Nabeel Ahmad
Changeforce.AI
Changing How Organizations Drive Change
Tyler-Zalucki.png
email icon.png
LinkedIn t.png

Nabeel Ahmad is a professor in Columbia University's Human Capital Management program and co-founder/Chief Strategy Officer of changeforce.ai, a software platform that helps organizations change faster ​ changeforce.ai is an AI-based change management software that helps enterprises better align everyone towards achieving business transformation initiatives faster

In this episode

Nabeel Ahmad of Changeforce.AI believes that "Empathy, or lack thereof, is the big reason why organizations fail to change or be successful at it." Companies are often very good at defining what needs to change but are far less accomplished about how to do it. Nabeel observes that there is a lot more information, emphasis and even success on personal change than on larger organizational efforts. He offers the surprising observation that measuring change more often, say from annually to quarterly, will speed up the rate of change. Nabeel provides a 5 step implementation process for any organization trying to orchestrate one or more change efforts. Listen to the end to hear about the details of his gift for our listeners.

Changing How Organizations Drive ChangeNabeel Ahmad
00:00 / 01:04

A glimpse of what you'll hear

01:29 Implementing change within an organization is much more of a struggle for organizations than individuals

02:45 Empathy is in short supply

04:35 The strategic planning process often gets in the way of effective change

08:35 How you speed up change and make it more effective

11:34 Prioritization makes the difference - you probably can't do them all at the same time

15:52 Effective change requires engaging and listening to employees

20:04 5 key steps to implement a successful change initiative

24:46 Learn about Nabeel. Email Nabeel at nabeel@changeforce.ai

Episode Transcript
(Note: this was transcribed using transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast.)

Centricity Introduction 0:04

Welcome to the Best Kept Secret videocast and podcast from Centricity. If you're a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale. to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from a B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.

Jay Kingley 0:43

I'm Jay Kingley, co founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to another episode of our Best Kept Secret show where I am happy to welcome Nabeel Ahmad, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Change Force AI. Change Force AI is an artificial intelligence based change management software that helps large enterprises better align everyone towards achieving business transformation, and initiatives faster. He's based in New York City. Welcome to the show, Nabeel.

Nabeel Ahmad 1:18

Thank you, Jay. And thanks for letting me in on the secret and I look forward to our next few moments together and sharing some insight.

Jay Kingley 1:25

Well, let's talk about change. Change is something that I think we all deal with, on a everyday basis, we are bombarded by the need to change whether it's ourselves or our businesses, there is a massive personal improvement and self change industry out there. There is so much content programs, you name it, but yet we all struggle with it. But that's on the personal side, I want to focus on how do you implement change at an organizational level? And it seems to me that there isn't a lot of great information out there on how you effectively and efficiently get organizations to change. And yet, the ability to change over time is critical to the long term, long term viability of any company out there. Nabeel, why is this so hard for organizations to manage?

Nabeel Ahmad 2:31

Jay, thanks for kicking this off. And really, again, enjoy being here. And it's quite shocking, actually, to be honest, where you you're, you're right on where from an individual level, we see this over and over that, let's focus on your health, your well being, which is great. And at the organizational level, on that org health side, there seems to be sort of a massive drop off and in one word, maybe it's a really kick us off. And in my opinion, the big, there's a big lack of empathy, empathy, empathy, empathy. And what I mean by that is that leaders really the oftentimes they fail to understand that organizational change, it's less about like a blocking and tackling exercise to say, Okay, I've got the perfect play, or strategy written on a piece of paper. Now, let's just have you, employees or managers, the rest of the workforce, go and execute that play. And what really happens is that, well, oftentimes employees are saying, well, mm, like, help me better understand why I should be doing this and where this is going to be going forward. And so that's really that sort of sentiment or empathy, empathizing with employees, that, oftentimes I feel is really the big breakdown as to why you see these decision makers that they think that okay, well, if you ask a leader, okay, if, if I was to tell you that, or are you trying to say that if I ask employees, what they think about this major organizational change, that will probably impact many parts of my job, that maybe getting their input on it, maybe may result in them more likely to be able to implement and sort of drive that change forward, that that will work? And absolutely right, and so, but oftentimes, what really happens is, leaders go, they say, alright, we're going to do a change, or you're going to do something based on gut and half the time honestly, that happens. And then they're sitting there wondering and sort of looking at a few years later, why something didn't happen. And so again, in quick summary, empathy or lack thereof, is the big reason why organizations fail to really change or be successful.

