Dave Ibis: Welcome to the Profi Customer Spotlight. I'm Dave. I'm joined today by two very special guests Michelle and Brittany from Transformation. Michelle and Brittany, thanks for joining me. Thanks for having us. Yeah. Before we kind of get, kicked off, I'd love to just hear a little bit, I have your potted intro here that I can give, but I think Michelle, you could probably do a better job and Brittany, you could probably do a better job of your own.
Dave Ibis: So Michelle. Tell me a little bit about yourself. What's your title at Transformation?
Michele Madore: So I'm one of the co-founders of Transformation and the solo operator of Transformation. Basically started this company after years of doing transformational change-type work in organizations and realizing that we weren't really approaching in the agile space, we weren't really approaching change.
Michele Madore: In a holistic manner, so one of the reasons our logo has the number four in it, it's transferred for the four represents an integral approach that we use which is a holistic approach and how you go about change in a more holistic way. So it's an integral framework and it's the framework we use.
Michele Madore: So I've been doing change in organizations long before we got into agile and some kind of passionate about helping not only people that are going through the change but leadership and organization go through change, hopefully in a more human way and holistic way that addresses really the people aspects of change.
Dave Ibis: So the four, are there like four main elements to that change?
Michele Madore: Yeah. So it's based on integral and integral theory, which talks about four quadrants. So the four quadrants are culture, working with culture in your organization and a mindset and leadership is one other quadrant.
Michele Madore: Another quadrant is our behaviors, our actions, the practices, and the things we do every day as we go about the change. Then the lower right quadrant is about our systems, our structures, our processes. Kind of the architecture that runs the company and a lot of companies focus on the frameworks, the structural stuff, the organization systems, and even the organizational structure. How their teams are formed and they focus on behaviors that they want, but often leave out or don't know how to work with cultural and also leadership and how people think.
Michele Madore: And so that's really important to have an approach that addresses all of those. Not one by itself or another by itself because they don't actually happen that way and change.
Dave Ibis: Or they all kind of happen in, at the same time in conjunction with each other. So coaching that way. I have so many questions that I want to dig into, but I want to get to Brittany.
Dave Ibis: So Brittany, how do you fit into a transformation here as well?
Brittany Tew: I'm the operations manager. So I've been with Transformation now since I think it was 2017 and I just do it basically in the blue. I hold everything together on the back end. So I do all the organization for the planning of the courses.
Brittany Tew: I work a lot in the Profi platform. I do the marketing, the finances, things like that. I absolutely love what I do and being a part of the change and transformation and everybody's lives. And working with all the leaders and coaches that we work with all over the world, really.
Brittany Tew: I mean, we get people from all over the globe. So it's been super fun and I absolutely love what I do. I came from wedding planning. So I was a wedding planner for like 10 years. It's an interesting shit, but one that I absolutely love.
Dave Ibis: Probably like, there's probably some similarities there, right?
Dave Ibis: It's a lot of project management and kind of to be a jack of all trades when you're a wedding planner. I did not get a wedding planner, much to my wife's chagrin, but everybody that I know has one, it's like the wedding planner is the project manager of everything that's going on and fills in all the gaps wherever they are. Yeah. Interesting. So Michelle, give me a little bit of your background. Like how did you land? In this space, and were you, did you, I guess, kind of like learn the components of agile and then just learn, boy, we need to do more of this and people need to know. But I mean, I also saw that you are an author and was checking out your book a little bit as well.
Dave Ibis: So I don't know which one came first. Did transformation come first and then?
Michele Madore: Yeah. Transformation came first. The company Transformation in my life has been always right, but I actually stumbled like a lot of other people. I stumbled into an Agile accidentally, and it was after being in the telecom space for a long time.
Michele Madore: And climbing the whole corporate ladder and getting into leadership positions. And it was back in the day, showing my age here, but when telecom was going through a lot of mergers and acquisitions. So there were a lot of cultural issues happening then as I was involved in some of these mergers and acquisitions and leading whole divisions and starting up divisions during that time.
