The Next Big Question
Hosted by: Drew Lazzara and Liz Ramey
Chief People and Communications Officer
American Tire Distributors
Rebecca has more than 20 years of experience in human resources and has held positions at Hooters, Clear Channel Media, Starbucks, and Victoria’s Secret.
What is the Impact of the Digital Revolution on Corporate Culture?
SEPTEMBER 29, 2020
This time on The Next Big Question, we explore the impact of the digital revolution on corporate culture and what that means for HR Leaders. Joining us is Rebecca Sinclair, Chief People and Communications Officer at American Tire Distributors. Rebecca reflects on what culture means in an organization, shares a roadmap for changing culture in conjunction with digital transformation, and offers insights on reskilling employees to drive business outcomes.
Drew Lazzara (00:13):
Welcome to The Next Big Question, a weekly podcast with senior business leaders, sharing their vision for tomorrow, brought to you by Evanta, a Gartner company.
Liz Ramey (00:23):
Each episode features a conversation with C-suite executives about the future of their roles, organizations, and industries.
Drew Lazzara (00:32):
My name is Drew Lazzara.
Liz Ramey (00:34):
And I'm Liz Ramey. We're your cohosts. So, Drew, what's The Next Big Question?
Drew Lazzara (00:40):
Well, Liz, this week we’re asking, how is the digital revolution impacting corporate culture? To help us tackle this big question is Rebecca Sinclair, chief people officer at American Tire Distributors. Rebecca has more than twenty years’ experience in human resources and has held leadership positions at Hooters, Clear Channel Media, Starbucks, and Victoria’s Secret. Throughout that long career, Rebecca has focused on creating cultures that fuel high-performing organizations. In her work at American Tire, she’s viewed digitization like any other tool – as a means to an end. By applying analytics capability and technology to people, she’s found opportunities to bolster culture, restructure the organization to maximize talent and output, and even create new revenue streams. In this conversation, she reflects on what precisely culture means and how the digital revolution supports, not replaces, strong culture.
Before we sit down with Rebecca, we want to take a moment to thank you for listening to this episode. To make sure that you don’t miss out on the next Next Big Question, please take a moment to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen. Please rate and review, so we can continue to grow and improve. Thanks so much and enjoy.
Drew Lazzara (02:07):
Rebecca Sinclair. Welcome to The Next Big Question. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Rebecca Sinclair (02:11):
You're welcome. I'm glad to be here.
Liz Ramey (02:14):
Rebecca, we are so happy to have you, and we're thrilled that we get to explore your understanding of culture and future. But before we talk business, we'd like to get to know you a little bit more. It's customary for Drew and I to get to know our guests. And so, I'm wondering if I could ask you a few personal questions?
Rebecca Sinclair (02:34):
Liz Ramey (02:36):
Awesome. So, Rebecca, if you owned an island, where would it be located?
Rebecca Sinclair (02:42):
Ooh, that is a good question. And I know just the perfect answer. I love a very small island in the Caribbean, and it's called South Caicos.
Drew Lazzara (02:53):
Liz Ramey (02:54):
Sounds, sounds wonderful. I would love to be living around crystal clear blue water.
Rebecca Sinclair (03:00):
Yes. That's living the dream.
Liz Ramey (03:03):
Well, great. So, if you could have anyone in the world join you on that island for a day, who would that be?
Rebecca Sinclair (03:11):
Goodness, I guess if I'm on an island and that's where I'm going to live, I just, I'm going to have to say it would be my, it would be Mr. Wonderful. My forever love that I'm looking for.
Drew Lazzara (03:22):
Yeah, Rebecca. We said you can bring anyone with you.
Rebecca Sinclair (03:28):
Mr. Wonderful. I'm going to stick with that.
Liz Ramey (03:30):
And I like it. I like it. So, Rebecca, is there a book or a film that has had an effect on how you lead your team?
Rebecca Sinclair (03:40):
There is, there's one, probably about a year ago, a year and a half ago, that I really came to like. It's called Grit. It's by Angela Duckworth, if you know who that is. And it's a book about passion, perseverance, resilience, and it's just really about that continual personal reinvention, leadership reinvention. And it's really kind of about what differentiates those who are more successful from others. And, in fact, we liked it so much, we made it one of the reading materials that all of our leadership went through as well.
Liz Ramey (04:16):
Oh great. I will -- I have heard of this book, but I have not read it. So, I'm going to have to check it out. Rebecca, if Drew and I came over to your house or actually better yet we should pop over to your island. And if we came over for a game night, what games would we play?
Rebecca Sinclair (04:34):
Hm, well, you know, karaoke can always be fun, right? If you can consider that a game….
Liz Ramey (04:42):
You are speaking my love language.
Rebecca Sinclair (04:46):
But, you know, I have this passion to play bingo, but I never have enough people to play bingo with, and no one wants to play bingo with me. But if we had really good prizes, I guess, and people to play bingo with us, but if all else fails, a good game of Monopoly is always fun.
Drew Lazzara (05:02):
Bingo is great. I played a big game of Zoom bingo earlier for a friend's birthday earlier this summer. And it was a lot of fun.
Rebecca Sinclair (05:08):
You cool, you have to tell me how to do that. Maybe I can get people to play bingo with me.
Drew Lazzara (05:12):
Well, you've got an experienced Bingo MC, if you need one.
Rebecca Sinclair (05:16):
All right. I'm taking notes.
Drew Lazzara (05:20):
Well, Rebecca, thanks so much for sharing a little bit about who you are as we dive into your perspectives on culture. And the biggest part of this episode today is really talking about what the impact of the digital revolution has been on corporate culture and how you view that in your role. But before we get into exactly some of the big things that you're doing there, I wanted to start by asking a little bit about how your organization and your leaders in that organization define culture in a really specific way. You know, I think a lot of organizations during this time are learning a lot about their corporate culture, but I would love to understand how you guys at American Tire define that within the organization in a practical way.
Rebecca Sinclair (06:01):
Sure. Just to give you some framing -- over the past three years, we've transformed our business to become the most connected and insightful automotive solutions provider. But prior to the start of our enterprise-wide transformation, it started about three years ago, ATD was the largest replacement tire distributor in the country. But like the rest of the industry was not utilizing much digital technology. And so, with that in mind, we began to build a unique, modern approach to HR that blended traditional people management with new technology and data analytics to drive simultaneous transformation… That's for our people, it's about our culture and ultimately, it's for the business. And when we think of culture, it's really the most powerful way in which we can engage the organization in defining not only what our brand is, but who we are and what differentiates us from other companies. And so, as we started on that transformation journey, we included our associates from the start. We had the benefit of defining collaboratively and transparently with them on what had the most meaning for the ATD culture and the teams, and ultimately helped us bring forward these changes. So, I'll give you a few of the characteristics that really are important and essential to us. So, the first thing we are is we are an accountable culture, who is accountable to one another and our words and actions, but also to our customers, our manufacturer partners, and all those we do business with. The second is we are a culture of respect. And that means both understanding and valuing one another's differences and similarities and everything that makes each of us unique as a human being. And another way in which we define respect is humility.
We're an organization who is humble at the core. We have a couple others -- it's being an innovative and collaborative culture. We think together, we create together, and we work together as a team to bring forward all of this immense work we are doing not only in the day to day, but as we transform the business into a digital and technology leader in the replacement tire industry. And last, excellence, which is one of my personal favorites. And I always say, if you could be anything, why not be excellent? I believe that embodies all of our associates, whether they're in our corporate office, our distribution centers, it demonstrates the passion and pride that everyone brings to the roles so that ATD can stay at peak business performance. So, while not in exact order, what this spells is “I CARE,” and these are our “I CARE” values. So, it's the minimum expectation for all of our senior leaders to lead through our I CARE values. It's a nonnegotiable for us.
Liz Ramey (08:40):
That's interesting. And I love the, that you found a way for people also to remember those core values by the “I CARE” kind of slogan. But I'm curious, Rebecca, when you were creating this kind of definition of culture, definition of what the organization wants to be, with senior leaders, as well as collaborating with your people, did you look at what type of culture you wanted to set, or what type of culture you already had in the mix?
Rebecca Sinclair (09:23):
We looked at what type of culture we wanted to create. We were, you know, had a new leadership team that was coming in, taking a business that's 80 years old into the next generation of ourselves. And so, we really wanted to create that. And we did that through a survey with the associates, where we really gave them a lot of different ways to think about words and meanings they have. And they did this exercise for us across the entire company, over 5,000 associates. And we took all of what they had and put it together. And what it really meant at the essence was that the “I CARE” values were the ones that resonated most to them.
Drew Lazzara (10:03):
Rebecca, I'm sure it's no coincidence that this sort of cultural overhaul or upgrade was happening concurrent with a digital transformation, as well. So, there was a lot of big change happening there, but I wanted to just dive a little bit deeper on this cultural idea. When a company's culture is working well and it's effective in the way that yours seems to be, what does it do for business outcomes? And maybe what is taken for granted about culture when it's working, but makes it worth focusing on and changing in the way that you did?
Rebecca Sinclair (10:34):
I think in terms of business outcomes, the culture is really part and parcel to that. You can't create what you're not building for. And so, it, you know, it's the only way that we could scale change in the way that we really intended to.
Drew Lazzara (10:59):
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You know, we've talked to a lot of senior leaders about digital transformation, that's an ongoing theme with a lot of large organizations. And so, sometimes the language of digital transformation is a little more ingrained in an organization than maybe the language of a cultural change. How did you work to kind of disseminate that those core values across the entire organization and make sure that they were reaching from the senior level down to your frontline people?
Rebecca Sinclair (11:28):
Change management is really at the heart of it. And so, it's important to know that in order to scale change, you have to be able to create a culture. And at the end of the day, it's about all people that bring the change, what we need to learn in terms of new ways to do our jobs, in different ways to create an excellent customer experience. And as an HR function, it's our job to make sure our associates can retain what they're learning, but also provide them the ability to deliver against the business plans and in an accelerated fashion. So, at the heart of this, what we've seen is you get aligned on the values of the business, but you also have to have a culture of knowledge. And when you have a culture of knowledge, change management takes a whole new meaning. And when it's combined with best-in-class HR tools that are grounded in AI, machine learning, and analytics, it allows us to reengineer the power of the culture and power of performance that's needed against the business outcomes.
Liz Ramey (12:27):
That's fantastic. And I love that ideal of culture of knowledge. Can you speak just a little bit more about how that culture of knowledge is developed? Is it through -- training modules and, or, is it just through different actions throughout the organization?
Rebecca Sinclair (12:47):
I kind of take it back and ground it this way. So, we've really taken a strategic approach to simultaneously redesign our culture and our values, while re-skilling the entire workforce to drive transformation. And so, it's important to start with how you're going to do this, to build this knowledge. And so, we started to acquire really some of the best in class learning engagement and communication tools. They had robust analytics. They enabled us to construct the right system for scaling the change as I've mentioned earlier. But when we made our technology selections a few years ago, our nonnegotiable was that our system had to produce true analytics and show the power of what we were doing and what we're able to create with our associates.
But our data needed to go beyond basic human capital data and show things like retention and turnover. It was much more than this. It's really about how do we not be bound to legacy technology, but really pick tools that are -- really, they're about helping us with rapidly evolving businesses and our ability to not just influence, but impact human behavioral science. And it really provides us ways that we can develop, train, recognize, and engage our associates to create a space where they can contribute in a more powerful manner. We used our engagement surveys to give us points and times to check and see how we're doing along the totality of our journey. And we did just -- our first survey was a few years ago, and it really gave us a way to think about having a workplace centered around communication, listening, and appreciation, and those would be great ways to connect into them.
And, I think that one of the other things that's important as we think about how to create knowledge and communication is that we wanted to have technology-driven communications, as well. And, it really allowed us to connect with our desk-less workers and associates across the company. And I think that's important because in order to build a culture of knowledge, we have to make sure that we can reach everyone, and everybody consumes information differently. And we have a lot of success with a multichannel communication strategy to stay informed and in touch, whether it's through our digital channels for social media or internet, but really through a leader-led communications, diverse communications, and being able to really reach our associates. And so again, it's really making sure that we can reach everyone. And at a moment's notice -- whether it's about building knowledge, it's also about transparency and information, so that we can communicate with them.
Liz Ramey (15:33):
That's fabulous. And I bet that if you're doing that internally, I'm sure that it also reflects on your external customers, as well. And other parts of the business I could see as trying to replicate what you're doing internally for your associates to also do that with your external customers.
Rebecca Sinclair (15:55):
I think all the tools that we have related to our internal associates work with our external customers, as well. And so, the platforms that we really created to scale transformation, it's important to understand a little bit about how they work because I think that helps to understand how what we're doing internally to transform the company really comes out in the expression of how our customers are experiencing it. And so, I'd like to talk about really the knowledge platform just a little bit more because this is really where we've had some great success and our customers can really see and feel the experience of the change that we're bringing to the organization. And so, HR has to become increasingly strategic, right? And, it's really essential to everything that we're doing, but it's got to be there to really help us be nimble and flexible and adapt to constant change. As a part of our transformation, we really started to say like, how do we get out there and build the trust of our sales team and educate them to be able to really rescale them and change how they sell. And so, what we found is it's really a lot about trust. And so, we really made sure that the system that we architected was all about delivering new training and in bite size amounts that help them to manage transition. And it was important to build trust. And our goal was to help them learn new concepts that are being delivered in different ways.
And so, our platform Spark is really built on a personalized learning algorithm. It's really easy and simple. This is like the next generation of helping human behavioral science, helping people learn and change. And so, the system that we have really crazy unique experience for each person. It's intelligent, prescriptive, and predictive, and it really helps you learn at the pace that you learn. And it's done in very little bite-sized questions, three to five minutes a day. And so, what we found is everybody starts in the same place, but we can rapidly build and scale knowledge. And we have been able to impact the business. And so, this is where our customers really start to see the difference is -- we've been able to, again, we sell tires, right, in different programs. And manufacturers are very interested in how we're helping contribute to the sale of their products.
And so, we can with the analytical power that we have shown how knowledgeable and insightful our sellers are and the contributions that they can make to driving business performance for our manufacturing partners. We can show that there is really upwards to about a 20% contribution of knowledge to the revenue and sales results in the performance. So, what we can do is really take back to our customers. They feel the change. They know that we're really bringing tools to the business that help them to understand how to serve their customers better, but we share this information with them, and they have found it very meaningful. And in fact, the engagement is so strong at ATD. Our sales team has answered literally 3.5 million questions in just three short years. Many companies wouldn't even be able to know what that answer would be, or even be able to measure it. And so, it's pretty impactful when you go to customers and you can share, not only can you see something's a little different in what we're doing and how we're doing it, they understand that the HR team and learning teams and communications teams can do more for their business. And quite often we are right there at the table, whether it's my team or myself as senior leaders, meeting with folks to figure out how we can bring some solutions to bear for them.
Drew Lazzara (19:36):
Yeah, I love that when you're able to demonstrate so rapidly success, you do build that credibility and that trust that you're talking about. Once since you, since you've established this kind of credibility, the sense of trust, what are some areas that you would like to tackle next when you're thinking about the future? Now that you've got this position where you're working with senior leaders to really define an analytics driven approach to strategy, what are some areas that you'd like to tackle that are still kind of on your plate?
Rebecca Sinclair (20:04):
We're really in a place where we're going to continue to evolve the level and depth of knowledge that our team has. Because we know that we can actually architect and engineer outcomes, which we've really proven. We're fortunate. We have a CEO who's a visionary when it comes to taking once was a traditional business and becoming a digitally enabled organization to live with data and analytics, it requires everyone to be openminded and recognize the power of the possible. And this means that you have to be open to finding the most nimble and agile technologies that can move at the pace of the business and are still fluid enough that you can pivot when situations need to be addressed quickly. And so, one of the things that's important to remember in the new age, from an HR front in particular, is that it really is all about how we engineer and architect outcomes that are enabled by technology. And at the end of the day, they're fueled by human potential. So, it's about introducing new design principles to bring forward strategy and change the business outcomes, but through the lens of universal design principles that are transparent and not complex, so that organizations can harness the agility and talent of their teams, all grounded in a powerfully connected culture.
