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

Matt Perez has been in the technology industry for a very long time, working in both small and large companies.  Almost 10 years ago he co-founded Nearsoft with partner Roberto Martinez. Nearsoft helps their software development company clients grow development teams with engineers in Mexico. Clients can then reap the benefits of a team that speaks the same language and works in the same time zone. Currently, Nearsoft has around 200 employees and 3 offices in Mexico. Even more unique than their strong presence in Mexico is the fact that there are no managers or titles at Nearsoft… it is completely self-managed!

According to Matt when people start working at Nearsoft it takes them a while to really believe that they don’t have a boss. They have an onboarding process that is currently being expanded from 2 to 6 weeks to help deal with that. The process highlights how to work with clients and communicate within the organization. New hires are assigned a mentor for any questions they may have. Everything, such as philosophy and values, is written so employees have context and know the appropriate things to do. It isn’t so detailed as step by step instructions but includes the necessary materials for employees to accomplish their goals.

Nearsoft also encourages leadership teams as part of a decision matrix that spells out the types of decisions that are made around the company. Anyone can start a leadership team on any topic, from trivial to profound. Others can choose to sign up, and the only rules are to keep minutes and post them for transparency. Even if a decision is made that Matt and Roberto don’t agree with, they will do what the employees feel is in their best interest. Without a manager, employees remain accountable for their own work by using OKRs, or objective key results. They define personal and work-related goals that they want to accomplish for the quarter. Nearsoft has a very well defined governance framework. So employees should explore what they are doing to contribute to the company’s vision and purpose for the next 5 years.


What you will learn in this episode:


  • What it’s like to work at Nearsoft
  • What self management is really like
  • The concept of how to treat people like an adult
  • Ownership by decision making
  • Workplace flexibility
  • Holacracy
  • Pros and cons of this type of organizational structure

Link From The Episode:

Direct download: Matt20M20Perez20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:44pm PST

Lindsay McGregor is the co-founder and CEO at Vega Factor, a company that helps organizations build high-performing, adaptive cultures. She is also the co-author of a New York Times Best Seller, Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation. Lindsay received her B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard, and has worked with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and universities. She started her career working in strategy and found that one question often popped up.. "Do we have the culture to pull off the strategy?" Many companies would chose small, incremental improvements in their culture. She found that it was difficult to convince companies that big culture changes could really impact their performance and bottom line.

Lindsay teamed up with Neel Doshi to research what is a great culture. They tested dozens of theories through research around the world, from 50 major companies and 20,000 people. They found that one truly predicted performance and that is total motivation. Total motivation, or ToMo, is the simple theory that why people work determines how well they work. There are six reasons why people work - three lead to higher performance and three lead to lower performance. They range from play, which is working because you love the work itself, to inertia, which is showing up today simply because you showed up yesterday. Many factors influence an employee's ToMo score like performance reviews, pay, and design.
Organizations can measure employees' individual ToMo scores and then use them to measure the organization's ToMo score as a whole. Not many companies have a high ToMo score... most are pretty low. A common misconception that can fuel this is that leaders have to be tough dictators to get high performance. However, happy employees and high performing organizations are not competing things. Investing in one leads to the other. Organizations should create a balance of play, purpose, and potential to combat low performance and increase their bottom line!
Things you will learn in this episode:
  • Total motivation, or ToMo
  • The six reasons why people work
  • The two types of performance
  • Cobra effect
  • How annual performance reviews affect ToMo
  • Blame bias
  • Fluid vs. frozen organizations
Links From The Episode:
Direct download: Lindsay20McGregor20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:14pm PST

The way that cities evolve impacts our lives, personally and professionally. Jonathan Reichental works as the Chief Information Officer for the city of Palo Alto, reinventing sectors of the government that are struggling. Cities need a CIO because technology is the center of operations and almost all projects have a technical aspect. Not every city currently has a CIO but we are seeing the shift and demand to take IT to the center of delivering better services to citizens.

Jonathan's office is in the city hall of Palo Alto. They built a civic tech center that looks like a start up, offering on-site training and team building. His team consists of 32 full time staff, plus temporary staff related to different companies like contractors and employees from vendors. Relative to cities of its size, Palo Alto has a large IT group. The city delivers all of its own utilities which generates half of its revenue. The population of less than 100,000 people doubles during the day with workers and students commuting in. The area has a huge appetite for technology!
Jonathan is in a position to really observe and influence The City of the Future. So what does that look like? If the current trend continues, the vast major majority of the future will be in an urban setting instead of rural. Cities aren't currently ready for that. Our commutes are horrendous and we have crumbling infrastructures. The climate change and its effects need to be addressed. Our energy systems need to advance. Cities are typically inefficient and each part doesn't communicate. Many sectors of city government need new innovation and ideas. The Internet of Things will make the City of the Future possible... we can connect traffic signals to software for maximum efficiency and better traffic flow. We will be able to do the dreaded activities like renewing a driver's license and acquiring permits on a phone or computer, instead of spending the whole day at a government office. The parts of our daily lives that are still trapped in the past will catch up to the present. The software to facilitate The City of the Future exists, we just have to take a risk!
What you will learn in this episode:
Technology and people components of The City of the Future
Big data
Community versus Organization involvement
Sustainability and going green
Smart cities
Link From The Episode:
Direct download: Jonathan20Reichental20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:48pm PST

Mark Curtis started his career in the marketing and digital field, and is now the co-founder and Chief Client Officer at Fjord. Fjord is the design and innovation part of Accenture Interactive that employs 750 people in 18 cities... mainly designers spread across the world! The company is growing rapidly due to the increasing demand for service design and the delivery of end design digital products. Mark and his team are responsible for inventing services and laying out the design.

Fjord's recent report, The Era of Living Services, describes how data analytics will be combined with the Internet of Things to create services that come to life! It is based on the thought that we are currently experiencing the third era of digital that adds complexity on top of the previous eras - desktop web and smart phones. These services are described as living because they will change in real time, be all around us, and effect our lives in really profound ways. The Era of Living Services will be very impactful at work, at home, and in our education, health, and shopping! This will introduce a whole new level of individualized digital experiences. 
The Era of Living Services has arrived due to several trends. For one, the price point is at the right place. Technology is becoming more affordable than ever. Also, the expectations of consumers are raised. Millennials in the workforce have a completely different attitude to this kind of progress. They accept and encourage it. And technology, such as AI and robotics, is advancing at an exponential rate that will fuel the Era of Living Services!


Things you will learn in this episode:
What is living service?
Concepts of liquid experiences
Why living services are starting to happen
How this impacts how we work and live
What this means for privacy, security, and ethics
Challenges this will create
How liquid consumer expectations spill over into workplace
Employee experience
Links From The Episode:
Direct download: Mark20Curtis20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:02pm PST

Marco Annuziata is the Chief Economist and Executive Director of Global Market Insights at General Electric. He is relatively new in the company, only having been there for 5 years in a newly created position. Marco is tasked with studying what is happening around the world and how it will affect employment, economies, and growth. He looks at the long term geopolitical, economic, social, and technological trends, then maps that to the risks and opportunities for GE's different businesses around the world. 

GE uses the Global Innovation Barometer to learn how people feel about innovation. It is a survey of business executives and the informed public across 26 countries that identifies the implications, obstacles, advantages of innovation. Marco's team uses the barometer to get a sense of what is happening globally and in each country. One of the key findings is surprising... people are generally optimistic about the 4th industrial revolution's affect on economic growth and living standards.
Marco's team essentially tries to predict the future based on the data from the Global Innovation Barometer. They build their own forecasts of growths, investment outlooks, and more. They can then bring insights to management and the rest of GE. It is a very demanding and fallible process, but extremely fascinating!
What you will learn in this episode:
What is the Global Innovation Barometer
Key findings of the Barometer
Marco's outlook for the U.S. economy
4th Industrial Revolution
Startup mentality
Talent acquisition
Links From The Episode:
Direct download: Marco20Annunziata20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44pm PST

Joe Burton comes from a corporate background, working in high stress situations with long hours and constant travel. His career was on an uphill track but his personal life and health started to decline. He even developed insomnia and asthma around the age of 40. Up until then, he would have laughed if someone suggested mindfulness as a way to alleviate his stress. Joe realized that mindfulness training helped him be more present and aware. He developed a deeper relationship with his emotions and central nervous system. It changed the way he is with his family and as a leader.
Now Joe is the founder and CEO of Whil, a mindfulness training company that offers three digital programs that work on any computer or mobile device. Mindfulness and Yoga for Adults which is all about stress reduction and improving performance. Grow is for helping teenagers deal with being a teen in today's world. Search Inside Yourself is focused on leadership, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and collaboration skills. Whil is primarily focused on serving corporations, healthcare systems, and universities but can be used by anyone that is looking for a way to help calm their life down. It now has 350,000 users and for every product sold, Whil gives one away.
The average person spends almost half of their time with their mind wandering, usually worrying. We are living in an age that has our brains trained for activity. Mindfulness trains our brain to go to a place of calm and focus so we can be more present in our lives. Just 5-10 minutes of practice a day on bringing our attention back to a focal point can help us be able to maintain sustained attention for longer periods of time. It is like going to the gym for your brain..not easy but very rewarding!
"Having the awareness to understand when to act and when not, and being able to act out of choice instead of compulsion is a big part of mindfulness." - Joe Burton
Mindfulness training is becoming more common on the workplace because there are now thousands of studies in the field of neuroscience that correlate it with improved health and performance. It is linked to improved cardiovascular health, immune systems, healing time, memory, and focus. Studies even show a link to reducing chronic pain and PTSD. Of course this is important to employees but it also benefits companies that want to reduce absenteeism and health care costs. In this on demand world, it is important to be equipped with ways to relieve stress and mindfulness training is the perfect tool.
What you will learn in this episode:
  • What is mindfulness
  • Myths and misconceptions
  • What it means to be mindful
  • Examples of mindfulness
  • Impact of mindfulness
  • Leadership and relationships
  • Tips on how to become more mindful
Link From The Episode:
Direct download: Joe20Burton20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:43pm PST

The workplace of the past is gone... We are now talking about homing from work, not working from home. Tim Oldman uses his background in interior design and architecture, along with his fascination in merging diagnostic tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to get a better understanding of employee spaces. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Leesman, famous for the Leesman Index, which is an independent auditor of the relationship between employees and the space that is provided for them. Tim compares Leesman to the radiographers of the corporate workplace and that couldn't be more appropriate!
Leesman releases a variety of reports on ideas like cost of occupancy and employee retention. They adhere to the concept of open source knowledge so anyone can view the reports on their website.The Leesman Index looks at the impact of work spaces on employees and identifies the most effective spaces. Tim is clear that it isn't about how pretty, or how large, or how expensive a space is designed. The key is knowledge transfer. A successful organization must capitalize on knowledge existing within so they should create an environment that better facilitates knowledge transfer. 
The most recent Leesman Index was released in November 2015 and shredded many myths about the physical work space. It found that there is no difference on how work spaces impact gender and that age does have an impact but it is not generational. The report also shows that natural lighting is preferred over artificial, informal areas are more effective, and other important factors. However, one-dimensionally planned spaces never work. The highest performing workplaces take all factors into account. They have flexibility and variety which increases employee production and pride.
What you will learn in this episode:
What is the Leesman Index
Who is the company that has the highest LMI
Differences in high performance and low performance work spaces
Shredding work space myths
Work-life balance
How the leading organizations are already way ahead
Links From The Episode
Direct download: Tim20Oldman20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:14pm PST

We are currently in the midst of an industrial revolution with an exponential pace of change and it is disrupting industry in every country. This revolution is different from the past three in terms of velocity, scope, and impact. It is a digital revolution, characterized by a fusion of technology that is impacting every aspect of how we work and how we live, creating threats and opportunities. Skills that we learned in formal education are now becoming irrelevant. Employees should be prepared to completely reskill themselves.

I recently spoke with Sandeep Dadlani, the Executive Vice President and Head of Americas for Infosys, on what is going to be required from employees of the future to succeed and thrive. Infosys is a massive, quick growing global consulting firm. Sandeep has been with them for over 15 years in a variety of roles. They have studied the 4th industrial revolution and the impact it is going to have thoroughly. Infosys believes the answer to the challenges we face in this revolution is education.
With technology evolving so quickly, corporate training programs are behind the times and desperately need to be updated. We should focus on education in areas like computers, data, artificial intelligence, and designed thinking to enable consistent training for the workforce. Learning should be a creative, clever environment that allows employees to prove that they are innovators. Managers just need to listen to the future... youth already has a good idea about what they want to be trained on. 
What You Will Learn In This Episode:
  • World Economic Forum
  • What is the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Amplifying human potential
  • Skills gap
  • Emerging markets versus the United States
  • Education and training in the workforce
  • Gender divide
Links From The Episode:
Direct download: sandeep20dadlani20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:49pm PST

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 PST

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 PST