Great Leadership With Jacob Morgan (general)

Hubert Joly is the former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy. Currently he is a professor at Harvard Business School, he is on the board of two companies--Johnson & Johnson and Ralph Lauren. He is coaching and mentoring a number of CEOs and senior leaders and he is writing a new book which is set to come out next May titled: The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism

Hubert was elected a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He was honored as one of the 25 most influential executives of the business travel industry in 2006 and 2009 by Business Travel News Magazine. He was voted one of the top 100 CEOs on Glassdoor in 2017 and 2018. And he was named one of the best CEOs in the world by the CEOWorld Magazine. 

He didn’t always dream of being a leader. In fact, when he was 10 years old he wanted to be a vet and then in high school, he felt his career would be in economics. After college, he spent 12 years at McKinsey & Company as a consultant before ultimately realizing he wanted to lead a business. And he has led quite a few companies through turnarounds and major digital transformations. 

How Hubert Transformed Best Buy 

When Hubert was first approached about the position of CEO at Best Buy the company was struggling. It was on the brink of closing. Most people would have run away as fast as they could, not wanting to be attached to a failing company. But Hubert did his due diligence, he visited several locations, spoke with employees, and thought about what could be done to turn the company around. And he ultimately took the job. 

He realized early on that while everyone gets excited about technology and gadgets and love using them, a lot of times we need help figuring out how to use them. So Hubert knew Best Buy had to be able to help people solve technology issues and answer questions. 

Hubert also saw the need for displaying actual working products on the shelves instead of boxes with products inside. Looking at shelves of boxes is not inspiring, people need to be able to see and experience the products for themselves. 

So he saw a lot of opportunities to improve Best Buy. He says, “I felt that there was an opportunity. That we have enough assets and that because the problems were self inflicted, we could effectuate a turnaround. So I told the recruiting committee of the board, look, I want the job and here's my eight page memo on what I'm going to do if you guys recruit me and I never looked back.”

Hubert says there are four levers in a turnaround. They are to grow the revenue line, cut costs, optimize benefits, and then if the first three are not enough, as a last resort you go after the headcount or redeploy people. 

The three ways to cut costs before cutting your headcount 

A lot of leaders first starting at a struggling organization probably would have thought about cutting back on the headcount first to save money. But Hubert not only didn’t take that route, he actually put more money into training, incentives, wellness, etc…

As he shares, “I'm not the cut, cut cut guy. I'm a big believer that in business you have three imperatives in business. One is the people imperative, you need to have good people well trained, well equipped. Then you have the customer or business imperative, you need to have happy customers to whom you sell, you know, compelling services. And then you, of course, have a financial imperative, which is you need money. But the financial performance is an outcome of excellence on the customer imperative, which itself is an outcome of excellence on the people imperative. So it's people, business, finance, and you treat profit as an outcome, not as your singular focus.”

Hubert truly believes that leaders should treat humans as a solution to the problem, not as a source of the problem. And we should use headcount reduction only as a last resort.

How to balance profit and purpose 

Hubert is a big believer in being focused on purpose and humanity in business and killing the idea of shareholder primacy. The sole purpose of a company can not be just to make money. He still understands that companies need to take care of shareholders, but taking care of them should be an outcome, not the first priority. 

People should be at the heart of the business. They are the engine that allows the business to work. So how did Hubert convince the board members and shareholders at Best Buy that purpose and people mattered just as much as profit and revenue? 


He shares that part of the issue with past management is that they would tell shareholders a lot of exciting stories about what could be done, but they never delivered actual results. When he laid out his plan for the shareholders and board members at Best Buy he focused on what he calls the say-do ratio--the ratio between what they said they were going to do and what they actually did. 

There were plenty of opportunities, but the shareholders needed to see that they could actually be executed. So every quarter Hubert would give them progress reports with tangible results. Leaders need to keep shareholders in the journey. Give them hope and confidence that things are going to work, but be honest and open with them and keep them in the loop. 

As long as you are delivering and focusing on that say-do ratio you should keep your eye on the prize. Don’t let shareholders sway you too much. Hubert says, “I think management teams that use the short term focus of the investors as an excuse to not do the right thing, I think are completely misled. I have found that if you go to the investors, and share with them, what you're doing, the investments you're making, the return you're expecting, they'll believe you and follow you. And then in the end, during our second phase, I actually told our investors our purpose is not to make money.”

When leading Best Buy Hubert believed the purpose of the company was not to make money, it was to enrich lives through technology by addressing key human needs. He made it clear that they were not in the business of selling TVs, they were in the business of understanding what it is people are trying to do in their life and being there to advise and support them. But when you run your business with that mindset, the money will be the outcome. 

The danger that leaders need to avoid 

In the past people looking to become leaders were taught that being smart was really important. It was believed that if you wanted to be a great leader you had to know it all, have all the answers, you had to be able to solve any problem, and show others that you are intelligent. 