Liz Ramey (21:18):
Rebecca, you've done so many amazing things. And just like you said, you've been able to architect and really engineer outcomes, really being visionary and looking at the power of possibility. What happens when there's kind of outside social disruption, like that's occurring now, does that kind of throw you off kilter? Or, does it maybe kind of enhance what you're already doing culturally with your people?
Rebecca Sinclair (21:53):
When it comes to what we do here, it kind of -- not only in human resources and as we think about being a modern human resource function, it also comes down to the fact that we know relationships matter. And it's even more important in building a positive and connected culture. So that we're cultivating and maintaining the human connection. It's important, and it will continue to be paramount, especially as many people are working remotely and virtually, and we're trying to stay connected. We spend a lot of time making sure that we use technology to collaborate on work. We also are able to use it to focus on relationships and finding out who people are. And so, we really make sure as a result of this pandemic, that you know who we are at work, at home, our family, it's all of the above at once. And so, when we're connecting on meetings or doing work and different things, it's important to understand the essence of people and the human dynamic and what they're going through because it helps people stay connected to one another and the culture. And technology does enable that.
And so, it's again, the personal connection about getting to know people beyond a professional level is really important right now. And we've been hearing tremendous feedback from many leaders. And so, we are doubling down on communicating with our folks. We're doing town halls with everyone, live Q and A sessions, we've been doing those quarterly. We're doing quarterly pulses with all of our associates to make sure we're staying engaged. When we hear our associates, we listen to them. We have three things we always talk about. We will listen to you. We will appreciate you, right? And we will communicate with you. And what that means is we're going to hear your voice, and if you have ideas, thoughts, or things that are going on, we're going to respond to them. And we're going to communicate with you. We are transparent in how we communicate. And we have many ways, again, we can reach desk-less worker when COVID happened, when other things happen, our CEO can do a two-minute video, and we can get it in front of everybody down to the distribution center. And that connection really is quite powerful. And, so it's a strong focus on how our company culture is going forward, and we continue to embody the whole person, who is who we are personally and professionally. And we have to make sure we stay connected as a community and engage with associates in multiple ways. And, it's a priority in how we live our vision and our values and make sure that we're representing who we are in the way that we need to.
Drew Lazzara (24:28):
That's fantastic. I'm really excited to hear that this is really helping you to collect feedback in real time when things change with your people outside of the office, as well as inside. And that was going to be my next sort of question. You've talked a lot about the need for an organization to remain flexible if they're going to be following analytics, and if they're also going to be incorporating lots of feedback in the way that you've described. If you're talking to organizations that are a little bit further behind the curve then than you are now, how would you counsel them to develop that sense of flexibility across the organization? How do you increase that kind of capability so that organizations can a) trust and respond to data, but also be flexible about their strategy?
Rebecca Sinclair (25:16):
It's important that we understand that the future of organizational effectiveness will be digitally enabled and grounded with rich and powerful data. That means every single function needs to reflect and think about their capability in this regard. This isn't just an advanced analytic function type of thing, although they're very good at this and we do partner with them. But every function and every leader need to really be versed, which means all leaders need to increase their digital aptitude and dexterity. We need to know the tools that will enable the experiences we need to drive. And once you have greater command on some of the tools that will increase the agility you need for the organization, you need to tie those to your strategy and make sure you bring them forward in simple and understandable ways that will drive business performance. While you don't have to do it all in the beginning, by design, you can kind of bring it to people in chunks, right? You strategically designed that it'll all work together, but you bring it to the organizations in ways that they can consume it. And then you really have your tools really fully engineered and able to drive the powerful organizational outcome. But I think sometimes, it can become overwhelming if we try and do it in the wrong way. So, I think getting those nimble, agile tools in there is really important. And I think this is going to be a differentiator for those companies and leaders that succeed in the future versus those that are left behind.
