Mon, 30 December 2019
Dan Helfrich is the Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting, where he has worked for over 20 years. Although he had always wanted to be a sportscaster, once he graduated from Georgetown University, he had a choice between broadcasting and consulting and he ended up choosing consulting. And that choice has led him to where he is now, which is leading a team of 56,000 people.
Dan is very passionate about diversity and inclusion, which seems to be at the center of a lot of conversations today inside of organizations. Dan says, “I actually think some are talking about it as a theme, and I think that's wrong. Diversity and inclusion is an imperative, not a management fad, and not something to pay lip service to. And what we're doing is, we are putting diversity and inclusion, and I view those as related concepts, but that have distinct elements to them. We're putting that at the center of everything we do, we're striving for increasing the representation of our teams on a ton of dimensions, in terms of gender, and in terms of race, and in terms of sexual orientation, and in terms of veterans, and in terms of parents.”
So how does he make sure that diversity and inclusion is part of the DNA of an organization with a team of 56,000 people? First of all, Deloitte puts all of their leaders through unconcious bias training. Also, at the end of every meeting Dan personally asks two questions to the group--how can this team be more diverse and how can this team be more inclusive?
As Dan shares, “No team is ever diverse enough, and no environment is ever inclusive enough. And so, opening the conversation to that set of topics unleashes a whole lot of great thinking and a whole lot of dialogue that creates comfort level in an organization about talking about things like race, and talking about things like different ages in the workplace, and what that means, and what the implications are. And that, I have found to be incredibly powerful.”
His suggestion to leaders or even individuals inside of organizations is to ask questions and be curious. He says we need to be vulnerable and we should always seek to improve ourselves and our cultural awareness.
As a CEO Dan sees himself as a “captain”. He says, “I've played competitive sports my whole life, and there's many different ways that I see people showing up as the chief executive of an organization. The way I view it is, I've been bestowed a responsibility by a group of peers. And the best captains aren't necessarily the best players. They have leadership characteristics to coalesce and make the team perform at an optimal way, but there are superstars on my team that are way better than me at a bunch of different... A bunch of different dimensions of being a consultant. And I show up as a captain, knowing that I get the privilege to lead a group of peers, but I never forget that I'm serving that group of peers, and that's how I think of the role.”
What you will learn:
- How Dan leads a team of 56,000
- How to candidly talk about diversity and inclusion inside your organization
- What makes a great leader
- How Dan makes tough choices
- Examples of how Dan has used empathy in his career
- How Dan fosters an environment of inclusion with the large number of individuals on his team
Direct download: Dan_Helfrich_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 12:29am PDT
Wed, 25 December 2019
What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s a question I’ve asked of hundreds of CEOs and top business leaders around the world. They almost always tell me the same thing: they don’t have a typical day. Every day is full of different activities and meetings. If you want to follow in the footsteps of some of the most successful business leaders, avoid having a typical day. These people still have habits and commonalities throughout their days, but they avoid falling into the routine of doing the same mundane things every day. Avoiding a typical day can make you more creative and energized, which is good for your sanity and the success of your business.
So how do you avoid having a typical day? Here are five tips:
- Get out of the office. It’s easy to fall into the same routine when you’re in the same place all day, every day. Get out of the office and take your work on the road. Work from home or a coffee shop or even a communal workspace in your building. Visit customers and distributors. Take your team for an off-site meeting. Changing your scenery can change your mood and outlook.
- Find a hobby. Try to find time every day to pursue a hobby. Having something to look forward to after work can motivate you to try something different at work. The hobby can be anything from cooking to exercising to basket weaving. Hobbies break up the monotonous schedule and get your creative juices flowing.
- Avoid screens. One of the quickest ways to get sucked into a mundane routine is to spend all day looking at a screen. In our connected world, it may seem impossible to put your phone, tablet, and computer away, but it can be a good exercise in creative thinking that pushes you outside your regular day. Give your mind a break and spend screen-free time talking with people in person and seeing other parts of the business.
- Talk to new people. Open your mind to new ideas and people. Invite a new co-worker out for coffee or just swing by the desk of someone you usually only communicate with via email. Face-to-face communication builds relationships and expands your network beyond just the people you see every day.
- Change your schedule. Try mixing up your day by changing your schedule. Even small changes, like waking up 15 minutes earlier to run or read before work, can be a nudge to get out of your routine. If you normally do something after work, try doing it before work. Change your weekly meeting time, stay up late, or take a longer lunch break. These small changes can propel your day to something new.
Avoiding a typical day can get you out of a rut and help you be more connected and creative. These five simple steps can move your typical day to an unexpected and unique, atypical day.
Direct download: You_Shouldnt_Have_A_Typical_Day_Heres_Why.mp3
-- posted at: 12:00am PDT
Mon, 23 December 2019
Barri Rafferty is the President and CEO of Ketchum, a leading global public relations firm serving clients in over 70 countries. Ketchum has been named PR Agency of the Year and the winner of an unprecedented three consecutive Campaign of the Year Awards.
She became the first female CEO of a top-five global public relations firm at the beginning of 2018. In total, she has worked for Ketchum for 24 years. When asked what her leadership style is, Barri says, “My goal is to bring out the best in the people that work for me. So I feel like as a leader, I'm very much of a coach. I go... I move really fast, so I have to trust the people around me. And I really encourage us to all collaborate and work together. We have a lot of debate on... Any leadership team I ever have, I always think if people aren't debating and pushing back on me and there's not a few raised voices, or curse words every now and then, that it's probably not a good thing, right? We've gotta get in it, but we lock arms when we get out. And I also think I am a very nurturing leader too in a lot of ways. I still write birthday and anniversary cards, do personal gifts for the holidays”
As a leader Barri believes that communication is crucial. Having open, honest communication between employees and leaders really makes a difference in the culture of an organization. One of the ways she listens to her employees is through Glint Pulse surveys that take place three times per year at Ketchum. These surveys allow her to see what issues matter to employees and one issue they are focusing on currently is workplace flexibility.
In order to fully embrace this flexibility Barri understands it is important to make employees know it is available and allow them to take advantage of it without feeling bad about it. They have implemented flex February where everyone shares pictures of where they are working remotely on the company’s social media. They also believe in “Leaving Loudly” which means that instead of trying to sneak out or be quiet about leaving early due to a doctor’s appointment, child’s recital, family event, etc...you should tell people and feel good about it.
Diversity and inclusion is also very important to Barri and her team at Ketchum, especially as they are helping organizations create a message and reach potential clients. So they are working hard to make sure they have diversity in age, race, gender, location, political views, backgrounds, etc…
When asked to give advice to anyone looking to be a better leader, Barri says, “I would say build a style that's authentic to you, right? I think if you have to put on one persona at home, and one persona at work, it's hard to be an authentic leader. So if you can build it from your personality, some of us are introverts, some of us are more introverts some are more expressive, some are more amiable, right, you have to start with that foundation and then build around it the leadership skills, but if you can show up at work as a leader true to your core, I think you're gonna be a better leader, no matter what.”
What you will learn:
- How to build confidence as a leader
- How Barri keeps up with the fast pace of change
- A look at how the company fully embraces workplace flexibility
- How Ketchum is removing bias from the hiring process
- How Barri describes her leadership style
- A look at how Ketchum upskills and trains employees
Direct download: Barri_Rafferty_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 12:30am PDT
Wed, 18 December 2019
Employee experience is the next big battleground for organizations. It’s crucial for building a place where people want to come to work because they are engaged and satisfied, not just because they have to be there. Many people think that employee experience is determined by executives, but in reality, it is something employees at all levels can control and shape.
A few decades ago, employees didn’t have any power. If they were frustrated with something at work, their only choice was to go home and complain to family and friends because they could make any real changes. But today’s world is different, and employees now have the power to shape their own work experiences. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entry level employee, mid-level manager, or executive. Here are five things you can do to shape your employee experience:
- Talk to your manager. Have open and honest conversations with your manager about what you like about your experience and what you want to change. Don’t just complain; come with a solution. If you want to have more regular performance reviews, come prepared with a schedule and set time for regular feedback.
- Let your voice be heard. Speak up at work to make real change. Many organizations send out employee surveys to measure engagement and get suggestions. Respond to those surveys with thoughtful comments and share your ideas at focus groups and town hall meetings.
- Volunteer. Get involved in your company by joining employee feedback groups or beta testing groups. Put yourself in a position to learn more about the company and share your ideas with the change-makers.
- Use social media. Social media has given employees more power than ever before. Websites like Glassdoor allow employees to leave reviews and comments about their companies, and many organizations pay attention to what employees are saying. Use social media to share your experience and include suggestions for improvement.
- Rally co-workers. If you want to see a change in your experience, chances are your co-workers do as well. If you have a great idea, run it by your co-workers and see who you can get on board. Your voice is more powerful with more people behind it, so use your collaborative thinking to gain traction for change.
Don’t just complain about what you want to change at work; take the steps to make real change. Employee experience isn’t about the organization designing an experience for you, it’s about you designing an experience with your organization.
Mon, 16 December 2019
Martin Boehm is the Dean of IE Business School, one of the world’s leading higher education institutions. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but most of their programs consist of 80-90% international students.
The business school was ranked the 3rd European Business School by Financial Times, 1st Worldwide Distance Online MBA by QS, 1st Business School in Europe and 3rd in the world by The Aspen Institute, and 3rd Non-US MBA Business School by Forbes, just to name a few of their awards.
Education hasn’t changed much over the past 100+ years and it is becoming more apparent that we are in desperate need of change in this area. With all of the technological advances, the evolving workforce, and an incredibly face pace of change in the world today we have to update our way of educating to allow students to prepare for the future of work. And that is just what Martin and his team at IE Business School are doing.
One thing that has to change is we have to move from simply imparting knowledge and facts to students to helping students develop skills. In order for students to be prepared for the future they need to have skills like learning agility, curiosity, collaboration, problem solving, etc...So that instead of focusing in on one certain career path they have a wide set of skills that allow them to continually adapt and reinvent themselves when needed.
We are no longer living in a world where a person can study a specific field in college, graduate with a degree, and then work for the same company for 25, 30, or 40 years. With AI, automation, and new job creation individuals need to have a different set of skills and mindsets while in school as well as after graduation.
As Martin shares, “I think we have to reinvent ourselves or we're going to have to reinvent ourselves over our career multiple times. Maybe you might've heard people talk about the so-called T model, right? Where they actually say, well, education is about having a broad foundation. I mean some basic skills and then the T is essentially about, I have to specialize and become an expert in something. Right? And that's going to serve me for the rest of my life over the next 30-40 years. I'm going to, that's what I'm going to be doing. I think what we're going to have to do is we're going to have to evolve from this T model to more of an M model or W model, which means, I mean there's going to be multiple times and throughout your lifetime, throughout your career where you might have to reinvent yourself and specialize in something.”
So who is responsible for keeping individuals consistently learning and upskilling? Martin says that learning does take some “intrinsic motivation” on the part of the individual. We as individuals need to do our part to find ways to learn new skills. We cannot leave this up to universities and organizations.
But organizations do not get a free pass either. Martin says, “For instance, if I as a CEO, if I as an organization understand that my company is going or my industry for the matter of fact is undergoing a fundamental transformation that is going to leave many of my employees and their skills as obsolete. I think I have an obligation. I think I have a responsibility as well to push them, to help them to actually transform in line with the industry in order to be able to acquire these skills in order to remain and stay relevant.”
What you will learn:
- What is the IE Business School
- How education is changing and why it is critical that it changes now
- How types of degrees could change in the future
- How the IE Business School is experimenting with education technology
- Martin’s advice on what to major in or what degree to focus on
- Steps we can take to become lifelong learners
- What today’s organizations are looking for when recruiting new graduates
Direct download: Martin_Boehm_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 1:17am PDT
Wed, 11 December 2019
Believe it or not, there’s more to life than work. When we’re stuck in the repetitive day-to-day where the majority of our time is spent at work, that can be hard to believe. Many people struggle with separating themselves from work and focusing on other things. But the truth is that we don’t live to work; we work so we can live.
Everyone is unique, but everyone has more in their lives than just work. How do you discover your life outside of work? Try these five tips:
- Set boundaries. Work tends to expand to fit whatever time we have to get it done. Without limits, you may let yourself work all the time and feel like you have enough work that it needs to take all that time. If you set boundaries and decide you’ll leave the office or be done with work at a certain time every day, you’ll have more time for other activities and will likely find you can still get your work done in less time.
- Build relationships. For many people, one of the biggest parts of their life outside of work is relationships with other people, such as a spouse, kids, friends, or a significant other. Relationships of any kind encourage you to get out of the work mindset and enjoy time with other people. It could be meeting up with friends or making it to your kid’s soccer game. Building those relationships will motivate you to get out of the office.
- Find your passion. A hobby is a great way to decompress after work and fill your life with a meaningful pursuit. Hobbies come in all forms, from exercising or baking to reading or knitting. Try something new and step out of your comfort zone. If you’re stuck without a hobby, think about where your thoughts go when you let them wander or the type of websites or magazines you peruse when you have a little free time.
- Help others. Philanthropy and charity work is a great way to fill time. There are always ways we can help others in our communities and around the world. Volunteering and getting involved in charity work can provide a sense of purpose that acts as a motivator to step away from work.
- Set goals. Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? Consider your whole being, not just where you’ll be in your career. Then set goals to get there. It could be learning a new skill, traveling somewhere new, or pushing your body with a new activity. Goals are powerful motivation tools to keep your progress on track.
