Back in 1999 when I was working for Bechtel I was fortunate to be selected for training in behavioural science. During the training I met Howard Lees who I would would have the pleasure of collaborating with ever since.
The training was delivered by Bill Redmon who was absolutely brilliant. He opened with, “Have I got a story to tell you.” and that he did. He shared with us the story of the science behind human behaviour. I was absolutely taken in and have spent the last 18 years applying behavioural science to help teams improve their performance.
The year long training course was intense. The reading list was extensive. In there were numerous academic textbooks and business books on creating change. This was a mountain of information to try to get my head around and then figure out how apply into a project based organisation. In the thick of the training I told Bill I felt like I was lost in fog. He said, “Look it is really very simple. All you really have to do is follow three rules:”
1 – Agree with people what they will do.
2 – Provide feedback on how they are doing.
3 – Use data to make decisions about the first two rules.
Bill then said, “If I was only able to teach a leader one thing it would be how to receive feedback. Why? Because, it is the one thing that is cheap to get, always available and when asked for and acted upon change occurs.”
I never forgot that message. Six years later, in 2005, when I was trying to figure out a name for the company Bill’s message stood out like a beacon.