Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 94: Becoming Purpose-Driven with Katie Burkhart

April 12, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 2 Episode 94
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 94: Becoming Purpose-Driven with Katie Burkhart
Show Notes Transcript

Katie Burkhart synthesizes connections that enable humans to make the most of the time they invest in their work. She’s the mastermind behind MatterLogic™, the smart system for running a purpose-driven business, and has quickly become one of the go-to experts in the space.

She’s also a serial entrepreneur building the Matter ecosystem, which currently includes Matter 7 and MatterPulse. Defining matter as equal parts strategic and impactful, these companies deliver critical focus, perspective, and alignment while constantly distilling the big picture into pointed actions. 

Katie speaks worldwide as a keynote speaker, podcast guest, and workshop facilitator. She’s an Entrepreneur contributor, and her work has been published in The Startup, UX Collective, and Boston Content

She’s a thorough pragmatist intent on being useful, a language extractor eliminating jargon and empty labels, and an officially registered Jedi who also loves Star Trek and LOTR.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/katharineburkhart/
https://twitter.com/katieanalyzes

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

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Katie Burkhart:

The number one that we focus on is actually that it's not just a job anymore, it's an investment of time. And that time needs to be worth it for the person to show up and do their best work. And put that time in. Because for most people, you'll spend a third of your life doing whatever it is that you do.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast, where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe, favorite podcast listening platform today. And leave us a review. Rebel on HR rebels. Rebel HR listeners, thank you so much for joining us this week. I'm extremely excited for the conversation today. We have been talking before I even hit record and the content has already been wonderful. So today with us, we have Katie Burkhart, she synthesizes connections that enable humans to make the most of the time they invest in their work. She's the mastermind behind something called Mater logic, which we're going to be talking a ton about today. It is a smart system for running a purpose driven business. And she has quickly become one of the go to experts in the space. Thanks for joining us today. Katie.

Katie Burkhart:

Thank you so much for having me, Kyle, I'm really looking forward to this conversation since the the appetizer was already quite engaging.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. So we were, we were just kind of reminiscing and talking a little bit about the podcast, and and I was like, oh, geez, I need to hit record, because we've already started to have some great content. So so I'm going to back up. And I'm sorry, I'm gonna ask you to repeat some of the things you just said. But I think the first question that I have is, let's talk about what a purpose driven business is.

Katie Burkhart:

So a purpose driven business in in the simplest of context, is that you have to have a valuable reason for existing and a clear understanding of why that matters. So you have to have a purpose, then you build a business that's focused on that. And so in other words, profit is not the purpose of your company. Profit is the outcome of identifying and effectively pursuing your focus purpose. And the goal, then, as an organization, is you're aligning your goals and your actions in the same direction, so that you can be effective in that pursuit. It's really a reorientation, you know, we're driving towards our purpose, money is going to become our resource, versus we're all driving towards money, and we're using different tools to get there.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. There's so much truth in that it's so you know, it's it's a, and I think it's really important to really make a distinction that, you know, everybody kind of has their assumption of what, what does a purpose driven business mean? And, you know, it's it to me, it's, it's one of those things that we really need to kind of scope and what we mean by that, what you just described, it's funny, it reminds me of one of the former managers and, you know, past job, who, when you would ask him, you know, what are we doing here? He would just say, Well, we're here to make money. You know, I mean, that's, that should be enough, right? Like that. We're a for profit business. That's what we do. And it's like, okay, but I can't tell that to an employee and be like, yeah, go team, we're, we're here to make money. Now go make more money for me. It doesn't really work. And ultimately, you know, we didn't have great engagement.

