Product Operating Model Christian Idiodi

Transformation as a Personal Journey

By Christian Idiodi

Change is a process of becoming. So, it’s only natural that companies undertaking a digital transformation tend to look to the future and where they want to go. Ramsey Solutions took a different approach. Rather than deciding who they wanted to become, the company started its journey by first examining who they already were.

Ramsey Solutions is in the business of helping people. The company provides financial counseling and education that empowers individuals in every walk of life. Unlike other organizations who lack a clear understanding of their customers’ needs, Ramsey Solutions knows its customers intimately — primarily through CEO Dave Ramsey’s personal experience with financial loss:

After losing everything, I went on a quest to find out how money really works. That quest led me to a really uncomfortable place: my mirror. I came to realize that my money problems, worries and shortages largely began and ended with the person inmy mirror. I also realized that if I could learn to manage the character I shaved withevery morning, I would win.”

Dave Ramsey realized that before he could change his financial situation, he had to first undergo a personal transformation. The same held true for Ramsey Solutions. When the company decided to enter the digital space, the challenge wasn’t to convince its CEO that this was a path to follow. The challenge was to get the rest of the team on board.

Discovering & Delivering Value

Even before its move into digital, Ramsey Solutions had deep roots in book publishing, curriculum development, live events, and radio broadcasting. For the company, digital was just another form of media. The real transformation was understanding how people consumed content in this media.

Ramsey Solutions decided that the best way to master the new medium was to look inward. This meant analyzing the current skills sets of its employees, as well the habits and behaviors that needed to change.

Chief Technology Officer Brendan Wovchko says that because of its commitment to personal transformation, the company, decided against using outside consultants to help implement these changes: “You’ll never experience real change if you’re outsourcing the decisions to someone else. Instead, we invested in a skilled group of trainers and coaches to help us understand how to personally discover and deliver value.”

Wovchko was one of the first people to undergo the training. His experience led him to believe that all of the company’s managers also needed to be trained — not only in personal change and development but in how to also train the people below them. According to Brendan Wovchko, a key objective of the company’s train the trainer model was moving its employees from an approval mindset to an audit mindset.

“Ramsey Solutions wanted to be in the business of creating quality digital content. For that to happen, we had to begin by understanding what digital quality actually looked like. Was it the same as what we were already producing through our traditional media outlets? Or did the digital medium require a different grammar and mode of presentation? Finding the answers to these questions didn’t happen overnight. But we knew that once we did, the journey we had undertaken would be successful.”

And it was. Today, Ramsey Solutions measures its success by the number of lives changed through its message. Foundations in Personal Finance, the company’s high school and college curriculum, is offered in more than 10,000 schools and educational institutions. The Ramsey Show is heard by more than 20 million listeners each week on over 600 radio stations and digital platforms. More than 5 million people have been through the company’s Financial Peace University, and over 1 million have attended live company-sponsored events across the county.

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