The Future of Work Podcast With Jacob Morgan (Business)

Artificial Intelligence is not a new concept. Actually, it has been around for thousands of years and you can see representations of the concept throughout history starting with Jason and the Golden Fleece.

Did you know that the concept of Artificial Intelligence has been around for thousands of years? One of the first representations of AI in history shows up in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. Jason had to travel to get the golden fleece and along the way, he had to battle it out with Talos, a huge non-human man made of bronze.

Representations of AI also appear in Judaism and Chinese, Greek and Indian Philosophy. The concept has been around for a very long time. Now we have things like Siri and Alexa and it shows that AI is part of our human nature to want something that is higher and greater than ourselves.

There is a quote from Pamela McCorduck that states, “Artificial Intelligence began with an ancient wish to forge the gods”. And that “ancient wish” is still around today. But, what happens when our wish comes true? Be careful what you wish for.

Direct download: 2._AI_Stems_From_Our_Desire_To_Forge_The_Gods_Podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:24pm PDT

This week I am joined by Ragu Gurumurthy, the Chief Innovation and Digital Officer at Deloitte. Today we are talking about a hot topic--digital transformation. What it actually means, what it looks like to be a digitally transformed company, what skills are needed to achieve transformation and much more. Ragu actually authored a report on this topic back in March of this year titled, Pivoting to Digital Maturity: Seven Capabilities Central to Digital Transformation. In our discussion you will also hear Ragu talks through the seven digital pivots mentioned in his report and why they matter. 


Ragu Gurumurthy is the Chief Innovation and Digital Officer at Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services company with 240,000 employees around the world. Ragu has been with Deloitte for over 13 years. Prior to that, he worked at companies like T-Mobile, Morgan Stanley, and AT&T. 

 

In March 2019 Ragu authored a report titled, Pivoting to Digital Maturity: Seven Capabilities Central to Digital Transformation that looks at why some digital transformation efforts succeed while others fail. In the report, he explores seven digital pivots that can improve the chances of success for organizations going through digital transformation. 

 

So what does digital transformation actually mean? Ragu says, “There are so many ways of defining digital transformation. It's an eye of the beholder, so to speak. Simply put, the way at least we would define digital transformation, it is about becoming a digital enterprise, holistically, by leveraging data, technology and people, data technology and people to evolve all aspects of the business; what they sell to their clients and customers, how they operate the business and how they sell to their customers. How do they relate to the... How do they reach their customers? How do they serve their customers in terms of customer experience? It is really thinking about all the aspects of business enabled by data, technology, and people.”

 

As a whole, when asked where the business world is at in terms of digital transformation, Ragu says we are still in the very early stages.

 

Ragu believes that although the digital era is upon us, it’s not all about technology. People are important, in the words of Ragu, “people are very important. I see them as the quarterback in this transformation.” A mixture of technological intelligence and human intelligence is what Ragu believes will get us to a new frontier. 

 

The seven digital pivots Ragu explored in his report are: 

  • Flexible, secure infrastructure
  • Data mastery  
  • Digitally savvy, open talent networks
  • Ecosystem engagement
  • Intelligent workflows
  • Unified customer experience
  • Business model adaptability 

 

Ragu’s advice for organizations looking to go through digital transformation is, “the biggest advice I have is to do a thought experiment. Think about, how would I use technology, data and available AI software, voice recognition, it could be semantic language processing. You don't need to be a technologist. Read basic at the highest level, what do these things do and see how can I use it to solve the problem differently? That's my advice, think about doing things differently in different things as a supporter would say, what exactly you can do and go do it. Experiment and learn.”



What you will learn:

  • A look at Ragu’s report: Pivoting to Digital Maturity
  • What it looks like to be a digitally transformed organization
  • Trends Ragu is paying attention to
  • What skills are needed to go through digital transformation
  • What Deloitte is doing internally to digitally transform
  • How to overcome the challenge of change management
Direct download: Ragu_Gurumurthy_podcast_-_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:18pm PDT

My guest this week is Omar Hatamleh, the Chief Innovation Officer, Engineering at NASA and Executive Director of the Space Studies Program at the International Space University. In today’s discussion, you will hear how Omar has seen NASA change over the last 21 years, how they plan to use technology like 3D printing and AI in the future, and his thoughts on which technologies are overhyped. Omar also gives us a sneak peek into how NASA works including how they tackle problems, how they build effective teams and deal with failure, and how they focus on creative thinking. 

 

Omar Hatamleh is the Chief Innovation Officer, Engineering at NASA and the Executive Director of the Space Studies Program at the International Space University. He is the former Deputy Chief Scientist Ames and he has been with NASA for the past 21 years. 

 

Over his 21 years at the company, he has seen a lot of things change. Back at the time of the Apollo program, the whole environment at NASA was very competitive as several nations were racing to be the first to get to the moon. It then moved to a collaborative environment when several nations came together to put the space station into orbit. 

 

Now, Omar says, they are in a third movement, which has been to get into the commercial sector. They are now using their expertise to help small companies and startups learn the technologies, knowledge, and ability they need to have an impact in the aerospace industry. 

 

“Combined with the amazing corporate knowledge that we have, and amazing innovation and agility that the corporate sector has, I think that creates an excellent environment to create more jobs, improve the economy, and so on. Then, what you need to do, is basically, we're going to free up our resources, and go explore deep space. Our next goal is going to be, for example, going to the moon again by 2024. From there, we're going to go to Mars, hopefully soon after that, in a decade or so.”

 

Omar leads design thinking workshops at NASA where he tries to get people to think completely outside of the box. He shares some examples of real-life companies who have solved major problems by coming up with unconventional solutions. 

 

One example he gave was regarding an electric bicycle company that produced bikes with a lot of electronics and sensitive pieces. They found that 60-70% of their orders were being returned damaged because the shipping companies saw that they were bikes and assumed they were durable. Someone at the company had a brilliant idea to print a picture of a flat screen TV on the outside of the box instead of a bike and it solved their problem. 

 

NASA uses the latest technologies including AI, 3D printing, and quantum computing. Omar believes there are positives and negatives to all technology and the advances we are going to see in the future. 

 

With driverless cars, for example, they can cut down on the number of cars each family needs, it can cut down on accidents, and it makes traveling easier because you can sleep or work along the way. Having autonomous cars can also create new jobs for technologies that will be needed, such as new gadgets that people can use now that they aren’t focused on the road. But it also could have a negative impact on manufacturing workers because we will need less cars. It will affect insurance companies. It will affect hotels because now people are able to sleep in the car while continuing towards their destination instead of stopping and staying somewhere overnight.

 

These new technologies will displace jobs, but they will also create new ones. The question is will it all balance out? Will there be more jobs lost than created or vice versa? Only time will tell. 


What you will learn:

  • How NASA has changed over the past 21 years
  • How they plan to use 3D printing and AI in the future
  • What skills will be needed for the future of work
  • 5 technologies that Omar believes will have the biggest impact on the future
  • How design thinking is used at NASA
  • The importance of diverse teams and how to ensure you have truly diverse teams
  • How they deal with failure at NASA
  • Examples of real-life companies solving major problems by thinking outside the box
Direct download: Omar_Hatamleh_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:39am PDT

Abe Greenspoon is the Program Lead for Canada’s Free Agents, a Government of Canada program launched in 2016 that proposes a new model for workforce mobilization. Abe has been in the public service of Canada for about 10 years. 

 

The idea of creating a more autonomous, mobile workforce first came from a report released in 2012 from Deloitte. The report looked at how the government might reorganize itself to better respond to problems of the future and it proposed a concept of a cloud-based workforce based off of the IT cloud computing. 

 

Essentially they have a group of workers in a database “available to do project-based work, move around the organization, solve problems, return to the cloud when they weren't needed anymore, and then just continue on to different projects.”

 

So when a position opens up, Abe and his team advertise for it within public service and those who are interested can apply. Abe says that this new way of flexible work has created greater employee satisfaction and better career decision making along with many other benefits. 

 

The process to become a free agent is tough, not just anyone can become a free agent. In order to become one, you have to be willing to continuously learn and grow and you can’t get stuck in one technical field of work. They need to be willing to explore, they have to be curious, and they can’t be scared to fail. Free agents should be quick learners and they should easily be able to adapt because they move around to different roles in different offices quite frequently. 

 

In order to make sure they are hiring the right people, Abe says they use a lot of unconventional hiring tactics including improv and puzzle solving. It tends to take about three months for people to go through the process of applying, interviewing, and then getting the official offer. 

 

Even though these free agents are technically gig workers, they still receive the benefits a full-time regular employee would typically receive like pensions and health insurance. 

 

Abe believes that this way of working also helps create a sense of purpose for employees as well. He says, “the opportunity to choose your job, to have that autonomy to make those decisions, I think puts you in a better position to find your purpose. I just think, naturally, you're going to try to look for those opportunities that suit you better, you're going to think more, and self-reflect more about what environments you'll thrive in, what environments you won't thrive in, and to have that ability to choose; it leads to all sorts of other kinds of downstream benefits, I think, once you give people that ability. So, finding your purpose, I think, it's something we realized over time is, it's a potentially really interesting outcome to giving people this sort of autonomy for their jobs.”

 

While this is only being implemented in the public service space at the moment, there are many ways that leaders in the private sector could learn from this concept as well. 




What you will learn:

  • How the government of Canada is implementing a cloud-based workforce
  • What it takes to be a free agent
  • How they use games and improv in the hiring process
  • Abe’s view of Universal Basic Income
  • How they handle benefits for flexible workers
  • The benefits of giving employees flexibility and autonomy
Direct download: Abe_Greenspoon_Podcast_-_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:55am PDT

Amber Grewal is the Chief Talent Officer at Intel, a company with over 107,000 employees in 36 countries around the world. Prior to Intel Amber was the Corporate Vice President, Head of Global Talent Acquisition at IBM and the Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at GE.

Some of the major trends Amber is paying attention to at the moment are:

 

  1. The pace at which technology is growing and changing
  2. The change in the average span of a company, which is now around 15 years and how to survive beyond that 
  3. The growth in the gig economy
  4. The desire of employees to know they are doing meaningful work and making an impact
  5. Working with a multi-generational workforce 

 

All of these trends are driving Intel to make changes internally and they are directing Amber to figure out how to evolve HR in order to address these challenges. At Intel, they have quite a few programs that their employees can take advantage of.

One of these programs is called Freelance Nation that launched in 2014 which gives employees more flexible working options and it helps them develop and refine their skill set. They can try out working in different roles and even different regions.

Another program focuses on training leadership on how to inspire employees in this new era of work. Leadership training and development is especially important now inside of Intel as they are going through some major cultural transformations. 

When sharing some insight into Intel’s internal transformation, Amber said, “I would say, to the hard part of what transforming to a PC, to a data-centric company, at the foundation of it is culture. So we are going through, I would say, one of the largest transformations as a company, ever in our history. And the foundation of it is a culture transformation. So a culture of not only who we need to be today, but who we need to be tomorrow, in this dynamic business environment, and how we serve our customers, how our business model is shifting. So as we speak, we're going through a significant cultural transformation. And figuring out what are the behaviors that are needed in order to do this? Holding our, teams, and leaders accountable to that. We've completely have re-looked at, and are rethinking our whole performance management system, specifically to that.”

 

What advice would Amber give to employees who are trying to future proof their career and succeed in the future of work? She says, “I would say things are changing so fast, and the reality is it's never going to be this slow again. So being comfortable with uncomfortable is just the new way. And honestly, my advice, whether you're an individual contributor, new in your career, or you're a very senior leader, the one key area that I would tell everyone is, learning agility. That ability to constantly learn is going to be important. Because even if you're a leader who's been doing something for 20 years, you're going to be in a different environment, different workforce, disruptive technologies are changing our business model. So that means your ability to learn and adapt is critical.”  


What you will learn:

  • What the Chief Talent Officer at Intel actually does
  • How to create meaningful work and help employees discover meaning in what they do
  • What changes Amber is seeing in what talent wants and expects from organizations
  • The role of AI and technology in the future
  • How Intel equips employees for the future of work
  • Advice to employees on how to succeed in the future
  • Advice to leaders on what they can practice to stay relevant 
Direct download: Amber_Grewal_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:14pm PDT

The term, “perpetual learner” has been thrown around a lot recently and while it is important to learn how to learn in today’s fast pace of change, the concept is not something new. We have always had to adapt throughout history, but the difference is now we have to be Super Perpetual Learners.

There are a lot of organizations and leaders talking about the concept of becoming a perpetual learner these days. I have spoken about it many times. But the truth is, this is not a new concept.

All throughout history we have had to adapt personally and professionally to new technology, new processes, new policies, etc...We have always had to be perpetual learners. The difference now is that we have to be SUPER perpetual learners.

The pace of change in our time is much faster than it has ever been in history. So now it is not just about learning to learn; it is about being a perpetual learner in a quick, applicable and frequent way.

Direct download: are_you_a_super_perpetual_learner.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:39pm PDT

Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri is the Chief Human Resource Officer at TPG, one of the world’s largest private equity investment firms. Prior to moving to TPG, Anilu was the Chief Diversity Officer and Global Head of Talent Development at Goldman Sachs. 

Anna Edwin, is the Global Head of Talent Development at TPG and she  works very closely with Anilu. Prior to TPG Anna was the Head of Global Leadership Development at BlackRock and VP Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs. 

Anilu is actually the first ever CHRO at TPG and she is enjoying being able to shape that role. She says the firm has gone through several different evolutions of paying attention to its people, but they are now at a place where they are ready to have a specific team in place to intentionally create these experiences to set TPG apart from all other organizations. 

Some of the programs, benefits and perks that they are currently working on include:

 

  • Updated parental leave that gives 12-18 weeks for primary care and 2-4 weeks for secondary care that can be taken anytime in the first year of becoming a parent
  • Lunch is provided for employees
  • They are currently working with Author of Radical Candor, Kim Scott to improve the ways they provide feedback to employees
  • Updated performance review system that allows they to provide ongoing feedback rather than once or twice a year

 

At TPG they are also focusing on providing flexibility, diversity and inclusion, and career planning for their employees as these are the biggest trends they are seeing when it comes to the future of work. 

Speaking to the growing trend of employees wanting a clear understanding of their career path inside the organization, Anna says, “I've noticed people lately, before accepting an offer, want to understand what their career trajectory is going to look like, asking for a little bit more of a, I won't call it a formula per se, but really wanting to have an understanding that they're going to be with an organization where they can grow. So they want to trust the organization that they're going with and hold people accountable in a different way than I'd say maybe historically you've seen in the market.”

When it comes to finding and retaining the top talent Anilu says, “I think that the reputation of your firm is something that you can never take for granted. Because it is definitely the calling card in the market, and if that doesn't align, or if you have a different understanding of how you're perceived in the market, you are going to run into trouble. So I think that we keep very humble on that, but I feel very good about how we're positioned.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How TPG is shaping great experiences for their employees
  • Anna and Anilu’s advice to managers on how to give intentional, effective feedback
  • How hiring and retaining talent has changed
  • Workforce trends they are paying attention to
  • Changes they have made to the performance rating process
  • Their thoughts on benefits and perks

 

Direct download: Anilu20and20Anna20-20TPG20-20Podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:08am PDT

We have come to understand that in order to attract and retain the best talent in the future of work, organizations must create a workplace where people want, not need, to show up to work. But in this effort to create great employee experience, we can sometimes get sidetracked with focusing solely on perks and benefits.

While perks and benefits can be very beneficial to employees, it can also be dangerous. There is a term in psychology known as the Hedonic Treadmill, also known as the Hedonic Adaptation. This is a tendency in humans that has been observed which shows that we quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.

What does this mean for organizations implementing the latest and greatest perks and benefits at the drop of a hat? Well, it means we adapt to our surroundings quickly. So, let’s say your organization implements a new policy stating that there will be free food everyday and every Friday is bring your dog to work day. You may notice that on Day 1 of the new policy people are excited and engaged, they think their employer is the best.

But eventually these new perks will become old news, everyone will adapt and people will essentially become numb to the perk. Which means the organization has to come up with new and better perks to top the last few to get engagement back up. And on and on it goes.

The truth is, perks are a nice tactic, but they are not a strategy.

Direct download: its_time_to_move_beyond_perks.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:44am PDT

Chetan Dube is the CEO at IPsoft, an American multinational technology company which primarily focuses on Artificial Intelligence. IPsoft has just over 2,000 employees in 15 countries. 

When you think of AI you might remember an experience you’ve had with a chatbot when trying to contact a company in order to ask a question, make a return, or purchase an item. Most of our experiences with chatbots are extremely frustrating and commonly end with us screaming “agent” into the phone. But IPsoft is working on solving this problem. 

Chetan says the problem is the average IQ of the chatbots and virtual assistants is around that of a 5 or 6 year old human. How can you expect great customer service from a five year old? You can’t. So what IPsoft is doing is studying the human brain and finding ways to mimic the human hippocampus, ways to make chatbots and virtual assistants more flexible and able to read a customer’s mood. 

So where are we now in the grand scheme of things being able to recreate human intelligence in AI? Chetan says, “It's not a discussion if true artificial intelligence will start to rival human intellect. The only thing that is of discussion nowadays is when. Is it going to be in, as you mentioned, the Curtswell, the singularity and you feel that, is it going to be in 2030-35, is it going to be as we maintain by 2025, you will pass someone in the hallway and you won't be able to tell if it's a human or an android. I think that's the real difference is that just the time horizon. If it's going to be in the next six years, if it's going to be in the next 11 years. It's inevitable at this point that you will get to the point where these agents start to mimic human intellect.”

With all of that said, Chetan still believes that AI will never be able to truly master human creativity. This is a skill that is unique to humans. Machines and Technology can complete tasks, find answers in their databases, use algorithms to solve math problems, but Chetan believes they won’t be able to cure cancer, create life, find a way to colonize Mars, etc…Humans will always have a role no matter how many jobs AI can take over, because of human creativity. 

The fact is advances in AI and technology are coming, it is not a question of if, but when and how fast. So what is Chetan’s advice for how to prepare for what’s to come? He says, “Dust the rust off your brain and focus on creativity and coming up with things that are ... Do not play the machines on their playing field, you will lose. Do not play on mundane, ordinary chores and say I'm going to be the Luddite or neo-Luddite and try and stop the machines from driving cars or flying planes or driving trucks. They're going to. They're going to. That's what they do. They are just more effective at that. Humans are more effective at, and will continue to be, creativity.” 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How Chetan defines AI
  • What kind of AI IPsoft is designing and building
  • Where we are in the grand scheme of things of being able to recreate human intelligence
  • Is the world of AI over hyped?
  • Whether or not we should be worried about AI
  • How we can embrace AI and what’s coming
  • Who or what Amelia is

 

Direct download: Chetan_Dube_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:08am PDT

If I were to ask you, when was the last time you spent time or money on creating an experience for yourself, what would the answer be? Most likely, the answer would be a few weeks ago, a few days ago, or maybe even earlier today. Experiences are genuinely human things, we care about them a lot.

Experiences are connected to our thoughts, emotions and memories. Think back to a big moment in your life, perhaps it was when you bought your first house, the day you graduated from college, the birth of your first child, or the first day in a new job. I bet you can remember the emotions you felt and the things you were thinking. Were you happy, sad, excited, angry?

Our experiences have a huge impact on us and they shape our relationships with others. With experience being that influential, you can see why it is so important for organizations to create positive experiences for their people. It will impact the relationships between your people and management, each other, the organization and the brand.

So, what kind of experiences are you creating for your people today?


Cameron Hedrick is the Chief Learning Officer at Citi, a 200 year old financial services company with around 200,000 employees in 100 countries. Cameron has been with Citi for 16 years and prior to that he worked at Fidelity for over 7 years. 

As Chief Learning Officer at Citi Cameron is responsible for the performance rating system inside the organization, defining the corporate culture, and of course the learning platforms. 

Citi is addressing a lot of key issues including climate change, urbanization, AI and automation, changing demographics, and plenty of others. Some of these issues may make sense for an organization to focus on, such as AI and automation, but how does climate change and urbanization affect Citi and other organizations?

When it comes to urbanization Citi realizes that there is currently a higher concentration of people in big cities--New York, Chicago, LA, etc… and so in the past a lot of companies have focused on putting headquarters there to draw in the best talent. But what Citi has realized as well is that the cost of distance between the worker and the company is going down, because with current technology people are able to live anywhere and work. 

Cameron explains why they are addressing climate change as well, “I think we think of it for at least two reasons, but the obvious one is that it changes business dynamics, right? When you have areas that are going to be dramatically impacted by climate change or over time, coastal flooding will change the sort of real estate outline of the coastal areas that we've come to know, many of which are heavily populated. When drought and rain patterns happen, that changes the flow of goods around the world. So those are some of the reasons we look at it from a business standpoint. And then from a social responsibility standpoint, we think about it as well. Are we being responsible as a firm to not contribute to the issue?”

What is the culture like inside of Citi? Cameron says especially because they are a financial institution the culture has a large focus on ethics and trust. It is also about creating harmony between “the mission and value proposition that we put forth with the way we rate and pay people with the policies and processes that we put in place and with the leadership behaviors we espouse.”

Citi uses something called the voice of the employees survey to measure culture and then they cross-pollinate that survey with other metrics such as performance rating patterns, attrition patterns, audit issues, etc.. and when you put all of these metrics together you start to see the company’s strengths and weaknesses. From there they can create actionable items to work on their weaknesses.  

Citi is a 200 year old company, but they are not afraid to evolve and change with the times. Cameron attributes the company’s longevity to collaboration, local management, and the proper amount of risk. 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How a 200 year old company has kept up with the changing world of work
  • How learning has changed over the past decades
  • Macro trends Citi is paying attention to 
  • How they are upskilling their employees
  • Cameron’s view of AI and automation
  • How Citi handles performance ratings
  • How to measure corporate culture

 

Direct download: Cameron20Hedrick20podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:08pm PDT

In the past when we thought about work we mostly thought of it as a job where we put in our time and then we make money to pay the bills. But the mindset around work is shifting and work is much more than just a paycheck.

Now work is more about a sense of self, identity, and purpose. The impact that our work has on our customers, our communities and the world gives us a reason for being. People aren’t picking jobs for just salary anymore, they want to feel as though their work has meaning.

What are you doing as an organization to account for this new way of thinking about work? Are you still thinking about job openings in your organization as a position to fill with a warm body who has decent skills? Or are you thinking about how someone can use that job to bring meaning and purpose to their life and how they will be able to impact the world around them within that role?

Direct download: the_definition_of_work_has_changed.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:41pm PDT

Haenim Sunim is the bestselling author of Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection and The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World. He is also a monk and a Zen Buddhist teacher. Haemin was born and raised in South Korea and moved to the US when he was 18 to study at Berkeley, Harvard, and Princeton. While he was working on his Master’s degree program he went back to South Korea and received the proper monastic training there. 

 

He has over 1 million followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. His first book sold over 3 million copies and he has taught Asian religions at Hampshire College in Massachusetts for seven years.

 

In our society today people always seem to be so busy. We get burnout, stressed, overworked, overwhelmed. Haemin believes it is because we are goal driven, striving to get the end result as quickly as possible, and we aren’t taking time to enjoy what we are doing. We have lost the joy of living and working. 

 

Is it possible to reclaim our joy at work? Haemin says it is possible and suggests, “one of the ways to reclaim joy is to rediscover your own intention. What is your first reasons why you got into that particular industry? Or, that particular job. Usually that intention, first intention wasn't just make a lot of money and just do this kind of thing or that. But rather, it usually centers around helping other people or doing something good for the greater society or something. If you can just realign yourself with your first love, with your first intention, that's one step closer to reclaiming joy.”

 

He also suggests taking time off away from work to avoid burnout. Even if you only take one hour away from work to go for a walk and think about other things it can help you feel better. 

 

In order to combat stress Haemin suggests we don’t keep everything compiled in our head, because that is what makes it worse. If you have too many things happening and you are overwhelmed, write everything down on paper and start with the easiest tasks first. Getting those first couple tasks done will motivate you to keep going. 

 

Haemin’s daily routine is a very intense one, when he is at the monastery he is up by 3:00am and then throughout the day they have specific times blocked off for meditation, cleaning, and eating. When he is not at the monastery he is up by 5:00am and he always makes time to meditate and to walk before and after he goes in to work at The School of Broken Hearts in South Korea. 

 

One of his pieces of advice to listeners is to go to bed an hour earlier than usual, and see how it affects your schedule and attitude. By going to bed earlier, you get up earlier in the morning which gives you more time in the morning to start your day right--whether you pray, meditate, workout, etc.. starting your day right can have a huge impact. 

 

And if you are having trouble finding purpose and meaning at work, Haemin says, “people find it when you are doing something beyond your own self interests. If you are helping other people, no matter how small it is, you see that you are contributing something for the better. The reason why it provides you with the sense of meaning is because from a Buddhist perspective, there is nothing but one interconnected reality. If you just subscribe yourself only in terms of your conceptual thoughts, ideas, then you reside, you live your life mainly from the perspective of your own ego.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Haenim became a Zen Buddhist teacher and what a typical day looks like for him
  • How we can reclaim joy in our lives and at work
  • Haemin’s advice on combating stress
  • His thoughts on technology and social media
  • How to deal with loss in business
  • How to disassociate ourselves from our career
  • Advice to graduates figuring out what to do in life
  • The importance of self care

 

Direct download: Haenim20Sunim20podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:10pm PDT

In Psychology there are two ways of thinking; System 1, which is a fast, intuitive way, almost like a gut reaction and then there is System 2, which is a more conscious, purposeful way of thinking.

A lot of times in our organizations we tend to make decisions about our people initiatives and employee experiences in a System 1 type thinking. We react quickly, we don’t think about it too deeply, we just do something for the sake of saying we did something.

We need to take a step back and be more conscious about our decisions around our initiatives to understand what we are doing and why. We need to act in a more mindful, purposeful way instead of reacting in a knee-jerk fashion. Our initiatives will be much more effective and successful if we can change our way of thinking.

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

 

Christy Gillenwater is the President & CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. Christy has been in the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development field for over 20 years, mostly in various cities throughout Indiana. She moved to Chattanooga in 2017. Chattanooga is the first city to be twice named Outside Magazine’s “Best Town Ever” and it was recently ranked one of U.S. News’ Best Places to Live. 

 

What does a Chamber of Commerce actually do? Christy shares that while every chamber has differences, one of the main focuses they all share is “the economic prosperity of their geographic region, so whether that's the county, their city, or a multi-state, multi-county area, they focus on making sure that their existing businesses can grow, thrive and prosper, that those companies have the talent they need to meet existing and future customer demands. They really think about and partner with their elected leaders, and business leaders, around what does their community need to continue to grow and diversify, and build their GDP in their area.”

 

One of the main focuses of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce is Velocity 2040, which allows the community to have a voice in the city’s preparation for the future. A committee of over 50 people conducted a series of workshops and then they went out into neighborhoods and surveyed citizens. These surveys were meant to find out the priorities, hopes, and dreams of the community. From there the committee put together the Velocity 2040 report, which is what is being used to create actionable plans that bring the dreams of the community to life. 

 

The five priorities that were pinpointed by the surveys are: 

 

  • Learning--They are focused on educational excellence which means making sure students have what they need to learn and ensuring that everyone has access to good schools and good jobs. 
  • Thriving--They are thinking about the types of jobs that are being created and doing what they can to make sure the best talent is being recruited to the local area
  • 20 Minutes or Less--This is in reference to their new transit standard to help families and individuals overcome “time poverty”
  • Leadership--Making sure the community is intentionally inclusive and diverse
  • Collaboration--They have a new collaboration process in order to solve issues with openness, respect, participation, and a shared vision.  

 

For each of these five areas the community is working on specific strategies that will help achieve their goals to build a better Chattanooga over the next 20 years. 

 

Christy says individual citizens are able to make a difference in their cities. She encourages everyone to reach out to and engage with their chamber members. “I would say call your elected officials. Call your city council member. If you have county commissioners, or a county mayor, reach out to them. How can I help? Call your state legislators if there's something you're passionate about, and figure out how to volunteer, how to get engaged. Call your United Way.” 

