Episode 52: Helping Companies Achieve More with Technology—with Graham Binks

Deb Zahn: Hey, folks. Welcome to this episode of the Craft of Consulting podcast. My guest today is Graham Binks, and he is a consultant who works with companies to help them figure out what they want to be going forward into their future, how technology will help them do that, and then, ultimately, help them get the right technology in place that supports their business goals. And we get into a lot of details today about how he walks them through a very specific process in envisioning, making decisions, launching, and ultimately adjusting as they go along. That applies to any type of a big complex change within a company. So there's a lot of great stuff here, even if you're not into technology.

And then we also dive into a lot of details about what is changing now for clients and consultants in terms of how they're working under the coronavirus pandemic. And a lot of great, helpful insights that he shares about what he's doing to help his clients, and in his own life. So very excited to present this extraordinarily thoughtful podcast. Let's get started. I want to welcome my guest today, Graham Binks. Graham, welcome to the show.

Graham Binks: Thank you, Deb. It's great to be here.

Deb Zahn: So let's start off. Tell my listeners what type of consulting you do.

Graham Binks: I help business leaders build a better business on technology. So my background is some 30 years in the technology field in various, primarily executive positions. I've created and sold technology in my time, and I've also purchased it and implemented it as a CIO. So what I do is I work with my clients—they’re typically CEOs and leaders of a small medium business—up to maybe a billion in revenue let's say. I help them formulate a technology strategy that's better aligned with their business.

But I have to say, I would say probably three quarters of the help I give them is not to do with the technology. It's more to do with helping them understanding what tech can do. Maybe translating some of the techie jargon, but also helping them lay out a plan, and develop their teams to take on a bigger and better challenges. And a lot of change management too. When we change the tools that people use in the day to day job where we're changing their routine. So the human side is very important, and as I said, that's pretty much three quarters of the work.

Deb Zahn: That's great. That's very helpful. So how did you get into consulting in the first place?

Graham Binks: So I had a career in tech, as I said, as a...I guess I'd split into two phases. I was a Chief Technology Officer in a number of software companies. So this is where I led teams that designed, built, and delivered software products and sold them to the market obviously. I then spent about another decade as a Chief Information Officer where I bought such products to make my businesses run more efficiently.

About a dozen years ago...I'd always had this itch to scratch about having my own business. In fact, early in my career I did make an attempt to buy a business with a couple of my colleagues, which didn't work out as we'd planned. It worked out very well, but it didn't work out as we planned. But I'd always had that itch. So in 2008, I had a few opportunities where I thought I can make the leap and get into consulting for clients. So I hung up my shingle the week before Lehman Brothers folded, which I'm sure everyone will remember.

Deb Zahn: Ouch!

Graham Binks: That was an exciting time, but friend of mine said that Microsoft, Apple and IBM were all founded in recession, so that made me feel somewhat better I suppose. But I have to say, it's been 12 years, and it's gone great. I really like the lifestyle. I like the variety. I like working with the clients that I've been able to accrue in that time. So it was absolutely the right thing.

Deb Zahn: That's great. And how did you get your first clients?

Graham Binks: My first client? Oh boy, I'm trying to remember now. It was through my network. All my clients essentially early on came through my existing network. So I had connections in a whole bunch of companies. I've worked in some capacity inside of over 250 businesses. A small handful of those, I should emphasize, I was employed at. But for the majority they were customers of mine. So I had a pretty good network. And as an early adopter I was already using social media to stay in touch with people at a business level, specifically LinkedIn.

And so I got out my virtual Rolodex, and I called up a few people, most of whom I tended to keep in touch with anyway. I didn't just call them when I needed them as it were. So, that was very helpful. And I think everyone recognizes that's a best practice in networking now, you don't just call people when you need them. And a few opportunities came up that I knew them well enough, they knew me well enough to know there was a match and we got started on some projects. So since that time, I've built a fairly significant client base, and in almost every exception is just been repeat business, which means I must be doing something right.