Katie Burkhart:

Yeah, it's a it's a reality that I think is becoming especially relevant right now. I think it was relevant before. But I think the the age, the sort of industrial and even information age where, you know, you went to work because it was a paycheck, and you needed to bring the paycheck home, to keep your life going. For a couple of reasons, that's no longer functional one. We're looking at that and saying, like, making money for you, not for me is not particularly motivating. To your point, like, you know, even as a founder, like, I don't get out of bed in the morning, just because I want to make money. Like it's just not overly motivating at this point, to the the line between our work and our life is pretty much non existent at that, at this point. I am somebody who believes that was always true, you know, you are how you spend your time. And so what you're starting to see and the way we talk about the purpose economies, there's lots of factors to that. But the number one that we focus on, is actually that it's not just a job anymore, it's an investment of time. And that time needs to be worth it for the person to show up and do their best work and put that time in. Because for most people, you'll spend a third of your life doing whatever it is that you do.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, and I love that that context because it's it's a really Powerful mindset shift, to go from thinking, Oh, is a job is just something I have to do to thinking. A job is something where I invest my time and energy and, you know, mental well being into an organization or, you know, another way to think about as I'm trading my time for dollars. And I just think that context shift is really critical. And I think, you know, my theory on this is we talked a lot about the great resignation, and how do we gauge and inspire? Well, you know, how do we owe this young generation they have such high expectation, I think people have just done finally realized and are understanding the fact that you know, there is an opportunity to do something that that fits your, your personal desires and purpose and something that fit, you know, and be balanced as it relates to some of the things that you want to do with your life. I mean, that's just kind of the way it is right now. So. So one of the things I want to want to talk about is, because I think it gets muddled a little bit is, what is the difference between purpose, a mission, a mission and a vision?

Katie Burkhart:

It's great question. So everybody asked this, because we don't define it very well, or at the very least, we kind of, in our, you know, ever fast moving world, you know, to seem trendy, and cool and up with things, we kind of just throw these words out there to all vaguely mean the same thing. But that's very much wrong. And the first component of our system, in fact, it's, it's so important, we broke it down, had it stand alone, we call the core strategy, which includes your purpose, vision, mission, values, and story. And we would tell you that you need all five, for this to be an effective strategy, your purpose enters on your why, why you're here, and why that matters. And your vision tells you where you're going. Your mission defines your actions that will take you there, and your values guide, how you do those actions, your story is what translates all the other parts into an accessible human narrative. So we typically list them in that order, because we need to know why we exist first, we then need to have some inspiring vision of the future, you know, where where is this all going, which is part of what makes it worth it. And then people need a mission, they need to understand like, this is what we're doing every day, to get there. And the values are what help people to do them a certain way, we'd like to say that if purpose is a filter for your decisions, which it is, values are a filter for human behavior, so that people know, this is how we do this here. You know, while you could have two companies, you know, both in the marketing space, for example, based on who it is that they serve, they may have very different values that help them to do what they do best. I

Kyle Roed:

really like how you just broke that down, and I can hear, you know, what makes sense to me is there is a systematic approach to, to building out the story that you want to tell the narrative that you want people to whether it's a customer or an employee to come away from. And it's, I appreciate the way that you articulated it, it's fascinating to me, that up until recently on, you know, all admitted, like, I kind of thought this was just kind of fluff stuff. Right? You know, it's and I think part of that, I mean, I, my career started in very large corporations. And so there was, you know, there was all of this, like corporate speak, that didn't really mean anything, you know, and so and so coming from that world into the world I'm in now, which is kind of a smaller to midsize business. You know, to me, it all felt like fluff. But in my current role, I've now seen the impact of starting to build out some of these definitions. I'll be it not as well as you articulated them here a few minutes ago. So so as I think about this kind of pragmatically, and I, you know, bought in, I get it, I understand the importance, I understand we need to do this, how do we pragmatically go about actually starting this work? How do we how do we start this journey?

