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Courtesy of Dow's Dr. Debbie Rothe, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Change Management to Drive Digital Transformation' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at BTOES in Oil & Gas Live Virtual Conference.
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Some will say you saved the best for less, and that's, that's probably how a lot of us feel. We have doctor Debbie roles, a technology leader at Dow, and that there'd be so glad to have you with us. That B is a global leader for the environmental business now, and she's a disruptive Change champion, ..., for her business, and it's a real honor to have you here, to see your presentation on Change Management to drive digital transformation. So thank you very much for taking the time to share your insights and expertise with us.
Thank you, thank you Josie. It's a pleasure to be here. I'm happy to bring it all home here at the end of the session today, so thank you, Really excited to share the story about change management, to drive digital transformation. This is going to be a story to share with you some bits of wisdom on how you can drive is successful digital transformation. I think that many of us, who, who are passionate about innovation, Industry four, initiative digitization, know that this, you need to be relentless.
You need to be relentless to break the status quo, because you're going somewhere where people haven't gone before. If it was easy, we'd already just automatically be there.
It would just be a natural evolution, but the innovation is about jumping that curve, jumping out of that fishbowl into a new environment where we are learning as we go, and new experiences.
What if I told you that all of that amazing technology and innovation, those projects as ideas for making things better, had only a 15% likelihood of project's success?
It makes so much sense to you, and you are so excited to do it, and, yes, we should definitely do it, and we've shown that there's going to be value.
But it's most likely not going to succeed.
Now, you may look at that and say, well, that's not true, we've been successful, Then, I imagine you, you've been instituting some change management principles. So I have good news.
We can move that 15% likelihood, up to 93%.
That's what I'm going to share with you, are the tips, the tools that are available to increase the likelihood of your project being successful.
I'm going to share with you information about why it might not be successful, even though it's obvious to you, and then what you can do to make that successful. This story is about my team. I'm global leader for our environmental business. At Dow, our environmental business manufacturers clean water and clean air for the environment.
This story is largely about my team. They are innovators, possibility thinkers. They have done amazing things. They are early adopters.
This is a story about how we work together to bring successful change across our business.
We're the analytical team, which is a step removed from our assets. We're a resource to help those experts run. We have our own expertise, but we're not sitting right out in the plant every day all the time, like our engineering experts and our operation experts are.
So when we look at, this is our story written on a typewriter, our digital transformation story, when we want to help our plants make decisions about what's happening, the data sometimes looks like this to us.
You can collect somewhere on order of a thousand different data points in a single day at one of our plants, one of our environmental plants, that does wastewater treatment online analytical, a lot of other information that's being collected.
Now, multiply this by the number of assets that we operate around the globe. We're the global expertise center.
You have all of this, this data, all these data points. What do we really need to be looking at? What is really critical to help solve problems that we need to be monitoring?
Our project is about implementing these focused enterprise manufacturing intelligence dashboards, essentially a visible way to look at that data.
So, instead of a lot of data points and graphs and plots, what if we took only the really critical data that we needed to monitor our situation and then color coded it so that we knew when it was in, in good control and one, it was drifting out of control.
So that's what this project is about. It's about taking that data, finding what we really need to be looking at, from our expertise perspective to help problem solve and make decisions, and do this across the globe.
So it seems like it makes sense, it's logical, let's go do it. That was essentially our first change management strategy.
Hey, we're the analytical team. There's this amazing new tool out there that will help us help you. We are: in the hot air balloon, We're saying, jump on board. This is where we're going. This is where we're going, regardless of what's happening around us. So jump on board or be dragged.
That was our attitude about it because it made so much sense to us that we should be doing this. This is going to make our lives easier.
It's going to help us distinguish the single signal from the noise. Some of the other data that's been collected is important, but it might not be critical for some of the urgent situations that arise.
So what do you think the success rate was? This is where I love to quote Star Wars from Han Solo.
If you're a Star Wars fan, you'll get this, if that, just pass by it. But never tell me. Don't tell me that it's only 15% success rate, because our first time was 100% success rate. This is our first dashboard that we started back in 20 16, at one of our sites.
We sat down with the, the plant engineers. We took a look at what their operations looked like, what was the data they had available, what did they want to build on this dashboard. So we partnered with them to make the success. It is beautiful. We have this wonderful aerial overview of the facility, we have labeled the influence stream through various sources. We even have, you know, some of our typical problems that we expect to see coming into the plant outlined right there, so that if one of those turns red, the engineer can pick up the phone, call the sender plant production later, and ask what's going on. Are they aware of what's happening? Are they not aware?
What changed Instead of trying to guess, what's going wrong? You know, not noticing from that mess of data, what's happening until it's too late now, we can be far more proactive.
So, we were very much built our self-esteem up with us, and said, let's go, this is our first success story. Let's take this across the globe. No one's going to stop us.
Well, in hindsight, we had a lot of contributing factors to success. We did sit down and discuss this for over a year, This is driven by our experts in our data analytics team. We were having conversations with the, with the plants, with our Tech Center experts, to really understand what it was that they needed that would be meet their needs.
Their culture at the plant of being an early adopter was already in place.
We had great engagement. We had a great relationship between implementation Team and the plant. So, the culture was really on our side, so everything was, you know, the wind was blowing in our favor with. Our ability to influence is very high, plus this particular tool, fill the gap for the plants. This was something that was going to help make their lives easier, it was clearly, there was a clear benefit to investing this time to implement this and make it work.
But this with hindsight, you know, hindsight is like hindsight is always 2020, it's always obvious when you look at it in retrospect.
But moving forward, we thought, OK, this is the right thing to do. What every new initiative needs is a persuasively colorful slide.
We built that, Isn't it beautiful? Don't you want this? Look at this, got the rainbow colors in there, We're talking about how this is going to help with productivity. We needed a vision for success.
It's a collaborative tool. This is what's going to happen with this tool. The plant will get this notification, will have discussion, will collaborate. It's amazing, will help determine appropriate actions, and then that knowledge that you gain from that experience can be integrated back into the tool. There are comments in there, we can learn from this. It's a great training tool.
We can shift from a reactive mode to proactive mode and it can be something that your global experts can be looking at. So the local experts can really focus on operating their asset. We can prevent unplanned situations. We can prevent partner losses. We can prevent losing money. And we're going to work together on this. We're bringing resources. We're not dumping this on you to do. We've got a great plan.
We even sat down and made some projections in terms of monetary benefit as well, and what we anticipated to capture So we took this moving forward. And so let's see if we can project. What do you think our success rate was moving to the next plant?
Well, I continued to be successful, so we had no reason to stop our approach or change what we're doing Because if it's working you just keep going. We implemented a number of dashboards at individual sites. Some of our sites wanted to look at a specific part of their process. Some wanted a couple of different ones And so as we moved across the globe, you can see where our dashboard numbers are running total Really increase. We had several in place at each site.
So for a couple of years, Blindly optimistic, very excited about what we were able to achieve then one day we went to a particular plant didn't occur to us that this could happen.
We hit a brick wall.
It was a very short meeting very short meeting because we showed the persuasively colorful slide went through the value case for it.
And they said, no, we like our tools. We don't see the value. We're really busy, you know, thanks, but, no, thanks.
And it was really funny, because leading this effort, up to this pointed it. I didn't have a backup of, of understanding, or what was my plan B for this.
And so we said, oh, OK, well, no, that's OK. Well, we'll come back to you.
And, and we're just going to keep going, but it kind of knocked us off balance for a bit.
But we continue to go, so then we went across to other sites continued to increase our success rate, which was absolutely amazing. We then built a new tool that had, we had so many dashboards at this point That we wanted to create a dashboard of all of our dashboards because these were in place across the globe, we wanted to see how we were operating.
And not only do we implement a dashboard dashboards, we made it accessible on a mobile device as well.
So, this actually worked in our favor, because now, under the dashboard of Dashboard, you can see who has a dashboard and who doesn't have a dashboard in place.
So, this helped increase that desire. People wanted to be on the dashboard of dashboards and who called us up and said: Hey, how can I get in on this?
So as we as we when we increase the number there, but really, then we thought, Well, what does our engagement look like?
Because if we define success as just creating these dashboards, putting them into place, then walking away, are they being used? Because that's really the goal is that they're being used. It's not just checking a box because we really see the value in this. They need to be used otherwise it is pointless. When we looked at our data, we had a tool that allowed us to track our, how many times it got touched on this plot. We're seeing three different dashboards, the one that had been in place for awhile The one at the top, That was actually our first one that I showed the example of. Then you have dashboards that were being created still in that transition state at the very bottom, and the one that we had in place, and then hand it off and was being taken care of by the plants.
So, you notice here the high touches are the darker colors.
The lighter colors are the lower touches or less number of times that it was open, and our dashboard that had been in place for years that we had the great engagement to start with. Fantastic! People are using it. They're opening it every day, multiple times a day. It's being opened by the weekend. staff to go in and check comments are being made, high utilization rate, great value. It has been used multiple times to help prevent excursions and other scenarios.
Somebody, other dashboards that were had been put in place, were not being used as much. And, in some of the cases, when I was excited about the high number of touches, that were showing up, how many times it had been opened, it with my team is everybody on my team, and wasn't being used by the site experts, as much.
So, this point, in time, may made us take a step back, and look at our culture.
What, why was it that some of the dashboards were being used, some of them were not being used?
And so this is the Roger's adoption of ideas curve.
This is Ben, published for decades. This is not anything new. But in basically, in any population, you're going to have a distribution of individuals. And if we were all in a room together and we weren't in the middle of a pandemic and it would be OK to touch hands, I would do this demonstration. I would tell somebody put up your hand and I would come up to them with my hand, and I would apply pressure.
And I almost guarantee you 100% of the time that person that I'm applying pressure to is going to push back.
Typically the case. As long as somebody's not overthinking, it are really afraid. Anybody with self-esteem is going to push back when you're applying pressure.
So looking at this curve, you're going to have a percentage of the population that is always going to, Their default answer is going to be no New ideas out there, going to have a reason? No, because, and these are all my reasons, why don't want that new technology. You then have the middle of the curve, which is more common, where maybe the analysis paralysis, some of those folks are the late majority where they're yes. But they're looking for other reasons, the skeptics why won't this work?
Then the early majority folks, they're open, but they're very, very practical and a bit risk averse, as well, they will they will Implement a change as long as they understand it fully and know that there's low risk. And they want to know more these are your question Tell me more, tell me more, tell me more.
The people at the front end of that curve, you're innovator's, your early adopters.
They are super excited. They're leading the change. They are in the hot air balloon, they're pulling the wagon, they're they're enthusiastic, they're, they want to be first. They're willing to take risk, they will look at a new idea and they'll say, yes, we can do that and and they will make it bigger.
So, looking at this curve and then thinking about who was on our team and who we were trying to work with to implement these changes was very different. So, our Implementation team was all the way over to the one side where we were leading the charge. We can see very clearly the benefit of this and wanted to make it work.
When you think about the people who are implementing with, we're very much focused on their daily tasks, and rightfully so.
They had a different focus, and every time you implement something new, it means more work, so as you're going through the transition state, they're trying to keep up on the daily operation plus implement this new change and so we had to re-examine our approach, if jump on the wagon or be dragged to move beyond this, what they call the tipping point.
Usually in a population, if if you get about 16% of your people on board with the change visible and leading it, the rest of the organization will gradually move in that direction as well. But we don't necessarily have the time to wait for everybody to decide that it's a good idea. So we need a strategy. We need a plan.
And that is what we did, this is our plot twist, our team became trained in change management principles from a company called ....
This is a third party that we work with at Dow.
We had a three day training for folks on our implementation team, so that we can understand what it is we could do to be more effective to implement these changes more rapidly, so we could appreciate the benefit of it across our assets.
So, I did technology for 15 years of my career, and if you're a technology person and you have your PHD and you went to grad school, you're highly, deeply involved in that. I have some bad news, my opinion the technology's easy part. The people are complex.
I know technology isn't always easy and you can hit robotics, but let me just say it's straightforward. Technology is straightforward. The people side is complex because people are multivariate time dependent. There are many factors.
So, what ... approaches that says, Hey, we understand that in any project, you have that technical side where you are designing, you're developing, you have to deliver. And then that people side, where you're getting people to embrace, adopt, and then use, you need both of those to be successful, to realize that, successful outcomes.
Here, it also shows that current state, transition state, future state, It's really critical that you fully understand what each of those states look like in order to bring a group of people along with you to get that successful outcome.
Part of that, the training talks about the building blocks for successful change. If you want to be successful, you need to build awareness of the need for the change.
You need to help people build desire to participate and support the change. They need to know how to do it. They need to have the ability to do it. And they need to have the reinforcement to sustain that change or improvement.
When we got to this part of the training, our team looked at each other, we kinda laughed, and we said, we are blinded by our desire. Our awareness of the benefit of this, our desire, to implement this tool is so high, it's always see, we don't, it's hard to realize that anybody would not want it. And so, that is something that we were now able, because we had that awareness that we were blinded by our desire.
What we needed to do to change our approach, to increase that engagement and be successful, start with focusing on that awareness and desire.
For most of the changes with Industry four, yes, people are learning new tools. People are needing to have training sessions, that is relatively straightforward to do those, the technical side. But building that awareness and desire can be very complicated.
Prototype model talks about the project management side, and that you, you need to have somebody leading this. This is a separate person. The project is important to have the resources. This person works on the timing and dates, what it needs to be delivered. What's the scope of it, how are we going to do this? They're making those decisions on the technical side of moving things forward.
Additionally, you need somebody leading the change management side. This is a need to be two separate roles. This person is focused on active invisible participation, making sure that the messaging is, is robust. That direct communication with the teams, the stakeholders, the sponsor's looking at how to build a coalition, either across the organization, across the company to persons were focused on those actions.
And the key for that successful change is the leadership in sponsorship. This is the difference between a successful project and a non successful project, is that active invisible sponsorship from a leader, who can look at the project meeting objectives, finishing the project on time, and on budget, and realizing that, return on investment.
So, that direct correlation to project success. That's what I'm going to show you, OK. How do you do that? How do you get inactive and invisible leader or sponsor?
It needs to be somebody who has enough influence, and it's very simple. They need to be active, and they need to be visible.
What specific examples are making sure they're present, if you are having a town hall discussion or a road show, or some sort of presentation about the change, and making sure that that act of invisible sponsor is, they're just, they don't have to be there the whole time, But if they can show up and say, hey, I really support this effort. I think it's great, keep going.
They also are involved with communicating about the change, Sending messaging, that this is where we're going, this is what we need to do. Face-to-face, video, whatever it takes, e-mail messaging to make sure that that is consistent, and people know that it's not just another flavor of the month, that it is something that we really want to implement.
It's great if they can talk to employees, obviously, ..., walking, walking the plant floor, the lab floor, looking at what people are using. Asking questions. And then also, if there's somebody that can use the tool as well. Say, hey, I was opening up the dashboard tool and you notice this was happening. Shows that they're actively using the tool. They're embracing the change in that visible to the people who are really in the trenches doing the work to make it successful.
one of the other things I want us to share is who's the preferred sender of the change messages?
The beginning, I showed you the lovely colorfully persuasive slide that we were taking across all of our different assets to show them.
And when we take this training, I know if you're one of those people who loves to send those messages and talk about how amazing the changes, I've got some bad news.
If you are the change management team leader, or the project team leader, no one cares what you have to say about the change. Well, it's not zero, but it's allow. The number of people that care about that is very low. So, whether it's a business message of what's happening in business, or the personal message, which is really the personal messages, this is how we expect you to do your job differently. We expect you to come in in the morning, open up the dashboard, see what's going on, make the comments, make the changes, and save that. So it's incorporated into into the tool.
As the project team leader, as the Change Team leader, they don't care. This needs to come from the employee's supervisor.
So, it's, that was our other, Aha that we needed to do more than just engage the people using the tools. We had to talk to the leaders. We had to make sure the leaders support it most of the time. Before we come in, we're making sure that the leaders supported them, and say, Yep, go ahead. But the leaders need to clearly understand their role in making this successful.
And that is the most important. when it involves the person's work and what they're doing day-to-day. It needs to come from the supervisor.
OK, so now, we had raised our awareness and desire of what was necessary to be successful. So how can we cascade this information across the organization? one of the tools, one of the things that you build, in this training is a sponsorship cascade, thinking about who needs to really send those messages to the folks involved with the change.
This is a graphic that essentially shows. When we first started the project, the blue denotes the change ready so we, as a project team, we were sitting under the technology experts there. So, the leaders of the technology experts knew the value of this, are, Our supervisors wanted us doing it. And that's why we were, we were focused on it. We had their sponsorship. We knew they wanted us doing it.
Well, we needed to do, is overcome the gap of awareness and desire on the other side of our organization, where we had the same executive sponsor for manufacturing, for ....
But we needed to build the awareness and desire in those individuals, as well. So, we were concerned about cultural differences, because we have different challenges, and having that high resistance. So, that's how you felt focused on that sponsorship visibility.
and how high you could go in the organization depends on how, influential, how, how high the resistances we focused on our technology expert leaders who had great relationship with our plant leaders. And so we didn't have to go up even higher to get them on board. The communication from our technology experts to our team made its way over to the plant leaders recognition tool was used.
And then that helps increase their awareness and desire, and they cascade it down through their team, as well.
So, this really helped us, the simple thing, and it's very easy to do. If you, if you are somebody that goes to your leaders, that they need you to send an e-mail. You're going to be more likely, more likely to be successful. If you've already crafted the e-mail and say would you please send this e-mail all the times I did that, I've never had anybody say no, nor ever had anybody change, Change the messaging in the e-mail.
So, there is work as a change leader, as the change leader on the project that you're going, and making it easy for these other leaders to send that messaging to their team.
So what happened as a result of that? How are we changing? Or strategy, while we're still working on this now, post ..., we've, we have, you know, really focused our efforts on what is absolutely critical. But we are still moving forward with implementation. Obviously built the case for the importance is even greater with the situation that we've experienced that the pandemic, but take the first aha was separating the project leader and the change leader, those are two separate areas. And unless you have somebody you really as the time to take on both of that separating that out is best and will help your project be successful. The other key thing that we did was I talked about the active and visible sponsorship e-mail messaging, was very simple.
We have meetings with all of our plant leaders, where we can bring in individuals who can do the end user testimonials. So, somebody who has credibility in the plant, who says, I use this tool, this is how great it is, this is how it's helped me. This is what we've avoided. That credibility has helped increase the awareness and desire, that when we go to those plant leaders and ask for help, they, they want to help, because they do see the value and benefit in it. Also, anytime your team has, has a little Milestones celebrating that success, making sure that their leaders know that we're moving forward, we hit a milestone. We've been using this tool. It's been helping us be reliable. It's been helping us understand how to operate better. That goes a long way as well.
So these are the key things that we focused on.
And so, to recap this, when you're working on any of these changes, you want to clearly assess the change. Why are we changing building that case, so that that helps enhance that awareness desire? What are we doing who is going to be involved in this? Because then, you can focus your messaging. You can focus your content on the right audience.
Having a clear awareness, also, of the different states, your current state, where we are today, where we want to go, and appreciation for what that transition state looks like, sometimes in transition states, you're doing two things at once. Which can be challenging and, and requires more energy than obviously just staying in the current state so that future state needs to be really clear. the value, the benefit, What's in it for the individual that's adopting the change?
... has amazing tools.
There's a website, you can go out and take a look at that website to analyze risk and readiness of the organization you're working with, how you build that active invisible sponsorship. And identifying then based on your current environment with within your, each individual organization, who should be sending and receiving those messages?
So as I said, majority of our team are now certified, Pro Sci, practitioners of Change Management so that we are all aware of these tools and how we can now move forward and be successful.
A closing message I want to leave you with is that if this, if it was easy, somebody would have already done it.
Anything that is new, you need to be relentless and if it's something that you believe in, continue to be courageous, continue to be patient, it takes time, repeated attempts. It's OK to fail, it's just another step forward.
So, with this, I would like to thank you for attending this session, and I will entertain any questions that you may have.
Very good, That's terrific, and we have questions coming through here. Let me pop up the question panel.
I'll ask you to stop sharing your presentation, the audience can see you screen.
Terrific. Terrific practical approaches to this transformation and change. one of the first questions that have come up here has to do with this fear of change and the fear of failure. As a matter of fact, just so curious about your perspectives on, on, on that, and maybe ways that we can overcome that fear of failure.
Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm.
When I look at organizations that are afraid of failure, that all comes down to culture.
A big part of that is the leader, and what, what has happened in the past. So why are people afraid of failing?
I think in some cases, it depends at what's at stake, and in some situations, we know we can't afford to fail when it involves, you know, safety in lives of individuals. How can we de risk things, What are some things that can be done to help lower, lower, the risk, in general? You know, some of the ideas that we tried. So, you could say to a certain extent, you know, we had successes, but we failed. We failed of, you know, getting engagement in some of the sites. At first.
We failed, but I think that when you have, when year have a clear vision of success, is this big picture over here, This is what success is.
How you get there, you know, you need to be, be open to the fact that not everything you're going to do is going to work the first time. But I do think that that, if you are a leader of a team, I would say, you need to be careful what you reward. If you only reward success and final completion and put a bow on it, and it's done, and it's perfect. If you're only rewarding perfection, no one's going to want to take risks.
But, if you are rewarding steps moving in the right direction. If you're rewarding people for trying something, even if it didn't work, I think you need to be careful about, be very mindful about what you're rewarding to build that culture of healthy risk, and taking those chances, and not seeing it as a failure, but as a learning experience.
Very well and for those who are you know scores with the pandemic we have a major platform for change that's that's being thrust upon us for those who are starting their change management and leadership as part of this major disruption what are some of the best advice you'd give to them to start on the right foot to have a good start for their change initiatives?
I think that one of the best things you can do is focus on the why of the change. The why of the change, why, Building that case, for, what is, what is your wanting to change and why? The clear your vision can be, the clearer the expectations are in terms, because what people are thinking about is, you're asking people to implement a change.
Comfort zone is really great, because status quo, I can maintain that. How can you build an extreme distaste for their comfort zone to show them this was, what is possible, you might be comfortable now, but things will be even better here? So, building that case of what's in it, for me, is is really important. So, focusing on the value for the individual to embrace that change, and if you build a crystal clear vision, they'll draw them toward it. That will help.
I am. I'm still there.
I apologize. I had my microphone was muted, so this next question is from Laura Scallions, follows along the previous one and the question is, how can you be transparent? But, at the same time, step by step in order to avoid panic. So talk a little bit about communications there about transparency authenticity, but, at the same time, you know managing the potential impact of some of the messages.
Yeah. So panic that is, that is obviously something that you, you want to avoid. And in some of these cases, with, with the changes, I guess, if people are fearful of the changes because they think what I often hear with a lot of the autumn automation and digitization is concerned over over losing their job. That is, you know, I don't have a magic answer for that, when I've seen some of these changes come into, come into place. It's awareness and desire, because I want to mention building that awareness and desire. Pro side defines desire.
As the willingness to go along with the change, it doesn't need to be their desire, if it's their leader's desire and their leader has the ability to influence that.
I do believe that if if you know for a fact that something is going to be changing, I think I think communicating that clearly when you can is important, avoiding the panic. What I've tried to do it with my folks. if there's any message you get, that may cause panic is talk them through some of those worst-case scenario, but what is the worst-case scenario? And then what are we going to do about it, if that is the worst-case scenario? Like what what is the hangup?
With that, I do I do fully believe that being open and honest and authentic is very important. Otherwise you will lose that credibility. I mean, we talking about that in the previous talk, that trust is so important, and you don't want to break that trust with people if you know for a fact that something is coming. And, and you can at all share that. And I think that's that is important, to build that trust, so that you become The next time you come with, with a new change initiative, idea, people are going to be suspicious.
So I think talking through that and understanding what is the cause of the panic and what it, what are, what are people really afraid of, Or what rumors are there to have that open dialog is important?
Yeah. That's a great summary there. I think that you have to establish that. Trust and authenticity and openness and an ongoing basis.
Because if you try to do that, only when a crisis hits. You may be a little too late, because, at that point, people are hypersensitive, and then you change your mode of operation. And that's on top of it. May not work out very well.
So, yeah. Right, Yeah. So, another question here is that you talk about your team, great picture of the team there, and it seems to be like a group of real innovators in the organization. So, how did that happen? How, how the impression is that, in the larger organization, the level of innovation is not reflective Of the level that you have in your team. And that was, that about your recruiting. It's about the culture that you establish at the departmental level early on, tell us a little bit about how you built a team of innovators.
Yeah, well, that's, that's great. That's a great question. As a story. I love to tell the story about my team. The.
I have not hired a whole lot of them that are, that, are there the bed? And the bed in the group for awhile. Some of them, of course, I have brought in a new people, but what it's really been about is when, when I became a leader, I focused. I knew I have a passion for innovation and trying new things.
So I focused everything on how to be a leader that could drive that in the culture. I focused on our culture, and my first step with my team, when I came in, is really to meet them where they are and understand what's stressing them because there's no way that I can take them through the transformation and what I want to do, until I really understand them. And I understand their challenges and their stressors.
So we started on a cultural journey five years ago, looking at what is what is it that you need in your job? What is it that you need to be more effective? What is it that you want to do? We focused a lot on reducing noise. We read. We canceled a ton of meetings. We implemented flexibility. We looked for ways we understood each other social styles. Well, what is it that you need to be both effective?
And that helped open up, well, that help build trust, Me trust to have innovation, because the question was, well, how people are afraid of failing. If you've got the right culture, or you've got a culture of trust, people aren't going to be afraid to fail. So, we focus to grow and learn as a team, and transform our culture to be innovative and adaptive. And we also look at each other as, you know, this is, this is a team of equals. This isn't, you know, this isn't a command and control organization.
and, so, that's, that was something that, and it's, it's a constant journey because we need to be rewarding the behaviors of people taking risk, even though it doesn't always work the first time. So, we started, we had some innovation days, lots of lots of steps to move, move in that direction. I think the best thing to do is keep listening to your team and have that they own this journey. This is their journey. This is their, their team.
these are their successes.
That's great. What about the next question here is a little bit more about the inside and outside zeeland innovation related to the disruption that has been created by the pandemic. Do you think that just?
Shouldn't concern. The pandemic has been a positive or a negative way way when you comes to innovation.
I think that what the pandemic has done has really when you think of it as a change increase the awareness and desire for these digital tools.
You know, a great example with one of the biggest changes that I've seen with our use of well here, right here right now, these webinars.
When we would have our global meetings with our team, a bunch of people who sit in a conference room, there was no video camera on.
You're talking to your device, you're not seeing a person. You've got people across the globe you're talking to.
That changed in the matter of weeks, in terms of people are putting on their video camera. We're seeing each other, we're having, we're communicating differently.
We've become very well versed in using some of our tools for communication. Our communication style had to change. A part of it is good, because it in increases that visibility out of necessity. You know, we realized that we were, when you're somewhere where you can walk across the hallway and talk to somebody, that's great, But then your colleagues across the globe don't have that same benefit, but now we do. So I feel like our communication has now become a level playing field, essentially, and will, I've seen our ideas and innovation ideas really increase as a result of it. So, from that perspective, I see I see the positive results from this.
Well, that's a great way of wrapping this up as an optimistic view in a time of great challenges. But I think that we, I think to be innovators, you have to be an optimist at heart, and you look towards a better future, and we create a better future with innovation. And that, I have to thank you as a, as a great leader business transformation, operational excellence, and innovation for taking the time to come here. Share your journey with us. I know there's a lot of that's about the things that you've talked about. You did a great job of giving us the, the, the overall picture in, the really great insights on how we can all become innovators. And that'll change leaders, So thank you so much for doing that for us.
Have a great day.
Ladies and gentlemen, this brings us to the conclusion of oil and gas live. We had fantastic speakers. We had a wonderful audience globally, asking very insightful questions, and we very much appreciate all your engagement. After this session, we still are engaging on our LinkedIn posts, And you can go in there and make comments.
Questions about any of the several sessions that we have had, we're very, very grateful for you to have join us. Remember that on August 26, August 27th, we're going to have a deep dive on cultural transformation. And the business transformation operational Excellence, some as they just don't conference on, culture, and transformation will be taking place August 26, August 20. Seventh, Please make sure you register for that. And for those of you who are registered for this session, remember next week, sometime you will be receiving an e-mail with the link for all of this session recordings. So you should be able to access those sessions at your leisure on behalf of the entire team of .... I would like to thank you once more for being with us. I hope you have a great day, great rest of your week, and we'll see you on August 20 says. Take care, everyone.
Dr. Debbie Rothe,
The Dow Chemical Company.
Debbie is a Technology Leader for the Environmental Analytical (EA) Team in the Environmental Technology Center at Dow. In her role, Debbie fosters innovation and drives Manufacturing 4.0 initiatives within the Global Environmental Operations Business. Debbie is passionate about developing people and building high achieving, empowered work teams. Under Debbie's leadership, the EA team has successful implemented innovative technologies that increase safety, productivity and reliability.
Debbie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from New Mexico Tech. Debbie is a Prosci certified change management practitioner, Human Synergistics accredited facilitator for organizational culture effectiveness and a Franklin Covey certified facilitator.
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