Mon, 28 January 2019
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:
Link from the episode:
Wed, 23 January 2019
AI and Automation doesn’t have to create the job apocalypse that some people are worried about. We have a choice to make--will AI replace your workers or will it augment them?
I have heard both sides of the AI and Automation debate over the past few years. Some people think that our future is doom and gloom and that all human jobs will be replaced. Others feel more optimistic about the subject and they are excited to see how AI and Automation can augment human workers to do their jobs better.
One of my recent podcast guests was Tim O’Reilly, the Founder and CEO at O’Reilly Media and Author of WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up To Us. During my interview with Tim, he brought up a really interesting point about AI and Automation and jobs. He believes that what we do with AI is a choice. We can choose to design our organizations in a way that allows AI to replace all the human jobs, or we can change our business model to figure out how AI can effectively augment human jobs.
There are many current companies who have examples of how to use AI without eliminating jobs, Amazon is one great example of how this model can work. So, it’s up to you. Will you choose to let AI take over human jobs or will you choose to find a way to have AI augment them?
Mon, 21 January 2019
A Look Inside Lego: How They Utilize Storytelling, The Power Of Play, And How They Are Redesigning Their Leadership Model
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:
Wed, 16 January 2019
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.
Mon, 14 January 2019
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:
Fri, 11 January 2019
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.
Mon, 7 January 2019
Dave Kozel is EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer of PVH Corp, the global apparel company that owns brands such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, Speedo and Arrow. PVH employees around 36,000 people and has locations in 40 countries. Dave is responsible for Human Resources, Compensation, Benefits, Talent Management & Development, Inclusion & Diversity, Communications and Facilities for one of the largest global apparel companies in the world.
PVH has been recognized for its commitment to creating an inclusive environment where every individual is valued, including being named one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity and earning 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. The Company was also ranked among the top 100 Most Inclusive and Diverse companies globally on the Thomas Reuters Global Inclusion Index and named one of Forbes’ and JUST Capital’s Most JUST Companies.
Dave joined PVH in 2003 as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, and was promoted to Executive Vice President, Human Resources in 2013. He changed to his current title in June 2015. Prior to joining PVH, Dave served as the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for J. Crew and held executive HR positions at Grey Advertising and Deluxe Corporation. His early career was spent at Citicorp and Pacific Gas & Electric in various Human Resource positions.
A major focus of the organization is having a people first strategy in order to bring in the best talent, and keep them engaged and motivated. It also involves allowing employees to be truly successful in what they're interested in from a career standpoint. And if they're successful and engaged, it only increases the company's probability of having success. This is what is driving their leadership curriculum. Dave talks about one of the company’s programs, which is the PVH University. It is a fairly robust university program where they have a leadership academy in which they offer entry level,first-time manager training programs and then second-level training programs to managers. They have a global leadership program that works with The Wharton Business School.
When asked about work-life balance, Dave said he believes, people really need to spend, 10% to 20% of their time away from their work. Even while at work everyone should try to designate some time to not think about the day to day and the tasks they have to complete.
The world of work is definitely changing. Some of the most significant changes Dave has noticed
Trends Dave is focusing on include:
Fri, 4 January 2019
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?