The Future of Work Podcast With Jacob Morgan

Dee Ann Turner is the Vice President of Enterprise Social Responsibility for Chick-fil-A. She was previously the Vice President of Corporate Talent at Chick-fil-A for 16 years. She is the author of a book called, It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and A Compelling Culture. Chick-fil-A is a fast-food restaurant based out of Atlanta with over 2,000 locations all over the U.S. They have 100,000 team members including 1,600 in their corporate offices.  

Corporate culture is one of the most important aspects of an organization and it is a major topic of discussion nowadays. One company that is getting corporate culture right is Chick-fil-A. The original founder of Chick-fil-A, S. Truett Cathy, believed that Chick-fil-A was “not in the chicken business, but in the people business” and the way he developed and lead the company was a true testament to that belief. Cathey advised Turner to remember that, “people decisions are the most important decisions we can make”.  

Chick-fil-A has steadily increased in sales every year and their retention rates are phenomenal, which is rare for the fast food industry. They have franchisees from ages 19 to 80 with very diverse backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. They state that their purpose is, “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” Chick-fil-A has a very unique corporate culture and it really focuses on building up and investing in their employees. They truly are a company whose focus is on people, both the employees and the customers.  

Turner explains that Chick-fil-A incorporates one thing as an umbrella over everything that they do and that is the idea that they care about people personally. “Employees and guests are not just a name, they are a story and people know their story”. She says that Chick-fil-A employees celebrate milestones in each other’s lives. They throw baby showers and wedding showers, they attend their kids’ sporting events, they listen to each other and give advice. They understand that “to be innovative, you have to be diverse” and one of their core beliefs is that you should treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect.  

Leaders in the company are trained in and encouraged to use the Serve Model. Each letter in the word serve stands for a value. S is for see and shape the future because leaders should have vision and they should be able to articulate that vision to others. E is for engage and develop others. R is for reinvent continuously and the ability to be willing to change things up. V stands for valuing results as well as relationships and the last E is to embody the values of the company which include generosity, loyalty and excellence. Chick-fil-A believes that the higher up you are in the company, the more responsibility you have to embody the serve model. The focus is putting others before yourself.  

Chick-fil-A also has some very unique perks for their employees. Their headquarters have outdoor workspaces with full wifi, they have a cafe with free lunches, the company offers great health care and they allow employees to use condos owned by management for vacations. They also have an annual conference and one year they rented out the largest cruise ship in the world for it.  

Corporate culture is vitally important for successful organizations. It shapes who you are as a company, it helps you attract and retain great talent and it helps you focus on where you need to go in the future. Chick-fil-A is a great example of how putting people first can go a long way in creating an amazing corporate culture.  

What You Will Learn In This Episode: 

  • Why Dee Ann wrote her book and what the process was for writing the book 
  • How Dee Ann started working at Chick-fil-A 
  • The Chick-fil-A Corporate Culture 
  • What the Serve Model is 
  • Unique things Chick-fil-A does that other organizations do not 
  • How Chick-fil-A is using servant based leadership 
  • Employee experience for Knowledge workers vs. service workers 
  • The 6 step hiring process of Chick-fil-A 

Link From The Episode:

It's My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture on Amazon

DeeAnnTurner.com

 

Direct download: Dee20Ann20Turner20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:57pm PDT

Jeff Wong is the Global Chief Innovation Officer at EY, a global organization that has over 200,000 employees worldwide. Before he was at EY he spent 10 years in innovation at Ebay. He has an AB in Economics, a Master in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management and a MBA from Stanford University.  

The world is changing faster than it ever has before. We have seen the evolution of AI, self driving cars, drones and robots in the workplace and who knows where technology will go in the future. In this ever changing world it is imperative for companies to adapt and keep up with the times. The question is how can companies keep up when things are changing daily.  

Wong says innovation is “doing old things in new ways”. He says one of the most important things to do to stay ahead of the game is to pay attention to what is going on around the world. He says he is constantly reading up on world events and always listening to clients and employees around the world. Companies should be aware of what is going on around the world. EY has employees around the world which allows them to reach out to a whole host of regions in order to learn what different areas are doing and how it is working for them. Four main technologies that Wong and EY are paying attention to at this time are data analytics, blockchain, AI and robotic process automation.  

Innovation is no longer just about plugging technology in, technology is much more involved now. Companies and employees have to be willing to “get their hands dirty”. Wong says in order for companies to keep up with innovation they cannot just sit and talk about new technology. Companies need to play with new technology, they have to implement it and they have to actually use the technology to address real problems. Doing this allows companies to “see where that technology is today and how fast it is evolving”.  

There are three types of innovation; Disruptive innovation, which is looking far into the future to figure out what could be, adjacent innovation which is doing things one step ahead of today’s technology and sustaining innovation which should be done everyday to make sure you are staying on top of what you already have in place. Wong says it is so important for companies to implement all three types of innovation.  

When companies strive for innovation more likely than not, there will be failure. Wong says, “failure is a big part of innovation” and that the important thing is “what you learn from that failure and how to change the pathway around it”. Both Wong and EY embrace failure and understand that it will happen when companies try new things. There have even been times when a project or an idea has had to be scrapped completely. This is just something you have to be okay with if you want to be an innovative company.  

Wong says in order to be a leading innovator in a disruptive world “you have to be willing and eager to learn. You can’t get stuck on any framework or model”. He says you can’t just be focused on the technology of today and you have to have the “willingness to be wrong, and admit it”.  

When it comes to advice for organizations trying to keep up with innovation, Wong says it is important to “read a lot, know what is going on in the world, get your hands dirty….know where things are today and where they are going in the future”.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • What Jeff Wong is paying attention to in the way of innovation 
  • How innovation as a whole is changing 
  • Advice for organizations trying to keep up with change 
  • Examples of innovation from EY 
  • Blockchain: What it is and why it matters 
  • What is robotic process automation 
  • Answers to a few listener questions 
  • Where Jeff (and EY) stands on the subject of failure 

Links From The Episode:

Jeff Wong On Twitter

EY.com

 

Direct download: Jeff20Wong.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:06am PDT

Join this week’s podcast as I talk with Doug Waggoner, the CEO of Echo Global Logistics, about what Millennials want, how to manage them, how to adapt to this new workforce and some common misconceptions people have about Millennials.   

Doug Waggoner is the Chairman and CEO of Echo Global Logistics, a non asset based trucking company. Echo Global Logistics carries out about 14,000 shipments per day. They have 2300 employees in 30 offices across the country and 70% of the company is made up of Millennials.  

There are a lot of stereotypes and preconceived notions these days about Millennials and how they work. A lot of times people assume Millennials are lazy, spoiled, and they feel they are entitled. As someone who hires a large amount of Millennials, Waggoner feels that the stereotypes are not always accurate and they come from a misunderstanding of this generation.  

Waggoner says Millennials “don’t want anything everyone else doesn’t want, they’re just not afraid to ask for it” and that ability to ask for what they want comes from the values this generation has been taught. Waggoner believes Millennials are confident, authentic and they want opportunity and transparency.  

So how does Echo Global Logistics attract Millennials? They mainly send recruiters to college campuses to recruit newly graduated talent. The company understands what Millennials are looking for and what they want in a job. Waggoner believes that some of their biggest selling points to Millennials are their office locations, the unique office space set ups and their corporate culture. One of their main offices in the River North area of Chicago is located in a 100 year old distribution warehouse that has been modernized. They have floor to ceiling windows, an open work environment, a coffee shop and TVs all around the office.  

Their corporate culture is built on five main values, called the Echo Way. The five values are: Better is the only way, carry the load together, work hard and hustle, do what’s right and bring your own. They promote teamwork, making ethical decisions, working hard and always improving as well as being self motivated. They also use awards and social media recognition programs to frequently reward employees for carrying out the Echo Way values.  

Waggoner says his company is constantly listening to employees and having open conversations about what they are looking for, however it is a balancing act. It is important to listen to employees about what they are looking for, but it is “not just about bending to every will of the employee”.  Echo uses focus groups, surveys, committees and an internal podcast to learn about their employees’ wants and needs. However, with most of the company’s new hires coming right out of college, Waggoner says “we have to train new hires how to be employees”. They have to train them how to have realistic expectations, how to be responsible, and how to work hard as a large number of them have never had a job before.   

They say that by 2020 70% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials. So what can company leaders do now to be prepared for this shift? Waggoner advises company leaders to accept the fact that the world is changing and don’t resist it. He says, “you will become irrelevant if you don’t adapt”. You have to “do away with bureaucracy. Be honest, transparent and keep it light and fun”. Waggoner brings up the fact that ultimately you have to remember that as Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, you raised the Millennial generation and you are the reason they are the way they are. Therefore you have to deal with that now.  

What you will learn in this episode:

  •  How the workforce would look if we didn’t have any millennials  
  • Career paths and what the Millennials actually care about 
  • All about Eco Global Logistics and how they have used the hearts, minds, passions and dedications of Millennials to build a cutting edge organization 
  • How to build a company with millennials 
  • How to manage millennials 
  • Some misconceptions about millennials  

Link From The Episode:

Echo Global Logistics

Direct download: Doug20Waggoner20Podcast_fixed.mp3
Category:Millennials -- posted at: 11:02am PDT

Ben Waber is the Founder and CEO of Humanyze, a people analytics company. He is also the author of a book titled, People Analytics: How Social Sensing Technology Will Transform Business and What it Tells Us About the Future of Work.  

People analytics is a truly fascinating and exciting field that is changing the way companies test and analyze their employees, and ultimately how effectively the company is operating. Unlike the techniques that have been used in the past, such as annual surveys or polls, people analytics uses behavioral data that is collected directly from the employees in order to get a broader look at the day to day activities of a company. Ben Waber defines people analytics as “using data about what people do at work to change how a company is managed”.  

Humanyze is a social sensing and analytics platform that uses sensors in employee ID badges to measure important behavioral data such as where people are in the office at any given time and the volume and speed of an employee’s voice when talking with a coworker. Gathering these types of behaviors allows companies to get a bigger picture of the ins and outs of their company and the performance and patterns of employees. It can help find issues such as causes of stress in the workplace or the mishandling of how people are rewarded. People analytics can help companies answer basic questions such as, how much time should a salesperson talk with a customer or how much time does management spend with a certain department? These seem like basic questions, but they have not been answered up until now because we haven’t had a way to collect the data that is needed to provide answers.  

With people analytics we can look at the percentage of time a manager spends with their team, the amount of time employees spend with their coworkers, how people talk to each other and motion patterns. It is important to note that the sensors don’t collect individual conversations or specific data about an individual, rather they collect the data to give analysts a broad look at the company. People analytics allows data to come in and be tested constantly, as opposed to once a year with a survey. This helps companies to analyze data on an ongoing basis to allow them to make decisions and continue to adapt in a way that keeps them at the top of their industry.  

This doesn’t mean that companies should stop doing surveys and polls; those are good initial steps, but using surveys alone is not as effective as they measure employee perception versus reality.  

One example of a company who implemented people analytics is a call center that hired Humanyze. This call center, as with most call centers, had a huge number of employees and the goal of management was to keep as many people on the phones at one time as possible as success is measured by completed calls. Because of this, all the employees were broken up into teams and each team member had a separate lunch break. In terms of the number of people on the phone at one time, this seemed to be the most effective way to operate for the management team. However, after starting people analytics and testing they found that the performance level was nowhere near where it needed to be and employees seemed to be stressed. In the end they found that it was due to the fact that the employees were not able to talk to their fellow team members during breaks and therefore they weren’t able to vent about problem calls or get support from each other. From that data the company changed their policy to allow lunch breaks to have 15 minute overlaps for team members. This resulted in calls being completed 23% faster, lower turnover rate, less employee stress, and more cohesive teams.  

Without people analytics the call center may have never figured out what their performance issue was. As Waber states, “they didn’t have the data before, so they had no reason to change”.  

At this point in time there are some challenges for people analytics. It is a new concept and a lot of people are skeptical or scared of it. There is also a cost, as it requires companies to create a new type of team with analysts and data scientists as well as HR professionals and it requires certain technical updates. But the cost of ignoring people analytics far outweighs the cost of implementing it. There are already several companies, large and small, who have started using people analytics and as we proceed into the future more and more companies will join in. Waber says on average people analytics increases top line performance by 10-15%.  

Waber advises companies to “Take baby steps. You don’t need to jump out ahead, but do something that makes you uncomfortable and outside of your comfort zone”. Even if you haven’t started implementing people analytics yet, Waber says, “you are not that far behind, yet. But in the next couple of years it will be harder and harder to catch up”.  

What you will learn in this episode

  • What is people analytics 
  • Different types of data that organizations can collect 
  • We look at big data and people analytics and how those two things play together 
  • Software and hardware in people analytics 
  • Where we are today in people analytics and where they will go in the future 
  • Privacy issues 
  • The growing role of data scientists and analysts  
  • What organizations are doing in people analytics and why

Links From The Episode:

People Analytics On Amazon.com

Humanyze.com

Direct download: Ben20Waber20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:32am PDT

Monika Fahlbusch is the Chief Employee Experience Officer at BMC Software, a company in the IT management space. BMC Software has over 6,000 employees around the world and the Experience Team has 450 people focused on employee experience. Fahlbusch has a background in both IT and HR in high tech companies for the last 30 years.  

What is employee experience? According to Fahlbusch there isn’t a cut and dry answer for what it is; the answer will be different from company to company. This is because it is dependent on the employees in the company and the culture of the company.  Fahlbusch says it is important for companies to listen to their employees to find out where the “pain points” are and to find out the breaking points that inhibit productivity and innovation. Listening to employees and asking for where they think the company could improve can seem daunting to executives because they may feel that they have to implement all the ideas or risk letting people down. Fahlbusch says “sometimes you listen and that’s enough, sometimes you listen and learn, and other times you listen and have to make changes immediately”. So listening to employees doesn’t mean you have to implement every single idea, employees like to feel that they have a say and that they are being heard. 

There is no doubt the workplace is changing and that the future of work will look different than work today or in the past. Fahlbusch talks about four main areas in which the workplace is changing. One area is the physical workspace. Recently companies have started to move away from a physical space where employees have to report for work all day every weekday. Now companies are allowing employees to have more freedom to work remotely for a majority of time and then have a space where employees can come together once in awhile when they have to collaborate on projects in person.  

Another area the workplace is changing is how employees connect to the values of their company. Values are extremely important to the incoming generations such as the Millennials and it is important to them that their company reflects its values in real ways daily in the workplace. Its no longer good enough to say a company value is to “do the right thing”, nowadays you have to be sure your company is showing how to do the right thing, maybe by getting involved in community outreach or by operating in an environmentally responsible way. Other areas where the workplace is changing include the blending of personal and work lives and thinking outside of the organization.  

