[00:00:01.450] - Announcer
Do you wonder if others are dealing with the same project management challenges as you not sure where to turn for guidance and leadership. Office Hours are in session as we discuss Project Management and PMOs with global leaders hearing their stories and learning their secrets to success. Our goal is to empower you and help you elevate your PMO and project management career to new heights. Welcome back to Project Management Office Hours with your host, PMO Joe.
[00:00:29.210] - PMO Joe
Welcome, everyone, to Project Management Office Hours. We're the number one live radio show featuring project management discussions in the United States. I'm broadcasting to you today from Home Office, as opposed to the Phoenix Business, RadioX Studios. And we have a special guest today. We'll be talking future of work, change management, and a lot of other great topics with Tim Creasey. We'll get Tim introduced here in a moment, but first, I want to be able to say to everybody that's joining us. Please add in the comments where you're joining us from. I'd like to know what our reach is like. Where are we getting? We usually get people from all over the world, and that's always fun for us to know what sort of interaction we're getting. Also, I want to mention an event that I have coming up. I was invited by the Project Management Update Group to speak on the topic, The Great Debate, Agile versus Waterfall. How exciting and juicy that is, right? So you can get a free registration to that event. The URL is listed here on screen. Or you can just Google out the topic, Project Management Update. You'll be able to find their website and look for their webinar series that's hosted by ProjectManager.com is the sponsor for that.
[00:01:48.020] - PMO Joe
And Project Management Update is the hosting organization. So thank you to them. Also, a reminder to everybody that you get the ability to claim your PDUs for these sessions. Right? So each show is 1 hour. 1 hour equals one PDU. This is show number One Hundred One. So that means you have 101 PDUs enough to recertify in your annual cycle with PMI. So don't be bashful. Go out to the show website that's out on the PMO Squad, do a slash podcast in front of or after that and you'll be able to have access to all the episodes we've had in the past. So we welcome you to be able to claim your PDUs and keep your education going. Just a reminder to everybody, we are live streaming, so we're on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and hello to those joining us from Long Island, Pensacola, Florida, and beyond. Great to see you all out here joining us as well. And lastly, super excited to have a return guest today. It's always fun when we get somebody to come back. Conversations were rich the first time. They'll be probably more rich this time even and a little bit more diverse.
[00:03:02.150] - PMO Joe
So with that, I'm welcome Tim Creasey. Welcome Tim back to the show.
[00:03:06.960] - Tim Creasey
Very good, Joe. Thank you. And it's always nice to be invited back, too.
[00:03:10.740] - PMO Joe
Yeah. For those who didn't get to meet you the first time and may not be aware of who you are now, if you could just share with everybody a little bit about yourself and what you do.
[00:03:23.500] - Tim Creasey
Yeah, very good. So my name is Tim Creasey, the Chief Innovation Officer at Prosci. We are a firm dedicated to help individuals and organizations drive more successful change with them through their people. We've done a couple of decades of research and development in the discipline of change management, but it's really applying structure and intent to prepare, equipment and support our people through the change journeys that they're experiencing. So I've been out in front of that for over 20 years now. The interesting thing about the last two years is the whole world got dealt a collective change that we all navigated individually. But certainly the notion of how do we achieve the outcomes of the most critical changes we're implementing to try to set ourselves up for the future part and parcel of the conversation everywhere right now.
[00:04:13.080] - PMO Joe
Absolutely. And I know, obviously with the title of chief innovation officer, you're on the cutting edge or bleeding edge of what the future holds for all of us. And we're right in the middle of all of that. Right. I mean, what we're all doing collectively around the world with the digital transformation we're in and hybrid work, work from home, all of that is creating and driving innovation around the world, tons of innovation.
[00:04:39.590] - Tim Creasey
And at first it was out of necessity. Right. Those initial early days in March of 2020, and it was pure necessity that we stepped to and innovated new ways of operating as organizations, new ways of collaborating and connecting as people. Now I think we're stepping into a place where we're innovating to decide who we want to become because there's no going back. Right. I mean, we're multiple years into this now, but I was on a webinar in April 2020. So just as the thing was getting started and I'm rarely at a loss for words. Right. And somebody on the webinar, one of the other panelists mentioned the notion of reentry. And I kind of sat there and stumbled even in April 2020, like reentry is you're driving down 15, you get off the highway, get gas, you get back on 15, you reentered the road that you departed from. But the road we were on wasn't going to be there even back in April 2020. And so I think that future of and I think each organization has the pace at which we've pivoted from. We're simply responding until we can go back to what it was to let's step into creating and designing what is different organizations departments made that pivot at different speeds.
[00:05:54.770] - Tim Creasey
And I think that's what we're in the middle of right now.
[00:05:57.650] - PMO Joe
And that's going to be a lot of what we're going to talk about today. Right. So for those who are joining because Tim is with Prosci and think that we're going to talk ADKAR and all of those things, that was the last show. So go back to that episode and listen to that one. And we're not going to avoid it if it comes up or people want to ask questions about it, that's fine as well. But today, I think the discussion is really into that innovative space and hybrid space and all of those different topics to hear some of the experiences that you've had, maybe some of the tools you're looking at and all those sorts of things. So we'll jump into that type of discussion today right now and say, what's your thoughts on the future of work you mentioned April of 2020? Well, here we are now, April 2 years later. So the future of work, what does that look like from your perspective?
[00:06:47.000] - Tim Creasey
Well, I think you're right. It's crazy how long it's been since the April 2020 conversation. And I think that's part of the conditions that we're living in right now is that this thing went on and on and on. So I kind of come at it from a couple of different ways. One would be, what are the conditions that we're all living in right now that are formulating this future work that we have in front of us kind of from more of like an observational comedy kind of perspective. I'm going to hesitate from getting from telling anybody what they should do about this future work. I really think it's around understanding the new capabilities we've developed, the new expectations people have, and then bringing those twice in an intentionally designed future work. And I'm happy to share some of the work we're doing internally at Prosci, too, because I think what we did over the last two years was learn from organizations navigating how to respond to and then reimagine a workplace that was lost. And then we're getting it back now, and we're incorporating a lot of that learning into even the philosophies that we're building that govern the future of work internally here at Prosci.
[00:07:53.660] - Tim Creasey
So we could talk about conditions or kind of philosophies. Which way do you want to go first?
[00:07:58.550] - PMO Joe
Let's go philosophies. Right. That's always a good way to set things up.
[00:08:02.400] - Tim Creasey
Very nice. I think first point is that we're continuing to refine and build this as we go. Gone are the days where anything is written in stone because one of those conditions were living in is iterative and adaptive by necessity iterative and adaptive change by necessity iterative and adaptive development by necessity. So these philosophies are evolving. We're building them. Right now, our head of talent, Laura McGahn, is doing an amazing job along with our COO, Michelle Hagerty, is steering this. There are two big parts of the philosophy that I want to put out there, and I think we might be able to talk the whole hour about this. The first part is and it's almost paradoxical, the first piece is we proved we can do almost anything apart. With the exception of shipping the physical product to our learners, we can do almost anything apart. Second part of the philosophy is gathering matters. Gathering matters. Even though we can do almost anything apart. Gathering matters. And so how are we going to be strategic, intentional, really thoughtful when we are able to share space and make the most of the time, we share space. And let's not default to thinking we have to share space just because that's the way we used to always do things.
[00:09:27.610] - Tim Creasey
Do you know this acronym, TTWADI? If any of your listeners know what it is, they can go ahead and chat it in. We'll have a bit of a contest. I can come up with a prize.
[00:09:42.710] - PMO Joe
What is it?
[00:09:43.360] - Tim Creasey
T-T-W-A-D-I. All right.
[00:09:48.090] - PMO Joe
We'll put that up on screen for everybody as well.
[00:09:52.010] - Tim Creasey
Even though we don't know what the acronym means, all of us have lived it. And it means that's the way we've always done it.
[00:09:58.410] - PMO Joe
[00:10:02.150] - Tim Creasey
It's laughable to even try to utter that in April of 2022. If you think about all the things we did over the last two plus years that we would have told you were impossible in February 2022. Right. How many things that your organization is doing today, Joe, are the way we've always done it, or how many of the things are brand new things we've never done before because we had to. And now they give us a better way of achieving what we want to.
[00:10:29.150] - PMO Joe
Yeah. For us, we've changed dramatically. And we've been a virtual organization because we're dispersed around the US. We're at client site, so we don't need a home office. But in this virtual world, we've actually created an office, now a virtual office to be able to go share space together that we didn't do prior to all of this. Right. So we completely changed that. That's the way we've always done. It doesn't work for the PMO squad. And even with clients, that's one of the phrases that we look for with every client engagement we go into, because as soon as we hear that answer, we know we have a captive audience that they're ready for the change that we can bring to them. Right.
[00:11:12.440] - Tim Creasey
[00:11:13.370] - PMO Joe
So I love the fact that that's one of the philosophies that you've put out there is when you hear that, it's like, how do we overcome that?
[00:11:21.560] - Tim Creasey
Sure. And that's why I think as we're navigating this time right now, different departments, divisions, organizations still have a different amount of Ttwadi that they're holding on to with this idea that we're going to be able to return to what was this prepandemic state at Prosci? We didn't get to hold on to that for very long because we are an in person training business.
[00:11:47.290] - PMO Joe
[00:11:48.770] - Tim Creasey
So on March 1, we're an in person training business that had never delivered a virtual offering of any of our core solution portfolio. By March 17, that was gone to us. And so we had no choice but to realize that we had to not only pivot the way we work together, because all of us are now working out of our houses. Right. The instantaneous remote work experiment, that's what I call it there's the involuntary digital transformation, because leaders were talking about it for nonstop. And then we actually all made it happen in a day and a half. And what it led to was this instantaneous remote work experiment where not just the organizations that have been distributed, but all of a sudden all work went remote. They could, with the exception of our essential workers. And so that created a whole different dynamic for communication, engagement, collaboration, and at Prosci, we had to pivot the entire business model as well because 80% of the business fell off the books in nine days. But some organizations have still been kind of dragging. We'll just go back. We'll just go back. And I think it's a disservice to the new expectations of our employees, the new expectations of our clients, and the new capabilities that we all grew and demonstrated over the last few years.
[00:13:01.850] - PMO Joe
Well, you mention digital transformation in there, right? In a day and a half, we all had to do that. Right. What I find interesting, though, is if we think about I always like to perceive things as a journey that we go through. In my mind, we stepped into the digital transformation portal collectively within a day and a half or within a week and a half or within a month, because different companies, of course, had a different cadence. But transformation, the word itself, thinks that there's a final state to that. But what we're finding over two years is now innovation in the industry that we're transforming. Digital transforming. I don't think we've transformed yet. Right. What's your take on all of that?
[00:13:45.460] - Tim Creasey
Yeah. And I've played with just a little bit because I've started to talk about the difference between the digital revolution and digital transformation.
[00:13:52.790] - PMO Joe
[00:13:53.930] - Tim Creasey
Technology enables there's a technological revolution that ultimately powers the shift in the fabric of who we are that's enabled by that technology. So automobiles is an example. The automobile was a technological revolution. What it gave us was personal mobility in a new way. So we have all these ones. We have the Internet, we have connectivity, we have mobile. We have a lot of these technologies. Part of the technological revolution, the shift in the fabric of who we are is where I think the actual digital transformation starts to come to life. This will be fun to talk about here, because I like to talk about money, music and work. Oh, nice. Money, music and work in terms of when we got your AC DC.
[00:14:42.930] - PMO Joe
[00:14:44.510] - Tim Creasey
Money talk. My boys are getting into a little bit of act, some of that pump up music. So money, music and work. Let's talk about the notion of whether or not we allowed the technological revolution to truly create the transformation, to disaggregate the physical and digital in a way that we actually weren't able to. So start with money. There was a time where you had to have it to spend it. Right. And at first it was a goat or a load of wheat. And then human beings invented currency because that became an easier way to move it around. But you still had to have access to it to spend it.
[00:15:21.930] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Then all of a sudden.
[00:15:23.280] - Tim Creasey
We had the technological digital transformation of money where once I had access to it, I could spend it. Right?
[00:15:31.760] - PMO Joe
[00:15:32.170] - Tim Creasey
I got a card in my pocket. So we disaggregated having to have it from being able to actually use it in money. We did it long time ago. Right. Like the debit cards and all this became. When did you stop using cash as your primary motive? Right. That was a long time ago. Now, music at one point you had to have it to enjoy it. At first it was the instrument itself. You had to have the guitar. Then it was vinyl, eight tracks, cassettes into CDs, all the way into your MP3 players. But then there was a disaggregation. Right. And the MP3 player was a nice big step of the digital transformation, helped us create and carry way more music in a very small space. But then there was this final step where you didn't actually have to have possession of it as long as you have access to it. And the digital transformation of music is what you enabled you to enjoy it even if you didn't have access to it. So money goes down the path. Music goes down the path. Work didn't work. Didn't go down the path.
[00:16:37.410] - PMO Joe
[00:16:37.770] - Tim Creasey
There was a point in time where we could have done anything from anywhere because access to the network was all we needed. We didn't have specific materials or machinery. That was a part of us doing me doing my job. But we didn't pull apart. We didn't enable that digital transformation, the disaggregation of space, that work in work that could be done. My story is a little bit weird also, Joe, because I was one remote node of a very headquarters centric organization.
[00:17:07.130] - PMO Joe
[00:17:07.920] - Tim Creasey
So in three, I left Prosci in Northern Colorado, went out to pursue my MBA, stayed on part time, and was the only remote node. And then in five, move to Boise, Idaho, where my partner's from to be around her family. And I was the only remote node. And so I had kind of a 17 year journey of being one remote node in a very headquarter centric organization and got to watch some of the digital enablement and the transformational work that can and does start to happen there and a half. Right.
[00:17:37.980] - PMO Joe
Right. So the company didn't have to transform at that point.
[00:17:41.370] - Tim Creasey
[00:17:41.520] - PMO Joe
It was you who was adjusting to the company's norms to be able to fit into that type of setting. And for people who are wondering, why are we talking about this with project management shows? Because as project managers, one, we led the projects which initiated this forced digital transformation for organizations. And two, we now have to work with teams in this environment of hybrid space, hybrid work, almost even hybrid time that we're going through at the point. Right. And as you mentioned, the money in music and now we're going through this transformation. I immediately was thinking the disruptors along the way as well. Like a Napster. Right. There were people saying, listen, we're not ready for this digital transformation. That's illegal. You can't do that anymore in the industry pushed back and said, you're right, Napster is illegal. But we're going to create legal Napster. That's where Spotify and the others have really evolved out. It was now access to the people. You got to pay for it. You can't do it for free because the musicians, the artists need to get their royalty. They need to get some sort of compensation for the music they've created.
[00:18:53.210] - PMO Joe
So there's disruptors along the way. Right. It's not always just the evolution of it. It's evolution plus the disruption which leads to those things as well.
[00:19:03.890] - Tim Creasey
Certainly. And then you also, I think, especially inside of an organization, as a project team, we're balancing internal change and external change as well. Right. I've sometimes made the tongue in cheek joke about it. Right. So if you want really strong carpet, you get commercial grade carpet. Right. If you want really strong paint, you get commercial grade paint. Consumer. It has outpaced the speed at which internal it has run a lot of times. Right?
[00:19:35.010] - PMO Joe
[00:19:35.800] - Tim Creasey
So, like when something on here breaks, I expected to get fixed before it ever before I even notice it on my personal device. But if something inside of an internal It system breaks, we know it's a two week process to file the open the ticket. Right. So I think that's an interesting threshold that people are up against as well in terms of that pace of change inside change outside, especially when your project managers are working to bring about the changes that will help us become the organization of the future that we're designing.
[00:20:06.450] - PMO Joe
So one of the things that you're experiencing on Reentry, we'll call it Reentry, is today you have your first in person keynote address in those two years that have gone by. Right. So what's that re entry experience like for you now to be in person to doing something where the past two years we've been forced to be remote?
[00:20:31.280] - Tim Creasey
It's fascinating, right?
[00:20:32.500] - PMO Joe
[00:20:32.640] - Tim Creasey
I'm coming to you from a hotel room in Austin. Right. So what a fascinating notion of starting to reenter get back into gathering and shared space. So I'll tell you a couple of things. First of all, panic attack when I was packing. Right. And you're probably like this when you're traveling back all the time, too. I could pack for five days in suits every day in about 15 minutes. Back in the day, yeah. Now I'm just, like, frantically trying to figure out. So there's that reentry into the routine of what it was. I did remember my dress belt, so that's pretty awesome. I forgot my HDMI dongle. So we're doing the tech check, getting ready to plug in, and he goes, you got your HDMI dongle? And I think the wild thing, Joe, is I left it in my computer bag for the first year of the pandemic. Finally, I was like, okay, I'll take that out. And then I forgot to pack it again. So there's that notion of getting ready. There's some of these nostalgic components. And I put a post on LinkedIn. I made a meme, actually, about conference Lanyards. It is awesome seeing conference Lanyards again.
[00:21:39.980] - Tim Creasey
Right. And in 2019, I would have told you if I never see another one again, that would be fine. But now to see people walking down the hallway shared lanyards with the conference, they're part of that part is exciting. And if I do, the gathering matters, the fact that we are going to be sharing space. And for this client, it's the first time they're sharing space in several years as well. And so I've started to build out a whole fun introduction to kind of kick off the session about one of those things that we've lost when we lost share space that we can start to get back. So being in the keynote is going to be great. And then last week, the pros and leadership team got together for the first time as well. And so it's really reflective on some of those aspects of shared space. And we're a team as opposed to this whole you want to know one thing? I'm going to have this whole group view from the front of the room.
[00:22:31.890] - PMO Joe
What do you do?
[00:22:32.720] - Tim Creasey
Yeah, I got this whole kind of cold open that I'm going to do about this being back in shared space again. Right. The fact that we're all in this room together means we can do some stuff we've not done in the last two years. One of them is going to be make some noise. Yeah, right. How long has it been since you had a room full of people that could just make some noise? So during the tech prep, I said, I got to make sure that Mike can handle I'm going to get Rowdy up here. It's been two years since I've been able to get up here and get Rowdy. And there's Hoots and Hollers coming from the AV. Folks like, setting up the room. So excited to be back in the room, but I'm going to have them first. Just make some noise out on your table. I'm going to say, okay, I'm going to count on three, two, one. And we're all going to shout out the same phrase. We're going to at the same time get 250 voices shouting out. And the phrase we're going to shout out when I count down three, two, one is you're on mute, but don't do it angrily.
[00:23:32.460] - Tim Creasey
And it's frustrating. Do it triumphantly, as if it's the last time you ever have to say it. Three, two, one. And if you're in Austin, you might hear it coming out of this hotel conference room. Right. Because we're going to make some noise together. So, yeah, it's thrilling to be got rid of all of my interactive polls that I use up on the screen. We're going to do fist of five. Right. Because that's something you can do in person. Raise your hand, fist of five, turn to the person next to you and chat with them about the most pressing change you're about to face. Turn to the person on the other side and talk to them about the cost and consequence if we don't get adoption and usage of the changes that we're putting in place. So I put a poster earlier today, I feel like a child holding a balloon, eating an ice cream cone in a candy shop on his birthday that got off a pony in order to walk into the candy shop. Right. There's something so powerful when we were able to get back in. And it doesn't mean it has to be all the time.
[00:24:32.490] - Tim Creasey
Right, right. Because two weeks from now, I'm going to deliver an awesome keynote for 4000 people. But they're globally distributed. And so that one's going to be virtual. And we've developed the capability to lean into that to where they've created an interactive hybrid experience for that conference that I get to luckily, keynote. And at the same time I'm going to love, hopefully I don't trip up onto the stage. Right. That will be a crash on the way up. And I will jump up and love being able to have tumbled onto the stage because it's been so long since we've been able to do this kind of stuff.
[00:25:06.770] - PMO Joe
One of the phrases you've used a bunch here so far is Gathering Matters. And you and I had talked, I don't know, going back maybe about three weeks or so as we were prepping for the show about this Gathering Matters concept and you had plugged me into a technology for Gathering. Right. A community building thing. So I mentioned earlier, the PMO Squad has just been a remote organization. We have people around the United States. We're at client site. So we never come together. But we now have built a virtual headquarters building the PMO Squad virtual world headquarters in a platform called Gather, where we now go to work. And we're in an office together. Right. Virtually. And yesterday, actually jokingly said one of our employees didn't come into the virtual office. And I said, hey, are you working remote today? Which was funny because she's in San Antonio and I'm in Phoenix, so we're always remote, but she wasn't in the office. Right. So this gathering matters has really transformed and blown my brain on what we can do, virtually slash collectively, because it's now a hybrid space. We've broken down one of the walls.
[00:26:19.230] - PMO Joe
Right. We've found a way to be able to do that.
[00:26:21.840] - Tim Creasey
Yeah. That's so awesome that you all have leaned into it, and I hope I can come visit the headquarters, because the neat thing is, it's a click away, right. When we create a hybrid space. As I started to explore this gather platform, what I realized is, first of all, thank goodness for that involuntary digital transformation that we had the plumbing laid, and we had at least the table stakes of the ability to communicate and connect. But messaging, we can chat to folks. We can see folks on a video screen in video calls. We can pull up a collaborative document and look at that document and work on it together, which is kind of like looking at the same desk together. But there are some things that we've lost in this virtual space. And this solution, this hybrid space solution that you've started to explore, I think, brings a little bit of that back. And for the listeners and the folks that may watch this later, what I was really impressed by for the solution is the way that it blended the virtual and the real, digital and real. So you essentially are running around on what looks like a very nostalgic eight bit sort of Zelda, that's kind of your environment.
[00:27:30.680] - Tim Creasey
You've got a little eight bit icon. So it's none of that attempting to make the virtual feel too real, right. To me, some of that weird me out. Like, when the avatar is trying to look too much like me, it's like, no, that's fake. But as soon as I have a video call with Joe, that's real, help me break that barrier down. So you have these little eight bit characters, and you can run around, but you could see three people standing over at a desk. And as you move your character by, you get to decide, do I want to step into that conversation or not? That's agency that we have not had. You don't get that from a meeting link. You don't get that from small group breakouts. Even some of the really innovative ways to use our virtual platforms, our remote platforms didn't create that notion of agency. I could walk by and decide if I want to talk to you or not. I've started to really explore it for virtual instruction, virtual collaboration as well. So there are things like interactive whiteboards, so I can bring learners into a room and put a whiteboard called expectations and a whiteboard called the biggest questions up on the wall.
[00:28:41.640] - Tim Creasey
As people mill around for the first ten to 15 minutes, they can decide when to step up to that board and add their comments. It has proximity as well, which is neat, right. So if somebody gets close to you, you can hear them as they walk away. You don't hear them anymore. So you start to create the notion of space in a way that we've not had when we've been in our purely remote.
[00:29:05.300] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Just some examples. Use cases we've done on Microsoft Teams or Slack or whatever you want to use. You can put your status to at lunch, we walk into our cafe and we know if somebody is sitting in the cafe, they're at lunch, they're having lunch.
[00:29:21.810] - Tim Creasey
[00:29:22.340] - PMO Joe
And in the cafe, we have ambient noise playing in the background that sounds like you're in a restaurant. And that small little change was so impactful. But at first I'm checking my phone, like, where is this noise coming from? But I realize I'm now in that environment and to be able to create that when you come into our lobby, when you enter our headquarters, we've created videos about the PMO Squad. Like a 1 minute video on here's what we do. Well, guess what? We've got a TV there. So if someone's waiting to be greeted, they can interact with that television and learn more about the PMO Squad as they're waiting for us. That's on YouTube. People can go out to YouTube today and connect that. But they're not doing that in our office. They never could do it in our office because we don't have one now. We do. So this digital transformation has created that, right. So the water cooler talk that's been gone for two years and for our company, it has been gone forever. We never had that opportunity.
[00:30:20.190] - Tim Creasey
You actually have it now. Spontaneity, right?
[00:30:23.650] - PMO Joe
[00:30:25.190] - Tim Creasey
The water cooler is interesting for a couple of reasons. I think it gives us spontaneity, right?
[00:30:29.830] - PMO Joe
[00:30:30.250] - Tim Creasey
So we get our own agency and now the ability to maybe run into them or not. The other thing it gives us is unstructured time.
[00:30:37.970] - PMO Joe
[00:30:39.000] - Tim Creasey
When I reflect what I'd love for the folks to do, if there's folks that do want to chat in, like use that hashtag, gathering matters. Let us know what are the most important aspects of gathering? What are those things that really float up to the top that you realize we've lost and then we can't wait to get back? Having spent the week with the Breastfeed leadership team last week, I was starting to really think about some of these. So unstructured time is one of the biggest. You don't get unstructured time in a fully remote set up. And we've been really thoughtful about it. Like, we try to invoke intentional informality. Right. So that we create space for the more informal connections. But this is not unstructured. We both have to click a link to get in here. And in shared space or even in your shared hybrid space, there can be unstructured time where we randomly come across each other. And then that's the spark of innovation. That's the spark of figuring out what's next for sure.
[00:31:43.190] - PMO Joe
And we've created a go car track in our office.
[00:31:47.050] - Tim Creasey
[00:31:48.650] - PMO Joe
So it's not just work that we're getting together to do. It's that unstructured time that I get to have some play, some informal time. We have a rooftop, so we have a little fire pit on that. We go sit by the fire, and we can talk informally and not talk about work, but just get to relax with one another and interact that way.
[00:32:10.040] - Tim Creasey
And for the folks that I took into it, Joe, they're like it's different talking on the rooftops than it is talking in the boardroom. Even though I'm sitting in front of the same screen talking into the same mic and same camera, there is something fundamentally different. And I started to kind of play with the definition of hybrid space. Right. If the hybrid workplace is what the future is, where we have employees that do work both on and off premises, and we have hybrid workers, workers that will do work both on and off premises. We hadn't touched hybrid space, which is where do we actually do our work when we are together, when we are remote? And so I think that's the neat thing that you all are leaning into. I've done some really cool from a facilitation perspective, too. Right. Well, if I'm facilitating in a LiveRoom, I'll use the wall as a spectrum. Right. How strongly do you agree or disagree with the statement? Strongly agree, left. Strongly disagree on the right. You can't do that on Zoom when you're purely just squares. But as soon as you step into a gather, the hybrid space, folks can align themselves in a spectrum.
[00:33:14.790] - Tim Creasey
I use big two by two plots. Now you're letting people physically plot themselves and then start conversations with the people that are sharing their experience. How fascinating is that to step into hybridspace with capabilities we hadn't had and people that have been so reluctant for years to step into it. And so that's part of what we earned out of this involuntary digital transformation is capability around stepping into that kind of engagement.
[00:33:42.790] - PMO Joe
Yeah. One thing when I joined and built our building, I got invited to go to the company, gathered their headquarters building.
[00:33:51.910] - Tim Creasey
It's awesome, right?
[00:33:53.130] - PMO Joe
Yeah. And you talked about the Lanyards, right. Was something that it didn't strike me until it did was to get into their office through the reception area. You had to have a key card, a virtual key card for an employee could get in. But strangers can't, right. You can't get into their building. And I thought, what an amazing. Last time I used a key card at a client site was again, two plus years ago.
[00:34:17.840] - Tim Creasey
[00:34:18.520] - PMO Joe
But the separation of where you're allowed and not allowed in the Zoom or teams or go to meeting. If you've been invited, you're in. But here, there's that separation. So we're working now on we have a conference room that is password protected.
[00:34:34.670] - Tim Creasey
[00:34:34.840] - PMO Joe
So you have to have the key card to be able to get into that room.
[00:34:37.540] - Tim Creasey
Yeah. It's a lock on the door. Now, it's part of that space. Did you also get to go and experience the tone that gets created with how the hybrid space gets designed? So if you go to their engineering space, it's what you would expect from software engineers. Right. All that kind of fun kind of nerdy stuff. If you go to sales, it's a very different environment. They've built the physical space to mirror, and then they have loud workers inquired, like if you want loud time to collaborate over here. If you'd like some quiet time, you get it over here. And they've recreated some of those things that we've lost over the last couple of years and decorate your desk the way you want.
[00:35:17.840] - PMO Joe
Right. I mean, again, it's allowing your coworkers to know a little bit more about you because you have a plant or a picture frame or a microphone or something on your desk that they don't get to see every day. It's really been a different experience to me. It's really the future of work. It's teaching us how to be able to work in a hybrid space for sure.
[00:35:40.950] - Tim Creasey
[00:35:42.110] - PMO Joe
So let's kind of go forward on that a little bit. And if we think back to two years, we can think, man, we were so advanced technologically. Right. But now, looking backwards two years, we can see how far we've come. That idea of resistance is futile. The future is here. Right. What do we say to people who are still putting up that fight, the late comers, the late adopters to this future of work concept?
[00:36:14.690] - Tim Creasey
Well, again, I think every organization has a different answer in terms of what's in front of them. What I really hope is that we can elevate the conversation. So we're being more intentional and strategic about creating that workplace of the future and that future of work. Right. One of the approaches we're using is kind of the idea of when and where does the wear matter, when and where does the wear that something happens actually matter and where does it not matter as much or matter less? And so the framework we've been using quite a bit is picked us up out of a University that was part of our Return to the Workplace Advisory Board. It was really early June 2020. We put together a Return to the Workplace Advisory Board. And it was strategic change leaders from huge organizations around the country just talking through, figuring out what this thing was that we are all dealing with. Interestingly enough, Joe, we called it the Return to the Workplace Advisory Board. And then we renamed it they Reimagining, the Workplace Advisory Board.
[00:37:17.060] - Tim Creasey
Probably about six months, seven months in, because those strategic change leaders were coming together and saying return means trying to go back to what was what we are stepping into is creating a new what is to be, what do we want to provide to our employees, to our customers, to the organization in this new future work attentionality. I find it hard that somebody is still stuck in the place where they think we're going back all the way to what was. And maybe that's fueling a little bit of this resignation. Right. That we're seeing this great resignation is that individuals have a different set of expectations around flexibility, choice, purpose, because we all have a different sense of what matters, I think. Right. One of the conditions I talk about coming out of the pandemic is what I call forced prioritization.
[00:38:18.350] - PMO Joe
[00:38:19.140] - Tim Creasey
Everybody had the Stack rank stuff in a way that we never had to before. And that becomes the backdrop against which I think organizations and leaders are trying to bring their people. So I don't know that I've seen resistance is futile. I think resistance is always going to work. There will always be a way to resist moving forward. I think how big of a taste we have to make to help people step out of where they are today and step into what's in front of us might be the thing that's maybe a little bit less before we came on air.
[00:38:51.080] - PMO Joe
You were you're giving me the time and place matters you have with your children. And I think that it's appropriate for this discussion, too, on hybrid work and hybrid space and future work and Agile versus Waterfall and Reimagine versus Reentry. Share that story with everybody as well. Let them hear what you do with your kids.
[00:39:12.560] - Tim Creasey
Yeah, very good. So I have about a dozen alignment hacks I put together towards the back end of last year, and in fact, we did them on a podcast with Kim and Kate. On the PM Happy Hour podcast, we did a two part series where we did the whole twelve alignment hacks. One of them is called Time and Place, and I usually repeat it, time and place. Time and place. And it's a phrase that my boys hear more than any other, and it's usually associated with the dad stare, kind of a mean dad stair. So something like toilet humor playroom fine. This nice restaurant. Time and place. Time and place, right. Wrestling. Backyard is fine. Grandma's living room with all the breakables. Time and place. Time and place. So to me it's a phrase that helps us elevate how important situational awareness, how important the situation and condition is in terms of making sense of what our path forward should be. Time and place. Let's talk about project typical project meetings you would normally have. Are there certain project meetings where you're like because of the time and place. That should be the kind of thing we should do in person.
[00:40:31.310] - Tim Creasey
[00:40:31.570] - PMO Joe
If we think team to prepare for a steering committee status, we will have an internal team status meeting first. Right. To be able to prepare that. And what happens in that internal status might not be the time and place for what we do with the steering committee meeting. Right.
[00:40:50.050] - Tim Creasey
So within our audience, we want to make sure that we're having the right the conversational change for sure. And then what about project kick off versus the, umpteen, update?
[00:41:00.030] - PMO Joe
Yeah, absolutely. Right. You're setting the tone for how the project is going to impact the culture, especially if it's client facing kick off with their culture to be able to understand that time and place for PMO Squad internal versus how we serve the client. Same topic, maybe, but different tone to how we do that. Absolutely.
[00:41:22.310] - Tim Creasey
For sure. We got a dicey meeting coming up, right? Yeah. I think there's some storming that might happen during this particular phase of the project. Maybe I want to be intentional about the when and where the time of place that those happen. That foundation setting is something that I think shared space amplifies. It was one of the things I wrote about during our leadership time last week as the profile leadership is that foundation setting. Let's get the foundation set. And our ability to work remotely once we get the foundation set is much more effective than if we are unable to get that. And it's coming together. It's the back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and the breaking of bread with the folks that we're going to undertake this journey on. To me, that's that foundation that we're really working to lay.
[00:42:16.560] - PMO Joe
Yeah. I mean, we have executive sponsors.
[00:42:18.800] - Tim Creasey
[00:42:19.000] - PMO Joe
On each of our projects. And if the first time they interact with us is when we go to tell them about the bad news that just happened on the project, we didn't do what we needed to do to break bread with them upfront, to build a relationship so that we could actually have a constructive conversation about the bad news as opposed to getting your butt chewed out for not delivering. Right. Yes.
[00:42:40.180] - Tim Creasey
That foundation piece.
[00:42:41.530] - PMO Joe
But when we're remote and we've been disconnected and I can't walk down the hall to that executive sponsor, I'm more concerned about getting my laundry done or having my lunch or making sure the house is ready when the kids come home. Things that have become important for us that we didn't even think about two years ago because we weren't at home. But now I have to reimagine, how am I going to build a relationship with an executive sponsor in a remote setting? And those are the challenges as project managers we run into.
[00:43:11.770] - Tim Creasey
[00:43:12.030] - PMO Joe
That's a real life scenario for sure.
[00:43:14.840] - Tim Creasey
And I think if we keep down this path, too right. Because we've done a lot of research about sponsors from a people side. We talk about sponsors have a commitment to the project manager around scope, time, costs. They also have a commitment to the change manager around fulfilling what the research tells us. The actions, the activities of a great sponsor are luckily, the research has helped us out. We got this really simple acronym, the ABCs of good sponsorship, active, invisible participation throughout the B is building a coalition of support, and the C is communicating directly with employees, especially those business messages. Why now? What if we don't? Why this instead of that? So we know that sponsorship is the number one contributor successful change. And these are the three things sponsors need to do. Now let's put that into this new hybrid world, though, and I make the tongue in cheek joke, Joe, that a lot of sponsor coalitions got built at country clubs and three Martini lunches. What if that aspect of shared space gets lost out of your sponsor, out of their approach, their ability to build the coalition? They need communicating directly with employees.
[00:44:30.660] - Tim Creasey
Right. Sponsors probably had a preferred approach to communicate with folks, which is a little bit different than what they now have to step into in this hybrid world, not only our sponsors. More important, the actions and activities of being a sponsor in the hybrid world get a little bit trickier as well. Sure.
[00:44:56.150] - PMO Joe
What's a tip for that then, right. Because again, before we may have been in the same building, now we may not even be in the same town.
[00:45:03.800] - Tim Creasey
[00:45:04.000] - PMO Joe
I'm familiar with organizations who went 100% virtual and told their employees they can go, move, go be somewhere where you want to be. So now they're not even in the same town to be able to go have a lunch with them anymore. How do we do this?
[00:45:19.240] - Tim Creasey
Yeah. So I'm going to pull forward time and place. Right. Because we get some of those challenges in terms of our connection with that sponsor. So we need to work hard to continue to build that foundation with the sponsor. And that sponsor needs some help becoming an effective virtual hybrid communicator. But if they can start to step into that, do you want to know what one of the biggest, biggest inhibitors to good sponsorship is?
[00:45:46.420] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Let's hear time.
[00:45:48.610] - Tim Creasey
[00:45:49.360] - PMO Joe
[00:45:50.050] - Tim Creasey
Not having the time to step into the activities that we've now let's think about how time and place got a little bit disrupted with this hybrid remote, involuntary digital transformation. We had a time, whereas we were pivoting our three day programs into virtual, we were thinking about how do you retain that transformational experience of people that are signing up and stepping into a three day, intensive, fully remote program. We thought, well, what if the CIO dropped in just to do a little cameo, say hello, talk to folks, thank them for actually, I thanked them for three things told them, thank you for helping your projects be more successful. We know from the data that they are six times more likely to meet objectives if you tend to the people's side of change and do it excellently than if you do it poorly. And they're three times more likely if you just do an okay job instead of core. So thank you on behalf of your projects, they're more likely to meet objectives on time, on budget, and be less risky because you're paying attention to the people side of change. My second thank you is on behalf of your organization, because the muscle to out change is the most important muscle any organization can grow right now.
[00:47:00.940] - Tim Creasey
And even if you're in the public sector, you're working to out change a global pandemic, digital transformation, racial reckoning. There's all kinds of out changing that every organization needs to be working to do. And you as a change management practitioner are helping bring that muscle to your organization. So thank you. My third and last thank you is on behalf of the human beings that are going to experience way better work because that collaboration platform was getting managed really poorly from a peopleside perspective. Right. We are leaving adoption and usage up to wishing and hoping and chance. And even all the buttons worked. Although all the buttons worked, we didn't prepare equipment support our people. That's a nasty way to be an employee in an organization. So thank you, change management practitioners, for treating people your people the right way when you ask them to make a change. So those are my three little thank yous that I did on these Camo drop ins. But do you know how long it took me to drop into a class? 2 seconds to click on the link, and then I click and I'm done at the end. So at one Thursday, where in the course of my day I dropped into eleven training programs happening all around the world.
[00:48:09.790] - Tim Creasey
Well, I started my day with a class that was finishing their day in Europe, and I ended my day with a class in Australia that was starting their next day. Eleven classes, 180 practitioners, probably all learning about how to drive more successful outcomes. And because of time and place, I was able to sponsor each of those programs very quickly. So we as a project manager need to work to enhance and build the foundation with our sponsors. And we can also leverage some of these new capabilities in this hybrid space to get even better sponsorship.
[00:48:43.550] - PMO Joe
I love it. Earlier this morning, we had a prospective call with a client who's trying to implement a transformation management office. Not a project management office, but the transformation management office. And they have executive leadership who initiated the change to build the TMO. But now there's been disengagement. They've disconnected from that sponsor and the TMO is stalled, trying to get off the ground, and they're trying to reach out to us to be able to support them, to be able to how do we get plugged in? And I'm like, well, I don't know your organizational culture, I don't know how you get plugged back in. But here's where we can help you do that, because your point of that sponsorship's importance and the success of an engaged sponsor here's the actual discussion of transformation, changing the way the organization needs it. And that change has to be driven in some part by those sponsorship to be successful. So I love this concept of the three. Thank yous for them, the ABCs of sponsorship, all of those are just home runs.
[00:49:48.750] - Tim Creasey
[00:49:48.990] - PMO Joe
For project managers to be able to tap into. So we're getting close. We're only about ten minutes away, which is again, just surprises me every time we do this because the time goes by so fast. So I'll just throw out there anything that we haven't hit today that you'd like to touch on to give you an opportunity to share with everybody that's tuned in, either now live or certainly people who are going to listen in the future as well.
[00:50:17.950] - Tim Creasey
Yeah. I think all of the employees and agents of change in the organizations are setting in a really interesting spot in terms of helping the organization think more smartly through how we do change and in particular paying more attention to how we help support those individuals that are going to experience the change. And so it's been fun over the last couple of years, probably last year now started doing a good number of these podcasts. I've kind of arrived at what I think my base beat is because the fun thing, Joe right. Like, this is a project management podcast. We're a change management space. So most of these podcasts have not been in the change management space. It's been getting to go talk to customer experience and design thinking and HR and project management and project management and project management communities. After all that time, I sort of arrived here's my base beat. And I'd be curious, like how you see the base beat showing up in the work that you all do as well. Because that's the interesting thing about a base beat, if you can remix it. Right. Sure. Is that fun?
[00:51:21.200] - PMO Joe
[00:51:22.430] - Tim Creasey
You know, the drum beat and whole lot of love, of course. Yeah. It's been sampled like 200 times. Right. Because John Bonham did something with those drums in that song that nobody had ever heard before. And they thought, wow, that can really help what I do.
[00:51:36.390] - PMO Joe
[00:51:36.920] - Tim Creasey
So even Beyonce's, Lemonade, you'll get that drum beat a whole lot of love. And you're thinking about it right now. Anybody that knows a whole lot of love is thinking about the drumbeat. So here's my base beat. Change is hard. We know there's some people in the positive psychology space that want us to talk about it differently, but we know stepping out of what we do into something new is going to be a challenge. Change is hard. Change is continuous. That's the nature of the game. It may have always been the nature of the game, but it's way more than nature of the game today. As we respond and react to this pandemic and as we start to tap into an amplify accelerate these new capabilities. So change is hard. Change is continuous. And I don't like constant. Some people say change is constant, and I struggle with that a little bit. And maybe it's semantic, but I love math and science and science. And in math and science, the word constant means something, right?
[00:52:35.990] - PMO Joe
Certainly, of course. Yeah.
[00:52:37.530] - Tim Creasey
3.14,159 that's why it's a constant. It's that way always. The definition of constant is literally the exact same. Always, at least in math and science and stuff. I love. And that's not what change feels like in our organizations right now.
[00:52:53.500] - PMO Joe
It's always different happening.
[00:52:56.450] - Tim Creasey
So it's simultaneous, it's dependent, it's happening continuously, but constant. I have a little bit of a fun objection to change is hard. Change is continuous change. Success is accessible with and through your people. If I were to draw the critical path with change, success at one end, your people lies directly on that critical path and how well we engage them, prepare them, equip them, support them, is going to be the gap between achieving successful outcomes for our organizations, on our projects, on our initiatives and not. And I think the thing, Joe, about the pandemic is I think it's always been this way. The people side of change has always been on the critical path. But we could ignore the people side of change. We could ignore the people side of the organization if we became so convinced that with the right technical solution, we are going to solve the issue at hand. And what the pandemic did is it made the human side of the organization. You can't unsee the people side of the organization now, right. You cannot unsee the people side of a project when you listen to the Symphony of your project team member's life in the background of the meeting.
[00:54:16.390] - Tim Creasey
Right. When you get to talk about a project management update while they're navigating a 14 year old who's throwing another huge fit about virtual school. And to me, that's an interesting part of this humanity that got pumped into the connective tissue of the organization when we did lose shared space. And my hope is that we can continue to amplify that the humanity that came in. Right?
[00:54:42.720] - PMO Joe
Yeah. I mean, I love this concept, the base beat. I hadn't internalized it in the past, but we have empower your people to deliver results as one of the ones that we have within the PMO squad. And project management is a journey.
[00:55:00.350] - Tim Creasey
There you go. Right.
[00:55:01.950] - PMO Joe
So many people think of project management is per project and we're static and we're not growing and we're not learning, but organizations are on a journey as they mature through ad hoc to standardizing, to accepting, to strategic, to value generating. Right. That journey is lost in space for the people who aren't in it every day. So we try to bring that to organization. I'm going to play around with this baseball and see how it evolves with the PMO. But I love that concept.
[00:55:32.960] - Tim Creasey
Well, I'll tell you a little bit about how I got to mine, and then you'll have to tell me when you start down this journey, the baseball was the result of a lot of divergence convergence. Divergence convergence. Divergence. Right. Over the years, there's been a good bit of the divergence convergence. And it's only here in this last round of convergence, I was like, I think we got to the kernel. Each time we converge, we got close to the kernel. This time, I think we got to the kernel. That change is hard. Change is continuous change. Success is accessible with and through your people. Go at it. Right. That's the charge.
[00:56:09.110] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I love it. You had mentioned Kim and Kate, their show, and of course, we had Kim on episode 102 weeks ago was great. He had professed his man crush on you during that episode.
[00:56:24.410] - Tim Creasey
I've gotten some teasing from my side.
[00:56:28.590] - PMO Joe
[00:56:28.940] - Tim Creasey
They're fantastic hosts. I love the way Kim and you kind of think about projects as mechanisms to help organizations get better. Right. So he professed a man crush.
[00:56:39.270] - PMO Joe
Yeah. It was a good moment. It was a good moment. And again, we're live. Right. So the world got to hear it. So it was good.
[00:56:45.740] - Tim Creasey
But I told my colleague, I had a colleague who's like, should we share it with anybody? And I said, he's a professional podcaster. If it came out of his mouth, he knew it was coming out of his mouth. I'm reaching out to Kim and Kate. Yes. I was just chatting with Kate about the power together earlier today.
[00:57:01.590] - PMO Joe
Yeah. And Kate, of course, she had, I think potentially the first, at least from my experience, the first podcast mic drop moment. She professor in one of those episodes. Right. So I was out on a run listening to that show and happened to hear and I was like, wow, me, Kate is excited right now. I mean, this is great. I don't know I've ever heard anybody that excited on the podcast. That was awesome.
[00:57:25.250] - Tim Creasey
For sure. I went back to find out what it was. There's nothing more powerful than two people on the same page, nothing more distracting than two people on different pages, but nothing more devastating than two people who think they're on the same page but are actually on different pages. That was it. I'm doing a lot of fun development on the main power and potential of getting on the same page right now.
[00:57:50.910] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Well, Tim, thank you so much for joining us once again to see a comment hey, I've heard great things about Prosci. I think you would second that emotion, right? Absolutely. For those who haven't, certainly go check out Prosci. A lot of great stuff that they have available out there. Tim, thanks of course for joining us and thank you to all of our listeners. Whether you're live or whether you're catching the replay of this, the podcast, certainly be sure to go out and visit the PMO Squad page and the podcast page out there on our site as well to be able to catch all of our episodes. We're now up to 101. The show will be posted out there in a couple of Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. And then we've got an amazing lineup of guests coming up in the next several months. So we have Louise Wearsley joining us from South Africa, Ricardo Martine from Spain, Sanjeev Augustine, Melissa McDonald, the Smart PM, talking about smart sheets and her experience using that in corporations. Constantine Reboot and Robert Bris from Germany, matte Sierra track via is going to be back talking about citizens development.
[00:59:03.090] - PMO Joe
Another interesting concept in the project space. Keyed in will be joining us from a technology perspective in our industry. And then I keep referencing on past shows, we have a guest scheduled. I don't know if she's going to be joining us or not. Maria Abdelina from Ukraine may or may not be joining us. So our thoughts certainly go out to her and her family and all of her country mates as they go through their experience right now. And hopefully this all comes to a resolution sometime soon. So thank you again, everybody. A reminder, we're live right now, but we do record this so these will be available on Project Management Office Hours on your favorite podcast platform. So go out there and subscribe on Spotify, our heart radio Spreaker, whatever your podcast platform of choices. And of course, thank you to the PMO Squad and the PMO leader, our two sponsors for the show. That's it for now. Office Hours are closed. Until next time, I'm PMO Joe and you've been listening to Project Management Office Hours.
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