Katie Burkhart:

So one of the first things that we sort of recommend people take a look at is as odd as this is going to sound but from a human, and especially from a leadership perspective, starting to recognize that it's not about you, which is something that I usually have to say very boldly to a lot of the organizations that I work with, because even in to your point about fluffy stuff, and a lot of cases this is fluffy stuff, unfortunately, because people aren't using it very well. Or they never really invested in it. They're just seeing purpose as a tool to make them more money and they haven't actually changed how they're running their business. So getting people to say, Okay, it's not about me, this is actually about the humans that make up my organization. Because if I don't have the humans, I don't have anything, which is a really radical shift, especially for businesses that still have the original founder attached. And because we have a tendency, and I get this, I am a serial entrepreneur, I'm a founder more than once, like I understand the challenge. But I would be nothing without building the team, I'm not going to make the impact I want to make without a team. So how do you start to do that for the first time, potentially, you're starting to see companies actually prioritize their team over even their customers. Although we, we don't like to use the word customers, we talk about the the humans you serve, you know, who are you actually serving as a business, that's really what your purpose is all about delivering value to that group of people. So that's where you have to start moving from Okay, now I have my core strategy, I understand why I'm here. Understand the the vibe I'm delivering, I understand who these people are? How do I start to put this put this in, but once you've made that shift, some of the other things start to fall in really well. A couple of other key shifts include, which I mentioned, you know, money is the resource, not the goal, helping people to get onto that, helping people to understand that in a lot of cases, it's about saying no more than it is about saying yes, and shifting how decision making works at these organizations and saying, like, if it doesn't fit within our purpose, and why we're here, and it's actually going to deliver value, just because it might be temporarily, you know, bring us in a little cash on the side, that's not really what we're here to do. It's distracting us from our goals, you know, some human has to do that, that empty work. And I don't want to ask my human to do that empty work. And so keeping that on the straight and narrow, as we've talked about, and perhaps one of the most exciting parts from an HR perspective is that, you know, you're treating your people as someone not some thing. And what does that mean, you mentioned that people all have their own personal purpose, which is true. And starting to think about, you know, it's not about you, it's also about them, you know, you should have a profile for each of your team members, that includes things like, what is your purpose? How does your purpose connect into the work that you're doing? And actually spend time being like, Hey, your purpose isn't really being fulfilled here? Is that because we have you in the wrong role? Is that because you don't have the skills to get into the role here they they you should be in? And how do I help you build those skills? Is it that here? isn't the right place for you? And how do I help you make that jump to the next place, which is a very different way of looking at really cultivating your people. In fact, I made a LinkedIn post today about the difference between train versus teach, which is a language shift. But it's really a mental shift that you train dogs, you also train cogs to fit in a machine because you need them to do that task over and over and over again, so that your machine isn't disrupted. versus saying, this is an individual, this is a human being, I have the opportunity to teach them not only things related to their job, but things not related to their job, which means they're going to bring those things to the table, they're gonna be in a better position to do their best work. I'm really investing in them and helping them to grow, which is again, a very different way of looking at people. I could keep going, but I think,

Kyle Roed:

yeah, there's so I mean, I'm just I'm sitting here, and I'm kind of I'm taking notes. And, um, you know, reflecting on what you said, there's so much, you know, great things to, to think through there. You know, I think, I think one of the more, you know, maybe lightbulb moments, as we were sitting here talking was, you know, the the fact that it's not about you, and you know, so often it's it's a corporate team, a lot of times HR is in the in the room here, trying to figure out, okay, you know, what do we want our mission to be? What do we want our purpose to be? But a lot of times that purpose already exists? Whether you want it to or not. So what Yes, you know, what's the balance there? Between? It's like the chicken or the egg, like, is our purpose, what we already exist to do? And we just need to articulate that? Or do we actually have to create an aspirational purpose and then try to get people aligned towards it? What, you know, what is what is the right approach there? Or is there a right approach there?

