Podcast

Episode: 386 |
Marcia Nuffer:
Talent Development:
Episode
386

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

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Marcia Nuffer

Talent Development

Show Notes

 

Marcia Nuffer has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. As McKinsey’s Chief Learning Officer, Marcia was responsible for building one of the most lauded global leadership development programs in the world. She has over 25 years of strategy and leadership development experience and runs her own company, BlueShor.

Key points include:

  • 05:15: Roleplaying in training
  • 12:35: The McKinsey Academy
  • 17:57: The Senior Training program
  • 20:38: Examples of exercises for senior partners
  • 27:51: The work at Blueshor
  • 45:07: The assessment Marcia developed

You can learn more about Marcia’s company on the website at www.blueshor.com, and you can reach out to Marcia through email at marcia@blueshor.com.

 

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

Will Bachman 00:01
Hello and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host Will Bachman and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here with Marcia Nuffer, who is the founder of blue shore leadership and talent development. Marcia was the global lead of McKinsey’s learning program. I don’t think I have the title, right, Marcia, welcome to the show and tell me what was the exact What was your correct title there?

Marcia Nuffer 00:34
Thanks for asking. It was chief learning officer

Will Bachman 00:40
Yeah. And I found, let’s just start with this part, I want to get into what you’re currently doing of blueshore. But I got up while I have you, I got to ask you some questions about what you did as chief learning officer because I found and lots of McKinsey, consultants of alumni would have confirmed to me that some of the short trainings that McKinsey like I went to initial leadership workshop, which is two weeks that you go to is sort of maybe about a year and a half after you join as an associate. It was better than entire semesters of business school, in terms of the amount of learning and initial leadership workshop continues to this day. I know 15 plus years later, of being important to me every single day in terms of influencing skills in terms of, you know, just thinking about how to be a consultant. So thank you, I understand that you actually willing to help revamp and develop that program. And I’m really interested in learning about the whole, like, learning strategy at McKinsey. So maybe you could give me an overview of your role. I’d love to hear about, you know how you helped develop the new Lw that I went through. So maybe I’ll just pause there. And maybe tell us a little bit about what you did what you did.

Marcia Nuffer 01:53
Sure, happy to. So in terms of my role, as chief learning officer, I had global responsibility for the learning strategy for McKinsey for all of our programs from day one until retirement, for everything from online learning to as you said, kind of the big upper end, which is a multi week in person program, and then responsibility as the firm’s needs, and capabilities changed for how does learning strategy and architecture evolve. Along with that to meet, you know, the more modern needs, as you said, I’ll w as we call it was one of the crown jewels in McKinsey is learning programs was iconic. And, you know, something that was kind of a rite of passage for every consultant. And, frankly, I yeah, I was the partner that led the development of that. Even before I was chief learning officer, that’s how I got into the learning space.

Will Bachman 03:02
For folks that did not go to McKinsey ra who just give give us a brief overview of what that program looks like.

Marcia Nuffer 03:11
Yeah, that program is two weeks, and it’s focused on I’d say two strands. One is how to build and apply the skills needed as a consultant. So problems structuring ideation coming to a solution. And the other is personal leadership, as defined at that stage of your professional development. And so as you said, it’s how do I build relationships? How do I influence? How do I navigate even conflict? What are my strengths and development needs as a leader? And I think it’s that weaving of both, you know, what I would call being, who am I as a leader and doing how do I bring that to what I do that makes it so different than Business School approaches.

Will Bachman 04:11
And for again, for folks that haven’t attended, there’s a lot of role playing. So you we worked through some case, I don’t even remember the case. But we worked through a case, but then there’d be this whole series of roleplay interactions where Okay, now you’re playing a consultant who’s interviewing a client trying to get information, and there’d be five or six different client roles and the person, you know, one of the attendees would play the client as well. So you get this secret instructions, like okay, you’re going to be like really suspicious of this consultant? Well, yeah, you’d really like to help this consultant but your boss doesn’t want you to or are you really have an agenda. So you’re going to give this very biased information to this consultant. And then, so you’re playing that role part of the time and then you switch and you’re playing the consultant or there’d be like conflict Then you have to roleplay, one of these sorts of situations. So there’s lots of these role plays, talk to me about, like some other examples that I’m forgetting, and what the thinking was about making role playing such an essential part of that training.

