SSON Podcast: Paul Bartley [Episode 60]



Seth Adler
06/04/2018


"We had our own name. We had our own logo. People were taught that they are part of this thing called shared services. And they started wearing t-shirts and putting the logo up in their cubicles and identifying with that. You'd be surprised at how that brings people together. People who were formerly – and still are - accountants or HR people or real estate people, originally didn't see themselves as brothers and sisters with all those other groups. They're really all part of one thing that's supporting the mission."

Paul Bartley




Listen to the podcast above – or read the transcript below.




Paul Bartley joins us and gives us three things GBS executives should be doing right now. Number one is to access complete data to ensure you can accurately measure progress from your control. Number two is to remember that no matter the technology, change management is more important than the technology. And three is to keep innovating. And on innovation, branding your group goes a long way.


Seth Adler: Paul Bartley joins us on B2B IQ. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Download episodes on ssonetwork.com through our app in Itunes within the Itunes podcast app and Google Play or wherever you currently get your podcasts. First, a word from our onsite podcast studio sponsor from SSOW Orlando. We share another piece of a conversation I had with Ian Barkin and AJ Hannah from Symphony. Following that, Paul Bartley. So understanding that the kind of spectrum of opportunity is vast and there are folks that really are on the front end. And there are folks that have invested and are on the journey in a real and true way. As far as opportunity is concerned, how are you looking at that now?

Paul Bartley:   I think what we're looking at is that there are still so many untapped areas of potential. One of my backgrounds in healthcare, there are tons of untapped opportunities in the healthcare realm. It's mostly been back office for those who have started a pursuit, but it really is about more than that. It's about things that you can do in a clinical setting. It's about things you can do with revenue cycle and it's becoming a situation where that's starting to move in the right direction I think. But there are so many things out there that people haven't even considered yet.

Seth Adler: : Yeah. I think it's become part of the natural vocabulary of an enterprise is they're trying to adapt, adopt change, survive. So everyone is trying to figure out how this fits into the existing tool set of things they were already doing within their organization. Continuous improvement and work flow and ticketing and shared servicing and offshoring and outsourcing. But this is bedded in. This word in the vocabulary is here to stay.

Paul Bartley: It is. Now it's just how capable they are at coupling it in with all the other words and end up buying it effectively.

Seth Adler: Paul Bartley, formerly with Becton Dickinson, also knows as BD.

Paul Bartley: Sure. My title is Director of Global Shared Services.

Seth Adler: Formerly.

Paul Bartley: Formerly.

Seth Adler: Okay. But you still have the knowledge.

Paul Bartley: Some, yeah.

Seth Adler: And especially here. But we do have fun here at SSOW right?

Paul Bartley: They have a captain of fun according to the publicity.

Seth Adler: Sure.

Paul Bartley: A person who's just-

Seth Adler: Literally in charge of fun.

Paul Bartley: Yeah. I think that's who brought the mimosas this morning.

Seth Adler: Must have been. Must have been. So we're here in Orlando and I guess what would be great to do with you is kind of get your sense of where shared services is, where we are as far as GBS. Where we are as far as automation.

Paul Bartley: Okay.

Seth Adler: Give us a sense of how long you've been playing this game.

Paul Bartley: Okay.

Seth Adler: How many years are we learning from here?

Paul Bartley: So I've been involved with shared services for about 10 years, a little over.

Seth Adler: Okay. Paul Bartley: Really two different roles. One, operating a center. So making sure transactions are performed properly and -

Seth Adler: Actually happening.

Paul Bartley: Yeah. Delivering them. Then more recently, my job at BD was more of a strategic person. So nobody ever called me and said my payment didn't get made because that wasn't my job. However, talking to the payments people and saying, "Hey. We can do this for you, we can do that for you. And how about if we do it in Asia where it's half as expensive?"

Seth Adler: Uh-huh.

Paul Bartley: That's my job.

Seth Adler: Got it.

Paul Bartley: So two sides of the same coin, bringing people into the model and then delivery.

