Mon, 26 June 2017
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:
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:
Things you will learn:
Mon, 19 June 2017
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:
Sun, 11 June 2017
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:
Sun, 4 June 2017
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: