Great Leadership With Jacob Morgan

Humans have changed naturally over time. There’s a reason we don’t live in caves and work over fires any more—we’ve found a better and more efficient way. Human evolution didn’t stop with technology or modern times. We’re still changing and evolving as we find better ways to do things and as our values and concerns change.


Many people think of employee experience as something that just happens at work. Organizations want to create a great environment where employees are happy to come each day, but they only think about what happens during normal business hours and only for things that are work-related. That’s the old way of thinking. 


Employee experience relates to every aspect of a person’s life, not just their time at work. When they feel engaged and empowered at work, they likely feel calmer and more confident outside of work. They know they are welcome to bring their true selves to work without judgement, and they don’t feel the pressure of dividing their lives into strict boxes between their personal and professional time. The lines between work and home are blurring as a part of human evolution. Work isn’t something we do from just 9-5. It’s a part of who we are, but it isn’t all that we are. 


Human evolution has also led to a greater emphasis on sustainability, health, and social causes. We build habits in these areas in our personal lives as more people try to create healthy and meaningful lives. But in many cases, those habits aren’t supported at work. In order to match the personal expectations employees bring with them, organizations need to change to create an all-encompassing employee experience. 


Human values and thoughts are changing. People expect more out of their jobs and lives, and the two areas are no longer completely separate. That’s the nature of human evolution: our desires have grown and improved over time. In order to develop a strong and sustainable employee experience, organizations need to become more human and consider all aspects of their employees’ lives. Employee experience isn’t just a work thing—it’s a human evolution thing. 



Don Tapscott is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at the Blockchain Research Institute and bestselling author of 16 books. His most recent book is Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World


Don has been on the Thinkers50 list 5 times, most recently in 2017 when he was ranked #2 on the list. He also wrote the afterword for my 2012 book, The Collaborative Organization. 


At the Blockchain Research Institute, Don and his team study hundreds of cases and stories within 15 industries in order to document the strategic implications of blockchain. Because of this research they are able to help leaders in business and government navigate the blockchain revolution. 


Why do we need blockchain? As Don explains up until now we have had intermediaries such as banks, brockers, credit card companies, governments, etc… in order to make sure that assets are safe. But these intermediaries are getting hacked and they sometimes have processes that are outdated, lengthy and costly. That is where blockchain comes in. 


The intermediaries will not disappear altogether, but the value will change. He says, “I think the opportunity to create new value, may be bigger than the old disintermediation. I mean, look at... Barnes and Noble suffered, but look at Amazon, it's the most valuable company in the world now. It's in the middle, right in that space. So I said, "The problem is, the leaders of the old middle are not typically the ones to create the new middles." So what happens to these people? Well, we're of the view the future is not something to be predicted, it's something to be achieved. It depends on what they do. And traditional people in the middle, I'd say Western Union, I wouldn't think that they have a huge chance. I don't know the company very well, but I don't see a lot of signs that they're trying to innovate a whole new model for remittances globally, using this technology. So it's really up to you.”


Blockchain still has a long way to go, it’s still, as Don says, “relatively immature”. It’s going to take awhile to fully implement it, but it is still a profound advancement and it is definitely going to impact the way we live and work. 


Don’s advice to individuals and leaders is to be curious and look into blockchain to learn what you can about it. He says if you run a large corporation it doesn’t matter what function you are in--whether you are the CEO, in HR, even in marketing--you will be affected by blockchain and there will be big opportunities to utilize it. 

What you will learn:

  • What is blockchain and how is it impacting the future of work
  • Don’s advice for the younger generation currently in college
  • The implications of AI--will they be positive or negative?
  • A look at specific trends that are forcing organizations to take blockchain more seriously now
  • Don’s advice for both non-leaders and leaders on what we should be doing about blockchain
Direct download: Don_Tapscott_Podcast_-_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:21am PDT


The world of work is constantly changing. Perhaps one of the biggest changes is how we attract new talent. It used to be that whenever a company had a job to fill, people would line up to interview. They would share all of their qualifications and accomplishments to show the company why they should work there.


Things are different now. Just because a company has a job opening doesn’t mean people are automatically lining up to fill it. When potential job candidates come in, they’re more concerned about making sure the organization is the right fit for them instead of proving why they would be the best new employee. Instead of candidates convincing companies why they should work there, companies now have to convince job candidates why they should work for them. 


What makes a potential employee want to work for an organization? They want to feel confident the company is the best fit for their interests, values, and skills. Job candidates want to be convinced in the following areas:

  • Sense of purpose. Potential employees want to know the organization’s values and culture align with their own values. They want to feel a sense of purpose and know the work they are doing makes a difference. Companies that are the best at attracting top talent showcase their sense of purpose and make it evident in everything the company does. 
  • Tools. What technology and software do employees use? Is it updated regularly? Employees want tools that allow them to get their jobs done well instead of being held back by slow or outdated supplies. A company that uses consumer-grade technology and is regularly updating will have an easier time convincing job candidates they are the right place to work. 
  • Space. The physical space can tell a lot about an organization. When coming in for an interview, job candidates often want to walk through the space to get a feel of the company. Are co-workers collaborating, or is everyone working in silent cubicles? Is the layout welcoming? Physical space is one of the most tangible ways to showcase a company’s culture and can make a huge difference in how potential employees feel about the organization. 
  • Leadership. What’s the organizational structure of the company? How involved are leaders? Job candidates want to know if leaders are open and transparent, or if the company follows a more outdated hierarchal structure. They likely want a manager who encourages open communication and who can become a mentor of sorts.


In today’s competitive talent landscape, companies need to convince people why they should work for you. Take time to showcase your company and ensure your culture, technology, structure, and physical space align with what job candidates are looking for.  

Direct download: What_Are_You_Doing_To_Convince_People_Why_They_Should_Work_For_You.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:10am PDT

Ben Marcus is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Airmap, a company that develops the digital infrastructure, standards, and services for drones to fly safely at scale. Basically they create the digital highways that allow for drones to fly. He grew up near an airport and was always fascinated with aviation. 


He became a pilot, a flight instructor and eventually a flight test engineer who certified planes. And it was while he was learning to fly that he began his journey to come up with the idea for AirMap. 


Ben says, “When I was a flight instructor flying over Los Angeles, I used to fly every day, and have a student next to me, look down at the freeways, and they're jammed packed with people. These cars are just stopped, and I felt so bad for all these miserable people stuck in traffic and I'm the only one up here in the sky. And I was like, "Why is there not more people in the sky with me?" And so, I've dedicated my life and my career to helping extend the benefits of flight to more and more people in their daily lives.”


So what do drones have to do with the future of work? The fact is drones are already being used in a lot of industries to help with cost savings, employee safety, and training. Ben gave an example of how the telecommunications industry is using drones to help with the process of inspecting their antennas. This process is usually dangerous for human workers as well as time consuming, but now the drones are easily and safely able to take video of the equipment that employees can then review to ensure everything is working properly. 


 In the future we will also see drones used in more science fiction-like ways. Ben believes that drones will have a huge impact on the world of talent because we will be able to fly to work. This will change how organizations think about where to put their headquarters and how individual employees think about where to live. 


“If you can fly to work, you can avoid all of that lost productivity, all of that expense, and you can basically live where you want. If you can fly at 100 miles an hour instead of being stuck in traffic at 20 miles an hour, you could live five times further away and have the same commute time. So I actually think that this is gonna lead to a de-urbanization trend and I think it will counter a lot of the negative consequences that have come from urbanization. I think we can have a lot more green space, we need far fewer parking lots and fewer roads. We can have a much more environmentally sustainable way of life going forward. So that's a really exciting future.”


Ben’s advice to business leaders is if you haven’t started working with drones yet and implementing them in ways across your organization, you should start now, because your competitors are most likely already working with drones. 


“Many of these large enterprises that have been experimenting with drones are now moving from an experimentation phase into a scaling phase where they maybe have had a drone initiative in their innovation department and they're now moving that across the enterprise and figuring out how they can really make this a part of their workflow, how the data that's collected from drones can be integrated into their ERP systems, how do you really make this a part of the fabric of how our company operates? That's happening now in a lot of businesses across lots of industries all around the world. So, it's not too late, but you should get started right now.”

What you will learn:

  • How Ben got involved with drones and AirMap
  • What do drones have to do with work, jobs, careers and the business world
  • The impact drones will have on the world of talent
  • Some cool examples of how drones could affect our daily lives
  • How to ensure drone safety
  • What listeners need to know or think about when it comes to drones
Direct download: Ben_Marcus_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:54am PDT

When you’re at work, do you spend more time hearing or listening? They may seem similar, but the differences between just hearing and actually listening are astounding. With all the technology and distractions we have today, it’s crucial for us to be able to take a step back and really listen to what’s being said. As automation and AI become more prevalent at work, listening is a distinctly human attribute that sets us apart. Robots and technology can hear, but they can’t truly listen. 


How do you move from hearing to really listening? Here are three tips:

  • Practice active listening

Most people can tell when someone is actually listening to them and when they’re distracted and not really paying attention. It comes down to active listening. Hearing is a passive action, but really listening is active. To practice active listening, eliminate any distractions. Put your phone down, step away from the computer, or go into a quiet room. Make eye contact with the person speaking and show you’re paying attention and interested in what they’re saying. Active listening turns a conversation into a collaboration, not just a one-way street. 

  • Try to apply and understand

Shift your mindset to try to find value in what each person says. When you listen to understand, you start to see things from their point of view and can have your horizons expanded. Really focus on how you can understand and apply what the person is saying. The extra effort will increase how well you remember the conversation details in the future and make you a better listener. 

  • Focus on more than just your response

Many of us fall into the trap of focusing on what we’re going to say next instead of actually listening to the person speaking. We’re thinking of a counterargument or a point that will make us look good instead of actually focusing on what’s being said. If you need to respond to something, set those thoughts aside and focus on just listening to the speaker. Then take a few minutes after the conversation to gather your thoughts and craft a response. 


The old saying, “Hearing is through the ears, listening is through the mind” has never been more true. To thrive in the future, organizations need to stay human, and that starts with employees and leaders who focus on the uniquely human attribute of listening. Listening instead of just hearing turns you into a better employee, leader, and individual. Put these tips into action to stop hearing and start listening. 

Direct download: Stop_Hearing_And_Start_Listening.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 4:11am PDT

Chuck Kosal is the Chief Transformation Officer at Deloitte Tax, the tax function of the global firm Deloitte. Deloitte has a total of around 312,000 employees around the world and the tax function is made up of around 12,000 of those employees. They were actually named “Americas Tax Technology Firm of the Year” for the 2nd year in a row by the International Tax Review. 


Deloitte’s mission is to create digital innovation that helps its clients adapt to accelerating globalization, increased regulatory and business complexities and other significant transformational changes in the corporate landscape. And in order to accomplish this the organization has to continually evolve to keep up with the needs of their clients. 


Part of Chuck’s role is to help the organization navigate change and transformation. This can be a very challenging task because people tend to resist change. Chuck says, “You think in any conversation people always embrace change, they talk about how they want things to be better, how they want things to be different, but the reality is often, human nature is they want everybody around them to change, they think what they're doing is pretty spiffy, right? And so I could share an anecdotal example of a current technology we have in place, that everybody has complained about for a number of years. We announce that we're gonna change it and people scream and yell and drop to the floor and kick and scream like my youngest child, that, “don't take it away for me this terrible technology.” So, it's every day is spent navigating the organization, navigating the stakeholders, doing audience analysis to ensure I understand what's in it for the other side, showing empathy.”


Deloitte Tax is going through a digital transformation. As Chuck describes it, they are “trying to go from doing digital to being digital”. They realize that their clients are used to the quick and seamless interactions with companies like Amazon, Uber, Google, and these clients are going to expect the same service from Deloitte as well. 


When it comes to organizational transformation Chuck says one of the biggest pitfalls companies encounter is the fear of taking the first step. “You'll hear a lot and I'm sure on your podcast, this idea of being bold. You don't actually need to be bold, you need to be brave. And you need to take the first step towards a change and I see that in the context of transformation. Digital or otherwise, any types of business transformation, even personal transformation, it's the first step that's the hardest. When you think about, it's that first workout that's the hardest, it's the first investment you make that's the hardest. And so I would say that's the biggest challenge that I would tell people. It's an easy challenge to overcome, just take your first step. Big or small, just take a step and see how it goes. And you might find that it's not as bad as you think and you might actually get some results that will inspire you to take a bigger step next time. But don't let paralysis be the enemy. Don't let this idea of how change might... What the outcome of change might be to not actually try it. And so I would say that's it, it's taking that first step.”

What you will learn: 

  • What does a Chief Transformation Officer do
  • A look at the trends Chuck is paying attention to 
  • How Deloitte is moving from doing digital to being digital
  • How Chuck and his team are utilizing technology
  • How companies can keep up with new technologies
  • How to deal with change and approach people who are resistant to change
  • The role of empathy in business
  • Some of the pitfalls or mistakes companies make when going through transformation
Direct download: Chuck_Kosal_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

How we work today is drastically different than it was even just a few years ago. It might seem like everything about the world of work is changing, but I narrowed it down to three main areas:


  • Technology and Connectivity

The idea of working without a smartphone or the internet seems crazy, but that was standard practice not too long ago. Technology, especially AI and the Internet of Things, is constantly growing and evolving and bringing with it new opportunities for growth. Technology impacts how we work, where we work, and the type of work we do. Companies best positioned for the future leverage technology to increase productivity and efficiency. 


  • Power to Employees 

A power shift has been happening in recent years that puts employees in the driver’s seat. Instead of having to explain to companies why they need to work there, companies now must explain to employees why then need them to work there. With more power comes increased transparency and an openness between organizations and employees. It’s led to a greater emphasis on employee experience and better workspaces, diversity, and flexibility as organizations work to recruit and keep the best employees. 


  • Creating Human Organizations and Leadership

No company can exist without people. As technology increases and can be used to automate mundane tasks, organizations must find a way to become more human. Employees and leaders are emphasizing those uniquely human characteristics, such as collaboration, creativity, and vulnerability that can’t be replicated by machines. Human organizations allow employees to be unique and thrive and encourage leaders to act as coaches and mentors instead of just telling everyone what to do.


These three changes to the world of work—plus countless others—are hugely positive in creating a forward-thinking and welcoming environment. As technology takes over repetitive tasks, humans are free to work as they please, improve themselves, and work together to make huge strides. Organizations need to continually grow and improve to match the overall changes. Companies that embrace these changes instead of running away will be the most prepared for the future of work. 

Direct download: 1._How_The_World_Of_Work_Is_Changing.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:58am PDT

Blake Morgan is a best-selling author, speaker and futurist who focuses on customer experience. Her new book, The Customer of the Future: Ten Guiding Principles for Winning Tomorrow’s Business, was just released on October 29.

Creating great customer experience is critical for organizations looking to get and stay ahead. With all of the technologies we have and use on a daily basis (Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, etc…) as consumers we have come to expect personalized, easy, quick experiences. The problem is so many organizations are not keeping up with technology. Most, if not all, of us have stories about horrible experiences when interacting with insurance companies or cable companies or airlines.

Creating great customer experience is intertwined with creating great employee experience, because it is employees who are fulfilled, happy, and engaged who are going to be willing to go above and beyond for the customers. Employees who do not have the resources, tools, and training to do their job correctly are not going to provide great customer experience.

Blake shares a story that she heard from an HR executive at Workday, that proves this point completely. There was a salesperson who worked at the company, but he had a very hard time selling the software. The software itself was very hard to sell because it is only replaced every 10 years, but on top of that the salesperson was going through some difficult times personally, which made selling even harder. He had found out his daughter was suffering from an illness and the insurance he had through the company would not cover the medical attention his daughter would need.

He approached HR to ask for an exception and surprisingly they were able to change his policy to cover what his daughter needed. He was so grateful and relieved that he had a complete turn around professionally. He became the highest grossing sales person at the company and he started bringing in million dollar deals.

Blake says, “What I love about this story is that the head of HR didn't even remember approving this policy change for this young man because it was just so normal to be a human being and do the right thing for the human beings that work for you. And I think most companies, they've become so procedure obsessed, so operations obsessed, so money obsessed that they completely miss the human element, they treat their employees like robots, which is ironic because we're all afraid of being replaced by robots. Well, most companies already treat their employees like robots and their employees treat customers like robots.”

Think of how much our customer experience would change if we could start by treating our employees with empathy, compassion, and kindness.

“Being a successful business today takes hard work, but if you're just the one who has common sense, if you have integrity, if you have fair business practices, I believe that you can make it based on these old principles of integrity, of a commitment to being better. Jeff Bezos recently said, "I believe that one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt." And that's this humility, this awareness of... His company's own mortality. Like even Amazon could disappear overnight. That keeps him humble. And earning our keep every single day, no matter if it's in our relationships with our family, with our employees, with our customers, it's that humility. All of this could just go away. So every single day we need to try our best and commit to our originally established own vision and not let it lose its luster over time.”


What you will learn:

  • How Blake got involved in the customer experience space
  • What is the difference between customer service and customer experience
  • A look at the biggest trend causing organizations to spend more time on customer experience
  • How does employee experience fit in with customer experience
  • Examples of companies who are getting customer experience right
  • A look at the 10 guiding principles in Blake’s new book
Direct download: Podcast_with_Blake_Morgan_-_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:16am PDT