Jun 11 '20

Fellow Huggy Rao on "Leading with the Help Muscle"

Filene Fellow, Huggy Rao, will make you see the link between what you do and the way you do it, and your performance outcomes.

Holly Fearing

(00:13):Hello everyone. And welcome to the Filene Fill-In. I'm Holly Fearing with Filene. The Filene Fill-In is the podcast where we fill you in on what's been going on here at Filene's home base and out and about in the financial services world. Filene is having a virtual event on June 16th and 17th to explore and unpack our research on organizational effectiveness and excellence and what it takes to achieve it from our research fellow for our Center for Performance and Operational Excellence led by Huggy Rao. If you're listening to this before, then please be sure you're registered to attend this free event at filing.org/artandscience. And if you're listening after you can recap what we discussed at the event on Filene's website. So check out filene.org to see what we have for you to learn under our operations tab. What you're about to hear is a summary of key learnings, actions and advice for credit unions from Huggy Rao, who is a professor of organizational behavior and human resources at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also directs Stanford's programs for customer focused innovation, managing talent for strategic advantage and the Stanford innovation and entrepreneurship certificate. Huggy's specialties include leading organizational change, building customer focused cultures in organization design, and he teaches courses on these topics to MBA and executive audiences. So if any of these topics are of interest to you, here's a mini course on it. And trust me, Huggy, isn't your typical professor. So you will be well entertained by his colorful language and metaphors throughout. Huggy's key points will make you think about focusing on what we can control: yourself, your operations, your organizations. Look at the link between what you do and the way you do it and your performance outcomes. Huggy will share how communications, knowledge sharing, organizational design, points of friction and leadership strategies around harnessing the wisdom of crowds and collective intelligence will give you the power to better navigate the external environment as it changes, take a listen, and we hope to be seeing you virtually on June 16th and beyond. Huggy, for the past four years, you've been leading Filene's center of excellence for performance and operational excellence, with the goal of exploring operational efficiencies and effectiveness to help scale the credit union model so that more consumers can benefit from the cooperative finance model. Thank you so much for being here today to talk to us so we can get a better understanding of the work that's been done around this center. You've been doing work on scaling excellence and sustainable growth, knowledge sharing, collective intelligence, leading through change, operational efficiencies and organizational friction. So my first question for you, I really suspect that a lot around these discussions have changed in the last couple of weeks, couple of months by the things that have been brought on related to COVID-19 crisis. Can you talk to us a little bit about kind of what your immediate assessment has been around what has changed and what it means for a business to be sustainable and to grow in this new context?