Seth Adler: Let's do it this way. As far as running a center, let's take three things that folks that do do that, that have that on their remit, or under their remit, I'm not sure of the pronoun there or adverb or what have you. Perhaps it's an antecedent, but pay no mind.

Paul Bartley: Preposition.

Seth Adler: Sure. I think that's really what it is. Three things they should absolutely be doing and thinking. Three things they should absolutely not be doing.

Paul Bartley: Okay. Well I can give you number one; number one is easy. When you start out, you have to know how things are at current state. One of the things that I learned the hard way because I was brought in after the organization was set up and running, is that if you don't set that baseline, all of your customers have this wonderful memory of how things were. And it's all great and wonderful until you guys came along and took it away from us and started trying to do things with it.

Seth Adler: You ruined it.

Paul Bartley: Yeah, exactly. When in fact, you have a feeling, and sometimes you have some data but not full data that you actually have improved things. And it takes a login time to show over time, yes, well maybe we don't have the baseline from when you guys did it, but at least I can show you where we're improving from when we had it. But ideally, when you're at the very beginning and talking about moving things into the model, you want to measure that. One of the first things you want to do is measure that.

Seth Adler: Set the metrics.

Paul Bartley: That's right. People don't think about that because they're in a big hurry to find the location, or get everybody motivated and a lot of important things. Yeah, a lot of important things to think about, but that's one of the foundational things that you have to do.

Seth Adler: Okay. And yes, there are so many things to focus on that it's easy to forget that very important piece.

Paul Bartley: That's right.

Seth Adler: How would you do it without that piece?

Paul Bartley: You learn the hard way.

Seth Adler: Exactly. All right, number two.

Paul Bartley: Number two? I would say keeping in mind that a change of management is way more important than the technology. I won't tell you how old I am, but when I started in the workforce, technology did not have the impact that it's having today. And there were a lot of failures. There were a lot of products and software that came out that just didn't work.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: By and large, we're at a point now where that's been shaken out. Email works 99.9% of the time.

Seth Adler: Sure.

Paul Bartley: And your travel systems work. Your ERP's generally work. So the technology is not so much a focus anymore. However, people are the same as they've always been.

Seth Adler: What do you mean by that?

Paul Bartley: What I mean is that, if you're going to do something against human nature, like take away somebody's most important thing, do it for them and expect them to think that's fine and great, then you have some lessons to learn.

Seth Adler: So now let's unpack it because once we're in this change management world, you just explained how dangerous it is. How do you remove what is certainly fraught with danger?

Paul Bartley: My approach has always been find out what is most important to the function that you're working with.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Paul Bartley: Generally, HR leaders don't want to get mired in transactional processing recruitments, or processing promotions or making sure people's data is correct. That's really not why they got an HR degree and became the head of HR. They want to think about succession planning and how do we get ready for the future and all these things that aren't necessarily transaction related. So what you have to do is meet them where they are. Say, "Look. I can take these things that are less important to you off your hands. I know how to do them well. I can demonstrate that and it helps if you have a track record or can create one."

Seth Adler: And actually do those things well.

Paul Bartley: Exactly. So the change management is key. Seth Adler: So that's number two. Now, number three.

Paul Bartley: Number three. I would say innovate, innovate, innovate. That's, I think we're going to get into this maybe a little bit later, the state of shared services, where are we today?

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: A lot of groups, a lot of companies, a lot of organizations, have gotten the labor savings that we're going to get. They've moved the jobs to the lower cost areas. They figured out how to get to labor arbitrage. So now it's a question of how do you improve your processes? How do you use robotics? How do you use all these new technologies to get that next level of savings? Seth Adler: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paul Bartley: The labor arbitrage is huge. Most organizations get 30% plus when they move jobs from one location to another. But how do you get 30% more? That's really tough. So innovation is certainly the way to do that.

Seth Adler: All right. You're right. We will put a pin in that and come back to it.

Paul Bartley: Okay.

Seth Adler: Here's three things if you're operating. Not strategy, if you're operating. Three things, just please never do these things.

Paul Bartley: Ignore your customers. That would be- Seth Adler: Don't ignore your customers.