Katie Burkhart:

You, you may have already picked up on the fact that I'm a little bit of a language, a little bit of a word nerd, looking at how words work, but one of the phrases that I don't like is when people say we discovered our purpose, and I'm like, that's scary. You've been operating your business this long, and you have no idea why you're coming to work every day. Like that's frightening. And I have no idea what's happening to your team, not to mention the people that you're trying to deliver value to you if you have absolutely no idea what value you're delivering. We like to use the word either define or refine, because it's there. You know, to my point earlier, most people, even those that would like to make a lot of money, don't start a business just to make a lot of money, they start a business to solve a problem, they start a business to fill an opportunity that there's some, there's something even if it's then other reason that they started doing this work. So trying to uncover like, where did that come from? And is that still accurate. And the other piece of this where we're in our work, and we work with organizations, and it always surprises them, is historically to your point this work has done has been done in a closed room with the C suite. And like, they sit around, they post it notes on walls, and, you know, Puff, the magic dragon shows up and poof, you know, we have our stuff, you know, and it's like, this is silly, like this is the definition of navel gazing. Like, if you're here, and it's not about you, you're here to deliver value to somebody else, wouldn't it make sense to talk to somebody else. And so we spend when we work with organizations to develop these pieces, to give them a lot of cases, they're giving us drafts, and we're like, let's not assume these are perfect, let's go through the process and make sure we get them right. A big piece of what we do are listening sessions. So we don't just survey we actually put people in a room and facilitate a discussion, especially with their their customers, but also with their team to understand what's already happening, you know, what do you the people you serve, really care about? What really gets your team out of bed in the morning, you know, like what's not working, you know, and in the we, one of the things that we do, which surprises people is we don't run those by ourselves, we actually ask the leadership of the organization we're working with two to come on. And listen, we've been doing most of these virtually, because that's what we're doing these days, and ask them to sit and listen. And in almost every case, they walk away being like, Oh, my God, that's what they said. So you're telling me like we've been going in the total wrong direction. I'm like, apparently, you know, like, let's sit down. Sometimes it's not that extreme. But they're like, we didn't even know this was an opportunity. We didn't see that this could be happening. And then taking it another level deeper as far as how you really make it work. Making sure that you're using the language they use, I think because, right, wrong or indifferent. Cough, wrong. Purpose has a tendency to live with the marketing department, it can be glamorized to sound really nifty with words that don't mean anything to anybody. And that's not really the point. Yes, it should motivate you to get out of bed in the morning, I guess you should, you know, think about words that have some some energy, but thinking about it in the language of your people is ultimately going to be more effective.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I made that mistake. At one point, you know, I'm really, you know, you talked about words. I'm a word nerd, as well, but, but I'm like, I, if you want me to say something, without saying anything at all, I'm really good at that. Right? Like, I can speak corporate jargon like nobody's business. But. And earlier in my career, I would, I would rely on that. Because it was like, you know, you know, you're trying to, maybe sometimes you're just trying to not take us firm position, or you're trying to, you know, maybe make somebody just feel better, but you want to also help them understand, maybe they need to change their behavior. And so you say it in a way that's really flowery and fluffy, and kinda like a soft landing, but still kind of says what you wanted to say. But I'm at a point now in my career, where it's like, listen, real speak, like, you just got to, it's got to be clear, it's got to be simple. And if you use too many big words, who are you trying to impress? And a lot of times you you probably use them wrong anyways. Right? You know, it's like, you know, the word of the day toilet paper, it should not be where you got your purpose, your mission and our vision from right.

Katie Burkhart:

Now, just just know, and it's something where we've all been there, right, where we're sitting in a room and somebody important just came in, and they use like six really big words. And we're all sitting there and we're nodding, because it's like, why don't want to tell him he's wrong. And or I don't want to tell him that. I don't know what those words mean, either, you know, like so. Not helping anybody communicate very well.

Kyle Roed:

It sounds good, though. It sounds really good. Yeah. But I think it's it's funny, because it's like that is such a I think that's such a symptom of the, like the groupthink that happens in a boardroom. Right, or like an executive meeting. But the majority of your employees are not having that experience that if anything that just frustrates them more than anything else, because they just feel like you're being fake.

Katie Burkhart:

Yes. And it's something that I think sort of decoupling this as a marketing activity. is huge, because they're still and I get it, I understand why they're the biggest proponents of making sure this is working. In fact, some people will call it brand purpose, and I sort of jump up with my hammer spear. And I'm like wrong, like, just just wrong. And if you keep going down this path, what's going to happen is we're going to be forever skeptical of what's actually a really powerful model, and is going to be really, you know, not going to be is really effective in the purpose economy, we just need everybody to come along and get there. So it's a an interesting process and looking at, you know, how do you systematize it? So once you have it, you know, how do you get it out of the boardroom, so that it's actually in the business, there's some great research I was reading, I'm gonna totally forget whose it was, that was looking at, like, CEOs, like 50% of CEOs feel really good that they have the running as a purpose driven business to have the purpose and they use the word activated, but like 20, some percent of their employees would agree. So what's happening is, you're seeing that not only do we have, we only gotten to half of CEOs who feel they're doing a good job, most of their people would disagree with you. And it's because they, they got that core strategy, they've they've set their focus, they know who their people are, and they sort of stopped there. Whereas we would tell you that you need to look at how you make decisions, you need to understand what outcomes you're striving for, what are you helping the people you serve, do achieve or become have, you put together a three year plan and translated that into a one year plan, so that people are putting their efforts towards the things that are going to help you achieve those outcomes? Have you aligned your team in a way that is pointing you towards those outcomes versus keeping people in silos? You know, very few big things happen with the marketing department by themselves? You know, that's, the world is just too complicated for that, you know, do you have measurements in place so that you know, what's effective? Are you communicating so that people are staying on the same page? And then most importantly, do you have a process by which you're, we call it calibrating, but actually listening, reviewing, and realigning and adjusting to make sure that you're staying focused on that purpose? And delivering on it effectively?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I think that's, that's a really great point. And I'm thinking through, you know, the challenges that we face in human resources, a lot of times we are, we are kind of like the communication, the Employee Education Department, right, and the de facto PR person internally, right. And, and a lot of us didn't come from that world, right, you know, we, many of us came from an accounting background, or, you know, an administrative background, operational background, very few of us came from a communications background. And it's not until you get to these big massive companies and get a communications director that you realize, oh, wow, I really didn't know anything about communications, and I've just been shoot from the hip. So so as we think about kind of that cascading the, the purpose and and in and getting that down into the organization, and then and then making sure that we've got that kind of that feedback loop back up to, like, you know, catch ourselves going the wrong direction. My guess is that matter logic probably has some of these, some support systems in place for some of these systems. So how does how does matter logic fit into this? And how do you support? Or how do you think about supporting a business become more purpose driven?

Katie Burkhart:

So what we do is we help you to create those components that I just outlined. So we want to make sure that you know what your focus is, we want to make sure we understand who those people are, and what their experiences actually are. And then working with you to say, let's set those outcomes. And let's make sure that we know, you know, what does value look like for them? You know what, because their success is our success. So let's put those out there. Do we have a three year plan? Sometimes this is called strategic planning, but in a lot of cases, is again, kind of done in a closed boardroom type of way, you know, how do we do the parts that the leadership needs to do? How do we make sure that we have team involved with developing, especially the tactics that go into making this plan happen? Helping them to rethink how decisions work, and what we use is really looking at a decision case, which is a little bit different than I think how decisions work in a lot of organizations, which are very top down. But making sure people understand what's going on, you know, for example, you know, it's great to have these other pieces that I'm going through, but what what gets lost in a lot of cases is the reason, right? So when we talk about purposeful work, you know, that's purposeful, and people automatically put the aspirational tag on it, but I'm like, let's get more pragmatic. What they're looking for is for it to make sense. So if I told you to get up and start a list of OKR platforms, or write an article on shoes, or schedule a meeting with Fred, my guess is your gut reaction is something like okay, but But why are you asking me to do these things, machines will do what you tell them to do period. Humans want a reason. Because we're thinking creatures, we want to understand what we're doing. And we want a point, right? Like, we want to know that there's a point to the time that I'm investing and whatever this task is. And we also want to know that you value us, which is part of what giving me that reasoning is for so making sure, and it's why we actually spend so much time on decisions that you have a really good decision making culture, that everyone can make aligned decisions that everybody understands what's going on with decision making, and that there's an easy way to understand what decision was made, why that decision was made, and how it's tied back to the purpose, so that that's clear across the organization. So those are, those are some of the things that we really focus on. And then of course, that calibration component of how do we make sure that you're going through this cadence to stay aligned with a lot of our organizations, we will actually do the work, and then check in with them every year, to make sure that they're, they have someone there to help coach them to stay that way.