Drew Lazzara (26:45):
Rebecca, you seem so savvy about all these tools right now. And obviously you've gone through this process and are an expert by this point, but was there a gap in leadership when this journey began between what the tools could do and what people's comprehension was? Was there some distance to close there as you began this journey? Or, was that gap kind of built into the strategy before you even hit the ground?
Rebecca Sinclair (27:07):
You know, it's interesting. I think because when you're transforming an organization, you do have a mix, right? You have a mix of some newer folks, who are bringing in some of these things. You have part of the organization that is very ready, willing, and eager to move forward, as well. But it's all about how you do it. Again, it’s where you start. And so, we started with this Spark or knowledge platform, and we really went after re-skilling the organization. And because of the technology and the way in which people now learn, right? Bite-sized pieces, three to five minutes a day. We can really brain train and engineer it so that people can remember and retain about 90% of what they learn.
There's no way if you don't combine modern, powerful technology for human behavioral science, along with the traditional things that we do, you can't get that kind of change. And so, part of the learning process for us is answering questions wrong. So you learn from, you know, things that you do, you learn to answer it wrong, you answer it right the next time, but you have technology helping you learn how to do that. And so, what our leaders really found at the end of the day, they went along, but ultimately, they ended up being our biggest advocates because they realized all we want people to do is to learn. All we want people to do is feel empowered to do more and to do better. And what we found is as there was a real thirst for hunger. And a thirst for hunger, sorry, that's a good one. There's a hunger for knowledge.
People really came in and said, I want this technology. We literally have folks that go in and learn out of a 20-day work week they're in there 19 days a week. Unheard of. And so, what this says is we can reach our associates, not only for what they need to know, but what we need to communicate with them. And what our leaders found is this was a great access point to all of our associates. And so, the minute they could see their associates were learning and retaining, right? ‘Cause that's how you scale change. You can teach them more. We can learn more, and we can do more, but we never said, we're going to re-skill everyone. We just said, we're going to keep learning. And so, it's how you do it at the end of the day. But at this point, our leaders are really some of our biggest advocates, and we're very much included in the process. And so, I think we showed them that sometimes these things can be much easier. We really started from this knowledge platform that we had. Once we acquired it, we had it up and running in three months. And again, unheard of. And then we were able to really start to scale change the following the following year and have done that throughout various parts of our business as well.
Drew Lazzara (29:52):
Yeah, it's so interesting. If it was called brain training, I honestly would be really excited to do some of these training modules that pop up in my inbox every few months. It's really just that little shift does seem like it would make a huge difference. That's great.
Liz Ramey (30:06):
I'm so curious, Rebecca, about who your biggest partner is on the executive team. I’m racking my brain thinking, well, maybe it's a CDO, maybe it's the CIO, CTO. Who is your kind of biggest partner in this?
Rebecca Sinclair (30:23):
My biggest partner? Really, uh, again, I'll go back -- it starts with our CEO. He's a visionary in terms of where, what he sees the potential in terms of how we transform this, not only this company, but this industry. And, that's certainly at that level. But I would tell you, tremendous partnership with our chief operating officer. That really goes across the sales and supply chain organization. And then, we really have a strong partnership with our chief merchant, as well, because a lot of our things come from manufacturers. So, we do it all together, but we partner with the entire team. And so, it's been a great process that we can really think about these solutions together because we're all very passionate about the transformation that we're not only doing here at ATD for our industry, but what we're doing really within the whole industry. And so, we know this helps us accelerate change at the end of the day. This knowledge leads to change, and we can engineer outcomes on a pretty rapid scale.