Marcia Nuffer 05:15
Yeah, and so the role playing either there’s a couple of components to what happens with a role play. And well, I have to admit, at this point, I don’t remember kind of everyone that was part of the two weeks, what I do know, is, you know, and I’ll be a little learning wonky on you for a second. But learning happens when through application and experience. So when you’re actually doing things, and frankly, even failing, is when you learn the most when it’s got a little bit of emotional tug to it as opposed to theory. So that’s one of the reasons for the role plays. Second is you learn as much and I could even argue more on the receiving end of the roleplay. So being the difficult client and seeing how somebody engages with you well or not well, is really like a gut punch on Oh, you know, boy, did I have a bad reaction to that. And then the translation to as a consultant, I don’t want to be doing that with my clients. The third piece of it is learning is basically a social sport, we’re social animals, and you learn as much from your peers, as you do from any kind of front of the room teaching. And so the other aspect of that roleplay, and big part of it is the debrief on, you know, as you might recall, we facilitated those debriefs to draw as much learning from them as possible. But as you and your peers kind of debriefing how, what worked, how would we translate this to our real world coaching one another. And so roleplays let you do all of those things. And we use them kind of at every stage along the process, you, you know, would do the next step of a typical client engagement. And then you would have the interactions be that with a team problem solving a partner or the client that would naturally happen at that moment in the engagement.

Will Bachman 07:23
I’ve often, and there’s been so many cases in my life where I, like, Am directly applying one of those things I learned in those two weeks, like, I remember, a project where the client didn’t want to give us some data. And then I pulled out one of these influencing skills, like I’m flipping through my mind. Okay, which one? And then, you know, shared objectives. So I pulled out that, like, Look, I understand that we have some differences about approaches and your concern about how we’re going to use this data. But luckily, I think we really just a step back, we both have this shared objective of making this project successful, like, directly from Maya, who worked? Yeah. Wow, this really works. And by the way, listeners include a link in the show notes, I did a previous episode on 11, influencing skills that you should know. And that was pulled from IO. W. So one question I have is, why don’t it seemed it’s so effective? Why don’t business schools teach this way? I mean, I, my negotiations course in business school was very much roleplay based. And that was awesome. And I still remember those things. But the only other course was maybe Mike Feiners highperformance leadership course, where we did some role plays, and that was great. But for the most part, it’s not a technique that’s used. And I don’t understand why business schools don’t just see what McKinsey is doing with with with this and say, Well, why don’t we just do that in our courses?

Marcia Nuffer 08:47
Well, I mean, I can only hypothesize not having been a business school professor, but I think there’s a couple of reasons for that. It’s very time and resource intensive, as opposed to a lecture or case study approach. You know, we would have one faculty for every five people in order to facilitate the learning out of that approach. I think the other is and I think, you know, I came from business school that was very case. Socratic case based, is they do let you get exposure to a lot of different companies situations, and build a repertoire of Oh, this is how you’re here are different ways you could handle something based on the unique in this case, let me call it client, their challenges their context, and, you know, that’s something you can’t do with you know, as we did it, in Aisle w a single case through two weeks. You know, this is who I think is just giving you, you know, a different way of of learning.

Will Bachman 10:07
Yeah, it’s such a shame to me though, because there’s like this, the case study method is great and all, but there’s such a massive difference between saying, oh, if I was the CEO, in this case, I would do X, Y, Z, I’d tell my employees to, you know, segment their customers are doing down or know, whatever. Versus saying, okay, no, you are the CEO, right. Now talk to me, I’m your employee. Go ahead and tell me what you want me to do? And then you’re

Marcia Nuffer 10:32
absolutely Well, I’ll tell you it. It McKinsey. I mean, we didn’t partner. It’s one of the reasons that we didn’t really partner with business schools, except for an introductory what we called mini MBA for our non MBA hires. And then around specific knowledge, let’s say you wanted to build marketing capability. And it’s why I would consult with my own clients since McKinsey, and say, yeah, once you’re in an organization, you want it to be about application learning to do these things that you know, the theory about. That’s kind of a waste of everybody’s time at that point, to be doing more the theory. Now it needs to be about the doing. Excuse me, if I could add one thing, of course. And I think this also speaks to why you do something like I’ll w at McKinsey versus Business School, we were very deliberate, that I Lw comes a year to a year and a half after you’re at the firm and is not onboarding, because you really need that base of experience where you’ve already tried and struggled with things to make learning relevant for yourself, you’re going to learn less at a business school in a role play where you are the CEO, then you are after you’ve tried to have that conversation. And it either went well or didn’t do well. It’s another aspect of so I’m not defending that business schools don’t do it more. I think you’re right, they could use this more experiential learning much more than they do. But I also think there’s a role for both

Will Bachman 12:20
Has McKinsey ever, I don’t know if you can share this. But as McKinsey ever thought about, like, commercializing that whole program, and like offering it to clients and offering to, you know, deliver an IO w kind of experience to to.

Marcia Nuffer 12:35
Absolutely, absolutely. So McKinsey has what they call McKinsey Academy, which is all about bringing our look I will forever say our I think after 21 years of McKinsey, but our kind of proprietary capability building approaches and content to clients in in ways that are relevant for them, you know, in more generic sized if that’s a word, as well as a big online offering. And so absolutely, you know, that McKinsey is one of you know, I would argue one of the best leadership development factories in the world. And yeah, bringing that to our clients in the scalable way. is also you know, big.

Will Bachman 13:30
Well, thank you. I mean, the I guess I had three other probably programs I went through, which was VCR basic consulting readiness. I was a BA, so I went to be a training and the em, em learning or em orientation. I forget what that is. Those are they’re all excellent. Maybe give me maybe a flavor for some of the things that you tried that were not successful. I mean, there must have been a lot of experimentation going on or

Marcia Nuffer 14:02
Yeah. Yeah, there was always a tension between what we did globally. So I Lw for, you know, you may recall was people from all over the world that were associates in similar roles. And that was part of the intent there was to build connection and fabric across the firm, which was great. Yeah, yeah, it really was. I’m,

Will Bachman 14:27
I’m still I’m still friends with people that I only met in Lw, in Europe. It’s so cool.

Marcia Nuffer 14:33
What is such an intense experience? The button there are programs and basic consulting readiness, which is your first, you know, couple weeks at the firm. were, you know, and I’m guessing this is your experience office, delivered office based programs. You know, or, let’s call it southeast offices. So it could be Atlanta, Miami, North Carolina, but it’s still delivered locally. And there was a real art to because those were still centrally designed. So they’d be uniform across the firm. And then you’d have extensive supporting materials, train the trainers for the consultants that were leading those programs in different offices. But the quality would vary hugely. And on VCR and I think it was because the the content was so basic that worked really well. We tried to extend that to Engagement Manager capability building and have the brand new engagement managers go through a similar office based course, like Welcome to being a manager. And that was something we never were able to get right. It and I think it’s because you’re starting to get into more nuanced interpersonal skills, it’s a little bit less about, here’s how you break down a problem. But getting that uniformity of quality and experience in a distributed way was difficult. And over time. we migrated it to say, Okay, what are the pieces that really have to be able to be in our best delivered locally? And which of those can we solve through technology, for example, to bring a more uniform experience? And which should we really save until a little farther into your tenure, you can bring people together? The other thing, I would say, you know, you talk about trying and failing our early efforts into online learning, which to me today are almost laughable. We’re not successful. You know, we know so much more about online learning today than we did in 2005. When we started as a firm, but you know, they would be long, interactive online learning programs, just in case you needed them. So sitting on the shelf, and just in case without context, and they were expensive to build, nobody used them. And, you know, in retrospect, I would say, you know, well, wouldn’t have had a lot of impact, even if people did use them. Talk to me, that was certainly a place where iteration was critical.

Will Bachman 17:35
Talk to me about the more senior training program that I didn’t go to for associate partners or for partners or for directors, what, what are the types of learning objectives that you have at those levels? And what, what’s the sort of the mechanism of how that kind of learning was was, was delivered?

Marcia Nuffer 17:57
Yeah, yeah. And I think there’s two stages of that learning. So at the associate, partner, and then early partner, we had what we called client leadership workshop. And that was all about building relationships with clients kind of getting on the same side of the table with your clients to have impact on their most important issues. And into format wise, they weren’t. They were almost all roleplay based, very little front of the room teaching much higher faculty ratio, you’d actually have to define people, and always lead by more senior McKinsey directors, senior partners in partnership with an outside facilitator, psychologist, etc. And so that was much more the emphasis as you got more senior. And now senior partner even, you know, 10 years senior partners. It really was around leadership, but less around the skills of leading and more about finding your own style as a leader and your own personal passion and kind of what do you want to stand for as a leader, which has to be tied to your personal goals? And those were much more introspective programs? there? We did bring in, you know, I can think of Bob Keegan from Harvard, who is one of the leading experts in adult development and how do you help, you know, adults kind of find themselves and learn and grow. And, you know, it’s the kind of thing that sounds a lot I hate the word softer, but it sounds softer. And you would think, really McKinsey partners were spending, you know, three days doing this. But the truth is everybody aidid up. You know, it turns out, we’re all human beings, we’re all grappling at each stage of our careers with, kind of who do we want to be? And what’s our next chapter and, you know, evolving. And, you know, we went into it apprehensive when we first started. And it turned out that those were some of our highest rated best attended programs.

Will Bachman 20:38
Can you give me an example or two to help illustrate that of what would some of the exercises been for the the senior partners? You know, in terms of developing their, their own personal goals? And what they stand for and so forth? What sorts of things would they be doing?

Marcia Nuffer 20:56
Huh? put you on the spot here? Yeah, I was gonna say, now you’re, you know, it’s been, it’s been quite a while, since I did that. And my focus, and my last few years, even at McKinsey wasn’t that that was kind of in place, and nothing. So, you know, I’m gonna need to really dig back. Um, you know, one exercise that really stands out for me, and it would be better if I could give you context for it, it’s somewhat late, later, in the three days after you spend that whole program with the same other three to four people in a mini cohort. So you’re able to build trust, and go deeper with one another about, you know, your fears, your, you know, drivers, your failures, as well as your successes. And that was a program that after a couple of days of more introspective and, you know, sharing with each other through different exercises, you had an exercise at the end, near the end of the program, where, let’s say, I was the partner that we were focusing on, I would actually physically turn my chair around the turn my back to the rest of the group. And the group would talk about me as if I was not there. I’m around what are my unique gifts as a leader? And what are some areas that I could work on to be even more successful? And so really powerful experience of hearing people, you know, and there’s something about that mechanism where the person isn’t physically sitting in the group, but is looking away and you’re talking to each other about the person that comes out so much more candid, than if you were looking the person in the eye and somebody more knowledge about about psychology than I am can tell you why. But you know, people were super insightful and much more direct. So that would be an example.

Will Bachman 23:20
That is gold right there. Wow. What an amazing idea to just by turning the chair around on even though you’re still in the room, it just changes the dynamic. What what a really interesting idea. What about that earlier? One, the client leadership, workshops, any exercises from that stand out of how you help the consultants really get on the same side of the table as their clients?

Marcia Nuffer 23:45
Yeah, there’s some there’s a framework and it’s in the public called grow. For coaching in its Oh,I wish I’d looked up beforehand, before element we can we can Google it. So yeah, Google, bro. Alright, um, Google grow, but it’s a good framework around getting underneath and understanding goals. reality. That’s right. It’s what are your goals and aspirations as a client, and that can be you personally, or it could be for your company? What’s the reality of where you are today? brainstorming the opportunities to kind of get you from here to there. And then the W is, is will its commitment to are you going to go make the changes and, and so we use, it’s a powerful framework, we didn’t invent it. But used that framework, and again, through really role play and practicing over the course and it was a week had client conversations about kind of each of those elements moving through the course. Have a client relationship. And again, you got the experience of being the client and being, you know, the consultant, one of the powerful things in that program was at the end of it, you did a, you know, I guess you’d call it a role play, where you brought a real conversation that you were going to have to have or wanted to have in the coming weeks, you describe the situation, somebody else played you, and you played the client. In, you know, trying to have that interaction. And again, the learning by being on the client side, receiving a consultant, having that conversation was very powerful for you, as you thought about how you wanted to have the conversation, or what you did want to do and what you did not want to do,

Will Bachman 26:00
What a neat idea to, to, to actually roleplay the client that you’re serving, and have someone else roleplay you that’s a really neat idea. And something that, you know, you don’t need to go to McKinsey training to do, right, if you, you know, for any listener that you have some situation find, find a peer someone to pull in. And that’s something you could try.

Marcia Nuffer 26:22
Absolutely, and, and you’d be surprised, right? Because you can sit as the consultant, you can sit as anybody right across in a conversation, even with a friend. And you can get if you’re watching and listening closely, you can probably get a sense of I’m gonna say 60 65% of how they’re reacting. But boy, when you are the right one reacting, you know, you feel the emotional, oh, that hit a button, or Oh, that’s really exciting, right? You’re feeling not just the fact but the emotion of it. And that’s really how you build relationships. And trust is, you know, when you’re emotionally connecting, not just knowledge connecting. And it’s easier to feel it when you’re sitting in the receiving end.

Will Bachman 27:19
Yeah, acting classes, should I so to some degree, I want to go on now to what you’re doing at Blue shore. But let’s just say that you effectively were the Dean of the world’s top business school, the way I think about it. So thank you. Let’s talk a little bit. Let’s talk a little about blue shorts. So you My understanding is you’re working to on some methods to build capabilities for middle management. I correct me if I got that off, but but I’d love to hear more about what you’re doing at Blue shor.

Marcia Nuffer 27:51
Yeah, oh, happy to talk about it. So I’m in the course of my consulting work, because, you know, if anybody goes to my website, it looks as if I’m an independent coach and consultant, which I was for many years after I left McKinsey. But in the course of doing that work, I found myself talking to a bunch of companies in the I’m going to call it 100 to 600 person, fast growth tech companies. And all of them wanted to talk about the same challenge, which is building frontline manager capabilities, it was a very hard, and every company of that size struggles with it to scale, manage your capability as fast as you were scaling the business. And there were a couple challenges with it. One is just you have to grow the capabilities of so many people so quickly, right? McKinsey, you’re talking about, you know, three, four years till you become a manager at a tech company, you’re probably talking about 18 months to two years. And for people that didn’t come into their roles, right individual contributors, because they wanted to be managers. The skill set doesn’t necessarily translate from engineer to manager easily. And so you have people going into these roles, either not even wanting to but the company had a need or wanting to without really understanding what the role was going to entail and how different it was going to be. And that solutions weren’t very good for these companies. They had the option of you know, in person, expensive programs, a lot of people doing lunch and learns, which I could argue, you know, aren’t going to have a lot of impact. And I walked away really finding a fascinating intellectual problem at first because I kind of was Like hi know how to I know how to solve this with $100 million in a 95? Person department, McKinsey. But what’s the answer? That scalable, practical, you know, resource efficient for these for these startup companies? And so that’s where my current initiative and this is really a technology based solution came out of, and, you know, so what I’m working on? is, it is a technology based solution for building frontline manager capabilities in these companies. And what makes it relevant for them, is it? It starts with, it’s built on individualization and immediate impact. So it starts with an a validated proprietary assessment that says, you know, what are? What are your likely capabilities, and what are your likely development areas as a manager, and then goes into what I call learning sprints, which is two week, very applied experience, kind of going back to that McKinsey roleplay, let’s learn by doing not by studying, where you get bite sized lessons up front, to get the theory of the case, and the very structured exercises that you use in the, in the course of your work, oh, I need to delegate this work to Joe. Let me try doing that in a new and different way based on what I’ve learned immediately, and then you come back and reflect. And so you know, I keep saying it’s behavior change from week one. And minimum time way from work in this in this fast paced, chaotic environment. As you make be able to sense I could go on and on about it. But in a nutshell, it’s individualized learning with immediate behavior change.

Will Bachman 32:09
When you talk about management capabilities, could you give me a bit of a taxonomy of what capabilities you include in that?

Marcia Nuffer 32:18
Sure. So there’s three domains, there’s the people leadership capabilities, and there, it’s delegation, coaching, communicating, managing performance, there’s the business domain, like business leadership, I’m sure I love that word. But which is all about it, especially in that context, dealing with ambiguity, decision making, driving for results, right, managing a team towards an outcome. And then there’s a whole category that is self leadership, it’s leadership mindset. You know, often, these managers are managing folks that were peers three weeks ago. And so it’s leadership mindset, its reliability, and managing stress, right, being able to be steady at the helm of the ship, even as chaos reigns around you.

Will Bachman 33:22
I’d love to double click on a few of those. And yeah, hear a bit about how you have, you know, what your, your technology modules look like a little bit? And some of the exercises that you developed for some of these? I mean, maybe we could start with, I’m curious about this leadership mindset under the self leadership section. What What does that look like?

Marcia Nuffer 33:45
So in the process of building each of these out, and you really end up needing to build each capability out? One by one, I have to say, starting more in the people domain is where it would be easy, easier for me to talk about what it looks like. Yeah. And so I’m going to use one that sounds very basic, which is delegation, but it’s it’s one of the, you know, when I talk to people, leaders in the, you know, managers of the talent function that these companies, I’d say, delegation and giving feedback, are the two capabilities that they all say, Okay, let’s start there. And in teaching delegation or helping somebody build those skills, it’s really interesting, because on the one hand, you’ve got all the steps of that process. What is it I’m going to delegate? Who am I going to delegate it to? How do I structure the work in a way that they understand the expectations and deliver them how am I going to follow up and how am I going to get feedback? So you’ve got the process steps, but and this is true in each These capabilities, you’re only going to have behavior change, if you get underneath the mindsets that mean those things. And what is it that holds you back from delegating as much as you can? Right? Is it I can do it better faster is that I don’t want to overlook my people. And so, you know, just as a quick example, at the beginning of let’s call it a learning sprint a week, just because it’s easier to talk about, in the beginning, you’re doing some online micro lessons just about what is delegation, and what are each of those steps. But you’re also doing a reflection exercise, online. So it’s been, you’re capturing it essentially in a journal over the course of the week, where you’re prompted to think through a self assessment around your mind sets on delegation, and how you think about it. To help you get underneath, these are the things that are holding me back. There are then templates and exercises where you, you know, we walk you through a prioritization exercise around what are the things you could be getting off your plate, and so you’re putting real things that you have to do just in a more structured way to think it through. One of the things I really should be delegating, and what should I be keeping, to kind of take that emotion out of it and have a more systematic, you know, framework for for planning that I could give similar examples on each step along the delegation process, but give you a flavor of what I’m talking about.

Will Bachman 36:54
It does and then do. Are those students expected to do the reflection, but then actually go ahead and delegate something? And?

Marcia Nuffer 37:06
Absolutely, absolutely. So once you’ve figured out what you’re gonna figure out who a lot of times delegation falls apart, because you say, you know, it’s a game of operator, the person hears what they’re supposed to do different than you intended. And so again, you’ve got short, when I say, micro lessons, I’m talking five to seven minutes on how to structure and communicate what you know, what are all the elements, you need to make sure to communicate? How do you test for understanding? But absolutely, you go do that. I mean, that’s where the most of the focus is, you know, when I described the micro lessons, I’m not talking about a half hour, 45 minutes a week, the rest is going and doing it. And if you remember, if I go back to what I was describing McKinsey and learning being a social sport, you do have a peer cohort doing this at the same time. I’m calling it a small accountability team. And so you’ve got set times where that team is debriefing? What did I do? what worked, what didn’t work coaching one another. You’ve also got discussion board where you can post questions or put out there, I delegated this thing to Joe and it came back nothing like I was expecting What the heck Has anybody else had that experience? And so you can collaborate.

Will Bachman 38:40
And these would be peer cohort from your own company or from other companies, or

Marcia Nuffer 38:46
To start with from your own company? unit. This is the one where not the one, you know, it’s this is a startup. So lots of iteration to be done. You certainly could do this across companies. But there is certainly more power if everybody has a similar context of culture and the way things work around here. Because the way you give feedback in one context may actually be different in a different one that’s, that’s more direct or confrontational. And so going to start with own company in a single company. The other thing I’m finding, which again, I think is powerful and exciting, is these are companies that are just starting to form that formalize their corporate cultures to kind of nail down Who are we and what do we stand for in terms of our values, they were often tacit, up until this point, and they see using this as you know, an opportunity to embed corporate dissect corporate values, organizational values and context and so on. The platform’s configurable, where a company can add their own modules quite easily and support them and in developing content around that they can involve their own leadership in different parts of it. You know, so while the platform as it stands can be used, there’s also an opportunity to work with companies to configure it, so it delivers on their values as well as the skills.

Will Bachman 40:30
So I was in the Navy for five years, and nuclear trained submarine officer. And one of the things in the Navy that I thought was so well done, which I have rarely seen in the civilian world, is the idea of a qualification card, or usually called a call card. Uh huh. And that was so powerful about that is when you got on board, you’d have to, you’d be expected to qualify for a certain number of different watch station duties, right. And the power of it was it told you up front, what you were expected to know how to do. Mm hmm. And so to qualify, let’s say is engineering off to the watch, you’d have this big long checklist, it was probably 3040 pages of each page had maybe 10 signatures, you had to get from somebody. For different systems, in some cases, it would just be discussed, like, explain how the, you know, the condensate pump works or so you just explain, and but in some of them, it was observed. So observe someone starting up the reactor. And yeah, in some cases, it would be perform under instruction. So you actually had to, you know, you know, serve as injuring off the watch, start up the reactor under instruction. So there’d be and the power of thing was like, but you knew in advance, and I’m wondering, and so that let people be very proactive, because it’s a Oh, they’re starting up the reactor tomorrow, I better make sure my button is there. So I can observe it, because I know, that’s one of the things I got. And I’m wondering if there’s something similar for managers, where you’d have like a checklist and say, okay, like delegation skills, you know, you know, delegate three things, you know, get feedback on this and get it kind of checked off either someone else checking it off, or doing it yourself. So you’d have this slate of, you know, visible to you of here is the skills a manager is expected to master now, you know, go forth, and, you know, try them out.

Marcia Nuffer 42:37
Mm hmm. Well, so part of my answer is yes, because there is structure, and there are check offs, right. I mean, you know, how you do that through the platform, whether that be points or something else like that, you know, throughout that learning sprint, right, the framework itself is saying, here’s the 10, capability expectations. Each of those, as you go through them, certainly has expectations around them. And you are giving me really good ideas on how to add some behavioral ones around, you know, observations, a great one, be able to, you know, have tried this thing. And so I’m definitely walking away from here with some more ideas on on how to do this, I wouldn’t say one big difference between what you’re describing and this wouldn’t be around individualization. And only in the respect that, you know, as I mentioned, I do have this proprietary and validated assessment, which I’ve been piloting to great success, people keep looking at it and going, Oh, my God, that captures me. And that, that would say, hey, my challenges aren’t delegating, or coaching. I’m kind of a natural people person. But boy, you get me in the midst of ambiguity and having to make decisions and that’s really tough. And, and so, as adults, you know, for learning adults learn when they have to learn. And they learn by doing right not just theoretically, and it’s kind of as you said, Oh something about the reactor tomorrow, I better learn this. And so individuals choose in my model with their manager based on their development needs, which of these things Am I going to focus on? And yes, within that, what you just described? Absolutely, there is a you know, a set expectation of how you build that capability. But it isn’t we all need to Take the time to focus on all the things.

Will Bachman 45:03
Yeah. Tell me about the assessment that you’ve developed?

Marcia Nuffer 45:07
Sure. So I worked with Hogan leadership assessments, which is one of the Grand daddies of assessments extremely well validated. And, and they, there’s this really a personality assessment. But they’ve done a lot of research translating, how do these different aspects of personality come together, to likely make me good at decision making or struggle with decision making? lets you know, let’s use that if I’m hugely consensus driven. Yay, that’s awesome in some contexts, but when it comes to leading and making decisions, maybe a little more problematic. So that’s that linkage between personality and capability. And so the person takes the Hogan assessment. And then based on that, those results and kind of deeper interpretation, I have a proprietary report that the person gets with an overall sort of graphic map of relative strengths and development needs across those three domains. And then a deep dive on each of the 10 capabilities. You know, at your best people, like you, you know, do this possible pitfalls of your style or that and then a linkage directly to these micro lessons I’ve described? That, you know, based on this assessment, you may want to go look at this or go do that. In the in the assessment itself.

Will Bachman 46:51
Wow. That sounds super powerful. Is that is that something that’s available to the general public yet are still still under wraps?

Marcia Nuffer 46:59
No, no, it’s it’s available to the public. I’m in the process of automating parts of that to make it scalable. But yeah, that’s, that’s available today.

Will Bachman 47:14
So, Marsha, if folks wanted to learn more about blueshore, more about your work and about this capability building tool on the assessment? Where would you point them?

Marcia Nuffer 47:25
Well, certainly going to the blue shore website, and blue shores, spelled B, Liu, E. Sh, o, R, no e at the end of shore, will give you a sense of my areas of expertise, the kinds of works that I’ve done, and that we do around in consultative and executive coaching. In terms of what I’m talking about right now, I think the best way for people to learn more is going to be to reach out to me individually, at Marcia Mar CIA at Blue shore calm, because that’s not yet reflected on the website and in the process of putting that together. But, you know, we’re hot off the press, as you and I are talking and, and so at this point, you know, most relevant is, excuse me most reliable is just to come directly to me.

Will Bachman 48:32
Fantastic. Well, we’ll include that link in your email address in the show notes. So listeners, if you want to follow up, you can do that. And listeners if you are so inclined to give the show a five star review on iTunes, that would be greatly appreciated. It does help people discover the show and just makes me feel awesome. So and if you want to get the weekly email for this show where I tell you about all the most recent episodes, go visit umbrex.com click on the Unleashed tab and you can pop in your email. Thank you, Marcia. This was really fabulous discussion. It was so much fun hearing some of the inside story of IO W. Thanks for joining.

Marcia Nuffer 49:13
Thank you Well, it pleasure to talk to you as always.

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