The Future of Work Podcast With Jacob Morgan

In the past we have always depended on humans and their ideas, intuitions, and feelings to figure out certain issues in our companies such as how to build teams, work on projects and carry out performance evaluations. Now, we have an increase in devices and ways to collect data in the workplace so we are able to track anything and everything. With this move towards data collection and technology we have a new field emerging, people analytics.

With this new field we are able to add in data and science alongside of our intuitions to help our companies function as successfully as possible. Data can help us figure out things such as, what the most successful leaders in organizations do, what the key qualities are that make up an amazing team or how the best customer service professionals talk to their customers (and for how long).

I don’t think that we will ever completely remove the human aspect, but I believe that by combining data with human ideas, intuition and feelings companies will be able to make better, more informed decisions. This truly is an exciting and fascinating time. Successful businesses should make an investment in people analytics.

Direct download: peopleanalyticsmidweek.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:07am PDT

Teresa Roche, Ph.D is the Chief Human Resources Officer for the City of Fort Collins, Colorado. Sixty miles north of Denver, Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University, with 32,000 students, several large high tech employers, and leading businesses in the brewing industry. There are 2400 employees at the city, with 28 that are in the HR department.

There are similarities and differences in private and public sectors. One difference is found in various types of departments that this public sector has - such as a wellness team and a volunteer program manager. In the public sector, there is a requirement to serve all people’s needs. That is quite different as compared to private companies that may focus on one group – the customers.  In addition, there is an emphasis on transparency in public forum. The city of Fort Collins’ finances are available online for anyone to view.

Budgeting is BFO – budgeting for outcomes. They have a triple bottom line – social, environmental and economic.

Some trends that Teresa is paying attention to are:

  • Technology changes – such as smart cities and driverless cars
  • Ensuring they have an inclusive group of talent, be connected to each person across the city
  • The way work can be done

Fort Collins’ vision is to have a culture of innovation. However, there is a tension between the ‘fail fast, fail early’ in the public sector as compared to private.

What is required in a leadership role? The ability to have a clear vision, the ability to set goals, and attract and retain people. One needs the basics of leading others to accomplish results. In the public sector, Roche believes the question is--how do we respond to patterns and signals. “I think it takes a special person to lead in the public sector”, Roche says.

Roche’s advice for others is to realize what is possible for the city you live in and then demand more from the city.

She also mentions the 3 P’s she is looking at:

  • Purpose – aligning the purpose of people and cities
  • Presence – leadership who can ‘remain calm in the storm’
  • Practice – no separation between work and learning

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Similarities and differences between public and private sector HR
  • Leading an HR department in a city
  • Why Fort Collins, CO was named a great place to live
  • What is BFO?
  • How the public sector is looking at AI
  • How to create a culture of innovation
Direct download: Teresa20Roche20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 5:25pm PDT

A lot of times managers and executives tell their employees how they should act and behave. They explain what their expectations are for the employees and they lay out ground rules for working for the company. But a lot of times those same leaders are not exhibiting those behaviors themselves. There is a fascinating story about Gandhi that can really teach us something about leadership. The story is about a woman whose son was addicted to sugar. No matter what she did she could not fix this addiction in her son. Doctors, friends and relatives all told the young boy to stop eating sugar because it is not good for him, but he wouldn’t listen. Finally the mother decided to take her son to see Gandhi to see if the son would listen to this well respected, wise and pious man.

The waited in line to meet Gandhi for a very long time and when they finally got to him the mother explained that her son was addicted to sugar. She told Gandhi her son would not listen to anyone telling him not to eat sugar, but surely he will listen to you. Gandhi told the woman to come back in two weeks and he would help them. The woman was confused, but did what he said.

Two weeks later the mother and son returned to Gandhi. The mother explained to Gandhi that they had been there two weeks before and that her son is still addicted to sugar. Gandhi looked at the boy and said, “Son, you should stop eating sugar”. The mother was again confused and asked Gandhi why they had to wait two weeks when that was all he was going to say. Gandhi replied, “Two weeks ago I myself was addicted to sugar. How can I tell somebody else to stop doing something, when I am doing that same thing?”

We should use this as an example of how to lead. How can we ask others to behave in a certain way when we ourselves are not behaving that way. We need to first start with ourselves and see what happens.

Direct download: IfYouWantToChangeBehaviorThenLeadByExample.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:23pm PDT

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates). O’Reilly Media delivers online learning, publishes books, runs conferences, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators. He is also the author of the new book, WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us

When asked about changes in business since the 80’s and 90’s, O’Reilly said it appears that businesses are focused are on the future and their ability to sell rather than building a real business. Another fundamental change is that most of the work is done by a program, the managers of the bots that are doing the work.  There is also a group of workers that are managed by the bots – like Uber.

One of the trends O’Reilly is currently paying attention to is AI and automation. Do we use machines to replace people or use them to augment people?

O’Reilly believes the future of AI is up to us. They can run us over. Or we put technology to work to solve hard problems. Rethinking the way we do things, not just small tweaks – but in significant ways about the way we do things - for instance, health care.

O’Reilly advises us to focus on the value that you are trying to create rather than the value you are trying to get. If you are trying to extract value, it’s not sustainable. We have to “Create more value than you capture.” You will have a successful business. Doing more with technology, solve problems and you will create more jobs.

Some of O’Reilly’s parting advice is to act like the ‘owner’ of the business rather than a ‘worker’ and to think about what you would like the future of work to look like.

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, the company that has been providing the picks and shovels of learning to the Silicon Valley gold rush for the past thirty-five years. The company delivers online learning, publishes books, runs conferences, and has repeatedly shaped the discussion for each successive wave of innovation. Tim is also a partner at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, an early stage venture firm, and is on the boards of Code for America, Maker Media, PeerJ, Civis Analytics, and PopVox

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why focusing on shareholder value is a problem
  • Myths of self-driving trucks’ future
  • Why O’Reilly says, “Create more value than you capture.”
  • Why we need to rethink the structure of benefits
  • O’Reilly’s view of jobs vs. work
  • Trends O’Reilly is looking at with the future of work
Direct download: Tim20O27Reilly20Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:24am PDT

There is one thing we as humans possess that technology will never have and if we can hone in on it, we can overcome the technology takeover. The topic of automation and AI in the workplace keeps coming up. A lot of people are worried about job loss and technology take over. One major thing that comes up when thinking about our move to automation is what is going to be the role of humans? What will be our purpose in this new automated world of the future?

After traveling all over the country and meeting a ton of people from all sorts of industries and backgrounds I am convinced that our main role as humans is to be human. There are no machines or robots that have our ability to connect, empathize, communicate, and sympathize. We also have the ability to be vulnerable. Technology just cannot replace us in these aspects.

So we need to keep learning how to be more human and we have to keep connecting and building relationships. Those of us who are good at being human will grow, expand and continue to be successful. So don’t forget how to be human!

Direct download: AI20and20Automation20Cant20Replace20Being20Human2020-20Jacob20Morgan.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:32pm PDT

Jeremy Welland, PhD is the Global Head of People Analytics at PayPal Holdings, Inc.  PayPal is an American company with 18,000 employees, operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. PayPal is one of the world's largest Internet payment companies.  

He also serves as a faculty member in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of the Pacific.  Prior to PayPal, Welland was the Director of People Analytics at Pandora Media, Inc. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan.

One of the ‘hot topics’ they’ve been working on at PayPal is the subject of diversity and inclusion. One area in particular was focusing on pay parity for women. They have been successful in this and will work to maintain it.

To find the truth of what drives people, why people leave, etc., they often will start with asking managers what they believe.

They find the results can fall into 3 responses:

  1. Hypothesis confirmation – what the manager thought was correct
  2. Myth busting - find that it is not as strong as believed or there is no relationship at all
  3. A ‘purple swan’ -finding unexpected surprises – it wasn’t on anyone’s radar at all

One thing they learned about employees at PayPal is termed the ‘evangelist effect’. Looking in detail at employee responses and the surprising correlation between people that mark ‘satisfied’ and then leave the company versus those that marked ‘neutral’ or ‘very satisfied’.

Welland’s advice for others is to make friends with your CFO, pick a group or one early adopter who can help champion your product, and make friends with other departments

What you will learn in this episode:

  • PayPal’s People Analytic team structure
  • How People Analytics is being used at PayPal
  • Strong AI versus Weak AI
  • Thoughts on how AI will augment future work
  • What the work environment is like at PayPal
Direct download: Jeremy20Welland20Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:19pm PDT

So many us work for organizations where don't feel valued and appreciated. We only live once and we all deserve to work for organizations that genuinely care about us and create environments where we genuinely want to show up. Don't you want to work for this type of an organization?

Direct download: MidWeek20Podcast_1.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:38pm PDT

Heather McGowan is the Co-Founder, Author and Advisor for Work to Learn. She speaks internationally on the future of work and the future of learning. She advises and partners with education and business leaders to most effectively prepare for rapid and disruptive changes in learning, work, and society.

In higher education, McGowan advises presidents and senior leaders to develop students’ learning agility as well as critical thinking skills in order to prepare graduates for jobs that do not yet exist.

McGowan also guides corporate executives to re-think and re-frame their business models, and their understanding of team and organizational structures, to be resilient and successful in changing markets. She is the co-author of the book Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate  and numerous well-received articles.

In looking at the future of work, which skills will benefit future students and educators? McGowan suggests seeking to understand, to learn and adapt.  Work on upgrading your “Operating system” – the overall ‘you’.

How about the future of education degrees? Is there a ‘future proof’ field? McGowan believes in thinking like an ‘X’, so you can look at all disciplines (similar to ‘liberal arts degrees’), as opposed to focusing on one specialty in depth.

When it comes to the 4th industrial revolution, McGowan says, “we are seeing this merger of cyber physical systems and the internet of things where everything around you has some form of intelligence--anything mentally attained or predictable can be achieved by an algorithm--and it’s no longer just the physical labor that gets replaced by non-biological intelligence but it’s cognitive labor as well”

Because of the fact that cognitive labor is now being affected by this 4th Industrial Revolution, we have to move towards learning agility as well as becoming more adaptable and empathetic, to ensure that we stay relevant in the workplace.

There are 3 interlocking factors that are transforming work, called the “3 A’s”:

Atomization – a job being broken into job components –the ‘thing’ that needs to be done ‘gig work’, working 24/7, working around the work

Automation – work done entirely by non-biologic intelligence – like software that schedules in a life-like sense

Augmentation – using something to extend the human potential – like the robots used in surgery

McGowan’s advice for people who want to stay relevant is to step into a community such as LinkedIn or another group that are learning communities as these groups learn a lot from each other, really connect with these groups and make a commitment to learn something new everyday.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why students need to think as futurists
  • ..and how we need to prepare students to lose their jobs
  • Why we should stop asking the three “what” questions
  • What learning uncertainty is
  • A look at the evolution of work and where we are today
Direct download: Heather20McGowan20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:22am PDT

Peter Walmsley, the Chief People Officer at GSN Games, is an experienced and committed leader with extensive Executive Human Resources experience in multi-national organizations across the USA; Europe; Asia and North Africa. He has a track record of success in setting the strategic direction, driving organizational change, providing leadership for the function, developing and influencing critical business relationships and delivering results aligned to business goals in places such as American Express and Fidelity.

GSN Games is a leading provider of cross-platform entertainment, including social casino games and skill tournaments designed to fuel every player’s inner winner. They are based primarily in the US and India. Part of GSN, - Wheel of Fortune on TV. About 500 people, it is the design and development of these games. Founded in 1999 as skill games site WorldWinner.com, the company has evolved into a premier social, mobile and online games company.

Working at GSN involves an open workspace with game consoles all around. It is an open and transparent culture. Upper management is available to questions and conversation with employees. Unlimited vacation times with good benefits are also some of the perks of working at GSN. Additionally there is an emphasis on a healthy culture balance of work and private lives.

How do you budget for the ‘perks’ – such as free food or redesigning the office - often found in the office?

  • By spending a lot of time with general managers it allows for understanding on the needs of employees. Once he understands the needs he is able to facilitate the programs by using this antidotal data.

How do you ensure shareholder value at the studio level?

  • Make sure we have an effective operating model
  • Make sure we have an effective workforce plan
  • Make sure we have the right people

How do you deal with different offices and their cultures in different parts of the world?

  • Put in place a framework, a set of principles that are basic
  • Be aware of local customs
  • The local HR director is accountable for ensuring with local legislation and then working with leaders to make sure that all are aligned

Walmsley’s advice for individuals is to embrace change and reinvent yourself periodically

His advice for executives is to listen and hear, move away from personal discomfort, and have the courage to take risks.

Things you will learn:

  • What it’s like to work at GSN
  • How GSN handles the annual employee reviews
  • How Walmsley believes the role of HR has changed
  • How to deal with managers who don’t embrace changes in the world of work
  • How to handle differences in corporate cultures when you have offices around the world
Direct download: Peter20Walmsley20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:41am PDT

Jenny Dearborn is the Chief Learning Officer and Senior Vice President at SAP,  a global software company. Dearborn leads an internationally-acclaimed and award-winning team recognized as the #1 performing corporate learning department in the world by eLearning Magazine. As global Chief Learning Officer for the 67,000 employees at SAP, Dearborn is accountable to design, align and drive SAP’s overall learning activities to enable measurable business impact. She is also an author of a new book, The Data Driven Leader.

Before SAP, Dearborn began her professional career as a high school teacher. After a brief stint in that role, she moved into education in the business world. She was Chief Learning Officer at SuccessFactors for two years where she won numerous industry awards for the measurable business impact of her sales enablement initiatives. She was at Sun Microsystems for 6 years where she was the global Chief Learning Architect across all corporate content and was the Chief Learning Officer for the Americas. Dearborn was at Hewlett-Packard for 8 years where she started as an instructor and instructional designer and progressed to executive positions as the Learning & Development leader for Global Sales & Enterprise Marketing, Global Technology Services and Global Corporate Learning Strategy.

According to Dearborn, people analytics is crucial for leaders to use the data to understand the best way to use their time. First, look at the goals you are trying to achieve. From there you identify data that you need to assess properly.

Suggestions for a smaller company to use data to form change:

  1. Start by asking questions – what are your problems? What are you goals? Do you have a dashboard to see how things are going?
  2. Do the research. Be curious. Put data together
  3. Build relationships. Be ‘nonthreatening’. You need to often convince the people that have the data to be willing to share it.

How does a person become a human leader in a world driven by data? Data allows you to be more human. It gives you the opportunity to focus on what people truly need to make a difference in their lives or performance. If we spend our time in a variety of programs or conversations that aren’t targeted – without knowing what will make the biggest difference in their lives then we aren’t being productive.

In 5 – 10 years Dearborn believes that organizations will have more tools to support productivity, more voice triggered support systems, more voice to text in our everyday environment and there will be more robots in our lives.

 

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • The fun collection that Jenny has acquired
  • The role super heroes play in Jenny’s life
  • What data is available on SAP employees and how it is used
  • What is the ‘coaching index’?
  • How to use data for leadership
  • How to start implementing People
  • Jenny’s perspective on Millennials
  • What SAP is doing internally around learning
Direct download: Jenny20Dearborn20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:53am PDT

My conversation today is with Rebecca Chandler, the Chief Learning Officer and Global Director of the Learning Group at Steelcase. We are talking about real life examples of what Steelcase is doing to promote learning and development, how learning has evolved over the past few decades and how leaders and managers can role model the desired learning behavior in their organizations.

Rebecca Chandler is the Chief Learning Officer and Global Director of Learning and Development at Steelcase. Steelcase is a global organization that provides furniture solutions that reflect what they’ve learned about human behavior. It employs about 14,000 employees.

Chandler is charged with making Steelcase the pacesetter for learning organizations worldwide. Steelcase looks to her team for learning solutions that are linked to the needs of the business, and to progress in creating learning that is globally integrated and holistic in nature. Learning is embedded in the culture of their organization, Steelcase views it as just another way for their employees to "love the way they work".

A Chief Learning Officer is usually with tasked thinking about the learning infrastructure to support the local culture and goals.  They look at the curriculum, what the organization is focused on, how people share learning and how to speed up learning.

Steelcase education is on an evolution. They offer a lot around active learning. They understand that people need to engage in a variety of ways.  They have a “Think, Make, Share” program.

The ‘Think’ gives people a chance to do pre-work. This is often called a ‘flipped classroom’.  This leverages the time when people are together.

‘Make’ includes the time together which provides opportunities of creating projects with feedback from an expert.

‘Share’ is about learners/employees going back and teaching others. This solidifies the knowledge they’ve gained. Other times they may be asked to do some sort of action project.

Steelcase’s learning programs fit into one of these 4 buckets:

  1. Leadership
  2. Culture
  3. Innovation
  4. Functional Excellence

Technology in education – learning systems push content to the organizations. There is a need to understand how people are using technology and then design from that perspective. Technology should enhance the learning.

Role of culture in learning- Culture and learning go hand and hand. We like to develop curriculum that aligns with culture

Role of physical space in learning – Providing opportunities for people to use space creatively. At Steelcase they consider the entire building a living laboratory.

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What a Chief Learning Officer does
  • How the world of learning has changed
  • The role of technology in education
  • Real life examples of what Steelcase is doing to promote learning and development
  • How leaders and managers can role model the desired learning behavior in their organizations.
Direct download: Rebecca20Chandler20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:57am PDT

Marc Goodman is one of the world’s leading authorities on global security and the New York Times Bestselling author of Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World —selected by the Washington Post as one of the 10 Best Books of 2015 and by Amazon.com as the best book of 2015 in Business & Investing. Goodman founded the Future Crimes Institute to inspire and educate others on the security and risk implications of newly emerging technologies. He also serves as the Global Security Advisor and Chair for Policy and Law at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, a NASA and Google sponsored educational venture dedicated to using advanced science and technology to address humanity’s biggest challenges.

 

Beginning his career as a police officer, over the past twenty years Marc Goodman has built his expertise in next generation security threats such as cyber crime, cyber terrorism and information warfare through work with INTERPOL, the United Nations, NATO, the Los Angeles Police Department and the U.S. Government. For over a decade, Goodman trained numerous expert working groups on technological security threats while serving as a Senior Advisor to INTERPOL’s Steering Committee on Information Technology Crime. He has worked with various UN entities and was asked by the Secretary General of the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to join his High Level Experts Group on Global Cybersecurity.

 

Crime has changed drastically over the last few decades. One major change is the ‘location’ factor. Previously, crime was local – a bank robber or a car thief who lived locally, committed the crime locally. Now, the internet has changed that and the location of the crime can happen anywhere. For example, someone in Russia can attack someone in San Francisco. This requires law enforcement to work very differently. “You no longer have co-location of victim, criminal and evidence.” This factor has broken the criminal enforcement system.

How does hacking work? Cyber attacks are automated. This is another thing that is different than the past. Previously someone had to do the crime. Now it’s automated. There is ‘crimeware’. It can be programmed to do identify theft, attack data, etc. Only a small percentage is customized. Those are often the state sponsored attacks.

 

Identity theft is more serious than credit card theft. A person takes over your credit cards but also mortgage, Facebook, medical records and so on. This can take years to clear up.

 

Additionally, there is the hacking of video cameras – for instance through baby cameras. Perhaps you take your cell phone into the bathroom – you don’t want someone to hack into that while you are there. Every computer is hackable. Your phone, your camera, your car are all ‘computers’ and, therefore, hackable.

 

Ninety-five percent of all data breaches can be linked back to human error. If employees are not aware of ways this can occur they are putting their company at risk of being hacked. Companies are being proactive training their employees. For instance, they are sending out fake phishing emails to assist with knowing which employees might click on a bad email and then using it as a teachable moment.

 

A few things people can do to protect themselves:

· Increase laws, public policy and regulation. Regulation could be useful. For example, CA first to have mandatory data breech hack notifications. As the result everyone in CA was notified. People in the other states were not notified. Good data breech notification is important and strong penalties. · Check out to see if your accounts have been hacked @ haveibeenpwned.com · Go to Goodman’s website: futurecrimes.com – tips

· Be careful what you ‘click on’

· Consider changing the account in your computer that you are using in the ‘administrator role’ to a ‘user’ role.

What you will learn in this episode:

· How crime has evolved over the last few decades

· Steps you can take to reduce your risk of being hacked

· Find out how your online dating site might give away more info that you want it to

· How the Equifax hack happened

· The connection between terrorism and technology

Direct download: Marc20Goodman20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:32pm PDT

Susan Steele is the former CHRO at Millward Brown, the former CHRO at Deloitte Consulting and currently she is an Executive Partner of Global Talent & Engagement at IBM. Steele has had repeated success at building and turning around the HR function, driving new sources of revenue, enhancing client care and improving business results.

With IBM’s more than 350,000 employees around the globe, there is a great deal of innovation in HR. For example, when a candidate is using a cognitive tool called Watson – a job finder or candidate fit tool - it can assist them in the application process.  In fact, anyone can use Watson, just go to IBM.com and look for the career site. Watson is part of the career page.

Most recruiters are working on filling 10 -15 roles at any one time. Using Watson to prioritize the candidates is very useful. Recruiters also use Watson to use to see which candidates will be successful. Even with all the Watson technology, it is still only making recommendations to humans. It isn’t handing over all the decisions on a cognitive tool, people can overrule or go beyond it. “The tool makes recommendations rather than taking over the recruiting function.”

Once people are employed by IBM, internal mobility is encouraged. They use a tool called Blue Matching. It is a cognitive tool to assist locating different roles that might be a good fit for current employees. It is great for lateral or other internal moves and might include positions they haven’t thought of.  It is widely used.  However, this isn’t a matter of just getting technology and plugging it in. It also needs the support and culture of leaders that believe that internal mobility as a positive, rather than the employee leaving the organization.

A current focus at IBM is learning agility. Every organization is challenged to develop new skills quickly, be able to pivot and address new opportunities and market disruption. So, taking Watson and transforming the learning opportunity has been very beneficial. Imagine using your phone to get personalized learning opportunities. Like podcast? It would know that and recommend some of those. Prefer books? Again, it would use those in ‘bit size’ pieces. If someone had 5 minutes to listen to the learning as they are waiting in airport, etc. then serving it up in a using a very user friendly format improves access to the learning. “IBM  learning is through the roof”. Everyone is expected to have 40 hours per year and many are going beyond that because it is so engaging. “Learning is being turned on its head because of cognitive technology.”

One of the current challenges at IBM is finding the right talent with the right skills. To help solve this, they are taking a broader perspective. Their CEO is talking about a ‘new collar job’ – don’t need a college degree. This describes about 10 – 15 % of their employees in the US that they have recruited in the last few years. They have technical skills, coding, etc., but they not roles that require a full breadth of a college degree. 

Things you will learn:

  • How Block chain and HR work together
  • How the ‘internet of things’ will be applied to learning
  • How the future of HR differs from HR of the past
  • How Watson is used in IBM’s hiring and training
  • Insight into IBM’s current workplace flexibility
  • What IBM is doing to develop new skills quickly within their organization

Links from the episode:

Direct download: Susan20Steele20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:24am PDT

Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business” and “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science”, is responsible for setting strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings for Dell EMC’s Big Data Practice. As a CTO within Dell EMC’s 2,000+ person consulting organization, he works with organizations to identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He is a University of San Francisco School of Management (SOM) Executive Fellow where he teaches the “Big Data MBA” course.

Big Data is a term. The adjective ‘big’ has no meaning. Most companies are interested in looking at the ‘boat load of data’ they have but are not sure what to do with it. Right now, companies are only looking at the data to see ‘what happened’. “The biggest challenge from IT side and business side is to understand how they can understand data to effectively power their business model.”

Dell is using data to do predictive maintenance on their equipment. The goal is to fix devices before they break. They do this with employees and health care. “We try to drink our own champagne – use data internally, so we can be credible in the marketplace.”

Why have data if you aren’t going to use it? “Data by itself is a glob of nothing. You need to have an analytic strategy to tell what data is needed.”

Organizations need to know what problems they are trying to accomplish then can make analytics on those. If you know the problem to solve, you know the analytics and data you need. Then it becomes easy. Ask the questions first. Business has to drive IT. Data is a business conversation about economics. Then you can exploit the use of data.

There is a new position, the Chief Data Officer. It’s a good idea, but there has been poor execution. What has been happening is taking a CIO and giving them a

new title of CDO. However, it should be the Chief Data Monetization Officer. The job is to determine how to monetize the data you have available. This should be an economics person rather than IT person.

Schmarzo’s advice for people who are thinking about big data?

Business people: Read his book written for business people. Also, check out his blog as he frequently blogs about big data. He recently wrote about how to become intelligent like Netflix.

Everyday people: You need to understand the basics. Start reading, attending the free online classes, read blogs. Begin to understand what is machine learning and AI is all about. Don’t be afraid; just spend 15 minutes a day to become more familiar.

What you will learn in this episode:

● Why the term Big Data is a misnomer

● How Dell is using data

● The ‘mindset’ of data

● Why big data is about economics, not technology

● How much of a CIO’s background should be in technology vs. business and economics

● What role data plays in AI, wearables and machine learning

 

Links from the episode:

● Blogs: infocus.emc.com/author/william_schmarzo/ (Blog)

● LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/schmarzo

Direct download: Bill20Schmarzo20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:45am PDT

Jacob Morgan is an author, speaker and futurist living in the Bay Area. He recently started a new Facebook group called, The future if. This group is a global community of business leaders, authors, and futurists who explore what our future can look like IF certain technologies, ideas, approaches and trends actually happen.  

Jacob is also working on a new course called The Future of Work Crash Course. This will go live in a few weeks. It is a companion course for his newest book, The Employee Experience Advantage.  

He is looking at writing another book, sometime in the next few years. In addition, Jacob is looking at creating more interesting podcasts and interviewing new, fascinating guests. 

What themes have stood out for Jacob from hosting this podcast? 

First of all, Jacob says he’s learned a lot in the past 3 years and it turned out that a lot of people also enjoyed learning along with him. The podcast gets about 4000 – 5000 listens per episode, about 30,000 downloads per month.  

One thing Jacob loves about the podcast is that the guests are honest. In conferences, events, etc. the information that comes across is often sanitized. The guests don’t get an advanced list of the questions, so it feels like it is a coffee shop conversation.  

Jacob shares that he is amazed the future of work and the employee experience is getting so much traction. From HR to IT, a lot are paying attention to this. Jacob likes to think he  had a hand in driving some of that. He is pleased that companies are thinking about this. Jacob is always amazed to hear how far companies have come along. From workspace design to corporate culture and where employees want to show up.  

What is Jacob’s vision for the future of work? He believes that in 5 years – 10 years out, not much will be different. There will be some evolution but it won’t be unrecognizable. In 50 years, he feels there will be a heavy and strong emphasis on AI. Perhaps androids. Maybe. 

What should Jacob encourage leadership to think about? First of all, remember it’s People 1st, Technology 2nd. There is no substitute for people. No company can exist without people 

It is also important to build a company that people want to work for.  

How do you create systems to prepare people for the future of work? Jacob says you have to start by understanding the purpose of schools; schools don’t do a good job of preparing people for the future of their work. The purpose of schools is changing.  

What threats will companies face in the future around the subject of compliance and integrity? One thing is transparency – companies need to be aware that both positive and negative information is out there. Another threat is the pace of business (for example, Uber). And also putting the right people in positions of power 

What does Jacob feel is hype and what is reality? He says the most hype is around augmented and virtual reality and AI. He doesn’t believe we will see massive job displacement. Wearables are cool but they are on the fringes.  

There are some things that Jacob feels are likely to happen and the ideas and technology are there but we are the barriers to these changes. In 10 years or so out - Jacob expects scalable virtual assistants, autonomous vehicles (10 years or so out). Also, we will rely more on voice commands. But Jacob sees that there is a lack of discussion around timelines for these things. 

What You Will Learn In This Episode:  

  • What Jacob is working on now 
  • What things are hype and what is reality 
  • How to create systems to prepare people for the future of work 
  • What Jacob has learned during his time as a podcast host 
  • What threats will companies face in the future around the subject of compliance and integrity?  
  • Jacob’s vision for the future of work 
Direct download: Jacob20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:22am PDT

Today’s guest is Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. During our conversation Seth talks about what it was like to work at Google and why he left, how he went about analyzing the data for his book, why he believes we are all liars, and what he learned about our true human nature.

 

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has used data from the internet -- particularly Google searches -- to get new insights into the human psyche. A book summarizing his research, Everybody Lies, was published in May 2017.

He worked for one-and-a-half years as a data scientist at Google and is currently a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times. He is a former visiting lecturer at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Seth received his BA in philosophy from Stanford, and his PhD in economics from Harvard.

The area of big data that Seth researches is ‘social science questions about what people want and need’. It is very straightforward based on information that humans create. (Like from Google or Facebook)

Traditional social science experiments take months but today it is possible to experiment in minutes using such resources as Facebook.

When asked what a data scientist is, Seth said that it is someone who knows how to code and build models of human behavior to predict what people will do and what will work in the future.

For his book, Everybody Lies, Seth used Google searches to measure racism, self-induced abortion, depression, child abuse, hateful mobs, science of humor, sexual preference, anxiety, son preference, and sexual insecurity, among many other topics.

Just a few of the topics discussed in the book are sex, searches for sons vs. searches for daughters, anxiety, and insecurity.

Sex:

When asked questions about these sensitive subjects, people may lie. But searches indicated a variety of areas people search - areas that people don’t talk about. Therefore, people seem to have more interest in these topics than they are willing to admit.

Son/Daughter

Searches with the term ‘daughter’ are most often asking about issues related to appearance. For example, ‘How can I get my daughter to lose weight?’ For the term ‘son’ it is often, ‘Is my son gifted?’ There seem to be marked differences between sons/daughters in the searches that use these two terms.

Anxiety:

While common thinking may be that those living in large urban areas such as NYC or San Francisco are more anxious, Seth’s research showed that searches for these terms was higher in Kentucky, Rhode Island and Maine - and in rural areas, contrary to common thought.

Insecurity:

Stereotypes are often wrong. It is often assumed that women have many more insecurities about their bodies. However, the data does not show an overwhelming number of women versus men searching about these topics. In fact, about 60% were women and 40% of searches are men – not a ‘blowout’ on the side of women - that might have been thought.

Seth’s advice for individuals living in this new data world is to understand that Google has a lot of incentive monetarily to keep our data private, so he is not worried. One thing he is concerned about is that we may enter a society where we put resources such as time and energy, towards how we present ‘on paper’, because we are worried that we might be penalized based upon our ‘paper trail’ - and that could become a problem.

His advice to organizations is to use A/B testing (analyzing what people click on) is highly effective and should be used even more.

 

What you will learn in this episode:

● Surprising most often searched terms in Google

● Advice for individuals living in this new data world ● Tips and discussion on Google Trends – website with data that is available to everyone

● What was it like working for Google and why he left

● How Seth analyzed the data for his book

● Why Seth believes we are all liars

 

Direct download: fixed_Seth20Stephens20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:50am PDT

Michael Bungay Stanier is the founder and senior partner of Box of Crayons, a company that works with organizations, ranging from AstraZeneca to Xerox, to help them do more great work. A Rhodes scholar who earned both arts and law degrees with highest honors from Australian National University and an Master’s degree from Oxford, he is a popular speaker at business and coaching conferences, and was named Canadian Coach of the Year in 2006

He is also the author of a number of books, his latest book, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, was published in February 2016 and is a bestseller.

Bungay Stanier talks about how it is possible, in 10 minutes or less, to ask strategic questions to drive changes in behavior, have a more engaged, smart, autonomous team that will allow you to work less hard and have more impact …if you stay curious.

The 7 essential coaching questions that he talks about in his book are:

  1. What’s on your mind?
  • This open ended question brings up things that are most useful and valuable
  1. And what else?
  2. What’s the real challenge here for you?
  • Focus question, if you ask this question more than once – the ‘challenge’ will shift. Once the person gets clear on what the challenge is, the person can often figure out the answer.
  1. What do you want?
  2. How can I help you? or What do you want from me?
  • ‘Lazy question’ – allows you to find out what people are really looking for in terms of help
  1. If you say yes to this, what must you say no to?
  • Strategy question -
  1. What was most useful or valuable here for you?
  • This is a learning question, as a manager you are a teacher, so when people can reflect on what was most helpful. It also allows the manager to understand what was most helpful in this conversation

 

To have authentic conversations, the culture needs to be one in which employees feel safe to share. Consider TERA when considering your work environment.

TERA stands for:

Tribe – make it feel like ‘you & me’, rather than ‘you versus me’

Expectation – how do I know what is about to happen

Rank – how do I feel the same as you rather than less than you

Autonomy – how do I get to make some of the choices, rather than you telling me everything  I need to do

Bungay Stanier advises employees who want to be coached by their managers to be the change they want to see in the world. Practice being more coach like yourself. Ask your manager for what you want (and buy the book!).

His advice to managers who want to get started as coaches is to pick one thing and see if you can get some traction on that. Go to coaching.com and download the first few chapters. Pick a question, build a habit around it, practice it and when you fall off the wagon, start again.

What you will learn:

  • The 3 main coaching principals
  • How coaching not only benefits employees but managers as well
  • How coaching in 60 seconds or less is possible
  • ‘Coaching’ is not only is a valuable process for business leaders but parents, teachers…anyone who is involved with people
Direct download: Michael20Bungay20Stanier20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:31am PDT

Cathy O’Neil is a mathematician who has worked as a professor, hedge-fund analyst and data scientist. Cathy founded ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company, and is the author of Weapons of Math Destruction. 

Cathy says she was always a math nerd. She loves the beauty of mathematics, and says it is almost an art – the cleanliness of it. One of her favorite things is that math is the same no matter what country you go to. She also had had an interest in the business world, which led her from academia to work as a hedge fund quantitative analyst.  

Big Data is both a technical and marketing term. The technical term depends on the technology you are using. Big data used to mean that it was more data than you could fit on your computer – now it means more that you can perform in a simple way – that it needs to be put it into another form before it can be used. 

The marketing term, ‘big data’ is misleading. However, it represents the belief that you can collect data for one thing but then the same data can be used for another purpose. “It is a technology that allows us to collect seemly innocuous data and use it for another purpose.” 

One profession in which O’Neil has at looked at the use of big data and algorithms in detail – and discusses in her book – is teaching and their evaluations.  She says there were teacher evaluation algorithms originally designed to eliminate the achievement gap between ‘rich kids and poor kids’. Eventually, a new system was devised entitled, ‘value added teacher model’.  

The idea of this new system intended to offset the previous way of looking at assessing teachers - where they solely looked at the teacher’s students’ final test scores.   

The ‘value added score’ system holds teachers accountable for the difference between students’ final score and what they were expected to achieve/receive.   

O’Neil says that this method ‘sounds good’ and seems to ‘make sense’.  However, with only 25 (or so) students in one teacher’s classroom, there is not enough data. Additionally, both the expected and actual scores have a lot of uncertainty around each of them. So this final number ‘ends up not much better than a random number’. With that, there is not enough credible data to base important decisions such as terminating a teacher’s job. 

One of O’Neil’s main points in today’s discussion is that every algorithm is subjective. Whether it is used to evaluate teachers, hire or fire employees in a financial organization - people should know that they have the right to ask the algorithm explained to them. The 14th Amendment provides them ‘due process’ to ask why they are terminated, not promoted, etc.  - other than just alluding to a algorithm result.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • What is ‘weaponized math’? 
  • How is the internet building a new kind of ‘class’? 
  • What are the 2 definitions of ‘big data’? 
  • The potential bias found in the use of algorithms in teacher evaluations, hiring practices, firing  
Direct download: Cathy20O27Neil20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:27am PDT

Perez-Breva, PhD is an expert in the process of technology innovation, an entrepreneur, and the author of Innovating: A Doer’s Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong. (MIT Press 2017).

Currently Perez-Breva directs the MIT Innovation Teams Program, MIT’s hands-on innovation program jointly operated between the Schools of Engineering and Management. During his tenure, i-Teams has shepherded over 170 MIT technologies to discover a path to impact. He has taught innovating as a skill worldwide to professionals and students from all disciplines; and has gotten them started innovating from pretty much anything: hunches, real-world problems, engineering problem sets, and research breakthroughs.

There is a lot of confusion around the term Artificial Intelligence – AI. What is it?

“Today AI is essentially an aspiration. What we do have is – a lot of – automation, machine learning, data learning and robotics.” The dream is to have a partner. Google show how you would operate with AI. You go into Google, use keyword and can get the information you need. We are all more powerful because we can so readily go onto Google to find answers. Siri and Uber are neither really ‘intelligence’. Intelligence is much harder than what we thought.

Does Perez-Breva think  job displacement will happen? He believes we are confusing AI with automation. Automation has always made jobs ‘disappear’. For example, gas lights, now we have light bulbs. We have always had jobs be lost to automation. The question is to how do make sure we are training leaders so that they are creating those new jobs into the middle class.

Automation can create gateways to the middle class – such as Ford did 100 years ago. If you don’t find a new job, it is a lack of imagination.

Robots are in all of our local coffee shops – are they taking the jobs of humans?

Not as easy as it might seem…the number of robots that would need to be produced and maintained is massive. One robot in one coffee shop is an example of human endeavors but one in every coffee shop seems a bit of a reach.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Who’s right? Musk, Hawking or Zuckerberg?
  • Perspective on self-driving vehicles
  • What is AI?
  • How long will it take to achieve AI?
  • What is the difference between intelligence and awareness
Direct download: Luis20Perez-Breva20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:15am PDT

Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, a Customer Experience Futurist and author of the new book, "More is More: How The Best Companies Work Harder And Go Farther To Create Knock Your Socks Off Customer Experiences.”  She is also my wife. Blake is an adjunct faculty member in Rutgers University’s executive education MBA program. She contributes to Forbes, the Harvard Business Review and the American Marketing Association. She hosts The Modern Customer Podcast and a weekly customer experience video series on YouTube. 

More is More is about hard work. Blake says that companies today cannot sit on their laurels. “The only thing that will differentiate themselves from their competitors is customer experience.” Customer experience is what the customer thinks of the brand. It doesn’t matter what a company thinks, the customer has        preconceived ideas of what it is. 

The book discusses – a ‘D.O. M.O.R.E.’ framework.  This is not just spending more money but making customers lives easier and better.  Do More comes from the following:

D – Designing something special

O – Offer a strong employee experience

M – Modernizing with technology

O – Obsessed about customers

R – Rewarding responsibility and accountability

E – Embrace disruption and innovation

What are some trends Blake is seeing? More big companies are hiring remotely. With that in mind, it is important to be smart about the types of people who you hire. Hire for attitude not only skill set. Hire people who are wonderful representatives for your brand.

What you will learn:

  • Life in the Morgan household
  • What it is like working ‘next to’ your spouse!
  • Getting started in speaking and writing
  • Why Blake wrote her book
  • How customer experience fits into the future of work
  • How customer experience and employee experience fit together
Direct download: Blake20Morgan20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:45am PDT

Nilofer Merchant is the author of The Power of Onlyness and the recipient of the Thinkers 50 #1 Future Thinker Award. Nilofer began her career in business 25 years ago as an administrative assistant, and quickly rose to division leader, to CEO to board member of a NASDAQ-traded company.  She has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales and has held executive positions at Fortune 500 companies like Apple and Autodesk to startups in the early days of the Web (Golive/ later bought by Adobe).  Logitech, Symantec, HP, Yahoo, VMWare, and many others have turned to her guidance on new product strategies, entering new markets, defending against competitors, and optimizing revenues.  

The term ‘Onlyness’ was coined by Merchant because it captured something that couldn’t be characterized in any other way. The way in which ideas are becoming the nucleus of all valued creation, it’s no longer about organizations or the capital that comes from that – it’s about ideas. ‘Onlyness’, is the spot in the world that only you stand in, which is a function of your background and point of view, as well as your vision and hopes. Merchant encourages everyone to reclaim ‘only’ as a strength, because your perspective has value.  

There are three lessons for claiming your ‘Onlyness’. First of all, you need to understand your history and what it means it to you. 

Secondly, embrace or value your full self.  

And thirdly, realize that what surrounds you affects you – your environment shapes you, the 5 people closest to you influence you. You are a product of the people around you.  

Merchant’s advice is to find 5 people that can most influence you in a positive way. Build those relationships. In those relationships you can find safety to claim and nurture your own ideas.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • What is Onlyness 
  • Why the majority of people deny their ideas 
  • How to know if you have a ‘good’ idea! 
  • Nilofer’s view of the future of work 
  • Difference between chasing happiness and chasing meaning 
  • How to build a network of people around you intentionally
Direct download: Nilofer20Merchant20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:16pm PDT

Leena Nair is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Unilever. Since 1992, when she joined Unilever as a trainee, Leena has had many firsts to her credit. Prior to her current role, she undertook a wide range of HR roles in India  and currently, she is the first female and youngest ever CHRO of Unilever.

Unilever is a Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands and London, United Kingdom. Its products include food, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. It is the world's largest consumer goods company and is also the world's largest producer of food spreads, such as margarine. With 170,000 employees, Unilever is one of the oldest multinational companies; its products are available in about 190 countries.

“I can’t talk about being ‘more human’ if I am not living it every minute of the day.” Leena’s commitment to creating a more human experience is embodied in the way she functions each day. She gives 100% of her attention to the people she is meeting with each day – she doesn’t carry a phone to check emails, instead she waits until the evening before handling them.

Leena gives 3 main steps to being human:

  1. Find your purpose in the organization you work
  2. Cultivate a feeling of well-being
  3. Have the capacity to learn and relearn

How do we get leaders on this journey towards being more human?  Most managers are going through the same feelings as employees. They are required to do more, with fewer resources and are left feeling anxious. Encourage them to recognize their feelings and understand these are the same feelings as their employees are dealing with each day. As companies have become more focused on becoming more human, health care costs have been reduced. Productivity has gone up, pride in the company has increased – there are many positive aspects.

Unilever found that people were spending 2 million hours calibrating people, giving people labels and ‘putting them in boxes’.  Leena changed that by getting rid of the labels and boxes and instead asked the managers to spend the 2 million hour having conversations with people. She asked them to invest their time in the people, making HR much simpler.

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How to make an HR ‘more human
  • How Unilever is moving away from a vertical progression model
  • Leena’s 3 steps to making decisions
  • How to help people who aren’t comfortable being human at work
  • Things Leena and Unilever as a whole are doing to encourage human qualities at work

Links from the episode:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/nairleena

Twitter: LeenaNairHR

Direct download: Leena20Nair20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm PDT

Dr. John J. McGowan,  is a PhD and he serves as the NIAID Deputy Director for Science Management. In this position, Dr. McGowan provides leadership for scientific, policy, business, and administrative management of the Institute and conducts senior-level interactions with the extramural community, other National Institutes of Health (NIH) components, and the NIH Office of the Director.  

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research. It is comprised of 27 separate institutes and centers of different biomedical disciplines and is responsible for many scientific accomplishments, including the discovery of fluoride to prevent tooth decay, the use of lithium to manage bipolar disorder, and the creation of vaccines against hepatitis, Haemophilus influenzae (HIB), and human papillomavirus (HPV). 

NIH represents a different world than private sector organizations – the public sector. For example, they are required to seek Congressional approval to make changes in their site facilities. Though Congress must approve the budget, they do not necessarily provide the funds for it to be carried out. The most recent building overall took a total of 8 years. 

Beyond the need for budget approval, the government also controls the salaries of the employees at NIH. This makes it challenging to attract and retain the top talent within their fields. People must be motivated by the mission to stay at NIH. Often, people can leave the public sector and go to private organizations, making up to 3 times the salary. It is also a highly competitive environment; about 2000 – 3000 scientists begin working each year but only about 1 – 3% become permanent scientists. 

When asked for leadership advice, Dr. McGowan says leaders must first be present with people and understand where what they are thinking and feeling at that moment 

Second, they need to evaluate people’s emotional state. What is the level? Low, medium, high? If they are at high, they won’t hear you – so let them burn that level down before you talk with them.  

Leaders also need to connect with the emotion they are trying to convey. That emotion is 90% more effective than anything you will say. 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How many cyber attacks NIH encounters each day and how they protect themselves against the threats.  
  • Differences between private and public organizations 
  • How people stay motivated at NIH 
  • Workspace changes NIH is going through 
  • How Dr. McGowan first became interested in science
Direct download: Dr.20John20McGowan20Podcast20DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:14pm PDT

Nolan Bushnell is a technology pioneer, entrepreneur and engineer. Often cited as the father of the video game industry, he is best known as the founder of Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese. Currently, he is Co-Founder/Chairman at Modal VR, HearGlass Inc. and Brainrush, where he is devoting his talents to enhancing and improving the educational process by integrating the latest in brain science. 

Atari was started in September 1970. Everything about it was hard. This was before the microprocessor was invented. It was a ‘paranoid’ company; it always felt like others were at their back. Mostly, there was a sense of urgency to get things to market within the shortest time possible.  

It was also a very innovative culture. Perhaps the first to have a beer tap in the office! The ‘beer light’ was lit every night at 6 pm – people were encouraged to come in and share their problems and also their ideas. This informal communication style was purposeful; there were no executive parking spots. This egalitarian company had flexible hours and an open vacation policy. The emphasis was making sure the job was done, rather than where and when it was done. 

Bushnell says that they tried to have a flat organizational style. The best management was by cheerleading rather than assigned tasks. Leaders would make sure the desired outcomes were clear but it allowed for each employee to become passionate about the job they wanted rather than the one they were assigned.  

One of his techniques was having a plan he called ‘rotating to excellence’. This required that someone was fired every month. He acknowledges that this is difficult but if you fire the ‘worst employee’ every month, eventually you will end up with a stellar company.  

Nolan mentioned that he regrets having exited from Atari when he did – believing that there were a lot of things that he could have accomplished, that fell by the wayside after he left.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How less than $1000 launched the video game industry 
  • Why the ‘Pong’ ball was square instead of round 
  • Why Nolan will never ‘retire’ 
  • What it was like to work with Steve Jobs 
  • How the Tiki room at Disney helped create Chuck E. Cheese 
  • Nolan’s view of the world of technology and how things are changing 
  • Why it is important to read science fiction 
Direct download: Nolan20Bushnell20DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:56pm PDT

Georgia Collins is the Senior Managing Director and Co-Leader of the Workplace Strategy Practice at CBRE. CBRE is a Global commercial real estate company that ‘helps clients identify opportunities to reduce and/or reallocate their costs, more effectively manage their resources, improve employee engagement and make decisions faster’.  With specific responsibility for research and development, Collins’ focus is on enhancing and expanding their service offerings so that clients can better understand, and more effectively deliver, environments and services that improve employee effectiveness and act as competitive differentiators in the war for talent.

Collins has more than 15 years of experience in the field of workplace consulting. A recognized leader in the industry, Collins’ project experience spans a wide range of markets and industries.

Prior to joining CBRE, Collins led strategic business consultancy DEGW’s North American practice where she led significant engagements for companies like Autodesk, Cisco, eBay and Microsoft. Prior to DEGW, Collins worked as an urban planner for Sasaki Associates.

Change management considers how to create workplaces that inspire and allow people to work at their best. When opening a new office, CBRE uses 80% of standard resources – market stand-up desks, for example. The other 20% are designed to be specific to that particular office. The time spent defining what makes each location special is an important part of the change. So offices in Hawaii look and function differently than those in Chicago.

Three steps in the process to successful design is thought of as a pyramid, with the base as the foundation, the middle, relational and finally the top of the pyramid is transformational. Specifically,

  1. Foundational – what are the things that people need to do their job? (i.e., fast internet or parking)
  2. Relational – how do you enable people to build their internal networks? (collaboration areas, break rooms, etc.)
  3. Transformational or differentiating – what makes this particular organization special?

Collins’ advice for corporations is threefold. First, consider how to strip out the friction in work. Second, think about how to elevate the work experience. And third, intentionally don’t ‘plan’ everything

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What Workplace360 is
  • Why CBRE decided to make some changes and how they figured out what changes to make
  • How to get people that are reluctant to embrace change to come along
  • What is ‘life admin’ or ‘work admin’ and how it might work for your office
  • Personalization in an open office – is it possible or necessary?

 

Direct download: Georgia20Collins20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:29am PDT

John Hass is the Chairman, President and CEO of Rosetta Stone, a language and literacy company with around 1,000 employees in the U.S. and around the world. Prior to Rosetta Stone, Hass spent two decades at Goldman Sachs both in New York and in Chicago. He was in the advisory part of the company working with Fortune 500 companies around the world on strategic initiatives. 

Learning another language has a lot of benefits, whether you are taking a language class in school as a 4th grader or whether you are learning some key phrases in another language for business purposes as a 40 year old. Some of the impacts that go beyond just learning another language, are creating a cultural awareness, inspiring empathy and rewiring your brain to make it easier for you to learn in general.

Hass says learning another language is, “a demonstration of a willingness to meet someone halfway, when you’re working with someone cross border, cross culturally, your willingness to speak their language, to be part of their environment, is always very well received in business, in culture, in travel and in most of what we do. It’s a very powerful, powerful tool, but it’s an incredibly rewarding tool as well.”

When asked about the changing nature of learning in general, Hass brought up a staggering statistic regarding newly graduating high school students. He said that according to the former United States Secretary of Commerce, students currently in high school will change jobs 10 to 16 times throughout their career. Because of that, learning has to adapt to prepare these students for the world of work they are entering. Education needs to prepare students to be flexible, adaptable and it has to give them a broader set of skills.

Hass is a huge believer in perpetual learning. He understands the importance of lifelong learning and says, “you have to love to learn, you have to be willing to learn. Your learning can’t end when you graduate with whatever final degree you have. You have to continue to learn to be successful.”

Another important aspect about the future of learning is personalized learning. It is not good enough anymore to have one teacher standing in front of 30+ kids teaching them all the same material, at the same rate, and in the same format. Hass believes that AI and other technology will play a huge role in the future of personalized learning and allowing students to learn at their own pace and in a way that makes the most sense for their abilities.

Hass admits that he is not an expert in robots or automation, however when asked about his take on robots in the future of work, he says this really goes along with his beliefs about the future of learning. We have to broaden our skill-set and improve our flexibility. He sees robots and automation replacing jobs in industries he never would have expected in the past, and he believes we are only at the forefront of this move towards automation, so we need to be prepared. 

Hass’s advice for the audience, especially the younger people just about to enter the workforce, is to look for new ways to learn, love to learn and always continue to learn. Find great sources that allow you to continue learning throughout your professional career.

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What benefits come along with learning a new language
  • John’s take on the changing nature of learning
  • Who is responsible for learning? Individuals, Companies, or Schools?
  • What technology Rosetta Stone is using
  • A look into Rosetta Stone’s corporate culture
  • What does personalized learning look like
  • John’s view on robots and automation in the future of work
Direct download: Arthur20John20Hass20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:36am PDT

Dr. Alissa Johnson, aka Dr. Jay,  is the Chief Information Security Officer for Xerox Corporation.  She is also the former Deputy Chief Information Officer of the Executive Office of the President. Dr. Jay is an IT strategist and visionary with experience in government and private industry.

As the world goes to a paper-less society, Xerox Corporation is focusing on companies’ document workflow. They work to ensure that all of these assets are protected, crossing many boundaries. Dr. Jay’s department looks at both the offensive and defensive aspects of cyber security in order to anticipate all of the things that ‘might happen tomorrow and five years from now’.  She describes how organizations get billions of attempts of hacking a month.

Due to the constant onslaught of potential hacking, it has required companies to collaborate and share information to work to offset the threats.  The hackers are automated so this has required companies to think along the same lines. Her advice is to ‘protect the crown jewels’ – the critical information in an organization, for example intellectual property and passwords.

Security Tips for Individuals:

  1. Change your password
  2. Have multiple bank accounts – put an amount in each account – that way if it is stolen you will have some money in other accounts. It is important to diversify - don’t have all your eggs ($$) in one basket!
  3. Don’t be afraid of technology, but be smart. You can’t go all in with everything – for example, mixing work friends with high school friends on Facebook or LinkedIn.
  4. Be mindful of everything that is connected. You have to know what is connected

Security Tips for Organizations:

  1. Set where you want to be in your ‘risk appetite’. Consider that the threshold is something that can be reevaluated each year but maintain during that time period.
  2. CISOs can’t hinder innovation – perhaps the answer is … ‘Yes, and …’
  3. Remember the basics – password updating, etc.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What the future of privacy and security will look like
  • The difference between privacy and security
  • The risks of automation
  • New possible hacking techniques
  • Suggested book to read: The Cuckoo’s Egg. The introduction of cyber security.
  • The future of virtual reality in education
  • The trade-off - use of smart homes and loss of privacy
  • What technology Dr. Jay is paying attention to…and what is ‘overrated’
Direct download: Dr20J20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:50am PDT

Seth Godin is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth founded both Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing "seth" into Google) is one of the most popular in the world.  His newest book, What To Do When It's Your Turn, is a bestseller.

Godin says that it is important to define work. People have been brainwashed to think that work is something where we need to ‘do what we are told’ – that it is all about compliance.

People that go out on their own – freelancers - fall into two camps. The first are those that are ‘workers without a boss’.  They do fine work when they have a client that acts like their boss and then they get freaked out when they can’t get another gig. This is because they are compliant and loathe taking a stand on something at the same time they are compliant.

The second group of freelancers are those that often fall into the trap of thinking they need to invent something original, be the first to do something. When in reality, no one asked them to do something original; instead they need to do something worthy, which creates value.

Often, people are hiding in their jobs –without realizing it. There is a cushion of comfort at their job. The company will take care of you if you become ill, there is a sales department that will sell for you and so on. However, this can keep employees from their end purpose, interacting with their customers and really understanding everything that goes on in the workplace.

How should we be preparing for the future of work?

  1. Learn how to be generously persistent as you fail. Try something new, fail, get back up and try again. Once you’ve mastered that – start something else new, fail, try again …until you are comfortable of the concept of launching something new.
  2. Work on understanding symbolic logic, how ideas work and the validity of an argument from a scientific point of view. This will enable you to be an informed consumer of information and form your own opinions - the opposite of dogma and compliance.

Godin’s advice for employees is: regardless of the past you ‘get the chance to do the future over again’.

His advice for manager is that a manager and a leader are different things. A manager gets you to do the same thing you did yesterday but faster and cheaper.

Leaders are people who take a team and figure out how to solve a problem even though they don’t know how to do it. If you are manager, figure out how to be a leader, if you are a leader figure out how to shine a light on problems.

Things you will learn:

  • How to hire people that you really need
  • Putting your ‘sucky’ job in perspective
  • The reality of AI in the past, present and future
  • What makes Godin successful at what he does and why he left full time work
  • How to be a perpetual doer
Direct download: Seth20Godin20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:19pm PDT

Jon Gordon is a best-selling author whose books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. Gordon’s principles have been put to the test by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional and college sports teams, school districts, hospitals and non-profits. He is the author of 17 books including 5 best-sellers: The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, You Win in the Locker Room First and most recently, The Power of Positive Leadership.

Gordon explains how - from the brink of bankruptcy - he built up a personal brand to write best-selling books and develop a very successful speaking career.  He describes that he tackled this by being very purposeful and ‘building a brand and business’.  The process was that he:

  1. Created a website – added events and articles
  2. Wrote a one page overview of his speaking topics – The first was 5 Ways to Become Addicted to Positive Energy
  3. Sent out 1000’s of emails with the one page – 99% did not respond
  4. Eventually got a speaking gig with the Jaguars team and they became a client
  5. Spoke for ‘free’ in many locations, adding clients along the way & then included on them on his website
  6. Created a newsletter with no advertising – just great content, people shared it and it grew. (Currently 120,000 readers.)

Now, 15 years later he charges $35,000 a talk, and has over 3 million books sold. Gordon says one of the most important parts of his process was, “Showing up every day, sharing the message, being passionate about it and never really about the money. It was the message.”

Great leaders are the same as great coaches. They have the ability to connect with the people they work with. They need to believe in them and see their potential. Also, it is very important to provide accountability to those they lead.

Gordon gives three actions to become a positive leader. They are:

  1. Talk to yourself rather than listen to yourself. Listening is often full of fear and doubt. Speak encouraging words to yourself – and listen to those.
  2. Realize that the world is created from the inside out. It is not our circumstances that have power; it is our state of mind.
  3. Grit – the number one factor of success. It is not talent, title or anything else that determines your outcome. It is the ability to keep moving forward in the face of obstacles. Don’t give up, don’t listen to naysayers.

Things you will learn:

  • Steps to develop a positive outlook on life
  • What makes a good leader or manager
  • One question Leaders should ask their employees
  • How to build your personal brand
  • How Jon went from working for a .com to being an author and speaker
  • Your role in overcoming negativity in the workplace
  • How to measure and evaluate a positive leader
Direct download: Jon20Gordon20Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 4:14am PDT

David Deming is the Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses broadly on the economics of education, with a particular interest in the impact of education policies on long-term outcomes other than test scores. Before becoming a professor at Harvard, David attended Berkeley and Ohio State University where he was trained as an economist. He has always been motivated by policy oriented questions and how economics can affect the real world.

When asked if there is a skills gap, Deming indicated that if you look back to the job market 30 years ago organizations would hire people with few skills but then they would invest in those people to train them on the job. They were willing to take a chance on the new graduates. Now, the jobs are more fluid, employers don’t want to pay to train employees and then have the employees leave a short time later. So we have people graduating from school without skills but people aren’t willing to invest in them - we don’t have the ‘connective tissue’ to pull the two together.

One idea, Deming pointed out, is to develop a European style of building durable partnerships between universities and employers to bridge the skill gaps. They can share the cost and effort.

On the topic of Universal Basic Income, Deming said it has some ‘appealing aspects’, and it is transparent and easy to understand. He also maintains that it does not discourage work and in fact, has some appealing aspects. People talk about it as a solution of the ‘technological unemployment’ (which Deming does not think will happen). Everyone gets the base amount of money – so if you want to earn a lot of money then this won’t help. It is different than welfare. Welfare is a work disincentive because we only will give it to you if you are poor. Universal Basic Income goes to everyone regardless of the amount of money they have.

Deming gave some advice to organizations. He says, don’t be afraid to take a chance on somebody who doesn’t come from the standard background - but might be good a fit for you.

His advice for individuals is to try to be good at two things that are not common together. For example, a good coder who is also good social skills will be in demand and provide more opportunities.  

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What David sees for the future of higher education and whether or not traditional education institutions will exist in the future
  • The 90/10 gap in incomes
  • The role of AI and its impact on future jobs
  • Future job skill sets needed
  • What schools should be doing and whether or not they should look like a workplace
  • What skills should we learn in school and how quickly will they be obsolete
  • David’s view on the skills gap
Direct download: David20Deming20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27am PDT

Steven Tobin is a Senior Economist and the Team Leader at the Research Department of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and currently heads up the Policy Assessment Unit. His team is currently focused on undertaking policy assessments across a range of labor market and social issues. Before joining the ILO, Steven held several management positions at both the Federal and Provincial level of the Canadian government.

The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States , to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men.

One trend that Tobin is looking at now is unemployment. There has been a downturn in Latin America which is pushing the global unemployment lower. The US and Canada have been doing well in this area but the lower numbers in emerging countries are negatively affecting overall rates.

This downward trend impacts us all as the world is becoming more connected – if there is less demand for a product in places, such as Latin America, it will ultimately affect workers and consumers in the US.

The US economy is one of the strongest labor markets in the world. However, there is still a perception among some people that something is wrong.  They feel they are working hard but can’t get ahead. This leads to feelings of injustice and may have played a role in last year’s elections. It also may be fueling the ‘America First’ emphasis.

There are jobs available in the US – and other countries – but are there enough? Many are short term, casual jobs and may lead to a mismatch of expectations.  They do not provide the same benefits that ‘standard’ jobs do, such as sick time, paid vacation and retirement benefits.  The ‘gig’/freelance economy is a trend that the ILO recognizes and sees growing. Their concerns are whether people are choosing these types of jobs for their benefits or rather because there are no standard employment opportunities that meet their skill sets or needs. 

This gig economy leads to challenges for entire societies. Who should ‘take care’ of these employees when they cannot work? In Canada they have created voluntary accounts in which self-employed people can contribute to a 401 K and so on.

Finland and Canada are piloting the use of universal basic income on a small scale. Basically, it is when everyone is guaranteed an income whether they work or not. The question remains as to what extent this would replace programs such as unemployment insurance. This notion of providing a minimum of a safety net is growing in the policy sphere.

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • What the next 3 – 5 years will bring in terms of employees/employers
  • Some main trends in the world of work
  • ILO’s perspective on the role of AI and technology in the future of work
  • What is ‘Zero Hours’ employment?
  • Universal employment pilots
  • Why it is important for us to pay attention to economies outside of our own country
  • Steven Tobin’s perspective on the US economy
  • The difference between job creation and quality job creation
  • Steven’s perspective on Universal Basic Income
Direct download: Steven20Tobin20Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:00pm PDT

Monica Pool Knox is the Head of Global Talent Management at Microsoft Enterprises.  She started with GTE (which would later become Verizon) and since then she has worked at several large companies including Pepsico, Sony, Twitter and she is now at Microsoft.

Microsoft has 120,000 full time employees in 109 countries. But they also have a contingent workforce which is larger than their full time workforce! Contingent workers are doing everything that full time workers are doing, however, they allow for flexibility for the company. They may move to another part of the company or leave altogether once the assignment is completed. Microsoft also has a third classification of workers – full time employees that can be redeployed to another part of the company.

This often meets the needs of both the employee and company. “Talent in the workplace – people want different experiences, different skills,”  Pool Knox says. People used to look at a company’s financial records but now things have changed and the mission and purpose is what is really important. If the culture isn’t something people want, they may opt to do something different.

The office is now ‘whereever you are’. The mentality of blending work and family and having harmony and integration is now where people’s focus is at. This requires companies to be flexible when they are looking for the top talent to attract and retain. This is a big shift from years ago.

Pool Knox says that she is worried that technology moves faster than we do, so are we going to have to have the new skills that are needed in the market. We need to find new talent to support those emerging skill needs. Microsoft goes to the traditional places – colleges, looking at talent pools in San Francisco and Boston and so on but they are also finding new opportunities in untapped places – unexpected places.

Pool Knox gives advice to leaders thinking about the changing nature of talent. She says managers need to think about how they are getting work done. Think about how teams form to get things done – be open to a variety of possibilities. Encourage diverse teams – diverse in terms of education, backgrounds, and so on and then how to leverage those members to accomplish the objectives.

And her advice to individuals is to get as much experience as possible to add to your tool box – this will make evolving easier. Consider learning a second or third language. It will help you not only in the workplace but with colleagues as well. Also, reach out to people via LinkedIn or other networks – people that might have new ideas and then connect with them.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why it is critical to evolve as an employee
  • New ways people are learning
  • The role of a growth mindset in business
  • How Microsoft views the gig economy and contingent workers
  • How the talent landscape and the employee/employer relationship has changed over the past decade
Direct download: monica20renee20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:25pm PDT

David Fairhurst is the Chief People Officer at McDonald’s. Prior to joining McDonald's in 2005, Fairhurst held senior roles at H J Heinz, SmithKline Beecham and Tesco. For four consecutive years (2008-2011) he was voted the UK's 'Most Influential HR Practitioner' by readers of HR Magazine and in 2012 was awarded the magazine’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for an HR practitioner.

McDonald's is the world's leading global food service retailer who, including franchisees, employs more than 1.9 million people, in 35,000 locations serving approximately 60 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

McDonald’s is known for its operational excellence. They see this as a ‘3-legged stool’ made up by the suppliers, the franchisees and the company.

McDonald’s is often a first job of many workers. Their focus on training has provided an amazing legacy of alumni employees to the restaurant. Fairhurst talks about the ‘workforce cliff’. This is the point where the workforce supply and demand converges – the number of babies born versus deaths.   In the US it will occur in 2020. With that in mind, the idea of a multigenerational employee group is even more interesting and practical. He explains that research has shown that in restaurants where there are a large age range of workers, there is a positive culture.

What do companies need from their employees? This may vary across sectors but it is a good question to ask. McDonald’s has determined three things that they need from their employees, calling these the ‘3 C’s’.

  1. Competence
  2. Confidence
  3. Commitment

McDonald’s also has looked at what employees value in their workplace. They found it to be what they call the ‘3 F’s’.

  1. Family – work/life balance
  2. Flexibility – if family emergencies come up, can the company handle it?
  3. Future – ways can you make me more employable or valuable

The real power in knowing these things is when you can get these to merge. Fusing the needs of the company with the needs of the employees can produce great results.

McDonald’s drives change across its global company by looking at 4 things. First is transforming the culture of their system – the customer is the center and then, by definition, also the employee

Secondly, strengthening the talent management process. They want a robust talent pipeline

Thirdly, making sure they have the right leaders with the right capabilities in the right structures to ensure they can meet current and future trend. And lastly, they are constantly seeking to strengthen their access to people.

These are continuous and do not stop in their goal to lead and not follow. The opportunities are endless but when you take a little insight, it can create a massive impact - when you have 1.9 million employees.

Fairhurst’s advice for others is to, “Stop worrying about what you do not have control over. Get sleep and pour over what you can do. The differences you make today will get you noticed.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How David Fairhurst got to this point in his career
  • What is McDonald’s Velocity Growth plan
  • Why it is important for McDonald’s to make a transformation
  • Challenges McDonald’s has had to overcome
  • The impact of AI and automation on their restaurants
  • Fairhursts advice to leaders, managers and employees
  • The role of a multigenerational workforce
  • What is the ‘workforce cliff’?
  • What Uber and McDonald’s have in common
  • Why is all-day breakfast a big deal for McDonald’s?
Direct download: David20Fairhurst20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:02pm PDT

Kim Scott is the New York Bestselling Author of a new book, Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing Your Humanity  Kim is also the co-founder of Candor, Inc and co-host of the podcast Radical Candor. She led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google and then joined Apple to develop and teach a leadership seminar. Kim has been a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other tech companies

Radical Candor is demonstrated when one cares personally for someone and also challenges them directly.  Great bosses can be source of growth and joy. It is evident that they care about you. They will also tell things that you need to hear. The framework consists of four points:

  1. Radical Candor – praise and then criticize
  2. Obnoxious Aggression – when you challenge but don’t care (praise that doesn’t seem sincere or criticism that isn’t delivered kindly)
  3. Manipulative insincerity – when you neither care nor challenge (non-specific praise or criticism that is not clear)
  4. Ruinous Empathy – compassion without providing honest feedback

 

How does Radical Candor contribute to an employee experience? It will give you a witness to your life and it will help you grow in the way you want to grow. When you are doing great work, you want it recognized, when you mess up, someone will let you know. 

 

Scott gives four steps on how to get to Radical Candor. First, come up with a go-to question. People don’t want to tell you so it’s difficult. Think of a question. For example: Is there anything I could do or stop doing that would make it easier to work with me? Whatever question works for you - figure out how to ask it

Second, embrace the discomfort. The only way to get the feedback is to make it more uncomfortable for them not to answer. So – after you ask the question – shut your mouth…count to 6…

Third,listen with the intent to understand - not to justify or respond. You cannot be defensive or you will not get any more feedback in the future from that person.

And finally, reward the candor. Give them a reward for telling you – if you agree with the feedback, fix the problem. And then tell the person and thank them for helping you. If you disagree, first of all focus on what you can agree with…then say I want to follow up in a few days. Then explain why you disagree. Sometimes the only reward is a fuller discussion of why you disagree.

Scott says some of the most common mistakes are showing employees care but not challenging them directly (Ruinous Empathy), getting so busy we fail to show we care personally or challenge directly and just flatter people – (Manipulative Insincerity), being reluctant to have ‘getting to know you’ conversations – these are the basis for the beginning of caring, and criticizing the feedback.

Do you have a ‘bad boss’? No matter how terrible your boss is, you can be a good boss. You don’t need to imitate yours. You can create a good micro culture.

Start

Kim Scott is the New York Bestselling Author of a new book, Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing Your Humanity  Kim is also the co-founder of Candor, Inc and co-host of the podcast Radical Candor. She led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google and then joined Apple to develop and teach a leadership seminar. Kim has been a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other tech companies

Radical Candor is demonstrated when one cares personally for someone and also challenges them directly.  Great bosses can be source of growth and joy. It is evident that they care about you. They will also tell things that you need to hear. The framework consists of four points:

  1. Radical Candor – praise and then criticize
  2. Obnoxious Aggression – when you challenge but don’t care (praise that doesn’t seem sincere or criticism that isn’t delivered kindly)
  3. Manipulative insincerity – when you neither care nor challenge (non-specific praise or criticism that is not clear)
  4. Ruinous Empathy – compassion without providing honest feedback

 

How does Radical Candor contribute to an employee experience? It will give you a witness to your life and it will help you grow in the way you want to grow. When you are doing great work, you want it recognized, when you mess up, someone will let you know. 

 

Scott gives four steps on how to get to Radical Candor. First, come up with a go-to question. People don’t want to tell you so it’s difficult. Think of a question. For example: Is there anything I could do or stop doing that would make it easier to work with me? Whatever question works for you - figure out how to ask it

Second, embrace the discomfort. The only way to get the feedback is to make it more uncomfortable for them not to answer. So – after you ask the question – shut your mouth…count to 6…

Third,listen with the intent to understand - not to justify or respond. You cannot be defensive or you will not get any more feedback in the future from that person.

And finally, reward the candor. Give them a reward for telling you – if you agree with the feedback, fix the problem. And then tell the person and thank them for helping you. If you disagree, first of all focus on what you can agree with…then say I want to follow up in a few days. Then explain why you disagree. Sometimes the only reward is a fuller discussion of why you disagree.

Scott says some of the most common mistakes are showing employees care but not challenging them directly (Ruinous Empathy), getting so busy we fail to show we care personally or challenge directly and just flatter people – (Manipulative Insincerity), being reluctant to have ‘getting to know you’ conversations – these are the basis for the beginning of caring, and criticizing the feedback.

Do you have a ‘bad boss’? No matter how terrible your boss is, you can be a good boss. You don’t need to imitate yours. You can create a good micro culture.

Start by soliciting feedback and understanding what would make your boss’ job better. Ask if you can provide some criticize. If you can - create this culture with your own team - and then work with your boss to create it.

If you can’t get to the point where you can get radical candor with your boss – if you can’t criticize your boss, you might want to start to look for a new job.

 

What You Will Learn In This Episode

  • Do leaders need to find a purpose for their employees or is it the responsibility of the employees to find purpose in their work?
  • What makes a good employee?
  • Is it possible to learn to have career conversations?
  • Efficient workplace practice ideas
  • Why Kim Scott wrote her book
  • Examples of bad bosses and good bosses
  • How to have Radical Candor

by soliciting feedback and understanding what would make your boss’ job better. Ask if you can provide some criticize. If you can - create this culture with your own team - and then work with your boss to create it.

If you can’t get to the point where you can get radical candor with your boss – if you can’t criticize your boss, you might want to start to look for a new job.

 

 

Things you will learn:

  • Do leaders need to find a purpose for their employees or is it the responsibility of the employees to find purpose in their work?
  • What makes a good employee?
  • Is it possible to learn to have career conversations?
  • Efficient workplace practice ideas
  • Why Kim Scott wrote her book
  • Examples of bad bosses and good bosses
  • How to have Radical Candor
Direct download: Kim20Scott20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:16am PDT

Anindya Ghose is the Professor of IT and Business Analytics at NYU and the author of TAP: Unlocking the Mobile Economy.  He is a Professor of IT and a Professor of Marketing, at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He is also the Director of the Center for Business Analytics at NYU Stern. In 2014 he was named by Poets & Quants as one of the “top 40 outstanding business school professors under 40 in the world” and by Analytics Week as one of the “top 200 thought leaders in Big Data and Business Analytics”.

The Mobile Economy is any transaction that occurs on a smart phone or tablet. It is currently more than 3 trillion dollars of the world’s economy – or 4.2% of the world’s GDP.  So we are only scratching the tip of the iceberg.

Technology has changed the way companies can interact with consumers. Location accuracy came out about 10 years ago. At that point in time, people’s location could be pin-pointed within 200-300 meters (~1000 feet). Now, the latest smart phones can locate the user within 5 feet. This information opens the door for many uses.

Beyond the retail use, the Mobile Economy touches other industries such as banking, healthcare and construction.  Using wearable sensors, workers walking and working patterns can help reshape where workstations should be or even how to design exits or entrances in busy airports.

There are nine forces shaping the Mobile Economy. The first is context which looks at what the customer is thinking. There is also location, time, and weather. Saliency, or the ranking of your product, is also critical.  Some other forces that come into play are crowdedness, trajectory, social dynamics and tech mix.

The next generation which includes smart homes and cars are closer than we think.  In 2 – 3 years they will include refrigerators that remind you to pick up the groceries on the way home from work.  The smart phone will become the remote control for all of your appliances and devices.

Ghose has found four behavior contradictions… people say they:

  1. Seek to be spontaneous but really they value certainty
  2. Find ads annoying but really they fear being left out, so they want ads
  3. Desire choice and freedom but too many choices and they get overwhelmed
  4. Want to protect their personal freedom but will use their personal data as currency to get things they want

Ghose’s advice for organizations is if you want to succeed in the Mobile Economy then you have to win the consumer’s trust.  You must act as a ‘butler’ not as a ‘creepy stalker’ and you must notify and ask for consent.

His advice for consumers is to embrace the world of messaging and ads. If you do, you will receive lower prices and more targeted messages. If you don’t, you will receive more spam and random messaging with higher prices.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What is the Mobile Economy?
  • Why write a book about the Mobile Economy when the mobile phone has been around for a long time
  • The role smart phones will play in the future
  • How brick and mortar stores track consumers movements…and why
  • Privacy in the Mobile Economy
  • How the Mobile Economy is being used to help the healthcare industry
  • The 9 forces on the company side that are shaping the mobile economy
  • The 4 behavior contradictions on the consumer side
Direct download: Anindya20Ghose20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:41am PDT

Today my guest is Archana Singh, the EVP and Chief Human Resource Officer at John Wiley and Sons Publishing. Join us as we talk about what transformations Wiley is going through, why these transformations are important, how to create a sense of purpose for your employees and much more.

Today’s guest is Archana Singh the EVP and Chief Human Resource Officer at John Wiley and Sons Publishing. John Wiley was founded in 1807, and amazingly over 200 years later they are still going strong. They currently focus on business books, research and journal publishing with sizeable work around digital assets and learning, assessments and educational technology services, as well.

Wiley is found in 60 locations across 40 different countries, employing 5000 people. There has been significant growth in the last 15 years with a blending of digital and traditional higher education publishing.

How has worked changed?

1. There is more ownership as an employee of what is worked upon. Therefore, as an organization, how do we harness that? There is an increase need for us to understand this.

2. Everyone is seeking flexibility. How do we get our organizations to move to a more outcome based, rather than time driven focus? How do we change our dialogs to provide this flexibility?

3. People’s minds are more fragmented – they have so many things to do and worry about. How do we – as organizations – get the productivity that is needed? How do we harness this to create advantage for our organization?

What is the role of an employee?

Three things:

1. Employees want employers to care and encourage connectedness

2. They also wonder how they can participate in shaping the organization. They want to make an impact.

3. They also question - am I employable and am I learning enough? They want to feel they are being relevant - both internally and externally

Singh gives advice to companies looking to reinvent themselves. She says, to begin visualize what your mission is and where you want to be. Where do you want to be at the end of one year? In 5 years? She also states it is important to engage people and to hear what they think. Encourage employee participation and use a joint approach to identify what matters.

What you will learn in this episode:

* Initiatives going on at Wiley to continue to transform a company over 200 years old.

* What organizations can consider to transform their physical space without a budget

* The role of the mission statement on company culture

* Ideas of how to create a sense of purpose among your employees.

* Singh’s advice to companies who are looking to reinvent themselves

* How work has evolved

Quotes:

* Our true north is life-long learners - whether it is a researcher or a student - and they guide us in what we do

* There is an increased need for us to understand how to tap into this freelance energy.

* Every small thing we do is more important than ‘big bang’ programs.

Direct download: arch20singh20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55am PDT

Today’s conversation is with Dr. Jody Foster, author of The Schmuck in My Office and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry. Our discussion centers around dealing with difficult people at work and learning to look for the reasons behind their annoying behaviors.

 

Dr. Jody Foster is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Vice Chair for Clinical Operations in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Pennsylvania Hospital. She attained her MBA, with a concentration in finance, from the Wharton School. She is also the author of the recently released book, The Schmuck in My Office

Dr. Foster was involved in forming a program to deal with disruptive physicians which became publically offered due to interest in resolving the same issues in other settings outside of the medical field. After the program became public, Dr. Foster was approached to write the book to share the program’s main ideas to the general public.

We all have traits that make us who we are. None of these are problematic by themselves, however when we allow these traits to interfere with our work or our relationships with coworkers, they can become an issue. In Dr. Foster’s book she lists out 10 types of traits that are often observed and can become disruptive to a workplace if they get out of control:

  1. Narcissus – their ego fills the room
  2. Venus Flytrap – their initial appeal may draw you in, but anger later surfaces
  3. Swindler – the rule breaker
  4. Bean counter – the controlling micro manager
  5. Distracted – has real difficulty in time management, frequently has unfinished projects
  6. Mr. Hyde – someone who struggles with an addiction problem, one that was not apparent when hired but then another ‘person showed up’
  7. The Lost – one who is experiencing cognitive issues, and who is getting sloppy
  8. Robotic – one might say they were a ‘person on the spectrum’ – very little social skills
  9. Eccentric – the person has odd or magical belief patterns - the beliefs are ‘strange’
  10. Suspicious – thinks that there are conspiracies, looks over their shoulder

Dr. Foster states that the most common are those titled, narcissus. They may demonstrate behaviors that seem like they feel entitled, seek attention and exaggerate their accomplishments.

One key way to deal with them is to attempt to understand them. It may be that the person has a low and fragile self esteem. They may be afraid to be found smaller than average, in some way. They also may not realize they are dominating the conversation – they are used to controlling the conversation and they may not even have full realization they are doing it. Giving some positive feedback and acknowledging their story may be helpful.

Dr. Foster says, “You want to find a culture that is right for you.” It could also be that the disruptive person is working in the wrong setting for their personality type. Sometimes a worker that is labeled as disruptive is actually just in the wrong workplace culture. “What is considered disruptive to one person may be attractive to another”, states Dr. Foster.

Dr. Foster gives tips for dealing with difficult people. First of all, she says, you have to accept the fact that people don’t want to be disruptive. It is important for us to work to understand the people around us. We also have to understand that what is disruptive in one culture may not be disruptive in another. You should try to call out disruptive behavior when you see it, waiting just causes hard feelings to build up to the point of anger.

You should take a step back and examine why a certain behavior is bothering you, in some instances it could be because you see something in a person that is a trait you don’t like in yourself. Another tip Dr. Foster gives is, if the other person doesn’t see a problem then you have to set limits. And finally, ask the question, ‘Am I the schmuck in the office’? Are you going from place to place and continuing to ‘see the same issues’? If you are, you could be the problem.

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • Tips for organizations for dealing with ‘schmucks’
  • Personal life ‘schmucks’
  • If you aren’t happy in your job why it might be time to do some reflection!
  • Why Dr. Foster wrote her book
  • What are the 10 types of people and how can you identify them
  • How can we get to a point where we can understand the truth behind someone’s actions
  • Real life examples of how to deal with others
  • What roles does the environment play vs. the individual
Direct download: Jody20Foster20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:49am PDT

My conversation this week is with John Hagel, the Co-Chairman at the Center for the Edge at Deloitte, and we are talking about the future of work: what you need to know, how to prepare and what to look forward to.

Today’s guest is John Hagel the Co-Chairman at the Center for the Edge at Deloitte and author of 7 books including: The Power of Pull. John leads the Silicon Valley based research center for Deloitte. Their charter is to identify emerging business opportunities that should be on the CEO's agenda, but are not, and to do the research to persuade them to put it on the agenda

Automation and the future of work are part of a bigger shift of how business is changing globally. The main issue is the rapid increase of technology. Hagel believes that ‘robots can restore our humanity’. He explains that the way we define work - highly standardized and integrated tasks - will be able to be accomplished by robots – which are much more efficient than we will ever be - leaving the creative work to humans.

Hagel says the availability of robots will become the catalyst for a shift in the work that humans will do. Instead of routine tasks that can be done with robots, humans will be focusing on being creative.  This transition may be a painful one for some people – taking them out of their comfort zones - so we will need to look at how we can support people as they move to these new roles.

This change can be stressful, but we need to find a way to turn that anxiety into excitement. Hagel says, “People who learn fastest are those that are passionate”. They are constantly looking for the next challenge and are excited about it.

How do organizations or even individuals face this magnitude of change? Hagel suggests ‘starting on the edge’. In a large organization, such as a school, find a way you can demonstrate a new kind of work to use as a magnet to pull people in. Use time after hours to encourage creativity and provide opportunities rather than trying to change the traditional school setting.

Individuals should think about what makes them really excited. What hobby are you passionate about? Start to explore how you can make it more of what you do for a living. Start on the edge…don’t quit your day job, do this on the side.

Develop a questing disposition – what are your reactions to unexpected challenges?  Most workers go into fear and avoidance mode. The passionate are excited by the challenges and actually go looking for them.

Another element is a connecting disposition.  People with this attitude seek out others who are experienced in the field they are pursuing – so they can get answers faster.  They work to connect with others.

What is the future of work? In the short term there will be 3 things:

  1. Evolving in world as customers we have more power. We want creative services and products that are customized – not standardized mass market.
  2. Recognition of different work segments – Millennials and Boomers who are looking for ways to do more creative work and learn more in the process
  3. Technology coming in and replacing routine tasks – work meant for humans not done by machines.

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How can robots restore our humanity?
  • Will there be a job apocalypse?
  • How your favorite hobby can be your next job!
  • How gamers and surfers’ perspectives can help you find your next job
  • Advice for parents and employees about the future of work
Direct download: John20Hagel2020Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:08pm PDT

This week’s guest is Daniel Franklin, the executive editor of The Economist and editor of The Economist’s annual publication The World In....  which focuses on predictions for the upcoming year. He is also the author of the book, Megatech: Technology in 2050

Looking beyond the immediate horizon is helpful when looking at future trends. In particular, Franklin looks at the drivers of change. For instance, follow the money and what does that tell you?  Look at what might hold technologies back or push them forward and that gives some insight into future trends.

The title of the book – 2050- is a metaphor to encourage one’s thinking to push out to what might be possible in the future.

One of the future technologies that Franklin is paying attention to is farm technology. By 2050, it is predicted that there will be 10 billion people on the earth. The need to feed all of these people is critical. Therefore, a combination of advancements – such as distant farming, the massive applications of data to farming, when to sow and harvest, when to water and fertilizer, will help to meet the need to support that population.

While food is very important, so is energy. In the future, solar and wind technologies will become a large factor. Franklin sees that more power will be in our homes rather than in a big grid. This leads to a discussion of the potential to create a lack of incentive in the workplace towards finding other ways to produce energy when the “sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing” and how that will be resolved.

Moore’s Law [processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years] has proven to be ‘doable’ by the industry. The ‘metronome’ – the regular beat of efficiency – has led to astonishing changes. The smartphone is one way in which this is exemplified. The smartphone has allowed people to now have computing power in their pockets - the same power that used to take rooms to achieve.

This makes us hungry for ways to have more and has become the lifeblood of lots of industry. We have reached the point where we can’t go any smaller so there has to be another means where we can continue to produce gains and efficiencies such as in the past.

This is the challenge of Moore’s Law – if the computer loses its metronome.  The bad news is that it’s tougher and more expensive and gains don’t come as regularly as in the past. The good news is the computer capacity will continue to grow, such as the use of ‘clouds’ and improving software.

Franklin’s advice for business leaders? Think big and broadly about the possibilities that are there, be prepared for things to happen faster than you probably imagined. Think about what happens to your industry when data processing becomes more efficient and be prepared to be flexible in the heart of your operations.

Franklin also says we shouldn’t be afraid of trends. Instead we should look at them from the point of view of ‘what does it offer me’? We should be excited about the possibilities of future trends, rather than fearing them.

 

Things you will learn in this episode:

  • Science fiction and its role in the ‘real world’
  • The future of wearables & autonomous vehicles
  • What about virtual reality in the future?
  • What are some big picture things that Daniel Franklin is paying attention to?
  • What the future of farming will look like
  • Why when it comes to energy we have a problem of plenty rather than a problem of scarcity
  • What is Moore’s Law and why is it important?
  • Where is augmented reality at now and where will it go in the future
Direct download: Daniel20Franklin20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 2:26am PDT

Monique Herena is the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at BNY Mellon. As Senior Executive Vice President, Herena oversees BNY Mellon’s Human Resources and Marketing and Corporate Affairs departments. In her role as Chief Human Resources Officer, she is responsible for all human resources strategies, policies and practices.

BNY Mellon, founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, has 52,000 employees across 35 countries and 6 continents. They have two main businesses, investment management and investment services. The make-up of the company is diverse - 46% of the US workforce is women and 30% representing ethnically and racially diverse people.

BNY believes that putting people first is critical to every aspect of their mission. It is how people experience the company – through their talent.  They invest in people, believing in the power of development- “People can always be better in the next moment than what they are right now.”

They have put together a report, appropriately entitled, People Report, which is told through the voices of the associates and their experiences in a digital only experience. In this, one is allowed insight into what it is like to be an employee at BNY.

Four pillars that are the framework of the company include Lead, Innovate, Impact, Collaborate and Inspire.

Lead includes the desire to be more mobile and be where clients are – making wealth management applications more mobile, socially connect with other people, an emerging leader program – BK University – all which drive the business.

Innovate looks at the workspace becoming even more efficient and includes everything from robotics, to better accuracy, reducing risk and cost savings.

Collaboration is important to BNY. Company-wide leaders look at different ways there are to help each other to work virtually, different digital centers, have chat bot technology and so on, encouraging collaboration across all kinds of ‘borders’.

Inspiring people to be their best includes many facets such as VetNet that supports veterans returning to the workplace. This has doubled the number of veterans at BNY. They are also placing an emphasis on gender equality and are working to achieve this across the industry.

The employee experience is a two-way street. A performance review should not be just the manager’s feedback but how the employee participating in available resources. The employee needs to take a joint ownership in the process. Those that contribute the most are the most successful.

There is a ‘push versus pull’ strategy. The push says – “I’m here, what are you giving me next?” The pull strategy includes creating your brand, working hard which in turn, leads people to notice the person.

Herena’s advice to organizations who want to know what to do to start putting their people first, check out BNY Mellon’s People Report and also, from a leadership point of view – the earlier in your career that you learn to ‘make it not about you - and get other focused’ the more successful you will be in that career

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • Why ‘setting the tone at the top’ includes getting up at 4:25 am each day!
  • Should there be an emphasis on keeping up with business ‘trends’?
  • Does every investment have to have a dollar and cents return?
  • Background on People Report done by BNY Mellon and their findings
  • How BNY is putting their people first
  • Why bother making investments in your people if your company is already doing well?
  • How do you differentiate between perks and true organizational change
  • What do Millennials want
Direct download: Monique20Herena20Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:38am PDT

This week’s conversation is all about the gig economy. Listen in to find out how big the gig economy actually is, what the skills gap is and how we can fix it and how individuals and organizations can adapt to a rapidly growing gig economy.

 

This week's Future of Work podcast features a conversation with Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research. Steve has extensive consulting, marketing and general management experience with both large and small companies.  He has served as vice president of Corporate Marketing for Macromedia, vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific for Lotus Development Corporation and vice president of marketing for Isys Corporation. Steve's current research and consulting is focused on the future of work, the rise of the independent workforce and the impact of Big Data on small businesses.

The gig/freelance/independent worker economy has two levels; those who have this as their full-time employment and those who use it as a way to supplement their income.   There are various estimations of the number of people who are gig workers in the U.S.

Some research shows a low number of independent workers – less than a million people to a high number - 75 million people. The 75 million includes people that have taken surveys online and received payment for it or play a game and get paid for it.  So, it is critical to define work when discussing the number of freelance workers.

Emergent Research estimates there are 18 million full-time gig workers and another 22 million Americans who are part-time.  Here, full-time is defined as working 15 hours or more per week and it is the primary source of income.

Though the percentages of workers vary, there are three things we can take away:

  1. Gig industry is a bigger than any other and just as big as the government segment.
  2. It has clearly been growing over the last decade.
  3. It is permeating every sector of the economy. There are gig workers who are lawyers, doctors and other highly skilled professionals along with the commonly thought of Uber and AirBnB.

One trend in the economy is the shift in workers’ perceptions of job security. In 2011, 27% of people believed that independent work was more secure than traditional work.  The same question in 2016, found that 47% of workers believe that independent work was more secure.

King’s advice for companies when considering the independent worker is to get a grasp on the number of independent workers they have working in their organization.  Often in large organizations, they find that 20 -25 % of full-time employees are freelancing and 8% – 10% of part-time employees are independent. 

King also says organizations should work to understand where freelancers are playing an important role in their organization. Often they are found in IT or marketing.  Then it is important to understand the role they play, how to attract the right talent and then how to train them.

His advice for individuals thinking about the role of freelancing in their own careers? It is important to be prepared. Success in gig work comes from preparation and choice. People who fail in gig work are those who are not prepared. If you are interested in starting with a gig job go with part time and keep your day job.

Things you will learn in this episode:

  • How many Americans are considered part of the gig economy
  • King’s thoughts on the taking economy
  • What safety nets can independents look for in the future
  • What are some gig markets that are less known
  • What aspects have created the skills gap and how can we fix it
  • King’s advice to individuals and organizations when confronting the gig economy
  • Are traditional jobs disappearing
Direct download: Steve20King20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:36am PDT

This week join me as I talk with Sylvia Metayer, the CEO of Worldwide Services at Sodexo, about the report that Sodexo recently conducted to find the top trends shaping the global workforce.  

Sodexo is the 19th largest employer in the world. They currently employ almost 500,000 people, delivering ‘quality of life services’ to 40,000 client sites in eighty countries.  These sites include hospitals, schools and a variety of places where people work.  The services they provide range from cafeteria, maintenance, cleaning and everything that touches the employees. 

Sylvia Metayer manages one-third of the employees at Sodexo, for corporate clients.  She sees her role as CEO as one in which she serves her team and her clients to focus on ensuring  a better day, believing that when people have an improved quality of life, they perform better at work.  

Sodexo recently released a report on trends that are shaping the workplace in 2017. To gather the data they pulled approximately 150 experts from a variety of sources to come up with these ten trends. Metayer said she was initially surprised to find that even though the data looked at global trends they found that the issues were the same, regardless of region.   

In the study there were 10 global trends that Sodexo found to be shaping the workplace. The 10 trends are the agile organization, the rise of cross-workplaces, employees without borders, the new Gen of Robotics, intergenerational learning, personal branding goes to work, redefining workplace experience, the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, unlocking the potential of millennial talent and Wellness 3.0. 

One of the major trends Metayer is looking at is the role of robotics and automation and how it impacts the work itself. While it is prevalent in some fields – such as automotive manufacturing, it still is often thought of as both scary and interesting.  She sees its use expanding beyond manufacturing. For example, there is a need to inspect the roofs of buildings, but this is often a dangerous job. Rather than send up a person to complete this hazardous task, send a drone.  

One interesting type of automation that Sodexo is utilizing is an automatic till or cash register.  They are testing a new generation that will not only automatically produce a total to be paid but also include the nutritional data for a meal and perhaps even link it to data in the workplace gym. This provides additional benefits to the employee/consumer, integrating their experience into more of a journey than just an end result of a financial bill.  

The employee/consumer journey is also tied to the concept found in one of the trends in the report – Wellness 3.0. This considers the shift of organizations from their belief that they must ‘take care of the employees’ to one in which companies are looking to empower workers to take control of their own life and wellness.  This is with the focus that an organization’s most important capital is their ‘human capital’. Therefore, if people are healthy they will be more productive, and ultimately, a better performing organization.  

Today, two things are forcing companies to be agile. All companies, regardless of size, are in a global world. This is driving the level of complexity to new heights. With that in mind, the old hierarchy is not working.  Sodexo believes in the importance of being agile and has undergone reorganization in the last eighteen months. This has included disempowering the top levels of the company to push the emphasis to employees and clients. It is often difficult because it is a matter of going from a hierarchy to a lateral format but this is important to be able to work across ecosystems.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • What trends are shaping the global workplace in 2017 
  • Why a company must have an EQ rather than an IQ to be agile. 
  • The role of society and your organization 
  • Ideas of the future of robotics and automation in office spaces 
  • What Sylvia thinks the workplace will look like in the next few years 
  • What is a ‘talent cliff’? 
  • What is personal branding and why is it one of the trends for 2017 
  • The hardest thing about transformation in the company 
  • Sylvia’s perspective on whether or not full time employment will disappear 
 
Direct download: Sylvia20Metayer20Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:47am PDT

Today’s guest is Sjoerd Gehring, the Global VP of Talent Acquisition at Johnson & Johnson. We are going behind the scenes of talent acquisition to explain what it is, how it works and why one size never fits one in this area. 

Sjoerd Gehring, was born in the Netherlands and attended universities in Europe. He was with Accenture for almost ten years. The last two years he has been with Johnson and Johnson as Global VP of Talent Acquisition. 

When asked for an overview of Talent Acquisition (TA), Gehring indicated that it was a matter of matching talent with opportunity on a massive scale. Specifically, talent needs must be defined and then an understanding is developed regarding the opportunities that are available within the organization. 

In the past, HR would look to fill open positions. Now, TA is more strategic and proactive. In fact, last year Johnson and Johnson TA filled 25,000 positions. The need to be strategic at that level is massive. 

The proactive strategy includes looking both internally and externally for candidates. When looking within, it provides opportunities for TA to communicate openly about possible career paths in the organization. This type of recruitment process requires transparent communication about available positions within the company.  

This is something that is done proactively at Johnson and Johnson – they move people around within the organization. Here, the TA ‘owns’ the entire hiring process. This has process has four distinct steps or ‘buckets’.  

1. Strategic conversations with hiring managers.  

2. Candidate outreach - daily connecting with potential candidates 

3. Selection assessment - assess the ‘slate’ of candidates in a respectful and fair way to lead to making the right talent decisions.  

4. Compensation and benefits negations. 

When asked about whether candidates should negotiate salary Gehring responded that there were two schools of thought. The first is to be open in the beginning about aspirations. Both candidate and organization need to be within the same range of each other. If not, time will be wasted for both parties. However, salary should not be first thing out of one’s mouth; usually this is at the end of the first conversation. 

The second is to look at the total compensation package, rather than just looking at salary and bonus. Consider health care, leave, on-site child care, etc.  

When asked if he has any tips for what candidates can do to prepare for an interview, Gehring said to be prepared. Look at the organization’s career website, research the culture. Also, consider bringing a portfolio. Even those that are not designers could potentially utilize this tool to help showcase previous work.  

When asked if he has any tips for organizations to find the best employees, Gehring said to focus on the job descriptions. They are often very dry and actually disconnected from the reality of the position. Look at things like the wording and potential gender bias. This can lead to better candidates.  

Also, look at selection assessment approach. The number of interviews can be overwhelming. Research has shown that after 4 or 5 interviews there is not much new learned. Additionally, ensure that all interviewers are trained in effective techniques.  

What does Gehring see as the future of  TA? The emphasis will be on a candidate perspective – more consumerism and transparency. This will be driven by data and personalized recruiting. He expects to take massive leaps forward in this area in the next few years. 

From an organizational perspective recruiting will become even more strategic to business leaders. They need to be more agile with better abilities to anticipate the ebb and flow of businesses.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • What is talent acquisition? 
  • Insights into how talent acquisition works 
  • Four steps in the hiring process at Johnson & Johnson 
  • Tips for both candidate and organizations during the hiring process 
  • Should you negotiate your salary? 
  • How important is a candidate’s social media ‘brand’? 
  • Some things J&J is thinking about testing out or trying 
  • What is the role of data and technology in talent acquisition 
Direct download: Sjoerd_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:36am PDT

This week’s podcast features two guests, both from Acadian Asset Management, Churchill Franklin and John Chisholm. Join us as we discuss what Cognitive Diversity is, why it is important, why companies find it challenging to implement and where the future of finance is going.

Churchill Franklin is the CEO of Acadian Asset Management and John Chisholm is the Chief Investment Officer at Acadian. Acadian is an institutional asset manager, managing roughly 75 billion for investors. They invest in equities all around the world, both in the US and developed markets, as well as emerging markets. Acadian follows a very quantitative approach towards investments. They build models that help predict returns and invest in those securities in which are believed will likely generate the best returns, to build the best portfolios. The culture is one of listening – to both clients and colleagues in trying to be proactive in responding to the market place.

Acadian employs 320 people with a main office in Boston and additional sites in London, Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo.  Found are investment, marketing and operation professionals. They come from a variety of backgrounds such as finance, science and math and often there is a benefit to have traditional investment backgrounds - but not always necessary.

Both Churchill and John come from diverse backgrounds.  John went to MIT and started in aerospace engineering. After going back to business school, he joined up with Churchill to launch Acadian in the mid 80’s and runs the investment side of the firm.  Churchill leads the culture and leadership. He started with a degree in American literature from Middlebury College, was a commercial banker for a while, became a treasurer in a company and then moved to start Acadian.

Churchill and John are examples of implementing Cognitive Diversity. They deeply believe that the more perspectives around the table the better for their business and ultimately for their clients. The diversity is demonstrated by having a variety of backgrounds, personalities and individual perspectives that bring various points of view to discussions.

Research has shown that having groups with diverse thinking styles will generally perform better than having a homogenous group.  This is true for mixed gender groups as well – research has shown they perform better, as well. With a more diverse group, discussions can test a variety of theories with other points of view.

These different perspectives bring different ways of problem solving – there may be those that use intuition, some may test out ideas, others may use some type of rigorous, theoretical frameworks to find a solution. Each of these can contribute the thought diversity that is needed to find the best answer to a problem.

Acadian uses a variety of methods to find those employees that are a best fit for their firm. Depending upon the role they are seeking to fill, they may probe a candidate’s thinking processes with questions such as…how much water would it take to fill up an office? The answer is not the critical aspect here; rather it is the thought process that the interviewee took to get there.

The different thought processes might include the fairly common way to go about it – the logical chain of answers. It might also include where one starts at a high level and breaks the problem into pieces or an experimental approach. Each of these may be a valid response and depending on the position being filled may work.

Cognitive Diversity is often a challenge to achieve. It is ‘easier’ to hire people that think alike, laugh at the same jokes and so on. One way to avoid this is to ensure that you have interview teams made up of diverse thinkers. This will help to avoid getting pigeon-holed into a particular style.

When asked how the world of finance has changed in the last decade, Churchill and John noted the huge growth in the availability of data as well as the tools that allow the data to be understood. This has led to a critical demand in the use of a quantitative approach.  There is a wide range of interesting and perhaps, unusual types of data available. For instance, the use of satellite data is relatively new. This may include looking at the directions or activity of shipping containers in a particular region.  It may also include the brightness of lighting in certain areas. This can assist in forecasting.

One future trend in the finance world is understanding how the role of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing can be profitable.  These ‘socially conscious’ investments previously needed to have reduced return expectations on investments but it seems that Europe and Australia are ahead on this aspect and there will be more to come on this subject.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What is Cognitive Diversity?
  • What role can Cognitive Diversity play in moving your organization further?
  • Interesting future trends in the world of finance
  • Predictions of the role of the use of ‘cash’
  • Stories of how Acadian implements Cognitive Diversity
  • How the world of finance has changed over the past few decades
  • the role of technology in the world of finance
  • Churchill and John’s thoughts on whether to use a robo-adviser or a human advisor for personal funds
Direct download: Churchill20G.20Franklin20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:06pm PDT

David Green joined IBM about a year ago to help IBM customers grow their people analytics and technology. He has been involved with HR since the late 90’s and also writes and speaks about data driven HR.

Historically, HR decisions used ‘gut and intuition’ to drive decisions. Now the use of data in the form of people analytics is providing value, allowing better decisions to be made.

One example is a large, global company that was looking at building in China. However, the head of the analytics looked at the data and discovered that it was not an ideal place to locate the company. It was found that the talent in the region was very ‘thin’.  The completion for this work group was high in the area, creating additional shortages. This would have made it difficult to not only hire the initially needed workers but then it would have also limited their planned expansion.  This company did not open there - saving money and other possible difficulties.

Though there are examples such as this, there remain three areas of skepticism currently seen in the use of people analytics within the business community. The first is whether the business can adequately analyze the data. Secondly, they are often concerned about the cost of its use. Can they afford to invest in it? Finally, does the HR staff need to be ‘experts’ in data?

Green’s response to those areas of concern focus on the idea that people analytics is a long-term investment. It is not something that can be rolled out over night. His suggestion is to start small.  If an organization has a hypothesis of what might be valuable information to gather – start there.  Don’t waste time and money on predicting for something that is not a problem for the organization, so give it some thought before you make time and money investments.

Three steps for a healthy start:

  1. Learn the business and what matters specifically to that one. Identify leaders within the organization who are open to the use of analytics.
  2. The Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) is involved and can assist with insights to focus upon.
  3. Ensure there is a ‘bold’ person at the head of analytics. Often a strong business and political background is needed to drive forward.

People analytics can often uncover counter intuitive issues. For example, it was commonly believed that graduates with high GPAs from Ivy League universities would be the most productive employees. However, Google’s use of analytics found – for them- that a higher GPA was not a good predictor of the best workers.

The caveat here though is that though this may be true for Google, it may not be true for other organizations. It is once again that ‘one size does not fit all’ and each organization must discover what works for them.  One suggestion is to start with a small sampling – see if that works. Then validate the insight and work from there.

People analytics do have a subjective component to them. Insights can be skewed based on people’s interpretations or perceptions.  This requires that the data is entered is accurately and there are checks and balances. Since this data is about people, it must be augmented with both judgment and transparency.

Transparency is a critical feature of people analytics – both legally and morally. Without it, people will revolt and the data will not provide the insights the company is looking for with its use. Nor will it be good for performance, retention or overall trust within the organization.  If employee trust drives the implementation, then positive results will occur. This might include giving people the option to opt out of the program. Or it may include giving employees the data that is revealed. Microsoft has done this with positive results.

Advice for organizations looking at getting into people analytics includes:

  1. Just start!
  2. Be curious – ask how you know if you have the ‘right people’ how do we know if we are paying the right salaries?
  3. Read up on your particular business challenges – don’t copy (Google or …), talk to peers about your business

Things you will learn in this episode:

  • Suggestions for technology tools to use as an initial foray into people analytics
  • Future of artificial intelligence in the workplace
  • What is Blue Matching?
  • David’s advice for companies who are not using People Analytics yet
  • Examples of companies who have found issues using People Analytics
  • Areas of skepticism
  • Why you shouldn’t try to be like Google
Direct download: david20green20podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:24pm PDT

Enrico Moretti is a professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. His research covers the fields of labor economics and urban economics.  Professor Moretti’s book, “The New Geography of Jobs”, was awarded the William Bowen Prize for the most important contribution toward understanding public policy and the labor market.  

His research has been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Atlantic, Businessweek, The Economist, The New Republic, CNN, PBS and NPR. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and the son.  

When considering the overall ‘health’ of the US economy, Professor Moretti believes that it is generally good.  Compared to the time period of the great recession, job creation has picked up.  Additionally, within the last six months, wages have picked up. When asked about how to assess the ‘health’ of the economy, he suggests that rather than look at day-to-day changes, such as the media, focus on the yearly changes. That gives a more realistic perspective.  

Overall, American’s with a high school diploma have found their wages reduced by 20% and are less well off than the previous generation. On the other hand, those with associate’s college degrees or above– are doing better each passing year. This includes their standard of living, not only salaries but future outlook, their overall assets, and even their marital stability. This has created significant differences in earnings between those with more education and those with less. In fact, 30 years ago, it was less than a 40% spread; now it’s more than double – at 80%. 

For the past 30 years the US has been losing 350,000 blue collar positions in manufacturing per year. A change that is not just a US phenomenon, but is also found in other advanced countries – such as Japan and Germany.  This has been predominantly based on increased automation in factories 

Automation – robots, artificial intelligence – has had a profound effect on jobs. The new technology and automation have changed the face of jobs in manufacturing plants. Fewer people are required and instead of blue collar workers, they are highly skilled engineers.  This change has lead to an increased need for higher skilled workers.  

When asked about the US cities that have undergone the most amount of change in the past 30 years, Moretti cited three that have had positive transformations: Austin, Texas, Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina and Seattle, Washington. Each of these has become an area of global innovation, has an availability of an excellent work force and also provides high wages.  

In contrast, those he sees struggling are found in the ‘rust-belt’. For example, Detroit and Flint, Michigan as well as Rochester, New York, which have lost population due to a reduction in the need for traditional manufacturing jobs and therefore, lower wages and innovation.  

Specifically, Moretti has found that the US can be divided into ‘three Americas’.  

1. American Brain Hubs – strong workers with more than 40% of the population which holds a college degree. These include cities such as Boston, New York City and San Francisco. These cities are productive, innovative and provide higher salaries. 

2. Former Manufacturing – struggling, shrunk in size, lost in terms of aggregate population. 

3. Neither Brain Hub nor Former Manufacturing – maintaining current productivity and fairly stable population 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • Why one tech job can increase the economy by multiples 
  • Why cities with more college graduates are beneficial to all 
  • Why the ecosystem of a city matters 
  • The current ‘health’ of US economy 
  • What effects AI and Automation have had on jobs 
  • The differences in labor markets across different cities 
  • What cities Enrico is paying attention to that are going through big changes 
  • Enrico’s thoughts on universal basic income 
Direct download: enrico20moretti_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:31am PDT

Michael Dawisha has been the CIO in the division of Residential and Hospitality Services of Michigan State University for over eight years. He has previously been the CIO of a large medical non-profit organization.  

As the global trend toward travel and distant communication continues, businesses are finding themselves competing with a greater number of potential employers. Talented employees are pursued and leadership is forced to make decisions that will effect if these employees stick around.  

With a global trend toward technology, how does a large non-profit organization like a university keep their employees while a world of options and bigger offers await? What works and what needs to change to keep up with the new age work force?  

Michael Dawisha notes the observable change from recruits being hired in with the expectation of being around for a full career. He wants the most talented employees on his team and he now has to consider the quality of life in his region compared to the world for the 1000 full time employees and up to 7000 part time employees that are a part of his division. Because Michigan State is a University, their focus is on education not profit. This forces talent retention tactics to go beyond the standard pay raise. Dawisha talks about treating people like gold. Instead of viewing management from top to bottom, you build an organization by keeping the employees happy. While Dawisha says this technique has been working well now, he acknowledges that businesses will need to adjust for a future with shorter stays by employees.  

One specific technique that is used at MSU is to get people involved in projects outside their core work functions. You might find a web programmer helping design the new room in the organization's dining area. This allows participants to get a first hand experience to the culture of participation and diversity at the organization. Its during the end presentations that you can tell everyone involved was honored to be volunteered, happy to participate, and proud of their work. The programs that people are a part of help enforce the idea that they are making an impact at the company and in the world. This opportunity for remarkable input is in-tune with the desires and beliefs of the young emerging work force. 

In addition to the techniques that have been tried and tested- Dawisha mentions using the data gained from their own people analytics. With new technology the personal bias can be taken away from the data collection and better informed decisions can be made. The increase in technology has also opened up new avenues of study, in one case suggesting Dawisha observe the correlation between area code of the employees and the longevity of their tenure. The technology increases help guide Dawisha's decision making, but compared to other organizations that might be for-profit the education industry is behind  

To adjust for the future Dawisha talks about becoming nimble. Instead of reacting to employee offers from other organizations, be proactive- cut down on the number of employees seeking other job offers. Employees often are rooted and are not looking for a reason to change their living situation, Dawisha handles these events on a case by case basis- proving that relationships is still a big part of talent retention.  

 
 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Retaining talent amid higher paying competitors. 
  • The trends of talent longevity. 
  • How people analytics is being used for employee longevity.  
  • Working in IT and increasing talent retention as a non-profit. 
  • The high learning curve faced by new employees. 
  • How an organizational goal to “Lead with food” is promoting talent retention. 
  • The likely future of working with IT at a university. 
  • Why Michael Dawisha recommends reading Isaac Asimov 

Link From The Episode:

MSU Residential and Hospitality Services

Direct download: Michael20Dawisha20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:37am PDT

Devin Fidler is the Research Director at the Institute for the Future and the Founder of Rethinkery Labs, a software defined organization that specializes in developing technologies to automate management. 

Automation is definitely a hot topic these days and it is one that sits at the forefront of many discussions around the future of work. There are mainly two camps of people in this topic of discussion. There are those who feel that automation is inevitable and that while it will take some human jobs, it will also create a lot more human jobs and therefore won’t be as scary as it seems. They also believe that automation won’t take over as many jobs as some experts are predicting. The other group is made up of people who believe that there is no stopping the takeover and that automation will take over a majority of jobs and humans will be displaced.  

Fidler believes that automation will definitely disrupt traditional jobs, however, he says it is not all negative. He says one of the real issues is that we really need to reevaluate what we define as jobs. We are likely to see more work for humans, but it’s the jobs themselves that will be the issue. With automation, finding work can become much easier as software will help match up humans to the right task, which means you can spend more time doing the work you love to do. It can also help smooth out the training process and make it more individualized to the employee. Fidler feels that “the [human] jobs question is important, but it’s not as apocalyptic as it’s sometimes framed”. Automation is not the end of human jobs, although it may change the way things like benefits, career progression and retirement are structured.  

Up until now automation has really been seen as something that would takeover jobs like cashiers, bankers and factory workers. But Fidler talks about how software is moving into the C-suite and management roles. One example of this is Uber, where they are automating middle management. Today Uber is the third largest company in the U.S. (based on number of employees), right after Walmart and McDonalds. When you look at traditional taxi services the employees report to dispatchers. They rely on the dispatchers to tell them where to go and when, which routes to avoid and for help when they have vehicle issues. Now Uber has automated this process. Uber uses software to route their drivers, schedule pick-ups and even perform employee evaluations.  

There is another company that Fidler mentioned that has AI on the board. For every investment decision they have all the board members weigh in and give their opinions on what to do. In this company they have given one of the board seats to an AI program that allows the software to weigh in and give a vote on each investment as well.  

So how fast will this shift in our workforce take place? Fidler says we are already seeing a select few companies taking this move towards automating management, so in theory, it’s already here. But it will take some time before it becomes widespread and mainstream. A good guess would be in the next 10 years. Fidler talks about how much change we have seen in the past 10 years; smartphones, Watson, and self-driving car prototypes. Think of how much our world could change in just 10 more years. 

In this shift towards a day when software could run the company, Fidler gives advice he feels can span across all levels of workers from newly hired employees in their first job up to heads of organizations who have been there for 30+ years. He says, “you can’t take any momentum and previous advantages that this part of the world has had for granted. It is a new game where rewards will go to those who figure out what the new logic looks like”. You cannot stay complacent and think that you will be safe from automation. It is also important for us to have these conversations now, about what we want the future of work to look like and what we want these automated programs to do while it is in the early stage. Fidler says, “the Industrial Revolution really favored the U.S., if we want the same kind of thing we have to do it deliberately, it can’t be by accident”.  

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What iCEO is and how it works

  • What the self driving organization is

  • How current economic and political issues  impact the arms race around automation

  • Pros and Cons of relying on data and algorithms

  • Which technologies Devin Fidler is excited about

  • Technologies that have been overhyped

  • What the future of work might look like

 

Links From The Episode:

Rethinkery Labs

Institute For The Future

Direct download: Devin20Fidler20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:37pm PDT

This week’s guest is Yuval Noah Harari, author of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Join us as we discuss topics such as the major threats that the human race is facing, how virtual reality is similar to religion and what the future of life is going to look like in 150-200 years.  

Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, a tenured professor at the Department of History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a bestselling author. Harari’s most recent book is, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. The book explores the opportunities and dangers humankind faces in this century and beyond. 

Harari has always been one to ask questions and seek out reasons why things are the way they are. He has never just accepted the way we do things, but instead he enjoys digging further to see where his questions about life lead him. Harari believes that most of the big questions in life lead you across a wide variety of disciplines including biology, religion, history, economics and politics in order to find answers.  

He began college by studying Medieval military history, however while he was in an Intro to History class he decided to abandon his narrow niche and decided to explore history more broadly. It was out of this class that he decided to write his first book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. In that book he took a look back over the last 70,000 years to show how homo sapiens have evolved over time. After he completed that book he wanted to write another book that explored the 21st century and beyond to look at what “opportunities and dangers humankind is facing in the 21st century and what is the possible future of our species”.  

Harari says one of the biggest questions he is asking about the future is, “what are we going to do with ourselves?”. In the past humans have been preoccupied by overcoming three main things in life; famine, plagues and war. But in the 21st century we have been able to control these three elements to a certain extent. Harari states, “More people die from eating too much, than eating too little these days” and says there are more people who commit suicide than there are people who are dying in wars. Of course, he doesn’t deny that there are people who are starving, people who are dying from war and people who are dying from diseases. But these people are not dying because there isn’t enough food or medicine to go around; they are dying in political famines, wars and plagues.   

How did we get to this point where we have these three main elements fairly under control? There are two main answers, science and technology. Due to both science and technology we have advances in medicine, food productivity and disbursement and education that have helped with famine and plagues. War, however, is a different story. As Harari mentions, “we don’t have a device that stops war”. Technology did play a part in decreasing war with the move towards nuclear weapons which changed the way the “superpowers” interacted with each other. Humankind also aided in the reduction in violence by “rising up to the challenge technology presented us with”, as Harari explains.  

Harari also believes there are threats to our future including climate change and global warming and a disruptive potential of new technology (such as AI and Virtual Reality). One disruption, Harari says, is that new technology could “outperform humans in tasks and push hundreds of millions of people out of the job market” which would in turn create “a class of useless people”. Another disruption is bioengineering and how humans are manipulating “the world inside of us”.  

We are used to hearing about people using bioengineering to manipulate plants and animals, but using this concept inside of our own bodies is something new that could have huge consequences if we don’t proceed wisely. There are three main ways that Harari says people can manipulate our internal realities. One is bioengineering where we “tweak” our bodies and brains. A second way would be to combine “old organic bodies with new inorganic parts”, like connecting a person’s brain to a computer and allowing them to use their mind to search something on the internet. The third way Harari mentions is a “creation of completely inorganic entities”, such as uploading human consciousness to a computer. If this third one takes place, Harari says it will be “the greatest revolution in history and biology”.  

When it comes to the hot topic of AI and automation taking over human jobs, Harari says he believes that this shift in our economy will both create and take over jobs; the question is how quickly will each side progress? Will more jobs be created quicker than AI and automation can take over or vice versa?  The fact is that humans have always had two abilities; physical abilities and mental abilities. Machines took over in the roles that require physical strength in the Industrial Revolution, but now machines are evolving to be able to take over the mental abilities as well. So we as humans have to learn to adapt in order to stay relevant in the workplace.  

You may think that the topics we discuss in this podcast, such as bioengineering inorganic entities, AI taking over and leaving a useless class of humans or the ability of machines to read and remember human emotions while reading a book, are too futuristic or sci-fi. But I believe that science fiction gives us a good glimpse into our future. And in the grand scheme of things, I don’t believe these concepts are too far off in the future.  

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • Big challenges that the human race is facing 
  • We discuss the notion of humans becoming gods 
  • How Virtual Reality is similar to religion 
  • Will technology replace or create jobs 
  • What the future of life is going to look like 
  • What the future of work will look like 
  • Yuval Noah Harari’s process for writing his book 
  • Take a look at how science fiction is becoming fact in the future 
  • What the world will look like in 150-200 years in the future 

Link From The Episode:

Preorder Homo Deus On Amazon 

Direct download: Itzik20Yahav20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:21am PDT

In this podcast we take a look back on some of the interviews I did in 2016 and listen to some of the past guests talk about key issues they feel are shaping the workplace of the future.

In 2016 I had a lot of great conversations with a wide variety of senior leaders. Last week I took a look back on the 2016 podcast interviews and discussed six lessons I learned from my guests last year. This week I wanted to let the guests speak for themselves, so I gathered up some highlight clips from last year’s podcast interviews and put them into one podcast mashup.The subjects range from how innovation is changing to automation and AI to the six reasons why we work.

The first interview I looked back on was the one with Jeff Wong, the Global Chief Innovation Officer at EY. In our discussion we talked about innovation during a disruptive era and one of the main points was about how innovation is changing. Wong said he believes that innovation is changing a lot and it is really driving companies to think about themselves differently. Companies are now forced to pay attention to things like training, environmental and community impact and inclusive capitalism in order to be successful. Wong says companies need to think about whether they are “training a workforce for the future, or are you training a workforce to do the function of today”. He believes that his job as a Chief Innovation Officer requires him to “do old things in new ways”.

One of the fascinating topics I touched on with a few guests last year, was the subject of People Analytics and how it is revolutionizing the way we think about employee experience. Ben Waber, the President and CEO of Humanyze, talked to me about what makes up people analytics. He said that while survey data is useful, “it is not data about behavior, it is data about perception”. Because you cannot survey people every single day, you lose the ability to accurately get a picture of the day to day workings of your office. With People Analytics you are able to get real world data in real time which allows you to fix issues as you go instead of waiting for the end of the year.

Ellyn Shook, the Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer at Accenture, talked about the problem with annual employee reviews which points to why the topic of people analytics is so important for the success of a company. She says the problem with annual reviews is just that; they are only done once a year. She says “very little works in annual cycles anymore”. We are a society that is used to immediate feedback, so telling employees to wait a year to see how they are doing at work is not realistic. Shook says that her company realized that they were putting a lot of time and effort into their annual reviews, but they were receiving very little value from them because they “spent too much time talking about their people, instead of talking to the people”. In order to get the best results you need “forward looking, real time and on demand” data and feedback for your employees.

Employee experience was another hot topic I discussed with several guests last year. Some of the guests who touched on the subject were Monika Fahlbusch, the Chief Employee Experience Officer at BMC Software, Francine Katsoudas, the Senior Vice President and Chief People

Officer at Cisco and Karyn Twaronite, the Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer at EY. In our discussions we defined what employee experience is, how large companies are able to scale employee experience across a wide range of languages, locations and cultures, and the importance of focusing on diversity and inclusiveness. Fahlbusch says that to create employee experience you first must listen to your employees. Your employees will help you find the overarching problems, or “pain points” if you learn how to listen to them. You also need to look at your individual company and figure out what experiences you should be focusing on. To do that you need to understand things about your company such as what are your values, what are you trying to celebrate, where are you trying to go in the future?

Katsoudas talked about scaling employee experience across hundreds of countries and thousands of employees. She says Cisco’s belief is “one size fits one”, meaning they understand that the ideal employee experience in India will not be the same as that in England or the US and that’s okay.

Twaronite gave an example of why it is so important for senior leaders of companies to not just list out the available benefits for employees, but they should also be role models who walk the walk. She shared a story about the EY Chairman and CEO, who was giving the keynote for a company wide event, and during his speech he apologized to everyone and explained that he would be leaving the event early in order to honor a commitment he made to his daughter. In doing this he was transparent, authentic and helped employees feel that the work flexibility benefit was not just a bunch of empty words.

One subject that I am always fascinated with is technology dealing with robots, AI and automation. Three guests I spoke with who got into this topic of discussion were Robin Hanson, Thomas Davenport and Mihir Shukla.

Robin Hanson, who is the author of “The Age of Em”, the Associate professor of Economics at George Mason University and the Research Associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University, spoke about the extremely futuristic topic of what an Em is. Hanson discusses the fact that there are two different scenarios that could happen to get us to a point where we have robots that are as smart as humans. One way would be to “slowly write and accumulate better software on faster and cheaper machines”. This is what we are doing now and if we continued on this path it would take several centuries to reach this point. Another way would be to port the “software” from our brains into an Em. If we find a way to do this, the Em age could happen within one century.

Thomas Davenport talks about how 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. Davenport believes that reality is somewhere in between the two camps.

Mihir Shukla talks about how software bots can complete mundane tasks, and also tackle more complicated problems as well. Many employers want their workers to complete today’s problems while thinking about tomorrow’s challenges using yesterdays technologies and approaches. Processing invoices, verifying documents, generating reports, data entry, and other mundane tasks still need to be completed, but by humans or bots? Introducing mundane and complex tasks to the digital workforce allows the human employees to think, create, discover, and innovate; basically doing things that humans do best.

Other subjects that are touched on in this episode include recruiting millennials, whether or not open workspaces are the next best thing, how to identify a Superboss, the six reasons why we work, how to drive behavior change and entrepreneurs vs. freelancers.

Looking back at the guests from this last year it is easy to see that there are a lot of changes happening in the workplace and I am excited to see where we go from here. I am working on lining up a great list of podcast guests for this year, so be sure to stay tuned and keep listening to the weekly future of work podcast!

Direct download: Podcast20mashup_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Join me as I take a look back on six lessons I’ve learned about the future of work from my podcast guests over the last year.  

We are moving into a new year and I am excited to see what podcast guests we will have and the things we will learn about the future of work. I wanted to take a moment to look back over the 53 published podcasts of 2016 to discuss six lessons I learned from my guests this past year. 

The first lesson I learned in 2016 is that we should be thinking of our organizations more like a laboratory and less like a factory. Over the past year I have had some great guests including the Chief HR Officer of Accenture, the Chief Innovation Officer at EY, and the President and CEO of Humanyze and all of my guests have been very honest in saying they don’t know everything. They understand that in order to be successful they have to treat their organizations like laboratories where they allow for testing, exploring, adaptation and innovation. They also embrace failure in order to learn from their mistakes.  

The second lesson I learned from my guests is that the future of work doesn’t happen to you or to your organization, it happens because of you or because of your organization. We need to understand that the future of work is not its own entity that we cannot control, it is something that we collectively create. We design it, build it, manifest it and implement it. Our organizations need to play a more active role in the future of work.  

The third lesson learned this year is that there are big changes happening to the employee/employer relationship. The relationship has to evolve with the growth of the gig economy, more flexible work arrangements and the changing demographics in the workplace. Employers have to be aware of the changes in the workforce and they must adapt accordingly. It is also vital for employers to understand their organization and their people when making changes instead of blindly copying what other organizations are doing.  

Lesson number four is that technology seems to be taking centerstage. Technology is affecting everyone across the board--human resources, management, sales, IT, etc… We are seeing things like virtual reality, people analytics, AI and automation, collaboration tools and wearable devices. It is important to mention, though, that technology is just a vehicle. Just because you have technology does not mean you will necessarily achieve anything. You have to know what technology will work for your company and how to best implement it. This also ties into lesson number one, treating your organization like a laboratory and allowing things to be tested.  

The fifth lesson deals with employee experience vs. employee engagement.  We have seen a huge growth in companies paying attention to employee engagement. Never before have we seen such an investment into employee engagement. The problem is, never before have we seen employee engagement levels so low. This stems from the fact that people do not realize that employee engagement is the effect, but we are not paying enough attention to the cause. The cause of employee engagement is employee experience. Employee experience has three basic elements that go into it; cultural environment, technological environment and physical environment. By investing in these three environments companies can create a better employee experience, which will in turn, create better employee engagement. And the foundation of employee experience is people analytics.  

The final lesson I am going to touch on is that organizations seem to have a cautious optimism about the future of work. There has been a lot of talk about AI replacing jobs, political challenges, issues with globalization, etc…Basically, there is a lot of doom and gloom out there when talking about the future. But there is hope in the cautious optimism that I have seen among my 2016 guests. Most of them have expressed a desire to proceed into the future believing in positive outcomes while still preparing for challenges. Taking AI and automation for example, a lot of my guests believe that more jobs will be created than destroyed. They are, however, taking precautions such as retraining and educating their workforce in order to equip them with new skills that will help them stay relevant in this changing world.  

Overall this has been a very insightful year for the future of work podcast. I had so many great guests and we touched on a lot of vitally important topics. I truly hope that you all learned a lot along the way as well. I look forward to sharing more of my conversations with senior level leaders as we discuss the future of work.  

Direct download: 201620podcast20summary20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:09am PDT

I am a big fan of stories, so this week I am trying something new for the podcast. The following story is about a well known business leader. Try to figure out who it is before the end of the story where I reveal who it is.  

This young boy was born in 1971 in South Africa. All through school he was bullied and picked on for various reasons. At one point the bullying became so bad that he was thrown down a flight of stairs and he had to be hospitalized.  

In order to escape his harsh reality, this young boy turned his attention to space and computers and he combined the two to create a unique space themed computer game. In order to create the game he taught himself how to code at the age of 10. He finished creating his first PC game at the age of 12 and he sold this game for $500 to PC and Office Technology Magazine.  

At the age of 19 he began college where he studied dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Business and Physics. While in college he ran into money problems and had to get creative in order to make ends meet. At one point in time he turned his house into a weekend night club in order to make some money. While his fellow students partied downstairs, this young man was upstairs playing video games. He graduated with his dual Bachelor’s Degrees and then attempted to get his PhD from Stanford, but he dropped out after only 2 days in the program.  

From there he went on to start a company with his brother, Kimbal, which they ended up selling for millions of dollars four years later. He was also able to create and sell a money transfer service to Ebay for 1.5 million. After all of this time this man found that he was still extremely interested in space. He traveled the world looking for a way to get involved in a space program, however he ended up coming to the conclusion that it would be easier if he started his own space company. Therefore SpaceX was created. 

Of course, you may know by now that this story is about none other than Elon Musk, the founder, current CEO and CTO of SpaceX and the co-founder, current CEO and architect of Tesla Motors.  

Direct download: Musk20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 4:08pm PDT

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