Drew Lazzara (31:33):
Rebecca, thank you so much for reflecting on what culture means in an organization and giving us a great roadmap for how we can accelerate that and use it with technology to drive huge business outcomes. It's an awesome story, and we appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we let you go, we do like to close with a couple of big questions from previous guests. So, our previous guest was Matt Griffiths, who is the vice president of data driven transformation with Stanley Black and Decker. And might be the right kind of person to ask you about these kinds of questions, given the analytics drive of what you've been doing. Now, his question was, how are our leaders in less data savvy organizations bringing their organization along and thinking differently, which you've kind of covered a little bit with this knowledge and kind of the way you've laid things out. So, I want to tweak that just a little bit, and I'm wondering what has changed most in your thinking as you've gone through this analytics journey and putting data first?
Rebecca Sinclair (32:30):
For me, it's really about bringing data into the conversation, and it's about helping to inform and shape the efforts of where additional support is needed for large scale changes. And it's again about the trust of the organization and helping the leaders to really have the ability to continually assess and refine and improve their focus areas. And, when you're using digital and analytical tools, we've talked about not only being able to scale change, but it's really -- what we found is, and I've been again in awe of our organization and our associates and how well they've responded to this -- but it really empowers your associates to successfully contribute to the organization's vision. We need to know that to succeed in the future is because companies have to compete through data and analytics. But it's all really powered by the human potential. And so, the culture of the future is here, and it's here now, and it's going to be grounded in a digitally connected ecosystem. And so, we're going to continually see new tools and new technology. And so, it's really about staying together on that because you have to drive collaboration and productivity. And so, what I found is people generally right, were coming together because people are really, we're all trying to build something, and this is a part of how we can help build and create that for the organization. And so, technology plays a strong role in shaping the culture. But it's always about keeping the culture connected. And again, as I said, relationships do matter. So, it's how you use them together.
Liz Ramey (34:13):
That's great. And that is a great kind of bow on top of what we've talked about. So, thank you. Rebecca, I have one question. We like to ask just like Matt Griffiths posed his question to you, we would love to understand kind of what you're thinking about. And so, as an executive leader, what would you say your next big question is that you would like to pose to our next guest?
Rebecca Sinclair (34:42):
I think it's important to understand why you're doing a lot of these conversations about analytics and data and data science and all this machine learning and what we can do with all of that. So, I think the question I would ask is, we've had a conversation today from a way that modern HR is really looking at bringing this to the table, is how do you, if you're in kind of that head of data science area, how do you really partner in and help bring in more robust information into the sales and performance of the business? And so, I think that's a way in which HR human capital can really partner with data science. And so, I'd be curious to find out how your next guest is partnering with, helping to know that a modern approach to HR and business practices and some of those best and fine tools can really help accelerate the business outcomes.
Drew Lazzara (35:50):
That is an excellent big question. Rebecca Sinclair, thank you so much for being on the show. This has been fantastic, and we really appreciate your time and insights.
Rebecca Sinclair (36:00):
Great. Thank you. Enjoyed spending some time with you today.
Liz Ramey (36:04):
Thank you, again, for listening to The Next Big Question. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen. Rate and review the show so that we can continue to grow and improve. You can also visit Evanta.com to explore more content and learn about how your peers are tackling questions and challenges every day. Connect, learn, and grow with Evanta, a Gartner company.
PODCAST | MAY 4, 2021
PODCAST | MAY 4, 2021
The Next Big Question, Episode 15
CIO Guy Mason of Bourne Leisure joins the podcast to share what private equity can teach us about technology value. Mason discusses his approach to evaluating technology in the M&A process and how businesses can remove complexity to increase the speed of change.
PODCAST | APRIL 6, 2021
PODCAST | APRIL 6, 2021
The Next Big Question, Episode 14
In this episode, we ask CIO Rob Zelinka of Jack Henry & Associates why change management is so hard for large organizations. We discuss change fatigue and the unrelenting pace of change, and Rob shares how communication and transparency can help business leaders crack the change management code.
PODCAST | MARCH 22, 2021
PODCAST | MARCH 22, 2021
The Next Big Question, Episode 13
In this episode, Anne Marie Richard and James Dudek of UC Berkeley share a case study of a long-term IT transformation. They discuss how they brought together loosely organized teams, navigated a staff reduction and maintained an intentional focus on the humanity of their workforce.