ep. 103 - PollyLaBarre:

Author, Entrepreneur, & Businesswoman


For two decades Polly LaBarre has used her writing and speaking to help make organizations more resilient, innovative and inspiring - and to embolden and equip leaders at every level to make a meaningful impact. Polly’s work is driven by three core questions: How can organizations change the way they change in order to become endlessly adaptable and gain an advantage over time? How do you embed innovation as a DNA level capability inside an organization? How do we unleash and organize human potential in ever more powerful ways? With her partners (including Gary Hamel) at the Management Lab (MLab), Polly works with leading organizations to make real progress on those ideas and accelerate the development and adoption of a post-bureaucratic, 21st century management model.

Polly began this exploration as a founding member at Fast Companymagazine where she helped shape the remarkable success of a magazine that changed the way leaders at all levels think about working and winning. She also co-authored the bestselling book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win which has been published in 16 languages.

Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win
By William C. Taylor, Polly G. LaBarre



ep. 103 - PollyLaBarre: Author, Entrepreneur, & Businesswoman

Gail Davis: Polly LaBarre is our guest on today's episode of GDA Podcast. Polly is a best-selling author, speaker, and thinker, who has contributed to the business conversation for two decades. She is the co-author of the best-selling book, Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win. She is founding member of Fast Company Magazine, where she was senior editor for the better part of a decade, and a former business [00:03:30] and innovation correspondent for CNN. Welcome to our show today, Polly.

Polly LaBarre: Thank you very much! So glad to be here.

Kyle Davis: Well we're happy to have you on. Now, for those people who are like, maybe living under a bridge and don't watch TV or have an understanding of what CNN is, or maybe they're not hip with it and read Fast Company like they should, could you give them a little bit of your background so that they have a better understanding of who you are?

Polly LaBarre: Sure. I've [00:04:00] had a long and maybe not entirely linear path through the world of researching, writing about understanding, and changing organizations. I guess the through line is just a deep passion for making the realm of human endeavor more creative, more productive, more meaningful for tapping into all [00:04:30] of that unleashed potential inside organizations and amplifying it, mobilizing it, and making it productive for everybody. So that's kind of the through line.

My stops along the way, I'll just give you some highlights, you mentioned Fast Company, so absolutely, I was part of that founding group at Fast Company back in the boom-boom 90's. It was both a magazine [00:05:00] that I think fundamentally changed the conversation and created an idea, an agenda in the world of business, but also was an entrepreneurial endeavor, and was very much creating something new from the ground up. It was a start up in the age of start ups. So, many, many lessons there, and a wonderful community and diaspora that I'm still connected with and are very beloved to me.

You mentioned CNN. My [00:05:30] TV career was short-lived but a lot of fun. My hair and my makeup have never looked better. That was just ... In many ways, along the way, I thought about what are the different channels and approaches to sharing ideas, and sharing perspective around these topics of innovation and creativity of progressive [00:06:00] people practices of organizational change and transformation. How do those work out in different media? So I worked a lot in helping events and curating events, whether it was like a Pop Tech or the Fast Company events, or other amazing story telling venues, or CNN.

The most recent stop is really about shifting from being more of a researcher and a story teller and a sense maker, although I'm very much still that, to actually [00:06:30] experimenting with a lot of these ideas inside large organizations and building methodologies and approaches to helping make organizations more innovative and adaptable, and fundamentally more engaging. That's the work that I've been so blessed to be able to do with my colleagues at the Management Lab, we call it M-Lab, because we don't wanna be a consultancy. We wanna be a lab and do experiments. That's Gary [00:07:00] Hamill and Kelly Zanini, who I've been in the trenches with for about the last eight years building on Gary's amazing pioneering body of work that goes back decades, and operationalizing a lot of points of view around changing how large organizations change, and thinking about building in the DNA of innovation and adaptability inside an organization.

So, that's a very long winded bio, but hopefully it was interesting.

