Jan. 24, 2022

Bella Englebach, CPC

In this episode of Life Science Success, I spoke with Bella Englebach.  Bella focuses on Lean, Operational Excellence, and Continuous Improvement.  She also coaches people who are in various stages of their careers.


In this episode of Life Science Success, I spoke with Bella Englebach.  Bella focuses on Lean, Operational Excellence, and Continuous Improvement.  She also coaches people who are in various stages of their careers.

Please check out our Life Science Success Resources.  You will find tools that will support growing companies and books for authors I have interviewed.  

Transcript

Bella Englebach, CPC

[00:00:00]

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Welcome to life science success podcast. For those of you who are new here, my name is Don and I'm a consultant in the life science space. I help companies scale and manage complexity and increase their performance. Today, we're going to be joined by Bella angle buck. Bella is a consultant in, in the life sciences and, focuses in on lean , operational excellence, and continuous improvement.

Welcome to.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Wow. It's great to be here done. It's [00:01:00] so much fun for me to be on a podcast that is really focused on the life sciences. So thanks so much for the invitation.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, absolutely. Can you tell the listeners just a little bit about yourself?

Bella Englebach, CPC: So I started my career in, uh, in the life sciences. Uh, I worked at a university, moved from a university to a pharmaceutical company and then left there.

I spent almost 10 years doing consulting. And so I had the opportunity to move around us. What does, as a consultant and a work with multiple pharma companies, mostly big ones, but some small ones. And then as sometimes happens, I got hired by one of my clients. Yeah. That happens sometimes. And, um, I ended up.

Uh, back in the pharmaceutical company. And I was in a company, a little company, that little biotech company that was bought by a big company. And so I had the opportunity to drive that train that so many of us do [00:02:00] going from the, you know, the little tiny, everybody knows everybody. Everybody was 14 hats organization to a really massive pharmaceutical company, but all the time I was really focused on, um, Process and how did we get work done?

And, um, so I had a lot of adventures. I was always in, um, research and development, uh, at working. Not just in our sort of operational side of R and D, which is I think a very interesting thing to talk about, but also on the, on the innovation side of R and D and, and working with product teams and, and working on this incredibly long part development time we have for drugs, you know, ha ha.

Why is that so long? And we all know the reasons, but, you know, can we fix it? So, um, you know, I was there. Longer than I expected to be. And three years ago I left and started my own company and I have been [00:03:00] focused on mostly because of the pandemic I've been focusing on, uh, doing writing, um, on a podcast and, um, coaching.

So that's what I'm doing today.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Very good. So, um, so as you said, I mean, in addition to your coaching and lean work, uh, you have a podcast. What is the focus of your PI.

Bella Englebach, CPC: So my podcast is called the edges of lane. So I'm very fascinated by the idea that we have when we talk about lean. And I don't know how many of your listeners are really into lean or lean six Sigma.

When we talk about it, this is like, This is very discrete body of knowledge, but in fact, I've observed two things. First of all, there are things that people who are outside lean, the things that they can teach us, um, you know, things about ourselves, think of things about how to lead, how to manage. Um, so I'm very interested in that, but I'm also very interested in who's discovered the same principles [00:04:00] that we talk about and, and lean and use them in a completely different place.

They may never have heard of Toyota. They may never, ever heard of lean startup. They may not have heard of agile any of these things, but they're using the principles. Okay. So how did they learn them? Where are they learning them and how do they do it? So I have, I have guests, my, one of my first guests was a jet pilot who had been in the Navy and now flies for a major airline.

And he was telling me all about how the, the military uses an Ulu. Which is not unlike a PDCA cycle plan, do check act cycle. And how did he learn to lead in the military? And how does he use that in the cockpit of a, of, uh, of an aircraft today? So that was really interesting. And then I had somebody who on, who talks about.

What about grief in the workplace? Well, gosh, why don't we think to talk about, but think about how much grief there is in the workplace. Right [00:05:00] now, people have lost jobs. People have lost family members, people have lost the ability to work. With the team. Everybody has something that they may be grieving about.

Well, how do you handle that? And so that was also, you know, a really cool podcast, but the thing I love most about my podcast is that I'd make a really big effort to make sure I'm bringing the voices of women and people of color, um, uh, to the conversation. And so. That's my, one of my biggest goals is to bring in the voices that we don't hear very much and give them an opportunity to share their knowledge and then wisdom.

So it's called the edges of lean. Um, it's on all the major car podcast, um, providers, um, it has been dropping every Friday. I'm just moving it to Wednesdays. So there'll be a new one. This wasn't I'm thanks for asking dad. I appreciate it.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it's funny. I mean, Wednesdays are a pretty popular day at seams.

I I know from, from my, my [00:06:00] research as well, in terms of these live events, it's the same sort of thing that, uh, um, you know, having, having something after five o'clock seems to be important to people, um, Wednesdays also seemed to be a very popular day for, uh, for, you know, podcasts being released as well.

So congratulations on that.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Thank you very much.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah. So, I mean, can you tell us a little bit more about what, what you did prior to being a consultant? You touched on it in your introduction, um, you know, in terms of your focus on R and D I'm just more interested in terms of trying to delve more into your background and what it is that you did prior to being a consultant.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Oh, thanks for asking that too. So I had actually started, um, in a lab like most people did and, uh, from the lab, I, I went into medical writing and I here's the reason I went into medical writing. I went into medical writing because [00:07:00] my job got moved and I couldn't really move because of jobs. So there was a job that was open and medical writing.

And so I had been at the lab and working actually in the discovery lab. And working in the discovery lab, the very beginning of the process of putting a new drug product on the market. Right. And honestly, I went in, did my experiments. Uh, I had the opportunity to write, I was, I had a wonderful, wonderful boss who, um, really wanted me to author my own papers and to present at conferences.

So I got all of those experiences. And then moved to medical writing. Well, when you're in medical writing, you're at the other end of the process. If you're involved in flying, filing an NDA and a drug application, or a bla, a biologics license application, or you're working on manuscripts for public publications, you know, helping out with those now you see the result of that whole process.

[00:08:00] And so that was really my first introduction to. Wow. This is a really big process. Takes a long time. I was working on, you know, I was working on NDAs and some of the studies that will go into the NDAs were a decade old. Um, gosh. Wow. And, and so, you know, I was, I was really struck by that, but I ended up, um, I stayed in medical writing when I was in the, the pharmaceutical company, pharmaceutical company, because I was known as a writer.

I was invited to go back to a consulting company as a writer. Well, uh, it wasn't long after I was there that they sent me out to actually start to do some process consulting now, back in those days. And this is a long time ago, Don long, long time ago. And I won't even tell you how long ago it was. We talked about business process.

Re-engineering. I mean, there was a, there was a book on it. Right. And I think we all read the book and I don't know that we, that I understood a lot about what I was doing, but I learned some very [00:09:00] important things. First of all. If you write down what you want people to do, which is what today we call standard work.

You know, one post Toyota was calling it standard work that we just, I didn't know if you write that down and people start to follow it, you can start to see where problems are. Right. If you standardize things, things often go better. And then the other thing it was like as ma. Realization that came to me is when you change, people's work.

If they're not involved in changing the work themselves, they get very upset. So I remember my very first meeting that we were working on. I don't know a protocol development or something like that. And somebody leaving the room in tears because we were planning to change the. The work when I read my mail, like massively taken back by that.

And I think that was my first real introduction to the idea that, that it's not just about processes, about people

Don Davis PhD, MBA: in change,

Bella Englebach, CPC: change management. I didn't [00:10:00] know what that was. Um, you know, I was introduced to that later too. I mean, honestly, I wish I could tell you how this brilliant career, where I knew what I was doing all the way along, but I was just learning the hard way, you know?

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it's funny. Cause the analogy that I often, I often use the analogy that I often use for, for clients on standard work is, is, um, that if you can imagine a batter in the batter's box, you know, you, you want to provide enough definition. Um, you know, sort of to, to get the batter to the batter's box and allow them to swing and things like that.

But if you are just as controlling and standard work, where you want to like take control of their hands and exactly how they're going to swing the bat, that's a little bit too much. I mean, most people, you know, start to resist then, and that's probably, uh, you know, in part it sounds like you guys were trying to do it without the batter entirely.

So

Bella Englebach, CPC: the way that we did it in those days, And I don't know if it's too different for the way some people do it now because of just when you're dealing with a [00:11:00] really large organization, how do you do it? You know, you get seven people in a room, you get post-it notes, you map out the process. Um, you say, well, this is this, what we want to do are, do we want to do something that might be better?

We know we didn't really understand that about. At least I didn't understand about continuous improvement. It was mostly about coming, just get this written down, get, get the health authority, get the FDA off our backs. Right. Cause we need to get this written down. I mean, this is pretty primitive stuff.

And then we said, you run into these problems. Well, this type of product, uh, you know, a company has a product that was a drug device combination. Well, if you try to do it right the right way for drugs, it's not going to work for devices. Right. So. Yeah, different regulations, much shorter life cycle, uh, development life cycle.

Um, so you had to do something a little bit different. Okay. So it was that sweet spot. [00:12:00] And, um, I think that was what, what, I didn't know, what we didn't know in those days was, well, how do you, how do you do that additional work so that you're designing that standard work, as you were saying, Don, so you could have.

I don't know is who for height and different experience. And right-handed, left-handed come in and all use the same set of work. Right. And learn something from each of them. So that was, that was when I started to get really interested into this idea of, we were all about what they were going to write this stuff down.

We'll call it, call MSOP. We're going to make a nice binder of it. Everybody's going to get the binder. And I was sitting back there thinking, okay, Yeah, but you know what? People are going to find better ways to do this. How do we get that information back? So I sent it talking about that and then some of the quality people, like, I love quality people, some of my best friends, but oh my gosh, the quality people were like, well, yeah, but we wrote it down.

You know that we're going to have to have this way. You must follow. [00:13:00] Alright, and we don't have a deviation policy, so you cannot follow it. So I was, uh, I guess I'd be a little bit uncomfortable with that, but then when I left that consulting company way back into, into further, and I had the opportunity to live with the consequences of what I was writing.

That was a massive amount of learning. So for those of you who are listening, right, if, if you got to really, you got to hold your consumer, your consultants accountable to they're going to walk away and they should walk away. They shouldn't be with. For the rest of their lives, even if they would like to sell you my stuff, you need to hold them accountable to having you engaged enough in the process that when they walk away, you can continue to improve it.

Right. That's my advice for anyone who's hiring a consultant, you know, make sure that you're, that you are holding them accountable to what they should be. Accounting.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, absolutely. For anybody that's [00:14:00] watching live. I just wanted to jump in really quickly and say that you can say hello and, uh, and also let us know what state you're from.

Um, and we, you know, I'd love to mention you later on in the, in the podcast. Sorry. I know, I know I interrupted you there really quickly, but, uh, um, so one of the things I've heard you say though, as well as that you applied scientific thinking to solve business problems, what does that mean?

Bella Englebach, CPC: That is, I think one of the really key questions about how we do continuous improvement in the life sciences.

So one of the things. I learned I can come up. Hideaway was that while we were being scientists, right. Ruby doing science to solve scientific problems. As soon as there was a business problem, we stopped using science. So we rather than [00:15:00] saying, I have a hypothesis about how, say for example, this merger is going to work.

Right. And I need to do something to test the hypothesis. There would be the sense of knowing and the people who knew, whether people who you should listen to. Right. And then what happened over and over and over again, that people would say, well, we need to do it. We need to do something in this way. We want ahead.

Right? A project plan that said, this is going to happen on this day. This is going to happen on this date and so on and so forth. And then of course along the way stuff happened, we learned things, but we never took that into account. And as I was learning more about lead and lean thinking and the people in lean kept saying, well, what we're doing is doing the scientific method.

I suddenly had this aha realization. Well, of course that's what the [00:16:00] problem is. Right? We are not actually using the scientific method that we know how to use to solve our business problem. So, I mean, you can, you can think of all of a sudden the example, you know, you have a new hire, you don't know this person very well.

I, you know, I have a standard about how I bring a new hire on board. Well, that's a hypothesis. The standard is, is going to help bring this new person on board. What if you approached that like a scientist and said, you know, it's like a little bit of a, a new creature I have in the lab. I need to stay. I need to understand this creature.