So what does the workplace of the future look like? Some things that Fahlbusch sees happening in the future is a move towards doing work while standing vs. sitting all of the time. She also thinks that physical work spaces will evolve from working in one big office building, to working remotely from any location. She believes companies will be more globally minded, closer to customers, and closer to communities. Fahlbusch hopes that the future of work will include a stronger collaboration between education and tech companies for mutual benefit and that there will be a real impact with information technology in the ways of AI and wellness/health.  

When it comes to employee experience Fahlbusch says that while some companies will say they don’t have the budget to impact employee experience, it is a choice. There is a cost, but there is also an opportunity cost for not doing it. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you want to be satisfied with the employees you have and the employees you are attracting to your company you can’t afford not to budget for employee experience.  

What you will learn:  

  • 4 key areas in which the workplace is changing 
  • What the workplace of the future will look like 5-10 years from now 
  • What Monika hopes the future of work will include 
  • How much employee experience costs 
  • How Monika defines employee experience  
  • How Millennials view work and how they are shaping the future of work 

Links From The Episode: 

BMC.com 

Monika Fahlbusch on LinkedIn

 

 
Direct download: Monika20Fahlbusch20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:07am PDT

Teresa Carroll is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Talent Solutions for Kelly Services. Kelly Services is a staffing agency that has been around for 70 years and now it is a $6 Billion company that has 10,000 employees operating in over 40 countries around the world. Carroll, who is actually an engineer in the automotive industry by trade, has worked with Kelly Services for 24 years in several different roles.  

Gig/Freelance economy is a huge topic of discussion these days. It seems like the gig/freelance economy is growing daily. Why are we having such a shift away from traditional, full time work? Carroll believes it is due to three key factors. First of all, it is due to demographics. We currently have four generations out in the workforce and as Carroll points out, “2 out of the 4 have clearly stated they don’t want to work full time for the same company”. The two generations she is talking about are the Baby Boomers, who are at retirement age but who don’t want to fully commit to leaving the workforce yet and therefore are doing part-time work, and the Millennials who have grown up with technology since birth.  

The second factor that plays into the move from traditional, full time work is technology. The advances in technology have allowed us to get work done in so many different ways using various platforms such as Upwork, Etsy, Uber, etc... It used to be that employees would have to go into the office where they were trained in one specific job, however now you can work from anywhere and jobs are more task driven. And finally, the third factor is psychographic, or how we think and make decisions. Today’s workforce realizes they have certain skills and they are in demand, and therefore they get to work how they want to work.  

When looking to figure out the true size of the gig/freelance economy it is hard to pinpoint due to challenges, such as the fact that there are so many different terms for this type of work. People use terms such as Gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors, entrepreneurs, etc... However, as Carroll points out, regardless of what name you use it is a fact that one third of today’s workforce does not work full time. According to a study done by Kelly Services, there are 600 million workers in the developing world and out of those workers 115 million work as independent contractors, 50 million are freelancers/business owners, 40 million are temp workers and 30 million are a hybrid of several different types of work.  

One thing you cannot deny is that this space is substantial and it is growing all the time. So what does this mean for companies? According to Carroll it means that companies need to continuously educate themselves on trends and they need to be able to adapt to a new type of workforce. We are going to see a move towards employing a mixture of full time, traditional employees as well as gig/freelance workers (depending on the needs of the company). With this shift in workforce it is important for HR and procurement personnel to work together and to sit down together to make a strategic plan. If companies choose to ignore this change they will not be able to attract and retain today’s top talent, and therefore they will stunt the company’s growth.  

What does it mean for individuals? Carroll encourages young people who are just entering the workforce to try three types of internships; one with a large company with a well-known name brand, one with a small entrepreneur, and one as an independent contractor in order to get a sense of the different ways to work. She also says it is important for workers to “get a specific skill set and keep adding to it” and to stay educated about business trends and the different ways people are finding work.  

 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • Trends fueling the gig/freelance space 
  • Some of the research Kelly Services has done around ggi 
  • Common freelance myths 
  • How companies can manage their freelance pipelines in this new type of employee/employer relationship 
  • What advice Teresa Carroll would give to companies and employees  
  • What the next 5-10 years look like for the gig/freelance economy 
  • Whether or not traditional full time work will disappear in the future 
  • How AI and robots fit into the future of work 

Links From The Episode:

KellyOCG

Kelly Services

 
Direct download: Teresa20Carroll20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:21am PDT

We explore the people strategy Adidas has been implementing with chief HR officer, Karen Parkin, and we talk about how things might be changing in the world of work. 

Karen Parkin is the chief HR officer at Adidas, a global sporting goods company headquartered in Germany. Parkin has been with the company for 20 years and with her background in sales she has been able to bring a unique perspective to the company’s new people strategy.  

Adidas has been going through a lot of changes including the arrival of a new CEO, which will bring about a change in culture and strategy in itself. Another change that has been taking place is in the company’s people strategy.  Adidas understands the importance of evolving with the ever changing world of work and the importance of employee experience and engagement. Parkin says, “to be successful we need the best people sitting in the right seats”, so when they were developing their new people strategy they had four pillars in mind. These four pillars dealt with attracting and retaining people, inspiring role models, fresh and diverse perspectives and creating the right environment for employee talent.  

Adidas recognizes that the world of work is changing and they knew they needed to develop a strategy that allowed them to adapt over time. They also feel that diversity in the workplace is very important and that welcoming in the new generations while still respecting the generations that are already in the company is essential. Adidas acknowledges that the competitor landscape has changed and they are no longer just competing with other sporting companies such as Puma or Nike, but they are in competition with all large global companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. As Parkin states, “the war for talent is over”. Companies cannot afford to just sit back and assume people will want to come work for them. In this day and age Companies have to work hard to attract and retain talent.  

Adidas traditionally conducted surveys every 2-3 years to look at employee engagement, however they are now bringing the focus to new management and a feedback culture where they can measure the experience employees are having everyday. Parkin brings a fresh look to these measurements as her background is not in HR, but in sales. She believes it is important to measure from a brand perspective, asking employees on a quarterly basis about how likely they would be to refer the company to peers, friends, coworkers and family. Parkin is constantly thinking about what her consumers want, need and think. She believes “people are the heart of the company, and HR is the head”.  

Another change Adidas has implemented is “moments that matter”. Parkin believes that in today’s workplace there is no longer a one size fits all model. The experience that one employee has is going to be completely different from someone sitting right next to them. Adidas brought a diverse group of employees into room and HR led an interview process where they asked the employees what moments mattered the most to them. From there Parkin and her team plotted several different employee experiences to see what the key moments would be.  

Some key moments that are common across the board to all employees would be the recruitment process and what the first conversation with Adidas looks like. Another key moment would be the first day in a new position. Some moments that matter that are not necessarily common to all people would be someone that wants to take a sabbatical, someone who wants to start a family or someone who wants to leave the company to work for another. All of these moments matter to employees and they are moments that Adidas is focusing in on to make sure they are great, memorable experiences.  

While keeping up with the changes in the world of work, It is important to be sure that your company is not just following any and every trend that pops up. Companies should understand their goals, culture and employees and make sure the trends work with their overall big picture before implementing any changes. The key, as Parkin puts it, is for leadership to understand that “people, products and brands matter equally”.  

According to Parkin, one of the most fundamental changes in the world of work is that it is “about the people, and it starts with the people”. The new role of HR needs to be the “table where the changes begin and a voice on behalf of the people”; HR is about people. 

What will you learn in this episode: 

  • Moments that matter in the life of the employee 
  • What it’s like working at Adidas 
  • Changes and challenges Adidas is going through 
  • What their people strategy is 
  • The four pillars of the Adidas people strategy  
  • What changes they are making to their physical workspace and why 
  • What does the future of Adidas look like 

Link From The Episode:

Adidas.com

 

Direct download: Karen20Parkin20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:45am PDT

Diane Hoskins, the Co-CEO of Gensler explains the importance of workplace design and what organizations can do to improve employee experience, productivity, and innovation.  

Diane Hoskins is the Co-CEO of Gensler, which is a global design firm that focuses on creating a better world through the power of design. The company started in San Francisco 50 years ago and they now have about 5,000 employees and 46 offices all over the world. Hoskins has degrees in Architecture and Business.  

Over the past 10 years Gensler has been conducting research on workplace design and how it affects productivity, innovation and competitive dynamics. In all of their research they came to the conclusion that workplace design does in fact contribute to innovation and productivity. When Gensler gets an initial call from an organization wanting to update their workplace they start by getting an understanding of what the core needs of the organization are. They have to get a sense of what the organization’s current culture is like, what its values are, and where the company is going in the future. During this process they interview employees, give out surveys, observe day to day activities and collect data in order to best serve the needs of the company. There are no two companies that are exactly the same, so it is important to design a workplace that uniquely fits each one.  

One topic in workplace design that has been debated a lot over the past few years is open vs. closed office spaces. Some people think it is better for everyone to have their own offices or cubicles and they believe that meeting spaces should be closed off and private. Others think open workspaces creates a better working atmosphere where people are more creative. Hoskins believes that it is all about a diversity of spaces and giving employees choices in their workplace. She says it is not about choosing either open or closed spaces, but having a mixture of both. For example, an organization could have closed meeting spaces of various sizes, open informal meeting areas with soft seating, and coffee bars and cafes for working and “unplanned chance encounters”. Hoskins says it is all about “unlocking the pathways that allow employees to step out of a routine”.  

Business leaders have begun to see that there is a relationship between their workplace design and the performance of their employees and their company as a whole. They can see it in examples such as Airbnb, Facebook, and Etsy. The most innovative companies are not using the office spaces of the past where the whole building had one static floor plan that was built with the job in mind instead of the employee. Now, organizations are realiizing that their workplace needs to be more fluid and adaptable and one that is designed to create an atmosphere where employees can do their best work. Hoskings says ideally companies would be adaptive, making small changes to their workplace all the time to keep up with their employees and the current technology. However, that is not always possible monetarily or physically, so she suggests that companies take a look at their design every 2-4 years to make sure it is the most effective use of the space. 

So what do employees want in a workspace? Based on Gensler’s research, the things that employees want are pretty basic and not anything over the top. The four main things that employees want are individual spaces that have a functional layout, adjustability that allows them to adapt their workspace to their current needs (sitting down, standing up, etc..), noise management, and access to the resources they need. After those four basics the next things on the list were food related such as a cafe or a coffee shop. Things that were not high up on the list were the over the top additions such as slides and ping pong tables.  

The fact is that most of us spend the majority of our waking hours in our work environment and that is why it is so important to have a space we can go to that allows us to feel connected, be productive, and stay focused. This also in turn helps the business because as Hoskins says, “healthy, strong people do great work”.   

What you are going to learn: 

  • Are offices going to disappear? 
  • What smart offices with automation look like
  • How psychology and sociology impacts design and architecture  
  • Is designing a new workplace something that is only feasible for large companies with a large budget? 
  • What do employees want from workspaces 
  • How choice impacts engagement 
  • The benefit or impact that workspace has on employees and organizations as a whole 
  • Which is best, open work spaces or closed work spaces? 

Links From The Episode:

Gensler.com

Gensler Workplace Survey

Direct download: Diane20hoskins20gensler20podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:43am PDT

Bruce Poon Tip is the founder of G Adventures, the largest adventure company in the world. The company is now 25 years old and today people from 160 countries book trips with G Adventures. He is also the author of Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business and Do Big Small Things.  

G Adventures has a very different business model than any other travel company. Most travel companies offer customers a luxurious experience with the modern amenities of home. Today at least 75% of holidays are all inclusive and take place on a cruise ship or at a compound. Poon Tip believes that the travel experience should be different.  

Poon Tip believes that if people want the comforts and amenities of home while they travel, then they should probably just stay home. He believes that traveling the world is about the experience of immersing yourself in another culture and truly seeing how other people live. His company not only gives customers an honest experience, but it also benefits locals in countries around the world.  

According to Poon Tip traveling is the “greatest form of wealth distribution”. People are always traveling to poor countries, but instead of putting their money into the local government and people they are giving their money to hotel chains and cruise lines. G Adventures remedies this issue. When people travel with G Adventures they are going to have the chance to shop at local vendors, stay in local hotels and eat at local taverns and restaurants in order to build up the local economy.  

G Adventures has a lot of different types of trips (over 700 to be exact). One type is local living. It allows people to travel to Africa and stay with a nomadic tribe, travel to Iceland and stay with a local family on their farm, travel and stay with locals in a small village in Italy. They also have projects in various countries that are helping locals achieve a better quality of life. One example of this is a cooking class G Adventures is setting up where travelers can go out and shop at local markets with children from a homeless shelter to get ingredients for the dish they will learn how to make. They can interact with the children and help them learn English. The travelers then go back and learn how to cook a dish with local teachers. Another project is one they are doing in India where they help women who are living out in the street by assisting them in getting a chauffeur’s license so they can make a living by driving travelers around the country. G Adventures wants to change the world and they believe that tourism can be the vehicle for that.  

In today’s world people want to feel they have a purpose in their work and companies are starting to evolve to give more meaning to the work their employees do. Companies really can change the world. But who is responsible for creating this purpose at work? Is it the responsibility of the company to create this purpose? Or is it the employee’s responsibility to find this purpose in whatever position they have? The answer is it is a mutual responsibility. Employees should make sure they apply for a company that has values that line up with their own with opportunities to make a difference and employers should be sure to provide these opportunities for their employees.  

Poon Tip plans to continue creating opportunities to improve the world through G Adventures. He sees his work more as a movement then just a job and he wants to continue using “tourism as a vehicle to change the world”.  

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What trials and tribulations Bruce went through to get his company where it is now 
  • Learn about G Adventures and what makes it different 
  • Where purpose at work comes from  
  • How Bruce reinvented and redesigned his entire organization after he realized things weren’t working 
  • Why he still has a check for $5,000 that he is willing to give any of his employees that can hurt his feelings 
  • Four conditions for happiness 
  • The five values of Bruce’s organization  
  • Interesting stories from Bruce’s experiences 

Link From The Episode:

G Adventures.com 

Do Big Small Things on Runningpress.com

 

Direct download: Bruce20Poon20Tip20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:18am PDT

Natalie Foster, the advisor to the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, discusses the gig economy and our growing need to re-write the norms of how work gets done.  

Natalie Foster is the Advisor to the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative and the Open Society Foundations. She is a Fellow at the Institute for the Future and New America California and she co-founded and launched Peers.org. Natalie also previously served as digital director for President Obama’s Organizing for America and the Democratic National Committee. 

