Bree Groff is CEO of NOBL Collective, a global change agency that helps quickly-growing startups or huge legacy organizations seeking to grow or scale to negotiate change. NOBL does not provide the strategy, or the brand work. Instead, it looks at decision-making, communication, meeting patterns and day to day interactions—the company’s culture—and collaborates closely with the company to steer the “human side of things,” embed the capacity for change and the feeling that change is productive and energizing, and help its clients get good at change—which is a critical competitive advantage—all without losing their “core.”
In this interview, Bree talks the “critical mass” for companies . . . when the number of employees requires new ways of doing things. She references Dunbar’s number, which is a rough measure of the upper limit of loose relationships a person can maintain . . . and still remember people’s names. Organizations reaching certain sizes often need to develop new ways of working in order to “move to the next level.”
How do you change large corporate cultures? Bree has found that, if you can effect behavioral and mindset changes at the individual level—even with very large organizations—and by repeating this enough times, change the organization to what it wants to become—more agile, more digital, more collaborative, more authentic, more engaged . . . and ultimately, more profitable.
Meeting-heavy company cultures tend to have a lot of ad hoc status meetings. Bree feels meetings should be intentional, with a “strong cadence around what you’re talking about with what frequency.”
NOBL published Team Tempo, http://www.blurb.com/bookshare/app/index.html?bookId=7693002#, a guide to effective meetings. Bree recommends companies consider quarterly team retrospective meetings to evaluate the company’s internal environment and strategic sensing meetings, where teams discuss customer, industry, and technology changes that may impact the company.
How a decision is made can have a major impact on decision quality . . . and acceptance. After numerous client queries of, “How do I make a decision?”, NOBL developed a “Decider app,” available as a Slackbot at thedecider.app/slack or as a web version at https://thedecider.app/. This tool asks a series of short questions and then recommends and defines the decision-making process that best fits the circumstances, highlighting the process’s advantages and disadvantages. The decision-making methods include: autocratic, avoidant, consensus, consent, consultative, delegation, democratic, or stochastic.
Bree can be reached on her company website at https://nobl.io/, on LinkedIn at /in/bree-groff-94281136/