Gail Davis: That's perfect. I worked [00:07:30] for a technology company for 20 years and Gary was a big consultant for us, and that was 18 years ago, so you're right. He's had a huge impact over a number of decades.

Polly LaBarre: Yeah, he ... Love Gary.

Gail Davis: I love him. I would like to dive into a little bit more about the M-Lab Summit that you just did in China. I'd like for you talk a little bit about what the agenda was there, and what came out of that particular conference or summit that you held.

Polly LaBarre: Sure. So, Higher, [00:08:00] if people don't know, is one of the ... It is the fast growing and largest appliance company in the world, although it's actually quite a diversified conglomerate of a business. People in the U.S. might know that they recently GE Appliances. They're also known for being one of the most progressive organizations when it comes to, again, this notion of being fundamentally adaptable, entrepreneurial at every level, and deeply [00:08:30] thoughtful about evolving their management model. One of the core ideas around Management Lab, and again, this sort of dates back to Gary's work, is this notion of how do you make organizations laboratories for not just turning out new products and services, but we think the source of competitive management going forward is for turning out new approaches to all of your management practices and systems, the vehicle that gets you from here to there.

[00:09:00] So, Higher is really kind of like the shining light of examples of that. Gary's been doing research there for years as have a collection of ... It was amazing collection of global thinkers and academics who have been studying this organization as kind of the petri dish of the organization of the future.

They wanted to hold an event about that and they partnered with us at the M-Lab to create programming, essentially, for [00:09:30] half of the event. We called it the M-Lab Summit, and shared our ideas starting with Gary. Gary did some keynotes around unpacking a view into what makes a higher model success, what is entrepreneurship at scale look like, and then our more recent work around busting bureaucracy once and for all so that we can create management models and systems that [00:10:00] truly are responsive to this world of disruptive, constant change that we live in that are inclusive and inspiring and engaging that are fundamentally innovative. A big piece of what I did at the summit was really around this research that we'd been doing for the last several years where we've been traveling the globe, which is what I've been doing my whole career, but discovering and learning from this vanguard set of organizations [00:10:30] who are very diverse, and very different industries in sizes, in ages, in origins, but have given rise to a distinct set of design rules that are giving more [inaudible 00:10:45], sort of all of those benefits of bureaucracy, the control, the coordination, the discipline, the leverage to do complex things at scale, without suffering all of the limits that industrial bureaucratic model imposes on organizations, [00:11:00] the limits to productivity to adaptability, and most important to sort of human ingenuity.

Kyle Davis: So, I like you because we think very much the same way. Anybody who knows me know this to be true, but when it comes to organizational change, I mean, for me, when I look at an organization and they're maybe resistant to change, it comes back to whether, you keep mentioning and I've never used it before but it makes so much sense, and that's adaptability. So [00:11:30] what is it that a company or an organization, or even just leadership can do to really foster the seeds of adaptability to really help, whether it be an organizational change, or inspiring innovation, or other key aspects that really lead to growth.

Polly LaBarre: Yeah, well here's sort of the super power, the ultimate lever, I think, and that is cultivation the stomach and the capability for grassroots experimentation. I [00:12:00] think it's powerful for a lot of reasons. One, it's incredibly inclusive. Two, it's really fast, cheap, and risk-bound. Three, it sort of sets you on an evolutionary path where you can be very nimble and very responsive versus the standard, "Okay, get the strategy consultants, and we'll do a top down beautifully architected plan, and we're gonna roll it out across the organization," and then, what happens? It's just a dusty binder on people's shelves [00:12:30] and nobody buys into it.

We talk a lot about experimentation, obviously, but in the Management Lab being a lab. It's a subject that's always been near and dear to my heart going back to Mavericks and Disruptors, the Mavericks and the Rebels are always the ones who are kind of experimenting at the edges, but we see more and more large organizations using experimentation as a lever, a deeply embedded principle and practice that they want to get really [00:13:00] good at in the organization, and that's true whether you look at Spotify, or Amazon, or an Intuit, and increasingly some industrial organizations were looking at or are doing it as well.

