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  • Writer's pictureAndy Goram

Why Traditional Management Training Fails

Traditional management training falls into some broad camps, two of which are programmes targeted at upskilling a specific range of employees based on role or capability, or one-to-one coaching and development. The latter has, until much more recently, been the bastion of the leadership group, the Executive, or the privileged. Today, this is where traditional management training fails, especially with a generational shift that has grown up with more choice, and instant access to information through technology, who expect and demand total personalisation as their default.

You attempt to tar-brush groups of employees with affordable, but broadly targeted management training help, which can miss the mark, or fail to engage with a fair percentage of that group, due to a specific lack of relevance or focus. Or you focus deeply personalised, relevant development on a special few, knowing that many more would benefit, but it comes at an unaffordable cost for many businesses. That was until recently. Technology is helping in this area too now and is helping democratise coaching at a far more palatable price.

In episode 66 of Sticky From The Inside, the popular employee engagement podcast, I spoke to Paul Burton of C-Coach, about what he's doing with technology in this space, to break down the accessibility barriers of personalised, one-to-one coaching for more businesses and their employees. This is a full transcript of that conversation, where Paul talks about the problems he's looking to solve, the link to changing human behaviour, and how you can combine human and technology to best effect in this area. You can also listen to the full conversation here.

Tow men recording a podcast on why traditional management training fails
Paul Burton from C-Coach (left) and host, Andy Goram (right) discuss democratising coaching

Podcast Introduction

Andy Goram (00:10):

Hello and welcome to Sticky From the Inside, the employee engagement podcast that looks at how to build stickier, competition-smashing, consistently successful organizations from the inside out. I'm your host, Andy Goram, and I'm on a mission to help more businesses turn the lights on behind the eyes of their employees, light the fires within them, and create tons more success for everyone. This podcast is for all those who believe that's something worth going after and would like a little help and guidance in achieving that. Each episode, we dive into the topics that can help create what I call stickier businesses, the sort of businesses where people thrive and love to work and where more customers stay with you and recommend you to others because they love what you do and why you do it. So, if you want to take the tricky out of being sticky, listen on.

What's The Problem With Traditional Management Training?


Okay then. To become a stickier business, you will probably need to overcome some kind of change hurdle at some point in your journey. But any organizational change, no matter how brilliant the plan, will often, if not always rely on a whole bunch of individual change, led and influenced by line managers. And I think this is sometimes what stops many businesses from really leaning into this stuff. How do we help line managers influence or get lots of different people to change what they've been individually doing, or the way they've been doing these things in the pursuit of organizational change? And that can feel so big as to be paralyzing at times. So instead, some leaders will plough on and focus on the task element of their plan, engineering every last element of it, and then just instruct their people on what they expect and leave them to it. Now, in my experience, that doesn't often lead or result in lasting sticky behavioral change.


Some will focus on task training. They'll get their plans off the ground, but often just fleetingly because without understanding trust and commitment and buy-in, which all lead to personal behavioral change, people mostly go back to doing what they were doing before or struggle to deliver what the new way needs consistently. And it's not just about organizational change either, just trying to change something in your personal life is a tricky thing too. There has to be a reason for the change. And then you have to find a way to permanently change the old habits and rituals. Until you change or modify the behavior, nothing, nothing will really stick long term. Training the task just isn't enough. You need to coach the behavior too. And that can take many different paths depending on the individual, which is another reason this stuff can be hard and end up being bypassed by organizations in their attempt to cope with complexity in as simple a way as possible.


So, how do we effectively change behavior? Well, with me today is Paul Burton. For years, Paul has been fascinated by human behavior and, through his work in big financial institutions and universities, has seen the benefits of building people's technical brilliance along with their ability to grow and utilize stronger human skills. Paul is now combining his passion for human behavior, personal development, and commerciality with technology, with his development of the C-Coach, a digital tool that can help people self-identify their behavioral blockers and present them with individually-targeted development content that gives them the tools, methods, and responsibility for their own behavioral development as leaders of people. Now, I'm really interested to speak to Paul today to hear his story and discuss what he believes are the secrets to long-lasting behavioral change. Welcome to the show, Paul.

Paul Burton (04:22):

Hi, Andy. Thanks for the opportunity. It's great to see you.

