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F-This Revisited

Michael Gerber wrote the E-Myth. 9 years later he Revisited the E-Myth. He immediately set the tone of the book by saying: “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business, you own a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic.” 

 F-This Revisited” is all about the FRUSTRATION you feel trying to get things done, and how to overcome that frustration. 

 A huge advantage in overcoming the frustration, is to know your core nature of work.  We at The People Catalysts have developed a new assessment to determine your core nature.  In order to validate this new assessment, for a limited time, the assessment is available for free!  Do you want to know if you are a Mover, Shaker, Prover, or Maker? You can take the assessment at: 


Listen to the podcast here:   


Karla Nelson:  And welcome to the People Catalysts Podcast. Allen Fahden, of course. Everybody knows Allen. 

Allen Fahden:  Hello, Karla. Everybody or nobody… Pick one. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. Well, welcome to the podcast. This is the second part of a two-part series where we looked initially at the E-Myth, or entrepreneurial myth. Of course that wasn’t the name of the title we gave it. We gave it E-Mess, the entrepreneurial mess, because that happens quite frequently. Today we are going to look at the second book that Michael Gerber wrote. E-Myth came out in 1986 and E-Myth Revisited came out in 1995. It sold over a million copies. It talks about a lot of things similar in the initial book, E-Myth, however, he goes into a little bit different position in regard to the systems and the first, you can listen to the previous podcast, he breaks down the three different personalities and then we talk about why that was so amazing at the time and then why we could shift our thinking into roles versus function. 

So you could listen to part one of this series if you’d like to look at that. Really, the Revisited is very similar in that 80%, and I think it’s 80% to 90%, of small businesses fail, and what you need to do to ensure that your company is not based off of one individual. And for the title of this podcast, it would be F-This Revisited. 

Allen Fahden:  Yes. And one of are reasons that it’s F-This is the frustration of seeing something that makes sense to you and you want to go ahead with it and then you can’t do it. 

Karla Nelson:  Frustration. It could be even frustration that’s revisited, but F-This is funnier, for sure. But that was my experience. I read both of these books early on in my career and, like a lot of business books, you know and you agree with everything that’s in it, and even if it’s a newer thought or a redone thought in a different perspective, you have to go back to the office. And then you are working like mad to make these things happen that you agree with. Right? 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. 

Karla Nelson:  And that’s the frustration and just irritation that comes from some of the most amazing business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and technicians, even. Technicians would probably be less likely but that’s the number-one person that goes and launches a business, as Gerber talks about in the first book. And one of my favorite quotes, Allen, when I read this book long ago and reread it here recently, was that, and this is Gerber’s quote. “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business, you own a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic.” I just think that’s great. 

Allen Fahden:  This correlates with my similar, on my own plight, I finally became self-employed and people said, “Why did you do that?” And I said, “Well, if I have to work for a jerk, it might as well be me.” 

Karla Nelson:  There you go. 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. 

Karla Nelson:  I actually did the same thing when I left. I didn’t agree with what was going on so I figured, well, if people are acting in manners that I didn’t agree with, I figured I’d… I didn’t think I was a lunatic but after being in business for 20 years, you start wondering if you’re crazy, at least. 

Allen Fahden:  What was the definition of an entrepreneur? One of our friends whose definition is “An entrepreneur is someone who wakes up in the middle of the night screaming.” 

Karla Nelson:  So true, many times. So I think we’ll talk a little bit about why the book was so unique, and even when he revisited in 1995, and ’86, you can listen to part one of it. But the first thing was that Gerber talks about having great technical skills, which Allen and I were just referring to, is a lot different skillset than knowing how to run a business. So understanding those two things, just because you know how to do, let’s say, loans, or you’re a mortgage broker or a banker, and then you launch your own mortgage company. Those are two separate, different skills. And when you’re the business owner, you’re responsible for everything. 

The other thing, and I’m going to try not to touch on too many things that were in the first book because that’s why we did a two-part series, or that would have been a very long podcast. And we’ve got a lot to get through today so I’m going to try to push us through, Allen, because we get pretty passionate about a lot of these things. This second thing Gerber talks about, and he touches on it in the first book but goes a lot more in depth in the second book, is treat your business like a franchise from day one. Operation systems. And then he talks a lot about systems, that’s probably why he talks about it more in this book than in the first book, so the franchise model. 

And then, after you get that mindset, I think, is more what he’s talking about. Understand there’s two different skills that you need. And technicians typically launch businesses but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good business owner. Imagine the franchise plan and then build all of that, the mindset and the, okay, franchise model on systems. And, I think the other part of this system was Gerber talks about make the system so specific that you can pay the lowest level individual at that skillset. 

So obviously he doesn’t talk about training nearly as much, but the actual systems around it. Which includes training. I think he refers to those as soft systems, though. So I think that, at the time, remember 1986, nobody was talking about franchises. There’d only been a couple of really successful ones. So that was revolutionary. Now it’s going, “Okay, put that mindset together and let’s dig down on these systems.” 

And the three systems that he talks about in the book, the first are hard systems. So that’s inanimate objects, things that you need but aren’t moving and breathing because even a business model is moving and breathing. But like a coffee maker or something. And soft systems, which are the ideas and people systems, about taking care of your people. There’s a lot of different titles we’ve given this these days. People management. I think employee engagement is one of the dumbest ones. It’s important, but we’ll get into a little bit why the previous models have not worked and all the billions of dollars are still not managing the soft systems in businesses. Miserably failing. 

And then information systems. So this is your manuals, materials, video. And it’s even the data you collect. And now, my goodness, with technology in business this is just endless when it comes down to information systems. That’s like saying it tastes like chicken, right? It’s like when people go, “Oh, I need to grow my business.” That’s very irritating because it’s not specific at all and you can apply it to everything. Marketing is the same way. I can identify 100 marketing concepts, and how to implement them are all different. So when you call things in that big, wide term, I think that it gets a little challenging, especially with information systems. 

So, all right, Allen, let’s break down each of these and then really look at overlaying the WHO-DO Method and who, in each of these areas, based off their core nature of work, it’s highly likely, depending on, it is likely, it’s 100% likely… 99% likely because we do also have our one-ers that are a little bit easier to manage when it comes to 1% of the population, but 100% of the work is made for that 1%, and how with each of those three systems Gerber talks about, that we can overlay, then, who is going to gravitate and how you can look at that from managing those three systems in a business. 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. And we could do that for about three hours. 

Karla Nelson:  I bet we could do it three days. 

Allen Fahden:  Three days, probably. So we’ll do it briefly and give you an example because a lot of it is just common sense. For example, you might take inanimate objects, let’s say the coffee machine, and everyone has somewhat of a different approach to it. So it’s like a divide and conquer thing. If you break your thinking down into more specific pieces, you’ll get what I’m talking about in a second, is that everybody has a different approach to some of these general things and the way you win is by breaking them down so you can really understand the distinctions. 

For example, a person who is a mover, and that’s somebody who’s an early adopter and loves to get things done, might say, “We need a new coffee machine.” Okay? Whereas the maker, who’s also a doer, but a later adopter, they’re not going to decide whether we need a new coffee machine, but they are certainly going to help order the right one and make sure that all the supplies are there and they’ll do all the details. In other words, overall it’s that the mover says, “Here’s a need for a checklist,” and puts a checklist together and the maker is the one who follows the checklist. 

So, for example, the mover is sitting there one day and says, “This coffee tastes like swill. We need to do something here. This coffee maker’s from 1968. We need a new one.” Then that’s pretty much it. Set that priority in and hand it off to the next person. And it could be the prover who goes through the catalog and gets rid of all the coffee machines that aren’t going to work very well, reads all the reviews, and says, “Oh, we can’t get that one,” and maybe goes back to the mover and says, “Here are three good ones. Pick which one.” The mover picks it and then the prover goes back and hands a checklist off, “Here’s your job,” to the maker. So even a coffee machine can be broken down and should be broken down because what happens is if you approach everything too generally, guess what happens? Nothing. 

Karla Nelson:  Yes. Or that’s why 70% of people hate their job because they’re asked to do all these things. And I love the example you pulled just after my example of what a hard system was, is something as little as ordering a coffee maker. Right? 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. 

Karla Nelson:  And what you said, the maker, after everything’s been worked through, is fine with doing that, even though they’re usually given the entire job. “Go pick it out. Make sure you pick the right one.” They like to execute and it’s going to be the mover that wants to make the checklist. So understanding each core nature of work, what the job is. Now, obviously, over time you don’t have to go in and be that specific about ordering a coffee maker. It’s just using the example of something that simple. So you can imagine a marketing plan, a business plan, budgeting, all those things that are a lot more elaborate and difficult to manage, when you can mess up having somebody order a coffee pot and not enjoy the process, how can that be applied to all the other different things that need to happen? 

And I love what you said and I always say, “Makers eat checklists for breakfast,” and they’re doers. But the mover is likely the one that is going to say, “Okay, this is what we need to do.” And of course the shaker is going to be the one that wants to try all the new coffees or something like that. 

Allen Fahden:  Oh, they’re going to go to organic, fair trade coffee somewhere in Indonesia and then decide that we should be drinking tea, anyway. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. And I like what you said with the maker and the mover because a lot of people get the doing completely confused, and the checklist thing. So I consistently say, “Makers eat checklists for breakfast,” but the checklist is done. Movers also run checklists, but their checklists are about how to get everybody coordinated together to get everything done. So a project manager isn’t doing all of the things on their checklist. A maker is going through a specific checklist, that is step one, step two, step three, step four. 

So I think that’s a really good point that you bring up about the doing aspect of it. Because you don’t have that as much with the shakers and the provers but you do have that with the movers and the makers quite… I can’t tell you how many times everyone goes, “Karla, you say makers eat checklists for breakfast, but you’re running five of them and different systems.” And it’s like, “Yeah, but I’m not doing the things on the checklist.” 

No, of course, I’m doing some. I’m being a little bit flippant in me saying that. Because I do have tasks and things that I am executing on. But it’s mostly people managing the people that have their job to do, not the things that I need to do. And I think that’s an interesting differentiation that you made there. 

Okay, well, let’s move to the soft systems because that actually goes right over into the soft systems, I think. Which is, people systems is kind of what we call them today. And we’ve layered a million other… Can you imagine why we can’t figure out what the heck we’re talking about? We talk in content, not context. And nobody understands it if you say employee engagement or you say people systems or you say soft systems, in this particular area. How can everybody know what you even mean? 

Allen Fahden:  That’s right. It’s so general. And I’m pretty sure that somebody, if I’m an engaged employee, somebody’s going to give me a ring. It hasn’t happened yet so I guess I’m not engaged. 

Karla Nelson:  Oh, you’re so funny. Obviously you used to be a stand-up comic. I was like, “Engaged?” I was trying to put that one together. But than all of a sudden… 

Allen Fahden:  Except the word, “Used to be.” 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, yeah. It’s so Allenific, so that’s awesome. But I think that’s a good point. Good determination on not even understanding. So first not understanding what everything is, and then not understanding how we work together. 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, absolutely. And this is one of the most important things, too, because remember from our precious podcast is that if you put a bunch of people into a room randomly, you’re going to have probably half of them who are in violent disagreement with their counterpart. So we’ve knocked it down into red light, green light, and yellow light relationships. So here you are trying to get some of this Michael Gerber stuff done and it’s very general and that’s nice. “Well, we’ll just go ahead and have a meeting and decide what we’re going to do.” And then somehow the meeting gets derailed and people start arguing. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. They don’t even say what type of meeting they’re in to begin with, usually. 

Allen Fahden:  Right. 

Karla Nelson:  It’s mass pandemonium from the beginning. 

Allen Fahden:  And people have written books about death-by-meeting and so forth. So what they’re missing, and think about this as an iceberg, and we’ll probably mention this a couple of times, but there’s a lot under the surface here that people in their first reaction to how do we do things, they miss a lot of big distinctions and probably the biggest thing is if you’re going to get any of this done in this book or any other book, you’ve first got to break it down into details for a closer look because there’s dividing and conquer, because you can’t do things with generalities as we were just talking about, but secondly, it’s so important to get to the right people in the right order. 

You’ve got to get a WHO-DO go-to, you’ve got to get a WHO-DO go-to, you’ve got to get a WHO-DO go-to. What does that mean? Every time you finish one small phase, there’s the next logical person in the sequence to move it ahead. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with resistance or abandonment and every other thing that can go wrong. So if you don’t do that, you’re not going to be able to do any of these things. 

Karla Nelson:  That’s why I laughed so hard. Use the process. If you’d like to be 300% to 800% more effective, use the process. And when you were talking about people not liking each other and whatnot, what do we call this? We end up saying, “Oh, this is culture.” And that is not culture. Because most leaders think that culture is the potluck on Friday or the Air Hockey game in the break room. But the object of the exercise in business is to get something done. So culture is what you do, it’s not how feel. How you feel is the outcome, but we jump over the whole thing that the object of the exercise is to get something done, and then leaders just done change any way that the work is to fit the people. They just still press hard on that and say, “Well, we’re going to be at the potluck on Friday.” Within soft systems or people systems, what we see is they don’t have any other ideas here. So when you’re a hammer, everything’s a nail. 

Allen Fahden:  So true. So true. And, by the way, everything you talk about culture, all I can think of is the old pizza in the back of the refrigerator back in the break room where there’s culture, all right. It’s culture that’s been growing on it for about three months. And that’s a pretty good description or visual for a lot of the cultures that exist now. It’s kind of like, “Oh, god, here we go again.” 

Karla Nelson:  Or they’ll bring in a motivational speaker or do a ropes course for you because that’ll help you get more done. 

Allen Fahden:  You do that on Sunday and you’re slime-digging by Tuesday, it’s kind of a nice thing. Because what we haven’t done is fundamentally changed who we go to for what. We have not changed the work to fit the people. And what happens, I think, here, too, is that you get into the people part and they say, “Oh, soft skills. Well, I know lot about that. Here’s what we’re going to do.” And you can here this probably in 90% of the offices. “Well, we’ve got to figure out people’s personalities here.” And that’s all a good thing to do, Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Wilson Social Style, whatever. And that’s great. But they’re all pretty much the same model. But what they’re missing is how do you get things done together and that’s core nature of work. 

Now it’s an interesting thing because when we first learned this model and invented it, we thought it must have been like another personality thing, so we did a 1,000-person study and what we did was we put it up against Myers-Briggs and DiSC and found out that there was no corelation. In other words, if you’re a mover, you could be a high D on DiSC, you could be high R, a high S, a high C. On Myers-Briggs, if you were a mover, you might be an EN, an EF or whatever, IN, or an IS. You could be any of these things. There was nothing that indexed over 120 or less than 80, which means that they’re different. It’s pretty random. We’re measuring a different thing here. 

So when we say it’s a kind of a piece of the iceberg that’s under the surface, there. You can’t go in and say, “Oh, soft stuff must be personality.” Or, “It must be having a potluck on Fridays,” as you say, “Or the hockey game in the break room or ping pong.” There’s more to it than that. And everybody knows it, they just don’t know what the answer is. 

Karla Nelson:  And that’s why, and I said it before, Gallup’s done a study for how long, 70% of people hate their jobs. You go overseas, it gets even worse. I think in China it’s something like 90%. 

Allen Fahden:  It’s like 90, yeah. 

Karla Nelson:  90% of people hate their… How sad is that? And the biggest thing that we have seen in working with many, many, many, many companies of all sizes is that people are asked to do too much of the part of the work. How do you break this down and use what we do, ideation, and how we’re going to get it done, implementation, and then break it down? Make sure, like you said, you’ve got to have a WHO-DO go-to. You remove 70% of the rub. It doesn’t mean that knowing the personality is not a good thing, but as you always say, Allen, it’s almost like WHO-DO is the steering wheel, personality is the gas and the brake. 

And when people see both, they understand why they get long with other people better. I get along with shakers. Why? Because they want to talk about ideas and my input is ideas. So I’m naturally going to get along with them. If my input is ideas and a maker wants to talk about checklists and not wanting to change anything, it’s not personality, it’s the fact that we are working on a project and I feel frustrated by… And you referenced part one of this would really go into the red light, green light, yellow light and understanding that. Because as soon as you remove that, people realize, “Whoa, it wasn’t that I didn’t like you. You were challenging to work with because you were canceling me out.” Or, “Wow,” and the provers are the only way… I’ll never forget that training we did, Allen, where the aha at the end was, “Provers aren’t so bad at all.” 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, right. 

Karla Nelson:  Because what happens is now you understand what they bring to the table in order to get things accomplished and how it makes your life easier. And, again, we look at job descriptions and it’s like, “Everything but the kitchen sink.” If you break it down, you’re like, “Oh, a mover’s probably going to do that better. A prover, maker, maker, maker, maker.” I mean, you give a mover maker work, even if they’re doer, they’re miserable. That person is absolutely miserable, I guarantee you. And the further they’re out on that scale when you look at it, because everybody has different… We talk about WHO-DO in a very mover, shaker, prover, maker. But there are not only combinations, there are extremes in each, too, which gets into some advanced stuff. We should probably do a podcast on that, actually, now that I think about it. But understanding that those job descriptions are made for 1% of the population. 1%. 

Allen Fahden:  That’s who can do it from beginning to the middle to the end. They can do it all the way through without falling into their weak work. The other 99% of us can not or will not because we hate it. We go to sleep, our brain folds, our eyeballs roll up into our head. We tune out mentally and emotionally. It absolutely makes a huge difference. 

And one thing I want to point out, too, Karla, is, for everybody listening, if you want a really good barometer of a red light relationship, The Great Divide is based on the law of diffusion of innovation. Early adopters, for the most part, are likely not to get along so well with the motivations of later adopters. They’re like at cross purposes. Early adopters want change, it’s exciting, it’s new, it’s good, we need to do it. And later adopters say, “Hey, don’t throw out the babies with the bath water. Don’t do this.” It’s basically what Simon Sinek talked about in his Start With Why TED talk, it’s what Geoffrey- 

Karla Nelson:  Geoffrey Moore, yeah. 

Allen Fahden:  Crossing the Chasm. Those are all focused on marketing and on communication with- 

Karla Nelson:  And the client. 

Allen Fahden:  And the client. 

Karla Nelson:  They all focus on… Not the “why” as much but how do you lead when you don’t know your team? 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, it’s internal. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. So it’s great tactics. That’s it, though. So if I say, “Gosh, I should put my phone down when I talk to you,” that’s a tactic. That’s not how you get the work done, how do you move it through the process. And I want to piggyback on that, log diffusion of innovations, 110 years of marketing research. You can read forever and there have been books and books and books written on this, studies and studies- 

Allen Fahden:  Everett Rogers. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. We have studied it to the nth degree and you could still keep on studying. There’s been that much marketing research. And I totally agree that we focus on the client in marketing and when you talk about you’ve got to find the early adopters, what do we do? We kick our team to the curb, tell them they need to do all the work. We’re not going to pay attention to that when we’re marketing new ideas in a company. Oh, no, no. We’re only going to focus on the client. And you have to, it’s important, actually. Gerber talks a lot about it in the first book that we mentioned in the podcast, making a client-centric company. 

However, if you trash your team and then go straight to the client, all you’re doing is making your team feel like you don’t care about them, all you care is about money and selling. And that piece really is a big crux of if you are a leader, understanding the process and the fact that every one of you are leaders. You just lead at different times and different ways. And you have to be able to pass that baton, as you always say, Allen, in a relay team. And that’s the biggest myth, that it’s personality. It’s core nature of work. 

Allen Fahden:  Nothing to do with personality. 

Karla Nelson:  Nothing. Nothing. Because if you have a job to do, there’s many people I’ve worked with I don’t like. I would not probably hang out with them unless it was work related. But they don’t know that. You know why? Because I need them and I appreciate them. And it’s okay that we don’t necessarily like to hang out. 

Allen Fahden:  Sure. Honor the differences, it’s beautiful. 

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. But you can also appreciate them for who they are and keep them in their, as you say, Allen, magnificence. 

Allen Fahden:  Yes. So people will actually, we were talking about canceling each other out. There’s a team of people who are working, and I know you want to get into the technology, I’m going to jump on it a little bit. And that is, these two are working together and they didn’t like each other and they didn’t like their work, either, they weren’t happy at all. And they were up in Alaska, of all places. 

Karla Nelson:  I know this story. This is a great story. This is so simple. The solution to this took 15 minutes, if that. 

Allen Fahden:  Yep. 

Karla Nelson:  Literally. 15 minutes and, go ahead. I know what story you’re going to tell. It’s a great story. 

Allen Fahden:  We got on the phone and one of the things we knew, starting out, is that they were both combination shaker provers. What does that mean? They love the thinking but not so much the doing part of things. They’re like engineers. 90% of engineers that I know are shaker provers and that means they can design a beautiful bridge and then also they know enough to think it through and keep it from falling down. That’s the prover part. The shaker designers a beautiful bridge, the prover makes sure it’s structurally sound, “What can go wrong?” 

So here are these two people and they both hate their jobs, they don’t like other. And it turns out they’re both in IT and they did two basic things. Now, here’s a typical thing where maybe you could break this down more and maybe there’s a clue in there. So the two things they did, one was help desk. You have a problem… There are even T-shirts about this, “Did you plug it in?” 

Karla Nelson:  Did you turn it on and off? 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, that’s right. And the typical, all the jokes about help desk. They both did that. The other thing that they both did were… What would you call it? Server maintenance. 

Karla Nelson:  Server maintenance. 

Allen Fahden:  Now, one, they were both combinations but one was a lot more shaker than prover. The other one was a lot more prover than shaker. So there’s a distinction that makes a difference here. So if we look at the work, step one is let’s label the work in the same way. Where’s the shaker work? Where’s the prover work? Shaker work meaning shakers would love it and they’re great at it. Prover work meaning provers would love it and they’re great at it. 

So one of the things we did ask them a few things and it turns out that server maintenance takes a lot of patience. It’s methodical. It’s great for later adopters. So that’s prover work. And they agreed to that. And then help desk takes a lot of ingenuity and ideas and it’s always different, a new problem coming through the door. So that is a lot more shaker work. 

So what we did is to say, “What do you guys think about doing this? How about if the shaker takes all the help desk work and the prover takes all the server maintenance work? Which takes more patience and being more methodical.” And they liked that idea. But even more, what they liked was one of the things about provers is they don’t like to be interrupted. So the prover got to hang a big sign on his door with an arrow pointing at the shaker’s door that says, “Go see him for help desk. I don’t do that.” 

Karla Nelson:  The more extreme shaker, the more they like to be interrupted. 

Allen Fahden:  Oh, yeah. 

Karla Nelson:  Because it’s something new. 

Allen Fahden:  It’s exciting, it’s fun. And, “Oh, yeah, you want an idea from me? Great.” Because plugging it in, that’s an… “Did you plug it in?” That’s an idea. Now, of course they both had the knowledge. So all of you who are into Kaisen and things like that and quality, you can do five jobs, you get a higher pay grade. They could both do the jobs. It’s just that one of them did the part they loved, the job they loved, and the other one did the job that they loved and it was different. So we redivided the work to fit the people. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. 15 minutes to be happy. Well, they still didn’t like each other totally but they were a lot happier at their jobs. And they appreciated somebody else taking that job from them so they just appreciated them more. They’re totally different but you can appreciate the fact that somebody is different and they do something better than you and they took it from you. 

Allen Fahden:  Oh, and so important, too, if you want to appreciate somebody who’s different from you, appreciate they just started happily doing the stuff you hate. 

Karla Nelson:  I love that. That’s exactly why I love- 

Allen Fahden:  Personality’s nothing compared to that. 

Karla Nelson:  That’s so true. Oh, my gosh. 

Allen Fahden:  You saved my life. Thank you. 

Karla Nelson:  That’s why I love them all. I love my movers, shakers, provers, and makers for completely different reasons. All right, well, we could talk about that all day long, too- 

Allen Fahden:  We have. 

Karla Nelson:  … and I know we are so passionate about the people system. I know. So let’s move to this last system. And we don’t need to talk too long about this because this is so bad these days, it’s just glaringly obvious how… And we did a podcast on this and it was technology. It was a two-part podcast. I can’t remember the exact title we put on that. But it was April of two years ago or something. I’ll see if my team can make a link to it on this particular podcast. 

And this is information systems. Oh, my gosh, talk about dumping everything into one area. Training, your CRM, dashboard for social media. I could talk about this and probably list 1,000 potential information systems that you could, if you’re a large company, could implement in different divisions. It’s infinite, is what it is. And technology, if you don’t figure out what to do and how to do it, it’s not only a waste of time, energy, money, brain power, turnover. This list goes on and on and on.  

Allen Fahden:  Yep. And what’s interesting, like where do you start thinking about… Well, one way is to start thinking about how we interact with technology itself. It’s quite different. So shakers, who are the idea people, they love the idea. I’m the guy who has probably 75 to 100 apps on my phone and I use maybe three of them. I love to buy an app because of its potential but I sure don’t want to use it. So I’ll use it once or I’ll try it and then if I have to actually do something, then I’m just going to move on and I abandon it. So movers are a little different. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. We know we need it and that’s all information technology but I know you’re talking specifically to technology because it makes this even harder today. We know we need it, we just don’t want to look at it, figure out which one needs to be done or implement it. 

Allen Fahden:  Right. But you would like to benefit if it’ll help you do something faster or better or more pleasantly or whatever, you want that benefit, right? 

Karla Nelson:  Absolutely. 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. So that’s the difference between a shaker and a mover. A shaker falls in love with the idea but the mover falls in love with the benefit it’ll deliver. But neither really has the patience to read the manual or read the documentation. Follow the instructions. Are you kidding? We’re early adopters. We’re instructionally impaired. We don’t do that. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. So if you don’t run the process, you hand it over to your prover who’s rolling his eyes, saying, “It’s not going to work anyway. You weren’t specific enough. I’m going to take all the stuff that can go wrong anyway,” and doesn’t even do what you asked him to do. And then the maker’s just sweating. 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. They don’t even want that. “Don’t bring that in here. You’re going to ruin everything.” 

Karla Nelson:  They put their earplugs in. They put their ear-plugs in. And, by the way, you can look at this. We’re using technology as an example because it’s easy. 

Allen Fahden:  It’s everywhere. 

Karla Nelson:  But it’s everything. And I don’t care if you’re talking about your marketing information systems or your training information systems. And now it’s all integrated. How much training is online? How are you using YouTube in conjunction with educating your customers? It just goes on and on and on and on. It reminds me of a client that we worked with, a very large client, spent millions of bucks on some new technology to get, it was actually seven or eight technologies, to get their team on this platform. And it was primarily marketing but there’s a lot in this platform. And so the early adopters, a mover and a shaker, the CEO and COO, did it, and then said, “Here, you guys, go use it.” 

It was less than… I don’t even know what the number is, but I know it’s less 3%, if not 2%, were actually using this. And they put millions of bucks in it. And they were looking at them, like, “What?” And of course that’s why they became a client. However, it took us 11 different one-hour training sessions. Now, of course, we had to put all that together. We knew what we were doing. But at the end of the day it really took all of them and 11 different steps then we broke it down. And we didn’t even know their technology and we were able to do it. Why? Because we bring the right people to the team. It was a huge potential loss for the company because if you put millions and millions of dollars into something and nobody’s using it, what’s the point? 

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely. And in fact the numbers on that are staggering. Genpact research did a study and they figure about $600 “B” billion a year is spent on technology an about two thirds of it doesn’t get adopted, just wasted. Forget about it. So $400 billion down the drain a year. And think about that. One of the things we did was figured out how to get the early adopters who wanted the technology and the later adopters who had the patience to go through the manual and the documentation and figure out how it works, and then together we figured out how to teach it to these other people in a simple way and in a way that they would accept based on their core nature of work. 

Karla Nelson:  And simplified it. We used 20% of it at first. Use the thing that’s going to give you the 80% bang for your buck. Because this is the videos you watch. At first, you watch it, it’s a couple of minutes. “Okay. All right. I’ve got it.” Because we watched all their training videos. Then it got to five minutes. “Oh, okay.” And then it got to 10. Now you’re clicking, you’re clicking. Then it got to 25. And that was one area of this information system that they’re implementing. I was sweating. I’m like, “Man, we’ve got to break this down. How is anybody else supposed to implement it when they’re just basically feeling overwhelmed?” So what do we do when we’re overwhelmed? We run home to mommy. That is a staggering number, though. That’s so wasteful. And that’s just numbers. They probably didn’t even, in their study, figure out the waste of- 

Allen Fahden:  Opportunity cost. 

Karla Nelson:  The opportunity cost, the energy with their team, the frustration, the turnover. All of these other things that happen. And they don’t have to. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s super, super, super easy. It’s simple. Not easy. I always say, “Climbing to the top of Mount Everest is super, super simple. Put one foot in front of the other.” That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy. Without the process it’s nearly impossible. So with that, Allen, we could probably go for another 40 minutes on this. 

Allen Fahden:  We won’t. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. But, great book. We really enjoyed revisiting E-Myth and sharing with you all F-This. 

Allen Fahden:  F-This. 

Karla Nelson:  So, again, the three systems, hard systems, soft systems, information systems. And listen to part one of the series as well where we talk about the three different personalities and go in how you can identify those and then utilize that in creating these systems in your business and you can visit us at thepeoplecatalysts.com. 

Allen Fahden:  And that’s plural on catalysts, correct? With an S on the end. 

Karla Nelson:  Yes. Of course, because we need you all. Everyone’s on board, it’s got to be plural. We’re a teaching team here, baby. Awesome. Well, thanks again, Allen- 

Allen Fahden:  Thank you. 

Karla Nelson:  … and we will see you next time. 


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