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The Experience Leader: How to Outpace Commoditization in the 21st Century

In this episode of The Leader Factor, hosts Tim and Junior put a new spin on Joseph Pine's 1998 article, The Experience Economy. They draw parallels between an economy's differentiation and commoditization cycle and how a leader's skills can become commoditized over time.

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The Experience Leader: How to Outpace Commoditization in the 21st Century

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Episode Show Notes

Are you paying attention to the rate at which your skills as a leader are being commoditized?

In this episode of The Leader Factor, hosts Tim and Junior put a new spin on Joseph Pine's 1998 article, The Experience Economy. They draw parallels between an economy's differentiation and commoditization cycle and how a leader's skills can become commoditized over time.

As commoditization eats away at old forms of differentiation, organizations are being forced to find new ways to provide differentiated value in the marketplace. This shift has reshaped consumer expectations and holds profound implications for leadership in today's experience-driven world.

The problem? Many 21st-century leaders still use agrarian, industrial, and service leadership methods in this experience economy. As a result, organizations are bleeding talent, stifling innovation, and galloping toward commoditization and extinction.

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Episode Transcript

0:00:08.7 Junior: Welcome back, everyone, to the LeaderFactor. I'm Junior, back with my co-host, Dr. Tim Clark, and today we're going to be talking about leadership in the context of a highly dynamic environment. The title to this episode is The Future is Human. Which means in our mind that the future is less technical and more human. Not that it's not going to be technical, and we're going to talk about that, but it's mostly human.

0:00:32.1 Timothy Clark: And you have the audacity to say that in an age of AI? 

0:00:35.6 Junior: I do. And we're gonna talk about why we think it's a defensible claim. And we think that it's necessary to look through this lens in order to be an effective leader in today's environment. If you don't acknowledge the human element, we think that you're gonna get left behind regardless of what access you have to technology, regardless of the type of technology you have access to. If you have access to bleeding edge technology, unlimited resource, we think that if you're still deficient at the human interface, you're going to lose. Regardless of all of the other tools that you have.

0:01:10.0 Timothy Clark: You can't make up for it. You can't compensate with everything else.

0:01:13.7 Junior: No, you can't. So today we're going to be going through four different stages of economy relating those to the way that our role as leaders has changed over time. And our role as leaders has changed dramatically, even in recent years. It's going to be different in six months. It's going to be different in a year. It will continue to evolve at a pace that's unprecedented. And we often talk about that today. Well, things are going really fast, it's really dynamic. And that's kind of played out. But how does that relate to leadership? How does that relate to these core principles that are true regardless of environment? So I want to kick off a question to you start us off. Which is how has leadership changed in your experience in the last 30 years? 

0:02:01.8 Timothy Clark: Well, Junior, what I'd say is that as an applied discipline, it hasn't changed. The principles are immutable, and then we convert the principles into practises. Behaviours, skills, tools. So there's an immutability about those principles, but the context certainly has changed. So you alluded to it, the dynamism, the unforgiving, hypercompetitive nature of what's going on now, the shortened span of competitive advantage, the speed, the compression of timeframes. All of these things are new in context, but leadership within that context has not changed.

0:02:41.8 Timothy Clark: Although, and we've talked a little bit about this before, the norms have changed. So I think we have to acknowledge that norms have changed. And in the past, what was acceptable is not acceptable today. In fact, we could even say that there was the normalisation of deviation in the past where we accepted behaviours, norms that are absolutely not acceptable today. True? 

0:03:15.8 Junior: True. And not only are they not acceptable, they shouldn't be.

0:03:19.3 Timothy Clark: That's right.

0:03:20.0 Junior: So we're not talking about, well, these are just some minor cultural differences and we've changed. No, there were things that were unacceptable in the past that were unacceptable in theory at the time. Shouldn't have been doing them. Did them. They were normalised.

0:03:36.9 Timothy Clark: We tolerated it.

0:03:36.9 Junior: We tolerated it. Now we're not. And if you can't make that transition from 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, to today And if you can't make the transition to 2034, you're gonna have a hard time. And you're going to be irrelevant. And part of what will make you irrelevant, or most of what will make you irrelevant, is the commoditization of your skillset. If you don't have interpersonal skills to offer to help stay ahead of the change curve. And that's really the crux of the issue that we're gonna get into today, is the forces of commoditization eat away at your advantage, always. At a macro level, at an organisational level, but they also eat away at you as an individual and your skillset and relevance as a leader.

0:04:28.6 Timothy Clark: So they're chasing you.

0:04:29.6 Junior: They're chasing you constantly. You need to be running toward the destination and away from a whole bunch of other things that you don't want. That's true in business. It's true in life. It's true in leadership. And so we're going to make that personal application and make that argument today. It's going to be, in my opinion, really interesting. This is probably one of the most fascinating topics to me that we could ever discuss.

0:04:48.7 Timothy Clark: It really is.

0:04:50.3 Junior: So I'm really anxious to dive into the meat of the episode and start breaking this down. So we wanna start off by introducing an article and a book. So the article was written in 1998. It's called The Experience Economy, written by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore. Now, I've said this before and I'll go on record again. This is one of the most underrated articles and subsequent books that has ever been written.

0:05:17.5 Timothy Clark: You've said that many times. And we've talked about it.

0:05:18.7 Junior: I have. And I believe. I'm trying to get the word out. I love this.

0:05:22.5 Timothy Clark: I agree with you.

0:05:23.8 Junior: I think it's terribly important. I think that it was ahead of its time. I mean, look at that '98.

0:05:29.9 Timothy Clark: '98.

0:05:29.9 Junior: And '99, the book comes out.

0:05:31.2 Timothy Clark: It was prescient to say the least.

0:05:33.6 Junior: So we want to give kudos to Pine and Gilmore for their contribution to this literature, because I think the framework that they put forward, other books that Pine's written that I also love. But this is going to be the basis on which we talk about the leadership transitions that have needed to happen over time.

0:05:53.1 Timothy Clark: Which they don't address.

0:05:55.2 Junior: Which they don't address.

0:05:56.4 Timothy Clark: Right. But it's a use case. It's an application of their framework into the leadership context.

0:06:05.4 Junior: Exactly. So they're talking competitive landscape and marketplace. We're going to apply a similar framework to leadership and show the parallels, which I think you'll find are quite stark. So throughout history, there have been several progressions of economic value. So if we come in, we have agrarian, industrial, service and experience, let's drive into agrarian, here's where we're going to start. So this is the first stage of economy. So think about the history of humans. Where did we begin? We began here, above and below the ground, we are extracting commodities.

0:06:46.7 Timothy Clark: So we're talking about hundreds, thousands of years ago.

0:06:50.9 Junior: Thousands of years ago.

0:06:52.8 Timothy Clark: Thousands.

0:06:54.5 Junior: We're talking about potatoes, we're talking about coal, we're talking about wheat. Anything that you can see that comes out of the ground or is beneath the ground that we're taking out.

0:07:05.8 Timothy Clark: So that's extraction.

0:07:07.1 Junior: That's what we're talking about.

0:07:07.2 Timothy Clark: And above the ground harvesting. So, commodities, well, minerals and things like that from below the ground. Crops from above the ground.

0:07:23.6 Junior: So let's take a look at this 1776. What percentage of the population do you think was engaged in agriculture? What percentage of people were employed on farms? 90%. 90%.

0:07:41.5 Timothy Clark: 90%. Nine out of 10.

0:07:42.8 Junior: 1776. That's not that long ago.

0:07:44.0 Timothy Clark: No, it's not.

0:07:45.7 Junior: In the course of human history if you look at...

0:07:48.2 Timothy Clark: It's not that long ago at all. Really.

0:07:48.3 Junior: Homo Sapiens, it's not. 1776, 90% of people are employed on farms. Today, in the United States, what do you think that number is? 

0:08:01.5 Timothy Clark: You told me.

0:08:05.8 Junior: I did tell you.

0:08:05.9 Timothy Clark: And it was astonishing. I thought Junior... I thought it was 4%.

0:08:11.2 Junior: No.

0:08:11.6 Timothy Clark: And I think that's what I told you. I was way off.

0:08:16.0 Junior: It's 1%.

0:08:16.1 Timothy Clark: It's 1%.

0:08:17.0 Junior: 1% that are employed on farms today. So here's the next question, which I think is interesting. It's an obvious question, but insightful. What happened to agricultural output over that period? 

0:08:29.1 Timothy Clark: Well, it certainly increased.

0:08:30.2 Junior: Went through the roof. It went through the roof.

0:08:31.9 Timothy Clark: The only explanation.

0:08:33.0 Junior: If you look at the population in 1776, what did we need to do to support that population? Not much. We didn't need to produce that much. What do we need to produce to support 350 million people? A whole lot more. Right. Orders of magnitude more. And yet, orders of magnitude, fewer people are employed on farms.

0:08:55.5 Timothy Clark: From 90 to 1% is astounding. Junior, I was just thinking about when you shared those statistics with me, I was thinking about the presidents of the United States. George Washington was a farmer. John Adams was a farmer. The first two presidents. As recently as Jimmy Carter in the '70s. He was a farmer. He was a peanut farmer in Plains, Georgia. That wasn't that long ago.

0:09:18.6 Junior: We don't have peanut farmer presidents anymore.

0:09:20.8 Timothy Clark: No, not anymore.

0:09:22.6 Junior: None.

0:09:23.8 Timothy Clark: No one's a farmer. 1% of the population.

0:09:25.5 Junior: So what happened to agricultural output over the last 75 years? 75 years, lot fewer years than from 1776. It has tripled. So agricultural output over the last 75 years has gone up 3X.

0:09:44.2 Timothy Clark: Three Times. Wow.

0:09:45.3 Junior: This is fascinating to me. So we don't stay in the agrarian economy forever. We graduate. So at some point along the road, we move from agrarian to now the industrial economy. So what happens? Eventually, there's enough to go around. And in order for us to make our living in the market, we need to differentiate. And so maybe that wheat that we were bringing to market we decide let's grind it up. Right. That's gonna be our contribution to the marketplace.

0:10:30.1 Timothy Clark: And that's all we're gonna do.

0:10:31.9 Junior: That's it. That's it. We're just going to process it. One step. We're going to take this thing, we're going to modify it a little bit, and we're gonna take it to market. What does the market do? The market responds and says, this is awesome. This is great. I don't have to do this step anymore. I'm willing to pay a little bit more, and I'm gonna choose this product instead of this one.

0:10:56.5 Junior: That's gonna be harder for me to deal with. And so what happens at that point, the person who moves into this next stage of economy begins to do well because of the differentiation that they're offering. And now what happens to the rest of the market? The market follows. Everyone else sees the person grinding up their wheat. They're like that's a pretty good idea. They're making more money than I am.

0:11:24.8 Junior: Maybe I should give it a try too. So what happens? Now we have medium to low differentiation, medium to low price. The mechanism, we're making goods, we're combining things together into some offering that hadn't existed in the marketplace before. That allows us to increase price because we've managed to create some differentiation.

0:11:48.1 Junior: What does that mean? It means that it's valuable or it's rare, or it's inimitable, or we're organised to extract the value of whatever it is we're talking about. So that differentiation, though, is perishable. It's not gonna stick around for forever. Now, if we go back to the slide, I've annotated in here, 100 years ago, 40% of people were employed in factories. 40%, 100 years ago. 1924, 40% of people are working in factories.

0:12:23.1 Timothy Clark: That's incredible.

0:12:23.8 Junior: Today, you know what it is? 

0:12:31.2 Timothy Clark: I don't.

0:12:32.8 Junior: It's under 12.

0:12:33.8 Timothy Clark: 12%.

0:12:34.3 Junior: It's under 12%. So what has happened to output? You're gonna start seeing the pattern as we're moving through. Output has gone through the roof. So there's something called the industrial production index that they measure over time. These indices are really fascinating to track. So they'll track production in different pieces of industry over time. And you can see the index just goes up into the right. Why is that? Because we've implemented some of these mechanisms. We've become more specialised. We've become more mechanised. We've scaled, we have better tooling. We have machinery. We've introduced technology, which has allowed output to go up.

0:13:16.2 Timothy Clark: Another index, Junior, is just the productivity index over time. And it's astonishing. It's up and to the right. The volume, the scalability that we've been able to achieve is incredible.

0:13:30.0 Junior: So after we move from the industrial economy, we move over here into service. So an interesting example across all four of these is coffee. Let's take coffee. In the agrarian economy, what is the output for coffee? A coffee bean. That's it. In the industrial economy what is the output for coffee? It might be ground, put it in bags, we put it on the shelf.

0:14:01.2 Timothy Clark: You can buy.

0:14:01.7 Junior: You can buy it. You can brew your own. Great. At one point, that was novel. At one point, that was very differentiated. And then we move into service where we take the beans, we brew coffee for someone else. Someone stands up at a little coffee shop or they start brewing coffee in the 7-Eleven.

0:14:23.9 Timothy Clark: Here you go.

0:14:25.1 Junior: And they say, here's your cup of coffee. The coffee beans to make the cup of coffee, let's call it 10 cents. Now, powder on the shelf, maybe, let's call that $1. 7-Eleven, let's call it $2. So what's happening to price as we go through these stages of economy applied to that product? They go up. Right? So we're delivering a service now. Hence some head, we've gotta think a little bit harder in this one, we're gonna say, we're gonna do dry cleaning, we're gonna do lawn care, we're gonna do whatever it is.

0:15:08.5 Junior: Medium differentiation, medium price. So price is going up, but we're still not at the top. So this may have seemed straightforward and obvious to this point. We move from agriculture, we get into industry, we move into service. Now, where do we go? We move into experience. A new stage of economy that's fundamentally different from the previous three. The forces of commoditization have eaten the bottom all the way to this point.

0:15:43.3 Timothy Clark: All the way through.

0:15:45.4 Junior: Forcing new differentiation to take place in another stage of economy. So if we come down here to the experience economy, high differentiation, high price, what is the mechanism? We are staging experiences. And this is gonna be the tie into leadership that we'll make today. But staging experiences is hugely important. This is how we move from 7-Eleven coffee to Starbucks. This is how we charge $7 for coffee instead of one or two. Five bucks a margin, not that it's all, is attributable to the experience that we get. Now the product has to meet expectations. But then again, what is the product? Is the product the coffee? 

0:16:33.6 Timothy Clark: It changes the definition of the product.

0:16:34.6 Junior: A part of it. It's the ambiance, it's the culture, it's the experience.

0:16:42.6 Timothy Clark: Well that's why we needed a new word, Junior. We couldn't just use the word product. Even though you could expand the definition of product, it wasn't capturing at all. And so we moved to experience because it brings all of it in.

0:17:00.8 Junior: So Pine says, what's the hallmark of the experience economy? A memorable experience. A memory.

0:17:04.5 Timothy Clark: That you take with you.

0:17:08.6 Junior: That you take with you. So it's not just the consumption of whatever it is we're offering, it's all of the infrastructure and environment that surrounds that experience. So now let's talk about commoditization as it relates to leadership. Commoditization pushes all of these organisations to differentiate. If they don't, then they have to compete on low price. Eventually you can't do that at... Well, for most organisations, it will be very difficult to compete on price, especially today. If you go into agriculture and try and compete on price and you're not a country.

0:17:51.7 Timothy Clark: Unless you have massive scale. It's the only way.

0:17:53.6 Junior: Then you're gonna have a hard time way. So that leaves us with differentiation. Differentiation is the only fun way to compete, in my opinion. It's not fun to compete on price.

0:18:04.6 Timothy Clark: I like that you said that. It is a lot more fun.

0:18:06.4 Junior: So if you enter a market, you don't wanna enter that market to try and compete in price, it's not fun.

0:18:11.1 Timothy Clark: No.

0:18:12.4 Junior: You wanna enter and compete in differentiation. So commoditization is propelled by automation. And automation moves like the levels of accountability. We talked a few weeks ago about task, process and outcome. Automation eats those things in order. Automation first eats tasks, then it eats processes. Now at the advent of AI, we're seeing it eat outcomes.

0:18:37.8 Timothy Clark: Well, Junior, tell us, don't you have a, like a robot vacuum cleaner? 

0:18:47.1 Junior: Oh Yeah. Shout out to robot vacuum mops. Changed my life? 

0:18:51.8 Timothy Clark: What has that commoditized for you? 

0:18:54.9 Junior: It's commoditized my hands right? It's allowed me to spend time doing other things. Now, if I were employed as a mopper and a vacuum cleaner, I have a problem because all the robots are coming for me. And as a leader, what you offered the market in the past will be commoditized. You will not be able to offer the market anymore, which is the transition now into the leadership piece of things. So in your opinion, you said that the environment has changed. It's more dynamic, it's gonna require different things, but what practically will be different about your contribution as a leader today? If you're not in the experience economy, you probably will end up there at some point. So what do you need to offer? What's different? 

0:19:55.0 Timothy Clark: Well, junior, I think it comes back to, you said in the experience economy, we stage experiences. So if we then apply this to leadership, and let's say that you are leading a team, what is the expectation? The expectation is that you will be the architect of that experience, and the expectations are arising from employees about what that experience is going to be like. And so you've gotta be able to put the pieces together, the elements of that experience. You are delivering an experience for your employees.

0:20:38.7 Timothy Clark: Now, of course, they have to contribute. They all have a role, they all have tasks and processes and outcomes that they have to achieve. But you are creating the atmosphere, the climate, the conditions, the terms of engagement. You've gotta do that. That's an experience. And I would say in the workplace that what an experience means... So if you look up the definition, the basic definition of an experience is that you are either observing or participating in something, in an event. Okay.

0:21:16.0 Timothy Clark: But I think in the workplace, it goes well beyond that. And we're talking about an experience that meets and satisfies people's human needs. And you're right in the middle of that. So when was the last, I mean, think through the past, were leaders talking in terms of meeting the basic and higher needs, higher level needs of their employees? No, they weren't. And so you think back from the industrial revolution, did we even think this way? No, we didn't. But this is what we're talking about. If the leader is charged to stage the experience for the employees, then we're going to a different place now. And that means the leader has to be equipped to be able to do that, to meet those basic human needs.

0:22:11.0 Timothy Clark: And it makes me think of the four stages of psychological safety. So we have inclusion, safety stage one. So do I feel included? Do I feel accepted? Do I have a sense of belonging? Does the experience that I'm having at work satisfy that category of human need? And then we go to learner safety stage two, do I have the opportunity to learn and grow and develop mastery? Is the experience I'm having at work satisfying those needs, that category. Then we go to stage three, contributor safety, is the experience giving me an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution with an appropriate level of autonomy, right? Is the experience offering me that, my professional experience? 

0:23:05.8 Timothy Clark: And then finally, stage four, challenger safety. Do I have an opportunity to challenge the status quo, to make things better, to innovate, to solve difficult problems, to make breakthroughs? Is the experience offering me that opportunity? So to me, when I think of experience and I think about staging an experience as a leader, I think that I have to take some responsibility for providing the opportunity to the members of the team to satisfy those human needs.

0:23:43.0 Timothy Clark: So when I think of it through that lens, then I think, wow, being a leader in the experience economy is an exciting opportunity. But it's also a bit formidable. It's also a little bit intimidating because am I up to that? Think about what I have to do. This is anything but a transactional relationship with the members of my team. I have to think about the ongoing experience that everyone's having and what are their career goals? What are their hopes and dreams? What are their aspirations? So this is a shift to be sure.

0:24:27.0 Junior: It's a massive shift. The link to psychological safety is fascinating to me.

0:24:32.1 Timothy Clark: It is.

0:24:33.2 Junior: I hadn't thought about it the way that you've described it. And I do think, and if I look back at my own experience, those experiences that have been memorable in the most positive way have included elements from each of those stages. I felt included, I could contribute, I've learned something, I've been able to make something better.

0:24:54.7 Timothy Clark: Sometimes... Let me just insert one more comment. Sometimes people have used in the past the concept, a career best experience. And if you ask people, well, what does that mean to you? Break it down. They inevitably go back into those four categories of human need. When they reveal what it was that made that a career best experience. I felt the inclusion, the connection, the relationships. I was able to learn and grow. I was able to contribute. I was able to challenge the status quo and innovate. That's what it comes down to.

0:25:36.0 Junior: I agree. And here's my point, which hopefully wasn't too long-winded. Consumer preference changes and consumer expectation changes as we move through stages of economy. Employee preference and employee expectation changes as we move through stages of economy. Similar to the idea that there are stages of economy, I think that there are stages of leader, that are parallel to these stages of economy. You might be an agrarian leader, you might be a service economy leader.

0:26:07.4 Timothy Clark: That's thought. So you meet the minimum requirements.

0:26:14.3 Junior: And maybe an agrarian leader per se is someone who just tells you what to do. Just says, this is the job and that's it. You get no further instruction. And maybe they just blow the whistle and that's all, they yell. And then maybe in industrial, there are some performance requirements. Maybe you have an annual performance review and they bark at you and you know, that's that. Then maybe in service they'll like tolerate this idea that you're a human and that they should probably treat you with some degree of respect. Really look at history. This is how it's gone.

0:26:50.5 Timothy Clark: That's true. And you look at the way that leaders behave in the workplace, and it's not farfetched.

0:26:57.0 Junior: Yeah. No. I've had some leaders that were pretty antiquated in their approach, right? 

0:27:05.1 Timothy Clark: Yeah. And there's no attempt or thought to satisfy these basic human needs that we talked about.

0:27:07.5 Junior: No, No. Not at all. But some leaders and organizations have started to move into the "experience economy" of leadership. And they've started to say, Hey, you know what? Psychological safety, vulnerability, these are some things that I need to think about. The way that you feel when you raise your hand to ask a question, maybe that's something I should key in on. The best leaders are keying into this, and they're seeing that this has so much to do with the innovation of their teams, the performance of their teams, the longevity of their teams, the health of their teams. The healthiest teams, those that feel most psychologically safer, those who are gonna be the most high performing.

0:27:53.0 Junior: We know that, it's in the data and organizations are figuring it out. The forces of commoditization are pushing that and will eventually impose that. So if you don't differentiate or at least comply with whatever the stage is that we're at, you are going to be left behind as a leader. Other people are going to start doing this. And this is part of the urgency that we want to impose to the audience, which is this is happening. We work with some of the biggest, brightest organizations on planet earth. How many Fortune 500 companies have we worked with in the last four weeks? They are seeing this is important.

0:28:36.0 Timothy Clark: It's very true.

0:28:36.6 Junior: Some of them are moving faster than others.

0:28:40.0 Timothy Clark: That's true.

0:28:40.7 Junior: Some are doing it begrudgingly. Some are doing it with huge speed and resource. They will win over time regardless of the technology that they have access to. This is what I'm convinced of. Because what is the antecedent to technological innovation? Humans. Who makes the technology? Humans. Do they do that in isolation one by one? No, they do that in teams. They do that in teams with leaders. They do that in divisions, in geographies, in organizations. If the organizations cannot improve the human interface, they will not be able to advance technologically to gain any share in whatever market they're in. This goes for non-profit. This goes for government. Any sector. We work with all of them and the principles all apply.

0:29:34.0 Timothy Clark: Junior, I wanna make a couple of points that come to mind. One is, well, I think back, this is not just theoretical. This is my actual experience. Early in my career, I worked in heavy manufacturing in the steel industry. And I don't remember ever a boss saying to me, what's your preference? How would you like to do things here? Or let's think about what would be, how we could advance the interests of our employees and meet their basic human needs. That was foreign. We didn't speak in those terms. We were not even thinking really about the employee experience, just to get the work done. We ran, and this is old language, but we ran a 21 turn Timken schedule, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year except for planned downturns. But the entire mentality was about producing the products and just providing working conditions that were tolerable.

0:31:07.0 Timothy Clark: That was it. So I just wanna say that, that was very recent. That was in my lifetime. So that's point number one. Point number two, let's not forget the distinction in the relationship between the employee experience EX and the customer experience CX. What do we know about that? The EX drives the CX. If the employees are miserable, if the employees are not satisfied, if the employees are disengaged, how can they provide this incredible customer experience? 

0:31:49.8 Junior: They won't.

0:31:53.3 Timothy Clark: It's not gonna happen. So let's go back and remember the direct tie between EX and CX. So I think that's a crucial point that's always going to be true. And so if the forces of commoditization are chasing the experience that we're giving to customers, and we have to continue to up the ante, and we have to continue to find ways to add value, we also have to work backwards and look at the employee experience. They are the ones that have to provide that.

0:32:28.2 Junior: If they don't get that from their leaders, they will not give it to your Customers.

0:32:33.0 Timothy Clark: No.

0:32:33.2 Junior: Period.

0:32:33.3 Timothy Clark: Otherwise, well, it's interesting, I always have to smile when you go into a retail establishment and someone is surface acting and they're trying to show you that they really care when they don't, and it's not lost on you. But that's just an example of, it's a synthetic experience and it's not really getting the job done. Well that's a reflection of an EX, right? An employee experience that's not really getting the job done. Hat's what that is.

0:33:07.0 Junior: Well, this is why we do what we do. So if you think about our name, The LeaderFactor, what is the leader factor? It's this factor. It's the human factor. It's the human interface and the human element. Do you think that it's a surprise? If you go to our website, you go to, what are you gonna see a lot of? A lot of emotional intelligence, a lot of psychological safety, a lot of the human interface. Why? Did we just stumble into these product areas and think, well, you know, we just set up shop here, see what we can do. No, we know that it is here at the human interface that organizations will win or lose.

0:33:45.7 Junior: It's a leader's ability to absorb this type of content, put it into practice with their people in the real world today, tomorrow, and next week, so that their businesses can innovate. So a lot of people might look at the product areas and say, oh, that's kind of soft. They may begrudgingly adopt some of it out of compliance. Like, ah, we might have to do some of this. They're missing the mark that humans are before the technical. If you don't have the human stuff in order, nothing else is going to matter over a long enough time horizon.

0:34:21.0 Timothy Clark: Well, I think that's what we're talking about, Junior. We're talking about coming back, staging experiences for customers, yes. But that is a function of the way that we stage the experience for the employees. And coming back the human element coming first, let's just talk about innovation. I'll make one more point. And that is, and we've said this before, one of our research findings is that in innovation, the quality of the interaction among the team members regulates the speed of discovery. Think about how important that is. So the human element does precede the technical element, and we have to keep that in mind. The quality of interaction regulates the speed of discovery.

0:35:18.5 Junior: So if we think about this even more generally, not just leadership, but professionals generally, commoditization is eating away whatever advantage you are giving to the marketplace today. So whatever worked for you for the last 20 years or 10 years or one year, is not going to work in the future. So you're gonna have to figure out how to adapt. We're going to make the argument that the most important thing that you can do to contribute to the marketplace is to improve your interpersonal skill. To be able to lead effectively, to be able to manage a team, to stage this type of experience. And we're gonna be talking about that in some future episodes. But I appreciate the conversation today. I probably talked a lot. This is one of my favorite topics.

0:36:02.0 Timothy Clark: It's such a good way to set it all up though.

0:36:03.0 Junior: I think so.

0:36:05.5 Timothy Clark: Think about context and think about how it is that we got to where we are.

0:36:11.4 Junior: There's a lot that we need to do. So just as commoditization eats away the advantage of an organization, it eats away at your advantage as a professional and as a leader. So in order to stay relevant, you gotta do this stuff.

0:36:23.5 Timothy Clark: You gotta do this stuff.

0:36:25.4 Junior: And that's why we are here at LeaderFactor, to help with the leader factor for you. So whether that be emotional intelligence, psychological safety, all of these things that we're talking about are going to be relevant. Today, there's a downloadable from everything that we talked about today that will be available in the show notes. So if anybody wants to go and download that as a reference tool, feel free to do that. We will join you in the next episode. Take care everybody. Bye-Bye.

Show Notes

What’s a Rich Text element?

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Episode Transcript

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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