12 - Speech, Theatre & Debate

Joined by Ryan Bond - Chief People Officer of Thrive Restaurant Group – and possible future guru, he tells us about the employee ‘mindsets’ his group has used to noticeably improve profitability and do more and better work with almost a thousand fewer employees than a year ago. Tyson called our chat ‘HR poetry’ (for reals)… we hate to play favorites - but this episode is up there.





Release Date: September 7, 2021

[00:00:00] Voice-over: Warning. This podcast is about the realities of working in people operations. This is not a stuck-up PC compliance-based or employment law podcast about stuffy outdated HR practices. Shit will get real here, and we assume no responsibility.

[00:00:16] Tyson: We had a strict, no alcohol policy, and everybody was like, "Oh, don't drink. HR is here." Meanwhile, I'm mid-crack for beer.

[00:00:24] Alexa: If they're that disengaged before, they're going to be that disengaged in the office just should be sitting at their desk looking at Facebook. They are going to find ways [alarm beeps]

[00:00:31] Voice-over: This is the People Problems Podcast with Alexa Baggio and Tyson Mackenzie.

[00:00:39] Alexa: Hi Tyson.

[00:00:40] Tyson: Hey Alexa, how's it going?

[00:00:41] Alexa: Good. How are you?

[00:00:43] Tyson: Good.

[00:00:43] Alexa: I'm allowed to ask you, how are you? I'm just not allowed to ask you what's up. Is that what we've established?

[00:00:47] Tyson: Yes, because then I can just say, I'm good. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling shitty.

[00:00:50] Alexa: You could be one of those people that's like, "I'm well." [crosstalk] corrective.

[00:00:54] Tyson: I hate that one. I would never say that, but yes, no, because what's up? It's like, "Oh, should I have to think of something interesting about myself?" Honestly, these days that's few and far between. [laughs]

[00:01:07] Alexa: Why? I don't think that's true. You're getting very close to having a daughter.

[00:01:10] Tyson: It's just prepping for that, prepping for work.

[00:01:16] Alexa: That's got to be a lot.

[00:01:16] Tyson: Very busy trying to [laughs] hire my backfill. It's a lot. I don't know. I guess that's what's up.

[00:01:24] Alexa: There you go. There's always something up. See? Just got to dig a little. All right, my dear, awesome. I'm going to move us very quickly here because I'm excited about our guest today. To our pops in the news.

[music]

Alexa: Our pops in the news today, the headline is the New York Times article called Culture Change and Conflict at Twitter. The general gist of this article is that-- you have to read it. I cannot paraphrase it very well because it's not one of these more fact-based ones, but it is effectively about an executive named Dantley Davis, that Twitter hired two years ago, to shake things up. The article alleges that they were trying to fix their culture that was too nice and that they weren't producing enough product, and they weren't being innovative enough. People hate on Twitter because they don't create and develop and innovate product the way that a lot of the other big tech companies do. Some people [crosstalk]

[00:02:27] Tyson: It was a design title, though, it wasn't a people ops.

[00:02:29] Alexa: He was the VP of their design group. The whole idea, he's running a major piece of this group. One of the things they do is they hire this new guy who I guess, is also a gentleman of color. He's a big champion of diversity, and he's known for this hard-charging, straightforward management style. I guess, there's this story or this anecdote in the article about how he comes in and he is like, "I'm going to make everyone stand in a circle, give every person a critique, and then give everyone a compliment because he is trying to get people to be more direct with each other. I guess, being too nice was causing issues.

Long story short, article keeps going, and it is like this guy is making people feel psychologically unsafe. They're losing people left and right. He gets of course reported on for saying a bunch of stuff he's then not supposed to say, things that are insensitive to other people's diversity, even though he's supposed to be a champion of diversity. Then the story continues to say that, eventually, he has a change of heart about his management style, and he comes out and says that he's more interested in creating inclusion, and supporting existing culture and blah, blah, blah.

Then long story short, they push out an employee that's supposedly told on him for not being inclusive, and not being great, and that's the end. It's a really interesting expose on I think this concept of when companies try to bring in change-makers, and then this is also the perfect PR portrait of when that goes wrong. This person becomes this scapegoat of just every complaint in the company, or in this case, the design department. He's got all these complaints filed against him, and just it's [crosstalk]

[00:04:15] Tyson: It's like they were promoting him. There was concerns because even though they were complaints, they were promoting him still, or changing his title. They up-leveled his title.

[00:04:23] Alexa: It sounds like he inject Dorsey like homies. This guy could do no wrong.

[00:04:29] Tyson: Oh. It made my skin crawl, honestly. I'm a pretty tough cookie, and I'm usually pretty harsh and direct, but I have this random character anomaly, where I get really, really upset by humiliation. I don't like when other people feel humiliated. When I was going around and critiquing folks, and I guess, there were a few people that started to cry during that meeting where they were going round circle and critiquing people, it just made my heart hurt. No one should ever have to feel humiliated at all, especially not at work.

That was my first thing. I was like, "What the hell? This is so dumb." Then later on down the road in the article, I think the CHRO says, "He was brought in to change the culture and this is his mandate.

[00:05:13] Alexa: This is the culture change we were looking for.

[00:05:15] Tyson: This is the change we were looking for. I'm like, "Seriously, through humiliation? It's not right." I actually really agree with having a direct culture and providing direct feedback and ensuring that we're not getting too soft to the point where people just feel like they can run rickshaw over everything. Just the approach to this, it made my skin crawl.

[00:05:37] Alexa: I was very proud at first that the CHRO caught listed in this article as like, "Oh yes. Change is hard. We hired this person to make cultural change." "All right, cool, you're stepping out on a limb." Then I was like, "Read some of these tactics. I don't know if this is what you're going for." It's tough because in the same article where they're saying this guy's putting people in a circle and making them feel humiliated, I couldn't agree with you more. It's just a bad team tactic. When is that ever going to be effective? Although I don't know.

I guess it could be effective sparingly, but there's plenty of cults that would prove otherwise. At the same time, you're looking at this and you're like, "Okay, but some of this is helpful and then some of this is like employees feel psychologically unsafe." You can't have everything. You get paid for your time and your effort. I'm not sure that everything the company does has to make you feel safe. I think you just have to decide if that's an environment you want to work in or not.

[00:06:36] Tyson: I wonder what had led to this need for this change. It didn't say in the article. Were employees slacking off?

