As Ian & JP meet up in the Beer & Butterfly we explore how serious gaming is transforming how we educate people through change & transformation. We are joined at the table by Tim Dew from GingrTech and as everyone catches up over a drink, Ian is watching Falcon & The Winter Soldier, JP finds out he's far to old to go trampolining with the kids and Tim explores a TV show "Succession" and isn't quite sure about it. They continue to then explore how Tim created "Rocket", why serious games have an important role to play in the transformation space and our hosts reflect on their experiences when they played a game of Rocket recently.
Ian Kingstone 0:00
Well what you having then Jonathan,
Jonathan Parnaby 0:05
A pint please mate
Ian Kingstone 0:06
two points, please landlord
Jonathan Parnaby 0:08
So Ian. Where's our audience sitting
Ian Kingstone 0:10
there over there? sat that table over there?
Jonathan Parnaby 0:13
Oh, yeah, I can see them. Okay, well, before we go over there, what we're going to tell them,
Ian Kingstone 0:18
we're just gonna tell them it's a relaxed environment where we can discuss, you know, all stuff around business transformation.
Jonathan Parnaby 0:23
Okay, cool. So who's actually over there who have we got
Ian Kingstone 0:27
some executives, some professionals, a few consultants.
Jonathan Parnaby 0:33
Cool, fantastic. Well, let's crack on lets over there.
Ian Kingstone 0:35
Welcome to the Beer & Butterfly
Jonathan Parnaby 0:37
A podcast where we talk transformation.
Ian Kingstone 1:03
I'm Ian Kingston.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:05
And I'm Jonathan Parnaby.
Ian Kingstone 1:06
And we're your hosts.
Ian Kingstone 1:08
In today's episode, we talk about gamification in business transformation.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:13
So Ian I've got my beer, you got your drink.
Ian Kingstone 1:16
I have but it's a cup of tea.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:18
A cup of tea, we'll let you off.
Ian Kingstone 1:20
I'm not feeling like beer today.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:22
No, no, we were just talking before we recording that. You're not looking your best. But it's all good. You still here and you're joining us tonight. So that's all good. But we're not on our own tonight. We've actually got a very special guest joining us today, which is Tim Dew. So Tim, please introduce yourself.
Tim Dew 1:42
So yes, my name is Tim Dew, I run an organisation called GingrTech. And what we do we produce transformation tool sets for the 21st century. And that is games, serious games, not gamification it's called serious games. And we also have a strategic planning tool that does end to end programme management for whole organisation planning and implementation. So background I suppose our products are Rocket, which is the serious game side and that's about driving change within organisations from within, I suppose we can get into that a bit later. And Concord is a pretty extraordinary business. For those of you that remember, Victor Kiam and Remington micro screen. I came across this about three and a half years ago and I loved it so much I bought the company it is an extraordinary, different way of looking at how you run programmes within organisations and actually get an organisation to be inherently agile. So I'll perhaps tell you a little bit about that today as well if we've got a little bit of time, but that's pretty much it for me in a nutshell.
Jonathan Parnaby 2:58
Brilliant. No thank you, Tim for for spending your evening with us and joining us in the Beer & Butterfly just out of interest what you drinking Tim.
Tim Dew 3:06
I am drinking a Pimm's because I'm with my parents in Henley on Thames. Normally I live in Edinburgh. And I think that a Pimm's is is rude not to and Henly on Thames.
Jonathan Parnaby 3:18
Yeah, we were just talking literally before. Before we got recording about my Pimms incident at a wedding once where literally, we we had an unlimited Pimms for two hours before. Whilst all the guests are arriving. It was carnage. But yeah, I don't blame him. It was good. I like a good Pimms.
Tim Dew 3:37
Was their hackling in the church?
Jonathan Parnaby 3:41
No is the they got married. And then everyone went to the reception area, and they know the bit where you're waiting around while the bride and groom are getting photos is kind of that part where? Yeah, it kind of all went wrong, to be honest. But it was a hot day. So you just drink in it because your thirsty. Yeah, it's like juice. And I think I just remember trying to chase the little waiters around with the little mini Yorkshire puddings, little mini toad in the hole. So that was my priority, I think, for that wedding. So anyway, I apologise.
Tim Dew 4:10
You need to drink pins to do that.
Jonathan Parnaby 4:13
accelerated the priority of the mini toad in the holes.. Anyway, enough about the Pimms But I'm really genuinely interested in this topic tonight, and I know before we met Tim, you know, it's no secret to the listeners that massive nerd and I love games. And in general I game as a hobby. It's kind of what I do to relax and when Ian kind of put me in touch with you it was it was like you do know that like there's there's this whole space out there in the business transformation world like you say some serious games. And and I was like, Oh cool, God talk to you. I've got to meet you. And yeah, now we're finally getting on the show says this is brilliant. So I'm really looking forward to this episode. So yeah. Welcome.
Tim Dew 5:01
Yeah, well, thanks for having me along, boys. It's, it's great to be here. I just sad that we're not actually in the pub. But
Ian Kingstone 5:12
yeah, yeah, to kind of just put yourself there mentally, that usually works.
Tim Dew 5:17
I'll really try.
Jonathan Parnaby 5:20
Right. So last week, we had, we run a pop quiz, as you know. And last week, we asked the question, or I asked the question, what element is denoted by the chemical symbol Sn in the periodic table? So if you're science minded, you might get this one. So Ian have you had any more time to think about it? Or have you cheated?
Ian Kingstone 5:44
I haven't cheated at all. But I haven't even thought about it either. And I still don't know the answer. And I have no idea. And I should because I've got a feeling it's an odd one. In a kind of funny way, but I'm not sure.
Jonathan Parnaby 6:00
As in it's not like,
Tim Dew 6:01
he doesn't begin with S or anything.
Jonathan Parnaby 6:04
What do you think, Tim? Have you got any ideas?
Tim Dew 6:07
I'm thinking silicon or Selenium?
Jonathan Parnaby 6:11
Okay. Because naturally, I would go for things started with us, right? Because, yeah, tables based
Tim Dew 6:18
Hang on is it a chrome or something.
Ian Kingstone 6:21
This is it. This is why cuz I, you know, Jonathan asked it. And, and so I naturally don't trust that it's going to begin with S.
Jonathan Parnaby 6:32
It's not copper or anything like that. No, it's Tin. Oh, Tin. Sn is Tin. Yeah, I won't. I've never got a million years. Yeah,
Tim Dew 6:43
that's tricky. I feel quite guilty because I studied chemistry quite quite high level. But that was 30 years ago. Now.
Jonathan Parnaby 6:51
This wasn't here to test or trip you up Tim.
Tim Dew 6:56
How to render a guest uncomfortable. Asked him something he learned about his whole childhood. And really should know the answer to, yeah cheers guys.
Ian Kingstone 7:05
That precious metal of tin.
Jonathan Parnaby 7:10
Let's move on swiftly. So what we've been up to Ian, obviously, apart from suffering with hay fever, have you been up to?
Ian Kingstone 7:19
And not much really working? As usual? And and oh, I've watched the Falcon in the Winter Soldier. Yeah, I haven't. Don't Don't say anything, because I'm only partway through it. So I've started watching that on Disney. I think it is on. And sorry, Tim, that we like our movies and our Marvel and all things like that. So So yeah, start watching it and really enjoying it. Didn't think I would but but I am. So don't tell me anything because I'm on about episode three or something. But But um, so that's the only thing from a from a TV movie type thing. And everything else is pretty standard work, cycling. Just being home. Because there's not much else to do at the moment. The weather's better, which is good. So I've been out and about a little bit but just locally
Tim Dew 8:15
You been stripping off Ian
Ian Kingstone 8:17
Tim Dew 8:19
Not explaining that body of yours.
Jonathan Parnaby 8:21
Not only not okay.
Tim Dew 8:27
Sorry, am I taking this to an inappropriate level already?
Ian Kingstone 8:32
on this on this, but but as you've guessed with my hay fever, it's not something that I at the moment. Yeah, obviously been out too much.
Jonathan Parnaby 8:43
Yeah, fair play fair play. What about you, Tim? What have you been up to?
Tim Dew 8:47
So what have you been up to? So I've been so normally I live in Edinburgh come down to see my parents and also my uncle and aunt. You know, they say there's no dignity and getting old. Unfortunately, I'm wondering not unfortunately, but I suppose they're quite positive, but they're negative conversations. We've sort of been doing a lot of planning around the future for the for my parents and particularly my uncle or aunt, who are getting really elderly. And it's been a bit of a voyage of discovery actually, because there's no lookup guide on how to manage elderly relatives online. And so you know, I've been having to search find out all about powers of attorney and you know, so one word so my aunt unfortunately as they're starting to get a little bit of Alzheimer's and so on. And so you know, the paperwork that you did with you know, a few years ago that was all good and happy and so on. Just isn't isn't applicable anymore. You know, you need to rewrite everything because you need to have new names in the mix. So slightly negative weight reasonably down but actually loving to catch up my parents as always and visit my sort of childhood. What have I been watching apart, you know, I so I get it. I mean, there's no good films that have come out in the last 18 months for me that appeals to me. Everything seems to be a bit sort of, Hey, if you're going to watch this film, you're going to learn lesson about you know how we should treat one another or something. And he you know, there's no just damn good action films. I can't wait for the new bond to come out. Yeah. So so I've been watching TV series that I've watched before, because that's a bit sort of dry as well because of the writer's strike and COVID. So I've been going back I've just started watching a new series that somebody recommended me called Succession which I'm not sure I'm loving yet.
Jonathan Parnaby 10:42
Succession. What's that on
Tim Dew 10:45
It's I think, yeah. I think it's HBO. And they it's all about a properly dysfunctional, very rich family where the dad is trying to hand over his business and all the kids are fighting and only about a couple of episodes in so but I'm told he gets better. So
Jonathan Parnaby 11:05
it's one of them and you start, it's like Yeah, People are like keep going. Keep going. I felt like that with Breaking Bad to be fair.
Tim Dew 11:14
Yeah. Breaking Bad was exactly the same. Yeah. Oh, God, you know, aren't we? Yes, exactly. The same thing with the office. I couldn't get into the office straightaway.
Jonathan Parnaby 11:24
The American or UK
Tim Dew 11:26
the Slough one that you mean, the official one, the proper one, the proper one. And I watched that. I had to go with that. So two or three times and suddenly clicked. And I've never laughed so hard in all my life. Yeah.
Ian Kingstone 11:39
I watched that again, later on. Obviously, more recently with with with my kids, and then and you forget how good it was? Actually, I really really enjoyed it watching it again. Even though you know what's going to happen? You know, it's it's brilliant.
Jonathan Parnaby 11:58
It's like watching Only Fools though. Right? And the Delboy falling through the bar. like everyone's seen that clip a million times faster. laughs I know exactly what's gonna happen. And that whole of you sort of tried the David Brent dance in the shower before in the shower. Yeah, you know, it's just me.
Jonathan Parnaby 12:21
I've done the dance but not in the shower. I'm gonna done I'm gonna do it now. Tomorrow morning sorted, so how can I top this? Yeah, what have I been up to? Again, not loads. I haven't actually had a chance to watch any new films or TV shows. I'm actually I'm probably gonna pick up the Loki, which I think actually released today. Did it? Yeah, yes. So Wednesday is released Wednesday. So yeah, I'll pick that up at some point, but
Ian Kingstone 12:54
he's my favourite character.
Jonathan Parnaby 12:56
Yes he's great. And he Yes, right.
Tim Dew 13:00
Yes. Okay. Nice. Okay.
Jonathan Parnaby 13:02
Yeah. So yeah, it's an interesting one. So I'll be picking that up at night like the weekend I took my sons who went you know, there's trampoline parks. We've got one near us in Wellington call Flip Out. So I realised I'm far too old to be jumping around on trampolines doing parkour courses with the kids. That's what I've realised about myself.
Tim Dew 13:24
Did anyone film you
Jonathan Parnaby 13:29
I know, it was like, my wife just kept going do you want me to film you doing a flip on it? No, break my neck. So honestly, that was two hours two hour session we had I wasn't I was dead. It was absolutely not. I mean, I took breaks and and then the kids have these unlimited slush puppy thing drinks? And are they blue? There's like 10 colours. They're just open themselves because it's, you know, more you can drink or whatever. And I was just sitting at about 15 minutes on drinking slush puppies for five minutes. And getting brain freeze. That was pretty much my Saturday.
Tim Dew 14:09
You know, yeah, you know, they did that BBC experiment where they took 30 kids or whatever, and their parents, but total the parents. They were doing an experiment on the kids, but actually they're doing the experiment on the parents. And they give all the all the kids really bad food one weekend, but told the parents they were getting healthy food. And then vice versa the following weekend. Yeah. And all the parents reported back that when the BBC told them, they were getting really bad food, they all said that the kids were really badly misbehaving. And then they expose the results. So there is absolutely no correlation between sugar intake and behaviour.
Jonathan Parnaby 14:44
Okay, interesting. Really interesting,
Tim Dew 14:47
really. I did some buzzes may or all that sort of stuff. Yeah.
Jonathan Parnaby 14:53
People people just link things in their brain don't know because it's other days. What they hear It's not factual and and all of that when when science disproves those kind of myths.
Ian Kingstone 15:06
Let's move on to the main topic at hand then. So Tim, you've got a bunch of stuff that you kind of want to share and nothing. I think it'd be really good to maybe start with, you know, start the beginning of this set the scene of like, why business transformation is difficult, which we can all obviously chip in, and what you know, where your big idea came from, with your serious games, in this space
Tim Dew 19:25
Yeah, well, well, very happy to so I spent most of my life well, only part of my life in sales, which is a transformation. Because you're getting people from moving from saying no to saying yes. And as a change of state of mind, an actual fact. I often used to sort of train this earlier on in my days, but you know, what is communication? And the objective of communication is to change the state of mind of somebody else and If you accept that, and you know, actually, it's quite an interesting exercise, if you go and ask a bunch of people in the room, you say, you know, how good are you or communicate, and most people score themselves quite highly, because most people are really good communicators. It's called being human. And in Africa, then saying to them, explain to them that sales is about changing the state of people's mind, which is exactly the same as communication, what you've just done in that room is just explained to everybody that they are all pretty good salespeople, because we all are good salespeople. Because we communicate, we talk and so forth. So sort of life in sales, and then really moved into funnily enough, try and change the mindset of organisations to get them to grow and to scale to become better to transform to think differently. And I was using traditional traditional methods of communication like PowerPoint decks, training, training, set, coaching, and you know, you know, great stuff that we know that works, but I just got so cross with two things. One was the sound of my own voice, which I find very hard to believe. And the second thing is that it just wasn't fast enough. It was in fact, the inverse. It was glacially slow. And I just started a few years ago starting thing Hang on a minute, what can we do here? So around about that time, I picked up a book by a marketeer in California called Douglas Van Praet that I must get on the blower to because I've told him that he is the inspiration for my business and we converse, but I'd never, never followed up with him because of COVID and everything else. But in this book, it's all about the neuroscience of what motivates people. And being a biochemist, as I said earlier on, being biochem you, I'm really very fascinated by the by the science and in this in this examination, the neuroscience that drives people's motivational change. He goes he in fact, he and you both of you would love it, because it goes into a what's it called when they flashed up the adverts for for a microsecond?
Jonathan Parnaby 22:13
Tim Dew 22:14
subliminal advertising. And, you know, the fact that it was turned out to be absolutely rubbish after a while, but, um, but the but but it's really interesting. The goes into the sort of history of all of that and how advertising is developed, and how they got people to start buying more products. But in it, it says one thing, the only way you can get someone to believe in your idea is to get them to believe it was their idea in the first place. Yeah. Okay. And, and you use the word gamification earlier, isn't it? Don't worry, it's kind of that everyone kind of kind of knows what you're talking about. Anyway. So really, don't stress. Language is a flexible thing. And I'm really cool with it. I am not a pedant in that respect. In a lot of other areas. But yeah, look, I'm so serious games about the app. Games, we all know, we played Monopoly as kids we played. Jacks with balls are a bit you know, we played all sorts of games as we as we've grown up through our lives, and we all learn through games, that that's a really important point. So during games, there are various game elements that are used, you know, the bounds of a ball, that's a game element. So if you with gamification, you use game elements to add into an existing process. So for example, buying coffee, you go and buy five coffees, and you get a prize, which is a free coffee. So that's a gaming that's the invocation of an existing process. And game theory in games, like, you know, popular games that you might play like Dota or League of Legends, or you know, what, Do you need any one of these games or in my case, Commodore 64 You know, I'm the 16 bit guy so so you know, playing I don't know, the you know, Decathalon or really, but loving you, you know, what you're doing is you're actually taking people on a journey and an actual fact it's sort of a ground up approach to to thinking about games. And serious games are about the application of that technology, not the game game vocation, but serious games about you know, thinking really ready to start, you know, let's take people on a journey. And I came across here, serious gaming in another companies work, funnily enough in IT, about, oh, Crikey, you know, five years ago, something like that, and I just started going Hang on a minute, we can do a lot more withthis. And really, that was the seed that started to get me going on it. And so we saw, I went off and started to learn how to build games. And we started to build what's now become Rocket, because what I wanted to do was get people to understand the emotion of running an organisation that's failing, and the emotion of running an organisation that's winning. Yeah, and actually getting them to take the journey all the way through. And just going back to that psychological bend the beginning, which is, you know, stop training people stop telling, you know, the other expression is selling isn't telling or telling isn't selling. So how do we get people using game technology to take them on their own journey, so they come up with the ideas, because when they come up with the ideas and the improvements, and the changes within an environment, they're gonna own it, right, they're gonna take it away and say, and actually persuade other people that this is a good thing to do. And so, so we spent, you know, I spent a year or so building that with a very friend of mine called Stewart, who sadly left the business now because of COVID, just because of changes in, in, in life and all sorts of things. So we built Rocket, and as far as building it, because, you know, was germane to this conversation. Now, as I was building it, what, what what the group of people that would play in the game were doing is that they were improving all their communications. And communications are one thing, and we can go on communications courses, which are great.
Tim Dew 26:56
But, you know, communication is good. But if you don't understand the context, or actually the content of the conversation, you've got to be having communications, you know, a great for a party, but not much else, you know, so. So they were improving the communications, they were automatically starting to build a brand new processes out of nothing. And then also building the systems to be able to enable really fantastic decision making. And so and so about halfway through development, I suddenly just had this eureka moment, I go, Oh, my God, you know, Aaron, you know, we can use this for getting people to understand why you need to use good systems like E, RP, CRM, and so on and so forth. Because as you get the users of the system to say, hey, I want this a new system, rather than you will use this system, you know,
Jonathan Parnaby 27:51
we bought it for you. So you need to use it. And they are like no we don't
Tim Dew 27:56
Right now, I'm quite happy crimping my wires, the way that I've always crimped them. Thanks. Yeah.
Jonathan Parnaby 28:02
Yeah. Now, it's really interesting what you say that I think, you know, as a change manager in the past, like what you're saying just rings completely true, right? It's all about ownership, ownership of change. And, and it sounds like you've created a, you know, a virtual environment or an environment for people to kind of figure that out by themselves. Yeah, free. Through a game. Which is, which is great.
Tim Dew 28:25
And it's fun as well. What do you both played in it? So you can tell us what you think
Jonathan Parnaby 28:28
100% yeah. I mean, when did I play about three, four weeks ago, something like that, maybe even a bit longer. But yeah, I loved it. I loved it. I still think about it even now. And, and, for me, it puts you in the shoes of other people that I work with, you don't know. So I work in many clients, talking about business transformation, change, implementing systems, ABC, whatever. And it put me in the shoes of those people, in terms of this is how things are running now. And it puts you in the stress of it. Your business is going down the pan guys, what are you going to do about it? And I know that I probably talk about this later, but I know that that you know the simulation of a week of it. Is it a month is a week or a week is a week is a minute. A week is a minute right? So you've got so many weeks to kind of turn this thing around and you feelling in the heat, you are all feeling in the heat and the pressure. And you're like guys, come on, we need to talk but not everyone talk at once because we need to listen to this stuff, oh my god and then naturally, it all goes a bit wrong. And then you evaluate and that the great thing about any simulation is that it is a simulation. So you can go wrong and the consequences aren't like real life right and you learn from and replay. No one dies. No one dies. Yeah. You have so many lives and you can keep going like like any game but no I loved it I thought it was an enlightening experience and, and really teaches people empathy. So I think anyone that's like a programme manager, Change Manager, anybody that kind of is in that role of transformation. Slight yeah to teach you empathy of users and what they go through that that in two, three hours done does the job completely so you know, about you Ian and want you to think
Jonathan Parnaby 28:38
I really enjoyed it, I did it. And I only partly did it, unfortunately. I joined the session with a with another organisation, and, and kind of played a little bit of an outside role, although I did get involved. But but so I didn't really take it right the way through which is which was disappointing. I had to go and and, and, and I was like, I think that's that's the other side of me. I was quite disappointed because I caught up with those people later. And they loved it. And they were I'd left them. They were probably in that place of despair.
Tim Dew 31:21
So you know, when you've learned when to leave the room, Ian,
Jonathan Parnaby 31:23
It's all gone wrong see ya?
Ian Kingstone 31:26
I this is sounding terrible, isn't it? I've delivered many difficult ERP live into real organisations in real challenging times. So remember delivering one where all the cons went, while I was in the middle on a 24 seven manufacturing organisation. But anyway, and and we dealt with those problems and and it went in and it was actually very successful. So I have been in that situation and not run all the time. I probably did want to run.
Tim Dew 32:00
And it's it's a natural reaction, isn't it? It really is.
Ian Kingstone 32:03
Yeah. But the good thing about the game coming back to that it was I really liked it. I really liked even the the weekend a minute. Yes, that whole how it seems it seemed to you know, it took it you had to focus on I don't think anybody in the room wasn't focusing on the game.
Tim Dew 32:27
But yeah, I call it the vortex.
Jonathan Parnaby 32:28
Yeah, you're in it.
Ian Kingstone 32:29
They were in the zone. Yeah. There wasn't any, like, including myself. Like I said, I was kind of stood to the side if you want. And but I was always, I was only annoyed. I had to go. So so you know, it was brilliant.
Jonathan Parnaby 32:44
Is it is it worth Tim just for the listeners benefit? Like just explaining, like an example of what a Rocket game is? And kind of what people can expect from it? Because obviously, we're talking about our experiences, I've said yes, brilliant. But maybe Yeah, if we can bring it to life. For our listeners, that'd be awesome.
Tim Dew 33:02
Yeah, so look, what we do is we take approximately a dozen, maybe as few as five up to sort of 15. The, what we found is actually the more you know, when we've designed the game, we discovered that actually the more people you put in the game, the more complicated we didn't need to create more game mechanics to, to make it more complicated because people make the world complicated. Right? So, so, so. So, so yeah, so we put a dozen people into a room, and that can be virtual or in classroom. And we split them up into a very simplified process, which you know, everyone can understand, which is marketing. Marketing is about bringing the horse to water, as I like to say is about bringing is about generating leads, they then do some of the one or two things, they pass it onto the sales team, the sales team, you know, again, one or two people, they're responsible for making some money and getting some commission in, they then pass it to the managing director or the chief exec. And that chief executive is responsible for saying yes or no to that piece of work. Okay, so a lot of people know the expression that success is defined by what you say no to. Okay. And so I've introduced this concept, which I sort of taught myself or build myself over the last 20 years, which is there's this concept of the gate of acceptance. So the gate of acceptance is is is the criteria on which you should accept a piece of work or what you should not accept piece of work and there's lots, lots of analogies for it in lots of different parts of an organisation, you know, we should we do this better work, should we not do this better work? You know, you're talking in the last episode about, you know, benefit realisation and so on. And you know, you know what criteria you using, so we talked to participants a little bit about that and there might be profit cash flow, ethics loss leader Market plays, client matching, and so on so forth. And all of a sudden, this very simple question of yes or no, actually has become quite complicated. And the needs information coming in from all parts of the business. So, I just recap on that, and just get people to realise that the most successful organisations have the most sophisticated gate of acceptance. Okay. OR gate of gates of acceptance. That's a bit like Grands Prix, isn't it? You know? Anyway, sorry, I told you, I was pedantic in some places, and that's one. Anyway. So um, so anyway, the MD then passes on to the delivery team, delivery team do some, some putting stuff together. So that could be web development or manufacturing biscuits. And, and then they pass it on to the finance team, and finance team are responsible of getting money. And so we split everyone out, we do a little bit of training about half an hour training in the beginning of the day. And, and everyone's a little bit confused, but that's fine. We press play, and then all hell breaks loose. Everyone's shouting, there's complete chaos, it's completely mental. And more often than not, the because it is quite chaotic, and they're just not mature enough as an organisation how they're working as a team. Often they will go bust in the first round, some some, some teams don't. But JP's, yours definitely did. Sorry, I'm just putting it out. yet to be fair, there was just you and you know, half dozen people you never met before. So how can we expect you to be working like a well oiled machine, so. So we put them through that first round. And then going back to sort of the experiential learning techniques that we're all familiar with, like learning to ride a bike, when you don't do the learning as when you're off the bike. So you drive, you know, ride the bike, front and back, you fall off scuff your knee if you're like me, you're crying bike in the bush.
Tim Dew 37:09
And then Big brother comes over and says, you know, come on Tim, you know, have another go. And then just for you get back on the bike again, you actually, it you rewire your brain, you develop new neurons, new connections, where you're connecting the you know, riding a bike is one of the most difficult things human beings can ever possibly do. And, you know, it's mixing absolutely every sense in your body. And it's rewiring everything in brain. But but we haven't started, you're not back on the bike yet. But then you go back on the bike, having done the rewiring, and rather than going through yards, you're going 30. And then you fall off, an actual fact, most people become competent after about three or four iterations of that experiential learning cycle. So what we do is we take people through three or four iterations. It's not to make everyone massively competent, but it's getting people into the state where they can start to realise, okay, actually, with a bit more work, I could win the Tour de France. But the basic, the basic things of turning the pedals is, you know, it's all there at the end of a few short hours. So it's great fun.
Jonathan Parnaby 38:17
Yeah, no, and that, that, that that feeling of doing your first iteration, as I say, you get your training here. This is your role I had delivery deny. So I was kind of looking at what I had to do and going "What the hell is this" like literally, I felt like, you know, I was that employee has just been delivered a new piece of technology. And they said, they go, off you go. I saw, I'm so sorry, guys. let you try to learn it. You're trying to pull all together. And then before you know it, Tim says, right, off you go, we're pressing play. And then those those minutes are flying by all the weeks of flying by. And what I love about the simulation is that you can naturally get out of a team of people. Okay, tent, Tim, what can we do? Are we allowed to do this? Are we allowed to do that? And your standard answer, as always, is "It's your business. You do what you want?" Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah. Oh, and then suddenly, we're now accountable and responsible to make the decisions and come up with the ideas and solutions and test and learn and do all these things. And, and I think naturally, we're just in on a training course mode. So Tim's gonna tell us everything we need to know and then we're going to leave with this completely opposite you're like, no, Tim's Tim's there. But he's not going to it's not going to deal with everything you know?
Tim Dew 39:37
I'm just there to annoy people and wind people up
Jonathan Parnaby 39:42
You're offering loans when we did it as a job so more money but the interest rate sky Wonga that was it. But no, it's it's really good because you get, you get, obviously all walks of life, all different people come into join then, and I think, you know, we had somebody she was very introverted. And and I think she was coming up with some fantastic ideas, but naturally sometimes in the group, those ideas weren't bubbling to the surface or being taken all the time, because then you get into social dynamics and you get into sometimes who shouts loudest, right? Yes.
Tim Dew 40:22
It's really interesting. So we had, we had Andy Haldane, who's just the chief economist of the Bank of England that played last February in classroom actually, yeah, yeah. And I won't give you her name, but somebody that was in the room is on the Financial Conduct Authority, and advises banks and all sorts of things. And what was the what was that series? I think it was the Fast Show. It was just like, it was like a scene out of foster, this really incredibly bright woman was coming out with these amazing ideas, and all the men were running around, but not listening to her at all. Now, you said social dynamics, and I just found the whole thing really fascinating. So afterwards, I contacted her and I said, so what was going on there was that chauvinism? Or was not a lack of assertion on your part. There was no rights and wrongs, there was no challenge on it. But it really, and she wrote back to me and said, Tim, I have not stopped thinking about that session for the last three days. Because of that juxtaposition. And I think that's one of the powerful things about similar game simulation gaming is that it can, it can be used in so many flexible, different ways. If you know, change management, user acceptance,
Tim Dew 41:40
it can be used as well as a cultural tool to really look at how we treat one another. Yeah, you know, you know, there is a real intensity, and we designed the game to create stress point between different departments. So there's a bit of blame culture comes in, so we can actually start to, you know, I mean, my favourite line is everyone loves a blame culture, you know, and everyone laughs about it, but they can see it going on in the room. But because it's safe, you can actually start to deal and work through with it. So it's, it's fascinating. I love what I do.
Jonathan Parnaby 42:14
No, I can see that, you know, your passion, the passion to shines through Tim, but, you know, I'd recommend anybody who, you know, I'd like to say it's not just business transformation, it's not just change, I think anybody could just give it a go. Give it a try. get in contact with you, because that you rightthe 70 applications for I think we talked about one right about recruiting.
Tim Dew 42:37
Jonathan Parnaby 42:38
finding talent. Yeah. And putting candidates into a simulation like that, and seeing how well they they naturally deal with things, how naturally, they come up with ideas and solutions to things and really, probably test their mettle. They might scare them off. But it's really interesting.
Tim Dew 42:58
Yeah, well, we've got a lot of people are praising us right now for for for that very reason. But it's very interesting how time can be used as advice in transformation. So, so one of the aspects of the game is that because we're putting 26 weeks where the train in 26 minutes, people are under duress. Now, because people are under duress, most people go to work and use adaptive behaviours. But because they're under time duress, you get internatural behaviours. And what, you know, you leave your working hat at the door, but type thing and so you're only seeing adaptive behaviours, which is really interesting. So under any level of stress, you can see how people are actually going to behave and either that's, you know, run run for the hills, or like you Ian. Or, but but you start to see the people that are able to understand really real complexity, be able to assimilate that complexity and be able to come up with solutions, and then also be able to persuade people, and also people that are able to display leadership qualities as well. So it's really interesting in that respect, and but we use some of the same techniques, funnily enough in Concord as well, which is, we have a saying in Concord is so if we had to achieve this by next Friday, what would you do? So if you attack if you if you attack any problem with Okay, if we can do it by that every you could do it by next Friday, or forgotten the author, they'll come back to me. But actually, the author had said, if we can do it by Thursday, you can have Friday off, right? So there's a price at the end of it. But actually, if you say if we do it by Thursday, then natural fact, people who have to do a massive amount of work, distil it very quickly into three or four things that are really important, rather than just exploding the problem into 1000s of different tasks. So that's part of the the game back to the game again, and Rocket that's part of the metronome of getting people, you know, is giving them that sort of time time stuff. So they, they start to prioritise. And they start to really think about what's important rather than what's not.
Jonathan Parnaby 45:16
Ian Kingstone 45:17
And that's quite interesting, isn't it? I mean, that whole time thing is quite interesting. I've found that quite interesting in in transformation delivery. And you think what's just happened with, with COVID, where people didn't have an option on some decisions to change the way they work if you want. And therefore, they found a way i'm not saying was easy, I'm not saying it's comfortable, or anything like that, although quite a lot of people actually think it's now better. But but there's, there's lots of, you know, different views on that. And we could talk about that completely on its own thing, but but I always found that way with, you know, Jonathan, and I spend a lot of time talking about doing all these things to help people on change journey. And we talk about getting people to the right place before you kind of take the next step and stuff. And sometimes I wonder whether, actually, there could be a little bit more pain in that and drive it you know, and as a, as a project or programme manager, quite often you create that kind of tension, you kind of set it for one of a better word drop dead date, as we sometimes call it. Right? But But, but um, you know, you kind of put something out there and you think, right, well, okay, I'm going to make people go towards that date. And, and two weeks before, even when people are looking at you, as the leader thinking, we're not going to make this so shouldn't we reset the day, I still, even if I am going to reset the date, I still won't set the date on many occasions because you want to drive people towards getting certain things done and getting some things out the way that they can. I'm not saying that's ideal. I'm not saying always do it that way. But But you know, there's
Tim Dew 47:00
no question in where does have you ever have? Have you ever trod the boards
Ian Kingstone 47:07
watch? Do you mean what? stage and anything? Yeah, with electric guitar in a rock band?
Tim Dew 47:15
Yeah. Nice. Okay, so did the curtains go up on time? And not always, actually, but most of the time,
Tim Dew 47:23
okay. But it's interesting, isn't it that theatres are brilliant at doing that?
Ian Kingstone 47:31
where they are. Yeah. And my wasn't some polished theatre. It was, it was more pub pub rock bands.
Tim Dew 47:42
I didn't have you down as the next Ian McKellen, you know, you know, Hamlet or whatever. But but but
Ian Kingstone 47:53
I watched Bowie at Glastonbury and I thought that was really interesting. I did a few jobs x, I live near Glastonbury. And when I was a kid, I used to work at the festival quite a lot. And I used all sorts of jobs and one of the jobs I had to do was actually stand in the centre bit and tell people to turn it down when it was too loud. And there was a local Councilman stood on the hill in
Tim Dew 48:15
Were you popular
Ian Kingstone 48:17
and well not with the sound engineers but there were so many things they could do. It was it was silly. But but but the beautiful thing was I got to watch the band stood in a great place with a great view so I wasn't going to turn that job down for anything. And and so you tell him to turn it down and and somebody up on the hill will be radioing me saying this this decibel, they've got to turn it down or whatever, it's over the local kind of kind of limit anyway. But but better than David Bowie played, and he played up there, there was a cutoff time where they would get a massive fine if they went past that time, at night, on a Sunday night it was and, and it was amazing. I was kind of watching the clock because I knew how this kind of worked. And he he nailed it. absolutely nailed it. He was just everything. He got everything done pristine in a perfect amount of time. With you know, probably three seconds to spare. Yeah,
Tim Dew 49:20
I noticed you're a Bowie now a Bowie yeah, well, yeah.
Tim Dew 49:27
I've had many happy times at Glastonbury by the way my I'm but but interestingly, again, you know, just carry on that analogy with music is when you two cancelled and the Gorillaz turned out, they were sort of practising in the studio and you know, two weeks later, they were they did a massive set that Glastonbury which actually, I'd never heard of them before. And I've been a Gorillaz fan ever since.
Ian Kingstone 49:54
Unknown Speaker 49:54
but it's that sort of mentality and you're right not to push the date, but natural fact to do Really distil and this is really fascinating. Uh, you know, I said we wouldn't talk too much about Concord tonight but but you know, but bring the timelines that to five days. And then when you bring it down to five days, what you do is and I can give you a give you an example of this and then probably look at Can I do another thought? Sorry, I'll do a thought experiment at Concord thought experiment with you. Okay, so when, when was the last time to either of you one holiday or a trip somewhere? tough but but but in the last few months, few months.
Jonathan Parnaby 50:38
This is why it's really hard to think because
Ian Kingstone 50:41
I've been in the last few months is to Bristol to the Wave to learn how to surf.
Tim Dew 50:46
Yes. Oh, nice. Yeah. Okay. I heard you Ian your talking about that in the last show. Okay, so. So you Bristol. Did you ever check in time or whatever?
Ian Kingstone 50:57
Yes, it was quite, it was all down to it. You can enter at a certain time. You got to be there an hour before this than the other. Okay, so what was that check in time? clock? I think it was half past nine in the morning
Tim Dew 51:10
Half nine. And so you had to be there an hour early. So that was a 30. Which meant, how far was your journey? About 40 minutes?
Ian Kingstone 51:18
40 minutes? Did you leave in an hour? Yes. Yeah. Okay, I've got that really early. Actually, traffic was fine. Parked easily. Got there really early. So in which case you probably left it at seven then we probably didn't actually but but because the traffic was better than I expected. And
Tim Dew 51:38
so you left at half, seven. So quarter past seven. You were doing fire patrol looking over the RV in the castle that other stuff. Yeah. And then and then so that means that you are feeding and giving the kids the, their, their cereall, whatever. 6:30 which meant that at six your way here the kids which mean your alarm clock was going off and 5:30
Ian Kingstone 51:59
more like 6, but yeah, okay.
Unknown Speaker 52:02
All right. Okay, we're just rough and ready. But that's how we do we work from the from the backwards. But the recognition event what we knew would know is that our trip or that that project that you just developed in our head, so we've just done that the recognition event, the thing that we'd be able to see that's been successful. Is you starting to surf brilliantly at 9:30 in the morning. Yeah,
Ian Kingstone 52:23
Tim Dew 52:24
Yeah. It's like, it's like having Keanu Reeves amongst us. Isn't itJP?
Jonathan Parnaby 52:29
Oh, here we go again. So Point Break has returned hasn't it?
Tim Dew 52:36
But the interesting thing is, this is the most organisations don't run that way. Right? They get up at about nine o'clock, and start driving in any direction, saying, hey, let's give this a go.
Jonathan Parnaby 52:51
Tim Dew 52:52
And so they dry for an hour or two. And it's now you know, 11 o'clock in the morning. And they and somebody says, some bright spark says, we missed our slot. Right? And, you know, in your case, so you live in a class where you drove to Bristol to get there and so on. But in fact, rather than being there, you're now sort of halfway between Birmingham and Manchester, right. Now, the interesting thing is that when you do the timeline thing of actually saying no, let's just make sure that we get this done in the next five days. It never occurs to people to go via Manchester or Birmingham. Even though that is the legacy way, you know, these are roads, we really well know really well. And we've travelled up and down them over and over and over again, this happens a lot in civil service of course, and all organisations. But but by working backwards, which is how Concord works, we get rid of all that spirit stuff. Just say if we had to achieve it by next Friday, what would we do? And you just come up with a three or four things. And believe me we brilliant at it. So let me ask you another question. How many times is one of your travel plans failed?
Ian Kingstone 54:01
Only long distance? So so like in the states I couldn't get from one place to another because of snow or something? Did you get there? I got there the next day? Yes.
Tim Dew 54:14
Okay. But, of course, over the course of your whole life, what some percentages have failed are really small. Yeah. And so I'm not going to ask you personally, but what percentage of programmes fail?
Ian Kingstone 54:28
Almost 70 do quite depends how you view failure. But But failure to to reach what they were expected at the beginning. If you want 70% or more.
Tim Dew 54:40
Yeah, so why don't we just all use that training that that travel planning technique? Is 99.9% effective? That's what Concord
Jonathan Parnaby 54:51
All of us do it? Yeah. Just know how to do it. Because we're all experts at it. Every day. There's nothing new there. Well,
Ian Kingstone 54:59
I'm with you on That one and i and i need to spend some time with you post on on on this on on Concord because I very much not, not the old Concorde because that you know what I mean? And, and it's without any because because I i've exactly that and I'm exactly of setting out what you're trying to achieve in value and benefits. And then if you're not achieving it, why not and sorting it out so you can or achieve more, and things like that. So I really, I'm really interested in talking to you about that. And I'm really interested in having that mapped out and having that, like your journey plan. Yeah. And, and so you know, you know, what you're going at, and where you should get shave it and, you know, you should be achieving it at that point and why. And, and also
Unknown Speaker 55:52
assessing the value of achieving it. And that's the other important point of Concord is we use an estimation technique, which which, because that was the point that was so fascinating. So I promised I wouldn't get into this with you. But it's another area, as you can tell, I'm pretty passionate about but so people, some people use traditional methods is you got to remember what accounting is used for. So accounting is the tax collection is not used for anything else. Okay, that's why it's been designed. Okay. So So we've also got to think of management information, which is mostly on what's the word? You know, there's some people's gas or water metrics would be good to measure an organisation with some, some are good and some are, yeah, okay. But the trouble with numerical measures is that people become turn measures into targets. And numerical targets tend to have adverse moral and adverse non moral consequences. So, you know, we had to think on a banking crash, because the guys that were selling banking products ran out of products, and they just started repackaging their own products, we low and behold, is exactly what happened in the noise thing before. So when you start saying to somebody, you will make, you know, 10 million pounds worth of trade, and they start to screw up, because they're under that much pressure. So it's really important to have non numerical targets. For organisations, those are the what we call recognition events, which are the show me moments, the showing the moment is us surfing just like Keanu Reeves at 9:30 in the morning, so I'm going to keep coming back to that. Now, yeah.
Ian Kingstone 57:41
Tim, did you remember that movie? The first time he does it? He gets kind of held down, by the wave that was me.
Tim Dew 57:51
in the, in the sort of standing standing wave or underneath or whatever?
Ian Kingstone 57:56
Yeah. Now, Imean, it's not that dangerous there, actually. But But, but, but but yeah.
Tim Dew 58:03
It's really interesting. And then and then, you know, I'm going to go back to that sort of benefit realisation. So we measure what the impact is of achieving those recognition events. So in your case, it was emotional, it was fun, you have a lot of fun with the children. And that was that that was the buzz that you got out of it. But in organisational terms, you know, if it's an ERP system or something like that, you know, if you're using traditional accounting techniques, you're not going to find all the benefits. We have 81 discrete ways that you can actually affect assets and costs and revenues within an organisation that not all of them, some of them do, but not all of them map on to traditional nominal codes. And so if, for example, one thing that isn't reported is, is the rate of loss of clients within an organisation?
Jonathan Parnaby 58:58
Yeah. Okay. Now
Tim Dew 59:01
that, you know, we know that retaining a client is eight times easier, cost wise than acquiring a new one. But that's never reported in traditional accounts. Yeah, but we need to measure it.
Ian Kingstone 59:15
Tim Dew 59:16
Because actually implementing a CRM system to remind somebody to phone mom say, client, are you happy? is important.
Jonathan Parnaby 59:24
Yeah, we servicing your needs still.
Tim Dew 59:26
Yeah, absolutely. And what can we do to help? You know, these are extraordinarily high value aspects. And so we use some estimation was we're getting to an all time but the the estimation staff is about, you know, about being approximately right with the number rather than accurately wrong. Yeah,
Ian Kingstone 59:45
Tim Dew 59:46
Yeah. Okay. So yeah, if I can say approximately, this is going to mean because we're not going to lose all these clients over the next five years of our ROI, period. Okay. That means that actually there's going to be 54 million pounds worth of benefit, but the program's only going to cost 10 million. It's a no brainer. Yeah, yeah. And incidentally brings business into the IT discussion.
Ian Kingstone 1:00:09
Yeah, yeah. No, it does. I could. So I went off on one there. I could get there, but I'm deliberately not.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:00:18
The listeners won't be able to see it. But Ian is sat forward in his chair, which means is is intensely engaged, considering he's not feeling 100% Well, tonight, I'll take that as a big bonus, Tim? Yeah, absolutely. Cool. So maybe, maybe we tie off the conversation and, and move on to the pub quiz question. Tim, you have, hopefully one prepared for us. Now, it's your turn to make us look silly.
Tim Dew 1:00:53
I haven't listened to all the podcasts. But and the the question I hope, of course that you haven't been asked before is where does Stilton come from?
