The Future of Work Podcast With Jacob Morgan | Futurist | Leadership | Workplace | Careers | Employee Experience & Engagement |
Lately, I've been surrounded by the theme of management and leadership, and the role of each in the future of work. Today, we are chatting with Sydney Finkelstein to discuss what makes some leaders truly exceptional. Sydney is the Steven Roth Professor of Management and faculty director of the Tuck Executive Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is also the author of the phenomenal new book Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent
The idea for Sydney's book and the Superboss title arose from a pattern that he noticed in the food industry where sous-chefs at a particular restaurant were moving on to new restaurants and becoming executive chefs. Sydney began to research if the pattern was present in other industries and found that in many fields, one person has immense influence in the development of talent in that field. The book took 10 years to write... the more time Sydney spent on it, the more fascinated he became!
So what exactly is a Superboss? While a leader is someone that creates other leaders, a Superboss is even more than that. A Superboss is a leader that helps other people accomplish more than they ever thought possible. He or she really makes it their business to turbocharge their employees' careers. While most bosses are narrowly focused on performance, command, and control, a Superboss has an invested interest in employees succeeding. 
Sydney shares some examples of Superbosses ranging from Ralph Lauren of fashion to Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle. He has found that there are 3 types of Superboss: Iconoclasts that tend to be creative and need to learn, Glorious Bastards who are tough and may even lead with ridicule, and Nurturers that truly care about the success of their protégés. We discuss how to spot a Superboss and how to interview a prospective employer to learn if they are a Superboss. 
"Anyone in an organization can become a Superboss." - Sydney Finkelstein
We all have the potential to be a Superboss. The traits are completely learnable and teachable but one must be willing to make the commitment. Instead of solely thinking about development of talent and retention, consider the outflow. The best talent most likely sees themselves moving on to bigger and better things so enable that idea. Continue to interact with your team members after they leave your nest. Always be on the look out for talent, inspire your team, instill confidence in others, delegate tasks but don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, as well!
What you will learn in this episode:
  • What is a Superboss
  • What separates a Superboss from others
  • How Superbosses fit in with organizational structures
  • Real examples of who a Superboss is
  • How do we identify a Superboss to work for them
  • Servant-based leadership
  • How Superbosses are motivating employees
  • Innovation and talent in HR

Links From The Episode:

Sydney Finkelstein on Twitter


Direct download: Sydney20Finkelstein20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:06pm PDT

A few months back while I was doing a keynote in Mumbai, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. N.S. Rajan. Dr. Rajan is the author of a new book, Quote Me if You Can, as well as Group Chief Human Resources Officer and a member of the Group Executive Council of Tata. The Tata group is comprised of 100 companies with over 600,000 employees globally. It is one of the largest organizations in the world with companies offering a broad range of services and commodities. Each company has body and mind of its own, with Tata being the soul.  


As Group CHRO, Dr. Rajan works with the CHRO in every company in the Tata group, providing critical leadership and spearheading diversity initiatives. He believes in putting the effort forth to create more effective and better leaders with a concept similar to servant based leadership. While managers focus on the task to be completed, the process to complete it, and supervising a set of people to get there, the leaders role is more ambiguous. They must envision, set new directions, and inspire and value their team. To be a leader, it is absolutely essential to listen to people and understand their needs. 


The secret of leadership: 

Those who rule must serve, those who serve will rule. – Dr. N. S. Rajan 


Leaders at Tata follow a parenting model. They aren’t intrusive but rather lend a helping hand in a positive way.  Leaders have to learn to exercise power prudently, and to combine passion and compassion. Leadership is evolving due to the changes of the world, such as downturns in economy and technological advances. Organizations must continue to adhere to their values as leadership evolves - considering ethics when promoting or creating leaders, as well as experience and competence.  


What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How leadership is changing 
  • The role of leaders 
  • How millennial leaders are different 
  • Diversity in leadership 
  • Important skills and qualities of a good leader 
  • Trends shaping the future of leadership 
  • How leadership has changed over the past few years 
  • Shared vision 

Links From The Episode:

Dr. N.S. Rajan On Twitter 

Direct download: Rajan20NS20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:20pm PDT

When you are leading one of the world's largest organizations with hundreds of thousands of employees you need a unique vision to succeed. Jeff Smith, the Chief Intelligence Officer at IBM, has two major missions as CIO. First, to enable a productive work environment and second, to lead the deployment of an agile culture throughout the company. Jeff recently filled me in on the concept of an agile enterprise and how it is shaping the way we work.
With the world changing at such a fast pace, organizations and employees must be agile by continuously adapting to situations, addressing problems, and reevaulating progress. This is important for leadership, collaboration, and delivery practices to allow organizations in any industry and of any size to be more successful. Non-agile enterprises run with a fixed plan as though things won't change when we all know that there is no certainty in life! So when a problem arises, the plan is ruined versus an agile enterprise that can adjust the sails to go with the flow.
The main benefits to creating an agile enterprise are broader based skills and increased engagement. Employees have more autonomy and purpose which drives engagement. It is necessary to have a supportive mechanism to transform into an agile enterprise. At IBM, they have an academy with 30 courses that are individual and team based. They also have agile coaches that help put concepts into place. The role of technology is central in an agile enterprise. IBM has it's own social network and a strong search environment. Collective intelligence is valued as it will always outweigh individual insights. According to Jeff, a fundamental piece of creating a high performing culture is people learning from each other.
It is time to consider what is working well in your organization. What methods can you put in place to develop an agile enterprise?
What you will learn in this episode:
What is an agile enterprise
How to establish an agile enterprise
Course correction
Collective intelligence 
Simplification of IT
Work environments

Links From The Episode:

Jeff Smith on LinkedIn

Direct download: Jeff20Smith20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:01pm PDT

This week we are discussing the past and future of jobs and paychecks with Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Mishel. Larry has been a labor market economist for 30 years and is now the President of The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington based think tank. EPI is focusing on how our current economy is affecting low and middle income Americans, what policies are needed to restore the middle class, and how to generate robust wage growth for everyone so they experience a growing standard of living.

With a PhD in economics, Larry is increasingly concerned with trends regarding wage stagnation – he believes the preeminent economic challenge of our time is to overcome wage stagnation. The wages and benefits of nearly all workers haven’t grown in 12 years! This affects all workers, even those that are highly skilled. The hourly wages and benefits of the median worker have only grown around 9% since 1979!

Larry also disagrees with many articles that claim the freelancer economy is large and rapidly growing. Numbers actually show that the population of independent contractors is declining.  Numbers also show that many freelancers are using their gigs as supplementary income because the wages from their primary job are not increasing relative to the cost of living. One of the notions of the Future of Work should be the ability to support one’s self with your regular job. It’s possible that a lot of the angst in the country comes from economic insecurity and we could help ease that problem with improved wage policies!

What you will learn about in this episode:

  • Wage Stagnation
  • Robots and automation
  • Discrepancies in numbers surrounding the freelancer economy
  • How politics and unions affect wages
  • The skills gap
  • Challenges around worker classification

Links From The Episode:

Larry Mishel On Twitter 

Direct download: Larry_Mishel_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:02pm PDT

Today, we welcome Julien Smith, cofounder and CEO of Breather, to discuss the factors that are disrupting the idea of traditional office spaces. Julien and I explore how trends, pricing, real estate, and technology are shaping the evolution of physical work places. Julien authored three books on marketing while working from the internet, without an office for about 10 years. As a freelancer with no place to go for work every day, he saw the potential for a totally separate, individualized work space that can be unlocked with your phone.

Breather was born… a network of well designed, comfortable but professional small meeting rooms and office spaces. Now there are 100 units across 5 cities. These units generally reside in larger office buildings and can be rented daily, weekly, or just once! They serve as an effective space to be on your own or meet with a small group to brainstorm, rehearse, etc. Many people use Breather spaces when they are traveling or need the use of an outside office. Some users don’t have an office at all and prefer Breather spaces to working from home or from a coffee shop.

With so many aspects of work rapidly changing, spaces must evolve as well. Physical space has a dramatic effect on employee experience. In this podcast, Julien and I discuss why the demand for this type of office space is increasing and how it will complement traditional work spaces, making experiences better.

What you will learn in this episode

  • How the office space is changing
  • Trends in office space
  • Office Space Pricing
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • How the on demand economy is shaping office space
  • Advice for both employees and management
  • The role of technology in the office space of the future


Links from the episode

Julien Smith on Twitter


Direct download: Julien_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:07pm PDT

The future of recruiting and retaining top talent is changing.   With new developments in employee engagement, the gig economy, and the rise of Millennials and Generation Z in the workforce, organizations are adapting their methods to find and maintain the best employees. Today, I speak with Mike Preston the Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte.  Deloitte underwent a mass career customization framework, focused on strength based development.  While Deloitte has never had a Chief Human Resources Officer by that name, the Talent Officer title reflects how their employees are viewed.  The people who work for their company, the talent, are the most important component. While this title may have always been the standard at Deloitte, this just shows how they are ahead of the curve in regards to the future of work. Many other organizations are changing the title of their Human Resources departments to reflect the focus on employees themselves. 

Deloitte is the world’s largest professional services organization.  Involved in traditional services such as accounting and tax services, an advisory and consultant component, they are also growing into areas such as digital and products.  Globally, Deloitte has 225,000 employees.  Mike is the Chief Talent Officer for the entire firm.  Mike is responsible for driving the talent strategy for all of Deloitte’s employees and partners.  This encompasses developing culture, compensation, recruiting, and all aspects of the life cycle of the employee.  Mike describes in detail the trends in talent, how fast change happens with new developments in technology.  Looking at talent as an ecosystem, it is fascinating to see how new ways engaging employees, such as incorporating an internal freelance economy, contribute to the future of talent. 

What you will learn in this episode

What having a Chief Talent Officer means

The Talent Landscape

The Open Talent Economy

What will the Future of Talent look like?

Millennials and Management

Flexible and Distributed Work

Rating and Reviews

Inclusion and Cognitive Diversity

Advice for employees and managers in the future of talent

Links from the episode

Mike Preston on Twitter


Direct download: Mike_Preston_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:46am PDT


If the last 20 years was all about digitization and the rise of the internet, what is next?  This is the subject Alec Ross covers in his new book, The Industries of the Future.  If you regularly listen to The Future of Work podcast, then you know what a huge topic the future is.  Alec spent the last few years writing his book, drawing on his experience, and bringing in stories and background from all over the globe.  Alec wanted to cover many topics, pulling them all together in the centralized theme.  This leads to a thorough examination of the future of work that goes beyond the standard topics such as robots and automation.

Alec is one of today’s leading experts on innovation and technology.  He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at John Hopkins University. Previously, he was the Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the duration of her term as Secretary of State.  Alec also advises startups, and is inspired by people who can imagine and invent the future.  He is a big believer in what the entrepreneurs of today are doing. In the Podcast, Alec discusses what he is most optimistic for.  He describes people being enslaved to an employer, while it works for some, sucks the independence out of people.  Many people want more choice and independence, and he feels the recent work marketplaces and predisposition of millennials will change the future of work for the better.

Topics covered in this podcast range from cybersecurity to big data, to the commercialization of genomics. Changes in the workplace will come rapidly, and adaptation is key.  Lifelong learning and professional development, not only for leaders, but employees is necessary for thriving in the industries of the future.  Alec shares his advice on the best way to push these types of programs in the workplace. Alec also has great advice for employees on becoming a global worker to advance in their professional careers. 

What you will learn in this episode

  • What the Industries of the Future are going to be
  • Alec’s work with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as Senior Advisor for Innovation
  • Trends that Alec sees are shaping the future of work
  • What Alec is least optimistic about in the future of work
  • Cyber Security, Cyber Warfare and its effect on everyone
  • Robots and Automation, how it will really effect jobs
  • How to be proactive when filling skills gaps
  • The Importance of Genomics
  • Bitcoin and Blockchain technology
  • Big Data vs Privacy in the workplace
  • Trends for the future of work by environment, job type, and geography and culture

Links from the episode

Industries of the Future on Amazon

Alec Ross On Twitter

Direct download: Alec_Ross_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:41pm PDT

Imagine waking up in the morning, and as your coffee is brewing, reflecting on the work that needs to be completed for the day. For many of us, this can include a long commute to an office, sitting down at a desk, and working within restrictions that is set by management or an organization.  For some people, this mental image causes feelings such as dread, resentment and even depression.  Those people need to find a solution, where they cannot just have a job, but a career that makes their daily lives much more enjoyable!  For some, the result is working on a career where they are not tied down by limitations of working for someone else, but cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit inside themselves.

With today’s technology advances, there are many options available for different types of freelance work.  Sites like Upwork, and Fiverr, allow people to post and bid for tasks and jobs, Airbnb allows a homeowner to turn their spare bedroom into income, and an Uber driver can make a living while traveling all across their city.  What if you want to tap into the freelancer economy, but not sure where to start? How does one use these new tools to their advantage to actually become successful?  We look at cultivating entrepreneurship in the age of the freelancer economy, with my guest today, Doug DeVos, the President of Amway. 

Amway was founded on an entrepreneurial spirit principle.  Starting in 1959, the founders, including Doug’s own father, believed in a business model that people could have an accessible business of their very own.  With over 21,000 employees in over 100 countries and territories, Amway also has Independent Business Owners that can work full and part time inside their own enterprises.   Amway is able to provide many things inside of their company, such as manufacturing, research and development, and forecasting.   Doug describes his family’s background with Amway, and how the foundation of Amway applies to the future of work, now, more than ever.   

A very interesting part of this podcast describes Amway’s 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Report.  In the report, it is evident that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well!  Many times, starting a business, especially a small business, can be halted before it is even started.  Fears and insecurities of failure, lack of support, and knowledge, can all be hurdles faced as a person starts working inside a freelancer economy.  Sometimes, it can take some creativity to build the confidence needed to move forward.  Amway is a great example of independent business owners, being able to use a large company as a backbone for their business.  Sometimes having a safe place, to grown and learn, enables individuals to cultivate that spirit Amway was founded on, a necessity to survive and thrive. .


What you will learn in this episode

  • Amway’s 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Report
  • Hurdles and risks in entrepreneurship
  • Life stages and Entrepreneurship
  • Difference between being a freelancer and an entrepreneur
  • What are entrepreneurial characteristics?
  • How people without an innate entrepreneurial spirit can grow in their organizations
  • Innovation Ecosystems
  • Technology in entrepreneurship
  • The freelancer economy and the future
  • Advice for new employees

Links from the episode


Amway Global 

Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report



Direct download: Doug_DeVos_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:48am PDT

Today’s Future of Work podcast is with Anne Raimondi the SVP of Strategy at Zendesk.   The topic today is a little different than most of the topics covered on the podcast.  Anne speaks on rethinking our personal and professional relationships.  Our relationships drive what we do in our personal lives, and how we interact inside our companies.  They are changing right along with the future of work.  With advances in technology, we are finding that work is spreading into every aspect of our lives.  Anne describes how instead of focusing on work-life balance, the focus should be on work-life integration and how it effects the relationships we build and maintain.  

Working with Zendesk for over two years, Anne’s position could be described as, to make sure people are happy, work well together, and get things done.   Zendesk provides a customer service platform and tools for companies to utilize in varies forms.  Growing from around 400 employees, to around 1300 since Anne has been on board, Zendesk has maintained a focus on making sure they remain a great place to work.  Anne shares her tips for creating technology boundaries at home and at the workplace.  The thoughts shared in this podcast regarding Zendesk’s focus on building authentic relationships in the workplace can be utilized in any organization!

What you will learn in this episode

How the concept of relationships are changing

Work-life Balance vs Work-life Integration

Creating technology boundaries

What it means to be a working Mom

Millennials effect on employee engagement

What Zendesk does internally to help drive positive relationships

Women in leadership roles

Accessible Leadership


Links from the episode 



Direct download: Anne_Raimondi_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:19pm PDT

Today’s Future of Work Podcast is a very exciting topic!  My guest is Mark Levy, the Global Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb.  Airbnb has been making headlines lately, as they shifted their focus from a Human Resources Department to Employee Experience.  Airbnb has core values that really put their employees first, and want them to feel like they belong with the company.   During today’s podcast, I sit down at their main campus, and you can feel the energy of their open floor and hear new programs being implemented as the podcast is recording. 

Airbnb is an alternative accommodation site that connects hosts and guests all over the world.   Mark has spent over 20 years in Human Resources roles spanning his career.  When Mark joined Airbnb, the Human Resources functions were split into multiple groups, which included talent, recruiting, and a group called “ground control” which was responsible for the workplace culture. Talk of bringing the departments together occurred, and Mark questioned, if Airbnb had a Customer Experience Group, why not create an Employee Experience Group?  The Employee Experience was then created with new specializations, such as comp and benefits, facilities, and a food program.   Mark discusses Airbnb’s strategy for 2016, and how they plan on growing the company and their employee experience programs.

What you will learn in this episode

Is Employee Experience The Same As HR?

Should All Organizations Have A Person In Charge Of Employee Experiences?

What Does Airbnb Do To Create Employee Experiences?

Why Is Employee Experience So Important?

What Is It Like To Work At Airbnb?

How Employee Experience Can Be Utilized In All Companies

The Freedom In A Framework Structure

Scaling Experiences

Advice For Creating New Experiences In Any Workplace

Links from the episode

Mark Levy on LinkedIn


Direct download: Mark_Levy_Podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:53pm PDT