Career Club LinkedIn Live with Bob Goodwin

Perception is Reality with Hunter Thurman, President of Alpha-Diver

February 22, 2022 Bob Goodwin (Career Club) Season 1 Episode 9
Career Club LinkedIn Live with Bob Goodwin
Perception is Reality with Hunter Thurman, President of Alpha-Diver
Show Notes Transcript

How do you know when a company is the right fit for you? How do employers get better at choosing candidates who will best thrive in their culture? How can well-known consumer brands offer some insights into this? Join Bob Goodwin, Founder of Career Club, and Hunter Thurman, President of Alpha-Diver, to explore how behavioral science can help unlock the answers to these all-important questions.
#alphadiver #hunterthurman #neuroscience #careeradvice #careerclub #bobgoodwin

Speaker 1:

Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of LinkedIn live with career club. My name is Bob Goodwin and I am the founder of career club. And again, thank you for taking a few minutes today to join us. Um, if you're not familiar with career club, we are using proven sales methods and tools to help folks find a career that matters to them. You can learn more about career club by going to our website@www.career.club . Um, I'd also like to make sure that I thank my colleague, Heather Zinser , who I always like to say is the brains behind the operation here. So Heather, thank you some much for pulling off another one of these events. This is , uh , a LinkedIn live at least as, as you're watching right now, it's being recorded live. So if you're , uh , online today and you've got comments or questions, you're welcome to drop those into the chat. Uh , Heather will be helping me monitor that and , uh, you know , we hope to take some questions or comments from you guys as your are listening. If , uh, you happen to catch this , um, afterwards you can see the replay here just by clicking on the event again , uh , on LinkedIn, there is a career club YouTube channel. You're welcome to go to . And then lastly , uh , we've recently started making these available as podcast audio podcast as well. So whatever your podcasting platform is, you'll be able to find us there also. So for those of you who know me , uh , my background is in market research. At least it last 20 years, consumer insights and market research. And I love it. I think it's really fascinating to, you know , really try and peel the onion back one , why people make the decisions that they do , uh, why they behave the way that they behave. And that's sort of the essence of market research and consumer insights. So our guest today is hunter Thurman and hunter is the president of a consumer insights consultancy here in Cincinnati called alpha diver and hunter. And I met a few years ago at a consumer insights where hunter was a speaker and his topic was , uh , around neuroscience. And I was just really fascinated by the explanatory power of neuroscience, which is really kind of getting in between the ears as hunter likes to say of why we do what we do and the , the subconscious drives. So many of the decisions that we make, whether we're buying candy, a car, or even making career decisions. So with that hunter welcome. Thanks Bob . Great to be here. No, it is great to have you. So as is our tradition , uh, I'd like to just do a little bit of an ice breaker that I think, you know, we call rock stab five. So just , uh , would like to learn a little bit about you and as people , uh , get online here. So just to start, where were you born and raised?

Speaker 2:

Uh , born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. So

Speaker 1:

Very cool .

Speaker 2:

Most expect it to be, but , uh , that was my , uh, that was, that was my, my upbringing.

Speaker 1:

Excellent. And then , um, where'd you go to school hunter?

Speaker 2:

I went to Miami Ohio, which then the next question, everybody goes, well, how'd you get all the way from New Mexico.

Speaker 1:

That's gonna be the next question, Miami .

Speaker 2:

And , uh , my wife says I'm a , a born again , born again, Midwesterner. I just really , um, I really liked the , uh, sort of the, the , the whole vibe. So , um, found my way to the Midwest and have , have been here since really

Speaker 1:

That's super cool. And speaking of your wife , uh , a little bit about your family.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I, I have , um , um , my wonderful wife, Emily and, and four kids ranging from 14 down to eight. Um, so boy grew old girl , boy. Um , so we've got, we've got a , a full plate of , of activities and driving around and competitive sports and all kinds of stuff like that.

Speaker 1:

Very cool. And, and that , that may , uh, Sage, the next question. What do you , what do you like to do outside of work?

Speaker 2:

Outside of work is the stuff I just mentioned outside of that I love , uh , fishing. I'm a , a really avid , uh , fisherman , um, but you know, the , the , the sports stuff, I mean, as the kids have gotten older, it's become more sort of competitive and even like kind of travel type sports, which I used to think it was sort of an obligation, but I've kind of realized we're in between seasons right now and I've realized how much I , I actually enjoy that. Um, so that's, that's been a pleasant discover that , that , that that's actually a fun , uh , kind of social scene and a fun, a fun thing to , to do. And we , we do plenty of it. So

Speaker 1:

