Our guest for this Member Showcase was a little different than your typical at TLDC.
We had Matt Vosmik, Director of Growth Training at Oak Street Health join us. Matt's background is more on the organizational development and performance management side of things, so it was interesting to hear his career journey and how he relates to L&D.
He joined TLDC because he's building a team of instructional designers and was looking for an active group doing the work now - which pretty much sums up what our community is up to.
So give this episode a listen if you'd like to look at L&D from a different perspective, a view you might not ordinarily see from.
Hello, everybody, welcome to the training learning and development community. Thanks for joining us. Looks like we have few people that are in live right now let's see Katrina. Karen. Why see again, I'm gonna have to figure out why. So again, what your what your first name is, I've seen you in, in other broadcasts. So let's connect at some point. And yes, Karen, I see your message in the chat. This is being recorded. And, yeah, we're gonna get going. Thanks. There's another member showcase. For those of you that don't know, what we do is we go through any new members that come in to t LDC and we basically, I've kind of just doing this the old school way, I just like to get to know people and sort of use that to be able to connect others and, and just learn more about the people in this space. And so if you're somebody that is new to the industry, our archive of of member showcases that we have is a great way to learn more about a career in instructional design or career in l&d. And our guest today is Matt Wasik, and Matt vase make is a little different as far as our guests are concerned, because he's an organizational development and leadership development professional, which is a little different for us. Because you know, usually we're doing it we do the instructional designer and, and learning experience designer thing. So I'm excited to talk to Matt about, about his role at Oak Street health. And, Matt, thanks for joining us. Thanks. Great to be here. Thanks. Yeah, so I'm gonna start out with this. You are the director of growth training at Oak Street health. What exactly is that the growth, Director of growth training. So I'm in charge of the training and performance improvement for our folks who are out in the community is finding new patients. So if you think of a sales organization, that's that's basically what we are, we call it outreach, we call it growth. But we have people that are out in our communities, finding new patients were a doctor's office for adults on Medicare. And so we, you know, go out and you can imagine a strip mall with a doctor's office on it. That's us. Ah, okay. So and and what did I mean? How did you run into T. LDC? What does? What is your role as director of growth training? How did you come across what we do here? I'm basically talking with l&d professionals.
Yeah, I've been in learning pretty much my whole career and in in different roles. at Oak Street. This is the actually the first time that I'm working with salespeople. So, you know, we're we started building out our learning infrastructure and our curriculum and all that. And we were quite small. We, you know, when I joined four years ago, maybe 20, clinics. And so we were doing a lot of stuff on Google slides and links, and Google Docs and PDFs, and so on. And I knew the one thing for sure was we had big growth ambitions for the company. And so that meant big growth ambitions for the growth organization. So Iknew that we were going to have to scale right, so that meant an LMS, and then elearning, and all that. And I've done a bit of that in the past, but more tended to be more face to face or virtual instructor led. And so I was out looking for places where I could learn some things. And so I'm, you know, starting to put together a team of folks who are going to be doing a whole lot of ELearning Development. And so I had a, you know, high level knowledge of that, but I needed to get a little bit more detailed. So I thought, you know, what, this looks like a bunch of people that are actually doing the doing. And that was kind of what I needed. You know, I didn't want to read papers about the theory. And I wanted to hear from folks who are doing the day to day, right?
No, no, that's great. That's good to hear, actually, because I was really, really curious about that. And yet,the folks in this community are definitely just doing the work. In fact, I mean, the other day, I had actually somebody connect me with someone who was looking for a couple instructional designers, and I'm like, Where do I even start? I have, I mean, we just have so many really active IDs, and Alex DS working that it was hard to like, you know, to recommend somebody because there's so many of them. And one of the things that really stood out to me when you in your LinkedIn profile, what was it it said, I help people do great work, so they can help their organizations deliver value. You know, I love that and but how do you interface with, say, instructional designers or what exactly is your relationship to like the learning function in the way that like your typical community member would be?
Yeah, it's been a number of different ways. Throughout my career right now. I'm actually just, we just kind of rearranged our team a bit to speak kind of keep scaling with, with the size of the organization. So I have was heading up all of the learning and training activity for the growth part of our company. And it meaning, you know, supervising the trainers and the training developments, and delivery and so on. So very directly up to this point. And thekind of the demands of the scale is has meant that beginning this year, we've started to reorganize the team a bit where we have, my part of the organization has now become much more setting strategy in defining curriculum, and designing and developing, so more of the production part of it. And I have a colleague who has joined the team, and he is now running the delivery andpart of it. So we have a number of regional trainers who are working across the country. So right now, I'm putting together a team of folks who are going to be doing the actual development and design of our materials. I would say, in the past, I've tended to be more of the curriculum development in that I partner with the, you know, the the lnd folks who are doing the actual production materials.
Wow. So it sounds like I mean, I think that, like one thing that I've I've often considered is because I've been at organizations where,you know, you've got a couple instructional designers, and they're just kind of like, their own thing, like, you know, say, a team of two, I don't know, just back in the corner, generating PDFs, uh, you know, about, like, whatever, versus a situation like yours, where you've actually have a leader that an odd leader that that is able to kind of bring things together, it just seems like that is more of a more effective way of, of implementing a training function. I mean, what as an organizational development professional, what do you bring to the learning function of your organization?
I've seen a lot of folks in, in training who are like you said, they're, they're kind of like, hey, you know, what, Matt, we need some training on compliance around, whatever, you know, HIPAA. And so they said, Go put together the HIPAA thing and you say, Okay, boss, I'll go put the HIPAA thing together. And, you know, some and I think the perspective that I bring is I tend to step back from that. And I say, tell me about what, you know. So yes, HIPAA leads to HIPAA training, I get it. But if somebody comes to you and says, Hey, we're not, we're not getting as many new prospects. So like our sales, folks might say, we're not generating as many leads as we think we need to hit our goals. How can we, how can we generate more leads? And so I think of that as a performance improvement problem, or opportunity, rather than necessarily a training one, right? So I like to look at it from a systemic point of view. There's a author, Bob maker, who back in the day, had a book that was called, you know, how to
managing performance problems. And he had like a flowchart, right, it was like a decision tree. And we said, let's look at incentives. Let's look at structure, let's look at processes, let's look at resources, and see how all of those things affect performance. So my perspective has tended to be more to look at the bigger picture, the systemic picture of performance, rather than just training. So I might come into a situation and when I've been in consulting, you know, roles in the past. And we would say, you know, what, you have incentives that don't reward producing more of these things. Because if you produce more, you get more work for yourself, you make work for yourself. So people are disincentive have a disincentive to do that. And so let's change that incentive structure so that folks don't, you know, see being successful as a punishment, because he just kept working harder, you know, so is it more sustained to feel? Wow, you know, I wish that we had more od people
kind of functioning within the lnd space, or at least within the environments that that I know, my community supports, because I know that when I think about performance improvement, I'm I often hear like, say, from Bob Mosher, Conrad Gottfredson, who are kind of like,
sort of standards in our industry for people that that talk about performance improvement, but outside of that, not that much and and it seems like, Yeah, we could use a lot more of what you know, within this within our space. In fact, there Karen is actually asking what is organizational development? Yeah. You know, just in broad brushstrokes, I think it's looking at an organization as a whole system, right. So you instead of just focusing on for instance, HR might look at
compensation, or there might be or you might have somebody who will look just look at org structure
Right let's how do we organize the the company, like the structure so that it gets the results that we want OD is looking more at it systemically. So I think of like, what are the incentive structures? What are the? What are processes do we have? What kind of systems do we have within us, you know, within the organization? And how does that affect performance. So it's taking a broad view,
either probably od PhDs out there who are cringing right now, but that's
my view, you know, I feel like you've nailed it. Because I know for me, I've always had a thing for organizational development, because I'm more of a systems and process person. And so and it's never, it hasn't been something that I've ever really investigated. I've been more like on the elearning side for the most of my career, but I've always, you know, kind of, you know, makes me flutter a little bit whenever I hear about OD, because it's so it seems so interesting to me. And why don't I get in fact, I'm going to get to just a few of the questions that we have in the queue area. Now I have a bunch that are specifically about you. But let's start out one without with one that Karen asked. Karen is asking, What are your suggestions for smaller for a small ID team to influence a larger organization or other departments to move in a modern direction? Is that something you can speak to at all? Yeah, you know, it's, it's interesting, you should ask that. I mean, that's been a challenge that,
you know, I think I've had in most organizations I've been in I, when I talk with people who are who are running the business who are accountable for results, oftentimes, the thing that's on their mind is, let's, let's get this thing out there, I want to change, I want to change results. And, and so it's kind of like, let's put some slides together. I mean, we've all heard that, right, let's let's just build a deck, you know, how hard can it be Matt, just throw it back together. And we'll, we'll get some folks together, and we'll make a difference. And I think that the challenge I've had through most of my career is and you know what, we could do that, and there's an opportunity to do a whole lot more. And so the, like, when you start talking about a more modern approach to this, I got to kind of meet people where they are. So if the person I'm talking to is not at all familiar with elearning, I'm gonna have to kind of walk them up that, you know, down that path a little bit and say, this is an opportunity for us to scale learning, so that we don't have to have people in a room together, you know, and believe it or not, those conversations are still happening, right? And, and we say that, and so I talked about what the opportunity is. And I kind of do that in little increments, right. So I'll start where they are, I will say, Oh, building a deck is ridiculous. That's, that's not going to get us where we need to go. But instead, I'll say, hey, you know, what, something that I found is, in addition to presenting information in the deck, we can have some interaction in there. And a good way to do that is using this elearning tool, or that you know, and so I will kind of meet them where they are, and we'll start moving towards that better solution. And always connect the dots on how that's going to result in better performance. Right.
Great, that is great. You know, and it's funny, just listening to kind of the dialogue that you have is, is typically different from what
most of the past showcase, you know, interviews that I've had is it's, you know, when you're talking about results, and, and that type of thing, it's very different. But then, like, I, I have had conversations in the past with other people that do speak a little bit more like you, but they're still instructional designers, and it almost seems like it's like, yeah, you should probably you should look into organizational development, because it has, you know, an odd person, the impact is to an organization is, is pretty significant. I think, like I've always looked at it that way. You know, instructional designers and learning experience designers definitely apply skills that like, you know, can do like more specific things, but organizational impact is is kind of a whole different conversation. And I love that you're here to talk about talk about that now, um, your career in OD and leadership development. Where did that begin? Well, you know, coming out of school, it was interesting, I started off as an intern with a large consulting firm, and they actually hired me in as a subject matter expert on management, leadership development. So the firm that I worked for Anderson had a huge by today's standard training organization, a 300 people out, you know, west of Chicago, and so we, that organization built training for this, you know, 87 countries. 80,000 people was very large organization, and they hired me and people like me to come in with that leadership.
So we, you know, we've caught leadership or behavior today. And they said, hey, we'll, we'll teach you instructional design, but you're going to be a subject matter expert, and then you're going to go out and do trainings in, in the field. And I thought, oh, that sounds pretty good. So I came at it as a subject matter expert. And I mean, within, you know, two or three years, I was sitting, writing, you know, facilitator guides, and creating job aids and so on. I think there was a very prescient leader, Constance, who came in and said, you know, this is great that we're doing these trainings, but what we really ought to be focusing on is performance. And so the management development group became the performance consulting group. And we had folks that were brought in there were like PhD, io, Sykes, who were focused on evaluation and measurement, and so on. And so that kind of set that the tone for me where I was like, wow, that makes a lot of sense. So much of my career has been, you know, that's why I mentioned early like, focused on performance and improving performance, because I think that direction, you know, made a big difference.
I found that, you know, you train, if you've done training, you're you talk about a topic, you say, let's talk about providing good feedback, and how that impacts your team and your effectiveness. And so and I always, you know, during break, or afterwards, somebody would come up and say, All Matt, you know, my team, boy, you know, I tried, I've tried what you said, and it just isn't working. And so within two or three years of my getting there, we were doing a lot of field consulting, where we would go into large engagements. And we would, you know, work with project teams and work with leaders in the field. And it was doing a lot of person to person coaching. And so I was kind of in this little bit of training, a little bit of coaching. And as time went on, I
ended up doing a lot of both. And so kind of through my career, I have been in a couple of organizations where I felt I ran, you know, the leadership development function, and then that included, included, somebody said, Well, how do we know they're doing a good job? We start then. And so then I ended up helping build out performance management functions, or performance management, you know, and at one point, you know, to like, in the early 2000s, I was like, wow, you know, this is good now, but we're still missing the boat here. Somewhere, I went out and got my Lean Six, Sigma, Black Belt training. I thought, let's, let's look at even more tools that we can use to focus on performance. And so that was kind of the track that I followed. So I was in leadership development. I was in training, I was in Lean Six Sigma. But the kind of the thread that ran through it was let's see how we can get people better at their jobs. Wow. Yeah. No. Yeah. That excellent, you know, and it's funny because Laura Middlesworth just commented, now I can't wait to dive into od a bit more. And Laura, I was actually thinking about you and I, when when, when Matt was talking because it does seem there were certain, like, showcases, community members that I've talked to that
are really kind of aligned with the way that Matt thinks. So Matt, if you were to recommend, how somebody like Laura, who is an instructional design Freelancer consultant,
you know, she is she wanted to get into organization, organizational development, just learn more about it. What is one way for like an ID to do that? You know, I mean, there's, there are obviously a lot of resources out there a lot of you know, school programs and so on. There was a
Benedictine University is in the Chicagoland area, I was an adjunct there, they have a, you know, top notch Bodie PhD program. So, you know, knowing kind of, there's a pretty robust community around organization development.
I am forgetting the acronym. But there was I want to say, I'm not going to say because I can't remember, I think it was like Kodak, maybe. But there's some professional organizations. And if you I think if you search, you know, if you just Google organization developments, associations, and in there there is, you know, a tremendous body of research on it, and so on and in, I think the principles are pretty straightforward. You know, what I mean? And so I think,
you know, you can find primers on on what OD is, and I think you've got all kinds of rabbit holes. There's a lot, there's a lot available out there. Definitely, definitely. So, um, let me see, let me let me go ahead and jump into another question. Question here. Oh, some things that maybe you would wish you had known. When you started out in your career. Like if you can go back to way back when? And, and give yourself some advice. What would that be? Yeah. So here's the thing. I coming out of school. I was hired into Andersen which was a big eight accounting firm. And, boy, one thing that that that accountants like to do is get everything just
Right. And I had that was pervasive in the culture of the organization I started in, in man, you, you, I I'm not exaggerating loose when I said I spent the first 18 months sitting, revising facilitator guides from like post pilot revisions, you know, taking all the points that everybody had the comments, the changes, and in, you know, we had an immense number of things to get everything perfect. And it really took me a number of years to say, you know, that it doesn't have to all be absolutely perfect to roll it out to the, to the field, you know, to your audience, you should get it pretty good. You know, and then you can, and folks can start learning even with pretty good stuff. And so I think the industry in most thinking has moved to a lot more of kind of a agile, very iterative, quick development cycle. And I man, I wish I'd known that earlier.
My advice is, it doesn't have to be perfect. If, if you shouldn't spend so much time getting it perfect, that you don't just roll it out and make it happen quick, and then learn from it. So learn real fast. Love it. No, that's, that's, that's great advice. That's absolutely fantastic. Um, so as director growth training anything like right now, can you describe like, say, a project that you're currently working on that you can you can tell us about? Sure. We've got, we've just finished, when I say finished, I mean, that's like relative, because there's always 20% of it. That's under redevelopment, our our onboarding for frontlines outreach people, frontline sales people, and the the thing that we know, we need very much so is the is the onboarding process for the managers, frontline managers of sales folks. So our big project right now is building out that the frontline sales manager curriculum. And so
again, you know, up to this point, it's been a lot of decks and job aids, and so on. So we are in the process of building elearning, in addition to that instructor led and all the different modalities and stuff. So that's kind of our big project. Now, we're in the process of signing a contract, and then rolling out and deploying a new LMS. And so I've done that a couple times and other jobs. And, and so I'm excited because I know what that's going to get us in terms of productivity and in terms of reach, and, and so on. So, yeah, we've kind of, we've got a huge development on that. And then the deployment of LMS are kind of our two big priorities right now. Yeah, that's a lot. Biggest challenge right now.
I always, I always tell my team, we've got to pictured like your you've got two things, the two tracks that are always happening in parallel. One is the thing that's got to be done today, you know, that week, it's got to be done in April. If it's not done, bad things will happen. And he said, but then we just talk about the whole 12 month plan and how we're going to have that big thing that's going to be in August. So it's always managing the short term urgent priority with a longer term bigger priority. And so it's something that I've always really struggled to do, sometimes in the face of resistance, is to develop the thing in the short term, but have it aligned with what we know we're going to do in the long term, so that we don't end up rebuilding, you know, reinventing the wheel later on, or throwing away what we built so that we can have something else that fits differently. So those two probably that urgent and the longer term balances is a challenge. Wow. That's great. So how about personally, like, what is it? Is there something about your particular job that is personally challenging to you something that you're working on? And I love to ask this question, just because I know a lot of people just sort of dive into certain types of careers, not knowing exactly like, what might be particularly be difficult about it.
When when I stepped into this role, I had no background in sales training at all. So I you know, I've done all kinds of leadership training all kinds of interpersonal skills training, and like I said, a lot of like, very
nuts, you know, nuts and bolts, kind of Lean Six Sigma, you know, factory floor kind of training, but I never done sales. And so coming in, I was pretty nervous. Because, again, that whole you got to get a perfect thing. And, but as the thing that I found was the folks that I worked with, were, you know, super accommodating. I've got folks on my team now that are from the field and had done these jobs in the past and so I focus very much on learning from them. And and the I think for me, that was huge help.
I've been, you know, doing this for a while, and I love to jump into something that I haven't done before. And say, let's, let's see what I can learn.
And I. And now, now that we're getting ready to do the deployment, all the elearning, I have a general understanding of that, and I understand capabilities and functionality and this and this. But you know, if I had to sit down with storyline and start banging out courses, a little little bit to learn there, unfortunately, I've got a team of folks that are super savvy, and I think all of them were in a master's degree in ID. So I just, you know, I was I was blessed with folks who are very ambitious and very curious about learning. And so I tried to also, you know, kind of,
model that as well as let's, let's see what we can learn what none of us are, are perfect. So we got a lot to learn. Let's do it. Yeah, definitely helps to have a great team around you. That's, that's fantastic. Um, and so, uh, you're definitely senior leader. And I would love to know, how do you stay on top of your professional development?
Oh, that was actually what I reached out to you guys. And said, Hey, I need to plug into some things where we're folks are doing some, a lot of you know, a lot of new new things and trying out new tools and so on.
I find I have a lot of interest and curiosity around reading, like Harvard Business Review. So being plugged into what's going on in the industry. As I said, having been a adjunct at Benedictine is I get invited to their like seminars, and they have experts come in, and, you know, in the field, and they will do like a Saturday afternoon workshop on whatever the topic is with all the PhD candidates. And so I've been very lucky to do that. And frankly, I do a lot of reading.
And so I just try and dig into stuff. And as much as I can kind of,
I find to, I have like a three year cycle. If I think I learned something a few years ago, I like to kind of revisit it, and see what else has changed. And what else I can learn from that.
There's a lot, there's a lot out there that was done in the past research and writing and so on, that I think is still relevant. You know, a lot of the foundational stuff.
You know, like I said, around organization developments, I think a lot of
like emotional intelligence stuff plays in to, like, individual effectiveness, and so on. So cooperrider, and boy, ISIS, and you know, that whole crew, and like I said it like, as far as learning goes, sometimes I go back to the books that are quite dusty, your makers in your deck and carry and so on? And I'm like, Well, you know, let me just revisit this and see what's, you know, what's old is new again, right? Now, how has the pandemic affected? Your view of organization development, or how you have to do your job?
I have to confess, I found it very tough to kind of get my finger on the pulse of what's happening organizationally, without being in the building.
It didn't take us I think, almost longer realize that there were nobody in the building. And so that I think that was so challenging for us to say, all right, how else can we kind of pick up on on what's going on in put your finger on the pulse of the organization, I in doing the Lean Six Sigma work, we were in production facilities and rail yards in factories, and there was a thing where they would there was a
turn, they would say stand in the circle, right? So there's an old story about the guy that drew a chalk line in the middle of the factory floor and said, stand here for eight hours, watch, listen and learn died plugged into the, into the environment that you're in. And you can't do that in the pandemic. So I thought, you know, what's, what's the next best thing? How can you pick up I like the cultural artifacts and on the communication. And
so I kind of as much as I could I injected myself into meetings and in
conversations and volunteered for things, just just so I can hear what's going on. But it was a huge challenge. I you know,
I think the the thinking for me has changed very much. So from I have to say I was kind of a skeptic, I love the idea of not having to commute. But I was skeptical where I'm like, man, we're gonna give up a lot. And I am not nearly as skeptical as I was when I realized once you lean into a way of interacting, I think people are a bit more forthcoming. And I think they will share a little bit more when kind of you have to say the words
and be more intentional about sharing and connecting, than if you just accidentally are in a building. And you can convince yourself, Oh, I'm here in the building. But are you really having meaningful interactions? I thought in the months leading up to the pandemic, we had, you know, just super rapid growth. So we had three floors in an office building downtown Chicago, and you would come on the floor all open, you know, we've all been there with a big open desk and a half height, walls and stuff. It was like, it was like a church, it was absolutely silent. And everybody had headphones on and heads down. If you started talking to somebody, you know, we've all experienced that. You're like, super self conscious. And I thought, huh, how much? You know, how much are we really interacting? How much can you really pick up from the culture from physically being there? Yeah, not much. So I think it's, it's interesting, because I think it's challenged us to think about culture, and how we are in it, and how do we understand it?
You just do that very differently. Wow, no, great answer. That's fantastic, man. Gosh, you're a great interviewer.
You just, you've just easy to listen to fantastic stuff. Is it? Okay, if I post your LinkedIn profile? In the chat? So if people want to connect with you, they know where to go? Absolutely. Yeah. All right. Great.
Okay, yeah. And gosh, man, I'm like, I'm looking at the profile. We only have one mutual connection, Marsha Conner, who was absolutely amazing. But
I would love to hear more from you. Do you do anything else? Do you go out and speak or anything? Or, you know, honestly, we've been, we've been so busy. I haven't had a lot of time to. And that's that's kind of, again, why I'm,
you know, connecting with you all, is that's that's something that's a goal I've set for myself is to be more intentional about professional development and about connecting, reconnecting with, you know, networking, expanding my network. So look forward to those opportunities. Excellent. All right. Well, I will, maybe I'll hit you up. Again, I do love this particular kind of conversation. It's just, you know, like, I feel like having somebody from your side of things, occasionally talking. It's just beneficial for IDs, just to understand, like, especially the whole performance improvement thing, and, and organizational development, leadership development, it definitely fits within what our community can learn and needs to learn. So I appreciate your time and having you here today with us, Matt. Great talking to you. I've enjoyed the conversation. Thanks a lot of fun talking, learning. And don't you know, if you ever need anything from us, or from me, just feel free to message me. Always happy to help. Sounds great. Thank you. All right. All right. Thanks, everybody. Um, let's see nothing else going on this week, I will say that I'm going to be launching a tool summit at the end of April, April 28, and 29th. I've already got a bunch of speakers. I have this like this big whiteboard with Speaker names on it already booked. For that one, we're getting that one built. If you don't, aren't already part of the slack group at TLD chat.us. You can just join the slack group there. And you'll see some of the information that I've got lined up for, for this tool Summit coming up next month. And that that's it, Matt. Thanks again, everybody. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see everybody next time. Buh Bye, everybody. See y'all Thank you.