Shake Things Up
Movers, Shakers, Provers, and Makers. We need them all at the right time. Who are they really? This is the first 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 Shaker.
Author, corporate trainer, and former stand-up comic Allen Fahden has consulted with many Fortune 500 companies, as well as celebrity business owners Paul McCartney and Bill Murray. Allen been featured by People Magazine, ABC News, BBC TV, and countless television and radio broadcasts, as well as syndicated and local print media across the US.
Creator of the 2 million selling Team Dimensions Profile, Allen wrote chapters for best-selling The One Minute Millionaire by Chicken Soup for the Soul co-author Mark Victor Hansen. He has also authored Innovation On Demand and Is Half the World Crazy?
Listen to the podcast here:
Read Along as Karla and Allen Discuss Shakers
And, welcome to the People at Catalyst podcast, Allen Fahden.
Hello, your favorite time.
Yes. Podcast time.
Well, I’m really interested in this series that we have put together, and because what we do is release simplicity on the other side of complexity, and so the reason it works is, because you can really break it down to these very simple pieces, and then build on those pieces. And, in these four part series, Allen and I are going to go through advanced training for being both, or all four core natures, mover, shaker, prover and maker.
Today we’re going to be talking … and, well, we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on the interview format, because it becomes pretty easily digestible for those that have been utilizing the Hoodoo method for a long time, or now are just getting into using the Hoodoo method. So, we’re going to go through an interview series, and of course we had to start with shaker because we’ve got the Uber Shaker on the phone here.
So, well, we’ll be asking questions, and then Allen is going to answer them based off of some advanced techniques and understandings that will make individuals be very good at this particular core nature of work, again, mover, shaker, prover, maker. Then, also, some things to consider that either make ideation implementation easier, but then also how do we combine at the end of the day, these different core natures of work together so that we get the inputs matching the outputs, and we don’t have this clogged cancellation out of work simply because our core natures are different. So. Okay, here we go. You’re ready?
Awesome. Okay. So Allen, what are the two things that make a shaker, a shaker?
So number one, you’re an early adopter. So, what does that mean? That is traditionally for 110 years of research, we thought about that as a very stable model, that there are people who do things first, and it’s always been applied into say their market speed where how do people buy things.
Well, the theory here is that people also buy ideas the way they buy products. So, number one, are you an early adopter? So, here’s an example, I’m an early adopter. When the iPhone came out in 2007, I’m the idiot who waited in line for eight hours to get the first iPhone.
Now, not only did I have eight hours in a shopping mall parked with all bunch of other idiots waiting there, but I found out two months later I had paid $200 too much for it. They charged too much, they cut the price. I didn’t care because I had actually $200 in two months worth of one of the most elegant pieces of technology ever devised. I was a happy guy. So, I got to have this thing.
So, the same thing is true with ideas. It’s a person who wants to innovate, who wants to make changes in work. They’re the early adopters, and people always say that, “Well, how do you make change in the organization?” Well, we go to the early adopters first? Well, who were the early adopters? Well, we don’t know. We just try to find them. Well, now you know.
And, also they take the context of just the client. Remember, if you don’t have your team working well together, they’re the direct extension to your clients. So, we hear this in technology. All the time, you got to find the early adopters. So, yeah, but you’ve got to find them in your team first before, then you have the ability then to find it, your early adopters with your clients, and then your promoters.
Yeah, because that’s how you’re going to get things done. Now, the other distinction is not just early adopter, but are you a thinker? There are thinkers, and there are doers. And, this is what makes the big difference in … versus any other kind of a model is that if you’re in … Let’s talk about an early adopter thinker, that’s a shaker. A thinker is somebody whose thinking is random. They’re in the abstract. They deal with possibilities, what can be. They can visualize something getting done. To a thinker, that’s almost the same as actually building it, almost the same as if … it’s like, “Well, I have the idea.”
As a mover, I would tell you it absolutely is not.
Yeah. Right, but don’t ask the thinker, because the thinker will say, “Oh yeah, I had the idea. What more do you want?” It somehow will magically get done. So, an early adopter and a thinker together, you put those two things together, and that’s somebody who can come up the old cliche, the out-of-the-box idea. They can come up with an alternative way of doing something. They can innovate, they can do all kinds of things.
Got it. And, also, I don’t want to go too far into the advanced training, but there’s a scale of early adopter in thinker in this regard. So, based off of the role you want the shaker to play, you might need to have somebody, uber early adopter, right?
Like Elon Musk or somebody later on the scale, just depending on where they … what the role you want them to play in, because sometimes uber shakers are so great about ideas, but that might not be the extent that you need them to play. And, with that, Let me ask you the next question here, Allen, but what is a good role for a shaker?
Well, just as you point out, Karla, there are two of them. One is innovation. It’s like, “Wow, we need to get connected with the future here. We need to do something disruptive in our market, we need some ideas.” So, now you’re asking for somebody to do some thinking that is very much disrupts the status quo. Looking for the big idea, how can we do something that’s different. Shakers love ideas that are different. So, there is one. Now the problem with that is that they have all these ideas, and most of the time they never ever get implemented, there are too many barriers, and the barriers that come up are part two.
The elegance of the Hoodoo method is inserting a shaker back into the process, It’s just the right moment, not too early, not too late. Too early is when they’re seating around a meeting, listening to provers to come up with everything that can go wrong, and they’re getting upset, and insulted, and everything else. And, too late is when the idea’s already dead, so you want to get them part two, besides innovation, you want to get them in there to overcome a problem or solve a problem.
So, let’s say there’s a barrier to getting this done. We found out that it’s a great idea, but it’s illegal in 18 states, and we want to do 50 state launch, what are we going to do? Alto Shakers said, “well, does that mean it’s legal in 32 states? Why don’t we launch in the 32, and then we’ll go back in law bid, and in the other 18, because laws can change then, we’ll have a 50 state law. Can you live with that?” And, then the provers could say, “oh yeah, I never thought of that.”
So, put them in the right time, doing the right thing, number one, innovation, creating the big idea. Number two, overcoming the barrier, and really saving the big idea. The beautiful thing about that, is it gives the other shakers have the chance to come up with the solution to that barrier. They imprint the big idea, and then they own it too. Every Shaker wants the idea to be mine, I don’t care what idea it is, as long as I thought of it.
And, that’s when you hear those cliche words like employee engagement, it’s like, wait a second, we’ll leave 15%. Say Yes, we’ve got to have you all. We have to have everybody, but not at the same time. And, so I like-
You’re going to like this.
In serving them at the right time, and understanding that, again it’s not good, bad, right or wrong, but if you don’t have buy in from your team, you’re going to hit good luck. It’s that you’re a shaker, you’re better, you’re mover, you’re better, you’re prover, you’re better, right? You’re a maker. It’s just understanding the who, and then the when.
We’re all stars, just at different times.
There you go. To our next question then Allen, who does the Shaker have the best relationship with? Or, I should say at least first, but it’s definitely, they’re both green light relationships, but this particular core nature of work is … they fit together like peas and carrots.
Absolutely. And, that’s you, Karla, Karla. As an Uber Mover, and as a Shaker I love that. Because, Karla will look at five, six, seven ideas, and say, “oh, we should go with number three, but number five drives number three. So, we got a new number five, first give me that idea. I get to budget over here, I’ll get a meeting set up, we’ll run with that. Thank you very much. And, I’m saying, “go bless you.” So, Shakers love movers, because they set priorities, and they actually get ideas launched, and they can get them done.
Now, we need the other people too, because you get a shaker, and a mover together and you run also, and do the crazy things. I know a shaker, who had a mover as an architect, they designed a house, and the Shaker invites his mother over to show her the house. He’s so proud of it. It’s a beautiful house, incredible house. And, she says, “where’s the laundry room?” They look at each other like, “Oh, we forgot.”
Don’t send just a mover and a shaker. We need us all to bring up the problems, and get this idea down. So, it’s grounded too.
And, so instead of moving to the other person that shakers potentially up conflict with, you brought something up here, that I want to dig into, and we’ll get back to that other question that what are … Who does the Shaker then likely have conflict with?
Okay. That’s oil and water. That’s the Shaker, and the prover, they’re two thinkers, but the early adopter thinker is the Shaker. “Hey, I got an idea.” And, the late adopter thinker is the prover. So shaker says, “Hey, I got an idea.” And the prover says, “oh, that’s not going to work.” Oh yes, We tried that-
Often times, often times … before the idea … the sentence gets finished. I’ve witnessed that, where it’s like dude, dude, dude. I mean, this sentence’s not even finished yet, right?
You start the meeting, rolling your eyes. But, that’s important, neither one of these people is bad or wrong, it’s just that they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. They shouldn’t even be in the same meeting together unless you’ve got it under heavy brainstorming rules where you can’t critique ideas.
Yeah. And, you’ve got an … it’s very different. Go back to the last series did with ideation, and implementation. So, your point guard is your mover in ideation, and they’re running a specific meeting, and keeping everybody in the same lane. Then, when you get to implementation, your prover act becomes your point guard.
So, understanding where you’re at, and what you’re trying to get accomplished is absolutely critical. And, that brings us to our next question then Allen. So, what is the solution to the conflict that can be created when shakers are really great at coming up with ideas, and provers feel it’s necessary for them to critique, and tell you everything that’s going to go wrong with the idea?
So, number one, we need to invite both behaviors. It’s just that we want them present at the same time, and when the adversary is not in the room. What we’re doing here is if we can match a person’s role to the correct time in the process, and then match the correct person to the correct role at that time in the process, then things really work.
So, the solution to the conflict is when the shaker is shaking things up with new ideas, you don’t want the prover in the room. And, when the prover is critiquing the ideas, and you’re saying, “blow every horn you can this idea” you don’t want the Shaker in the room, they’re going to get mad.
So, what we do is do it separately. Now, when the prover blows every horn you just record like ideas, and then they leave the room. And, the Shaker comes back and say, “hey, love your idea three little problems, can you solve these?” It’s illegally. He states “oh will launch at 32.” So, each barrier, the Shaker comes up with the solution for it, and then leaves the room, and then the prover comes back in. So, the key is keeping them apart, keeping them in their lanes, doing only their work, and having them do the right thing. How do they fit together, and what’s the sequence that you use them in as applied to the process.
Exactly. I love how you talk about having people leave the room. So, I was just doing a training last week, and you know, no trainings ever the same, but this is a group of CEOs, right? So, you have a whole bunch of early adopters, you go, and train military, and you have a whole bunch of later adopters. Right?
So, you’re constantly doing this science based of 110 years of marketing research. And, then you also have to do this art, right? Because, you’re trying to keep people in their lane, and what’s interesting, I almost got to having people leave the room, because they were so disruptive because they’re all CEOs. They’re almost all early adopters. I got two provers out of 25 people, one was maybe even a maker that was sitting in the row.
We couldn’t even separate in smaller groups. And it happens on the other side sometimes too, but I like what you said about the leaves, the room. Because, literally if people don’t understand the process, we’re playing games, and we’re going in, and we teaching them this process through playing games, because it would never work to just walk in, and be running the process without them having the understanding.
So, if you have a group that doesn’t have an understanding, the only way to do it is to have them leave the room, because it’s too disruptive. People don’t realize that the run home to mommy is so loud, and so in your face that even … and we’re not even talking about combinations of a prover, Shaker, that poked all the holes, and then says, “oh wait, we could do this to fix it,” you still can’t do that.
You completely have to, not commingle the animals, or else they have the right people at the right time, or it’s almost impossible to get anything done. And, we’re talking about facilitating with master trainers. Right? So, I liked how you said that, the solution to the conflict is having them leave the room, because if that’s what it comes down to, you’re going to get it done a lot faster just doing it that way instead of trying to put a push a parked car up a hill, if they don’t really truly understand, and trust the process.
And, people love leaving the room. Why? Because-
Because, talking out there and do other stuff.
They can do real work, instead of sitting in a meeting, being bored to death or upset the whole time. And, the other thing is, if you tell a prover, have had it with this idea, tell me everything. Everything could go wrong, and nobody’s is going to push back against you. I’ve actually had to prover, and you have too. Provers come out, and say “Thank you. Thank you nobody has ever left me do that before.”
“It’s the best day of my life.”
“And, that’s the bad guy Oh boy.”
And, we’re not even layering over the advanced training that comes, with the disc, with his personality, because you remember this is core nature of work. Now, all of a sudden you have to layer in, not only their core nature of work, because at the end of the day we’re not sitting in a room to sing Kumbaya, or have a potluck on Friday. We’re sitting in a room to get something done when it comes to business, and so if you put the people at the right time in … For instance, we’re talking about advanced Shaker training, allowing them to be who they are naturally with work, it removes 70% of any of the conflict anyway, because everybody’s enjoying what they’re doing.
I think that’s critical that we have this Buzzwords, employee engagement, change management culture, you can’t fix all those. You’re there to do something, if that’s not happening, nobody is going to be happy from the bottom up in the top down. That’s where we get the-
May we get this with the ping pong table?
Yeah, exactly. It was so funny, Allen, of course, coming up with an idea. I had a great idea that within our training we’re putting together a training package. We would have a ping pong removal service.
We recycle old ping pong tables.
There you go. Okay, so now-
So, they break conference tables.
There you go, that’d be pretty funny actually. So, moving to the second one, because I know I jumped. I wanted to really make a … You made a comment that I wanted to go to the red light relationship, which was the Shaker in the prover. So, Allen who is the other person that shakers potentially have conflict with?
So, the other one is the maker, so they even rhyme, shaker maker relationship, shaker maker, shaker maker. The problem with that relationship is there basically from other planets. They are shakers the natural starter, the maker is natural finisher maker does the I’s crosses the t’s that has all the details, and there’s not even a common language.
If you can imagine, going to a country where you have no clue what the languages are. It’s pretty much like that, and so it all leads to misunderstanding. The maker sees the Shaker as somebody whose going to disrupt the system, things are running smoothly. You’re not going to bring in any new stuff in here, are you?
We just cleaned this place up.
And, we’re going to have a meeting about how we’re going to dominate our category for the next 10 years. You want to be there? “No Thank you. And, please don’t do anything crazy, Okay? We’re just getting this thing stabilized.” You know what? They’re both right, we need to disrupt the market, and the other hand, it’s the maker who harvests all that market, share all that revenue, and turns it into profit by a replicable process that they can make money out.
Makers are responsible for great cash flow, a great delivery, impeccable service, and they’re great at routinizing things. So, just keep those two apart, and let each peacefully co-exist.
Okay. I’m just going to wrap it up with this last question here, Allen. That how does this lead to innovation, and implementation, and you’ve just touched on it there, or we’re going to disrupt this market, right? Well, the ideation of how you’re going to do that, and the implementation are completely different sides of that coin. And, so how does using a hoodoo method then lead to this innovation which is on the front end, and then implementation, which is on the back end?
Yeah. So here’s a big idea shaker training in 10 seconds if you don’t like what’s going on, do the opposite, and figure out how that can work. That’s as simple as that. In this case, we did the opposite, and the opposite here is, the old saw, is that you train people to do everything, right?
I’m a shaker, send me to expense reports score, right? I’m not doing my expense report very well. Waste of time, waste of money. Instead, train your strength, get better at what you do, and then make sure that everybody’s in the right place at the right time, and the handoffs are right. And, therefore train your strength.
Now, what does that mean as the Shaker? It means you want to become a generalist in knowledge, specialize in ideas and problem solving. Become a specialist, do more of what you love to do, what you’re great at, your core strength, specialize in that. Then generalize in knowledge, and that’s true all across the board. For a Shaker that knowledge, is general knowledge. Explore everything you can outside the context of your product area, outside the context of your market, because those are the big breakthrough ideas you can come in. We don’t create, we combined. That’s what the Kessler said in the act of creation, in the book he wrote 1961.
So, when we’re creating we want to, combine something already exist with what we have. A new combination can often times be a market disrupting idea, but it comes from outside the context. So, learn everything you can about history, about the world, around you, about human nature. It can be anything. It’s a base of knowledge that you can scan for ideas.
I like that. A base of knowledge, you can stand for ideas. And, it was funny, I met a Shaker on a bus yesterday. I’m actually sitting in Vegas right now, just got done with a two day event, and so my voice is a little bit hoarse, and we’re sitting on … And, he’s a CPA, right? So, CPAs are typically on the audit side provers, later adopters, and on the early side shakers.
And, we’re sitting there talking, and as we’re driving he said, “you know, I’ve got windows so all day long I scan the Internet on my phone, any opens up windows, and so he said one day I looked, and I had like 147 of them, and one of them was 2014 or something.” So,[inaudible 00:22:56] you get that instantly. Because, I’m always analyzing. I wonder what this person’s core nature of work is? And, he said that. I thought that was hilarious. Maybe think of you though Allen, because I think you’d totally do something like that.
Any last thing to add before we wrap it up here?
Just that there is … This is a beginning, not an ending. This may be new to some of you are a lot of you, and you can go deep into this. One of the beautiful things is once you learn the hand offs, once you learn to keep people in the right place, you can do what you love, and what you’re great at. And, they turn out to be the same thing, and when you’re in the right role, your contribution is enormous rather than getting beaten down all the time-
And, canceled out by somebody else’s problems.
Yeah. You got it. And, everybody loves to be a part of a winning team, and on top of it, everybody likes to be encouraged for what they’re great at versus beaten over the brow with wet, they’re not good at. So, has been part of the most empowering process of this.
Excellent. So, make sure you join us, this is a four part series. This was advanced Shaker training, and we’ll be moving on to the mover, the prover, and the maker.