Even though work is a big part of our lives, ultimately, we’re working so we can live happier, more engaged lives. We’re not working so we can just work more. Find those relationships and activities outside of work to turn you into a balanced and happy person—both at work and at home.
Direct download: Theres_More_To_Life_Than_Work_Render_1.mp3
-- posted at: 4:23am PDT
Mon, 9 December 2019
Nir Eyal is the bestselling author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (2014) and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life (2019). He started and sold two tech companies and he has taught at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Design. He has been studying and writing about behavior design and habit formation for many years and he became fascinated with how technology persuades people to do things they normally wouldn’t do. This is ultimately what led him to write his bestselling booked Hooked.
Nir’s newest book came about as a result of his search for a solution to a problem he had with staying focused and getting things done. Nir says, “Hooked is about building good habits, Indistractable is about how do we break bad habits.”
Being distracted is not a new problem. These days we tend to place the blame on technology, social media, smartphones, etc… But as Nir points out, “People have always been finding ways to escape boredom. So it's not a new [being distracted]... I don't think that it's necessarily a technology problem. I think that what's changed is that if you are looking to escape, it's easier than ever, that you can find that escape because it's just sitting here in our pocket.”
Since the beginning of time people have been distracted by the news, by gossip, sports, movies and so on. Technology is something to turn to when we want to be distracted, but it is not the cause of our problem.
For example, during Nir’s 5 years of research for the book he found that one of the root causes for distraction in the workplace is a toxic corporate culture. When people are unhappy at work, when they feel like they have no say, when they feel like the work they do is meaningless they turn to distractions, and a lot of times they not only distract themselves, but they distract everyone around them.
Nir says that there are three attributes of companies who have an indistractable workplace culture. They are:
- They give people psychological safety
- They give employees a forum to talk about problems and issues
- The management exemplifies what it means to be indistractable
“When people do work in these type of toxic work environments with high expectations and low controls, the reason they get more distracted and get less done is because of that workplace culture that, in fact, by giving people agency and control over their time, ironically, they become way more productive because what are we doing, we're increasing their agency, that characteristic that's missing, the low control. Now we have high expectation with high control. That's a great work environment...The first step is to lead by example, follow the tactics in the book. There's hundreds of things that you can do, one at a time, you don't have to do everything all at once, but one at a time, you can start instituting these practices to become indistractable yourself to lead by example.”
What you will learn:
- A look at the root cause of distraction in the workplace (hint: it’s not technology)
- The three qualities of a company that has an indistractable workplace culture
- How to balance important things and urgent things
- Four steps to becoming indistractable
- Why Nir hates to-do lists
- Nir’s simple advice for leaders
- How to overcome distractions in the workplace
Direct download: Nir_Eyal_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 12:00am PDT
Wed, 4 December 2019
When was the last time you were noticed at work? Did you get recognized at a meeting or even just receive a compliment from a boss or colleague for a job well done? It can be difficult to get noticed at work, especially in large organizations. With lots of moving parts and ongoing projects, it takes effort to stand out and be recognized. It also comes with risks. There’s always the possibility that a big step to get recognized could backfire or a project could end up not being as successful as anticipated. But those risks are worth taking because being noticed is crucial for your career.
People who get noticed will grow and thrive in the future of work. They’re the people managers turn to when a new opportunity arises and they have a chance to grow and develop. Of course, it’s important to do good work simply to be a good employee, but it also helps to get extra recognition.
How do you get noticed at work? Make yourself visible and stand out. Here are three tips to getting noticed for the right reasons:
Don’t be afraid to speak up. You’re never going to get noticed if you sit in the back and don’t make your voice heard. Ask questions in meetings, start discussions, and ask for feedback. Share ideas on the organization’s internal collaboration system and join existing conversations. Give feedback and compliments to your co-workers, especially after big meetings or deadlines.
Nearly every company has some sort of employee group or needs beta testers. Be the first to volunteer, even if the job doesn’t seem glamorous. The jobs no one wants can be the most beneficial because it shows you aren’t above helping. Volunteering introduces you to new people and helps you look like a team player.
Don’t be scared to take on projects outside your comfort zone. Try to say yes more than you say no. When a new opportunity comes along, take it and hit the ground running. Your enthusiasm and boldness won’t go unnoticed. Pitching your own projects can even take it one step further.
Getting noticed at work helps build your personal brand. It creates and adds to your professional identity, which will be essential in the future. It takes a strong brand to have a future-proof career. Putting in the effort to step outside your comfort zone and get noticed at work can pay off with great opportunities, a larger network, and better prospects in the unknown future of work.
Mon, 2 December 2019
Diane Hoskins is the co-CEO at Gensler, the largest global design and architecture firm with over 6,000 professionals across 50 offices. You may have seen some of the structures they have worked on, including the Shanghai Tower, the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, the Microsoft headquarters in Ireland, the Ford Foundation Center in New York, and countless others all over the world.
When speaking about the work that Gensler does, Diane says, “We bring insight-driven and research-driven design solutions to some of the most challenging and most amazing opportunities out there, all around the world. Working with leading companies in the tech industry and governments, and law firms, and organizations all over the world and also projects like airports, and sports stadiums and hospitality and even health and wellness. And really bringing a full 360 understanding of really the transformation of live, work, and play. And our deep research is helping us to bring insight into the design solutions that we offer with a goal of, at the center, really at the center of all of our work is the human experience.”
Traditionally we have thought of workspaces as a place where people just show up to work, but it is really so much more than that now. It’s no longer just a space where we go from 9 to 5, because of the integration of work and life that is happening. As Diane shares the workspace is what allows people to connect, collaborate, share, innovate, and make a difference. A workspace should reflect the culture, the mission, and the purpose of the organization. This is a major shift that is taking place in workspace design.
The old debate between open and closed spaces in the workplace is quickly becoming something of the past. It is becoming more apparent that it is a diverse work environment that is what makes the most sense. It’s important to have a mixture of open spaces that encourage collaboration and interactions as well as some closed spaces for phone calls, meetings, and individual work.
Gensler is utilizing a lot of new technologies to help design workspaces that make sense for the needs of their individual clients. The ability to use data sensors, wearables, and algorithms in the design process is something that couldn’t have been done years ago and it is impacting the future of workspace design.
So with all of these updates and changes, how do you keep your workplace relevant for years to come? Diane says, “There used to be a lot more specific design around the process, almost this idea of taking apart the process and then overlaying that on the floor plan and designing each department in its own way, and really looking at the actual work activity. And with the rate of change of what people do, and how companies are transforming, to your point, you basically can design something that will be obsolete you in a year, six months, or two years. And so the the understanding of what work is and how people work, is less about the process, which is probably a little bit more of a factory mindset, and more about, as we were talking earlier, it's about really supporting individual work, group work, and the organization itself. And ultimately then, there's total flexibility to be able to then support any work process, any new type of offering that that organization is going to bring to the markets, new kinds of people they may be bringing in, different generations and so on and so on.”
What you will learn:
- A look at the new role workspaces play
- How real estate impacts climate change and how Gensler is addressing the problem
- What role technology plays in workspace design
- What it’s like to work at Gensler
- How to keep your organization’s workspace relevant for years to come
- A look at the future of workspace design
Direct download: Diane_Hoskins_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 12:26am PDT
Wed, 27 November 2019
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.
Mon, 25 November 2019
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
-- posted at: 2:21am PDT
Wed, 20 November 2019
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.
Mon, 18 November 2019
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
-- posted at: 1:54am PDT
Wed, 13 November 2019
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
-- posted at: 4:11am PDT
Mon, 11 November 2019
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
-- posted at: 2:00am PDT
Wed, 6 November 2019
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.
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
-- posted at: 2:58am PDT
Mon, 4 November 2019
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
-- posted at: 1:16am PDT
Wed, 30 October 2019
Huge thanks to VMware for sponsoring this episode! If you want a free copy of my upcoming book The Future Leader, go to http://bit.ly/vmwaregiveaways
Today’s world is incredibly fast-paced and competitive. How do you stand out and build your career? By developing your personal brand.
Just like each company has a brand, each person also has a brand. It’s what you stand for and what you want people to know about you. Your personal brand could be a subject you are passionate about, a cause you care deeply for, or a message you want to share. A strong personal brand solidifies you as a subject matter expert and makes you more valuable in your company or in your own entrepreneurial endeavors. Building a personal brand takes time and effort. To build a maintain a strong personal brand, you need to focus on three areas:
Choose a brand and stick with it. What are you going to share with people? What do you want them to know about you? Decide on one thing and be consistent. Your brand could be talking about the future of work (like mine) or being an expert on new medicine or aviation. Once you decide your brand and message, stay consistent. Don’t jump around to other topics, but instead stay in your lane and build your brand.
Your brand becomes what you talk about all the time. The more often you talk about something, the more it will stick with people. Talk about your message in person, on social media, and in other personal and professional outlets. The goal is for people to instantly match you to your personal brand, but that only comes from talking about it often.
To build your personal brand, you’ve got to get out there! Your message doesn’t mean anything if you don’t share it in a visible way. Post on social media, contribute to other websites and blogs, speak at conferences—the list goes on and on. Be visible and spread your message.
Building a personal brand is a continual process and doesn’t happen overnight. Choose a message or brand you’re passionate about and make it part of how you live and work. Your personal brand should be part of your walk and talk every day. Following these three steps can help you build a strong brand over time and make you stand out in our competitive world.
Direct download: Why_And_How_To_Build_Your_Personal_Brand.mp3
-- posted at: 4:27am PDT
Mon, 28 October 2019
Daniel Martinez-Valle is the CEO of Orbia, a global leader in polymers, materials, and infrastructure. Orbia has over 22,000 employees in 41 countries around the world. They are committed to “help the world take shape and create a more livable, lovable planet for everyone”.
The company has been undergoing a major transformation, including a recent name change, from Mexichem to Orbia. There are three main components to the transformation they are going through, when explaining them Daniel says, “The first one has to do with articulating a very clear purpose, that people in our organization and our stakeholders can really understand and connect to. The second one, our values, which is very important as we move along, and as people make daily choices within our organization and within our extended organizations. And then the third one is to really transform our company and to become truly, a customer-centric organization.” They are changing to be a more human company, one that cares about the world, the environment, people and society.
Orbia’s transformation is holistic, it is not just about a name change or a website update or a change in strategy, every single aspect of the organization has been affected by this transformation. So why are they going through this change? As an organization Orbia wants to make sure that they are impacting the world around them in a positive way. There are many world issues that need to be addressed, including food and water shortages and pollution.
As they go through this transformation one of the fundamental steps is articulating a very clear company purpose that employees and stakeholders can connect to. Daniel says, “For us purpose means what is the fundamental reason why we exist, and why we come to work every day, beyond sort of generating profits, generating dividends or having the ability to pay bi-weekly, or weekly wages. Why would people care if Orbia ceases to exist five years from now or 20 years from now? Why do we matter, why do we exist? And it's a combination of a number of individual reflections in terms of, how can we transcend in life, why are we here and how can we make sure that in our final hours we can look back and say, at least one life could breathe easier because we lived. And when we combine that as a collective, and when we move from a 'Me' mentality to a 'We' mentality, that's what purpose means.”
And they don’t just put values and mission statements up on the walls of their organization and hope that it will inspire employees. They are backing up their values and purpose with action in every aspect of the organization. From incentives, to training programs, to the way they onboard new employees, everything inside of the organization stems from the purpose of why the company exists.
“I think the very basic analogy that I give very colloquially to people is if this were acupuncture, we have to insert a needle in every single pore of the skin. And if this is not sort of a truly holistic process, then the transformation will not be effective down the road. So, in everything that people see and every interaction, they need to feel that they need to see this transformation in order for this to be real. And at the end of the day, it has to transform itself into a social movement. It's not something that people in corporate offices can say, "This will happen." People have to embrace: What are our values? What is our purpose? Where do wanna take the company? How do we define success? How are we gonna make sure that we are making the right choices? How are we gonna embrace failure? And how are we gonna change the culture in order to make this transformation happen? And if I am one of those 22,000 employees, how do I need to understand my role in this transformation journey, and then that's when it becomes a social movement.”
What you will learn:
- What it is like to work at Orbia
- Why the company is going through a transformation
- How you can help employees find their purpose
- How to change corporate culture
- How purpose and profits can be fully aligned
- Daniel’s advice for people who want to be better leaders
Direct download: Daniel_Martinez_Valle_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 3:37am PDT
Wed, 23 October 2019
Every organization has values that showcase what it stands for. In most cases, these are words like innovation, collaboration, or integrity that are used in the company’s mission statement and emblazoned on the walls. As important as many companies think their values are, in reality, most companies have similar values. Nearly every organization emphasizes things like trust, quality work, and authenticity.
So if the words themselves aren’t unique, what makes your company different? Employees don’t care as much about the words themselves as they do with how the values come to life. It’s one thing to say your organization values transparency and another thing to actually showcase transparency every day. It should be evident what your company stands for just by looking around the office.
Here are five ways to make your company’s values come to life:
1. Do a value audit.
Look around the physical workspace to see if you can find the values in action. Look for employees who are live the values or procedures that encourage the values. If you can easily see the values, your organization is likely doing a good job of bringing them to life. However, if you can’t see the values or if you see the opposite values in action, it’s probably time for an overhaul.
2. Start at the top.
Values should be personified by top leaders at the company. If the CEO and other executives make things like innovation and empathy part of their mindsets and actions, those values will flow to the rest of the employees and become a crucial part of the company.
3. Get employee feedback.
Ask employees how they think the organization is doing. Can they name the values without looking at them? Employees who are in the trenches often have better recommendations of how to improve the values and overall culture.
4. Focus on purpose.
Modern employees want a sense of purpose at work. They’re more likely to be engaged and live the values if they see the impact of their work. Make sure each employee knows how their responsibilities impact customers and the company.
5. Reward values.
Back up the words with rewards. If your company values collaboration and teamwork, reward employees that showcase those characteristics. Employees naturally work towards whatever is rewarded, so focusing on values can encourage people to find their own way to apply the values.
Many companies have similar values, but that doesn’t mean every company is the same. Focus on bringing the values to life and turning them into the walk and talk of your company instead of just words on an inspirational poster. Truly applying the values will help separate your organization from the rest.
Huge thanks to VMware for sponsoring this episode! If you want a free copy of my upcoming book The Future Leader, go to http://bit.ly/vmwareee
Sun, 20 October 2019
Pamela McCorduck is an artificial intelligence (AI) expert and author. She has written 10 books, the newest one comes out this month and it is titled: This Could Be Important: My Life and Times with the Artificial Intelligentsia.
Pamela first became interested in AI when she was studying at the University of California, Berkeley. She was an English major, but she had a job typing in the business school, which is where she met some of the “fathers of AI”. Two assistant professors in the business school who she became acquainted with through her job approached her to see if she could help them work on a book. The book was on the topic of AI, something that at that time Pamela knew nothing about.
When she asked one of the assistant professors what AI was he gave her a great definition. He said, “I would define it as machines doing something that if a human did that we would say, 'Oh that's intelligent behavior.” Pamela said that while working on the book in 1960 she fell in love with the field of AI and she has been learning all she can about it ever since.
Back when Pamela first started immersing herself in AI, it fascinated her so much that she decided she wanted to write a book on the history of artificial intelligence. With the help of AI experts at that time, she wrote Machines Who Think, which looks at the evolution AI has gone through from the time of the classic Greek poets to the 20th century.
Pamela states that the algorithms we use today were actually developed in the 80s, but at the time we didn’t have the advanced technology needed to use them. So the things we are seeing today in AI and machine learning which seem so futuristic, are actually from a few decades ago, we just didn’t have the technology needed until now.
When asked about the meaning behind the title of her new book, This Could Be Important, Pamela said, “This book is a memoir of sorts, and it starts from the time that AI really grabs me by the gut and goes on. So my husband was the chairman of the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon in the 70s. And in the late 70s, he was called to Columbia University because the Ivy League was among the last to establish computer science departments. And so he established the Computer Science Department at Columbia where he earned his Ph.D. and, of course, we moved to New York City, which I loved 'cause I'm a writer. And that was the writer's company town in those days. Anyway, I got into all kinds of literary circles 'cause I still thought of myself as a literary person, and I would run into various public intellectuals and I would say, "You know, this artificial intelligence, this could be important." And they would look at me as if I were absolutely nuts and laugh. I mean, what else could they do? And it went on for two decades at least.”
Pamela believes that AI will have a major impact on the future of work and the future in general. And there will be benefits as well as some challenges that come with it. She understands that AI will never make a perfect paradise because we as humans will never be perfect. But that doesn’t mean we should forget it altogether.
“It's not gonna be paradise, but it's gonna be a lot easier for a lot more people, and that gets to one of the things that really makes me unhappy about people like Musk who say, "Oh, we've just gotta stop AI." And I'm thinking "You live in a privileged society, and you live a life of great privilege in that society. Who are you to say nobody gets the benefits of AI because it might have some bad effects?" There is a world of need out there that AI could supply, and it's not up to us privileged white people, and privileged white men to say, "Oh no, sorry, we're not gonna have that because there are dangers." Well, yes, of course, there are dangers but boy, think of the benefits.”
What you will learn:
- How Pamela first got involved in the AI space
- A look at the history of AI
- What is symbolic intelligence and why is it so important for the future
- The impact AI will have on the future of work
- How the current industrial revolution is different than the first
- What is was like in the early days of AI and what Pamela learned from the “fathers of AI”
Huge thanks to VMware for sponsoring this episode! If you want a free copy of my upcoming book 'The Future Leader', go to http://bit.ly/vmwareee
Direct download: Pamela_McCorduck_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 7:36pm PDT
Wed, 16 October 2019
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the majority of Americans say their job is the biggest cause of stress in their lives. As we push ourselves harder and are constantly connected, stress has started to take an even bigger toll on our lives. Many employees constantly feel burned out and overworked. When you’re stressed, you’re not as good of an employee or manager, and you’re definitely not as good of a friend, spouse, or parent outside of work.
A growing number of organizations have initiatives to promote health and wellness, but it really comes down to each employee taking control of his or her own mental and emotional health and control their stress.
Here are four ways to manage your stress at work:
Take a stress audit.
What causes you stress at work? Is it having to do the work of two people because a co-worker left? Is it being called into meetings at all hours of the day? Is it a client with a bad attitude? Analyze what triggers your stress and try to find solutions to control the trigger or avoid it altogether.
Stay in control of those stress-causing triggers. Talk to your boss and set boundaries. If always being on call is causing major stress, set limits of when you will and won’t respond to a work call. Openly share what is causing you to stress with your manager and find solutions that work for you and the company.
Your physical health is connected to your mental health. Take time to exercise and be active. Eat healthy meals, even if you’re stuck at your desk all day. Make sure you get a good night’s rest and make time to take care of yourself.
Oftentimes, stress is caused by creating unrealistic expectations for ourselves. Remember that you’re human and can’t do everything on your own. Learn what you are capable of accomplishing in one day, and divide the rest of your responsibilities for other days. With realistic expectations, you won’t feel overwhelmed when you can’t possibly get to everything in one day.
Managing stress is an ongoing process. Find ways to mitigate stress triggers and take care of yourself mentally and physically. If you find talking to your boss and setting boundaries at work isn’t working, don’t be afraid to leave that job behind and find something that is a better fit for your mental and emotional needs.
Huge thanks to VMware for sponsoring this episode! If you want a free copy of my upcoming book The Future Leader, go to http://bit.ly/vmwareee
Mon, 14 October 2019
Sanjay Poonen is the Chief Operating Officer at VMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology. They are the 5th largest software company and they currently have around 26,000 employees in offices around the world.
Sanjay has been with VMware since 2013, prior to that he was President & Corporate Officer — Platform, Applications & Industries at SAP. He started his career as a software engineer at Microsoft followed by Apple.
Technology today is advancing more rapidly than ever before, and it’s hard to tell what the world will look like 10–15 years from now. But Sanjay says some things will never change and as we progress we still need to make sure that we are training our children the fundamental principles of science, technology, engineering, math, logic, physics, etc…He also believes storytelling is an important skill for the future.
He says, “I think it’s super important that we emphasize storytelling to our kids. And I hope that dinner table conversations are not obsessed by keeping the TV on and the device on. We try to keep a no device policy for a period of time in the evenings in our home. It’s super important we go back to that basic principle of what people did around the dinner table, which is telling stories.
And I hope that the classroom setting is the same time too. One of the dangers of this obsession with devices is that we move away from whatever friendship or family constructs that got people telling stories. I find often today, people are so obsessed with their devices, they’re not as good at carrying on a conversation, they’re looking down.”
Technology can be used for great things and it can be used to make our lives easier. But we also have to be careful because it can also be used in dangerous ways as well. Sanjay explains that just as fire can be used for good (keeping us warm, cooking food, giving light) and bad (arson) technology can be used either way as well.
For example, AI can be used to help doctors take more efficient, legible prescriptions via speech recognition technology rather than writing them out by hand. And it can be used in vehicles to help people park better or to drive more safely in heavy traffic.
But it can also be used in selfish or even evil ways. With facial recognition, there is a possibility that someone could be wrongfully identified and end up in trouble. Companies can sell data they have gathered from customers without permission. Because of these issues, Sanjay believes it is critical for technologists, leaders, and governments to constantly have conversations and debates in order to make technology a force for good.
As a leader, how does Sanjay attract and retain the best talent? He says it starts with practicing servant leadership.
“It’s super important that you’re always humble and hungry, and looking to learn. And part of it, being a servant-leader doesn’t mean that you’re a doormat that everybody steps over. I’m strongly opinionated, I’m passionate, I’m a hard negotiator, all those things. But I don’t want any smell of me that I’m arrogant, unwilling to learn, unwilling to listen. I make plenty of mistakes, I’m a work in progress. But I want my team to feel like, “You know what, this guy’s got a growth mindset, so I can give him feedback. And I want the person who’s at the lowest rung of my organization to feel like I’m approachable, as opposed to sitting in some ivory tower with a bunch of security guards around me that they can’t come and talk to me or send an email to me or walk into my office. And I’m always challenging myself to how I could continue to drive that servant leadership mindset, both in myself, and role model it to my organization.”
What you will learn:
- Sanjay’s general take on technology today
- The importance of leaders speaking up and taking a stance instead of staying neutral
- How to balance technology and humanity in the workplace
- How Sanjay brings in the best people and keeps them motivated
- The importance of storytelling
- Why Sanjay believes an A should be added to STEM to make it STEAM
- What technology freaks Sanjay out
Direct download: Sanjay_Poonen_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 7:22am PDT
Wed, 9 October 2019
Conversations about AI are nearly unavoidable these days. It seems like everyone has an opinion about how AI is taking jobs from humans and how it will impact and transform our work situations. Many of those conversations are full of fear that the machines are taking over and soon employees in all industries will be replaced.
Here’s the truth: yes, AI is impacting jobs. But we should let it.
That doesn’t mean that machines will soon leave us completely unemployed and take over our world. Instead, it means that AI is augmenting and transforming jobs to make them better. Just because it’s new and unknown doesn’t mean it has to be scary. Here are three reasons you should let AI impact your job.
AI removes mundane tasks.
AI is built to do repetitive tasks like data entry, analysis, and scheduling. The best applications for AI are areas where humans don’t typically want to spend their time. AI takes over those boring, mundane tasks and does them faster and more accurately than humans, which gives humans a chance to work on other projects that are more exciting and engaging. Think of AI as a skilled assistant who frees your schedule to work on more interesting things.
AI provides a chance to learn new skills.
A growing number of companies, including Accenture and McDonald’s, are re-vamping their workforces with AI without losing a single human employee. That’s because employees that are being replaced are being up-skilled to work in other areas of the company. Accenture replaced many of its entry-level data entry employees with machines but then trained the human employees on business strategy and moved them to other areas of the company where their skills could be better used. By allowing AI to work in areas where it thrives, humans have the chance to expand our skillsets and careers into new areas. AI could be the boost that takes your career to the next level and encourages you to learn something new.
AI allows us to focus on human qualities.
Even the most advanced robot can’t collaborate with humans or be as creative as a human can. There are certain skills that are uniquely human and can’t be duplicated by a machine. As AI takes over many of the mind-numbing tasks humans used to do, it frees us to focus on what makes us human. We get to build relationships and be innovative.
AI in the workforce is unavoidable. Instead of living in constant fear of being replaced by machines, we should be excited for the change. Embrace AI and encourage its growth in your organization. AI is going to impact your job, but with the right attitude, that impact could be a great starting spot for your next step forward.
Mon, 7 October 2019
Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup and Professor of Business Psychology at Columbia University and the University College in London. Tomas has written 10 books and over 150 scientific papers on the psychology of talent, leadership, innovation and AI. He has also delivered multiple TED Talks, including one on “The Power of Negative Thinking” and another on “Why do so Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders”.
What is a Chief Talent Scientist? In Tomas’ case it means combining his expertise and background in organizational psychology and analytics & assessments. Tomas says, “If you combine both things, and an interest in understanding human performance, then you get the kind of interface or the main area niche that I specialize. And at Manpower Group, our agreement is to really use all of our data, our tools and expertise to predict performance and understand human potential in a deeper way.”
ManpowerGroup’s main purpose is to “understand where people can be deployed most effectively, and where people will be thriving, and what role, job, or capacity. And then helping organizations not just deal with their current talents, but predict what their future talent issues might be.”
They are currently working to help match people with jobs that they have the potential for, but have never actually done in their lives. For example, there may be a marketing employee who would be great in more of a customer service role, but they have never worked directly with customers before. In the past, this employee may not have been considered for a role in customer service because of their lack of experience. But ManpowerGroup is looking at how data assessment and AI can be used to match the employee with a role that matches their skills without past experience.
One of the biggest trends that Tomas has been paying attention to is the growing need for soft skills like empathy, emotional intelligence, teamwork, resilience, and creativity. As technology advances and we start using more AI, automation, and data assessment inside of our organizations, there is going to be a greater need for people to be more human.
“The last things machines are going to be able to do is to show respect, appreciation, or care for others. So in a way, even though you would think that as technology and AI becomes a more prominent aspect of jobs and careers, we should all become data scientists, geeks of one sort or another, and learn coding, actually the real need is for people who develop and boost their human skills, the soft side of talent, which is actually the hardest one to develop and to find.”
Tomas’ advice to job candidates today and in the coming future is to be flexible, adaptable, and well-rounded. Things are changing and in order to succeed you can’t pigeon hole yourself into one role, or a specific job title. It is important to be curious and to constantly learn new skills. AI and automation will disrupt jobs, individuals can thrive, but they can’t expect to do so if they sit back and expect to be safe in one single role for the rest of their life.
“Fundamentally, we believe that there will always be three core employability skills that will continue to matter in the future. This is what we use when we assess candidates, when we evaluate potential and when we try to almost distill all the different jobs and careers to their fundamental core elements. These are learning ability, so the ability to learn new things, reason and acquire new knowledge and expertise. The second is work ethic or drive, determination. And the third is, people skills.”
What you will learn:
- What is the role of a Chief Talent Scientist
- Tomas’ view of science vs. intuition when it comes to hiring talent
- Why we need to rethink the way we promote and train leaders
- Tomas’ advice for candidates looking for a new job
- The best way to take criticism and negative feedback
- Why soft skills are becoming so important for the future of work
Wed, 2 October 2019
AI and technology are at the forefront of so many conversations today, but why is that when neither AI or tech are new concepts, they have been around for decades. The reason is there are 4 major elements that are working together to create the perfect storm that is causing AI and tech to progress more quickly than ever before.
The 4 elements are:
- We have more data than ever before
- The cost of technology is decreasing
- The speed of technology is increasing
- Moore’s Law: the number of transistors on a chip doubles every year while the costs are halved.
All of these things are coming together to cause AI and technology to progress at a much faster pace than we have ever seen before.
Direct download: 1._Why_The_AI_Conversation_Is_Everywhere.mp3
-- posted at: 6:47am PDT
Mon, 30 September 2019
John Jordan is the Head of the Academy at Bank of America, an award-winning employee development organization that trains around 40,000 people per year. As John puts it, The Academy is, “truly an environment where people can practice, where they can learn that goes beyond just the typical sort of learning environment into a really high-touch coaching environment and we've really seen great results so far.”
John has been with Bank of America for about 16 years in a wide variety of roles, all of which have prepared him to lead The Academy.
The Academy is used to onboard new employees, to support and train employees looking to move into a leadership position, to help employees enhance their current skills and more. They use a combination of web-based training and hands on practice. One example of training they have is a client engagement simulator that allows employees to practice using the online systems while having client conversations at the same time. This allows employees to get comfortable interacting with customers live on the phone before they officially step into their role.
Since starting The Academy, Bank of America has seen a lot of benefits from the program. Their turnover rate is the lowest it’s ever been and their client experience rating is the highest it’s ever been. John and his team understand the importance of investing in their people.
John says, “I've heard a stat that I've just sort of repeated over and over again, which is if you have a bad onboarding experience, you're six times more likely to leave the company within the first year. We saw a pretty high turnover amongst people within our first year and it just became a question of, were they onboarded well? Were they trained to do the job well? Did they get good practice?”
When you have great employee experience, you have people who want to stay at the organization a long time. And when you can have tenured employees who know what they are talking about and who can give great advice you get great customer experience.
One set of skills that The Academy is focused on teaching is soft skills such as empathy, problem solving, good communication, adaptability, creativity, etc...And John shares that they actually teach the basics such as how to give a proper handshake, make good eye contact, and how to hold a conversation.
“I think empathy is such an important skill in this day and age to really understand where the person sitting across the table is coming from. We have really put a lot of money where our mouth is on that front and through The Academy really invested in empathy. We feel like there's a lot left to do there. I believe talking about technology of the future, things like virtual reality are going to maybe help us with that, to put us in someone else's shoes or help us to see some of the challenges that our clients may be facing that we can't necessarily know or see on a daily basis. Lots to learn there and I'm really excited about and hopeful for just continuing to build a more and more empathetic workforce.”
What you will learn:
- What is The Academy and how does it work
- A look at how learning and development has evolved over the years
- How the program is impacting turnover rates
- How John and his team are leveraging AI for training
- How leadership has evolved over the years inside of Bank of America
- What skills will be needed for the future of work
Wed, 25 September 2019
There are a lot of people who feel like they are the lone changemaker in their organization. You may be in that position right now. It can feel extremely frustrating and lonely at times, but that shouldn’t stop you. Changemakers are persistent, resilient, and determined--they have to be.
As a changemaker you will probably get told ‘no’ a lot, you may be rejected, and you may find that people around you have a hard time keeping up. There is a price to pay to be a changemaker, but it is worth it.
Don’t give up! Keep pushing your organization and the people around you. The change will happen, maybe slower than you want, but it will.
Direct download: The_Price_Of_Being_A_Change_Maker.mp3
-- posted at: 1:08am PDT
Mon, 23 September 2019
Michelle Murphy is the Chief Diversity Officer and VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Ingersoll Rand, a manufacturing and sustainability company that creates products and services for commercial, industrial and residential customers. Some of their products include heating and air conditioning systems, golf carts, and power tools. They were formed in 1905 and today they have 40,000 employees around the world.
Michelle recently wrote an article, titled Truly Effective Diversity Training Can Be Measured in Goosebumps where she opened up about the moment when she realized the importance of diversity and inclusion inside and outside of the workplace. Her experience ignited a passion for creating a safe place to work inside of Ingersoll Rand as well as encouraging others to do the same in organizations around the world.
With the current world of work, where we are all so connected and where we can interact with customers and coworkers from countries all around the world the issue of diversity and inclusion is more important now than ever before. It is crucial for all of us to have empathy and compassion and to be able to see the world through the eyes of others.
Ingersoll Rand has some great programs in place to foster and develop a culture of diversity and inclusion. They include:
- Relaunch--a program offering the opportunity to help qualified engineers in the community relaunch their careers after having to step away for a time
- Level Up--A 1 ½ day immersive and experiential learning forum tailored to bring leaders and high potential black talent together to learn, further a sense of community, and convene a discussion among other companies for strategic initiatives to advance black leadership
- Strengthen Economic Mobility--A commitment to achieving a workforce that is reflective of their community populations – a maintaining livable market-competitive wages and progressive benefits; including broadening community access to well-being services including food/nutrition, housing and shelter, transportation, education and climate comfort.
- Paradigm for Parity--Ingersoll Rand has pledged to bring gender parity to leadership roles by 2030
The question is, is it possible to teach someone to be empathetic or to focus on diversity and inclusion? Michelle says, “When I think about how do you teach someone, I feel like what we do is we try to create opportunities to offer experiences for people, because I'm not sure that there's a training you could go to, or that you could teach people what it's like to feel certain ways. So, creating experiences where people get to watch others describe their feelings, and share in that, tend to take us a little bit further than I'll call maybe a typical training class. Because what you realize in that setting is, "These are the people I see and work with every day, and I know them pretty well, and I think they're smart people and good people, and I like them, and wow, I had no idea that that's what they were dealing with." Sometimes that acknowledgment is part of what helps create the opportunity for learning, for maybe that person who doesn't demonstrate empathy easily or well. Sometimes creating those experiences where they have those opportunities is the best way to do it.”
What you will learn:
- What events shaped Michelle’s view of diversity and inclusion
- How to teach diversity, inclusion, and empathy
- A look at some of the programs in place at Ingersoll Rand that help foster diversity and inclusion
- Michelle’s view on the current war for talent
- How to measure diversity and inclusion
- What skills will be needed in the future of work
- What Michelle looks for during the interview process
- Some of the future challenges we will face when it comes to diversity and inclusion
Direct download: Michelle_Murphy_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 2:58am PDT
Wed, 18 September 2019
One of the most important skills to have for the future of work is learning how to learn, but a major component that goes along with being a perpetual learner is consistently reinventing yourself. It’s not just about learning new things, it’s about how the outside world sees you.
Reinvention is about how you position yourself, it’s about how you market yourself and it is about the brand that you build. This is something that should be taking place consistently, whether it is every 3 years or every 10 years.
So when did you last reinvent yourself? If the answer is never, it’s time to start.
Direct download: Do_You_Know_How_to_Reinvent_Yourself.mp3
-- posted at: 6:09am PDT
Mon, 16 September 2019
My guest today is Maria Bartiromo, anchor and Global Markets Editor for FOX Business. Maria has been a journalist for 30 years, starting back in 1989 as a production assistant at CNN Business News. She has seen and reported on some of the world’s most major events which you will hear about in our discussion. Maria has an upcoming special debuting on September 22, 2019 tied to how Artificial Intelligence is changing the face of business and the workplace. Her research for this special included traveling across the country over the past year and interviewing the top tier CEOs leading the charge on this topic. In today’s conversation, you will hear some of her findings and what CEOs are saying about AI and technology. You will also hear Maria’s advice on how we should prepare for what’s to come, what assumptions she had at the beginning of the process that were proven wrong, what jobs will be most on-demand in the future, and how AI might impact leaders.
Maria Bartiromo is a FOX Business Global Markets Editor and Anchor. She has been a journalist for 30 years and has worked for CNN, CNBC, and FOX. She has received two Emmys and a Gracie Award and in 2009 the Financial Times named her one of the “50 Faces That Shaped The Decade”.
Maria was the first journalist to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on a daily basis and she was the first female journalist to be inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame Class of 2011. She has written three books, The Weekend That Changed Wall Street, The 10 Laws of Enduring Success, and Use The News: How to Separate the Noise from the Investment Nuggets and Make Money in Any Economy.
She has a one-hour special coming up on September 22, 2019, called Artificial Intelligence: The Revolution Happening to Our Work and Our Lives, which will air on FOX News. The report is based on research Maria has been conducting for over a year on how Artificial Intelligence is changing the face of business and the workplace. She has traveled around and interviewed the leading technologists of the world, people like Marty Schmidt, Provost at MIT, Peter Thiel, founder of Palantir and co-founder of PayPal, Ginni Rometty, Chairman and CEO of IBM and Jim Hackett, Chairman and CEO of Ford Motors.
After all of her in-depth research, what does Maria think will happen to jobs in the next 5-10 years? “I mean this is today in 2019, we have more job openings than we have people. I mean, the labor force is so tight right now with a 51-year low in unemployment, and jobs are plentiful. I think that will only get worse, whereas there won't be enough people for the jobs that we need, and the jobs that we have will be able to be filled by computers. I think longer term, you are going to see a massive displacement in work and in jobs. I think the most important thing that people have to do is first of all recognize that machines are getting smarter and smarter, and they will take your job. You need to make sure to arm yourself with the right information and education, where you are savvy with technology, because if you're not savvy with technology in the next 10 years, you will be left out.”
There’s no doubt that AI is becoming smarter and smarter and implementing it into business can save money and time. It can also allow humans to get involved in more creative roles and it will free us up to do the things we actually want to do.
So what can we do as individuals to prepare for the future of AI and technology? Maria says first and foremost we have to enjoy every moment of everyday because life is short and it is precious. Secondly she says that education is key. Things are changing in a rapid pace and it’s not going to slow down. We need to be perpetual learners, constantly growing, innovating, dreaming, creating, and learning so that we can keep up in this upcoming world of work.
What you will learn:
How Maria conducted research for her upcoming piece on Artificial Intelligence
A look at the assumptions she had in her mind before she started working on this report and how they changed in the process
What Maria thinks will happen to jobs in the next 5-10 years
How AI and technology will specifically impact leaders
Who is responsible for upskilling? Organizations or individuals?
What jobs will be in demand in the future
Why some CEOs are worried about AI and some are optimistic
Advice for what individuals should do to prepare for the future of work
Direct download: Maria_Bartiromo_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 2:30am PDT
Wed, 11 September 2019
There are two things about the future of work that worry me.
The first is if executives at organizations will choose to use AI and automation to replace humans instead of using them to augment humans.
The second is that if we as individuals take a passive role in our lives and careers. We cannot just sit back and watch from the sidelines as the world changes. That is a surefire way to ensure we get replaced by technology.
If we can work on both of these issues, then the future of work is optimistic
Mon, 9 September 2019
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
-- posted at: 12:19am PDT
Wed, 4 September 2019
Have you ever been asked a question that you don’t know the answer to? What was your response? Did you make something up? Did you talk around the question? One thing I have learned over the years is the power of saying three simple words---”I don’t know”.
It might seem like a scary phrase, you might think people will lose respect for you or that they will think you’re an idiot. But I have found that the opposite is true. People tend to have more respect for someone who admits they don’t know everything.
I think getting comfortable with this phrase is something that is going to be increasingly important in the days ahead as the pace of change gets faster and faster. We are never going to be able to know everything about everything. There is power in admitting you don’t have all the answers.
Direct download: The_Power_of_Saying_I_Dont_Know.mp3
-- posted at: 6:00am PDT
Mon, 2 September 2019
This week I am joined by Ann Anaya, the Chief Diversity Officer at 3M, a global company with 93,000 employees in 70 countries around the world. They use science and innovation to create and supply products for the fields of industry, worker safety, health care, and consumer goods. One of their most well-known products would be the Post-it Note.
In our conversation today you will hear Ann’s advice for people looking to make a career shift and why it is more important to focus on your skills rather than your past job titles. You will also hear how the Post-it was created, what people outside of HR need to know about diversity and inclusion, and what programs 3M has going on to emphasize and focus on diversity inside the organization.
Ann Anaya is the Chief Diversity Officer at 3M, a global company that creates and supplies products like the Post-it note. They have 93,000 employees in 70 countries around the world. Ann has been with 3M for six years. She actually began her career as a lawyer, first for the state court in Minnesota and then for the US Attorney’s Office focusing on major white collar and complex crime. Six years ago she was looking for a change in her career path and she applied into legal affairs for 3M. After working in legal affairs for four years she was asked to consider the newly opened position of Chief Diversity Officer.
Ann gave advice to others who are looking to change careers, she said there are three pieces in figuring out the best industry and role.
- What is your passion?
- What are you good at?
- Figure out where your skills and passions make a difference and then take action
She says, “we all know that we're really good at some ... a handful of particular skills and one of the things that I am fortunate to have as a skillset that I do well at is the ability to influence change and doing that through advocacy. Yes, those are skills for a trial lawyer or a litigator but those are skills that we use in so many other ways. Number one, is passion. Number two, what skills do we really have that we're really good at? Then, finally, I would say, where can we take our experiences and apply them in a way that there is a need to make change?”
