Jackie Ferguson: Hello everyone. Thank you for spending time with me today. I appreciate every single listener. My guest today is Nancy Murphy, founder and CEO of CSR Communications, where she teaches leaders, how to influence and persuade others so they can realize their vision for change faster, with less frustration and resistance. Nancy, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.
Nancy Murphy: Hi, Jackie. Oh, I'm so excited for this conversation. Thanks for having me.
Jackie: Yes, me too. Me too. Nancy, will you tell us just a little bit more about yourself, your background, your family, your identity, whatever you'd like to share.
Nancy: Absolutely. Probably the best way to describe how I became the person I am today is that I'm a Catholic school girl from the Midwest. I grew up in Ohio and spent 16 years in Catholic school, still recovering from that. Um, I'm the oldest of four girls and I came to D C. About 28 years ago by way of Minnesota. And I came here to work in the Clinton administration and the early days of the national service program that he created. And I've been fortunate to work in government in the private sector and nonprofits and philanthropy.
And so I sort of bring all those perspectives together and sort of serve as a bridge between a variety of folks who all want to have a positive social impact.
Jackie: Wow. I love that Nancy thank you so much. Nancy, you describe yourself as an organizational change strategist rather than a DEI leader. From your perspective, what's the difference?
Nancy: I see diversity equity and inclusion and belonging and justice and all of the ways that that has morphed and deepen as one type of organizational change. And I don't pretend to have the expertise and experience that people who've devoted their professional lives to understanding what those terms really mean and how we make them real inside organizations. But I do know something about why that kind of change is hard in organizations and how to make it less so, so I sort of bring the overarching understanding of organizational change and I see the diversity equity inclusion space as one aspect of organizational change. So that's how I distinguish between the two.
Jackie: Absolutely. And I think that's so important because you're right. You know, organizations go through change all the time. If you think about just, you know, their, their email service right. And, and all that ensues when you're making a change like that. But because of the way that our world is evolving change as necessary and organization, so yes, absolutely. That makes a lot of sense. I appreciate that. Nancy, let's talk about your company, CSR Communications, what type of organizations do you help and what are some of the challenges that you find most often?
Nancy: Well, have you ever tried to get someone to change their behavior or do something differently or try something new?
Nancy: My guess is you have, so imagine doing that across a team, an entire department or a whole organization that might be spread out over multiple cities or countries.
So we work with socially conscious businesses and mission-driven organizations to help leaders make change that sticks. So doing that individual behavior change, but on a large scale so that they can achieve their next big initiative, their next big policy change that will rapidly expand their positive impact on the world. So we're not, I always say we're tax status agnostic. You know, we'll work with, for profit companies.
We work with a lot of sustainability teams, chief diversity officers, chief people officers, and we work with nonprofits, foundations, local government agencies, and some of the, the ways in which we help them related to organizational change are strategy development and transformation, key message development and change communications getting can strategic consensus building. So getting kind of all their stakeholders on the same page about where this change is going and why
Lots of challenges associated with that including, so here's kind of a big differentiator for us is we also work on reenergizing change journeys inside organizations, because most of the time, right any sort of change effort is like this death spiral.
Nancy: You know, it's like, it's a miserable experience, everyone hates it. It's um, you have morale issues and instead we come in and help organizations use change as a way to re-energize, re-engage, bring new stakeholders, partners, customers, team members to the table. So that's kind of what we do.
Jackie: I love that that's, you know, that's so important. And the thing about it is Nancy, so many leaders don't have that competency, right? That's not necessarily part of the education process or even the growth process as you build your career. And so as organizations are rolling out these new initiatives, new policies, you know, everything that happens in the course of the life cycle of your leadership, you don't necessarily know how to do that well. How you start with communication. You know, what, what's the process or who you talk to first, or, you know, what are those best practices, but it's something that you have to do right or you're going to get lots of pushback. People are not going to adopt that thing. So it's, it's a competency that is so important. And if you don't have that, which many leaders don't, right it again. It's not something that's taught. You definitely need someone like you to come in and help them navigate how to get that rolled out properly so that it sticks as you said. I love that.
So Nancy, we know that change management is important in any organization because inevitably, like we said, change occurs as we grow as markets change as our society evolves., share why change management is such an important skill.
Nancy: Well, it's interesting because I think you just hit on an important point, which is most leaders aren't taught how to lead change. And that's where I will distinguish between change management and change leadership, because I think people often are taught change management,
Nancy: the sort of science of change. Right, and in my experience, guess what, organizations are made up of people and people are messy humans with lots of emotion and organizations don't change. You know, people inside organizations have to change for organizations to change, and that requires leadership. So oftentimes change management is taught with, we think it's this linear, logical, predictable thing. We just get the right checklist. We move from this phase after the set amount of time to the next phase. And it's all easy peasy. Well, remember those humans with emotions that sort of get in the way. So that's where we need leadership.
And that's why I think change leadership is such an important skill and what we work on with our clients and really focusing on the people who I call the unsung heroes of organizational change. Those are those sort of internal change champions. Those intrapreneurs, if you will, and really supporting them to make sure they have everything they need to succeed, because when they succeed and these organizations change in positive ways and launch and realize these big new initiatives for expanding their impact, we all benefit.
Jackie: Nancy. I love that because when we think about it, right, we all are downloading that internet checklist of how to roll out a new change. You know, just the same with like, as a practitioner of DEI, is custom, right? You really have to get into an organization and understand how that organization operates, what the sentiment is, how they move.
If you're not doing that with change in general, right? You're, you're downloading that checklist from the internet and going through the steps. You're not understanding the nuance of, of each organization being different because as you said, that people are different. That's so important. I love that. Change leadership, not change management.
Jackie: Awesome. Nancy, tell us what some of the hardest shifts are to make in an organization based on the work you do.
Nancy: Well, I think as you just said, every organization is different. So I don't know that there's necessarily a specific universal shift that's hardest to make, but I would say some characteristics are any sort of shift that hits closest to the power centers inside the organization, or that's emotionally charged or closely tied to someone's identity.
And this can be, you know, we, I think probably your listeners brains are going to a few things that are, that might seem obvious in that regard, like equity and inclusion and diversity policies and practices, for example, but also even things like an automation or a new software of some kind can be tied to someone's identity for variety of reasons that may not be as obvious.
So really paying attention to that, and anything that has lots of artifacts associated with it that reinforce the status quo. So artifacts are all those little things we leave behind when we move forward with any type of change and they signal who and what we value, what matters and how things really get done around here.
And if we don't unearth and replace the ones that conflict with the change we write. We're going to have a really hard time realizing the change because those signals are going to either make it really hard for people to do what it is we want them to do, even when they want to, right, too much friction, or it's going to erode trust because people are going to be like, well, you're telling me that diversity is important and we want to hire more candidates who are non-white males yet our prime recruitment strategy is still Harvard and Yale law school for our law firm. So I don't really believe you because the, this artifact of where we recruit is here sending a different signal.
Jackie: Nancy that's, that's so important. And if I think about the work that I do in DEI, you know, one of the things that becomes a challenge is the intention of organizations can be right, right? What they want to accomplish, what they want to move to, but you're right. If they're recruiting in those same circles, what they're saying to their, their employees and potential employees is, yeah, you're, you're talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
Jackie: Oh, that is so important. The artifacts is what you, and that's, you mentioned that also in your, your insight series, which we're going to get in into in a second as well. Oh, that's really important because one of the struggles I think in making organizational change and with DEI specifically is people don't trust, right? They're saying. No, it's, it's performative, right? It's not something that they're going to commit to for the long-term because of those artifacts that are, are remaining, that they haven't been uprooted. So I think that's fantastic. Such good advice.
Nancy, what advice can you give to us on how to successfully roll out an organizational change? And at this point in the conversation, I already know it's different for every company,
Nancy: Oh, you're such a good student, Jackie.
Jackie: but if we're thinking holistically, how do we begin to think about that?
Nancy: Absolutely. And, and, and while it is different, of course, for every, it's not entirely different, right. There are some key principles that are universal. And one is, we always tell leaders when we very first start working with them before we're even rolling anything out, we got to start by looking in the mirror.
So are we a credible leader of change? Are we ourselves open to change and that includes getting some pushback or resistance or being open to tweaks on our brilliant idea that we've been maybe noodling around in our heads for the last two years and are just now starting to tell people about right? So we want to start with looking in the mirror and ensuring that we, as the leaders of change, are as credible in that space as possible. And what kind of work might we need to do on ourselves before we start enrolling others in this change vision.
The second thing, um, really, really key, invest now or upfront or pay later. So doing the work upfront, which feels maybe like it's too much effort, I'm not even talking about too much money, really not, these are not necessarily things that costs a lot of money.
They do take a little effort and a little time than a little patience, like mapping our stakeholders across the organization, understanding where those power centers are, having conversations that illuminate the types of resistance and we're listening really carefully and closely. So we're understanding what's underneath and behind that resistance, being open to sort of tweaking, so getting the messaging, right, getting the right players at the table at different stages, so invest upfront or pay later.
So that's the second piece of advice. And then the, the third piece of advice would be don't drive change like in New York City cab driver. So if any of your listeners have ever ridden and in New York city cab. Yeah, so you know what I'm talking about, right? Slam on the gas, slam on the brakes, slam on the gas, slam on the brakes. So by the time we arrive at our destination, we're kind of nauseous. We're a little scared and we're feeling pretty jerked around, right? Well, we don't want to do that to our teams, to our employees, to our organization and where I think leaders often get caught up in that is there's such a sense of urgency.
You know, the change that especially, think about the diversity, equity, inclusion kinds of change, there is such a sense of urgency, and as leaders we might've had this idea, you know, noodling in our head for a while before we're ready to launch it. But then when we do, we're like, we want to go, we slam on that. Then maybe we hit a bump in the road. Maybe we didn't invest everything we should have upfront. So we're getting some resistance or some unexpected thing, maybe some people are leaving. So now we're a little panicked. Oh my gosh, maybe this is the wrong thing. Maybe we're moving too fast. We slam on the brakes and it starts to feel a little bit like, again, eroding trust.
Is this real? Are we doing this? Are we not doing it? And so how do we smooth that out a little bit? How do we get really clear on our commitment? How do we do the work upfront? How do we look in the mirror and make sure that we're credible leaders and we're fully committed to this and then ease into it? And when we hit bumps in the road or encounter a little resistance or pushback, how do we ease back and not do the slam on the gas, slam on the brake?
Jackie: I think that's so great. And one of the things that you mentioned, mapping stakeholders. And when we think about stakeholders, sometimes we make the assumption that stakeholders are the leaders in the company, but not necessarily, right.
It's important to know who influences the culture of your organization, and that may not be VP and above, right. That may be a single employee that. It has, you know, great relationships around the organization and people listened to that person. And so I love that stakeholder mapping because it's important to take time with that and understand who those stakeholders are because it's not necessarily just the folks at the top.
I think that is
Nancy: Well, and Jackie, I'm so glad you said that because we get really granular when we talk to our clients about stakeholders, because stakeholders are any group, individual or group who have a stake in the results of the change or a perceived stake, right? So someone might believe they have a stake in the results of this change, whether you think as the leader they do or not.
We were just doing our lesson on stakeholder mapping in our intrapreneurs influence lab this week. And so really looking at all the different ways too, to, all the different maps that we use. If you think about a literal map of the United States or of the world where you might have one that has the, the lines drawn, where you see the states and another that's a topic or topographical map or another that's a heat map or another that's the interstates.
And, and so we talk about mapping stakeholders from power, right, informal authority and formal authority, influence, you know, who, who has informal authority and influence and how do we engage them in ways that are different from someone who might have formal authority, but no real influence inside the organization.
Jackie: That's true.
Nancy: Right. And then looking at the demographics, the psychographics, you know, who shares similar dreams, desires, fears, motivations, anxieties. So there's lots of different ways that we want to get insight to the different folks that are important to our change so that we can engage them appropriately.
Jackie: Nancy. This is so eye-opening because a lot of times organizations say, well, just send a memo.
Nancy: Oh, my gosh.
Jackie: And, and there's so much that's involved with rolling out a significant change well, and it's a not send out a memo. So, um, that that's really, really eye-opening. I appreciate that.
Now you've said a couple of times the word intrapreneur and you've created an intrapreneur insights series. Tell us what an intrapreneur is and then talk a little about those insights.
Nancy: So many of your listeners may be familiar with entrepreneur, right? Those folks who disrupt systems by going outside, outside of a formal organization, and they bring that innovation and disruptive mindset to start something new as a way to drive change. Intrapreneurs have that same entrepreneurial spirit, that same innovation commitment and that disruptive mindset.
Right. But they're changing organizations from within. These are the folks who are doing those small strategic sustained actions that actually make change stick. So they're important. And one point on that, many people hear that description and think, oh, is there like, do you have to be a VP before you can be an intrapreneur? Do you have to have a certain title or level of authority? And the answer is No.
Anyone can be an intrapreneur, if you're the kind of person who sees opportunity, where others see challenge, who likes to question the status quo and who is willing to boost her or his, or their influence skills in a way to actually be able to move change.
Jackie: I love that. So Nancy, tell us a little about this insight series. And then I want to get into a couple of pieces on that, but tell us what, what the insights series is?
So last year, 2021, we launched the intrapreneurs insight series to, every quarter, focus on a hot topic of organizational change
Nancy: and we interview 10 to 15 leading practitioners on that topic of organizational change, and we marry their insights with our expertise and experience in influence, persuasion and organizational change that sticks.
And then we put these highly actionable, easily readable, digestible papers out there so others can take those jams and act on them to accelerate their change. Right? So our first in the series is on diversity, equity and inclusion, and it's called beyond proclamations and positions to persistent practice because how many of us have seen in the last 18 months lots of grand gestures, right, lots of big public proclamations, lots of new positions, the number of fortune 500 companies that now have chief diversity officers that never had that role before is amazing.
Nancy: But are we seeing the persistent practice that leads to the results we want? The real change? I think the jury's still out.
Jackie: That's right. And Nancy, I love that you use the word practice. That's a word that I frequently use because it's a reminder that there's not an end state, right? It's a continual evolution and learning and education and understanding that comes with an ever changing, ever evolving society and employee base and market segment. Right, so I think that's important.
Now in that, that first volume that you mentioned. You know, it struck me in a few places, but one that I want to discuss is your advice to stop focusing on the ROI of DEI and start thinking about sameness tax. Tell us what that means.
Nancy: Well, underneath that is my frustration with everyone responding to the question. What's the business case for this. So I want to challenge the premise of that question, which is, did, did we ever have to make the business case for homogeneity, for exclusion? I mean, and if we did, could we make that business case?
No. So why do we have to make the business case for the opposite of that and okay. We can make the business case. We have made the business case, right, the business case has been out there for at least a decade yet we don't have the results that we would expect with the strong case that exists. So, this is where we bring in the brain science that we use for influence, persuasion, behavior change.
And we applied it in this context, which is our brains, fear loss more than we desire gain. And so let's not talk about the business case for some benefit, five, 10 years, even 18 months down the road in the future. Because yeah that's nice, but boy, you're asking me to really do a lot, a pretty heavy lift of changing who I am and how we operate to get that benefit. But if instead we said, guess what? You are paying a penalty right now for sameness and exclusion. So, if you don't want to pay that penalty anymore, here's what you need to do.
Jackie: I love that. That is at the heart of, of any type of change. But if I'm thinking, you know, of course I'm thinking through the DEI lens and one of the things, the reason why this struck me is because I'm always talking about the ROI of DEI and always talk, making the business case. And this is why you need to do it because it benefits you in these ways.
But to say what you said again, we fear loss more than we desire gain. So the change isn't because we're looking for this new thing, right. Cause we're like, I'm okay right now. I'm okay.
Nancy: Exactly, exactly.
Jackie: I don't want to do this hard thing. I'm okay where I'm at. And if we think about any change, whether it's personal change or corporate change, if we're okay enough with where we're at, we're not going to do that hard thing, but it's when we, we make changes.
When we're saying I'm not happy with? What this currently is whatever that is, whether again, it's personal or, or, you know, in your organization. And so the fear of loss is more than the desire for gain. Okay. That's important. I think that in understanding that as we communicate these changes, that we want as leaders for people to make. That is really, really important. Thank you for sharing that, Nancy.
Jackie: I love that. So if we're thinking about influencing and persuading others, what are some of the best practices for getting people to move in our direction? And I'm not talking about my husband right now.
Nancy: Well, let's see if we might subtly send some subconscious signals his way, Jackie. So I think the first tip would be, and this is something that we work with clients on a lot is how to move up our dialogue, our communication, to the highest-level principle or value where there's common agreement. We often see, so think of Simon Sinek, Start with Why.
Nancy: It's a similar concept, right? When we start with what and how, well we can have lots of disagreements about that, and then we never get to step two, but if we start with why, so I'm thinking of a client we've been working with for a while now that's leading a citywide movement to have a more equitable workforce system, workforce development system.
And the highest-level principle that we came up with was everyone, every citizen of this community, every resident of this community deserves meaningful work and a hopeful future. And then you say you want that to Jackie, right? Well, yeah of course I do. Okay, well, if it means maybe doing things a little differently to have that happen, you're willing to have that conversation, right. Well, yeah. Okay. Cause that like, boy, I want that. I want that too, right. So we sort of like chunk up to the highest-level principle or value. So that's the first thing to get others to even have the second conversation, right. Or move to second step.
Then we want to think about some of the principles of persuasion. So all there are six or seven that Robert Cialdini who's sort of the guru of this talks about. One, which is, I think very valuable in a lot of corporate change efforts, is social proof. We want to do things because others are doing them and others who we trust or respect or aspire to be like. So if our competitors, if other CEOs we admire, if our peers in an industry are doing something, well, we want to be part of that too, or we're willing to consider it because we see that it's worked for somebody else. So social proof. So thinking about who are the cue givers in your industry or inside your company or organization? Who are those influencers and how do we get them on board and use their success or their commitment as a way to drive others to change?
And then, you know, the last thing I'll say, I alluded to a little earlier, which is understanding the dreams, desires, fears, motivations, anxieties of the people we're trying to influence and speaking directly to those. And I think that's where like a, a little tip on that is start with, don't start with here's what I need from you. Okay. This one might work for your husband.
Nancy: Hey, honey, here's what I need for you to do today. Instead, we want to start with, and w we may not ask this exact question, but there are a little tools and techniques we can use to learn. We want to start with, how can I help you get what you need and want and in doing so I will get what I want and need. Right, so sort of reframing the opportunity so that it speaks directly to a dream, desire, a fear and anxiety and motivation of the person or group of people we're trying to influence. And starting from that point, rather than starting from our perspective.
Jackie: Absolutely Nancy. Wow. That's such good advice and thinking that's super helpful for me, um, and just in what I need for my, my hubby, right, but thinking about corporate communication, it's very often that conversations are had around, you know, the conference table among the decision makers. It's discussed, it's debated, it's decided, and then it's pushed out, like, this is what we're doing, but we really do have to step back and think about how we need to message it.
How, what information do we need to determine how to message it, right? What are those desires and fears that the people in our organization have that weren't just not thinking about, right? Because we're doing all the other things, but really we need to make sure that we continually have a pulse on our organization and how they think, and what they're excited about and what they're hopeful for and what they're afraid of, what makes them nervous.
Nancy: It's that perspective shift, right? I mean, all of us just get so locked into our perspective, our view of the world. You know, sometimes I walk into when we're back in person, you know, w when we were in person walking into a meeting room of leaders, and sometimes I'll just say, switch, is that the seat you always sit in, you see the world from that seat.
Sit over here. Sometimes just doing something as simple as that, like shakes up the way we see things and go, oh, I was kind of missing that. it's that perspective taking that is so critical to lead change effectively.
Jackie: Oh, that is fantastic. That is so great, Nancy. So as we think about recruiting, hiring leaders are some of the most important decisions that we make. What recommendations do you have on the qualities and characteristics we should look for in a leader that are going to be able to, you know, lead these changes within our organization, which are so important?
Nancy: So I've been pleasantly surprised in the last six or nine months to see publications like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, all saying what I've been saying for a while is what we need in leaders. Things like empathy. I mean, this is the Wall Street Journal, right? We, the number one skill we need leaders in 2022 is empathy. Wow.
That's fascinating, but think about not just diversity, equity and inclusion as a culture norm inside organizations. But think about the world we've been living in for the last two years in lots of ways. Right? So hire for empathy, openness, humility.
right. Being willing to make mistakes, admit when we're wrong.
Admit, we don't have all the answers all the time, a learning mindset, sort of that commitment to lifelong learning, curiosity, emotional and cultural intelligence,
Nancy: being comfortable, being uncomfortable,
Nancy: right? Like, think again, think about this constant change, the amount of uncertainty that people seem to focus on, even though I would argue there's more certainty than we think right now, but we tend to focus on what's uncertain. And so having a leader who can lead confidently amidst discomfort, amidst uncertainty. So I think those are all characteristics that probably we've needed in leaders for at least 20, 30, 40, 50 years, but they're absolutely critical for what we should hiring for right now.
Jackie: Absolutely. And you know, it's such a departure from what we've been looking at as I skill fit within the corporate culture, what are known as soft skills are now becoming those competencies that are most important. Um,
Nancy: I actually am on a personal crusade to stop calling them soft skills.
Nancy: Because that's an artifact. That's a little thing we've left behind that in the minds of certain people will be, well, less important. Well, you can't really measure it, so we don't really know. I don't know, can you teach anybody that? Like I know, I know those are soft.
We want technical skills. We want, you know, think about the job descriptions for CEOs or C-suite folks, think about the interviewing processes, think about the iconic sort of stories and, and people that we highlight and promote over and over and over again. They're not always demonstrating these skills.
They're not always designed to sort of filter for these skills. So I think when we just say this is leadership, not soft skills, not whatever. And yes, you may need to have a certain level of technical competency to be able to use all of these characteristics and skills in a most effective way for our business or our mission, but that's not hard and the, the, these other things aren't soft, right. This is leadership. And then what technical capacity do you bring to leverage those leadership skills?
Jackie: Amazing. That is such good insight. Thank you so much for that Nancy. So there's so much happening in the world right now, the spotlight on racial injustice and inequity, the pandemic a changing economy, the great resignation, war, right? What are some tips for navigating the uncertainty in the workplace in 2022?
Nancy: Well, I'll just say rewind, replay what we just discussed. So, first of all, are we raising young people, young adults to have these skills? Are we, what, what glory stories, I often call them, right, what legacies myths, legends, what stories do we tell that signal to young people coming into the workplace what skills are most important and for life, right?
Not just for the workplace, but for life. And so if we're doing that, if we're hiring, and supporting and training leaders who have all of those characteristics and skills that we just discussed, then these are leaders who will find that much easier to find the certainty amidst the perceived uncertainty.
