Jeremy and Kim Barty took time out of their schedule to chat with Journonews about the on-line launch of MyCube4Change.
How would you describe MyCube4Change?
MC4C is a life-skills tool that helps you change, learn and grow. It is an easy to use framework that can be used in all types of change. The framework is relevant whether you’re changing what you do, such as creating a new habit, to deeper forms of change, like changing who you are.
What’s your biggest challenge in the business right now?
We have completely changed our strategy, from a traditional consulting business using the MC4C methodology to an on-line business. It’s wild out there. Biggest challenge is to get to know the internet landscape – might be easier if we were 18 year old geeks, but we’re 40-something non-geeks.
In the past we have used the product successfully in corporate change. We are now making the tool available on the internet to everyone. So new business strategy to new markets – that’s today’s challenge.
What industries/backgrounds do your clients come from?
The thing about MC4C is that it’s relevant to any change situation and any industry. It is used at work and in life. We have clients from the financial services, mining, medical aid and sports sectors and individuals who come from all walks of life and industries. In the past we’ve used it specifically in corporate change (mergers, culture change and large-scale change management projects) and now as we expand to new markets, we choose to use it in the contexts of marriages, personal growth and practical spirituality.
Can you give some practical examples of how people have been helped through using the MC4C system?
We have some great stories: one of the biggest realisations for many people, is what you value is what you do so:
– one woman used the grid to stop smoking
– an over-ambitious entrepreneur sold off some of his business interests and focused on what was important to him
– another woman used the grid to manage an abusive marriage. Thankfully the tool helped her set boundaries and they are back together in a different space
– an in-house consultant increased her productivity significantly and went on to win an award for making the greatest contribution to the financial success of the business
– many working mothers have reviewed their business hours and altered their schedules to accommodate more time with their children.
What sort of feedback do people give after attending your workshops?
The incredible thing about the grid is that it is so broad and robust that almost everyone has a realisation, an ‘Ah-a’ moment, or is challenged to do something differently. What people really enjoy is, once they have learnt the basic content, they can use it again and again, in any change situation.
You recently launched MyCube4Change on-line. What’s the response been like?
Great thanks to Google Ads and our newly forged adventures into blogging. We have a vision to have a million people using the website to assist them with change in all spheres of their life. We have some way to go.
How well do you think South African companies manage change in general?
Change is difficult wherever you are in the world. In business, change is often forced on people, so the level of choice and engagement is often diminished. Because of the political change in our country in the early 90’s, change has been an ongoing and prevalent theme in SA. How successful we are is debatable.
What lessons have you or business associates learnt in leading others through change?
We have learnt that change is painful and we live in a pain avoidance society, where it’s easier to take a tablet than embrace your change. People are under incredible pressure to perform in a global market. We have learnt that choosing something different takes courage.
As a couple, what BIG thing do you do to ensure work commitments don’t creep into family life?
This is a big challenge for us, we work together and we work from home. Our vision is integration, but its a constant battle. In MC4C, what you value is what you do, so daily we try and make space for family, walks in the forest, we eat together, spend time in spiritual communion. MC4C helps us to hold that – as the developers, we need to walk the talk.
Kim – I am getting better with managing my time around our daughter’s schedule. I used to be a workaholic, so working all the time is easy for me. I now have to yank myself away from my laptop to ensure we’re doing family stuff.
Jeremy – I enjoy the integration of work and home being so inter-linked. How I manage this is by making space, which is a discipline for family and recreation and personal space.
Best advice your mum or dad gave you?
Jeremy – my dad gave me the three T’s – truth, trust and tolerance.
Kim – I think my parents instilled a good work ethic and encouraged us to be generous with our gifts, talent and time.
One thing people might not know about you?
Jeremy – I’m an undercover baker in pursuit of the perfect loaf. Aside from making bread almost every weekend, I’d love to marry bread-making and change in a workshop, there are some great metaphors and parallels.
Kim – I was hi-jacked on an Air India plane in the Seychelles when I was 16. It’s great material for dinner parties.
Favourite place to unwind in Cape Town?
Jeremy – Kalk Bay or out in the ocean surfing
Kim – Kalk Bay or walking on the mountain.
Best holiday destination?
Jeremy – This changes daily, but today I’d love to go and sing taize in France. Any day I’m keen for a new surf break.
Kim – Gosh that would be difficult – just mention a plane, train or automobile and I’m on it, wherever it’s going. But if you asked me where I’d like to go now, I’d say the Cinque Terre in Italy.
What do you do to keep fit and focused?
Jeremy – I do thirty minutes of silence daily which keeps me sane. I love walking in the forest and on the beach and I surf whenever I can.
Kim – I try and run a couple of times a week and go to Pilates when I don’t forget the classes. We love walking on the mountain as a family, so we do that a few times a week with our Jack Russel Coco Bella.
What or who inspires you?
Jeremy – I am inspired by people of courage, bringers of change. I am inspired by my Artist, Gardener and Maker.
Kim – God, views, creativity and interesting people.
Where to next?
To live fully present, to take more risks and learn to live loved. PS. Get a million people onto the website.