When I talk about experimentation, it's not rocket science, right? It is literally trying a lot of ideas really quickly, testing your assumptions, getting feedback from real world real users, discarding what isn't working, and building them what is. It's that iterative [00:13:30] process of design something, test it, learn, iterate, and go and again, and again, and do that in a very small scoped way. What's really cool about that is anyone at any level or zone in an organization can come up with an idea and start an experiment.

Kyle Davis: I like that you mentioned that it's doing a lot of little things, but a lot of them with frequency, [00:14:00] because it's high risk, high reward, but the cost of failure isn't indicative to bringing a whole company down versus if a company is rigid and kind of antiquated investing all of their money into one egg basket, whether it's a whole new CRM system to fix everything, or if it's a whole new this or that. It's a lot of little experiments to improve the overall cohesiveness and brand overall.

Polly LaBarre: Well, and you just hit upon something that is [00:14:30] just so crucial today, and for individuals, for leaders, and I think at the organizational level, is that notion of failure isn't devastating, right? That you essentially need to recast and make friends with failure, and learn how to metabolize it and have a facility with dealing with it that is both at an individual level, and also an organizational [00:15:00] level. This isn't like ... The mantra in Silicon Valley is always "Fail faster, fail forward," and I want to be very clear that failing is not fun. It's not. It's not like, "Yay! Let's go fail!" But the fact is, it is a consequence of any kind of experimentation, of trying to do anything new, right? It's called trial and error for a reason. You're gonna encounter errors. The people [00:15:30] in history, if you look at great scientific discovery, or you look at inventors of any kind who have actually discovered something, often it was a big mistake, or it was a surprise. Part of that came with being sort of open and curious and recasting failure as simply work in progress, right?

More than that, being extremely inquisitive, and curious, and [00:16:00] just open to learning from that failure. It's not so much that you're not ... Because you don't want to repeat your mistakes, it's because you want to be open to possibility. You'll see again and again organizations like Pixar, I talk about a lot, or Amazon. Jeff Bezos is very famous for talking about failures of core competency of Amazon, which you don't hear CUs talking about very often. A lot of these organizations [00:16:30] are ... Intuit's Scott Cook is incredibly thoughtful about this notion of how you make decisions by experimentation and how you metabolize failure. This is a conversation that these leaders and these organizations are having so that these very small risks, and again, are sort of cheap in their bound, right? You can't kind of ... At Spotify, they talked about limited blast radius, right? The way that everything is architected is you can try stuff but you can't blow up the whole [00:17:00] system.

Kyle Davis: Right, and into your point, it's because you don't put all of your eggs in one basket. By diversifying, you're gonna have a higher hit rate. It's kind of like if your stock portfolio is only invested in one company, well that company goes under, sorry. But, if you're well diversified, you're gonna probably do very well. That's a great thing. In my time that I had in Silicon Valley failure, yeah. It's kind of a badge that people wear. It's like, "Hey, this is where I earned my reputation. We had a product launch, it didn't work. [00:17:30] We pivoted, we took what we could out of there that was great and we applied it to something else." I know that the trick is fail fast or fail forward, but failure has to come with, or whatever you're doing, has to come with some insight intuit and there has to be some lessons learned coming out of it as well.

Polly LaBarre: Yeah, and you just said another brilliant thing there. I don't even need to speak. You've got all of the good ideas here, but the notion of having a diverse of options [00:18:00] thinking about experiments in portfolio terms, that's certainly the way Amazon thinks about it. It's the way other organizations think about it, because again, you're right. It's not like, "Oh, we're gonna do one kind of sexy experiment over here, and it's the chief marketing officer. It's a lot of fun and really slick, and we'll do one a year or something." No, it's about the sheer numbers, the sheer diversity, and the understanding the Silicon Valley mindset [00:18:30] that in any portfolio of experiments there's gonna be a huge percentage of them that just aren't gonna work for whatever reason, and that's okay! It's the portfolio and the opportunity to come up with a handful of things that actually will become the next big thing that's important.