Kyle Roed:

But what's really interesting is it's not just about putting together a pretty purpose and putting it on your website and put it on your wall. Right? It's, it's about it's all the way into the decision making mechanisms and kind of the way that you actually run your business in the, you know, yeah, the goals and objectives and everything has to, has to align. So So I want to talk a little bit about this, because I think I guarantee you that there's some some people listening right now, and they're thinking about their organization, and they're thinking, you know, nothing that we do is really that exciting. You know, or, or maybe we don't make a product that is like, green, or, or environmentally responsible, or, or maybe, you know, maybe we've been talking about our purpose, but really all my senior leadership team cares about is money. So, so so for those organizations that are maybe struggling with that, or, or, or maybe aren't in that kind of a niche of like, an ESG type type company, you know, what, what tactics or what's your approach there for, for maybe the organizations that don't have as clear of a line of sight, to the purpose.

Katie Burkhart:

So I would say, you highlighted two different circumstances. One is, I'm not sure what I'm doing is all that exciting. And, and to you, I say, that's, that's not true. And I think that there's many levels on which we can talk about this, one of which is, you know, in our effort to shift how people are doing business, there's been a lot of hype on those companies that you know, are saving the world, you know, and not a lot of hype on all the other businesses out there, which are most of them, that a enable those other businesses to function, or doing other things that we need, you know, so I think a lot of, you know, to sort of put this into a story mode, you know, if you're a person or a business, you have to file taxes every year, okay, it's just as my mother was, my grandmother would say, you two things you have to do in life, which is dying, pay taxes. And you didn't have someone, some people file them themselves, but for those of us businesses, I would not recommend it, you know, and that person disappeared, or that person did a really bad job, and is costing you a lot of money or is causing, you know, the IRS to come back after you, that really stinks. And so we forget that there's a lot of value delivered, and things that we don't consider sexy, but but are essential. You know, my tax planner is one of my favorite people, and I'm so happy to invest in him, and I appreciate the value he delivers. But he has definitely thought about, who do I serve? How do I serve them best? How do I align my company around serving them best, that's why I'm here. They make money because they hire me to come back next year, and the year after and the year after that. So he's shifted his mentality, even though I think most of us would consider taxes to be essential, but the most boring thing under the sun. So there's that group of people. And I would always say to them, like, Who do you serve in this business? How are you delivering value to them? And I think we'd all be surprised that when we think about those companies, or those products are those brands, whatever word you want to use, that you buy from the chair, like Oh, my God, I don't know what I would do without XYZ and a lot of cases for most of us, they're not the sexy companies. Because life is not always sexy. To the other group of people that are like my C suite just as an internet, I would say welcome to a lot of worlds and even for clients we're working with typically the person who brings us in is one level under C suite, who can see that it's not working is a little bit closer to the rest of the team. And is saying it's not working for them either. We need to do something different. And they were able to get enough buy in from their C suite, to bring someone in and try to get them reoriented. And whether you bring someone like us in or you're bringing in content, and you're suggesting ideas and saying, Hey, how about we do this differently, that can be really beneficial to get them to see that, you know, we need to do things differently, you know, in pointing to pain points, like we're losing people, which has happened rapidly. And we're not going to be successful, if we don't fundamentally change, what's going on, I think can be a good conversation. And unfortunately, there will always be those companies who just don't get it. So if you're an organization, or you feel that your company just doesn't get it, there's a lot of opportunity right now for team members to be coming together and saying, Hey, guys, like we have to do this differently, even though you're not getting it. And in all honesty, most of the groups I work with, we're being brought in by what we call second in commands, somebody who's like right under this domain C suite, who's saying, hey, you know, this isn't being communicated very effectively, hey, we have this mission statement out there, but it doesn't make any sense. Fact, one group had it published that, like, our mission is to make money for the shareholders. And people were like, seriously, like, most rd is going to rally around that, like it's just not working. And it takes some internal effort to get internal buy in. But I think if there's enough buy in coming bottom up, it will start to force the C suite to shift. And I think that maybe by getting someone like me, a practitioner, or an outside source, who can come in and help them learn the things they need to learn. But even if you don't do that, there are a lot of good resources out there to say like, hey, here are ways we could be doing this differently that I think would be really effective. And here's why I'm here are things we need to recraft. Because this isn't actually a purpose statement, or very least, is not a purpose statement that's getting anybody out of bed in the morning. And so how do we start to make those changes, but this is an opportunity, I think, someone unprecedented, where bottom up has a lot of power to start to get the company to shift?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I think, you know, I've been doing this for not quite 20 years yet. But this is the first time where I feel like the balance of power has shifted, you know, away from the employer, and the people who are holding these coveted jobs, to people who have a choice now between where they work. And I truly believe those without a purpose, those without any sort of, you know, structure around supporting their employees, and those who just prioritize profits above all else, they're just not going to get the best people. And without the best people, you're just not going to win. I mean, I just think it's as simple as that.

