Aside from being a summary of one of our podcasts, it's also a #1 Amazon Best Seller and one of nine books Entrepreneur Magazine says you have to read this year. Authors Tracey Lovejoy and Shannon Lucas join the boys to talk about catalysts, and what they mean to an organization and how they can thrive. Just another podcast where someone smarter than the hosts come and chat.
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Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast. .
It's time to move fast and break, shake kids.
Number one Amazon bestseller in the house.
I didn't know you wrote a book.
Not me, my friends.
That's right. That's right kids. We have Shannon Lucas and Tracey Lovejoy in the house, here to talk about the book Move Fast. Break Shit. Burn Out. I can't, I can't wait. First and foremost, Shannon has been an EVP at Ericsson, a Senior Innovation Architect at Cisco, that's a hell of a title right there and a Director of Innovation at Vodafone. Okay. Shannon on the spot right now. What's your most proud moment, your most innovative moment at Vodafone. I mean, you were the Director of Innovation, so what's, what's the thing that you hold up high?
Shannon (1m 13s):
I would have to say that it would be the work that we did in Africa using basic technology to sort of transform the medical industry and how we tracked drugs from supply chain to the end users in the rural communities.
Chad (1m 27s):
Holy shit. Oh, that's a lot better than I thought.
Shannon (1m 34s):
Ask and you receive.
Chad (1m 37s):
I was thinking like, you know, I had this headset idea. It was really cool. It was cushiony and it was awesome. Okay. Okay. Well then we have Tracey, who is an anthropologist, believe that shit and yeah.
Joel (1m 51s):
Chad (1m 51s):
And the research engine for catalyst constellations, she spent 12 years at Microsoft leading teams of change-makers and co-founded the Ethnographic Practice in Industry Conference, now, is that really the name of the conference?
Tracey (2m 7s):
E.P.I.C. for short.
Chad (2m 8s):
Oh, okay. But yeah, but you had to throw Ethnographic in there so that idiots like us would never go to that conference. That's right. Okay. You've both authored this book calleds, right out of the gate softball question, how do you guys define catalyst?
Tracey (2m 30s):
To us catalysts are people who are natural change-makers, right? We played with the word change agent to figure out if that was the right path. But when you look at the literature around change agents, a lot of it is like how to become a change agent. We're talking about the people out there that either from birth or, you know, young age, have this intuitive way of being in the world, where they're taking in information, seeing lots of opportunities and possibilities, and can't stop themselves from moving to action to actually make that true. That's what a catalyst is to us.
Joel (3m 4s):
Entrepreneur magazine gave you the distinction of one of the nine top books to read in 2021.
Tracey (3m 10s):
How awesome was that? Yeah! Right?
Joel (3m 13s):
Why do you think you're one of the nine books that I should read and it takes a lot to get me to read, folks.
Chad (3m 19s):
Yeah, cause he can't.
Shannon (3m 22s):
I'll jump in here. I would say, because one of the other distinctions about how we think about catalysts is they are the people who help, you know, sort of are, are born future ready if you will. There's a term called VUCA, which is stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous, which came out of the military in the 1980s to describe sort of the post cold war situation. And that VUCA, you know, reality has only sort of accelerated in the past decade since they came up with that term. And while organizations and entrepreneurs themselves have sort of been denying that new reality, 2020, it was definitely the year where we saw what that looked like firsthand globally.
Shannon (4m 3s):
And so I think it's really important for people to understand what it means to sort of arrive in the world, VUCA- ready, ready to take on all of these challenges and find new and better opportunities out of them.
Tracey (4m 14s):
And I'll add if you're an entrepreneur, that's an innovator. You're too important to where we are today to get taken offline and catalysts have cycles of burnout that really do, just last flat out. And so if you don't have your operating manual of how you can sustain your energy, this is it, that's what we wrote. So to me, that's fundamentally why we think everybody who operates this way absolutely should check it out.
Joel (4m 36s):
Curious guys, writing a book is never like an easy decision. What was the Genesis to put pen to paper and get this thing done?
Tracey (4m 45s):
For me, it was, as soon as I started doing research with Catalyst and it happened by accident, there was, I knew that I was going to have to make the information available. I didn't know necessarily if it was going to be book writing or blog posts, but it was something that almost felt like it came through me, from the earliest time of doing interviews. I would watch these people have a space to talk about what the reality has been like and the challenges that they've experienced and given my sense of purpose, personal purpose. It just, it was going to happen in one way or another. So I don't have a better answer than that.
Joel (5m 18s):
Was it 50/50 or did, is one writing more than the other? How does, like, I can't imagine, like I do a podcast with someone else writing a book, I think would be a nightmare. How did that work?
Shannon (5m 28s):
It was, it was actually fun. It was a fun creative process because we actually deepened our thinking and continued to do research the entire time that we were writing the book. So we did, you know, multiple rounds of additional interviews with the people that we, you know, highlighted in the book. So, you know, it's not an easy process. And we also just came, we, you know, we decided early on that done was better than perfect. And so, you know, we set a time goal for ourselves and it was just important to us that it got out there. And I would just add to the why that Tracey said it became clear early on after the first couple of years of us launching the company that we needed to create a shared language and a shared context in order for us to be able to fulfill our mission, which is really to help identify and support catalysts around the world.
Chad (6m 16s):
Who does this book help? Is it the individual? Is it the leader, the manager? Who does this book help to be able to focus on understanding what a catalyst is and how they work in or outside of an organization?
Joel (6m 33s):
Millennials must love this thing.
Shannon (6m 34s):
The title helps the, the original idea that we had was actually almost like a two-sided book, one for the individual catalyst and then one for the organizations or leaders or managers of catalysts. We tend to dream big and audacious, and we decided to dial that back for this first book. But there's definitely another book that we would like to put out there, which would talk to the organizations of the leaders about how t