Ann also had a mentor, who played a huge role in helping her figure out where her skills fit best. She believes everyone should have people in their lives who push them, challenge them, and stretch them in order to be better. As she puts it, “We all need champions. We can’t do it alone” no matter if you are a leader or an entry level employee.
3M has been focused on intentionally embedding diversity and inclusion into their brand, their mission, and their goals. They are going through a “new culture refresh” and it will be a part of all 3M does. And they are finding that having a diverse and inclusive organization not only impacts the employees, it also impacts the customers.
“Diversity is all about demographics and inclusion is about our environment or the atmosphere we create in our workplace. There is no one without the other. You can't have an inclusive workforce if there isn't diversity within the workforce and you can't be inclusive without the diversity of ideas, perspectives and backgrounds. You won't benefit from diversity, inclusion unless you have both.”
What you will learn:
- Why we should focus on skills rather than job titles
- Advice for people who would like to explore a new career path
- Why people outside of HR need to know about diversity and inclusion
- What is diversity and inclusion and why is it important
- Programs 3M has in place to embrace and promote diversity and inclusion
Direct download: Ann_Anaya_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 9:59pm PDT
Wed, 28 August 2019
In our increasingly connected world the way businesses compete has changed. It is no longer about competing within your industry or within your geographic location--you are competing with everyone. And that is especially true with talent.
The way that organizations compete has changed. It used to be that organizations would compete within their own industry or within their geographic location. But now with our world becoming more and more connected our organizations have to compete with everyone. And this is especially true in the war for talent.
Employees today have so many options. Organizations have to adapt if they want to attract and retain the best talent. It is not all about perks--you don’t have to have slides, ping pong tables, free food, and parties every week. The way to win the war is to bring humanity back into your organization. You have to treat your employees like humans.
Direct download: 3._The_New_Face_Of_Competition_Podcast.mp3
-- posted at: 1:24am PDT
Mon, 26 August 2019
My guest today is Farooq Kathwari, the Chairman, President, and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors, Inc., an American furniture chain founded in 1932 with more than 300 stores across the world. Farooq has a new book coming out on September 3 titled: Trailblazer: From the Mountains of Kashmir to the Summit of Global Business and Beyond.
He has a truly fascinating life story, some of which you will get to hear today. Our discussion today covers a lot of ground including how his background shaped his approach to leadership, the immigrant mentality to work, the six leadership principles he created over 35 years ago that his team still follows today, and how to get people around you to think like an entrepreneur.
Farooq Kathwari is the Chairman, President, and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors, Inc. an American furniture chain founded in 1932. The company now has more than 300 stores across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Farooq has been President of the company since 1985 and Chairman & CEO since 1988.
Farooq’s journey to his current role inside of Ethan Allen has been a very unique and inspiring one. He grew up in an area of conflict and he and his family became refugees and were forced to split up. At the age of 20, he made his way to Brooklyn, New York where he attended NYU at night and worked as a bookkeeper for a printing company during the day.
He also worked hard as an entrepreneur to sell arts and crafts to stores like Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor. He later was hired as a junior financial analyst at Bear Stearns on Wall Street where he succeeded and therefore was recruited to set up an investment company. All the while he still sold his arts and crafts. It was at the investment company that Farooq was introduced to the co-founder of Ethan Allen, Nat Ancell.
He had a partnership with Ethan Allen which later on led to a merger. When he was in his 30s, he became the head of Ethan Allen.
How has his past shaped his approach to work and entrepreneurship? Farooq says, “When you say immigrant, you can also use the word entrepreneur. When you leave your home, when I came here with enough money for, I think about five or six months to survive, well, you have to be entrepreneurial. So immigrants, by nature, who leave their homes, who travel, have more of an entrepreneurial attitude, because not everybody from every other world leaves. It's a few people who leave. They've got to have that DNA to be able to leave, to take risks. Immigrants also take risks.”
He also truly believes in treating all people with dignity and respect. He brings that belief into his role as a leader and tries to empower his employees. When he first started as the head of Ethan Allen he met several thousand employees from different locations and he said something shocking which was, “The main job of a leader is to help their people become better. If the leaders don't do that, people have a right to revolt.” Farooq says helping people become better is “a very critical factor in leadership. Leaders don't think that their job is to make people better.”
Farooq has all of the company’s managers and leaders write a report for him every single week. In the report, they can share things that are working well, things that need improvement, and issues they are having with any employees.
This practice came from one of the leadership principles Farooq created 35+ years ago. He still follows all of these principles today. They are:
- Leaders must have self-confidence. This also means leaders have to empower people. Leaders who don’t empower people don’t have self-confidence.
- Hard work--if leaders don’t work hard, how can they ask their people to work hard?
- Excellence in innovation--You have to have a passion for being the best
- Accessibility--leaders need to be approachable and they need to treat people with respect
- Customer focus--The customer is number one, you have to take care of them
- Prioritization--Leaders must constantly think about prioritization because not everything is important
What you will learn:
- A look at Farooq’s fascinating life story and how he went from an immigrant student at NYU to the Chairman, CEO and President of Ethan Allen
- How his background shaped his approach to leadership
- The leadership principles that Farooq created 35 years ago and why he and all the leaders at Ethan Allen follow them still today
- How he provides feedback to employees who are not performing well
- How to continue persevering in business when you keep getting told ‘no’
- How to create an entrepreneurial mindset inside of your organization
- What skills will be most relevant for employees in the future
Direct download: Farooq_Kathwari_podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 12:48am PDT
Tue, 20 August 2019
Artificial Intelligence is not a new concept. Actually, it has been around for thousands of years and you can see representations of the concept throughout history starting with Jason and the Golden Fleece.
Did you know that the concept of Artificial Intelligence has been around for thousands of years? One of the first representations of AI in history shows up in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. Jason had to travel to get the golden fleece and along the way, he had to battle it out with Talos, a huge non-human man made of bronze.
Representations of AI also appear in Judaism and Chinese, Greek and Indian Philosophy. The concept has been around for a very long time. Now we have things like Siri and Alexa and it shows that AI is part of our human nature to want something that is higher and greater than ourselves.
There is a quote from Pamela McCorduck that states, “Artificial Intelligence began with an ancient wish to forge the gods”. And that “ancient wish” is still around today. But, what happens when our wish comes true? Be careful what you wish for.
Sun, 18 August 2019
This week I am joined by Ragu Gurumurthy, the Chief Innovation and Digital Officer at Deloitte. Today we are talking about a hot topic--digital transformation. What it actually means, what it looks like to be a digitally transformed company, what skills are needed to achieve transformation and much more. Ragu actually authored a report on this topic back in March of this year titled, Pivoting to Digital Maturity: Seven Capabilities Central to Digital Transformation. In our discussion you will also hear Ragu talks through the seven digital pivots mentioned in his report and why they matter.
Ragu Gurumurthy is the Chief Innovation and Digital Officer at Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services company with 240,000 employees around the world. Ragu has been with Deloitte for over 13 years. Prior to that, he worked at companies like T-Mobile, Morgan Stanley, and AT&T.
In March 2019 Ragu authored a report titled, Pivoting to Digital Maturity: Seven Capabilities Central to Digital Transformation that looks at why some digital transformation efforts succeed while others fail. In the report, he explores seven digital pivots that can improve the chances of success for organizations going through digital transformation.
So what does digital transformation actually mean? Ragu says, “There are so many ways of defining digital transformation. It's an eye of the beholder, so to speak. Simply put, the way at least we would define digital transformation, it is about becoming a digital enterprise, holistically, by leveraging data, technology and people, data technology and people to evolve all aspects of the business; what they sell to their clients and customers, how they operate the business and how they sell to their customers. How do they relate to the... How do they reach their customers? How do they serve their customers in terms of customer experience? It is really thinking about all the aspects of business enabled by data, technology, and people.”
As a whole, when asked where the business world is at in terms of digital transformation, Ragu says we are still in the very early stages.
Ragu believes that although the digital era is upon us, it’s not all about technology. People are important, in the words of Ragu, “people are very important. I see them as the quarterback in this transformation.” A mixture of technological intelligence and human intelligence is what Ragu believes will get us to a new frontier.
The seven digital pivots Ragu explored in his report are:
- Flexible, secure infrastructure
- Data mastery
- Digitally savvy, open talent networks
- Ecosystem engagement
- Intelligent workflows
- Unified customer experience
- Business model adaptability
Ragu’s advice for organizations looking to go through digital transformation is, “the biggest advice I have is to do a thought experiment. Think about, how would I use technology, data and available AI software, voice recognition, it could be semantic language processing. You don't need to be a technologist. Read basic at the highest level, what do these things do and see how can I use it to solve the problem differently? That's my advice, think about doing things differently in different things as a supporter would say, what exactly you can do and go do it. Experiment and learn.”
What you will learn:
- A look at Ragu’s report: Pivoting to Digital Maturity
- What it looks like to be a digitally transformed organization
- Trends Ragu is paying attention to
- What skills are needed to go through digital transformation
- What Deloitte is doing internally to digitally transform
- How to overcome the challenge of change management
Direct download: Ragu_Gurumurthy_podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 8:18pm PDT
Wed, 14 August 2019
Over the years I have heard many different definitions of leadership.
One person might say that a leader is someone who has followers. Another person might say a leader is someone who has a clear vision and inspires others to move towards a certain goal. Someone else might say a leader is a person who is trustworthy, who acts with integrity and treats people well.
Everyone’s definition of leadership is different because it is a very subjective thing. What is your definition of leadership? After you define your view of leadership, look around, you might unexpectedly find people around you who meet your criteria.
Sun, 11 August 2019
My guest this week is Omar Hatamleh, the Chief Innovation Officer, Engineering at NASA and Executive Director of the Space Studies Program at the International Space University. In today’s discussion, you will hear how Omar has seen NASA change over the last 21 years, how they plan to use technology like 3D printing and AI in the future, and his thoughts on which technologies are overhyped. Omar also gives us a sneak peek into how NASA works including how they tackle problems, how they build effective teams and deal with failure, and how they focus on creative thinking.
Omar Hatamleh is the Chief Innovation Officer, Engineering at NASA and the Executive Director of the Space Studies Program at the International Space University. He is the former Deputy Chief Scientist Ames and he has been with NASA for the past 21 years.
Over his 21 years at the company, he has seen a lot of things change. Back at the time of the Apollo program, the whole environment at NASA was very competitive as several nations were racing to be the first to get to the moon. It then moved to a collaborative environment when several nations came together to put the space station into orbit.
Now, Omar says, they are in a third movement, which has been to get into the commercial sector. They are now using their expertise to help small companies and startups learn the technologies, knowledge, and ability they need to have an impact in the aerospace industry.
“Combined with the amazing corporate knowledge that we have, and amazing innovation and agility that the corporate sector has, I think that creates an excellent environment to create more jobs, improve the economy, and so on. Then, what you need to do, is basically, we're going to free up our resources, and go explore deep space. Our next goal is going to be, for example, going to the moon again by 2024. From there, we're going to go to Mars, hopefully soon after that, in a decade or so.”
Omar leads design thinking workshops at NASA where he tries to get people to think completely outside of the box. He shares some examples of real-life companies who have solved major problems by coming up with unconventional solutions.
One example he gave was regarding an electric bicycle company that produced bikes with a lot of electronics and sensitive pieces. They found that 60-70% of their orders were being returned damaged because the shipping companies saw that they were bikes and assumed they were durable. Someone at the company had a brilliant idea to print a picture of a flat screen TV on the outside of the box instead of a bike and it solved their problem.
NASA uses the latest technologies including AI, 3D printing, and quantum computing. Omar believes there are positives and negatives to all technology and the advances we are going to see in the future.
With driverless cars, for example, they can cut down on the number of cars each family needs, it can cut down on accidents, and it makes traveling easier because you can sleep or work along the way. Having autonomous cars can also create new jobs for technologies that will be needed, such as new gadgets that people can use now that they aren’t focused on the road. But it also could have a negative impact on manufacturing workers because we will need less cars. It will affect insurance companies. It will affect hotels because now people are able to sleep in the car while continuing towards their destination instead of stopping and staying somewhere overnight.
These new technologies will displace jobs, but they will also create new ones. The question is will it all balance out? Will there be more jobs lost than created or vice versa? Only time will tell.
What you will learn:
- How NASA has changed over the past 21 years
- How they plan to use 3D printing and AI in the future
- What skills will be needed for the future of work
- 5 technologies that Omar believes will have the biggest impact on the future
- How design thinking is used at NASA
- The importance of diverse teams and how to ensure you have truly diverse teams
- How they deal with failure at NASA
- Examples of real-life companies solving major problems by thinking outside the box
Direct download: Omar_Hatamleh_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 7:39am PDT
Wed, 7 August 2019
I’ve had a rule for myself that I have practiced for several years. The rule is to do one thing every year that I didn’t do the year before. Some examples of new things I have implemented over the years are my podcast, my future in 5 video series and my online courses.
Following this rule has allowed me to build up my personal brand and it has set me apart from anyone else in this space. It is important to note that this one item per year needs to be something fairly big, you can’t decide to do something for one week out of the year and expect results. It needs to be something major that become foundational elements in how you think and work.
This is a rule that anyone can implement, whether you are a freelancer, an executive, or an employee. So what one thing are you going to do this year that you did not do last year?
Mon, 5 August 2019
Abe Greenspoon is the Program Lead for Canada’s Free Agents, a Government of Canada program launched in 2016 that proposes a new model for workforce mobilization. Abe has been in the public service of Canada for about 10 years.
The idea of creating a more autonomous, mobile workforce first came from a report released in 2012 from Deloitte. The report looked at how the government might reorganize itself to better respond to problems of the future and it proposed a concept of a cloud-based workforce based off of the IT cloud computing.
Essentially they have a group of workers in a database “available to do project-based work, move around the organization, solve problems, return to the cloud when they weren't needed anymore, and then just continue on to different projects.”
So when a position opens up, Abe and his team advertise for it within public service and those who are interested can apply. Abe says that this new way of flexible work has created greater employee satisfaction and better career decision making along with many other benefits.
The process to become a free agent is tough, not just anyone can become a free agent. In order to become one, you have to be willing to continuously learn and grow and you can’t get stuck in one technical field of work. They need to be willing to explore, they have to be curious, and they can’t be scared to fail. Free agents should be quick learners and they should easily be able to adapt because they move around to different roles in different offices quite frequently.
In order to make sure they are hiring the right people, Abe says they use a lot of unconventional hiring tactics including improv and puzzle solving. It tends to take about three months for people to go through the process of applying, interviewing, and then getting the official offer.
Even though these free agents are technically gig workers, they still receive the benefits a full-time regular employee would typically receive like pensions and health insurance.
Abe believes that this way of working also helps create a sense of purpose for employees as well. He says, “the opportunity to choose your job, to have that autonomy to make those decisions, I think puts you in a better position to find your purpose. I just think, naturally, you're going to try to look for those opportunities that suit you better, you're going to think more, and self-reflect more about what environments you'll thrive in, what environments you won't thrive in, and to have that ability to choose; it leads to all sorts of other kinds of downstream benefits, I think, once you give people that ability. So, finding your purpose, I think, it's something we realized over time is, it's a potentially really interesting outcome to giving people this sort of autonomy for their jobs.”
While this is only being implemented in the public service space at the moment, there are many ways that leaders in the private sector could learn from this concept as well.
What you will learn:
- How the government of Canada is implementing a cloud-based workforce
- What it takes to be a free agent
- How they use games and improv in the hiring process
- Abe’s view of Universal Basic Income
- How they handle benefits for flexible workers
- The benefits of giving employees flexibility and autonomy
Direct download: Abe_Greenspoon_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 1:55am PDT
Sun, 28 July 2019
Amber Grewal is the Chief Talent Officer at Intel, a company with over 107,000 employees in 36 countries around the world. Prior to Intel Amber was the Corporate Vice President, Head of Global Talent Acquisition at IBM and the Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at GE.
Some of the major trends Amber is paying attention to at the moment are:
- The pace at which technology is growing and changing
- The change in the average span of a company, which is now around 15 years and how to survive beyond that
- The growth in the gig economy
- The desire of employees to know they are doing meaningful work and making an impact
- Working with a multi-generational workforce
All of these trends are driving Intel to make changes internally and they are directing Amber to figure out how to evolve HR in order to address these challenges. At Intel, they have quite a few programs that their employees can take advantage of.
One of these programs is called Freelance Nation that launched in 2014 which gives employees more flexible working options and it helps them develop and refine their skill set. They can try out working in different roles and even different regions.
Another program focuses on training leadership on how to inspire employees in this new era of work. Leadership training and development is especially important now inside of Intel as they are going through some major cultural transformations.
When sharing some insight into Intel’s internal transformation, Amber said, “I would say, to the hard part of what transforming to a PC, to a data-centric company, at the foundation of it is culture. So we are going through, I would say, one of the largest transformations as a company, ever in our history. And the foundation of it is a culture transformation. So a culture of not only who we need to be today, but who we need to be tomorrow, in this dynamic business environment, and how we serve our customers, how our business model is shifting. So as we speak, we're going through a significant cultural transformation. And figuring out what are the behaviors that are needed in order to do this? Holding our, teams, and leaders accountable to that. We've completely have re-looked at, and are rethinking our whole performance management system, specifically to that.”
What advice would Amber give to employees who are trying to future proof their career and succeed in the future of work? She says, “I would say things are changing so fast, and the reality is it's never going to be this slow again. So being comfortable with uncomfortable is just the new way. And honestly, my advice, whether you're an individual contributor, new in your career, or you're a very senior leader, the one key area that I would tell everyone is, learning agility. That ability to constantly learn is going to be important. Because even if you're a leader who's been doing something for 20 years, you're going to be in a different environment, different workforce, disruptive technologies are changing our business model. So that means your ability to learn and adapt is critical.”
What you will learn:
- What the Chief Talent Officer at Intel actually does
- How to create meaningful work and help employees discover meaning in what they do
- What changes Amber is seeing in what talent wants and expects from organizations
- The role of AI and technology in the future
- How Intel equips employees for the future of work
- Advice to employees on how to succeed in the future
- Advice to leaders on what they can practice to stay relevant
Direct download: Amber_Grewal_Podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 7:14pm PDT
Thu, 25 July 2019
The term, “perpetual learner” has been thrown around a lot recently and while it is important to learn how to learn in today’s fast pace of change, the concept is not something new. We have always had to adapt throughout history, but the difference is now we have to be Super Perpetual Learners.
There are a lot of organizations and leaders talking about the concept of becoming a perpetual learner these days. I have spoken about it many times. But the truth is, this is not a new concept.
All throughout history we have had to adapt personally and professionally to new technology, new processes, new policies, etc...We have always had to be perpetual learners. The difference now is that we have to be SUPER perpetual learners.
The pace of change in our time is much faster than it has ever been in history. So now it is not just about learning to learn; it is about being a perpetual learner in a quick, applicable and frequent way.
Direct download: are_you_a_super_perpetual_learner.mp3
-- posted at: 7:39pm PDT
Mon, 22 July 2019
Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri is the Chief Human Resource Officer at TPG, one of the world’s largest private equity investment firms. Prior to moving to TPG, Anilu was the Chief Diversity Officer and Global Head of Talent Development at Goldman Sachs.
Anna Edwin, is the Global Head of Talent Development at TPG and she works very closely with Anilu. Prior to TPG Anna was the Head of Global Leadership Development at BlackRock and VP Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs.
Anilu is actually the first ever CHRO at TPG and she is enjoying being able to shape that role. She says the firm has gone through several different evolutions of paying attention to its people, but they are now at a place where they are ready to have a specific team in place to intentionally create these experiences to set TPG apart from all other organizations.
Some of the programs, benefits and perks that they are currently working on include:
- Updated parental leave that gives 12-18 weeks for primary care and 2-4 weeks for secondary care that can be taken anytime in the first year of becoming a parent
- Lunch is provided for employees
- They are currently working with Author of Radical Candor, Kim Scott to improve the ways they provide feedback to employees
- Updated performance review system that allows they to provide ongoing feedback rather than once or twice a year
At TPG they are also focusing on providing flexibility, diversity and inclusion, and career planning for their employees as these are the biggest trends they are seeing when it comes to the future of work.
Speaking to the growing trend of employees wanting a clear understanding of their career path inside the organization, Anna says, “I've noticed people lately, before accepting an offer, want to understand what their career trajectory is going to look like, asking for a little bit more of a, I won't call it a formula per se, but really wanting to have an understanding that they're going to be with an organization where they can grow. So they want to trust the organization that they're going with and hold people accountable in a different way than I'd say maybe historically you've seen in the market.”
When it comes to finding and retaining the top talent Anilu says, “I think that the reputation of your firm is something that you can never take for granted. Because it is definitely the calling card in the market, and if that doesn't align, or if you have a different understanding of how you're perceived in the market, you are going to run into trouble. So I think that we keep very humble on that, but I feel very good about how we're positioned.”
What you will learn in this episode:
- How TPG is shaping great experiences for their employees
- Anna and Anilu’s advice to managers on how to give intentional, effective feedback
- How hiring and retaining talent has changed
- Workforce trends they are paying attention to
- Changes they have made to the performance rating process
- Their thoughts on benefits and perks
Thu, 18 July 2019
We have come to understand that in order to attract and retain the best talent in the future of work, organizations must create a workplace where people want, not need, to show up to work. But in this effort to create great employee experience, we can sometimes get sidetracked with focusing solely on perks and benefits.
While perks and benefits can be very beneficial to employees, it can also be dangerous. There is a term in psychology known as the Hedonic Treadmill, also known as the Hedonic Adaptation. This is a tendency in humans that has been observed which shows that we quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.
What does this mean for organizations implementing the latest and greatest perks and benefits at the drop of a hat? Well, it means we adapt to our surroundings quickly. So, let’s say your organization implements a new policy stating that there will be free food everyday and every Friday is bring your dog to work day. You may notice that on Day 1 of the new policy people are excited and engaged, they think their employer is the best.
But eventually these new perks will become old news, everyone will adapt and people will essentially become numb to the perk. Which means the organization has to come up with new and better perks to top the last few to get engagement back up. And on and on it goes.
The truth is, perks are a nice tactic, but they are not a strategy.
Direct download: its_time_to_move_beyond_perks.mp3
-- posted at: 12:44am PDT
Mon, 15 July 2019
Chetan Dube is the CEO at IPsoft, an American multinational technology company which primarily focuses on Artificial Intelligence. IPsoft has just over 2,000 employees in 15 countries.
When you think of AI you might remember an experience you’ve had with a chatbot when trying to contact a company in order to ask a question, make a return, or purchase an item. Most of our experiences with chatbots are extremely frustrating and commonly end with us screaming “agent” into the phone. But IPsoft is working on solving this problem.
Chetan says the problem is the average IQ of the chatbots and virtual assistants is around that of a 5 or 6 year old human. How can you expect great customer service from a five year old? You can’t. So what IPsoft is doing is studying the human brain and finding ways to mimic the human hippocampus, ways to make chatbots and virtual assistants more flexible and able to read a customer’s mood.
So where are we now in the grand scheme of things being able to recreate human intelligence in AI? Chetan says, “It's not a discussion if true artificial intelligence will start to rival human intellect. The only thing that is of discussion nowadays is when. Is it going to be in, as you mentioned, the Curtswell, the singularity and you feel that, is it going to be in 2030-35, is it going to be as we maintain by 2025, you will pass someone in the hallway and you won't be able to tell if it's a human or an android. I think that's the real difference is that just the time horizon. If it's going to be in the next six years, if it's going to be in the next 11 years. It's inevitable at this point that you will get to the point where these agents start to mimic human intellect.”
With all of that said, Chetan still believes that AI will never be able to truly master human creativity. This is a skill that is unique to humans. Machines and Technology can complete tasks, find answers in their databases, use algorithms to solve math problems, but Chetan believes they won’t be able to cure cancer, create life, find a way to colonize Mars, etc…Humans will always have a role no matter how many jobs AI can take over, because of human creativity.
The fact is advances in AI and technology are coming, it is not a question of if, but when and how fast. So what is Chetan’s advice for how to prepare for what’s to come? He says, “Dust the rust off your brain and focus on creativity and coming up with things that are ... Do not play the machines on their playing field, you will lose. Do not play on mundane, ordinary chores and say I'm going to be the Luddite or neo-Luddite and try and stop the machines from driving cars or flying planes or driving trucks. They're going to. They're going to. That's what they do. They are just more effective at that. Humans are more effective at, and will continue to be, creativity.”
What you will learn in this episode:
- How Chetan defines AI
- What kind of AI IPsoft is designing and building
- Where we are in the grand scheme of things of being able to recreate human intelligence
- Is the world of AI over hyped?
- Whether or not we should be worried about AI
- How we can embrace AI and what’s coming
- Who or what Amelia is
Direct download: Chetan_Dube_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 10:08am PDT
Thu, 11 July 2019
If I were to ask you, when was the last time you spent time or money on creating an experience for yourself, what would the answer be? Most likely, the answer would be a few weeks ago, a few days ago, or maybe even earlier today. Experiences are genuinely human things, we care about them a lot.
Experiences are connected to our thoughts, emotions and memories. Think back to a big moment in your life, perhaps it was when you bought your first house, the day you graduated from college, the birth of your first child, or the first day in a new job. I bet you can remember the emotions you felt and the things you were thinking. Were you happy, sad, excited, angry?
Our experiences have a huge impact on us and they shape our relationships with others. With experience being that influential, you can see why it is so important for organizations to create positive experiences for their people. It will impact the relationships between your people and management, each other, the organization and the brand.
So, what kind of experiences are you creating for your people today?
Sun, 7 July 2019
Cameron Hedrick is the Chief Learning Officer at Citi, a 200 year old financial services company with around 200,000 employees in 100 countries. Cameron has been with Citi for 16 years and prior to that he worked at Fidelity for over 7 years.
As Chief Learning Officer at Citi Cameron is responsible for the performance rating system inside the organization, defining the corporate culture, and of course the learning platforms.
Citi is addressing a lot of key issues including climate change, urbanization, AI and automation, changing demographics, and plenty of others. Some of these issues may make sense for an organization to focus on, such as AI and automation, but how does climate change and urbanization affect Citi and other organizations?
When it comes to urbanization Citi realizes that there is currently a higher concentration of people in big cities--New York, Chicago, LA, etc… and so in the past a lot of companies have focused on putting headquarters there to draw in the best talent. But what Citi has realized as well is that the cost of distance between the worker and the company is going down, because with current technology people are able to live anywhere and work.
Cameron explains why they are addressing climate change as well, “I think we think of it for at least two reasons, but the obvious one is that it changes business dynamics, right? When you have areas that are going to be dramatically impacted by climate change or over time, coastal flooding will change the sort of real estate outline of the coastal areas that we've come to know, many of which are heavily populated. When drought and rain patterns happen, that changes the flow of goods around the world. So those are some of the reasons we look at it from a business standpoint. And then from a social responsibility standpoint, we think about it as well. Are we being responsible as a firm to not contribute to the issue?”
What is the culture like inside of Citi? Cameron says especially because they are a financial institution the culture has a large focus on ethics and trust. It is also about creating harmony between “the mission and value proposition that we put forth with the way we rate and pay people with the policies and processes that we put in place and with the leadership behaviors we espouse.”
Citi uses something called the voice of the employees survey to measure culture and then they cross-pollinate that survey with other metrics such as performance rating patterns, attrition patterns, audit issues, etc.. and when you put all of these metrics together you start to see the company’s strengths and weaknesses. From there they can create actionable items to work on their weaknesses.
Citi is a 200 year old company, but they are not afraid to evolve and change with the times. Cameron attributes the company’s longevity to collaboration, local management, and the proper amount of risk.
What you will learn in this episode:
- How a 200 year old company has kept up with the changing world of work
- How learning has changed over the past decades
- Macro trends Citi is paying attention to
- How they are upskilling their employees
- Cameron’s view of AI and automation
- How Citi handles performance ratings
- How to measure corporate culture
Direct download: Cameron20Hedrick20podcast20done.mp3
-- posted at: 10:08pm PDT
Thu, 4 July 2019
In the past when we thought about work we mostly thought of it as a job where we put in our time and then we make money to pay the bills. But the mindset around work is shifting and work is much more than just a paycheck.
Now work is more about a sense of self, identity, and purpose. The impact that our work has on our customers, our communities and the world gives us a reason for being. People aren’t picking jobs for just salary anymore, they want to feel as though their work has meaning.
What are you doing as an organization to account for this new way of thinking about work? Are you still thinking about job openings in your organization as a position to fill with a warm body who has decent skills? Or are you thinking about how someone can use that job to bring meaning and purpose to their life and how they will be able to impact the world around them within that role?
Direct download: the_definition_of_work_has_changed.mp3
-- posted at: 11:41pm PDT
Mon, 1 July 2019
Haenim Sunim is the bestselling author of Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection and The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World. He is also a monk and a Zen Buddhist teacher. Haemin was born and raised in South Korea and moved to the US when he was 18 to study at Berkeley, Harvard, and Princeton. While he was working on his Master’s degree program he went back to South Korea and received the proper monastic training there.
He has over 1 million followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. His first book sold over 3 million copies and he has taught Asian religions at Hampshire College in Massachusetts for seven years.
In our society today people always seem to be so busy. We get burnout, stressed, overworked, overwhelmed. Haemin believes it is because we are goal driven, striving to get the end result as quickly as possible, and we aren’t taking time to enjoy what we are doing. We have lost the joy of living and working.
Is it possible to reclaim our joy at work? Haemin says it is possible and suggests, “one of the ways to reclaim joy is to rediscover your own intention. What is your first reasons why you got into that particular industry? Or, that particular job. Usually that intention, first intention wasn't just make a lot of money and just do this kind of thing or that. But rather, it usually centers around helping other people or doing something good for the greater society or something. If you can just realign yourself with your first love, with your first intention, that's one step closer to reclaiming joy.”
He also suggests taking time off away from work to avoid burnout. Even if you only take one hour away from work to go for a walk and think about other things it can help you feel better.
In order to combat stress Haemin suggests we don’t keep everything compiled in our head, because that is what makes it worse. If you have too many things happening and you are overwhelmed, write everything down on paper and start with the easiest tasks first. Getting those first couple tasks done will motivate you to keep going.
Haemin’s daily routine is a very intense one, when he is at the monastery he is up by 3:00am and then throughout the day they have specific times blocked off for meditation, cleaning, and eating. When he is not at the monastery he is up by 5:00am and he always makes time to meditate and to walk before and after he goes in to work at The School of Broken Hearts in South Korea.
One of his pieces of advice to listeners is to go to bed an hour earlier than usual, and see how it affects your schedule and attitude. By going to bed earlier, you get up earlier in the morning which gives you more time in the morning to start your day right--whether you pray, meditate, workout, etc.. starting your day right can have a huge impact.
And if you are having trouble finding purpose and meaning at work, Haemin says, “people find it when you are doing something beyond your own self interests. If you are helping other people, no matter how small it is, you see that you are contributing something for the better. The reason why it provides you with the sense of meaning is because from a Buddhist perspective, there is nothing but one interconnected reality. If you just subscribe yourself only in terms of your conceptual thoughts, ideas, then you reside, you live your life mainly from the perspective of your own ego.”
What you will learn in this episode:
- How Haenim became a Zen Buddhist teacher and what a typical day looks like for him
- How we can reclaim joy in our lives and at work
- Haemin’s advice on combating stress
- His thoughts on technology and social media
- How to deal with loss in business
- How to disassociate ourselves from our career
- Advice to graduates figuring out what to do in life
- The importance of self care
Direct download: Haenim20Sunim20podcast20done.mp3
-- posted at: 12:10pm PDT
Thu, 27 June 2019
In Psychology there are two ways of thinking; System 1, which is a fast, intuitive way, almost like a gut reaction and then there is System 2, which is a more conscious, purposeful way of thinking.
A lot of times in our organizations we tend to make decisions about our people initiatives and employee experiences in a System 1 type thinking. We react quickly, we don’t think about it too deeply, we just do something for the sake of saying we did something.
We need to take a step back and be more conscious about our decisions around our initiatives to understand what we are doing and why. We need to act in a more mindful, purposeful way instead of reacting in a knee-jerk fashion. Our initiatives will be much more effective and successful if we can change our way of thinking.
Direct download: the_two_ways_of_thinking.mp3
-- posted at: 2:31am PDT
Mon, 24 June 2019
Christy Gillenwater is the President & CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. Christy has been in the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development field for over 20 years, mostly in various cities throughout Indiana. She moved to Chattanooga in 2017. Chattanooga is the first city to be twice named Outside Magazine’s “Best Town Ever” and it was recently ranked one of U.S. News’ Best Places to Live.
What does a Chamber of Commerce actually do? Christy shares that while every chamber has differences, one of the main focuses they all share is “the economic prosperity of their geographic region, so whether that's the county, their city, or a multi-state, multi-county area, they focus on making sure that their existing businesses can grow, thrive and prosper, that those companies have the talent they need to meet existing and future customer demands. They really think about and partner with their elected leaders, and business leaders, around what does their community need to continue to grow and diversify, and build their GDP in their area.”
One of the main focuses of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce is Velocity 2040, which allows the community to have a voice in the city’s preparation for the future. A committee of over 50 people conducted a series of workshops and then they went out into neighborhoods and surveyed citizens. These surveys were meant to find out the priorities, hopes, and dreams of the community. From there the committee put together the Velocity 2040 report, which is what is being used to create actionable plans that bring the dreams of the community to life.
The five priorities that were pinpointed by the surveys are:
- Learning--They are focused on educational excellence which means making sure students have what they need to learn and ensuring that everyone has access to good schools and good jobs.
- Thriving--They are thinking about the types of jobs that are being created and doing what they can to make sure the best talent is being recruited to the local area
- 20 Minutes or Less--This is in reference to their new transit standard to help families and individuals overcome “time poverty”
- Leadership--Making sure the community is intentionally inclusive and diverse
- Collaboration--They have a new collaboration process in order to solve issues with openness, respect, participation, and a shared vision.
For each of these five areas the community is working on specific strategies that will help achieve their goals to build a better Chattanooga over the next 20 years.
Christy says individual citizens are able to make a difference in their cities. She encourages everyone to reach out to and engage with their chamber members. “I would say call your elected officials. Call your city council member. If you have county commissioners, or a county mayor, reach out to them. How can I help? Call your state legislators if there's something you're passionate about, and figure out how to volunteer, how to get engaged. Call your United Way.”
What you will learn in this episode:
- What a Chamber of Commerce actually does
- Some of the big trends Christy is paying attention to when thinking about how the workforce is changing and how it’s impacting citizens
- A look at some of the initiatives the city of Chattanooga has going on, including Velocity 2040
- Christy’s view of the future of jobs and AI and automation
- What Christy believes the city of the future looks like
- What citizens can do to help shape their own city
- What role business plays in the future of cities
Velocity 2040 Information: https://velocity2040.com/welcome/
Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce: www.Chattanoogachamber.com
Direct download: Christy20Gillenwater20podcast20done.mp3
-- posted at: 10:21am PDT
Thu, 20 June 2019
Looking around at the world today it is so easy to get down, be negative, give up hope, and have a bad attitude. But in order to be successful in this new world of work it is crucial to be optimistic. We have to be positive, otherwise we lose our desire to take action and move forward.
So how can we be more optimistic when things seem to be so dark and crazy all around us? One thing we can do is to focus on the things we are grateful for. Come up with a list of 5 things each day that you are thankful for and think about those when you are stressed or overwhelmed. We can also think about what impact we can have and things that we can do to for our family, our community and our organizations that can make a difference. And maybe we need to limit the time we spend on social media or the time we spend watching or reading the news.
It may seem like a challenging thing to do, but it is so important to our success, in work and in life, that we be optimistic.
Mon, 17 June 2019
David Epstein is the author of two top 10 New York Bestselling books, The Sports Gene and Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, which is the topic of today’s discussion. David has a fascinating and very diverse background that led him to write both of these books.
David has a Master’s degree in environmental science and journalism. While he was in college studying to be a scientist he was also a competitive runner. When one of his teammates died in a race, David decided to merge his interests of science and sports together to figure out what happened and why extremely fit athletes can suffer sudden cardiac arrest.
While investigating the disease he ended up writing for Sports Illustrated. During his time at Sports Illustrated he wrote about things like the only living Olympian to have survived a concentration camp and the revelation that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was using steroids. He was also asked to speak at a conference about sports development where he and Malcolm Gladwell, Author of Outliers: The Story of Success, debated the best route to success in sports.
Through his research David has found that the best success comes from athletes who have a “sampling period” early on in their career. They don’t focus in on one sport, they try a wide variety therefore learning a broad range of skills and techniques. This goes against the typical view that athletes should train and specialize in one sport from early on in order to master that one sport.
David then applied this same theory to see if it was the same in the workplace as it is on the field, and his research showed that while specialists still have a place and they are still needed, they have been overvalued in our society whereas generalists have been greatly undervalued. It is generalists who are most likely going to triumph in the future of work.
David says, “If you go back through periods in history, there are times of more and less specialization. But, I'm thinking about it much more in a modern sense. I think some of that made sense, some of the science of management efficiency. Because, as industry grew, people were facing pretty repetitive challenges, or what the psychologist, Robin Hogarth, calls kind learning environments. Where you're doing the same thing over and over, the feedback is very clear, next steps are clear, all the information is available, and the feedback is always accurate, and so on, and patterns repeat.That made a lot of sense for industry, and I think it also influenced things like education, because that was preparing workers for that type of work, and so on. It totally made sense. But, I think in the knowledge economy, people aren't facing those repetitive challenges the same way, and they're having to re-invent themselves over their career.”
If you are a specialist now, David says, it’s never too late to make changes. But you don’t have to change the industry you are in to become a generalist. The problem comes when we get into a rut and keep doing the same thing day after day. After awhile of this we plateau, we stop growing and learning. We have to keep challenging ourselves and get out of our comfort zones.
“I don't think we have to think about taking flying leaps all the time. But, for me, I am, at all times, basically running little experiments to keep trying to triangulate what types of projects and work fit me. I'm just doing that all the time, and I'm sure I will for the rest of my life.”
What you will learn in this episode:
- What led David to write both of his bestselling books
- Why generalists are more successful leaders
- How you can develop your range
- When did the idea of specialization start and why
Direct download: David20Epstein20podcast20done.mp3
-- posted at: 12:48pm PDT
Thu, 13 June 2019
We tend to talk about technology as if it is its own entity that has its own mind, mission and agenda. “Technology is going to replace our jobs, it is going to get out of hand, it will take over the world!”
But the truth is we have control over technology, it is our choice how we use it. We can decide whether we want technology to replace us or augment us. There are already a lot of great organizations, like Accenture, Amazon and McDonald’s, making the conscious decision to use technology to augment their people.
Technology is a tool, how are you going to use that tool? Are you going to let it replace jobs, or are you going to find innovative ways to use technology to help your people get their work done?
Direct download: will_technology_replace_or_augment.mp3
-- posted at: 10:15am PDT
Sun, 9 June 2019
Martin Migoya is the Co-Founder and CEO of Globant, an IT and Software development company that uses the latest technologies transform organizations. They have worked with companies such as Disney, the Met Police in London, and the MTA in New York. Globant was founded back in 2003 by four founders and today they have almost 10,000 employees in 16 countries.
Creating and maintaining a culture with a handful of people is one thing, but how has Globant scaled that culture while growing to almost 10,000? Martin explains that one of the main goals of their culture was to go against the typical command and control system that a lot of the professional service industry has always had.
The leaders at Globant use a very unique method to give their employees autonomy and internal mobility. The company is made up of what they call Pods and they currently have around 1,200 pods. Each pod is made up of a group of 8 to 20 people, depending on the project they are working on. The pods can stay together for a few months or even up to 14 years, whatever is needed for the lifetime of the customer and project they support.