That's cool, well, Springs around the corner. So I'm sure that , uh , you know , the minivan will load back up. Um , so the topic of today is perception is reality. And as I, you know, try to kind of get at in the introductory remark, you know , you're an expert in neuroscience, behavior sciences, and, you know, what's going on between the ears and as we are preparing for, for this, because so much of your work, I think applies directly to the kinds of career decisions, you know, listeners are trying to make. And then on the other side of the desk, as you employers are making decisions around candidates and you know, who they're bringing into the company. Yeah . Uh, yeah , I think we both thought that maybe just shared a little bit of your personal story, you know, might kind of set the framework for where we take the discussion.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, so I've, I've been in the insights , um, and strategy , uh , world , um, kind of, as you, as you met in your path , you know, for the past 20 years, really my whole career 20 plus years, I guess, and I've kind of had two, two Hals of my career , um, you know, thinking back to kind of my origin story after the New Mexico to Midwest transition, I was , uh , working , um, for a really great agency here in Cincinnati , um, working on, you know, some pretty, pretty cool stuff. Um, but made , decided I need to make a , made a decided I needed to make a move to Chicago. And that was kind of the, you know, it was like time to get into the big show, like the , the bigger agency world I was doing, lot of like planning, you know, market research and , and insights development. And a lot of that at the time was done still by ad agencies. Um, so I made this move to Chicago to, to , to a big agency and had this kind of discovery in doing so. Um, what I observed is that, you know, people would, we we'd start , you know, you'd be sitting among your peers. Somebody would, would basically go literally in many cases across the street, you know, to another competitive agency for, you know, a little bit of a pay increase, generally a little bit of a title increase. Um, they'd be there for a year. Somebody else would come and take their old job and the cycle continued. And , and , and I mean, it was, it was just fascinating. It was like Michigan avenue, people walking back and forth with their boxes of, you know, personal belongings for, you know, to, to , to elevate their careers. And it seemed so arbitrary. And I mean, I remember thinking, you know, and I was relatively early in my career, but I remember thinking, geez , one of these agencies would just retain people. It would be a huge competitive advantage. Um, you know , and I , at the same time, I , I was becoming dissatisfied, you know, anyone that knows me and my coworkers kind of shutter when I say I hate subjectivity, you know, and it , it was very sort of disconcerting to me that we didn't really, we, the industry didn't really have a process. We were kind of making it up, you know, it was all very creative, which meant, you know, we were thinking of things , um, sort of on the fly. Um, and all of that was, was, was sort of very dissatisfying to me. And I actually sort of took a Heus from, from the insights world , um, and , and ran a startup for several years and then, and then came back into it that sort of began second half of my career , um , here, here at alpha diver , but we'll get into that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no , so, but you , as you talked about just sort of the randomness or , or , or maybe not so random, just sort of following the pack yeah . Back and forth across Michigan avenue. Yeah. But it wasn't like there was a plan, it was just sort of , well, I'll do what all the other lendings do and just sort of fall in line and, you know, don't need to get into my story, but there was also certain randomness. Right . And lack of, you know, of a plan. Yeah . You don't have a plan like any , any way we'll get you there. Right. Cause I , I know what I'm doing. So , um, so what were , what were sort of your, you know , as you've thought about it within the framework now, maybe we can to tee up just a little bit of the framework of, of your model and neuroscience. Yeah . What were your takeaways from that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Well, I mean, you know , to your point about kind of randomness and kind of following the pack, I mean, devoid of a model or devoid of, of , of, you know, a knowledge base, what else do you have? I mean, it's sort of like, you know, you'll hear people talk about, you know, entrepreneurship or, or career planning it's, you know, make a plan and it's like, okay, sit down with a blank sheet of paper. That's one of the most paralyzing, you know, and if you think about , um , and you understand the natural creative process, that's not how we, that's not how we human beings think . So, you know, the , the short version of the story is I, I, you know, in my career encountered many of the people that I'm working with now, basically behavioral scientists , um, neuroscientists and psychologists working in the world of academia , um, and , and discovered very quickly. And , um, and then sort of unearth this, this untapped, you know, try trove of , of human insight , um, about, about why people do what we do. Um, you know, and , and basically, you know, have discovered and really grasped onto as soon as it , you know, I came upon it in , in talking with these people , um, you know, look, not all people are the same, obviously, but, but the world does not totally subjective. It's not chaotic. There are these durable, predictable factors that explain human behavior. And so that became very empowering, you know, in , in doing, doing the work we do in market research and in thinking about my own career and in assessing, you know, situations and, and scenarios and challenges, it's, it's what in academia, one of the first things they taught me is it's a model based way of looking at it. So instead of looking at it and saying, should I quit? Should I do whatever it's, how does this hold up in this framework?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So speaking the framework, this be a good time maybe to kind of just expose people a little bit more to maybe the , the drivers and barriers.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I mean, the , the gist of , of it absolutely the gist of it, of , of human behavior is we will always seek the carrot and we will always avoid the stick. You know, if you think about the old analogy , um, and that kind of makes sense, we move towards pleasure and move away from pain, and we've evolved to do that. And there's all these mechanisms running subconsciously that we're not really aware of the hood as our , our principal neuroscientist , uh , Siggy puts it, but that's not subjective. And that's what gets to this model based approach. And , and , and in short, there are four core drivers or what we sometimes call for motivations that will drive us. You know, if you ask somebody, well, how do you make decisions about, you know, diaper, or how do you make decisions about your career? We, we think, we think on the left side here, that we're rational. We think we're using lo logic , comparative information, you know, tangible data. And in some cases we are, you know, when we're doing our tax return. Yeah. We usually are, but these other three , you know, we find in our work and I , I think I've found, you know, in my career are just as influential. So tribal the wisdom of the tribe, what do people like me , uh, value. Um, and, and , and , and what have they discovered works well , uh , the purple one, exploratory, it's all about personal discovery and exploration. Um, you know, so in some, in some instances, even in very rational categories , um, it's , it's explorations wanting to find something new. And, you know, as I've heard you talk and , and hearing about people feeling stuck, oftentimes it's that that's an itch that needs to be, needs to be scratched. People are, are , are cravings. Some , you know, this personal self discovery. And then the fourth of these motivations is really to win. You know, it's the most instinctual, the most system one to gain advantages, to gain accolades. So in thinking about, you know, why we are doing something or, or , you know, in our work, why a consumer or a shopper does something it's one of these four and it changes by context. We're not always one, or always the other, all four are going on in our mind, but one of these will be the main, the main thing you value the main driver, the main motivation , uh , that compels your behavior.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Well , I , I appreciate that last little thing that you were you're saying, which is, this is not the same thing as like a personality assessment, right? This is not like the equivalent, like a disc analysis, or, you know, an E N T J just a little bit more on how the context changes, because I think that that's going to start to , to come into play as we talk about, you know, considering making a career change and why, so , so where does context play into this? Yeah ,