Michele Madore: So I began to feel a little bit of the challenges and the pain. When we were going through that, not just because we were merging systems, which is a big part of acquisitions and mergers, but also the people aspect of it. So that became quite, it was at that time that I thought I really needed to jump into some coaching at the weir because I felt like the people part of it was my most challenging piece of it.
Michele Madore: And hiring different people and having different types of conflict going on in, in those oppositions. So I began to study coaching, and professional coaching back then as a leader. And then at some point, I got burned out with being a leader and responsible for a huge division. And I thought, man, I don't want to do this anymore.
Michele Madore: And I thought being a consultant would be less stressful. No, but it was a door that opened for me because I just put myself out there and my skills were just transferable. And now someone saw me, this was back in the monster. com. Oh, wow. Yeah, that's me up on Monster. I'm really gonna show my age in this.
Dave Ibis: No, no, I remember it. Sure.
Michele Madore: Yeah. Someone saw my resume and hired me after some interviews. And then that was when I found out about agile, got thrown into it actually, and thought, well, this is the way I've always thought we should work. And it felt natural. So from there, that was back in 2005. So from there, I just began exploring this whole field and experience growing.
Michele Madore: Yeah.
Dave Ibis: So it's Transformation. The organization has been around since 2005.
Michele Madore: No, since 2015. Okay. I just, I've worked for other consulting companies as a consultant. The coach, an agile coach, as we call it and so I got my experience doing that and going into many organizations who were doing transformational change, in terms of agile and agility.
Michele Madore: Now we really speak more about agility than we do agile and in the work that I do, because that's what organizations were really trying to gain is a greater level of agility. Considering all the changes that we have to go through now.
Dave Ibis: The organization, are your clients typically, I know you do mostly like cohort and group coaching, is that correct?
Michele Madore: I really have a mix because I don't really want to get out of the space of actually working with organizations and leaders. So I purposefully have a portfolio that every year I make sure I know about 1 or 2 organizational clients. Now I do it now more from a strategic level and working with higher level of leadership in this strategy. But I have a mix of organizational clients. I also train and teach other coaches and consultants and certify them through an agile certification.
Dave Ibis: And so if it's an organization that's looking to utilize you for coaching for their top leaders or something, do they just.
Dave Ibis: Did you take that, that group through or is it more of an individual one-on-one coaching with those leaders?
Michele Madore: It's a mix again, so it's really you can think of coaching systems because the organization is a system and it has nested systems. So you're really working with leadership teams, individual leaders, at lots of different levels in the organization.
Michele Madore: So the work of enterprise level, because you really can't get agility if you're just trying to do it in a pocket or a silo, you've got to work across organizational boundaries. So I'm helping them to do that, really helping them to do more of that so they can work with silos that really exist in most, large, medium, large size companies right now.
Dave Ibis: So would you say that when you started? So 2015 is when sort of transformation started. Were you doing mostly those organizational endeavors? And then, because it sounds like you also now have this certification aspect where you're certifying other individuals to sort of become that type of a coach.
Dave Ibis: How did that transformation and no pun intended, but how did that transformation take place? And was it really soon after the inception in 2015, or did it kind of morph into that?
Michele Madore: It was cut. That was the reasoning for it. So I always had a mentoring and developing kind of spirit and entrepreneurial spirit as well.
Michele Madore: And so I, that's why I studied coaching early back in 2005 because they want to develop, other people, no matter what their role was. So, as I was doing all that work from 2005 to 15, I began to see a need in this. In this area. And so I got into the space of needing to hire a lot of people 'cause I was leading sure.
Michele Madore: All of the changes. And then we needed a lot of coaches. So I started hiring coaches and in that process realized there was a big gap and even agile coaches understanding and how they were working with change and I have an organizational change background and studies in that.
Michele Madore: So, I was bringing some thinking from that into the space as well, because I felt like the Agile space was missing that piece of it because when you're doing an Agile transformation, you're really doing transformational type change. And so you do need to have some structure and some discipline how you go about doing that.
Michele Madore: And so I had a desire and passion for doing that. And so that was one of the reasons I started transformation because I wanted to help other people and kind of scale this and the only way you can do that. Okay, you can't do this by yourself. So you have to get other people to get that same type of thinking and believe in it and also go do it.
Dave Ibis: right. So it really is a train-the-trainer model. Then it's you're training other people to kind of think that same way and apply that same organizational change. And then they're going out and do you typically see it as like it's in addition to a career that they're doing now, or is it sort of a new career launch for them?
Michele Madore: Oh, it's mostly already what they're doing but they're, they're getting certified, through this, this accreditation, IC agile body, and they're getting certified in techniques that we're teaching, and there's different. There are different paths that ICA has, and so it's just really helping them upping their game, having these certifications. Organizations are looking for them so that's the helpful piece of it, and even if organizations aren't looking for, I mean, some people come to this, not even for the certification, they just come because they want to learn and grow, so it's not just training like knowledge, that's why we have cohorts, as Dave. So we have these long term cohorts, so it's not just knowledge-based training, which we do have that, which is shorter term, but there's developmental coaching and pathways that take many months before you get this higher and more advanced level of certification.
Michele Madore: And that is just as much an internal growth and a personal growth for them as it is learning new techniques for their clients.
Dave Ibis: Yeah, for sure. And so two years into it, you decide, I think that's the right time frame. You decide you need some help and that's where Brittany comes in the fold.
Dave Ibis: What were some of the challenges that you were experiencing that you kind of felt like you needed to bring in a jack of all trades like Brittany, the wedding planner that kind of helped fill in some of the gaps for you.
Michele Madore: Well, it was easy to talk about because it started ticking off and honestly, I could never have gotten to this place or run this many programs or done, the amount of work I've done in a short period of time without someone who could really take care of all the back end and me not worry. Like marketing, putting our name out there, putting our face out there, taking care of so many things that would take up entire days for me.
Michele Madore: So how could I possibly create programs, teach the programs, coach people, and run all this stuff. So it was becoming so stressful. And I knew that I couldn't do much more than I was already doing unless I had some help. And it was perfect timing when, I hired her. She was going through her own change in her work at the same time that I was wanting to hire somebody.
Dave Ibis: Yeah. So, Brittany, then when you first began, what were some of the challenges that you saw that were kind of felt like you needed that Michelle needed the most, I guess, assistance with at that point in time? I know we talked about marketing. Some of the back end things, but, maybe just a little more specifics there.
Brittany Tew: Yeah, I think, mostly, it was just kind of everything was all over the place. So, we, I'm a very type A organized person which can be good and bad, I think. But, Everything was just kind of, we had Google Drive we were using, and we used Gmail for our email, and then we had Zoom for the calendars, and then trying to find ways for our clients to put all of their materials together and have like, home for everything, essentially.
Brittany Tew: So I think it was most challenging for us to create some kind of seamless experience for our client and so it was that and just trying to figure out how we're going to put everything together. How are we going to market this? Because we're building these programs and if it's a six-month to eight-month program, how are we going to build this to where it's a really great seamless experience for everybody?
Brittany Tew: So that's kind of when Profi came into place. Back then, everything was just kind of everybody doesn't use Google Drive. I mean, it is an easy thing to use for most, but for some, it's not and we started to learn that. And so we started researching and, there's a lot of big platforms out there that are very well known.
Brittany Tew: I personally had never heard of a fee to start. This was back a couple years ago, I think when we were starting to do our research and honestly, when we got in touch with you guys, it was just something that we had never experienced before. It's like that really personal one-on-one experience that takes you through the whole process about the platform.
Brittany Tew: Here we are. We're gonna build it with you. We're gonna show you from the start ‘cause it can be overwhelming. We were already overwhelmed. I don't wanna be even further overwhelmed trying to figure out how to make this seamless so I think that was kind of our first step. Yeah.
Brittany Tew: Typically, this was.
Dave Ibis: Yeah.
Dave Ibis: Like really and I remember some of those earlier conversations and I know, and just based off what you just said too, just, what we typically see a lot of times too are just clients that are sort of doing everything in different areas and while they have, they may or may not have a Brittany, but if they do, Brittany can usually manage that and all those different areas, but it really comes down to the client experience and the client not feeling like there's a home base for them to go to, to really understand what's needed for them around this journey that they're taking.
Dave Ibis: So it was that really sort of the driving factor for you is that client experience and bringing everything under one umbrella.
Michele Madore: That was a driving factor, I would say, Brittany.
Brittany Tew: It was, and I think, too, the amount of spreadsheets. The spreadsheets are out of control like I'm known as like the spreadsheet queen, trying to keep things together, so yes, that was kind of, we needed something, so.
Dave Ibis: Are there other items that you didn't foresee, utilizing the platform that are now valuable to you as you go through the cohorts?
Michele Madore: I can speak from, so we have different ways we use Profi, of course, because I'm the coach and the trainer. One thing I like is that before, even with the backend, using so many different places.
Michele Madore: I, also, as the coach and the trainer had to go to someone, remember, and you're trying to keep it all together and then you get more and more clients. So I'm having to pull up Canva or some other thing or, nap. I can, I'm just in Profi. I can actually share the material when we're having the session.
Michele Madore: I can see all my clients in a program. I can switch programs, see all my clients there. I can do everything in the session in Profi. Basically, which I love because I can see even what my clients are doing. If they've uploaded their materials, I can see that. So it's much easier for me if I have a busy day to just know I can go there and everything's there and I don't have to go.
Michele Madore: Where was this? Where? Where? Right. Right. Has that been?
Brittany Tew: Right. And you don't have to search through your email for 20 minutes and try to find something, an exam that somebody sent you or something like that. It's all uploaded right there in one place.
Dave Ibis: Do you all utilize this? Is it just me being curious at this point, do you utilize the notes feature on your clients that are going through the different cohorts and with each other?
Michele Madore: A little bit, but I don't think we've actually done a whole lot with that yet just in a minor way, we could probably do more with that.
Dave Ibis: Yeah, no, just, just curious because it's a, it's an area that we kind of keep, beefing up and putting a little bit more resources too. So, and I know that you've got these kinds of large cohorts.
Dave Ibis: How, how are, how big are the typical cohort for you and how often are you doing them?
Michele Madore: We're doing two or three per year, and they've ranged anywhere from this year, they're a little bit smaller. But I think the economy played into that a little bit, but the lowest six, we've had one of those only six, but usually eight, and we've had as many as 23 in programs.
Michele Madore: So that's a little bit too large almost, but we have, and we've been able to manage all of that in profane, no matter if it was small or large.
Dave Ibis: Yeah. And those, those cohorts, are they similar in the, so we're mostly talking about the, the accreditation part right now, and is it similar to what we talked about with the organizations?
Dave Ibis: Are the sessions mostly group, but are there also individual one-on-one sessions that you do with people within the cohort if necessary?
Michele Madore: Yeah, so, right now in Profi, we don't, we don't use Profi yet for organizational. Like when I go with an organization, I don't yet use Profi for that because I would have to bring Profi into their organization, but we use it for our transformation work.
Michele Madore: So, all the coaches and consultants, it's not always just coaches and consultants. It's also change leaders that come into the programs. But yeah, we use it both for individuals and also for groups.
Dave Ibis: Gotcha. And do you also build out in those programs? I assume you're using programs to manage the cohorts.
Dave Ibis: Maybe this is more of a Brittany question. Are you also pushing content through there as well, videos, documents, or slides?
Brittany Tew: All of it. Yeah. We create workbooks that are what we call them, but essentially slides, with material for every session. Every session has a topic so that we're teaching and discussing.
Brittany Tew: So we usually create something in Canva, which is the marketing tool that I use the most and that I love and it's nice because Profi lets you embed it right there. So we can embed the slides, we can put a link, and we can insert all the PDFs of documents and assignments. We can make it so they have to upload an assignment.
Brittany Tew: So we've inserted a lot of content into every single module.
Dave Ibis: It's great. Well, how would you, I guess if you were describing Profi to a colleague or a friend, how would you describe what it's accomplished for you at Transformation?
Brittany Tew: Well, I would say, like, when I explain Profi to somebody, I say, this is our new all-in-one kind of learning platform. So this is going to be what you're going to use. If I was speaking to my client, I'm going to say this is what you're going to use from the start. We're going to get you enrolled here.
Brittany Tew: It's nice. They don't have to go over here and pay. They can pay right there, and create their little, all you have to do is put in your email and password and create your account. And then everything lives in there. So all of your calendar invites, so you can join the session directly from there.
Brittany Tew: And I tell them you can, all of the content, it's a whole path that you follow. So, this is going to be everything's going to live in one place. If you want to request a call with Michelle, for example, if you want to request a coaching session, everything is available to you in one place.
Brittany Tew: And I always do typically send them an email separately, privately, from my email address, because I am usually the person they talk with one-on-one from the start. So I like them to be able to know that they can communicate with me outside of the program, but I think too, a bigger thing that we do is we have like for our cohorts, for example, before we start the core, we have like an introduction call with the whole group on zoom video, and we share our screen and we literally walk them through the platform because some people It is like, whoa, what am I doing?
Brittany Tew: It seems simple and it is simple and it is seamless. However, sometimes you just need to walk them through, so they kind of set the expectation of what to expect for the next six months. So I think when we started doing that, that was one of the biggest things that really helped us.
Brittany Tew: So it avoids a lot of additional questions and concerns and things like that.
Dave Ibis: Yeah. Awesome. To walk everybody through. Yeah, that's great. What would you say, so I'll, I'll take, I'll take the bait and go the other direction. So like, so you've talked a lot about the things that you enjoy about Profi, that we're doing well.
Dave Ibis: What about the area, are there areas that you find we would need to improve on? That we could do better for you.
Michele Madore: Well, yeah, there are, and we brought those forward throughout the whole process. I think one of the things Brittany said early on that I want to also say is that, from the beginning, that is the reason we chose Profi is because we immediately got the response when we were looking for a platform, it was almost literally hand holding for us.
Michele Madore: So we got that. And throughout, whenever we've had a glitch or, 'cause pro's doing so much work around adding features all the time, and we love that. And they actually take our input, Hey, it would be nice if you would have if you had this. And so they listened to us and got on a call even to talk about it with us.
Michele Madore: So, Yeah, there's been some things that were a little, I'll say annoying for me, when like the dinging sound on, what happened and it was just because someone joined from their calendar instead of Profi and then so it would keep dinging until you got broken.
Dave Ibis: I remember that one.
Dave Ibis: I remember. I didn't know that was you. I didn't know it was you all that, brought that up.
Brittany Tew: Calendar. We've had almost most of our challenges with the calendar. Just because we're inviting so many people to like one session. It's not, we don't really use it for as much of the one-on-one session.
Brittany Tew: It's mostly like group sessions that we're creating so we run into some challenges there, and it just, and sometimes like the modules when there are updates going on, on the back end of Profi, code is breaking somewhere so we've run into that where we'll be in the middle of class and like the modules aren't.
Brittany Tew: Showing correctly or nothing's there or little things like that.
Dave Ibis: But on the balance, it's been stable and sort of very.
Brittany Tew: State about it here is when code breaks or something happens and the models aren't working. I mean, when I get in touch with you guys, I mean, it's like within hours. Something's resolved and that's amazing because it's not like we're waiting days and waiting to get a response from customer support with who knows who we're talking to, it's like, who we're talking to you. This is my person and it's getting resolved and I can count on that.
Dave Ibis: Yeah, I mean, it's awesome that you say that because it is like it's the thing that so I'm on the product and the sales side.
Dave Ibis: And so a lot of times in the sales process, what we talk about and where we really try to differentiate ourselves is not as much on the features and functions. Although there's a lot of them there and you can kind of be that all in one system. But what we really try to hang our head on is the client's success and I'll even talk about it as like software, not as a service, but software with support.
Dave Ibis: And I think it's a real differentiator in the coaching space right now because there are some other companies, of course, that's offering coaching platforms that are much bigger than us. They probably have more bells and whistles than we do, but I chat, I always throw the challenge out there when I'm talking to people like, I don't think you're going to find a group of individuals that cares more about you.
Dave Ibis: Or we'll help you more on a day-to-day basis. And that's really what we're trying to, to bring and then also scale. So it’s really great to hear that feedback and hear that kind of validation from actual customers.
Michele Madore: Yeah. Yep. Hands down. One of the best experiences we've had with customer service for anything.
Michele Madore: Yeah.
Dave Ibis: Awesome. Well, what's next for Transformation? So I'm imagining you have a lot of different cohorts going throughout this year and into next year. Any new changes to the way you're going to be utilizing the platform or building out any new service offerings?
Michele Madore: So we are, we did pilot another cohort that's in the leadership space.
Michele Madore: So we did a pilot for that one. So we're anticipating. That will actually begin to offer that probably later this year, if not early spring next year. So that'll be an additional cohort program and we're always looking for ways to add some sort of Ad hoc or additional learning-based service that can just add to what they've already known.
Michele Madore: So like what's next? So our clients are saying what's next when we've had. So we're actually going to Portugal in October for a group of people who have gotten the expert-level certification. And gathering there and one of the things we're going to be talking about is what's next and how can we all be part of that community to discuss that.
Michele Madore: and in terms of Profi, as we're moving to the corporate.
Dave Ibis: Oh, right, right. You started off on the team platform and you're migrating to corporate.
Michele Madore: And so we're really happy and excited about that. So we're in the process of that right now. Brittany's doing a lot of the backend stuff and we're planning to get together soon to see how soon we can get that.
Brittany Tew: Yeah. And I think we're most excited that we're going to be able to do more like custom branding, we're going to be able to handle payments more. Directly with people because I know, on the team platform, it's more things are happening through stripe on the back end or whatever. But, now I can access everything directly.
Brittany Tew: We can add our logo to things. We can have a link directly on our website, it's all transformation. Now. It's not just going from transportation to prove. I mean, of course, but it's more.
Dave Ibis: it's more white-labeled for you. I call it, I call it gray label cause you can still see power by Profi, but yeah, there's much more branding there for you and just configuration options, I believe as well.
Dave Ibis: And then I know we talked offline, previously and I don't know if this is probably a further down the path, but once you're on that corporate, there is the opportunity for the individuals that are coming through and getting accredited to, as I know some of yours have, cause I've talked to them.
Dave Ibis: Then have them sort of continue on the platform, and continue coaching other individuals. So, there's that opportunity to kind of say when they say, what's next? You say, well, you can stay on our umbrella. You can now switch from more of that student view to a practitioner view, and they could kind of provide coaching in the way that transformation does.
Michele Madore: Yeah, we're really excited to explore that more and we just recently talked about that. So yeah, we're really excited to know that there’s for us to pay attention.
Dave Ibis: And it's a crawl walk run, so we'll get you on the Harper platform first, and let's get that crawl. But then, we can certainly go further when you're ready.
Dave Ibis: Well, I think that's all the questions I have. Did I miss anything? Is there any glaring thing that I forgot to ask?
Michele Madore: I don't think so. We could talk for hours probably, but I think that'll be good.
Dave Ibis: I appreciate both of your time. It was really great chatting with you, and taking place with this.
Dave Ibis: And, Yeah. Just, just appreciate your time and everything that you've done to the bees are such a great client with us and, hopefully long-term client as well. Yeah.
Brittany Tew: We appreciate your partnership for sure. Yeah.
Dave Ibis: Thank you all. Yeah. Thank you.