Mon, 11 June 2018
US Chairman Of PwC On The Future Of Leadership, The Evolution Of PwC, How To Be A Purpose Led, Values Driven Organization, And Much More
Tim Ryan is the US Chairman and Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Previously he served as the Vice Chairman, having responsibility for the firm’s strategy function and stakeholder relationships including investor relations, regulatory affairs, public policy, corporate responsibility, marketing and sales and human capital. PwC is a multinational professional accounting services firm. It has 55,000 employees.
Tim has over 25 years of diversified experience serving clients in the financial services industry in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to his current role, Tim led PwC's Assurance practice and before that, he led PwC's U.S. Financial Services practice and PwC's Consumer Finance Group.
Tim is a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and New York and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He graduated from Babson College where he studied accounting and communications and remains an active and proud alum. A Boston native, he joined the firm after graduation. Tim is the proud father of six children (10-18 years old) and is passionate about spending time with his kids, hockey, running and reading.
What should be the mindset for future leaders? Tim believes we are seeing a shift that will get better. He says, “The day and age of the dominant CEO is likely coming to an end, and I think we're entering the day and age of humble CEOs and humble leaders…” Servant based leadership will be a shift that is happening even now.
What do leaders need to know how to do in the future? According to Tim, successful leaders of the future need to be good listeners, great ‘understanders’ of people, and good decisions makers. They also need a high degree of business acumen and them need to be adept at technology
Tim believes leaders of the future need to have thick skin. That’s because the CEO of today has a lot of people looking at them. It is important to listen people’s views and not get rattled. They need to be open to criticism and not get unnerved when they listen to a point of view that is not their own.
In order to develop thick skin, practice yourself in the moment. Catch yourself. Take feedback and get better by it rather than get rattled by it.
Tim also shared some information about the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion (www.ceoaction.com), a CEO driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace that launched June of 2017.
A wide variety of CEOs have acknowledged that we can do better and have taken a pledge with 3 main commitments. One year ago it started with 150 CEOs and today roughly 450 have signed the pledge.
The three commitments are:
What you will learn in this episode:
Sun, 10 June 2018
A lot of people ask the question, “What is the future of work”. But that is not the right question we should be asking. Why? Because it leads to two major assumptions.
First, we assume that there is one single future that could happen. Second, we assume that the future is something that happens to us and that we have no control over it. But both of these assumptions are incorrect. There is not just one singular possible future, there are multiple potential futures that could happen based on the decisions and actions we take. And the future is not something that simply happens to us without our control.
What we need to do is flip the question, what is the future of work, around and instead of phrasing it that way we should ask, what are the potential futures that might happen and what are the factors that we need to influence today to get to the future we would like to see.
Phrasing the question this way allows us to be more active in creating our future than we would be if we just sit back and wait for the future to play out in front of us. We are then able to impact the future instead of waiting to react to it after the fact.
The future doesn’t happen to us; the future is something we create, shape and build. Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves, what do we need to do to build the future that we would like to see.
Mon, 4 June 2018
Former Netflix Chief Talent Officer Reveals What She Learned From Working At Netflix, How The Company Got Its Start, How To Use Tough Love In HR And Much More
Patty McCord is the author of the book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility and starting in 1998 she spent 14 years at NetFlix, serving as Chief Talent Officer. She has more than 15 years experience in Human Resources with high-tech companies. She was the Director of Human Resources at Pure Atria, now Rational Software Corporation. She served as Human Resources Manager at Borland International. McCord also ran the Corporate Diversity Programs department at Sun Microsystems. Currently, she is frequently in the media with interviews and articles from Harvard Business Review, NPR, Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal. She speaks at CEO Forums, Business schools and for large groups around the world.
When NetFlix began they were small, did not have money for perks. The perks were not something they focused on. Instead, they emphasized good salary, hard problems and good colleagues. Later, they added extras like unlimited maternity leave.
In 2001 1/3 of the Netflix employees were let go – for example, those who were not very good at their jobs, middle management or those who complained about the lack of perks. Shortly after, the price of DVD players dropped and each had a coupon in the box to try Netflix. That led to them being required to work harder with fewer dedicated people. That year they went public and they developed policies and procedures. They expected people to ‘act like adults’ - giving them more freedom but with high expectations for them.
One of Netflix’s most talked about perks was unlimited vacation –it was never designed to be a perk. Initially, employees accrued 26 days a year. Instead, as an experiment, they decided that they wouldn’t keep track of the time employees take off but instead will keep track of what they got done. They focus on results and expect employees to act as adults – and so they leave it up to the employees to decide when to take vacation time.
McCord’s advice for employees is to figure out what you love to do and where you can do that, solve problems that need to be solved, ask smart questions of management, and take someone you admire to lunch to ask them how they got to their current position
What You Will Learn In This Episode:
Link From The Episode:
Thu, 31 May 2018
There is a big debate these days about whose responsibility it is to create a sense of purpose for employees at an organization. Is it up to the employee or the employer? Many people believe that in order to create a workplace where people actually want to show up the employer needs to give employees challenging, exciting and inspiring work that creates a sense of purpose.
But, the truth is, the employee controls the work. It is the employee who picks which jobs to apply for, whether or not they want to go in for an interview, if they say yes or no to the job offer. The employee has a choice in what field they want to study in school and at most jobs they are told up front what they will be expected to do. What you do in an organization is not usually a surprise after you get hired. If you apply for a sales position, for example, you are going to be doing sales work.
The employer simply controls the environment in which the work gets done. They can control three main environments: culture, technology and physical space. Through these three main environments organizations can have an impact on how you feel at work, how efficiently you get your work done and where you get the work done. But the work itself is up to the employee.
Tue, 29 May 2018
Since we are starting the week with a holiday, I thought we could do something a little different. I have interviewed a lot of fascinating guests over the years ranging from the CIO of IBM to the Chief People Officer at McDonald’s to the CHRO at Allstate and many, many others. And towards the end of most of my interviews I ask the guest to give us some advice in the area of their expertise. We have received a lot of great advice over the years and so I thought it would be fun to compile a full episode of advice from past podcast guests. I hope you find it interesting and helpful, there are some great tips and thoughts in these clips.
The first clip is from my interview with bestselling author Jon Gordon. Our conversation for this episode revolved around his newest book, The Power of Positive Leadership. The section that I chose from this interview was when Jon gave us 3 key principles to focus on from his book in order to help us be more positive leaders and transform our organizations.
His three key points were, talk to yourself instead of listen, focus on the fact that we create our world inside out, not outside in, and the importance of grit.
The second clip I chose for this week is from David Deming, the Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In our conversation we talked a lot about the future of education, the current economy and skills needed for employees of the future. He had advice for both leaders and entry level employees.
One piece of advice he gave to leaders was, “don’t be afraid to take a chance on somebody who doesn’t come from the standard background but who could potentially be a good fit for a position that you’ve got going on. Because I do think that in this world of constant technological change and uncertain measures of employee productivity, it’s easy for good people to fall through the cracks”
One topic that is really timely at the moment is privacy and security in our increasingly connected world. So I chose a clip from my interview with Dr. Alissa Johnson (aka Dr. J), the Chief Information Security Officer at Xerox. In the clip you will hear her tips and tricks on how to protect ourselves in this connected world. As she mentions in the clip, the advice may seem simple, but they are all things most people are not currently doing.
I also chose a few clips with advice on people analytics because it is another hot topic nowadays. The two clips that I chose are from Natalie McCullough, the General Manager of Workplace Analytics and My Analytics at Microsoft and David Green, the global director of people analytics solutions at IBM Kenexa Smarter Workforce.
Part of Natalie’s advice was to, “really start on this journey with a sense of transparency and growth mindset. So, approach the data with the very open question of “what can I learn from this data?”. A bad way to start is to start with a fairly defensive mindset, which I’ve also seen.”
David gave some advice that was simple and straight to the point. “In terms of how can organizations get on with this...I mean honestly, just start”, David said, “Read up on it, be inspired by what other people are doing, don’t copy them necessarily, but be inspired.”
When I interviewed Seth Godin, author of 18 bestselling books, speaker and founder of altMBA he gave us advice on what entry level employees can do to bring more passion into their careers and be more successful at work.
He said, “I think it’s really important that we get this perspective and begin to take responsibility, that we never, ever say, “Well, I have student loans and a family to support and bills to pay, therefore, I will sacrifice my life and my future by doing braindead work that I don’t believe in, half-assed and waiting it out”. Because what are you waiting it out for? When will you stop waiting it out?”
Other clips that I included in this podcast mashup are from the Chief People Officer at McDonald’s, the Co-CEO at Gensler, the Senior Economist and Team Leader of the Labor Market Trends and Policy Evaluation Unit at the ILO, author of The Coaching Habit, and author of MegaTech: Technology in 2050.
Sat, 26 May 2018
Technology is a vital part of our organizations today, but a lot of times we neglect the technology problem and focus solely on the human problem. The truth is both are connected and we have to learn how to fix them both.
Employee experience, corporate culture and effective leadership are all a huge focus point in many companies today, and rightly so. However, most companies are focusing solely on the human problem, when they should also be looking at the technology problem as well.
Think about technology in your workplace. When you don’t have the tools and technology needed to complete a task or project it can become extremely frustrating. You may become resentful or even angry because of the outdated technology you are being forced to use. Technology is part of creating a positive employee experience. If you want your employees to be happy, successful and productive, you have to ensure they have access to the resources they need to complete their projects and tasks.
Technology plays a huge role in how we communicate, collaborate and interact with one another in our workplace and in our personal lives. When the technology component breaks down the technology problem becomes a human problem. We have to start investing in technology and advanced tools that help our employees do their jobs more efficiently.
Mon, 21 May 2018
Vistaprint’s CEO On How To Modernize Your Organization, Why They Stopped The Annual Review, Dealing With Rapid Growth, And Much More.
Trynka Shineman is the CEO of Vistaprint, a 20 year old global company that provides online custom printing, marketing materials, and a lot more. She brings more than 20 years of experience in market research and analysis, strategic planning, database marketing and e-commerce to her role. Prior to her current position, Shineman held a variety of roles at Vistaprint including president, chief marketing officer, and chief customer officer.
Before joining Vistaprint, Shineman was a director and senior manager for PreVision Marketing, an Inc. 500 and Software 500 innovator in direct marketing where she developed programs for several major accounts.
Vistaprint is an online supplier of printed and promotional materials as well as marketing services to micro businesses and consumers. With 7,000 employees, their focus is on helping business owners market themselves. They focus on small businesses - with less than 10 employees. Working to help with the small businesses’ branding - from outfitting a store, advertising in the market and of course, business cards.
What is like to work at Vistaprint?
The main office is located in Boston and is orientated towards teams. When one walks in they will see white boards with what people are working on. They will see that change is a common factor.
One thing that Vistaprint does that is not common is something called a Vista Break. Every 5 years, every employee gets a month-long sabbatical. The expectation is that the employee is unplugged during that period. It is the ability to have 4 weeks of uninterrupted time. It recharges people.
Shineman shared the 3 pillars of the company which are:
They use a Kanban board. It is a work and workflow visualization tool that enables you to optimize the flow of your work – it is one way to visualize the work. It assists with defining the outcome for the team.
Shineman also talked about Agile for HR – moving from being reactive to more proactive and building experiences that make an impact on the organization.
A main focus is co-creation - working with others. Whether it is others within the organization or even with customers.
What are the key qualities and skills in a leader? To provide clarity and right competence and right level of autonomy. How to create a clear goal? What is the role of a manager? Removing impediments, being authentic and open, servant leadership, leader as a coach, a helper or mentor
What you will learn in this episode:
Mon, 14 May 2018
Former Girl Scouts CEO On The State Of Work, Why The Future Is Bright, The Reason Age Doesn't Matter And More
Frances Hesselbein is the President and CEO of The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, founded as The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management and renamed in 2012 to honor Hesselbein’s legacy and ongoing contributions. Mrs. Hesselbein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America’s highest civilian honor, by President Clinton in 1998 for her leadership as CEO of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. from 1976–1990, as well as her service as “a pioneer for women, volunteerism, diversity and opportunity.” Her contributions were also recognized by the first President Bush, who appointed her to two Presidential Commissions on National and Community Service. At 103 years young, she is one of the most highly respected experts in the field of contemporary leadership development.
