Josh: Hey there, this is Josh Elledge CEO of up my influence.com.
With us right now, it’s Brad and Tornberg. Brad, your websites are E3business consultants.com and businessfitnessrevolution.com. You’re an author and you have a course all about business fitness. And again, that’s a business fitness revolution. Brad, thank you so much for joining us
Brad: Thank you so much for having me, Josh. Really glad to be here. Thank you
Josh: Please do give us an overview.
Brad: Sure. The whole idea of the business fitness was it started with with observation. I was at a client one day and I noticed that the owner or the principal of the business was sitting there. He was extremely out of shape.
And this was the middle of winter. He was sweating profusely. He had fried food in front of him on his desk, and he was yelling and screaming and all of his people in his people were miserable. That was when I realized I wrote a blog article, the following week that the business owners like the brain of the business and how he communicates.
Lee or dysfunctionally is really the central nervous system. And then from that started building a series of blog articles. Like we started talking, comparing the circulatory system of the human body with the circulatory system of the business, the skeletal system, which is the infrastructure. And. The ears, how you hear and the eyes, what and your gut, how you process information.
And from that developed a series of these chapters that then turned into a book called business fitness revolution, and then more recently this past summer after having a good year in business, thanks to COVID. I decided to Take a course out in San Francisco actually hire someone in San Francisco to shoot in course and create scripts and narratives for it.
So it’s been an interesting journey all the way. And the whole idea of it is the concept is to help business owners achieve peak performance for both themselves and for their business.
Josh: Yeah. And who do you typically, Brad, who would be some examples of folks that you work with today?
Brad: A lot of small companies that are looking that are stuck in how do I scale and how do I grow and how do I hire the right people? Because like me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, right? I hire people who were like me, which is the worst mistake you can make in a business. You want to find people who do things that are different than you that are opposite to you.
Small businesses that are looking to scale small businesses that are looking to build organizational structure. A lot of family businesses. We’re trying to make that move from being a family business, to being a company. And then even medium-sized companies that are looking to grow or looking to expand, they’re looking to acquire.
So there’s a lot of pieces that, that kind of, that we take care of and we fit everything from that real small startup business, all the way to the businesses that are looking to sell. Yeah.
Brad: W using the, the fitness analogy kind of gives you a good roadmap. I think about going to see the doctor and the doctor’s okay, let’s do a physical here and let’s make sure everything is operating the way it should be operating.
Oh, you’re having breathing problems. We should probably look at that and what are the. Functions of a good respiratory system. And then, just look through that and yeah. So I could see where that would make it very helpful. When you begin engagement with someone is that I would imagine that’s your approach like the doctor that’s doing the physical
Where the pain is, that’s what a doctor does. So we do that with the business. And what’s interesting is the perspective of a lot of business owners is that they think it’s one issue and many times it’s other issues. Like for example, I get called a lot because I have a very strong. Application software background, and I’ve worked with a lot of solutions.
So I’ll get a call from a business owner says, look, I’m looking to go through digital transformation. I want to automate my business. And then we come in and we do a diagnostic and we realize that’s not what the problem is. The problem is he doesn’t have processes. So we subscribed to the. Triangle, which is it’s either people process or technology.
It’s one of the three and you’d be surprised how many times it’s the wrong one that they think is? Cause a lot of times they may not have the staffing or the people, or they don’t have the right people in the right roles, or they don’t have any processes that are defined. And it’s been whispered down the road over the 20 or 30 years. And when you ask them, why do they do that? A lot of times they shrug their shoulders and say, I don’t know, we’ve always done it that way. So what we try to do is act as a change agent to get them, to see, what they need to be able to do. And a lot of that kind of starts out working backwards, where we’ll start with a question.
Okay. Hey, Josh. It’s three, four years from now and you and I are out having a cup of coffee and you are just tickled pink with what I’ve done for you. Tell me what that picture looks like. Paint me the picture. And a lot of times the business owners can’t paint the picture, which is part of their problem.
They have, they’re near sighted. They really can’t see far. And sometimes they’re so far sighted. They can’t see what’s in front of them because they’re looking towards the future without taking care of the present. Lots of times we get clients that are in different situations and we have to reorient the way that they’re looking at things and get them to understand that, we need them to, we need their input.
We need their direction. If a business owner says to me, Hey Brad, in three years from now, I want to be on a golf course that lets me know that we need to get his company ready to be sold or to be spun off because he wants to get out the door. So a lot of times it becomes very. Formative at what comes back to you when you ask an open-ended question like that.
Josh: Yeah breaded, but so yeah, you can ignore the chat. So it’s funny. I was, while we’re doing an interview, I did have to let my wife know, drive safe, have a great day. And I put it in our zoom chat window is so don’t drive anywhere just yet. Brad we’re still in the middle of an interview
Brad: and we all work from home and that’s one of the things today, right?
We all have to adjust to that. And that’s a big thing with a lot of business owners is how do I handle remote versus being here and all of those things. Then one of the things that’s been very busy for us in the last year. And what example of that your wife came in and sometimes you have to stop what you’re [00:07:00] doing and you have to address those situations.
If you have a wife who’s demanding.
Josh: Nope. Ms. Mrs. Elegy. I love her to pieces. So what would be some of the very common ailments that you frequently see?
Brad: A lot of times it’s disparate silos of information throughout an organization. So we try to find solutions that are going to unify that for them.
It’s not having clearly defined processes, so there’s a lot of rework and mistakes and things that have to go back on. A lot of times it’s response time and things like customer service. So you know what our SLA is, it’s a lot of people don’t even know what an SLA is, what an SLA is this is the time that you promise somebody that you’re going to get back to them.
And we try to set up a lot of those there’s, if you think about pain in a business, it’s everything from cashflow. To not having a good infrastructure or having an old infrastructure to having a team that’s dysfunctional where people that you can’t hire, because you just can’t find the right people.
So it really, it goes the gamut of an organization. And every time we walk in the door, it tends to be something different. A lot of times it leads with, Hey, we need technology because we got. We have no visibility. And if you look at what the last year has brought us a lot of the distributors and manufacturers and service people because of the supply chain interruptions are now realizing they need to have intake and visibility of what their vendors have, what their customers are.
What their lead times are, how long their delivery is. And all of a sudden now what used to be easy. I call up a vendor and get something delivered to me. Now I have to have multiple vendors to source things because my primary vendors may be out. I may have long lead time issues, or I may have delays. So a lot of things are related.
Believe it or not to the pain that’s inflicted by the supply.
Josh: What do you talked about communication silos and w what’s the, what do you see as the, like, how, if we, if someone is not aware that is a problem within their organization, how might that manifest. Like what are the the symptoms that they might be observing, but yet they don’t know that it really is just a, it’s a function of, Hey we’re doing a poor job.
Like these guys are just hold up over here doing their work. And that information needs to be, we need. Connect. But yeah we might not know that’s a problem. What, but what might we be observing that would indicate that could be a problem?
Brad: Usually I look at the concept of a team, and I try to pull the team together and I ask what the problems are. All I do is listen. I don’t say anything cause I want to observe, I want to observe behavior and I want to observe interactions between people. And what I’ve learned is, I don’t know if you’ve read any of Bernay brown, but Bernay brown talks about things.
Leaning in and vulnerability and a rumbling where you have rules whereby Hey, look, I’m going to have a rumble with you, Josh. I have some problems with what you’re doing. Let’s go into a room. We’re going to close the door and we’re going to just say what’s on our mind. But when we walk out the door, it’s it there’s no after effect of, if there’s no telling someone about it, it’s just between you and I, and it’s open honesty.
And what I found is that the biggest problem is the thing that I observed is when people start talking to me about, one of the problems we have is with this person over here or this function over here, but yet they’ve never made it. Out to them. They’ve never come out to them and say, listen, I have an issue with it.
So the biggest problem I find is that because of the political nature of some of the smaller companies with a family held business and is that people are afraid, they’re afraid to be vulnerable. They’re afraid to say what they really feel, because the last thing they want is. Is to be looked at or viewed upon as a weak player in an organization, which is really not actually the truth.
If you subscribe to that, vulnerability and you subscribe to leaning in and you subscribe to empathy and inclusion means you don’t judge anybody strictly based on on what your opinion. It’s really based upon, you communicating with them and establishing a positive relationship.