Katie Burkhart:

No, I could not agree more, you know, we sort of break it down to the, you know, what's your so what factor, you know, like, you sold another widget? So what, like, so what, why should I give a crap and come in here and make this happen?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's like, you know, I think about like, in the context of, you want everybody to care as much as as the CEO. And Gary Vaynerchuk has a great, great, great take on this. But it's like, listen, you're not, they're not making as much as the CEO. They don't have equity that, you know, they're not they don't care as much as the founder, and why would they? Right? You can't expect that. But, but if you can find something for the team to rally around, so that they care a little bit more than they do today. Yeah, you can do a lot.

Katie Burkhart:

Absolutely. And I think without that, to your point, today, they're going to leave, like, you're just not going to get the best talent. And if anything right now, which I realize, for a lot of factors in this at the moment, you may not be getting talent at all, you know, given the number of jobs that are just sitting open right now.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, I think, you know, it's, it's funny, and, you know, I think it's a really interesting topic. And I wish we had more time to dig into it, because I think it's a whole nother podcast, but you know, just the, just those organizations that that can articulate their purpose and have people aligned. You can just you can tell it without any sort of like, posted purpose, you can tell everybody's on the same page, their work in the same direction, like it's fun to be there. And if you've ever had the opportunity to work on that kind of a team or work with that type of employer. It's just great. You know, people don't people don't leave when they're having fun, and they're working with their friends. And there's an there's positive inertia, because they want to see what happens tomorrow because they don't get up just to to get a paycheck. So they can go, you know, have a beer on a Friday night and complain about their job, right like that. Nobody wants to live like that. No,

Katie Burkhart:

we don't have no we don't. And in fact, it was a striking moment to me as a kid, which is sort of how I got into this work was I first job was as a lifeguard, and it was a very like, necessary job. And you would think like very motivating, you're saving people's lives. And and on one hand, that's true. But my employer didn't do a very good job of imparting that onto us. Even though I understood the responsibility, what had ended up happening over my tenure as the pool became less than less than less popular. So you spent an awful lot of time sitting on a lifeguard chair, staring at an empty pool, which is not overly motivating, because I do not need to save the water from itself. So what you would do is you'd sit there for 15 minutes and watch the 15 minutes tick by and then you'd move to the next chair on watch 15 minutes tick pie, and then do it again. And I was like, I don't ever want to be in a situation where I'm literally watching time tick by, I will never get back. And so much of my motivation day to day is to say how do I come into organizations and make sure they're building a business where nobody is having to do that, whether that's making meetings, better, making decisions better, aligning their team better, but just not doing that?

