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HR Superstars

Episode 13 · 1 year ago

A Human-First Approach to Organizational Transformation w/ Delta Dental's Sarah Chavarria

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

A truly grehttps://www.15five.com/resources/podcast/at company culture doesn’t typically develop on its own.

It is often necessary to undergo change that will allow you to grow as an organization and build the culture you desire.

In this episode of HR Superstars, we talked with Sarah Chavarria, Chief People Officer at Delta Dental, about organizational transformation.

What we talked about:

-How culture shapes your organization’s personality.

-HR’s role in empowering employees.

-Where mindset and habits come into play.

-How to handle employee fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

For the entire interview, subscribe to HR Superstars on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

... and you have to attend to your strategy, your structure and your culture to get there. You're listening to HR superstars, a podcast from fifteen five that highlights stories from the front lines of HR and people offs. Each episode will showcase fascinating conversations with leaders offering their unique experiences and advice for building an extraordinary company and culture. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to HR superstars. My name is Shane Metcalf and I'm here with my cofounder, David Hassell, and we are thrilled today to welcome Sarah Chavaria. And Sarah is the executive vice president and chief people officer at Delta Dental of California and it's enterprise affiliates all over the world. Sarah leads the overall employee experience across talent acquisition, talent management, Compensation and benefits, Union relations, health and welfare plans, employee learning and development and diversity and inclusion. Sarah, welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me so basically, you're running the whole enchilada. You know I mean pretty much in quiet and deep function. Yeah, is under you. Yes, we we worked hard in our transformation to make sure we had an people function and that, yes, everything in fact came under me. So, you know, I'm really excited. In the pre interview we were talking about that pretty much every aspect of business, and the certainly people operations and culture, is undergoing really rapid transformation right now, and so we're going to be diving into incredible, you know, into the awesome topic of organizational transformation. But first, David, you want to kick off with a little more personal question. Yeah. Well, first we love you. If you just scare a little bit about Delta Dental for folks to May or may not be familiar. As we were chatting, I think I said I'd you know, I've carried a Delta Dent Little Card am I wall at numerous times in my career. So sure many people are familiar, but can you tell us a little bit about the organization, what you guys do, the history, how big you are and also, like what's the flavor of the culture? You know, I find that companies cultures almost have a personality, kind of like people do, and so I want to like let people know in a little bit about what what is it like a delta? Yeah, no, that's great. So, like you, I was a client or a member of Delta dential long before I ever found my way to working here. So, you know, some fun fact. We were founded in one thousand nine hundred and fifty five. So when you think about organizational transformation, you're talking about a you know, transforming an organization that has been around and, frankly, been pretty successful for a very long time. I think noteworthy is also that we provide oral health care coverage for over thirty eight million Americans. So I would love it if we were all over the world, but we're all over the United States in fifteen states and three territories, and so I think that's pretty noteworthy. It makes us, you know, quite large. It makes our reach very, very broad, and we've been in business for a long time. So, you know, I love the personality question because I grew up in my career really starting in organizational development or, you know, training and developing leaders, and so you spend a lot of time evaluating what your own style is and what the people on your team is, and companies do have their own kind of collective personality. Profile, and I would be I'll be honest and say when I joined Delta dental about three and a half years ago, it had a personality profile that probably a lot of insurance companies have right, kind of that Guardian personality, which is, you know, make sure it's, you know,...

...got everything that it needs from a compliance perspective, regulatory perspective, that we're doing everything with really solid processes and that we're, you know, really motivating the employees around understanding those processes and and delivering, you know, excellence services. So, you know, but a very guardian personality. And what's been really fun over the last three and a half years since I was invited to join and really help, you know, shape and drive the transformation that business transformation from a culture perspective, is we've been able to really think about what is it about that kind of culture we want to maintain and keep, and what about it do we have to change? And so, if I define the personality of us today, we're still evolving and we're still transforming. We're much more, you know, focused on collaboration and bringing people together. We are really doing more storytelling about the customer. I mean we're our own customers so you know, it's not hard to imagine what it feels like to be a patient walking into a dentist, stuff as seeking care. So it's a it'll be fun today with you to unpack a little bit the story of the transformation, because the personality of the organization has to change with the transformation and that is all about people and that's what I love to talk about. Well, and it's all it's so interesting of being with the company that's you know, that's not a new silicon valley start up where the original founders are still the dominating presence. You know, I'm sure, I'm I'm assuming the original founders of belt insure are not here. You know, not here longer, died, yea longer time and and so you know, because I often think that organizations are expressions of the consciousness of our founders, you know, the inherent values and perspectives and biases and you know, just just kind of naturally, he's an expression of the original team creating it. So you know, I'm sure it's fascinating to come into a much more established company that's been doing things the way it has been, which really makes the case for transformation even greater. Right that it really is. Okay, this is a bigger project is going to be. There's more entrenched ways of being and doing things, and yet the the necessity to evolve and to transform is critical right due to it's just not an option to not stay current with the Times. You know, you're bringing up something so fascinating because there are some similarities. Right. So, before I was with Delta Dental, I was with Nant help, very much led by a founder CEO with a very strong philosophy about how to run that organization and it does shape the culture. Right. Fast Forward To Delta denial, any organization that's been around for a while, sure one of the things that will get in your way is the success or the failures of the past. Right. We've been joining it this way for sixty two years and it has worked, so why would we change it? But what's still true is in its gets to leadership, it really still is the role of leadership, of senior leadership of an organization coming together to really be deliberate and thoughtful about the culture your seeking to build, that you're seeking to cultivate. And our story really starts with the employees. So we spend a lot of time, my first weeks, by my third week, I was out meeting with our employees in Georgia, in Pennsylvania, in Texas, in California, and really just asking one simple question, which was if you would want your nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends to work for Delta Donal, but with that culture look like? And that really gave birth to our values as an organization. So I'm really proud that this leadership team that came together and really...

...started deliberately thinking about what is the culture that we want, what is the culture we want to really deliver, really started with the question of what our employees want, and so as a leadership team, we were able to really get connected to the employees shape our values, which we will always say came from them, and values say, for a long time and and there their wonderful anchors to bring everything back and, you know, not surprising. Probably a lot of organizations have similar values, right, but ours or trust and service and excellence and innovation. So it's a wonderful foundation to build from. As you start to transform, which is bringing about changes, you can always tie it back to those values. So the idea of a founder setting the tone or a leadership team setting the tone has some similarities and the differences. It's not the tone of that individual, but it's that leadership teams ability to really be thoughtful and deliberate about how they wanted to find the culture they aspire to have. Yeah, I love how you went to the employees to kind of get a sense for what is it that they feel this could be and then then you get to steward that in a way, and then and then use your leadership to try to drive that transformation. Before we get into the transformation piece, I'm curious a little bit about you. What you know your personal journey and becoming ahead of people in this in this regard, because you're in a lot of ways the transformer or the person who's going to transform this, and I'd be curious understand, like how did you get to this place to be able to have the capability to do that, but then also the desire and the passion for what you do? Curious about your journey. Yeah, well, you know, as a little girl, I grew up and always wanted to be a teacher, race to line up my stuff, the animal really thought. I'm going to say as a little girl I always wanted to be a chief people officer. No, no, I didn't even know what them was. And I think, you know, like a lot of people, when I first entered the workforce, you know, the idea of human resources had a very different picture attached to what that was does today. So just as a function, it's been fun to evolve, but it kind of just pave the picture of of that. You know I mean, because I think that there's I mean there's some young professional today that might not even really have an image of what that that old school hr professional was perceived as, Oh, I'll make it really easy, compliance police. Right. So you talked about a personality of a function. Some of us who kind of started coming into and growing up in HR really recognize that the functions value to an organization was playing the policy police, holding people in compliance, making sure that, you know, all the boxes were checked, and it unfortunately is. You know, it creates a culture where you're not able to partner with the business to help solution or do a lot of things because, you know, you walk in a room and everybody wonders what's wrong and there's no good meeting where you are. Right, there were no good meetings with a jar and fire or right exactly. And and it was unfortunate because when I came into you know, the my first corporate job after, you know, teaching adults for a while, I worked for Lely by Strauss and I reported into HR, which I found terrifying because I was a trainer. I was, you know, meeting with the employees and really working with them to upskill or to think about, you know, different things. And so became really obvious to me pretty early that that connection with the employees, through teaching them English as a second language or teaching them, you know, skills to you know, get their jd whatever it was, gave me insight to let the employees...

