The Future of Work Podcast With Jacob Morgan | Futurist | Leadership | Workplace | Careers | Employee Experience & Engagement |

Today my guest for the Future of Work Podcast is Alexis Gonzales-Black.  Alexis is the former organizational design lead for Zappos, and is currently the co-founder of Thoughtful Org Partners.  Previously, I spoke with Brian J. Robertson, the creator of the concept of Holacracy.  This concept received fame because of Zappos initiatives around Holacracy.  Alexis is one of the people who helped lead the entire Holacracy transition there.


Alexis was a part if the pilot group at Zappos for Holacracy.  She worked on the implementation team for over 2 years.  Currently, Alexis works with Thoughtful Org, which she co-founded, to help companies explore what the future structure of their organizations look like.  In Holacracy, as an operating system, individuals are not confined to one group or team.  Reaching across the organization for opportunities is available and encouraged. Self-organization can be used as a diversity and inclusiveness tool as well.  Alexis provides great insights to alternative organizational structures. This podcast is a must listen to anyone who wants to learn about alternative organizational structures and how they could work for your company.

What you will learn in this episode

  • What is Holacracy?
  • How Self Organizations Work In the Decision-making Process
  • What Zappos has done with Holacracy and Where They Are Going
  • The Difference between Empowerment and Distributed Authority
  • Holacracy and the New Internal Job Board
  • New Organizational Structures
  • Alternatives to Hierarchy

Link from the episode

Thoughtful Org Partners

Direct download: Alexis_Gonzales_Black_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:41am PDT

Today I bring to you a very special Future of Work Podcast.  I speak with Dr. David Bray the Chief Information Officer of the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission.  The FCC is responsible for regulating interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable across all 50 states.  The FCC makes decisions on how industry relates to consumers, whether it be telecommunications, television stations, broadband connections and the internet.  Any wired or wireless device will have a FCC logo on it. Industry standards are provided by the FCC so these devices will not interfere with each other so communication can be done in the United States.  The theme of today’s podcast is how exponential technologies are shaping the future of work. 


Dr. Bray is an Eisenhower Fellow.  Each year the fellowship program sends 9 or 10 exceptional people to two countries of their choosing to meet with industry and government leaders.  David had the opportunity to go to Taiwan and Australia to have conversations with leaders in those countries on how they are getting ready for the internet of everything, as well as, security, privacy and the changing nature of work.  At the FCC, David has lead the transformation from legacy information technology to cloud based and commercial service providers. He speaks on the importance of doing this for all businesses for the future of work. 

What you will learn in this episode


  • What are exponential technologies?
  • Why being a little paranoid in today’s business world is a good thing
  • What is the FCC
  • Why it is important for businesses to move their technologies to the cloud
  • Smart assistants and technologies
  • Robots and automation
  • Organizational structure and the human aspect behind work


Link form the episode

David Bray on Twitter 

Direct download: david.bray_podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:01pm PDT

My guest this week for the Future of Work podcast is Hal Halladay, the Chief People Officer at Infusionsoft.  Infusionsoft is a sales and marketing automation company, specifically focused on small businesses.  They have around 700 employees and are headquartered in Chandler, Arizona.  Infusionsoft stands out for having won many awards being a ‘Best Place to Work’ for different topics such as Women and Millennials, and received numerous awards for all around excellence.  As the Chief People Officer,  Hal speaks on why culture is the greatest competitive advantage in business today.  Hal leads a team that helps design many of the things Infusionsoft is implementing to create a great corporate culture.

Infusionsoft has intentionally tried to create a culture that engages people to do their best work.  The company was founded on the principle that people come first. At Infusionsoft, Hal leads the people operations team.  This team supports business leaders by providing resources they need. These resources include providing talent, training, as well as processes and systems needed to complete tasks.  This is a different approach as operations is not usually paired with HR.   Combining these departments enables more of these tasks to be provided with a service aspect toward the business leaders in the company, as well as, remove any negative connotations with the title Human Resources.  Infusionsoft made the decision on what their company culture was going to be, they didn’t just let it happen.  Having employees who are doing the work they love, engaged, and inspired, produces better work, which in turn, means happy customers.

What you will learn in this episode

Why Culture Is So important

What is a Dream Manager?

Flexible Work and the Freelancer Economy

Millennials and Culture

What is Native Genius?

How Can an Organization Choose Their Corporate Culture?

Building a Culture of Care and Connectiveness

How to Know Your Company’s Culture is Working

Links from the episode

Direct download: Hal_Halladay_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:13pm PDT

What this episode is about and why you should care

My guest this week for the Future of Work Podcast is Dr. J.R. Reagan, the Global Chief Information Security Officer at Deloitte.  We speak on the importance of being social inside and outside of a company.  While Dr. Regan’s title alludes that he would not advocate for being social outside of a company, this is not the case.  There are advantages to using multiple types of social media that can benefit a company and individual employees.  While there are many traditional ways of completing tasks, working and doing the same tasks just because of tradition is not the most beneficial.  Using internal social tools can assist in modernizing an organization and connecting with the emerging workforce. 

At Deloitte, Dr. Regan’s responsibilities are to protect the firm’s information across more than 150 countries, inside and outside of the company, for over 210,000 people.  Dr. Regan reflects on the previous notion that being social at work is taboo, and would cause employees to become unproductive.  Today, social assists in spreading ideas, and flattens our world. Many social platforms have become standard business tools. Dr. Regan highlights how using some of the social media platforms internally can be used as new communication devices in an organization.  Using social media platforms externally, can bring networking opportunities and even help save time when communicating in our personal lives.  Being social is now becoming a natural part of daily lives and embracing it, brings many benefits for our careers and the future of work.


What you will learn in this episode

  • How Can People Be Social Inside a Company
  • How Can People be Social Outside of a Company
  • What It Means To Be Social
  • The Benefits of Being Social
  • The Role of Innovation and Social
  • How to Become Social


Link from the episode

Direct download: dr_reagan_podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:58pm PDT

Today’s guest on the Future of Work podcast is Micha Kaufman, the CEO of Fiverr.  Fiverr started as a website where you could get any digital task done for $5.  Now, it is becoming a true freelance marketplace with bundled gigs. Organizations are flocking to the website, as well as, individuals who are looking to hire or become freelancers. With the popularity of websites like Fiverr, Micha and I discuss why the gig economy is the future of work.

Micha describes Fiverr as the “Amazon for digital services.”  It is a full digital marketplace with ‘sellers’ who are the freelancers and ‘buyers’ who are mostly small and medium sized businesses.  Right now, 30% of the American workforce is involved in the gig economy.  Trends are showing this number will only increase.  The changing generational workforce is a major factor of the growing gig economy.  Through technology, other types of work in the gig economy, such as driving for Uber, or listing a rental on Airbnb, has brought offline activity to online.  As the old concepts of work are being challenged, the gig and freelance economy is being viewed as a legitimate option to participate in, and build a career.  

What you will learn in this episode

  • Trends Shaping the Future of Work
  • How Big is the Gig Economy?
  • The Impact of Robots and Automation
  • Employee and Employer Relationships
  • Millennials and the Gig Economy
  • Longevity of the Gig Economy
  • Success as a Freelancer

Links from the episode


Direct download: Micha_Kaufman_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:15pm PDT

What this episode is about and why you should care

This week’s episode of the Future of Work Podcast features two very special guests from Skillsoft. Skillsoft is a technology company that produces learning management systems and the content that goes with them.  My two guests are Jerry Nine, the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Skillsoft, and John Ambrose, who is the Senior VP of Strategy and Corporate Development.   We speak on self-developing organizations and individualized learning.  Self developing organizations and focus on learning is a huge part of the future of work.

Skillsoft was started with the vision to leverage the internet to scale.  Meaning, previously many individualized learning opportunites had taken place through physical methods such as CD-ROM or VHS tapes.   As technology evolved, individualized learning has grown to match.  Starting in soft skills, Skillsoft has created many engaging learning opportunities that can be utilized for all learning styles.  Technology can catapult the way organizations and people preform.  Skillsoft has made it their personal mission to improve the performance of organizations by improving the performance of their employees.  Self-developing organizations are able to make transformations from current internal education and training programs to more compelling and effective for platforms for employees and organizations.


What you will learn in this episode

  • What is a Self-Developing Organization?
  • Broader Shifts on the Changing Workplace
  • Challenge With Current Education Systems Today
  • Evolution of Learning and Development
  • Corporate Culture
  • Employee Accountability in Upskilling
  • Big Data in Learning and Education

Links from the episode

Direct download: skillsoft_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:22pm PDT

My guest for this week’s Future of Work podcast is Régis Mulot.  Régis is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Staples.  We speak on why every company should be a platform company.  A platform company partners and incorporates technology from multiple corporations, partners, nonprofits, and educational institutions, to name a few.  While this concept is not new, it is growing and evolving.  Instead of only concentrating on what is going on inside a company, the focus is shifted to building networks outside of the organization. These networks assist in building a stronger, more profitable platform company.