Deb Zahn: Absolutely. That is usually the hallmark of a good consultant is folks keep coming back for more. So let's dig into a little bit into what you specifically do with clients, and then I do want to come back to the business piece at the end. So this may seem like an obvious question, but I think it hits most organizations, industries, companies, et cetera, is why should companies and organizations be focused on technology? Particularly if they've already got systems in place and things are humming along nicely?

Graham Binks: Yeah, great question. Well, I think we all know as consumers how quickly technology changes, and I guess around a decade ago we were all hit by this wave of smart phones and social media that changed our lives. Some people would argue for the better, some of my dispute that. But nonetheless, there's this tsunami of change. And I find, interestingly enough, consumers are more apt to adopt new technologies than businesses are. Now, it's obviously a whole lot more complicated when a business decides to adopt a new technology, but there's often a sigh of relief at the end of a new system going live.

So let's say a company puts in a new system to run the core operations, it can take a while, and it can take a lot of attention from people. So there often isn't a great appetite to get back into that again quickly. And sometimes that means those systems stay in place really longer than they should. Longer than five or 10 years, to the point where that they're starting to hold the business back. And when I look around, I'd say a lot of businesses are somewhat held back by the technology that they've been using.

So in terms of why businesses should keep an eye on this, I think it's just like keeping an eye on the stock market. It's like keeping an eye on the real estate market if you own assets. Things change, and if you don't know what's going on, you're likely to be blindsided. And if a competitor does know what's going on, they can certainly steal a march from you. You might even miss an opportunity to leapfrog to the top of your market and be a disrupter yourself. So anything that changes in business, anything that's dynamic, I think business leaders need to keep an eye on, and technology is probably one of the most, let me say, volatile areas in that regard.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I would agree. And I think in terms of consultants like myself, who do a lot of strategic planning, technology should always be one of the questions in terms of how you're going to ultimately achieve what the aims you've set forward for your future. If technology isn't a question, they're probably missing a big opportunity. Does that sound about right?

Graham Binks: I think so. I tend to break down the work I do into four groups. So let me just sort of lay that out and then I'll come back to the first one to answer your question. So there's an envisioning stage, then there's a launch stage. Once an initiative has been lit, getting up to speed quickly is like a rocket taking off, it has to happen oftentimes. And so there's an important stage of launch where you can buy time. Then there's a phase of navigation, once you're in the work that's when the rubber hits the road. That's when the surprises pop up and you didn't foresee. Navigation is about how you overcome those challenges. And then the fourth thing is a coaching thing, I would say. So I often work with individual leaders, technology leaders and business leaders, to help them just through the day to day of running their business better with a view to technology.

So if I go back to the first one there, envisioning, I think it's best summed up...I've asked this question many times now and I will continue to ask it, because it's such a powerful question. I ask clients, new clients, or even prospects that I'm just having conversations with, what if you could do X? What if you could do this thing that that company over there has done? Then you may or may not have heard of, they may be a competitor, they may be in a completely different space. But if you could do that, what does that mean for your business?

And the answer typically is either, "Wow, we could do what we've set out to do. We could execute on our business strategy somewhat faster if we had that capability." Or they might say, "I'd even go back to the drawing board on my business strategy if I could do that, but I do need to be convinced that we could do that." And that's the springboard for the kind of help that I offer them in the envisioning stage, if you will.

Deb Zahn: That's wonderful. Now, I know one of the other things that you do is you help them decide, not just what technology they need that matches what vision they've developed, but also to set reasonable expectations about what it is and isn't. How do you help them do that? Particularly because I imagine if you're dealing with a C-suite, you're dealing with a lot of folks who are not technologically oriented folks, so how do you help them with that?