And I do believe there's more certainty than we think. And in the absence of certainty, how do we create clarity? Right? But again, you need leaders with these skills who can do that. And then I think reminding all of us, I can't tell you the, I’ve been shocked at the level of learned helplessness that I'm seeing in organizations in the last year.
It's as if we've all forgotten that we have any agency or any control at all. And it's just, it really a shocking and very saddening to me. And so I think if we can all remember that we have more control and agency and influence than we think and finding that area where even if in a situation it's only how you respond to it, it's only how you frame it.
If that's the only, you still have that agency in that one area. And instead of spending all of our time in the no control zone, you know, where it can be really fun for a while to sort of blame everybody at while, I can't do anything until the board tells me this, or until the CEO decides, or until the world, you know, stops having wars or whatever,
Nancy: and stay in that blame, no control zone. Well, pull yourself back into the center and find that agency that you have. I guarantee you it's more than you're seeing right now
Jackie: Nancy. That is fantastic. Thank you for that great advice. I think we can all take a little bit of that, and just how we're navigating the world right now. Um, because you're right. It is easier to say, well, you know, this is occurring or, you know, I can't do this and told this, or but yeah, like take back that agency.
I love that. So Nancy, as we begin to wrap up a question that I always love to ask is what is the best advice someone has ever given you?
Nancy: Well, I often think back on advice that my great uncle Dick gave me when I first graduated from college. So he was a Catholic priest and he was stationed here in DC at Catholic university for 40 years. And I graduated from college, I was so idealistic and optimistic and I wanted to come to DC and change the world.
And I was out here interviewing for jobs and I had dinner with him and he said, so tell me about these positions you're interviewing for. And after I described a few of them, he just sort of looked at me and said, Nancy, let me give you some advice. I would give this to any young person, but I think it's especially important for a young woman. You're interviewing for receptionist positions, administrative assistant. I was like, these nonprofits that were going to pay me, you know, $3 an hour or some crazy thing or things on Capitol Hill. And he said, I just, I just worry that you're going to get pigeonholed into an administrative track, and you're never going to be able to break out of that inside these organizations.
So my best advice to you is go somewhere else, go away from this town for a few years, become an expert at something, everyone in this town wants an expert.
then come back and you'll start up here and you'll be able to move in a different track. And so I did, I ended up, you know, working in this field called service learning, which was relatively new at it at the time. And I was able to get a pretty high-level position. And because I was also interested in policy in that area, like there just weren't that many people doing that kind of work. So in four years I was able to come back. And a much higher-level position that put me on, you know, I guess what he would have considered a professional track versus an admin.
You know, he didn't want me to get a locked into being a secretary, and this was 1990. So it wasn't, you know, 1970, but you know, even in 1990, the world wasn't the place we'd all like it to be. So that was some of the best advice I've ever got.
Jackie: Nancy. That's great. Thank you for sharing that. What is the advice or what do you want to leave our listeners with today, Nancy?
Nancy: I want our listeners to remember that starting change with grand gestures can be either.
Nancy: But it's that small strategic sustained action. That persistent practice that makes change stick. So that's where we need to be putting more of our time and energy.
Jackie: Hmm, that is such great advice, Nancy, thank you so much for spending some time with me. I have learned so much in this conversation. Probably taken a page and a half of notes while we were talking, but I've just learned so much. Thank you so much for sharing all of your amazing insights. And I really enjoyed that entrepreneur insight series.
I learned so much and, and again, the, the ROI of DEI is old. Think about sameness tax and what that costs an organization or like. Love it. Nancy, thank you for spending some time with me. I really enjoyed every moment of our conversation.
Nancy: Thank you, Jackie. I did too.
According to Nancy Murphy, making actual change is “a miserable experience, everyone hates it.” But if making company-wide changes can truly impact sustainability and policy, how do leaders initiate socially conscious decisions that actually stick?
Nancy Murphy is the founder and CEO of CSR Communications, where she teaches leaders how to influence and persuade others so they can realize their vision for change faster – with less frustration and resistance.