Jay Kingley 4:38

Nabeel, I think this derives from how most companies do their strategic planning process. So normally, strategic planning is done by a very small team of senior executives, and they're looking at their external environment. They're looking at their internal capabilities. It's the old SWOT type, strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats analysis, and they come up with the answer. And of course, it's not a good strategy if it's just to maintain the status quo. So it implies change. And it almost seems like at that point, the executives who really drove the strategy just turn around to the line executives, and say, Alright, make it happen. We're done. We're on to the next planning cycle already. And what I'm hearing you tell me is that has a very low success rate.

Nabeel Ahmad 5:36

Correct. Yes. And so it's, it's really interesting, like this sort of top down approach consistently is used and to your point consistently fails. And But oftentimes, for executives, they think, oh, you know, what, I've done my job. And this is the way that it's sort of going to be done. And if there's anything that happens as a result of failure, perhaps it's not on me, right. But the the reality is, is that it is and it should be on them because they're, they're failing to sort of break through the different layers of the organization, and perhaps look at it in an alternate way to say, alright, well, maybe we should look at a bottom up type of growth. And really, there's there's two issues that that in that we see are icy as to why leaders and organizations fail to change the number one reason is, if you take nothing else from from our, you know, best kept secret today is speed, is that speed kills all types of chains. So if you think about COVID, right, we're about less than two years or so into it 20 months or so, is that if an organization was reacting to COVID, today, they would be more than likely out of business, like if they're still requiring their employees to be in person and in a variety of other things is that their, your ability to change quickly, is a very important process of that. And you know, of course, there's many organizations over the past several years, you know, the the blackberries, the the blockbusters who saw change coming, but they were too slow to react. And by the time that they reacted, then well, now they're sort of in the the change, failure graveyard, as I call it. And so the other big issue is that organizations are oftentimes running multiple changes at once. So again, think last year, there's COVID, right? Okay, everything's changing, we need to really figure out what's happening with our workforce, a new strategy there, then there was at least in the US, there was a big emphasis on dei diversity, equity and inclusion. So then organizations were like, I don't have a dei strategy, what do I need to do there? So they had multiple irons in the fire around change, and that's just on, on top of what they may have already been doing, oh, we need to do a digital transformation, we need to upskill and rescale our employees? So typically, organizations, my point is, is they have multiple things going on at once. And they have a great lack of ability to to implement those changes quickly. So that's number one. And then number two, is that okay let's say that our organization can change quickly. But what if they only get one to 5% of their employee population bought into that change? And that's the other big issues. Number one is speed. And number two, is lack of employee buy in to say, All right, well, we've we've changed, but no one's really come with us. Well, that's not helpful. And so then, you know, the the question is, is, of course, you know, what can we do about that? And so, you know, look forward to exploring those two, a bit more around how to speed up change, and how to get more employees buy in.

Jay Kingley 8:31

Well, let's go there right now. So you've clearly articulated I think the the key issues around why these change initiatives don't tend to deliver the results that the top executive levels are expecting. So how should they be thinking about doing this the right way?

Nabeel Ahmad 8:51

Sure. And, you know, there's, there's, there's really a couple of things about it. One is, you know, in addition to how do we speed up, change, and get more employees bought in, and there's oftentimes there's, you know, I would call it sort of like the numbers sort of perspective, but then there's also the emotional appeal to them. And so the question then becomes is, you know, can you start to empower these decision makers to make more data informed type of decisions on helping them what to do next. Right. And so, does that help to increase their confidence around allocating for their budget? Does it help them to better identify populations of people who are interested in can help them drive that change forward? And so that's a big area. And then, you know, other times there's sort of hard numbers, you know, so to speak, where can you improve adoption of change? Maybe from a couple of percent to, you know, I've seen a variety of organizations do it 30 to 40% You know, sort of overall? Also, can you help them to align more towards the achieving their objectives that they're trying to do with their change, and typically, it's 15% and oftentimes you can get that Up to 75 to 80%. So really sort of big jumps that you can start to see there. The other thing too is that there's oftentimes a big lack of there's, there's there's a lack of connection between the organization's and their strategy. And after they say, here's what we're going to do to then tracking what activities that are related to that success going forward. So then the question sort of becomes is okay, what are the employees doing now, that is that I can tie directly back to certain parts of my strategy that I can then report back to say, here's what it's driving growth, or here's what's driving success. And again, typically, it's like a couple of percent points, because there's, there's oftentimes too many things happening again, too many irons in the fire around what organizations are trying to do. But it's that sort of like, mash up connection. And so the other big thing that I've seen is that, if they're able to do it, well, they can go from two to 3%, to about 400% increase in in making that connection between what it is they're trying to achieve and what the employee workforce population is doing. And then the last one just really overall is, you know, looking at, okay, well, what are the typically how organizations measure performance is okay, annually, we're going to see what those annual improvements are. But again, you know, as we talked about, is that we're looking at speed, how can you speed up change? So instead of looking at it from an annual perspective, can you do it maybe twice a year, or even better quarterly, and you can start to measure change faster. And you can see sort of 2x improvements, say quarter over quarter where you can, or you can track the performance of what the organization is doing. So you know, those are some some sort of first on sort of the emotional side of, you know, what helps leaders be more comfortable in using data or platforms to help them do that. And then, you know, obviously, we just talked about some of the the harder metrics to help drive that forward.

Jay Kingley 11:52

Right Nabeel. Let me ask you this question. I'm getting a sense that prioritization may be what's important here. So let me give you an A versus B, and give us your take on what you find works better. So you've, you've alluded to the fact that oftentimes, companies have this myriad number of change initiatives going on at the same time? So are you saying that, hey, adopt some of these techniques, some of these approaches, and you will do better on all those change initiatives? So victory? Or are you saying, you can only do a certain number of change initiatives at a time be that one, two, or three, or whatever the number is, so you've got to prioritize? Do those changes initiatives to a much higher standard, including speed up the process, and once you've got, you know, change number A done, then maybe you can now move on to change B or C? So what is it that we keep the same number just do them better? Or do we have to start to say, this is what we're going to go out with now. And the others are going to have to wait until the first N number of these things, get to the finish them.

Nabeel Ahmad 13:15

And thanks for posing that. Jay, I think the maybe I'll create my own sort of option C here, which I think it's really a combination of both. And the reason why I mentioned that is that oftentimes, you know, we're talking about as you alluded to Jay that organizations typically have more than one transformation going on at once. Now, the caveat there is who are the involving Or who is it affecting within the organization. So if they're affecting different parts of the employee population, then it's feasible and plausible, and probably, you know, it's recommended that you can run those in parallel, right. And so because not every employee is going to be involved in every single change that, you know, as a result of what the organization is doing some of those organization wide, but oftentimes, you know, or, you know, we've seen like, like finance transformation, that's not going to touch, like the certain parts of the organization. So, so that's one answer in the sense of understanding who it affects. And at the same time, too, let's say just for argument's sake, that there are multiple transformations that affect the same employee population, where the opportunity is and where it currently does the gap exists is that employees don't feel like they understand how they can be part of an influence and drive that change going forward. So humans are very resilient type people is that you know, that they can, they can do multiple things at once. But if they are motivated enough to be able to do it, and understand how their involvement can help drive that forward, then their willingness to participate in that and go above and beyond actually does exist. So that kind of is getting more towards the first option to say, well, you can do that, but it's really how you do it. And I think that's really the breakdown of what leaders They identified the what? Pretty well, right, there's that we need to do this, we need to do it. Now here's what we're gonna do the how is where they fail. And that's that handoff from the leaders in the organization, to the managers and employees. And then depending on the the the number of sort of transformations or the how, how many there are in employees who are involved, that can then help influence to say, You know what, maybe we should stagger this implementation a bit, which kind of gets to your second option, we've seen that too. And so a lot of times, that's actually a recommendation that we come out with is to say, Okay, if you're going to do this big thing, you probably want to start with a target, sort of smaller group first, and then build up a few what we call small wins or quick wins, and then roll on that going forward. And I think this is another big breakdown, or sort of a misnomer that happens with that we see happen with organizations a lot is to say, Okay, we're just going to go directly into the heart or the, you know, the belly of the beast, and this is going to work, and then it's just going to permeate top down. But typically, it doesn't happen that way. And, and a win is a win. And a small win is better than a big loss, or a quick small win is better than a slow, maybe big way. And five years later. So there's a lot to elements in there. And thanks for bringing that question up.

Jay Kingley 16:19

Jay, let's talk about feedback for a second, you're making a big point, which I think is very compelling on the need to engage, and listen to your employees that are being impacted by these changes that the leadership wants to affect. So in terms of feedback, from employees, to their management, to their leadership. Is leadership encouraged that on the tactical level, and I'm going to define that, as you know, and where employees might say, you know, instead of doing it like this, maybe we could do it a little bit differently in order to get a better result, because I know my job probably better than you do and I'm buying in to what you're trying to achieve. And let me now contribute to that. You know, so that's one level. What about the level above that where employees may say, I think this change that you want to do is a bad idea? Or maybe you're going you know, West? And I think we should really be going northeast? How open should executives be to that? What I'll call more strategic feedback from employees on change initiatives?

Nabeel Ahmad 17:42

Yeah, that's great question. And I think they should, in general, they should be more open than they typically have been, or are currently. And the reason why I say that is that there is it's it's a very dangerous assumption to assume that an employee population is going to do what you think is best, or what you say that they that you want them to do, which is kind of how we started out, right, the sort of the, the gut decisions, or even if they are data informed, the understanding the sentiment behind employees and willingness to change. That's where I think the opportunity is Jay is that to say, Okay, let's say we have this sort of big diversity equity inclusion initiative, and the organization has identified three, let's call them pillars, three main areas to focus on. And they know that it's too difficult to do all those at once. So they're going to focus on one specifically, let's call it inclusion to create a more inclusive workforce, not just based off of like how we look, but also like, you know, that the thoughts that we go towards, as an example, now that let's say, okay, you know, it's q4, we want to do that. But within the inclusion, they don't they have five or 10 different drivers, let's say that can help to drive inclusion forward and to help make that change happen. Well, they may not know is which of those out of those 10? What are the three things that they should do next? So this is where I think there's the opportunity for the organization to provide let's call it guardrails, to say we know that we are putting all our resources forward for the next three to six months on inclusion. We're not saying diversity, your equity is less important, but we have to do one thing at a time. What we don't know is within that. And that's where we need your help employees is to say, help us figure out which ones we should do first, that will result in the highest likelihood of change and the most people involved. So that's where I think the opportunity is is that where the leaders can have, you know, which is sort of the one of the best kept secrets for them is the perceived level of control, right? They still want to be in control of their strategy, but giving up part of the details or not giving up but including and including the employee population to help them drive and see that successful board. And to put another way and then I'll pause after this is that if you ask a leader if I tell you who in your organization, that there are people in your organization who want to make your strategy, a success that you didn't know about before? Would you be interested in connecting with them? And 100% of them will say yes, right. So that's great. So this is a way that they can do that, and then start to see that success stride forward.

Jay Kingley 20:20

So my last question for our first part of our discussion is, as someone to build who's an expert in this area, if you're talking to an executive in a larger enterprise, who is now tasked with implementing a major change initiative, what are the sort of more tactical things that you would be recommending that executive needs to execute in order to increase the chances of success?

Nabeel Ahmad 20:52

Sure, and thanks for that, too. And really, I think there's five overall key steps. One is that they have to have some sort of clear transformation strategy or initiative that really ties the themes of what they're trying to measure to the outcomes that they want to to drive forward. Now, that doesn't mean that they have to come up with it on their own. You know, oftentimes, we, you know, we're seeing I've used the DEI example, there's also ESG, environmental, social governance, where the sort of hot button topic Hot Topic issues of the present day, they don't need to come up with their own, but they need to have one that they can leverage. So that's definitely step one. And then the next step is really, how can we better understand or assess their own organization's readiness for change. And so this is, again, the empathy part to really understand, okay. And this ties into the next step is finding, as I mentioned earlier, that change agents, people who are willing and to help drive that change forward. So we can sort of the first three are, have the strategy, assess, or understand your organization's willingness to change, then the next layer down. And the third step is to find change agents who can help sort of drive that change forward. And then there's two more steps after that is, then they now that we have all this information, can we decide what to do next, based on some of these factors, where employee is most motivated to drive that change? What's the highest priority in relation to the organization, but then also, where are things aligned between the leaders and the workforce and the managers to drive that. So that's the fourth one. And then the last one, which is really important. And oftentimes, the organization's forget to do this is sort of close the feedback loop. So you know, they're in be more transparent into the decisions that they're making, why they're making it, and giving employees are sort of peek into the next layer down of results or sentiment that that helped to inform that decision that they made. So you know, put another way is that we see this all the time in organizations, a poll survey, an employee engagement survey, it's like, let's ask, ask, ask things from employees. And maybe we'll get back to you. If we find something us the organization likes that we want to cherry pick and send back to the organization. And then they wonder why like, there's no 10% completion rate of employees, like these pulse surveys, or employee engagement. So in summary, real quick, so verses have a clear transformation strategy to assess the organization's readiness to change. Three is fine change agents, four is based off the data, decide to what to do next based off of alignment, greatest buy in. And then the last one is get transparency into what's really working, what's not based off the data,

Jay Kingley 23:36

The most astounding thing I find, when it comes to organizational change. It's not just the average companies that are struggling. Some of the most successful companies out there, you know, whether it be big tech, you read about all the challenges that Google and Apple and Facebook are having at trying to get their organizations by changing the revolts. You see it in life sciences, some of the our best companies, our top industries are really struggling with this critical issue of change. So on that note, we're gonna take a quick break, and then we'll be right back to learn a bit more about Nabeel.

Centricity Introduction 24:23

Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client, would you like clients to knock on your door so you no longer have to pitch follow up and spam decision makers. Well Centricity's The Tipping Point program uses a proven five step process that will help you get in front of the decision makers you need by spending less time on doing all of the things you hate. It's not cold, calling cold email, cold outreach on LinkedIn or any other social media platform, or spending money on ads. But it has a 35 times higher ROI than any of those things, leveraging your expertise and insights that your prospects and network value. The best part even though you'll see results in 90 days, you get to work with the Centricity team for an entire year to make sure you have all the pieces in place and working. So you can start having freedom of time and a life outside of your business. So email time@Centricityb2b.com to schedule an 18 minute call to learn more.

Jay Kingley 25:21

Welcome back, let's find out a bit more about Neville Neville, let me start with talk to me about change force AI. What are the pain points that you're solving for your target clients? And why do they need you to get rid of the pain?

Nabeel Ahmad 25:38

Thanks for that, Jay. And so but you know, I come from sort of the consulting world, and also in working with external clients and also working inside enterprise organizations. So over the years, I've seen this problem consistently over and over is that organizations are good at identifying change, and then it consistently fails, it doesn't matter what industry doesn't matter what size is that this is a common thing. And so for me fortunate with my background, I, you know, sort of past software developer, you know, worked in the variety of organizations, but then I also have sort of, you know, an education degree. And so that's, you know, you've heard us talk so far about understanding sentiment to kind of the psychology around what drives people to do or not do things from a human behavior perspective. So, so that's really how I can sort of came forward and was co founder of Change Force AI, that was to help solve these pain points. And so what those are, is that time and again, organizations, they just don't know which parts of their strategy aren't working and why. Now, they have a very nice laminated, you know, like a piece of paper that they carry around everywhere in a binder. And it's beautifully organized. And this is a here's my strategy, it's like, okay, this is great. Which parts of this do you know, aren't working and why like that next layer down, they just can't answer consistently. So that's really where that's the the real main pain point of what we're trying to solve. And so the other thing is, again, the speed side to say, Okay, we have so many parts of our strategy, it's usually not an easy thing. You know, there's multiple areas and, and there's things that have crossed dependency. So it's like, what part should we focus on now? That's the other thing. The other pain point is to say, can we drive and influence what you focus on next, based off of what employees are thinking to help you drive that change forward? So that's another one. And then, you know, the other thing to really is that, and as we mentioned, the low employee buy in? How do you get more employees bought in to help to mobilize the organization, because again, it's taking too long, and there's too few employees who are bought in. So those are really the pain points that we're looking to solve is figuring out which parts of their strategy they they should focus on now, that will result in faster change and more employees bought in.

Jay Kingley 27:52

There's a lot of consultants out there that are saying, hey, we deal with organizational change initiatives, to I think, clients that don't have your level of expertise, the challenges, sometimes they they sort of all sound pretty similar, because we don't have that knowledge to discriminate. So I like to focus on a little bit of a different question, which is what makes you and Change Force AI great at what you do?

Nabeel Ahmad 28:25

Yeah, and thanks for that, Jay. And, you know, oftentimes, I find it's a tough thing sort of talking about myself, but I'll give it a go here. And as I mentioned, I have an education background. So I like to approach things through an education journey. And what I mean by that is that it's very rarely talking about, well buy this product, use this service here, there, let's say, let's come to a common understanding on what we feel or see the issues are. And again, you know, I think we've talked about it at length already around, it takes too long for things to change. And there's, there's too few employees bought in. And if we can understand what we can do to change that, then if we can come to a common point there, then I think that is very, very powerful. And sort of, outside of sort of my full time day job with change force AI is that I teach the graduate level classes at NYU, and Columbia. And I've done that for several years. So it's always the reason why I mentioned that is it's always informed the perspective that I've taken for the professional side, again, as I mentioned, sort of understanding the psychology of human behavior, and like how people learn, and how you can use some of those nuggets to apply to software to manage things as, as what we call at scale. And so, you know, maybe taking the next layer down that Jay, you were talking about, like it sounds like many people do this right. And, and one of the things that we found the consultants or you know, variety of consulting companies is they often sort of package their framework or their services, which is what they're known for selling right, their bread and butter and they say, Oh, we have software to help do it. The key difference that we've seen is that it's a package deal is that If you just want software to, but to be able to use your own strategy, the consulting firm, most of these sort of big box ones management consulting, they're not the ones for you. Because their software is really a means to an end to selling services and getting in for high engagements or things like that. And for us, we're really viewing ourselves as really like the middleware to say, You know what, let's take what you know what you know, you're good at. And let's use what you know, that you perhaps need some help in. And let's sort of mesh that together. So, in summary, what I think is, at least for me, what I feel like I try to be good at is taking these disparate areas of understanding what's happening from the business side, taking technology, but then driving that people are human factor. And if it's a Venn diagram of those three, then focusing on the intersection of those and saying, How can we solve this in one simple way.

Jay Kingley 30:52

You've alluded to the educational background that you have, and some of the things you have done in your career. And I would encourage everybody to go to your LinkedIn page, and there's a lot more detail on what you have done in the qualifications that you have. I'm interested, though, in learning more about the why you do what you do. So here's my question, what has happened, you know, whether it's in your personal life, or in your professional life, that you think would best explain why you're doing what you're doing with Change Force AI?

Nabeel Ahmad 31:32

Sure. Thanks for that, Jay. And now I realize why this you call it the best kept secret, because I feel like this is probably really the best kept secret, which, which I'm happy to share, because I think we should, you know, be open about this is that, you know, it's really interesting is that when I was in high school in college, so I grew up in Oklahoma City, which is, you know, basically center of middle America. And the reason why I mentioned that is for, for a variety of reasons that I learned as I started taking these jobs is they have a lot of call centers, you know, it customer service call center. So, you know, if your phone's broken, and you call, oftentimes, it's in Oklahoma City rental cars, they have TVs in all the different industries there. So I worked at a variety of these jobs in high school in college, it was great to help with my people skills and things like that. But there was one that I had, it was early in my years in college, and I realized I'm aging myself here, but we'll go for it anyways, as I work technical support for gateway computers. So if you remember gateway, this was the, the cow box, right? That's what they were known for, you know, it was the black and white spotted box that they had. And so the reason why I mentioned this is that I would go through and even have a decent technical background, but I went through my training for two weeks. And it was me hardcore, like all the guys in there. And I think guys specifically because it was all guys, you know, it was just, it's all males, no women, which is a story for another day. And you know, they were like, Okay, let's take apart a computer, let's do all these crazy things. And I realized very quickly that everyone else knew from a technical perspective, pretty much more than me, right? And I can hold my own. But I mean, these people were building computers in their sleep. So what happened then is that when we got on the phones, because back then you couldn't troubleshoot through the computer, again, aging myself here. So you would just do everything, you know, verbally through the phone. And people who tend tended to call didn't know much about about computers, which is why they were calling. So what I found out, Jay is that I was able to solve the problem, the technical problems, significantly better and faster and quicker and to a higher level of satisfaction than pretty much anyone else in in the group that I had come in training with. And the reason why it wasn't because of technical knowledge, because they definitely knew more than me, it was their ability to understand and empathize, getting back to how we started out this conversation, to empathize and put yourself in the shoes of the person on the other end of the phone, and really help to see them as a human and start to start to talk to them in a respectful way to help them and work together to come to a solution for a problem. And that's where I saw you know, temper flare ups from other people I happen they don't know how to do this. Well, it's because they've never opened a computer before and so what's understand that so to me, that's really like my best kept secret is that since then, and I'm glad it happened to me early on that informed what I have done ever since then, in many ways to say you know what you don't need to be so have so much domain level knowledge in one area. If you can combine it and novel in interesting ways, and put a few of those together, then that good intersection of that Venn diagram which would you would be in the middle of is essentially unstoppable. Because you've picked a couple of things. And you've you've, you've matched it up in a very unique way that provides value. So that's that's my best kept secret.

Jay Kingley 34:52

As they say from the humblest of beginnings. Now we we talk today about an issue and I don't know There's a bigger issue where the gap between what you desire and what you're realizing is any larger than what you would find in organizational change efforts. I'm sure we've got listeners that are interested in continuing the discussion with you how best should they reach out to you.

Nabeel Ahmad 35:20 Sure, the best two ways share LinkedIn and or just direct email in the below at change force.ai. And definitely reference that you you've listened to this podcast best kept secret, and I'll be happy to engage.

Jay Kingley 35:34

And we'll put that contact info in the LinkedIn address in our show notes make it easy for people now available for we wrap up, you have really I think, enlightened, so many of us as to a different and better way to think about change initiatives. And for many shows, that would be more than enough, but it isn't more than enough for this show. I'm gonna put you on the spot I want you to give our listeners even more value. So what can you do for them in terms of a little gift or offering just to sweeten the pot?

Nabeel Ahmad 36:11

Yeah. Thanks. And, and thanks for asking that, Jay. And, you know, I feel that as I just mentioned, in a couple of the previous answers, I have a big education background. I love sort of learning for the sake of it either as a teacher or a student. And I'd be happy to share with you some thought leadership papers that I have co authored in this space around change, which is really just getting us to get on the same page and better understand the importance of it. And so feel free to email me or send me a note through LinkedIn and make sure to reference that the both the thought leadership paper as well as that you heard it through the Best Kept Secret show and I'll be happy to send that to you as a nice sweetener of the pot.

Jay Kingley 36:52

Nabeel you really have, I think done everybody a tremendous service through our discussion today, I would just encourage the people who are listening. The first step in getting to where you need to be is to reach out and ask for help, please, let's keep Nabeel's inbox full with great outreach and questions. So Nabeel, thank you so much for being on The Best Kept Secret show to our audience, continue to crush it out there. Until next time.