Speaker 2:

I mean, that , that, and again, that's neuroscience 1 0 1. So when you look at, you know, one thing that people in , in the insights industry will be familiar with this segmentation, and that's basically the desire to put people into categories and say, how are people different? And in traditional , um, you know, sort of old fashioned ways, you know, and , and one thing that we humans and , and market researchers are, are tempted to try to do is say, this person's like this, this person's like that. But the fact is, if you think about your own life, and I , I use myself as an example, me sitting here at work, one of these, you know, compels me and is my main lens me, you know, at home with my kids or, or watching one of those, those, those games that I mention, another one comes into the fore, or, or me with my friends, you know, a guy's weekend or something. I'm not a different person, but obviously I have a different motivational profile. Different things are driving me and different things are, are, are holding me back. So the importance of context and the importance of understanding, you know, in the context of your career or your job search, or, you know, a , a category of , of consumer package goods, one of these will, will come to the for and be what drives us. And it's not always the same. Um , but it's always one of these four .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And so similarly , um, if we could maybe look at the barriers, you know , you , you said we're kind of drawn to pleasure and we're , you know , repelled by pain.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . So

Speaker 1:

What are some of the things that, that we perceive as costs ?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. You know, I , I talked about my, my early days of, of , of market research and , you know, we did focus groups and, you know, that was what you did focus groups, and you asked people, why do you choose one beer or the other, you know, I , I remember specifically seeing these focus groups for beer, and there were these people that, you know, these young, young consumers that drink , um, you know, lots of beer in a week and you'd say, well, how do you pick? And they'd kind of shrug and go whatever's cheapest. I mean, if I had a nickel for every time in a focus group, I heard someone say, I look at the price. I look at whatever's cheapest and that's what I buy. Um, and the fact is sometimes what matters. And, you know, in the , in the corollary of career, it's sort of like if salary was all that mattered, but we all know that that's not the case. And so when you look, when you start to get more, more and more subconscious as you go left to, right time is a big , um, obviously, you know, crucial currency , um, social, what we call social cost , what will other people will think of me , um, effort, you know, what , what , what, how physically difficult will this be? And , and , and the most emotional of , of the costs or the barriers will I be disappointed? You know, we , we measure this stuff every day in our data. And, and what you find is these other four outside of just, is it worth the money are far more punitive? You know, they hinder our behavior, they impact our behavior far more than we think, you know? And , and in the context, you know, kind of using the metaphor into career search , um, they have a huge impact, you know, and I know we're gonna talk more about this, but , um, it , it , it helps provide a , a , a compass by which to assess what do I really value? What hinders me ? What don't I like about my current role, these five, much like the drivers are always present. One of them will be the one that, that hinders us the most, that hurts the most.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So , um, what you reminded me of hunter, and this is gonna be a little bit on the fly is with the pandemic. You , I think you've probably heard me say this before, but before the pandemic, the , the , the context, the frame for a lot of people was work and then life had to fit into the frame of work. Yeah. And, you know, clearly what's happened now, you know, whether you call it the great resignation, reset, pause, whatever the right word is, you know, the, the frame is now life. Yeah . And work needs to fit into that frame. Yeah . And , and it would seem, and this is why I want you to maybe kind of riff on for a second is how either the drivers or the barriers in how that context has changed and how people are reevaluating. Well , that was a good decision two years ago. That's not the same decision I wanna make now. And I'm ready for a change.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of it, I mean, we, so we do a lot of work with the , the wall street analyst community and , and , and C-suites , um, you know, a lot of it like in the CPG space. Um, and if you think about if you were a , a C-suite leader or , or , or any, you know, any, any business role over the couple years, think how, I mean, obviously it's been weird, but think about it using the framework. We went into this mode where everybody sort of had all the time in the world, cause we were kinda locked down, couldn't do anything. And at the same time I'm talking to the us , at least the government started giving us money. So it's like all of a sudden two major barriers, two major costs of time and price were sort of like, like on hold for a moment. And I think that's a lot of what has caused people, a lot of introspection because, you know, when you're not necessarily trying to manage time or manage money or whatever, it lets you focus on some of these other things , um, you know, and think about and be more introspective about what other things , what are those other three things are really hindering me. And, you know , uh , in terms of what's driving me , um, you know, it gives you some time and some perspective to think, think about that. You know, we track these, we track these longitudinally in our database. We're constantly measuring these. And in fact, we see we've been predicting it for, for a couple years and the , um, the pandemic has just accelerated it. But what we see in the data is that we are in this phase, this cultural phase of personal exploration and discovery. So that's been happening in the , in the background anyway, then you put this crazy scenario that the last couple years has represented and it's accelerated that it , it basically is just, you know , people sort of pausing , um , metaphorically speaking and , and , and soul searching a bit. And that leads to a lot of, you know , self discovery and a lot of desire to go and explore. And that's where I think some people have, I dunno if I'd say gotten into trouble, but the whole great resignation thing, there's just, you know , there's been a lot of movement and , and there's no way that all that movement is going to yield satisfaction and , um, and, and, you know, self discovery and, and , and reward , um, to me. And as we look at it, the model still applies and it's still a very durable way to say, what is bothering me? What am I seeking? Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Yeah . So Heather, Heather, would you mind up the , the barrier slide for a second? Thank you. So like, you know, you think about like, as people are reassessing, you know, worth the time, do I really wanna be traveling 50%, 70% of the time? Do I really want to be in my car or on a train three hours a day, going downtown to wherever the office yeah . You know , good value, you know , um , maybe money, isn't the most important thing to me, or maybe , maybe that's actually, you know, kind of, you know , lessened in importance, you know, what will others think? Well, it depends on who others are. Do I care more about what my colleagues think or do I care more about what my family thinks? Right, right . Um , and will I be disappointed? You know, where , where my mind goes in that is, you know, am I , am I disappointed in like some of the choices that I've made and now I want to , I want to take that disappointment away. Yeah . And , and replace it with something that's more satisfying. Right. And you , we can flip to the , to the drivers, but, but I can just see people, like, I , I know people, they may not know this model's in their head

