Jason Barger checks-in with Caribou Coffee’s VP of People and Culture, Kendall Harrell, during times of isolation. The conversation flows about the power of values, creating connection with team members and customers, finding innovation in the midst of crisis, and being a chain reaction for good in the world.
1:00 – Jason welcomes Kendall Harrell, the VP of People & Culture at Caribou Coffee. Mentions Bou Con, an event that Jason was happy to be part of last year.
3:33 – An honest talk about how Kendall is doing during this quarantine. Reconnecting with family as well as exploring the dynamics with the connections of the organization is what Kendall appreciates now.
5:39 – How is the business? Caribou along with many businesses have seen a decrease in customers during this time. Kendall says that the business is truly doing amazing, due to the leadership and the focus of the teams out there to keep everything going so strongly during this time. Caribou has been delivering coffee to our care workers and hospitals and those in need at this time. Coffee is one of those connecting elements that help keep us all human. It is about the little moments to recognize the significance of these actions. Our people are creating smiles as they go on.
12:32 – Clarity around that purpose is what is important. It is about the chain reaction that happens and the experience when people get that coffee that makes a difference. The culture of the organization is all about what already existed in Caribou and holds them together to align in front of a common theme and approach and that is what keeps us authentic. It makes Caribou stay resilient and reliable during this time.
16:00 – It’s not about just handing down to the organization some slogans but about our words that help guide us all by making it a common language for everyone in the organization. Kendall says that over-communication now is important.
18:00 – We have to rinse and repeat these messages so that people breathe these messages every day. So that we don’t become distracted right now, it is the organizations that have engrained this within that will survive and thrive now and in the future. Jason asks, “how do you keep people engaged now?” It is about innovation, what levers we pull with our existing assets to address the needs of our consumers and our guests. We want to meet our guests where they are and make sure that the interaction is safe and positive.
21:35 – In these times of isolation, when fear and doubt can creep in, what are some of the words of wisdom to share with a Caribou employee or someone listening? The thing that I would focus on now is what are you now learning that you would not have had the opportunity to learn without this happening? says Kendall. What in your life have you taken for granted? What do you want to embrace and cherish? For Kendall it is time with his family. Secondly, he really misses the faces and the physical proximity of the team.
24:10 – We don’t have all the answers all the time. Jason shares about the podcast, Courage Is Sitting In Ambiguity and how important it is for us to be able to sit together and understand we don’t have all the answers. Jason shares the two things he is certain of from all of this, 1. a greater appreciation for that connection with each other and 2. the power of congregation.
25:50 – The leaders that can shift their eyesight and begin to sit in this ambiguity and realize I don’t have to do it the same way I have always done it will see great opportunities. We are at a time of forced innovation, it’s challenging all of us to learn new ways to communicate and connect. There is power in congregation. There will be teams and organizations that are going to be thirsty to congregate, to align our minds and hearts, and to share visions together.
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ABOUT THE THERMOSTAT
Conversations and micro-thoughts to engage your mind and heart.
A thermostat is proactive. It sets the temperature in a room. Controls the temperature. Regulates the temperature. But in today’s distracted, fast-paced and digital world, it’s easy for individuals and organizations to act more like thermometers, slipping into reactionary thinking, becoming scattered and inconsistent. The most compelling leaders, teams, organizations, families or collection of humans of any kind operate in thermostat mode. They calibrate their mind and heart to set the temperature for the vision and culture they want to create. Jason Barger, globally celebrated author, keynote speaker, and founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, is the host of The Thermostat, a podcast journey to discover authentic leadership, create compelling cultures and find clarity of mission, vision, and values.