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

Thomas Kochan is the George M. Bunker Professor of Work and Employment Relations at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and co-director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research. Thomas has actually been a faculty member at MIT since 1980. In 2010, he led the formation of the Employment Policy Research Network, an online think tank on the subject of employment. In 2015, he was honored by the Aspen Institute with a Faculty Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award for his research and teaching on business practices that contribute to an economy that works for all. Thomas is the author of Shaping the Future of Work: What Future Worker, Business, Government, and Education Leaders Need To Do For All To Prosper and Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families' Agenda for America.

Thomas has been looking at the future of work and employment for 40 years, he has seen the workforce and the economy change quite a bit over the years but he says our policies, values, and practices in America have not kept up with that pace of change. It has been his lifelong work to advocate for innovation, policy changes, and updated workplace practices.

Since the 1970s there has been a disconnect between how the economy is doing and how the average worker is doing. Prior to the 70s when productivity went up and the economy got stronger, the compensation for the average worker also went up. But now, Thomas says, due to deregulation, the rise of Wall Street, a decline in unions, and advances in technology we have a disconnect. We are still using the policies, practices, and social contract of the 50s and 60s, which no longer works.

Thomas says it is critical for organizations, educational institutions, government, and individual employees to engage with each other and work together to build a new, updated social contract. We’ve got to invent new policies, practices, and institutions as we move forward and shape the future of work.

When it comes to the future of work, some people are worried about the future of jobs. They are concerned when they hear about automation, AI, and other technologies because of the effect they will have on jobs and the economy. Thomas is optimistic, as long as we are proactive in shaping the future of work ourselves and we don’t just let the future happen to us while we sit back passively.

Thomas says, “If we are proactive, we can shape the future of work in ways that really help to broaden the distribution of benefits, augment work more effectively and change the way in which tasks and work, our jobs are done rather than to just see it as a way of displacing labor. And then for those people who will be displaced, and there will be people whose jobs are negatively affected. We then have to figure out how we can help them just provide retraining or provide compensation so we don't have a big gap between the winners and losers in this race with technology. So our perspective is let's get on and let's talk about what we can proactively do to shape the future of work. And I think it's a healthy way to approach this issue.”

For people who are worried about the future of work, Thomas’ advice is to be a lifelong learner, don’t just put your head in the sand and think you have a degree so you are good for life. That is no longer good enough. He also says it is important to have a mix of behavioral skills--be reliable, be flexible, learn to communicate well. If you need training in a new technology or program, speak up and be assertive.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Big trends Thomas is paying attention to
  • The changes Thomas has seen in the world of work over the past 40 years
  • What we need to do to move forward and shape the future of work
  • What leaders will need to adjust in order to be effective in the future of work
  • What is the voice gap and how can we close it
  • What does lifelong learning mean and how can you practice it
  • Whether Thomas is an optimist or pessimist when it comes to the future


Contact Info

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-kochan-898ab917/

https://mitsloan.mit.edu/faculty/directory/thomas-kochan

Direct download: Thomas20Kochan20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:31am PDT

Are you a leader that truly acts like a coach and mentor? A leader who actually believes in being a coach or mentor to their employees doesn’t stop once the employees get to a certain level of success. They are willing to help others be more successful, even if it means the employees become more successful than they are.

But what I often see is that leaders act as a coach or mentor to employees up until they reach a certain level of success and then the leader holds the employees back or pushes them down, so as not to be outdone by their mentees. But that is not a true coach/mentor.

A true coach/mentor guides, encourages and helps their mentees and when the mentees reach a level of greater success than the actual coach/mentor the coach/mentor is filled with pride, accomplishment and happiness knowing that they helped the mentees get there.

Think about the relationship between a parent and child. If a child becomes successful in education or sports or a special skill, the parent doesn’t push them down and say “how dare you be more successful than I am in this area! I created you, and you dare to outdo me!”. No. They feel overwhelmed with pride in their child. The parent gets excited to see their child accomplish things they themselves were never able to do.

That is how we should think and act as leaders. We should take pride in seeing our employees succeed and move up in the company. Do you show up everyday with a coaching/mentorship mindset?

Direct download: one_trait_most_leaders_dont_have.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:59pm PDT

Xavier Unkovic is the President of Amy’s Kitchen, a family owned, privately held company founded in 1987 that manufactures organic and non-GMO convenience and frozen foods. Amy’s Kitchen employs around 2,400 people in California, Oregon, and Idaho and their products are sold all around the country. Prior to Amy’s Kitchen Xavier was the Global President of Mars Drinks, a company known for brands like M&Ms, Uncle Ben’s, Dove, and Orbit.

 

When asked how he was able to make his way up to the president of a company Xavier said it was a combination of hard work, great mentors and coaches, a love for the work he is doing, and the ability to surround himself with great people. He says being a leader is not about knowing it all.

 

“I keep saying to my managers, when you go to school, we teach you at school to have all the answers and it's pretty damaging when it comes to the future at work where at work, it's not about having the answers, it's about providing the answers together. Not you, as a manager, having all the answers for your people but working it out with your people, being all together, working towards a solution, not having all the answers yourself.”

 

A lot of people wonder how to find the right job, one that they will enjoy, keep them engaged, and one that will allow them to fulfill a purpose. Xavier believes a big part of finding the right company to work for is defining your personal self purpose--why do you believe you exist? What makes you happy? What do you strive for? If you can define your self purpose it will be a lot easier to find the company and the role that’s right for you.

 

But what if you don’t know what that purpose is yet? Xavier shares that he didn’t find his own driving purpose until he was 40 years old. He said in order to get to that point he had to put his thoughts and emotions down on paper and he was able to use his time at the job he had at the time to define, grow, and develop that sense of purpose before ultimately finding Amy’s Kitchen.

 

He also said he had some fantastic mentors who helped him through the process of finding his purpose and passion in life.

 

For people who don’t have a sense of purpose in their current role or at their current company, Xavier suggests, “If you're not happy, do something, for sure. Quit, I don't know. But do something. Try to really understand which company will make you strive. Sometimes it's not about the company, it's about the boss. Sometimes you can be in the right place as a company but you don't have the right manager. So my advice when it's the case of the manager, is try to have a conversation with the manager. Often, people quit because they believe the managers do not care about them and they don't invest into the relationship. My advice would be, sit down with your manager and tell them how it's impacting you. If the case is your manager is engaging you and not the company but I would definitely give the advice to everyone to select the company they want to work for, not just go for the paycheck. Life is too short, life is too short.”


What you will learn in this episode:

  • Xavier’s leadership journey and how he became president of a company
  • Why finding your personal self purpose is so important
  • The story behind how Amy’s Kitchen started
  • What to do if you don’t find purpose in your current position
  • Why Xavier never starts his day by reading emails
  • What Xavier does when an employee comes to him and says they are not fulfilled at work

 

Contact:

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/xavier-unkovic-6300169

Amy’s Kitchen: https://www.amys.com/

Direct download: Xavier20Unkovic20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:41am PDT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is having a huge impact on the way we live and the way we work. But many people are still trying to figure out what IoT actually is. Here is my simple explanation.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a huge topic of discussion these days and it is having a profound impact on the way we live and work. But many people are still trying to figure out what IoT actually means.

Simply put, IoT is all devices that have an on and off switch, are powered by electricity or batteries that have the ability to be connected together and share data with each other. You may already have a lot of these devices in your home, such as Smart TVs, Smartphones, Fitbits, Alexa, etc….

Eventually there will be many other objects in this category as technology allows things such as toothbrushes, coffee pots, cars, and calendars to be connected. There will be a day when you can wake up to your alarm and all at once your coffee pot will know that you are up and start making a cup of coffee and your smart car will know when to start and come to pick you up. You may even have a car that can notify your office when you are stuck in traffic and running late and move your appointments back on your calendar.

We are already seeing a lot of new appliances and wearables on the market that can connect to each other, like the fridge that can look inside and tell you what food items you are low on and add these food items to a grocery list on your phone. IoT can make our lives easier, more productive and more efficient. But are we ready to live in this kind of a world where everything is connected and sharing data?

Direct download: what-is-the-internet-of-things.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:18am PDT

Tim Brown is the CEO of IDEO, the global design and innovation company behind projects such as the first Apple mouse and the first notebook style computer. The team of around 800 people are located around the world and they come from a wide variety of backgrounds--everything from chefs, practicing physicians, software engineers, to filmmakers and everything in between. But they all have one thing in common, a methodology of design.

Tim is also the author of the book, Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. What does design thinking actually mean? Tim says, “The big difference between thinking and design thinking is the doing bit, which doesn't crop up in the term design thinking...When you start the creative process you do not know what the answer is. Most people when they're presented with the problem of solve a problem but they have no idea what the answer is, they're sort of, they don't know what to do with it. It's like the proverbial blank sheet of paper. And so what design thinking is, is a set of processes and methods for getting you to an answer.”

Tim and his team at IDEO take a design based approach to everything from education to IT work to leadership. They have three cycles that employees go through over their time with the company, those cycles are learning, practicing, and mastering. They have found that to “really master something, you should teach it”.

What is it like to work at IDEO? Tim says the biggest difference between IDEO and other organizations is that “we spend almost all of our time creating new things. Whereas in most organizations only some people spend some of their time doing it.”

Employees at IDEO work mostly in teams rather than individually, they believe in group creativity rather than individual creativity. They have a very diverse team with people coming from all sorts of educational and career backgrounds with a wide variety of skills. And their company’s cultural values are very important and include things like “help others be successful, not just focused on your own success”. They see this value played out on a daily basis.

When asked for advice on how individual employees can start bringing in design thinking to their organizations Tim suggests they first observe the organization and keep a record of what they notice. This is true especially newer employees, they will observe different things than an employee who has been in the organization for years would. Always keep a notebook or sketchbook with thoughts, ideas, questions, observations, etc...And then when you get a chance speak up about what you notice and things you see that could be improved upon.

For leaders looking to implement design thinking, Tim says, “it takes bravery from leaders to realize that actually, there are problems to be solved, opportunities to be grabbed, and that if we put resources and teams against it, there’s a payoff.” Be brave and understand that you won’t always have the answers and that’s okay.

What You Will Learn in this episode:

  • What Design Thinking actually means and how to apply it to work
  • What it’s like to work at IDEO
  • What is one of the great diseases of the modern organization according to Tim
  • Examples of companies who are good at thinking creatively
  • How Tim deals with failure

 

Links From The Episode:

https://www.ideou.com/

www.designthinking.ideo.com

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

 

Direct download: Tim20Brown20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:54am PDT

Imagine you are looking through the narrow end of a paper cone. The space in the cone closest to your eye is very narrow and closed in, but the farther out into the cone you look the wider it becomes.

Futurists use a tool/technique called the cone of possibilities to explore different scenarios that could happen in the future. The narrow part of the cone is the near future, it includes present time and a couple of months or even a couple of years into the future. But as the cone gets wider it signifies time further out into the future--think 10, 20 or even 50+ years in the future. It is wider because there are many more scenarios/possibilities that could happen that far in the future vs. what could happen in the near future.

Futurists use a couple of different ways to think in terms of scenarios. The first scenario they use is to look at their ideal scenario. What they would like to happen. The second scenario they use is a likely scenario, what might happen realistically. Then the third scenario is to look at what could happen, but is not likely to happen.

Futurists can then use these different scenarios to look at anything the future could bring so that they are not surprised by anything. We can also use this technique ourselves to define and outline our own scenarios. By doing this we can take a look at our ideal scenarios and see what we would need to do personally to get to that ideal scenario and we can look at all the other possible scenarios so that we can prepare for anything that may happen.

Direct download: think_like_a_futurist.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:43pm PDT

Horst Schulze is the Co-Founder and former President of the Ritz-Carlton and author of the new book, Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise. Even though he is technically retired, he is staying extremely busy. Horst is currently the Chairman Emeritus of Capella Hotel Group, he is on five boards, and he does some consulting work.

Horst actually started in the hotel industry when he was 14 years old as a busboy. From there he worked his way up--waiter, kitchen staff, club manager, catering manager up to regional VP for 10 Hyatt hotels and then manager of food and beverage operations for all Hyatt hotels before ultimately receiving the call to help start a new hotel brand. When asked what career he would have had if he wasn’t in the hotel industry Horst said, “The hotel business. Again, and again, and again. I don't want to do anything else. That's what I love.”

A lot has changed in the hotel industry, and work in general, in the past several decades. One thing Horst has noticed in the hotel industry is how luxury has changed. It used to be that when you thought about a luxury hotel you would be looking for marble, chandeliers, expensive artwork, etc...But now luxury is about a personalized and individualized experience. Luxury looks different to everyone and being able to customize the clients stay is what it’s all about.

When it comes to work Horst says there have been changes over the past few decades, but there are some areas that still have a long way to go. One of these areas that needs work is creating a purpose for employees and helping them feel like they are an important part of the organization. This is part of what Horst believes is our leadership crisis.

“We still hire people to fulfill certain functions. But you know, the chair in which we're sitting is fulfilling a function. We have to become more aware that we actually hire human beings that want to be part of something. Not just fulfill a function like the chair, which we're sitting on. Once that understanding becomes deeper, we will adopt and create our systems around it.”

It used to be that the role of a manager was to hire people and then control them. Employees were just supposed to show up, listen to commands, and do what they are told--they weren’t supposed to think, speak up, or question anything.

There are still organizations today who operate like that, but thankfully we are moving away from that model. Employees today want to be a part of the decision making, they want to feel like they belong, they want a purpose and meaning behind what they do.

“What employee will do a better job? The one that must do the job, and is controlled to do it, or the one that wants to do the job? The answer should be quite easy. So in other words, I have to create an environment in which employees want to do the job, and that is leadership.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Horst went from a 14 year old busboy to the Co-Founder and President of the Ritz-Carlton
  • What has changed in the hotel industry over the past few decades
  • How hiring has changed and whether or not it is better now
  • How to keep your employees connected to the mission of the company
  • What Horst believes is our current leadership crisis and how we can fix it

Link from the episode:

Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise

 

Direct download: Horst20Schulze_Podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:46pm PDT

When we normally think about change, whether in our organizations or even in our personal lives, we tend to think about linear change. But what would happen if we thought about exponential change instead?

What’s the difference? Well a couple of years ago the famous futurist, Ray Kurzweil did an interview with the Financial Times and in the interview he compared linear growth to exponential growth. He said, “30 steps linearly gets you to 30. One, two, three, four, step 30 you’re at 30. With exponential growth, it’s one, two, four, eight. Step 30, you’re at a billion”

So taking 30 linear steps is not going to get you very far, but taking 30 exponential steps would be the equivalent of traveling around the world 26 times! There’s no telling where you would end up.

We live in an exponential world where things are changing very quickly, especially technology. In order to stay relevant we need to take our linear assumptions, ideas and concepts and adjust them for an exponential world.

Direct download: Shifting_from_Linear_to_Exponential_Thinking.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:25pm PDT

Barbara Humpton is the CEO of Siemens USA, a global company that operates in several areas including industry, energy, healthcare, and infrastructure. They have almost 400,000 employees around the world in 190 countries and Barbara is responsible for over 55,000 of those employees and the company’s largest market with over $23 Billion in revenue and $5 billion in annual exports.  

 

Her journey to becoming CEO has not been a typical one, but it certainly is an interesting one. She studied mathematics in college and initially thought she would be a math professor, like her parents. But after college she got an offer to join IBM in software programming. In 2008 she became the Vice President at Lockheed Martin where she oversaw biometrics programs, border and transportation security, and critical infrastructure protection. She also worked as the Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, managing the program performance and new business in the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, prior to moving to Siemens in 2011. Barbara says a CEO position wasn’t always in her sights, “I guess I always had my eyes on what I currently had to do, the most important job was the one right in front of me. And then I got invitations to partake in more and more interesting projects”.

 

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being the CEO of such a large company, but Barbara says her number one job is, “to really think about the culture we’re creating and the future we’re driving toward.” One of the big topics she is focused on is building the workforce of the future.

 

There are so many things impacting the workforce of the 21st century--AI and automation, IoT, rapidly changing technologies, etc….and there is a huge responsibility for universities and organizations to help individuals be prepared for the future of work. Siemens offers multiple training programs, incentives, and reskilling options for their employees to make sure they stay relevant.

 

One example of Siemens dedication to keeping employees relevant occured in Charlotte, NC a decade ago. They had thousands of applicants for some positions they needed to fill, but not enough of the applicants were qualified to fill all of the open positions. So Siemens partnered with the local community college to create an apprenticeship program to train people who could then apply for the new positions at Siemens. It was so successful that they expanded the program to nine states.

When asked what advice she would give to employees in order to future proof their careers, Barbara says, “I actually think there's one fundamental piece of advice that if I had gotten this advice earlier in my career, I think I would have been much more self aware through the process. Purpose. All of us need to be thinking about our own personal why. What is it that makes us tick? And my sense is that when leaders and when employees are aligned in their own personal purpose along with the purpose of the organization they're in, boy, everything just moves more smoothly.”


What you will learn in this episode:

  • What a typical day looks like for Barbara
  • How Barbara deals with rejection
  • How to convince managers and leaders to make changes
  • What Siemens is doing around skills training and prep for the workforce of the future
  • How Siemens is helping veterans get jobs
  • What kind of leaders we need for the new world of work
  • How to figure out your purpose
  • What is a digital quotient and why it’s important for leaders to have
Direct download: Barbara20Humpton20podcast_done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40am PDT

Business leaders at companies around the world are always asking, “how can we standardize corporate culture across all of our locations?” My response is, “do you really want to do that?”

Standardizing corporate culture is a subject that comes up quite frequently during my conversations with business leaders at companies around the world. They want to know how they can make it so that whether a person walks into their company in Australia, Japan, England or the U.S., they see and feel the same things.

But my question is, “do you really want to do that?”. People across the world are all going to have different behaviors, customs, beliefs, etc…and that’s okay. People in your organization should be able to be themselves at work. So if your office in Sydney, Australia looks different than the one in London, England that’s to be expected.

What we really want to standardize across all of our organizations is our values--doing good, collaboration, fun, trust, transparency, integrity--these are the things that should stay the same no matter what location you are walking into. As long as you have those core unifying things at the base of your organization differences in corporate culture should be welcomed and embraced.

Direct download: Standardizing_Corporate_Culture_-_Jacob_Morgan.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:03am PDT

Wade Foster is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zapier, a company that allows you to connect the apps you use daily in order to automate tasks and save time. The company was started back in 2011 as a side hustle for Wade and fellow founders, Brian and Mike. They now have 200 employees all over the world and over 100,000 customers.

All 200 employees work remotely from different locations, they don’t have any office buildings. Some managers might worry about leading a remote team, but Wade says there’s really no difference between leading an in person team versus leading a remote team. Whether or not you can see your team, the only way to know if your team is getting work done is to see the work, not the people themselves. You may have employees showing up to an office space everyday, sitting at their desks all day long, but it doesn’t mean they are being productive.

Wade says all managers, whether they have a remote team or not, need to understand the company’s goals, they need to know how to put teams together, and they need to be able to coach and mentor people. Wade believes it is also important for managers to regularly check in with their people to discuss work performance, experience, and even their personal lives.

When it comes to building company culture Zapier works hard to make sure employees build relationships with one another. One way they help employees connect is through a Slack App called Donut, which matches up three employees at random. Those three employees have to find time every week to talk with their group. They can talk about anything--books, hobbies, family, etc...they just need to get to know each other. Wade says, “If you kind of already know the person and you know them on a human level, it just makes it easier to connect with them when you get into the trenches and have to solve something really, really tough” They also hold two large in person retreats every year where all 200 employees come together to meet up and connect.

Hiring the right people is also critical when it comes to a remote workforce. Not everyone is a good fit for remote work. At Zapier they look for self-starters, who are motivated, and who have a go get it attitude.

For any organizations looking to incorporate a remote work program Wade suggests, “...don't overthink it. Being a manager in a remote environment is not so different than being a good manager in an office. A lot of the things that you need to do are the same. So, find the remote equivalent of those things and make it happen”.

What you will learn from the episode:

  • How to manage a remote team
  • Why Zapier continues to have a 100% remote workforce even now that they are growing
  • Tools to use with a remote team
  • What to look for when hiring remote workers
  • How Zapier went from a side hustle to a successful business with over 100,000 customers

Link from the episode:

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

Direct download: Wade20Foster20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:19am PDT

The game of Chess has been around since the 6th Century AD and it has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I think all business leaders should learn how to play because there are so many business lessons we can learn from Chess.

I am quite obsessed with the game of Chess. It has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and it is something that I really enjoy doing. Chess is not only a fun and challenging game, but it also provides many life lessons.

I think all business leaders should learn how to play chess because it can teach us a lot about business.

Here are the 6 biggest business lessons I have learned from playing chess:

1. How to work with AI
2. How to look at the big picture
3. Patience
4. How to look at several different situations and figure out what outcomes each may bring
5. How to identify patterns
6. How to be comfortable with the unknown

All of these lessons are important to learn and will help you be a better leader. So, if you have some extra time on your hands, try Chess. I highly recommend it.

Direct download: The_One_Game_Business_Leaders_Should_Play.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:22pm PDT

Kenny McDonald is the President and Chief Economic Officer of Columbus 2020, an economic development organization for the 11-county Columbus, Ohio region. This initiative was started back in 2010 by a team of more than 20 economic development experts who wanted to actively do something to improve their area after the ‘07-’08 recession.

At the beginning, in 2010, the team behind Columbus 2020 came up with four main long-term goals that they would focus on over the next 10 years. The goals were:

  1. Add 150,000 net new jobs
  2. Generate $8 billion of capital investment
  3. Raise personal per capita income by 30 percent
  4. Earn recognition as a leader in economic development

They didn’t want to just recover from the recession, they wanted the city of Columbus to do better than it ever had before. And this strategy paid off, in 2018, just 8 years into their 10-year plan, they had already met three out of the four goals.

Now a big focus for Columbus is preparing the workforce of the future. One of the major trends around the future of work Kenny is paying attention to is the mass automation happening in a lot of industries including finance, insurance, and retail.

Kenny says, “We're asking ourselves what will be automated, what jobs exist now and have existed for decades that maybe in the next 5 or 10 years are no longer going to be a way for people to earn income, how are they going to do that? How are we going to create that tax base out of that in the future? So we consider ourselves a laboratory and are leaning into all of those changes.”

After studying automation, Kenny and the team of economic development experts he works with believe that around 200,000 jobs in their region are under serious risk of going away due to automation. But they don’t see that as a threat, they see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to create better jobs for humans while leaving the unskilled, labor intensive jobs to technology.

When asked who is responsible for retraining and upskilling the workers who are displaced to to job automation, Kenny said it should be a combined effort between the community, the major employers, and educational institutions. These major players need to have open and honest discussions to figure out how jobs are changing and what needs to be done to better equip people for the future of work.

Even though there is a large responsibility on the community, employers, and schools, that does not leave the individual employee off the hook. “The need, the velocity of which continued education is going to be required for you to be a competitive employee in the future is going to require a lot of responsibility. So you're going to be responsible for raising your hand and saying, "I want that training. I'm willing to make a little bit of a time sacrifice to learn that skill to evolve as technologies evolve and continue my career.People that are willing to do that are going to have tremendous opportunity, maybe even greater opportunity than we've ever seen before. But those that are unwilling to do that or perhaps don't have the insight and aren't given the roadmap around that are going to have a difficult time.”

When it comes to advice for listeners, Kenny says it is important to get involved in your community, especially if you work for one of the major employers in your area or if you are an academic leader. Find ways to partner with your city, get involved, and start conversations. Figure out where your city needs to be in 5-10 years and start building it now.


What you will learn in the episode:

  • How Columbus is preparing the next generation for the future of jobs
  • How Columbus 2020 got started and what success they have seen so far
  • What trends Kenny is paying attention to
  • What jobs will most likely disappear in the near future
  • Who is responsible for retraining and upskilling displaced workers
  • Whether or not a college degree still has value

Links from the Episode:

 

Columbus 2020: https://columbusregion.com/columbus-2020/

Kenny’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennymcdonald/

 

Direct download: Kenny20McDonald20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:16pm PDT

When we think of traditional HR functions we typically think about hiring, firing, policies, training and rules/regulations. But in the future of work we need a shift in the role that HR plays in the organization. We need HR to not be like HR.

I know we cannot ignore the traditional HR duties, but I think those duties should make up a small percentage of time compared to how much time is spent on driving change in the organization.

That is what HR should be focusing on. It should be called Human Transformation instead of Human Resources. Why? Because their role should be centered on helping the organization grow, evolve and move forward. HR should be a part of the company, not because legally it has to be there, but because the organization wants and needs transformational growth.

Direct download: Its_Not_Human_Resources_Its_Human_Transformation.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:12am PDT

Greg Hanover is the CEO of LiveOps, a virtual call center company that provides services for a wide variety of industries including healthcare, retail, travel, hospitality, and insurance. LiveOps has a little over 200 full-time employees and they have 14,000 independent contractors who work virtually from home. Having a team of virtual agents has allowed LiveOps to be more cost effective, flexible, and innovative than a traditional brick and mortar call center.

Having flexible and remote work options is becoming more and more valuable to employees, no matter what industry they are in. But a lot of executives shy away from giving these options because of the concerns that come with leading a virtual workforce. How do you know if they are actually working? How do you measure productivity? How do you create a cohesive corporate culture when not everyone is in the same building everyday?

Greg says it ultimately comes down to your communication strategy. Having effective and consistent communication is critical when it comes to working with a virtual team. The great thing is there are so many tools and platforms available now that leaders can take advantage of. LiveOps has built their own collaboration tool called LiveOps Nation which allows agents to communicate with one another, share tips and secrets, find company wide news, etc...It allows the leaders to disseminate information to the whole team, very quickly.

It is also important to set expectations early when leading a virtual team. Starting at the interview, the potential employee should know what attributes you are looking for in a team member, what is expected of them, and what their responsibilities will be. “We all know there are some people who can be more successful than others in a virtual environment”, Greg says. Working virtually requires self-motivation, a certain amount of drive, an entrepreneurial spirit and self-control.

“One of the big things or processes we have in place is every agent signs what we call a statement of work. And we make it clear, so whether you're supporting a large retail customer or one of our insurance customers, or healthcare customers, we're going to list out what the requirements are to support that customer. So we may have certain requirements around number of hours worked each week or certain quality metrics that have to be met to stay active on a program. We'll clearly outline in that statement of work with the agent what the requirements are to support that end customer. There are requirements. It's not a free for all model.”

For organizations or leaders who are looking to test out a remote workforce or a few remote positions, Greg’s advice is to “understand what does success look like in that position. And then make sure that you’ve clearly articulated that to the folks that you’re going to place in a remote environment”. It is important to lay out the requirements, expectations, job description, etc… ahead of time and use that as the measure of success.

Greg suggests starting small, maybe you give employees the option to work from home one day a week or you give them more flexibility in their schedules. But don’t try to run before you crawl. It may not be the best idea to start hiring a whole new team of remote workers if you’ve never managed this type of a team before. Start small and test things out, put the right tools in place, and set up guidelines and expectations up front.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How to lead a virtual team
  • What tools LiveOps uses to collaborate and communicate
  • What it is like to work at LiveOps
  • How they stay competitive in the Bay Area
  • How they train, upskill, and motivate a team they cannot see
  • How they keep the team aspect alive while everyone is remote
  • How to change the mindset of leaders so they can see the benefits and possibilities of remote working


Links from the episode:

LiveOps: www.liveops.com

Greg’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/greghanover/

Direct download: Greg20Hanover_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:04am PDT

There are many things that make up a great manager or leader. But I have identified one key characteristic that all truly great leaders and managers should have. It is something that employees all over the world consistently ask for and want. It is the ability to think in terms of a coach or mentor.

I have been inside a wide variety of organizations all across the world and have found that a lot of organizations say that they encourage and train their leaders to be mentors and coaches, but the truth is the coaching and mentoring only goes up to a certain point.

A leader who actually believes in being a mentor or coach to their employees doesn’t stop once the employees get to a certain level of success. The leaders goal is help others be more successful, even if it means the employees become more successful than the leader.

But what I often see is that leaders mentor/coach employees up until they reach a certain level of success and then the leader holds the employees back or pushes them down, so as not to be outdone by their mentees. But that is not a true coach/mentor.

A true coach/mentor guides, encourages and helps their mentees and when the mentees reach a level of greater success than the actual coach/mentor the coach/mentor is filled with pride, accomplishment and happiness knowing that they helped the mentees get there.

So, if you want to be the best leader/manager for your employees you must ask yourself, “Do I wake up everyday wanting to make other people more successful than I am?”

Direct download: what_makes_a_great_manager.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:02am PDT

Dr. Marc Brackett is the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University and Dr. Robin Stern is the Associate Director of Partnerships for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, a licensed psychoanalyst, educator, and author. Dr. Stern is a licensed psychoanalyst, with over twenty-five years of experience treating individuals, couples, and groups, holding a doctorate in applied psychology from New York University. She is on the faculty of Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Dr. Brackett  is the lead developer of RULER (an acronym for the five key emotion skills) which is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 1,500 public, charter, and private pre-school to high schools across the United States and in other countries. Dr. Brackett has published 125 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards for his research on social and emotional learning.

What is emotional intelligence?

It is a mental ability - a set of skills that have to do with how we as human beings reason with and about our emotion states.

To understand the underlying skills that people use when they are emotionally intelligent we can look to Dr. Brackett’s RULER acronym.

RULER is an acronym that stands for the five skills of emotional intelligence:

  • The first R is recognizing- essentially what we're trying to do is help people read people, read themselves accurately, whether it be through facial expression, body language, vocal tone, etc...
  • Next is understand why they're having those feelings,
  • The L stands for language or labeling those feeling with the best words
  • The fourth skill is about expressing emotions, knowing how and when to do that with different people, in different situations
  • The final is regulating emotions - so having the strategies to both manage your own emotions and to help other people to manage theirs as well

Why is emotional intelligence important in the workplace? Human relationships matter in the workplace, and emotional intelligence is critical in managing workplace relationships. Being emotionally intelligent helps us communicate, collaborate, and relate with others in our organizations. How we relate with others in the workplace greatly impacts engagement, happiness, mental health, physical health, and so much more.

This skill is important for all employees, but it is especially critical for leaders. Dr. Stern says, “Leaders are very big in the minds of the people who work with them. They're just huge and the hierarchy, the power and balance gives the way the leader treats people who work for him or her a tremendous amount of power to lift the person, make them feel great or send them off with a pleasant feeling or squash them and send them off with a feeling that they can't do anything right.Those are everyday interactions and you don't realize as a leader necessarily that when you're short with somebody that may set their whole afternoon off”.

So how can we start practicing emotional intelligence today? Dr. Brackett suggests starting by being transparent about how you feel. If you are a leader open up conversations with your employees to understand how they are feeling and why. If you are an employee speak up and give feedback when asked and don’t be shy about being open and honest.

He also suggests that everyone take advantage of apps, courses, and training that focus on being emotionally intelligent. You don’t become emotionally intelligent overnight. It takes constant practice, awareness, and growth. So keep working at it.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What emotional intelligence is and whether it is a hard skill or a soft skill
  • How emotional intelligence impacts engagement, happiness, and productivity
  • The impact social media has had on emotional intelligence
  • The negative impacts of not having emotional intelligence in the workplace
  • How to develop emotional intelligence as a leader

Links from the episode:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-brackett-10a563/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-stern-220b403a/

ei.yale.edu

www.moodmeterapp.com

Direct download: Marc20and20Robin_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:06am PDT

In this new world of work skills are vitally important. One of the most crucial skills that we can possess is one that could help provide job security even as AI and automation continue replacing jobs.

In this rapidly changing world of work and life we live in, one of the most crucial skills we as individuals can possess, is motivation. We have to have the motivation to learn how to learn new things, the motivation to speak up at work and the motivation to experiment.

It is such an important skill that the CEO at AT&T told his employees that if they don’t have the motivation to take matters into their own hands--to learn how to learn and to be responsible for their own professional development--then they don’t belong at the company.

If we want to succeed, grow and thrive in this new world of work and life we have to take things into our own hands. Are you motivated enough?

Direct download: One_Crucial_Skill.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:04pm PDT

DeLisa Alexander is the Chief People Officer at Red Hat, a role she has held since March 2011. She is responsible for leading Red Hat’s global Human Capital team, including Red Hat University College of Leadership and Management.

She joined Red Hat in 2001 and served in the office of General Counsel until 2006. In that role, DeLisa was responsible for equity and executive compensation and employment matters. Prior to Red Hat, she was associated with the law firm Kilpatrick Stockton where she focused on mergers, acquisitions, venture capital and licensing. DeLisa graduated with a BBA from James Madison University, holds an MBA from University of Baltimore, and earned her Juris Doctor from George Mason University.

Red Hat is a leading software company in the business of assembling open source components for the Linux operating system and related programs into a distribution package that can be ordered and implemented.  They currently employ about 13,000 associates, with about 25% of the population working remotely. They have over 95 offices in 35 countries around the world.

Red Hat has been studying, implementing, and experimenting with a concept called open leadership and it has drastically changed how the company operates. They found that  traditional, top down, hierarchical leadership did not work for their company and they knew they had to try something different.

What is open leadership? DeLisa says first of all, “They tend to have a growth mindset where they think everyone has something special to contribute. Everyone has something unique they can offer. And that a leader's role, whether it's a manager or a team lead or a technical lead their role is to act in an inclusive way. And a way that really brings out that individual's strengths and help them to contribute their unique talents.”

Open leaders will also see untapped potential in all of their employees. They believe that everyone is capable of learning and growing, they understand that it is their role as a leader to create an atmosphere where employees can learn, grow, and stretch themselves.

Red Hat also believes that leaders don’t necessarily have to be be managers of people. Anyone can be a leader. A leader is not defined by a title or position within the company, a leader is defined by their ability to influence others.

For organizations looking to implement the concept of open leadership DeLisa advises, “It's not a one size fits all. Open, is a continuum. So if you start from where you are and think about where you'd like to move, what I recommend always is understand the strengths of your organization, understand your organization's purpose, and really lean into the areas that are strengths for you that can help you to support that purpose more effectively by making some shifts. I always find that when you're trying to close a gap, it's much more difficult than leading into something that's your strength already.”

What you will learn In This Episode:

  • How DeLisa went from the legal field to the HR space
  • Big trends DeLisa is paying attention to
  • DeLisa’s view on Millennials
  • A look at the culture at Red Hat
  • How Red Hat used stories from their own employees to create their company’s mission statement
  • What open leadership is

Links from the episode:

Direct download: DeLissa20Alexander_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:03am PDT

We all have moments in our lives that stand out from the rest, moments that matter. For me personally some of the moments that matter are the day I got married, the day my daughter was born, and the day I bought my first house. But there are also moments that matter that relate to work, such as the 1st day at a new job, the day you get a promotion or even the day you leave a job.

Quite often organizations miss out on celebrating these moments that matter for their employees. Instead of thinking of employees as individuals they think of them simply as workers. In this new world of work where we have such an integration between work and life it is so important to acknowledge these moments that matter and make them special. These moments are what allow us to create amazing experiences for our employees.

One example of a missed opportunity is the first day at a new job. If we could set up our employees for a great first experience this could be a moment they truly remember, even 10 or 15 years down the road. But oftentimes the first day on a job can be a moment of terror, anxiety or even regret for people. They show up and it takes them 15 minutes to locate someone who can show them where to go, when they get to their desk the computer and phone aren’t set up, no one says hi or welcomes them, they sit alone at lunch, etc…

What if instead we chose to make that moment extraordinary by having a designated person ready and waiting for the new employee with a smile and an information packet, all of the equipment was set up, turned on and ready to go, we made it a point for other employees to stop by and say hi, and we provided a free lunch for that first day. Wouldn’t that make a difference.

So, stop and ask yourself, what are the moments that matter to your employees and how can you celebrate those moments?

Direct download: Ditch_the_employee_lifecycle_and_focus_on_moments_that_matter.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:14am PDT

Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown University and the author of a brand new book called Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. He earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, specializing in the theory of distributed systems.  He has two other books, entitled Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World and So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.

What is Digital Minimalism?

Cal says It's a movement. And it's a like a rebellion. It's a rebellion against this idea that these small number of companies in Northern California (Twitter, Facebook, Google) should really dictate how we spend our time, and how we feel, and how we think. In recent years people have come to realize it is a problem to be so wrapped up and addicted to social media and technology in general. And people say, "I wanna create my own life, and I'll use technology on my own damn terms."

When asked why  he wrote his latest book, Cal says it is because in the last two years or so, there has been this shift where people stopped making self-deprecating jokes about how often they check their phone and started to actually get really concerned. People got past this notion of like, "Oh, this is all fun, and maybe I use it too much," and really began to get worried that there were serious impacts on the quality of their life being caused by the digital tools in their personal life.

And they were getting fed up. They wanted more than just tips. There seemed to be a need in the marketplace for a strong response. He came up with a strong aggressive response if you want to take back your personal life from a lot of those digital distractions. And it was out of that, that Digital Minimalism was born.

And it’s not just our personal lives that are affected by technology. In the workplace we are just constantly communicating all day long. It's essentially an ongoing, ad hoc, unstructured conversation. Messages and chats and texts just bouncing back and forth. We're all a part of this sort of big organizational conversation. We sort of just try to figure things out on the fly.

Cal says the problem is that it turns out to be exactly the wrong way to work, if what you need to do is actually use your brain to produce new value. And this is the huge conflict that's driving people crazy in the workplace today, is that knowledge work requires people to use their brains, process information, concentrate on the information, and produce new valuable information. But it is impossible to do that when we have our concentration divided among hundreds of emails, constant IMs from coworkers, text messages, Skype messages, etc…

So we're living, essentially, a contradiction. We're working in a way that makes us really bad at working. And this is a really reason why Cal thinks so many people are getting so frustrated and feeling so burnt out about what it means to work in the digital age.

 

Three reasons why digital minimalism works:

  1.  Clutter is costly – too many apps or services
  2.  Optimization is important
  3.  Intentionality trumps convenience

Cal doesn’t believe that technology in and of itself is a bad thing, but we have to find ways to step away from it to really let our minds work they way they were meant to, to really be able to connect one on one with other human beings, and to be able to rest and recharge.

 

Things you will learn:

  • Why Cal doesn’t engage in social media like Facebook or Twitter
  • Why he chose to write the book
  • How to do a 30-day digital declutter, in which you wipe the slate clean, not of work stuff, but of optional personal technology
  • Whether or not Cal is worried about the future
  • The three principles of digital minimalism
  • How you can start implementing digital minimalism today
  • Strategies Jacob is using to manage his technology use

 

Contacts:

CalNewport.com.

Direct download: Cal20Newport_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:05am PDT

The pace of technology in our world today is faster than it has ever been. We go out and buy the newest phone out on the market with all of the bells and whistles and the newest innovations and then a few months later it is obsolete as there’s a newer, better phone available. We always hear about how technology is benefiting our society. It boosts productivity and innovation, it provides greater accessibility to products and services and it allows for greater opportunities.

Technology provides great benefits, but are we using it in the right way? According to a chart created by Our World in Data showing the price changes in consumer goods and services over the last 20 years, we may not be using technology in the best way.

The chart shows that the price of TVs, clothes, software, toys and cars have either stayed the same or plummeted. At the same time the cost of things that everyone really, truly needs-- such as healthcare, tuition, and childcare-- has skyrocketed.

Are we taking all of the benefits from technology and putting them into the wrong things? My question is, if technology can create better productivity, innovation and opportunity, why aren’t we seeing that chart flipped?

Direct download: Is_Technology_Really_Improving_Our_Lives.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

Aaron Levie is the Co-Founder and CEO of Box, a company that specializes in helping companies securely share and manage their information. The company was started back in 2005 while Aaron was in college. Back then it was him and one other person, but now 14 years later they have over 2,000 employees who serve 90,000 customers around the world.

But the road to success wasn’t easy. Aaron dealt with a lot of rejection along the way. When they were initially trying to start Box they received around a dozen rejections, but instead of giving up Aaron kept a positive attitude. He claims, “that was a good week for us, what are you talking about? That was like wow! The fact that people responded saying no was actually a good thing. We were like, “All right, we finally got a rejection””. This is what makes him a great entrepreneur, he held to his convictions and never gave up.   

When it comes to leading Box, Aaron works hard to create a culture of openness and transparency. He explains that because the company began with four friends who were used to calling each other out on bad ideas, they were able to have transparency and candor built into the fabric of the founding team. Now they carry on those values even with 2,000 employees. They want an organization where employees can tell the CEO “you’re wrong”.

When asked how his leadership style has changed over the years, Aaron says it has been an evolution that has taken time. He is so passionate about everything that Box does, in the beginning he found it hard to not get involved with every little detail, but he has learned what to delegate, what to hire someone else for, and what areas he is still willing to “pull the CEO card to kind of push on”.

In today’s constantly changing world, it is difficult for businesses to stay relevant. Aaron explains that one of the biggest challenges companies face is having to not only be the best digital experience in their own industry, but having to be the best in any industry. With this digital age where everyone is so connected people have more choices than ever before and they are going to compare your company against all the rest.

Aaron says, “Never before did I compare my banking experience to my retail experience. And yet today, if my online bank isn’t as good as Amazon, then I don’t think that you’re a modern bank.”. In order to stay relevant Aaron believes as individuals we need to be flexible and adaptable in order to stay relevant and as organizations we need to stay focused on our customers. We need to help them solve a problem. Otherwise you will not exist in the future.

“It's all about customers and if you are not building an organization that is helping your customers solve a problem and succeed in solving that problem, you will not exist in the future. Maybe 50 years ago we were in an era where all you had to do is get really good at distribution and then any product you sold could kind of work, we're not in that time period right now. Distribution is infinite, customers have infinite access to anything they want. And so we are in a product driven, service driven era where if you don't have the relevant product or service for your customer, you won't exist.”

What you will learn:

  • How Box got started
  • How Aaron deals with rejection
  • How to create a culture of openness and transparency
  • Trends Aaron is paying attention to
  • What it’s like to work at Box
  • How to stay relevant in the fast pace of change
  • How Aaron’s leadership style has changed over the years

Aaron Levie on LinkedIn

Direct download: Aaron20Levie_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:37am PDT

In my newest book, The Employee Experience Advantage, Airbnb was ranked one of the best organizations for employee experience and there is a rather odd practice they implement that may be helping them create such a successful corporate culture.

During every one of their regular company-wide meetings they bring up elephants, dead fish and vomit. Elephants are the big things inside of most organizations that no one dares to bring up, dead fish are the things that are in the past but the employees just can’t seem to forget about them and let them go, and the vomit is the things we need to just get out into the open, the things we want to vent about.

Most companies shy away from these topics, but Airbnb is not just addressing them, they are throwing them into the front and center of their company wide meetings. What are your organization’s elephants, dead fish and vomit? Perhaps you aren’t a huge fan of the labels given, but in the end it is all about creating a culture of transparency and trust. So what can your company do to help create a better culture and a better employee experience?

Direct download: elephants_vomit_deadfish_airbnb.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:59pm PDT

Douglas is a bestselling author of 20 books, including his most recent, Team Human. He is a research fellow of the Institute for the Future, and founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism at The City University of New York/Queens, where he is a Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics.

Douglas’ work explores how different technological environments change our relationship to money, power, business, and one another. He coined such concepts as “viral media,” “screenagers,” and “social currency,” and has been a leading voice for applying digital media toward social and economic justice.

Douglas believes organizations are trying to make humans act more like algorithms when what we really need is to be more human. When asked why he wrote the book he said, “I wanted to write a book in the digital age that helped us really identify and retrieve what makes human beings special, so that we don't accept this incorrect Silicon Valley premise that human beings are the problem and technology is the solution. I don't see that at all.”

Technology is not a bad thing in and of itself, the problem comes when we try to make humans operate in the same predictable, fast paced, automated way. Humans are creative, quirky, caring, imaginative, etc...and these characteristics set us apart from technology. When organizations start to see humans strictly for their utility and whether or not they are living up to certain pre-set metrics, we lose out on the benefits of what it means to be human.

So how can we start standing up for team human? Douglas says we need to start “recognizing the value of live human interaction”. This starts in the classroom teaching kids how to engage with others and how to stand up and give presentations in front of everyone.

We need to take time away from our devices to connect with others in the “real world”. Make eye contact, engage in face-to-face conversation, and “wherever you are find the other living people, find the other conscious humans”.

Douglas says we have to understand that when we are online, “You are in a world concocted by companies that are looking to extract time, value and data from you, by any means necessary”.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why Douglas wrote his book, Team Human
  • Why humans are being devalued in the digital age and how to stop it
  • The problem with Facebook, Twitter and Google
  • How to balance what’s good for business and bad for people
  • Why being human is a team sport
  • Douglas’ thoughts on whether or not we are relying too much on technology

Link from the episode:

https://rushkoff.com/

Direct download: Douglas20Rushkoff_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:57am PDT

AI and Automation doesn’t have to create the job apocalypse that some people are worried about. We have a choice to make--will AI replace your workers or will it augment them?

I have heard both sides of the AI and Automation debate over the past few years. Some people think that our future is doom and gloom and that all human jobs will be replaced. Others feel more optimistic about the subject and they are excited to see how AI and Automation can augment human workers to do their jobs better.

One of my recent podcast guests was Tim O’Reilly, the Founder and CEO at O’Reilly Media and Author of WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up To Us. During my interview with Tim, he brought up a really interesting point about AI and Automation and jobs. He believes that what we do with AI is a choice. We can choose to design our organizations in a way that allows AI to replace all the human jobs, or we can change our business model to figure out how AI can effectively augment human jobs.

There are many current companies who have examples of how to use AI without eliminating jobs, Amazon is one great example of how this model can work. So, it’s up to you. Will you choose to let AI take over human jobs or will you choose to find a way to have AI augment them?

Direct download: What_we_do_with_AI_is_a_choice.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm PDT

Loren Shuster is the Chief People Officer at the Lego Group. He joined the LEGO Group in 2014 from a position with Google as Managing Director of Brand Solutions, Asia Pacific. Loren was also previously with Nokia for 10 years where he worked across Asia and Africa before assuming a global marketing role as Senior Vice President of Go-to-Market in Helsinki. In his current role, he is responsible for The LEGO Group's People Operations and Development. As Chief People Officer, he is mainly responsible for People Strategy, Culture, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition & Retention, and Reward & Recognition.

Loren’s focus is on building the right culture, leadership and talent platform so that LEGO can reach more children around the world and 'inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow'.

Loren holds an MBA and Masters in Organizational Psychology from INSEAD.

The Lego Group has been around for 86 years; with 18,000 employees, they are a privately-held enterprise, still held and owned by the Christiansen family, and are on to the fourth generation owner. They bring joy to children around the world by creating playful learning experiences that are not only fun, but also develop important skills, and ultimately deliver that playful learning experience.

What is it like to work at Lego? Loren shares, “Foremost it's a hell of a lot of fun, which I think is not hard to imagine”. Their offices are colorful and bright with multiple working areas. They do not have offices or assigned seating, so each day can be different depending on what someone needs to get done.

As you can imagine, there are legos everywhere and employees are encouraged to build and create throughout the day.

Lego also has employees called play agents who are trained to facilitate play experiences for the other employees. One example of this is what they call Play Day. Every year every single one of the 18,000 employees at Lego enjoy a day off where they play together and have fun. “We strongly believe that adding a bit of play into the work day can help nurture our innate curiosity and desire to learn, which comes naturally to children”.

Lego may be an 86 year old company, but they are not staying static. One area they are experimenting in is People Analytics. They recently hired a new head for the People Analytics function as they believe analytics can help deliver more value to the organization. They want to ensure that they have a diverse and inclusive workforce and they want to make sure that they are matching the right individual to the right project.

Lego is a very mission focused company and all of their employees are passionate about what they do, which is to help children have fun, creative and engaging play experiences. Lego recently published a report called The Lego Play Well Report, and they found that “over 80% of children claimed to learn more and learn better when there are some play involved”.

Lego believes that play is essential for the wellbeing and happiness, not just of children, but for parents and families as well.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Lego implements storytelling in their recruitment and training processes
  • How they are redesigning their leadership models and why
  • Why including employees in company decisions is important
  • What it’s like to work at Lego
  • The job description of a Play Agent
  • Lego’s four promises--what they are and how they affect the Lego culture

Contact:

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

Direct download: Loren20Shuster_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:47am PDT

Many conversations these days revolve around AI and Automation and whether or not there will be any jobs left for humans in the future. But the truth is, jobs were made to be automated. Our problem is that we are focusing too much on jobs instead of skills, when really skills are greater than jobs in the future of work. 

When you focus on a job you typically only give yourself one career path. You may be able to grow in that career path, but it is still a solitary career path; you really limit yourself. Skills cannot be replaced by AI. If you focus on skills you open up many job options for yourself and you secure your place in the future of work. 

If we want to future proof our lives, the mentality we have to have is that skills are greater than jobs.

Direct download: Skills_are_greater_than_jobs.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:20pm PDT

Karen Carter is the Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Inclusion Officer at the Dow Chemical Company. She is responsible globally for guiding and directing Dow's efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive environment and workforce. “My job, in a nutshell, is to ensure that we have an environment that gives everyone a fair chance, those processes, those policies, how we evaluate people, and how we hire people…if you’re not focusing deliberately on including, you will ultimately exclude.”

Karen has 25 years of experience with Dow, but she only recently moved into the HR space. Before assuming her current responsibilities, she held the role of North America Commercial Vice President, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP). In her role, Karen was a member of the global business leadership team and was responsible for the overall profit & loss of P&SP’s North America region, which is part of Dow’s Performance Plastics Division and represents more than $18.4B in sales

Karen has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Howard University and a master’s degree in international business from DePaul University. In 2014, Karen was named to the prestigious Forty Women to Watch Over 40 list for her innovative leadership contributions

Dow Chemical has been in existence for a little over 120 years. With 50,000 employees around the world, it has revenue in excess of $40,000,000,000. Karen describes the company as a combination of a science and technology organization with a goal to develop and deliver solutions that are essential to human progress. One main focus of Dow is on consumer care, for example ingredients for prescription medications and vitamins.  Another one of their markets is packaging, for instance, keeping meat fresh, and as Karen touches on in our conversation, there's actually technology that is used to make a plastic that enables meat to still be fresh for a few days. The last market that is a main focus is infrastructure - things like roads and bridges and buildings and mega structures like stadiums.

What does diversity and inclusion mean?Karen says, diversity is the collection of all of our unique differences. We talk about diversity across multiple dimensions, and most people tend to migrate directly to race, gender, ethnicity, however, there are other dimensions of diversity – for example, military experience or cultural fluency. Inclusion is the intentional and deliberate action we take to create a culture that embraces and values those differences.

There are several technologies that Dow Chemical is leveraging in the diversity and inclusion space. They use a Workday People Portal that allows them to be much more transparent with information directly to employees and it allows leaders to have easy access to data that helps them make better decisions. For example, being able to see the last 50 promotions a leader has made to ensure that talent is diverse.

As Karen shares in our conversation, we still have a long way to go when it comes to diversity and inclusion in organizations today. Some good strides have been made, but not enough.

Things you will learn:

  • Why companies are choosing to hire non-HR people to lead HR
  • What does a Chief Inclusion Officer do?
  • Typical biases that occur in most organizations
  • How to measure D&I
  • How D&I impacts engagement
  • Technologies Dow Chemical is leveraging in the D&I space
  • Why the conversation around D&I is so critical right now

Contact:

Karen Carter on LinkedIn

 

Direct download: Karen20Carter_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:15am PDT

Looking back 20 or 30 years the very nature and definition of a company was very different than it is today. Companies used to be viewed solely as a place that offered jobs in exchange for compensation. Employees would show up to the building, work 9-5 and then go home again at the end of the day.

Companies today are no longer just an employer that pays people to show up--in fact a large number of workers don’t even go into a centralized office building anymore. Now companies are involved in not only an employee's work life, but also in their personal life. Companies provide gyms, therapy, financial planners, etc...it is much more than just place that provides you with a job. Companies are focusing more on employee engagement and experience today than ever before.

We are seeing a blurring of work and life and organizations have to adapt to this shift. They can no longer just focus on an employee’s work life, they also have to focus on the personal aspect of our lives.

Direct download: The_changing_nature_of_companies.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:20am PDT

Dave Kozel is EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer of PVH Corp, the global apparel company that owns brands such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, Speedo and Arrow. PVH employees around 36,000 people and has locations in 40 countries. Dave is responsible for Human Resources, Compensation, Benefits, Talent Management & Development, Inclusion & Diversity, Communications and Facilities for one of the largest global apparel companies in the world. 

PVH has been recognized for its commitment to creating an inclusive environment where every individual is valued, including being named one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity and earning 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. The Company was also ranked among the top 100 Most Inclusive and Diverse companies globally on the Thomas Reuters Global Inclusion Index and named one of Forbes’ and JUST Capital’s Most JUST Companies. 

Dave joined PVH in 2003 as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, and was promoted to Executive Vice President, Human Resources in 2013. He changed to his current title in June 2015. Prior to joining PVH, Dave served as the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for J. Crew and held executive HR positions at Grey Advertising and Deluxe Corporation. His early career was spent at Citicorp and Pacific Gas & Electric in various Human Resource positions.

Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Lehigh University and a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from University of Illinois.

A major focus of the organization is having a people first strategy in order to bring in the best talent, and keep them engaged and motivated. It also involves allowing employees to be truly successful in what they're interested in from a career standpoint. And if they're successful and engaged, it only increases the company's probability of having success.  This is what is driving their leadership curriculum. Dave talks about one of the company’s programs, which is the PVH University. It is a fairly robust university program where they have a leadership academy in which they offer entry level,first-time manager training programs and then second-level training programs to managers. They have a global leadership program that works with The Wharton Business School.

When asked about work-life balance, Dave said he believes, people really need to spend,  10% to 20% of their time away from their work. Even while at work everyone should try to designate some time to not think about the day to day and the tasks they have to complete.

The world of work is definitely changing. Some of the most significant changes Dave has noticed

include:  

  • Work environments have fundamentally changed
  • The advent of technology has changed the way people work
  • The rate of change is so fast, we have to find new ways to work and leverage technology in order to keep up
  • One thing that is certain is what we're doing today is going to change tomorrow

Trends Dave is focusing on include:

  • It's all about talent
  • A people first strategy
  • The importance of creating a culture and a workplace that has purpose


What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Dave and his team are creating a workplace that can attract and retain the best talent
  • Dave’s insights and experience building up the HR function at PVH from the ground up
  • How Dave deals with being told ‘no’
  • His advice to HR professionals and managers on how to get new programs in place
  • What to do as an HR professional if an employee tells you they are unhappy
  • Trends Dave is paying attention to


Contact:

https://www.pvh.com/company/leadership/dave-kozel
https://www.linkedin.com/in/davekozel1

Direct download: Dave20Kozel_podcast_v2_no20sponsor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am PDT

In our organizations we like to put the life cycle of an employee into a neat series of buckets such as recruitment, onboarding and separation. But is the employee lifecycle model really an accurate way to look at an employee’s time at our organizations, or is there a better way?

In our organizations we like to put the life cycle of an employee into a neat series of buckets such as recruitment, onboarding and separation. But this is more of the organization’s perspective of what the employee lifecycle should look like, not so much an accurate picture of what employees really encounter during their time in an organization.

When we put employees into these rigid, pre-determined buckets it really causes us to view them as worker bees, not individuals. If we look at this from the employee’s perspective, their time at the organization looks quite a bit different. We would see that their time not only includes recruitment, onboarding and development, but it also includes personal aspects such as having a baby or buying a house for the first time. We would also see that it is hard to have such rigid boxes. Development, for example, is not a one time thing it really should be happening constantly.

Employees who are working for you view themselves as individuals and we are seeing this shift from work/life balance to work/life blurring. Shouldn’t we create an employee lifecycle that reflects this reality?

Direct download: The_Employee_Life_Cycle_is_a_Myth_Heres_Why.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:29pm PDT

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