Speaker 2:

That's right.

Speaker 1:

But they're going through some kind of a , of an exercise to say the cost benefit here doesn't work anymore.

Speaker 2:

That's exactly right. And I mean, that's exactly how we use or , and how one uses a model based approach. You know, if you think about traditional market research, you go out and watch people gather tons of data and kind of bring it back to the ranch and try to make sense of it. Likewise, with the career search, you know, it's real easy to the old , you know, spray and pray, lob out resumes, see what comes your way, look for, you know, new opportunities and you're doing it in a total model, free way. You don't, you don't know what you're looking for and kind of your point. It's like, we don't know where we're going, but we're making great time. You know, I don't know what I'm looking for , but I'm doing lots of stuff . This is exactly in our research. And in , and in one's career, this is going on, you know, between the ears , as you said, and it gives you a means by which to say, you know, what's really bothering me about, you know, my job really isn't, isn't the time I like the , I like spending all day, you know, interacting with other people. It's the effort it's having to, you know, run back and forth. I mean , in the olden days, run back and forth across campus , um, and , and , and , and be physically worn out. And , um, you know, that's actually what bothers me. So I'd rather have , you know, it gives you then, you know, it starts to starts to help you. Self-assess, what's actually bugging you, but, but that's, that's exactly , um, what's useful about this in whatever context of human behavior.

Speaker 1:

Well, and then, then what else I'm kind of thinking about is , um, and I commented on another post this morning on LinkedIn about this, where sometimes we're running from something so much, but we're not really taking the time to evaluate again against a consistent framework. Yeah . What am I running to ? So I'm might be, you know, avoiding a couple of these costs, but replacing them with things that weren't costs at the other place with new costs.

Speaker 2:

Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Right . And like, yeah, I'm making, you know, a lot more money, but I have to travel 7% of the time, so I didn't have to travel before, but I was making a lot less money. And so now we've, we've flipped and then we've made a choice. Right. But have we really kind of counted the cost?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's, you know, kind of , you know, look, if you're talking about, you know, Coke and Pepsi or, or white claw and truly, you know, brands two , two brands in the same category, they're the same stuff in, in the can. I mean, okay. I'm sure there's lots of people that would beg to differ, but the , the point is they're , you know, they're brown liquid or they're , they're , you know, flavored alcohol, you know, hard seltzer in a can somehow though people see the values, see their values, you know, and have strong preferences towards one or , or the other it's the same as the ad agency analogy. I mean, everything look to like an ad agency in Chicago, they were all ad agencies in Chicago. And so devoid of any, any meaningful difference, it was this sort of, well, I don't like something here, so I'll just go there. But you found that, you know, when you got there, it was the same thing, you know, in the can, it was the same, it was the same profile and the same things that were bothering you there, or it traded one problem from another. There's always gonna be a challenge, you know, the goal here. And the idea is that it gives you whether you're building a brand or, or planning your career , um, a means by which to really sort of quantify and assess what it is that you, you know, you are seeking and that you are mitigating or avoiding.

Speaker 1:

So, so let's, let's maybe kind of bring this now, you know, definitely into the context of, of careers and, you know, kind of picking up on the , um, the heart seltzer example. Right. You know, I may know that I want to work at a tech company or consumer insights company . So they're in the same category, like Yong truly. Yeah . Both in heart seltzer.

Speaker 2:

Yep .

Speaker 1:

But actually, you know, what's in the can is different, right. Because those brands are different that's right. And what they represent are different. Yep . So, you know , how would you, you know , encourage somebody to start thinking about, you know, I know I want to be in this industry, you know, but how can I use a more model based , more structured kind of approach yeah. To make a better decision.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I mean, I , you know, the other , the other thing I'd add to your comments is I've, I've been on this side from like the kind of businessly leadership and people say, well, what's your culture? What do you stand for? Yeah . And just as hard as kind of trying to make sure you find a good fit as a , as a , you know, a member of the team, it's really hard to go like, whoa , I don't know, am I making a good culture? What's a good culture. And you start to play around with, well, we believe in honesty and integrity and , you know, and it becomes very subjective. There's a million word that all sound like they'd be a good culture. This is a means by which to be, you know, much more deliberate about it. So, I mean, I think to answer your question, the first thing to do is to, to , to , self-assess a bit, you know, thinking about, about yourself and what you, you know, what you value, what you're seeking and what you contribute, you know, what you provide. Um, so we, we do this , um , I mentioned, we, we run these quantitative studies every month. We call it the Omni pulse with the, the us population. And we measure like what's driving and hindering, you know, consumers out in the world in , in general and relative to categories. Um, and one of the things as you're doing kind of a self assessment that we see in our data. So one of the things we measure is how do you like to shop? Where do you like to shop and not necessarily like, where do you do it the most, but like, what do you, what would be the hardest to give up? Like, what do you really like? And Heather flip back to the, the driver's page, if you would. Um , what we find is, is kind of interesting people that like, like traditional grocery, you know, like Publix , um , Kroger, things like that, they're driven by this more rational comparative, you know, they like the more straight , um , straight , um , comparative shopping experience, people that , um, like, and are really attracted to Walmart are , are very tribally minded . Meaning Walmart has achieved something of a, a , a sort of a club. And I don't mean club like the , um, the , the , the channel, but it's sort of like people like me know and have discovered and trust that Walmart , um, is a valuable, a valuable place to shop target. Is this real, purplely one, the real exploratory, the real personal exploration. And this one people are always in interested by that, especially target target shoppers, but they often say, well, no, it's tribal. Cause people like, we all agree that Target's so great. But what I always point out is yeah . But think about what you really love about going to target. And I hear people say, I got to go to target by myself, you know, nobody was there. And , you know, the old meme of I went in to spend $4 and spend 200 , um , that's because it's all this experiential exploratory discovery. So, so if you're really attracted to target that in , in the context of shopping, that's a tell , um , that, that that's, what's driving you. And then we find that Amazon aligns with this instinctual, you know, and , um , you know, it's, I think it's easy to think about that kind of impulsive behavior search, click by , you know , I can have it immediately. I don't know what I'm looking for, but it brings it immediately to me. And, and I don't nothing gets in the way of the transaction people that really value that experience. Now , lots of people shop on Amazon. The people that love it the most are driven by that instinctual piece. I mean, you can look at that, you know, as an analogy, I know that's not your career, but think about those, those , uh , the principles I just gave relative, you know, to your career, what is it that you really are attracted to? And if you think about your day to day , you know, which of those four is representative of the things you like the most? Um, it's a good way. I mean, you know, we see 'em in shopping behavior, you know, do you like to try new things? Are you risk? Um, you like to kind of push ahead. You're probably more over in the purple and the red. Um, you know, we see that like in our data, people that there's kind of 50, 50 half the sample will shop with a list half doesn't , the list users are more to the left side. They , they make decisions earlier on and they're completing a mission . The , the people that are more on the rights I'd like to wander, like to walk the whole planogram and let things jump out at them. And the way they're making decisions is really different. So, which are you, you know, do you like to have a plan or do you like to , um , you know , do you like to walk into a meeting with an agenda or do you like the meetings where it's a little more or flowing and experiential do the teammates, you know, what, what irritates you do? The people that are very, you know , sometimes you walk in and somebody that's got a hardcore agenda, never lets it be kind of purple and exploratory. Is that something that really bothers you? Well, those are tangible things you can start to investigate, you know, about a culture. Um,

Speaker 1:

Yeah . I can also see big company, small company. Yeah . Right . You know, so big company, lots of rules. It's really rad , you know , you're an E five here and you'll be in E five for about two or three years, and then you'll be ready to be in E six . Right. You know , it's just very structured. And, you know, if we went more, startupy , you know , younger company, smaller company, it's like , no, we don't have it all figured out. We're gonna figure it out as we go. And kind of on that instinctual, you know, kind of tilting at windmills and we're gonna go win and we're gonna go knock those big guys off their pedestal. Right . And, and it's gonna be competitive and we're gonna win. And it's us against the world kind of a thing. And, and so, you know , I do better where there's less structure and , and more kind of willingness to try new things versus no, I like the safety, the security, the predictability of, you know, something that might be more to the left is that fair.

Speaker 2:

It absolutely is. And I mean, I , I would , I would, I would also suggest that, you know , a lot of times in marketing we say, you know, diversity and , and we treat that very much. It's like, oh, like, you know, ethnicity, income, you know, sort of the things you can't observe, you know, the analogy is in , in , in the, the , the career world, big company, small company, well, I mean, you're your use case that you walk through, I think is accurate, but think about a company like Google, where it's like 20% of your time is expected to be off wandering in the woods, exploring and seeking new things. That's a huge company, but they've, they've culturally really carved out that, that purplely, you know, a , a , a place for that purple exploration. Um, and , and everybody's expected to do so, you know, just, just as much as the way somebody looks doesn't dictate the way they think , um, same way in careers. And , and that's, what's so challenging, but to me, that's, what's so empowering when you look at it through the model is, you know, you, don't just, you don't just walk into the interview and go, well, what's your culture like, and sort of subjectively, you know, they're gonna say all the good, a bunch of good words, and you kind of, then you're trying to compel compare apples and, you know, pineapples with two different companies, cuz they use different words , but both sound good. It gives you a way to start to really articulate that. Hmm . One thing that we find, so we've done, we've done measurement in the past and we find that a culture that's really leans towards one or one or the other of those four draw drivers will attract and retain people that look like that. So if you think about, you know, a stereotype like a really dry accounting firm, you know, that's very what the stereotype of an accounting firm would be likely. The culture is very blue, very rational, tangible KPIs, you know, that that's, what's valued. So people that in their career really kind of pin the needle on that mindset will do well there. And others, somebody that goes, Hey, what if doing your taxes was fun? You know, they're not gonna do so great in that environment where they would do great is in to your point, like the startup world, where they're trying to create, you know, TurboTax that makes taxes almost like doing a game, you know, and moves it over to that purple and red, you know, a culture that, that embraces that is the one that, that they're going to line with and what we find and what the , the science says is that the , the , the highest performing organization will have a balance of the four. Um, you know, and that's true diversity. It's what neuroscience is called neurodiversity doesn't mean we have different, you know, all walks of life, all , all that sort of thing. It means we have very different, we value all four, you know, of those dry drivers in terms of our culture and the way that we , um , we do our work. And, and what, what we've seen is that the most high performing organizations have a balance of all four of those and therefore attract and retain , um, all four of those mindsets. Um, in terms of the people that work there,

Speaker 1:

If I'm interviewing at a company, how might I SU that out a little bit? Like, is it all kind of like one, one kind of person works here and they just a magnet, you know, for one kind of person. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Or,

Speaker 1:

You know , it's like, no , I mean, there really was like a blend of people. How would in the model would you sort of,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I mean, I think that what you find in a culture, so in this context, a corporate culture, there are these exemplars, like people that represent the culture. Um, and so, you know, one thing, if you think back, like thinking back to my analogy of the different agencies, I think back to like who was popular, you know, I don't mean popular in the like high school popularity sense, but like if I close my eyes and think who represented that place, like who, who are the first four people I think of it's that simple in the one that wasn't such a great fit. It was, it was four people that, that were kind of identical to me. And I don't mean, I mean, they were different gender and different ethnicity as a matter of fact. Um, but I mean, they were identical in that they kind of , they were kind of like little bit kind of rock stars . Like they, they played foosball and guitar all all day , uh, did their work kind of whenever they felt like it, everybody kind of had to, you know, sort of leave 'em alone and tiptoe around. They were a little bit, a little bit kind of spoiled and they won a lot of creative awards. They were, that was what was really valued. The culture was like super red. It was, it was look, we wanna stand on the podium and, and , and win awards. You know, these, these four people that, that are able to do that, that's who we value that's, who was representative of it. So that culture, you know, retro in retrospect was , was very red . Um, if I think about the, the other agency that I kind of started off talking about, it was very different story. One person was like that. Um, you know, he promoted his own team. He sort of swore a lot . He was very aggressive and, and , um, um, and , and , and , um, hard charging, but then the other three people were really different. You know , the , the next one that came comes to mind was real purple. You know, she loved to, like, she could stand up in the room and say something crazy in a way that made everybody go, oh , that's wow. Let's explore that. Let's try that. The third , third person I think of was this kind of Papa bear type. He had no agenda. You could go to him. He seemed to be, you know, real supportive, everybody. He had this real tribal , um, he was, he was somebody that really helped, you know, ambivalently really helped everybody kind of all boats rise . And the fourth person I think of was, was the head of accounting. And it's like, it was an ad agency and this person was an exemplar. Now you had to mind your PS and QS. I mean, she did not mess around, but she was valued in the culture. She was someone, I wouldn't even say she was necessarily popular cuz you didn't necessarily get called into her office. But what it shows in retrospect is that all four of those drivers were really present and those people were exemplars of the culture and that culture, as I look back at, it really did have a much stronger balance , um, than , than the other example I gave.