Paul Bartley: Don't ignore your customers.

Seth Adler: Fair enough, just wanted to make sure. Paul Bartley: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Believe it or not, people don't want to hear every week that you've made payroll properly. They don't generally want to think about payroll. They just want it to happen. So you don't want to bug them to death, but you also don't want to ignore them. So maybe, payroll is one of those activities that's in shared services ... most shared services conduct. And it's probably one of the most mature. It's one of the most regular and usually working well. So you wan tot make sure you're communicating that it's working well, but not too much but not too little. So it's that.

Seth Adler: Oh. Nice fine line. Seth Adler: How do you find that though? In all seriousness, if I need to kind of talk about it but not shout about it and not be silent about it, where do you find that nice mix?

Paul Bartley: I've found that when you schedule a meeting and your customers stop coming, that means you're over communicating. Seth Adler: We're good. We don't need that anymore.

Paul Bartley: Right. If you're handing them an inch thick KPI report that they probably never open and you can tell because you now have a way of doing that technologically. Seth Adler: Sure. Paul Bartley: That's probably a sign too. However at the beginning, when you're first rolling out your initiatives and you're bringing things into the model, you probably need a little bit of an over communication. You're holding their hands and reassuring them, that type of thing. So, my do not is do not ignore customers. Seth Adler: Got it. That's one. That's a big one. And there probably doesn't need to be the other two. Paul Bartley: Right. Seth Adler: But if you could.

Paul Bartley: The other two, I would say, in a similar vain, do not ignore your people. Seth Adler: Okay. Paul Bartley: I think a lot of, at least in the early days, shared services was seen as the back office, the cogs in the machine. These aren't actually really even people, they're just kind of doing their thing. And if you treat them like that, you're going to get what that kind of system would produce, which is no innovation, no motivation. One of the things that I've done in my previous job before BD was really connect the people that work for you with the mission of the organization. So if you're Coca Cola and you're making soft drinks, you really have to connect that person who makes payments or does payroll or does HR, with the mission of providing the world with this wonderful tasting drink.

Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: I was with the US Department of Health and Human Services. Our mission was the health and safety of Americans and it's a high calling. You want to make people better. You want to make them healthy.

Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: And knowing that our group was doing it's thing meant that the agency was performing it's mission. So you have to connect people to that. You can't pretend like they're not ... or you can't believe that they're not needed, that they're not an important part of the mission. So connecting them with the mission.

Seth Adler: Yeah. It's interesting how easily that step is somehow, sometimes forgotten.

Paul Bartley: Yeah.

Seth Adler: All right. Number three. Then we'll dive into innovate.

Paul Bartley: Okay. My third ... I'm a big branding person and this is not something that's that common in shared services. Some groups do more than others, ignoring your brand is fraught with peril.

Seth Adler: Okay. I just want to make sure to kind of biforcate here because you mentioned mission and now you're mentioning brand. Just share the difference. It might be obvious, but tell us what you mean.

Paul Bartley: No, I'm glad you asked. I don't mean the brand of the company. I mean the brand of your group. Very important. Within health and human services, the agency I was at, we had our own name. We had our own logo. People were taught that they are part of this thing called shared services. And they started wearing t-shirts and putting the logo up in their cubicles and identifying with that. You'd be surprised at how that brings people together. People who were formally, and still are, accountants or HR people or real estate people, originally didn't see themselves as brothers and sisters with all those other groups.

Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: But when you unite them under a brand, now they feel like they can learn from the others and they hang out with them and they talk to them and they don't act like they're aliens when they walk down the hall. They're really all part of one thing that's supporting the missions.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: And ignoring branding again, is fraught with peril because you're going to have a brand. You're going to be known for something.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: Do you wanna set that and put some messages out there? Or do you want somebody else, your customers, maybe the customers that are unhappy, to set your brand?

Seth Adler: So what would you say to folks, and I'm sure there's plenty of them, that say, this brand stuff that you're talking about, that's fantastic. You can do that. I don't need to.

Paul Bartley: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Because this is a waste of time as far as I'm concerned. I've got other stuff to do here Paul.

Paul Bartley: Lots of detractors. So, I'll give you one other example. We also brand initiatives. I had one of the most fanatically amazing successful initiatives. This was about three or four years ago.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: We called it high gear and we used little gear motif, everything. We had little pins with gears and all the materials for all the meetings were high gear. We had all these cutesy little things. But it worked. Everybody knew what high gear was. We had multiple initiatives under this umbrella. And they actually all succeeded. It's an amazing thing because a lot of times, half your things work out, the other half kind of get forgotten or not quite done.

Seth Adler: Right. Which is usually fine anyway.

Paul Bartley: Yeah, really. So I was kind of amazed about this. A year later, looking back on that initiative I said, "You know, we really need another push like that. We really made a lot of progress. Let's have another initiative." We never came up with a name. We kept trying to come up with something that ... the next thing after high gear. It couldn't be high gear because everybody knew what that was and that was over. So we wanted a new name.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: We actually never came up with a name. The initiative failed. We couldn't even have meetings. It was a really long title for the meeting, follow on to high gear initiatives. And nobody can rally around that. And it's so goofy that you would think that something like a name would not have any bearing on whether ... you know, good project manager, or good requirements. These are all the things you have to have for a successful project.

Seth Adler: Sure.

Paul Bartley: Definitely. But, if you have no branding, nothing to rally around, it's going to be really hard to get them interested. Seth Adler: It's interesting that you're able to compare the two. I literally did this twice, the one with the name, ultimately successful. The one without it -

Paul Bartley: And the branding of the center takes time. The initiative was easy because you're ... every time you have a PowerPoint, it's on the front page, it's in the footer, you mention it. The names of the meetings are that initiative.

Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: So it's a little tougher with the center. We used to print up posters and put them in the hallways. We would do broadcast messages with the branding. When we'd talk to out customers or put reports together, we would use it. I was the bad guy and forced everybody to adopt PowerPoint branding. Seth Adler: The template. Paul Bartley: The template, yeah. And I would yell at people who used the old one or use the accounting one. Seth Adler: Right. Paul Bartley: Or the real estate one. You're supposed to be using the program support center one. Seth Adler: But it sounds like that kind of attention to detail exactly. Paul Bartley: We did, to give you another example, the email signatures used to be every division and function or whatever, all these different titles. Nobody knew who we were.

Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: And I made all 3,000 people in the group change it to one logo and we used consistent titles. Seth Adler: Huh. Paul Bartley: It was a big fight. It took about six months to do that.

Seth Adler: Look at that.

Paul Bartley: And I was in charge of the group, so you can imagine.

Seth Adler: Yeah, sure. But it was worth it is what you're saying. Paul Bartley: I think it is. Seth Adler: You are saying both things at the same time, which is yes it takes time. Yes, it was painstaking and yes, it was absolutely worth it.

Paul Bartley: I'll give you a private sector example. I know the former head of General Motors shared services, huge operation. I think they've got 10,000 people in shared services. She did the same thing. In fact, I went and visited GM several years after she started. They had mugs, the people in the ... you know, they gave us a tour of the place. They had t-shirts and it was all branded with their GBS and everybody knew who GBS was.

Seth Adler: There we go. Paul Bartley: It was really amazing. Yeah, it's great when you see it and you can tell when it's not there. Seth Adler: So that is one way to innovate. But let's actually talk about, oh I don't know, automation. Right? Why not? We're here.

Paul Bartley: Sure.

Seth Adler: What's your sense of where we are as an industry, if you want to give some BD examples, please do.

Paul Bartley: Sure.

Seth Adler: Maybe let's start there as far as the automation journey. Where were you when you took off and where do you think we are as an industry generally?

Paul Bartley: Okay. BD is actually quite far ahead when it comes to RPA.

Seth Adler: Good.

Paul Bartley: Not my doing. I wish I could take credit for it. They started about six months before I joined. Today, they've got 100 bots in production and about 200 in development. A very robust program.

Seth Adler: I've been told not to measure it that way.

Paul Bartley: Okay. Well, that's right. You're a smart man. What is a bot? What's a process? What's a task? But, that's the way we express it.

Seth Adler: Talk about the change management piece of that. Right?

Paul Bartley: Yeah. Seth Adler: Yes okay, so fine. What you're saying is there has been an investment, we are absolutely in here. Talk about the change management piece.

Paul Bartley: Right. BD was really smart when it came to this technology. I think some organizations make the mistake of scaring people. And as an aside, this is kind of the first time we've named a technology and made it human. It's such a strange thing to me as a branding guy. Somebody five years ago or six years ago, whenever this came about, decided, "Hey. Let's name it bots and let's make it," people name their bots. We named our first bot. Seth Adler: Sure.

Paul Bartley: It was Kbot, the Korean order entry bot, it was Kbot. I know companies who send out offer letters that say Congratulations. You're the first employee hired by a bot. This letter was created by a bot. I'm not sure I would go that far. That's kind of creepy, scary, not so sure.

Seth Adler: Well, that's the erring on the side of, if it did happen that way, tell them it happened that way. Paul Bartley: Well, yeah. Seth Adler: And then maybe celebrate it. Why not?

Paul Bartley: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Its funny, and I like to go back to the banking industry and tellers, right? I'm old enough to remember before ATMs. Seth Adler: Oh sure. Likewise.

Paul Bartley: So believe it or not, people had to walk into the bank and get cash.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: So let's talk about the roll out of the ATM machine. Did they say, did they name the machine Suzie whatever? No, no, no. Did they make it in a human form with a hand and the money comes, is coming out of the hand and then it gives it to you? No way. It was a machine. It was clearly a machine. We didn't try to humanize that at all.

Seth Adler: They could have named it Adam.

Paul Bartley: Well, sure. But, instead, now, today, we are taking something that is basically a piece of code. It's -

Seth Adler: Not even an actual bot.

Paul Bartley: -right. There's no face, there's no hands. No voice, sometimes a voice. Seth Adler: Why do you think that we're doing that?

Paul Bartley: I think it was ... actually, there are some good reasons for it.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Paul Bartley: I think it was a marketing ploy originally. But there are some good reasons. One very important reason is that this code is treated like humans. This code logs in. It sends messages. It "reads." It "learns," depending on how sophisticated you want to make those terms. Or not very sophisticated.

Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: This technology is different from the ERP system. An ERP system sits there and waits for humans to log in and do things. This type of code logs into other systems and utilizes them in a human way. Seth Adler: So, to that end, right? We've been dropping in change management as we've gone here in this conversation. Let's just say you've got a brand new Fortune 500 company with all of the trimmings, right? And you've got all of your resources at your fingertips. As far as change management, what is your advise? What are you sharing with folks on how to integrate the human workforce with the intelligent workforce?

Paul Bartley: Yeah. Let me go back to BD. It might be the example because I took a step back there.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: What BD has done has said, essentially, "We're not going to let anybody go because of this technology." And they have not. Seth Adler: Good.

Paul Bartley: I'm sure that we have not hired in some areas because the bots are not there, but we have never fired a person because a bot came along. Seth Adler: So attrition, we will allow that to happen.

Paul Bartley: Yeah.

Seth Adler: But there is no cut.

Paul Bartley: And it was not only expressed, but it's true. Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: The way BD has positioned this is, we will make your job more interesting. You know how you spend about 25% of your time doing this mind numbing thing of copying from one system into another and there's no value added. It's just make sure you do it as accurately as you can. That's the kind of thing that we can take away from your world, make faster, better and cheaper, and let you focus on the things that are more exciting to you. I go back to the earlier example of human resource person doesn't want to deal with transactions, they want to do that cool planning and how do we anticipate things and how can I help you with some effort that you're taking.

Seth Adler: We're actually allowing that to happen.

Paul Bartley: That's right. So the shared services arena is becoming smarter and more analytical and less transactional in the sense that the people's roles are changing. Of course we're still getting all that work done. It's just being done by bots.

Seth Adler: Yeah. People's roles are changing. They're being elevated.

Paul Bartley: Right. Exactly. That's how BD has positioned this. Not all companies have done that. I know, especially in industries where the bots actually displace large numbers of people, it's harder to do that.

Seth Adler: Yeah. So strategically then, if we did the lessons about operationally, right. Strategically, what should folks be thinking, especially as automation continues and folks continue on that automation journey? And what should they absolutely not be doing?

Paul Bartley: So it would really depend on where you're company or organization is in the journey. I still get calls from companies that say, "Hey Paul. Can you come in and help us start up our shared services group?"

Seth Adler: Still?

Paul Bartley: Oh, absolutely. I'm shocked. Yeah, it's true.

Seth Adler: Wow.

Paul Bartley: I get them very often.

Seth Adler: Got it. Paul Bartley: So there are companies-

Seth Adler: If you are lucky enough to be in that position, right?

Paul Bartley: Right.

Seth Adler: Because you can kind of invent it in the now.

Paul Bartley: So they're lucky in a way. Seth Adler: Yeah. Paul Bartley: So they need to do some planning and looking and preparing for this bot world ahead of companies who are just now thinking, "Hey. Maybe let's go talk to some vendors and figure this thing out." Because they're going to require a lot more change instead of setting off in the right direction. Seth Adler: Either go cognitive quick or with that-

Paul Bartley: A green field. Oh, absolutely, yeah. Well, let's look at the hiring. If you're ... the traditional hiring has been folks that are really good at that copying and pasting and that's a certain skill set.

Seth Adler: Detail orientation.

Paul Bartley: Exactly, yeah. That's not what you're going to need in the future. You're going to need somebody who knows how to program the bot. By the way, bots are not static. They're always ... the environment is always changing, they're always going to have to be reconfigured and changed and made better. And those are the kinds of people you're going to need. So that's a key part, the HR part.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Paul Bartley: Even your metrics. Maybe you're going to be measuring different things, or in a different way. So get those things set up at the beginning.

Seth Adler: Obviously things that you can and should do, if you've got an advanced organization for the ... you're a colleague at an advanced organization, what would you say?

Paul Bartley: That's already there? Or that's already got-

Seth Adler: We've got 30 years of shared service to help us.

Paul Bartley: Yeah. In some ways, it's just as challenging as starting out, maybe a little bit more because you're now having to unlearn or undo things that you're already doing. This was my experience at health and human services. We had a lot of paper based processes.

Seth Adler: Yeah. Paul Bartley: And believe it or not, there's a lot of companies today that still have some semblance of that. Seth Adler: Sure. Paul Bartley: Bots have a hard time opening the mail and reading ... I know we have OCR and stuff like that.

Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: Generally, you have to be digital in order for bots to work. Seth Adler: That's a great piece of just generally, if you still have the ... just one thing each organization just shouldn't be doing beyond the obvious, or maybe just the obvious, stating the obvious.

Paul Bartley: Ignoring this. That would be- Seth Adler: Don't ignore this. It's happening. Paul Bartley: And there are plenty of people with their head in the sand, that say this too will pass. This is the flavor of the month. This is about my third or fourth year at this conference where RPA and automation is a huge topic. Just look at the topics on the agenda.

Seth Adler: Look at the agenda, exactly. We're here at SSOW in Orlando again.

Paul Bartley: Yep. Seth Adler: All right. I feel like that does it for those questions. Paul Bartley: Very good.

Seth Adler: Here are these questions. I would love to check in with you down the line though if you don't mind.

Paul Bartley: Sure.

Seth Adler: Here are the final three questions. I'll tell you what they are. I'll ask you them in order. What's most surprised you at work along the way? What's most surprised you in life and on the soundtrack of your life? One track, one song that's got to be one there, Paul. But we'll get to that.

Paul Bartley: Oh my goodness. You've got to give me some time to think about these questions.

Seth Adler: That's all right. We'll get there. First things first. Along the way, you've got some public sector, you've got some private sector. What's most surprised you at work?

Paul Bartley: Hmm. I think what's surprised me the most at work in this particular industry, in the last 10 years.

Seth Adler: Sure. Yeah.

Paul Bartley: Is the friendliness, the willingness to help of the people. I started out in public accounting and not that public accountants aren't friendly and helpful, but generally I found, when you approach somebody in shared services and bare you soul and tell them about all your problems, they do the same thing back to you. Seth Adler: Yeah. Paul Bartley: Then you guys start figuring out how to make things better.

Seth Adler: The GBS crowd is a tight knit bunch. I will admit.

Paul Bartley: Isn't it? And they're absolutely willing to help. I've had companies tell me things that, you know, they probably shouldn't have even told me but it helped me learn something, helped them. I helped them, they helped me. Seth Adler: Yeah. Paul Bartley: It's a very collaborative space. And I think part of it is because it's new and we're all trying to feel our way. Most of the ideas that I've implemented, I stole from somebody else anyways.

Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: And hopefully they're doing the same thing. So I think that surprised me. Seth Adler: Yeah. Paul Bartley: You know, having been in a different industry before. Seth Adler: And was that straight accounting that you're talking about? Or even more of a different industry?

Paul Bartley: I was in tax, big four accounting firm. Seth Adler: Okay. Paul Bartley: Yeah. Seth Adler: It wasn't Anderson was it?

Paul Bartley: No, no, no. No, the firm is still around, so.

Seth Adler: Yeah. That's just for the folks because you had mentioned you remember before ATM's.

Paul Bartley: Oh, yeah, it could have been Anderson.

Seth Adler: Yeah, exactly.

Paul Bartley: Definitely.

Seth Adler: What's most surprised you in life?

Paul Bartley: How unpredictable it is. It's really ... I never would have guessed I'd be here if you would have asked me when I was 10, what are you going to be when you grow up.

Seth Adler: Here being what? Paul Bartley: Being a shared services leader.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Paul Bartley: I didn't even know what that was. Maybe it didn't even exist back then.

Seth Adler: Sure. Also, I feel like what you're saying is a leader of people too. Paul Bartley: Yeah. And that's one of the things I really enjoy, especially in my former role where I had such a large group. Touching them, explaining to them what are we really about, trying to unify them, that's really fun for me.

Seth Adler: And then almost igniting them, is kind of what I'm learning from you is actually turning the person on to the fullest extent.

Paul Bartley: Absolutely. No, I figured out from the very beginning, I'm not going to have all the great ideas. The people that are down on the front line, they're the ones with the ideas. It's trying to get them excited and empower them to actually implement some of those ideas, that's the fun part. And RPA actually is an enabler of that.

Seth Adler: Right. Paul Bartley: And it depends upon how the company implements it. Some companies do a top down RPA, we will tell you what we want to improve. Other ones ... I was at a conference recently with HP. They trained, I think, thousands of their employees on RPA and said, "Go forth and do good and implement the heck out of your world." Seth Adler: Wow.

Paul Bartley: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Really? Empowered them on the front lines to just go do it.

Paul Bartley: Yeah. I'm sure there's governance around it and and stuff. Seth Adler: Sure. Paul Bartley: But, when you do that, you give them the power to pick the thing that's their most boring and their most fruitful to have this technology and do. Yeah. That's the approach I like to take. Seth Adler: Right.

Paul Bartley: So songs, hmm. Seth Adler: This is a tough one. On the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on there. Paul Bartley: Gee, I'm just thinking of the death star-

Seth Adler: The Star Wars theme. Paul Bartley: -the Star Wars theme. Yeah.

Seth Adler: We can go with that. It's not yet. Paul Bartley: Okay, good. Seth Adler: It's rather ominous though, I should say.

Paul Bartley: We're coming empire.

Seth Adler: Paul, I appreciate your time. Paul Bartley: Okay. Seth Adler: We'll keep checking in with you.

Paul Bartley: Okay. Thanks.

Seth Adler: And there you have Paul Bartley. Very much appreciate his time, very much appreciate Ian and AJ's time from Symphony and to them for sponsoring the onsite podcast studio at SSOW Orlando. And finally, thank you for listening. Stay tuned.