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • What a Chamber of Commerce actually does
  • Some of the big trends Christy is paying attention to when thinking about how the workforce is changing and how it’s impacting citizens
  • A look at some of the initiatives the city of Chattanooga has going on, including Velocity 2040
  • Christy’s view of the future of jobs and AI and automation
  • What Christy believes the city of the future looks like
  • What citizens can do to help shape their own city
  • What role business plays in the future of cities

Contact:

Velocity 2040 Information: https://velocity2040.com/welcome/

Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce: www.Chattanoogachamber.com

 

Direct download: Christy20Gillenwater20podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:21am PDT

Looking around at the world today it is so easy to get down, be negative, give up hope, and have a bad attitude. But in order to be successful in this new world of work it is crucial to be optimistic. We have to be positive, otherwise we lose our desire to take action and move forward.

So how can we be more optimistic when things seem to be so dark and crazy all around us? One thing we can do is to focus on the things we are grateful for. Come up with a list of 5 things each day that you are thankful for and think about those when you are stressed or overwhelmed. We can also think about what impact we can have and things that we can do to for our family, our community and our organizations that can make a difference. And maybe we need to limit the time we spend on social media or the time we spend watching or reading the news.

It may seem like a challenging thing to do, but it is so important to our success, in work and in life, that we be optimistic.

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

David Epstein is the author of two top 10 New York Bestselling books, The Sports Gene and Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, which is the topic of today’s discussion. David has a fascinating and very diverse background that led him to write both of these books.

David has a Master’s degree in environmental science and journalism. While he was in college studying to be a scientist he was also a competitive runner. When one of his teammates died in a race, David decided to merge his interests of science and sports together to figure out what happened and why extremely fit athletes can suffer sudden cardiac arrest.

While investigating the disease he ended up writing for Sports Illustrated. During his time at Sports Illustrated he wrote about things like the only living Olympian to have survived a concentration camp and the revelation that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was using steroids. He was also asked to speak at a conference about sports development where he and Malcolm Gladwell, Author of Outliers: The Story of Success, debated the best route to success in sports.

Through his research David has found that the best success comes from athletes who have a “sampling period” early on in their career. They don’t focus in on one sport, they try a wide variety therefore learning a broad range of skills and techniques. This goes against the typical view that athletes should train and specialize in one sport from early on in order to master that one sport.

David then applied this same theory to see if it was the same in the workplace as it is on the field, and his research showed that while specialists still have a place and they are still needed, they have been overvalued in our society whereas generalists have been greatly undervalued. It is generalists who are most likely going to triumph in the future of work.

David says, “If you go back through periods in history, there are times of more and less specialization. But, I'm thinking about it much more in a modern sense. I think some of that made sense, some of the science of management efficiency. Because, as industry grew, people were facing pretty repetitive challenges, or what the psychologist, Robin Hogarth, calls kind learning environments. Where you're doing the same thing over and over, the feedback is very clear, next steps are clear, all the information is available, and the feedback is always accurate, and so on, and patterns repeat.That made a lot of sense for industry, and I think it also influenced things like education, because that was preparing workers for that type of work, and so on. It totally made sense. But, I think in the knowledge economy, people aren't facing those repetitive challenges the same way, and they're having to re-invent themselves over their career.”

If you are a specialist now, David says, it’s never too late to make changes. But you don’t have to change the industry you are in to become a generalist. The problem comes when we get into a rut and keep doing the same thing day after day. After awhile of this we plateau, we stop growing and learning. We have to keep challenging ourselves and get out of our comfort zones.

“I don't think we have to think about taking flying leaps all the time. But, for me, I am, at all times, basically running little experiments to keep trying to triangulate what types of projects and work fit me. I'm just doing that all the time, and I'm sure I will for the rest of my life.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What led David to write both of his bestselling books
  • Why generalists are more successful leaders
  • How you can develop your range
  • When did the idea of specialization start and why

 

Direct download: David20Epstein20podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:48pm PDT

We tend to talk about technology as if it is its own entity that has its own mind, mission and agenda. “Technology is going to replace our jobs, it is going to get out of hand, it will take over the world!”

But the truth is we have control over technology, it is our choice how we use it. We can decide whether we want technology to replace us or augment us. There are already a lot of great organizations, like Accenture, Amazon and McDonald’s, making the conscious decision to use technology to augment their people.

Technology is a tool, how are you going to use that tool? Are you going to let it replace jobs, or are you going to find innovative ways to use technology to help your people get their work done?

Direct download: will_technology_replace_or_augment.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:15am PDT

Martin Migoya is the Co-Founder and CEO of Globant, an IT and Software development company that uses the latest technologies transform organizations. They have worked with companies such as Disney, the Met Police in London, and the MTA in New York. Globant was founded back in 2003 by four founders and today they have almost 10,000 employees in 16 countries.

Creating and maintaining a culture with a handful of people is one thing, but how has Globant scaled that culture while growing to almost 10,000? Martin explains that one of the main goals of their culture was to go against the typical command and control system that a lot of the professional service industry has always had.

The leaders at Globant use a very unique method to give their employees autonomy and internal mobility. The company is made up of what they call Pods and they currently have around 1,200 pods. Each pod is made up of a group of 8 to 20 people, depending on the project they are working on. The pods can stay together for a few months or even up to 14 years, whatever is needed for the lifetime of the customer and project they support.

These pods each create a pod constitution by having all the members of the pod meet and discuss the values and principles they would like to hold and they discuss what will be needed in order to make the customer happy. During this discussion they also assign roles--they decide, for example, who’s going to be the accountant, who will be the entrepreneur,who will be the teacher, etc…

Globant is also supportive of internal mobility inside of the company. They help and support employees who want to move from one role inside of the organization to another, even if they are completely different, say going from finance to entertainment. They also support employees who want to change cities. Globant is located in 40 cities and employees are free to change if needed.

Martin says it is difficult to allow complete autonomy and mobility, but it is something very important to Globant and it is a huge part of their culture. Martin shares that even though anything is possible, there are some limits.  He says, “The first thing we ask people is, okay, you want autonomy. You need to behave like an adult so if you're finishing a project and you have the next six months within that project, you need to finish it. You need to commit to that. Otherwise, it's not autonomy. It's misbehaving like a kid. All right?”

Globant also got rid of the typical annual employee survey years ago and now they use a feedback tool called BetterMe, which allows for constant, real time feedback. They have found that using this method provides more meaningful feedback and they now have 20 times the feedback that they received using other methods.


What you will learn in this episode:

  • What it’s like to work at Globant
  • How they make internal mobility easy for employees
  • The result of getting rid of annual engagement surveys inside of Globant and what they do instead
  • Martin’s view of the global state of AI
  • Martin’s advice for leaders around the world looking to transform their organizations.

Contact Info

Globant.com

Books: The Never-Ending Digital Journey: Creating new consumer experiences through technology

Embracing the Power of AI: A Gentle CXO Guide

Direct download: Martin20Migoya20podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:39pm PDT

If you are a sports fan and you watch games on TV, whether you like football, soccer, baseball, hockey, etc...you may be amazed by how fast the commentators get their information. They are constantly getting real time stats so they can keep viewers informed throughout the game.

During a recent conversation with Mihir Shukla, CEO of Automation Anywhere, he brought up this point about sports and he related it to organizations, asking why we don’t have this capability within organizations to have real-time, constant stats.

Think about how this capability would change the way we work. It would change the way we make decisions, it would change the way we lead organizations, it would change the speed at which we can keep up with competitors.

Direct download: Real_Time_Data_And_Decision_Making_Inside_Of_Our_Organizations.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:35am PDT

Jim Clifton is the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, an American analytics and advisory company founded in 1935. Jim has been the CEO since 1988 and under his leadership Gallup has expanded from a predominantly US based company to a worldwide organization with 30 offices in 20 countries. Gallup is made up of 2,000 professionals plus 35,000 contract workers across 160 countries.

Jim is also the co-author of a new book called It’s The Manager, which is based on data Gallup has collected from their largest study on the future of work. The book examines 52 discoveries found from that study that point to why managers are the biggest factor in your organization’s long-term success.

From the Gallup study Jim and co-author Jim Harter found six things that have been done in the past that most organizations still seem to hold on to. These six things need to be changed inside of organizations immediately in order for organizations to stay relevant and successful in the future of work.

One of these six changes Jim talks about is the shift from working solely for a paycheck to now the need for purpose and meaning at work. The things that employees want has changed over the last few decades. When Jim was starting out in the workplace in the 70s and 80s he says he wanted 40 hours a week and a fair paycheck out of work, that was it. His main dream and focus was on getting married, having kids, having a nice house, etc…

But now with the new generations coming into the workplace they don’t have the same dreams and aspirations as Jim and his generation did.

“My generation got married like 15 years earlier on average than this generation. We had a bunch of kids and we also owned our homes. But all of that means that when I went to work, I really wasn't concerned with what the mission or purpose was of the organization. I mean this is a striking difference, but now I'm staying with millennials because they're 40% of the workplace when they come to work. They're saying, my life now merges with the workplace, not with my family, and I need to know that if I'm going to spend all this time here, how does that fulfill that need? Because my job is much more a part of my life than any generation ever.”

Another change that is pointed out in the book is the need for managers to focus on employee development instead of employee satisfaction. Jim says, while there is nothing wrong in providing perks for employees, it should not be the reason employees come to work.

There’s been a rising trend in organizations believing that they need to provide ping pong tables, latte machines, nap pods, free lunch, etc...but employees want to have a real purpose behind the work that they are doing. Employees want to know that the managers are going to work on their strengths and help define a development plan and help them grow inside of the organization.

As stated in the book, “When you have great managers who can maximize the potential of every team member, you have delivered on the new global will: a great job and a great life. That is the future of work”.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What Jim’s first job was and how it changed his life
  • The biggest changes Jim has seen in the workplace over the past few decades
  • The difference between a coach and a manager
  • Jim’s view on perks in the workplace
  • Why organizations use workplace practices when there’s no data to support that they work
  • A look at the research and findings for the book, It’s the Manager

Contact Information:

It’s The Manager on Amazon  

Jim Clifton on LinkedIn 

Direct download: Jim20Clifton20podcast20done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:38am PDT

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

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

Ashley Goodall is that SVP of Leadership and Team Intelligence at Cisco and the author of the new book, Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World. Prior to Cisco, Ashley spent 14 years at Deloitte where he worked in several roles, including Director and Chief Learning Officer, Leadership Development.

When conducting research for the book, Ashley and co-author Marcus Buckingham found that a lot of the “basic truths” people think they know about work are actually not true at all. These nine lies that they found are based on data and evidence from the real world of work, it’s not just an opinion or a philosophy.

These nine lies found in the world of work are:

  1. People care which company they work for
  2. The best plan wins
  3. The best organizations cascade goals
  4. People are well rounded
  5. People need feedback
  6. People can reliably rate other people
  7. People have potential
  8. Work life balance matters most
  9. Leadership is a thing

If you are like me, reading through the list you may be surprised to see a lot of statements that you have held as truth for many years, even decades. But as Ashley went through and explained the reasoning behind why these statements are lies it made complete sense.

Taking number one as an example, people care which company they work for, it may seem like an obvious statement. But the truth is people don’t care what company they work for, they care about the team they work with. The experience inside of a company varies from team to team.

Ashley says, “We discovered at Cisco, I mean I think this data point is the one that sort of puts the whole thing into a fairly sharp focus, if you go from one of our 50% most engaged teams to one of our 50% least engaged teams, in other words, you pass the sort of median point of team engagement in a downward direction, your chance of voluntarily resigning from Cisco goes up by 45%.That's an enormous, enormous, enormous difference. And the point is, of course, as you go from a great team to a horrible team, you're still working for Cisco, so if it were true that you cared which company you worked for, that hasn't changed. But clearly, every time what trumps this idea of company is team.”

Another example is number eight, work life balance matters most. We hear a lot about work life balance, but Ashley says it is an unattainable idea and the phrasing is deceiving. Saying work life balance implies that everything about work is bad and everything about life is good. And trying to keep a perfect balance between the two is fragile and stressful.

“More useful is the idea that whether it's in work or in life, there are certain activities that fill us up, that rejuvenate us, that express who we are as people, where we want to make our biggest mark on the world. Activities that replenish us, activities that express, if you like, our love for the world around us, and that it's not really work life balance that we should be after, therefore, it is love loathe imbalance. We want to intelligently work throughout our lives to create more of the activities that we love, and fewer of the activities we loathe, whether that's at work, our outside work.”

So what is the purpose of the book and redefining the workplace truths? These lies cause dysfunction and frustration inside of organizations and they keep leaders from achieving their true potential. By identifying and addressing these lies in the workplace our organizations can function more effectively and our leaders can be more successful.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Ashley’s role inside Cisco
  • The nine lies about work that we generally accept as truth
  • The data and evidence Ashley and Marcus used for the book
  • The 3 problems with the annual performance reviews and what Cisco is doing instead
  • What makes a good team leader
Direct download: Ashley20Goodall20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:21pm PDT

Most organizations set aside specific time to appreciate employees. Sometimes it is one day a year, sometimes once a month, but it is usually sporadic. Usually it consists of one day a year where the company provides food, games, activities, prizes, etc… to celebrate their employees.

But I believe everyday should be employee appreciation day. Not necessarily having a party everyday, but doing things to show your employees that they matter and that they are doing a great job. Something as simple as having an open door policy for a set time every single day as a manager. What would your organization look like if you treated every single day as a People Day or an Employee Appreciation Day? Would this make your organization a place where your employees want, not need, to show up? How would it improve the morale, productivity, happiness, work ethic and atmosphere in your organization?

Direct download: everyday_should_be_employee_appreciation_day.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:53am PDT

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

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

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

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

Paul Irving is Chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging and distinguished scholar in residence at the University of Southern California Davis School Of Gerontology.

Paul spent much of his life as a corporate lawyer as chairman and CEO of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, a law and consulting firm. He is also the author of “The Upside of Aging: How Long Life Is Changing the World of Health, Work, Innovation, Policy, and Purpose,” a Wall Street Journal expert panelist and contributor to PBS Next Avenue and Forbes. When he came to the end of his term as CEO he enrolled at Harvard to look at ‘something new, something interesting’. There, he was asked to do a research project on the impacts of population aging in cities in the U.S.  They came up with an idea about ranking U.S. cities, knowing how ranking systems attract interest and attention, and it was called “Best Cities for Successful Aging”.

Eventually Paul became the president of the Milken Institute which is based in Santa Monica, although they have offices in Washington D.C., and Singapore. Each of these is involved in spreading both domestic and global prosperity and improving health.

One of the things that the Institutes are now focused on is this question of how population aging will affect individuals, families, communities, businesses, and societies.

Some of the trends Paul is seeing in the workforce include:

 

  • Across the world populations are much older
  • Workforces are becoming more diverse
  • Enhancement of opportunities for women over the last several decades, the increasing diversity and inclusion in leadership positions
  • There is a risk of talent loss and talent shortage as a result of retirement

 

  • There is a very clear need for people to work longer and aspiration for people to work longer

 

  • The HR culture has become much more complex

 

 

As Paul points out, “we have about a billion people today over 60 in the world. By mid-century, that

number will more than double, the number of people in their 60s in the United States will more than

double. We have ten thousand people turning 65 a day in the US, and we are now at a point where there

are more older adults than kids and teenagers in the world. So the bottom line is that we have a

historically unprecedented demographic shift, unlike anything that humankind has seen since the

beginning.”

 

The operating assumption is that older people are:

  • Unwilling to learn,
  • Unable to evolve, and
  • Are less effective performers than the young people

 

The evidence is simply not there to back up those claims. They are ageist expectations that come from a fear of aging, a fear of death, a fear of physical change and a lack of recognition of the complementary skills of young people and old people.

As Paul mentions, organizations can benefit from hiring people over 50, because they bring important things to the table including balance, judgement, wisdom, and experience. And several companies are specifically bringing in older employees for this reason. Companies like Airbnb, BMW, and Michelin have programs and incentives in place to make sure they they have employees ranging in age and experience because they understand that it is critical for their future success.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What the Milken Institute does
  • The impact of the aging workforce
  • Examples of companies such as Airbnb, BMW, and Michelin who are bringing in older employees who can share their wisdom, experience and training
  • What will happen to organizations not paying attention to this trend
  • Paul’s advice for older workers
  • How to create policies for older workers

Contact:

Direct download: Paul20Irving_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:18am PDT

What is Empathy and why do we need it? A lot of times we confuse empathy with sympathy. In the past organizations have been good with being sympathetic to employees, but in the future of work it is empathy, not sympathy that is crucial for organizations to have.

A lot of people confuse empathy and sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone else’s circumstances, empathy on the other hand is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to not just say you feel sorry for them, but to actually imagine how hard it must be to be in that situation.

In the past organizations have been good at being sympathetic, but they have struggled with being empathetic. Unlike in the past when most organizations had hierarchies where there really was no need for upper management to be empathetic, in today’s organizations we are beginning to see why it is so crucial to have empathy in the workplace. We have different generations of workers, we have work/life integration that is starting to happen, we have a war for the best talent and many other reasons why employee experience is becoming a priority for organizations.

But the fact is, employee experience cannot happen unless we embrace empathy. We have to be understanding when an employee has a sick kid, we have to be genuinely interested in getting feedback, we have to build collaboration and increase transparency. To do these things we have to have empathy.

Don’t be a sympathetic organization, be an empathetic organization. Empathy is the one thing that is going to differentiate your company from all the other companies out there.

Direct download: Employee_Experience_Cannot_Happen_Unless_We_Embrace_Empathy.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:02am PDT

Andrew Glincher is the CEO and Managing Partner at Nixon Peabody LLP, one of the largest law firms in the world. Andrew started at Nixon Peabody 30 years ago. He is a first generation college graduate, having grown up in Brockton, Massachusetts. He studied business at Boston College undergraduate and has always prided himself as being as much a business person as a lawyer. He ran his own snack bar and concession in high school, was very entrepreneurial, worked in business, and then went to law school. Initially he went to work for a small firm for about a year and a half to do business and commercial real estate. Eventually, Andrew made his way to Nixon Peabody, running the Boston office with a large corporate and commercial real estate client base which has evolved into his current role of CEO.

Nixon Peabody LLP is one of the largest law firms in the world - with 16 offices. They have international alliances throughout the world, particularly in Asia. In the United States, their major metro offices are located in Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. They employ about 700 attorneys and 1500 total employees. They work on almost everything except criminal defense work - except white collar. They do not do personal injury work on the plaintiff's side nor do they do divorce work. They particularly excel in corporate, real estate, labor and employment law.

Some of the changes in this law firm that Andrew has seen are:

  • Moving away from hierarchies
  • One size glass wall offices
  • A shift towards encouraging collaboration
  • No more corner offices
  • Unified office furniture for everyone
  • More open spaces with cafes and collaboration space

Nixon Peabody isn’t an ordinary law firm and Andrew isn’t your typical CEO. In fact, as you will here in today’s discussion, Andrew is simply not content with the traditional ways that law firms are used to operating. He and his team at Nixon Peabody are finding ways to increase collaboration, change the way they think about space, encourage leaders to be empathetic listeners, and use technology to be more efficient and productive.

How do you deal with people who are resistant to that change? Andrew says you can show them companies that aren't fairing well who have resisted change. He also says you should have discussions about change and acknowledge that change is difficult. You have to keep encouraging people to do things.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How law firms are changing
  • The role AI and technology may have on the the field of law
  • How to be an empathetic listener
  • How to deal with people resisting change
  • Advice to leaders looking to change their work spaces

Contact:

Direct download: Andrew20Glincher_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:50am PDT

There has been a major shift in the way we view work. In the past when a company had a position to fill they announced the opening and people jumped at the opportunity. There wasn’t any talk of employee perks, health and wellness programs, workplace flexibility or workplace design. Someone needed a job, they found out about the job and they applied.

Now if an organization has an opening people don’t just jump at the opportunity. They want to hear about what it’s like to work at that company, they want to know what the company perks are, they want to know whether the office is an open floor plan and whether or not they have the latest technology. People have options now, so they don’t have to jump at the first opportunity, they can wait for the job that is a perfect fit for them.

That is why it is so important for companies today to focus on employee experience. Companies have to be able to understand their Reason for Being and they have to be able to answer questions like, what is it like to work for your company and why should I want to come work there?

Organizations, we need to do a better job convincing people why they should work for us.

Direct download: change_takes_time.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:54pm PDT

Caskie Lewis-Clapper is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Magellan Health, Inc., (“Magellan “). Prior to joining Magellan, she served as senior Director for Human Resources Operations for Helix Health, a Baltimore, Maryland-based health care system. At Helix, she held a variety of senior leadership positions, including Sr. Director of Human Resource Operations and Director of Training and Organizational Development. Prior to joining Helix, she was a consultant with General Physics Corporation, providing training and performance improvement consulting services, and conducting human performance improvement research. She is a published author of articles on team building and human performance improvement. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine and her Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Magellan Health is care management for the fastest growing and most complex areas of healthcare, including special populations, complete pharmacy benefits and other specialty carve-outs. It is “the right care at the right time in the least invasive way”.  With 10,000 employees, they work relentlessly to provide the best care.

Workplace flexibility is something that has been discussed and worked on over the years. Magellan was on the cutting edge of this issue as they were finding ways to allow employees to work off site since the early 90s. And they continue to make flexibility a priority for their employees. Currently 40% of their staff works from home.

A lot of organizations question flexibility because they feel that the best collaboration and innovation happens when employees are in the same location and able to talk face to face daily. But Caskie believes that Magellan is able to make it work because they focus on having purposeful, meaningful in person meetings from time to time that allow everyone to stay on the same page. But they a majority of the time they are able to collaborate and innovate through phone calls, Zoom, and online resources.

A lot of times when teams are in the same location, they tend to waste time in pointless meetings just to say they met. The important factor, whether your team is onsite or not, is that during meetings the leader is clear about what they are there to do.  Caskie says, “Let the work drive when you need to be in a room together.” And then when you go your separate ways everyone knows what they are aiming towards and what needs to get done.

Another topic of debate these days is around who is responsible for the development, advancement, learning, and success of employees. Is it up to the organization? Is it up to the employee?

According to Caskie, Magellan places the main responsibility with the individual employee. Caskie says, “You're the driver of your work. You're the driver of your development, you're the driver of your successes, you're the driver of your learnings. And that means that as a team member at Magellan, and I'm going to use a word that's a really overused, but you're empowered to, you have the power to make things happen for yourself and for our company.”

They feel that it is important for employees to have goals, to be proactive in advancing their careers, and to find ways to keep learning.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How employees at Magellan collaborate while working in different locations
  • What mindsets/skills/traits they look for in potential employees
  • How to help people navigate change
  • How to be a digital citizen and a perpetual learner
  • How Magellan is giving employees ownership over their learnings, development and success
  • Interesting programs inside of Magellan--Vern and Rita
  • What it’s like to work at Magellan
  • Changes Caskie has seen at Magellan over the past 20 years

Contact:

Caskie Lewis On LinkedIn

 

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!

Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.

Direct download: Caskie20Lewis-Clapper_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:30am PDT

There has been a major shift in the way we view work. In the past when a company had a position to fill they announced the opening and people jumped at the opportunity. There wasn’t any talk of employee perks, health and wellness programs, workplace flexibility or workplace design. Someone needed a job, they found out about the job and they applied.

Now if an organization has an opening people don’t just jump at the opportunity. They want to hear about what it’s like to work at that company, they want to know what the company perks are, they want to know whether the office is an open floor plan and whether or not they have the latest technology. People have options now, so they don’t have to jump at the first opportunity, they can wait for the job that is a perfect fit for them.

That is why it is so important for companies today to focus on employee experience. Companies have to be able to understand their Reason for Being and they have to be able to answer questions like, what is it like to work for your company and why should I want to come work there?

Organizations, we need to do a better job convincing people why they should work for us.

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!

Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.

Direct download: a_shift_in_the_way_we_think_about_work.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:39pm PDT

Jacqui Canney, is EVP and Chief People Officer at Walmart and Clay Johnson, is EVP and Chief Information Officer at Walmart.

Jacqui has been with Walmart for three and a half years. She is focused on the development, the retention and the rewarding of their 2 million employees. Clay joined Walmart 18 months ago. He focuses on the technology but also the shared services for the company. He is charged with putting those two together to create more productivity and automation.

With over 2 million employees, Walmart is the world’s largest employer. They have 5000 stores in the U.S and 10,000 globally.

Skilling and training employees on a massive scale

Investing in people is a focus for Walmart, in particular the last few years they have made investments around salaries, training and education. As Jacqui puts it, “we are people led and tech enabled. So investing in our people and humanity is what Walmart is rooted in and is our competitive advantage”.

Recently, they have been moving wages and announced new education benefits that employees have been asking for. One of them is a dollar a day college opportunity. Both full-time and part-time employees who have been with the company for at least 90 days are able to attend college for $1 a day to get an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.

They have also created in-house training called academies and have about 200 of them in the United States, as well as others outside of the United States where they are teaching employees retail fundamentals and leadership skills.

New jobs or skills that Jacqui and Clay are identifying as being important at Walmart include:

  1. Digital literacy,
  2. Data-driven decision making,
  3. Growth mindset,
  4. Flexibility and adaptability and then the
  5. Empathy

One of the things recently implemented at Walmart is called BYOD at work. It stands for bring your own device.  So they can bring their personal phones into work and also have access to any kind of the work content they would have on a desktop. So, if an employee is on the floor, they can access all types of training content, just like they were sitting at a desk.  The idea is to create more productivity and allow people to learn in a lot of different ways.

They also recently announced a game that it’s on the App store called Spark City - that anybody can actually play. It’s the gamifying of how to run a store. So, people that want to work at Walmart can use it, even before they are hired.

You may not realize how technologically advanced Walmart is when it comes to their workforce. They are leveraging a lot of cutting edge tools to train, retain, and upskill their employees. Here are just a few examples:

  • Using IOT – Including having sensors in freezers that ‘go bad’ and allowing employees to connect with their personal devices throughout the store
  • Applied blockchain to food safety – to be able to identify the original source of the food the supply
  • Jet Black – Which allows anyone to find and order gifts tailored to the recipient

Jacqui and Clay say that Walmart is running, not walking, into the next 5-10 years and they are excited to see what new tools, tech, and resources become available to allow them to stay ahead.

What you will learn in the episode:

  • How Walmart is evolving and using cutting edge tech to train and upskill their workforce
  • How they are using Blockchain to track food
  • What the future of Walmart looks like 5-10 years out
  • Trends Jacqui and Clay are paying attention to
  • What is store #8 and how is Walmart using it to test new trends
  • What role leaders play in Walmart’s transformation
  • How HR and IT can collaborate
  • How Walmart uses VR in empathy training
  • How they balance what is right for the shareholders vs. what is right for employees and customers

Link from the episode:

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

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

 

 

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!

Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.

 

Direct download: Walmart20Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:00am PDT

There used to be a time where work and life were kept separate and they did not overlap. Once you got home at 5pm everything that happened at work was put to the side and you focused on your personal life. But today there’s no longer boundaries between work and life. It is more of a blending of the two and it’s only going to keep becoming more and more blended in the future.

If the work side of your life is not going well, then most likely your life as a whole is not going well. Work is life and life is work; the two things are becoming one. Therefore it matters greatly what choices you make in your work life. It matters what career field you choose to go into, what organization you choose to work for and how you interact with others you work with. If you want to have an overall meaningful, happy and satisfying life you also need to have a good work life.

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!

Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.

 

Direct download: work_life_balance_integration.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:59am PDT

Dan Shapero is the Vice President of Talent Solutions, Careers, and Learning at LinkedIn. Prior to this, Dan held several positions at LinkedIn, from Vice President of Talent Solutions and Insights to Vice President of North America Sales, Hiring Solutions.  He has also served as the Manager of Bain & Company, as Senior Marketing Manager of Paramark, as Product Marketing Manager of Zembu, and as an advisor for Dropbox.

LinkedIn currently has over 575 million members around the world. They are the world's largest professional networking site. The idea originated to provide a platform for professionals to join and start to run their careers much like a startup would think about building their own businesses. Over the course of LinkedIn's history different capabilities have evolved.  They started with 300 employees in 2008 and currently, in 2018, employ over 12,000 employees.

Three things LinkedIn offers employees:

  1. Every two weeks they have a company all hands meeting hosted by the CEO Jeff Weiner
  2. They have a thing called InDay. Once a month, people are encouraged to clear their calendars, invest in themselves and invest in their teams
  3.  A program where every employee, every year, gets a budget of money to apply towards any number of things that help make their life a little easier.

When asked how work today compares with work 10 to 20 years ago, Dan says the biggest changes are around talent.

“If you look at the most important companies in the world, if you look at the companies that we tend to talk about in the news and the areas that are really driving industry, the new reality is that companies are realizing that they win or lose on their people.”

Because of this, there's a new focus on how to help people really thrive at work

 

LinkedIn has done some research on the idea of ‘career sleepwalking’, which is

when someone is in a role that they aren’t sure they want to be in, but they just

don’t know how to get out of it. Dan says there's a whole population of people - as

large as 40% in certain categories -who are ‘career sleepwalking’.

 

There is a ton of window shopping on LinkedIn for careers. People go and look at

jobs that are either different by industry, different by function, different by

location, and as a crazy stat, near 22% of people on LinkedIn say that “they really

fell into their current job versus actively choosing it”. And another 23% say that

they feel like they're on a treadmill going nowhere.

 

Dan’s advice for sleepwalkers or those on a career ‘treadmill’:

 

  1.  Visualize a path to make change
  2.  Find a friend to nurture your career path
  3.  Find a role model to help understand the steps to take
  4.  Have a plan B if it doesn’t work out

 

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What do non-HR people need to understand about HR?
  • How employment has changed over the last few decades
  • Three unique things going on at LinkedIn
  • Dan’s view of Millennials
  • What is the future of HR?
  • How LinkedIn is doing perks differently
  • What is Glint and why LinkedIn acquired them
  • Suggestions to pivot your career path

 

Contact:

LinkedIn:

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

Direct download: Dan20Shapero20Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:15am PDT

A lot of times I hear people discussing AI and Automation in a way that makes it seem like once everything is fully automated we will all lose our jobs. But is that the right way to think about it? When you lose something that means you misplaced it, you no longer know where it is. It has an air of carelessness or passiveness.

I don’t think we are that careless or indifferent. The truth is, we don’t lose our jobs, we allow them to be taken from us. There are things we can do to ensure our job security in the future of work.

First of all, we have to be perpetual learners, we have to learn how to learn. We cannot just rely on our companies or schools to teach us the skills we need for the future, we have to actively seek information out and learn things on our own.

Secondly, we have to pay attention to the tangential. We cannot keep our heads down or only look forward. We have to be looking forward, sideways, behind us, etc… We have to broaden our scope so that we are prepared for anything that may come our way.

So what are you going to do to actively make sure your job is taken from you?

Direct download: how_to_keep_ai_and_automation_from_taking_your_job.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:11pm PDT

Judy Marks is President of Otis Elevator Company, a 165 year old company that helps move over 2 billion people a day. With 27 years of experience serving federal customers across multiple agencies, her experience spans multiple disciplines including positions in systems engineering, engineering management, business development, capture management, subcontract management, program management and executive management. She has also served as the CEO at Siemens.

Additionally, she was the President of Transportation and Security Solutions of Lockheed Martin Corporation. In total, she served 27 years with Lockheed Martin and its predecessor companies.

Otis Elevator Company began in 1853 when Elisha Graves Otis invented the safety elevator. Over the last 165 years they have delivered products and services for 2 million elevators, in 1000 offices found in 200 countries around the world - every day. The 12.5 billion dollar company’s focus of their 68,000 employees is on their customers and working to keep them satisfied and safe day after day. The foundation of the company is to know their values and stay true to them. This is especially critical in this global company.

The population of the world is a little over 7 billion, so in three or four days Otis has the opportunity, and the responsibility to touch the world, and keep it moving safely. That's more people than fly, and so, it's a tremendous life safety responsibility. Of the 68, 000 colleagues, 33, 000 are mechanics who really live at the customer's facilities, who do multiple service visits, and repairs as needed really to keep cities moving, to keep buildings moving, to keep people safe, and having access to their homes, and to hospitals.

There are multiple types of data that is collected and used in elevators. In a typical elevator the data you collect is everything from door mechanism, and door openings, how many times, how many floors it's been to, etc... All of that's pretty standard information, and really as you think about the ability to use that brings you to preventive and predictive maintenance in the future.

But, the more exciting - in some of the elevators you probably see on the West Coast - have something in them called destination dispatch, which allows riders to get to their destination faster. It acts as a virtual concierge, directing passengers where they need to go. The rider enters their destination and then they receive an elevator assignment. The software groups passengers and stops together to ensure the fastest transport possible.

There are 5 culture statements at Otis:

  1. We celebrate imagination, which means we encourage new thinking, and smart risk taking.
  2. We are family. We believe in us.
  3. We're many voices. The greatest ideas come from diverse teams of thinkers with different points of view.
  4. We're better together. We align as one team, and collaborate to serve our customers
  5.  We strive to be the best. We set big goals, we rise to achieve them, and we win together as a team.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How elevators and escalators have changed over the last 165 years
  • Trends Judy is paying attention to right now
  • How they ensure that Otis has the right people in leadership roles
  • How AI and data is being used in the elevator/escalator space
  • How Otis is upskilling their mechanics
  • What it is like to work at Otis

Links from the episode:

Direct download: Judy20Marks20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:40am PDT

Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Fake it til you make it”? It is this idea of believing something or telling yourself something even when it’s not necessarily reality yet. I am a big believer in this mindset and I have used it to help me throughout my career.

When I went off to work on my own I struggled in the beginning. I didn’t have many clients and I didn’t have a ton of experience. Instead of looking at myself as a poor, young kid, struggling to find work, I told myself over and over that I was a young entrepreneur building a life for myself--a life that I truly wanted to live. I still repeat that to myself even now, years later.

The way that you think and the things that you believe shape your behaviors, feelings and actions. It’s kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you are successful, talented, and that you have something to offer to others you will have a different outcome than if you constantly think negatively about yourself. It’s a choice. When you “Fake it til you make it” it allows you to focus on the work. What you say to yourself and what you believe truly matters.

Direct download: how_to_be_more_successful_in_life_and_business.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:58am PDT

Maynard Webb is co-founder and board member of Everwise, a talent development startup, and a board member of Visa and Salesforce. Previously, Maynard served as Chairman of the Board of Yahoo!, CEO of LiveOps, COO of eBay, and held executive roles at Gateway, Bay Networks, and Quantum.

Maynard is the founder of the Webb Investment Network (WIN), a seed investment firm dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurs, bringing his experience in developing and leading high-growth companies.

In 2004, he and his wife created the Webb Family Foundation, which provides underprivileged, motivated young individuals access to quality education and supports individuals who are struggling against the odds to make a positive impact on the world through innovation and hard work.

Maynard is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship . His second book, Dear Founder: Letters of Advice for Anyone Who Leads, Manages, or Wants to Start a Business, was released in September of 2018.

How do we drive/change corporate culture?

  1. It helps to have a higher purpose –be working on something that matters
  2. Be winning at what you are doing
  3. Inspire and grow your team
  4. Treat everyone with dignity and respect
  5. Tackle diversity and inclusion from the outside
  6. Make sure your teams are fired up about what they are doing.

 

How do you get people excited about their work? Maynard believes, that first of all it is important to make sure they understand what they are doing and where it fits with the importance of the company. People want to do meaningful work that makes an impact.

Employees also should know what it will do for them if they do their job well.

As an individual employee you should be aware of who is the best in the world at what you do and aspire to that.

For people that want to quit their jobs and want to know what to do first, Maynard says, “...before you just quit and walk out, what are the pieces that you need to own for your situation, and what your situation is, and why you’re not happy”

If you are itching to be an entrepreneur then go ahead and start while you still have a full time job. Do both at the same time

Maynard believes it is important to have a personal brand and you should know what you want to be known for. The character of who you are and how you walk in the world and how you treat people is important to pay attention to.

Maynard also talks about his 32 year marriage and he says the secret is knowing the difference between rubber ball moments and crystal ball moments. Rubber ball moments are ones you can bounce back from, but if you mess up a crystal ball moment, like missing a high school graduation, that is a once in a lifetime moment that can’t be replaced.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How to drive corporate culture
  • What the early days of IBM looked like
  • How you know when things are going well as an entrepreneur
  • Maynard’s view of the world of work today
  • How to get people excited about work
  • Maynard’s advice to anyone who wants to quit their job


Contact:

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

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!
 
Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.
Direct download: Maynard20Webb20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:49am PDT

Technology is cool and it helps us in daily life. But one thing that is cause for concern is that we tend to over rely on technology. We have this scenario in our heads that in the future we will all have robots that will do things for us at home and at work and that software will do the jobs we don’t like to do. We think of all the advancements that are happening in the technology space and what is yet to come and we get this grandiose vision in our minds.

The fact is technology has a lot of issues including the possibility of being hacked and the challenge of glitches and errors that are bound to happen. I fear that we are over relying on technology thinking that in the future we won’t have to do anything for ourselves. The question is, will our over reliance on technology come back to bite us in the future?

If we rely solely on technology for things like automating farming or operating autonomous cars, what happens when the technology breaks down or it gets hacked? If we put too much reliance on technology alone I worry that it will make us less human or distort our reality. We don’t take things at face value anymore, we are moving away from making judgements and decisions on our own by using our senses and thoughts. Instead we are looking at the world through the eyes of data and algorithms and basing our decisions on what technology tells us.

If we continue this way, will the humanity aspect disappear altogether?

Direct download: What_Happens_When_We_Rely_Too_Much_On_Technology.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:11pm PDT

Seth Godin is a bestselling writer, with 18 books and another one coming out on November 13, 2018. His books address various aspects of marketing, advertising, business venturing and leadership. He is also a successful entrepreneur, marketer and public speaker, who became well-known for public speaking when he uploaded his e-book ‘Unleashing the Ideavirus’ and made it available for free.

He obtained his MBA degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business and worked as a software brand manager before he started ‘Yoyodyne’, one of the first Internet-based direct-marketing firms. The publicity of his firm compelled big companies like Volvo, Microsoft, Sony Music, etc. to associate with it and in a few years ‘Yahoo!’ bought the company, keeping  Godin on as a vice president of permission marketing. Since Seth was last here his altMBA program has graduated over 1000 people. He has also written a new book, This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See, which will be available on November 13.

Whether you realize it or not, you are always marketing yourself. You will be judged by everyone who interacts with you. Based on your appearance, your attitude, how you tackle a project, etc... This is why it is so important to market yourself intentionally.

Historically, people worked at the same location for 40 years and you could get to know people slowly over the years. Now, people are on various social media platforms, they are working virtually with people around the world. This requires people to constantly be aware of how they are perceived.

Seth says it is the wrong approach for organizations to tell their employees to be authentic and transparent, because essentially it is a lie. He says, “We make choices all the time of things we can and cannot do. I don’t even know what authentic means. I know what consistent means – you made a promise of how you will behave.  But you really can’t do whatever you want.” For example, you can’t just show up to work wearing footie pjs and take a nap from 11am-1:00pm, even if that is authentically you.

What is a better approach rather than saying ‘be authentic’? Seth says it is about making promises and keeping them. Remove the ‘marketing language’ of be authentic because it doesn’t work. “It’s not a family, it’s work.” Be clear– words matter because they remind us of other things.  One example, people have different interpretations of the term ‘family’ so it might not be best to use the word family to describe the workplace environment.

How do you start how to market yourself? First you need to answer the question, what promise are you willing to keep? Make a promise to a partner or boss that you are eager to keep and consistently live up to it. This guarantees you a successful career - or relationship.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What Seth has been up to in the year since he was last on the show
  • Why he has 233 Grateful Dead albums
  • Why telling employees to be authentic is not the right approach for organizations
  • How we market ourselves
  • Seth’s experience working with science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov

Contact:

sethgodin.com

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!
 
Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.
Direct download: Seth_Godin_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:53am PDT

There is a story of a man who walks into a construction site and as he walks into the site he passes by a worker and asks, “What are you doing?” and the worker says, “I’m laying bricks”. The man continues on his way and runs into a second worker and again asks, “What are you doing?” and this time the worker says, “I’m building a wall”.

The man continues on once again and runs into one final worker and again asks the question, “What are you doing?”, but this time the worker answers, “I’m building a cathedral”.

All three workers were doing the same job, the difference was the way they thought about their work. The moral of the story is that you have the ability to affect the way you think about your job and work in general. It doesn’t matter if you are a cashier, a teacher or a CEO, it’s all about what you tell yourself and the attitude you choose to have.

So, are you laying bricks or are you creating a cathedral?

Direct download: how_your_mindset_can_impact_your_work.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:57am PDT

Andy Lee founded Alorica Inc. in 1999 and serves as its Chairman and CEO. Guided by his desire to improve customer experiences and his entrepreneurial talents, he has become one of the leaders in the service and support outsourcing industry. He conceptualized and developed one of the original cloud-based Software-as-a-Service customer contact management applications that integrated contact center operations, returns management, and e-commerce. Andy has also served as an executive at Advanced Membrane Technology, CTX Data Services, and Gateway. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Finance from the University of Southern California.

Alorica is a “BPO - ‘Business Process Outsourcing’ company or ‘a customer experience provider’. Alorica specializes in attracting, developing and performance managing people.” Regardless of the work, they can put more effort into these areas on a large scale. With over 100,000 employees, you may find yourself talking with one of them often. For example, if you call a wireless provider to discuss the bill or if you call an online company, then you might be talking with them. Calling a healthcare plan, you are probably speaking with someone from Alorica.

Companies do not provide this service themselves because as they evolve they find that they want to focus on what they do best – so they employ Alorica to handle their companies’ clients through multiple modes – staffing, technology and a general provider of skilled labor to solve problems.  Alorica has “chosen to be great at the science and the practice of attracting, developing and performance managing people.

What are the skills set needed for the future?

  • You need to be able to study work flows to be able to apply logic, process and engineering
  • The part of the workforce that are currently on the phones, in the future will need to be able to answer more complex questions. This will require people to listen carefully and understand the context to the situation and apply logic to the context. They will have to use critical thinking.

How does Alorica teach?

  • Micro learning – 5 – 10 minute bursts of learning
  • People retain 20% more information and they eliminate retraining by 80% by using these short burst videos with higher retention and less retraining
  • Role playing  - the ability to talk through scenarios in group settings
  • Alorica Academy teaches leadership skills
  • Alorica language institute teaches people English and cultural context

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How organizations can use Alorica
  • The impact AI and Automation will have on businesses like Alorica
  • Why Andy feels the AI hype is not based in reality
  • Andy's perspective on Glassdoor ratings, along with internal surveys
  • How Alorica is investing in microlearning
  • What skillsets are needed for the future

Contact:

Andy Lee on LinkedIn


Website: http://www.alorica.com/

 

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!
 
Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.
Direct download: Andy20Lee20Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:57am PDT

We have all heard it before, the advice that many people have given when asked for career advice or when talking to college students entering the workforce--”Follow your passion”. But there are some challenges with that statement.

First of all, telling people to follow their passion assumes that the passion is something that lives outside of them and they have to chase it. The second issue is that we assume it is a static thing, that there is one passion it is in a certain location and that’s where you have to go. The truth is our passions change-- as we get older, as we go through experiences in life and as we expand our horizons.

Thirdly, the problem is that often we are not able to identify a passion before we choose to pursue something. It happens all the time, someone tries something new and that sparks a new passion. So to think that we have to simply follow a passion would take away the possibility of finding a new passion in something we didn’t think of before.

The real question is: how can we bring our passion with us to everything that we do. It is better to bring that passion with you instead of trying to chase it.

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!

Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.

 

Direct download: why_following_your_passion_is_terrible_career_advice.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:34am PDT

Mike Fenlon is the Chief People Officer at PwC US, a global network of firms with 208,000 people across 158 countries. PwC firms provided services to 429 of the Global Fortune 500 companies and more than 100,000 entrepreneurial and private businesses 

Mike has responsibility for employer branding and social media, talent acquisition, analytics and talent management.  He has held a variety of senior leadership roles in human capital since joining PwC, including strategy, operations and lead generalist roles. Mike is a psychologist with expertise in strategic and organizational change, talent management and leadership development. 

PwC is focusing on an inclusive agenda to assist people to become ‘digitally fit’. To that end, they have created an app. The app allows people to take an assessment that gives them personalized feedback on their digital fitness across a number of domains. Based on their assessment they will be provided with a connection to learning assets and an individualized training plan. The plan could include articles to read or other resources that are available.

There is really no option to opt out of this drive for digital fitness because every domain of life and business is being transformed. Therefore, it is critical for everyone to be involved in some manner.

They are also working in areas to ‘digitally up-skill’ people. One way they are working on this is through their Accelerator Program. This has an inclusive agenda to ensure that all people are involved.

Specifically, the Accelerator Program involves a focus on design thinking, digital storytelling, and leadership skills. It also includes a deep dive on data – how to structure data, clean data, do analytics using tools and how to drive automation. Currently there are about 1,000 people in this first cohort.

Mike’s advice for companies to digitally up-skill employees:

  • This is an agenda for everyone – not just for some people. It needs to be an inclusive agenda for all people, regardless of age, industry, level of employment, etc..
  • It needs to be a personal agenda. Create a personalized experience
  • Make it fun and socializing. This accelerates learning and is beneficial for culture
  • We all have an obligation to not leave anyone behind in the community as a whole

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What is the PwC Digital Accelerator Program
  • How PwC is ensuring no employees get left behind
  • Why the message to become digitally fit is not based on age, level of employment, education, etc.
  • Mike’s view of leadership
  • Why Mike is not worried about automation taking over jobs

Contact:

Mike Fenlon on LinkedIn

Twitter: @michaelfenlonNY

 

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!
 
Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.
Direct download: Mike20Fenlon20podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:54pm PDT

In a world where things are ever changing at a fast pace, it is no longer good enough to work “heads down”. We have to keep our heads up and be constantly aware of our surroundings.

Have you ever had anyone tell you “I’m so busy at work, I’ve just been heads down”? It is so common to hear that in conversations in the workplace. I’ve heard it many times. The problem with being heads down is that the world is changing so quickly these days, it’s just not good enough to work heads down if you want your organization to thrive.

Being heads down you miss so much that is happening in the world around you. We have to be heads up, heads side to side and heads back to keep up in today’s workplace. Nobody is going to look out for you, except you. And there’s no way to do that if your head is buried in the ground like an ostrich.

Keep your head up, pay attention and be aware of all of your surroundings!

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!

Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.

 

Direct download: why_you_should_never_be_heads_down.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:21pm PDT

Bill Priemer is the CEO of Hyland Software. Bill joined Hyland in 1997 as Vice President of Marketing. He became Vice President of Sales & Marketing in 2001, Chief Operating Officer in 2005, and CEO in January 2013. Prior to joining Hyland, Bill worked at FedEx Corporation and at AST Research, a personal computer manufacturer.

Hyland Software is the developer of the enterprise content management (ECM) (or content services platform) and process management software suite called OnBase, where they digitize an organization’s information.  Applications of the suite are used in healthcare, financial institutions, insurance, government, higher education and manufacturing. With 3300 employees, the organization houses about 2000 of them in the headquarters located in Westlake, Ohio. They have other offices located across the U.S. and around the world in Brazil, England, Japan, Australia, and Germany.

Hyland’s location in the central U.S has led them to develop their own workforce through relationships with various universities around the state of Ohio. They encourage internships with students in their IT departments. Hyland also runs technology camps with area high schools to encourage young students to develop an interest in software development and consider a career in technology. They will hire about 300 people this calendar year.

Hyland is noted to be a great place to work. Bill states that this is intentional. They have focused to train their young employees, so they want to keep the people. “Retention of workforce is really important to us,” Bill says.

How do they get the students to be interested in Hyland rather than working someone where else in the area or moving to bigger tech hubs like the Bay Area or NYC?

They really focus on their company culture. They mix major perks with a culture of care and support where people feel like they matter.

They have an open floor plan, casual dress, slides from the 2nd to the 1st floor, a place to get haircut, music lessons on site, a volleyball court, and wellness classes - perks that make work more comfortable and relieve stress, that help people work on personal health. Bill believes that perks are not everything, but they are an important part of showing your people that you care about their wellbeing.

Bill says, “I think an aspect of our culture that I think people really appreciate, we’re a very supportive, caring culture. It sounds soft and squishy, but we’ve got real friendships that form among our people. They really feel part of a community.” The fun activities foster this community feeling, but also team-based projects that are there for people to work on together.

A major goal at Hyland is to have a respectful environment where people feel that they are part of what is happening. People have got to be constantly learning and growing. Overall, Hyland is growing at a nice pace that allows for growth opportunities for internal employees.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Innovative programs Hyland has to attract – and keep - the best talent
  • Bill’s thoughts on future of automation
  • The most valuable business lesson Bill has learned
  • How Hyland is using employee data and what data they are collecting
  • How Hyland competes with organizations in their immediate area and big tech companies in the Bay Area and NYC

Contact:

Hyland.com

Twitter: @BillPriemer

 

This episode of The Future of Work Podcast was made possible by our friends at ServiceNow. Please show your support by checking out the great work they are doing!
 
Give employees the service experience they deserve because everyone deserves great experiences at work. Eliminate frustration and improve employee satisfaction with a single access point for efficient, personalized HR services. ServiceNow helps you put service at the heart of your business. Start today.

 

Direct download: Bill20Priemer20Podcast_V2.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:27pm PDT

The length of time it takes to create or update a new law far exceeds the time it takes to update software or code. Are we going to get to a point where code or software surpasses laws in the real world?

How long does it usually take us to update or create a new law? Typically it takes many months or even years to do so. Now think about how long it takes to update software or code. That happens instantly. Yes, it can take days, weeks or even months to create or test new software and code, but the process of updating is instantaneous. 

There is a concept out there that says code is becoming the future law. One book that explores this concept is a book written by Marc Goodman called Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World. When sites such as Google, Facebook or Netflix update their terms of service it essentially becomes the new law. 

There are a lot of things that go along with code as the new law. It changes the way we interact with various platforms, it changes the way we think about privacy and security and it changes the way data is stored and shared.

Are we going to get to a point where code or software truly surpasses the rules, laws and regulations in the real world that we are so used to? It’s something to think about.

Direct download: how_long_before_code_becomes_law.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:35am PDT

Michael Fraccaro is the Chief Human Resources Officer of MasterCard. In this role, he is responsible for all human resources functions globally, including driving cultural transformation, building leadership capability and creating a company that is “most valued to work for.” MasterCard is about 50 years old with 14,000 employees in 74 countries.

From 2012 until assuming his current role, Michael served as Executive Vice President of HR, Global Products and Solutions. In this role, he supported the company’s growth in key businesses and markets and optimized talent programs in a competitive environment. He also was responsible for leading the global HR integration of new acquisitions and joint ventures. 

Prior to joining MasterCard, Michael was a core member of the HR leadership team at HSBC Group for nearly 12 years, based in Hong Kong. Earlier, he held senior HR positions in banking and financial services in Australia and the Middle East, working extensively across different cultures. 

Michael defines the role of CHRO as one that centers on thinking about the business strategy. He sees his role as one that works to ensure they have the right people in the right roles, strong leadership in place, and the right culture set up in order to make the business as successful as possible.

Within MasterCard in general, it is growing up the core business, diversifying in new markets and new customers segments and building new businesses.  In Michael’s words: “grow, diversify and build”. These are powered by 4 key elements:

  1. Technology
  2.  Brand
  3.  Data
  4.  People

When hiring MasterCard focuses on several key elements. First of all, can the person do the job? And then, how do people relate to each other? They look at IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient), and also DQ (Decency Quotient). Michael says “you want people that are good enough to leave, but happy enough to stay”

One goal of MasterCard is that they want people to feel that it is a decent place. As Michael says, they are “doing well by doing good”. They have several initiatives in place that allow employees to have an impact on their surrounding community.

One example of this is MasterCard’s policy that gives every employee five days of volunteer leave. They also have a lab in Kenya with the Gates Foundation to develop tools and technologies to help micro-entrepreneurs or farmers there with a payment platform so they can eliminate cash, which has the tendency to be lost, stolen, or used for bribery, etc...

Michael is paying attention to a few trends including:

  1. Operating models – how organizations are designed and how they are moving towards more agile models
  2. Geopolitical and social issues – issues like nationalism, where governments are saying they need to process transactions on their soil, etc. They are also thinking about immigration and how that plays a role in their business

How does Michael stay on top of trends?

  1. Reading various journals and magazines
  2. Being part of networking associations
  3. Working internally with a corporate strategy team

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What it is like to work at MasterCard
  • How MasterCard is impacting communities around the world
  • Employee programs that are offered – for example, ‘Investing in You’ – a matching program for retirement
  • How MasterCard competes with the giants in Silicon Valley
  • How MasterCard handles mentorship programs
  • Trends Michael is paying attention to and how he keeps up with them in a fast paced environment

Contact:

Mastercard.com

Michael Fraccaro on LinkedIn

Direct download: Michael20Fraccaro20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:34am PDT

Conversations around the future of work usually include questions like, “What is the future of work going to look like?” or “What is the future of work going to bring?”. But this is a very passive view of the future of work. It’s almost as if we are waiting for something to happen to us, as if we are bracing ourselves for a punch to the gut.

We need to take a more active role in the future of work. We have to be responsible for designing, creating and building the future of work.

Instead, we should be asking questions like, “What is the future of work that we want to build and shape?”. We should think of it as a verb, not a noun. It is so much more valuable to have conversations around how we can shape the future of work instead of assuming the future of work is going to happen to us.

So the question is not, “what is the future of work going to look like?”, it is “How are we going to build the future of work we want to see?”

Direct download: how_are_we_going_to_build_the_future_of_work.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:29am PDT

Jonathan Neman is Co-Founder & CEO of Sweetgreen, an American fast and casual restaurant that focuses on simple, seasonal, healthy food that uses locally sourced ingredients. Jonathan and his co-founders, Nathaniel Ru and Nicolas Jammet, started sweetgreen in 2007, opening their first location in Georgetown, DC – just three months out of college. The brand’s strong food ethos, embrace of passion and purpose, and investment in local communities has enabled Sweetgreen to grow into a national brand with more than 90 locations and over 4,000 employees across the East Coast, Midwest and California.

Sweetgreen has a very strong company culture that focuses on passion and purpose. Jonathan, Nathaniel, and Nicolas have done an amazing job, not just fostering a meaningful employee experience for their people, but also in creating a great experience for their customers that goes above and beyond. They are on a mission – not just a job. There is a greater purpose – both as a company and community perspective.

The Treehouse is the support center at Sweetgreen – they support the restaurants. About 150 people work at the Treehouse – they work on the brand, marketing, HR and so on. Some of the 150 people at the Treehouse are in the field, overseeing regions. They have a strong regional workforce. The ‘head coach’ is the general manager of the restaurant. The head coach runs everything within the restaurant, creates the culture, motivates the team, etc.

Jonathan has been recognized as a key innovator in food and business, named to Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Inc’s “30 Under 30,” Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Food & Wine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under.” In 2016, Sweetgreen was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.”

Jonathan defines Sweetgreen’s culture as: happy, humble, hardworking, curious and coachable

At Sweetgreen they view the work as a team sport. It is not a company in which one person can do it alone. The work is cross functional. They look for people that will share the credit and have a positive intent.  Employees need to be able to ask for help. Humility leads to wanting to hire people that are better than you.

People start to come to Sweetgreen for the brand and food, but what keeps them coming back is the connection to the team that works there and the “Sweet Touch” that is one of Sweetgreen’s core values. It all goes back to the company’s desire to not just bring food to people, but to do it in a way that makes an impact on their customers and their community.

Jonathan’s advice for companies:

  • Connect to your mission
  • Don’t just put values up on the wall. Make them real action items that everyone is responsible for
  • Allow your team to co-build the culture together
  • Understand that your culture will evolve over time– this is good and expected

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How and why Sweetgreen got started
  • How Sweetgreen is impacting the surrounding community
  • Why Sweetgreen hires ‘sincere, not serious’ people
  • What is a ‘sweet touch’ at Sweetgreen
  • Jonathan’s unique morning routine
  • How Sweetgreen fosters a culture of goal setting and continuous learning

Contact:

Direct download: Jonathan20Neman20Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:11am PDT

How would it feel if you were on a 30 year train ride on a train that is traveling at such high speeds you aren’t able see anything outside the windows. You would only be able to focus on what is immediately around you in the train; the food you are eating, the other people on the train and the physical space that’s around you. That would be your full reality for 30 years. You probably wouldn’t recognize the world around you when you stepped off the train 30 years later.

This is the situation a lot of organizations are in right now. They focus solely on their own organization; they keep their heads down and always look inward. These organizations aren’t taking the time to get off the train and look around at what is happening around them. They don’t try to figure out how their products and services fit into the world around them.

When we as organizations fail to stop the train and get off, by the time we get to our destination, we will be irrelevant. We all need to learn that even though we are on our own respective journey, we have to get out and look at the world around us.

Direct download: How_to_Keep_Your_Company_From_Becoming_Irrelevant.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 5:02am PDT

AI and automation is at the center of a lot of conversations these days. Most of the time these discussions are focused around efficiency and the ability of AI and automation to get a task done. An autonomous vehicle, for example, can pick you up from point A and drop you off at point B.

But, I’ve noticed that there really isn’t any discussions focused around the human aspect and how we feel about the process of the task completion. The world’s number one chess player, Magnus Carlsen, recently commented on AI and automation in the chess world. He said he doesn’t ever play against a computer, not because the computer always wins (which he admits, it always does), but because he feels like he is playing against someone stupid who does not understand the game.

Going back to the autonomous car example, yes it can get you from point A to point B, but can it open the door for you, can it provide casual conversation along the way, and can it provide commentary on the area you are passing through?

It’s not just about getting a task done, it’s about how we feel during the process of completion. In using only AI and automation we lose out on human interaction, we should be careful not to lose sight of the human component.

Direct download: why_we_still_need_humanity_in_the_future_of_work.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:53am PDT

Nigel Travis is the current Executive Chairman of the Board for Dunkin’ Brands. Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Dunkin’ Brands and added responsibility as Chairman of the Board in May 2013. Dunkin’ Brands Group controls nearly 19,000 Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins “points of sale” in more than 60 countries, from Argentina to Japan.

Previously, Nigel served as President & CEO of Papa John’s, the pizza chain with annual system-wide sales of $2.1 billion and more than 3,300 restaurants throughout the U.S. and 29 international markets. During his four-year tenure with the company, Papa John’s online sales tripled through the innovative use of technology.

Prior to Papa John’s, Nigel served as the President and COO at Blockbuster, Inc. During that time, global sales increased over 50 percent and the international business was developed to encompass 26 countries with revenues of $1.8 billion. Nigel also built a worldwide franchise network of 300 franchisees in 15 countries with revenues of approximately $1 billion, and transitioned the company from a video rental store chain to a complete movie and game source. Nigel has also worked for Burger King, Exxon, Kraft Foods, Rolls Royce and Parker Hannifin.

Nigel’s new book will be coming out on September 18th and it is titled, “The Challenge Culture: Why the Most Successful Organizations Run on Pushback”

Why a pushback culture?

Nigel says, “Pushback gives you more views, often different perspectives, builds greater engagement and probably alignment within the organization.”

This culture gets the best from incorporating peoples’ thoughts. You get the best solutions. This is the way to get people to truly by-in to a project.

Why is it hard to get pushback culture going?

  1. The approach is anti-hierarchical. People spend time to get to senior positions and once they get there they have a feeling of, ‘I am in charge’. They are often reluctant to give up power and control
  2. People are too lazy - it’s easier give orders than cultivate this pushback culture

How do you create a challenge culture?

  1. Start modeling it yourself
  2. It is not something to plug in, it takes time and patience
  3. Go in and ask questions - in positive way
  4. Drop in to discuss the book, idea, etc.
  5. Don’t go too fast; do not be too overt about it (unless you are the CEO)

Nigel’s advice for employees:

  1. Be civil and don’t attack
  2. Use open-ended questions

- Can we do it better?

- Ask - would you be interested in hearing what I am thinking?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What is pushback and why is it important?
  • Nigel’s experience at Kraft Foods, Rolls-Royce, Parker Hannifin, Papa John’s, Dunkin’ Brands and Blockbuster
  • A look at Blockbuster’s demise and how they could have avoided it
  • Nigel’s biggest triumph and misstep
  • How company cultures in Europe differ from the United States

Contact:

Nigel Travis on LinkedIn

Direct download: Nigel20Travis20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:43am PDT

There are some organizations that are great. Their employees love coming to work, they have satisfied customers and they make a great impact on their communities. There are also organizations that are not so great. But what makes some organizations great and others not so great?

The answer is, great companies have a reason for being and others do not. A reason for being is a non-conventional mission statement that is comprised of four main things. The first thing is they have something that is unattainable. Something that makes their people reach for the stars and aim high and it gives them something to constantly work towards.

The second component is something that doesn’t talk about money or financial gain. When a company only focuses on financial gain it doesn’t give employees anything to get behind and it doesn’t give them a strong sense of purpose.

The third component is to have something that talks about the impact your organization can bring to the community or the world. What is something your company could do, that fits in with your corporate culture that could better the community outside the walls of your company? An inspirational message is something that people can get behind and get excited about.

The fourth attribute of a reason for being is something that rallies employees and something that gets them excited. Something that makes them want to come into work and give all they have.

Does your organization have a reason for being? If not, it’s time to create one.

Direct download: does_your_company_have_a_reason_for_being.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:12pm PDT

 

Dean Seavers is the President of National Grid, US. Prior to leading the US portion of National Grid, Dean worked in leadership at companies such as Ford, GE, United Technologies and Tyco.

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world - covering the UK and the Northeastern part of the US. They have 16,000 employees – about 10,000 that are customer facing and the other 6,000 or so that are in management roles spread out across three states. National Grid serves 20 million customers.

What are the workforce trends Dean is paying attention to?

The first trend is technology-- we all need to be tech savvy. We can use technology to drive better efficiency and productivity through things like data analytics and automation. Dean says, “The reality is, I think, when you spend 80% of your time doing routine things, you don’t have the time to always focus on the things that truly add value for customers and employees”.  

Dean is also paying attention to clean energy sources. National Grid is a big proponent of driving change in the way we consume energy. They are looking to solar, hydro and wind power to improve our impact on the environment.

Another trend Dean is paying attention to is self-driving vehicles and electric vehicles. He believes transportation needs to be cleaned up and there are a lot of great advances coming that can help do that.

Dean’s advice for leaders is to listen and understand employee base. It really is important to understand the pulse of the organization. You have to be transparent and drive alignment to values and lean into the challenges and make tough choices.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How energy is evolving
  • What it’s like to work at National Grid
  • Workforce trends Dean is paying attention to
  • How National Grid is using automation, bots, and people analytics to stay ahead
  • Why Dean is now a believer in self-driving vehicles
  • How the way we consume energy will change in the next 5-10 years
  • How Dean is future proofing National Grid as the energy industry rapidly changes

Contact:

Dean Seavers of National Grid  

Direct download: Dean20Seavers20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:55am PDT

Dr. Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. Over her 15-plus-year career, she’s helped thousands of leaders around the world become more self-aware and successful.

With a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Dr. Eurich is the principal of The Eurich Group, a boutique executive development firm that helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders and teams. Having worked with clients like T-Mobile, KPMG, Walmart, Vail Resorts, and HCA Healthcare, her primary areas of expertise are executive coaching, leadership development programs, and executive team development.

Dr. Eurich’s first book, Bankable Leadership, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list in 2013. Her latest book, Insight, delves into the connection between self-awareness and success, where she shares the surprising findings from her multi-year research program on the topic

What is self awareness?

“It is seeing ourselves clearly.”  Specifically-

  • understanding who we are,
  • how others see us and
  • how we fit into the world around us.

One of the biggest myths of self awareness is that we are self aware. They found that 95% of people feel that they are self award but in reality only 10-15% of people actually are self aware.

2 core sets of knowledge of self awareness

  1. Internal self aware: I know who I am, what I want, what I value
  • Requires a commitment to look inside of ourselves that is not always comfortable or easy
  • Tend to make choices that make them happy
  1. External self awareness:  knowing how other people see us
  • What if I ask others and no one sees me as I do.
  • Sometimes I ask others’ opinions without thinking about what I really want.
  • May need to work on it if someone gave you experience that blindsided you. For example, spouse leaves, getting fired from job
  • How often do you ask for feedback? How did I do on the presentation?

Why is self awareness important?

If we, as leaders, improve self awareness:

  • it makes us better performers and
  • more promotable.
  • will have more engaged employees
  • stronger marriages  
  • better communicator
  • avoid unethical behavior
  • less likely to lie cheat and steal.
  • lead more profitable companies

 

What can an employee do in a company?

  • Give an HR rep a call to find what assessments are available, for example 360 evaluations.
  • Starting with a boss, ask for critical feedback.
  • The most successful leaders ask for critical feedback often.
  • Formalize this with your boss to keep the feedback ongoing.
  • Meet regularly

Alarm clock events

  • Earth quake events – turns around a serious event
  • New roles and new rules
  • Starting a new job – ripe moments for self awareness
  • Everyday insight – comment from someone that gives a new perspective.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What is self-awareness
  • Myths about self-awareness
  • How many people are actually self-aware
  • Examples of self-aware CEOs
  • What are Self awareness unicorns
  • All about the Impact Yourself  Daily App

Contact:

TashaEurich.com

Direct download: Tasha20Eurich20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:01pm PDT

Is there an optimal number of times to check in with employees or gather data on employee engagement? There is an important element of employee engagement that most organizations are missing out on.

All organizations want their employees to be engaged at work. Engaged employees are focused, productive and hardworking. But most organizations get caught up in one question. They ask, “how often should I measure employee engagement or employee satisfaction?”. Should we be measuring these things once a year, once a quarter, once a month?

There is something vitally important that these organizations are missing out on by only focusing on the question of the optimal number. There is so much more to employee engagement than numbers or data. Organizations need to take a step back and realize it is not so much about how often we collect the data, but what we do with it.

The truth is, there is no optimal number. Take the example of a personal relationship, such as a married or dating couple. Can you imagine going to your significant other and asking them, “how often should I be checking in with you or asking for feedback--once a week, once a month...?”. We don’t do that. When something bothers us we don’t wait for the other person to ask us to provide feedback, we speak up, we start a conversation about the issue and we try to resolve it. And likewise our significant other can usually sense when things are going good or things are not going so well. The same should apply in our organizations.

As in personal relationships, we should be having ongoing conversations in our organizations. We shouldn’t just be checking in once a year or once a month, it should be an open, ongoing conversation that never ends. Also, it shouldn’t just the be leaders of an organization starting the conversation. Employees should feel comfortable starting a dialogue or providing feedback when something is frustrating, when the process isn’t working, or when they need a different tool to get their work done.

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

Mary Bilbrey is the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) for Americas at JLL, the leading integrated global real estate services and investment management firm. Mary joined JLL in February of 2016. She came to JLL from HSBC, the multinational banking and financial services company, where she was the Head of Human Resources for HSBC USA.

JLL is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Their vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 83,500

Is there truth to generational stereotypes?

Some of it seems to be that with every ‘new’ generation we talk about various traits that they seem to display - but in reality it is simply because they are young. It has been true of every generation – they are more idealistic, more ‘me’ focused.  But much of that can be attributed to their youth. It is a ‘life stage’ versus a generational stereotype.

2 things that Mary expects will be driving employers with Gen Z employees:

  1. Gen Z did not experience the digital revolution. They were born into an environment where it was part of their life from the beginning. That is going to have an impact.
  2. They are beginning to enter the workforce in a very strong labor market. So they have more choices – employers, work environment, vision and purpose of the organization.

What will be Gen Z’s impact on leadership?

One major factor has been switching of traditional performance reviews to ongoing ‘quality conversations’ that happen all the time instead of only at  midyear performance reviews.

This impacts the leaders who have to change how they manage others; it is more intuitive and makes more sense. “One of the hardest things to change has been the need for an enclosed office – there seems to still be an emotional tie to the topic,” Mary says.

Mary’s advice for managers is to think about developing multi-generational groups, consider reverse mentoring, and learn from each other.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Generational stereotypes – fact or fiction?
  • How can hallways be places of ‘casual collisions’
  • The impact Gen Z will have on leadership
  • What Gen Z is looking for in a workplace
  • How JLL is evolving to make sure they are ready for Gen Z
  • What does the future of work look like?

Contact:

JLL.com

LinkedIn 

Direct download: Mary20Bilbrey20Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:50pm PDT

With major advances in technology and the talk of AI and automation invading the workplace, the subject of soft skills has become a huge topic of discussion for organizations and individual employees. I think soft skills are very important, however I think that most organizations are asking the wrong question when they address the topic.

Most organizations ask the question, what do we need to do inside of our organizations to teach more soft skills. They believe that they need to teach their managers and employees to have more soft skills. But think about the assumption that is made when we ask that question. We assume that our managers and employees don’t have soft skills to begin with.

The truth is we all learn soft skills naturally as we grow up, as we learn and as we interact with others. We learn how to be empathetic, we learn how to communicate with others, we learn how to deal with emotions. All of these things come naturally as we grow up and experience different things.

The question we should be asking is, why is it that employees feel that they can’t use their soft skills at work? The issue is not that people don’t possess soft skills to begin with, it is that they don’t feel safe enough in their organizations to use them. How can employees feel safe to share their opinions, express care and empathy for coworkers, and show their true emotions in the office when they are in an environment filled with bureaucracy, negativity, fierce competition and where employees are seen strictly as numbers. It’s no wonder employees don’t feel like they can use their soft skills.

Instead of asking, what do we need to do inside of our organizations to teach more soft skills, let’s ask, how do we build an organization where employees feel like they can use the soft skills they already have.

Direct download: encouraging_soft_skills_at_work.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:20pm PDT

Jim Kavanaugh is the co-founder and CEO of World Wide Technology.  From St. Louis, Missouri Jim played collegiate soccer, then he played for the U.S. Olympic men’s soccer team in 1984 and finally for the Major Indoor Soccer League. He graduated from St. Louis University and began his business career as a sales manager for Future Electronics. He has been recognized two years in a row by Glassdoor as one of the top ranking CEOs for all large businesses in the U.S. He was ranked #2 in 2017 and #11 in 2018.  

World Wide Technology began in 1990 as a company that was a small product reseller. It has moved into a technology solution provider where they help large public and private organizations discover, evaluate, architect and implement advanced technology.  They are headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with $10.4 billion in annual revenue. WWT currently has more than 4,600 employees world-wide. They are ranked 8 on Glassdoors’ Best Places to Work list for 2018 and 40 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for list.

What is the role of CEO?

“As a leader of an organization you need to be able to look at things at a 30,000 foot view,” Jim says.  Also, understand, what are the most important things as they pertain to your organization. Focus on how you make an impact.

That executive needs to paint the vision from that high level perspective. But they also need to be able to dropdown to the details. For example, if the goal is a new initiative, this might require you to be in the details until it is designed and built. Your goal is to get it going and then delegate it off.

People want to know that you understand the business. See the vision, paint the vision but also have a good understanding of the day to day processes of the business.

How does one become a leader in general and at WWT?

  1. Begin by understanding what is important to that business.

- How does it define success?

- How are you delivering and overachieving on the objectives of the goals of the company?

-  What are the values of the organization that drive them? Make sure they align with your values - make sure you are a good cultural fit.

- Live and breathe those values.

  1. Personally challenge yourself.

- Do a self assessment of yourself.

- Where are your strengths, what do you need to do better?

- How do people perceive you? Challenge yourself to grow.

  1. At WWT, they have a leadership curriculum. They align business concepts and values and they train leaders to be the best manager using these concepts and values.

When asked, what is unique at WWT to have scored so high on best places to work surveys, Jim says you have to care about your employees. They are very smart, if you think you can just say you care and not really do anything to show that– it won’t work. If the leadership teams show that they care about employees, then it is a successful culture.

You must do the right thing from a cultural perspective. This includes both for employees and their families – in order to be healthy from a cultural perspective.

Also, you need to be a smart organization. Set a vision; build an organization with clarity and alignment to the mission. It also must include the right leadership that can build the structure of the organization to allow for growth.

What is the mission at WWT?

To be a profitable growth company that is also a great place to work.

This mission has been around for 15 years. It is three-fold:

  1. Profitable – employees need to be accountable to the goals of the organization
  2. Growth – this is important to allow WWT to attract the best talent in the industry
  3. Create a great place to work – do the right things for the right reasons

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Jim’s advice on how to grow within your company
  • How do you know the right person to hire
  • What do you do if you don’t ‘like’ your job
  • How to overachieve without killing yourself
  • What is the role of a CEO
  • How WWT keeps getting high ratings on employee experience surveys

Contact:

https://www2.wwt.com

Direct download: Jim20Kavanaugh_Podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:21am PDT

Jim Kavanaugh is the co-founder and CEO of World Wide Technology.  From St. Louis, Missouri Jim played collegiate soccer, then he played for the U.S. Olympic men’s soccer team in 1984 and finally for the Major Indoor Soccer League. He graduated from St. Louis University and began his business career as a sales manager for Future Electronics. He has been recognized two years in a row by Glassdoor as one of the top ranking CEOs for all large businesses in the U.S. He was ranked #2 in 2017 and #11 in 2018.  

World Wide Technology began in 1990 as a company that was a small product reseller. It has moved into a technology solution provider where they help large public and private organizations discover, evaluate, architect and implement advanced technology.  They are headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with $10.4 billion in annual revenue. WWT currently has more than 4,600 employees world-wide. They are ranked 8 on Glassdoors’ Best Places to Work list for 2018 and 40 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for list.

What is the role of CEO?

“As a leader of an organization you need to be able to look at things at a 30,000 foot view,” Jim says.  Also, understand, what are the most important things as they pertain to your organization. Focus on how you make an impact.

That executive needs to paint the vision from that high level perspective. But they also need to be able to dropdown to the details. For example, if the goal is a new initiative, this might require you to be in the details until it is designed and built. Your goal is to get it going and then delegate it off.

People want to know that you understand the business. See the vision, paint the vision but also have a good understanding of the day to day processes of the business.

How does one become a leader in general and at WWT?

  1. Begin by understanding what is important to that business.

- How does it define success?

- How are you delivering and overachieving on the objectives of the goals of the company?

-  What are the values of the organization that drive them? Make sure they align with your values - make sure you are a good cultural fit.

- Live and breathe those values.

  1. Personally challenge yourself.

- Do a self assessment of yourself.

- Where are your strengths, what do you need to do better?

- How do people perceive you? Challenge yourself to grow.

  1. At WWT, they have a leadership curriculum. They align business concepts and values and they train leaders to be the best manager using these concepts and values.

When asked, what is unique at WWT to have scored so high on best places to work surveys, Jim says you have to care about your employees. They are very smart, if you think you can just say you care and not really do anything to show that– it won’t work. If the leadership teams show that they care about employees, then it is a successful culture.

You must do the right thing from a cultural perspective. This includes both for employees and their families – in order to be healthy from a cultural perspective.

Also, you need to be a smart organization. Set a vision; build an organization with clarity and alignment to the mission. It also must include the right leadership that can build the structure of the organization to allow for growth.

What is the mission at WWT?

To be a profitable growth company that is also a great place to work.

This mission has been around for 15 years. It is three-fold:

  1. Profitable – employees need to be accountable to the goals of the organization
  2. Growth – this is important to allow WWT to attract the best talent in the industry
  3. Create a great place to work – do the right things for the right reasons

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Jim’s advice on how to grow within your company
  • How do you know the right person to hire
  • What do you do if you don’t ‘like’ your job
  • How to overachieve without killing yourself
  • What is the role of a CEO
  • How WWT keeps getting high ratings on employee experience surveys

Contact:

https://www2.wwt.com

Direct download: Jim20Kavanaugh_Podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:21am PDT

Andrée Simon is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FINCA Impact Finance, a global provider of responsible financial services. FINCA’s network of 20 community-based banks offer responsible and affordable loan and saving products that empower low income women and men to take control of their financial future.

Previously, Ms. Simon served as VP and COO of FINCA International, returning to FINCA after serving for several years as President and COO of Women for Women International, a humanitarian organization dedicated to financial, educational, and interpersonal support of women survivors of war, poverty and injustice.

In 1984, founder John Hatch saw that lack of capital was keeping poor Bolivian farmers poor. Traditional loans were too large and too expensive, and without collateral, the farmers couldn’t borrow.

So he came up with an idea; if the farmers formed groups to share a loan and guarantee repayment, they could access the funds they needed to invest in their farming operations. It was the beginning of what we know today as microfinance.

In urban and rural areas, and in economies as diverse as Guatemala City and Kitunda, Tanzania, Village Banks allowed those with scarce resources to borrow, invest and grow their businesses. They also allowed women—who were routinely denied credit—to build enterprises that kept food on their tables and their children in school.

Remaining true to its original idea, FINCA has become a global network of secure, sustainable microfinance institutions and banks that help low-income families create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living across the world.

FINCA not only impacts the world through finance, they are also transforming their workforce internally to give employees a sense of purpose and ownership. They don’t try to compete with other companies based on perks, instead the compete in ethics and values.

“People come here because they know that they are going to be able to take on a lot of responsibility and get chances to take leadership opportunities that they might not be able to get if they were in a large kind of traditional commercial institution. It's pretty entrepreneurial and it's pretty creative for the most part,” Ms. Simon says.

She says people come to work for FINCA for 2 reasons, because they want to have a career where they can really learn a lot and because it is an organization focused on social impact, which is a strong motivator for a lot of people.

Some trends that Ms. Simon believes will be seen in the future are:

  • A learning leader – Leaders will have to be willing to change themselves and have a learning mindset. This is balanced with the humility to know what you need to know
  • Traditional  organizations won’t work well; they need to be nimble to make decisions and share decision making responsibilities
  • All work is global in some way, shape or form
  • There needs to be a diverse workforce

What makes a leader successful?

  • The need to want to learn.
  • They don’t wear a ‘gorilla suit’ in the role of a leader
  • The don’t feel the need to have all the answers
  • They have an open sense of inquiry across the organization

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What FINCA is doing internally to transform their workforce and become more human
  • How FINCA is allowing their employees to feel like part of the solution
  • How any organization can have a meaningful social impact
  • What is like to be a female CEO
  • What is a CEO gorilla suit and why you should never wear one
  • Where you can ‘meet’ some of FINCA’s clients

Contact:

LinkedIn

Twitter

Direct download: Andree20Simon20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:44pm PDT

Most parents wonder what advice they should be giving to their kids as they grow up and graduate high school. What should they tell them to study in college, what school should their kids go to, what type of career is safe and what type of organization they should be working for.

My advice to these parents and their children, is that we all should be like taste testers when we are young and first entering the workforce. We need to sample different things while we are young to figure out what we are passionate about, what we enjoy and what we care about.

Forcing someone to study something that they do not care about and don’t have that connection with isn’t going to yield success in the long run.It is unrealistic to think that students are going to graduate from high school or college before they have ever held a full time job, and that they are going to automatically know exactly what they want to do and they are going to work for one organization the rest of their lives.

The expectation throughout high school and college shouldn’t be that the students are going to pick one field to go into for the rest of their lives, rather it should be a time to explore, experiment and test different opportunities to get a feel for their likes and dislikes. It is OK for us to be like taste testers and to sample the different opportunities that are out there to discover what it is we are passionate about while we are young

So at the end of the day, my advice to young people is to think like an entrepreneur; learn how to learn, think about how to go about things yourself and don’t be afraid to be like a taste tester.

Direct download: The_Best_Career_Advice_You_Havent_Heard.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:17pm PDT

Mala Singh serves as Chief People Officer for Electronic Arts (EA) where she focuses on developing their talent and cultivating the company culture. In this role, Mala oversees Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, Facilities and Corporate Services.

Prior to this position, Mala spent three years as Chief People Officer at Minted where she helped to define the culture and grow the creative and technical teams during a high-growth period for the startup. Mala began her career in the pharmaceutical industry, serving in Human Resources roles in Asia, Europe and North America.

Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. EA delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. Some of their games include Sims, FIFA18, Maden, and Battlefield. Close to 10,000 EA employees are found around the world.

How does EA compete with other organizations for the best talent?

Mala says they don’t compete with Google, LinkedIn and other similar organizations with a focus on compensation – that, she says, “is a race to the bottom.” Instead, they look at supporting their mission system and finding people with a similar focus. They also provide a manager that supports them, surround them with people they admire, have fun with and want to hang out with. In addition, they provide opportunities to learn and grow – providing different experiences. The quality of leadership, learning and growing, this is how they compete.  “I refuse to compete on ‘perkage’. How do we care for our people while they are here?” It is based on the quality of the work.

How did the trend towards a focus on mental and physical well being of employee begin?

“We used to think about work/life balance - this a false concept,” Mala says. It is really the idea of managing our whole selves while at work. Also, talented people, the skills in our environments are polarizing. The jobs are becoming more specialized. Because tech is available – those skills and great team members are highly in demand. So in order to compete for the same people, you have to bring a different experience for these people. This is why EA is moving in that direction.

How does learning work at EA?

The general philosophy is that 70% of learning happens through experiences. Then, 20% is through direct coaching from the manager and finally 10% occurs through formal learning. What appears to resonate is just in time smaller snippets of learning that allows people to learn and then use it.  

“Diversity of experiences is the lynch pin to everything. When presented the obvious, chose the opposite”. Mala stated that, “Progression comes best from diverse experiences” Apply what you have learned and move to a different setting that you can allow you to apply your skills there.

The mistake often made is that looking at the only way to progress in one's career is to move from level to level - rather than the gathering of skills. If we can create progression where we gain different skills, then “the best way to get different thinking and innovative approaches is by constantly changing your context and experiences which helps you to become more agile. It teaches you how to adapt, helps you diagnose the situation and figure out solutions. That’s why the diversity of experiences is so fundamental to how people should grow their career.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What it is like to work at EA
  • What the first days are like as a new employee at EA
  • What should non-HR people know about HR
  • Why tenure is not the metric to track anymore
  • Innovations happening in HR at EA
  • Why it is futile to compete solely on the basis of compensation

Contact:

Mala Singh On LinkedIn

Direct download: Mala20Singh_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:19am PDT

Garry Ridge is President and CEO of the WD-40 Company headquartered in San Diego, California. WD-40 Company is the maker of the ever-popular WD-40 (found in 8 out of 10 US households), as well as 3-IN-ONE Oil, Solvol and Lava heavy duty hand cleaners and X-14, Carpet Fresh, Spot Shot, 1001 and 2000 Flushes household cleaning products. With just under 500 employees, they boast a 93% employee engagement rate – with an average tenure of 10 years - which helps keep the number of employees low.

Garry has been with WD-40 since 1987 in various management positions, including executive vice president and chief operating officer and vice president of international. He has worked directly with WD-40 in 50 countries.
A native of Australia, he received his Masters of Science Degree in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego, CA, in June 2001.

Way back Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” However, people are slow learners. A lot of companies struggle with this because leaders are afraid of letting go and giving people the opportunity.  Garry’s learned to say ‘I don’t know…’ and to make sure that WD-40 “leaders involve their people.”

What can we do to change the mentality of leaders not letting go?

  1. For public companies – take the emphasis off ‘short-term-isms’. Looking at 90 days, etc. so they will make short term decisions that are not as productive.  “Coffee that is brewed over time, tastes better than instant.”
  2.  Education should be a core value– be a learning and teaching company. Instead of ‘mistakes’, look at them as opportunities to get better
  3. Have a clear plan, a clear purpose and clear values
  4. Be open to learning across the company

There are 7 characteristics at WD 40 that shape their workplace culture. They are:

  1. Learning & Teaching – a dedication to it, a number of programs and a commitment to learning and learning moments.
  2. Values – part of their talent development program, everyone sits down with their coach/manager and talks about the values. Employees share how they lived and their values as part of their conversation. The number one value is ‘doing the right thing’. Creating positive lasting memories is another.
  3. Belonging – based on Maslow’s hierarchy of self actualization. The level of belonging in the company is around treating people with respect and dignity. We want to show everyone in everything that is done it is with those in mind.
  4.  Future focus – they understand where they are today is good but they need to move to a new place in the future. One value is to make it better than today
  5. Specialized skills – they have identified certain specialized skills and people that have those skills
  6.  Warriors – for a purpose, not of destruction. They fight for people, brands and for what is right. The spirit of winning
  7. Celebration – reminder that we need to take time to celebrate together.

Garry’s advice to employees is to start an idea within a small team to introduce the concepts to them. You will probably see a change in the team.

His advice to leaders is that change needs to start with them

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What it is like to work at WD 40
  • The ABCs of Trust
  • What The Tribal Culture looks like at WD-40
  • Why WD-40 Invests in People
  • How WD-40 is Excelling in Employee Engagement

Contact:

https://thelearningmoment.net

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

 

Direct download: Garry20Ridge.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:08am PDT