Kyle Roed:

So good. Yeah, I've had that. I've had one of those jobs, really my career? Never again, well, I want to watch the clock tick. All right. Well, this has been just an absolutely wonderful conversation. And I as I said earlier, I wish we could keep it going. Because I just think there's so much great content here. But we are rounding the end of our time together. So I want to shift gears and go into the rebel HR flash round. So are you ready?

Katie Burkhart:

Oh, I am ready.

Kyle Roed:

All right. Question number one, what is your favorite people book?

Katie Burkhart:

I would actually say the Hobbit, which is probably not an answer you get very often. But for myself, when I think about building that team, where it's fun and exciting, and we're we want to be here and we're using our skills and whatever else. You know, I love this book number one, you know, you have to go out of your house and do something to have an adventure. And I think with as comfortable as it is to be at home these days, we all need the kick in the ass, to go out and do something to have the adventure. I love that it's a team of you know, 13 it's not one magnificent founder with his flowing red cape that made manages to save the day. It's actually the ordinary guy who ends up you know, their contributions are so critical and keeping everything moving forward, as well as the ending that you know, we focused on human things versus just making gold to make gold for gold sake, the world would be a better place. And I'm like, yes, yes, it would. Thank you. So I would say that if you have not read it in a while, please, please do. And it you know, I know it had problems, but the movies had good points.

Kyle Roed:

That is the first that's first time we've heard that book in for that question. So congratulations, Katie. Alright, question number two, who should we be listening to?

Katie Burkhart:

I would say I'm speaking as HR professionals, one of my favorite people that I follow, and I'm always looking to them to learn from them is Aaron Hurst, who's the author of The purpose economy, I believe coined the term. But please don't hold me to that, and has a great book by the same name. His current venture is called imperative. And what they do is they the peer coaching platform is what it's called. But he's really taken that to a whole new level and understanding, you know, what employers are looking for in their work has changed drastically, and it provides a really great way to be teaching, nurturing, growing that talent in a purposeful way. I would say his company is yes. And so the book is great. The purpose economy, but imperative The company is also they seem to offer pretty regular webinars with really smart people looking at how you're building and growing a team today

Kyle Roed:

and for the future. Perfect. All right, last question, how can our listeners connect with you?

Katie Burkhart:

So there's a couple of ways number one, if you find me on LinkedIn, I am one of those people that will accept all of your connections and will happily talk to you if you have questions. I also post on LinkedIn just about every day trying to get a useful nugget out there. The second place to connect is to join the weekly, which is something I put out every Monday, typically at 10 o'clock with something a little bit more in depth but incredibly applicable, you know, how do I how do I really run a purpose driven business? And this is what it's meant to answer so that you've got something every week you can apply to shift how you're doing business, you just need to go to Mater logic.co backslash weekly, and jump right on that list. totally free to you. And you're certainly welcome to explore the matter logic site where we've actually published our whole system open source. If you'd like to learn more about it. And again, looping back to that LinkedIn, please feel free to drop me a note and ask me any questions.

Kyle Roed:

Awesome. We will have that information in the show notes. So open up your podcast player, check it out. Katie, it's just been an absolutely wonderful conversation today, I can tell that you are an expert in what you do, and really appreciate you sharing us some some of your insight here today. So,

Katie Burkhart:

thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed the conversation. And you know, I'm always happy to come back anytime. I can tell. We could talk about this for a long

Kyle Roed:

time. Yeah, I'm sure you have other other other meetings, but you know, if you got another three hours or so. But yeah, I'll give you a reprieve for now. Thank you. Thank you again, Katie. Have a great rest of your day. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe