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Special Interview with Alexandra Hatcher

Hey everybody!

I'm Ken Cameron with Corporate Culture Shift.

We're here talking about our SHIFT Card Deck, and we're in the middle of our ATB Booster Campaign, and one of the things we've been doing is a series of logs talking about the card deck to give you a bit of a tour and overview of the card deck and really show you why we're so excited about it, and why it could be of such value to you...

Well, what I wanted to do today was bring in my colleague Alexandra Hatcher.

Alexandra is the lead researcher in the development of the SHIFT Card Deck, and she has been invaluable in the development of the card deck...

When I was working on this card deck and doing a lot of the researching and interviewing a lot of people working in industry, one of the things I realized was that I really wanted to do a deep dive into the research, but the person I needed to do that was the expert, Alexandra Hatcher.

Alexandra, tell us a little bit about your experience with organizational values.

Alexandra: So for me, it has been an integral part of my work in my current practice, but it started, really, with a deep exploration when I was doing my graduate work a number of years ago, and looking at the direct connection between values at the personal level, your organizational values, its impact on strategic planning, its impact on direction and development within an organization, and it's just kind of grown, for me, from there.

Ken: And so one of the things I really liked when we first started talking about this project was how in alignment our thoughts were around values, but also that there were different ways that we approached it, and different perspectives...

So I really value the perspective you brought to it, and I really liked a lot of the research that you did on each and every one of these 81 cards.

So I wanna publicly thank you for, what I like to brag to people about, the intellectual rigor that you brought to the whole process.

Tell us a little bit about some of the research and some of the deep dives you did into any one of these cards.

Alexandra: Well, when I started looking at the original matrix that was developed, for me, it resonated. It showed that there was an understanding of that personal and organizational values...

'Cause they should connect, but sometimes there's differences. And as I started to go into some more detail, it became really clear that organically, we were touching on some pretty significant pieces that people will see themselves reflected in as they go through the cards.

And I went down many rabbit holes as I was doing the research, 'cause it was fascinating, and seeing how some of those connections, at the personal level, impact organizations.

As an example, when there is a disconnect between your personal values and an organization's values that you work with, and you start to see that manifesting itself in things like being disengaged or disconnected to the work, maybe not happy in your job, maybe not happy with your supervisor, but you're not sure why, almost always, it can boil down to a disconnect with values at that personal level; that your personal values do not connect with the organization's values. And that there was probably a moment in time when that disconnect actually happened.

So as I was doing the research, one of the things that came out for me was that there... That disconnect, if you're not aware of that at the organizational level, it can be a detriment to your work and to your practice and how your colleagues and coworkers interact with each other.

And so that's why this deck is so important, is to not only be able to identify those, but to have continual conversations about each of the different values and the way in which they impact the work of the organization.

Ken: I think it's really important, too, you talked about how it can be a tool to have those conversations...

'Cause I've always viewed it as a conversation starter, or as a conversation tool, or as a prompt, as you're going through the conversations about the way that you work and the values that you share in your work.

Alexandra: True, absolutely. It's an opportunity to not only be the catalyst for a conversation, especially if an organization hasn't really delved into that, but there's lots of research that shows that organizations that don't take the time to think about it from that, some would say, a philosophical level, or that values level; that then the strategies that you develop aren't going to be as successful.

Ken: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah, right.

Now, when we did some of that research, one of the things that we did was we looked at kind of the whole picture of all 81 cards, and 81 values, and you compared that against some of the foundational research in the field. Tell us a little about that.

Alexandra: Sure. So after doing a lot of the research, one of the things I went back to was one of the first documents that really delved into basic human values...

And the Schwartz Theory of Basic Human Values lists out 10 groupings. And one of the things that we did was reconciled our document with that document, and it was fascinating how organically we had come to the same conclusions, which just confirmed for me that we were doing really good work, and that we hadn't missed anything, either.

But that, the Schwartz document is kind of the values piece of that foundational piece of work.

Ken: And that was kind of something I really appreciated, that we did that in so many different ways, not just with the Schwartz document, but kind of with all 81 cards.

We identified... We did a lot of interviews with industry, we checked against our own values, and we ended up with our own vision, but then we also kept checking back to make sure that that was valid, both against the research, and against actual practice in the real world.

Alexandra: Absolutely. And each of the values that we landed on that are included in the deck all have had academic rigor attached to them. So we have looked up for articles, we looked in sort of popular literature, there. It's, every single one was been validated.

Ken: Now, another thing that I really like about the synergy and the way that we work, or rather, the differences in the way that we work, is I came at this project from a perspective of looking at organizational values, and you came at this project from the perspective of looking at personal values.

So this is one of the reasons why I really like bringing Alexandra into the project.

And Alexandra, I thought now, maybe it would be great if we could show patients in the audience one of the exercises that you've developed using the SHIFT Card Deck.

Alexandra: Sure.

Ken: And I'll be your subject.

Alexandra: Okay, sounds good.

Ken: Okay.

Alexandra: So let's take the cards.

Ken: Okay.

Alexandra: So we have our 81, here. And I'd like you to choose 15 that resonate with you.

Ken: Okay.

Alexandra: Basically, at your core, who are you? And 15 cards that are, for you, this is who I am.

Ken: Okay.

Alexandra: You identify with, you see yourself reflected in them, they make sense to you, they are like, "Yep. This is who Ken is."

Ken: Okay, okay. All righty.

Ken: So those are my ... Those are the 15 that really kind of lay out for me.

Alexandra: So 15, you have 15.

Ken: Yeah, exactly.

Alexandra: Okay.

Ken: If I can spread these out, these are the ones that really resonate with me, as a person, the way that I approach my work.

Alexandra: Okay.

Ken: All righty.

Alexandra: So have a good look at this, and I'd like you to take away seven.

Ken: Take away seven?

Alexandra: Take away seven.

Ken: Okay.

Alexandra: Remove seven from the table.

Ken: Okay. So what are the seven that really matter to me? This one.

Alexandra: You need to take away.

Ken: So I needed to take away, first.

Alexandra: Yes.

Ken: Things that are less important to me.

Alexandra: Yes.

Ken: Oh, man.

Alexandra: Yes.

Ken: Okay, that is actually is even super harder.

Alexandra: It is not intended to be easy.

Ken: Well, thank you. Thank you for that. Yeah, well that unfortunately, is one that I don't focus on enough...

That, I gotta keep that. I kind of struggle with that one, sometimes, so that obviously isn't as important as it should be... Okay.

Alexandra: See, [crosstalk 00:07:25].

Ken: See, it's not easy. No, it's definitely hard. This is definitely hard.

Alexandra: So look at the ones you have left on the table.

Ken: Okay, yeah.

Alexandra: Does that really resonate with you?

Ken: Yes.

Alexandra: Do they say, "This is Ken?" At the core of who you are, this is what you stand for, this is what you believe in, what people think of when they think of Ken?

Ken: Yes.

Alexandra: Okay. I'd like you to take away five.

Ken: Take away five more?

Alexandra: Yes.

Ken: Take away five.

Alexandra: Take away five. Remove five from the group.

Ken: Okay. All right.

Alexandra: Take away one more.

Ken: These are the three that I'm left with.

Candid dialog, 'cause it's really important for me to be able to have those challenging conversations no matter how difficult they can be...

Entrepreneurial thinking, because I try to bring new perspectives and outside ways of approaching things to my work...

And also abundance, because I truly believe that the more that you share, the more it comes back to you. And it's one of the reasons why we're putting out so many of these vlogs and giving everybody as much as an extensive tour of the SHIFT Card Deck as possible, rather than just kind of hoarding knowledge. Right?

So these are the three values that I would land on.

Alexandra: The intention of this exercise is to really think holistically about who you are, so that's that 15; but getting down to the absolute core of who you are...

It doesn't mean that the rest of those cards are not part of you, or aren't reflective of who you are. It just means that as you went through this process, these were the ones that, for me, this is, at the very base of who I am, these are my values.

Ken: Right.

Alexandra: And that's where we start from. So when we start to look at those, what you have here, in relation to an organization, and working with an organization that has a stated set of values, what are the connections there, and do you see yourself reflected in how the organization has expressed its values?

And we have those organizations that write their values down, live their values, practice, the behaviors, everything is connected with them. They walk the talk, and others that have that stated values, but don't live that.

So it's about now looking at, "Okay, well how do I be my best self through these values with the organization that I'm working with?"

Ken: Right, right. So I could look for some alignment between this and what's printed on the wall of the lunchroom.

Alexandra: Yes, yes.

Ken: And look for those points of connection and find what makes me happiest or most driven or most efficient or effective in my work.

Alexandra: Yeah, yeah. And for those that are maybe not feeling as connected, maybe it's an opportunity to have conversation about why.

"Oh, I am an entrepreneurial thinker and I have an organization that is very soloed and specific in the way that it wants to do its work. Maybe there's a disconnect there."

Ken: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alexandra: Yeah, maybe that's why there's the disconnect.

Ken: Okay.

Alexandra: Yeah. Yeah, there you go.

Ken: Very useful. Thank you. Plus, I learned something about myself in my own business, and the way that I run my own business.

Alexandra: There you go.

Ken: So thanks very much...

And I hope you found this useful, as one of the many, many ways in which we can use this very versatile SHIFT Card Deck. If you're interested in the card deck and you wanna know more, click on the link on this page, join our booster campaign, and we'll see you again in the next vlog.