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POPin Blog

POP Founder Hayes Drumwright’s Speech Wows EVOLVE Conference Audience

POP founder and CEO Hayes Drumwright gave a rousing speech to a packed ballroom at the EVOLVE Technology & Leadership Conference hosted by Trace3 at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas on Jan. 27. Hayes’ talk focused on elements that make POPin groundbreaking, especially the ability for leaders to uncover the truth of what’s really happening inside their organizations and then identify the best ways to solve endemic problems. “People don’t want to tell you the truth at first because they don’t feel safe,” Hayes explained. “I started POPin as a crowdsourcing platform for finding the truth – to make it safe for people to tell the truth and help us solve their problems.” The central theme of the speech involved the pursuit of “Minimum Viable Stuff” as a way of getting at the truth. Three simple steps are involved. First, leaders should source the group’s problems through POPin sessions, and then separate the vocal minority from the common voice of the whole group. Too often, most people hold back their opinions due to a fear of blowback from their managers or peers, and the loudmouths get all the attention. “Crowdsourcing has no repercussions because it’s anonymous,” Hayes said. “So you can finally say what you really mean.” The second step is to validate and refine. This means figuring out what your biggest problems really are, and then refining the solutions based on feedback loops through POPin sessions. The third step is to roll out and iterate. The goal here is not to roll out the perfect initiative right away – it is to roll out the first test case and learn from it without wasting millions on a major launch that will likely fail. By applying these three basic steps, leaders and teams in the trenches can achieve lasting cross-directional buy-in because everyone on both sides helped develop the solutions. This is no longer just management “barfing downhill” with never-ending demands on the staff’s time and resources, as Hayes so colorfully describes it. “In seeking truth, the truth may actually be that your idea stinks,” he said. “Finding the truth means that you have to set your ego aside. You have to find it in yourself to be brave and courageous if you really want to get at the truth.”