Huggy Rao

(03:37): Thank you very much, Holly and Taylor. It's a delight to participate in this conversation. You raised a very timely and topical question. And for me, the way to think of COVID, you can think of COVID, there's a pandemic and indeed it is a pandemic, but I prefer to think of COVID as though a biological asteroid hit us. We, of course, know asteroids come from space, but of course this asteroid is an asteroid really from the microbial world. And as I sort of think of the effect of COVID, on not just organizations, but on schools and communities and personal lives and so forth. The thing that comes back to me again and again, Taylor and Holly is an old, old wonderfully luminous article written by a guy called Lowell Carr in 1932 in the pages of the American journal of sociology and Carr made, I thought, a brilliant observation and his few words, "Hey, disasters are acts of nature. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, viruses and the like, and the question he sort of posed was, "why do disasters become catastrophes?" And his point was just because we have a disaster, it needn't become a catastrophe. And what he argued was disasters unspool into catastrophes only when cultural protections collapse. To both cultural and psychological protections. And when I see sort of what is happening in our contemporary world, that to me is the central challenge. If we want to keep our enterprises and our economy sustainable, the first thing we need to think of is what are the cultural protections that we need to keep in play? And here, I must confess, I am concerned and worried because what do people actually expect or in a leader? And what do people actually expect for things to be sustainable? The first thing they expect of leaders in times like this is, are you anticipating the unexpected? This is the thing followers want of leaders. Of course they don't expect an individual leader himself or herself to divine the future, but they have people working for them to anticipate the future. And if you anticipate the future, the only way you can do that is when you listen to people whose job it is to do that. And that is I find like a very, very important thing. And this comes back to a theme that many of our colleagues in the credit union community have urged me and have indeed heard me talk about, and that is the only way in which you can expect the unexpected and listen to your people is if your mindset is that if an elephant with big ears and not a hippopotamus with a big mouth. If the only thing you open is your mouth and close your ears. How can you expect the unexpected? So that's one. The second thing, it seems to me, is what leaders expect for things to be sustainable is leaders actually their job in moments like COVID is to take people from a room called fear and resituate them in a room called hope. And the passageway between those two homes is the passageway called compassion. So you really need to understand what is going on in the minds and hearts of people. And you need to be compassionate because the compassion is the walkway that enables people to move from the room called fear to the room called hope. And unfortunately, I see challenges here too. Let me give you two extreme examples of challenges. Imagine what happened at the USS Theodore Roosevelt, you have a captain valiantly trying to save lives. And what do we do? We scapegoat the purse. Tragic. That's one extreme. Let me take you to another extreme in the Bay area. Recently, a company called Bird that makes scooters, they actually laid off people through a zoom call and nobody knew it was a layoff call, either. The newspaper reports implied that people were being invited to a COVID briefing and the participant list was suppressed. And I believe a functionary working for the CEO announced that people on the call have been laid off. So we have a challenge there in order to make things sustainable. And the time that my equally sort of important thing it seems to me is, um, leaders have to lead in the frontline. So who are teaching us all of these lessons of great leadership? To me, it's actually the emergency technicians, the nurses, the doctors, and the others valiantly doing their best in our hospitals. And I have immense admiration for them. I could tell you stories and so forth. It's extraordinary they're doing.

Holly Fearing

(09:06): I suspect that there's a lot of analogies around what's happening right now. Um, it's just kind of the volumes turned up, but the same lessons around leading with hope, instead of with fear, all of these things are, they exist and the COVID-19 has really only just exposed underlying conditions that maybe we weren't forced to see before. So I wanted to hear from Taylor about, you know, in normal times, why was this topic, something that Filene saw the need to study and bring in Huggy and his expertise for the benefit of credit unions and ultimately consumers?

Taylor Nelms

(09:53): Absolutely. What really strikes me about the work that Huggy has done at the beginning of the launch of this Center. We really posed the question around, you know, scale and sustainability. What does it take to grow and what does it take to sustain that growth? And those are questions that are perennial, uh, if not constant, uh, they're questions that are really extraordinarily relevant to the credit union system, always. And I think, especially in the face of the pandemic and the face of a potential, probable, likely we're already in it, recession. And so, you know, I think that question on scale and sustainability is a really important one. What Huggy does is he says, sure, the external environment is really critical for scale and sustainability, but what can you control? You can control yourself, you can control your operations, you can control your organization. And so he says, look, let's look at the link between what you do and the way that you do it and the performance, the outcomes. So what does it take to build the kinds of cultural protections that Huggy was just talking about? And there's a few things that I think really sort of rose to the forefront in terms of the work that Huggy's done with Filene. So one of them has to do with communication and that awful zoom call that Huggy mentioned, I think is a really good example of what not to do, right? Communications and knowledge sharing. Uh, the second has to do with organizational design and, you know, the points of friction that are treated in any organizational design and the third is leadership, right? What kinds of leadership strategies, especially in moments of change are most productive and most successful. And in particular, how do leaders harness the wisdom of crowds? How do leaders build collective intelligence through communication and through good organizational design? So, you know, for me, it really is a powerful shifting of attention away from, not away from the external environment, but to yourself, so that you be better positioned to listen to the external environment as it changes and navigate the external environment as it changes. So for me, those are just some of the really key lessons that I've learned from Huggy in his work. And Holly, I think you're right. I mean, I think many of the challenges and lessons that Huggy's pointed to remain not just relevant, but are really kind of accelerated in the current moment. So Huggy, I might ask you to kind of reflect on your first book with Bob Sutton, scaling up excellence and about, you know, what it takes to spread excellence across an organization, make it more powerful and turn it into successful performance. Are there lessons from that book, from that research, that are relevant to today?