[00:06:44] Alexa: They insinuate that their design group and their product was the laughing stock of the tech [chuckles] industry. It doesn't really say explicitly why.

[00:06:58] Tyson: Was this the change that they really need to address that issue, the issue that they were having?

[00:07:02] Alexa: It said the company had long been slow to build products and under pressure from investors and users, executives landed on a diagnosis. Twitter's collaborative environment had calcified, making workers--

[00:07:13] Tyson: This is the time when it's just--

[00:07:15] Alexa: This is the finger-pointing. Twitter's collaborative environment had calcified making workers reluctant to criticize one another. Mr. Davis, the company believed was one of the answers to that problem.

[00:07:26] Tyson: Look, when you have a group that is reluctant to criticize one another, I do think that there does need to be a shake-up. That's just group think. Tech especially design, whatever this group was probably needed a lot more creativity and stuff. [crosstalk]

[00:07:44] Alexa: You're bringing in somebody to switch things up. Usually, that means people are going to leave and some people are not going to like it. They're going to be uncomfortable. If that discomfort and that change is negative and prolonged, that's a red flag, but if you bring in a new manager and he is got a very different style than the old guy and people are like, "I don't like this guy, he doesn't make me feel safe." That's exactly to the CHRO's point. It's why he's there.

[00:08:06] Tyson: What he could have done better is provided the critique to the individuals one-on-one versus humiliating them in front of their friends and that's hard enough. A lot of managers don't do that. Let's say instead he does it one-on-one and then people are like, "Oh, how dare you critique me?" Then they can get lost. I think it was just more so the humiliation that stood out to me versus his need to change the culture.

[00:08:30] Alexa: I'll just have you know that he's now a company's chief design officer, so winning.

[00:08:35] Tyson: That's usually how it goes.

[00:08:37] Alexa: Tails all this time. With that, I'm going to introduce us to our guest because I'm really curious to get his thoughts on this. Our guest today is Ryan Bond, who is the chief people officer at Thrive Restaurant Group. That is a 5,000 team-member business across 13 states in the hospitality and restaurant industry. He's also a member of the People Ops Society Advisory Board, where he supports the growing pops movement by helping to connect peers and support them by sharing resources, education, and ideas.

He claims to be "just a dude in Kansas, trying to love people" and he's the third most interesting child of his parents' three children. Previously, an adjunct professor at Friends University graduate school of business in Wichita and an organizational development executive. Ryan is based in and coming to us today I believe from Wichita, Kansas. What's up Ryan?

[00:09:22] Ryan Bond: Hey, it's great to be with you all.

[00:09:24] Alexa: Likewise. Thanks for being here.

[00:09:25] Ryan: We can talk about this Twitter story for an hour.

[00:09:27] Alexa: Let's do it. What do you think?

[00:09:29] Ryan: Anytime you bring someone in to change your culture, you know you've got some very serious problems that that person is not going to be able to solve, right?

[00:09:38] Alexa: Yes, probably. This is just a culture committee of one.

[00:09:42] Ryan: His approach like Tyson's saying, just the humiliation of that. We call that in our business, an open-faced shit sandwich when you give one nice thing and one bad thing. If you want to make it a full shit sandwich, you give a nice thing, a bad thing, and a nice thing and you just close it all in. Right? It's hard.

[00:10:07] Alexa: How do you feel about shit sandwiches at Thrive Restaurant Group?

[00:10:11]Ryan: We do not like them. They don't sell well. They don't age well. They don't help anybody. It blows my mind when leaders completely forget about the idea that leadership is a relationship. It is not a system or a process or a policy or any of that stuff. They take for granted the fact that humans are humans and that in the context of relationship, almost any change in somebody's life is possible, whether it's at work in their personal life, spiritually, all of that stuff. It happens in the context of relationships. These stories just give culture change a bad name.

[00:10:52] Alexa: Everything. Obviously, the most annoying part of this article for me is not this story, is that this is what gets written about this story. Is that it's like, "We're going to wait for this guy to fuck this up because they gave him way too big a task for one human. Probably didn't give this guy any fucking training beforehand. No support, no nothing." Just were like, "Oh, we'll throw him in there. He'll shake it up. He's real direct." I'm a real direct person and I call bullshit on this. Then the New York Times is like, "We don't have anything nice to say about this. We're just going to make this a shitty HR article." I'm like, "This is god damn it. He'll win."

[00:11:28] Ryan: No, it's so bad.

[00:11:29] Alexa: It's so bad. Before I start touting you, as our next presidential candidate Ryan or future motivational speaker, for those that don't know you, tell us a little bit about your foray into the people space. How'd you start doing this? What do you do? What have you been up to?

[00:11:44] Ryan: That's a great question. I got into the people space by avoiding the people space. I ran as far from HR as I possibly could for the better part of my career because I didn't really understand HR, although I was always drawn to it.

[00:11:59] Alexa: Where did you start?

[00:12:01] Ryan: My educational background, I actually went through college and got a bachelor's degree in speech theater and debate with a teaching licensure and thought that I'd go and be a high school speech debate and theater teacher and other plans. I had a friend who was an entrepreneur, he started a company. I went to work with him, got into business development, and was like, "Man, business is really fun and you can teach in business." There's just a lot to learn and share. I got hooked. After a year of doing that, got an opportunity in the pharmaceutical industry.

I was one of those pharmaceutical reps who masquerades as a catering manager is what that ended up being. That was a fascinating job because it moved us to Kansas. Firstly, I'm very grateful for it. Secondly--

[00:12:48] Alexa: Where were You before?

[00:12:49] Ryan: We were in St. Louis, Missouri. That's where I grew up. It moved us to Kansas and man, that role really taught me how to walk into a hostile environment eight times a day and build a relationship of mutual benefit with people. If you know anything about being a pharmaceutical rep, it's going in, trying to get doctors' time, share with them about your medicines, taking in copious amounts of muffins and coffee, and all that stuff. It was a really great training ground to learn how to relate to people that don't see you as a friendly, served me really well I feel like through the rest of my career.

During that time at the pharmaceutical company, there was a role posted internally for a VP of organization development, I'm like "What is that?" I was really thrilled, I'm like, "Man, it sounds really interesting." Talking about making plan change, helping people create strategy and systems thinking and all that, it required a master's degree. I was like, "That sounds cool." I looked into that and went and did a master's degree in organization development. That sent me on a trajectory to start working with organizations and helping them think through how to engage their whole system, their whole team in making organizational change. Did that for several years.