...need. And so my seat at the table in meetings became this real advocate for you know, if we're going to you know automate a process, you know maybe we ought to ask you know, Marianna about them, because, you know, she's been doing this process for fifty years. And so when I started getting really connected to through that experience with Leevies, was changed management. Levice had made the decisions to close its plants. I had six of those facilities that I worked and they sent me to Amarillo, you know, to tell a bunch of leaders they were going to be let go and invite it to reapply for their jobs. And one of the leaders looked at me, he'd obviously worked there over thirty years, and said, you mean to tell me they're going to send a college punk like you to tell me my job is changing? And in that moment I realized I had information that he didn't have and if we just sat down, I said, you know, we can do this anyway. I just want to equip you with everything you need to go through this process, because they don't think that's what we're intending. I can't imagine, you know, that this wonderful organization is intending for you to feel like that. And that open the doors for me to change management. And I didn't even know that's what it was called, but it was, you know, using my seat at the table to connect with leaders to help bridge the gap between what the impacted population was feeling, let's call it the employees, and what the leaders were desiring to bring about. And so I became this, you know, trainer, organizational development person who just try to help connect those thoughts and then my career went from there. You know, I moved on to different organizations and every organization, I think changed. Your point earlier is has been and continues to go through transformation because you're always seeking to improve something, change something, implement something, and so I really built my career on, you know, coming in with that organizational development mindset of how do I help the business translate what the change will look like feel like, how do I help them anticipate what the employees are going to need so that we're successful on the other side? And that led me to the role I'm into today, because the HR function was changing at the same time and people like me who were really playing that, you know, we'll call it hoe organizational effectiveness role of, you know, being really honest with the leaders and helping develop plans and, you know, helping them, you know, get creative or do whatever. That started becoming really valuable to organizations because, you know, you start to have thecom's which are disrupting, you know, some you know, larger businesses. The talent is starting to move around, so maybe the problem you're trying to solve as how do we retain that talent to stay here longer than three ors, you know, whatever that problem was. I loved coming in and just solutioning for how to get success on the other end. And you know, at the end of the day, I guess, you know, to make it really simple, our vision statement at Delta Don'll starts with to, you know, motivate and empower the employee, to fill in the blank, and I see that as my job. My job is to sit at the table and help us, as an organization, think about how do we continue to motivate, be a purpose Ri of an organization, live our values, you know, be clear about expectations, but also moved to empowering the employee, which is something I firmly believe in. I think the answers usually sit there, because at the end of the day, you need your five employees, your fifty fivezero employees or your tenzero employees to, you know, all be supportive and go through the transformation with you. So that's how I got here. Would you? Would you say so if hr used to be compliant police? What's they what's the modern...

...to word summary of HR? I mean, is it empower employees? You know, I think it's even I think it's engage employee, right. I mean I would love to say it's empower employees. You know, I think that's great. But I think if you engage employees you get so much more because they believe in you as an organization and they're engaged so that they're happy to be here, they're going to stay there. Your ambassadors there empowered. So I think I would say it's engaged employees and from a you know, from a leadership perspective, I would say hr has really evolved to be a critical thought partner to the business which does the model, if you will, that many of us are sitting in today, which is really just, you know, instead of people, you know, getting fearful if we walk in the room, you know we're being invited in and and then many ways we are doing the invited name to bring different parts of the business together to solution, and that's what I like to see. So personally, you know, my my great dis joy as when I get to work on a people team where, you know, if we send out an invitation, people are excited, they come to the table and we're working together to solve a business problem and just, you know, marching on. So that's great. What do you think about the role of the manager? You know, one of the things that we're talking about these days is almost the the rising role of manager enablement to drive manager effectiveness, and I'm curious has it? How does that fit into your model of change management and what are some of the things that you've done to support the managers in in the organization? That's the critical, critical piece of culture transformation because, much like I described hr kind of moving from compliance police, you know, to this, you know, engaged employees focus, I think managers in many ways have been also asked to play this role of managing performance and really not being equipped with a lot of tools to understand how to do that while motivating and empowering employees at the same time. And so what I would say is that for us and for many, you know, successful organizations that focus on leadership development, you know, on the one hand it's shifting your culture to become a feedback culture, right, and so what you're developing in your in your leaders, is the ability to provide or cascade information to their workforce so that they're speaking on behalf of what the purpose of the organization is, what the goals of the organization are. So we spent a lot of time really focusing on communication channels and communication content and then ways to get those talking points into the hands of leaders, because the one thing we all know is that the employee trusts their immediate supervisor first. So if you can equip that immediate supervisor with speaking on behalf of what the transformation requires, what it is we're trying to deliver, you're going to have that trust, which is our value number one. And so, you know, we get through through communication channels, we get there through leadership development. We really refocused a lot of our leadership development away from simply, you know, instructural Ed classes on crucial conversations and things like that and really refocus them on some other types of content like situational leadership, because one of the profiles of Art Organization now is that we have many employees who worked for us for twenty years, thirty years, and we have a lot of employees who worked for US less than three years. So the profile of that talent is different and the leadership skills need to be able to flex, you know, both to attend to the different needs of that tenure but also to the different needs...

...of you know, there their experiences, you know, or whatever else that differences. And so you know, and then you have to compliment that, because you can't just throw I mean, I come from training. You can just throw them in a class and when you know, yeah, you come out and hope it. Hope it's six. So we've also changed our performance management culture, you know, away from, you know, a single annual event where we are going to have a conversation, and I'm going to measure you too, a yearlong, you know, feedback loop where the employee has a voice, the manager has a voice and we're facilitating feedback and dialog Ug and you know, I could go on and on, but those are some examples of, you know, some of the leadership pieces you have to think about, and I'll just maybe end by saying the most important thing is that the senior leadership team really works together to model the values and model the very behaviors you're hoping to see across your workforce. Because they don't see it in the senior leaders, there's no way you're going to get it enterprise. Why then? That takes work too. So yes, that's always have to hold myself back from, like self promoting our own platform because it's like, you know, it's why we believe in continuous, continuous feedback. Loops, you know, and that the annual review just is not cutting it anymore and that we need to be more relational, we need to be in more human in the way that we approach actually helping people be more engaged and improve their performance. So I want to switch gears a little bit, and I mean I think it's going to touch upon a couple of these different threads. On what is organizational transformation? And you know what, is this a broad term that applies for anything. When you when you switch out performance management process from an annual review to a more continuous approach. You know, what's your definition of organizational transformation? I think to have organizational transformation it means you're touching people, process and technology and enterprise. Why? So a simple, you know, performance me in riachment upgrade. I would put that in the category of an improvement, you know, with a little change management plan or Big Change Management Plan. But organizational transformation is you are fundamentally seeking to do work differently tomorrow than you are doing today and you have to attend to your strategy, your structure and your culture to get there. So if you're moving those three dials then or if you're touching any one of those three dials. You better be working on all three. But that's where it is, that map to premy process and technology. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So within that sits. You know, if you're looking at structure, it means you're looking at those, you know, the organizational structure and you know, like for us three and a half, four or five years ago, it wasn't, you know, uncommon to have different parts of the business have their own HR, people have their own finances, people have their own communications people, and for our transformation we needed to really bring it under the you know, functional umbrella so that we could have an enterprise y view versus a you know, segmented view of our business. And so organizational transformation for us means, you know, we're moving from and you know, Delta Denel is a very successful company and it has an amazing brand and you know, I used to you know, select Delta Donel, as you know, our benefit in the companies that that I worked at. So the transformation is really moving from everything we know how to do really well and getting closer to understanding the needs of our stakeholders, and those stakeholders for us are providers or dentists, there are members, there are customers, there are employees and there are communities, right. So it's this stakeholder ecosystem that we want to get closer to, because if we are...

...going to provide enhanced and improved products and services to grow our business, and that growth could be, you know, retaining the customers we have while enhancing those products and services, are adding to the members we cover and the customers that we have, we want to understand and make those investments to serve the needs of our stakeholders and really being in tune with them, appreciating what you said early on that everyone's going through some level of transformation. So that means that our customers are transforming, our dentists are rethinking, you know, how they want to provide services to our members, and so that whole group of stakeholders and our ability to transform so that we're paying attention to and collecting those insights so that we can shape our strategy right and and be really focused on growing our business around those needs, is really critical. And then that transformation on the operation side means that we are delivering those products and services to that same stakeholder group in the best way possible and being successful. And so when you're doing organizational transformation. I always say there's change in here for everybody. There is no one here who is going to be doing in three years what they're doing today. I guarantee it, and and we've lived up to that. I mean even our call center reps who, you know, have spent, let's call it twenty years fielding calls from members, and they had an opportunity the last summer to raise their hand and work on a special project. Right during the pandemic. The intist sauces is closed and our call volumes went down and I gave us an opportunity to really get to our frontline workers and capture their insights for how we might improve some of the products we were working on, some of the processes we were working on, all with the goal of delivering, you know, enhanced and improved services and products to our clients. How much of the how much of you, do you have to think about the both like the mindset, the thinking, the perspectives and the habits of the employees as as a portion of this. Do you feel like those things come as a result of shifting the processes in the structure, or is that like where you start? Where is that fit into the equation. The thinking drives behavior. And if you know so, you have to start with mindset and and that really starts for us with our values, right in the value of trust. And so the investments that we've made in our communication channels, making sure that our CEO is talking to the workforce, you know, on a monthly basis we're having people leader calls were cascading talking points, is all in the spirit of building that mindset around trust and building that mindset around readiness for transformation or change or painting the picture right. So what is it going to look like at the end? Because only then will you get the behaviors in the buying and everything else. So I'm a firm believer that everything you embark on starts with the mindset and the answer to the mindset is the story you're telling, which is the why right. So okay. So how do you handle employee Fud you know, fight is fear, uncertainty and doubt, and I think you know, and I mean I think it's just human to have Fud when it comes to change, to work with that. Yeah, that's a great question and last year's a great example, right. I mean one year ago we probably experience the most widespread bud in our employe populations, no matter what company you were at, because we were now not only...

...attending to their fear about what we're doing organizationally, but they're fundamental fear of this virus and of the you know, their neighbors who are losing their jobs and things like that, and I think that the feedback loop, not only from a performance perspective, that ability to build a feedback loop or to build a two way communication path with your employees is so critical. So, for example, we do surveys, we do pull surveys, like a lot of organizations, but we complement that full survey with every town hall that our CEO does. We leave the chat and the Qa open and we curate all of those questions and we try to address them live or we follow up through different communication channels to really get at those employees. If it's one employee who has asked five questions, we do a personal reach out and were check in on them, like you know, are you okay, like you know what's going on. But that feedback loop is important and not, you know, hiding from what they're fearful about, and that gets too you know, and Change Management. The the biggest exercise that I think people spend the least amount of time on is understanding their stakeholders and anticipating where that fear or that uncertainty or that resistance or whatever that is, is going to come from and building a plan to address it. And usually addressing it is kind of you know, I was tell me a leader the other day, you know, don't shy away from your population that's raising issues. Go sit with them and have some dialog, because usually that fear is driven by their uncertainty. They don't know and they're gassing and you want to close the loop on that. So I you know, I don't want to make it sound like it's a simple thing to build, but for us, the you know, leaving the QA open, having people leader calls so people leaders can show up on behalf of their employees and ask us anything, you know. So it's staffed by my whole my whole team, that a big portion of my people team that can really get in there and provide answers. We do a lot of talking points and we push those talking points through our frontline supervisor so they're equipped, you know, to reinforce messages to capture messages and then when my CEO does his town halls, you know he'll have me as a guest so we can tackle some of the really hard questions if they're hr related or people related. And you know, and he's not shy either. I mean, if you know, last year the big question was or we going to have layoffs or we going to have layoffs, and people were really fearful about that and we, he did a great job of just acknowledging it was a fear and keeping the promise that he would keep them as informed as as we could. And that you know, and we made it through the year without having to having to do layoffs because we got really creative. Yeah, thank you, but if we had, we had built that relationship with our employees around trust that we were going to tell them, we were not going to surprise them, and I think that's important to I mean, I think it's so interesting because I think authority in hierarchy used to be based on fear. Right, you know, I'm above you in the hierarchy, I have the power and so you better do your job because I said so. And this, I think, is it's also this this transformation from authority based on fear to authority based on trust, like yeah, you are doing what I'm telling you because you actually trust me and and there can be that dialog. You have a voice, you are respected as a complete human being inside this organization. Yeah, absolutely, and I think, you know, some of the the folks listening to this probably still sit in commanding control cultures or they still have elements of that. I mean, you know, as a sixty two year old organization, we...

...have leaders who's predominant and prefer leadership style would you know, come, as you know, through that that hierarchical upbringing, and we do a lot to support those employees and those leaders and really, you know, leaning, you know, into some different skills, which you know is asking them to be vulnerable at times, right, because that profile of leader is the kind of have the answer I know best, and I'm going to tell you, and you know, David, back to mindset, right, the the minds. That shift has to happen, that those leaders believe that a focus group with a group of their employees to unpack a topic or, you know, he's out a problem, that that creates value and we've done a lot to demonstrate that too. But but it isn't gone out of cultures. We still have a lot of organizational cultures, I am sure, who have a lot of that leadership style left. Yeah, it's a I'm you know, we just started doing a exact Ama slack channel and so, you know, anyone in the company can go in and ask the leadership team any question and we're all in there throughout the week answering and it's been really cool seeing, you know, what are what is top of mind for people, what are the things that really cares about and what are the different perspectives we all have in the leadership team and just of that information flow, because in the absence of people having information, I think they go to foot they go to making up their own story. Yeah, which is why is I could if you're CEO wasn't saying we'll keep you informed with everything we know about whether we're going to do layoffs or not, because if, if that wasn't happening, they're like, oh, Yep, layoffs are definitely happening, I should probably start it's another job right now. Yeah, I love that a make concept because, you know, I think sometimes we forget as leaders that connecting with our workforce in a way to just demonstrate that we're humans. Where people we we have some of those same, you know, experiences, you know, and and some of those same issues, and so we, you know, we've done some some more kind of casual interactions with us and every once in a while, because I have, you know, to very barkie dogs and you know, I have three grown children and sometimes a purposefully sit somewhere where they can hear the dogs or they can hear the kids, because I want people to see that, you know, I also have all the same stuff going on everywhere and just connecting with the workforce to to, you know, remind everybody that there's there's really not that big of a difference between how I spend my day and how you spend your day. We're both trying to just show up every day, create value and balance our lives at the same time, and I think that's it's so important to get, you know, a leadership team to the point where you can, you know, have offer an ama where anything goes and everything will be addressed. I think that's a that's a wonderful, you know, milestone to measure and and it's a lot of fun to do that because the things people ask. I mean, I was asked you know what what I last read. I was like, Oh, I wasn't expecting on that work related and I will. Now I got to ask what's the last thing you're at now? That's funny. I will say I am halfway through President Barack Obama's book. I'm listening to that one audio. But right, yeah, yes, democracy being restored. Yes. I mean what I love is I come at everything from a human behavior, in a leadership perspective, right, and I think that I love just hearing him tell this, the backstory that sits behind what we all thought and imagined. Right, and absolutely, I mean I you know, I very much I love my role because I very much just want to create a culture where everyone feels like they...

...belong and and everyone has a place and has access to some basic rights around healthcare, obviously, because I've worked in healthcare for a long time, and education and things like that. So his book has been profound in the sense that, similar to the AMA conversation we were just having, it's there's some real stories in there where you're like, okay, you know he had a break between college and Law School and you know, here's kind of how we spent his time and you know, things like that. So I love that. And then I always read a fiction and I'm almost done with the giver of Stars, which is just a wonderful story about a library system facilitated by a group of women in Athol Latcha. And I love American history. So, even if it's fictional with a tiny, tiny little root of history, I think I personally think, like all leaders, should read fiction. Yeah, like I don't. In fact, David, I didn't tell you this, but David came and visited me recently in my house and I saw that he was reading Dune. And I haven't told you, David, I was so happy that you're reading some science fiction. I'm because it's like, yeah, we're all crazy busy and strange. Running business is stressful and as I was like, Oh, I'm so happy you're reading some some enjoyable science fiction. Such a good book. But but I mean, part of why I think fiction is so good is that it in there's an interesting neuroscience research about this. When we read fiction, we develop more empathy because we're literally switching our neural, you know, our perspective into somebody else's perspective, and so it's strengthening that ability to see the world through somebody else's eyes. Yeah, absolutely, that's true, and really great stories thick with you and I find myself really doing them forward. Yeah, even though it's the fictional here. Yeah, so what's what transformations are you initiating right now or that you're in the midst of, or maybe even want that very even one too. Yeah, it's a good one. Well, I think, you know, a really big part of our transformation right now is moving to agile teams and, you know, kind of away from the way we thought about projects before, and that's important for us because one of the cultural transformation pieces really tight into that is the bringing together of different functions to collaborate and actually, you know, deliver and outcome, be it an implementation of some kind or, you know, an automation of a process, and that's been big for us because we've been able to again kind of set the table and invite, you know, different people to play and build different government structures around that and and been focused on that. So I would say, you know, that's one and then the other has been really partnering. I've been partnering with our Growth Organization with this, you know, if at the root of the transformation is really capturing the insights from the stakeholders we serve. A big part of that transformation has just been working with the growth organization to understand those insight. How do you package those insights and how do you really start to tell the story that drives the why behind the strategy that we have or the strategic priorities that we have as an organization and really kind of lean into that storytelling again to really motivate our employees to appreciate, understand and then, you know, feel empowered to support all of the great work that we're doing for our providers, for our members and for our employees so that they can better serve the customer. And and that's a that's a big chift for us is, you know, of really kind of taking the stage and standing in front to paint a picture of, you know, why, out of making a provider, you know,...

...solution, it becomes really critical to the provider and and that's a big part of our our transformation to and then, probably, like everyone else, I think, you know, in tandem with that growth story, it's they you know, the consumer profile for us is changing to. I have three grown children. They buy subscriptions for everything. Every month. I have some new you know, discovery plus or, you know, stitch which or whatever is called, you know, showing up and the way they interact with their own oral healthcare or their medical healthcare is very different than my father did and it's different than I did. And so I'm personally very curious and know that a big part of our transformation to is going to be just really understanding the changing needs of the market and the changing expectations of that customer or that member and and what that means to us. So I'm really looking forward to that. And all that to say, it's really our ability to better understand, work with data, to clean those insights that help us make those business decisions that have the greatest impact for that customer. Yeah, you know, it's interesting. I mean I just subscribe to my first car, you know, I'm doing this can to do a car, you know, and I'm like wow, this is crazy and I really I'm seeing that in you know, it's interesting. I've seen a lot of that innovation in the medical industry, but not the dental you know that there's like one medical and what is it forward health or something, you know, but but I haven't seen any of any of those kinds of innovasions of the dental world. So it will be interesting to see if if that does pop up and maybe you can give us the heads up when those things are coming. So so, okay, one last question, Sarah. If you had a magic wand and you could instantly up level any aspect of people, operations, hr culture at across the boards in business culture universally, what would that be? And I know that's a lot of power. Yeah, I don't know, my mind goes so many places. But you know, I think that unfortunately, and I don't know if this will, you know, be a good answer, but I think unfortunately the the need to to attend to cultural transformation at the same time you embark on a business transformation. I don't think is is commonplace for from many, many leaders. I think that, you know, many leaders really think they can just declare something needs to transformer, change and not attend to anything else. And so maybe I would say, you know, in the spirit of my own profession continuing to evolved, I think, you know, when organization's really more comfortably continued about culture and people and leadership development with a level of value that they would attribute, you know, to any operational aspect or, you know, any growth aspect. I think that would be really, really telling. I mean, I won't lie, it's been fun to just watch it evolved and certainly my career and the the you know, almost thirty years that that I've been in this profession have been wonderful because they've grown with me in a way. So I've benefited from that. You know, people evolution. But, you know, I'd like to see, I'd like to see a little more prominence of people leaders really talking to business leaders about transformation, because I think, you know, you were pretty bold in my introduction to suggest that in a lot of ways we are the architects and we are the transformation leaders and organizations, because if you can't motivate and and engage your workforce to come along, you're not going to have a transformation. And so if I had a magic wand, you know, these the roles of my peers who sit in other organizations would have some of the same pleasure I have...

...and having a seat at the table to help drive a transformation super, super cool. I I mean I love that and especially just that habit of always pairing. We're doing a business transformation, we need to pair it with people and culture transformation, and it's, as they're, that two glides of the same coin and it's a high time we start treating it like that. Yeah, for sure, absolutely, Fed like a great culture officer. Yes, yes, no, I know. I mean I'm just grateful that the that this is something that David saw and need for and that this is the world we live in, because I have a job now, you know. Yeah, I mean, at the time really need to cheat and we knew we were going to be growing really quickly and it was really the most, probably the one of the most critical roles, because we went through a period of time where we grew from I think it was three thousand two seventy two hundred people in a twenty four month period, and so critical to make sure that, you know, we really strengthen the culture during that time rather than then let it get watered down. Yeah, for sure. And we've been talking about transformation, but you know, think about my last company, where we did a lot of equi positions, the ability to hold to a single culture and acquire different cultures and bring them all along would be a fun another podcast. Okay, well, quick what do part two on that? Top piece of advice for having a single culture when you acquire a company, start with values and make sure they reflect with the employees to fine as the set of values for the organization and then start building from their inviting individuals to really align to those values. But I think if you have a set of values you can start from, then you can build your vision, you can refine your purpose, you can set your priorities and you can bring it all back to the mindset and the set of behaviors required tickets to their Sarah, thank you so much for joining us on the show today. If you can share with our listeners where they could find you and follow any of your work and our other thought leadership? Sure I we have life Adulta dental on instagram. We're out there on they book as well, and I meant I think we're ADULTA DENTAL DOT org. So just look for adult to denial of California and you'll find us wonderful. Thank you so much, Sarah, what a pleasure. Thank you for having me. It's been really fun. Thanks, thanks, Sarah. Y Fifteen five is the only evidence based people and performance platform for highly engaged and high performing organizations. Strategic HR leaders in all industries use the platform to win by improving communication, up leveling their managers and increasing company wide engagement. Learn more at Fifteen Fivecom you've been listening to HR superstars stories from the front lines of HR and people ops. Be Sure you never miss an episode by subscribing on your favorite podcast player. If you're listening on Apple PODCASTS, you'd love for you to leave a thoughtful review or give a quick rating by tapping the stars. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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