Hubert sees that as a danger for leaders. Having this mindset makes it easy to fall into the trap of power, fame, money and glory. While these things on their own are not necessarily bad, they are easy to get wrapped up in. Leaders who make decisions based solely on gaining more power, fame, money or glory usually end up in scandals and disasters. 

Instead leaders should lead with humility, integrity, transparency and empathy. Leaders no longer have to know everything, they can look to the people around them for ideas, solutions, and results. 

The five Bs of purposeful leadership

In order to avoid the traps of power, fame, money, and glory Hubert says leaders need to reset. And he gives 5 Bs that leaders should focus on in order to truly be purpose driven and centered on their people.

  • Be clear about your purpose as a human being--What drives you in life? How do you want to be remembered? What do you want to contribute? Make sure you lead with those things in mind and make sure the company you work for aligns with your purpose. And this also means you understand the purpose of others around you and what drives them. 
  • Be clear about who you serve as a leader--Your focus should be on the people around you, not yourself. If you are serving yourself or your boss, that’s a problem. 
  • Be clear about your role as a leader--Your role as a leader is to create an environment in which others can be successful. It’s not to be the smartest person in the room or to know it all. 
  • Be a value driven leader--Having integrity is fundamental
  • Be an authentic leader--You have to be able to be vulnerable and genuinely connect with people around you. 

Direct download: Hubert_Joly_Podcast_-_DONE_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:20am PDT

The world is changing quickly. What do you need to know and do in order to be successful now and in the future? Hi, my name is Jacob Morgan, I’m a 4x best-selling author, speaker, and futurist and this show is all about you…helping you become more successful at work and in life. Each week you will get access to several episodes which range from longer interviews with with the world’s top business leaders. Educators, or authors to shorter episodes where I will share a specific hack, tip, or strategy that you can use to become more successful.

From leadership, to the future of work, to employee experience this show will live you the insights and the tools you need to succeed and thrive both professionally and personally. If you want to future proof your career and your organization then this is the show for you!

Make sure to follow me on Spotify on subscribe to the show on your favorite platform. You can do so easily by going to 

Direct download: Spotify_Trailer_-_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44am PDT

Today I am joined by Ott Vatter, the Managing Director at e-Residency, an initiative started by the Republic of Estonia to encourage more people to start businesses in Europe and to make it easier for remote workers and entrepreneurs to work while on the move. E-Residency was the first digital initiative of its kind, and there are now over 55,000 e-residents worldwide, including Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and Angela Merkel. It has been so popular that e-residency applications have been growing faster than the number of births in the entire Estonian nation.


Today we are talking about how e-Residency came to be--what made the government of Estonia start this initiative, the benefits that have come from it, what impacts the country has seen from the program, and the possibility of other countries creating their own programs. You will also hear some mistakes they made along the way and how they overcame them.

Ott Vatter is the Managing Director at e-Residency, an initiative started by the Republic of Estonia in 2014 to encourage more people to start businesses in Europe. It makes it easier for remote workers and entrepreneurs to work while on the move. 


E-Residency was the first digital initiative of its kind, and there are now over 55,000 e-residents worldwide, including Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and Angela Merkel. It has been so popular that e-residency applications have been growing faster than the number of births in the entire Estonian nation. 


So why was it first formed? Ott says, “If we look at the population first of Estonia, we're only 1.3 million people. With the domestic market, we can't really develop or scale. We're also demographically losing people. People are moving away. Some people are moving back. But in general, the outlook in 50 years, 100 years is not that positive. We have to be clever in these ways that we can actually innovate. We're not a rich country in terms of national resources, or we don't have huge resources of oil. But what we do have is the basis of a digital country. We could really capitalize on that. The infrastructure of e-Residency was already there for our own citizens. We didn't have to invent anything new, but we could replicate the same model for foreigners. We use the same identity card, taking away the photo and making it available for others as well.”


Any individual is able to apply for e-Residency, even if they are not currently looking to start a company or work remotely. Some people just do it to say they are an “e-Estonian”. One of the main benefits of joining e-Residency is the ability to use your digital certificate to sign documents quickly and it allows remote entrepreneurs to let other people handle the basic administrative tasks which leaves the entrepreneur freed up to focus on more important parts of running a business. 


When thinking about the future of work Ott believes that being a digital citizen will have huge benefits. He says, “People are traveling around even more and more. I think remote work is growing immensely. Digital identity is something that makes your life easier. As a German citizen, you wouldn't have to fly back to your own country, for example, from Thailand and wait in line in the tax office to fill out a form. Or in the U.S., for example, the tax forms, I mean, they're crazy. You physically have to be present to actually present all of these documents. I think the future of work is about being location independent. Being able to submit or do your business from anywhere in the world. I think digital identity will play a very big part of this revolution.”

What you will learn:

  • What e-Residency is and why it was started
  • Why the concept of a digital society is so important
  • The impacts of e-Residency on the country of Estonia 
  • The role of privacy and security in a digital society
  • Some of the mistakes that were made in forming this program and how they were overcome
  • What Estonia is doing as a country to encourage people to start businesses there
Direct download: Ott_Vatter_podcast_-_done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:19am PDT

Last week I went to social media to find out what your questions are related to leadership, employee experience, and the future of work. You asked and now today, I answer.

The following questions are the ones I am addressing on today’s episode:  

  1. Often leaders are on the fence about investing in employee experience, especially when it requires outside support or consulting. What are the top 3 things you've heard from leaders that have pushed them to actually take action on an employee experience shift?
  2. Would you make any changes to your top 5 soft skills for the future (perpetual learning, accountability, empathy, self-awareness, entrepreneurial thinking) if you were to create the list at this moment again?
  3. What are the top 5 hard skills that will be relevant in the future? Now, it seems it is programming, however, a lot of it will be probably replaced by AI, therefore what hard skills will be the most relevant in the future?
  4. If you were responsible for employee engagement and happiness in a company, what would be the first three initiatives or actions you would take at this position? Let's assume the company culture is not yet defined and we are talking about a corporation.
  5. How fast the “ask for feedback, analyze, and respond” process has to be? We’re used to annual surveys and I understand it’s no longer possible to respond annually, but what is a good timing? 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks?
  6. I am lucky to be at a firm thinking about the future of work and upskilling, but what advice would you give those employees or orgs who are not early adopters to start thinking about the future of work?
  7. What are some tips to create a work environment where employees feel safe enough to share their thoughts and concerns with leadership before issues become major problems?
  8. You said in a recent podcast that being a good coach is the number one behavior of a great manager. What are some key steps to becoming a good coach?
Direct download: Q26A20Podcast20-2005.28.2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

Barbara Humpton is the CEO of Siemens USA, a global company that operates in several areas including industry, energy, healthcare, and infrastructure. They have almost 400,000 employees around the world in 190 countries and Barbara is responsible for over 55,000 of those employees and the company’s largest market with over $23 Billion in revenue and $5 billion in annual exports.  


Her journey to becoming CEO has not been a typical one, but it certainly is an interesting one. She studied mathematics in college and initially thought she would be a math professor, like her parents. But after college she got an offer to join IBM in software programming. In 2008 she became the Vice President at Lockheed Martin where she oversaw biometrics programs, border and transportation security, and critical infrastructure protection. She also worked as the Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, managing the program performance and new business in the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, prior to moving to Siemens in 2011. Barbara says a CEO position wasn’t always in her sights, “I guess I always had my eyes on what I currently had to do, the most important job was the one right in front of me. And then I got invitations to partake in more and more interesting projects”.


There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being the CEO of such a large company, but Barbara says her number one job is, “to really think about the culture we’re creating and the future we’re driving toward.” One of the big topics she is focused on is building the workforce of the future.


There are so many things impacting the workforce of the 21st century--AI and automation, IoT, rapidly changing technologies, etc….and there is a huge responsibility for universities and organizations to help individuals be prepared for the future of work. Siemens offers multiple training programs, incentives, and reskilling options for their employees to make sure they stay relevant.


One example of Siemens dedication to keeping employees relevant occured in Charlotte, NC a decade ago. They had thousands of applicants for some positions they needed to fill, but not enough of the applicants were qualified to fill all of the open positions. So Siemens partnered with the local community college to create an apprenticeship program to train people who could then apply for the new positions at Siemens. It was so successful that they expanded the program to nine states.

When asked what advice she would give to employees in order to future proof their careers, Barbara says, “I actually think there's one fundamental piece of advice that if I had gotten this advice earlier in my career, I think I would have been much more self aware through the process. Purpose. All of us need to be thinking about our own personal why. What is it that makes us tick? And my sense is that when leaders and when employees are aligned in their own personal purpose along with the purpose of the organization they're in, boy, everything just moves more smoothly.”

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What a typical day looks like for Barbara
  • How Barbara deals with rejection
  • How to convince managers and leaders to make changes
  • What Siemens is doing around skills training and prep for the workforce of the future
  • How Siemens is helping veterans get jobs
  • What kind of leaders we need for the new world of work
  • How to figure out your purpose
  • What is a digital quotient and why it’s important for leaders to have
Direct download: Barbara20Humpton20podcast_done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40am PDT

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?

Direct download: What_we_do_with_AI_is_a_choice.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm PDT

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.

Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Lehigh University and a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from University of Illinois.

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


  • Work environments have fundamentally changed
  • The advent of technology has changed the way people work
  • The rate of change is so fast, we have to find new ways to work and leverage technology in order to keep up
  • One thing that is certain is what we're doing today is going to change tomorrow

Trends Dave is focusing on include:

  • It's all about talent
  • A people first strategy
  • The importance of creating a culture and a workplace that has purpose

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Dave and his team are creating a workplace that can attract and retain the best talent
  • Dave’s insights and experience building up the HR function at PVH from the ground up
  • How Dave deals with being told ‘no’
  • His advice to HR professionals and managers on how to get new programs in place
  • What to do as an HR professional if an employee tells you they are unhappy
  • Trends Dave is paying attention to


Direct download: Dave20Kozel_podcast_v2_no20sponsor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am PDT

Humans are creatures of habit; we are not fond of change. But is it the actual change that we find difficult or is it the process of change?

I recently heard a quote that makes so much sense, it is “Everybody loves Disneyland, but nobody likes the journey down there”. That is so true! It isn’t so much the actual outcome of the change that challenges us, it is the long drawn out process of change. Individuals and organizations can get excited about the end result of change, they can learn to embrace it. The hardest part is the journey to the change; that’s what causes the anxiety, fear and frustration.

The journey to change is filled with bureaucracy, arguments, tension and a lot of back and forth. If we can understand this and accept that the journey will be the challenge to get to that final outcome, we can find ways to make that journey easier.

Direct download: Dealing_With_Change_Management_Inside_Of_Organizations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53am PDT

Beth Comstock, is the former CMO and Vice Chair at GE and the author of a new book, Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and The Power of Change. The book pulls from Beth’s experiences and observations from her 20+ years at organizations like NBC and GE and it is about summoning courage and creativity in the face of change.  

For nearly three decades at GE, she led efforts to accelerate new growth and innovation, initiated GE's digital and clean-energy transformation, started new businesses and enhanced GE’s brand value and inventive culture. As President of Integrated Media at NBCUniversal, Beth oversaw TV ad revenue and new digital efforts, including the early development of She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in biology.

Found in her book are 5 principles/criteria that people should embrace to grow and succeed. They are:

  1. Give yourself permission – there is always a reason you can’t move forward--the boss says no, the company doesn’t have the budget, etc... But sometimes you need to give yourself permission to move forward
  2. Discovery – We have to use the world as a classroom for discovery. Get out in the world and look for patterns and make connections. It is important to break up your patterns; take a different route to work, for example.
  3. Agitated Inquiry – This is how you understand what you see, figure out the right way to do it, and get input into an idea to know if you want to move forward
  4. Story craft – “Story is everything.” If you are a leader you need to start with the story. People don’t want to follow numbers; they want to follow a story, a passion.
  5. Creating new operating systems – imagine the future, next to get the culture together to test ideas as you go

Beth has also had to learn how to handle being told ‘no’. She talks about a time when she was working at NBC where she pitched an idea to the president and was told ‘no’. Most people would have given up after the first ‘no’, but Beth believes that, “no is not yet”.

She did not give up on that idea she pitched. She went back to the drawing board, tweaked it and kept re-pitching it to the president. Even though he said ‘no’ a few more times, she never gave up. She didn’t take no as a final answer, no just meant that it was not quite there yet. She finally got a yes and that idea turned into the NBC Experience Store.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why Beth wrote the book, Imagine it Forward
  • The hardest business decision Beth has had to make and how she worked through it
  • 5 areas people should embrace to grow and succeed
  • How to handle being told ‘no’
  • What it was like working with Jack Welch
  • How to become a change maker in your organization


Beth Comstock on LinkedIn  

Beth Comstock on Twitter

Direct download: Beth20Comstock20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm PDT

Charles Phillips is the CEO of Infor, the largest privately held technology provider in the world. During Charles’ time at Infor the company has more than doubled in size and became the first major software company to offer an integrated, end-to-end application suite for entire industries.

Prior to Infor, Charles was President of Oracle Corporation and a member of its Board of Directors. During his seven and a half year-tenure, the company tripled in size and successfully acquired 70 companies. Prior to Oracle, Charles was a Managing Director in the Technology Group at Morgan Stanley. Before his business career, Charles was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Infor is a global company with 18,000 employees around the world. It provides enterprise software products for every aspect of business in 180 countries. They build complete industry suites in the cloud and deploy technology that puts the user experience first, leverages data science, and integrates with existing systems.

One of Infor’s products is Talent Science. This uses data to assess people with a 25 minute test to see what people value and what they are like. You end up with a profile to see best fit with positions. It can identify people that can work together, chemistry matches, etc. Their current data shows that 40% of new hires don’t work out. So they are trying to improve that percentage with data. If applying, candidates will take this assessment. The system will also put out questions for the hiring manager to ask, so it guides the interview process.

In addition, Infor has developed partnerships with universities (such as CUNY) to teach business applications, building their own pipeline of employees. This was important in their move to NYC, but they are also doing this in India and Manila, as well. The emphasis is on technical skills, but they partner with some nonprofits that require leadership skills, so they have included those too.  They also have a mentor program that includes people inside of Infor as well as some others outside of the company.

Charles’ advice for employees looking to move up is to be intellectually curious. Learn more than what you need for your job. Look around you and see what the people around are you doing. And be the “guy in the huddle who gets the ball”. Be the reliable one so your leader will hand things to you.

How does Infor foster the culture to encourage an open environment?

  • They created small teams to help employees feel connected
  • They give out MVP awards to employees who have done something special
  • All-in-all they have done small things that add up

How do you create a common culture across the world?

  • Instant messaging
  • Travel to various offices, spend time together
  • Give meaningful work
  • Do things at the right time of day so all can participate
  • Online is important but still need to ‘show up’ in person

What does Charles see coming in the Future of work?

  • AI assistance that will free up mundane work
  • Some work spaces with living spaces combined (work/live space)
  • He would like to see job vouchers, similar to school vouchers, where you could go to an employer and say “I’m paid for for the first year. Can you train me?”

What you will learn from this episode:

  • What is the role of a CEO
  • Changes Infor has gone through under Charles’ leadership
  • Charles’ perception of Silicon Valley
  • How to create the workforce of the future
  • Trends Charles is paying attention to
  • How Infor is solving job mismatch
  • What is Talent Science?


Charles Phillips On LinkedIn

Direct download: Charles20Phillips_podcast20done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm PDT

Paul Oyer is a Professor of Economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and director of Stanford’s new Big Data program called, Big Data, Strategic Decisions: Analysis to Action. Dr. Oyer is the author of two books published in 2014 – Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating and Roadside MBA.

With big data it’s critical to know what questions to ask. Dr. Oyer says, “Intuition is less important for making the right decision but really important to know what’s the question I need to ask – how do I even begin to ask the right question.” You have to ask the right question before the big data is analyzed. In the competitive environment, if your algorithm is based on your bias then eventually someone will develop one without it - and they will beat it and you.

In the classroom we constantly think about how we take the tools found in big data and how we combine it with good old business sense.  That is where the creativity comes from and the big wins come from.  Dr. Oyer says, “I am not so worried at all about people becoming so reliant on data that they don’t use their own expertise.”

When asked what future jobs may be taken over by AI, Dr. Oyer explains that if a computer can someday do what you are doing, it may be taken by AI. Some examples are: parking attendant, cab driver, transcriptionist, and foundry mold & core makers.

Worried? Get welding training – in general - get craft and trade training

Retraining is very important but unfortunately we’ve been bad at retraining.

It’s very hard for people to recognize that what they used to do is no longer needed. It is difficult then to go and get trained. People need to be open to training.


The gig economy is big and 40% of people working in this fashion by 2020 is not out of possibility. The statistics vary by how it was reported for full time workers. Two and half times the people are part time gig employees and didn’t show in some of the surveys and data.

Now, over 30% of Americans participate in gig in some way, now. People are from all ends of the economy - all ages, education, etc. are in the gig economy.


What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • Paul Oyer’s AI forecast
  • The role of big data and why business leaders around the world need to pay attention to this topic
  • The gig economy’s future
  • Workplace trends for women
  • The biggest threats to the future of work and some big disruptions coming

Links From The Episode:



Direct download: Paul20Oyer20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:31am PDT

Want to get a visual of what our future may look like? The best thing to do may be to grab a sci-fi book off of the shelf.

Over the years there has been a multitude of great science fiction books and movies that have been released. Authors like H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Philip Dick and Orson Scott have created fantastic futuristic worlds for us to think about. Movies such as The Matrix, Avatar, Interstellar and Total Recall have been very popular entertainment. But what is the role of science fiction in the future of work?

Works of science fiction, whether they are books, movies or TV shows, allow us to get a glimpse into what the future could be like. They have allowed us to see things like robots, AI, connected devices and self driving cars before they were mainstream realities.

It is one thing to read research, data reports and to look at the numbers to see projections 10 to 20 years out. It is another thing completely to be able to physically view practical (or extreme) ways in which different technologies and advancements could be implemented into our world. It is hard to grasp what the future could look like when all you have is data and numbers. Works of science fiction movies and books help paint a picture that makes it easier to visualize what could be.

So the next time you are wondering what the future may hold 10 to 20 years down the line, pick up a good science fiction book or go out and see a science fiction movie. You may get a good glimpse into what’s to come.

In the past we have always depended on humans and their ideas, intuitions, and feelings to figure out certain issues in our companies such as how to build teams, work on projects and carry out performance evaluations. Now, we have an increase in devices and ways to collect data in the workplace so we are able to track anything and everything. With this move towards data collection and technology we have a new field emerging, people analytics.

With this new field we are able to add in data and science alongside of our intuitions to help our companies function as successfully as possible. Data can help us figure out things such as, what the most successful leaders in organizations do, what the key qualities are that make up an amazing team or how the best customer service professionals talk to their customers (and for how long).

I don’t think that we will ever completely remove the human aspect, but I believe that by combining data with human ideas, intuition and feelings companies will be able to make better, more informed decisions. This truly is an exciting and fascinating time. Successful businesses should make an investment in people analytics.

Direct download: peopleanalyticsmidweek.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:07am PDT

Leena Nair is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Unilever. Since 1992, when she joined Unilever as a trainee, Leena has had many firsts to her credit. Prior to her current role, she undertook a wide range of HR roles in India  and currently, she is the first female and youngest ever CHRO of Unilever.

Unilever is a Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands and London, United Kingdom. Its products include food, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. It is the world's largest consumer goods company and is also the world's largest producer of food spreads, such as margarine. With 170,000 employees, Unilever is one of the oldest multinational companies; its products are available in about 190 countries.

“I can’t talk about being ‘more human’ if I am not living it every minute of the day.” Leena’s commitment to creating a more human experience is embodied in the way she functions each day. She gives 100% of her attention to the people she is meeting with each day – she doesn’t carry a phone to check emails, instead she waits until the evening before handling them.

Leena gives 3 main steps to being human:

  1. Find your purpose in the organization you work
  2. Cultivate a feeling of well-being
  3. Have the capacity to learn and relearn

How do we get leaders on this journey towards being more human?  Most managers are going through the same feelings as employees. They are required to do more, with fewer resources and are left feeling anxious. Encourage them to recognize their feelings and understand these are the same feelings as their employees are dealing with each day. As companies have become more focused on becoming more human, health care costs have been reduced. Productivity has gone up, pride in the company has increased – there are many positive aspects.

Unilever found that people were spending 2 million hours calibrating people, giving people labels and ‘putting them in boxes’.  Leena changed that by getting rid of the labels and boxes and instead asked the managers to spend the 2 million hour having conversations with people. She asked them to invest their time in the people, making HR much simpler.


What you will learn in this episode:

  • How to make an HR ‘more human
  • How Unilever is moving away from a vertical progression model
  • Leena’s 3 steps to making decisions
  • How to help people who aren’t comfortable being human at work
  • Things Leena and Unilever as a whole are doing to encourage human qualities at work

Links from the episode:


Twitter: LeenaNairHR

Direct download: Leena20Nair20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm PDT

David Deming is the Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses broadly on the economics of education, with a particular interest in the impact of education policies on long-term outcomes other than test scores. Before becoming a professor at Harvard, David attended Berkeley and Ohio State University where he was trained as an economist. He has always been motivated by policy oriented questions and how economics can affect the real world.

When asked if there is a skills gap, Deming indicated that if you look back to the job market 30 years ago organizations would hire people with few skills but then they would invest in those people to train them on the job. They were willing to take a chance on the new graduates. Now, the jobs are more fluid, employers don’t want to pay to train employees and then have the employees leave a short time later. So we have people graduating from school without skills but people aren’t willing to invest in them - we don’t have the ‘connective tissue’ to pull the two together.

One idea, Deming pointed out, is to develop a European style of building durable partnerships between universities and employers to bridge the skill gaps. They can share the cost and effort.

On the topic of Universal Basic Income, Deming said it has some ‘appealing aspects’, and it is transparent and easy to understand. He also maintains that it does not discourage work and in fact, has some appealing aspects. People talk about it as a solution of the ‘technological unemployment’ (which Deming does not think will happen). Everyone gets the base amount of money – so if you want to earn a lot of money then this won’t help. It is different than welfare. Welfare is a work disincentive because we only will give it to you if you are poor. Universal Basic Income goes to everyone regardless of the amount of money they have.

Deming gave some advice to organizations. He says, don’t be afraid to take a chance on somebody who doesn’t come from the standard background - but might be good a fit for you.

His advice for individuals is to try to be good at two things that are not common together. For example, a good coder who is also good social skills will be in demand and provide more opportunities.  


What you will learn in this episode:

  • What David sees for the future of higher education and whether or not traditional education institutions will exist in the future
  • The 90/10 gap in incomes
  • The role of AI and its impact on future jobs
  • Future job skill sets needed
  • What schools should be doing and whether or not they should look like a workplace
  • What skills should we learn in school and how quickly will they be obsolete
  • David’s view on the skills gap
Direct download: David20Deming20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27am PDT

Today my guest is Archana Singh, the EVP and Chief Human Resource Officer at John Wiley and Sons Publishing. Join us as we talk about what transformations Wiley is going through, why these transformations are important, how to create a sense of purpose for your employees and much more.

Today’s guest is Archana Singh the EVP and Chief Human Resource Officer at John Wiley and Sons Publishing. John Wiley was founded in 1807, and amazingly over 200 years later they are still going strong. They currently focus on business books, research and journal publishing with sizeable work around digital assets and learning, assessments and educational technology services, as well.

Wiley is found in 60 locations across 40 different countries, employing 5000 people. There has been significant growth in the last 15 years with a blending of digital and traditional higher education publishing.

How has worked changed?

1. There is more ownership as an employee of what is worked upon. Therefore, as an organization, how do we harness that? There is an increase need for us to understand this.

2. Everyone is seeking flexibility. How do we get our organizations to move to a more outcome based, rather than time driven focus? How do we change our dialogs to provide this flexibility?

3. People’s minds are more fragmented – they have so many things to do and worry about. How do we – as organizations – get the productivity that is needed? How do we harness this to create advantage for our organization?

What is the role of an employee?

Three things:

1. Employees want employers to care and encourage connectedness

2. They also wonder how they can participate in shaping the organization. They want to make an impact.

3. They also question - am I employable and am I learning enough? They want to feel they are being relevant - both internally and externally

Singh gives advice to companies looking to reinvent themselves. She says, to begin visualize what your mission is and where you want to be. Where do you want to be at the end of one year? In 5 years? She also states it is important to engage people and to hear what they think. Encourage employee participation and use a joint approach to identify what matters.

What you will learn in this episode:

* Initiatives going on at Wiley to continue to transform a company over 200 years old.

* What organizations can consider to transform their physical space without a budget

* The role of the mission statement on company culture

* Ideas of how to create a sense of purpose among your employees.

* Singh’s advice to companies who are looking to reinvent themselves

* How work has evolved


* Our true north is life-long learners - whether it is a researcher or a student - and they guide us in what we do

* There is an increased need for us to understand how to tap into this freelance energy.

* Every small thing we do is more important than ‘big bang’ programs.

Direct download: arch20singh20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55am PDT

David Klein, CEO and Co-founder of CommonBond discusses the exciting work culture and hiring process his team uses to bring in the best talent.  

David Klein is the CEO and co-founder of CommonBond, an online lending company for student loans.  It allows student to refinance their debt into a loan that consolidates several loans into one single loan and it provides a lower interest rate. David Klein co-founded CommonBond with two other MBA students whom he met in college when they realized there was a strong need for this type of service.  

CommonBond has around 80 employees and their corporate culture is very important to them. They were rated one of the 50 best work places by Inc Magazine. David Klein believes that creating a great workplace is largely dependent on employees and that is why hiring is so important to him. In the hiring process he looks for four qualities in every applicant. All new hires must have strategic acumen—really good business judgment and the ability to act independently—the ability to execute, internal drive, and good character.  

In creating the work culture, Klein and the rest of his team understand the importance of transparency. They hold weekly meetings on Fridays called Lunch and Learn where they spend the first 30 minutes listening to someone from the company talk about something new that is happening within the company and in the last 30 minutes they get to have a Q&A with Klein. During the Q&A session they can ask anything they want and Klein commits to giving them open and honest answers.  

They also have a social mission where they promise to give assistance to a student in need for every loan that they fund in the US. It is their way of giving back to the community and they are the first and only financial company to offer a one for one social mission.  

Some of the other unique things they are doing include a 12 week paid maternity leave and a 4 week paid paternity leave,  unlimited vacation, catered lunches on Fridays, student loan assistance and monthly happy hours called Common Brews. All of this is planned by their culture team, which is a team of people that is randomly selected from their employees and rotates every quarter. 

Their workspace is also worth mentioning as it speaks to the importance of transparency in the company. It is an open floor plan with high ceilings and wood floors. All of the conference rooms have floor to ceiling windows on 3 sides and they have common spaces with couches and chairs.  

In order to work with CommonBond one must go through a unique hiring process. It starts off familiar with a resume drop, a phone screen and then an in person interview, but if you move past this part it becomes different. In the last step of the interview process every new hire has to do what is called a prompt. They are asked one big question or a few meaningful questions and they have to present their answer in some sort of presentation. The presentation could include a PowerPoint, an excel spreadsheet, or anything else the person can come up with. These prompts give CommonBond insight into the new hire’s personality.  

So why do they spend so much time and detail in the hiring process and in creating an exciting work culture? Well, as Klein discusses, the more they focus on hiring and retaining great employees the more it creates a “self-fulfilling prophecy” where new people come in and they want to work at CommonBond because of the people they meet in the interview process. They want to work with smart, kind, compassionate, hard working people. And with this hiring process and work culture, those are the types of employees they bring in and retain.

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • Why it is important to focus on people and culture 
  • The unique hiring process at CommonBond 
  • What is CommonBond doing that landed them a spot on the top 50 best workplaces by Inc Magazine? 
  • Incentives and wellness programs CommonBond uses 
  • Four important attributes to look for in new hires 
  • The importance of transparency and how the leaders of CommonBond stay transparent to their employees 
  • The one of a kind social mission of CommonBond 

Link From The Episode:


(Music by Ronald Jenkees)

Direct download: David20Klein20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07am PDT

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:
(Music by Ronald Jenkees)
Direct download: Marco20Annunziata20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44pm PDT

What this episode is all about and why you should Listen

Today I have an interview with Stephen Hoover, CEO of PARC a division of Xerox. PARC is the home of the Ethernet and many other Innovative tools that most people use every single day in the workplace. Stephen & I talk extensively about Open Innovation in the workplace. Open innovation is a very interesting topic and we get deep into what is going on, what is it, why it is happening, what are the trends that are driving it, what are the benefits of open innovation, the challenges, the impact & what organizations should be doing and what they should be thinking about.

Stephen Hoover explains what PARC’s take on the Business of Breakthroughs is all about. Find out what they are working on for the future of work. Stephen’s perspective is very intriguing and spot on with exactly what a forward thinking company needs to be doing and implementing. Discover what his number one tip is when it comes to having a Grand Vision. Stephen really believes that innovation is a contact sport. Find out how he is assisting PARC and their employees with having a Vision beyond what is in the everyday workplace. We explore the problems that arise with people who have an “I can do it all” attitude, and why in the real world you need the assistance of many other smart people to be successful when it comes to open innovation. Stephen talks about how to go out and find those smart people and create partnerships to accomplish open innovation. This conversation is very interesting both from a personal approach and a business approach.

What you will learn in this episode

  • What is Open Innovation?
  • Why is it happening?
  • What are the trends that are driving Open Innovation?
  • What are the Challenges?
  • What is the Impact in the workplace?
  • What should Organizations be doing with Open Innovation and what they should be thinking about.
  • Explore what PARC’s take on their very own philosophy is.
  • What are the problems with Open Innovation?
  • What you need to be thinking about when it comes to implementing Open Innovation.
  • Is personal innovation just as important as business innovation?

(Music by Ronald Jenkees)

Direct download: Stephen20Hoover20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48pm PDT

What this episode is all about and why you should Listen

Today dive in with me as I sit down with Mary O’Hara, of Blue Cross Blue Shield of California on the topic of high performing teams and individuals in the future of work. Mary has a mass amount of insight when it comes to different techniques and everything that encompasses “touching the people” within an organization. She has great tips on Workplace Rewards and how to collaborate across an organization. Listen as Mary explains if she feels Employee Experience is more prominent now than it has ever been in the past.

All things effect different aspects of having a high performing team and individual in the workplace. Talent is extremely important when finding individuals that are at the heart of specific innovation & strategies which leads to less supply. You need to have an employee experience that is reflective in your specific marketplace. Mary shares with me how different industries have different pressure points, and when you have quality leaders in your organization you will differentiate yourself from other companies. Find out what the Lead of Excellence program at Blue Cross Blue Shield is all about. Mary is very knowledgeable on how important it is to grow strong leaders and stay on top of the employee experience in the workplace.

What you will learn in this episode

  • Workplace Rewards
  • How to Collaborate across an organization
  • How to create Trust amongst leaders
  • What is fundamental in creating a great employee experience
  • What’s going on in the SF Bay Area compared to the rest of the nation when it comes to labor market & cost.
  • Growing People from within
  • Developing Leaders
  • How to measure goals.
  • Why annual feedback is important.
  • What is a people management index?
  • Lead of Excellence Program
  • How to evaluate talent.
  • How can you be an enabler to execute what development needs to be done to accomplish the overall strategy.
  • Having better quality conversations and interactions with those within an organization.
  • What advice for employees to become High Performing Individuals?

(Music by Ronald Jenkees)

Direct download: Mary20O27Hara20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36am PDT

In this episode of the Future of Work podcast my guest is Jeffrey Rodman, the co-founder of Polycom. Many of you are familiar with Polycom and, in fact, have used their products. They became famous for their speaker phones found in the conference rooms of most organizations. Jeff and I talk about the role of technology in collaboration. It’s no secret that technology is obviously one of the biggest driving factors that is enabling collaboration today. It’s a topic covered in my first book, The Collaborative Organization; and is also explored in my new book, The Future of Work. Collaboration is a huge theme ─ one that organizations are continuously spending more time and resources investing in. In this episode, Jeff and I explore many topics including differences in collaboration between smaller and larger organizations; and the concept of office space and do we still need offices. We cover Millennials, freelancers and the contingent workforce; and how collaboration plays a role in connecting these different types of employees. We also talk the about challenges associated with collaboration. And, Jeff takes us through some of the cool technologies that he’s working on at Polycom. We conclude with Jeff’s advice to organizations, managers and employees who are looking to improve collaboration within their organization. Tune in for a great discussion With Jeff Rodman on the role of technology in collaboration!


(Music by Ronald Jenkees)

Direct download: Jeffrey_Rodman_Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52pm PDT