Graham Binks: Yeah, few areas. As I said I've been in the technology industry as a seller and a buyer for more years than I care to remember, and I've seen it all. But I will say with the best will in the world, if you go to a technology vendor who's looking at a small slice of your business, maybe they're looking at your...I don't know, your accounting system or your order management or your manufacturing, so pick one. They're looking at a piece of the pie, and with the best will in the world, they're going to focus on that. But I think if a leader doesn't build their input into the full context of their business, that they're going to miss something. Something's going to miss out in another area of the business. So I help them with that view.

I would also say...I wrote this blog post once, and in it, I said that, "Optimism is just disappointment delayed." I didn't mean it to sound like a downer, and it wasn't intended. It's more like, you have to be cautious when you're predicting the future, and if you're over optimistic, you will be disappointed. You won't have budgeted enough time or money, or you won't have allocated enough time for your people, that you increase that stress in doing so. So I think pragmatism is another area that I help. And it helps that I've participated in, and for the most part, led I had probably over 500 big change initiatives in my career. So I've made plenty of mistakes in that time, so that puts me in a position of helping others avoid those kinds of mistakes.

So I think being realistic is good, but the biggest single thing I think that we need to be cognizant of when we take on big-change initiatives of any kind, is that we don't know all the answers at the outset. We can't possibly. Any plan is subject to reality and will change. But if you go into this work in a spirit of learning, here's what we know how to do, here's what we don't know how to do yet. Let's plan to learn how to do that stuff. Let's check the market risk. Are people going to buy this? Let's check the technical risk, has anyone ever solved this problem before? That reduces the likelihood that we'll fail, that we'll fall, and obviously increases the likelihood that we'll succeed.

So I think it's very much...I started off with vision, but I said the rapid launch and the navigate are really where the rubber hits the road. We have to go into those in a spirit of learning. And I find when organizations get through these projects successfully, things they're taking on they've never done before on a much bigger scale or more complex, there is no better way to build a team than to win together. And when you overcome those challenges it puts them in such a great place to do whatever they choose to do next, whether it's related to technology or some other area of change. And I think if we go into in those spirits it can actually be fun, and there is then an appetite to do more at the end of the project.

Deb Zahn: That's wonderful. Now you mentioned rapid launch. Describe a little bit about what that is. And the reason I want to focus on that is, so I have many clients who have been through significant technology changes, everything from moving to paper to actual electronic systems, to then switching those. And there is always that fear and memory of what it was like before, which I think leads to what you described as that hesitancy to adopt new technologies. So what is the rapid launch, and how do you use it with your clients to help them get where they want to get?

Graham Binks: So essentially, having put a vision in place, then the leadership of the organization...And I emphasize it's important to engage everyone in this process. So leaders aren't just the CEO, they're frontline people, et cetera. But they need to make a decision on what's most important, what's most valuable, what should we do first. And having made that decision, then we go into the launch phase. So I wrote a post on this recently. If you want, I can send you the link. We can put it in the show notes.

Deb Zahn: Oh, great.

Graham Binks: I've got seven tests. So no need to write these down, we'll send that out. But the first test is, when do you know you've launched is the question. So the first test is, you've articulated a clear vision. That means everyone gets it, to the best that they can. Secondly, the team is on board and owns the success. You as the CEO, or you as the leader, you can't do everything, but the team needs to own it. It needs to be visceral for them. Third is resources are committed. You've got a fair idea of what it's going to take and you've allocated people's time to do that. Time and budget. Fourth is the team has a simple and efficient way to collaborate. So we don't want a lot of people away in meeting rooms five days a week, but if they can touch base for 15 minutes a day and maybe for 30 minutes on one day of the week, something like that is vital to the flow of information between the team, the flow of ideas and insights. How are we going to do this together? Fifth one is you've got clear measures and milestones, and everybody understands those. And that should be a short list. Any KPIs I believe, any measurements that go beyond five people really lose focus, so three to five clear measures. How do we know we're succeeding here. We're going in the right direction. Sixth is you can mitigate the risk and your plan. So you know what you know, you know what you don't know, and you've given some thought to what might not go as you've planned it and what you will do in those circumstances. So risk mitigation is key. And also, the team is open and ready to adjust because when the circumstances dictate, that's number seven. So that's when you've launched. So what a rapid launch does essentially is, it puts the information in place to do all of that, gets the team together. It's best done in a fairly intensive manner. So I would say maybe think of it as workshops that are conducted in somewhere between one and four weeks of a lapse of time. I like half day workshops, morning workshops, because I think after lunch people tend to lose their creativity a little bit. But spreading those out over the course of two to three weeks, with a fairly good agenda to get through all those topics. Everyone is pumped and excited, and we get all this together. And then we just have to push the button to go, and at that point we've launched.

Deb Zahn: That's beautiful. What I love so much about that process that you described is one, it can be applicable to any type of major change. It doesn't have to just be technology, although technology is a great way to cut your teeth on it. But it strikes me that also reorients an organization towards a new way of working, if they're not already doing that to begin with. And I think about the UK, the National Health Service, how they describe sustainability as when new ways of working become the norm.

And it strikes me as you're describing that, that's part of what you're doing with them is it's to get to the launch and get to success, but it's also, could be depending on the organization, a fundamental shift in the ways that they operate, function, their culture, et cetera. Is that what you found as you've been working with clients?

Graham Binks: Yes. There's various names for it. In the software industry and it's called Agile, in manufacturing it's called LEAN. I think people are generally familiar with what those things mean now. And I think the word is adaptable. But you can read as many books as you want on this stuff, or you can go to courses on here's how you can be agile, but you don't really learn until you get your hands on. So it might seem at first to be risky to pick a change initiative, tech or non-tech, to practice this on. But that's the way to really help your organization get their head around this way of operating.

And I would say, and this is another part of I think of a good launch, or just after the good launch, the plan should really set the team up for let's say quick wins. You get a win, you get confident. You get confident, you take on a big challenge. There's a way to build that into a plan for any initiative. So, don't try to scale Everest on your first time out. So what are some important foundational pieces of this work that is generally within the capabilities of you have a team already, they don't have to stretch too far to get to them. Check them off and then go onto the next one. So I think getting hands on, getting to do this, getting a visceral understanding, taking on simpler challenges first and building up to the bigger challenges, that's the way you'll turn your organization in this direction.

Deb Zahn: I love that. So, as we tape this, obviously we're in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic right now. So I'm wondering, given everything that's happening, what are you seeing that your clients need right now? And how they're functioning such that they might need some additional support?

Graham Binks: So I'd start off, I think at the very practical level, first of all. Those of us who can create social distance, I think need to. I was at the grocery store this morning, had to run out and got a large grocery shop and I was talking to the teller there. And bless them. They are not in this position, and I thanked him. But those of us that can work remotely, in isolation, should do. I don't think there's much dispute over that now.

But what technology does is it allows businesses, even compared to maybe a decade ago, it allows businesses to function at or near full capacity as if people are communing in the same location. I believe habitually somewhere around 7%, only 7%, of the US working population actually works from home. It's my hope that that number increases after this has gone, but right now it really has to. So anyone that is able to work remotely, should be working remotely.

I would say then, building on that, the technology is the easy part. Now, I might sound biased because I'm a techie, but the technology is the easy part. Video technology has been available to all at commodity prices for many years, six, seven, eight years. This is the time, if you haven't already done so, to adopt it. A lot of people have adopted it to talk to their kids and their grandkids on their phones, but not for work. This is the time to do it. And the services that provide that Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Google Hangouts and the like, they're doing a great job in handling a massive increase in demand right now. It's never going to be perfect, but it does work.

Do that, but then the challenge becomes, it's a change management thing. And this is the main thing I think that...And I say this like this has happened over a period of time. It's happened in the last two weeks. But change management, I think now it's sinking into a lot of businesses that we're changing the way people work, and we have to cut them some slack. We have to give them some time to make this adjustment. And we have to support.

So I actually published a post on this this morning around how this has change management on steroids, and how it's extra important for any leaders, any colleagues, to spend time with their other colleagues. Just helping them get through this, helping each other get through this. If people are emotionally fraught right now, more so than usual, or if they're on Julie silent, those are signs that someone needs help. With video, you can look them in the eyes and have that conversation. If you don't have that luxury, pick up the phone, email, sure, stay in touch but but talk to people and help them.

So really this is possibly the biggest change management exercise in history. And I'll share one thing. I read this the other day, and it really knocked me back. It relates to the historical nature of what's going on. This is the first time that the whole of humanity has been united against a single common cause. Now think about that. There has not been another time. There's always been factions on either side in the past. We might've watched movies where Martians invade, but those are fictional.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Graham Binks: This is actually the first time. And the power of that, that we should all bear in mind. There are many brilliant people working on solving this problem, and in many ways, many different ways. And we can all play a role, and we all must play a role. But it is a change, it's a dramatic change to all of our daily lives. And we've got to give each other some slack, and we've got to give ourselves some slack. And be open that this isn't easy, but together we will get through it.

Deb Zahn: I'm so appreciative that you brought up the emotional aspect of it, because I think at least what I'm seeing as I talked to other consultants, as I'm talking to my clients, that's such a huge piece of this because they're afraid. They're afraid for their family and loved ones, they're afraid for their communities, they're afraid for the people...Their clients, and in my case patients and whoever they serve. And then they're also worried about the reality of the long-term prospects of their sustainability as an organization, or a company. And that's real too. And then everybody has their own personal struggles that they already had to begin with, whether it's anxiety or depression or going through a divorce or whatever it is. And so I love that you brought that up because it's not just business as usual, and it's not just business.

Graham Binks: That's right.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. And what I found that I've been able to do for some of my clients is just reach out and say "You can get through this. You're going to be great. I'm just checking in. I'm sending you good vibes and thoughts or whatever," and just have a human moment. And what I've heard back from some of them is that helps them get through their day.

Graham Binks: Yes. That's excellent. It's great that you're doing that. And that's an example of we can all contribute. And that's the kind of contribution that I think each of us can make. This is hitting is all right at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy.

And we've gone...We've gotten there in, well, one week, two weeks? If you started falling the situation in January, as I did because my daughter had planned a trip to Asia that she ultimately canceled. But I was watching this very early on it. It doesn't matter. It's fast, it's happening quickly. But that being supportive of each other is the best thing I think we can do.

 

And I'm...I've got to admit, this has been tested right now, but I've generally followed the path of only, let's say, worrying, I don't like the word, but worrying about things that I can impact. That's hard right now, but we still have to double down. If there's something I can do to effect an improvement, I'm up for it. If there's something I can't to affect improvement, I'm not going to lose sleep over it because there's nothing I can do. But if we're open to any possible help that we can give to anyone, it's going to be a huge boom for everybody.

Deb Zahn: That's right. I agree. And I love that orientation. And as I've had talks with consultants who took a big hit financially, in addition to all their other concerns about what's going on, my advice is your orientation should be how can you contribute to making things better?

Graham Binks: Yes.

Deb Zahn: And that doesn't mean your day-to-day reality goes away, but that orientation will pay off in multitude of ways over time. And keep that focus. Keep it for your clients. Keep it for your families. Keep it for everybody. And that is how we get through this. And that is how, by the way, that is how your business is going to ultimately thrive because your clients will remember who brought their heart, rather than their pocketbook, rather than their wallets and “Fill this for me.”

Graham Binks: That's beautifully put. And I think it's along the lines of another theme that I've seen, which is that...There's a basic tenet of mental health, whether we're blessed with it as individuals or not, but the basic tenant is, remember you're not alone. This is not about any one of us struggling. This is about everyone struggling. We're all going through this and it's a better place to be than feeling alone.

Deb Zahn: That's wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing that. Let me ask you a few business questions, because actually one of the texts that I got from another consultant today is that he's using this as an opportunity to also think about who he is in the world, and how he works and who he works with. And he's taking this now pause that has been caused by external forces to rethink things. So I know that when we talked before, you mentioned that there's been some changes and shifts in how you offer your services to clients. For consultants, it's everything from that deep, in the trenches work, to more advisory and coaching. Where does your consulting work fall right now in that continuum? And how have you seen that change over time?

Graham Binks: That's a good question. Now, when you say over time, do you mean over the last few weeks or the last few years?

Deb Zahn: I would say, since you started.

Graham Binks: I think...I'll answer that one first. So since I started, I started off getting deeper. I would say my involvement with my clients projects was very deep, which meant I could only take on one or two projects at a given time. I've done very large projects for clients where I was leading them and I was very deep into them. Over time, the trend I've seen, and I think this is in response to the feedback I've had from my clients as well, but the best value I can give is to focus, let's say on the tip of several icebergs.

So if I can coach a leader who's deep into something, and I can do that for five leaders, then my impact is greater. Obviously, whether...Typically, that will be five different companies, it could be five individuals in the same company, but I can help them. So they, they come to me when they've got questions that are beyond the experience. And I can answer those questions if I've got that experience. But more importantly, I can give them confidence on how to go about answering those questions. So teaching them to fish, I think is valuable.

And then very targeted interventions. So I talked about vision earlier. So I have something I call a digital vision day, where I sit down with a leader for a full day and we bang through a lot of decisions that can often take weeks or months. And at the end of the day we come out with something that's plus or minus pretty good. They will take it back to the teams, there will be other inputs. But nonetheless, it's the day that...I would say it's an intensely productive day, but it's not an intense experience, they tend to try to make it as much fun as possible. But that's a valuable intervention.

The Rapid Launches I talked about earlier, it's about cramming the stuff into a short amount of time so that you overcome...Or you build momentum quickly, let's put it that way. So one to four weeks, a series of workshops, half a day at a time, however you want to do it. But it's about doing it quickly. So getting the rocket launched.

And then when I'm helping my clients with that third stage navigation, there're various ways I can do that. Coaching is part of it oftentimes, but also things like a steering cadence, so how often does the team meet? Maybe the team meets 15 minutes every day, and I'll drop into some of those, but not all of them. Maybe there's a steering group with all the decision makers, meets every two to three weeks. I could run those, or I can help facilitate them or I can guide the leaders through those processes. So it's really about touching as many different people and projects at any given time as I can, that's where I've been told my value is greatest. And it also gives me some flexibility in how I can operate for people.

In terms of the last few weeks, I would say I think...Well, I've helped a number of clients firstly make this decision. If a lead has never run a remote business before, this has been a tough decision in one sense. It's been easy in the sense that it's forced upon us, but it's been tough in the, "Well, what does this mean? How do I know my company's going to run efficiently and effectively?" So I've been counseling them, and giving them reasons to be optimistic about that.

There was a great data scientist post on medium about 10 days ago where this guy laid out the logic behind this model, and the model was to help you decide when you need to move people offsite based on what's going on in your city, in your state, in your province, et cetera. And it was data heavy, but it was one of those things that I was able to translate for the people who weren't that way inclined. Maybe some weren't that inclined. And I think it helped them make that decision. And then the decision around, "Well, how do we get set up? What do we need to do? What does this mean for the tools we use? What does this mean for us security, et cetera." So I was able to give a bunch of fast support on those things. And now we're moving into the change management phase, because we didn't have time to think about it before. It's really helping them with that human side that I talked about earlier, which is an aspect of any major change. Again, any that you do, it's just this one's been compressed and we've only just now got to start thinking about it.

And I would say as well in the stuff that I'm publishing, I'm publishing more often now and I, I used to have a weekly cadence, but I've been publishing a lot more often lately. And I'm trying to provide insight into the...Well, think of that question I said earlier. What if you could? What if you could meant the person that I'm talking with at that point maybe wasn't aware that company X had done this, or that maybe this is something Google did 10 years ago. And 10 years ago only Google could do it, only Google had the resources, but now you can do it because it's just accessible.

So I've transposed that onto my writing in terms of here's some good news things going on around how technology is being used to explore fixes to this issue. The point being that I think we innovate best, to be honest, when we're in positions of adversity. If you look at the inventions that were created around the terrible event of 1939 to 1945, World War II, that is still in the home today. It just gets people going down this innovation path, and COVID is no different. So there are reasons to be optimistic, and we have to keep putting those in front of people because right now we're not just getting good news; we're getting a lot of bad news.

And there are even numbers that people are not seeing that are positive, but they're not being broadcast because they don't get eyeballs. And unfortunately, reportage generally has to focus on getting attention, so that they can sell ads. And that's a business, that's the business they're in. But sharing these lesson known gems of good information, I think helps build people's confidence. So, that's how I've kind of shifted in the few weeks. There's probably more I can do, and I'm constantly on the lookout for it. And if anyone's got any ideas or questions, I'd love to receive them.

Deb Zahn: Wonderful. Yeah, that's been my main question out in the world is, how can I help?

Graham Binks: Yes, that's right.

Deb Zahn: And that's great. So let me ask you one last question. Because obviously, particularly in these trying times, our own balance that we bring to our lives, no matter how we define that for ourselves is I think key. How are you bringing balance to your life?

Graham Binks: Well, spending a lot more time with family, obviously. In a great way. Again, this is not where we'd planned it, but it's happening well. We have a couple of dogs. So making the point of walking those dogs in areas of quiet people. Our neighborhood is fairly quiet. And it's interesting, if your listeners remember the game Pac-Man, it's a bit like Pac-Man now because you see a dog walker come around the corner and you cross the road so you're six feet away, but we laugh...It's all done in jest, obviously.

Exercising. I'm fortunate enough to have a gym in my basement that I've put in a few years ago, so I'm using that. I think that's important. Mindfulness is good. I've meditated a certain phase in my life, and then I stopped and I started again. I just renewed my Headspace subscription for the year. So if folks are familiar with those tools, I think it's about being centered. And it sounds cheesy, but it's true. Count your blessings, and just stay physically and mentally fit.

And don't stay too busy. My habits probably, I generally tend to keep busy work-wise, but I think I've been kind to myself lately. I'm keeping occupied intellectually, et cetera, by reading and staying up on things, and by trying to write stuff that I hope is useful to people, and obviously the client work. But I don't think this is a time for us to stop pounding in the 14 hour days. I think we just have to work when we feel we are able to, and when of when we need to.

Deb Zahn: I love it. I absolutely agree. Well, Graham, thank you so much. I appreciate with how so much is going on, I know with your clients right now and in your life, in all of our lives, I appreciate you taking the time to be on this podcast. It's just wonderful to hear you share your wisdom.

Graham Binks: It was a pleasure, Deb, and thanks for the opportunity. And I think we went way beyond what the listeners might've expected when they saw this is about technology, didn't they?

Deb Zahn: It's always the human side.

Graham Binks: It's always the human side. That should be our title.

Deb Zahn: I think so. Actually. I think that is going to be the title. Well, thank you, Graham.

Graham Binks: All right, excellent.

Deb Zahn: Bye. Bye.

Graham Binks: Yes, you're welcome.

Deb Zahn: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. I want to ask you to do three things. If you enjoyed this episode or any of my other podcasts, hit subscribe. I've got a lot of other great guests and content coming up, and I don't want you to miss anything. 

The other two things I'm asking you to do—one is, if you have any comments, suggestions, or other feedback that will help make this podcast more helpful to more listeners, please include those in the comments section. And then the last thing is, if you've gotten something out of this, please share it. Share it with somebody you know who's a consultant or thinking about being a consultant, and make sure they also have access to all this great content and the other great content that's coming.

 

As always, you can get more wonderful information and tools at craftofconsulting.com. Thanks so much. I will talk to you on the next episode. Bye-bye.

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