll have 48 of them. And then there’s going to be too

[00:29:11.74] spk_1:
right. The recalcitrance.

[00:31:31.04] spk_0:
Yeah. They’re not going to go. You I need to go have a conversation. You need to do your job as a leader. And look, the conversations not mean the conversation is this. We’re a team. Everybody always says I’m all in. It’s all about team. Well, we’re a team. And now we’re gonna put our money where our mouth is, right? The team has decided to go in this direction. I understand that you’ve been here for a long time and that you did things a certain way and all that stuff. I get it, I get it and it’s all valid. And it was We’ve heard it, but we’ve decided as a team to go in another direction. I need you to come back and see me tomorrow. Come back tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon. Stop by my office. Just tell me, can you come with us? And if you can’t And let’s talk about how to how to separate our pads gracefully, right, it’s not a threat, you know, it’s but it is a it is necessary. You can’t have one guy on a professional sports team saying I don’t agree with the system. You just can’t. You’re never gonna win anything, right. And this is a very reasonable approach. I mean, and quite frankly, every time I’ve had this conversation, they’ve come the next morning and said, I’m in now. Some of them might have come and said, Well, I’m scared now. And so I’m in others. Might others, I think, really went home. And when? What am I doing? Why? Why am I so against this? Why can’t go along with it, right? And and they jump in and they become productive that afternoon. Right? Um, and in a couple of cases, they’ve come back and said, You know what? I really like the company that was here before you got here, Joe. And I’m not bought into this one. So how can How can we? How can I leave gracefully? Can I have a month to find? You know, you can absolutely just you say nice things about me. I’ll say nice things about you. Um, and let’s do it. So So that’s, uh, and by the way, it’s good. It’s too recalcitrance is what you call

[00:31:33.39] spk_1:
them. Yeah,

[00:31:44.14] spk_0:
they can be a huge issue, so if they exist, you must take action or you’re not going to get there because they will continue. Two needle.

[00:31:45.06] spk_1:
They’re like a cancer they’re they’re growing. They’re they’re trying to find their trying to grow their tribe right there, trying to grow their anti team.

[00:32:07.24] spk_0:
But you do it. You do it with complete and genuine respect. They have an opinion. You have an opinion. You don’t agree. There’s no reason to be, um, Washington. Ask with each other. I think I

[00:32:36.54] spk_1:
know you said gracefully, No, I mean, you’re professionals and you’re right. You don’t agree. You don’t agree on the future of the company that the team has that has a team has elected to pursue. There’s no point in, you know, there’s no point you’re hanging around your your unhappy. It’s going to hurt the team. That’s right. Let’s separate gracefully. I like gracefully. You don’t hear that in business to it gracefully. Let’s do it gracefully. Yeah, Joe, let me ask you, Do you have interest in helping nonprofits with all this leadership and strategic execution that we’re talking about?

[00:32:57.54] spk_0:
Sure, absolutely. If a nonprofit is interested in learning more about this, I can certainly help them on a consulting basis, help them get set up and help them get executing on their initiatives. I could even help them develop the initiatives, if that’s what they so desire. But yeah. No, I I very much would be interested in helping nonprofits achieve their results. Basically.

[00:33:04.04] spk_1:
Yeah. Okay. And so folks can get you on linked in

[00:33:07.34] spk_0:
Absolutely. Yeah. Just look me up on LinkedIn. Last name is spelled P a J e r.

[00:33:16.64] spk_1:
You, uh, you have a little story about sales compensation.

[00:33:19.44] spk_0:
It relates

[00:33:20.82] spk_1:
to relates to metrics. But before we before we move on from metrics where we, you know, we digress, But we’re moving around. This is good. This is excellent. This is not just good. This is excellent leadership advice. Uh, you got the sales comp story?

[00:36:18.83] spk_0:
Yeah. Yes. So one of the aspects of metrics of choosing the proper metrics is that, you know, you actually have to be able to measure the thing, right? So if you say I want to measure, I want to measure, um you know, let’s say I’m a food bank and I want to measure somebody’s improving nutrition as a result of my efforts. Well, that’s probably not measurable. Okay? I mean, maybe it is, but, you know, it’s probably difficult to track that person The individual that you gave the food to and and even more so I would question your statistics is whether you could actually correlate your effort to his improving nutrition if it improved. But that’s something that’s sort of undoable. There’s others, though, that you want to measure how many new people you reached through a program, and people say, Well, we don’t track that, So you can’t use that as a metric. Yeah, you know, So every company I’ve gone into the sales, the sales compensation plan, right? We believe that sales people are motivated by making more money. Yet many executives I know have no idea what they’re Salesforce’s, how they’re Salesforce’s compensation plan works. That’s crazy, right? So every company and of course, what we care about is growing. So, of course, it’s important to us to have the right sales compensation plant so that we can drive the growth. So every company I’ve gone in and redesigned the sales compensation plan, it’s actually something that I’ve gotten quite good at it, Um, you know, it’s it’s an area of expertise and I’ve done it pretty much myself, right. Um and every time finances told me we could never track this. We could never do this. We could never. This is just what we’ve never. And in two of the three cases I got up. After about an hour’s worth of discussion, I got up. I said, I hear everything you’re saying. You must make it happen. We’ll talk again when you have a plan to make it happen. Not before. Okay, basically, I said, do it right and you just have to because they’ll find a million reasons not to. Right? So So that is my sales compensation story. So, um, you have to sometimes sometimes you and sometimes in that conversation on metrics. By the way, what they’re really saying is it’s not automated. They’re saying it’s not automated. It’s

[00:36:22.41] spk_1:
gonna be hard for us to achieve it hard for us to measure it. Not impossible. It’s just it’s just hard.

[00:36:54.13] spk_0:
And this is another little thing that I’ve learned. Some of the people who work for me called these patriotism is, but, um, if you want to get something automated, make people do it manually. You know they’ll find a way to automated, and it has the benefit of automating it correctly, because if they start out with automation. They don’t really know what they want yet, right? They don’t know the ins and outs of what they’re doing, so yeah, Okay.

[00:36:55.53] spk_1:
You say the number one resource number one job of a chief executive is resource allocation. We

[00:37:03.09] spk_0:
were touching on this

[00:37:28.03] spk_1:
before moving things away from what you don’t want to be and into what you do want to be. What else? What else? You know, again, You’re moving people. Now, this is This is some of that change Some people are gonna be into, uh, you know, whatever different team, a different activity, a different way of doing their old activity. That’s more of the change. So, you know, we talked. We talked something about that. But what? What’s your advice around Moving resources around?

[00:39:22.02] spk_0:
Well, I think look, resource allocation is fundamentally getting the right people number one and the right number of people number two. And this can be very tricky, especially with new what I’ll call new growth initiatives to the company. So in all three companies, we expanded globally, right? So we didn’t have anybody, so we had to get the right people in each country a long way away. to to do this correctly. We needed the right number of people in each of those countries, so expanding globally is one way. But another way might be to expand in non profit terms. Expand your services right? Say, I don’t want to do just this. I can also do this while I have the client in front of me so I can do even more good for the client by expanding my services as well. Do you have anybody in your organization who understands that new service the way they need to? Right. And if not, you need to go outside the organization. Do you have the right number of people to expand that new service? Okay, do I have the right number of people offering the current service? Because there’s a you know, it’s a it’s a little bit of a hill, and then and then it flattens out after there’s a peak and then a flattened out thing. When you introduce something new, so you maybe you may have introduced a new service three years ago, and you may still be staffed at your peak, and you don’t need to be right. You could reallocate some of those resources, Um, to the new service. These are the key discussions. You have to have the big one for me. Did we We talked about believing in the plan?

[00:39:25.48] spk_1:
Yeah. Yeah, that’s wrapped up in that. If you’re going to move, Yeah. So resources around you got to believe in what you’re moving them toward,

[00:41:23.31] spk_0:
right? You just have to believe that that plan is going to work, right? And then you’ll be willing to commit, Um, you know, take, take another example. Um, this is a So you’re a nonprofit and you decide the development is critical to you. Okay, let’s say you’re a small educational facility, and you just gotta build the endowment, right? Or, you know, what’s happening to small private schools is going to happen to you. You’re not going to have the funds to build out the right buildings, etcetera. So you’ve got to build the endowment, and your three year plan is to add $10 million for the endowment, right? And look, you’ve had this development guy. He knows everybody, but it hasn’t really grown anything in years. Okay. All right. So you you decide. Okay. Well, maybe I move him someplace Maybe he’s going to retire. Maybe I just need a new development person, okay? And he’s got to go away. Fine. You go out to get the new development person and and you say, Well, I don’t want to spend more than $50,000 a year on this person, right? And somebody who’s 75,000 comes along right, but at a much higher skill set. No, I didn’t say 150,000, but 75,000? Well, you ought to do the work rather than just say that we’re all about saving money because we’re trying to help our clients. You ought to do the work to say, What would what would this guy get me that the other guy wouldn’t get? Me and I And how quickly will I get that $25,000 a year back, right? I mean, you know, it can’t always be about being the lowest cost provider of these services. You may well find that if if you hire and spend that extra 25,000, you’re going to grow your endowment by even more right and you’ll be able to provide even more dormitories or even better, etcetera. etcetera,

[00:41:42.91] spk_1:
and this goes back again, believing in the plan. And if, and as you said earlier, you said early on, if you don’t have the money for the plan, then then you haven’t thought through your plan adequately because you you picked an aspirational plan that you can’t afford to execute. And you can’t even do the fundraising to raise the extra money because it’s too astronomical. So you’ve got the wrong plan.

[00:42:43.70] spk_0:
That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. You know where this comes up. A lot is in building buildings. It’s almost always the case that that, you know, you think a building costs less than what it’s going to cost. And it actually you think it will deliver less value than it actually delivers, right? Certain buildings. I mean, you know, if you’re building an administration building right but a new SportsCenter on a at a boarding school or a or a conference center at a place like the Trinity School for Ministry, these things these things are going to have much more impact and what you’re projecting, So think about them carefully and take the risk. I think the risk

[00:45:56.79] spk_1:
it’s time for Tony, take two podcast Pleasantries. You remember those? The podcast audience? Oh, my, uh, so loyal. Um, you’ve been If you’ve been listening for a while, you’ll remember that I used to do live listener love affiliate affections and podcast pleasantries. Well, the first of those two go away was the affiliate affections. When I ended the affiliate program, that was, uh, we had a family of, uh, about 15, maybe 20 am and FM stations throughout the country that we’re carrying non profit radio and there’s weekly schedules, but it wasn’t really scaling. And it constrained us in terms of how exactly minutes and seconds how long a show needed to be. So I ended that and the live audience, the live listener love. You know, that ended with the pandemic. I no longer go to the New York City studio no longer with Sam. Sam is still there at and y. You know, talk talk radio dot N y c. That’s him. That’s that’s that network talk radio dot N.Y.C.. It’s talking alternative, so Sam is still there. But I ended with him because of the pandemic. So of course, no more live listener love. And now working through Zoom and audacity. It’s the podcast audience. The pleasantries go out, you’re you’re the last remaining audience. When I If I cast you off, that’s the, uh, what do you call a podcast so that nobody listens to a guy talking to himself in a closet? A guy whispering to himself. Um, now So the pleasantries go out. The pleasantries remain. The podcast pleasantries. Whatever time you’re listening, however we fit. Whether you’re painting your house, doing the dishes, commuting, there’s less commuting going on. I realized that, but there’s still some commuting going on. Maybe you’re driving to, uh, you’re driving to the store. Who knows? However, non profit radio fits into your schedule. Maybe binge watching binge listening on Sundays. Who knows, However, it fits in. The pleasantries go out to you are loyal podcast audience still there over 13,000 each week. Pleasantries, pleasantries to you podcaster, podcast, listener pleasantries. And that is Tony’s Take two we’ve got but loads or boo coo. That’s what we’ve got. We’ve got Boo Koo, but loads more time for leadership for strategic execution with Joe pager and communications, you already said, speaking an eighth grade level. I guess this is another plagiarism about the number of times you should communicate and how many people are going to reach.

[00:46:32.58] spk_0:
Yeah. So, uh, yeah, if you want to reach people, communicate four times as much as you think you need to and you’ll get to half the people you hoped. So just I I cannot stress it enough like consistency. Eighth grade level, frequency walk, you know, walk the talk. Just listen. The people are going to deliver the plant. You’ve just got to change them as

[00:46:47.08] spk_1:
the work is getting done. You know, now you’re looking over everybody’s shoulders. You’re talking about a 400 person organization. Okay, If it’s a four or eight person organization, the work is still getting done. While the CEO is not looking right there off somewhere,

[00:47:05.68] spk_0:
that’s and that’s another. I’m glad you brought that up. That is another very important part of communication. I’ll do it in an engineering way for you. Okay. Engineers, software engineers particularly, you know, they work in the dark and they work late at night, and they work alone,

[00:47:24.58] spk_1:
like the nerds that we knew at Carnegie Mellon. You get either one of us was in computer science, but we we saw them that in the winter they were walking barefoot or in flip flops. They’re always there. Always a couple of steps out of sync. But, you know, they’re They’re now leading professors at M I T. Or their founders of Google or Amazon from the 19 eighties. Yeah, they

[00:47:55.28] spk_0:
prefer to work alone. They prefer to work in the dark. Okay, great. That’s an over generalization. All my software friends. But you probably agree the so and their programming. They’re building your product, right? So now how do you guide their innovation? They’re making decisions alone in the dark at 3 a.m. In the morning.

[00:47:56.73] spk_1:
Yeah,

[00:50:01.16] spk_0:
well, how do you guide their decision? Well, it’s gonna be It’s gonna come down to two. Did I give them a vision that they can work with him, right. So book activates. Satisfied? Right? I said satisfy. Right. And we’ve had discussions. So with book activates satisfy, you might, you might hold after you announce the grand theme, you might hold a session just on book just on activate. Just unsatisfied, right to explore it an even greater depth. Eventually, this this guy figures out because we’re talking about satisfying so much right that when a client using his software puts the wrong inventory in or when the inventory isn’t up to date, the software doesn’t work as well, and it doesn’t create as much value as the customer would like. And he comes up with a way to automatically grab their in their inventory at 3 a.m. When no one else is around. But he wouldn’t have known him. If you hadn’t have done all that work communicating right, he might have come up with a way to make it cost less right, which might have been welcome. Might be welcome. When you’re growing a company, I never worry about the cost. It’s like if the growth plans work, the cost will never catch up. All right, we’ll be growing too fast. So you know, that’s that’s the difference is what are these people thinking when they’re on the front line and a nonprofit example? Right? Let’s say you’re a food bank that wants to work more with partnerships, okay? And your local church has a has a food bank that could partner with the big food bank. Right? Um, but you know that in that food bank, the intention of forming those partnerships is to reach people. You’re not currently reaching right, which is very different than an intent of to reach people more effectively using a local organization more efficiently, right?

[00:50:06.06] spk_1:
Yeah. You’re talking about a new market.

[00:50:34.86] spk_0:
Yeah. Those are the two reasons you might do it. Well, if you’re if you know this person who runs a food bank at your church, you can you would now ask them. Well, who are you reaching and see if you know it’s the same person already, right? Or etcetera, etcetera. So you can make a more intelligent decision at your level because you understand the vision, the strategy, what’s important, what’s being measured. And it’s going over and over and over again. Yeah, yeah.

[00:50:48.86] spk_1:
Let’s talk about holding individuals accountable through the review. Um, looking at the challenges that they’re facing, what their personal plans are. Let’s talk about that whole accountability review.

[00:52:23.45] spk_0:
So, um, couple of things one As the leader, you must be personally involved in the review and in the details, and you must personally know the progress that’s being made. Okay, Um, so you need to establish the metrics. Well, first of all, you need to do this in a regular timing kind of way. So you need a cadence What I would call a management cadence. Now, with each initiative, there’s a couple of choices you could decide I’m going to meet Weekly. All right, so now you have a weekly meeting, that sort of independent of the nature of the initiative. But weekly, we’re getting together and we’re talking about it. Okay, that’s that’s one way to do it. And for some initiatives, that’s really good. Other initiatives are a little bit weirder ago, right? Some actions like the first actions might take a week. The next action might take a month, right? For two months. So you might want to have meeting the first week and the meeting the next week to make sure you did everything from the first week. You might want to delay it for another three weeks. So there’s something needy in the meeting. Right? Something’s changed. Now, Um, I believe that, uh um I have so many quotes from this. This guy I used to work with, Um, but one of them was personal embarrassment. Is that the number one driver of human behavior now we should not abuse

[00:52:25.31] spk_1:
that management by fear

[00:53:46.15] spk_0:
we should not have embarrassment. But another way, if you flip that to the positive personal recognition is also the number one driver of human behavior. So I believe in team meetings with everybody is involved. All right, so that we can look at the metrics. What are the results? Okay, those are the results. That’s five minutes. All right. Next most important question is on this initiative. Last week, we said we were gonna do this. This and this last meeting. We said we’re gonna do this, this and this. We’re gonna go around the room. Did you do it? That’s the first question. Yes or no? Okay. Yes or no? I also have this page tourism that we are not trying to be. Washington here. We are not trying to create a culture of blame. Okay? Because it’s useless. And you can see that, right? The You know, we’re not just trying to figure out who the millennium? No, we’re trying to understand, So if you didn’t do it, just say you didn’t do it. Now, if you didn’t do it for six weeks, you’re You know, I never yelled and I never saw in any meetings. But I’ve been told that I could make the air feel very heavy. So a little bit of tension is a good thing for the whole team. And if the person continues to not deliver, well, then it’s a private conversation. You’re

[00:53:50.07] spk_1:
going to have that conversation,

[00:54:01.84] spk_0:
but it really isn’t it much better for them to feel accountable in front of the team and just accountable to you, right and and like and have the teams say, Come on, we gotta get this done.

[00:54:44.54] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah, I can see your part that’s going to bring a team together If if folks are folks are willing to open up and say, you know, we’re not on radio so I can say no, I fucked up. I just I told you two weeks ago this was a priority, and I haven’t made it a priority and and I will in the next two weeks. You know, if somebody I think if somebody can say that openly to their to their to their CEO and to their team, maybe even more more so to the team, then you know, then there’s Then there’s that. Then it is a team, okay? This guy didn’t pull his weight. She come a little short. We can, you know, next week. It might be me, but it’s an environment that that supports us and isn’t beating us down now. But you like, you know, you say if it’s six months or you know, whatever you know, then then we have to go a different

[00:54:53.97] spk_0:
strategy. But

[00:54:55.41] spk_1:
that can bring a team together. That kind of opened this. I think

[00:57:37.23] spk_0:
you You are 100% correct, and the rest of the team appreciates it. Right? So another important part of this cadence meeting is that you set the example for this. That you’re you’re inquisitive. You want to understand the problem. You want to help. You’re not there to go. You didn’t do it. I move you to this side of my ledger. When you do it, you go back to the other side. No, I mean, that’s fine. And then the other thing that’s popular today is the stand up meeting. We’re going to do this all in five minutes. Yeah, you know, do you You don’t understand anything in five minutes. That’s appropriate for some meetings, but on this. What you’re trying to find out is what’s holding me back. If you’re If you’re leading an organization like I was leaving, we’re If the company didn’t grow, it was me. I was done right? You very quickly. If you have half a brain at all, you’re walking around every day trying to figure out what’s what’s going to prevent you from growing. Okay, that’s all you care about, right? You’re like and every issue a people issue, customer issue operations issue, it all gets reduced to. Is it going to prevent me from making my plan? And if it is, how are we going to solve it quickly so that it accelerates me towards that plan? Right. Um so So that’s that’s what you want, Everybody. You want everybody understanding your behavior and your questions in those terms and that we’re all on the same team trying to do this and what happens is you’re right. The team gels the people who people want to finish by the meeting. You have to have the meetings that are forcing function people most of their work the night before the meeting. That’s okay with me. Okay? Right. And yeah, you keep them open. And let me tell you the people you have all kinds of levels of people in this meeting. Anyone who can affect this is in this meeting. Okay? And what happens over time if you set the right example? Number one, the people at the bottom will come to you. And they say I so appreciate being in that meeting with you and watching you think through these problems. Mm hmm. Your direct reports. The people report directly to you that those people report to They’ll start jumping into the meeting, doing the same thing. So so And so, Joe Joe down at a low level, says I tried to get it done, but I couldn’t. Because of this. Right? In the first meeting, I’ll go. Okay. Well, how are we going to fix that? In the third or fourth meeting? The person who reports to me will go Joe right after this meeting, come to see me. We’re going to fix that. And now I’m now I’m not on cruise control, but we’re all together. We’re all together, just trying to make this happen.

[00:57:48.53] spk_1:
Not all plans are gonna work, right?

[00:58:53.72] spk_0:
No, no, Absolutely not. I’m telling you that, uh, tell you two things. One. I never walked into a company and said, You doofus, is you didn’t know you should be doing this. Never, never found, never walked in and created a new plan. Okay, what I did was I walked in, Um, and there’s this guy can itchy. Oh, my is a Japanese guy who wrote something called the Mind of the Strategist. And I’d look at the situation and I try to break it into pieces, okay into the logical pieces and then work on each piece to see how I could make it better and then put them back together. Not all of them came back together. Some we put to the side others we made. In any case, that’s a little bit material. But the the plans that we followed always existed in the business before I got there. But with some modifications, we you know, we have adopt them with some modifications, and then we’d execute.

[00:58:55.82] spk_1:
But you think the plans were already there?

[00:58:57.82] spk_0:
Sure. The ideas were already there. The idea of the middle

[00:59:00.49] spk_1:
step middle step wasn’t getting done. The execution

[01:00:23.51] spk_0:
first company I went to had a product that they were going to introduce that they’ve been talking about for five years. We introduced it in 13 months. I sat in the music, we had to introduce it. We had we had a new market we wanted to enter, and they they just went round and round and round on whether it was the right market to enter. You can always find a reason not to do something. It’s a lot easier to find reasons not to do something than it is to find reasons to. There’s almost this, Uh, there’s almost this mindset like, Well, we got to find something that no one in the industry has ever thought of. Well, that’s Yeah, good luck with that. That this never happens, right? No, you got to execute better than other company. So, you know, we had this market we wanted to enter, and everybody was disproving why we could enter it. And at some point I just said, No, I think we can do it. Let’s try it and we went after it. And that company is thriving in that market today. Alright, the last software company that I ran. Same thing. There’s a new market. We went after it. We’re leading in it right now, right? Um, but it was an idea that had been around forever. There was another market to where they actually convinced themselves there was no way to make any money in it. And we will. It’s that it’s

[01:00:38.01] spk_1:
avoiding that scarcity mentality and that, you know, it’s a focus on how we can, instead of why we can’t because it is always easier, much, much easier to find reasons why you can’t do something to evaluating and execute on a plan to do something. So I always say, Let’s look at how we can instead of why we can’t

[01:01:23.11] spk_0:
that that market that’s an interesting one, that market. I won’t tell you to many of the details because it’s active right now. But it’s about half of their new business right now. Okay? And and I had to move 30% of the engineering resources in that company to focus on that new market, and they were already booked, you know, they would have told you they’re booked 150% alright. So and did some things fall off the table and the status quo? You bet they did. We lived with it. We found ways around it, right? I mean, that’s But that’s the point where you see as the leader, I can’t walk away and say Figure it

[01:01:23.90] spk_1:
out. Well, that’s the belief in the plan.

[01:02:06.20] spk_0:
I’ve got to be part of the team that figures it out, right? Yes. I’m still the leader. I’m not. I’m not coming up with the solutions, but I’m asking the questions. Right. What can we do? How can we do? Tell me what we could, you know. Okay. Well, I moved. Oh, I moved 35 people over there, and you need one of them back, or you can’t get this done. So what you’re telling me? Yeah. Move them this afternoon. You know, I moved 35. Guess where I got that number? Yeah. You know, out of the air. Right. But but in some companies, that question never get out. Joe moved. Joe moved them. Can’t move them back. Okay.

[01:03:34.60] spk_1:
All right, Joe. Thank you, Joe. Pager. A reminder that Joe pager is available to consult with your non profit on everything we talked about. Strategic execution change management, leadership, fraternity, pledge training. You can reach him on LinkedIn. Remember, it’s P A J E r. Joe. Thank you very much. Good to have this conversation. You shared some excellent ideas. Appreciate your wisdom. Thanks a lot. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Pleasure. Next week, corporate funding. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turning to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. Shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy. And this music is by Scott Steiner. Thank you for that information. Scotty, you’re with me next week for nonprofit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great. Mm hmm. Mhm. Yeah.