Staples is a very large organization, and the 4th largest online retailer in the United States. With over 74,000 employees, Staples has many different lines of business that each continue to grow in the ever changing market.  Régis has over 25 years of HR experience, working all over the world.  He has spent a lot of his time working to support integration of the corporations Staples has acquired, in the US and Europe.  Régis shows how the idea of being a platform company can lead to success.   Knowledge sharing, data, and technology, are all collaboration tools that will be very prominent for the success of platform companies and the future of work.

What you will learn in this episode

  • What is a Platform Company?
  • What is an Employee?
  • How the Role of Employment Changing
  • Trends in Data and Analytics
  • Outdated HR Practices
  • Talent and Performance Management
  • Freelancer Economy
  • Non-Competition
  • People as an Intangible Asset

Links from the episode

Regis Mulot on LinkedIn

Direct download: Rgis_Mulot_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:16pm PDT

The Chief Human Resource Officer of the AARP, John Sigmon, joins me today on the Future of Work Podcast.  We talk about what it means to be an employee in the future of work. We discuss the very definition of what being an employee is, and how it is changing.  John describes with personal detail, how an employee would view their career path when it comes to working for a company.  The role of the employee is changing. Organizations need to think differently about the expectation of employees to settle at one company for a long amount of time.  Most positions are changing into more dynamic and flexible roles.  Many distinctions of employee types are becoming less defined as organizations are looking to the future, and changing as fast as the world around them.

At AARP, one of their goals is to change the dialog regarding what it means to get older.  In the HR department, John needs to ask if his department is changing as fast as the rest of AARP and other organizations.    His own recruitment to AARP is a great example of how the role of the employee is changing in relation to the organization.  When he joined AARP, he was brought on as an HR business partner.  He was able to work on projects that allowed him to contribute to the success of the organization, thus increasing his own market value. He accomplished this by receiving more jobs that increased his capabilities.  His own story illustrates how his relationship with the AARP has formed into an alliance.  John speaks to how this model fits in with the future of work and pushes the innovation of the AARP. 


What you will learn in this episode

  • How the Concept and Role of the Employee Has Changed
  • Millennials vs Older Workers
  • How to form an Alliance with your Employees
  • Treating Your Employees like Family Members
  • Turning Around a Corporate Culture
  • The Shift from Transaction to Employee Relationship
  • Forecasting the Future Employee

Links from the episode

John Sigmon on LinkedIn

Direct download: John_Sigmon_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:58pm PDT

This week on The Future of Work Podcast, my guest is Tara Sinclair. Tara is an Associate Professor of Economics and International Affairs at The George Washington University and Chief Economist at  Together, we look at the talent driven economy, which is the talent pool that is increasing and what that means for the future of work.  The talent driven economy effects everyone, whether you have a job, or are looking for one.  Tara shares her insights on what job seekers desire, and what opportunities and fields we are seeing growth in for available jobs. 

At George Washington University, Tara teaches courses in everything Econometrics to Macroeconomics, she also runs their research department that works on developing new forecasting models. Tara’s interest in forecasting for labor market applications lead her to Indeed.   She is able to provide a picture of the current labor market, and how it effects the employers who are looking for applicants. Tara is also able to identify positive trends for the job seeker.   Her fascinating field of study gives us a link between today’s job market and the future of work.


What you will learn in this episode

  • Trends That Are Causing the Fierce War for Talent
  • The Skills Gap
  • The Freelancer Economy
  • Small Vs Large Companies
  • Lower Skilled Workers
  • Labor Market Forecasting
  • Robots and Automation
  • The Silver Workforce and Career Changers


Links from the episode

Direct download: Tara_Michelle_Sinclair_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:05pm PDT

This week’s guest on the Future of Work Podcast is William Davies.  William Davies is the author of a book called The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being.  He is also the Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. This is a very interesting topic, as engagement, health, happiness, and wellness are all topics that many companies are discussing and investing millions of dollars in. In William Davies’ book, he argues that we should be cautious when putting all of our investments in happiness and engagement.  His point of view will make you question if we are a bit carried away with this movement and focus on happiness. 

William Davies works on combining the history of ideas and a critical sociology of political and economic institutions. He is very interested in the way our economy is governed, and is shaped by theories of markets, individuals, and in the case of his book, theories of the mind. The ideas and methodologies used by experts, are used to correlate how we think and how it effects the economy, also how we run our organizations.  His book is a critique of the way our vision of happiness is becoming more and more powerful in how we transform the workplace and govern our private lives. 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What is Happiness?
  • How is it Measured?
  • What is the Different Between Engagement and Happiness?
  • Commoditization of Happiness
  • What Impact Happiness Should Have on How We Work?
  • How is Happiness Measured?
  • Paradox of happiness
  • The Rise of Stress in the Workplace
  • Effects of Manipulation in the Workplace
Direct download: William_Davies_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:02pm PDT