Kyle Davis: Yeah, mediocre success is still success.

Gail Davis: I'm really intrigued by the way you phrase metabolize [00:19:00] failure, and I'm just wondering for any leaders or just listeners in general who maybe recognize a need to shift the way they metabolize failure. Do you have any guidelines on the best way to try to change that? Because obviously you mentioned it several times.

Polly LaBarre: Yeah, well let me give you ... I'll give you a couple examples, and they're from leaders who actually do this in practice. I've [00:19:30] learned so much over the years from David Kelley at IDEO and the guys at Stanford d.school and gals, everybody at Stanford d.school and how they think about experimentation and iteration. The words that they use there are, "Do to think," instead of, "Paralysis by analysis," and linear, like I planned something, I fund it, and then I'm gonna do it. No. They're in that cycle of experimentation and iteration. [00:20:00] There's real courage in just doing something when you're not quite ready to do it. With the open mindset that it won't be perfect, you'll encounter mistakes, you will fumble, you will have misdirection, but by continuing to do that over and over again, you will probably get to something much more inventive than if you tried to plan it out from the offset.

David always tells this story of how he got to this point of view, [00:20:30] and he was reading this book. I think it was called Juggling for the Complete Klutz, something like that, right? It was a famous book at one point if you wanted to learn how to juggle. The instruction was literally just get in the habit of dropping the ball on the floor. Drop it on the floor 400 times. There's something about the repeated act of dropping the ball, which is a small failure, that takes all of the sting out of failure and you realize [00:21:00] that in that process also starts to give you this sort of muscle memory of, "I've tried something, it didn't work. I'm gonna try something else. That didn't work. I'm gonna try something else, that didn't work, and no big deal." Right? That's sort of one of the attitudes.

The other more institutionalized kind of approach to this is if you look at an organization like Pixar, and I talked about this a moment ago, they're very focused on this [00:21:30] notion of sharing work in progress, which I think is a really beautiful mechanism inside of an organization. What it says is inside so many organizations, we kind of separate people and control people by controlling their access to information, you know? Like, if you're at this level, you get this information, and you're at this level, you get this, and you're at sort of the bottom of the organization, you basically don't know anything about anything. So what they say [00:22:00] is, "No, we wanna be very open about about our work in progress, so if we're working on a film at any one time, everyone in the organization is invited into the process." They have all kinds of mechanisms for doing that, whether it's being very visual and open about how they share, or how progress is going on a certain film.

When I visited Pixar, Brad Bird, the director The Incredibles, had outside of his office a chart [00:22:30] made out of felted Velcro and popsicle sticks and it was literally the character's heads and it was a visual, very creative almost pre-school-esque progress chart of like, "Okay, this is our budget. If we use more time on Mr. Incredible's hair, we're gonna have less time on this character's suit." Whatever it was. It was very ... Anyone walking through the hall had access to that.

Another example ... Oh, go ahead.

Kyle Davis: I was just gonna say [00:23:00] that the level of transparency in a confident and secure company that does something like what Pixar does is incredible. When I was at ... And it allows for incredible things. When I was at my time at Square, we had an email that would go out called Notes@ and it came from every single meeting. If there was three people, it was automatically considered a meeting, because HR only meets with two people, and so, if it's three people and it's a meeting that's conducive [00:23:30] or something about Square, notes and minutes had to be taken and they were sent to everybody in the company. So an engineer may have received a sales meeting note, or a sales team member might've received something from engineering. While that may seem like oil and vinegar, it helps to understand where everybody is at. We had access to all the information and allowed for us to be better stewards of the brand when we went to go evangelize elsewhere.

Polly LaBarre: Absolutely. That's a perfect example of that kind of practice. You see this [00:24:00] at Atlassian, the fast growing collaborative software maker that's based in Australia. They have an incredibly open culture to the extent where they don't actually have email. All of the work is basically done sort of a Wiki and through their collaborative tools. Everything is out in the open, including strategy, and plans, and pricing, and documentation.

For example, going back to the theme [00:24:30] of sharing work in progress, which can be so powerful because in so many organizations, you kind of keep your work covered up, right? Until you have a perfectly polished PowerPoint Presentation, or you're ready to share it with your manager or your leader in a meeting. You lose out on so much collaborative potential, iterative potential, and just learning by doing that. For an example, at Atlassian, anybody working on [00:25:00] a project, and similar to your experience at Square, this is more than a couple people spending more than a certain amount of time on something that's a project. In that case, you sort of have to register in this open repository called Project Central, and there are five questions you have to essentially answer every week. It's things like, "What's our charter? What are our targets? What progress have we made? What deadline are we gonna meet?" I'm not quite sure exactly what it is, but that becomes this [00:25:30] view where anyone in the organization can see what anyone else is working and connect on the basis of that, and learn on the basis of ...

Kyle Davis: Yeah, and I'll say, I think its confluence, is the internal Wiki program that you can buy from Atlassian. We had that when I was at Square. In every single one of our project groups, same thing like Atlassian did, we had to have that. We had to make our own Wiki. The more you have three people on a team, it's a team. You now need to name your team something, blah blah blah. But it allows insight into everybody, so whether you're using Atlassian products, which is [00:26:00] like HipChat or you're on Slack, or maybe Google Sites, having that level of transparency is really helpful.

Polly LaBarre: Yeah, absolutely. The higher order of transparency and sharing is when organizations actually allow for people on teams, people at the edges of the organization, people closest to making the decisions that are gonna affect the customers the most that they both have [00:26:30] access to really granular real time performance data so they can understand how they're doing, how the organization is doing, and make decisions based on that very informed view of what's going on.

Kyle Davis: So, let's talk about that. One of the things that you mentioned, it was methodology and approaches, and then you talked about design rules, and it's all leading to increased productivity, and maybe what you share and everything [00:27:00] else. So, what are some guiding principles that you have, or have seen, that companies that are successful really implement in their design towards increased towards productivity and transparency and the like.

Polly LaBarre: Yeah, and it's even beyond productivity and more to organizations that are much more resilient and adaptable and innovative. One of the big design rules is this notion that sort of this appetite [00:27:30] and this facility for relentless experimentation, that's certainly one of them. I think what we're circling around is this notion of people having a lot of freedom and where the typical controls in an organization are top down and they're about rigid rules and policies in these organizations that we've looked at [00:28:00] at Management Lab. What we're seeing is that the control mechanisms come from within. It's self management, or they come from around you. It's peer regulation, it's sort of customer regulation, customer feedback that guides you.

One example of that is I've done a lot of looking at a bank, a Scandinavian bank, called Svenska Handelsbanken. It's a conventional, sort of full-service [00:28:30] ...

Kyle Davis: Can I just stop you right there and say that pronunciation was phenomenal?

Gail Davis: Yes, we might need to hear that one more time.

Polly LaBarre: Svenska Handelsbanken. If I say it a few times, it'll probably ...

Kyle Davis: Beautiful. That was amazing.

Polly LaBarre: Here's an organization. So, we know a lot about banks and their failures in this country, certainly, and their challenges recently. They are very [00:29:00] interesting specimen in the sense that they have this model where their mantra is essentially, "The branch is the bank," and they have devolved power and authority and decision making rights to the branches. The branch managers have this incredible amount of leeway when it comes to operational decisions. They decide who to offer credit. They decide the pricing for deposits and loans. They decide the approach to marketing. [00:29:30] There's no central call center. If you call up the bank, you get your local branch and someone you may even know on the phone. Imagine that.