In the past it was considered normal for workers to stick with a job at one company for their entire career. Throughout the worker’s time at the company their benefits, such as healthcare, workers compensation, and paid time off was provided by the employer. The employee was taken care of until the time of retirement. Nowadays the gig economy is steadily growing, but where are these independent workers getting their “social safety net” of benefits?  

One of the goals of the Aspen Institute is finding a bipartisan solution to support independent workers and to re-think capitalism. They are trying to find a “portable, prorated social safety net” for these workers so that they can have a flexible job while still ensuring they have access to the benefits of traditional employment.   

One of the challenges in the freelance economy is our inability to fully comprehend the number of people who are actually working in the alternative work space. One reason for this challenge is the fact that there isn’t one agreed upon definition of this type of work. Just think about how many different titles there are out there for these types of workers. You have gig workers, freelancers, contractors, independent workers, entrepreneurs, etc..  

So what do we know about the alternative work space? Upwork did a study that found that 40 million Americans do freelance work. The GAO found that 40% of workers are involved in some sort of alternative work (this includes part time work). Also, the rate of adoption of digital markets has been going up over the past three years.  

Foster believes that if we had a choice, most people would probably choose the “American middle class job” that you keep your whole life and retire from. But she says that those types of jobs have gone away for the most part. What we see taking the place of these middle class jobs are large employers such as McDonald’s, Walmart and KFC who offer the lowest wages and very minimum benefits. They also do not give their employees any control over their scheduling and no flexible work options. This is one of the reasons that the alternative work space is growing. People who have traditional jobs can no longer make ends meet and they don’t have the flexibility they desire.  

In our move towards an alternative work economy we have to be able to re-write some of the norms to help independent workers get the same support as traditional employment. Foster talks about the changes we made in the work economy when we moved from an agricultural society to an industrial one. Things like the 8 hour workday, paid vacation, and not working on weekends were all things that were not in place when we worked in the fields. Now we are going through another shift so we have to figure out how to create a new set of norms.  

The solution is to find a way to extend the “safety net” we have in traditional workplaces and offer it to the 40% of workers in the alternative workspace. Foster says there is already a model that is being tested by the New York BlackCar Service where there is an extra 2 ½% added to all payments that goes into a fund the company has in order to provide workers compensation to all of their drivers. Perhaps the same type of model could be incorporated into platforms such as TaskRabbit or Upwork where a percentage of purchases are put into a company wide fund in order to provide health insurance, paid time off, or sick days for their workers. Uber is also taking a step forward by accepting an independent drivers guild in New York that they will start using next year.   

Foster also mentioned that over the last 40 years our GDP has gone up and up but our wages have been going down and down. She believes there could be a way that everyone could share in this value that we as a country are creating. The alternative work space is growing, so it is important for us to find ways to supplement benefits that in the past have been provided by traditional employment. This move forward will take a change in policies, an acknowledgment of this change in our economy and a step forward by employers.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • We take a look at the social safety net and international income 
  • Find out what the skills gap is and what is going on there 
  • How portable retirement and benefits programs could impact the future of work 
  • Gig economy vs. broader alternate work arrangements 
  • How big the gig economy really is  
  • Social policies and how the workplace is changing 
  • The breakdown in the employee and employer relationship 

Links From The Episode:

Natalie Foster on Twitter

The Aspen Institute: Future of Work Initiative

Direct download: Natalie20Foster20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:41pm PDT

Karyn Twaronite, the Global Diversity and Inclusiveness Officer at EY talks about the importance of having a diverse organization, how to measure diversity in your company, and what steps you can take to move forward in this space.  

Karyn Twaronite is the Global Diversity and Inclusiveness Officer at EY, formerly Ernst and Young. EY provides auditing, accounting, tax, due diligence, mergers and acquisitions and advisory services to companies of all sizes around the world. They have 230,000+ employees in over 150 countries. One thing that makes EY unique is that two thirds of their employee population are members of Gen Y.  

Twaronite’s role at EY is really about helping the company to appreciate the unique differences and talents of all their employees in over 150 countries. She and her team help EY learn how to allow teams to best leverage those differences in order to create higher performing teams who can provide the best client service, innovations and creative problem solving techniques. This process doesn’t just stay in the talent department. Inclusiveness and diversity affects client relations, human resources, quality of service and market/brand recognition.  

How does EY make sure that their team is diverse and inclusive? As Twwaronite mentions, diversity and inclusiveness in itself is very simple, however it is made into a complicated issue due to our human nature. EY has locations all across the world and so they deal with all different types of mindsets when it comes to the subject of diversity. Some countries are more open and excited about it than others. Overall, EY takes a look at their company as a whole with studies, surveys, discussions and data to find where they have gaps in areas where they could be doing better. Once they find those areas it is important for them to implement change from the top of the company down. Twaronite says at EY benefits are for everyone, not just some people. They go to great lengths to make sure they look at not just the typical subjects of diversity such as gender and nationality, but also areas such as educational experiences and differing areas of expertise.  

When looking at diversity programs Twaronite says there are 3 Cs, compliance, character, and commerce. When diversity programs first started it was all about compliance. Companies were focused solely on numbers, and while that is still important to look at, it cannot be the full picture. The second C is character. It is important for your company to take at look at itself and figure out if diversity and inclusion is something you care about and believe in. This step is very important, but again it is not the full picture. The third C is commerce and it is something that is fairly newer. It is being able to look at diversity in how it impacts your topline and bottom line. How are you attracting talent, are you attracting diverse talent, do you have representation of a lot of countries around the world? This is not only important in regards to employee experience, but also in the way of quality of service for clients. Clients nowadays are looking for diversity in teams. EY has noticed that clients pay attention to the diversity of their teams and they have several examples of how their diversity has won clients over.  

How can your company measure diversity? There are several ways, but one of the most valuable things you can do is have your employees talk about themselves and their past experiences. Sometimes a team that looks homogeneous may be more diverse than you think. It is also important to conduct surveys, look at trends in your market, and keep track of data analytics.  

There is still a long way for us to go globally to make improvements in the way of diversity and inclusion. There was a study done in February that was sponsored by EY where 22,000 companies from 90 different countries were studied and two major things were determined. First of all they found that 50% of these companies had no women in management positions. Secondly, they found that companies with management teams made up of 30% or more of women had 6%+ more net margin.  

The problem is that as humans we have biases and preferences and moving past these can be very difficult. Learning to work with a diverse team of people who have different mindsets, backgrounds, and experiences can make the process longer and trickier. Also, not all companies have the awareness and education needed to understand how to put diverse teams in place. But companies need to realize that the results are far more successful than with homogeneous teams.  

When you implement diversity and inclusion into your company you improve employee experience. Employees are more successful when they feel that they can use their unique strengths and skills everyday. Also, when companies are more inclusive their employees feel a sense of belonging which is extremely important in building trust and productiveness.  

What steps can companies take to become more inclusive and diverse? Twaronite gives three pieces of advice. First, look outside of yourself. Make sure you look at your industry and market to see what other companies are doing. Find some companies that you admire in this capacity and learn what programs and policies they have in place. Second, look inside of your company. Find some problems within your company that you want to solve. Find the most critical gaps and focus on those. Do you need to improve how your team deals with customer needs? Do you need to better balance out your teams?. Third, use data to measure your growth. Listen to your employees, conduct surveys, pay attention to analytics to make sure you are not just putting a plan into place, but that you are taking action.  

 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • Why diversity and inclusiveness are so important for companies today and in the future 
  • How you can measure diversity 
  • What actions EY is taking to ensure they are diverse and inclusive 
  • How we measure up globally in the way of diversity 
  • What steps you can take to make your company more diverse and inclusive 
  • The benefits of having a diverse company 
  • What challenges stand in the way of making companies more diverse and inclusive 

Links From The Episode:

EY Diversity And Inclusiveness

Karyn Twaronite On Twitter

Direct download: Karyn20Twaronite20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:56pm PDT

Tom Gilovich is a professor of Psychology at Cornell University with an interest in judgement and decision making. He is also the author of the book, The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology’s Most Powerful Insights. He has studied many different facets of social psychology including sports decisions, political judgement and decision making, and relationship decision making.  

What is the difference between wisdom and intelligence? A lot of aspects go into defining wisdom, but in short intelligence is more about being book smart and wisdom is more about being people smart. To have wisdom you have to be knowledgeable about people; why they do what they do and think what they think.    

How can this be translated to the workplace? Gilovich discusses what managers normally do when employees are not performing as well as they should be. Most managers try to change the employee’s behaviors by pushing them in the direction the manager wants them to go. They push them with incentives, punishments, or motivation. But Gilovich says most of the time the poor performance isn’t due to a lack of motivation, it’s because the employee has a hard time “translating their good intentions into effective actions”. So instead of pushing, it is important for leaders in the workplace to understand their employees and to find ways to help their employees put their intentions into action.  

Another subject that deals with understanding how people think and act is discussed in an article where Gilovich talks about the difference between experiences and material things and how they impact our happiness. He found three things to be true. Experiences connect us to other people more than material goods do, we are less comparative with experiences than with material things, and experiences contribute more to our identity than material things. In the end he found that people get more enduring happiness from experiences than material things.  

Could this principle be used in organizations to make employees more happy and content with their jobs? We spend a majority of our time working, and yet it seems that most people become more and more dissatisfied with their jobs as time goes on. Perhaps if we could find a way to make work more of an experience people would enjoy their jobs and their satisfaction would grow over time. But who is responsible for this change, the employee or the employer? Perhaps a little bit of both. It is important for both parties to be a part of this change. Employers should focus on creating a better employee experience, however up to this point the responsibility has been put on the employer alone. It is also up to the employees to change their outlook.  

Gilovich gave an example of two janitors working at Nasa, when asked what they do for a living one janitor said “I clean the floors and empty the trash” the other janitor said “I help put people on the moon”. Both janitors were correct, except one looked at the simplistic version of the job whereas the other one looked at the bigger picture. One of these two janitors is going to have a greater sense of purpose and a better employee experience based on their outlook.  

Another thing we have to understand is that there are times when we misevaluate things in our lives. Gilovich gives the example of riding a bike. When you are biking and you face the wind you cannot deny it is there; it is in your face and you feel it. However, when you turn around and have it at your back you are grateful for a minute but then you don’t even notice it after awhile. This demonstrates how the things we have to overcome are the things we pay attention to, because we have to. Those hard times in life or the barriers that stand in the way of our happiness, we have to focus and work hard to overcome them. But the things in life that give us “a boost”-- a pay raise or a new car, the good times--those are the things that are easy to forget.  

Because we easily forget the good, easy times we have the tendency to look at others (possibly co-workers) and feel that the other people have better lives. We have a tendency to claim life is “unfair” when we see others get raises, promotions, or good things in life.  

How can we be the wisest one in the room and put it into practice in the workplace? We spend about 30% of our lives in the workplace, so happiness and fulfillment at work are important. In order to improve the employee experience it is important for both employers and employees to focus on cultivating experience. How can employees have a sense of purpose at work, how can employees and employers connect and form relationships, and how can employees attain more freedom while still performing their job? All of these things play into the big picture of employee experience and how to be the wisest one in the room.  

 
 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • The difference between wisdom and intelligence 
  • Why we misevaluate certain things  
  • Strategies and techniques to use to be the wisest person in the room 
  • How experiences have a different effect on us than purchasing material things 
  • How motivation impacts workplace 
  • Who is responsible for creating a sense of purpose; the employee or the employer 
  • Biases we are subjected to 
  • What is naive realism and how can we avoid it? 

Link From The Episode:

The Wisest One In The Room on Amazon

Direct download: Tom20Gilovich20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

David Klein, CEO and Co-founder of CommonBond discusses the exciting work culture and hiring process his team uses to bring in the best talent.  

David Klein is the CEO and co-founder of CommonBond, an online lending company for student loans.  It allows student to refinance their debt into a loan that consolidates several loans into one single loan and it provides a lower interest rate. David Klein co-founded CommonBond with two other MBA students whom he met in college when they realized there was a strong need for this type of service.  

CommonBond has around 80 employees and their corporate culture is very important to them. They were rated one of the 50 best work places by Inc Magazine. David Klein believes that creating a great workplace is largely dependent on employees and that is why hiring is so important to him. In the hiring process he looks for four qualities in every applicant. All new hires must have strategic acumen—really good business judgment and the ability to act independently—the ability to execute, internal drive, and good character.  

In creating the work culture, Klein and the rest of his team understand the importance of transparency. They hold weekly meetings on Fridays called Lunch and Learn where they spend the first 30 minutes listening to someone from the company talk about something new that is happening within the company and in the last 30 minutes they get to have a Q&A with Klein. During the Q&A session they can ask anything they want and Klein commits to giving them open and honest answers.  

They also have a social mission where they promise to give assistance to a student in need for every loan that they fund in the US. It is their way of giving back to the community and they are the first and only financial company to offer a one for one social mission.  

Some of the other unique things they are doing include a 12 week paid maternity leave and a 4 week paid paternity leave,  unlimited vacation, catered lunches on Fridays, student loan assistance and monthly happy hours called Common Brews. All of this is planned by their culture team, which is a team of people that is randomly selected from their employees and rotates every quarter. 

Their workspace is also worth mentioning as it speaks to the importance of transparency in the company. It is an open floor plan with high ceilings and wood floors. All of the conference rooms have floor to ceiling windows on 3 sides and they have common spaces with couches and chairs.  

In order to work with CommonBond one must go through a unique hiring process. It starts off familiar with a resume drop, a phone screen and then an in person interview, but if you move past this part it becomes different. In the last step of the interview process every new hire has to do what is called a prompt. They are asked one big question or a few meaningful questions and they have to present their answer in some sort of presentation. The presentation could include a PowerPoint, an excel spreadsheet, or anything else the person can come up with. These prompts give CommonBond insight into the new hire’s personality.  

So why do they spend so much time and detail in the hiring process and in creating an exciting work culture? Well, as Klein discusses, the more they focus on hiring and retaining great employees the more it creates a “self-fulfilling prophecy” where new people come in and they want to work at CommonBond because of the people they meet in the interview process. They want to work with smart, kind, compassionate, hard working people. And with this hiring process and work culture, those are the types of employees they bring in and retain.

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • Why it is important to focus on people and culture 
  • The unique hiring process at CommonBond 
  • What is CommonBond doing that landed them a spot on the top 50 best workplaces by Inc Magazine? 
  • Incentives and wellness programs CommonBond uses 
  • Four important attributes to look for in new hires 
  • The importance of transparency and how the leaders of CommonBond stay transparent to their employees 
  • The one of a kind social mission of CommonBond 

Link From The Episode:

CommonBond.co

Direct download: David20Klein20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07am PDT

Ron Storn is the Vice President of the People department at Lyft. Lyft is a ride-sharing company based out of San Francisco, CA that unites technology and humans for more affordable rides. He has been with Lyft for 3 years and he is at the head of all of the recruiting and human resources for the company. Lyft has been around since 2007 and when they started they had 80 employees and now they have 1200.

Over the past 20 years the function of HR within companies has really changed. Back in the 1990s the HR department was more about execution. The head of the company would tell you who to hire and when and HR would do it, no questions asked. Nowadays it is more about being an integral part of the business and the HR department is more involved in the whole process. It doesn’t matter how good your business plan is in theory if you don’t have the people to pull it off.

With this shift in mindset about HR, companies have started spending more time figuring out how to attract and retain talent. The fast rate of growth at Lyft from 80 employees to 1200 in the last 10 years is a testament to their success with attracting and retaining employees. They are doing some really unique and effective things to get the best talent.

One hot topic nowadays is figuring out what Millennials want in a workplace. Storn states that there are three things that Millennials really want; they want to work with top notch people who they can learn from, they want to work on interesting things, and they want to have a connection to the company’s mission. Storn believes that Millennials are enthusiastic and passionate and they really want to make a difference. One of the issues companies have with Millennials is that they want to make a difference very quickly and then move on to the next thing, but the process doesn’t always happen as quickly as they want it to.

Lyft has some really unique internal programs that help create their corporate culture. One example is a tradition they have for new hires. Every two weeks they have an all hands meeting where the whole company comes together for a meeting. During this meeting they do a comedic roast of all of the new people.

Another program they have for new hires is an incentive to get to know other people within the company. They give the new hires a coffee card and tell them to take another employee who is not in their department out for coffee.

Storn says Lyft is set apart from their competition by their experience. They believe it is important to share stories with the employees to show that what they do affects their customers. One example of how a driver impacted a customer is shown in a story about a driver who was driving a passenger on Valentine’s Day. The driver handed the passenger a note that said Be My Valentine and the passenger started crying. The driver pulled over, turned off their meter and talked to the passenger for awhile. A few weeks later a friend of the passenger wrote a letter to Lyft thanking that driver for saving their friend as their friend had been contemplating suicide but felt touched by what the driver did.

Lyft also puts a lot of effort into creating a unique working atmosphere. At one of their buildings they have a secret Willy Wonka room where you push a picture to open up a door into a secret room. Their new building in Seattle will have a secret coffee bar. They also have a mixture of open and closed working spaces that allow employees to work in a space that is conducive to what they are working on. They really encourage collaborative working, so no one has an assigned office.

Lyft has four core values that they use to shape their corporate culture and employee experience. The four core values are be yourself, create fearlessly, uplift others, and make it happen. They want employees to come to work and be the same person as they are at home (they even allow dogs in the office). They encourage workers to feel empowered to fix problems on their own, focus on the team instead of I, and to do things instead of sitting back and waiting.

When it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent Storn advises managers to change their mindset and meet employees where they are at. It is important to appeal to what the employees are looking for. Make them feel like they are adding value to your company. For employees who are looking to have a better work experience Storn says make your voice heard. If you are looking for a new job, don’t focus on the job alone look at the company as a whole. He says, “Pick the company, not the role. The role will follow”.

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How HR is evolving
  • Employee Engagement vs. Employee Experience
  • How Lyft attracts and retains top talent
  • How can you help employees connect with the big picture
  • Find out what Millennials are looking for in a workplace
  • What unique techniques Lyft is using to improve employee experience
  • What can employees do if they are looking for a better employee experience

Link From The Episode:

Lyft.com

Direct download: Ron20Storn20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06pm PDT

So in this EM world, what would EMs do? In Hanson’s view they would take over all of the work form the humans. Some EMs would do virtual jobs and some would do physical jobs, therefore they would be able to switch from a physical form to a virtual form in an instant as we are able to get in and out of our car to go somewhere. EMs would live mostly in city centers and interact with each other as humans do.

And what would humans be doing during this time? Well, first they would all have to retire. After EMs are around humans wouldn’t be able to compete for jobs so they would retire to live off of their savings and live a life of leisure. Hanson believes some humans would have money from creating EMs, because in the beginning the people who are the best in their fields would be sought out to scan their brains for EMs earning big money. Later on younger people would most likely be sought out to create EMs as they would be able to learn new things the quickest. Some may also make money from investments or have money saved up. Those who don’t have money at this time probably wouldn’t survive, it would just depend on how areas would take care of each other, divide money, and provide for humans. EMs would most likely run 1,000 times faster than humans so they would evolve much more quickly than humans have. Therefore, the EM Age may only last 1-2 years so in that time humans probably won’t have time to change much.

There are different views that people have when they read about EMs, either they think it is fun and exciting to learn and think about or they think it is crazy or scary or impossible. For people who think it is impossible, Hanson explains that we have had 3 major eras of humans; Foragers, Farmers, and Industry and in each era there has been a sudden change to bring about the next era. So the next era after ours could be the EM Age. People who lived 1,000 years ago would probably think that the innovations we have today are crazy or impossible. Regardless of what the future holds it will still be strange to those of us who are living in the current era.

Hanson’s book touches on several aspects of the EM Age including the basics, organization, economics, sociology and physics. In the way of physics Hanson touches on things such as the relationship between the body size and mind speed of EMs as well as the energy and cooling usage that the EMs would need.

In the section on economics Hanson discusses many things including the fact that EMs will happen when it is feasible to make them at a low cost. Even if we had the technology now to create them, it would be too expensive. It would have to cost as much as or less than it costs to pay humans to do those jobs now.

When Hanson talks about organization he talks about how EMs will have similar units as we have among humans; cities, families, firms. However they will also have clans. Clans will be EMs that are copies of the same human and they will be more identical than twins. And in the section on sociology Hanson talks about how sex and mating will be different for the EMs. On the one hand they are a copy of humans and therefore it would be ingrained in them to have a need for love, sex and connection. However there would be factors that would make this difficult such as their work drive not allowing them to focus on anything else and the fact that the ratio between male and female probably wouldn’t be equal.

Many people may ask how could we get a future that no one wants. It is hard to imagine anyone in today’s age that would want all humans to have their jobs taken over by machines and the possibility that humans would be without money and therefore not be able to survive. However, it would not be a result of what we all want together. No one is choosing technology collectively; it’s not something we vote on or agree on. It is done by individuals who are innovating things in order to move forward and make money. The EM Age could come as a result of decentralized competition. Each of us trying to individually get what we want could end in all of us together getting what we don’t want.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Find out what an EM is
  • What the next 100 years look like with Ems
  • Why should we care about EMs now
  • How robots and automation will affect the way we live and work in the future
  • Find out how EMs are different than automation and AI
  • How will EMs live and work
  • What the role of humans will be in an EM Age
  • What would be needed to create an EM Age

Link From The Episode:

The Age of Em on Amazon

Direct download: Robin20Hanson20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:21pm PDT

Arun Sundararajan is the author of The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism. He is a professor of business at the Stern School of Business at NYU. He is interested in researching how digital technology brings about change in our economy and he has published over 50 scientific papers and over 30 op-eds on subjects related to this research.  

The sharing economy is a very hot topic at the moment. How will the sharing economy evolve? How will it impact traditional jobs? How many vendors will succeed in this type of economy? Although we are still in the very beginning stages of this type of economy, Arun Sundararajan’s extensive research allows us to take a deeper look into what a sharing economy actually is and what the future of this space looks like.  

When asked what the sharing economy actually is, Sundararajan says he believes that a sharing economy has at least 5 characteristics. One of the characteristics is that a sharing economy takes an activity that was once provided by a large institution and takes it to a marketplace type environment. One example of this is shown in hotels vs. Airbnb. Not long ago if you were traveling out of town most likely you would stay at a large hotel chain such as Hilton or Holiday Inn. Nowadays Airbnb has become extremely popular. So instead of staying in a large hotel chain owned by a large corporation, people are using the marketplace type platform of Airbnb to stay in other people’s houses.  

Another characteristic is that there is a blurring of lines between personal and professional. Companies like Uber and Airbnb are a great example of this. We are using these professional platforms for things that we used to only do on a personal level with friends or family. We are getting a ride from a stranger or staying in a room in a stranger’s house.  

Some of the other characteristics he touches on are that we are using assets more efficiently and therefore there is an increase in impact in capital of labor of assets, there has been a shift in who is providing the services, meaning a job that used to be done by a group of highly trained professionals is now done by a distributed group of people who may not have had any specialized training, and there is a blurring of lines between professional full time work and casual freelance work.  

When talking about the sharing economy it is important to note the advances and innovations that have allowed us to get here. One of the important advances that is necessary for a sharing economy is a comfort with digital platforms. The fact that we have become so used to and dependent on digital platforms such as Ebay, Craigslist and Amazon has played into the growth of the sharing economy. We have become very comfortable with using technology in our everyday life.  

Another innovation that had to come about before we could have a sharing economy is the GPS. There are several platforms such as Uber that would not work without GPS. Which leads into another innovation that is essential to a sharing economy, and that is the Smartphone. The Smartphone makes it so easy and convenient for people to connect to platforms such as Uber, Upwork, Airbnb, etc… 

Another important aspect of our move towards a sharing economy was trust. Even 20 years ago we didn’t have the trust needed to allow a sharing economy to succeed. Platforms such as Ebay and Craigslist eased us into this trust several years ago. People were able to purchase items to be sent to them and the trust needed was fairly limited. You needed to trust that they would send the products on time and in good condition, but there really wasn’t much risk involved. Now, our trust level has gone up to the point where we are now allowing individuals to come into our home to paint or clean or we are putting ourselves into a stranger’s car. 

Even though it has taken a lot of innovation and forward moving to get where we are, Sundararajan feels that we are coming full circle back to the work model of the 18th century where transactions were peer to peer. The only difference is now we are putting platforms in between the individuals. The sharing economy is like a hybrid between the 18th century marketplace and the 20th century organization. Sundararajan hopes that people will see the move towards a sharing economy more as an opportunity then a threat. He feels that this shift in our economy will bring us back to genuine human contact in our everyday economic activities.  

In the next few years Sundararajan would like to see the sharing economy expand rapidly. However, to have this happen successfully there are two things that he believes are important to focus on. One is funding for things such as paid vacation, insurance, and other benefits. At this time these things are funded by a company or the government in exchange for full time employment, however if we move towards the crowd based capitalism it will be important to find another way to fund these types of benefits. Another thing that is important is getting past the “regulatory conflict” as quickly as possible. He believes that if we can get past both of these hurdles, then the future of crowd capitalism and a sharing economy is promising.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • What the sharing economy actually is 
  • What are some of the popular companies in this space 
  • Trends that are fueling and enabling the sharing economy to actually happen 
  • Get a look into the differences between the platforms being used 
  • How many vendors will succeed and thrive in this space? 
  • How big is the freelance economy? 
  • Legal issues that organizations deal with in a sharing economy 
  • Economics and the business impacts of all of this  
  • Where all of this is going in the future 

Link From The Episode:

The Sharing Economy On Amazon.com

Direct download: Arun20Sundararajan20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:01am PDT

Thomas Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College in Massachusetts. He is an author, the co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, a Fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Senior Advisor to Deloitte Analytics. He has spent the last 30 years focused on the Sociology of Information, studying and teaching about how people and organizations use information. He currently teaches MBAs at Babson College about Analytics, Cognitive Technologies, Big Data, and Knowledge Management.

Thomas is the co-author of the new book, Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines. In the book Thomas and co-author Julia Kirby discuss the rise of job automation and how humans can secure their place in the workplace in the midst of this shift by using the 5 alternative strategies they lay out.

The move towards automation in the workplace, while not new, is a controversial subject that is becoming a large part of our current work economy. There are two camps of people today, those who are opposed to the move towards automation and those who are embracing it. The people who are opposed are scared about the implications of automating jobs. They feel that this shift in our economy will create chaos and wipe out jobs for humans. The camp of people who are embracing it feel that automating certain jobs could be a good thing and that we will always find a way to create new jobs for humans.

Thomas talks about how reality is somewhere in the middle of the two camps. While automation could cause some jobs to be at risk, it may not be as perilous as some people may think. He talks about how most jobs have several tasks to them, some of them are automatable and some aren’t. In the podcast he gives an example explaining how automation could help lawyers cut down on the time they take to search through documents and contracts for items pertaining to a case. This process probably only takes up about 20% of what lawyers actually do, so as Thomas mentions, this automation wouldn’t completely replace lawyers, but perhaps in a law firm of 10 lawyers, the automation would relieve the workload to the point where they can do with 8 lawyers instead of 10.

In an Oxford study done in 2013 they estimated that 47% of U.S. jobs are automatable. People such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have been very vocal about their concerns with the future of human jobs and our very existence in light of this rapid shift to automation. However, when you look at jobs that have already moved towards automation, such as bank tellers, it shows that the move may not be as rapid as they think. In the 1980s there were a half a million bank tellers, and today, there are still half a million bank tellers despite the invention and implementation of ATMs.

While automation may not take over human jobs at an alarmingly quick rate, it is still something we need to be aware of. Automation, bots, and software are getting to the point now where they are becoming more capable of taking over knowledge jobs, whereas before they were only taking over labor intensive jobs such as manufacturing. Because of this, Thomas and Julia felt it was important to write their book that, first of all, encourages augmenting human labor with smart machines as opposed to completely replacing humans with machines and, secondly, shows people five ways to make themselves irreplaceable in the workplace.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Is automation a new thing?
  • Whether or not jobs are in jeopardy because of the growing use of automation and bots
  • 5 steps you can take to be sure your job is secure
  • The kinds of jobs that will be affected by automation and which ones will be safe
  • Some encouraging examples of automation being used today
  • In the move towards automation, what does this mean for organizations? What does it mean for individuals?
  • How we can prepare for automation
  • The timeline for automation and when automation will become mainstream
  • Where the future of automation is going

Links From The Episode:

tomdavenport.com/

Only Humans Need Apply On Amazon.com

Direct download: Thomas20H20Davenport20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 5:36am PDT

Jennie Carlson is the Executive and Chief Human Resource officer at US Bancorp.  They are the 5th largest bank in the US, with 67,000 employees.  Jennie has been with the company for 15 years and able to provide valuable insight in this week's podcast. The HR department has a pyramid of shared services.  The normal HR functions such as payroll, employee relations, and recruiting are along the baseline. As the pyramid climbs higher, talent development, advancement opportunities are the focus.  At the very top, the message of how US Bancorp can use people and talent to drive the strategy of the organization cascades down and drives the actions of the entire department.  Other topics this can include are organizational design and fostering a great employee experience to lead to a great customer experience.

The role of HR has evolved over the past few years.  The department has seen a shift from an ‘order taker’ mode to become strategic partners that help set the corporate strategy and the organizational design. Employee experience is a huge focal point.  This can include technology, flexible work arrangements, and employee engagement.  Jennie shares how US Bancorp uses engagement surveys from their employees, which they use as a marker for continuous improvement. 

Traditional HR Metrics include employee engagement, as well as, other topics such as retention and exit interviews. Moving forward, US Bancorp is moving their analytics team from HR to strategy.  This allows data to be pulled from the same sources, but it is being looked at differently, from the lens of the customer analytics department.  Jennie believes that analytics should be deciphered in the best suited department.  Companies that have larger marketing and customer analytics departments may be able to provide newer insights than smaller HR departments can.  This can allow cornerstones of data, like the employee survey, to be drilled down as much as possible.  Another area is making sure they are keeping in line with their ethical culture.  The future of analytics also allows for characteristic and trend tracking in many employees.  Keeping ahead of trends allows companies to gain a full picture of what is going on inside their company, allowing them to continuously improve to create a better organization.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How HR Is Leveraging Analytics
  • What Type of Data is Collected
  • Analytics for Hiring
  • Skills Needed to Build an Analytics Function
  • How HR Can Work With IT
  • How US Bancorp Provides Value to Their Business Partners
  • How Transitioning Employees for Flexible Work Effects Management

Link From The Episode:

Learn More About U.S. Bank 

Direct download: Jennie20Carlson20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:53pm PDT

Anka Wittenberg is the SVP and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at SAP, a software firm based in Walldorf, Germany.  She holds master’s degrees in economics and international business and is a mother of three.  That last note is what helped launch her career since holding two master’s degrees was not enough to get her an interview with the larger firms in Germany just because she also had small children.  This one difference between Anka and the rest of the workforce is what opened her eyes and showed her the need for more diversity and inclusion in the workforce.   This observation has helped Anka become a guest lecturer, author and advocate for true diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

 

Being the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for SAP means that Anka oversees the sustainability of people and the diversity and inclusion of everyone.  What exactly does that mean? That it does not matter the sex, culture, ethnicity, age, or physical ability of a person but ALL types of people need to be included within the workforce. The uniqueness of your workforce begins to emerge when you include people from all walks of life you begin to see the diversity.  SAP has a goal of having 25% of their leadership roles to be filled by females by the year 2017 and by the year 2020 their goal is to have 1% of their workforce positions filled by autistic people.  Along with this diversity and inclusion you must work on the sustainability of the people within your organization. 

 

One of the biggest changes that is happening today is the change within the corporate culture and thinking with regards to diversity & inclusion.  Organizations are beginning to change their thinking on how they are training and sustaining their employees by focusing more on the holistic picture.  Due to these changes organizations are beginning to see the business impact within employee engagement, improved customer satisfaction and innovation. 

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What diversity & inclusion Means.
  • The four subcategories of diversity & inclusion.
  • What the is the business impact of diversity & inclusion.
  • How organizations are changing their corporate culture.
  • How SAP is implementing various programs to be a completely diversified & inclusive organization.
  • What the key points are in an employee’s experience.
  • What is unconscious bias?
  • How can organizations can focus more on diversity & inclusion.

Link From The Episode:

Diversity And Inclusion At SAP 

Anka Wittenberg on LinkedIn

 

Direct download: Anka20Wittenberg20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 5:04pm PDT

Beth Taska is the EVP of Human Resources for 24 Hour Fitness, which was founded in 1979 and has over 400+ locations and over 23,000 employees serving 4 million club members.  She has held the CHRO (Chief HR Officer) title and Senior HR positions for corporations such as Clearwire, Gap and Sears.  Beth’s career path was not of the norm, she holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and a graduate degree in Public Administration and worked for several municipalities around the Chicago area before beginning her career in the HR world. 

The CHRO role at 24 Hour Fitness includes onboarding over 17,000 people each year from the very inception when someone begins with 24 Hour Fitness and training these people.  There is a duality with recruitment here because there is a large part of the 24 Hour Fitness workforce that uses their position as a stepping stone and part of the workforce includes people that want a longer tenure with the company.  24 Hour Fitness practices relationship based leadership and practices positivity and making a difference in some fashion with their members and their employees. 

In this episode Beth will discuss the differences that relationship based leadership can make within an organization and how that affects employees.  What true leadership is and where it comes from, some of the simplest behaviors can make the largest impacts on an individual which in turn can make large impacts for an organization.  How doing a 5 minute “Gratitude Circle” first thing each morning with everyone sets the positive tone for the work day ahead.  What 24 Hour Fitness strives for each of their members with relationship based selling and how they turn that into a positive for their bottom line.  How they deal with having mostly female members versus male employees.  Beth discusses all of these things and explains the impact that being vulnerable makes for everyone within an organization and how to be vulnerable.

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Beth’s story
  • What is Relationship Based Leadership?
  • What is Relationship Based Selling?
  • Four traits that leaders should have.
  • How to work with employees want a long tenure and employees that want a short tenure.
  • How to bring vulnerability to the workplace
  • Are work families a good thing or not what, exactly what is a work family.
  • Why it’s important for leadership to be viewed as human versus mechanical

Links from the episode:

Beth Taska On LinkedIn

BethTaska.club

Direct download: Beth20Taska20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:35pm PDT

Bask Iyer is the chief information officer of VMware and serves as the company’s senior vice president. Prior to VMware Bask was the chief information officer for Juniper Networks and held the same position at Honeywell and GlaxoSmithKline Beechcam. He is an industry veteran with more than 25 years experience within the Silicon Valley based technology firms and more traditional Fortune 100 manufacturing companies.

VMware was founded in 1998 in Palo Alto and is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and virtualization software services with approximately 20,000 employees and 6 billion in annual revenues but they manage to retain that “start-up” feel. With that in mind VMware strives to stay on top of the latest technology “wave” and to do that you need talent, the right talent. More to the point with today’s technology and millennial talent: “Yesterday’s news wraps fish”, what you did last year doesn’t matter today. So VMware and Bask are constantly changing with the times and needs to recruit and retain great talent.

The best talent asks “Why am I here?”, they don’t settle and they want to change the world. To keep this talent, you must have the assignments to capture their ambitions, you have to keep the organization’s innovation continuing to grow and change. Simple tricks such as a ping pong table, free food or a great cafeteria will not keep the talented millennials with your organization because they are not learning and growing with these “shiny perks”.

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why Millennials – Why Does The CIO Care About Millennials?
  • What Is It Like To Work At VMware?
  • Shiny Perks – Is That All You Need To Recruit And Retain Millennials?
  • Multi-generational Work Force
  • What Millennials Care About and What’s Important To Them
  • How Millennials Are Shaping Tech Decisions

Link From The Episode:

Bask Iyer on Twitter

Direct download: bask20iyer20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Millennials -- posted at: 8:15pm PDT

Andrew Wilson is the Chief Information Officer at Accenture.  He leads the company’s global IT operations, where his work helps Accenture enable businesses with increasingly advanced technology. Andrew also aids all of Accenture’s 400,000 workers (this includes guest and contract workers) by making sure all of the technology is running, keeping them connected, productive, and happy as well. Post- Millennial digital services, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat, has set the bar on what Enterprise services must deliver for their employees and customers. Legacy technologies, such as email, are still being used, but are not the focus as the digital experience grows.

Accenture offers their own report on the state of technology industry and what it means for enterprises.  This is released in an annual report called Technology Vision Report.  Building and elaborating on prior year reports, new major themes and trends are brought to focus.  Enterprises can navigate this report and apply new technologies to their businesses to get a leading edge in technologies ever changing landscape.

The prospect of what can be accomplished digitally is changing because technology has a greater range into our lives than it ever has before. Digital is everywhere, it is pervasive.   Andrew is working on creating platforms that mirror our current social media platforms, integrating new technologies such as adding holograms.  There are new ways to train, deliver content, even finding your way around through an organization.  Not adapting to these new ways of work can cause organizations to become irrelevant. 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What is the digital worker?
  • Facebook and Snapchat – How and why people like Andrew are focusing on social technologies
  • The digital culture shock
  • The 2016 Technology Vision Report
  • How Accenture digital worker internally
  • The importance of employee experience in today's workplace

Links From The Episode:

Technology Vision 2016

Andrew Wilson on Twitter

Direct download: Andrew20Wilson20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:57am PDT

Frank Tucker is the Chief People Officer of Taco Bell.  Working with the company for the last 23 years, Frank has made his way through the human resources department.  He has worked in designing employee processes, methods, tools and technology, and has become the Chief People Officer in 2012.  Taco Bell owns approximately 900 stores, which represents 40,000 employees.  A huge part of their business is with their many franchisees.  This adds another 6,000 stores, employing an additional 160,000 people.  Because they are located in all 50 states, it is hard to imagine anyone not being familiar with Taco Bell.

Taco Bell looks for really great people to start working with them. In some cases, they understand this may only be a stepping stone for certain employees in their careers. In other cases, there are many employees who want to grow and develop within the company. This includes employees who develop into managers and leaders who run their own franchise.  Education is also a key component for many employees. Taco Bell has supported education efforts with their internal training programs, with many college credits being earned from Taco Bell as well as a tuition reimbursement program. 

Attracting and retaining top talent is a focus for many companies, especially Taco Bell.   They believe investing in team members will give them a competitive advantage, no matter how long the employee’s career will remain in the company.  This speaks to their broader mission, the future of America is with its youth.  Not only is investing in team members the right thing to do, it resonates with Millennials and Generation Z.  Empowering employees to reach their dreams aids in employee engagement and the quality is raised for the customer experience. 

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • How Taco Bell Approaches Leadership and People Development
  • Age Differences in the Workplace
  • Frontline Workers and Knowledge Workers
  • Leadership Programs: The Mark, The Quest, and The Spark
  • How the Concept of the Employee is Changing
  • Advice for Future Employees and Managers

Link From The Episode:

TacoBell.com

 

Direct download: Frank20Tucker20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:47pm PDT

Mihir Shukla is the CEO of Automation Anywhere, an enterprise software company.  They are redefining how work gets done by introducing the idea of a digital workforce platform and digital workers that work alongside human employees.  This combination is designed to help the human employee accomplish more than they ever could alone.  Automation Anywhere has 300 hundred employees in 10 offices worldwide.  Mihir’s goal is to become one the world’s largest employer without having any employees. How will they accomplish this? Projections show in the next four years, Automation Anywhere will reach 3 Million software bots worldwide which are producing at the capacity of 3 Million people. While they are a software company, the production levels are so high that they are the world’s largest employer in the digital age.

Software bots are digital workers. They can complete mundane tasks, and also tackle more complicated problems as well.  Many employers want their workers to complete today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges. However, we still have yesterday’s job to do as well.  Processing invoices, verifying documents, generating reports, data entry, and other tasks still need to be completed.  The workforce has been spread very far and work/life balance is not yet where it should be.  Introducing mundane and complex tasks to the digital workforce allows the human employees to think, create, discover, and innovate.  The man and machine partnership isn’t new, and has allowed the world to advance in countless ways.  This concept has now trickled down to our offices, and the outcome can be nothing short of spectacular.

Many people cannot tell the difference between if a bot or a human completed a task.  Automation Anywhere provides learning bots that learn from human behavior. There are many industries that use bots, and people interact with them on a daily basis without ever knowing.  Airline processes, car production, even a pen sitting on your desk could have been created using a software bot.   The addition to these bots have allowed workers to have less stress while doing their jobs, provide better service and even reclaim work/life balance in some cases. The bots have allowed human workers to be less of a robot themselves at work and reclaim their humanity while preforming their jobs.   

 

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

What Is A Software Bot?

Software Deployment

What Do Bots Do?

What A Human Robot Relationship Entails

What Types Of Skills are Needed For The Future Of Work

Should Robots In The Workplace Be Feared Or Embraced?

 

Link From The Episode:

Automation Anywhere

Direct download: Mihir20Shukla20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:32am PDT

Francine Katsoudas is the Chief People Officer of Cisco, one of the most forward thinking organizations on the planet when it comes to designing employee experience and thinking about the future of talent.  Cisco was started in 1983, and now has 70,000 employees in over 170 countries. It began as a networking company and moved into collaboration/video. They are a very philanthropic organization... one of the current projects in Francine's sector is called Corporate Social Responsibility. It offers networking academies around the globe that help students learn technology. In the last year, they trained a million students!
 
Francine has been with Cisco for 20 years, the first half of that being in the business field. She was always fascinated with human resources and finally made the move for a few different reasons, including the fact that HR at that time had a wonderful team that she wanted to work with. Francine has been CPO at Cisco for almost 2 years now. The role was originally CHRO until they developed a plan to build a new HR infrastructure. The history of HR was more about risk and compliance, while the new digital world necessitated anchoring on people, culture, and experience instead. With the title change, Francine's duties and Cisco's focuses evolved as well. 
 
Cisco now focuses on special experiences and moments that matter. Focus groups help identify which experiences could be better for employees by asking questions like "What is a good day at Cisco?" Cisco has also made performance management much more inclusive and stopped moving from system to system. Francine believes the future of work is all about people. As technology continues to scale and the world becomes more agile, people are at the heart of work learning how to work in different ways. An organization can have the best technology but if their employees' behaviors and attitudes aren't aligned, you just have problems.
 
 
What you will learn in this episode:
  • How to do business and be proactive in a world where work is moving faster than people are able to move
  • How businesses look at their results and measure what they can do to create powerful teams
  • How Cisco creates the best environment for the best teams
  • Getting the best out of your employees
  • Creating an environment that fosters risk taking
  • Driving the best employee experience possible
  • Cisco's people deal, how they did away with performance management, and their concept of moments that matter

Link From The Episode:

Fran Katsoudas on Twitter

Direct download: Francine20Katsoudas20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:12pm PDT

Kathrin Winkler is the Chief Sustainability Officer at EMC, a massive global organization that offers products that enable customers to store, manage, protect, and analyze data. EMC started with helping businesses store data but evolved as the economy has transformed into the digitization of everything. It is a $25 billion company with 70,000 employees all over the world.

Kathrin is a self-proclaimed geek with a pre-med background that ended up in the technology industry. She started in hardware, then worked her way into software, and eventually into networking. She joined EMC 13 years ago in the product management field. Kathrin helped create an informal sustainability program, working on how EMC could reduce its impact and make a more positive effect on the world. In early 2008, the CEO made the program official and established the position of Chief Sustainability Officer that Kathrin now holds.
 
Sustainability is more than just being green. It can mean many different things to different people but is basically a way of conducting business that serves the needs of the community of the planet, now and in the future. Kathrin believes that a sustainable organization looks at the world as a system to ensure that their business isn't coming at the expense of our children. Sustainability is important to customers and Kathrin has found that EMC's revenue through companies that care about sustainability increases year after year. It is also proven that organizations that invest in sustainability do better financially in general. But it is equally important to employees. People care about their legacy and want to know that their work makes a positive impact. They want to work for companies whose values align with their own.
 
Sustainability creates a common ground that brings employees together and establishes connections, which is especially important for a company that has employees all around the globe. It boosts innovation and employee engagement. Employees that are proud of their company are more productive and engaged. A result of engaged employees is creativity which continues to benefit sustainability.
 
What you will learn in this episode:
  • How employee engagement and sustainability are related
  • Is sustainability just about going green?
  • How organizational purpose and sustainability relate to each other
  • Why sustainability is becoming so popular
  • Why companies should be measured by more than just profits
  • The interesting things that Kathrin is doing at EMC to drive sustainability forward

Link From The Episode: 

Kathrin Winkler On Twitter

 
Direct download: Kathrin20Winkler20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:09pm PDT

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is one of world's top business and leadership experts. He is the author of 35 books, including the most recent bestseller ‎Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be. This and another of Marshall's books were ranked by Amazon as two of the top 100 leadership and success books of all times. In fact, he is the number one leadership thinker in the world! Around 1,500 people around the globe are certified in the process he uses for leadership coaching, and tens of thousands use the process.
 
Marshall has flown 13 million miles and been to 92 countries on his journey as an executive coach. He got his PhD at UCLA in organizational behavior and accidentally fell into his field of executive coaching while working as a college professor. He is generally hired by the current CEO to coach the future CEO, by the board to coach the current CEO, or by the CEO to coach themselves. He offers a guarantee that if his client's behavior isn't changed after an agreed to period of time, he doesn't get paid. 
 
The coaching process begins with Marshall interviewing everyone around the client, which can include direct reports, peers, and board members. He then develops a profile about the client's performance and reviews it with them. The client is required to follow-up with people around them and with Marshall. He has found that there are certain behaviors that coaching cannot fix such as someone that isn't motivated or has already been written off by their company. Also, he will not deal with integrity problems or functional issues. Marshall is in the business of helping winners, not fixing losers. 
 
Along with executive coaching, Marshall spends his time writing, speaking, and recording videos for YouTube. He gives away all of his material... people can download and share any way they wish. He believes it is the kind thing to do as he has plenty of money, but it also saves him a lot of trouble since he doesn't have to worry about anyone stealing his material.

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • What Marshall actually does
  • Common belief triggers that kill change
  • What is a trigger
  • Is coaching available for everyone or just winners?
  • Marshall's concept called the Wheel of Change
  • How to handle unconscious triggers before they lead to bad behavior

Links From The Episode:

Marshall Goldsmith on LinkedIn

marshallgoldsmith.com

Triggers on Amazon

Direct download: Marshall20Goldsmith20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:04pm PDT

Jessica Mah is the founder and CEO of inDinero, one of the bay area's hottest companies. We met in Israel in 2009 when Jessica was just getting started building the company's software with her computer science background. Today, inDinero has 200 employees across 5 locations. Their purpose is to help businesses with accounting and taxes, like an outsourced finance department. One of Jessica's goals for her organization as it expands is to handle growth gracefully and retain culture along the way.
 
One thing that sets inDinero apart from other companies is their interesting and unique talent practices. Jessica coined ABF talent as a way of rating team members and their performance. A employees are ones that she would enthusiastically rehire given what she knows about them today. B employees are ones that she might rehire but need to show improvement. These team members are put on a program to enhance their performance. Then at the end of the quarter, they will either be fixed or be fired. Jessica is a firm believer that harboring mediocrity is not conducive to good results. Her ranking system has proven very successful in transforming B players into A players.
 
Another unique practice at inDinero is that they do not use e-mail internally. Instead, they converse via group chat rooms and messengers. This prevents employees from being held hostage in group email threads that unnecessarily fill up their mental bandwidth. All of the executives also use a special calendar grid that is tailored to the way that they want to spend their work week. This helps reduce stress and increase productivity. inDinero has a distinct hiring process to improve the odds of successful hiring and they also have high employee referrals. Jessica attributes much of the organization's growth and triumph to their values, such as radical candor and transparency. 
 
What you will learn in this episode:
  • ABF framework
  • inDinero's culture committee
  • Crowdsourced culture book for employees 
  • Calendar grid for scheduling
  • inDinero's e-mail policy
  • How Jessica deals with recruiters trying to poach employees

Link From The Episode:

Indinero Blog

Jessica Mah on Twitter

Direct download: Jessica20Mah20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Millennials -- posted at: 10:55am PDT

Miguel Gamino is a self-proclaimed "accidental public servant" now working as the Chief Information Officer for the city and county of San Francisco. He was on a little break after starting a couple of tech companies in his hometown in Texas when he was approached by the city manager. Even though it was not an intentional career path, Miguel was convinced to do his civic duty by helping to reshape the technical organization for that city government. He stayed for over two years before being recruited by San Francisco. As the CIO of what is thought to be the center of the tech universe, there are major expectations for Miguel but he believes it is a good challenge. 

Miguel was appointed by the mayor to lead the tech strategy for the city and county. He is responsible for leveraging technology to improve the government and how it delivers services, and then advising the mayor and other departments. Miguel is also the department head of San Francisco's central IT department so he really gets to roll up his sleeves and make sure they are delivering daily. On top of those responsibilities, IT is now becoming a direct service provider to the public for many things.
 
I can't think of anyone more appropriate than Miguel to enlighten us on the 5 pillars of a connected city. First, connectivity is the foundation. We have to make sure that people across all communities and lifestyles are connected. San Francisco is now offering free WiFi access with top speeds in a number of public spaces. They also want to offer a choice of connectivity at home that is equitable and accessible. The other pillars are digital service, delivering technology as a service, talent, and cybersecurity. When Miguel thinks of living and working in a connected world, he thinks of the unimaginable. The investments and decisions we are making today around the value and impact of connectivity will have a chain effect that we can't expect to fathom.
 
What you will learn in this episode:
  • Current San Francisco projects
  • Connectivity efforts
  • How work and life will change in a connected city
  • What exactly a CIO does
  • What the city of the future may look like
 
Links From The Episode:
 
Direct download: Miguel20Gamino20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:31pm PDT

Dr. Christine Geith is the CEO at eXtension, which is part of the Cooperative Extension System. She has worked in higher education at two universities, including Michigan State most recently. Her specialty is online learning. About three years ago, Christine got involved in refreshing the conversation about the Cooperative Extension System's digital strategy and knowledge dissemination to the public,. Her goal is to help the system's professionals increase their measurable local impact.

 
The Cooperative Extension System was founded 100 years ago and includes 120 institutions that have different types of funding from the federal government. It is basically a network of people in every county across the United States that is responsible for spreading research based science and innovation to families, communities, and farmers. They share information about food systems, production, family nutrition, solutions for obesity and chronic disease, community prosperity, starting small businesses, protecting and managing natural resources, extreme climate and weather change responses, and more! 
 
Christine believes that the system is America's best kept secret. It was created by the people, for the people and is the largest informal learning network across the country. There are at least 15,000 people involved in the extension offices that are spread over the US. Different states have different priorities so the role of extension in economic development will be different depending on the goals of each state. The programs that emerge from the Cooperate Extension System create opportunities and evolve as the needs of communities change. 
 
Cooperate extension helps people adopt new ways of living, working, and creating livelihood so prosperity and health are increased across the country. Even after 100 years, the system continues to be a priority funded by the USDA and the states. Agriculture is the root of the system, but not the limit of its scope. Due to the incredible variety of resources that it offers, it remains resilient and adaptable. 
 
What you will learn in this episode:
  • What is cooperative extension
  • What are social entrepreneurs
  • How is innovation changing for social entrepreneurs
  • Comparing the differences in ashoka, singularity, cooperative extension
  • Online learning
  • Role of communication in innovation
  • How to apply these new models in our communities

Links In the Episode:

eXtension.org

Direct download: christine.geith20podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:31pm PDT

Matt Perez has been in the technology industry for a very long time, working in both small and large companies.  Almost 10 years ago he co-founded Nearsoft with partner Roberto Martinez. Nearsoft helps their software development company clients grow development teams with engineers in Mexico. Clients can then reap the benefits of a team that speaks the same language and works in the same time zone. Currently, Nearsoft has around 200 employees and 3 offices in Mexico. Even more unique than their strong presence in Mexico is the fact that there are no managers or titles at Nearsoft… it is completely self-managed!

According to Matt when people start working at Nearsoft it takes them a while to really believe that they don’t have a boss. They have an onboarding process that is currently being expanded from 2 to 6 weeks to help deal with that. The process highlights how to work with clients and communicate within the organization. New hires are assigned a mentor for any questions they may have. Everything, such as philosophy and values, is written so employees have context and know the appropriate things to do. It isn’t so detailed as step by step instructions but includes the necessary materials for employees to accomplish their goals.

Nearsoft also encourages leadership teams as part of a decision matrix that spells out the types of decisions that are made around the company. Anyone can start a leadership team on any topic, from trivial to profound. Others can choose to sign up, and the only rules are to keep minutes and post them for transparency. Even if a decision is made that Matt and Roberto don’t agree with, they will do what the employees feel is in their best interest. Without a manager, employees remain accountable for their own work by using OKRs, or objective key results. They define personal and work-related goals that they want to accomplish for the quarter. Nearsoft has a very well defined governance framework. So employees should explore what they are doing to contribute to the company’s vision and purpose for the next 5 years.

  

What you will learn in this episode:

 

  • What it’s like to work at Nearsoft
  • What self management is really like
  • The concept of how to treat people like an adult
  • Ownership by decision making
  • Workplace flexibility
  • Holacracy
  • Pros and cons of this type of organizational structure

Link From The Episode:

Nearsoft.com

Direct download: Matt20M20Perez20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:44pm PDT

Lindsay McGregor is the co-founder and CEO at Vega Factor, a company that helps organizations build high-performing, adaptive cultures. She is also the co-author of a New York Times Best Seller, Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation. Lindsay received her B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard, and has worked with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and universities. She started her career working in strategy and found that one question often popped up.. "Do we have the culture to pull off the strategy?" Many companies would chose small, incremental improvements in their culture. She found that it was difficult to convince companies that big culture changes could really impact their performance and bottom line.


Lindsay teamed up with Neel Doshi to research what is a great culture. They tested dozens of theories through research around the world, from 50 major companies and 20,000 people. They found that one truly predicted performance and that is total motivation. Total motivation, or ToMo, is the simple theory that why people work determines how well they work. There are six reasons why people work - three lead to higher performance and three lead to lower performance. They range from play, which is working because you love the work itself, to inertia, which is showing up today simply because you showed up yesterday. Many factors influence an employee's ToMo score like performance reviews, pay, and design.
 
Organizations can measure employees' individual ToMo scores and then use them to measure the organization's ToMo score as a whole. Not many companies have a high ToMo score... most are pretty low. A common misconception that can fuel this is that leaders have to be tough dictators to get high performance. However, happy employees and high performing organizations are not competing things. Investing in one leads to the other. Organizations should create a balance of play, purpose, and potential to combat low performance and increase their bottom line!
 
Things you will learn in this episode:
  • Total motivation, or ToMo
  • The six reasons why people work
  • The two types of performance
  • Cobra effect
  • How annual performance reviews affect ToMo
  • Blame bias
  • Fluid vs. frozen organizations
Links From The Episode:
 
 
Direct download: Lindsay20McGregor20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:14pm PDT

The way that cities evolve impacts our lives, personally and professionally. Jonathan Reichental works as the Chief Information Officer for the city of Palo Alto, reinventing sectors of the government that are struggling. Cities need a CIO because technology is the center of operations and almost all projects have a technical aspect. Not every city currently has a CIO but we are seeing the shift and demand to take IT to the center of delivering better services to citizens.

 
Jonathan's office is in the city hall of Palo Alto. They built a civic tech center that looks like a start up, offering on-site training and team building. His team consists of 32 full time staff, plus temporary staff related to different companies like contractors and employees from vendors. Relative to cities of its size, Palo Alto has a large IT group. The city delivers all of its own utilities which generates half of its revenue. The population of less than 100,000 people doubles during the day with workers and students commuting in. The area has a huge appetite for technology!
 
Jonathan is in a position to really observe and influence The City of the Future. So what does that look like? If the current trend continues, the vast major majority of the future will be in an urban setting instead of rural. Cities aren't currently ready for that. Our commutes are horrendous and we have crumbling infrastructures. The climate change and its effects need to be addressed. Our energy systems need to advance. Cities are typically inefficient and each part doesn't communicate. Many sectors of city government need new innovation and ideas. The Internet of Things will make the City of the Future possible... we can connect traffic signals to software for maximum efficiency and better traffic flow. We will be able to do the dreaded activities like renewing a driver's license and acquiring permits on a phone or computer, instead of spending the whole day at a government office. The parts of our daily lives that are still trapped in the past will catch up to the present. The software to facilitate The City of the Future exists, we just have to take a risk!
 
What you will learn in this episode:
Technology and people components of The City of the Future
Big data
Transportation
Education
Community versus Organization involvement
Sustainability and going green
Smart cities
 
Link From The Episode:
Direct download: Jonathan20Reichental20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:48pm PDT

Mark Curtis started his career in the marketing and digital field, and is now the co-founder and Chief Client Officer at Fjord. Fjord is the design and innovation part of Accenture Interactive that employs 750 people in 18 cities... mainly designers spread across the world! The company is growing rapidly due to the increasing demand for service design and the delivery of end design digital products. Mark and his team are responsible for inventing services and laying out the design.

 
Fjord's recent report, The Era of Living Services, describes how data analytics will be combined with the Internet of Things to create services that come to life! It is based on the thought that we are currently experiencing the third era of digital that adds complexity on top of the previous eras - desktop web and smart phones. These services are described as living because they will change in real time, be all around us, and effect our lives in really profound ways. The Era of Living Services will be very impactful at work, at home, and in our education, health, and shopping! This will introduce a whole new level of individualized digital experiences. 
 
The Era of Living Services has arrived due to several trends. For one, the price point is at the right place. Technology is becoming more affordable than ever. Also, the expectations of consumers are raised. Millennials in the workforce have a completely different attitude to this kind of progress. They accept and encourage it. And technology, such as AI and robotics, is advancing at an exponential rate that will fuel the Era of Living Services!

 

Things you will learn in this episode:
What is living service?
Concepts of liquid experiences
Why living services are starting to happen
How this impacts how we work and live
What this means for privacy, security, and ethics
Challenges this will create
How liquid consumer expectations spill over into workplace
Employee experience
 
Links From The Episode:
Direct download: Mark20Curtis20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:02pm PDT

Marco Annuziata is the Chief Economist and Executive Director of Global Market Insights at General Electric. He is relatively new in the company, only having been there for 5 years in a newly created position. Marco is tasked with studying what is happening around the world and how it will affect employment, economies, and growth. He looks at the long term geopolitical, economic, social, and technological trends, then maps that to the risks and opportunities for GE's different businesses around the world. 

GE uses the Global Innovation Barometer to learn how people feel about innovation. It is a survey of business executives and the informed public across 26 countries that identifies the implications, obstacles, advantages of innovation. Marco's team uses the barometer to get a sense of what is happening globally and in each country. One of the key findings is surprising... people are generally optimistic about the 4th industrial revolution's affect on economic growth and living standards.
 
Marco's team essentially tries to predict the future based on the data from the Global Innovation Barometer. They build their own forecasts of growths, investment outlooks, and more. They can then bring insights to management and the rest of GE. It is a very demanding and fallible process, but extremely fascinating!
 
What you will learn in this episode:
What is the Global Innovation Barometer
Key findings of the Barometer
Marco's outlook for the U.S. economy
Automation
4th Industrial Revolution
Startup mentality
Talent acquisition
 
Links From The Episode:
 
 
Direct download: Marco20Annunziata20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44pm PDT

 
Joe Burton comes from a corporate background, working in high stress situations with long hours and constant travel. His career was on an uphill track but his personal life and health started to decline. He even developed insomnia and asthma around the age of 40. Up until then, he would have laughed if someone suggested mindfulness as a way to alleviate his stress. Joe realized that mindfulness training helped him be more present and aware. He developed a deeper relationship with his emotions and central nervous system. It changed the way he is with his family and as a leader.
 
Now Joe is the founder and CEO of Whil, a mindfulness training company that offers three digital programs that work on any computer or mobile device. Mindfulness and Yoga for Adults which is all about stress reduction and improving performance. Grow is for helping teenagers deal with being a teen in today's world. Search Inside Yourself is focused on leadership, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and collaboration skills. Whil is primarily focused on serving corporations, healthcare systems, and universities but can be used by anyone that is looking for a way to help calm their life down. It now has 350,000 users and for every product sold, Whil gives one away.
 
The average person spends almost half of their time with their mind wandering, usually worrying. We are living in an age that has our brains trained for activity. Mindfulness trains our brain to go to a place of calm and focus so we can be more present in our lives. Just 5-10 minutes of practice a day on bringing our attention back to a focal point can help us be able to maintain sustained attention for longer periods of time. It is like going to the gym for your brain..not easy but very rewarding!
 
"Having the awareness to understand when to act and when not, and being able to act out of choice instead of compulsion is a big part of mindfulness." - Joe Burton
 
Mindfulness training is becoming more common on the workplace because there are now thousands of studies in the field of neuroscience that correlate it with improved health and performance. It is linked to improved cardiovascular health, immune systems, healing time, memory, and focus. Studies even show a link to reducing chronic pain and PTSD. Of course this is important to employees but it also benefits companies that want to reduce absenteeism and health care costs. In this on demand world, it is important to be equipped with ways to relieve stress and mindfulness training is the perfect tool.
 
What you will learn in this episode:
  • What is mindfulness
  • Myths and misconceptions
  • What it means to be mindful
  • Examples of mindfulness
  • Impact of mindfulness
  • Leadership and relationships
  • Tips on how to become more mindful
 
Link From The Episode:
 
 
 
Direct download: Joe20Burton20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:43pm PDT

The workplace of the past is gone... We are now talking about homing from work, not working from home. Tim Oldman uses his background in interior design and architecture, along with his fascination in merging diagnostic tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to get a better understanding of employee spaces. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Leesman, famous for the Leesman Index, which is an independent auditor of the relationship between employees and the space that is provided for them. Tim compares Leesman to the radiographers of the corporate workplace and that couldn't be more appropriate!
 
Leesman releases a variety of reports on ideas like cost of occupancy and employee retention. They adhere to the concept of open source knowledge so anyone can view the reports on their website.The Leesman Index looks at the impact of work spaces on employees and identifies the most effective spaces. Tim is clear that it isn't about how pretty, or how large, or how expensive a space is designed. The key is knowledge transfer. A successful organization must capitalize on knowledge existing within so they should create an environment that better facilitates knowledge transfer. 
 
The most recent Leesman Index was released in November 2015 and shredded many myths about the physical work space. It found that there is no difference on how work spaces impact gender and that age does have an impact but it is not generational. The report also shows that natural lighting is preferred over artificial, informal areas are more effective, and other important factors. However, one-dimensionally planned spaces never work. The highest performing workplaces take all factors into account. They have flexibility and variety which increases employee production and pride.
 
What you will learn in this episode:
 
What is the Leesman Index
Who is the company that has the highest LMI
Differences in high performance and low performance work spaces
Shredding work space myths
Work-life balance
How the leading organizations are already way ahead
 
Links From The Episode
 
 
 
 
Direct download: Tim20Oldman20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:14pm PDT

We are currently in the midst of an industrial revolution with an exponential pace of change and it is disrupting industry in every country. This revolution is different from the past three in terms of velocity, scope, and impact. It is a digital revolution, characterized by a fusion of technology that is impacting every aspect of how we work and how we live, creating threats and opportunities. Skills that we learned in formal education are now becoming irrelevant. Employees should be prepared to completely reskill themselves.


I recently spoke with Sandeep Dadlani, the Executive Vice President and Head of Americas for Infosys, on what is going to be required from employees of the future to succeed and thrive. Infosys is a massive, quick growing global consulting firm. Sandeep has been with them for over 15 years in a variety of roles. They have studied the 4th industrial revolution and the impact it is going to have thoroughly. Infosys believes the answer to the challenges we face in this revolution is education.
 
With technology evolving so quickly, corporate training programs are behind the times and desperately need to be updated. We should focus on education in areas like computers, data, artificial intelligence, and designed thinking to enable consistent training for the workforce. Learning should be a creative, clever environment that allows employees to prove that they are innovators. Managers just need to listen to the future... youth already has a good idea about what they want to be trained on. 
 
 
What You Will Learn In This Episode:
 
  • World Economic Forum
  • What is the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Amplifying human potential
  • Skills gap
  • Emerging markets versus the United States
  • Education and training in the workforce
  • Gender divide
 
Links From The Episode:
Direct download: sandeep20dadlani20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:49pm PDT

Lately, I've been surrounded by the theme of management and leadership, and the role of each in the future of work. Today, we are chatting with Sydney Finkelstein to discuss what makes some leaders truly exceptional. Sydney is the Steven Roth Professor of Management and faculty director of the Tuck Executive Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is also the author of the phenomenal new book Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent
 
The idea for Sydney's book and the Superboss title arose from a pattern that he noticed in the food industry where sous-chefs at a particular restaurant were moving on to new restaurants and becoming executive chefs. Sydney began to research if the pattern was present in other industries and found that in many fields, one person has immense influence in the development of talent in that field. The book took 10 years to write... the more time Sydney spent on it, the more fascinated he became!
 
So what exactly is a Superboss? While a leader is someone that creates other leaders, a Superboss is even more than that. A Superboss is a leader that helps other people accomplish more than they ever thought possible. He or she really makes it their business to turbocharge their employees' careers. While most bosses are narrowly focused on performance, command, and control, a Superboss has an invested interest in employees succeeding. 
 
Sydney shares some examples of Superbosses ranging from Ralph Lauren of fashion to Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle. He has found that there are 3 types of Superboss: Iconoclasts that tend to be creative and need to learn, Glorious Bastards who are tough and may even lead with ridicule, and Nurturers that truly care about the success of their protégés. We discuss how to spot a Superboss and how to interview a prospective employer to learn if they are a Superboss. 
 
"Anyone in an organization can become a Superboss." - Sydney Finkelstein
 
We all have the potential to be a Superboss. The traits are completely learnable and teachable but one must be willing to make the commitment. Instead of solely thinking about development of talent and retention, consider the outflow. The best talent most likely sees themselves moving on to bigger and better things so enable that idea. Continue to interact with your team members after they leave your nest. Always be on the look out for talent, inspire your team, instill confidence in others, delegate tasks but don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, as well!
 
What you will learn in this episode:
  • What is a Superboss
  • What separates a Superboss from others
  • How Superbosses fit in with organizational structures
  • Real examples of who a Superboss is
  • How do we identify a Superboss to work for them
  • Servant-based leadership
  • How Superbosses are motivating employees
  • Innovation and talent in HR

Links From The Episode:

Sydney Finkelstein on Twitter

SUPERBOSSES on Amazon

Direct download: Sydney20Finkelstein20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:06pm PDT

A few months back while I was doing a keynote in Mumbai, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. N.S. Rajan. Dr. Rajan is the author of a new book, Quote Me if You Can, as well as Group Chief Human Resources Officer and a member of the Group Executive Council of Tata. The Tata group is comprised of 100 companies with over 600,000 employees globally. It is one of the largest organizations in the world with companies offering a broad range of services and commodities. Each company has body and mind of its own, with Tata being the soul.  

 

As Group CHRO, Dr. Rajan works with the CHRO in every company in the Tata group, providing critical leadership and spearheading diversity initiatives. He believes in putting the effort forth to create more effective and better leaders with a concept similar to servant based leadership. While managers focus on the task to be completed, the process to complete it, and supervising a set of people to get there, the leaders role is more ambiguous. They must envision, set new directions, and inspire and value their team. To be a leader, it is absolutely essential to listen to people and understand their needs. 

 

The secret of leadership: 

Those who rule must serve, those who serve will rule. – Dr. N. S. Rajan 

 

Leaders at Tata follow a parenting model. They aren’t intrusive but rather lend a helping hand in a positive way.  Leaders have to learn to exercise power prudently, and to combine passion and compassion. Leadership is evolving due to the changes of the world, such as downturns in economy and technological advances. Organizations must continue to adhere to their values as leadership evolves - considering ethics when promoting or creating leaders, as well as experience and competence.  

 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How leadership is changing 
  • The role of leaders 
  • How millennial leaders are different 
  • Diversity in leadership 
  • Important skills and qualities of a good leader 
  • Trends shaping the future of leadership 
  • How leadership has changed over the past few years 
  • Shared vision 

Links From The Episode:

Dr. N.S. Rajan On Twitter 

Direct download: Rajan20NS20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:20pm PDT

When you are leading one of the world's largest organizations with hundreds of thousands of employees you need a unique vision to succeed. Jeff Smith, the Chief Intelligence Officer at IBM, has two major missions as CIO. First, to enable a productive work environment and second, to lead the deployment of an agile culture throughout the company. Jeff recently filled me in on the concept of an agile enterprise and how it is shaping the way we work.
 
With the world changing at such a fast pace, organizations and employees must be agile by continuously adapting to situations, addressing problems, and reevaulating progress. This is important for leadership, collaboration, and delivery practices to allow organizations in any industry and of any size to be more successful. Non-agile enterprises run with a fixed plan as though things won't change when we all know that there is no certainty in life! So when a problem arises, the plan is ruined versus an agile enterprise that can adjust the sails to go with the flow.
 
The main benefits to creating an agile enterprise are broader based skills and increased engagement. Employees have more autonomy and purpose which drives engagement. It is necessary to have a supportive mechanism to transform into an agile enterprise. At IBM, they have an academy with 30 courses that are individual and team based. They also have agile coaches that help put concepts into place. The role of technology is central in an agile enterprise. IBM has it's own social network and a strong search environment. Collective intelligence is valued as it will always outweigh individual insights. According to Jeff, a fundamental piece of creating a high performing culture is people learning from each other.
 
It is time to consider what is working well in your organization. What methods can you put in place to develop an agile enterprise?
 
 
What you will learn in this episode:
 
What is an agile enterprise
How to establish an agile enterprise
Course correction
Collective intelligence 
Simplification of IT
Work environments
Retrospective
 

Links From The Episode:

Jeff Smith on LinkedIn

IBM.com

 
Direct download: Jeff20Smith20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:01pm PDT

This week we are discussing the past and future of jobs and paychecks with Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Mishel. Larry has been a labor market economist for 30 years and is now the President of The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington based think tank. EPI is focusing on how our current economy is affecting low and middle income Americans, what policies are needed to restore the middle class, and how to generate robust wage growth for everyone so they experience a growing standard of living.

With a PhD in economics, Larry is increasingly concerned with trends regarding wage stagnation – he believes the preeminent economic challenge of our time is to overcome wage stagnation. The wages and benefits of nearly all workers haven’t grown in 12 years! This affects all workers, even those that are highly skilled. The hourly wages and benefits of the median worker have only grown around 9% since 1979!

Larry also disagrees with many articles that claim the freelancer economy is large and rapidly growing. Numbers actually show that the population of independent contractors is declining.  Numbers also show that many freelancers are using their gigs as supplementary income because the wages from their primary job are not increasing relative to the cost of living. One of the notions of the Future of Work should be the ability to support one’s self with your regular job. It’s possible that a lot of the angst in the country comes from economic insecurity and we could help ease that problem with improved wage policies!

What you will learn about in this episode:

  • Wage Stagnation
  • Robots and automation
  • Discrepancies in numbers surrounding the freelancer economy
  • How politics and unions affect wages
  • The skills gap
  • Challenges around worker classification

Links From The Episode:

Larry Mishel On Twitter 

EPI.org 

Direct download: Larry_Mishel_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:02pm PDT

Today, we welcome Julien Smith, cofounder and CEO of Breather, to discuss the factors that are disrupting the idea of traditional office spaces. Julien and I explore how trends, pricing, real estate, and technology are shaping the evolution of physical work places. Julien authored three books on marketing while working from the internet, without an office for about 10 years. As a freelancer with no place to go for work every day, he saw the potential for a totally separate, individualized work space that can be unlocked with your phone.

Breather was born… a network of well designed, comfortable but professional small meeting rooms and office spaces. Now there are 100 units across 5 cities. These units generally reside in larger office buildings and can be rented daily, weekly, or just once! They serve as an effective space to be on your own or meet with a small group to brainstorm, rehearse, etc. Many people use Breather spaces when they are traveling or need the use of an outside office. Some users don’t have an office at all and prefer Breather spaces to working from home or from a coffee shop.

With so many aspects of work rapidly changing, spaces must evolve as well. Physical space has a dramatic effect on employee experience. In this podcast, Julien and I discuss why the demand for this type of office space is increasing and how it will complement traditional work spaces, making experiences better.