I was working in manufacturing a little bit and friend of mine, who's part of this family business, Thrive Restaurant Group was taking over about 10 years ago. His big question was, "How do we give this thing 30, 40, more years of life?" That's when I came in. We've been working together for the past decade to create an experience of work that people want to stay for. They want to come for. That can provide opportunities for people to grow and develop and just have a great place to come every day for their careers. That's the work that we're doing. I didn't start in HR here though.

[00:14:40] Tyson: It's so funny though. I always have a hard time explaining what I do in HR. Now I know, it's speech, theater, debate.

[laughter]

[00:14:51] Tyson: I have never had-

[00:14:52] Alexa: A little busy [unintelligible 00:14:53]

[00:14:54] Tyson: -three words that better describe my job. I think that you were just swell set on your way for a career here in HR.

[00:15:01] Alexa: I thought you were just going to say you wanted to be a stage actor and it just didn't work out.

[00:15:06] Ryan: This could have been all sorts of roads and this is the one that I walked down.

[00:15:11] Alexa: I love it.

[00:15:11] Ryan: Now it's so fun but I realized getting into the restaurant business it's been a fascinating journey in this industry and in this company. One of the things, Tyson to your point is I realized that what HR is, is the ability to find people and intersect with them in some of the most critical moments of leadership and management and life decisions. I realized in my time if I was going to really have the impact I wanted to have, it was going to be putting myself in a position to be at those intersections and more importantly, help empower the HR directors and directors of operations.

People that are on the ground and working with people. How to empower them, to really equip people in their lives so that they can master their jobs, so they can have more autonomy, so their sense of purpose can go up so that they can achieve their goals. Not restrict them, control them, lead them towards compliance, but to really release them to be their natural best selves. Human resources provides such a great opportunity to equip people through yourself. It's been a great change here for me.

[00:16:21] Alexa: Release versus restrict is one of my favorite things I've ever stolen from Ryan for plagiaristic reasons. I'm going to give you total credit if I've ever said that in this podcast before.

[laughter]

Alexa: Let's double click on this little bit, Ryan because you're working for a restaurant group. You guys have what? 60-plus restaurants or something?

[00:16:38] Ryan: We got over 100 now.

[00:16:40] Alexa: 1000s and 1000s of employees, multiple states, multiple different restaurant brands, et cetera, et cetera. You're working with a population and organizational structure aside on the ground at a restaurant that tends to be a fairly transient, very part-time, it tends to be a hard-- you're over here talking about engagement and releasing people and making decisions with your whole organization and most people look at restaurants and go like, "I've got a bunch of people that work part-time and on average, they're with me for four months." How do you begin to put engagement and longevity and optimization in front of a population that seems lost for the cause? What's that like?

[00:17:25] Ryan: That's a great question. That mindset that you just expressed, that is the first mindset that we started attacking. This idea that because we have 100% turnover in our hourly population that somehow you're disposable and replaceable. If you leave, I'm just going to find some other warm body. As a hiring manager, when I approach you like that, it tells my entire team that they can treat you like that.

What we saw was massive amounts of turnover in the first 90 days because you're coming in and if I'm an hourly teamer, first of all, maybe you're my competition for hours but certainly, I'm just going to invest in you because you're not going to be here very long. This mindset was like a cancer that was moving through the organization. Instead of writing policies or putting on onboarding procedures, and all this stuff, we developed these four mindsets that we wanted to use to help change the organization and how we thought about people. The specific mindset that I want to share with you is people are our legacy.

We talk about all the time it's like, "Hey when I turn 80, nobody is going to be here talking about Q2 of 2021, and how amazing that was and what our profit was, and we opened two--" Nobody is going to be talking about that.

[00:18:47] Alexa: I was going to recommend we put on your heads don't run.

[00:18:50] Ryan: Yes Q2 it's a great quarter, but nobody's going to be talking about that. They're going to be talking about, "Here's the relationships I make. Here's how you helped me achieve my potential, here's how you welcomed me onto this team and opened up all these doors for me." It's going to be the people and the relationships that are going to matter when all of us are at the end of our lives and at the end of our careers.

Our whole thing is we want you to be better off for your time with us, whether or not that's 3 weeks, 3 months, 30 years, that's our goal. We started using this people are our legacy mindset just to start talking about, "Hey, it doesn't matter how long they're here. The better we treat them, the longer they're going to stay and the more fulfilling it's going to be for you and for them. It's a win-win." That mindset it's taken off. We talked about it all the time. I hear that we recognize people around it when they go out of their way to help somebody. It's really cool to see.

[00:19:49] Alexa: That’s one mindset, what are the other three?

[00:19:51] Ryan: The other three are create advocates In everything that you do, we want you to be thinking about the story that’s going to get told about whatever interaction you're having, and you as a server or a host or a kitchen team member, you are empowered to do something to create an advocate. I spill something on you know how this works at restaurants, t. They want to be stingy with giving away free meals or comping things. We're like, "Hey, be generous. If you're ever too generous, we'll talk to you about it and figure out [laughs] another way to handle it the next time." We've never had to cross that line.

We want you to be responsible for creating an advocate with the people that you serve. That also goes for our team members because we know that if you work in one of our restaurants and you walk in, we're opening a new Applebee's tomorrow right up the street here. If you walk into Applebee's tomorrow and that team, let's say they've been through hell in training. You're going to walk in, you're going to feel that. You've been there, you felt, or you walk into an environment, it just doesn't feel good. We know that your experience is never going to exceed the experience that our team members have.

The guest experience is inextricably linked to the experience that the team members have. I think that's true in every organization and at Twitter. Why did it calcify there? It calcified because of a lack of trust. Their experience of that work environment and that culture is never going to exceed whatever your user interface are going to be able to produce or the user's experience of Twitter, they're linked. I think people think that they're not. That we leave this personal stuff at the door and we come in, we do our job because we're getting the paycheck.

[00:21:31] Alexa: Like the Amazon example, we treat our customers significantly better than we treat our employees. Why would those be so different? I don't understand.

[00:21:41] Tyson: With these mindsets, it's so eloquently put how treating people like your employees in a certain way has such direct business outcomes. I use that word eloquent because I feel like it's very understandable how enabling someone, empowering someone to be an advocate would then better influence or be a better result with your customers and your clients which would then result in return business and people having a great experience.

Even the people are a legacy in treating people in that way and them feeling as though they aren't disposable. It's just they show up. It's just such a good, clear example of how treating people in a certain way, treating employees in a certain way can directly influence business results.

[00:22:26] Alexa: I like thinking of the experience of your employees as the ceiling as that's as high as you can get. From a product perspective, an output perspective, an experience perspective, whatever, that's a really good way to think about this. Number three.

[00:22:41] Ryan: Number three, focus on the guest experience. This one is all about when you go out to eat, you don't go out necessarily for the server. You're going to connect with the people that you're with. Our whole job is to make sure that you are not worried about what's going to happen to you when you're in the restaurant. It's why we do simple things like read back the order after we take it.

A lot of people don't do that, or we ask our servers to write it down. I know a lot of people like to show off by memorizing it, but you seeing me write it down alleviates your anxiety and your worry about whether or not you're going to be taken care of.

[00:23:18] Tyson: Nothing stresses me out more when they don't write it down. I am literally having heart palpitations just hearing you say that. I'm like, "Should you write that down?" [laughs]

[00:23:27] Ryan: [crosstalk]

[00:23:28] Alexa: I was at dinner lastly at a really fancy place for my birthday. This is one of those places where they don't write it down, they're not allowed, but this guy, he clearly had been doing this his whole life. We had the consummate server, this guy, Edwin, he was incredible, but that's not always the case.

[00:23:45] Ryan: I'm sure he's a professional. In some of those really nice restaurants, you hit $100,000 a year if you're really good at that work. We try and encourage people to do things that are going to help focus on the guest experience. That guest experience really has very little to do with us. We're not a central piece of that story, we are facilitating-

[00:24:06] Alexa: The ambiance.

[00:24:06] Ryan: -an experience for them.

[00:24:08] Alexa: That's great.

[00:24:09] Ryan: It's that kind of stuff and telling them, "Hey, when you leave the table, what are you going to do and when are you going to be back?" Just let them know. Then they're not having to worry about if you are going to bring them stuff. That's number three. Number four is master the fundamentals. This gets back to the idea that in the restaurant business, we believe and I believe that I will quit this job the day I stop believing this, that we can create jobs where people can flourish in their work in the restaurants. A lot of that boils down to mastering the fundamentals of the role.

Having access to the training that you need, being able to ask questions, being able to make mistakes, admit mistakes, get help, and fix it. We talk about failing fast and learning because we want people to be putting themselves out there and trying to care for other people and do things that they think are going to make it better even if they mess it up. We talk about mastering the fundamentals a lot as a real key. Mastery is what unlocks autonomy in people's work. It's what allows them to take full responsibility.

I rail a lot on these cultures of accountability because I think they're dumb and I think they're misguided because accountability is all from the outside and responsibility is from the inside out. We've got to create environments where people can master their work because that's the only way that they're going to have a chance at holding themselves responsible for their work. Not me or a manager holding them accountable for it. You must try to have responsibility.

[00:25:41] Tyson: What does that look like in terms of developing mastery? Do you have budgets for training or due time for training? How does that look for you folks?

[00:25:50] Ryan: It looks different at every level. If you're an hourly team member, what mastery looks like is you being able to facilitate the entire guest experience. Knowing where everything in the restaurant is. These are not hard things. The mastery is not complicated, but having enough reps to understand where everything is, being able to have an intimate knowledge of how the menu work, how substitutions work. There's just a lot of--

[00:26:14] Alexa: When to fire certain things, when not.

[00:26:16] Ryan: Yes, exactly. At the management level, it's really understanding the systems that are put together in the restaurant to make sure the food is on track with how the guests are flowing in. It's a really complicated business. I don't think people get credit for the leadership that they provide in the space. As a manager, it's being able to understand who are your top servers, who are not your top servers and how do you assemble teams for different day parts? How do you know when to let people go, when to bring people on?

Knowing that technology that helps you understand that we don't ask people to do that just by hand anymore. It's all online. There's a big component of mastering the technology that's available to you, asking questions about that, attending the webinars. A lot of it is self-responsibility to get that done. We're a big organization, but we like to keep it relatively flat. We don't have a lot of micromanagements. We find that when people don't master the role that they're in, they function down a level and they do the work of the role that they came from and that's how we destroy value and people's experiences throughout the businesses.

[00:27:24] Alexa: That's when you burn money because you're paying somebody for an increase they're not performing?

[00:27:29] Ryan: Yes. It's hard. I was with a general manager just the other day and we're opening this new Applebee's. She has a real specific point of view on how some stuff in the bar should go. She has a bar manager. He was giving direction and then she was coming in and she was giving direction that was different from his and you could just see it in his face just how deflating that was because here he's got ownership of this new bar and his general managers coming in and superseding him. We were just having a conversation after that interaction.

I'm like, "Did you see what happened when you came in?" She's like, "No, I didn't." I'm like, "He's just totally deflated, totally disempowered because he had just got done telling people how he wanted to do it and it was different than how you said." I said, "What was driving it?" She's like, "I just didn't know how he was going to approach it and so I wanted to make sure that there was no question." She comes to realize that she should have asked him. She didn't think about it.

[00:28:26] Alexa: She could talk to him first.

[00:28:28] Ryan: She just wanted to go get it done. This happens all the time in every industry in every business. When those things aren't called out, that's what destroys, that's what creates that calcification. That's what destroys initiative. It destroys personal responsibility. It creates learned helplessness. I'm just doing what you told me.

[00:28:46] Alexa: Yes, exactly. I'm just doing what you told me and it's not working. I'm not saying anything.

[00:28:49] Ryan: You can't hold me responsible for the results because I'm just doing what you said.

[00:28:54] Alexa: That kills me. How did you come up with these mindsets?

[00:28:56] Ryan: I don't know the exact moment but I do know the circumstances. We had a COO at the time who he was going to be damned if he was going to trust people with decision-making. He wanted everything scripted. He would have liked the policy manual that was 500 pages long and that spelled out what you should do in every situation, you follow this book and everything will be fine. That was the desire. You can't give people responsibility. You can't give them decision-making rights. We were just looking at this business and it was dying. It was a business that we really cared about, a restaurant concept.

I'm a Jesus guy and when you look at what Jesus talked about when he was here, he's like, "Hey, I didn't come to destroy the law of Moses." He's like, "I didn't come to destroy that. I came to give you the spirit of the law." It was this idea that yes, look, we know that you've got to people well and you can't steal money. We don't have to have policies around that. What we need are people operating from the spirit of I want to make this a better place for others, and I want to make this a good place for myself.

What do you have to be thinking about in order for you to live that on a daily basis, regardless of the situation, because the restaurants are really dynamic places? You get confronted with problems and challenges you can never imagine. How do we align everyone around this idea that man, we can make this a great place to work? We can make this a great place for people to eat. That's where the mindsets fell out of. Now, the D school at Stanford has the design--

[00:30:39] Alexa: [unintelligible 00:30:39] D school.

[00:30:40] Ryan. The design thinking boot camp and I believe I encountered maybe that idea of mindsets in their work as I'm thinking about it. I was like, "What would that be for our business?" It's focused on the guest experience. It's people are our legacy. They're going to be with us forever. Even if they're not employed by us, mastering the fundamentals of this job are what releases you to care for other people, and then how do you do that all in creating advocates? The idea again was that release versus restrict. This idea of, "Hey, you can become something. We don't want you to conform to something, we're hiring you to make decisions. To be yourself in alignment with where we want to go."

[00:31:23] Alexa: I think the wording here is what's so critical though because a mindset is a personal choice to operate in a certain way, which is combining what I think most organizations struggle to combine, which is this idea of mission statement and-

[00:31:40] Tyson: The pillars.

[00:31:41] Alexa: -pillars or there's all kinds of jargon for the shit in this industry. Like, "Oh, here's the quotes we put in big bold. Quotes on the boardroom walls." Like, "Oh, this is the stuff we live by." Then they can't fucking translate it into like, "Yes, but probably we should get people do anything about it. It's too wacky"

[00:32:00] Ryan: Do you know what ours is? Can I tell you ours?

[00:32:03] Alexa: Yes.

[00:32:03] Ryan: We don't even have a mission statement. We don't have a purpose statement. What we have is an invitation. The invitation is we want you to come here and make a difference. We're going to equip you with these mindsets, with all the stuff you need, with people around you with leadership that is in alignment with this being a great place to work, and we want you to come inside of that and we want you to make a difference.

We don't want you to fit in. We don't want you to just do what you're told. We want you to make a difference. Make this place better because of you because this stuff, as you know man, it could just be on the walls or in books, but it takes a person to bring it to life. People will not bring it to life unless they're empowered to do so. That's what we were trying to do with this stuff.

[00:32:47] Alexa: That is fucking fresh. You mentioned a second ago that you guys try to keep it pretty flat, but I'm curious, and this comes up a fair amount, especially when people use the E word engagement. How do you communicate to such a dispersed population? How do you hold all these cultural strings together across 13 states and 100 plus restaurants? Obviously, you're talking about one GM right now of I'm assuming at least 100 GMs. How do you think about that?

[00:33:14] Ryan: It's a good question. Just in all this stuff, we've not arrived. We are aspiring [laughs] and communication is one of those.

[00:33:23] Alexa: I think this is an industry of constant aspiration if that makes you feel any better, Ryan. I don't think anyone in this industry has arrived at the answers yet, or maybe ever.

[00:33:33] Alexa: Think about, and I don't want to give anybody the impression of that we've got the answers, but we do think we have a point of view that can be really life-giving. Communication's hard, because of the turnover that we experience, typical channels are really difficult to manage. Like who's on there, who's not. We've been trying to consolidate a lot of that into one system that's underway. We're calling this year of the year of infrastructure, it's almost over and we're almost finished, but we're hoping to be able to supplement--

We believe that the best way to communicate is to give people a good leader and so we've been very specific about who we make responsible for restaurants, for above restaurant leadership. We've had a lot of people self-select out because they don't believe in releasing people. They don't believe in empowering. They believe in command and control. I'm so happy to say that we've moved almost through all of those folks in our leadership ranks. Who we have left are people that believe in the potential of others.

We lean heavy on those leaders to be delivering an experience that's consistent with our guidebook messaging. For example, we rolled out a new guidebook that is all affirmative language. There's none of this up to and including termination garbage. It's about, "Hey, this book is not about what you can't do here, this book is about what people who do well here, who succeed here, this is what they do and this is our expectation of you." It's taking a twist on the old policy manual. We have that and that everybody gets exposed to, and then that has to be supported with the experience that they have from their leader.

From my seat, we're really selective about who we make a leader in these restaurants and who we let other people work for. Even though we do have levels, so we're not flat, but we're flat in decision making. We're not flat in hierarchy simply because the best way to care for folks is to not have too many people. We want every leader to not have more than eight people that they're responsible for because it's really hard to develop people that way. We're trying to structure it so that it gets experienced. Then we're hopefully going to have some technology that we can use to bubble up some more of this messaging and stuff through everyone on the team.

[00:35:54] Tyson: You mentioned that before there was, I guess that high turnover when there was that old mindset like, "Oh, people are disposable." Have you seen any change in that lately? Als, how new are these mindsets? Is this something new that's been rolled out as of late? Then I would love to know if it had had an impact on those turnover numbers

[00:36:13] Ryan: Good question. We conceived these mindsets about seven years ago and we rolled them out in one of our concepts. We have four different brands right now that we own. We rolled it out in one, it was one of the oldest brands that we had. It really helped usher in a renewal of that concept. We didn't expose the rest of the brands to those ideas. We really wanted to refine them in one place, see if they worked.

We felt like they were expressions of things that already existed, and so we wanted to see if we could really make something of them. We just rolled them out to all of Thrive about three years ago. Yes, they've had a tremendous impact. Now, unfortunately, when it comes to turnover, #COVID, and that blew up all the stuff. Here's what we do know. This is the one-

[00:37:00] Alexa: That's not fighting fair though. That's not--

[00:37:02] Ryan: I know, but here's what we do know. We're probably 1,000 people light of what we were pre-pandemic. If you just look at same-store employees, but what we have are 30% more full-time employees which with us is full-time employees. You get healthcare, you get paid time off, we're really competitive on wages as this year has moved through. I'm really encouraged, and we know that when you're not working two jobs, you're staying with us. We're seeing our turnover at those core, we call them the core employee level, it's great.

[00:37:37] Alexa: You're telling me that you can do the same amount of work with a1,00 less people-

[00:37:44] Ryan: We can do more.

[00:37:44] Alexa: -by just making some of those other people more committed to the job by taking better care of them?

[00:37:53] Ryan: Yes.

[00:37:54] Alexa: 1,000 less people?

[00:37:56] Ryan: 1,00 less people.

[00:37:58] Alexa: God bless you, Ryan. You have literally just made all my points in one comment.

[laughter]

Alexa: If there's not a business case for why this is so fucking important, that is the case study. That is literally the case study. That is awesome. I don't want to use one metric I think using one metric for anything [crosstalk]

[00:38:19] Ryan: We're tracking it now. We had a hunch.

[00:38:22] Alexa: Are you tracking time with the company, or what are the metrics that you track, and maybe how often are you guys talking about those? I know people are obsessed with people data these days.

[00:38:31] Ryan: [laughs] With core employees, this idea came to us. We hired a new COO a couple of years ago from Chili's and he had this idea, we called it core and fringe. We don't love the fringe idea, but maybe more support or whatever, but he had this idea of like, "Hey, I think that the more core employees we have, the people that we can lean on, 30 hours or more per week, the better everything gets."

We started playing with that, and then when we had to deconstruct the business into COVID, where we basically furloughed 3,500 people overnight and kept all of our salaried people and they ran care out delivery for a few weeks until we started bringing people back. When we started reassembling the business, that's when that idea really took light because we started hiring our most highly capable people.

We started going to them saying, "Hey, we'll give you all these hours." All of a sudden it's like, 'Wow, we have less people, we've got a full schedule, and look at our production numbers, look at our training numbers, look at our variances." We track the recipe versus how much food we actually use. Everything got better, everything. We were like, "Oh--

[00:39:40] Alexa: That's in the face of what everyone is calling the worst hiring economy for the restaurant industry maybe ever because everybody's like "Nobody wants to go back to these crappy jobs where they don't make any money and they're hard. The commute sucks and the tips are TBD." You're doing that in the face of most people your industry being like, "I can't get a bar back to save my life right now. I can't get a bartender to save my life right now.

[00:40:04] Ryan: Yes. We just opened two new restaurants, Alexa.

[00:40:08] Alexa: That's incredible.

[00:40:08] Ryan: One in Kansas City last week and one up the street tomorrow. I'd say they'd like to have two or three more people.

[00:40:15] Alexa: That's crazy. I guess my question would be when you're talking about, infrastructure's great, when you're talking about, first and foremost, just hiring this stuff, how are you screening for your mindsets? How are you making sure, because you mentioned earlier that you guys basically had combed through the organization and gotten rid of the people that don't back these up?

[00:40:40] Ryan: In the leadership roles. Yes.

[00:40:41] Alexa: I would be curious to hear a little bit about how you do that-

[laughter]

Alexa: -and then also a little bit about just your experience bleeding this into the very front lines of hiring and how you screen for this stuff.

[00:40:52] Ryan: That's great. I'll tell you a quick story about the Applebee's we're getting ready to open tomorrow. The hiring manager conducted almost all of her interviews here at the home office. That's never really happened here before and so it is fascinating to watch all these people come in. What you should know about her is that we purchased her company in 2020, the company that she used to work for, we did a major acquisition in 2020.

She came with it and I was talking to her in the break room, she was in between interviews and I said, "How's it going today?" She goes, "The last five people I haven't hired." I'm like, "Why?" She's like, "Because they're not kind. I'm only hiring kind people now. You guys have helped me see it's who you pick, not how much experience they have. We can teach them how to work in the restaurant, but it's like, how do they treat other people? Do they have kind eyes? How do they treat me when they walk in the door?" I was just so thrilled with that. It's creating believers, Alexa.

You got to give them an experience of your leadership that makes them believe that it is worth going through the extra effort bringing in the right people so that they can get this result of a great place to work because that's what everybody wants. They want to work with people they like and trust and all that.

[00:42:06] Alexa: That's why that Twitter example is so flawed. It's like, "We're just going to bring in a guy who's super direct, which is code for rude. He's going to bring people down or shake them up and make them uncomfortable." It's like, "You could just bring in somebody who really gets people to trust them and likes them and can call people's bluff and get them to perform at their best. If their best is still not the right thing, you can let them go."

[00:42:27] Tyson: I think what's so interesting about this is so, Alexa, you had asked previously how do we communicate this? Communication is hard, but you don't need these big communication plans if everybody is living and breathing these mindsets which is what it sounds like. The mindsets are so integrated into what you do, whether it's hiring, whether it's, you talked about the various competencies that people would need to be at a level of mastery. That's all so integrated into what is actually done through action that it doesn't need some big fancy comps plan.

[00:43:06] Alexa: That's what gets so lost about this. I was just talking about this the other day, I was talking about a group that they're a wellness company. We were talking about their benefits package which is some of the space the work I do. We had talked about how basically this brand, they'll just cover your gym membership. I'm like, "Guys, you're a wellness company."

[00:43:24] Tyson: You're a wellness company.

[00:43:25] Alexa: You're a wellness company. That's it? You don't [crosstalk]

[00:43:27] Tyson: I want Reiki in the office.

[00:43:29] Alexa: You're not giving them personal training credits at your facilities? That's it? They just get a gym membership? I go work anywhere and get that. That doesn't help me understand what your culture is. By the way, I don't just want a gym membership when I work for you. I want to see the CEO on the treadmill next to me. That is the shit that matters.

[00:43:49] Tyson: In the middle of the day.

[00:43:50] Alexa: Exactly. If you expect me to go take a break to take care of myself to keep your self-insurance bills down, I better see the CEO in the C-suite in the gym when I'm in there regularly. It has to be lived and breathed from the top down. People do so much fucking lip service to that stuff and it gets so lost. It is such a simple fix because you just have-- and I feel like people say, "Oh, that's easier said than done. My C-suite we would never do that." It's like, "Simplify. Everybody's overcomplicated this shit. It's like you probably are offering that gym membership, healthcare dental vision, and 30 other things nobody fucking wants or that doesn't-

[00:44:26] Ryan: Use it.

[00:44:26] Alexa: -align with your mission. Drop the fucking art painting classes with wine on Tuesday nights for your team and pay for a personal trainer once a month, or whatever. Narrow down the scope of what you're doing to the things that you actually care about and want them to care about, and then double down on those things. Stop trying to be everything to all people." That's why it's like, "Oh, yes, we need this crazy communication thing." It's like, "No wonder your employee engagement sucks. You're trying to be everything to everybody so people just tune out. They're just not listening anymore."

It's fascinating, but I can imagine incredibly difficult across 13 states with 100-plus locations.

[00:45:03] Ryan: Yes, it is, but it's worth it because when you integrate that into the work, into the daily work and the daily experience, you don't have to go and do all these programs. You're just providing a great place for people to come. All the stuff outside of work, it's like, "Man, I want to be with my family."

[00:45:23] Tyson: How about the cleaning up the management, how did that go down?

[00:45:27] Ryan: It happened in two ways. First one is we were able to identify people that we knew were not living this and we knew that based on our experience of their leadership. It was a matter of identifying that, exposing them, giving them the experience of what healthy leadership looks like, what full responsibility looks like, and really communicating those expectations and giving them a period of time to buy in and get on the road and start walking. You'll get on the road and start walking. What's 10% better look like? What's 20% better look like?

It's not an overnight transformation that's expected, the expectation is that you decide that you want to get on the road and start walking. We will walk with you for a very long time to help you get there.

[00:46:10] Tyson: You clearly set expectations and gave them a chance to meet those expectations?

[00:46:16] Ryan: Absolutely.

[00:46:17] Tyson: What a concept.

[00:46:19] Ryan: It's so hard. We feel like we need a program for that.

[00:46:24] Alexa: No, you need a consultant, a really expensive trainer.

[laughter]

[00:46:29] Tyson: That'll be $1,000,000.

[00:46:30] Alexa: You definitely need a consultant, you definitely need a trainer. It's going to be really--

[00:46:35] Tyson: Probably a change management plan.

[00:46:37] Alexa: maybe a change management platform. [crosstalk]

[00:46:41] Ryan: Time to facilitate that metric around it.

[00:46:46] Tyson: I love the simplicity of that though.

[00:46:48] Ryan: We did that, and where we did not see progress, then we moved on. We tried to treat people with again--

[00:46:55] Alexa: How were you measuring the progress just against certain just actionable things underneath that different mindsets?

[00:47:01] Ryan: Just having frequent conversations about, "Tell me about this interaction, tell me what's going on, tell me how you let in this situation. Talk to me about how you're going to go make change here." Really, it's very hands-on. HR in our organization does not over-function into operations, we equip operational leaders to walk with their people through these developmental opportunities, that's our job. We don't handhold this process. This is something that we're very closely integrated, as an executive team, our COOs, me, CEO, CFO, we are in lockstep, what it is we're trying to become, who we want to be in that, and then that just bleeds down.

[00:47:44] Alexa: You have a seat at the table, which is a rarity right there. A lot of organizations, you wouldn't be in lockstep you'd be in the fucking broom closet waiting for craps.

[laughter]

Alexa: Which is sad. That's awesome, but this to people's points is like, "Oh, my God, this sounds amazing, you guys have all the answers, you've figured it out, or at least some of it. This sounds incredible and you've made such progress." It's because you Ryan are at the table, you're integrating all of this with the business directly. It is not an afterthought. It's not, "Here's what the business needs to do. Now, how do we go get the team to do it?" It is the same conversation.

[00:48:21] Ryan: We're all having the same conversation.

[00:48:21] Alexa: That's so critical. Just think about the amount of shit that gets lost in translation across the dinner table, and now imagine the person in charge of your entire team isn't at the dinner table. It's like two people in the telephone chain down the stream. It's like, of course, stuff gets fucked up that way, and communication gets hard and bloated and complicated and tiring.

[00:48:47] Ryan: It made going to through COVID A lot easier working with people that you trust.

[00:48:54] Alexa: You had a really fascinating comment once to me about how COVID, you had no choice but to rebuild and resurrect your business, and you had some really fascinating philosophies around how you guys came out of that thinking about your business. I think it'd be helpful if maybe you could share a couple of those insights.

[00:49:12] Alexa: Man, COVID, that was wild. We had no strategy for this spigot of revenue turning off overnight, which is what happened in the restaurant business, as you guys can remember back in March. I have never been more impressed with a group of leaders than the people we have in the restaurants across all these states. The way that they cared for people, the way that they kept the business going, the creativity that they were able to generate in terms of building a carry-out business. You have to understand carry-out was like 10% of our revenue across our concepts before COVID, and all the stuff was 100%.

We didn't know what we didn't know for a really long time. All we could do was trust, just give trust, that the leaders on the ground locally knew what was going on. We were at different jurisdictions. We had every press conference changed our business for a period of months. Really empowering that local general manager to help us understand what was going on, what they needed, how we could create processes to serve guests. We stood up online ordering in some of our concepts that we didn't have before.

We'd been debating it for five years, and in a matter of weeks, it was done. It's like, "Man, how do we create that same urgency in non-COVID times to get things done that we just know we need to get done? It's like how do we create that constraint and that pressure to just do things that we know we need to do?"

[00:50:50] Tyson: Turn off the revenue. [laughs]

[00:50:52] Ryan: Turn off the revenue.

[00:50:53] Alexa: You get real creative real quick that way.

[00:50:56] Ryan: That was really happening.

[00:50:57] Alexa: I love this concept of constraints because people think about these scenarios as like, "Oh, it's a constraint, it must be negative." It's like, "Oh, it's HR, it must be negative." Like, "Oh, it's a constraint, it must be negative." The reality is, it's not because it will force you to think of your business in different ways that you would not have been forced to do. Occasionally, you should think with constraints, you should create a constraint or operate with a constraint.

[00:51:24] Ryan: Well, I've got my Vango's, my print Vango's above me. Either he had an edge to the campus. There was a constraint there that he was working against, that all artists worked against. We just believed really strongly in the creator ability of the people that we have leading for us and mandate just they delivered. Over and over and over again, they're continuing to deliver as we walk into this next round, whatever that is.

[00:51:53] Alexa: You still have both your ears, Ryan.

[00:51:55] Ryan: I still have both my ears. Yes, I do.

[00:51:57] Alexa: You still have both your ears. Time flies when you're having fun. Tyson, it is time for a people problem.

[music]

[00:52:15] Tyson: Have you been in a situation where you have promised something to the business? Then had to backtrack. What is your suggestion and how to do that? You've maybe promised that you can do something--

[00:52:26] Alexa: How to handle backtracking?

[00:52:28] Tyson: Yes. You promised that you could do something to leadership. Then now you have to backtrack because for some reason or other, it's not possible.

[00:52:36] Alexa: Wait, you've promised something?

[00:52:38] Tyson: You as the HR person had made a commitment then you have to backtrack on because it's not possible.

[00:52:45] Alexa: To your leadership team?

[00:52:47] Tyson: To the leadership team.

[00:52:47] Alexa: Okay. Not the leadership team announce something to employees and then they got to walk back?

[00:52:52] Tyson: No, it's more the relationship between HR and leadership and building credibility and that vibe.

[00:52:58] Alexa: Ryan, thoughts?

[00:53:00] Ryan: Three words come to mind. Please, forgive me.

[00:53:05] Tyson: Speech, theater, debate.

[laughter]

[00:53:08] Ryan: Speech, theater, debate.

[laughter]

Ryan: I've never thought about it like that before, but so true.

[00:53:19] Alexa: It is quite fitting.

[00:53:20] Tyson: Like the episode title, I'd say.

[00:53:21] Alexa: It's definitely the episode title, for sure. Master's in speech, theater, and debate. That's pretty incredible.

[00:53:30] Tyson: Please forgive me.

[00:53:31] Alexa: Please forgive me. I as with all listener questions, I'm always the one that's like, I have 30 More questions to actually effectively answer this. I think the general gist of this is how do you maintain a relationship where having to do this is not detrimental to your relationship with leadership? I think the first piece of this that people forget about is don't make it frequent. If you're saying, "Please forgive me," on a monthly basis because you keep over-promising and under-delivering, then that's when you run the risk.

If you're in a situation where you have to backtrack, the quicker, the more honest, and the more on the sword you can be about it, the better. It's only going to work to build trust because everyone who's ever managed a team understands that shit comes up, stuff happens, people fuck up. No team is perfect. There is no perfect manager. There is no manager or executive that has ever said "We've called 100% of these calls on the dock.

People fuck up, stuff happens. What you want to know is that when it happens, that your team is going to come to you about it immediately. They're going to tell you the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They're not going to sugarcoat it, they're not going to hide it. They're not going to wait, but it's a rarity. When it happens, you're going to take them really fucking seriously and you know they're going to beat themselves up about it. There's going to be a fix. That's what you are looking to convey is this does not happen often, I'm coming to you immediately, I'm telling you the whole truth, I'm also going to debrief on why this happened and make sure it doesn't happen again, and you should trust me that if I'm coming to you with an issue and I need to backtrack, I am not fucking around. That's all a leader wants. That's it. Come with a proposed solution, don't come with a problem. I hate when people [crosstalk]

[00:55:23] Tyson: Yes. Definitely

[00:55:24] Alexa: That drives me fucking crazy.

[00:55:26] Tyson: All of that that you just laid out, the underline to all that is that you need to have that strong foundation first. A strong relationship with the biz first and strong credibility so that they know that it's not just a situation where you're always over-promising or you don't even have that credibility.

[00:55:40] Alexa: One of the ways you build credibility is by admitting fuckups and saying, "I got to backtrack on this one." You have to set expectations, sometimes you have to reset expectations.

[00:55:49] Tyson: Don't blame someone else. That is one thing that I started early on in my career is if there was a mistake made, even sometimes if it's not my mistake, this shouldn't have happened, my bad, this is how I'm going to fix it.

[00:56:03] Alexa: Just take ownership. I think ownership is the single biggest thing that helps healthy teams function is acknowledgment and ownership.

[00:56:12] Tyson: Then people back off real fast. When you take the blame for something, you're like, "Oh yes, that was totally my mess," they're like, "Wait." [crosstalk] a little bit.

[00:56:21] Alexa: You can also totally tell when someone has recognized a fuck up that they're being thoughtful about, it's almost never as bad as they think it is. When you have someone coming to you that's like, "All right, I stepped in it. Here's all the information I know. Here's what I've already done to research the solution. Here's what I think I would do, but I need your help in deciding that. Oh, by the way, I'm resetting my expectations here." For all intensive purposes, that is the perfect backtrack. It is the perfect resetting of expectations and the perfect admission of you can trust me, I've thought about this and I'm not coming to you before the problem is real.

I'm not coming to you after it's festered, I'm coming to you at the exact moment I realize that something is going to be off here that what I told you is not going to be possible, have put some thought into how to convey that to you thoughtfully and what the impact of that was. Just recognize the impact. "Hey, I recognize that I told you X, Y, and Z was going to happen and that that affects A, B, and C. Turns out B is not going to happen, or Y is not going to happen.

I need to tell you that immediately, I need to be thoughtful about the implications of that, and I need to help you fill in the blanks that I've just created." What else can you ask for? I'd hang out with that person all day. I'd love to have that person on my team. You just got to communicate. It's all a communication game but recognize it. Be thoughtful about it.

Don't fucking wait and don't fucking cover it up. Don't try to minimize it, that's just more annoying than anything. [chuckles] That's the worst. It's like saying "Mind the gap," and it's not a gap. It's some Indiana Jones shit, but don't worry about it. It's not that bad.

It's like, "Let's just address this head-on."

[laughter]

Alexa: We're not hopping any stonewalls over here. No temple of doom shit, but that would be my feedback. Anything else to add, Ryan, Tyson?

[00:58:20] Ryan: You said it all. That was awesome.

[00:58:21] Tyson: I think you said it all Alexa.

[laughter]

[00:58:23] Alexa: I was just trying to get a little thunder back from Ryan.

[00:58:25] Tyson: I'm still trying to figure out what A, B, C, and Z, and X are.

[laughter]

[00:58:30] Alexa: You don't say Z in the states so you'll never figure that out.

[laughter]

Alexa: We just say straight-up Z around here. Alright guys, Ryan, where can people find you if they like what you have to say?

[00:58:41] Ryan: You can find me on Twitter @bondryan. You can also feel free to send me an email, rbonddriverg.com. [unintelligible 00:58:51]

[00:58:52] Alexa: Ryan, you're the best, it's always a pleasure. I hope to have you as a repeat guest.

[00:58:57] Tyson: This was like HR poetry right here.

[00:59:01] Alexa: Thanks for having me.

[00:59:01] Alexa: This was poetic. Thanks for joining us.

[00:59:04] Ryan: My pleasure. Thanks.

[music]

[00:59:06] Alexa: This episode was executively produced by me Alexa Baggio with audio production by Ellie Brigida of Pure Harmonies, archery music was also done by the wonderful Ellie Brigida of Pure Harmonies. You can find more information about us and future episodes at peopleproblemspod.com or follow us @peopleproblemspod on all



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