A lot of that comes ... The way they're able to have that kind of distributive authority, and distributive autonomy, is that they have very simple controls that, again, are not top-down. They're more internal. They have very strong shared norms and values. [00:30:00] Everyone inside the bank has a copy of this booklet called "Our Way," which for 40 years they've been looking at and evolving a little bit here and there, but it's the basic template of what they believe in and how they act and they make decisions. Everybody shares that view. Or, they have a lot of peer regulation, which is every branch manager can see how they rank in terms of performance [00:30:30] on a few very simple metrics, like return on equity, or their cost efficiency, and they can see where they rank and that sort of peer pressure actually helps them figure out where do we need to improve, and do we need to improve. It's an example of a different kind of regulatory mechanism for an organization.

Kyle Davis: Yeah, I hate to steal all of the sunshine from this, but, yeah I think having different tools that really kind of impact and [00:31:00] promote positive peer pressure, if you will, really help. I'm thinking of one company, I think it's called Level 11, which is a sales force tag along, piggy-back type thing. It shows in comparison to other people on a sales team how productive you were in the day. So, like, how many phone calls did this person make? How many emails did they send? It allows you to stay on target for whatever your goals are, but then you can compare yourself to other people in the organization. It turned into a giant competition. And by the way, at the end of the day, everybody is making more money.

Polly LaBarre: [00:31:30] Yeah, well, you know ... So, what you're raising, there is this whole thrust-run people analytics, you know that's a big topic inside organizations, and I'm not necessarily really talking about that, because you're right. There can be some tricky side effects to that kind of quantified and transparent, and kind of individual competitiveness. There are great benefits to it, and there [00:32:00] are also, as we just discussed, some interesting side effects. What I'm really talking about is this kind of shared view as an organization, and in many ways, the dedication to, especially at Handelsbanken, to create these deep, long-term human relationships with customers, doing the same thing with people inside the bank and not chasing targets, [00:32:30] or volume, or marketing hot products, but essentially making sober decisions about banking that allow for that long-term sustainability. All of those things, those norms, or the shared values, those shared goals, that's what people are judged upon. It's a little bit more of a collective assessment as opposed to individuals competing against each other.

That said, that's just one flavor. You can see [00:33:00] that kind of approach that's much more competitive, that's much more entrepreneurial, that's much more Darwinian in other organizations. It's not to say that they're sort of like a paint by numbers approach to evolving your organization.

Gail Davis: I'm really glad that you brought that example up, because I sit here and I listen, and I hear the words change; innovation, disruption, maverick. Even the name of the magazine, Fast Company. I'm left with ... It can be borderline exhausting. [00:33:30] What are the tips for pacing and not burning everyone on the team, and trying to maintain relationships? Because that seems to be a conflict, and I know you've been a part of business conversations for two decades. Connectivity is increased. What is your point of view on balancing all these aggressive things with some sort of pacing?

Polly LaBarre: Yeah, that's such a great question. I will say that the [00:34:00] leaders that I have found most inspiring, and same with the organizations that I've found most inspiring, there's this wonderful humanity, sort of humanistic approach. Again, that's not to say that there aren't some organizations that are a lot more intense, and a lot more competitive, and a lot more fast paced, but that's not the highest valley, certainly, that I'm holding up, or that we hold up at the M-Lab. [00:34:30] Really, fundamentally, there's this notion that people are fundamentally capable are good, have endless potential, and it's really the job of organizations and management to tap into that, to organize it, to mobilize it, to unleash it. We've found that leader after of these vanguard organizations that we talk about, they come from a very philosophic [00:35:00] humanist tradition where they've been very thoughtful about those things.

That's sort of my first point, but then if you wanna talk more about individual strategies as a leader, I think, again, this kind of very visceral and almost, I would call it a sort of analog experience with the world, is so important. It manifests itself in different ways. [00:35:30] You hear a lot of leaders now, I love that this is sort of core conversation these days, talking about reflection, and mindfulness, and whatever is your ... What's your bag? You bag could be like, "I like to go run marathons," or, "I like to sit under a tree," or, "I truly do meditate," or whatever it is, it doesn't matter. What are you doing to take yourself out of that rat race and step aside and give yourself the [00:36:00] ability to reset and recharge.

Gail Davis: That's really true. One of our largest, fasts growing clients is planning their roll out next year for training their top leaders, and their number one focus right now is mindfulness. We're actually looking at someone to come in and talk on meditation. They see such a need for it. So, I hadn't connected the dots with my question, but it is a tough thing to balance.

Kyle Davis: Does it ultimately come back to design, though? I mean, look, you can have some crazy [00:36:30] organization, and I'm one of these obsessive people where I would just burn everybody into the ground on some days if I were in charge, but it ultimately comes down to design and saying, "Hey, does this fit the model that we're trying to put out?"

Polly LaBarre: Well, I always take a step back from design. One step back from design is your deeper sense of purpose, and the values that are associated with that. I think that's where differentiation starts, right? [00:37:00] Go back to Fast Company, go back to my work on Mavericks at Work. Really, all of that was about, like, where do original ideas from organizations and for competition and for strategy come from? How do you develop that deep rooted differentiation in this world of proliferating choices and sameness. It really does [00:37:30] come from these deeply, deeply felt, and widely held values. You can tick off organization after organization that's been extremely successful, that has deep customer loyalty, that has a bigger impact than maybe its footprint would suggest.

I always think of Patagonia as a fantastic example of this, of an organization that has been so iconoclastic. They've been [00:38:00] so unwavering. They've been so committed to a set of values and a higher purpose in the world, and yet, all the decisions that would seem to be almost anti-marketing decisions, whether it was, "Hey, we're gonna launch a buy less campaign," or, "We're gonna run a bunch of campaigns about environmental issues and spend a lot of money on that, and a lot of reputation on that," and yet, [00:38:30] it leads to more sales, and leads to more influence in the world, and more sort of rabid fans who are connected to the brand. You see that again, and again, and think about the difference between working in an organization that has a set of really authentic values that are not just on the wall, and not just on the website, but are lived and breathed in behaviors and built into systems [00:39:00] and practices every single day. I always look for that and it's just so rewarding when you see that in an organization.

Kyle Davis: Yeah, I'm thinking of a few companies. I have a friend of mine who works for one, and every way that they game plan their individual goals for a quarter, it's tied to an underlying tenent of the company's foundational principles. So, my goal is tied to this tenent, and then their months goals are tied, or everything's in support to that. So, [00:39:30] basically to circle back to the question about design, it's really designing to the purpose, and then it's finding those values from the purpose.

Polly LaBarre: Yeah, I think that that's fair to say, and the thing that you mentioned that you do see a lot as well is that this is everyday vocabulary, you know like purpose is kind of a daily guide if you're trying to make a decision about something, or you're confronting a problem. I was talking to the CEO of Handelsbanken [00:40:00] and he said, "Absolutely, when are team or a branch is confronted with a problem, we say, 'Go pick up our way, and consult it.'" As if there were a manual for problems these days! But, in fact, there is, because you go back to first principles and it seems to work.

Kyle Davis: Well, I think that is a great place for us to wrap up. Polly LaBarre, not "LaBerre" and we'll ...

Gail Davis: Inside jokes.

Kyle Davis: We'll laugh on that. Look, if you wanna have Polly come and speak for [00:40:30] your event, you can do so by contacting GDA Speakers. The number is (214)420-1999. The website is GDAspeakers.com

For the transcript and the ability to buy Polly's books, you can go to GDApodcast.com. Other than that, Polly, thanks so much for taking your time today.

Gail Davis: Thank you, Polly!

Polly LaBarre: Thank you. What a pleasure to talk to you both.

Kyle Davis: All right.