And a lot of times that’s all it is. It’s team building, right? Something as simple as team building an exercise, we’re on an island and we have to pick five things and here’s a list of a hundred things. So now as a group, you need to come together and figure out what five things we need to survive. And you’d be surprised.
The answers you get, somebody wants, food. But it’s not food that you need cause you need to get off that island. So you need things that could signal like the ability to make fire have matches. And it’s interesting to see when you go through it and you say these are the five things that the professionals are recommending, how people then interact.
And that’s what you’re trying to create, which most times is missing in organizations. Is that. The team working together towards a common goal instead of everybody working towards their individual goals. And that’s what I see individual goals taking precedence over the team goals, Hey, we’re in a boat, we’re rowing the same direction guys, and a lot of times that’s what you have to say to them and then figure.
What’s the method that you can use to do that. Do you have weekly meetings? Do you have a Monday stand up? I used to have a Monday standup where I’d bring donuts in or bagels in and we’d have a meeting for an hour and everyone would say what was on their mind? What pissed them off? What made them happy?
What they’d like to see done? What could we be changing here? How do we make ourselves better? And after a period of time of doing this, people begin to open up. And that’s what you’re trying to encourage is that there’s open on. Communication, whether it’s brutal or it’s kind it’s not taken in a way that’s going to affect you personally.
And it’s a hard thing to get with most companies because they tend to be very stuck in the way they do things in the way things were. So a lot of times you’re changing culture and the history of a bad culture.
Josh: Yeah. And you’re right. I think initially, like when you start that and true empathic listening, I think it is going to be a process to earn that trust that this is a safe place to be able to vocalize something that me as the leader I need to hear that.And it will be a process to retrain the body,
Brad: What else comes out of it too, which is really funny is when I do my findings, I always have findings, observation and findings and recommendations. And I sit down with the business owner. It’s eight times out of 10, the business owner says tell me what’s my problem and I’ll say to be honest with you, It’s the way you don’t communicate to your people. It’s the way that you are an entrepreneur and not a manager. And a lot of times entrepreneurs don’t make good managers, and a lot of times managers don’t make good entrepreneurs. So having the business owner a lot of times, Take a reflective look at himself in the mirror is something that when you can make that breakthrough, that changes the whole dynamic of a culture of an organization, as well as getting them to realize that, Hey, you are that weak link and that if you want people to go the same direction as you’re going, you need to change certain things in here.
They need to feel. That they can trust you. Like when I come in, I always try to establish that trusted advisor relationship. Now, when I’m talking to people, the first thing I say to them is, listen, this is open and honest. Anything you say to me behind this door is not going to be sent to anyone, including the owner when he asks.
What did you find? And once they get to that level and they realize after a period of time, that what we’re talking about is not going anywhere that trust begins. So establishing that trusted advisor status is important, whether you’re the business owner, that’s the trusted owner or someone like me as a consultant coming in as a trusted.
Josh: Yeah, Brad, your website is businessfitnessrevolution.com. And of course your consultancy website, three business consultants.com of the two. Where would you recommend people go or both of them? If so, like how do they begin that next step? I know you’ve produced some great quality your video. I was looking at some of your videos that you’ve been posting on social media, really great quality stuff.
Brad: Yeah, professionally done. I would prefer people go to my site. If you’re looking to get a there’s three different ways we could work with you, right? You can get the book and read it and interpolate it. You can get the course and you can go through it. Or in a lot of cases, what we do is you engage with us and we’ll give you the course so that you can have it as a tool, but the website’s the best way to get in touch.
And my email addresses is. T O R N B E R G at business consultants.com. And you can reach me there and I’d be glad to answer any of your use of your listeners questions. If they have any, or if they want more information, I’d be more than glad to provide that to them. The courses designed for people that say, I don’t have the time I need to do this on my own.
Let me go get the course and work through the course and the workbooks that come with it.
Josh: Yeah. And again, the website businessfitnessrevolution.com. Brad Tornberg. Thank you so much. This has been quite a joy. Thank you.
Brad: Thank you, Josh. It’s great to be here.