Huggy Rao

(12:32): Absolutely. And thank you, Taylor for that excellent summary and it was certainly both excellent and well-ordered. So the most important thing for sustainability and scale is resilience. What do we mean by resilience? Resilience simply means the ability to bounce back from adversity. In fact, the very first person who did the research on resilience was himself, a participant in the battle of the bulge and had that had a big effect on him. And it persuaded him to study resilience. And the first person he taught off, they were doing this in Minneapolis and they were studying school kids. There was one school kid in particular, who came from a very dysfunctional family. I believe the father was an alcoholic. The mother was disabled. It was a tsunami every day at home. Yet this kid came to school every day with a clean uniform and two pieces of white bread with nothing in between, as his sandwich. He would do that every day and the researchers said, how could he manage to do that? And there lay the wellsprings of resilience. And for me, scaling and sustaining an organization requires resilience on the part of individuals. We often think our job is to scale an organization. Really it is to scale people in the organization. You see, as an organization becomes bigger, it's very easy for people to become smaller. They'll feel anonymous, they'll feel they don't matter they'll feel they can share. They can do all of these things. What leaders do, if they really are able to scale their enterprises, is they actually scale their people. That is the single biggest thing that we learned when we actually were writing, Scaling Up Excellence. And the challenge here is even today in the corporate context is to scale individuals, to scale organizations, and there was one thing that I forgot to mention earlier when Holly, you asked me the question and the third thing it seems to me is we really need to pay a lot of attention to nonprofits. Nonprofits are really the shock absorbers of a community. And my hope is that whatever Congress is actually doing also helps nonprofits as well. Because if you take away the nonprofits, what do you have? You have a car filled with gas and a battery, but no tires and shock absorbers. Where are you going to go? So I want to put in a plug for nonprofits. So I just thought I've sort of mentioned that, but for me, the central challenge is resilience, and how do you make people bigger and better? By doing things that actually make, that remove friction, that actually foster accountability. So take, for example, an organization, which to me has done a fantastic job of managing really this COVID-19 challenge as it were. And this is actually the grocery chain called HEB, which is based in San Antonio. What did they do? It's amazing. Look at how simple they are, that they realize that managing a disaster, recovering from it, building resilience. It's not like scoring a home run in baseball. It's putting together lots of singles. So take a look at what HEB did. So first the company began limiting the amounts of products, certain products customers were able to purchase in early March. And look at the second thing. It quickly extended its sick leave policy for employees, quickly implemented social distancing, limited hours to make sure they could align with the needs of stockers. They added a Coronavirus hotline for employees in need of assistance or information, immediately gave employees at least a $2 an hour pay raise on March 16th, because these were the people who are interacting actually with the public. Now what's interesting is they did this actually when the Gulf coast had to recover from hurricane Harvey. And the actually have a director, a guy whose role it is to do this, and he's called the director of emergency preparedness. So what did they do? They used an initial plan in response to H1N1, they refined it. They made it into a bigger influence of plan and that was actually the basis of their COVID plan. So think about that. They're constantly, therefore in this mindset of preparedness, you have emergency supplies in warehouses, water, and other things staged ready to go. Uh, so they actually take the role of being an emergency responder very, very seriously. I could go on, but I want to sort of stop so that our listeners can get an idea of how HEB put together a bunch of singles in order to make sure that they were resilient.

Holly Fearing

(17:59): That makes me think of one of your other research reports. You did a lot of research on knowledge sharing within organizations. And I was going to ask you to share a little bit about what that might mean for organizations from this point, going forward on how they structure the opportunities to share from employee, to employee and employees to leadership and vice versa and what the benefits might be to have systems set up like that. But it sounds like that's a perfect example. What else do you have to say about the importance of knowledge sharing in organizations?

Huggy Rao

(18:36): Great question Holly. See, for me, we focus on knowledge sharing, but we don't think of the two other things that actually compliment knowledge sharing. And in my mind, I think of three important muscles that any enterprise needs to have the first is the caring muscle, caring for your colleagues and customers. Only when you care, will you share not just share knowledge and information so that you don't repeat other people's mistakes, but the more you share, the better you dare as well. So if I go back to HEB as an interesting example of knowledge sharing, what did they do? You know, very quickly, one of the things was they actually sort of created a simple test case. Hey, if there's an outbreak in the Houston area, what are we going to do? How are we going to react to it? Just as a test case to understand, but before they did all of that, HEB quickly got in touch with a bunch of Japanese retailers. What did they want to find out? Hey, what happened in the early days of the outbreak? How did that affect grocery and retail? How did that affect sanitization and distancing? What was the effect on supply chain? How did shopping change? All of that gave them a context. And I think once you get all of the context, the interesting thing is then you can actually convey that to the shareholders, but it's not one way. It's not just telling all of your employees, Hey, here's what Chinese retail stores are doing. You know, instead, you also ask them questions, you know, Hey, how are you being affected by absenteeism? How are you running your stores? What's happening in the supply chain with you? And I think when you do all of that, people feel listened to people feel cared. It becomes easier for people to show daring. And when I think of daring, it's not giving up your life necessarily, but really showing up with initiative on the job. That's the most important thing, because as we all know, in a crisis, we need to respond fast, initiative is oxygen. If you don't have initiative, you're in trouble.

Holly Fearing

(20:54): And right now credit unions are, um, they've always been the type of organization that shares information from one credit union to another, but we've seen a lot of conversations around credit unions, sharing best practices and sharing ideas and programs to serve members. Do you see that as a unique strength of credit unions, to be able to scale quickly with best practices and learnings, not just the organization, but amongst other credit unions as well.

Huggy Rao

(21:26): The amazing thing about the credit union industry is people feel part of a movement. And when you feel part of a movement, you obviously experience a sense of solidarity. And absolutely right, Holly, as to what you mentioned, sharing best practices is one thing, but sharing failures and mistakes is also another thing. You need to sort of do both because the real point of sharing is of course, to transfer successes. But at the same time, you also want to make sure we aren't repeating mistakes made by other people,

Taylor Nelms

(22:04): Oh, Huggy. I was gonna follow up by asking you about the work that you're doing currently with your colleague, Bob Sutton, about organizational friction, and the unique challenges that poses in business settings. So, you know, thinking not only about the opportunities for knowledge sharing, but the pitfalls that can accompany those efforts, right? As people try to communicate across an organization or between organizations, as you think about the responses of companies to the coronavirus pandemic in particular that the dramatic kind of remote workforce transition, what are the points of organizational friction that you're seeing arise and how can credit unions respond to those?

Huggy Rao

(22:50): Great question, Taylor, in fact, your question actually first gets me to the fact that crises like COVID, have two aspects. One is the threat aspect. When initially I spoke about what leader people expected from leaders, it was all to do with managing the threat aspect of a disaster or a crisis like COVID. On the other hand, crises, all sorts of opportunities, opportunities to reimagine what the company can do, what the enterprise can do, what the credit union can do. And I think what great organizations do is they actually kind of realized very, very quickly. So that's the first piece. And one of the ways in which to reimagine an organization is to actually produce friction because what makes people small? Friction makes people small. What's friction? Basically the hassle of doing anything. You know, if you've got to get nine approvals to do something, are you going to do that? Of course not. You got to obey some 30 rules before you do something. That's actually a pretty difficult thing to do. And so what Bob and I sort of got into was the vision that we saw ahead of people in large organizations particularly was that they were mired in muck. And so that's the tentative title of the book, "Out of the Muck." And the challenge is to build organizations that make the right things attractive for people to do, the wrong things hard for them to do. And you do that without driving people crazy. Just to give you an idea of what might be possible and I'd love if. the credit unions could actually do this, is set yourself a challenge and say, how can we actually give our people more time to interact with members who come here for services to our credit team? And I think when you, therefore, look at everything from the member perspective, you can actually reimagine the enterprise. Sometime ago, I wrote a case study on a company called AstraZeneca, and it's amazing a young group of 40 people in this local company. They saved the company 2 million hours. That means everybody got 2 million, the company got 2 million more hours to do things for the customer, developing new products and so on. These weren't cost-cutting exercises, these were all exercises designed with a view to help. So you'd go to R and D and say, how can we give you a hundred thousand more hours to do R and D? And you see that there are three finance reviews and you discover finance doesn't meet them. And then you reduce them to one and you save a couple of months, and you get the idea you keep doing. And I think that's really the theme of the book. Taylor, how do we actually stop driving people crazy? How do we make the right things attractive for them to do and the wrong things, very hard for them to do?

Taylor Nelms

(26:03): I think it's amazing how you're able to capture in really simple ways, some of the most complex, but most relevant kind of recognizable challenges that people who work kind of anywhere face. So for me that the promise of your book on friction, your work on friction is really the ability to kind of surface something that everybody feels and experiences, but people have a tendency not to talk about, or at least not to talk about outside of happy hour, right, with their coworkers or with their families. So that's, you know, I'm really looking forward to that. And, and it seems to me that you've also kind of issued a call to action for credit unions here, a call to action to reimagine what the credit union can do in a moment like this.

Huggy Rao

(26:54): You know, both you and Holly of course know more about credit unions than I do. But the one thing that has always struck me and that's always struck me indeed, as I worked with all of you in this center, and as I've learned more about the credit union community is the first thing is they have heart. And they have, I think, a caring muscle, some of them have a caring muscle that's well-developed. In other cases, it might be a little more dormant, but the pulse there. And it seems to me that what credit unions can do and ought to do in this post-COVID climate, is they've got to ask themselves, how can we actually have community? So for example, one initiative might well be to actually help nonprofits access some of the funds that have been set aside. Another one is to actually help small business to get access to government funds. A number of small business people have expressed great frustration. They don't know where to go. They don't have a GPS. They don't, they're flailing. It's become a full time job for them to get access to all of this. I see the credit unions potentially playing a big role in that. The third thing it seems to me is, and maybe this is an area where the credit union community can kind of pioneer is, why should we lay off people? Even if you need to reduce hours, can people share hours? Can an organization like a credit union help and sort of lubricate this sharing of power? So if I'm supposed to work 60 hours, I could get 20 hours to a common pool. And if I do that, if I need a little bit of extra money, is there some other source through which we can actually access it, favorable loans, easy to access loans, because right now the thing is we just got to help people. We shouldn't forget that 22 million people are out of work. I mean, that is like extraordinary, it's unthinkable, it's just amazing, it's frightening too. So I think what all of us need to do is we really need to actually see this, not as a business opportunity, but really as like a moral imperative to help. And I think if you go with the helping mindset, you actually do things that are good for your business. Let me give you an example of what I mean by help, Taylor and Holly. Several months ago, I was actually with a company that does optics, there's some spectacles. And they came out, I was in this meeting and they showing me all of these like new fangled spectacles that people wear, most of them had like colors, you know, purple and blue and like, whatever as, you can see my spectacles are very traditional spectacles. I was kinda thinking like, Ooh. So I looked at the CEO of the company and I know the person reasonably well. And I said, you know, it seems to me that you have a strong sell muscle, but where's the help muscle. And he said, what do you mean? I said, look at all these multiple colors. I know you want to sell more spectacles, but whom do you really want to help? And he said, can you give me an example? I said, look at your executives. Let's ask your executives. How many of them have elderly parents? Half of them raised their hands. Then the next question I asked them was, Hey, isn't it frustrating when you talk to your elderly parents about their visit to a doctor? People say, yeah, I asked my mom, I asked my dad, what did the doctor say? And they can't remember. And I ask questions. I get frustrated. They forget that they get frustrated. It's downhill. And I looked at the CEO and I said, look at this. These are the people you need to help. How about having a version of Google glass for elderly patients? They can actually wear Google glass going to a doctor's office. And my understanding of HIPAA, is you can actually record your medical conversation with the doctor. So if I'm an elderly person, I can actually go record this conversation, immediately gets uplinked and my children can access it very quickly. Now, moments ago, Holly and I were talking about her mom or something like this benefit your army.

Holly Fearing

(31:25): Probably. Yeah.

Huggy Rao

(31:27): There you go. But the thing is the company wasn't thinking of that. And my question was why? Because if you made these Google glasses, they're going to cost a little more and then they're actually going to get you better returns, then making lots of multicolored spectacles that nobody cares about. So that's what I mean by help, that's what I mean by reducing friction. And I think what the kind of unions ought to do is to think of this as an opportunity and say, Hey, where can we take friction out for our employees? Where can we take friction out for me, for our members inside or outside the organization?

Taylor Nelms

(32:07): You know, Huggy I'm, you know, reflecting kind of back on the whole body of work that's come out of the center. And, you know, thinking about some of the big takeaways from your work for credit unions and their implications now for the moment we're in. Can you reflect on what you think are some of your biggest learnings from credit unions?

Huggy Rao

(32:30): Well, the thing I would hope that we do when you do is the credit union movement is, and I say we, because I considered Myself to be a welcomed member of the community because that's the spirit with which I've been received, but which I've been so grateful, grateful to all of you, of course at Filene, but also grateful and thankful to the credit union community at large. And I think if we can actually help, help communities, help individuals, I'm sure new product ideas and the like would automatically come by, but we've got to lead with help and the help muscle rather than with the sell muscle.

Taylor Nelms

(33:14): Yeah. I think that that's an incredibly powerful sentiment, right, you know, everybody wants new ideas. Innovation is so valued and prized, especially at this point in time. And what you're suggesting is that if you set up the incentives, right, if you set up the, you know, the organizational design correctly, if you invest in culture so that you're scaling people the ideas will will happen. You don't have to worry about the ideas, right? They, they grow organically from a really well tended garden. I think that that's an amazing message for credit unions at this point.

Huggy Rao

(33:51): Yeah. And if I can close with a somewhat of a visual and mischievous metaphor, Taylor and Holly. And that is only when you have the help muscle, will you be able to face the customer and show the customer your face. If you're operating with a sell muscle, you're never going to face the customer instead, the customer's going to see your backside.

Taylor Nelms

(34:16): You have to invest in a face that's worth showing.

Huggy Rao

(34:19): Exactly.

Holly Fearing

(34:21): So I know we have just a couple more minutes before, um, you have to jump off, Huggy. But, we had to kind of culminate the research that's been going on in this center for the past year, at least if not the entire existence of the center, we are putting together an event around the art and science of organization. And as you've described here today, there's certainly an art and a science to running a business. And I think a lot has changed in our new world, but a lot has stayed the same. We kind of put this event together before we knew the impacts of COVID-19, but I think that this is a really great opportunity for credit unions to kind of be forced to look at certain issues and in new lights. So, before we let you go, I wanted you to talk a little bit on any last advice that you have for credit unions, as they are trying to navigate the challenges of the art and the science of running an organization.

Huggy Rao

(35:23): That's it, that's again, a great question, Holly. To me, my son says there are two immediate opportunities. The first thing is, look at all of us. We're actually doing this, on Skype Business, this whole conversation. And for the next several months, we had likely to do mostly online work. And the thing with online work is, when people work online and when things don't go well, it's easy to misdiagnose the problem as one of cooperation. Why isn't the team working well? Well, Taylor's dragging his feet and Holly is dragging her feet. And you've got to say how Huggy Rao is dragging his feet, but really the problems are not necessarily one of cooperation, that is the willingness to work it's coordination. Coordination has to do with the ability to work together, which means that each of our actions should be very predictable. So that I can predict your behavior, you can predict my behavior and we can actually move forward. And what that requires is common knowledge. So we really need to create common knowledge and that common knowledge is very essential. And I think even in this moment, it's very important for members of credit unions to learn how other members have been helped, how they're being responded. It's these stories that actually are the nerves that actually coordinate the workings of different people. That's what. The second thing is when we resume, hopefully in the near future, working together face to face, I think it's very important to make sure we put in all the protections that make both people working for the credit union, psychologically safe, and the members who come in there for services also psychologically say, I mean, just visualize this. When we go back to work, I wouldn't be surprised if we have to take our temperature three times a day. Now that's not an easy thing to do, as you can imagine, how are we going to do something like that? Starting from that to a bunch of things where, you know, do we need to have six feet of spatial separation? What does that mean to office layout? So there are lots of things we need to sort of think about. And that's the reason why, what I'm sort of suggesting is that this crisis is a great opportunity, not just a threat, but an opportunity to reimagine. And my hope is, and this really is my hope that Filene can actually serve as, essentially a broker, somebody who actually, a catalyst, because one of the great things Filene has, in addition to the research studies, in addition to all the ways in which you contribute, Filene has convening power. You can get people at the table. To me, and that's my hope that Filene would do to kind of make sure people actually begin to reimagine what could be done and reimagine what showing up for work and working could be done.

Taylor Nelms

(38:44): That's fantastic.

Holly Fearing

(38:46): I suspect there'd be a lot more to study. Uh, if we started the center over now and knowing what we know now, then what we did when we started four years ago. So thank you again for sharing your insights with us today and lots and lots more work to be done ahead in all of these topics. And I know that we're much better off now because of the contributions you've made to it so far. So thank you so much.

Huggy Rao

(39:15): Thank you. I should point out, I wish I could take all the credit for it, but there were amazing, amazing people have Filene. I mean, the both of you, you had Paul, you had Mike, you had George, I mean, just the whole leaders of Filene, they were also extraordinarily helpful, but most of all were the CEOs, the senior executives of various credit unions. They opened their doors, but it was the hunger and passion that people had. And I really hope that the credit union movement actually uses this as an opportunity and not just a threat.

Holly Fearing

(39:56): Absolutely.

Huggy Rao

(40:00): And what this means is should anybody in the credit union movement come to the Bay area near Stanford, you're welcome to get in touch with me. You're welcome to reach me via email or you're welcome to reach me via Filene, happy to help in any way.

Holly Fearing

(40:15): Thank you so much.

Taylor Nelms

(40:16): Thank you so much, Huggy.

Huggy Rao

(40:18): Thank you both. You know, I hope both of you are staying safe. I know you have kids and you're working and it's not easy to do. It's a huge challenge, but I know that you're doing this in good cheer. Hopefully both of you are innovating in the culinary domain.

Taylor Nelms

(40:37): As you are. We heard all about the chickpea dishes somewhere between Bahrain and Italy.

Huggy Rao

(40:45): It's like, what do you do? You know, it's like my wife a kins, you know, she teaches three online classes. I can see she's, you know, she spends a lot of time with students, they have more questions, they're more anxious and I sort of figure the least I can do is I could help on the cocktail, front and innovative meal front. Should any of you be interested in recipes, I'm happy to send them to you.

Taylor Nelms

(41:12): I think that would be an excellent contribution to COVID-19 resource hub, really something folks need at this moment.

Huggy Rao

(41:20): Because in fact, one of the things that might actually be fun to get people, to share recipes, quarantine recipe.

Holly Fearing

(41:29): Oh yeah. There'll be a lot of cookbooks coming out of this. I know that

Huggy Rao

(41:34): I'm sure the people in the credit union community would eventually come up with interesting ideas. They are examples of innovation. Like what do you do when you run out of chickpeas or whatever? I'm sure. I know Holly's laughing saying, he even knows about chickpeas.

Holly Fearing

(41:53): Just as long as we don't run out of alcohol. Well, we can substitute anything else though.

Huggy Rao

(41:58): And you took my words away from me, Holly. I'm always a believer in the old DuPont, "Better living through chemistry."

Taylor Nelms

(42:10): That's a lovely place to end. Thank you, Huggy.

Huggy Rao

(42:13): On that note, God speed and take care of yourselves. Should you ever come to California? I'll definitely whip up a meal both of you and either of you when you come here with your partners.

Holly Fearing

(42:26): Sounds great. Thank you so much. Hey, Taylor, do you want to stay on and talk at all a little bit about the event?

Taylor Nelms

(42:34): Sure. We'll be welcoming folks online to our second virtual event, in June, June 16th and 17th on the art and science of organization in which we'll be bringing together insights from the Center for the War for Talent led by Sekou Bermiss. And, and of course the Center for Performance Operational Excellence, led by Huggy. We're really excited about the amazing lineup of speakers and activities, facilitated sessions that we'll have at this event. And we'll really be exploring together the link between people and organizations, as Huggy said now in this conversation. How do you scale up organizations? You do it by scaling up people and people, of course, don't simply act on their own. They're acting in the context of their organization, their workplace, their coworkers, their leaders. So how do you bring all of those things together to, not just attract top talent, but develop it and put them in places where they can succeed and make the organization successful. So we'll be looking at a whole range of strategies, actionable research to help credit unions as they not only navigate the COVID-19 crisis, but look to set themselves up to grow and be successful coming out of the crisis.

Holly Fearing

(44:01): Awesome. I'm looking forward to it. Any closing thoughts on the work from this particular research center.

Taylor Nelms

(44:09): Folks should continue to keep a lookout. We have new work on the way, including an amazing piece that Huggy and Bob have contributed to on organizational friction, a really creative, piece that I think is pretty groundbreaking and I hope credit unions will take it and use it and put it into practice in their organization. So continue to keep an eye out. And then of course, as many folks know we are transitioning our Centers of Excellence, to new topics, new questions, new insights, new goals. And as Huggy said, one of the really critical lessons, one of the really critical challenges that I think credit unions are facing in seeking to stay relevant and seeking to sustain themselves in scale through this challenging moment is their connection to community. And many of the, several of the new Centers of Excellence, new research projects that we'll be undertaking over the coming months and years really focuses on the kinds of impact that credit unions can have on their members with their employees and especially in the communities where their members and employees live and, and to which they contribute. So we're really excited about the work that's forthcoming and cognizant of the fact that that all of that work was really made possible through a foundation that was laid by Huggy and his other colleagues, the other filing fellows.

Holly Fearing

(45:34): Awesome. Well, thank you so much for all of that information and I will see you on one of our thousands of zoom meetings and team meetings. The rest of this week,

Taylor Nelms

(45:48): I'll meet you in the virtual hallway, so to speak.

Holly Fearing

(45:51): Yeah. All right. Take care.

Taylor Nelms

(45:54): Bye bye.

Holly Fearing

(45:57): All right. That's it for the Fill-In folks. Thank you for listening. Thank you so much to Taylor Nelms and Huggy Rao for their time. And also for a cocktail recipe from Huggy that I'll share in the show notes, please join us June 16th and 17th for a virtual event, addressing the topics Huggy shared today by [email protected]/artandscience. I hope you're inspired by Huggy suggestions at this time to strengthen your help muscle more than your sell muscle. As he said, when you lead with the help muscle, by setting up the incentives, culture, and organizational design, right? You'll make your employees feel physically and psychologically safe. And your members feel like you acknowledge and care about their best interests. Do as Huggy suggests and use this as an opportunity and not a threat. If you liked this episode, please do rate us on Apple podcasts. So more people can find us and make sure you're subscribed to the Filene Fill-In podcast. So you can keep up with what's going on at Filene. You'll find us on Apple podcast, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google play, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you want to get in touch about today's show, email me at [email protected], or find us on Twitter @fileneresearch. Until next time. Thanks everyone.