Next up to for an Employee Spotlight: Kyle Moyer! Our newest Lead Improvement Advisor took some time to share a bit about himself, the skills and dedication he brings to Shift’s culture of improvement for equity, and what he would do if he could slow down time.
What is your name, title, and what departments do you work in?
My name is Kyle Moyer and I’m a Lead Improvement Advisor here at Shift. Right now, I’m excited to be working on our Math Culturally Responsive Practices Change Package project, working with teachers testing change ideas. I am also collaborating on the design phase of our College Advising Reach and Effectiveness project. I am looking forward to the many upcoming opportunities to become more involved in the full diversity of Shift’s work!
What’s different about the way Shift works?
In the short time I have been working with Shift, I deeply appreciate how they are centered on principles. Everyone is very committed to the work, and to the organization. Shift is clearly trying to live its equity commitment by purposefully embedding it in their approach to improvement methods and our day-to-day projects and conversations.
Do you apply improvement methods to your life? If so, how?
When I was first formally introduced to improvement, I realized I had always tended to think in terms of systems and processes – it just gave me the tools and language to go much deeper. Depending on the situation, I can be found considering root causes, attending to variation, making driver diagrams, and tracking process measures. As one example, I recently moved, and so, for me, unpacking and organizing my kitchen presented the opportunity to think about how to place all of the different items most efficiently such that prepping, cooking, baking, and serving could all happen seamlessly. In the future I look forward to applying improvement as I get started establishing my garden as a “whole system”.
Which Shift principle resonates the most with you?
They’re all good! But I’ll go with “Learn and Adapt” – specifically the call-out for us to “unlearn” what we think we know and having the humility to recognize we have more to learn. To me, it speaks to living the ethos of continuous improvement in our day to day. “Learn and Adapt” is about the commitment we have to understand the inequities all around us, where they come from, and how we can avoid perpetuating them and start dismantling them.
How do your past experiences positively impact your work at Shift?
Prior to joining the Shift team, I worked in a variety of roles with Summit Public Schools. That experience allowed me to build a robust set of knowledge, skills, and habits that I’m able to apply to my new role. My time as a teacher, coach, and program manager gave me empathy and insight into the experience of working in schools that I bring to our work with educators across our projects. My time spent living and teaching abroad gave me the privilege to understand and appreciate a wide variety of perspectives and approaches to life, the humility to know that we don’t always have the answers, and the insight that ambiguity and discomfort are okay feelings to sit with and patiently work through.
What is your hidden talent?
An innate curiosity about the world, though I don’t know how hidden that is. But, I’ve got a good mental record of and proclivity for singing a wide variety of songs, and I’m handy with movie quotes, pop culture references and (sometimes) humorous rejoinders. Sometimes these can help connect aspects of our work to others’ prior knowledge, making concepts clearer or easier to understand. Generally, I try to use this talent to try to “Create Joy” (another Shift principle!) in our day-to-day work.
What type of music is on your current playlist?
I must be some sort of Luddite because I still operate in terms of albums (or half albums at a minimum). But I have caught up with the times to about 2010 with two YouTube playlists – one for everything after about 1995 and one for everything before - that have been getting pruned and updated over the past 10+ years. I’ll figure out Spotify someday.
What’s your favorite sport/sports team?
Problematic as football and the NCAA are, I still root for the Big10, MAC, and PAC10 in that order with special places in my heart for Ohio State, Northwestern, Bowling Green, Stanford, and Oregon State. For professional sports, Ohio and San Francisco Bay Area teams get top billing. If you’re located on the eastern seaboard, or along the gulf, I’m probably not rooting for you, sorry.
What was the last book you read?
I finally read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. Prior to that, “Trees to Know in Oregon and Washington” by Edward Jensen.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Slow down time. It is the constraining force in the universe keeping us from doing, learning, and experiencing everything we want to in this life. In our various roles as professionals, family members, and friends we must prioritize across them and make tradeoffs. Mastering time would then allow us to learn whatever else we wanted :)