Andy Goram (04:24):

Yeah, really nice to have you with me today, mate. I'm looking forward to this conversation, any excuse to talk about human behavior and change and engagement, I'm all in my friend, so I'm looking forward to this.

Paul Burton (04:35):

Likewise. Likewise. I think we've chewed many an hour before now, haven't we? And meandered through conversations around change and human behavior, so...

Andy Goram (04:46):

We have, and that is why I'm going to break with tradition, my friend, and I'm going to get straight into the subject that we are here to talk about. Okay? I want to dive straight in because I know we've got lots to talk about. So, Paul, what is the challenge or problem that you've seen with businesses and training, all that stuff I've just talked about, that actually, right now with all the work you're doing, you are looking to solve?

How To Create Behaviour Change At Scale

Paul Burton (05:14):

Yeah, thank you. I suppose there's a couple of things that really spring to mind for me really. Change has been a consistent, really, for a very long time. But I think the speed of change has been really exponential. And I think I was talking with a business leader just the other day and we were talking about how much since COVID the workplace has really fundamentally changed and changed so fast, it's untrue and how to take people on that journey. And then we got into talking about AI and then we started to go, "But actually is that amount of change that we've just talked about that's so fundamental that people have gone through, is that going to be shadowed into insignificance by the introduction of AI?" And we were just talking about that degree of change and how quick people are having to be able to adopt to it. And how used to that we are.


The more over the impact that the business leaders I'm speaking to are seeing that it's having on on their growth, on their productivity, on the wellbeing of their workforce and the customer experience and how do you face into that? When I speak to them, the technical side of people's jobs, they're very comfortable with. They know how to change the dial on that side of things. They know how to be able to upscale people in coding if it's coding, there's so many people are out there that can help you do that. But actually it's not the technical side of things so much that they're concerned about, it's the emotional, it's the human intelligence side of things that's kind of the frontier that is presenting so much opportunity but so much challenge at the same time. How do you change the dial in that space and what are the tools that we lean into to be able to do that?


And that's been ongoing, but that's what we do. So how do you create change at scale at human intelligence? And what we've gone on to build is a fully automated life coach that equips organizations to be able to change that human intelligence style at scale, but more efficiently saving costs too. And that's perhaps something we can get into a bit later on as it feels apparent, but I suppose that's the environment we find ourself in and the problem we're trying to change.

Businesses Have A Human Skills Gap

Andy Goram (07:48):

I think it's interesting because even on the radio the other day, they were talking about the latest kind of stats, I don't know what report it was, but they were looking at skill gaps for businesses and trying to bridge the skill gaps. And all the skill gaps they were talking about were human skills. They were talking about a lack of connection, a lack of ability to have empathy, a lack of ability to challenge without offending, all those kind of human skills that we take for granted, this is the gap.


So like you say, there's a lot of technical training and development that that's going on and we've almost forgotten or left under a shroud the kind of basic human skills, which I mean nothing works without these things. I don't think anything works without this stuff in any sustainable form. I did a program yesterday with a bunch of brilliant, brilliantly energetic young hospitality managers making the next step, and we've been through weeks and months of all this kind of training. And the end of the program is the learning journey presentation, which they're all dreading. They don't like standing up and talking, but they get up.


And there was a classic line yesterday on the end of somebody's presentation, which was, "This stuff we've discussed over the last year, it's not all make believe, it actually works." And my heart sings at that sort of stuff. I absolutely love that. But that's what we're talking about and that's why I'm fascinated to talk to you because the combination for me of human skills and technology, I mean that's something worth talking about. Right?

Paul Burton (09:24):

Totally. I mean when you lean into some of the stats, I mean everybody loves some stats, right? Harvard, a long time ago, talked about 85% of success factors are the human ones, 15% are technical. So we've always kind of recognized it. But actually I think that more and more of the challenges and opportunities that we face are human. So you've got to have the technical to be able to do your jobs, but actually more and more of the technical sphere of what's being done in jobs is being done by tech, more and more so.


But then we've got, what's the future frontier for us? The future frontier for us is being human. Let's not try and outthink and outspeed a computer. I don't know if you've played, clearly AI is the topic of the moment, isn't it? But-

Andy Goram (10:18):

Are you going to ask me if I'm a ChatGPT freak?

Paul Burton (10:20):


Andy Goram (10:20):

Because yes, I am.

The Importance of Human Skills

Paul Burton (10:21):

Right. I mean it's brilliant to be able to write it coherently, get the subject and write it brilliantly. If only I could do that 100 times slower and get the same outcome, I'd be really quite happy, but actually it does it in fractions. But then there is a case of we understand that's going to be done, but if you then go into the sphere of what we are, we're unique, we're beautiful, and we're complex. And that's the beauty, because actually what we love to do is we love that in each other. We love the difference, we love engaging, we love the emotion, we love the nuances of being human. And no matter how fast a piece of AI can diagnose somebody's problem, you won't want to be told by a computer, you'll want to engage with a doctor. And it's the human skills that they've got that bring that into being something meaningful that you'll do something with.


So they've almost become the skills that have never been forgotten but actually haven't been as high on the agenda. But second, even when they're on the agenda, how the bloomin' hell do you change them effectively? Because we're all just replaying the experiences and behaviors that we've encountered through our life, unconsciously. So how do we start to be able to change that in an organizational setting? I was asked the other day to respond to a LinkedIn post about authentic leadership and I thought it's brilliant, it's a brilliant post. And I was thinking about the answer to it because everybody should be authentic. But actually there's a real danger with being authentic too because actually what we want is we want people to be authentic, but within the boundaries of acceptability in society.


So if I'm a bigot or a male chauvinist, you don't want me to be authentic, but there's authenticity in how do I handle myself. So there's this real balance of, okay, what does that mean and how do we start to be able to help people orientate that space? And then you kind of layer, 74% of people have got anxiety from work-related situations. Two fifths of people are planning to leave. The latest that is that 35.1% turnover in the UK, 35% turnover, staff turnover, and uCast talk about 30,000 Pound per person to replace, and they're not leaving because of the technical situation and what's going on in the organization, they're leaving because of the human side of what's going on in that organization.


So we can't afford not to deal with it, but actually it's the most amazing competitive advantage that we've got too as organizations is to be able to deal with that side.

Why People Leave Their Jobs

Andy Goram (13:19):

Yeah. Well the two biggest reasons for leaving a job are money and your boss. I mean I think those things come out consistently as reasons for leaving. But the human element, I think, over the last years of reasons for change and reasons for leaving is just, it's growing exponentially. I can't keep talking about COVID because it's three years ago, but its effect has been untold.

Paul Burton (13:47):


Andy Goram (13:48):

And I think that looking over the fence and seeing that awful game of companies that really did double down on looking after their people and those that showed the thin veneer of, "Yes, we're a people business but not right now." Made everybody look over the fence and go, "Hey, hang on a sec. Well why am I getting treated like that here when someone over there is being treated far better?" This thing became far more open and visible for everybody I think.


And that period of reflection gave everybody a chance to go, "Hang on. Well what do I want? I'm making a conscious choice here. Am I taking the pain of where I am or am I going to make a change and risk stuff to take the pleasure that I can see I could get over there?" I think that's now far more conscious in people at work. And the younger generation coming through, whether you believe in all the generational social science or not, certainly feel a much stronger connection and interest to a company's values and behaviors and ethical stance, and all those good things than perhaps has been taken in the past.

Paul Burton (14:55):

I so totally agree. I think, to what you say, and I think there's the generational differences and whether you believe that we all fit into these different boxes. I think there's two things that I would reflect on what you said there, Andy, one of which is the stat around, people leave for money. There's loads of evidence that says actually people go for money, they don't leave for it. And what I mean by that is that when people become unhappy in their environment, so there is a segment which is believed to probably be about 13% of people that actually leave for money and they leave for money because their circumstances demand it. They're having a new baby, they're moving to a new place, they've got caring responsibilities they've got to take on, they've got to get some more money-

Andy Goram (15:44):

Can't avoid it. You can't avoid it.

Paul Burton (15:47):

But most people leave because they're not happy.

Andy Goram (15:51):

Yeah. That's a really good distinction to make, Paul. That's a really, really good distinction to make.

Paul Burton (15:54):

And not being happy, what you then go for, so you're not happy in your environment. You go, "Okay, I'm going to move." What you leave for is more money because you don't know that you're going to be happy in a new organization, the only thing that you know can get tangibly that's different, well one, you get a promise that says it is different, but you don't know until you get there. But you move and then you get more money because you can tangibly do that. So people go for it, they don't leave for it. So when you come back to it, unhappiness is the reason why.


Well, unhappiness is all caused by humans, either in yourself or by other people, but it's a human trait if you know what I mean. So it's how do you change that dial? And I think the generational side of things, I don't know anybody that doesn't want to be treated with respect. Whatever generation you're in, I don't know anybody that doesn't want to feel connected. I don't know anybody that doesn't want to feel valuable. I don't know anybody that doesn't want to be treated as an individual and to be seen.


So, no matter what generation you are, but actually I don't think we get that right. So if we can start to change that dial, that's the way we can do it. And that's the way we can impact, that's the way we can impact retention. 35% is ridiculous. How do we build loyalty in our people? Well, we don't do it through money because people don't stay for money. The only people that stay for money are probably your worst performers that can't go for any, it's not a good tactic for organizations to try and retain people with money.

Andy Goram (17:31):

It's fastest race to the bottom for sure on that one.

Retain People By Helping Them Develop Themselves

Paul Burton (17:35):

Yeah. Absolutely. So how do you retain people? Well you do it by investing in them. You do it by seeing them, you do it... It's the human side of things and being able to help them work in an environment where they feel cared for.

Andy Goram (17:49):

So, let's start to dig into the work that you're doing because we're both fascinated in human behavior. I am definitely a part-time human behaviorist. It's the stuff that's re-stimulated my joy for learning really. I would never consider myself someone who loved learning, but it's a topic that just keeps on giving, there's no question. But I'm interested to understand where you are on that, why it's playing such a role.


And also, this thing around behavioral change versus training. You talked about the problem that you saw before, but how are you trying to address this? What is it you're trying to do that combines answering the question you talked about and the challenge that you were trying to put right, but also place your own personal interest, belief, passion for human behavior and change?

Paul Burton (18:41):

Yeah, it's quite worth going backwards to come forwards on this one. So my interest stems from some experiences in my past, which is nobody's interest is going to be any different as a creation than that, I've just described life. So apologies to everybody for saying something so stupid. But early in my career, I was a carer for blind students away from home. And I had some amazing experiences with these students that were away from home for the very first time. And my responsibility was to make sure they were safe and to try and help them on the journey of independence. So it was a home in the community and then they'd go to college during the day.


And it was there, in part, that my eyes really opened to these students, these blind students had been hugely cared for in the fact that they'd had everything done for them. They were really looked after, but when they came out into the world, they didn't have any independence because things had been done for them. And what that kind of meant is that you almost, you find freedom only to find that you don't have the capabilities to navigate that journey. So freedom should be a place of absolute pure bliss, but if you don't have the capability to be able to navigate it independently, I think it's a place called hell. And it's there that I started to understand that actually, there's that adage, isn't there? Give the man a fish and your feed him for a day.


And so for me, the foundation of what I went on to do in a number of different guises is, how do you equip people to be able to look after themself because you can't do it for them? And I'm a parent, so I know firsthand that if you try and tell, I've got a 25 through to teenagers, so you can't tell them what to do. I mean you can, but-

Andy Goram (20:53):

Good luck.

Paul Burton (20:54):

... it doesn't get you very far very often.

Andy Goram (20:56):


The Generational Shift

Paul Burton (20:57):

Whereas if they come up with it, it's the best idea since sliced bread, and none of us are different. So when you find the answers for yourself, they become owned, they become valuable. But when somebody else tells you to do them, they're not getting into the components of your brain that goes, "Yeah, that's a brilliant idea," because it's almost been done too.


And that for me was a kind of foundation that I then took into businesses, into a franchise to be able to turn around a completely broken franchise and a bank to being the best performer before were bought out by Santander, and then into insurance companies and so on and so forth. And then lastly into universities, which is our future are hugely impacted by everything that's going on right now, future generation, but they're smart cookies. You can't just tell them what to do because they've had such access to independence and learning and technology that they'll just rebel against it.


But actually if they connect with what they need to do, then actually it starts to be able to move on there. And I suppose when you layer that and you just understand that we're all individuals on this journey and we've grown to be the individual we have as a consequence of our experiences, which means all of us, all billions of us are different in one way or another. So when you then go onto this behavioral change or you go on to training, so bring it up to now, we're all different and we've all had different experiences and there's no behavior school, there's no human intelligence school that helps us understand the human skills. How do you start to be able to orientate them when they're locked in here?

The Trouble With Trying To Be An Expert When You're Not


And in a business, we ask managers to be able to help train individuals and what they need to do different. Really? I don't know, I almost don't... I fire on autopilot so I don't even know what I'm doing, let alone what you know what I'm doing or why I'm doing it and what the change needs to be. That's a really tough ask and as a consequence, it doesn't happen. So how does a manager have a conversation with somebody about their listening skills? Or about the way they can manage conflict or the way they build trust or about their brand? It's a really tough conversation to have because as a manager, you almost have to think, "Well, I'm an expert in that area so I can have a conversation with you about listening," because if I'm not and I go, "Andy, can I have a conversation with you about your listening?" You go-

Andy Goram (23:48):

"Hang on mate, you're not a very good listener yourself. What are you doing telling me?"

Paul Burton (23:49):


Andy Goram (23:51):

Yeah, 100%.

Paul Burton (23:52):

So you're in this place of psychological threat should we call it, or certainly an emotional boundary that goes, I'm going to have a conversation with you about your human, and that's a tough conversation to have. Whereas Andy, if you've jumped in something and you've highlighted for yourself, which is where a fully automated life coach works, is it kind of sits in your pocket.


And then if you identify that listening is an area that you're less confident in and that connects that information through to me as a manager, it's come from you. That changes the ability to have a conversation immediately. But in my team you might be the only one that has got listening. So what am I going to do? Put on a training course for listening? I could, and it's possible that everyone will benefit in some sort of way, but unless that's kind of personalized and identified, I probably won't be receptive of it if you asked me to come on it.

Andy Goram (24:52):

And I think this is the thing that we're going to get into, in the confines of the small amount of time we have to get together today, because it's always a danger when you and I get together is that we have a lovely time and we talk and we go, "Oh, crikey, it's lunchtime. We ought to go and eat." It is this kind of individual personalized, targeted, focused approach that can be overwhelming for a lot of businesses I think. I need 60 programs to cover all the individual needs I think are in the team. Can't do that, let's do three and sort of tar brush everybody. It's just not going to work. It's just not going to be engaging.


And I totally get that no one likes being told and the people who've got access to information, I mean as a facilitator, I'm now used to getting fact checked live while I'm presenting stuff, you come up with a concert or a theory. In the old days you do that, people go, "That's amazing, Andy, brilliant." Other guys now on their phone going, "Oh, okay, fine. Internet says it's true, it must be true." So there's all this kind of good stuff going on.

Driving Personal Wellbeing & Performance At Less Cost


But this focus on the individual then, which I guess is where traditional management training has struggled with some of that complexity, some of that breadth, and the cost as well associated with doing all that sort of stuff. What is it that you're doing then? Because you're developing this C-Coach, you've referred to it as a sort of digital coach in your pocket. Tell us a bit more about that then. How's that working? What's it trying to do and how do you think it solves or answers some of the things we've just talked about in terms of targeting, focus, cost, all that kind of good stuff?

Paul Burton (26:30):

Yeah, so if you take, let's say coaching for a second, I don't know any organization that has got pockets deep enough to be able to put coaches in for everybody. But I know most organizations will connect with the value that coaching has at board level, and most boards will have coaching and elite sports people and blah blah blah have coaches because it's that capability to have some independent understanding of, "Okay, what is it I don't know that's impacting me?" And being able to establish that. And it's the interaction between a human and an individual that enables me with a great coach to be able to identify what's the things I don't know that's impacting me.


And that has massive value, but it's cost prohibitive for most people. And that, for me is that's the kind of start of the journey. The people have got the greatest need almost for coaches that could have the greatest performance impact on their wellbeing, on their performance, on their relationships, on their career don't have access to it because it's too expensive. And at an organizational level, the challenge that you have, even if it wasn't too expensive, is how do you then orientate that towards your organizational goals? How is it helping you towards achieving what you want to do? Because actually, you think about all of the processes that we've got in place in HR, there's around 23-ish or around processes plus reward, plus benefit. All of those are designed to do two things; productivity and loyalty.


So that's what we're trying to achieve. So coaching, if it was to happen in that sense in an organization, has got to be orientating people to be able to make their capability to do their work even better. So you take the challenges that you've got, you've got a time challenge, coaching is too expensive, it doesn't give you kind of data back across an organization to help you understand it. Coaching bypasses the manager too, if it's a coach that's in there. So you've got a manager that's going, "Actually, I don't know what problems are being solved here." And I'm certainly not building that relationship myself. So it has loads of benefits, huge benefits, but actually there are some limitations in what it does too. So what we've done is built that kind of principle and we put it into tech.

How C-Coach Works


So it's a fully automated life coach, which equips you as an individual to self-identify by going through some evaluation, some analysis in the first place of which of the areas, the human intelligence areas that this organization needs us to be able to flourish in don't I know about or have I got blind spots or is my confidence low? And then that then does, it equips me to access development immediately that is high-quality curated content by experts around the world that helps me then go about undertaking the change that I've identified as impacting me.


And then what that does then is it connects back to the manager. So it connects that data of my own understanding of what I need to do differently that's going to impact my life, my performance, it connects that back to the manager for the manager then to be able to have some supportive conversations, which means then you get support and connection through your manager. So, how many of us are working in the hybrid environment? I mean both of us for a start, right?

Andy Goram (29:59):


Paul Burton (30:00):

Well, how does a manager connect with us? How do they know where my development needs are? And how do they support.? That connection becomes about work. Well actually if you just phone me and ask me about work, I feel I'm either being micromanaged or it's about work, it doesn't help me. Whereas the coach connects you as you and I as manager and an employee and says, "I'm working on listening as the area." So you can go, "Let's have a conversation about that. How can I support you? What are the things that we can do?"


So it starts to create momentum that supports me with my productivity and my wellbeing, it puts the responsibility and accountability and the empowerment in my pocket for me to do something about me. And then it connects my manager to help my manager then support me on that journey. And then it connects data back to organizationally. And so the dials that we are really interested in changing or we are changing is, I guess two, is wellbeing and productivity primarily for individuals by helping them understand what's getting in their way.


And then what that then unlocks is my ability to navigate my career and my role. But what it also does, it builds this caring connection within an organization, and my manager and myself, to be able to get to know myself and undertake growth within your organization. What that then starts to do is create a coaching culture for managers because now you can have a conversation with me about the stuff that I'm identifying for myself and the coach connects you to that. So you start to be able to change the dial and performance.

Better Self-awareness Through Technology

Andy Goram (31:41):

And that's what I wanted to ask you about really, because you are democratizing coaching, right? Giving it to the masses, right? Brilliant. Because it's been the bastion of the boardroom or the business owner and it's becoming more and more important, I think the coaching piece, which relates back to all what you were saying, don't tell me what to do, help me think for myself. Let me come up my own idea. I 100% buy into that. I'm just interested to see how you're bridging the almost parallel worlds of tech and human coaching.


And I think you've just started to get into it with the, I guess for me, the three things of connection, support, and challenge, right? That's what a good coach will do, I think. They'll make the connection, help you understand stuff, they'll support you through thinking stuff through, but they'll also hold your feet to the flames to sort of say, "Okay, so what you done about it?"


Because as one of my guests the other week sort of said, "Self-awareness is the booby prize if that's all you have, if you don't do anything with it, what a waste." And this is the same. And I think this is a fantastic thing about putting it in someone's own responsibility because people couldn't say, "Oh, I won't do it." Okay, well how much do you want it? Because it's down to you. You're not going to be led by the hand, you got to get on and do it yourself. So, rambling question, but how do you marry up that traditional human approach with the tech stuff that you're doing to really get the best of both worlds?

Paul Burton (33:17):

Well, yeah, so it's a great question and I think so much technology that's dressed as being valuable for humans actually isn't. So what our tech is about is about helping you understand you in the first place. And when you can get to understand you and what makes you drive what's your autopilot? And coming out of that, once you understand you, you can understand other people much better. If you can start to build your own emotional intelligence, you can start to build the understanding of what makes other people fire.


So for an individual, I start to be able to understand myself, which means I can understand other people, but what it does, it connects me as well to the human. So to my manager to be able to really bring that to life, how we can work together on a good support, but also to my team colleagues too. What the coach also does is, I talked about it having development content that's immediately available from experts, which is videos, reading tools, templates, that sort of stuff. But also what we do is we connect you with colleagues.


So let's say, we used the analogy of listening, what the coach will do is it'll show any other people that are in your community or in your business that are also learning and listening, or anybody that is in the community or the company that are experts in listening and enables you to be able to connect with those people and say, "Look, you're learning in the same area. Let's go on this journey together. What are you finding? What are you doing? How do you hold it?" So it starts to be able to kind of change... So it is a piece of tech that is helping me understand my human and then connecting me to others to be able to help me do something with it. But the other bit that you said is how do you then, having a gym membership without going is not a very good way of doing anything, is it, right?

Andy Goram (35:14):

Have you been looking at my bank account?

Paul Burton (35:17):

I have, yeah. Your personal trainer got on the phone to him and asked if I could help-

Andy Goram (35:23):

That person doesn't exist, let me tell you.

Creating Better Connections For Learning

Paul Burton (35:27):

But then how do you then support change? And that's why it connects the manager into the journey because it then becomes, how do you create value for everybody in a chain is critical for change to happen. So we create value for a user because actually they understand what they can do differently to be able to help them in their performance, their career, their life, their relationships outside of it. Human is both in work and out of work benefits.


It then connects me to my manager. My manager's role is made better and more fulfilling because actually I know how I can help, but if an individual doesn't use it, then the manager is then going, "Okay, let me understand why aren't you using it? How can I help you?" So it creates that connection, which then builds this loop of responsibility, but it brings back data to the organization too.


So in HR, what you're doing is you're understanding people aren't using you, and is there a correlation between the manager using it and not using you? Is there a correlation between the trends of gaps that we've got in certain teams and how is that impacting and performance? What's our best performers got that the next tier of performers haven't got in terms of human ingredients? How do we grab those and consider whether or not we actually support the development in those other individuals?


So, there is value to everybody in the chain. And as a consequence, what it does is it creates this drive, this circle of people using it, talking about it, and wanting to use it, both through data but also through reminders, through badges, through certificates that are in this platform to be able to help those habits. And I suppose the final thing that's really worth saying is that it's not about big swathes of time, it's about bite sizes. So our content that's in there has got a sweet spot of a TED Talk, a 15 to 20 minutes. So there's a lot of stuff that's in there that's a few minutes long, sweet spot's probably around about 15 to 20 minutes, and we snuck in a few longer podcasts that are in there. This one probably won't make the cut, but-

Andy Goram (37:30):

Wow, that's brutal. Look at that.

Paul Burton (37:31):

Well, it's a reflection on me, not you.

Andy Goram (37:34):

Rubbish. That's brutal, Paul. God, blimey.

Paul Burton (37:36):

Yeah. So reflection on me, not you, but longer podcasts that people can access if they want to. So it's a circle of change. If everybody gets value from it and everybody's measured on it, then everybody uses it.

Andy Goram (37:51):

And you're covering a whole wealth of learning styles within this content too. We all know that people learn in many, many different ways. And from what you're talking about, and particularly the snackable content, longer content, video, written, face-to-face, whatever it might be, I mean you're covering all the bases there, right?

Paul Burton (38:10):


The Benefits of a Digital Coaching Culture

Andy Goram (38:10):

So you're giving everybody a chance to learn in their best way, really.

Paul Burton (38:14):

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I suppose the beauty of it as well for me is I don't think there's anything wrong with money. And so to give that context, businesses benefit from using this because retention rates go up, because people feel seen, heard, invested, connected to their colleagues and other people. And those are the reasons why people leave. Management capabilities being accelerated and uplifted to be able to have those great conversations through the coach at all levels, which then creates this connection with other people. You understand people across the organization.


We're, at source, solving a lot of the problems that we've got a lot of processes invested in that are reactive. So wellbeing programs, they're brilliant and we need them, but actually it's better to be able to solve the issue that will build itself up to be a wellbeing issue than treating you afterwards when there's absolute connection between competence and wellbeing, the more competent you are, the more likely you are to be well and thriving. The less competent you are, the more challenges that are in that space.

Andy Goram (39:31):

Sure. Makes sense.

Paul Burton (39:32):

So we end up saving organizations money, we make them more money through productivity improvements and how the people are feeling and thriving, but we do so by making people's lives better. And for me, that's a great equation that every business couldn't argue with and no individuals. And I'm sure there are some that we would find to be able to argue with it and perhaps we should listen, but-

Andy Goram (39:56):

Teenage sons mostly, I would've thought.

Paul Burton (39:58):

Well people at bus stops moaning about the world and buses been late and whatever it would be are probably some of them. But anyway.

In Summary: Sticky Notes

Andy Goram (40:07):

Defo, I mean personally, I think it's fascinating. I really do think it's fascinating and I think the work you're doing is going to help a lot of people. To me, I can't believe it already, we've come to the part in the show where we're looking to try and summarize, and I would like to, and maybe this is underlying some of the core foundations on which you're building C-Coach, Paul, is to think about leaving behind three little sticky notes of sagely wisdom for the listeners that they can take away. And within those sticky notes, what advice would you give people if they are looking to really effectively change their behavior going forwards? Three little bits of advice, my friend, what would they be?

Paul Burton (40:49):

Okay. Well, everything that I've talked about, and push back on this, but everything that I've talked about is under the banner of care. And I think the three sticky notes or the three bits of mantra is care for yourself, care for other people, and care for results. And it starts with us and it starts in us. We're complicated and we are beautiful. And until such time as you really get to know yourself, then I think the journey can be tough because you're expecting it to be something. And when you get in to understand yourself and some of the human elements, you can quite quickly start to be able to catch, "Well, actually it's meant to be like this and the challenge is great and here's how I can best navigate that." And when you start to do that, you can then really help other people on that journey and help them grow. And we've got natural chemicals in us, which I can't remember quite what, is it called something I can't remember, where when you help other people, we get an injection of happy-

Andy Goram (42:05):

Oxytocin is the piece, isn't it?

Paul Burton (42:07):

Right, thank you.

Andy Goram (42:08):

You're welcome.

Paul Burton (42:10):

We get repaid with a happy moment by helping somebody else, but you've got to help yourself. And then care for results is the last part of that. And it's kind of like, it's the care for the outcomes. So I think we're very good at measuring outcomes typically, but if you do things well as an input, you'll get great outputs and then you can measure yourself against those outputs if you want to. But it's the input that's the bit that you can change, rather than focus on the output. There's no point in a manager standing at the end of 100 meters with a stopwatch and saying , "That wasn't fast enough, go and do it again."


The next time they do it, they may well do it faster, but they may well injure themselves because they're running badly and they've got the wrong ingredients and they've got the right energy going into them. So if you help them change the input, then you'll definitely change the output. So I guess those would be my sticky notes.

Andy Goram (43:12):

Love that. I love the theme of care within all of those things. Well, before I let you go, where can people find out a little bit more about C-Coach and stuff? And we will stick some stuff in the show notes for sure, but just tell us where can people find out a bit more about it?

Paul Burton (43:27):

So www.c-coach, so C hyphen coach, .com, you can find the information. I'm available on So get in touch.

Andy Goram (43:41):

Brilliant. Look, as always my friend, it's wonderful to sit back and just listen to all the things you're passionate about and what you're trying to do with technology. As I said before, I think it can only really serve to help so many more people get access to that whole thing about coaching. You talked about coaching culture and I think that is so important. So look, thank you for giving up your time to speak to us today. I really, really appreciate it.

Paul Burton (44:06):

Thank you, Andy. And for everybody listening, Andy's a wonderful man with some wonderful services too. So it's worth checking him out. Andy, how can people find you?

Andy Goram (44:15):

Oh, they can find me wherever. I'm all over the place. You can get me on LinkedIn or whatever else it is, but yes, it's not about me, it's all about my guests. Paul, you take care, my friend. Thanks so much for coming on.

Paul Burton (44:27):

Cheers, Andy. Much appreciated.

Andy Goram (44:29):

All right, my friend. You take care. Okay, everyone, that was Paul Burton. And if you'd like to find out a bit more about him or any of the things we've talked about today, please check out the show notes.

Episode Outro


So, that concludes today's episode. I hope you've enjoyed it, found it interesting, and heard something maybe that will help you become a stickier, more successful business from the inside going forward. If you have, please like, comment, and subscribe, it really helps. I'm Andy Goram and you've been listening to The Sticky From The Inside Podcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.

Andy Goram is the owner of Bizjuicer, an employee engagement and workplace culture consultancy that's on a mission to help people have more fulfilling work lives. He's also the host of the Sticky From The Inside Podcast, which talks to experts on these topics from around the world.

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