What you will learn in this episode

  • How the office space is changing
  • Trends in office space
  • Office Space Pricing
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • How the on demand economy is shaping office space
  • Advice for both employees and management
  • The role of technology in the office space of the future

 

Links from the episode

Breather.com

Julien Smith on Twitter

 

Direct download: Julien_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:07pm PDT

The future of recruiting and retaining top talent is changing.   With new developments in employee engagement, the gig economy, and the rise of Millennials and Generation Z in the workforce, organizations are adapting their methods to find and maintain the best employees. Today, I speak with Mike Preston the Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte.  Deloitte underwent a mass career customization framework, focused on strength based development.  While Deloitte has never had a Chief Human Resources Officer by that name, the Talent Officer title reflects how their employees are viewed.  The people who work for their company, the talent, are the most important component. While this title may have always been the standard at Deloitte, this just shows how they are ahead of the curve in regards to the future of work. Many other organizations are changing the title of their Human Resources departments to reflect the focus on employees themselves. 

Deloitte is the world’s largest professional services organization.  Involved in traditional services such as accounting and tax services, an advisory and consultant component, they are also growing into areas such as digital and products.  Globally, Deloitte has 225,000 employees.  Mike is the Chief Talent Officer for the entire firm.  Mike is responsible for driving the talent strategy for all of Deloitte’s employees and partners.  This encompasses developing culture, compensation, recruiting, and all aspects of the life cycle of the employee.  Mike describes in detail the trends in talent, how fast change happens with new developments in technology.  Looking at talent as an ecosystem, it is fascinating to see how new ways engaging employees, such as incorporating an internal freelance economy, contribute to the future of talent. 

What you will learn in this episode

What having a Chief Talent Officer means

The Talent Landscape

The Open Talent Economy

What will the Future of Talent look like?

Millennials and Management

Flexible and Distributed Work

Rating and Reviews

Inclusion and Cognitive Diversity

Advice for employees and managers in the future of talent

Links from the episode

Mike Preston on Twitter 

Deloitte.com

 

Direct download: Mike_Preston_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:46am PDT

 

If the last 20 years was all about digitization and the rise of the internet, what is next?  This is the subject Alec Ross covers in his new book, The Industries of the Future.  If you regularly listen to The Future of Work podcast, then you know what a huge topic the future is.  Alec spent the last few years writing his book, drawing on his experience, and bringing in stories and background from all over the globe.  Alec wanted to cover many topics, pulling them all together in the centralized theme.  This leads to a thorough examination of the future of work that goes beyond the standard topics such as robots and automation.

Alec is one of today’s leading experts on innovation and technology.  He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at John Hopkins University. Previously, he was the Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the duration of her term as Secretary of State.  Alec also advises startups, and is inspired by people who can imagine and invent the future.  He is a big believer in what the entrepreneurs of today are doing. In the Podcast, Alec discusses what he is most optimistic for.  He describes people being enslaved to an employer, while it works for some, sucks the independence out of people.  Many people want more choice and independence, and he feels the recent work marketplaces and predisposition of millennials will change the future of work for the better.

Topics covered in this podcast range from cybersecurity to big data, to the commercialization of genomics. Changes in the workplace will come rapidly, and adaptation is key.  Lifelong learning and professional development, not only for leaders, but employees is necessary for thriving in the industries of the future.  Alec shares his advice on the best way to push these types of programs in the workplace. Alec also has great advice for employees on becoming a global worker to advance in their professional careers. 

What you will learn in this episode

  • What the Industries of the Future are going to be
  • Alec’s work with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as Senior Advisor for Innovation
  • Trends that Alec sees are shaping the future of work
  • What Alec is least optimistic about in the future of work
  • Cyber Security, Cyber Warfare and its effect on everyone
  • Robots and Automation, how it will really effect jobs
  • How to be proactive when filling skills gaps
  • The Importance of Genomics
  • Bitcoin and Blockchain technology
  • Big Data vs Privacy in the workplace
  • Trends for the future of work by environment, job type, and geography and culture

Links from the episode

Industries of the Future on Amazon

Alec Ross On Twitter

AlecRoss.com

Direct download: Alec_Ross_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:41pm PDT

Imagine waking up in the morning, and as your coffee is brewing, reflecting on the work that needs to be completed for the day. For many of us, this can include a long commute to an office, sitting down at a desk, and working within restrictions that is set by management or an organization.  For some people, this mental image causes feelings such as dread, resentment and even depression.  Those people need to find a solution, where they cannot just have a job, but a career that makes their daily lives much more enjoyable!  For some, the result is working on a career where they are not tied down by limitations of working for someone else, but cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit inside themselves.

With today’s technology advances, there are many options available for different types of freelance work.  Sites like Upwork, and Fiverr, allow people to post and bid for tasks and jobs, Airbnb allows a homeowner to turn their spare bedroom into income, and an Uber driver can make a living while traveling all across their city.  What if you want to tap into the freelancer economy, but not sure where to start? How does one use these new tools to their advantage to actually become successful?  We look at cultivating entrepreneurship in the age of the freelancer economy, with my guest today, Doug DeVos, the President of Amway. 

Amway was founded on an entrepreneurial spirit principle.  Starting in 1959, the founders, including Doug’s own father, believed in a business model that people could have an accessible business of their very own.  With over 21,000 employees in over 100 countries and territories, Amway also has Independent Business Owners that can work full and part time inside their own enterprises.   Amway is able to provide many things inside of their company, such as manufacturing, research and development, and forecasting.   Doug describes his family’s background with Amway, and how the foundation of Amway applies to the future of work, now, more than ever.   

A very interesting part of this podcast describes Amway’s 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Report.  In the report, it is evident that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well!  Many times, starting a business, especially a small business, can be halted before it is even started.  Fears and insecurities of failure, lack of support, and knowledge, can all be hurdles faced as a person starts working inside a freelancer economy.  Sometimes, it can take some creativity to build the confidence needed to move forward.  Amway is a great example of independent business owners, being able to use a large company as a backbone for their business.  Sometimes having a safe place, to grown and learn, enables individuals to cultivate that spirit Amway was founded on, a necessity to survive and thrive. .

 

What you will learn in this episode

  • Amway’s 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Report
  • Hurdles and risks in entrepreneurship
  • Life stages and Entrepreneurship
  • Difference between being a freelancer and an entrepreneur
  • What are entrepreneurial characteristics?
  • How people without an innate entrepreneurial spirit can grow in their organizations
  • Innovation Ecosystems
  • Technology in entrepreneurship
  • The freelancer economy and the future
  • Advice for new employees

Links from the episode

Amway

Amway Global 

Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report

 

 

Direct download: Doug_DeVos_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:48am PDT

Today’s Future of Work podcast is with Anne Raimondi the SVP of Strategy at Zendesk.   The topic today is a little different than most of the topics covered on the podcast.  Anne speaks on rethinking our personal and professional relationships.  Our relationships drive what we do in our personal lives, and how we interact inside our companies.  They are changing right along with the future of work.  With advances in technology, we are finding that work is spreading into every aspect of our lives.  Anne describes how instead of focusing on work-life balance, the focus should be on work-life integration and how it effects the relationships we build and maintain.  

Working with Zendesk for over two years, Anne’s position could be described as, to make sure people are happy, work well together, and get things done.   Zendesk provides a customer service platform and tools for companies to utilize in varies forms.  Growing from around 400 employees, to around 1300 since Anne has been on board, Zendesk has maintained a focus on making sure they remain a great place to work.  Anne shares her tips for creating technology boundaries at home and at the workplace.  The thoughts shared in this podcast regarding Zendesk’s focus on building authentic relationships in the workplace can be utilized in any organization!

What you will learn in this episode

How the concept of relationships are changing

Work-life Balance vs Work-life Integration

Creating technology boundaries

What it means to be a working Mom

Millennials effect on employee engagement

What Zendesk does internally to help drive positive relationships

Women in leadership roles

Accessible Leadership

 

Links from the episode 

@anneraimondi

@Zendesk

Direct download: Anne_Raimondi_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:19pm PDT

Today’s Future of Work Podcast is a very exciting topic!  My guest is Mark Levy, the Global Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb.  Airbnb has been making headlines lately, as they shifted their focus from a Human Resources Department to Employee Experience.  Airbnb has core values that really put their employees first, and want them to feel like they belong with the company.   During today’s podcast, I sit down at their main campus, and you can feel the energy of their open floor and hear new programs being implemented as the podcast is recording. 

Airbnb is an alternative accommodation site that connects hosts and guests all over the world.   Mark has spent over 20 years in Human Resources roles spanning his career.  When Mark joined Airbnb, the Human Resources functions were split into multiple groups, which included talent, recruiting, and a group called “ground control” which was responsible for the workplace culture. Talk of bringing the departments together occurred, and Mark questioned, if Airbnb had a Customer Experience Group, why not create an Employee Experience Group?  The Employee Experience was then created with new specializations, such as comp and benefits, facilities, and a food program.   Mark discusses Airbnb’s strategy for 2016, and how they plan on growing the company and their employee experience programs.

What you will learn in this episode

Is Employee Experience The Same As HR?

Should All Organizations Have A Person In Charge Of Employee Experiences?

What Does Airbnb Do To Create Employee Experiences?

Why Is Employee Experience So Important?

What Is It Like To Work At Airbnb?

How Employee Experience Can Be Utilized In All Companies

The Freedom In A Framework Structure

Scaling Experiences

Advice For Creating New Experiences In Any Workplace

Links from the episode 

Airbnb.com

Mark Levy on LinkedIn

 

Direct download: Mark_Levy_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:53pm PDT

The role of IT inside of an organization is transforming. With all of the new technologies being created and utilized in today's workplace, there are a lot of discussions how best to expand the organizations technology infrastructure. Today’s guest on the Future of Work Podcast is Jim Fowler. Jim is the Chief Information Officer of General Electric.   This podcast discusses how IT and the CIO role in particular, is now one of the most exciting departments of an organization.   From device deployment, to production lines, and even keeping an organization secure by maintain badge security, IT touches many different activities within a company. Not only does IT touch employee facing functions, there is a lot of back end work, such as building new applications, technologies and analytics. Jim describes in detail how GE’s IT department has worked closely with other departments to create new technologies to advance the company for the future of work.

Jim has been with GE for over 15 years.  GE is a conglomerate touching many industries from power to aircraft engines to healthcare.  With over 300,000 employees in over 150 countries, Jim and his team lead all of the technology initiatives for the entire company.  Jim discusses how role of IT has changed throughout the years.  The business of IT used to be all about cost, how a company could be frugal in regards to IT to get the job done.  Now, technology is not only necessary to work, but a right for employees to have access to, Jim describes how IT how grown with its recognized value.   What we are seeing around the world, is how products are becoming more software defined. This is especially true for GE. 

What you will learn in this episode

  • Trends in Technology
  • How Technology is Impacting the Organization of the Future
  • The Role of the CIO, and How IT roles will Evolve in the Future
  • The Role of Corporate Culture and Leadership
  • Rogue Technologies in the Workplace
  • How GE is Evolving in the Future of Work
  • How Technology is Shaping the Future of Work
  • Cybersecurity in a Modern Workplace

Links from the episode 

GE.com

Jim Fowler on LinkedIn

Direct download: James_Fowler_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:11pm PDT

Today on the Future of Work Podcast, my guest is Abhijit Bhaduri, the Chief Learning Officer of Wipro Group. Wipro has almost 170,000 employees around the world in IT services. Since Abhijit is the Chief Learning Officer, today’s topic is all around the future of learning and careers.  In his role, he prepares all of the employees in the company for the future so they can be “future ready.”

Abhijit’s background has prepared him for his current role in the IT space, as he has to be able work with clients in any field.  As the Chief Learning Officer, he is able to gather information with Wipro’s customers, on where the future of work is going in their fields, and helps prepare their companies for the changes to come.  Abhijit brings his insight to future learning.  He speaks on how future learning will not be driving by others, but by what an individual wants to learn.  Learning will come from our peers, as well as the accessibility of experts and leaders in the fields in which we want to acquire more knowledge from.

 

What you will learn in this episode

  • How the world of learning has changed and where it is going
  • How Wipro is enabling continuous learning internally
  • Empowering employees to create shared content  
  • The idea that “People Are the Next Big App”
  • Pyramid of Skills
  • Why education is facing challenges
  • Why self-learning is crucial to the future of work

 

Links from the episode 

abhijitbhaduri.com

@AbhijitBhaduri

Wipro.com

Direct download: Abhijit_Bhaduri_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

Today’s Future of Work podcast guest is Ellyn Shook, the Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer of Accenture.  Accenture is a global professional services organization and has over 360,000 around the world.  Their mission is to help improve the way the world works and lives, and lead the digital disruption on behalf of their clients. Ellyn is responsible for leading the global team of human resources experts, who aim to deliver exceptional employee experiences for Accenture’s people.  Today, we speak on talent practices for the 21st century.  Accenture believes that the growth of their people, leads to the growth of their business.

Ellyn has been with Accenture since 1988 and became a partner in 2003. She is also on a number of boards including the advisory board of Women in Business at Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and the Women's Leadership Board of the Women and Public Policy program at Harvard's Kennedy School.  Ellyn is helping lead how the workplace is changing, not just as Accenture, but around the world as well.

What you will learn in this episode

  • Importance of Experimenting and Testing Ideas in the Workplace
  • The 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Customized Experiences for Employees
  • Changes in Annual Reviews, Bonuses, and Career Progression
  • The Role of HR and Evolution
  • How Companies are Moving Away From Multi Year Implementation Programs
  • How Accenture is Crowd-sourcing Ideas

 

Links from the episode

Ellyn Shook on Twitter

Ellyn Shook - Huffington Post 

Accenture.com

Direct download: Ellyn_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:16pm PDT

For the first Future of Work Podcast for 2016, I speak with David Rodriguez the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Marriott International. The topic of this podcast is all around the business impact of employee health and wellness. This is a huge theme that we will see and increase in investment for 2016 and beyond. David provides insight on why Marriott is investing in health and wellness promotions, and the benefits of healthy employees who participate in these programs.

With over 400,000 employees in their managed locations, Marriott spans 31 brands, across 100 countries all over the world. They are the largest hotel company in the world, knitted together by their people centric culture.   David has been with the company since 1998, holding the Global CHRO title since 2006. Marriot was founded on the principles that if you take care of employees, they will in turn, take care of customers; employees feeling good about themselves will be inspired to serve others. It is this belief that is utilized for business effectiveness. David shares what Marriott has implemented, and gets personal as he shares how their programs literally saved his life after his battle with leukemia. Tune in to hear that story and much more!

 

What you will learn in this episode

  • How Marriott takes care of its people
  • How Marriott became a Best Employer
  • Attracting and Obtaining Top Talent
  • How Health and Wellness Programs Are Used to Blend Generations
  • The Role of Leadership in Health and Wellness Programs
  • The Impact of Airbnb on the Hotel Industry

 

Links from the episode

Marriott Careers

Marriott Jobs on YouTube

 

Direct download: David_Rodriguez_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:05am PDT

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