30 Jan Achieving Satisfying Business Results
To achieve satisfying business results one must strive to the fullest and create the desired results. This is exactly what our guest is here to explain today.
In this week’s The Faces of Business episode, our guest speaker was John Lamy. John is the Principal Consultant at Lamy Consulting. Before this, he worked at OMEP as a senior consultant and at Hewlett for more than 33 years. John is an organizational and leadership consultant that helps companies get the right people working together in the right seats to drive the results they desire.
Beginning the conversation, Damon introduced John to the show and then asked him to talk about himself. Responding to this, John said that he liked building new things even as a little kid. Moreover, when he was 7 years old, he built his first radio as well.
Consequently after this, his interest in building radios developed even more. Therefore, after this, he went to college and did electrical engineering. This is when his firsthand experience actually helped him understand things better in college.
Eventually, straight out of college he got a job at Hewlett – Packard. After this, Damon asked John about his journey of getting into MIT even though he belonged to a small town. Answering this, John said that although his student’s counselor told him not to apply to MIT because it was difficult to get in, he still went for it.
However, at this point, John had a math teacher who believed in him and inspired him to apply to MIT. Moving on, Damon asked John to elaborate on the things that have been life-altering for him in terms of business and that yield satisfying business results.
Answering this, John said that the latest example of good business ownership for him is himself, Damon, Scott, and Steve. He elaborated that they are making a new aspect of running a business by dividing all the categories of business into the expertise of all four of them. This way, whenever one aspect of the company needs attention, that particular person looks over that.
According to John when you divide your business into these categories and then work your way through them, you actually get satisfying business results. Additionally, you can also expand these categories according to the people you have and your requirements as well.
By the end of the conversation, Damon asked John about his recent interest in organizational development and human behavior. According to John all of this is in return a great resource to yield satisfying business results. Moreover, he also said that this way you can deeply understand the interior life of your business and yourself as well.
The conversation ended with Damon thanking John for his time.
John Lamy is the Principal Consultant at Lamy Consulting. Before this, he was a senior consultant at Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP). Moreover, before this, John has worked at Hewlett – Packard for more than 33 years. He worked at this company first as the Quality Manager and then as an R&D section manager.
During this time, John has also worked as Consulting Account Manager at the same company. Additionally, he also worked as Managing Associate, Time to Market at Meritus Consulting. As for his education, John has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Cornell University.
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Achieving Satisfying Business Results
The Exit Your Way Business Round Table Live Stream
people, business, talk, thinking, steve, damon, leader, john, mit, scott, life, company, big, day, sedalia, years, good, development, questions, ceo
Damon Pistulka, John Lamy
Damon Pistulka 00:05
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I am so excited. I’ve got John lamey lamey consulting here today, John. It’s an honor to have you on man.
John Lamy 00:21
Hey, Damon, it’s a privilege. And just from talking to the last five minutes, I’m really, really excited about being with you today. Oh,
Damon Pistulka 00:29
I know, we didn’t even know we this could this this could have just changed the whole conversation because we are going to talk about and we are we’re going to talk about achieving satisfying business results. But but we were talking a bit about some other things here. And we’ll get into them later. But man, I’m so excited to uncover a few nuggets, a few cool things about your background, because it is it is so nice to be able to talk to someone like yourself about some of the things you’ve seen and the your passion and how you’ve applied that and how you help people. So John, if we can, let’s talk a little bit about your background. You’ve got a very interesting background.
John Lamy 01:12
Well, as a kid I grew up in the Midwest in a little town called Sedalia, Missouri. 20,000 people. conservative town.
Damon Pistulka 01:24
That’s the place where they have the throat rolls.
John Lamy 01:28
Damon Pistulka 01:29
different I’m thinking of a different one. Okay. Okay. I used to drive we used a lot.
John Lamy 01:34
We do have the State Fair in Sedalia, Missouri. Okay, so every year, we’d have the big thing come around Nice. Well, I’m going to talk kind of left brain right brain that that I think is important to where I wound up, you know, 50 years later, this guy. So talking left brain as a little kid, I was very interested in radio. That was they didn’t have computers back then. But radio was hot. So as a little kid, seven years old, I built a radio and then eight years old, the better one and like that, all the way through high school built radios.
Built a stereo, at one point, wow. And then went on to MIT got a degree in electrical engineering, which was a continuation of that. I still remember sitting in a big lecture hall and the guy talking about now this is a capacitor. We’re gonna talk about capacitors today. And it’s, you know, equals j data, whatever. And this guy next to me says, Hey, John, what’s a capacitor?
I say, Well, it’s a little gizmo about the size of a firecracker. Oh, okay. Because see, I knew I knew all that stuff. Yeah. So it really helps to have the hands on. Yeah, I got a job with Hewlett Packard making. They didn’t make computers back then. But they made electronic instruments. And these were, they’re not called microwave, it’s radio kind of equipment. Yeah, had a great ride. I was an r&d manager in that area for quite a few years. But at some point, I got a very interesting promotion to be quality manager for a division of about 1000 people. So I was essentially in the C suite.
And then jog something in my head. I was always a techy guy. But I got interested in what makes the enterprise work. Yeah. What makes it not work? Because there’s a lot of network out there, too. Yeah, I got real interested in that. To the degree that shortly at Well, five years after I got that job, I, I left the company and went back and got an MBA at Cornell, just because I’m interested in how these companies work. And I was a consultant, basically, ever since so, worked for a couple of small consulting, midsize consulting firms and so on. So it all kind of hinged on this deal of Yeah. How does a company what makes a company work?
Damon Pistulka 04:02
Yeah. So I got a question back in the beginning. Yeah. How does someone in Sedalia? Is that the right name that you’re Missouri, end up at MIT? I mean, did you have someone at school that there are relatives that have gone there? Or how did you really do that? Because I grew up into the coders, man, and we didn’t even know how to spell MIT.
John Lamy 04:27
Yeah. Yeah, it was a little bit unusual. The guidance counselor said don’t apply there. John, you’re not gonna you won’t get in. Nobody gets in there. But I had a math teacher really believed in me, and he was fantastic. Just a great guy all the way around. And he would give me extra hard problems. Like, you know, I’d kid to be walking out of class in high school and he’d say, Hey, John, work on this problem here.
And I’d work on it for a couple days because it was hard. Yeah. So he was kind of it. And I did have an uncle, my dad’s brother that went to MIT a long time ago. Okay, so it kind of put it within the realm of possibility. Yeah. But it was a shock. I mean, I jumped on that airplane and yeah, city flew back there. And I mean, holy cow.
Damon Pistulka 05:15
Yeah. Yeah. Yep. And we’ve got Steve rice and Scott Shumway are here as well. And Steve just dropped your Lamy consulting. Link in the in the comments, but Yeah, glad to have you guys hear that. But yeah, so you get on. So you’re there was not the first time I would assume it’s first time we got on a plane, right?
John Lamy 05:36
No, we had done a little bit of travel. But okay, hold on. Okay. But it was a huge deal to jump in. And you go back to Boston, Cambridge, and you’re with a higher caliber, an average of a higher caliber of people. Yeah, no, I was in a fraternity and the guys were great. The professors were great. The whole deal. Just Boston itself, from, you know, kids from the country. Yeah, that was really, really neat. Yeah. So.
Damon Pistulka 06:07
So did you grow up on a farm then? Or did you grow up in town? Oh, yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Very good.
John Lamy 06:13
You know, it’s kind of, you might say, upper middle class. My dad was a doctor. Well, can you doctors in the town? Yep. But that was the kind of deal at dinner table phone rings and somebody just broken their arm, and he’s got to go off. Yeah, a lot of that kind of thing. Yeah, no. So anywho I just had a great ride. I loved Hewlett Packard, back then. It was a great company, Bill and Dave, Hewlett and Packard,
Damon Pistulka 06:38
did you actually meet them?
John Lamy 06:40
Oh, yeah. Yep. Oh, wow. Wasn’t Bosom Buddies. But I said, No, no, they packed at a dinner one time and had a good chance to chat with him. In fact, this is like this story. He was the Under Secretary of Defense in, I believe, Nixon’s years. And so this was shortly after that. We were at dinner, you guys said. So. That must have been great being back there. What’s that? What’s the best thing that occurred?
He said, I gave up smoking. Meaning, meaning it sucked. And said, you know, you’d go to one committee meeting. And here’s this Congressman making a statement and you go to the next committee, the same guy, opposite statement, no integrity. And Packard wasn’t like that. Packard was high on integrity. So Wow. You know, it’s just interesting to pick up on that view of Washington.
Damon Pistulka 07:33
Yeah, no doubt. But I mean, those two guys were legends, legends, legends, and they were in the global sense legends.
John Lamy 07:43
And the thing that they did more than anything else, and this has been said, a million times, but they said, let’s, let’s believe in our people, let’s, let’s pay him, well, let’s give them responsibility. Let’s trust them. And I’m amazed as a consultant, I’m just amazed at how, in frequently that policy happens. You know, I had a client for a few years and his policy was pay him as little as you can. Because why it’s an expense. You know, you don’t want to have a high expense. And I said, Dude, you got to pay him in the top.
I’m gonna say quartile. You don’t want to be the very, very tippy top, because then you’re kind of pissing off everybody else. You’re dragging that thing up. But if you pay the top quartile, you’re gonna satisfy a hygiene factor. They’re not going to leave because they’re going to get a better job somewhere else. But yeah, keep the good people. Keep the good people. Yeah, he would, he wouldn’t do it. But Hewlett Packard did. And we just attended attract good people. And that’s the biggest lesson I got from Bill and Dave, is really trust the people
Damon Pistulka 08:59
take care. That’s amazing, dude, that’s amazing that you actually ever shook hands with them. And so being in the same damn room with them is something to say.
John Lamy 09:09
Well, I tell you another story. This that was Dave Packard, this was Bill Hewlett dental was more the techie guy. So I was working on a microwave spectrum analyzer. I won’t try to explain what that is. But he he came around to see it. You know, I had a group of guy about 20 engineers working on this thing. And this is when your heart swells up. He I have shown it to him and I had the thing. He said, No, wait, wait, wait. He said not. You mean to tell me. I’m seeing an 18 gigahertz signal. And I’m seeing a 60 hertz sideband on that signal?
I said, Yes, sir. That’s what that is. And he says, we’ll all be god damned. Just like that. And I mean, I almost cried. I’m like, I can feel it even as I sit. Yeah. Yeah. The feeling of having Here’s this guy, he’s the president of company. And he is still enough. I’m an engineer, and he just was amazed. He’s like, and you know, an engineer your work hard on something. And when somebody appreciates the real assumptions of it, you know,
Damon Pistulka 10:14
he was like, yeah, that is an amazing story, because he understood the effort it took to do that. Exactly. And then because it’s it’s like, it’s like, if you saw a second son, and somebody said, I just created the second son out there, because it was, you know, the, the difficulty in and the technical challenges, but you did something that they thought may not have been possible until they saw it.
John Lamy 10:39
Right. Oh, exactly.
Damon Pistulka 10:41
Exactly. Oh, that’s crazy. That’s crazy stuff.
John Lamy 10:44
You know, he could have just been here or whatever. But he essentially gave me and my team a big affirmation by saying that just like,
Damon Pistulka 10:52
yeah, so doubt, we got Steve, Steve’s making comments that he’s made some great comments about you. I agree. 100%. And then Scott drops one, two, he’s Yeah. I just want master of turning chaos into order. All right. Awesome. Guy. Yeah, it’s good. Yep. But oh, my goodness. I would just that is that is something I mean, because you’re talking about this is, I mean, how old were you when this happened?
John Lamy 11:21
Oh, probably my 30s. Yeah, like that. Yeah, right. We’re in their eyes. I was managing this group of r&d guys. And we came out with what became the gold standard for spectrum analyzer for quite a few years. Yeah. Let me let me snap clear back. Yeah. So that that’s kind of the left brain kind of the right.
Damon Pistulka 11:42
Yeah, your technical part. But then then you start to think about human behavior and other things. So kind of what triggered that?
John Lamy 11:48
Yeah. I was raised as a as a very devout Catholic. Yeah, in a very conservative town. My family was Republican. But as they, as they say, as Rachel Maddow, says Eisenhower, Republicans are what we call liberals today. Yeah. Anyway, I was raised in that kind of environment. very devout Catholic, did everything. According to the book. My junior year at MIT, I took a class on Eastern religion. Just, you know, me you’re supposed to take, they require every engineer to take one humanities class every semester. So good. Yeah, well, the professor was fantastic.
I got very interested in it. I started meditating at that point, there was a group in Cambridge right there near where I was. And I used to go and meditate with them. But I got very touched by it. Now, I didn’t just abandon my Catholicism all at once, I think it took five or 10 years for it to kind of go away, you might say, and get gradually pushed out by a newfound awareness of the interior life.
The way I was raised with Catholicism was pretty much ritualistic. And the idea of an interior life was not a part of it. Frankly, that’s just where we were. Now, I know, in some places, that’s not true at all. That for me, it was, but what happened was the idea that you have something going on inside that has to do with your emotions, your human development. And in the big picture, it’s how egocentric you are versus other centric, how insecure you are versus feeling comfortable in your skin. How reactive you are. Things happen and can piss you off.
And you can stay that way for a long time. Yeah. You can repress things like I remember, like I said, conservative family. My mother used to say, Johnny, don’t be a smart alec, I do something. And she said, I don’t be a smart guy. And so that tended to me to smooth down and yeah, take away any sense of going wrong. I just didn’t do that in my thing. And so that gets repressed and kind of taken away and just you slightly become a victim.
Yeah, yeah, you do that. You project things on to other people, either good or bad on minorities who project they’re lazy, they’re stupid, whatever. On outstanding people. You say, Oh, man, they must be great. You can’t imagine them doing something fundamentally evil. So that so your perception, your if you don’t have an awareness of your interior life, you’re at risk of having perceptions that are Quite right. judgments that are inappropriate projections onto other people, bad habits will well up and kind of take over and they’re hard to hard to eradicate or hard to make.
So facing your own inner demons and your own cravings, that that’s, that’s an important part. So after college, I moved to California and basically started going to things like week long retreats and stuff like that even back in the back in the day in the early 70s. When I when I first moved to California, my wife, Mike, yeah. So point being, that that side of yourself, if you don’t attend to it in some way or another, you’re not going to be as capable, you’re not going to be as whole and as alive as you could be otherwise.
And that starts to bring us back now to why companies get screwed up. And why leaders are less than as capable as they could be. We’ve all had bosses, who I’ve had a whole bunch of, but one in particular stands out very, very smart guy genius, in the sense of being out of the box. Yeah. But you couldn’t live with them. You just couldn’t. I eventually moved from one division to another as the other people, and eventually he his job just kind of went away and he went away. You You’ve got to attend to that side of things. So that that’s, for me an important aspect of the whole thing. Yeah, yeah. That’s the left brain right brain side of John Layman. How I came to be where I am.
Damon Pistulka 16:46
Yeah, yeah. Steve drops a comment and about 15 minutes becomes a spiritual adviser. And right. I think that in and Curtis, thanks for stopping by today, Curtis man, it is it is interesting. And listen to John speak, I’m sure will continue to be. But you know, we talked about this before we got on. And we didn’t know, we hadn’t even discussed this prior. But this is something that I’ve been working on for the last year and a half or so. And really, discovering and understanding and man, people are listening, I got to tell you, you you need to start thinking about different things inside of you to really unlock your full potential.
And I think this is one of the things that we miss and we’ll get on to the your study human behavior, because I I want to talk just a moment about A Scotia about some of the things that I’ve learned, and then what you see when you’re helping organizations because for me being new to it, and you know, reading, trying to learn trying to understand trying and meditating and meditating a little more and building up on that, and some of the other things that people do when you talk about affirmation and, and daily exercise and the things that you can really do to work on yourself to get your mind right.
To get your mind in the right place. I find in myself that comparatively, I don’t get angry nearly as much. I mean, I mean, because when I was young, in my 30s, I mean, it shot off the chart pretty easily. And it definitely got better. I was older, but now it’s like there is a new column in my life that is like, it’s not because things aren’t stressful. It’s not because things are that it’s just like, you put them in perspective. And you understand and you it’s not just focusing on the bad, you, you understand how there’s so much good and there’s so much awesome around you just in them.
The fact that trees, push out leaves every year, and quit. And you get that kind of perspective. And it changes how you look at yourself in business in what you really can achieve in business and in life. And I think so what are you? I mean, I don’t know, right questions asked dude, because I’m so excited about this, because so as you’re learning this, and you trying to learn about human behavior and applying this towards business and how you’ve seen leaders transform their businesses, what are some of the things that you go, wow, this really is as been
John Lamy 19:29
altering? Yeah. I’ll give you I’m going to give you a couple of examples, and one of them involves you directly. Damon, and Scott and, Steve. The four of us have just made a kind of an informal arrangement where we sit with the CEO, as an advisory board. And you’d say okay, all right. What’s that? Well, I’ve, I’ve written down a way of thinking about it. And I’m gonna just flash this up here. I don’t know if you can see that.
But it says scoping guide. This is a little thing that it’s got a total of about a dozen boxes on here. But it’s got stuff like operations, marketing, product development strategy. Culture is down here. It’s got 12 areas that the four of us, no one of us, but the four of us together, we can go ask questions about those things, and bring what, four more pairs of eyes to that CEO. And he’s got a C suite. They have problems. The they think they know the answers, they think and put it together. And what happens is, they do not have the perspective. They just don’t have the perspective.
And the depending on the individuals, they may or may not have the sensitivity to the human side, to places where either that CEO, or possibly one of his key lieutenants, is got one foot on the brake and one foot on the accelerator, and doesn’t really know that. Yeah, but with a team of four of us. Where we really fill in, like, for instance, Damon is able to do financials, I took an MBA program, that was great. And I can read a balance sheet, okay, but do watch Damon at this great big, Oregon that he’s playing, creating dashboards and ways of relating to business, I learned a lot. And the CEO learned a lot about how to make that happen. Or another fella named Scott Shumway.
That brings what was in the goal, that famous book about how you manage constraints within a company that you have things kind of going along in a pipeline. And somewhere there is a constraint, there is a bottleneck. At least one while there is one major bottleneck, what is it? Let’s go figure that out. That’s something that I studied a little bit. But Scott really knows how to do that, and so on. So you get this big perspective that you can bring. And all the while it’s informed by a sensitivity to the human side, we don’t want to push this guy too hard, the CEO, we don’t want to let him off the hook either.
We want to help him understand that his got people that may not be doing the best thing for all that is general management, it goes clear back to my day of being the Quality Manager for a pretty big division. When I realized you got to make the whole business work. That’s the top thing that the CEO has got to do. And CEOs can get so distracted. By the minutiae, and by the particulars, and by things that are urgent. Yeah, but not important. Yeah, but not important. As Steve Bryce likes to say. That’s the Eisenhower matrix, what’s urgent, what’s important. And we do tend to get swept away by the urgent. Yeah.
So that that’s the first of like, three examples of things that kind of came out of that Confluence for me of, of the left and the right brain. But I think anybody listening in, if there are folks listening in, that are not involved with the four of us, you can just do this yourself, you can start out with something like this, just write down all the stuff that a business does. It’s just, it’s just what you’d expect is the four things I said finance, accounting, human resources, facilities, quality, all that and just assess, and then figure out where your real needs are. But it sure helps to have an extra pair of eyes.
So anyway, that’s, that’s one of those things that I just think it’s really helpful. And I worked for a firm for a little while back in New York City, right after my MBA program. And we did the scoping, we would bring in half a dozen consultants into a mid sized division of a company, and then three, four days with them, and just get answers to this. And then we go disappear off in a conference room and put together a PowerPoint that summarized and prioritized you know what the big ones are and how they’re interrelated. And the value add was enormous. Just huge value add to the client.
Damon Pistulka 24:59
Yeah, Yeah, so you work a lot with organizational development too. I mean, I’ve seen the way that you, you like the what you were doing there was laying out the different organizational functions, you really work about that. And to go, Okay, now, if we’re going to have a C R O, or we’re going to have a general manager, we’re going to have a frontline supervisor, this is what they do. And this is how it fits into the organization. You do a lot of that to doctrine.
John Lamy 25:27
I do. It winds up if you find, but quite a few of the clients that I’ve picked up over the last few years are not well organized that way. They’re just not that and you say, Well, gee, you need an org chart. You need to have staff meetings, and, and often the answers now we don’t need we don’t need that stuff. We see each other every day, we know where everybody’s at. Sorry, because people do not know what they’re being held accountable for. Yeah, who’s on first base? They don’t? Yeah, they need they need a lot of help getting that right.
Damon Pistulka 26:03
Well, and it’s interesting, as you said, and we’ve worked together before and clients and the the interesting perspective that I’ve gained from working with you is that your work in describing organization and the positions within it, and what they’re responsible for ties in directly to the kind of work that that I like to be doing. And I do typically with clients is where we’re measuring performance and, and and helping them drive to the next level. Because if you’re talking about a frontline supervisor, in a production setting, well, and you’ve laid out what they’re responsible for franceville production, well, what does that mean?
You need to we need to define the quantitative and qualitative measures to what success looks like. And that’s how it working together in some of these situation gives a, as you talked about with your team, in the organization, that’s what you really get a different perspective to, to show the company that is very good and could be manufacturing could be software development doesn’t really matter.
But to show them how you apply these different techniques in their organization to really drive the change that they want. Yep, yep. Yeah. So when you look at this, and you go, you got all this left brain work that you did before? How do you think that left brain and right brain work that you do now? How did that really give you a little different perspective on this?
John Lamy 27:29
Hmm. Good question. Namely, I’m kind of reflecting on that.
Damon Pistulka 27:37
Because it is, I mean, it’s there’s not a lot. There’s not a lot of people that you go, okay. They went to MIT. And now they’re doing this. And it’s an it’s an especially you went to MIT for electrical engineering, right. And now you’re working with a lot more in human behavior and organizational development.
John Lamy 28:04
Yeah. Yeah, I think what happens is, I still am highly devoted to the left brain stuff, you know how to make, how to make a research and development organization work, for example. I didn’t talk about that a minute. But so you’re working along on something like that. And you realize that something feels funny. It’s some little red flag back, there’s something feels funny. And you had you not had the kind of training that kind of either meditation time or self analysis, you tend to dismiss or not even notice that funny feeling. That something a little bit strange is going on here. But instead, you say, well, let’s see what is going on here.
Something’s going on. And you can go ahead and explore it then. And but you also have learned over the years, often by making mistakes about what they now call EQ, about emotional intelligence. EQ sounds funny, but so you have to learn how to get the languaging and the framing appropriate for who you’re trying to talk to. You know, and sometimes you don’t even do it. You have somebody else, talk to him. But you get sensitive to that there’s a human dimension there is basically irrational.
Yeah, not completely, but irrationality is real dominant in the human side, and I once remember hearing a thing about That great psychologist that one of the great psychologist of all times, and I thought, okay, it’d be Freud, Wu and GU. Charles Darwin. What? Psychologist Charles Darwin. And the person was just making the point that so much of what we do is is kind of animal. Yeah, it’s kind of evolutionary, like, like something I heard the other day that I hadn’t ever heard the expression, we have a negativity bias, we tend to see things negative, something pops up some new piece of news. And the reason is, our brain is wired for survival.
So if we hear a branch crack behind us, our first impulse is, well, that’s a lion about ready to eat me. You know, that’s just how we think we just so there’s a lot of that kind of negativity that’s baked in the people. And you have to be able to work with it. And you have to get through, because of course, there’s a lot of really good and really ambitious and really helpful and really wholesome stuff that you see as well. But you get pretty obscured by the other.
Damon Pistulka 31:11
Yeah. So Well, I think to that, that your left brain work as an engineer and understanding of the scientific method and things like that, from that helps you to approach it. The human behavior from a scientific standpoint is in really way alternatives, test theories, and those kind of things as well.
John Lamy 31:34
Yep. Exactly. That’s a good option. I do that. And it’s sometimes hard to not jump to conclusions. Yeah. They’re, they’re screwed up. And that’s the end of that. No. You have to it’s a discipline to be more scientific about it.
Damon Pistulka 31:51
Yeah. Well, Scott Scott’s got a question. He says, How do you help people see things they don’t naturally see, like a company that is not organized as well as they should be? And, you know, leaders, he gives an example leaders who are firefighting every day, have a difficult time stepping back and seeing the problems? And how do you help them step back and be open to making things better?
John Lamy 32:15
Yeah, that’s a really good question. And it’s, you know, for a consultant, because one thing I’ve learned, when I first got into consulting right out of my MBA program, I had this unconscious model, and a little bit of shame to say this, but I did. I’m a well educated guy and a smart guy. You’re the client, you’re, you know, you’re asking the questions. And so I’m gonna tell you, I’m gonna just tell you how it works. Yeah, so you know, get your chalkboard up your pencil prepared. You write down when I tell you, that doesn’t get very far.
No, it gets you a little bit. But at the end of the day, it really, really doesn’t get you very far. So the answer to Scott’s question is, you have to, you really have to do it by asking questions. Even observation isn’t quite enough, you do observe. But you have to say like, there’s one company I spent some time with about two years ago, they had a completely disorganized random thing going on, where everybody was doing everything. And I said, Do you have an org chart?
And a person say, yeah. And I say, Could I see it? And the person sitting next to her said, you know, we don’t? Well, yeah, of course I do. What could I see it? Well, you know, it’s not written down. And gradually the conversation came around through she finally said, you know, no, no, we don’t. And what how do you know what to do what we use now? We’ve been together for all these years. Yeah. Yeah. And gradually by asking more than one person, usually it’s nice to have two or three people in the room, but to ask questions and let them figure it out. That’s the only way it works as far as I’m concerned. So that’s me that’s the answer Scott’s question.
Damon Pistulka 34:12
I think you’re 100% there because it’s asking the questions to so you understand really good really well and they understand the benefits if they may be changed some things or thought about things differently? Yep. Okay as you expose you keep exposing because you need to understand as an outside consultant coming and you need to understand and go okay, is there really a rock here under this water if we do if we drop the levels that really rock there, or is it just my mind and as you do that, the people that you’re talking to go oh, there is a rock here?
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And it oh, there is a rock here and we can build a bridge over it if we do this and or around it or whatever we got to do but I love that example because I used to use it in the in the factories even though I grew up mechanical engineering, operations, that’s where I started. And when we were doing improvements or things in the factories, it was all asking questions. It was all asking questions. It’s never telling anybody anything as much as you possibly can. It’s always even if you wanted somebody to do something you always go.
What do you think about doing it like this? Yeah. Yeah. What was? What will we have to do with that? What? We can’t do it that way? Well, how can we make it work a little differently, but kind of close to that? And just keep asking the questions that keep asking. It’s so much fun. Because it is as a leader or consultant, I mean, because this, this is the blast is when people learn something on their own, come through with that breakthrough. And all you were doing was not all you were doing, but what you were doing your role in that was helping them realize what was sitting there in front of them.
John Lamy 36:02
Yep. Exactly. Yeah, it was a piece on that. Again, Scott’s very excellent question. This is a technique I picked up out of a book from where you say to them, okay, got this this thing going on? Does that costing any? Any money? No, it’s not cost any money? Well, how about well, okay, maybe it costs a little bit? Well, let’s see that actually. I guess it’s costing us quite a bit as a percentage of revenue.
So as a percentage of net profit, it’s like half of your net profit, right? Geez. Yeah. Well, I guess it is. That that thing really speaks to, to the CEO and to the C suite is, how much is it costing you to have that, to have that going on? Yeah, they have to have people who run around here with their hair on fire. Wow. doesn’t cost us anything. Okay, how about how about that? Well, okay, costs, get the cost, help and get the cost? No, that helps.
Damon Pistulka 37:10
That is an awesome way to look at it. Because if you’re making a million dollars, and you’re and you’re selling $10 million a year, but you’re making a million dollars, profit, $100,000 cost is 10%. Or 10%. Here adds 10% of your profit just by taking care of that seemingly little thing that in the scheme of $10 million is nothing but in scheme of it all drops to the bottom line profit if you fix it. It’s it’s a big deal.
John Lamy 37:39
Yep. Yeah, exactly.
Damon Pistulka 37:42
It’s a great perspective on it. And Steve, Steve had a big, big comment here while covered our faces up. So this is awesome. That’s probably better. Better, but
John Lamy 37:56
yep. Crisis managers, crisis
Damon Pistulka 37:58
managers. Yep. Yep. Yeah. And that that whole crisis management, I tell you, if when you see an organization switch, make that change, because it’s almost like a light switch sometimes. Because you, you go and you go, and you go, and then all of a sudden, things start to change. And then the next week, you go, Whoa, this is a different week, because we’re we, we got ahead of the crisis with our planning. And now our planning is working. There’s only two crises rather than 10 crises, or it goes down and was down and was down, and the better your planning and execution gets at something. That’s a great feeling. And Scott said about asking the questions. Yep. Yep. Good stuff.
John Lamy 38:42
I want to switch to one other thing. That kind of gets it. A lot of what we’ve been talking about your something that Stephen, I’ve been working on now for a while. Okay, it’s okay to do that.
Damon Pistulka 38:54
Yeah, let’s, because we’re here to talk about achieving satisfying business results, man, and we’re hitting this hard. So that’s good. Exactly. That’s That’s how people
John Lamy 39:06
will talk about leadership, leader development, let’s leave the ship off. And let’s just say developing leaders. And I’m thinking more like mid level. You could play this a lot of levels, but emerging mid level and then the top. In particular, and I know sometimes this becomes emotional or political, but I’m going to kind of make the assumption that shouldn’t and a need now. You have three kind of areas.
You have the classic leader manager techniques. There’s a whole book of them, I mean, at business school, and you get all kinds of things to do about that. Most of them are quite good that I’ve seen anyway. pretty helpful. And as you live your life, you pick them up along the way. So one is classical. I’m gonna say leader techniques.
But number two has emerged onto the palette relatively recently. And I think this year, like right now it’s really booming. And that is the global imperative. We are facing climate change. We’re that that movie don’t look up. It’s I don’t know if you’ve seen that. But that’s like, whoa, whoa, we’re we’re facing, it’s coming at us. We’ve had fires down here where we are, you know, you’re up in Seattle, and you’ve had you’ve had to, but we’ve had horrendous fires this year. And so, mostly with that there’s species extinction, there’s loss of habitat, there’s global warming. So how do you bring that into a business?
You think? Well, I as an individual, maybe I got an electric vehicle, or I eat less meat or whatever. Okay. That’s, that’s great. Got to do it. And then you have governments governments have to be involved in this. It’s got to be policy. Yeah. But in between his businesses, and boy, I am seeing businesses right, left center. Do stuff that is adding adding to the solution. It is profitable. It benefits their brand. They’re making hay on the thing. Now is greenwashing. Is there lying? Is there disinformation. Yeah, there’s a lot. Unfortunately, I hate to sound like a cynic.
But it’s there. But there’s also a whole lot of people and Steven, I have Steve particular has found a lot of people like half a dozen or 10, that are doing significant things at eye level in their business to help with I’m going to say climate change. So that’s number two. And then number three in your leadership bag, is what we talked about a while ago, is is your own internal development. And that does not lend itself to a cookie cutter, or a recipe or we’ll do it this way. You’ve got to find out for yourself and like you just described, Damon you in the last couple of years, you have managed to figure some of that out. Yeah, carve out carve out a way for yourself and watch it earlier. Go ahead.
Damon Pistulka 42:27
No, no, go ahead. Go ahead.
John Lamy 42:29
Well, absent that, you were probably you’re gonna stumble, you’re gonna you’re gonna not be as good a leader as you could. So
Damon Pistulka 42:37
100% And I think I think what we miss in this in internal development, in leadership, and just in general life skills, right is like anything you plateau. I mean, we don’t know it all. We’re not born knowing it all. We don’t, we don’t get out of high school knowing it, we don’t get out of, if you’ve got never gone to any education path set, you’re not done. And if you are, that’s where you’re going to plateau. You get what you you get what you put out. I mean, as far as your your skills and the way you weigh you look at if you’re not happy with your life, a lot of it is what you’re doing.
Yep, in the rest of the world is just kind of going on outside of you. And there’s so many choices that we have to make. And when we talk about those being professional choices, doesn’t matter if I’m gone to MIT, like yourself, or I went out and started working, and I’m a construction person, and I’m, I’m building houses, whatever, I’m a welder in a manufacturing place, there are so many things that we can be doing that improve our life, our skill set that just continue to help us move forward in the direction we want, whether it’s in something personal or something professional, but this internal development to create the whole person.
Because, you know, in the in the 90s and the early 2000s. It was like Don’t let your personal life bleed over into work. It’s just don’t, you don’t I mean, it doesn’t matter, you just don’t. And what we’ve come to realize, I think in the last 10 years, maybe more last few years, even more yet, is that the work life balance is what a lot of us are simply not going to have it. So we really need to understand how to integrate work and life in a harmonious way. That allows us to be happy in our lives and our careers. When it takes it takes a lot of internal it takes us internal development.
It’s like how do you turn this thing into a harmonious existence or whatever you want to call it? I mean, I’m, I’m getting out there a little bit but it really is understanding that and how you do it because let’s face it, most business owners there’s Work life balance, right? There’s none. And high level executives in people talk about work life balance, yes, you can always work on it. And there’s separation and boundaries and all the things that you need to work on. But at the end of the day, when the house is on, you know, when the things are on fire, it still comes back to you.
Yeah. So how do you deal with this in a different way? How do you how do you structure your life in a different way? That is, it’s integrating the life, the career and the life and, and, and making sure that it doesn’t? And because it’s and this is this is not when you look at this stuff? It’s not and it’s not, or I have a great life? I have a great family and or I have a great career. It’s not it’s and it’s it’s that internal development in the like you said before classical leader leadership techniques or leader techniques. And in this internal development, I think that really powers that.
John Lamy 45:52
Yep. That’s so well said even they just the idea of balance means we got two entities, two separate entities that are opposing on the opposite side of the scale. That is right there a misconception? Yep. Yep, maybe for some people may not be but for people that we’re talking to, it’s some misconception. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s what Steve and I are working on this thing called the globally conscious leader. Yeah. And it’s a program, we’re actually putting it together, it’s going to be we’re just building it right now. It’s gonna be modular videos, that people can sign up for and, and get involved with. So we’re working on that.
Damon Pistulka 46:40
That’s cool. You know, when you step back to the global imperative that you talked about, I always think about the the benefit of understanding the global footprint of business, right? I mean, because, and what that really looks like and what that means and, and the economic benefits, I mean, you look at and I grew up in, in all, not all but traditional manufacturing. And you look at something as simple. And as difficult as CNC machining of metal, and plastics and all this other stuff. It used to be that all the little chips that were done from that would just get thrown away, right? He didn’t worry about him. Now, when you recycle some of that stuff, it’s worth a lot of money.
And now when you look at it, now, when you look at that part of that, it actually is part of your profit, you consider that in part of your profit, because if I take a five pound piece of metal, and I turn it into a one pound piece, there’s four pounds of extra metal that I can recycle, and I can reclaim part of part of that as as profit towards my company. These kinds of things are not only good, environmentally, and and it will help generations to come. And I mean, I, hey, people can can there’s both sides of climate change, and both sides is other stuff. But well, you were talking about something earlier, you can you can decide what you want to decide. And that’s fine.
There are economic benefits to thinking about how you do this. And and, you know, I’ve I’ve talked to Harry Mosier from the reshoring initiative here in the US in the US and and he speaks a lot about our our initial thought is, hey, we got to go to China, we got to go offshore to get something less expensive. And when you look at it, overall, the long term costs and the inventory costs and everything else that add up and he’s got a great cost calculator on his on on the reshoring Initiative website. It’s not probably a lot less cost in a lot of cases.
And when you consider that if you’re trying to have a more Golby globally conscious footprint that can oftentimes push a well over the top. And and there’s a lot of reasons why that this change and look at the last couple years. I mean, look that that really forces us to rethink what we done. And you look at if I was in the car company or in or making anything like that, that relies on chips I would be thinking about okay, yeah, it’s cool that we can bring some from offshore but we got to have some that that are available here where I need them and do that because it’s cost them billions of dollars. Yep. And
John Lamy 49:29
you Will Packer we had a Chinese manufacturer, they did a pretty good job. But the chips had to sit on a boat for quite a few weeks. And that turns out to be a killer. Yeah, they just did. I mean, just just the shipping time and when you call them up it was a real time offsets. Yeah. early morning and late. Yeah. Just the challenge of all that versus right there in Silicon Valley.
