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IAM1726 – President Translates Organizational Needs into Successful Strategies

Podcast Interview with Donald L. Bedney, III

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Donnie had a unique journey in the business where he purchased his organization that had been established and it always helps to know of different ways to get in the business. One thing he talked about was “driving change through people” which is a powerful approach to have as a leader.

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Previous Episode: https://iamceo.co/2021/10/24/iam1168-president-translates-organizational-needs-into-successful-strategies/

Transcription:

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Donald L. Bedney, III Teaser 00:00

I'll say it this way no person is an island. And as a leader, I think a lot of us at times, depending on our organization and all that, attempt to do things by ourselves. The reality is, I have another phrase, only dream big. And obviously as executives and CEOs, one of our jobs is to be a vision caster.

Intro 00:19

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders, without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:46

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories or topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, and what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on our greatest asset. Talent management and hiring. Think from great resignation to great renovation. And if you disagree with me, maybe these episodes might be especially for you. Life and especially business has changed. It has forced those that are within organizations to look differently at talent, and how it's being managed. When we talk about change, think about it, we have to realize that business as usual is no longer here. And that's evident in attracting and retaining clients, but also in setting up people within organizations to succeed. Think onboarding, think DEI – diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. How it is working from home and even going back into the office.

Things are different in this month. We are going to explore these topics by featuring CEO hacks and CEO nuggets, but also interviews that focus on these changes and how organizations can make sure they care for and attract the most valuable asset, their people. Sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today, I have Donnie Bedney of PSP Metrics. Donnie, it's great to have you on the show.

Donald L. Bedney, III 02:17

Thank you so much for having me, Gresh. Really, really excited about our conversation today.

Gresham Harkless 02:21

Yeah, I'm super excited as well too. We had such a great kind of intro call and connection before, so I know this is gonna be extremely valuable. Before we jumped into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more about Donnie so you could hear about some of the awesome things that he's doing.

Donnie is the president of PSP Metrics and firmly believes that well-directed human capital should be harnessed to achieve extraordinary performance. With the mission of driving change through people, he aims to help one million companies worldwide develop and engage their employees to resist mediocrity and aim instead at institutional excellence. He brings his commitment to superior performance to each of his clients. In more than fifteen years of experience translating organizational needs into successful business strategies.

Donnie's, super excited again to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Donald L. Bedney, III 03:03

Let's do it.

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Gresham Harkless 03:04

Let's make it happen then. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit. I know I touched on your story to hear a little bit more about your CEO story. Let you get started with all the awesome work you're doing.

Donald L. Bedney, III 03:13

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Yeah. So it's been an interesting journey, my friend. My experience is really an amalgamation of different roles and stuff that I've been in. I can't say that necessarily any aspect of my career has been linear. It's been a lot of jumps.

So, working in consulting, I've been the head of HR for a startup that was wholly owned by a hundred professional athletes. That was actually my last year of grad school and about a year or so after that worked at a hospital where I served on the executive team and was a chief Human Resource officer as well.

Consulting most recently. I was chief of staff for a large healthcare consultancy that sold for 4.25 billion back in 2019 and got the opportunity actually to acquire a business, a 75-year-old business actually. It was founded in 1946 and so I went I ahead and raised money and acquired that business at the end of last year.

Gresham Harkless 04:04

Nice. I wanted to drill down and hear a little bit more about that role and what you're doing with all the clients you work with. Could you take us through a little bit more about PSP metrics and how you're serving the clients you work with?

Donald L. Bedney, III 04:12

Yeah, absolutely. So as I mentioned, PSP was founded in 1946 to answer a very specific question that kind of faced the country at that point. So it was post World War II thousands of G.I.'s were coming home from the war. Four psychologists got together and said, you know what? We believe that utilizing science and specifically psychology we could help answer this question of fit through aptitude testing and also psychometric testing.

That was the genesis, if you will, of our business. We also have conducted research at that point. And so our first two directors of research are really patriarchs within the workforce motivation and engagement space, talent assessment, et cetera. Dr. Frederick Herzberg and also Dr. Ray Hackman literally our first two directors of research.

Fast forward, we've been doing this work for decades now. I purchased the business from two gentlemen both had their PhDs in industrial organizational psychology. And the way that we do that is we typically will conduct pre-hire testing for organizations and that's from frontline blue and gray-collar roles all the way up through C-Suite. That's a little bit about what we do.

Gresham Harkless 05:17

Nice. I definitely appreciate that and I'm sure you would definitely echo this as well too. I say often we forget about that human aspect of business and how I don't wanna say human capital is your only capital, but it's probably, I think a lot more important than a lot of times organizations are paying attention to. So I love that you help to make sure those fits are well because I think you can have capital, but making sure capital is in the right place as well too is probably just as important.

Donald L. Bedney, III 05:39

As I talk about driving change through people, right? My statement I've made quite a bit is, some people have attempted to drive change through technology, right? We're on Zoom and on other things. And so we have a luxury there. And I believe, throughout our life, technology is gonna continue to probably change a lot of things. People have also done it historically through process, right? As you look at like Lean Six Sigma and those types of things. Plenty of organizations attempt to do it through policy. Even the government attempts to do it through policy.

The reality is, the only constant in all three of those areas is people. And so if you're not able to drive that change through people then you know, you won't be successful. To your point around capital, I think that human capital is actually we'll say the biggest secret weapon for organizations. You can have amazing technology. You can have a great process. You can have amazing policies but you need talented people to ultimately drive all of that.

To be on the front end in this way, what kind of makes us unique is our ability to customize those assessments to the specific culture. And so as you think about identifying people who are top talents, one of the things, that I look at historically, if you look at hiring, right, let's say you have 50 to 100 roles within an organization that are open, a lot of traditional HR thinking would be let's fill all of the open roles that we have and if we don't, then there's a problem. Well, there's something called the Pareto principle, which I believe as you look at that whole 80-20 rule. If 80% of, let's say your performance metrics are being met by 20% of your talent, your top talent, then, I think it's time for a shift and I believe we will begin to see a shift within organizations where their goal is to really identify and duplicate more of that 20% from a top-performer perspective.

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Assessments are one of the tools that you can add to be able to identify individuals who are psychometrically aligned to the top performers within your organization. And so if you could just double the number of top performers that you have within your organization, you can see the performance metrics that'll follow.

Gresham Harkless 07:46

Nice. I almost feel like, and I don't wanna put words in your mouth, but it almost feels like you're able to translate and understand the organization, but also of course the actual assessments as well too to make that perfect fit because you're able to understand each of the languages.

Donald L. Bedney, III 08:00

Yeah, I think there are different philosophies and some organizations are looking to identify people that are really talented let's say across the industry, right? And so if you're in healthcare, as an example, they say, hey, we just are looking for nurses. And, let's be real, right? In some organizations, frankly when you think about patient safety or you think about just the sheer amount of roles because they're high-volume hiring, organizations, sometimes we get into like The mirror test, right.

And so you hold up a mirror in front of somebody who's applying, and if they fog up the mirror, then we hire them. And I've been there before as a practitioner, I've had the need to fill roles. But if you get the opportunity really to slow down and think through a long-term sustainable and arguably the most effective strategy, then the reality is you want somebody who not only is going to be a top performer and a good fit within the role, but you also want to identify somebody who specifically can be successful within your organization and the environment of your organization. Right?

That's where a lot of our clients, find I'll say that we excel in helping them identify talent that's not only a great fit for the role but also specifically a good cultural fit as well.

Gresham Harkless 09:13

Yeah, absolutely. And I think a lot of times we forget about that aspect. A lot of times, like if you have a fish for example, and the fish is out of the water, it's not gonna perform as well if it's where it should be. So being aware of that environment, being aware of what the job is, and being able to make both of those fits is a huge thing. So I love that you're able to do that for organizations.

I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Donald L. Bedney, III 09:40

Yeah, so the piece that I live and die by is probably not anything is game-changing. I live and die by my Outlook calendar. And if it's not on there, then it's probably not gonna happen. We got a chance to pre-brief before the show, and for our listeners, I was telling Gresh, my assistant, shout out to Anne who's amazing, actually protected 30 minutes of my calendar ahead of time. And so I thought our conversation was gonna be an hour. And I ended up with 30 minutes ahead of that. So, that's been a huge thing for me.

Gresham Harkless 10:08

So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you were to hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Donald L. Bedney, III 10:18

I'll say it this way. No person is an island. And as a leader, I think a lot of us, at times, depending on our organization and all that, attempt to do things by ourselves. The reality is, I have another phrase, only dream big. And obviously as executives and CEOs, one of our jobs is to be a vision caster, right? But I think one of the biggest ways to know whether or not your dream, if you will your vision for your organization is big enough, is to ask yourself the question, can I achieve this with number one by myself?

And, maybe one, if that's 1a, then one 1b would be, can I achieve this with the current talent that I have on my team? And if your answer is yes, then I would challenge you to dream a little bit bigger and that your vision is not large enough for your organization currently.

Gresham Harkless 11:09

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. And so, now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on this show. So, Donnie, what does being a CEO mean to you?

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Donald L. Bedney, III 11:20

Yeah, being a CEO to me means being a servant, right? I'm a servant to my employees and I also serve our client partners. At the end of the day, the better I can serve my internal clients just as much as I can serve my external clients that's really my primary role.

Gresham Harkless 11:35

Yes, I absolutely love that. And I think that servant nature kind of rings true and what we talked about as far as, having a vision and making sure that you are putting that vision in alignment with where you want to be. But I think that when you are trying to be, for lack of a better term, a bridge in between the person that the organization might be looking for and the organization and creating that connection, through the work that you do, it allows those things to come to fruition and you get to make that truly big impact.

Donald L. Bedney, III 11:58

Yeah. Yeah, man. And, I do believe that there's a thin line, right? And some people say the ruling by consensus is basically a failure. And so I do think that the unique thing about leaders and CEOs is that we do have to make tough decisions that frankly impact a lot of other people's lives, right?

That takes a certain level of intestinal fortitude. But at the same time, it's chicken and egg for some people. I just know that my two primary roles are to figure out a way to continue to be a resource and serve my internal clients, as I mentioned, which are people who work for me and once again serving and ideally anticipate the needs of my external client partners as well because it's somewhere in that chicken and egg. You just create an environment where people can continue to excel.

Gresham Harkless 12:44

Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of times it's because you're so dialed in, you're paying attention to those factors, the human element of your organization, even the people within the organization as well too. You start to begin to be there when they're looking for something or they're asking for something because you're so dialed into what it is they're doing. And of course, the evolution and the changes and opportunities that are within the industry as well too.

Donald L. Bedney, III 13:04

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 13:06

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Well, Donnie, truly appreciate that definition and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find about all the awesome things you're working on.

Donald L. Bedney, III 13:20

Yeah, absolutely. So, I'll keep that relatively concise. You can find me on LinkedIn there regularly. And that's probably the best place to find me. I am occasionally on Twitter and also Instagram. But you can find me in all three of those places going forward, always happy to engage and, shoot me a DM or otherwise if I can be of assistance or if my company can be of assistance, frankly very happy to do that.

And then as far as just the general Passing of the mic. I'm just gonna take the time just to say thanks Gresh for, inviting me and giving me this platform to hopefully share a few tips and other things that folks can take and apply frankly as they continue to run their organization or even if they aspire to be a CEO one day.

Gresham Harkless 14:01

Absolutely, we truly appreciate you for taking the mic and then running with it as well too. So we'll definitely have the links and information in the show notes for everybody to get ahold of you. I appreciate you so much for the work that you do because I think so many times we forget about that human capital element and not just the impact that we see from an organizational standpoint. When we start to look at the human, we realize that they're families, they're fathers, they're mothers, they're kids, and we start to see that the work that you do has an impact, obviously in organizations, but even beyond that for the world as a whole.

So, I appreciate you so much for reminding us of that my friend, and of course doing the work, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 14:34

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation in Blue 16 media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at blue16media.com.

This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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