Let me apply this. Thing to it, which might be your onboarding plan. See how they react. You know, what's the result I get. Is it similar or not similar to the result I expected now, my hypothesis was the way I in board people will help people get on board effectively and they get to work first. If it doesn't work.

Okay. Let's learn something from that. That's what being a scientist is all about. So it could be a little [00:17:00] thing like that could be huge thing. Like I've got an implement, you know, somebody sold us at giant GaN tick project management system. It always we're spending, I don't know, $10 million. I don't know how much these things cost.

$10 million. So let's just make it, we're spending $10 million on a project management system. All right. So now you have. I hypothesis this project management system is going to help you get work done faster or better or more controlled or whatever. Did we actually test that hypothesis? No, probably not.

Right. So we stopped being scientists. It says, you know, we step out of the lab. Everyone wants to get out of the lab. You take the white coat off. Look at me. I am now in an office. He gets so excited. I have a cubicle though. Oh man, come on. Then we'll be scientists. And, and I think, you know, unless what lean brings back to us lean brings back to us this idea that you should always be a scientist.

You should always be saying. [00:18:00] I think this is going to happen. Well, is there a hypothesis here? Really? What is my hypothesis and is what I'm doing actually going to test the hypothesis. So it's kind of simple, but it's also really hard because there's so much pressure from the way that people are taught about the business side to just, you know, make decisions and just move forward.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah. So I mean, absolutely critical that. They, you just continue to, to adjust and tweak throughout time. I mean, you know, the ideas that we have today, you know, are important, you know, in terms of the way that things could work. However, the, the future of, um, of things could also be, uh, different. And so you might need to adjust your original hypothesis to now match your new circumstances.

Well, so, um,

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Just say the key is be clear that it is a [00:19:00] hypothesis. Like, like it worked last time, right? Maybe it's going to work this time. I have a hypothesis because it worked last time. It's going to work this time. All right. Well, maybe a variables change, you know, you're a scientist, you know, about variables, variables changed.

Maybe it won't work. You learn something, sorry. No,

Don Davis PhD, MBA: absolutely. So, um, also you said that you have a coaching practice. I'm just curious, you know, what is your coaching practice focus on, um, who are your typical clients and, um, what is it that they're, that they're trying to, um, you know, gain additional support.

Bella Englebach, CPC: My coaching practice is focused on, uh, people in the life sciences. Uh, it's usually people who I think, you know, sort of in the middle management stage or sometimes even early in their career. So I'm not one of those people saying, no, I only work with CEOs. Um, I really like to work with people who are in that [00:20:00] place, which I think is, is you can feel like really crunched.

So if you are a middle manager, Right. Or are you are in one of these environments that is, uh, as a manager, everybody's on a team, right? Um, you know, it's very matrix. It's a very difficult position because you're getting. You get, um, objectives provided for you from a, sometimes very on high in the organization.

If it's a big organization or objectives that are coming at you very first, if it's a small organization, you're more in that startup phase, right. You've may have you have people who are, depending on you as employees, or as team members in, particularly if you're leading a team or, or in a, in a role like a project manager on a team.

And so they're also, you know, you want, you should be wanting to support them, but at the same time, they're making demands on you, whether you know it or not, and you can feel like really crunched. And so, um, [00:21:00] That's I think it's a super difficult position to be in. And frankly, it's a position. I think that a lot of people don't get coaching from the company, right?

So the company is going to provide coaching for the executives. Maybe people who are 1, 2, 3 levels above you. Um, but you really need somebody to help you essentially run experiments about what you're doing and it might be what you're doing at work. Or it might be what you're doing about your life in general.

So I have some clients that were really focused on their work actually. So, you know, somebody who might be, say, for example, leading a team and they want to be, have better team skills, be a better team leader, but at the same time, manage in the science environment, which is tough because you have to know a lot of stuff about the science as well as know about how to be a team.

And then I have clients who are like, you know, Hey, I'm not sure I want to do this anymore, but what do I do differently? And, you know, so it's. I [00:22:00] don't say I'm a career coach because I'm not a traditional career coach, but it's scanned about all right. So, so what's your current situation? What do you aspire to?

What might you aspire to? What experiments do you do to find your way to get from one place to another? But it's always about doing it as a scientist. Um, I'm not big into. Uh, sort of woo stuff. I'm not into like personal affirmations of people like that. That's great. You can, you can do that. Um, I think, I think scientific evidence shows it's not particularly effective, but some people like to do this, so I'm not really into that kind of stuff, but I'm definitely into it.

Okay. We're in a situation, something happened. What did we think was going to have. What actually happened, what can we learn from that? What are you going to do differently next time? And, um, and, uh, we have some really interesting adventures and conversations as we go through that with people. And I will say also, um, I do coach men, uh, I bet.

And I'd love to [00:23:00] coach women because again, I think sometimes men get, um, more opportunities for coaching, but I always contract directly with the client, not with a

Music: company.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, I think it's, um, I mean, I, in, in part, I think it's, I think it's true. Uh, the, um, I know a lot of the companies that I worked for, they offered, um, you know, coaching at different levels and things like that.

But, um, you know, it was one of those things too, where I had. Somebody very early in career. At one point I know coming to me, um, you know, wanting to be my coach. And I remember having a conversation with my manager, just asking them, you know, what do you think, um, all glean out of, out of this situation and, uh, each each opportunity, um, where we.

I just didn't exactly walk away with something that I felt was a value. Um, and so, you know, [00:24:00] when, when your clients are meeting with you, I guess, how do you calibrate, you know, where they are versus, you know, kind of, um, you know, your background and then also, you know, how do you make sure that they walk away with something that they feel is a value?

Bella Englebach, CPC: The number one thing is that it is. Process and the coaching is for them. Right. So I don't know about you Don, but if you have experience like I do, it's very easy to fall into teaching and say, well, you know, I had a situation like this and I did that. Right. Well, you're not in that situation. Okay. You're not that they're at a different company.

They're a different place. That background is different. So I, so I try to stay away from that. I really have them decide of what it is they want to do. What's the next step that they want to take. And, uh, what I do is really proud, deep, reflective [00:25:00] thinking. So I, um, my clients, I think will sometimes hear me say, they'll say, well, what I learned was this and I'll listen.

And then I will try to ask questions that will approach. You know, was there something else that they learned, um, did you know, is there something else that could be seen from that, that they perhaps haven't perceived yet? And that I believe is what's valuable to people is not that I have the world's best advice because I would, I absolutely did not have the world's best advice of any coach who tells you that is lying, but I am pretty good at helping people.

Take the next step in this thinking and, you know, really think through either what they're going to do. And like I said, why they got to do it? What's the hypothesis. And. Think about what they've actually learned from something. And so I, you know, it's a client could come into a meeting and there'll be super [00:26:00] excited sometimes because they tried something and it worked, but I've actually had a client come into.

I mean, they'd be super excited cause they tried something and it totally bombed. It was like, and then my ballet, I learned so much from that. That was great. Um, and my job as a coach is to make sure if they're going to do some of these risky, that they, that is not super risky. Right. You know, they're not going to go in and do them.

If their plan is they're going to go in a yell at their boss, we'll have a conversation about that. Right. Because that would probably, that would be too risky. Uh, but, you know, we might, we, we would have a conversation about, well, you know, what's your hypothesis about what the boss needs to hear. Right.

Okay. Do you have any evidence for that? Okay. And then what might you try? That would be a quick experiment, as opposed to, you know, I'm going to go and do something it's gonna blow my career up. So, um, yeah, that's, that's my coaching style and it really it's about them. It's um, it's a. They take the steps.

They, [00:27:00] they, they do where that, what they want to do. And hopefully I help them think about it more deeply.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it is one of the things that I've, that I've loved about, you know, myself getting certified in coaching. And then I have, you know, directors and above, um, coaching clients as well. And, and, um, just kind of understanding the boundaries of, of that walk right.

Is, is important. Um, but yeah. That whole idea of delivering value is something that's always in the back of my mind is, you know, how do you as a coach, make sure that the people that you're coaching, you know, get the most value out of it. Cause I, you know, I just, I look at what these people are trying to do and overall, if they go and get out there in the world and they do good, then, um, you know, it's overall beneficial for the entire environment.

So for sure.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, that there is a. The, at least the idea there, the return on [00:28:00] investment in coaching is, is, is multiple, right. You know, for every dollar that you spend on coaching, you'll get, um, you know, out of what is it, a hundred, a hundred dollars back in FA it value, whatever that value is to you and whether that's, uh, you know, the, the, uh, the promotion that you're looking for, which I would never promise that, or it's, um, you know, you've, you sleep better at night.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: And then you also have a book titled creatively lean. Can you tell us about the book?

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. So the book is called, uh, creatively lean, how to get out of your own way and drive innovation throughout your organization. So, one of the things that, um, you know, I mentioned this I'm very interested in, when we talk about lean, what are the things that are kind of likely, and, or that could enhance our lean thinking?

One of the things that I really care about. Believe can enhance. I mean, thinking is really understanding how creativity [00:29:00] works. So I'm also a certified creative problem solving facilitated, and, um, in creative problem solving, we learned about. Divergent thinking, which is like how to think broadly and convergent thinking, which is how to select and move forward and strengthen ideas.

So there's a cycle of diversion thinking conversion thinking. So as I was learning various lean tools or various lean ways of problem solving, one of the things I thought was interesting, it was, there was not a lot of discussion at any point about. Should I be negligently or conversationally and lean and six Sigma, especially have a lot of tools and approaches for confidence.

How do you pick something? So you can think of it like, like your prioritization matrices, for example, that's about, that's about converging. That's about picking something, but how do you get all the stuff that goes into the, into the matrix? And the other thing that I had observed in particularly working in research and development was a, one of the things that really scared people [00:30:00] away about lean was this idea of.

Th that people had, that was, it was all about convergence. It was all about, about being, you know, we was talking before it. So it was all about getting to that stat at work and, and making sure that everything was very, very, um, uh, focused. And that meant that there was no room for innovation. And as you know, Don, when you're working with a scientist, particularly someone who is saying discovery.

Their mind is all over the place that they can wacky stuff, interesting stuff, connecting ideas all the time. Right? So you try to take them and you bring them in and said, well, we're going to do lean and we're going to 5s your office. You know, they'll probably kill you. So you don't, you don't want to do that.

5s is a way of organizing your workplace, right? So you don't argue, you don't organize somebody else's office. And so. Um, what I, as I, as I worked on my own personal practice, I developed ways of using diversion thinking and convergent thinking in things like, like [00:31:00] I'm doing an a three. So I have a big believer in, in the, a three for this, for certain types of problems.

Right. Um, but, um, in, um, the, the marvelous book about a threes, which I've probably, I don't have a copy on my desk right now. Um, uh, got like six copies over there. This, you know, actually there's a lot of great books, but threes, but, but, um, It never mentioned I vision thinking conference. I think you're, well, somebody needs to talk about this.

And of course, you know, there's also design thinking, which is, you know, brings these concepts in and has the, sort of the lean focus of, of, um, of having learning cycles that, you know, and do. Doing small iterations. Right. So I wanted to be sure, I wasn't sort of reinventing design thinking because the spread of brains and mine that have done that.

Um, so I really just pulled, I pulled things from my own practice and I ended up writing a business novel, which was the last thing I thought I would write. It's actually [00:32:00] about, we talked about middle managers. It's actually about a middle manager and how she S she uses both lean, lean approach. Creative problem solving tools to, to solve problems in her organization, then have a better and happier organization.

So, yeah. So thanks for asking about the book. Yeah. I like

Don Davis PhD, MBA: quite a few of those, uh, the business style novels. Um, I don't think I would ever be talented enough to write a story in the, in that, uh, method. Right. So good. Uh, good work on your behalf to, uh, to be able to pull that one.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Well, you know, devastate Navidad.

Cause I was not going to write a business novel. When I sat down to write this bucket, it was going to be an instruction book. Right. Cause that's like, I'm like, give me the instructions. Sure. But I was actually persuaded by, uh, my behind the scenes writing partner that it was very important for my voice to come out, that it shouldn't sound like an instructional manual.

So it seemed actually that to [00:33:00] tell a story was the best way to do that. So that's how we ended up where we are.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, right. So I'm in the middle east, interestingly enough, I'm in the middle right now, the book proposal process. So, uh, so we'll see what happens at the end with my, uh, with my book as well. But, uh, um, so, um, I've, I've also heard you say in terms of your coaching style that you use the Toyota coaching methodology, what is that?

Bella Englebach, CPC: So actually, so what I do is, is I use, uh, the term CUDA, uh, coaching methodology. So for people who don't know, cut it cut. It is a practice that has been, was codified by a candidate. My Roth Mike is a professor at university of Michigan, which is where they do a lot of great academic research on lane. And what.

Done is, is really written down. What is the [00:34:00] coaching pattern that Toyota managers use with their employees? And actually, you know what, Dan is the scientific method, right? And the purpose is to teach scientific thinking. So. I have to say, I know that some of the people who are like really, really, really into cut it will say, well, I do it wrong.

Um, and I probably do do it wrong. Um, but what I, what I, what I talk about using the cutter that really is about following the practice, a CUDA is a martial arts practice, you know, that you do over and over again to it, but with the way that you, um, that you move, right, right. What would I use the cut? And what it means is is when someone comes into a coaching session with me, we're going to start out with the same questions.

Every time, every single time we're going to have the same questions. It's not going to be different. Now we're going to, as we get into what we're talking [00:35:00] about, they're going to be different questions, but there's going to be a basic fundamental pattern. And the pattern is this, what is your challenge?

Which is what's the big thing you're aiming for? What is. Where are you in the process? And then they would probably, they would probably, they're probably working on a target condition. So what should target conditions? So what's a target condition. So you can think of from a life scientist perspective, you can think of the target condition is the, the, the challenge might be, I want to get this new product on the right.

Right from a target condition, would meat might be something smaller? Like I want to write this protocol, right? So you're working on the big thing, but you're really only working on a small thing right now. That's the target condition when you achieve that target condition that that should hypothesis get you closer to your child.

And, and then, and then the next set of [00:36:00] questions is, are, are around. What, what did, what was your last experiment? What did you just do well, and what did you expect to have. That's your hypothesis. Right. And what actually happened? What did you learn? I would we always talk about what did we learn, right. And, um, uh, probably in a coaching session, wherever we spend most of the time focusing on what did we learn and then, okay, well, what's, you know, what's your next step going?

And then, um, if you achieve a target condition, we always have a little zoom party. You know, I go like this, it was just listening. I'm like jumping up and down, waving my hands. I've been jazz hands. Um, if you don't like parties, we did. But it's this. So it's just, it's just a pattern. And I've kind of put that on top of us, uh, you know, a certified professional coach.

So kind of put that on top of the, um, you know, the, the coaching steps that you learn when you're learning to be a coach. So I'll do what I do, intake of a [00:37:00] new client. We'll go through a lot of questions, you know, that will help us start to understand what their challenge might be, that they want to work on.

Um, and, uh, But, um, I don't necessarily, um, once, once we're in the process is probably more focused on the cut it just because it really helps scientists be scientific about things that they're not used to be unscientific about.

for that

Don Davis PhD, MBA: absolutely critical. So there are three questions that I like to ask every guest, Bella, what inspires you?

Bella Englebach, CPC: What inspires me. Um, I, this is going to sound so trite and my grandchildren. So much fun and they're just great little scientists. They love to do experiments, even if they don't know that they're doing experiment.

So I just, it just inspires me to watch them, see them [00:38:00] try things. And then we have conversations about. What did you think was going to happen? And what did you learn? Uh, my granddaughter actually, she's taking singing lessons, proud grandma, and she actually has a visual board for her singing lesson. So while she's working on what she, and what she's learned, so that's, uh, yeah, that's, it's great to see little kids be real scientists.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: It's funny to me how. I mean, a lot of things in the world have evolved. Um, and whenever you, whenever you talked about your inspiration, um, or in my mind, Was, you know, back to education because, um, this whole idea of having standardized learning where all the kids are kind of fit through the same exact thing.

They're not allowed to creatively think they're not really problem solving. They're more or less playing chutes and ladders every single day with the, you know, colored cards, trying to figure out how to get from the initial. You know, started the game to the end with those strategy or anything [00:39:00] else. And, and, um, it's one of the things that I'd love to see, you know, the education, the education of children and our grandchildren continue to evolve, to use the tools that are being used in industry.

Um, and, you know, teach people, things like creative problem solving and things like that through their process. And that's what I heard you kind of highlight. Yeah.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. I'll definitely other school systems that are doing that. Um, so, uh, there, there are school systems that are really into improvement.

Um, so, uh, any of your, your watches, Alyssa, so interested in that, you know, check, check those at the school systems out there doing some really, really cool stuff.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: And what concerns you?

Music: I think, you

Bella Englebach, CPC: know, the thing that concerns me the most right now, The anti-science moving movement. I really, really worries me that people who are, you [00:40:00] know, just don't get science, don't understand science who want a certain, I'd say when, uh, you know, as you and I know Don and, and your, your, uh, listeners and watches know science, doesn't always provide that, that perfect answer.

You have to keep getting more data and doing more work and. Uh, you know, the fact that we can get out of this pandemic because people are afraid of vaccines. Um, to me, You know, that's that really concerns me. It concerns me that we can take scientific approaches to solving problems with, um, with climate change, you know, that, uh, that people are just not believed and that there's this idea that some sort of cause, you know, there's conspiracies going on.

That that really concerns me. And I would love to see. Um, a change in that. Um, and it's actually something that I've been concerned about for a long time. Uh, I'll kind of horrified to see how far along they anti-science movement has come. [00:41:00]

Don Davis PhD, MBA: That's a

Bella Englebach, CPC: downer. That's a real downer. I got to say.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, but this last week, I, I, I, somebody highlighted for me, they said that, uh, the new sort of, you know, mainstream thing that people are talking about for curing COVID is drinking your own urine now.

And I was just like, you know, look at between that and drinking bleach and exposing yourself to light. I mean, I, okay. You guys can believe whatever you want, but what's your, you know, what are you doing to actually validate these decisions before you go and do something crazy? I mean, come on. Um, I, I would much rather go take a shot then, uh, then, you know, drink my own urine.

So.

Bella Englebach, CPC: And that's that? That's it. Folks. Don will not drink his own.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: I'm a flat, no, on that one. Sorry. Um, what excites

Music: you?

Bella Englebach, CPC: Oh my gosh. What excites me is actually seeing things like, uh, [00:42:00] People who are learning to use scientific thinking. Um, that that really excites me. There's a huge movement, um, that people who live in Canada and, uh, that really excites me, that there are people who are living to, to think scientifically, even if they have never thought of themselves as being a scientist.

Um, and then the other thing that excites me is just in the lean community. How many, um, women have, I really started to get their voices heard, and it's not just because of my podcast, which is a very small piece of that, but that there are many more women. I think if you go to a conference, you go see a woman on the stage.

You're going to see what women and people of color, um, leading workshops. You're going to see more publications. You're going to hear more voices on. Uh, from, you know, for the people that you haven't heard from. And that's really exciting because the more people we have, they came out and problems we have in the world, the more chance [00:43:00] we have of solving some of those problems and making me less concerned about what's going on so that I find that very, very exciting and, um, you know, anything that anyone can do to, to move that forward.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Well, especially on Martin Luther king day, the day that we're recording this. Right. I mean, what an important thing to mention as well, just, um, you know, just any, any, um, you know, under underrepresented population, just having them have a platform to be able to speak out is important and should excite us all.

Music: Absolutely.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Well, Bella

Bella Englebach, CPC

[00:00:00]

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Welcome to life science success podcast. For those of you who are new here, my name is Don and I'm a consultant in the life science space. I help companies scale and manage complexity and increase their performance. Today, we're going to be joined by Bella angle buck. Bella is a consultant in, in the life sciences and, focuses in on lean , operational excellence, and continuous improvement.

Welcome to.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Wow. It's great to be here done. It's [00:01:00] so much fun for me to be on a podcast that is really focused on the life sciences. So thanks so much for the invitation.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, absolutely. Can you tell the listeners just a little bit about yourself?

Bella Englebach, CPC: So I started my career in, uh, in the life sciences. Uh, I worked at a university, moved from a university to a pharmaceutical company and then left there.

I spent almost 10 years doing consulting. And so I had the opportunity to move around us. What does, as a consultant and a work with multiple pharma companies, mostly big ones, but some small ones. And then as sometimes happens, I got hired by one of my clients. Yeah. That happens sometimes. And, um, I ended up.

Uh, back in the pharmaceutical company. And I was in a company, a little company, that little biotech company that was bought by a big company. And so I had the opportunity to drive that train that so many of us do [00:02:00] going from the, you know, the little tiny, everybody knows everybody. Everybody was 14 hats organization to a really massive pharmaceutical company, but all the time I was really focused on, um, Process and how did we get work done?

And, um, so I had a lot of adventures. I was always in, um, research and development, uh, at working. Not just in our sort of operational side of R and D, which is I think a very interesting thing to talk about, but also on the, on the innovation side of R and D and, and working with product teams and, and working on this incredibly long part development time we have for drugs, you know, ha ha.

Why is that so long? And we all know the reasons, but, you know, can we fix it? So, um, you know, I was there. Longer than I expected to be. And three years ago I left and started my own company and I have been [00:03:00] focused on mostly because of the pandemic I've been focusing on, uh, doing writing, um, on a podcast and, um, coaching.

So that's what I'm doing today.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Very good. So, um, so as you said, I mean, in addition to your coaching and lean work, uh, you have a podcast. What is the focus of your PI.

Bella Englebach, CPC: So my podcast is called the edges of lane. So I'm very fascinated by the idea that we have when we talk about lean. And I don't know how many of your listeners are really into lean or lean six Sigma.

When we talk about it, this is like, This is very discrete body of knowledge, but in fact, I've observed two things. First of all, there are things that people who are outside lean, the things that they can teach us, um, you know, things about ourselves, think of things about how to lead, how to manage. Um, so I'm very interested in that, but I'm also very interested in who's discovered the same principles [00:04:00] that we talk about and, and lean and use them in a completely different place.

They may never have heard of Toyota. They may never, ever heard of lean startup. They may not have heard of agile any of these things, but they're using the principles. Okay. So how did they learn them? Where are they learning them and how do they do it? So I have, I have guests, my, one of my first guests was a jet pilot who had been in the Navy and now flies for a major airline.

And he was telling me all about how the, the military uses an Ulu. Which is not unlike a PDCA cycle plan, do check act cycle. And how did he learn to lead in the military? And how does he use that in the cockpit of a, of, uh, of an aircraft today? So that was really interesting. And then I had somebody who on, who talks about.

What about grief in the workplace? Well, gosh, why don't we think to talk about, but think about how much grief there is in the workplace. Right [00:05:00] now, people have lost jobs. People have lost family members, people have lost the ability to work. With the team. Everybody has something that they may be grieving about.

Well, how do you handle that? And so that was also, you know, a really cool podcast, but the thing I love most about my podcast is that I'd make a really big effort to make sure I'm bringing the voices of women and people of color, um, uh, to the conversation. And so. That's my, one of my biggest goals is to bring in the voices that we don't hear very much and give them an opportunity to share their knowledge and then wisdom.

So it's called the edges of lean. Um, it's on all the major car podcast, um, providers, um, it has been dropping every Friday. I'm just moving it to Wednesdays. So there'll be a new one. This wasn't I'm thanks for asking dad. I appreciate it.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it's funny. I mean, Wednesdays are a pretty popular day at seams.

I I know from, from my, my [00:06:00] research as well, in terms of these live events, it's the same sort of thing that, uh, um, you know, having, having something after five o'clock seems to be important to people, um, Wednesdays also seemed to be a very popular day for, uh, for, you know, podcasts being released as well.

So congratulations on that.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Thank you very much.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah. So, I mean, can you tell us a little bit more about what, what you did prior to being a consultant? You touched on it in your introduction, um, you know, in terms of your focus on R and D I'm just more interested in terms of trying to delve more into your background and what it is that you did prior to being a consultant.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Oh, thanks for asking that too. So I had actually started, um, in a lab like most people did and, uh, from the lab, I, I went into medical writing and I here's the reason I went into medical writing. I went into medical writing because [00:07:00] my job got moved and I couldn't really move because of jobs. So there was a job that was open and medical writing.

And so I had been at the lab and working actually in the discovery lab. And working in the discovery lab, the very beginning of the process of putting a new drug product on the market. Right. And honestly, I went in, did my experiments. Uh, I had the opportunity to write, I was, I had a wonderful, wonderful boss who, um, really wanted me to author my own papers and to present at conferences.

So I got all of those experiences. And then moved to medical writing. Well, when you're in medical writing, you're at the other end of the process. If you're involved in flying, filing an NDA and a drug application, or a bla, a biologics license application, or you're working on manuscripts for public publications, you know, helping out with those now you see the result of that whole process.

[00:08:00] And so that was really my first introduction to. Wow. This is a really big process. Takes a long time. I was working on, you know, I was working on NDAs and some of the studies that will go into the NDAs were a decade old. Um, gosh. Wow. And, and so, you know, I was, I was really struck by that, but I ended up, um, I stayed in medical writing when I was in the, the pharmaceutical company, pharmaceutical company, because I was known as a writer.

I was invited to go back to a consulting company as a writer. Well, uh, it wasn't long after I was there that they sent me out to actually start to do some process consulting now, back in those days. And this is a long time ago, Don long, long time ago. And I won't even tell you how long ago it was. We talked about business process.

Re-engineering. I mean, there was a, there was a book on it. Right. And I think we all read the book and I don't know that we, that I understood a lot about what I was doing, but I learned some very [00:09:00] important things. First of all. If you write down what you want people to do, which is what today we call standard work.

You know, one post Toyota was calling it standard work that we just, I didn't know if you write that down and people start to follow it, you can start to see where problems are. Right. If you standardize things, things often go better. And then the other thing it was like as ma. Realization that came to me is when you change, people's work.

If they're not involved in changing the work themselves, they get very upset. So I remember my very first meeting that we were working on. I don't know a protocol development or something like that. And somebody leaving the room in tears because we were planning to change the. The work when I read my mail, like massively taken back by that.

And I think that was my first real introduction to the idea that, that it's not just about processes, about people

Don Davis PhD, MBA: in change,

Bella Englebach, CPC: change management. I didn't [00:10:00] know what that was. Um, you know, I was introduced to that later too. I mean, honestly, I wish I could tell you how this brilliant career, where I knew what I was doing all the way along, but I was just learning the hard way, you know?

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it's funny. Cause the analogy that I often, I often use the analogy that I often use for, for clients on standard work is, is, um, that if you can imagine a batter in the batter's box, you know, you, you want to provide enough definition. Um, you know, sort of to, to get the batter to the batter's box and allow them to swing and things like that.

But if you are just as controlling and standard work, where you want to like take control of their hands and exactly how they're going to swing the bat, that's a little bit too much. I mean, most people, you know, start to resist then, and that's probably, uh, you know, in part it sounds like you guys were trying to do it without the batter entirely.

So

Bella Englebach, CPC: the way that we did it in those days, And I don't know if it's too different for the way some people do it now because of just when you're dealing with a [00:11:00] really large organization, how do you do it? You know, you get seven people in a room, you get post-it notes, you map out the process. Um, you say, well, this is this, what we want to do are, do we want to do something that might be better?

We know we didn't really understand that about. At least I didn't understand about continuous improvement. It was mostly about coming, just get this written down, get, get the health authority, get the FDA off our backs. Right. Cause we need to get this written down. I mean, this is pretty primitive stuff.

And then we said, you run into these problems. Well, this type of product, uh, you know, a company has a product that was a drug device combination. Well, if you try to do it right the right way for drugs, it's not going to work for devices. Right. So. Yeah, different regulations, much shorter life cycle, uh, development life cycle.

Um, so you had to do something a little bit different. Okay. So it was that sweet spot. [00:12:00] And, um, I think that was what, what, I didn't know, what we didn't know in those days was, well, how do you, how do you do that additional work so that you're designing that standard work, as you were saying, Don, so you could have.

I don't know is who for height and different experience. And right-handed, left-handed come in and all use the same set of work. Right. And learn something from each of them. So that was, that was when I started to get really interested into this idea of, we were all about what they were going to write this stuff down.

We'll call it, call MSOP. We're going to make a nice binder of it. Everybody's going to get the binder. And I was sitting back there thinking, okay, Yeah, but you know what? People are going to find better ways to do this. How do we get that information back? So I sent it talking about that and then some of the quality people, like, I love quality people, some of my best friends, but oh my gosh, the quality people were like, well, yeah, but we wrote it down.

You know that we're going to have to have this way. You must follow. [00:13:00] Alright, and we don't have a deviation policy, so you cannot follow it. So I was, uh, I guess I'd be a little bit uncomfortable with that, but then when I left that consulting company way back into, into further, and I had the opportunity to live with the consequences of what I was writing.

That was a massive amount of learning. So for those of you who are listening, right, if, if you got to really, you got to hold your consumer, your consultants accountable to they're going to walk away and they should walk away. They shouldn't be with. For the rest of their lives, even if they would like to sell you my stuff, you need to hold them accountable to having you engaged enough in the process that when they walk away, you can continue to improve it.

Right. That's my advice for anyone who's hiring a consultant, you know, make sure that you're, that you are holding them accountable to what they should be. Accounting.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, absolutely. For anybody that's [00:14:00] watching live. I just wanted to jump in really quickly and say that you can say hello and, uh, and also let us know what state you're from.

Um, and we, you know, I'd love to mention you later on in the, in the podcast. Sorry. I know, I know I interrupted you there really quickly, but, uh, um, so one of the things I've heard you say though, as well as that you applied scientific thinking to solve business problems, what does that mean?

Bella Englebach, CPC: That is, I think one of the really key questions about how we do continuous improvement in the life sciences.

So one of the things. I learned I can come up. Hideaway was that while we were being scientists, right. Ruby doing science to solve scientific problems. As soon as there was a business problem, we stopped using science. So we rather than [00:15:00] saying, I have a hypothesis about how, say for example, this merger is going to work.

Right. And I need to do something to test the hypothesis. There would be the sense of knowing and the people who knew, whether people who you should listen to. Right. And then what happened over and over and over again, that people would say, well, we need to do it. We need to do something in this way. We want ahead.

Right? A project plan that said, this is going to happen on this day. This is going to happen on this date and so on and so forth. And then of course along the way stuff happened, we learned things, but we never took that into account. And as I was learning more about lead and lean thinking and the people in lean kept saying, well, what we're doing is doing the scientific method.

I suddenly had this aha realization. Well, of course that's what the [00:16:00] problem is. Right? We are not actually using the scientific method that we know how to use to solve our business problem. So, I mean, you can, you can think of all of a sudden the example, you know, you have a new hire, you don't know this person very well.

I, you know, I have a standard about how I bring a new hire on board. Well, that's a hypothesis. The standard is, is going to help bring this new person on board. What if you approached that like a scientist and said, you know, it's like a little bit of a, a new creature I have in the lab. I need to stay. I need to understand this creature.

Let me apply this. Thing to it, which might be your onboarding plan. See how they react. You know, what's the result I get. Is it similar or not similar to the result I expected now, my hypothesis was the way I in board people will help people get on board effectively and they get to work first. If it doesn't work.

Okay. Let's learn something from that. That's what being a scientist is all about. So it could be a little [00:17:00] thing like that could be huge thing. Like I've got an implement, you know, somebody sold us at giant GaN tick project management system. It always we're spending, I don't know, $10 million. I don't know how much these things cost.

$10 million. So let's just make it, we're spending $10 million on a project management system. All right. So now you have. I hypothesis this project management system is going to help you get work done faster or better or more controlled or whatever. Did we actually test that hypothesis? No, probably not.

Right. So we stopped being scientists. It says, you know, we step out of the lab. Everyone wants to get out of the lab. You take the white coat off. Look at me. I am now in an office. He gets so excited. I have a cubicle though. Oh man, come on. Then we'll be scientists. And, and I think, you know, unless what lean brings back to us lean brings back to us this idea that you should always be a scientist.

You should always be saying. [00:18:00] I think this is going to happen. Well, is there a hypothesis here? Really? What is my hypothesis and is what I'm doing actually going to test the hypothesis. So it's kind of simple, but it's also really hard because there's so much pressure from the way that people are taught about the business side to just, you know, make decisions and just move forward.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah. So I mean, absolutely critical that. They, you just continue to, to adjust and tweak throughout time. I mean, you know, the ideas that we have today, you know, are important, you know, in terms of the way that things could work. However, the, the future of, um, of things could also be, uh, different. And so you might need to adjust your original hypothesis to now match your new circumstances.

Well, so, um,

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Just say the key is be clear that it is a [00:19:00] hypothesis. Like, like it worked last time, right? Maybe it's going to work this time. I have a hypothesis because it worked last time. It's going to work this time. All right. Well, maybe a variables change, you know, you're a scientist, you know, about variables, variables changed.

Maybe it won't work. You learn something, sorry. No,

Don Davis PhD, MBA: absolutely. So, um, also you said that you have a coaching practice. I'm just curious, you know, what is your coaching practice focus on, um, who are your typical clients and, um, what is it that they're, that they're trying to, um, you know, gain additional support.

Bella Englebach, CPC: My coaching practice is focused on, uh, people in the life sciences. Uh, it's usually people who I think, you know, sort of in the middle management stage or sometimes even early in their career. So I'm not one of those people saying, no, I only work with CEOs. Um, I really like to work with people who are in that [00:20:00] place, which I think is, is you can feel like really crunched.

So if you are a middle manager, Right. Or are you are in one of these environments that is, uh, as a manager, everybody's on a team, right? Um, you know, it's very matrix. It's a very difficult position because you're getting. You get, um, objectives provided for you from a, sometimes very on high in the organization.

If it's a big organization or objectives that are coming at you very first, if it's a small organization, you're more in that startup phase, right. You've may have you have people who are, depending on you as employees, or as team members in, particularly if you're leading a team or, or in a, in a role like a project manager on a team.

And so they're also, you know, you want, you should be wanting to support them, but at the same time, they're making demands on you, whether you know it or not, and you can feel like really crunched. And so, um, [00:21:00] That's I think it's a super difficult position to be in. And frankly, it's a position. I think that a lot of people don't get coaching from the company, right?

So the company is going to provide coaching for the executives. Maybe people who are 1, 2, 3 levels above you. Um, but you really need somebody to help you essentially run experiments about what you're doing and it might be what you're doing at work. Or it might be what you're doing about your life in general.

So I have some clients that were really focused on their work actually. So, you know, somebody who might be, say, for example, leading a team and they want to be, have better team skills, be a better team leader, but at the same time, manage in the science environment, which is tough because you have to know a lot of stuff about the science as well as know about how to be a team.

And then I have clients who are like, you know, Hey, I'm not sure I want to do this anymore, but what do I do differently? And, you know, so it's. I [00:22:00] don't say I'm a career coach because I'm not a traditional career coach, but it's scanned about all right. So, so what's your current situation? What do you aspire to?

What might you aspire to? What experiments do you do to find your way to get from one place to another? But it's always about doing it as a scientist. Um, I'm not big into. Uh, sort of woo stuff. I'm not into like personal affirmations of people like that. That's great. You can, you can do that. Um, I think, I think scientific evidence shows it's not particularly effective, but some people like to do this, so I'm not really into that kind of stuff, but I'm definitely into it.

Okay. We're in a situation, something happened. What did we think was going to have. What actually happened, what can we learn from that? What are you going to do differently next time? And, um, and, uh, we have some really interesting adventures and conversations as we go through that with people. And I will say also, um, I do coach men, uh, I bet.

And I'd love to [00:23:00] coach women because again, I think sometimes men get, um, more opportunities for coaching, but I always contract directly with the client, not with a

Music: company.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, I think it's, um, I mean, I, in, in part, I think it's, I think it's true. Uh, the, um, I know a lot of the companies that I worked for, they offered, um, you know, coaching at different levels and things like that.

But, um, you know, it was one of those things too, where I had. Somebody very early in career. At one point I know coming to me, um, you know, wanting to be my coach. And I remember having a conversation with my manager, just asking them, you know, what do you think, um, all glean out of, out of this situation and, uh, each each opportunity, um, where we.

I just didn't exactly walk away with something that I felt was a value. Um, and so, you know, [00:24:00] when, when your clients are meeting with you, I guess, how do you calibrate, you know, where they are versus, you know, kind of, um, you know, your background and then also, you know, how do you make sure that they walk away with something that they feel is a value?

Bella Englebach, CPC: The number one thing is that it is. Process and the coaching is for them. Right. So I don't know about you Don, but if you have experience like I do, it's very easy to fall into teaching and say, well, you know, I had a situation like this and I did that. Right. Well, you're not in that situation. Okay. You're not that they're at a different company.

They're a different place. That background is different. So I, so I try to stay away from that. I really have them decide of what it is they want to do. What's the next step that they want to take. And, uh, what I do is really proud, deep, reflective [00:25:00] thinking. So I, um, my clients, I think will sometimes hear me say, they'll say, well, what I learned was this and I'll listen.

And then I will try to ask questions that will approach. You know, was there something else that they learned, um, did you know, is there something else that could be seen from that, that they perhaps haven't perceived yet? And that I believe is what's valuable to people is not that I have the world's best advice because I would, I absolutely did not have the world's best advice of any coach who tells you that is lying, but I am pretty good at helping people.

Take the next step in this thinking and, you know, really think through either what they're going to do. And like I said, why they got to do it? What's the hypothesis. And. Think about what they've actually learned from something. And so I, you know, it's a client could come into a meeting and there'll be super [00:26:00] excited sometimes because they tried something and it worked, but I've actually had a client come into.

I mean, they'd be super excited cause they tried something and it totally bombed. It was like, and then my ballet, I learned so much from that. That was great. Um, and my job as a coach is to make sure if they're going to do some of these risky, that they, that is not super risky. Right. You know, they're not going to go in and do them.

If their plan is they're going to go in a yell at their boss, we'll have a conversation about that. Right. Because that would probably, that would be too risky. Uh, but, you know, we might, we, we would have a conversation about, well, you know, what's your hypothesis about what the boss needs to hear. Right.

Okay. Do you have any evidence for that? Okay. And then what might you try? That would be a quick experiment, as opposed to, you know, I'm going to go and do something it's gonna blow my career up. So, um, yeah, that's, that's my coaching style and it really it's about them. It's um, it's a. They take the steps.

They, [00:27:00] they, they do where that, what they want to do. And hopefully I help them think about it more deeply.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it is one of the things that I've, that I've loved about, you know, myself getting certified in coaching. And then I have, you know, directors and above, um, coaching clients as well. And, and, um, just kind of understanding the boundaries of, of that walk right.

Is, is important. Um, but yeah. That whole idea of delivering value is something that's always in the back of my mind is, you know, how do you as a coach, make sure that the people that you're coaching, you know, get the most value out of it. Cause I, you know, I just, I look at what these people are trying to do and overall, if they go and get out there in the world and they do good, then, um, you know, it's overall beneficial for the entire environment.

So for sure.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, that there is a. The, at least the idea there, the return on [00:28:00] investment in coaching is, is, is multiple, right. You know, for every dollar that you spend on coaching, you'll get, um, you know, out of what is it, a hundred, a hundred dollars back in FA it value, whatever that value is to you and whether that's, uh, you know, the, the, uh, the promotion that you're looking for, which I would never promise that, or it's, um, you know, you've, you sleep better at night.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: And then you also have a book titled creatively lean. Can you tell us about the book?

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. So the book is called, uh, creatively lean, how to get out of your own way and drive innovation throughout your organization. So, one of the things that, um, you know, I mentioned this I'm very interested in, when we talk about lean, what are the things that are kind of likely, and, or that could enhance our lean thinking?

One of the things that I really care about. Believe can enhance. I mean, thinking is really understanding how creativity [00:29:00] works. So I'm also a certified creative problem solving facilitated, and, um, in creative problem solving, we learned about. Divergent thinking, which is like how to think broadly and convergent thinking, which is how to select and move forward and strengthen ideas.

So there's a cycle of diversion thinking conversion thinking. So as I was learning various lean tools or various lean ways of problem solving, one of the things I thought was interesting, it was, there was not a lot of discussion at any point about. Should I be negligently or conversationally and lean and six Sigma, especially have a lot of tools and approaches for confidence.

How do you pick something? So you can think of it like, like your prioritization matrices, for example, that's about, that's about converging. That's about picking something, but how do you get all the stuff that goes into the, into the matrix? And the other thing that I had observed in particularly working in research and development was a, one of the things that really scared people [00:30:00] away about lean was this idea of.

Th that people had, that was, it was all about convergence. It was all about, about being, you know, we was talking before it. So it was all about getting to that stat at work and, and making sure that everything was very, very, um, uh, focused. And that meant that there was no room for innovation. And as you know, Don, when you're working with a scientist, particularly someone who is saying discovery.

Their mind is all over the place that they can wacky stuff, interesting stuff, connecting ideas all the time. Right? So you try to take them and you bring them in and said, well, we're going to do lean and we're going to 5s your office. You know, they'll probably kill you. So you don't, you don't want to do that.

5s is a way of organizing your workplace, right? So you don't argue, you don't organize somebody else's office. And so. Um, what I, as I, as I worked on my own personal practice, I developed ways of using diversion thinking and convergent thinking in things like, like [00:31:00] I'm doing an a three. So I have a big believer in, in the, a three for this, for certain types of problems.

Right. Um, but, um, in, um, the, the marvelous book about a threes, which I've probably, I don't have a copy on my desk right now. Um, uh, got like six copies over there. This, you know, actually there's a lot of great books, but threes, but, but, um, It never mentioned I vision thinking conference. I think you're, well, somebody needs to talk about this.

And of course, you know, there's also design thinking, which is, you know, brings these concepts in and has the, sort of the lean focus of, of, um, of having learning cycles that, you know, and do. Doing small iterations. Right. So I wanted to be sure, I wasn't sort of reinventing design thinking because the spread of brains and mine that have done that.

Um, so I really just pulled, I pulled things from my own practice and I ended up writing a business novel, which was the last thing I thought I would write. It's actually [00:32:00] about, we talked about middle managers. It's actually about a middle manager and how she S she uses both lean, lean approach. Creative problem solving tools to, to solve problems in her organization, then have a better and happier organization.

So, yeah. So thanks for asking about the book. Yeah. I like

Don Davis PhD, MBA: quite a few of those, uh, the business style novels. Um, I don't think I would ever be talented enough to write a story in the, in that, uh, method. Right. So good. Uh, good work on your behalf to, uh, to be able to pull that one.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Well, you know, devastate Navidad.

Cause I was not going to write a business novel. When I sat down to write this bucket, it was going to be an instruction book. Right. Cause that's like, I'm like, give me the instructions. Sure. But I was actually persuaded by, uh, my behind the scenes writing partner that it was very important for my voice to come out, that it shouldn't sound like an instructional manual.

So it seemed actually that to [00:33:00] tell a story was the best way to do that. So that's how we ended up where we are.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, right. So I'm in the middle east, interestingly enough, I'm in the middle right now, the book proposal process. So, uh, so we'll see what happens at the end with my, uh, with my book as well. But, uh, um, so, um, I've, I've also heard you say in terms of your coaching style that you use the Toyota coaching methodology, what is that?

Bella Englebach, CPC: So actually, so what I do is, is I use, uh, the term CUDA, uh, coaching methodology. So for people who don't know, cut it cut. It is a practice that has been, was codified by a candidate. My Roth Mike is a professor at university of Michigan, which is where they do a lot of great academic research on lane. And what.

Done is, is really written down. What is the [00:34:00] coaching pattern that Toyota managers use with their employees? And actually, you know what, Dan is the scientific method, right? And the purpose is to teach scientific thinking. So. I have to say, I know that some of the people who are like really, really, really into cut it will say, well, I do it wrong.

Um, and I probably do do it wrong. Um, but what I, what I, what I talk about using the cutter that really is about following the practice, a CUDA is a martial arts practice, you know, that you do over and over again to it, but with the way that you, um, that you move, right, right. What would I use the cut? And what it means is is when someone comes into a coaching session with me, we're going to start out with the same questions.

Every time, every single time we're going to have the same questions. It's not going to be different. Now we're going to, as we get into what we're talking [00:35:00] about, they're going to be different questions, but there's going to be a basic fundamental pattern. And the pattern is this, what is your challenge?

Which is what's the big thing you're aiming for? What is. Where are you in the process? And then they would probably, they would probably, they're probably working on a target condition. So what should target conditions? So what's a target condition. So you can think of from a life scientist perspective, you can think of the target condition is the, the, the challenge might be, I want to get this new product on the right.

Right from a target condition, would meat might be something smaller? Like I want to write this protocol, right? So you're working on the big thing, but you're really only working on a small thing right now. That's the target condition when you achieve that target condition that that should hypothesis get you closer to your child.

And, and then, and then the next set of [00:36:00] questions is, are, are around. What, what did, what was your last experiment? What did you just do well, and what did you expect to have. That's your hypothesis. Right. And what actually happened? What did you learn? I would we always talk about what did we learn, right. And, um, uh, probably in a coaching session, wherever we spend most of the time focusing on what did we learn and then, okay, well, what's, you know, what's your next step going?

And then, um, if you achieve a target condition, we always have a little zoom party. You know, I go like this, it was just listening. I'm like jumping up and down, waving my hands. I've been jazz hands. Um, if you don't like parties, we did. But it's this. So it's just, it's just a pattern. And I've kind of put that on top of us, uh, you know, a certified professional coach.

So kind of put that on top of the, um, you know, the, the coaching steps that you learn when you're learning to be a coach. So I'll do what I do, intake of a [00:37:00] new client. We'll go through a lot of questions, you know, that will help us start to understand what their challenge might be, that they want to work on.

Um, and, uh, But, um, I don't necessarily, um, once, once we're in the process is probably more focused on the cut it just because it really helps scientists be scientific about things that they're not used to be unscientific about.

for that

Don Davis PhD, MBA: absolutely critical. So there are three questions that I like to ask every guest, Bella, what inspires you?

Bella Englebach, CPC: What inspires me. Um, I, this is going to sound so trite and my grandchildren. So much fun and they're just great little scientists. They love to do experiments, even if they don't know that they're doing experiment.

So I just, it just inspires me to watch them, see them [00:38:00] try things. And then we have conversations about. What did you think was going to happen? And what did you learn? Uh, my granddaughter actually, she's taking singing lessons, proud grandma, and she actually has a visual board for her singing lesson. So while she's working on what she, and what she's learned, so that's, uh, yeah, that's, it's great to see little kids be real scientists.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: It's funny to me how. I mean, a lot of things in the world have evolved. Um, and whenever you, whenever you talked about your inspiration, um, or in my mind, Was, you know, back to education because, um, this whole idea of having standardized learning where all the kids are kind of fit through the same exact thing.

They're not allowed to creatively think they're not really problem solving. They're more or less playing chutes and ladders every single day with the, you know, colored cards, trying to figure out how to get from the initial. You know, started the game to the end with those strategy or anything [00:39:00] else. And, and, um, it's one of the things that I'd love to see, you know, the education, the education of children and our grandchildren continue to evolve, to use the tools that are being used in industry.

Um, and, you know, teach people, things like creative problem solving and things like that through their process. And that's what I heard you kind of highlight. Yeah.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. I'll definitely other school systems that are doing that. Um, so, uh, there, there are school systems that are really into improvement.

Um, so, uh, any of your, your watches, Alyssa, so interested in that, you know, check, check those at the school systems out there doing some really, really cool stuff.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: And what concerns you?

Music: I think, you

Bella Englebach, CPC: know, the thing that concerns me the most right now, The anti-science moving movement. I really, really worries me that people who are, you [00:40:00] know, just don't get science, don't understand science who want a certain, I'd say when, uh, you know, as you and I know Don and, and your, your, uh, listeners and watches know science, doesn't always provide that, that perfect answer.

You have to keep getting more data and doing more work and. Uh, you know, the fact that we can get out of this pandemic because people are afraid of vaccines. Um, to me, You know, that's that really concerns me. It concerns me that we can take scientific approaches to solving problems with, um, with climate change, you know, that, uh, that people are just not believed and that there's this idea that some sort of cause, you know, there's conspiracies going on.

That that really concerns me. And I would love to see. Um, a change in that. Um, and it's actually something that I've been concerned about for a long time. Uh, I'll kind of horrified to see how far along they anti-science movement has come. [00:41:00]

Don Davis PhD, MBA: That's a

Bella Englebach, CPC: downer. That's a real downer. I got to say.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, but this last week, I, I, I, somebody highlighted for me, they said that, uh, the new sort of, you know, mainstream thing that people are talking about for curing COVID is drinking your own urine now.

And I was just like, you know, look at between that and drinking bleach and exposing yourself to light. I mean, I, okay. You guys can believe whatever you want, but what's your, you know, what are you doing to actually validate these decisions before you go and do something crazy? I mean, come on. Um, I, I would much rather go take a shot then, uh, then, you know, drink my own urine.

So.

Bella Englebach, CPC: And that's that? That's it. Folks. Don will not drink his own.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: I'm a flat, no, on that one. Sorry. Um, what excites

Music: you?

Bella Englebach, CPC: Oh my gosh. What excites me is actually seeing things like, uh, [00:42:00] People who are learning to use scientific thinking. Um, that that really excites me. There's a huge movement, um, that people who live in Canada and, uh, that really excites me, that there are people who are living to, to think scientifically, even if they have never thought of themselves as being a scientist.

Um, and then the other thing that excites me is just in the lean community. How many, um, women have, I really started to get their voices heard, and it's not just because of my podcast, which is a very small piece of that, but that there are many more women. I think if you go to a conference, you go see a woman on the stage.

You're going to see what women and people of color, um, leading workshops. You're going to see more publications. You're going to hear more voices on. Uh, from, you know, for the people that you haven't heard from. And that's really exciting because the more people we have, they came out and problems we have in the world, the more chance [00:43:00] we have of solving some of those problems and making me less concerned about what's going on so that I find that very, very exciting and, um, you know, anything that anyone can do to, to move that forward.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Well, especially on Martin Luther king day, the day that we're recording this. Right. I mean, what an important thing to mention as well, just, um, you know, just any, any, um, you know, under underrepresented population, just having them have a platform to be able to speak out is important and should excite us all.

Music: Absolutely.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Well, Bella

Bella Englebach, CPC

[00:00:00]

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Welcome to life science success podcast. For those of you who are new here, my name is Don and I'm a consultant in the life science space. I help companies scale and manage complexity and increase their performance. Today, we're going to be joined by Bella angle buck. Bella is a consultant in, in the life sciences and, focuses in on lean , operational excellence, and continuous improvement.

Welcome to.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Wow. It's great to be here done. It's [00:01:00] so much fun for me to be on a podcast that is really focused on the life sciences. So thanks so much for the invitation.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, absolutely. Can you tell the listeners just a little bit about yourself?

Bella Englebach, CPC: So I started my career in, uh, in the life sciences. Uh, I worked at a university, moved from a university to a pharmaceutical company and then left there.

I spent almost 10 years doing consulting. And so I had the opportunity to move around us. What does, as a consultant and a work with multiple pharma companies, mostly big ones, but some small ones. And then as sometimes happens, I got hired by one of my clients. Yeah. That happens sometimes. And, um, I ended up.

Uh, back in the pharmaceutical company. And I was in a company, a little company, that little biotech company that was bought by a big company. And so I had the opportunity to drive that train that so many of us do [00:02:00] going from the, you know, the little tiny, everybody knows everybody. Everybody was 14 hats organization to a really massive pharmaceutical company, but all the time I was really focused on, um, Process and how did we get work done?

And, um, so I had a lot of adventures. I was always in, um, research and development, uh, at working. Not just in our sort of operational side of R and D, which is I think a very interesting thing to talk about, but also on the, on the innovation side of R and D and, and working with product teams and, and working on this incredibly long part development time we have for drugs, you know, ha ha.

Why is that so long? And we all know the reasons, but, you know, can we fix it? So, um, you know, I was there. Longer than I expected to be. And three years ago I left and started my own company and I have been [00:03:00] focused on mostly because of the pandemic I've been focusing on, uh, doing writing, um, on a podcast and, um, coaching.

So that's what I'm doing today.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Very good. So, um, so as you said, I mean, in addition to your coaching and lean work, uh, you have a podcast. What is the focus of your PI.

Bella Englebach, CPC: So my podcast is called the edges of lane. So I'm very fascinated by the idea that we have when we talk about lean. And I don't know how many of your listeners are really into lean or lean six Sigma.

When we talk about it, this is like, This is very discrete body of knowledge, but in fact, I've observed two things. First of all, there are things that people who are outside lean, the things that they can teach us, um, you know, things about ourselves, think of things about how to lead, how to manage. Um, so I'm very interested in that, but I'm also very interested in who's discovered the same principles [00:04:00] that we talk about and, and lean and use them in a completely different place.

They may never have heard of Toyota. They may never, ever heard of lean startup. They may not have heard of agile any of these things, but they're using the principles. Okay. So how did they learn them? Where are they learning them and how do they do it? So I have, I have guests, my, one of my first guests was a jet pilot who had been in the Navy and now flies for a major airline.

And he was telling me all about how the, the military uses an Ulu. Which is not unlike a PDCA cycle plan, do check act cycle. And how did he learn to lead in the military? And how does he use that in the cockpit of a, of, uh, of an aircraft today? So that was really interesting. And then I had somebody who on, who talks about.

What about grief in the workplace? Well, gosh, why don't we think to talk about, but think about how much grief there is in the workplace. Right [00:05:00] now, people have lost jobs. People have lost family members, people have lost the ability to work. With the team. Everybody has something that they may be grieving about.

Well, how do you handle that? And so that was also, you know, a really cool podcast, but the thing I love most about my podcast is that I'd make a really big effort to make sure I'm bringing the voices of women and people of color, um, uh, to the conversation. And so. That's my, one of my biggest goals is to bring in the voices that we don't hear very much and give them an opportunity to share their knowledge and then wisdom.

So it's called the edges of lean. Um, it's on all the major car podcast, um, providers, um, it has been dropping every Friday. I'm just moving it to Wednesdays. So there'll be a new one. This wasn't I'm thanks for asking dad. I appreciate it.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it's funny. I mean, Wednesdays are a pretty popular day at seams.

I I know from, from my, my [00:06:00] research as well, in terms of these live events, it's the same sort of thing that, uh, um, you know, having, having something after five o'clock seems to be important to people, um, Wednesdays also seemed to be a very popular day for, uh, for, you know, podcasts being released as well.

So congratulations on that.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Thank you very much.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah. So, I mean, can you tell us a little bit more about what, what you did prior to being a consultant? You touched on it in your introduction, um, you know, in terms of your focus on R and D I'm just more interested in terms of trying to delve more into your background and what it is that you did prior to being a consultant.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Oh, thanks for asking that too. So I had actually started, um, in a lab like most people did and, uh, from the lab, I, I went into medical writing and I here's the reason I went into medical writing. I went into medical writing because [00:07:00] my job got moved and I couldn't really move because of jobs. So there was a job that was open and medical writing.

And so I had been at the lab and working actually in the discovery lab. And working in the discovery lab, the very beginning of the process of putting a new drug product on the market. Right. And honestly, I went in, did my experiments. Uh, I had the opportunity to write, I was, I had a wonderful, wonderful boss who, um, really wanted me to author my own papers and to present at conferences.

So I got all of those experiences. And then moved to medical writing. Well, when you're in medical writing, you're at the other end of the process. If you're involved in flying, filing an NDA and a drug application, or a bla, a biologics license application, or you're working on manuscripts for public publications, you know, helping out with those now you see the result of that whole process.

[00:08:00] And so that was really my first introduction to. Wow. This is a really big process. Takes a long time. I was working on, you know, I was working on NDAs and some of the studies that will go into the NDAs were a decade old. Um, gosh. Wow. And, and so, you know, I was, I was really struck by that, but I ended up, um, I stayed in medical writing when I was in the, the pharmaceutical company, pharmaceutical company, because I was known as a writer.

I was invited to go back to a consulting company as a writer. Well, uh, it wasn't long after I was there that they sent me out to actually start to do some process consulting now, back in those days. And this is a long time ago, Don long, long time ago. And I won't even tell you how long ago it was. We talked about business process.

Re-engineering. I mean, there was a, there was a book on it. Right. And I think we all read the book and I don't know that we, that I understood a lot about what I was doing, but I learned some very [00:09:00] important things. First of all. If you write down what you want people to do, which is what today we call standard work.

You know, one post Toyota was calling it standard work that we just, I didn't know if you write that down and people start to follow it, you can start to see where problems are. Right. If you standardize things, things often go better. And then the other thing it was like as ma. Realization that came to me is when you change, people's work.

If they're not involved in changing the work themselves, they get very upset. So I remember my very first meeting that we were working on. I don't know a protocol development or something like that. And somebody leaving the room in tears because we were planning to change the. The work when I read my mail, like massively taken back by that.

And I think that was my first real introduction to the idea that, that it's not just about processes, about people

Don Davis PhD, MBA: in change,

Bella Englebach, CPC: change management. I didn't [00:10:00] know what that was. Um, you know, I was introduced to that later too. I mean, honestly, I wish I could tell you how this brilliant career, where I knew what I was doing all the way along, but I was just learning the hard way, you know?

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it's funny. Cause the analogy that I often, I often use the analogy that I often use for, for clients on standard work is, is, um, that if you can imagine a batter in the batter's box, you know, you, you want to provide enough definition. Um, you know, sort of to, to get the batter to the batter's box and allow them to swing and things like that.

But if you are just as controlling and standard work, where you want to like take control of their hands and exactly how they're going to swing the bat, that's a little bit too much. I mean, most people, you know, start to resist then, and that's probably, uh, you know, in part it sounds like you guys were trying to do it without the batter entirely.

So

Bella Englebach, CPC: the way that we did it in those days, And I don't know if it's too different for the way some people do it now because of just when you're dealing with a [00:11:00] really large organization, how do you do it? You know, you get seven people in a room, you get post-it notes, you map out the process. Um, you say, well, this is this, what we want to do are, do we want to do something that might be better?

We know we didn't really understand that about. At least I didn't understand about continuous improvement. It was mostly about coming, just get this written down, get, get the health authority, get the FDA off our backs. Right. Cause we need to get this written down. I mean, this is pretty primitive stuff.

And then we said, you run into these problems. Well, this type of product, uh, you know, a company has a product that was a drug device combination. Well, if you try to do it right the right way for drugs, it's not going to work for devices. Right. So. Yeah, different regulations, much shorter life cycle, uh, development life cycle.

Um, so you had to do something a little bit different. Okay. So it was that sweet spot. [00:12:00] And, um, I think that was what, what, I didn't know, what we didn't know in those days was, well, how do you, how do you do that additional work so that you're designing that standard work, as you were saying, Don, so you could have.

I don't know is who for height and different experience. And right-handed, left-handed come in and all use the same set of work. Right. And learn something from each of them. So that was, that was when I started to get really interested into this idea of, we were all about what they were going to write this stuff down.

We'll call it, call MSOP. We're going to make a nice binder of it. Everybody's going to get the binder. And I was sitting back there thinking, okay, Yeah, but you know what? People are going to find better ways to do this. How do we get that information back? So I sent it talking about that and then some of the quality people, like, I love quality people, some of my best friends, but oh my gosh, the quality people were like, well, yeah, but we wrote it down.

You know that we're going to have to have this way. You must follow. [00:13:00] Alright, and we don't have a deviation policy, so you cannot follow it. So I was, uh, I guess I'd be a little bit uncomfortable with that, but then when I left that consulting company way back into, into further, and I had the opportunity to live with the consequences of what I was writing.

That was a massive amount of learning. So for those of you who are listening, right, if, if you got to really, you got to hold your consumer, your consultants accountable to they're going to walk away and they should walk away. They shouldn't be with. For the rest of their lives, even if they would like to sell you my stuff, you need to hold them accountable to having you engaged enough in the process that when they walk away, you can continue to improve it.

Right. That's my advice for anyone who's hiring a consultant, you know, make sure that you're, that you are holding them accountable to what they should be. Accounting.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, absolutely. For anybody that's [00:14:00] watching live. I just wanted to jump in really quickly and say that you can say hello and, uh, and also let us know what state you're from.

Um, and we, you know, I'd love to mention you later on in the, in the podcast. Sorry. I know, I know I interrupted you there really quickly, but, uh, um, so one of the things I've heard you say though, as well as that you applied scientific thinking to solve business problems, what does that mean?

Bella Englebach, CPC: That is, I think one of the really key questions about how we do continuous improvement in the life sciences.

So one of the things. I learned I can come up. Hideaway was that while we were being scientists, right. Ruby doing science to solve scientific problems. As soon as there was a business problem, we stopped using science. So we rather than [00:15:00] saying, I have a hypothesis about how, say for example, this merger is going to work.

Right. And I need to do something to test the hypothesis. There would be the sense of knowing and the people who knew, whether people who you should listen to. Right. And then what happened over and over and over again, that people would say, well, we need to do it. We need to do something in this way. We want ahead.

Right? A project plan that said, this is going to happen on this day. This is going to happen on this date and so on and so forth. And then of course along the way stuff happened, we learned things, but we never took that into account. And as I was learning more about lead and lean thinking and the people in lean kept saying, well, what we're doing is doing the scientific method.

I suddenly had this aha realization. Well, of course that's what the [00:16:00] problem is. Right? We are not actually using the scientific method that we know how to use to solve our business problem. So, I mean, you can, you can think of all of a sudden the example, you know, you have a new hire, you don't know this person very well.

I, you know, I have a standard about how I bring a new hire on board. Well, that's a hypothesis. The standard is, is going to help bring this new person on board. What if you approached that like a scientist and said, you know, it's like a little bit of a, a new creature I have in the lab. I need to stay. I need to understand this creature.

Let me apply this. Thing to it, which might be your onboarding plan. See how they react. You know, what's the result I get. Is it similar or not similar to the result I expected now, my hypothesis was the way I in board people will help people get on board effectively and they get to work first. If it doesn't work.

Okay. Let's learn something from that. That's what being a scientist is all about. So it could be a little [00:17:00] thing like that could be huge thing. Like I've got an implement, you know, somebody sold us at giant GaN tick project management system. It always we're spending, I don't know, $10 million. I don't know how much these things cost.

$10 million. So let's just make it, we're spending $10 million on a project management system. All right. So now you have. I hypothesis this project management system is going to help you get work done faster or better or more controlled or whatever. Did we actually test that hypothesis? No, probably not.

Right. So we stopped being scientists. It says, you know, we step out of the lab. Everyone wants to get out of the lab. You take the white coat off. Look at me. I am now in an office. He gets so excited. I have a cubicle though. Oh man, come on. Then we'll be scientists. And, and I think, you know, unless what lean brings back to us lean brings back to us this idea that you should always be a scientist.

You should always be saying. [00:18:00] I think this is going to happen. Well, is there a hypothesis here? Really? What is my hypothesis and is what I'm doing actually going to test the hypothesis. So it's kind of simple, but it's also really hard because there's so much pressure from the way that people are taught about the business side to just, you know, make decisions and just move forward.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah. So I mean, absolutely critical that. They, you just continue to, to adjust and tweak throughout time. I mean, you know, the ideas that we have today, you know, are important, you know, in terms of the way that things could work. However, the, the future of, um, of things could also be, uh, different. And so you might need to adjust your original hypothesis to now match your new circumstances.

Well, so, um,

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Just say the key is be clear that it is a [00:19:00] hypothesis. Like, like it worked last time, right? Maybe it's going to work this time. I have a hypothesis because it worked last time. It's going to work this time. All right. Well, maybe a variables change, you know, you're a scientist, you know, about variables, variables changed.

Maybe it won't work. You learn something, sorry. No,

Don Davis PhD, MBA: absolutely. So, um, also you said that you have a coaching practice. I'm just curious, you know, what is your coaching practice focus on, um, who are your typical clients and, um, what is it that they're, that they're trying to, um, you know, gain additional support.

Bella Englebach, CPC: My coaching practice is focused on, uh, people in the life sciences. Uh, it's usually people who I think, you know, sort of in the middle management stage or sometimes even early in their career. So I'm not one of those people saying, no, I only work with CEOs. Um, I really like to work with people who are in that [00:20:00] place, which I think is, is you can feel like really crunched.

So if you are a middle manager, Right. Or are you are in one of these environments that is, uh, as a manager, everybody's on a team, right? Um, you know, it's very matrix. It's a very difficult position because you're getting. You get, um, objectives provided for you from a, sometimes very on high in the organization.

If it's a big organization or objectives that are coming at you very first, if it's a small organization, you're more in that startup phase, right. You've may have you have people who are, depending on you as employees, or as team members in, particularly if you're leading a team or, or in a, in a role like a project manager on a team.

And so they're also, you know, you want, you should be wanting to support them, but at the same time, they're making demands on you, whether you know it or not, and you can feel like really crunched. And so, um, [00:21:00] That's I think it's a super difficult position to be in. And frankly, it's a position. I think that a lot of people don't get coaching from the company, right?

So the company is going to provide coaching for the executives. Maybe people who are 1, 2, 3 levels above you. Um, but you really need somebody to help you essentially run experiments about what you're doing and it might be what you're doing at work. Or it might be what you're doing about your life in general.

So I have some clients that were really focused on their work actually. So, you know, somebody who might be, say, for example, leading a team and they want to be, have better team skills, be a better team leader, but at the same time, manage in the science environment, which is tough because you have to know a lot of stuff about the science as well as know about how to be a team.

And then I have clients who are like, you know, Hey, I'm not sure I want to do this anymore, but what do I do differently? And, you know, so it's. I [00:22:00] don't say I'm a career coach because I'm not a traditional career coach, but it's scanned about all right. So, so what's your current situation? What do you aspire to?

What might you aspire to? What experiments do you do to find your way to get from one place to another? But it's always about doing it as a scientist. Um, I'm not big into. Uh, sort of woo stuff. I'm not into like personal affirmations of people like that. That's great. You can, you can do that. Um, I think, I think scientific evidence shows it's not particularly effective, but some people like to do this, so I'm not really into that kind of stuff, but I'm definitely into it.

Okay. We're in a situation, something happened. What did we think was going to have. What actually happened, what can we learn from that? What are you going to do differently next time? And, um, and, uh, we have some really interesting adventures and conversations as we go through that with people. And I will say also, um, I do coach men, uh, I bet.

And I'd love to [00:23:00] coach women because again, I think sometimes men get, um, more opportunities for coaching, but I always contract directly with the client, not with a

Music: company.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, I think it's, um, I mean, I, in, in part, I think it's, I think it's true. Uh, the, um, I know a lot of the companies that I worked for, they offered, um, you know, coaching at different levels and things like that.

But, um, you know, it was one of those things too, where I had. Somebody very early in career. At one point I know coming to me, um, you know, wanting to be my coach. And I remember having a conversation with my manager, just asking them, you know, what do you think, um, all glean out of, out of this situation and, uh, each each opportunity, um, where we.

I just didn't exactly walk away with something that I felt was a value. Um, and so, you know, [00:24:00] when, when your clients are meeting with you, I guess, how do you calibrate, you know, where they are versus, you know, kind of, um, you know, your background and then also, you know, how do you make sure that they walk away with something that they feel is a value?

Bella Englebach, CPC: The number one thing is that it is. Process and the coaching is for them. Right. So I don't know about you Don, but if you have experience like I do, it's very easy to fall into teaching and say, well, you know, I had a situation like this and I did that. Right. Well, you're not in that situation. Okay. You're not that they're at a different company.

They're a different place. That background is different. So I, so I try to stay away from that. I really have them decide of what it is they want to do. What's the next step that they want to take. And, uh, what I do is really proud, deep, reflective [00:25:00] thinking. So I, um, my clients, I think will sometimes hear me say, they'll say, well, what I learned was this and I'll listen.

And then I will try to ask questions that will approach. You know, was there something else that they learned, um, did you know, is there something else that could be seen from that, that they perhaps haven't perceived yet? And that I believe is what's valuable to people is not that I have the world's best advice because I would, I absolutely did not have the world's best advice of any coach who tells you that is lying, but I am pretty good at helping people.

Take the next step in this thinking and, you know, really think through either what they're going to do. And like I said, why they got to do it? What's the hypothesis. And. Think about what they've actually learned from something. And so I, you know, it's a client could come into a meeting and there'll be super [00:26:00] excited sometimes because they tried something and it worked, but I've actually had a client come into.

I mean, they'd be super excited cause they tried something and it totally bombed. It was like, and then my ballet, I learned so much from that. That was great. Um, and my job as a coach is to make sure if they're going to do some of these risky, that they, that is not super risky. Right. You know, they're not going to go in and do them.

If their plan is they're going to go in a yell at their boss, we'll have a conversation about that. Right. Because that would probably, that would be too risky. Uh, but, you know, we might, we, we would have a conversation about, well, you know, what's your hypothesis about what the boss needs to hear. Right.

Okay. Do you have any evidence for that? Okay. And then what might you try? That would be a quick experiment, as opposed to, you know, I'm going to go and do something it's gonna blow my career up. So, um, yeah, that's, that's my coaching style and it really it's about them. It's um, it's a. They take the steps.

They, [00:27:00] they, they do where that, what they want to do. And hopefully I help them think about it more deeply.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, it is one of the things that I've, that I've loved about, you know, myself getting certified in coaching. And then I have, you know, directors and above, um, coaching clients as well. And, and, um, just kind of understanding the boundaries of, of that walk right.

Is, is important. Um, but yeah. That whole idea of delivering value is something that's always in the back of my mind is, you know, how do you as a coach, make sure that the people that you're coaching, you know, get the most value out of it. Cause I, you know, I just, I look at what these people are trying to do and overall, if they go and get out there in the world and they do good, then, um, you know, it's overall beneficial for the entire environment.

So for sure.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, that there is a. The, at least the idea there, the return on [00:28:00] investment in coaching is, is, is multiple, right. You know, for every dollar that you spend on coaching, you'll get, um, you know, out of what is it, a hundred, a hundred dollars back in FA it value, whatever that value is to you and whether that's, uh, you know, the, the, uh, the promotion that you're looking for, which I would never promise that, or it's, um, you know, you've, you sleep better at night.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: And then you also have a book titled creatively lean. Can you tell us about the book?

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. So the book is called, uh, creatively lean, how to get out of your own way and drive innovation throughout your organization. So, one of the things that, um, you know, I mentioned this I'm very interested in, when we talk about lean, what are the things that are kind of likely, and, or that could enhance our lean thinking?

One of the things that I really care about. Believe can enhance. I mean, thinking is really understanding how creativity [00:29:00] works. So I'm also a certified creative problem solving facilitated, and, um, in creative problem solving, we learned about. Divergent thinking, which is like how to think broadly and convergent thinking, which is how to select and move forward and strengthen ideas.

So there's a cycle of diversion thinking conversion thinking. So as I was learning various lean tools or various lean ways of problem solving, one of the things I thought was interesting, it was, there was not a lot of discussion at any point about. Should I be negligently or conversationally and lean and six Sigma, especially have a lot of tools and approaches for confidence.

How do you pick something? So you can think of it like, like your prioritization matrices, for example, that's about, that's about converging. That's about picking something, but how do you get all the stuff that goes into the, into the matrix? And the other thing that I had observed in particularly working in research and development was a, one of the things that really scared people [00:30:00] away about lean was this idea of.

Th that people had, that was, it was all about convergence. It was all about, about being, you know, we was talking before it. So it was all about getting to that stat at work and, and making sure that everything was very, very, um, uh, focused. And that meant that there was no room for innovation. And as you know, Don, when you're working with a scientist, particularly someone who is saying discovery.

Their mind is all over the place that they can wacky stuff, interesting stuff, connecting ideas all the time. Right? So you try to take them and you bring them in and said, well, we're going to do lean and we're going to 5s your office. You know, they'll probably kill you. So you don't, you don't want to do that.

5s is a way of organizing your workplace, right? So you don't argue, you don't organize somebody else's office. And so. Um, what I, as I, as I worked on my own personal practice, I developed ways of using diversion thinking and convergent thinking in things like, like [00:31:00] I'm doing an a three. So I have a big believer in, in the, a three for this, for certain types of problems.

Right. Um, but, um, in, um, the, the marvelous book about a threes, which I've probably, I don't have a copy on my desk right now. Um, uh, got like six copies over there. This, you know, actually there's a lot of great books, but threes, but, but, um, It never mentioned I vision thinking conference. I think you're, well, somebody needs to talk about this.

And of course, you know, there's also design thinking, which is, you know, brings these concepts in and has the, sort of the lean focus of, of, um, of having learning cycles that, you know, and do. Doing small iterations. Right. So I wanted to be sure, I wasn't sort of reinventing design thinking because the spread of brains and mine that have done that.

Um, so I really just pulled, I pulled things from my own practice and I ended up writing a business novel, which was the last thing I thought I would write. It's actually [00:32:00] about, we talked about middle managers. It's actually about a middle manager and how she S she uses both lean, lean approach. Creative problem solving tools to, to solve problems in her organization, then have a better and happier organization.

So, yeah. So thanks for asking about the book. Yeah. I like

Don Davis PhD, MBA: quite a few of those, uh, the business style novels. Um, I don't think I would ever be talented enough to write a story in the, in that, uh, method. Right. So good. Uh, good work on your behalf to, uh, to be able to pull that one.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Well, you know, devastate Navidad.

Cause I was not going to write a business novel. When I sat down to write this bucket, it was going to be an instruction book. Right. Cause that's like, I'm like, give me the instructions. Sure. But I was actually persuaded by, uh, my behind the scenes writing partner that it was very important for my voice to come out, that it shouldn't sound like an instructional manual.

So it seemed actually that to [00:33:00] tell a story was the best way to do that. So that's how we ended up where we are.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, right. So I'm in the middle east, interestingly enough, I'm in the middle right now, the book proposal process. So, uh, so we'll see what happens at the end with my, uh, with my book as well. But, uh, um, so, um, I've, I've also heard you say in terms of your coaching style that you use the Toyota coaching methodology, what is that?

Bella Englebach, CPC: So actually, so what I do is, is I use, uh, the term CUDA, uh, coaching methodology. So for people who don't know, cut it cut. It is a practice that has been, was codified by a candidate. My Roth Mike is a professor at university of Michigan, which is where they do a lot of great academic research on lane. And what.

Done is, is really written down. What is the [00:34:00] coaching pattern that Toyota managers use with their employees? And actually, you know what, Dan is the scientific method, right? And the purpose is to teach scientific thinking. So. I have to say, I know that some of the people who are like really, really, really into cut it will say, well, I do it wrong.

Um, and I probably do do it wrong. Um, but what I, what I, what I talk about using the cutter that really is about following the practice, a CUDA is a martial arts practice, you know, that you do over and over again to it, but with the way that you, um, that you move, right, right. What would I use the cut? And what it means is is when someone comes into a coaching session with me, we're going to start out with the same questions.

Every time, every single time we're going to have the same questions. It's not going to be different. Now we're going to, as we get into what we're talking [00:35:00] about, they're going to be different questions, but there's going to be a basic fundamental pattern. And the pattern is this, what is your challenge?

Which is what's the big thing you're aiming for? What is. Where are you in the process? And then they would probably, they would probably, they're probably working on a target condition. So what should target conditions? So what's a target condition. So you can think of from a life scientist perspective, you can think of the target condition is the, the, the challenge might be, I want to get this new product on the right.

Right from a target condition, would meat might be something smaller? Like I want to write this protocol, right? So you're working on the big thing, but you're really only working on a small thing right now. That's the target condition when you achieve that target condition that that should hypothesis get you closer to your child.

And, and then, and then the next set of [00:36:00] questions is, are, are around. What, what did, what was your last experiment? What did you just do well, and what did you expect to have. That's your hypothesis. Right. And what actually happened? What did you learn? I would we always talk about what did we learn, right. And, um, uh, probably in a coaching session, wherever we spend most of the time focusing on what did we learn and then, okay, well, what's, you know, what's your next step going?

And then, um, if you achieve a target condition, we always have a little zoom party. You know, I go like this, it was just listening. I'm like jumping up and down, waving my hands. I've been jazz hands. Um, if you don't like parties, we did. But it's this. So it's just, it's just a pattern. And I've kind of put that on top of us, uh, you know, a certified professional coach.

So kind of put that on top of the, um, you know, the, the coaching steps that you learn when you're learning to be a coach. So I'll do what I do, intake of a [00:37:00] new client. We'll go through a lot of questions, you know, that will help us start to understand what their challenge might be, that they want to work on.

Um, and, uh, But, um, I don't necessarily, um, once, once we're in the process is probably more focused on the cut it just because it really helps scientists be scientific about things that they're not used to be unscientific about.

for that

Don Davis PhD, MBA: absolutely critical. So there are three questions that I like to ask every guest, Bella, what inspires you?

Bella Englebach, CPC: What inspires me. Um, I, this is going to sound so trite and my grandchildren. So much fun and they're just great little scientists. They love to do experiments, even if they don't know that they're doing experiment.

So I just, it just inspires me to watch them, see them [00:38:00] try things. And then we have conversations about. What did you think was going to happen? And what did you learn? Uh, my granddaughter actually, she's taking singing lessons, proud grandma, and she actually has a visual board for her singing lesson. So while she's working on what she, and what she's learned, so that's, uh, yeah, that's, it's great to see little kids be real scientists.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: It's funny to me how. I mean, a lot of things in the world have evolved. Um, and whenever you, whenever you talked about your inspiration, um, or in my mind, Was, you know, back to education because, um, this whole idea of having standardized learning where all the kids are kind of fit through the same exact thing.

They're not allowed to creatively think they're not really problem solving. They're more or less playing chutes and ladders every single day with the, you know, colored cards, trying to figure out how to get from the initial. You know, started the game to the end with those strategy or anything [00:39:00] else. And, and, um, it's one of the things that I'd love to see, you know, the education, the education of children and our grandchildren continue to evolve, to use the tools that are being used in industry.

Um, and, you know, teach people, things like creative problem solving and things like that through their process. And that's what I heard you kind of highlight. Yeah.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Yeah. Yeah. I'll definitely other school systems that are doing that. Um, so, uh, there, there are school systems that are really into improvement.

Um, so, uh, any of your, your watches, Alyssa, so interested in that, you know, check, check those at the school systems out there doing some really, really cool stuff.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: And what concerns you?

Music: I think, you

Bella Englebach, CPC: know, the thing that concerns me the most right now, The anti-science moving movement. I really, really worries me that people who are, you [00:40:00] know, just don't get science, don't understand science who want a certain, I'd say when, uh, you know, as you and I know Don and, and your, your, uh, listeners and watches know science, doesn't always provide that, that perfect answer.

You have to keep getting more data and doing more work and. Uh, you know, the fact that we can get out of this pandemic because people are afraid of vaccines. Um, to me, You know, that's that really concerns me. It concerns me that we can take scientific approaches to solving problems with, um, with climate change, you know, that, uh, that people are just not believed and that there's this idea that some sort of cause, you know, there's conspiracies going on.

That that really concerns me. And I would love to see. Um, a change in that. Um, and it's actually something that I've been concerned about for a long time. Uh, I'll kind of horrified to see how far along they anti-science movement has come. [00:41:00]

Don Davis PhD, MBA: That's a

Bella Englebach, CPC: downer. That's a real downer. I got to say.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yeah, but this last week, I, I, I, somebody highlighted for me, they said that, uh, the new sort of, you know, mainstream thing that people are talking about for curing COVID is drinking your own urine now.

And I was just like, you know, look at between that and drinking bleach and exposing yourself to light. I mean, I, okay. You guys can believe whatever you want, but what's your, you know, what are you doing to actually validate these decisions before you go and do something crazy? I mean, come on. Um, I, I would much rather go take a shot then, uh, then, you know, drink my own urine.

So.

Bella Englebach, CPC: And that's that? That's it. Folks. Don will not drink his own.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: I'm a flat, no, on that one. Sorry. Um, what excites

Music: you?

Bella Englebach, CPC: Oh my gosh. What excites me is actually seeing things like, uh, [00:42:00] People who are learning to use scientific thinking. Um, that that really excites me. There's a huge movement, um, that people who live in Canada and, uh, that really excites me, that there are people who are living to, to think scientifically, even if they have never thought of themselves as being a scientist.

Um, and then the other thing that excites me is just in the lean community. How many, um, women have, I really started to get their voices heard, and it's not just because of my podcast, which is a very small piece of that, but that there are many more women. I think if you go to a conference, you go see a woman on the stage.

You're going to see what women and people of color, um, leading workshops. You're going to see more publications. You're going to hear more voices on. Uh, from, you know, for the people that you haven't heard from. And that's really exciting because the more people we have, they came out and problems we have in the world, the more chance [00:43:00] we have of solving some of those problems and making me less concerned about what's going on so that I find that very, very exciting and, um, you know, anything that anyone can do to, to move that forward.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Well, especially on Martin Luther king day, the day that we're recording this. Right. I mean, what an important thing to mention as well, just, um, you know, just any, any, um, you know, under underrepresented population, just having them have a platform to be able to speak out is important and should excite us all.

Music: Absolutely.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Well, Bella Englebach, I wanted to. Uh, thank you for being a guest here on the podcast. And, uh, thank you for spending time with me. I greatly appreciate it. And, uh, for all of our listeners, how can they get in touch with you or how, how can they find.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Uh, you could always find me on LinkedIn. If you're one of those people who uses [00:44:00] LinkedIn, I'm the only Bella Englebach at LinkedIn. He won't have any problem finding me. Uh, and, uh, my, uh, website is lean for humans or what would dot, uh, dot com. Dot com and there, you can also find a link to the podcast and you can order an autographed copy of the book.

And I just love to talk to people. So reach out to me, always. Good, good. For a cup of coffee, virtual.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yes. Very nice. And, um, so on the podcast website for, at www.lifesciencesuccess.com, we will have the transcript of this episode as well as links to get in touch with Bella as well. Thank you so much, Bella. .

[00:45:00]

, I wanted to. Uh, thank you for being a guest here on the podcast. And, uh, thank you for spending time with me. I greatly appreciate it. And, uh, for all of our listeners, how can they get in touch with you or how, how can they find.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Uh, you could always find me on LinkedIn. If you're one of those people who uses [00:44:00] LinkedIn, I'm the only Bella anchor back at LinkedIn. He won't have any problem finding me. Uh, and, uh, my, uh, website is lean for humans or what would dot, uh, dot com. Dot com and there, you can also find a link to the podcast and you can order an autographed copy of the book.

And I just love to talk to people. So reach out to me, always. Good, good. For a cup of coffee, virtual.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yes. Very nice. And, um, so on the podcast website for, at www.lifesciencesuccess.com, we will have the transcript of this episode as well as links to get in touch with Bella as well. Thank you so much, Bella. .

[00:45:00]

, I wanted to. Uh, thank you for being a guest here on the podcast. And, uh, thank you for spending time with me. I greatly appreciate it. And, uh, for all of our listeners, how can they get in touch with you or how, how can they find.

Bella Englebach, CPC: Uh, you could always find me on LinkedIn. If you're one of those people who uses [00:44:00] LinkedIn, I'm the only Bella anchor back at LinkedIn. He won't have any problem finding me. Uh, and, uh, my, uh, website is lean for humans or what would dot, uh, dot com. Dot com and there, you can also find a link to the podcast and you can order an autographed copy of the book.

And I just love to talk to people. So reach out to me, always. Good, good. For a cup of coffee, virtual.

Don Davis PhD, MBA: Yes. Very nice. And, um, so on the podcast website for, at www.lifesciencesuccess.com, we will have the transcript of this episode as well as links to get in touch with Bella as well. Thank you so much, Bella. .

[00:45:00]