Movers, Shakers, Provers, and Makers. We need them all at the right time. Who are they really? This is the fourth in a four-part series that will go in depth on the strengths and characteristics of each of the four strengths. In this episode, Karla interviews Allen Fahden on what it means to be a Maker.
Listen to the podcast here:
Advanced Maker with Allen Fahden
Karla Nelson: And welcome to the People Catalyst Podcast, Allen Fahden.
Allen Fahden: It’s a beautiful day for a podcast.
Karla Nelson: Your favorite time of day.
Allen Fahden: Yes.
Karla Nelson: Podcast day.
Allen Fahden: Podcast o’clock.
Karla Nelson: There you go. There you go. Well today we’re gonna be wrapping up part four of a four part series where we have gone through advanced training for each of the movers, shakers, provers, and makers, and so as we dive into this, you could also refer back to any of those other three series specific to your core nature of work or if you’re looking to facilitate something with another core nature of work. So we’ll just get rolling here, Allen. Ready to go?
Allen Fahden: Yes.
Karla Nelson: Alright. So we’ll do this in the same style we’ve done in the past, which is I’m going to be interviewing Allen base off the fact that he’s a maker. Now do take into consideration I’m interviewing a shaker. And then having him communicate, then, the answers as if he were a maker. So Allen, first question, what are the two things that determine you are a maker?
Allen Fahden: So number one, I’m a later adopter and that means that I don’t adopt new ideas. I don’t jump in right away. I wait til they’re more tried and true. I wait til it’s something’s more part of the culture, that it’s been around long enough that it makes sense to me. So there’s one part. I’m a late adopter, and the fusion of innovations, we know that’s the person who maybe won’t buy an electric car until the last gas station in America is closed. So that’s an extreme, but you get the idea. You’ve got to wait for something just to make sense to this person.
The other part is they’re not just a later adopter, but they’re the doer of the two later adopters, one being the prover, the other being the maker. It’s the maker who’s the doer and so that means taking action on things that are more tried and true.
Karla Nelson: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes. The makers like to cross all those t’s, dot all the i’s and also you mentioned something there, Allen, in regards to a maker and a prover and the difference, and I think that’s really important in the doer and the thinker aspect of these two very complimentary core natures of work that the prover likes to make the rules and is willing to be that late adopter and the thinking through how that needs to get done, although it’s the maker that makes that a replicatable process.
Allen Fahden: Yeah. So that’s the person who, the maker’s the one who dot’s the i’s, crosses the t’s, finishes, makes sure every detail is getting done.
Karla Nelson: So, Allen, with that, what is a good role for a maker?
Allen Fahden: So this is a person who actually runs the process, and make sure that it’s repeated over and over again the same way. This is what movers and shakers don’t want to be around because-
Karla Nelson: Yeah, you’re giving me a panic attack just hearing that.
Allen Fahden: Yeah, really. So this is all about replication and it’s very important. There’s a certain stage in any business and any enterprise of any kind, any operation of any kind, where it’s so important that the rules are followed and that things are predictable.
Karla Nelson: And one of the things is, it’s interesting you say that, because as a mover and a maker, and we’ll talk about later on, the challenges associated with those core natures of work, the movers still appreciate what the maker does and one thing that the maker can do as well as anyone within the core nature of work; mover, shaker, prover, or maker, but specific to the maker speaking up and also the prover, is to make sure you raise your hand and say let’s be patient because they are so focused on the rules being followed that they need to know what the rules are so that they can actually be followed. Whereas our early adopters, they’re the ones that everything changes frequently.
Well you can’t. There’s one thing about knowing what to do, then doing it, and then repeating it, and so the maker really is the finisher, as you were saying, on the end that takes this process and repeats it over and over, and it’s very comfortable with doing that. But be aware, when you get to the making aspect of implementation, that you’re patient with them. Because it takes time to create all those checklists, and cross all those t’s and dot all those i’s and be that specific.
Allen Fahden: Absolutely and it’s a really good point. It’s like they say in software, copy number one is extremely expensive and copies two through infinity are very cheap because you’re just duplicating, duplicating, duplicating. Well it’s the same thing with a maker and that process, it takes them a while to learn what you want, to learn the process, to make sure that they’re applying the right things and once they have it, then the second time they do it, it’s much faster, and the third time it’s even faster, and sometimes, movers and shakers will go in with the idea that, oh, gosh, they’re so slow. Well, they’re just looking at the first time they’re doing it. So be patient.
Karla Nelson: Yeah, not being patient with it, in effect, it’s gonna take time to speed up. It’s gonna take some time to get to that point where you can speed up. And with that said, the one role you don’t want them in is the ideation meeting. Oh dear, heaven above, it’s painful for them, right? Because maker’s are gonna see that change as a threat, and in order to stabilize a process and replicate it, you actually, your job is to remove the change, so you’re gonna see the makers in the implementation stage after there’s been a clear strategy, some specificity around it, because, again, their goal is to remove the change in order to create this process so that you can replicate it at a faster and faster speed.
Allen Fahden: Yeah, and why would you wanna do that? Well how do you turn a start up into a business? Peter [inaudible 00:06:57], I think, talked about this, and he says, you find a replicable process you can make money at. It’s as simple as that. Bring in the cash. The key word here is replicable process. You’ve got to have a successful core business, you’ve got to do something that you can have people pay you again, and again, and again, for doing the same thing. Otherwise you’ll never make it.
Karla Nelson: Yeah. Consistency, right? Consistency on [inaudible 00:07:23] like that, right? ‘Cause it’s when it’s, it could be replicable, but then you also have that consistency and makers really shine with that consistency.
Allen Fahden: I spoke with, one time in the Fortune Renovation forum and Warren Buffet was the key note speaker, and he said, “I hate innovation. I want to buy a company that does the same thing over and over again and people pay for it and it has huge cash flows. Why would I want innovation?” So, but the main key is that you’re really is a dance between two things. One is diverging, the other’s converging. Right now we’re talking about converging. How do you find something that really works and then stabilize it, doing it again and again, predictably, reliably, the same way, again and again. Where at the same time, your movers and shakers are diverging in the company, blowing things up.
One of my favorite questions is, if you were a competitor of yourself, how would you put you out of business?
Karla Nelson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Allen Fahden: We’re gonna blow it up.
Karla Nelson: Yeah. Oh, and that’s a huge conversation right now with all this new technology and AI and block chain. All these different things that are happening, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes moving forward ’cause the poor makers are not getting enough time before things even change, right, to create that replicatable process. So, okay, Allen, our next question. Who does the maker have the best relationship with?
Allen Fahden: Makers love provers. And the reason is, think about this, a relationship made in heaven. Provers make the rules and makers follow the rules. So-
Karla Nelson: Oh, I love just watching that.
Allen Fahden: So a maker will feel the need to be protected from all this craziness that’s happening at with the movers and shakers and all the disruption going on. It’s the prover who runs interference for them, who negotiates with the movers and shakers so that the prover can have more time, can be patient, excuse me, the maker can have more time. The prover takes the kind of chaos that comes out of the movers and shakers, and distills it down to something that’s smaller increments and step by steps or easily digestible bites so that the maker can take this and make it systematic, make it repeatable. So we’ve got some rules to follow, the prover makes sense of the world, the mover gives them great instructions with detail and patients and they break it down and the prover loves the maker because guess what, they do all their detail work that the prover hates doing.
Karla Nelson: Well the prover hates to do it over and over, they don’t like the replicatable process, but they’re patient enough to have their ideas adopted and their rules adopted to then hand it over to the maker because they see joy and then that similar checklist happening over and over and over again that they got to create. And this is one thing I love my provers for, oh my goodness, because they are patient and then they do come back and say you know, I do understand that you need it by this time, but it’s gonna take this amount of time to create this piece and then we need to apply it and yes, currently we can do that process at two hours. In order to bring somebody new, it’s gonna be six hours. So that we need to give them the space. Otherwise what happens is you just beat your makers over the head and they just, they shut down. They literally shut down and so the provers really critical in that hand off between the mover to the prover to the maker.
Okay, so, Allen, who does the maker likely have conflict with?
Allen Fahden: Two people. Lets start with the shaker. This is a relationship that’s between people from different planets and planet shaker looks like hey, lets do some more ideas. Hey, how can we make this, lets come up with something really crazy here and lets do that. Lets do this, and the maker is saying no, no, no. Are you kidding me? You’re gonna ruin everything. I’ve just got this stabilized. And so the maker wants to prevent the shaker from bringing all these ideas in because the maker just sees them as messing up the process that they’ve got in place and why even do this? It doesn’t make any sense and this is all crazy. So there’s one.
Now on the other hand, the shaker has no concept of what the maker does. I mean they kinda get an idea, okay, yeah, you do the details, but it’s like you do what?
Karla Nelson: You know, Allen, I’m gonna bring up, you said something that was brilliant. We’ve been doing this for a long, long, long time, and one of the things you said about the shakers, in their mind, and I think this is a big conflict aspect between the maker, probably the prover just a bit, too, and the shaker is that in their thinking, in just creating the idea, they think the idea’s already been done. Whereas the maker sees the disruption that anything new happens and so they’re like oh, come on, how hard could that be? You see that all the time and you see the shakers melting down, or the makers melting down while the shakers are just creating all these different things and what we could do because remember, you’ve got a doer and a thinker there, and an early adopter and later adopter.
So in all aspects of what they do, they’re completely different.
Allen Fahden: So true. Great point. So then the other relationship is the mover.
Karla Nelson: Oh wait, you need to share a story on this one. Oh my gosh. You probably need to share that, remember the, when you were, I can’t remember where you were at or what project you were working on, but the maker asked the shaker, two people who shouldn’t be working on a project at all together, what the maker asked you, what their instructions were.
Allen Fahden: That’s right, and so being a shaker, I said, well, the client needs it by 5:00.
Karla Nelson: I’m sure that was so specific, the maker was totally happy with that. I’m sure. Their eyes turned as big as quarters.
Allen Fahden: Yes. Yes, and so I mean I had no idea what to say beyond that and fortunately there was a prover nearby and he says what’s going on? I told him, and he looks at me and he looks at the maker and he says, okay, ask me a couple questions, and he sits down with the maker and he draws in this detailed plan-o-gram of exactly what the process is and what steps he should follow, and it takes him about 15 minutes. I’m just sitting there with my jaw dropping and being quiet and those two are intently communicating with each other, and finally the maker looks over at me and says, is that what you meant? And I said, well, yeah. I guess so. And then he sort of looks at the plan-o-gram, looks at me, rolls his eyes and just sort of walks back to his work space.
Karla Nelson: That’s awesome. Well believe me, we’ve got a prover on our executive team. We’ve gone through our fair share of plan-o-grams. Thank goodness somebody could put those darn things together by the time you get to your makers or else nothing would get done.
Allen Fahden: Oh yeah.
Karla Nelson: So one of the things I think that you kind of highlighted here, Allen, too, is that when that happens between the shaker and the maker is that the maker, depending on the culture that has been created about speaking up, they can go back to their desk and just fight with themselves and not be able to figure out what they need to do and I think the biggest focus here is to make sure, and of course, you went and said, okay, you sought out a prover.
There was one close enough that you could make it all work quickly is that it really is the role, not only of the maker, but those around them, too, to say hey, lets get you the help you need instead of, and I think that could go with any core natures of work, but I think the maker, it’s probably the most pronounced because they tend to be the, because they want to follow the rules, they don’t want to make the rules. So now it’s really in conflict whereas you can find a lot more of the other core natures of work that will probably figure it out a little bit easier, but the maker has a challenging time and you disrupt their entire world and now you’re taking away from what they like to focus on as the real work, right, the repeatable work. The day-to-day lifting that needs to get done every day and then they just sit with themselves and probably have a conversation with the ceiling.
Allen Fahden: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep. That is true and I think it just keeps cementing the thing that we’ve been saying all along which is it’s not the what or the how. Simon Zenick says it’s the why, but even after you have your why, it’s still not the what or the how, it’s the who. It’s the who and the when, and when you’re sitting at your desk, and this is for everybody, and you don’t know what to do next and you’re feeling stuck, just think about, okay, who should I go to with this? And for the maker, it’s the prover. You go right to the prover. That’s the person you go to with everything.
Karla Nelson: And you just jumped to the next question I had, which is what’s the solution, right, to this conflict, and we kind of jumped the gun as we typically do as makers. But what is the solution to the conflict, of course, you were just saying, find the prover.
Allen Fahden: Yeah, absolutely.
Karla Nelson: And then also remember, it’s everyone’s responsibility. So if you are a maker and you’re feeling stuck, again, and you were saying, Allen, the other core natures of work is that figure out where you’re at in the work and who you need. And if you’re completely lost, that means you need them all. And I’ve had this great question be asked of me in facilitating a trading recently is there was a maker in the room and she said, I’m the CEO of my non-profit, or executive director is what they call them, and she goes, how can I use this? And I said just be aware and make sure that you’re empowering everyone else to do the piece of the work and trusting them, because you don’t have to be the mover.
Now is the mover going to be your best facilitator? Yes. Just by default. Why? Because it’s their core nature. That doesn’t mean that a shaker can’t facilitate a prover or even a maker. It just means that you’re gonna have to be really, really aware of the process and not impede the process, but allow everyone’s core nature of work to show up and appreciate it. It just happens to be the mover appreciates everybody because of their core nature of work, of wanting to see something all the way down to the finish line.
Allen Fahden: Good one.
Karla Nelson: So, Allen, our next question, who is the other core nature of work the maker likely has conflict with?
Allen Fahden: Okay, now I can do this. The mover. And the maker says to the mover, you’re going too fast.
Karla Nelson: Yeah, never heard that one before.
Allen Fahden: Can you slow down? The interesting part is people are different. We’ve said those three words many times. People are different. So to the mover, I’m sorry, to the maker, the mover is going too fast. They want to get everything done right now, yesterday, it’s gotta be done. Lets go, lets go, lets go.
Karla Nelson: I don’t know anyone like that, Allen.
Allen Fahden: Not at all. Not you. And to the maker, it’s quite different. This is a threat, it’s like I’m feeling disrupted and upset and I can’t do my magic, which is just making it happen in a very orderly way. So lets flip flop it for a moment. Why does a mover behave that way with a maker? And the best metaphor I can think of is if you were a mover and a lot of your life is like running the 100 meter dash. Bang. You want to go and run and get there as fast as you can, and somebody in the next race changes the rule and now you’re gonna have to run the 100 meter dash and we sprinkled a whole bunch of pennies on the field. And if you pick up every penny during this race, you’re going to be lucky enough to finish the race with 26 cents. Whoopie. And you will also finish the race instead of in say 10 or 15 seconds, you’ll finish it in 18 minutes or something like that.
So it is, in other words, completely I don’t even want to deal with this pace that you’re talking about. Just let me out of here. That’s what the mover’s thinking. It’s too slow. Kill me now. Get me out of here.
Karla Nelson: Yeah, well and we’ve explained it in a certain way previous in this I think is a really good analogy as well is your input doesn’t match your output. So what is the core nature of work for movers is it’s always changing because you’re facilitating over challenges, you’re bringing groups together, you’re trying to figure out this little problem that’s happening over here while you’re making sure these big meaty items over here are being taken care of. You’re bringing teams together. It’s constant change whereas the maker has to, for them, to get to an output, it’s gotta be stabilized and so truly nothing’s ever stabilized in business, or any project for that matter, and the mover’s core nature juggles that, where the maker, their job is to remove all of that so that they can get to something that can be repeated over and over and over again, and then pick up a pace.
So essentially their work cancels each other’s out. Can you imagine a mover that said, oh wait a second, we have that issue? No we’ve got 50 other ones over here. We’ll get to that when we get there. But that’s too disruptive right now. I gotta get to these ones. You’d never get there because it’s sloppy. I love that picture of success, right, what everybody thinks it is and it’s all of a sudden this hockey stick that goes up and then it’s like what it really is and there’s all these scribbles, right?
Allen Fahden: Right.
Karla Nelson: Slowly going up, it’s kind of that thing, right? So their input and output, they cancel out each other’s work. So that brings us to our next question, Allen, is what is the solution for this conflict between the mover and the maker?
Allen Fahden: And it’s never a what, it’s a who.
Karla Nelson: I love that. We do that on purpose, by the way.
Allen Fahden: It’s the prover, and the prover is this beautiful moderating influence between the two. The prover’s patient enough to listen to the maker and is also has the ability to understand the mover and to communicate with them as well. And so what happens is that sometimes even a prover and a maker alone can’t solve a problem. Maybe there’s something that’s a glitch in the system that says hey, we need some ideas to fix this and we can’t come up with them, so what happens? The prover goes to the mover and then the mover sometimes will go to the shaker and you’re running the hand-offs back and forth.
But the main point is to make sure, as you always say, Karla, stay in your lane and make sure you’re going to the right person. The right, the person whose input matches your output and whose, so there’s a fit there and once you’ve got the people, the right who in the right place doing the right thing at the right time, pretty much anything can be solved. The more we run into blow ups and trouble is when we’re not.
So the prover stands in between the maker and the mover, moderates, and actually allows for that replicable pattern to happen even when it’s not happening.
Karla Nelson: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Love it. I know that prover has the ability to go one, two, three, four, five. The mover’s more like one, five, ten, fifteen, twenty. Can’t go very much lower than that. I love that about how the prover can really do that and takes that patience and gives them their space, because makers need a little bit more space just by the core nature of work that they’re doing.
Allen Fahden: Yep.
Karla Nelson: Okay, so the last question here, Allen, is how does a break down, ideation and implementation, the two different stages, if you don’t bring a maker into the process at the right time?
Allen Fahden: Okay, so lets start with ideation, and this is the most telling, and that is if you bring a maker to a brainstorming meeting, they’re gonna be on defense. They’re gonna be well defended, they’re gonna be like oh god, what are we doing now?
Karla Nelson: Arms crossed, rolling eyes.
Allen Fahden: Yeah, yeah, and so what’s happening is that even just the presence of a maker who’s in that kind of a mode can drain a lot of the energy and opportunity from the meeting and if nobody addresses, it’s sort of like the elephant in the room, and if you ask makers, and this is probably a 90% or above, raise your hand if you don’t even wanna be in that meeting. Almost every hand goes up.
Karla Nelson: And, and they laugh out loud because nobody ever gave them the chance not to be in the meeting. They’re just delighted with joy that they don’t have to be there.
Allen Fahden: Yeah. So there’s one. Don’t bring in a finisher to the start of a project. It doesn’t make sense if you just say it in that way. So ideation is always about starting things. Now you also have implementation which is once you’ve got your idea down, it’s about finishing things. Okay, now, the maker has a big part in it and you have an opportunity to have your prover playing sort of like your point guard there and once the idea is down and it’s thought through and it’s deflawed so to speak, it’s that maker who’s gonna look at the system and say, okay, here’s what we need to do to make this happen. We need to write new code for the software. We need to hire a bunch of temps. Have you thought about what we’ve done with the loading dock? We’ve always used the loading dock to send things out, but we’ve never use a loading dock to take things in.
They can bring up these granular kinds of issues and help solve some of them for a much smoother, replicable implementation and that’s what we want. And even the shakers want their ideas to turn into revenue and turn into profit.
Karla Nelson: Awesome. So, basically, again, we need you all, just not at the same time.
Allen Fahden: Yeah.
Karla Nelson: Are there any last ideas or comments that you have in regards to our advanced maker training, Allen?
Allen Fahden: I’m just, as a shaker, I’m glad that we’re included in this particular one.
Karla Nelson: Yeah, I think you’d need another Emmy after it. Excellent. Well thanks again for joining us of our part four of a four part series, advanced maker training.