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

Most, if not all, of us have smartphones these days and we all have our favorite apps. Whether you like to use Instagram, Pandora, Google Maps, or Ebay, “there’s an app for that”.

You may have noticed that every once in awhile your apps will update. Just like the apps on your smartphone, we--as individuals, leaders and employees--need to constantly update ourselves. We have to master learning how to learn so that we can keep our skills up to date. This is the way to succeed in the future of work and the way to futureproof your career.

What kind of an app are you and how often are you taking time to update your skills?

Direct download: Think_of_yourself_as_an_app.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:31am PDT

Last week I went to social media to find out what your questions are related to leadership, employee experience, and the future of work. You asked and now today, I answer.

The following questions are the ones I am addressing on today’s episode:  

  1. Often leaders are on the fence about investing in employee experience, especially when it requires outside support or consulting. What are the top 3 things you've heard from leaders that have pushed them to actually take action on an employee experience shift?
  2. Would you make any changes to your top 5 soft skills for the future (perpetual learning, accountability, empathy, self-awareness, entrepreneurial thinking) if you were to create the list at this moment again?
  3. What are the top 5 hard skills that will be relevant in the future? Now, it seems it is programming, however, a lot of it will be probably replaced by AI, therefore what hard skills will be the most relevant in the future?
  4. If you were responsible for employee engagement and happiness in a company, what would be the first three initiatives or actions you would take at this position? Let's assume the company culture is not yet defined and we are talking about a corporation.
  5. How fast the “ask for feedback, analyze, and respond” process has to be? We’re used to annual surveys and I understand it’s no longer possible to respond annually, but what is a good timing? 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks?
  6. I am lucky to be at a firm thinking about the future of work and upskilling, but what advice would you give those employees or orgs who are not early adopters to start thinking about the future of work?
  7. What are some tips to create a work environment where employees feel safe enough to share their thoughts and concerns with leadership before issues become major problems?
  8. You said in a recent podcast that being a good coach is the number one behavior of a great manager. What are some key steps to becoming a good coach?
Direct download: Q26A20Podcast20-2005.28.2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13am PDT

There are countless conversations, concerns, theories and ideas about the future of work. Will AI and automation take over? Will we experience major job loss? Will there be a ton of new jobs created? Will we all be on Universal Basic Income and be able to do whatever we want?

But what if the future of work is exactly the way it is now? What if in the future of work there is still a majority of workers around the world who don’t like their jobs, who are disengaged and who are not treated well by their organizations? This is something we need to think about and also consider a major concern.

We need to make sure that in the future of work we create jobs that are meaningful, organizations that are human, and work that we actually want to do.

Direct download: What_if_the_future_of_work_is_exact_the_same_as_it_is_now.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:15am PDT

Ed McLaughlin is the President of Operations and Technology at Mastercard, where he has worked for the past 14 years. In his current role Ed oversees all of Mastercard’s technology functions including the global network, processing platforms, information security, and technology operations.

As Ed points out, working in technology doesn’t mean he is sitting in a cubicle coding all day. Work in technology is very much a people centered role. “I think technology has always been people at its heart. What really matters is who are the people, and how well we use the stuff, how good we're at it, and how much we understand what all of that's for. Technology is always for a purpose, and it's people that give it that purpose. Yeah, I spend a lot of time. I still code every once in a while, but it's not the work of doing it, it's really working together to create the value that is. I think just about everything we do is either done through or with technology these days. It's just really how we make things, how humans work together.”

When it comes to the doom and gloom talk about AI and automation, Ed says he is “profoundly optimistic” He believes that these advances in technology have the potential to free humans up to do the things they actually want to do. He says, “When I hear talk of a jobless future, I just think it's just a lack of imagination. I mean, when I think of all the things I wish we could be doing if we could have more resources freed up, my lists have lists.”

Mastercard is actually harnessing AI inside of the organization in order to flag fraudulent activity for customers, to help employees collaborate effectively, and to make it possible for employees to continuously learn and grow.

One tool they use is called Safety Net, which monitors all transactions in real time and looks for fraudulent behaviors. It helps protect the company from the 200 fraud attempts that happen every minute, which would nearly impossible to do with just human employees.

Another program they have in place is called NuDetect, which can detect if someone is trying to sign into a customer account using a stolen identity. The AI looks at behaviors such as what height the phone is at when signing in, the way the person types, whether they are sitting or standing, etc….

With all of the new technological advances and the fast rate of change in today’s world of work, how are companies supposed to keep up? Ed says it is important to stay constantly curious and don’t get stuck doing things as they have always been done before just because change is hard.

“I do think, and this is hard, you need to have an enthusiasm for what's new, not to be fashionable, not for fashion's sake, but to always be questioning. I think it's a skeptical enthusiasm of, "If a new capability is there, does it allow me to do what I want to do better?" I think as long as you're centered on what you're trying to do, then all the new capabilities I find just profoundly exciting.”

What you will learn:

  • How to create great digital experiences for employees
  • Why Ed is optimistic about AI and automation
  • A look at some cool AI programs Mastercard has created such as NuDetect and SafetyNet
  • How Mastercard upskills and retrains their employees
  • What the office space is like at Mastercard
  • How they are keeping up with the pace of change
  • How to balance information and data with privacy and security
Direct download: Ed20McLaughlin20podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:55am PDT

Sam Walton was the creator of Walmart and Sam’s Club, two hugely successful retailers that have been around for many, many years. He had a practice that he carried out for many years at the beginning of his career that we may view as simple nowadays, but it was extremely effective and, I think, something we can learn from today.

Sam would take a yellow notepad and walk around his store. He would stop and engage with both employees and customers as he walked around and he would ask them questions--how’s it going? What is it like to work here? What do you find frustrating? What do you like about the store? He would then take his notes from these conversations to the leadership team and they would make decisions based on the feedback from the employees and customers.

My question for you is, what are you doing today to replicate that practice? Where is your yellow notepad? With technology, of course, we are able to do this at a much larger scale. But it is important to be human, it is important to get face-to-face feedback and to engage both employees and customers to find out where we are succeeding and what areas we need to improve upon.

Direct download: where_is_your_yellow_notepad.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:20am PDT

Amy Philbrook is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Fidelity Investments, a financial services company with around 50,000 employees. She’s been with Fidelity for 24 years working in almost every department. She started her career there in customer service answering phones.

“Diversity is the presence of differences and inclusion is a leveraging those differences to create value,” Amy says. They are two separate things and you can easily have one without the other. It’s easy to feel included on a team full of people who are just like you. And you can have a very diverse team, but if you don’t create an environment that is inclusive and that encourages everyone to share their ideas, those differences won’t really matter. You have to have both diversity and inclusion.

As the head of D&I, Amy works closely with the People Analytics team at Fidelity to make sure they leverage data in order to are make the best choices for the organization. “Data is the foundation for every decision you make in corporate America, and human decisions are no different. So working with the leaders in one sense means doing heavy lifting on people analytics and data analysis and then sitting down with the leadership team and putting that data on the table in a way that they can understand. And that motivates them to take action”.

Amy shared an example from a recruiting issue at Fidelity that was solved using data analytics. They found that they had a challenge retaining women in their first year at the company, no matter what role they held or what experience level they had. After conducting interviews, analyzing internal social networks, and finding out what managers were observing they were able to pinpoint the issue, which was that in the first year at the company women were more focused on learning the job vs. building a network.

Because they used data to pinpoint the main issue they are now able to work on a direct solution for the problem. They are currently modifying their onboarding process to ensure that everyone coming into the organization has a network of people around them that they can connect with and turn to for help.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t need a D&I team because everyone inside of organizations would be focused on staying diverse and inclusive, but we do not live in a perfect world. When it comes to getting leaders to buy into the importance of D&I, Amy says she tries to say away from technical D&I language she talks in terms of business, productivity, outcomes, etc…”I think it (D&I specific language) comes with baggage that creates barriers that waste time and energy trying to get over them.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How to use data to improve diversity and inclusion in your organization
  • Why she has stayed at Fidelity for 24 years
  • Why everyone should care about D&I and not just leaders
  • How to get leaders to care about D&I
  • How Amy works with People Analytics to improve D&I inside of Fidelity
  • Trends Amy is paying attention to

Link from the episode:

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

Direct download: Amy20Philbrook20podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:56am PDT

One of the common questions I have been asked in the past is, how do we empower our employees. For me the answer has always been about investing in employee experience. But lately I have been thinking about the root cause of this problem. Why do we need to empower our people in the first place?

If you think about an employee’s first day at work, they are already engaged, excited, they want to be there. They are already empowered. The problem lies with us as leaders. We actually disempower our employees, not on purpose, but over time it happens. We bog our employees down with rules, regulations, policies, hierarchy, bureaucracy and other outdated workplace practices.

And then once we bog them down and strip them of their power we ask, “how do we empower our employees?”. Instead of empowering them, we need to figure out how to not disempower them to begin with.

Direct download: Dont_Empower_Your_Employees_Stop_Disempowering_T.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:40am PDT

Having great leadership inside of an organization is critical. An organization can succeed or fail based on how it is lead. I’ve had some great discussions on the podcast over the years on this topic of leadership and today I’m sharing a few of my favorite clips.

Garry Ridge is the President and CEO of WD-40. Garry knows a lot about leadership as he has been a leader inside of WD-40 for over 30 years in various roles including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He also co-authored the book “Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy called “Don’t Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A”.

Garry defines his role as a leader as “taking care of people” and he believes wholeheartedly in the concept of servant leadership. He says, “As we stand as leaders, it's our job to ensure that we have a viable strategy, we have a business model, we have resources, we have goals, we have all of the things that it takes to have a business that can perform. Once we've done that, we become the servant. And it's our job then to help people step into their best personal self every day”

It sounds simple, but there are a lot of people who do not lead this way. Why? Garry says it’s because a lot of leaders are afraid to admit they don’t have all the answers, they are afraid of giving their people a lot of responsibility, and then cannot allow empathy to prevail over ego.

Kimberly Samon is the Chief Human Resource Officer at Weight Watchers, now known as WW. She has been in the HR space for over 20 years, but she is just as passionate about HR as she was the day she started. Weight Watchers is evolving and modernizing and in my interview with her back in February 2018 Kimberly explained how they went from an industry in turmoil to one that is thriving.

When it comes to the future of leadership Kimberly believes it needs to be less about command and control and more about giving people a purpose and helping them understand the impact they are having on the organization and the customers. People want to follow someone they trust and believe in, not someone who sits up at the top and barks out orders.

She also feels that data will play a huge role in the future of leadership. She says, “We sit on a tremendous amount of data that can be so powerful to our consumer particularly as we refine our approach on personalization. We have a saying here that consumers want us to “show me that you know me”. How do we take all of this data and really turn it into something that is personalized to the consumer, to our members? From my perspective, I'm thinking through the same on how do we do the same for our workforce? Is there a world in the future where everyone doesn't have to have the exact same benefits or everyone doesn't have to have the exact same work schedule? I don't know we haven't done a lot work on it but I do believe with the advent of all the data analytics we can craft some pretty specialized programs not only for consumers but for employees alike.”

Clay Johnson is the EVP and Chief Information Officer at Walmart and Jacqui Canney is the EVP and Chief People Officer at Walmart. With over 2 million employees, Walmart is the largest private employer in the world, so as you can imagine it is a huge challenge to be able to retain, train and upskill that big of a workforce. One of the things we touched on during the podcast interview back in December 2018 was how leaders can balance shareholder value and doing what’s right for the employee.

Clay and Jacqui both agreed that treating your employees well and equipping them with the tools and resources they need have a direct correlation with shareholder value---they aren’t two separate issues.

Jacqui says, “What drives us is that shared value concept and having our associates have the benefits, the training, the education, the wages that are market relevant in leading in many ways that's how we differentiate as winning. So we talk about our people make the difference that's absolutely what we believe and I think that you'll see that people talk about companies and they say our people are our asset. Our people are our company and investing in our people is investing in our company and I would say if you look back at our results, since we made that public announcement around where Wall Street kind of dinged us on the share price our results continued to climb and I do believe because we are providing a better customer proposition but that's because our people are better equipped with the tools, the education, the training that they need to serve the customers whether it's online or in the store”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Tracy Reinhold became the Chief Security Officer at Fannie Mae and what he attributes his success to
  • How Peter Walmsley addresses employee engagement and performance reviews at GSN Games
  • How the leadership model at Lego has changed and why
  • Why focusing on shareholder value alone is a bad thing
  • How to get leaders and managers to buy into change
  • What skills and abilities WW (Weight Watchers) is looking for in leaders for 2025 and beyond

 

Direct download: Mashup_Podcast_may519.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:39am PDT

AI and Automation is still at the forefront of so many conversations that business leaders are having. And the core issue that continues to be the main focus of these conversations is whether we are going to create more jobs than we replace or vice versa.

I have a different concern when it comes to AI and Automation. My concern is, are we going to create jobs that people actually want. What if we are able to create enough new jobs to make up for those replaced by technology, but they are jobs that people hate. What if they are jobs that make people feel like cogs? What if these jobs leave them feeling disengaged or undervalued? Are these jobs worth creating?

So the conversation I think we need to be focusing on now is, how do we create new jobs that people actually want to have?

Direct download: The_real_question_around_jobs_and_automation.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:14am PDT

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