The Future of Work Podcast With Jacob Morgan

Elena Donio has been Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Global, Inc. since November 2016. Prior to this role,  Donio served as President of Concur Technologies, Inc., from 2014 to 2016. She has also served as a Senior Manager at Deloitte & Touche and as a Senior Consultant at Andersen Consulting (Accenture). She holds BA in Economics from University of California, San Diego.

Axiom is the global leading alternative legal services provider. With over 2,000 employees across three continents, they provide talent and technology to help legal departments adapt to a demanding new era. More than half of the Fortune 100 use Axiom to deliver legal work.

What is the role of a CEO?

Donio’s time is mostly allocated around communication. They have a distributed workforce, 1400 attorneys around the world. They have 15 offices; in addition, many work in home offices, or at client sites. She makes it a practice to think about how to make sure at a leadership level that people understand the organization’s priorities. Donio and other leaders at the company make sure they have listening posts up everywhere, so can hear the vibe.

Axiom has some unique workplace practices including company-wide meetings – called a huddle. They have huddles 5 or 6 times a year. They live stream them across the company, feature interesting things going on in different departments, do fireside chats, and find that the leadership learns from the questions.

The company also hosts trivia nights, happy hours, and pride month. Their offices have open floor plans, lots of orange, great art and books everywhere. But they are not big on huge employee perks. Donio says, “I really believe that the highest performers are people that have really rich and full lives. And so the idea isn’t to reward people to be in and sitting at a desk all day long”.

What is it like being a female CEO?

Donio says she feels that she hit the jackpot at Concur. She was surrounded by people that believed in her. She also had family that encouraged her along the way and it gave her enough courage to take on the challenge.

She also found that at times throughout her career, the people at the top were people she did not want to emulate. They did not have a family or outside life. But there were a few moments in her career that she saw it was possible.

Advice for those lower level employees to broach a work/life balance?

Donio’s advice for lower level employees who want to change their work/life balance is to understand that the managers around you may not have the life experience to create the right kind of environment, so you need to initiate those conversations. Be open and honest with your leaders. The solution may not be as crazy to achieve as you think.  

As a manager, sit down and understand what people are trying to solve for. Ask, where do you need to see change in your life? Are you looking for more time for child? More time for self? Do you feel guilty for working so much?

You will find that it is usually more than one thing. Then get tactical. What would be sustainable? Would work from home on Fridays be enough? Saying no to a new project? Get specific. It can be simple pivots and shifts, it doesn’t have to be momentous. Then work with managers to be creative.

Things you will learn:

  • Aspects of being a female and CEO
  • How to deal with tough situations
  • The function of AI in law practice
  • Why huge perks aren’t a focus for Axiom
  • The story behind the red folder that helped Elena make the decision to move from Concur to Axiom

Contact:

LinkedIn

Axiomlaw.com

Direct download: Elena20Donio2C20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:55am PST

Why is it that we are so shocked when companies shut down or are slow to adapt to change? We shouldn’t be surprised, because we create organization that do what they are supposed to do.

We as humans are good at building things that do what they are supposed to do. We have clear intentions when we build or create something like a car engine, a computer or an office building and we make sure they are built to fulfill their intended purposes.

We also build organizations. But a lot of times we seem shocked and surprised when an organization fails or is too slow to adapt or faces major challenges. We look at companies like Kodak or Tower Records, for example, and see how they disappeared or we look at United and see the major issues they are facing. These things shouldn’t surprise us because we create organizations that do what they are supposed to do. Organizations are built to not anticipate the future or to not withstand change.

If you want hierarchies to be flattened or managers that act more like coaches and mentors, you have to build your organization with those things in mind. The thing that you build is the outcome that you should expect to get. We need to think about the structure differently; structure comes first, outcomes come second.

Direct download: Organizations_do_what_we_design_them_to_do.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:27pm PST

Jeffrey Puritt serves as the President and CEO of TELUS International, Inc. Puritt has international experience in communications and technology sectors including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, strategic planning, corporate reorganizations and asset and contract management. He joined TELUS Communications Inc. in 2001 and served various positions including Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions at TELUS. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from York University in 1984 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1987.

TELUS International is a subsidiary of TELUS, a national telecommunications company in Canada. TELUS International provides multilingual customer service outsourcing and digital IT services to global clients. Clients include corporations in travel and hospitality, financial services and fintech, consumer electronics and gaming, telecommunications, and healthcare industries. TELUS International is found in 10 countries with over 30,000 employees.

When it comes to trends in the future of leadership in the next 5-10 years Puritt says competition for talent is more fierce than the competition for customers and so leaders need to figure out how to be an employer of choice, a destination of choice for talent.

Puritt isn’t overly concerned about AI. He says, I don’t see it as a concern. Perhaps 30% of our business interactions are basic exchanges between customers and business. These types of interactions can be done better by bots or some other automation. For example, reset passwords. The other 70% are not ripe for automation. They are more complex and will need human support.”

He believes that the growing complexity of our world will require increasing support that can interact with technology and yet also interact with humans

What skills will leaders need in the future?

  • You will not attract talent if your style is command and control.
  • Training needs to reflect the desires of Millennials in order to retain them.
  • Leaders will need to be more aware and mindful of people’s feelings and background and their perspectives
  • They will also need to recognize on all the new trends around technology. These will transform our world.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why perks are critical to acquiring talent
  • What it’s like to work at TELUS International
  • How Jeffrey makes tough choices
  • Perspectives on building culture in sites around the world
  • Jeffrey’s views on the future of leadership
  • Creative recruiting practices at universities

Contact:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreypuritt

Direct download: Jeffrey20Puritt20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:59pm PST

Tim Ryan is the US Chairman and Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Previously he served as the Vice Chairman, having responsibility for the firm’s strategy function and stakeholder relationships including investor relations, regulatory affairs, public policy, corporate responsibility, marketing and sales and human capital. PwC is a multinational professional accounting services firm. It has 55,000 employees. 

Tim has over 25 years of diversified experience serving clients in the financial services industry in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to his current role, Tim led PwC's Assurance practice and before that, he led PwC's U.S. Financial Services practice and PwC's Consumer Finance Group. 

Tim is a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and New York and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He graduated from Babson College where he studied accounting and communications and remains an active and proud alum. A Boston native, he joined the firm after graduation. Tim is the proud father of six children (10-18 years old) and is passionate about spending time with his kids, hockey, running and reading.

What should be the mindset for future leaders? Tim believes we are seeing a shift that will get better. He says, “The day and age of the dominant CEO is likely coming to an end, and I think we're entering the day and age of humble CEOs and humble leaders…” Servant based leadership will be a shift that is happening even now.

What do leaders need to know how to do in the future? According to Tim, successful leaders of the future need to be good listeners, great ‘understanders’ of people, and good decisions makers.  They also need a high degree of business acumen and them need to be adept at technology

Tim believes leaders of the future need to have thick skin. That’s because the CEO of today has a lot of people looking at them. It is important to listen people’s views and not get rattled. They need to be open to criticism and not get unnerved when they listen to a point of view that is not their own.

In order to develop thick skin, practice yourself in the moment. Catch yourself. Take feedback and get better by it rather than get rattled by it.  

Tim also shared some information about the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion (www.ceoaction.com), a CEO driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace that launched June of 2017.

A wide variety of CEOs have acknowledged that we can do better and have taken a pledge with 3 main commitments. One year ago it started with 150 CEOs and today roughly 450 have signed the pledge.

The three commitments are:   

  1. We will continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion
  2. We will implement and expand unconscious bias education
  3. We will share best—and unsuccessful—practices

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Tim explains his intense morning routine
  • How to balance work and life
  • What it’s like to work for PwC and how they have evolved over the past 30 years
  • Trends in the future of leadership
  • Tim’s view on AI and automation
  • What it means to work for a purpose led, values driven organization

Contact:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/TimFRyan/

Direct download: Tim20Ryan20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:23am PST

A lot of people ask the question, “What is the future of work”. But that is not the right question we should be asking. Why? Because it leads to two major assumptions.

First, we assume that there is one single future that could happen. Second, we assume that the future is something that happens to us and that we have no control over it. But both of these assumptions are incorrect. There is not just one singular possible future, there are multiple potential futures that could happen based on the decisions and actions we take. And the future is not something that simply happens to us without our control.

What we need to do is flip the question, what is the future of work, around and instead of phrasing it that way we should ask, what are the potential futures that might happen and what are the factors that we need to influence today to get to the future we would like to see.

Phrasing the question this way allows us to be more active in creating our future than we would be if we just sit back and wait for the future to play out in front of us. We are then able to impact the future instead of waiting to react to it after the fact.

The future doesn’t happen to us; the future is something we create, shape and build. Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves, what do we need to do to build the future that we would like to see.

Direct download: what_is_the_future_of_work_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:55pm PST

Patty McCord is the author of the book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility and starting in 1998 she spent 14 years at NetFlix, serving as Chief Talent Officer. She has more than 15 years experience in Human Resources with high-tech companies. She was the Director of Human Resources at Pure Atria, now Rational Software Corporation. She served as Human Resources Manager at Borland International. McCord also ran the Corporate Diversity Programs department at Sun Microsystems. Currently, she is frequently in the media with interviews and articles from Harvard Business Review, NPR, Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal. She speaks at CEO Forums, Business schools and for large groups around the world.

When NetFlix began they were small, did not have money for perks. The perks were not something they focused on. Instead, they emphasized good salary, hard problems and good colleagues. Later, they added extras like unlimited maternity leave.

In 2001 1/3 of the Netflix employees were let go – for example, those who were not very good at their jobs, middle management or those who complained about the lack of perks.  Shortly after, the price of DVD players dropped and each had a coupon in the box to try Netflix. That led to them being required to work harder with fewer dedicated people. That year they went public and they developed policies and procedures. They expected people to ‘act like adults’ - giving them more freedom but with high expectations for them.

One of Netflix’s most talked about perks was unlimited vacation –it was never designed to be a perk. Initially, employees accrued 26 days a year. Instead, as an experiment, they decided that they wouldn’t keep track of the time employees take off but instead will keep track of what they got done. They focus on results and expect employees to act as adults – and so they leave it up to the employees to decide when to take vacation time.

McCord’s advice for employees is to figure out what you love to do and where you can do that, solve problems that need to be solved, ask smart questions of management, and take someone you admire to lunch to ask them how they got to their current position

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • Things ‘to do’ and ‘not do’ in the hiring process
  • The use of anonymous surveys
  • How to be proactive in HR
  • What Netflix looked like in the beginning and how they have evolved
  • The thought behind unlimited vacation at Netflix
  • The importance of leading by example

Link From The Episode:

http://pattymccord.com

Direct download: Patty20McCord20Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:16am PST

There is a big debate these days about whose responsibility it is to create a sense of purpose for employees at an organization. Is it up to the employee or the employer? Many people believe that in order to create a workplace where people actually want to show up the employer needs to give employees challenging, exciting and inspiring work that creates a sense of purpose.

But, the truth is, the employee controls the work. It is the employee who picks which jobs to apply for, whether or not they want to go in for an interview, if they say yes or no to the job offer. The employee has a choice in what field they want to study in school and at most jobs they are told up front what they will be expected to do. What you do in an organization is not usually a surprise after you get hired. If you apply for a sales position, for example, you are going to be doing sales work.

The employer simply controls the environment in which the work gets done. They can control three main environments: culture, technology and physical space. Through these three main environments organizations can have an impact on how you feel at work, how efficiently you get your work done and where you get the work done. But the work itself is up to the employee.

Direct download: who_controls_work_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:37pm PST

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