The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum at the University of Pittsburgh is a continuation of the legacy of Frances Hesselbein and reflects the vision of a university-based center for teaching, applied research, and public service where leaders and aspiring leaders from around the world can gather to advance the art and science of leadership and put these principles to practice in public service.
Mrs. Hesselbein’s advice for leaders today is to totally be committed to a mission, b values based, and be demographic driven – the doors are open, we need to find ways to include all our people.
What role do leaders play to support organizations?
Some of the greatest changes that have occured over the course of Mrs. Hesselbein’s career are that there are doors opened that were never opened before, we are including women in every level, there is a respect for all people and that has become a battle cry for her organization.
In many of Mrs. Hesselbein’s speeches she talks about 2 institutions that have sustained democracy. These are the 2 powerful forces that help us sustain our democracy and we don’t let anyone put them down. They are:
Mrs. Hesselbein says, “Work is love made visible. There is something about working with people, for people, working to sustain something, to open doors. To work is to live. We find what we love to do and pour everything we have into it. And work is love made visible”. And she truly lives this statement out. She has given her all to serve her community, her organization, and the world. She is an advocate for women and minorities and she is passionate about everything that she does.
What you will learn in this episode:
Sun, 13 May 2018
I constantly hear stories about how people feel they are working for an organization where they feel like they don’t have a voice or where they don’t feel like they can be themselves. It doesn’t have to be this way! We have to learn how to speak up at work.
It is so important for every employee to participate in group conversations, to give feedback to managers, to be honest and to give their opinions and point of view. Not only will it make employees feel heard and appreciated, but it will also help the organization to be the best that it can be.
Many people find it intimidating to speak up at work and to voice their opinions, but the truth is most of the time it will be met with a positive response. Speaking up could bring up issues, challenges or ideas that your managers and coworkers have never considered before. It could spark change or at least start a dialogue.
If for some reason you get a negative response from speaking up, then maybe that isn’t the organization for you and you need to think about making a move. Either way, whether you get a positive or negative response, speaking up is in your best interest. The worst thing you can do for yourself, or your organization, is to just stay quiet and let everything just get shaped around you without having a say.
Mon, 7 May 2018
Allstate’s CHRO On How The Company Has Evolved, Skills For Employees Of The Future, And Why It Is Good To Be Uncomfortable
Harriet Harty is the CHRO for Allstate Insurance Company Harriet Harty is the CHRO for Allstate Insurance Company. She is responsible for developing their talent strategy and the tools and programs to enable the enterprise to attract, develop and retain engaged and talented employees.
Since joining Allstate in 1995, Harty has held a number of key human resources positions. She was senior vice president, with responsibility for executive, broad-based and sales compensation; benefits; communications; finance; talent and leadership effectiveness; and home office client partnership. Previously, she led the human capital solutions function, which included strategy, employee value proposition, workforce relations, workforce insights, workforce technology and the AskHR call center. Harty began her career in the compensation area, working her way up to leadership of the compensation and executive compensation function.
Allstate was founded in 1931 and is the largest publicly held property and casualty insurer in the US. It serves more than 16 million households. It is a company with 35 billion dollars in revenue with 43000+ employees globally - most in US and about 8000 outside of US.
Differences at Allstate in the last 20 years from her experience?
Harty has been at Allstate for more than 20 years for 2 main reasons. First, she
has always had the opportunity to grow and develop herself, through different
assignments, a project, etc… And secondly, because of the people. She considers
the people of Allstate her second family.
Some trends Harty is paying attention to at the moment are, the changing workforce (the demographics, how many baby boomers will be retiring) and disruptive technology that will have an impact on jobs. Allstate is beginning to focus on training employees skills that will help them in their job today, but also 5, 10, 15 years in the future.
What skills will leaders need in 2025?
To leaders, Harty says, “It’s ok to be uncomfortable – there is likely a lot of uncomfortable coming.” This is where you can learn and move forward.
Her advice to employees is similar to the advice for leaders– be uncomfortable. Also, take advantage of the training available, talk with your leader about your aspirations, and jump in – rather than be on the side lines.
What you will learn in this episode: