On this episode Josh speaks with Juliana Stancampiano, author of “Radical Outcomes: How to Create Extraordinary Teams That Get Tangible Results”. They discuss what she means by “radical outcomes” and how you can apply these principles to your business.
Juliana Stancampiano, author of RADICAL OUTCOMES, is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Oxygen. For more than fifteen years, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, both in them and for them. Her firm’s clients include Microsoft, DXC, Delta Dental (of WA), Starbucks, F5 Networks, Avaya, and Western Digital, among others.
Her in-depth experience, along with the research that Oxygen conducts and the articles she has published, has helped to shape the perspective that Oxygen embraces.
In today’s episode you’ll learn:
- What’s the big reveal in Radical Outcomes?
- What is a business driver and how to measure it?
- How do you know if somebody understands a business?
- What can a business with 25 people learn from big businesses to apply to their business?
- How important is having clear company values?
Narrator: Welcome to The Sustainable Business Radio Show podcast where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In The Sustainable Business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful. Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.
Josh: Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick. You’re at The Sustainable Business podcast.
Our guest today is Juliana Stancampiano. It’s actually a really big day for her because today is book launch today. Her book is Radical Outcomes. We’re going to start talking out what is radical outcomes? What does she mean by that? How can you apply it to your business? Let’s bring her on.
Hey Juliana. How are you today?
Juliana: I am great. Thank you. I can’t believe it’s launch day. We made it.
Josh: When I did my book launch, which is about this time last year, it was the most anti‑climatic thing. I was sick of it.
Juliana: Yes, I know.
Josh: I just wanted it to be done. And then, I realized I had three more months of really hard work.
Josh: And that wasn’t very successful. I hope yours is way more than mine.
Juliana: I appreciate it. Well, I hope so too, apparently.
Josh: Tell me, what’s your book about and what’s the big lesson we get? As my book coach would say, “What’s the big reveal?”
Juliana: I think the big reveal is we’ve talked to people that have read it ahead of time which has been phenomenal. You get some of those advanced reader copies, people read through it and give me feedback, is the focus on business outcomes within the learning space specifically for enablement is not something that that part of a corporation really focuses on as much nor is it defined very well. And so, a lot of people are saying, “Wow.”
I just a LinkedIn message this morning from a guy saying, “I’ve handed an article out that went out in [inaudible 00:02:10] Magazine. I’ve bought your book and I handed that out to my whole team. The big takeaway that I got was focusing on business outcomes and figuring out what they are so that we are making a bigger impact to our customers and to the people in our organizations.”
A radical outcome is a major business outcome. That’s not something, from an enablement perspective and from a people perspective, that we always think about. It’s more a task-oriented type of outcome or what we would call an output. And so, I think that shift in your mindset of, “I need to question everything that I’m creating, understand how it links to the greater business driver so that I can make sure I’m not wasting money for my corporation”.
Josh: When you say business driver, what do you mean by that?
Juliana: It could be something like a customer service agent, and what’s happening on the other end with the customer experience, and how that’s being fed back to the corporation, and seeing how those numbers can potentially increase. For customer service agents, specifically, if it not’s helping them have a customer interaction in a more efficient or a more successful manner then I don’t know why they’d be learning whatever that thing is. And so, everything needs to be adjusted to “what’s going to be successful for somebody in their role at work” as it relates to what they’re doing for the business.
Josh: How do you measure that? I love business drivers. I think some business owners spend way too much time looking at historical numbers and don’t measure things that move the needle going forward. How do you figure out what you should be measuring going forward? What is it that drives those needles?
Juliana: I think these come from the top down. What’s the strategy for the company? What is it that we’re trying to do this year? What’s the metrics that the CEO’s going to be looking at? What are the metrics that his directs are all going to be looking at? How do we start to affect those specific metrics and drivers that essentially are going to be tied to probably growth for the business or potentially launching something new and trying new markets?
It’s a lot of different things. It depends on the business that you’re in. It depends on if you’re B2B or B2C. You have to understand what those numbers are and understand then what your role is can impact those numbers.
There are a lot of people I’ve met. Before we got on, we talked a little bit about MBAs and business degrees. I’ll say, I would agree that the education that we get is not always the practical education of how it’s actually going to happen in business.
Juliana: Yet, I would also say that the different roles that we have in our organizations, if somebody’s a marketing degree or has a professional development degree or an organizational development degree, what I find the most lacking is they don’t understand how business works. When you don’t understand that, then it’s very difficult to think about how your work can impact the business. You think more about your trade, and the art of it, and how amazing you can make these organizational maps look but, if they don’t work in reality, they don’t matter.
Josh: That’s really true. How do you know if somebody knows how a business works?
Juliana: That’s a great question. I think that, in my years of having conversations with people, you can test that out between when you talk about something that they’re doing for the organization and how they relate that back – if they relate that back to how that affects the larger business.
It’s like, “Well, you know, our VP of Sales wants to drive X, Y, and Z. And so, some of the things that we’re looking at this year are X and X.” When they relate that back to some sort of business outcome that their executives are driving then you can start to see that they’re connecting the dots between what they do and what’s going to help the business move forward.
Josh: What can the executives do? I really hear what you’re saying and I think that when companies get to 50 or more employees, that becomes a bigger deal than with companies that have less than 50 employees because the owner is there driving it. The owners with less than 50 employees have a whole set of other issues which are huge.
Josh: But, as far as driving the business to success, that seems to be a communication issue that starts appearing at about 50 employees. It gets acute at a hundred employees.
Juliana: Yeah, it’s a scale.
Josh: Yeah. What can the senior managers of 100-plus-person company be doing to drive that? And then, I want to ask you, “What can a business with 25 people learn from that to apply to their businesses?” Because your business is 25 people and I’m assuming you’re applying some of those big business lessons to your size company.
Juliana: I think you’ve hit the numbers really accurately, I would say. And you start hitting those numbers where it scales and the message has to get down to everybody in an organization. It’s been very clear on what it is where you’re headed – very clear about it. What are our goals? Where are we headed this year and potentially next year? How are we going to get there?
I think, from and executive viewpoint, you spend so much time in the strategy and thinking through this that it almost becomes the second nature and then you expect everybody else has been there with you. And then, you’re like, “Well, of course, that’s what we’re doing.” There’s absolutely a communications component to it.
We had an executive at a Fortune 100 company. We had his C-level executive come to him and say, “Man, I’ve been talking to your people and they sound just like you.” The VP said, “Well, that’s great but I wish they could execute on it now.” He was having his own frustrations. His boss’ point of view was, “No, but the first step is that people are literally saying what you’re saying so the execution of that is going to come, I know it, because they sound just like you.” The VP that we were working with kind of stepped back and said, “Oh. Yeah, I hadn’t even noticed that because I’m so in it in the day-to-day work of this.” That was a great point for him to go, “You’re right.” How do you communicate it? He was out repeating it and repeating it and repeating it. He was like, “I’m a broken record. This is horrible.” What was happening was that people were understanding that they were using the language he was using. They were talking about the things that they’re going to be driving and they were starting to figure out and wrap their own heads how they were going to implement it.
And so, I would say is, you have to absolutely be strong on those communications. You have to be realistic about how much time it’s going to take. I think that’s something I’ve learned just having my own business. Being an entrepreneur, you think you can go out and change things very, very quickly – especially when you’re smaller and more nimble. In reality, it’s that long-term view of “We’re going to chip away at this until we get there.” That consistency of message and driver as you flex, every year, to kind of meet business and customers where they’re at, I think, is very, very key to that.
Josh: I think you’ve just hit on something which I would consider really key which is words. In my experience, the words that you use are really, really important. If you want your message to get through clearly (a) you have to use simple words like no higher than fifth-grade vocabulary.
Juliana: Yeah. I learned that writing the book, as you probably have.
Josh: Yep. Well, I actually learned that a long time ago as I had been writing in fifth grade level since I was ninth grade.
Juliana: Okay. Okay.
Josh: Now, we can stop there.
Juliana: It works.
Josh: Well, my friends, who are attorneys, cringe every time they read anything I write.
Juliana: Yeah. Yeah, that’s funny. My AP English teacher just crucified me. And so, writing a book was a pretty big accomplishment for me, from the feedback I got in that class.
Josh: My senior year English teaches, which was not AP, I think she was convinced I was illiterate. I wish she was still alive because I will send her a copy of my book.
Juliana: Yeah, exactly. I thought about that like a week ago. I was like, “I wonder if I could dig up his name and send him this book.”
Josh: Yes. at any rate, I think it’s really important that we understand that the words that we use matter and how we communicate to our people. They don’t get it the first time around.
Juliana: No. Nobody ever gets it the first time around.
Josh: In fact, it takes around seven times around before people even start understanding it. To get people to integrate it, you really have to have stories.
Josh: My question, I guess, with this executive, I mean, people were using the language but did they understand the language? Were there stories behind the language?
One of the five things in my book about creating a sustainable business (1) is having clear company values.
Josh: But without a clarifying statement around those values, the values are completely useless.
Juliana: Totally. What do we mean when we say, “We care about people”?
Josh: We care about people is stupid, in my opinion, for a value.
Juliana: Right, that’s fair.
Josh: What specific value are you talking about there? Are we talking about rights and respects which I would say, “Who cares about your people?” And what’s the clarifying statement? But, more importantly, what’s the story behind that? I mean, is that something that you do with your folks?
Juliana: Yes. We get in the language heavily. I have found that the biggest disconnects, watching two people have a conversation, is that one person is using words and the other person’s interpreting them in their view. You can see, as a third party, that their view and the other person’s view are actually not the same. And then, they talk past each other. Have you ever watched those conversations? And then, they leave. I look around at somebody, I’m like, “Nobody got anything out of that conversation because I don’t think anybody knew what the words were that they were using
To a point, kind of, to bring this back to enablement and learning, is we did recently – did a workshop and people were throwing around the word onboarded. Well, the person’s onboarded, and they’re onboarded, and they’re onboarded this, and they’re onboarded that. Finally, I said, “What do you mean by onboarded? What does it mean to be onboarded here?” The range was they got their computer and they met their manager all the way to they can do their job and everything in between that you can think about that somebody might go through to be onboarded.
And so, what we spent a couple of hours on was defining, “Well, if we’re going to try to drive a business outcome, what’s a business outcome linked to onboarding?” This was for a sales audience. It was very fascinating for me because the corporate side was all about they get their computer. They’ve been through the HR stuff. They’ve met with their manager. The sellers in the room were they have to close their first deal and they’re not onboarded until they close the first deal because our job is to close deals and bring in revenue. If they can’t do their job by closing a deal– and they were like, “It doesn’t have to be a big deal” – and this is a huge company, but it has to be like 5-grand or 15-grand, just something to get the first under their belt so that we know that they have the capabilities to close the deal here.
Josh: It also tells the new employee what their expectation is before they’re part of the group.
Juliana: Absolutely. We use that outcome and we worked backwards from it and said, “If that’s the outcome that we’re driving towards, then what does somebody need to be able to know and be able to do to reach the outcome?”
Josh: Which brings us to your business which is a training business?
Juliana: Yeah. Well, that word makes me cringe but yes.
Josh: Okay, what word would you rather use?
Juliana: No, no, no. It’s all good. It’s that training means a million different things to a million different people. I will tell you that people or the consumers of the training typically can’t stand the training that they have to go through. I don’t like being related necessarily to something that people don’t like.
Josh: Yeah but the reason they hate the training is because it’s not relevant.
Juliana: Exactly. Yes.
Josh: I used to own a food service and vending company. In 1982, I had read Deming’s book with his 14 points. I said, “We need this in our company.” I brought in a statistics professor from the University of Vermont to teach us basic statistics. Our mechanics – my lead mechanic had a fifth-grade education. That was when he stopped going to school.
Josh: That was a good mechanic.
Josh: He learned college-level statistics. He learned to use it as well as anybody else in our company. I learned a really important lesson from this. Anybody can learn anything if it’s valid for what they’re doing–
Juliana: Yeah, the context.
Josh: –because he could understand how this was going to make his life better. He actually spent the time to learn it.
Josh: Nobody treated him as if he was dumb which I know happened when he was going to school because he was a little farm kid.
Josh: You just hit the nail on the head when it comes to training the salespeople, you were talking about your sales group, because the definition of onboarding became– they did their first deal. Well, now, you have your training about “what does it take to do your first deal?”
Juliana: Yeah, so we’re working backwards from that and we’ve created about 25 of what we call micro episodes of knowledge that’s needed so that they can go do something. It’s a quick way to gather the knowledge. And then, it’s something that they would really have to go do. You need to go meet this person. You need to go talk to this person. You need to go figure out how to set up this kind of meeting with a customer, etc.
We worked backwards from that. That took us five hours or something of working in the room to do them. And then, said to the sellers, “Okay, if somebody knows and does all of this, will they be able to close their first deal?” You have to keep coming back to the outcome that you’re trying to drive. We got the stamp of approval from everybody and said, “Yes. We believe, if they go through this, they’ll be able to close their first deal here.” I said, “Great, now we can go create that for that audience, to meet them where they’re at and take them where we need them to go.”
Josh: I think you hit another thing which I think is a really crucial deal in the world of learning which is, you said, micro courses or micro modules.
Josh: How long are those modules?
Juliana: They’re between 10 and 15 minutes. I’m a huge believer in understanding your audience extremely well and understand what works for them versus what works for somebody else. We do a lot, a lot of work in the sales space. Sales is good to be in when economies go down.
I started Oxygen in 2008 right when everybody was getting hit really hard. We were doing a bunch of sales enablement type of work and that’s been wonderful. I have a real passion for sellers because I think customer-facing people have a very difficult job. They’re expected to understand everything potentially in their customer’s world and how it works as well as everything that happens in their company’s world and how it works. They’re supposed to bring those things together for mutual success. That’s complicated.
Josh: Yes, especially in big organizations because you have all sorts of people who have different outcomes and different agendas that they kind of need to merge.
Juliana: The point was we look at the audience really closely and say, “What works for the audience?” not “What works for me or what I think is cool”. But “What’s going to resonate with the audience?” Well sellers aren’t– they’re typically either at home, or they’re out on the road, or they’re somewhere in between. Potentially, in an office. But you don’t find them in offices lots and lots. That kind of on the go – I call it an online experience but I don’t mean e-learning. I mean, literally, an online experience that they can go through, get the knowledge they need, go do their job, have conversations, come back. It’s the application and then the knowledge in one place that’s easy to get to. It’s simple to navigate. It’s right there.
What we’ve learned is that, for sellers, they don’t care much about the fidelity of something. They care whether it’s useful for them to go use with customers so that’s been really fun.
Josh: I would say that’s true for almost anybody that has to learn something. I think that one of the big mistakes that we make, as we’re moving to this online learning world, I am so sick of people who do one-hour, one-and-a-half hour modules.
Josh: I want to shoot them.
Juliana: Yes. Me, too. They’re out. They’re now our customers.
Josh: [inaudible 00:17:43] said, if your module is any more than 15 minutes long, it’s just not going to be done.
No. What we do is we look at the modules and we break the modules down even, so within a module you might have two-minute animation, an infographic, a video of some people talking about how this works. And then, you’re done. You’re out.
That change of your brain synapses to kind of take in the information, I find helpful because I’ve done some tests on my own team and people that I know and said, “Watch the video for me and tell me when your mind first wanders.” Almost consistently, the average is right about two minutes. If we think about kind of two-minutes increments of capturing attention, that’s where we set and we try to create to that.
Hey, Juliana, Unfortunately, we are out of time for the podcast. Where can people find your book? Where can they find you? Where can they find your company? If they would like to engage you – I’m assuming you’re willing to have that conversation.
The book can be found on pretty much any of your favorite retailers – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CEO‑READ, lots of local bookstores as well. My dad called up our local bookstore, here in Seattle, and ordered it yesterday which was kind of nice. You can find it pretty much anywhere.
You can find Oxygen. Our website is oxygenexp.com. As well as on Twitter, our Twitter handle is @oxygenexp as well. And myself under @jstancampiano.
What’s the name of your book again, please?
Juliana: Radical Outcomes.
Josh: Okay, great. Go get Radical Outcomes at your favorite book seller, read it. I’m sure you’ll get some value from it.
I have an offer for you also. I like one-page infographics because I think one-pagers are pretty cool.
Josh: I’ve done what I want to call Cracking the Cash Flow Code. The reason I did it, very simply, it’s the number one problem that I think small businesses have – we don’t have enough cash. We’re always cash starved.
I did this thing because I think it’s really kind of an important thing. Where are you on the road to cash flow freedom? Because at some point you’re going to want to leave your business. If you don’t have appropriate cash while you’re running your business, you’re never going to be able to afford to leave it when the time comes. I encourage you to click on the button below this and you’ll get your infographic. And then, you can let me know what you think about it
This is Josh Patrick. We’ve been with Juliana Stancampiano. You’re at the Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here again really soon.
Narrator: You’ve been listening to The Sustainable Business podcast where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around a hundred years from now?” If you like what you’ve heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 ext 2, or visit us on our website at www.askjoshpatrick.com, or you can send Josh an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening. We hope to see you at The Sustainable Business in the near future.