Jonathan Parnaby 1:01:01
Where does Stilton come from? Definitely haven't had that question so that you could Stilton come
Ian Kingstone 1:01:08
to Jesus come from certain places, don't they? There's certain parts of the certain areas that did the catwalk cheddar gorge. There are certain Well, some cheeses. There are certain areas that can only produce those traditional cheeses. That's right, isn't it? Yeah, I have no idea where Stilton comes from. But But now I'm gonna start thinking about it.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:01:36
Don't give us the answer to that will, will die. I told you. I was annoying earlier. You don't get to get the answer next week either. Yeah, my head. My head's gone to abroad, like, not the UK. That's where my head's gone. And I'm probably massively wrong. But I couldn't I could not tell you where Stilton comes from. It's gonna bug me.
Ian Kingstone 1:02:04
What what in Europe, though, in France are severe?
Jonathan Parnaby 1:02:07
Yeah, just thinking
Ian Kingstone 1:02:09
now is UK based. I might be completely wrong, too. But
Jonathan Parnaby 1:02:14
I'm not up on my cheeses. So there we go. So hopefully, hopefully, let's
Tim Dew 1:02:19
just say JP, that is the comment of the night. I'm not up on my cheeses
Jonathan Parnaby 1:02:26
I'm not a cheese connoisseur like the rest of you. I'm sure our listeners are shouting going?
Ian Kingstone 1:02:34
I'm terrible. I mean, I work for the second largest cheese producer in the UK. Did for over three years. So
Tim Dew 1:02:43
yeah, yeah. Because it just dug yourself a giant hole there mate
Jonathan Parnaby 1:02:49
that's all good. But now look, we'll get we'll get into the answer next week. And we can all kick ourselves I'm sure where Stilton comes from but now, I just want to say a massive thank you to him for giving up your evening and drinking your Pimm's alongside us and joining in the chat and really, really insightful and really great to, to dive into what what you and your company and business are all about. I thank very much
Tim Dew 1:03:16
It's an absolute pleasure. And thanks so much for having me on. Because it's been a joy getting to know you guys over last few weeks. And
Jonathan Parnaby 1:03:23
long, long may continue. Absolutely. Anytime.
Ian Kingstone 1:03:27
Yeah, we'd love you to come back. I want to talk to off podcast about Concord, and then I'm probably want you back on and we'll have another conversation about it, if you will. Because, yeah, I don't know where I've missed that. But I've missed that piece. And now I'm all Yeah.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:03:46
If you want to reach out to Tim, you'll, you'll will will will tag him up in all our social media posts. And this obviously gets released so you'll be able to get in contact with him. If you want to try your hand to do some simulation gaming, then I completely thoroughly recommend it. So yeah, thanks again Tim, thank you very much.
Tim Dew 1:04:06
Ian Kingstone 1:04:12
So It's question time again. So we're gonna go over to Sarah Walters, and she's going to enter today's question.
Sarah Walters 1:04:19
We've had a question in from one of the listeners to the podcast and they've asked as an SME procurement is often a task which is part of the office manager or General Manager's role. Should you build a PSL a preferred supplier list? And if so, how and where do you start? So towards this question, I want to just take a step back because for smaller organisations with lower spend levels, there is obviously no justification for a dedicated procurement resource. So it's understandable that the office manager or the general manager tend to pick this up. And I think rather than starting with a PSL, the best place to start with a review of your spend. So it doesn't have to be a long winded or a difficult, complicated process. But I think you really need to understand where you're spending your money, which third parties you've got supporting your business, how about spend breaks down before you can start thinking about your supplier strategy, which obviously they're having a PSL will be part of. So really a data dump from your finance system, or just gathering some information together from your kind of invoices would be a good place to start. And the key data points that you really want to collect are the total spend that you have with any outsourced third parties, the total number of discrete suppliers that you are buying from so you want to aggregate up any any spend within single supplier to give you that spend per supplier, and then what you're buying from each supplier at a high level. So with the IT equipment, is it catering services is it stationery consultancy, that type of thing. And once you've got that together, you can start to then list your spend by supplier by type. And you can start looking at who your top spend vendors are, and also what the spread looks like. And typically for medium to larger organisations, you would expect to see a pareto type relationship. So 80-20, which means often sort of around 80% of your spend would sit with 20% of your supply base. So it'd be quite concentrated at the top end. But that doesn't always happen with smaller companies because their spending levels are lower. And their requirements don't seem to be as consolidated, I think that's why you end up with a bigger, a bigger spread. So once you've got that information to hand, you can then start to think about where your risk might sit and where the opportunities are. And then you can start thinking about your supplier strategy. So in terms of should you build a PSL? And if so how, where do you start, I think you can assess at that point, when you've got that data to hand what the next best step is, and whether it is a PSL. Or more likely, if you've never looked at the spend before, I would suggest that your your first step would be to stop and think about whether you can consolidate any of the spend together under a single supplier. So you can start and reduce your supplier numbers. And or whether you've got any purchases that you're making that you haven't really looked at for a while, if you've never really been able to market, maybe the spend is increased over time. So when you started, you just you just went to a local supplier, and maybe it's it's grown over time. And actually now it's time to start going out to the market and looking at your options. And in my opinion, it's only at that point that you would then start actively putting suppliers on a preferred list. When you've actually done that due diligence and you've done that review. And you were sure that those were the suppliers that you wanted to work with. So I hope that helps.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:08:06
If you want to record a question for next time, just you know, just record that question and send it to email@example.com because we love to to get people's voices on this podcast, right?
Ian Kingstone 1:08:18
Yeah, no, it's great. Sounds good. Right.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:08:20
Alright, see you next time. Is last orders at the bar. So thank you for listening to the Beer and Butterfly. As always, we want to encourage participation.
Ian Kingstone 1:08:29
You can get more details of the episodes on our website, which is www.beerandbutterfly.co.uk that's www.beerandbutterfly.co.uk
Jonathan Parnaby 1:08:42
You can get in touch with the show by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org, send us your questions written or recorded or come and join us at the table as a guest.
Ian Kingstone 1:08:53
Also check out our LinkedIn page, Beer and Butterfly Podcast and on Twitter, @butterfly_beer, where you can engage with the show directly and get involved.
Jonathan Parnaby 1:09:06
Yeah, and we look forward to seeing you at the table next time.