MSMP 56: Neel Parekh on Change Management

Change is hard in life in general, but particularly so when you’re moving to a new way of managing your company and executive team.  Some will not buy into the changes and find their way to the exit, others may resist and not actively support the new system.  That’s why it’s so important that the owner believes in the change and reinforces that change in his management team and all the way down to front line staff.
 
Neel Parekh of MaidThis went through this about a year ago and on this episode of Mads Singers Management Podcast he tells us about how he successfully implemented the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).  Neel shares some tactics that really helped his team to accept the new program and work through some of the awkwardness at the beginning of the implementation process.  Neel and his team have been scaling and growing, and just recently franchised his successful MaidThis brand, which is a cleaning service dedicated to vacation rentals and Airbnbs.  You might also enjoy, as I did, the fact that Neel is constantly turning the tables to ask me questions!  I respect and enjoy his curiosity and I think you’ll find some great content, particularly on how to run better meetings.
While it was awkward for him and his team in the beginning (it felt unnatural), Neel persevered and used scorecards to track KPIs for his direct reports.  I emphasized the importance of personal conversations during 1-to-1 meetings (including the fact that they should happen every week for direct reports).  If you don’t get to know your team, you will have no greater context for what they do and why they do it.
 
We also talked about team meetings and how different they are from 1-to-1s.  Neel asked how often a manager should be talking in the meeting and I said, “As little as possible.”  I reminded him of my principle: a manager should talk last and least.  If you have difficulty with this, consider designating someone as the meeting manager to keep things on track.
If you insist on talking in team meetings, you will often take away agency from your team.  When you offer a “solution” you take away the oxygen from their journey to find a solution.  When you’ve told them your preference how are they going to come up with their own?  A team has to solve these challenges together, without you, otherwise, they can’t ever grow.

Key Learning Points:
1. Neel describes how his company implemented EOS - 2:47
2. Mads insists on the importance of 1-to-1 meetings - 6:45
3. Mads explains his philosophy regarding team meetings - 9:43
4. Mads notes the importance of a meeting manager - 11:10
5. Mads cautions us on what happens when departments don’t communicate - 16:20
6. Mads chats about DISC - 24:57
7. Neel shares how blue-collar workers respond to recognition and compensation - 29:50
8. Neel discusses ideal candidates for a MaidThis franchise - 33:10

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