Speaker 1:

So , so, so one is, so if I think about like the interview team, right . And I'm coming at this from the candidates perspective yep . You know , am I seeing sort of different versions of the same person? Yep . Right . Or am I seeing , well, no . I mean, and I won't repeat all the personas you just listed, but you know , am I seeing diversity is one. Yeah . But then two is, how do you figure out , um, you , I just want to be with animals of my own kind. Right . Cause I'm very comfortable. Or do I wanna be in an aquarium where there's all kinds of different stuff in there, but that's what makes it beautiful. And that's what makes it work

Speaker 2:

Well, that's where I think that your, your experience one's experience comes into mind because you know, what I shouldn't say is , is one of those cultures was not better than the other, but one was very clearly sort of homogenous and one was, was more diverse. So I'm not saying that one was better or worse if somebody were, let's say, you know, a, a , a hard charging, you know, says things like work hard, play hard, loves to, you know, does don't want to have to collaborate. Doesn't want anyone to get in their way, wants to be able to, you know, win commissions or whatever. You know, however the structure is go, go, go, you know, no ceiling and, and nobody to get in their way. Yeah. If, if you can really self-identify that you value that a , a red culture and you talk to a place where everybody acts and looks like that that's probably a good fit. I think the way to assess which, which is right for you is to look at your current situation or your past situations, you know, what is it that you do or don't value about it? What is it that you're really seeking? There are people, you know , I've worked with people at very creative, very purplely places that were kind of totally unstructured. And I know people that went to a place where it was much more blue, it was went much more structured. It had a very rigorous creative process. It had a lot of boxes that you check. And I remember talking to one of my peers and I was like, that seems so stifling. And she's like, it's the greatest thing in the world. I know exactly what to do next. Everybody knows. What's expected of 'em . It's like she found, you know, again, retro, but she was able to find , find what , what she was really looking for . So, you know, when you're, when you're, self-assessing use the framework to, to assess it. And then when you're interviewing, ask the people, what do you like best about your job? If the first person says, I like that we've been the fastest growing blank for the last three years running. Well, that's kind of a rational kind of KPI. The second one says, I love the sense of comradery . Even with all the zoom calls, we've had these happy hours. Honestly, that's what I love the most. That's real tribal. Somebody says, I love that. They give me 20% and expect me to do crazy things. That's purplely I like that we win. I like that. We, that , that up the , I thought that's more red, you know , that's how those are some of the ways, some of those tells that let you kind of assess , well, who am I really talking to beyond the sort of subjectivity of interviewing, what do they really value and are they really, you know, successful in the company? That's a real indication what the culture's gonna be like.

Speaker 1:

And then cuz we've kind of been talking about the drivers again, thinking about the costs. How can I kind of tease out, you know, Hey, there may be a cost to pay here that I may not be willing to pay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it , it's pretty straightforward. It's like, you know, it , it's hard. I , I , you know, everybody's been in interview situations. They go, do you have any questions for me? And you know, anything that any , whatever tells you is ask really smart questions. I mean, this is a good way to do it. I mean, obviously what does it pay is a question. Um, but you know , I'll say, look, I've interviewed, I don't know if it's hundreds, but lots of people in my career, the people that their first question is, what does it pay? You kind of go, Hmm . I don't think this is probably a fit. And it's kinda like the people in the focus group that go, I buy whatever's cheapest. You know, you kind of go, well, that's not a real quality sort of piece of consideration, you know, as you're asking questions, what does , what does my day look like? I mean, that's one that I think is pretty intuitive. What portion of time for someone in my role is attributed, you know, to what types of activities, you know, look at everybody looks at like the democratization of data and things like Glassdoor. Well, don't just surf through Glassdoor and see what other people think, look at Glassdoor and see what people in your role or in this potential role think, you know, look at it, you know , um , through the lens of, of , of , you know, what, what they really value and what they, what they've discovered you know about, about the culture, whatever , um, you know, on the exploration side, I mean ask 'em what, what , what is the internal innovation? I mean, how do you think about empowering and democratizing? You know, if that's something you value , um, the , the ability to think and explore new things and, and , you know, on that physical cost side of it, do I have time and room to do that? Or am I going to be, you know, to minute , um, jumping from, from one call to next and then , you know, the disappointment, I think a great question that no one ever asks is what's the average tenure of someone in this role that I'm interviewing for. You know, if, if I'd to ask that at these ad agencies, they just said it's about a year. And that , that would've been a real tell of how, how the career path was gonna look for 'em there . So anyway, the , the questions, it doesn't dictate 'em , but hopefully it gives you a lens by which to be much more reflective on what it is . You're really assessing about

Speaker 1:

A company. Yeah . And, but , and , and I wanna kind of start wrapping this up a little bit. It seems to me that, you know, the most important thing that somebody can start with is an understanding of the context that they're in now. Right . And so, you know, if, if earlier in my career I love traveling. This is like the greatest thing I've ever done in my life. I was in New York, then San Francisco, and then all this is like, so cool. Yeah . And then you've got two little kids . You're like , daddy , do you have to go again? Mommy, do you have to go again? Yeah . It's like , uh , travel. Isn't like the coolest thing anymore, you know? So how would you, and , and , you know , maybe we can kind of summarize, start to summarize her a little bit. How would you encourage somebody to one , know what true for them? So then they can start to evaluate what might look like a more optimal fit. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well , what you're describing is, you know, from a scientific standpoint, your context changed, you know, the context shifted. So, you know, kind of me at work and me going home with my kids and going, gosh, why am I feeling differently at about this? The context shifted. So, you know, I think that's one thing you can look at is what context , how has my context changed? You know, okay, that's a real easy one life stage wise . I now have two , two little kids or , or , or whatever the context shift is, but it gives you a much more binary way to go. Okay. I really liked that job. What I really liked about it was this. So I , I like it now, you know, it's because the con I've been on this job for 10 years. Why, why don't I like it all of a sudden, it gives you a lens to kinda go, what has changed in the context? You know, what has shifted in , um, in, in my life or, you know, in my career or at the company, you know, sometimes that's, it's something that's about you, it's about, you know, where you work , how has that shifted? And then, you know, with the four drivers and the five barriers, which ones are now amplified, or which ones have diminished, which ones am I feeling more strongly now? You know , if the only time costs like I never used to, or , or , or whatever , um, it's, it's kind of those, those three things in, in tandem. And I mean, that's exactly what we do in our, in our data. We say, look for this mindset of the consumer in the context that we're studying, which of these drives them most, and which of these hinders them most. And how can, you know, how can a business address that it's the same principle.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . So for, for people who are listening to this on a podcast, we've been talking about a couple slides here. If anybody is interested , um, you know, hunter, would it be okay if we were able to share those with people?

Speaker 2:

Sure. Yeah , absolutely.

Speaker 1:

So I'd be happy to do that, but you know , it just really strikes me that, you know, as people are kind of pausing and, and they could be, you know, getting a lot of inquiries from recruiters or whoever in this, you know , really red, hot talent market that we find ourselves in. Yeah . It's very flattering to get the phone call. Yep . That could be the worst phone call you ever get. Right. Because it's gonna take you into maybe not a great situation. It could be the best phone call yeah . That you ever get. Right. And so I love having this framework to start kind of looking at, well, you know , what's this culture, like, how can I dig deeper

Speaker 2:

Finding

Speaker 1:

Out, like, what's this culture, like, does that fit me? And then I think at least as importantly is understanding the costs. Yeah . And being able to, as you said, ask smarter questions yep . About, you know, and again, some of these things are a little bit more nuanced. It's a little bit more subtle. Yeah . But trying to pull out, tell me how you guys do situations like this. Tell me about email on the weekend. You know, is this an email on the weekend kind of a culture or no, you know , um, hybrid and you know, where you guys kind of at , with having to go to the office versus not. And I needed to be at home on an office day, you know, what would happen and just things that you can start to kind of draw out

Speaker 2:

And don't assume that there's bad and good. You know , all those things you said, make total sense me, but you know, goes all the way back to everyone went over to this agency because it was like this, this and this, well, that may be right for them. But you know, I know realtors that love being on their phone. They love Wheeling and dealing Saturday, Sunday 7:00 AM to, you know, 11:00 PM that drives them , that fuels them. And that's great. You know, that, that, that now if you're feeling all burn out , it's not great, but don't just go to a culture that says, no, we never do this. We always do that. We never do this because everyone on LinkedIn or whatever says, that's a good culture, really assess what, what fuels you. And what's what it is that that's bothering you. And now, so that you can find something that isn't just sort of good on paper. It'll really be six months down the road for you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Well, I , I can't put a , a better point on that. So I , I think we can close with that hunter . I wanna say thank you very much. Yeah . You know , I continue to learn a lot from you. So thank you. You know, I , I do believe that, you know, all the expertise that , you know, you guys have in the CPG retail, whatever, and the way you help your clients really does directly apply because we're still consumers. Right. We're

Speaker 2:

Just humans. That's right .

Speaker 1:

We're humans. Right. And so we're either consuming an employment. We might, you know, be the consumer buying an employee. Yeah . Right . And so being able to kind of understand that and, and really know, okay, let me just sort of, kind of map this out a little bit and, and , you know, be thoughtful and choiceful and how I make this decision. Um, I just think is really, really helpful to a lot of people. So again, I would say thank you so much. It's been a great conversation. Is there anything that we didn't mention that you just wanna make sure we leave folks with?

Speaker 2:

I don't think so. I mean, I think it , uh, you know, look to your point a moment ago, I've interviewed people that it was a terrible interview. They are not good. They're not charismatic, they're not good interviews. And they're some of the best people I've ever worked with. You know, don't, don't let all the subjectivity and noise and hype overpower these, these, these drivers that somebody who may appear very dry and very straightforward actually is the exact right person for that role and vice versa.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. Well , hunter , thanks again very much. I appreciate it. And with that, Heather, I think we've , uh , wrapped up another episode of LinkedIn life . So thank you.

Speaker 2:

Thanks.