Just do your story about getting the chips the other kind of chips out of the you know, a piece of wood Aluminum. Steve Reiss likes to talk about the circular economy, where there’s, you can just imagine, all the material flows in a complete closed circle instead of stuff going flying out. So you got five pounds of initial stuff. And now you got four pounds of metal that you’re just gonna throw out of this circle. The industry that Steve worked in, a lot of it was outdoor stuff, a lot of that was apparel.
People just throw away an old jacket, buy a new jacket. Well, now there’s people, there’s people that take waiters, you know, the kind of things that you put over your boob big boots. They take those things, and they they have a way of making them into something good. Yeah, it’s just really impressive. There’s another guy that makes it’s called gear aid. And you think gear aid like my gears, no, your gear like your jacket, he has these patches. And I think it’s going to come wear a jacket with a patch on it is better looking to our eye than a brand new Patagonia jacket, because now this guy’s got a 10 year old jacket.
And he’s making it last a long time. So the circular economy, the thing stays within the economy the whole time. And that is non trivial. Because as you kind of hinted that there, Damon, you’ve got a supply chain, you’ve got stuff coming in, then you do your thing. And then you’ve got stuff going out. And there’s a carbon footprint associated with all three of those elements. And we tend to say, Well, my carbon footprints, tiny, I just have a little machine shopping, I just burned some electricity. And that’s it. Not really. You’ve got a supply chain incoming. And going out. It’s all part of this big circular economy. Yeah. So we’ve got to start thinking that way. Yeah, just we just do.
Damon Pistulka 51:47
Oh, it makes economic sense. It makes it more likely said it’s some of this stuff is, is economic. And then the other thing that happens now, when we look at the economy now and think about it is that it’s very hard. And I think it will continue to be hard for several years, at least to hire employees.
Because we have a what people have not been addressing is that people with a bit more age, have decided that it’s time to quit working. And we have a you know, we talked about the baby boomer the silver tsunami, whatever the heck he was talking about, you know, for a lot of years, but this honestly, the the last couple of years, have just made people decide, I’m not going to work anymore. I’m not going to work anymore. And older. Right?
Yeah, that’s a that’s a study population a lot when I was younger, and in some of the businesses I was running to understand what this this aging looks like. And when you look at it on a bell curve, oh, my goodness. And there’s another one coming in, in the the millennials or Gen Z, I get it mixed up Gen whatever. The after millennials, sorry, my stats, my Yeah. But but there’s a big there’s a big bubble again, right. But what I’m saying is that hiring people, people want to be brought to work for companies that that stand by good things are globally conscious are trying to treat people as best they can and really value the people.
These are things that are not going to be optional. I believe right? In many, many regards. And it’s going to be just a it’s going to be a you can make it a benefit. Or it can be a cost of doing business, but you’re going to have to do it. Yep. It’s gonna happen. It’s happened more every day. I mean, because we you mentioned Patagonia. And when you look at a company like that, and they’re the both those fronts trying to treat in treating employees very well and the environment very well. It’s just, it’s become a way of what they have to do to be a leader in the game.
John Lamy 53:55
Yep, exactly. Right. It’s no longer optional. Yeah. No, if you want to do a good job.
Damon Pistulka 54:01
Yeah. Oh, man. It’s been so awesome. Awesome. See, John, it was like you’re you’re wondering Oh, yeah. What am I going to talk about here? We’re almost an hour into this. And usually we stop at about 45 minutes. I’m like, oh, man, we could talk for another hour. Yeah. So it’s so great to have you on John because because your perspective and organizational organizational development, the human, the human behavior, and how you really helping clients figure that out, and turn it into better business results. I always love talking about it with Yeah,
John Lamy 54:35
yep, me too. This has been great, Damon just super. Yeah, just the way you kind of come alive and then you turn out you have an experience with this whole thing all by yourself. So yeah, great,
Damon Pistulka 54:48
good stuff. Good stuff. Well, hey, I want to say thanks so much for Steve and Scott Curtis and Ollie, I saw a Ollie the crab from Lebanon. That’s cool as heck. Anybody else is listening. Hey, thanks so much for joining us today. Appreciate you appreciate the comments. Appreciate that taking a look at our videos and, and talking and reach out to John, if you want to talk to him. So, John, what’s the best way to contact you? Somebody wants to contact you?
John Lamy 55:17
Yeah, probably email is too simple, John at Lamy consulting.
Damon Pistulka 55:23
All right, real good. We’ll have that in our in our show notes here. And we’ll have it on our blog when we put it on there and everything. So thanks so much for being here, John. Lamy John. And I don’t know why I said your last name there. But I get excited. And I do. Everybody’s listening to more than one of these. I get excited. And I just blab on once a while. But John, thanks so much for being here. I really enjoyed it. And I think you may be the first person that graduated from MIT that I talked to. Oh, that’s cool. That’s cool. That’s cool. But thanks so much. Have a great day, everyone and we will be back again later. All right. Just hang on for a second there, John. And we’ll