These pods each create a pod constitution by having all the members of the pod meet and discuss the values and principles they would like to hold and they discuss what will be needed in order to make the customer happy. During this discussion they also assign roles--they decide, for example, who’s going to be the accountant, who will be the entrepreneur,who will be the teacher, etc…
Globant is also supportive of internal mobility inside of the company. They help and support employees who want to move from one role inside of the organization to another, even if they are completely different, say going from finance to entertainment. They also support employees who want to change cities. Globant is located in 40 cities and employees are free to change if needed.
Martin says it is difficult to allow complete autonomy and mobility, but it is something very important to Globant and it is a huge part of their culture. Martin shares that even though anything is possible, there are some limits. He says, “The first thing we ask people is, okay, you want autonomy. You need to behave like an adult so if you're finishing a project and you have the next six months within that project, you need to finish it. You need to commit to that. Otherwise, it's not autonomy. It's misbehaving like a kid. All right?”
Globant also got rid of the typical annual employee survey years ago and now they use a feedback tool called BetterMe, which allows for constant, real time feedback. They have found that using this method provides more meaningful feedback and they now have 20 times the feedback that they received using other methods.
What you will learn in this episode:
- What it’s like to work at Globant
- How they make internal mobility easy for employees
- The result of getting rid of annual engagement surveys inside of Globant and what they do instead
- Martin’s view of the global state of AI
- Martin’s advice for leaders around the world looking to transform their organizations.
Books: The Never-Ending Digital Journey: Creating new consumer experiences through technology
Embracing the Power of AI: A Gentle CXO Guide
Direct download: Martin20Migoya20podcast20done.mp3
-- posted at: 10:39pm PDT
Thu, 6 June 2019
If you are a sports fan and you watch games on TV, whether you like football, soccer, baseball, hockey, etc...you may be amazed by how fast the commentators get their information. They are constantly getting real time stats so they can keep viewers informed throughout the game.
During a recent conversation with Mihir Shukla, CEO of Automation Anywhere, he brought up this point about sports and he related it to organizations, asking why we don’t have this capability within organizations to have real-time, constant stats.
Think about how this capability would change the way we work. It would change the way we make decisions, it would change the way we lead organizations, it would change the speed at which we can keep up with competitors.
Mon, 3 June 2019
Jim Clifton is the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, an American analytics and advisory company founded in 1935. Jim has been the CEO since 1988 and under his leadership Gallup has expanded from a predominantly US based company to a worldwide organization with 30 offices in 20 countries. Gallup is made up of 2,000 professionals plus 35,000 contract workers across 160 countries.
Jim is also the co-author of a new book called It’s The Manager, which is based on data Gallup has collected from their largest study on the future of work. The book examines 52 discoveries found from that study that point to why managers are the biggest factor in your organization’s long-term success.
From the Gallup study Jim and co-author Jim Harter found six things that have been done in the past that most organizations still seem to hold on to. These six things need to be changed inside of organizations immediately in order for organizations to stay relevant and successful in the future of work.
One of these six changes Jim talks about is the shift from working solely for a paycheck to now the need for purpose and meaning at work. The things that employees want has changed over the last few decades. When Jim was starting out in the workplace in the 70s and 80s he says he wanted 40 hours a week and a fair paycheck out of work, that was it. His main dream and focus was on getting married, having kids, having a nice house, etc…
But now with the new generations coming into the workplace they don’t have the same dreams and aspirations as Jim and his generation did.
“My generation got married like 15 years earlier on average than this generation. We had a bunch of kids and we also owned our homes. But all of that means that when I went to work, I really wasn't concerned with what the mission or purpose was of the organization. I mean this is a striking difference, but now I'm staying with millennials because they're 40% of the workplace when they come to work. They're saying, my life now merges with the workplace, not with my family, and I need to know that if I'm going to spend all this time here, how does that fulfill that need? Because my job is much more a part of my life than any generation ever.”
Another change that is pointed out in the book is the need for managers to focus on employee development instead of employee satisfaction. Jim says, while there is nothing wrong in providing perks for employees, it should not be the reason employees come to work.
There’s been a rising trend in organizations believing that they need to provide ping pong tables, latte machines, nap pods, free lunch, etc...but employees want to have a real purpose behind the work that they are doing. Employees want to know that the managers are going to work on their strengths and help define a development plan and help them grow inside of the organization.
As stated in the book, “When you have great managers who can maximize the potential of every team member, you have delivered on the new global will: a great job and a great life. That is the future of work”.
What you will learn in this episode:
- What Jim’s first job was and how it changed his life
- The biggest changes Jim has seen in the workplace over the past few decades
- The difference between a coach and a manager
- Jim’s view on perks in the workplace
- Why organizations use workplace practices when there’s no data to support that they work
- A look at the research and findings for the book, It’s the Manager
It’s The Manager on Amazon
Jim Clifton on LinkedIn
Direct download: Jim20Clifton20podcast20done.mp3
-- posted at: 10:38am PDT
Thu, 30 May 2019
Most, if not all, of us have smartphones these days and we all have our favorite apps. Whether you like to use Instagram, Pandora, Google Maps, or Ebay, “there’s an app for that”.
You may have noticed that every once in awhile your apps will update. Just like the apps on your smartphone, we--as individuals, leaders and employees--need to constantly update ourselves. We have to master learning how to learn so that we can keep our skills up to date. This is the way to succeed in the future of work and the way to futureproof your career.
What kind of an app are you and how often are you taking time to update your skills?
Direct download: Think_of_yourself_as_an_app.mp3
-- posted at: 2:31am PDT
Tue, 28 May 2019
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:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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
-- posted at: 10:13am PDT
Thu, 23 May 2019
There are countless conversations, concerns, theories and ideas about the future of work. Will AI and automation take over? Will we experience major job loss? Will there be a ton of new jobs created? Will we all be on Universal Basic Income and be able to do whatever we want?
But what if the future of work is exactly the way it is now? What if in the future of work there is still a majority of workers around the world who don’t like their jobs, who are disengaged and who are not treated well by their organizations? This is something we need to think about and also consider a major concern.
We need to make sure that in the future of work we create jobs that are meaningful, organizations that are human, and work that we actually want to do.
Mon, 20 May 2019
Ed McLaughlin is the President of Operations and Technology at Mastercard, where he has worked for the past 14 years. In his current role Ed oversees all of Mastercard’s technology functions including the global network, processing platforms, information security, and technology operations.
As Ed points out, working in technology doesn’t mean he is sitting in a cubicle coding all day. Work in technology is very much a people centered role. “I think technology has always been people at its heart. What really matters is who are the people, and how well we use the stuff, how good we're at it, and how much we understand what all of that's for. Technology is always for a purpose, and it's people that give it that purpose. Yeah, I spend a lot of time. I still code every once in a while, but it's not the work of doing it, it's really working together to create the value that is. I think just about everything we do is either done through or with technology these days. It's just really how we make things, how humans work together.”
When it comes to the doom and gloom talk about AI and automation, Ed says he is “profoundly optimistic” He believes that these advances in technology have the potential to free humans up to do the things they actually want to do. He says, “When I hear talk of a jobless future, I just think it's just a lack of imagination. I mean, when I think of all the things I wish we could be doing if we could have more resources freed up, my lists have lists.”
Mastercard is actually harnessing AI inside of the organization in order to flag fraudulent activity for customers, to help employees collaborate effectively, and to make it possible for employees to continuously learn and grow.
One tool they use is called Safety Net, which monitors all transactions in real time and looks for fraudulent behaviors. It helps protect the company from the 200 fraud attempts that happen every minute, which would nearly impossible to do with just human employees.
Another program they have in place is called NuDetect, which can detect if someone is trying to sign into a customer account using a stolen identity. The AI looks at behaviors such as what height the phone is at when signing in, the way the person types, whether they are sitting or standing, etc….
With all of the new technological advances and the fast rate of change in today’s world of work, how are companies supposed to keep up? Ed says it is important to stay constantly curious and don’t get stuck doing things as they have always been done before just because change is hard.
“I do think, and this is hard, you need to have an enthusiasm for what's new, not to be fashionable, not for fashion's sake, but to always be questioning. I think it's a skeptical enthusiasm of, "If a new capability is there, does it allow me to do what I want to do better?" I think as long as you're centered on what you're trying to do, then all the new capabilities I find just profoundly exciting.”
What you will learn:
- How to create great digital experiences for employees
- Why Ed is optimistic about AI and automation
- A look at some cool AI programs Mastercard has created such as NuDetect and SafetyNet
- How Mastercard upskills and retrains their employees
- What the office space is like at Mastercard
- How they are keeping up with the pace of change
- How to balance information and data with privacy and security
Direct download: Ed20McLaughlin20podcast20done.mp3
-- posted at: 9:55am PDT
Thu, 16 May 2019
Sam Walton was the creator of Walmart and Sam’s Club, two hugely successful retailers that have been around for many, many years. He had a practice that he carried out for many years at the beginning of his career that we may view as simple nowadays, but it was extremely effective and, I think, something we can learn from today.
Sam would take a yellow notepad and walk around his store. He would stop and engage with both employees and customers as he walked around and he would ask them questions--how’s it going? What is it like to work here? What do you find frustrating? What do you like about the store? He would then take his notes from these conversations to the leadership team and they would make decisions based on the feedback from the employees and customers.
My question for you is, what are you doing today to replicate that practice? Where is your yellow notepad? With technology, of course, we are able to do this at a much larger scale. But it is important to be human, it is important to get face-to-face feedback and to engage both employees and customers to find out where we are succeeding and what areas we need to improve upon.
Direct download: where_is_your_yellow_notepad.mp3
-- posted at: 1:20am PDT
Mon, 13 May 2019
Amy Philbrook is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Fidelity Investments, a financial services company with around 50,000 employees. She’s been with Fidelity for 24 years working in almost every department. She started her career there in customer service answering phones.
“Diversity is the presence of differences and inclusion is a leveraging those differences to create value,” Amy says. They are two separate things and you can easily have one without the other. It’s easy to feel included on a team full of people who are just like you. And you can have a very diverse team, but if you don’t create an environment that is inclusive and that encourages everyone to share their ideas, those differences won’t really matter. You have to have both diversity and inclusion.
As the head of D&I, Amy works closely with the People Analytics team at Fidelity to make sure they leverage data in order to are make the best choices for the organization. “Data is the foundation for every decision you make in corporate America, and human decisions are no different. So working with the leaders in one sense means doing heavy lifting on people analytics and data analysis and then sitting down with the leadership team and putting that data on the table in a way that they can understand. And that motivates them to take action”.
Amy shared an example from a recruiting issue at Fidelity that was solved using data analytics. They found that they had a challenge retaining women in their first year at the company, no matter what role they held or what experience level they had. After conducting interviews, analyzing internal social networks, and finding out what managers were observing they were able to pinpoint the issue, which was that in the first year at the company women were more focused on learning the job vs. building a network.
Because they used data to pinpoint the main issue they are now able to work on a direct solution for the problem. They are currently modifying their onboarding process to ensure that everyone coming into the organization has a network of people around them that they can connect with and turn to for help.
In a perfect world we wouldn’t need a D&I team because everyone inside of organizations would be focused on staying diverse and inclusive, but we do not live in a perfect world. When it comes to getting leaders to buy into the importance of D&I, Amy says she tries to say away from technical D&I language she talks in terms of business, productivity, outcomes, etc…”I think it (D&I specific language) comes with baggage that creates barriers that waste time and energy trying to get over them.”
What you will learn in this episode:
- How to use data to improve diversity and inclusion in your organization
- Why she has stayed at Fidelity for 24 years
- Why everyone should care about D&I and not just leaders
- How to get leaders to care about D&I
- How Amy works with People Analytics to improve D&I inside of Fidelity
- Trends Amy is paying attention to
Link from the episode:
Direct download: Amy20Philbrook20podcast20done.mp3
-- posted at: 9:56am PDT
Thu, 9 May 2019
One of the common questions I have been asked in the past is, how do we empower our employees. For me the answer has always been about investing in employee experience. But lately I have been thinking about the root cause of this problem. Why do we need to empower our people in the first place?
If you think about an employee’s first day at work, they are already engaged, excited, they want to be there. They are already empowered. The problem lies with us as leaders. We actually disempower our employees, not on purpose, but over time it happens. We bog our employees down with rules, regulations, policies, hierarchy, bureaucracy and other outdated workplace practices.
And then once we bog them down and strip them of their power we ask, “how do we empower our employees?”. Instead of empowering them, we need to figure out how to not disempower them to begin with.
Mon, 6 May 2019
Having great leadership inside of an organization is critical. An organization can succeed or fail based on how it is lead. I’ve had some great discussions on the podcast over the years on this topic of leadership and today I’m sharing a few of my favorite clips.
Garry Ridge is the President and CEO of WD-40. Garry knows a lot about leadership as he has been a leader inside of WD-40 for over 30 years in various roles including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He also co-authored the book “Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy called “Don’t Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A”.
Garry defines his role as a leader as “taking care of people” and he believes wholeheartedly in the concept of servant leadership. He says, “As we stand as leaders, it's our job to ensure that we have a viable strategy, we have a business model, we have resources, we have goals, we have all of the things that it takes to have a business that can perform. Once we've done that, we become the servant. And it's our job then to help people step into their best personal self every day”
It sounds simple, but there are a lot of people who do not lead this way. Why? Garry says it’s because a lot of leaders are afraid to admit they don’t have all the answers, they are afraid of giving their people a lot of responsibility, and then cannot allow empathy to prevail over ego.
Kimberly Samon is the Chief Human Resource Officer at Weight Watchers, now known as WW. She has been in the HR space for over 20 years, but she is just as passionate about HR as she was the day she started. Weight Watchers is evolving and modernizing and in my interview with her back in February 2018 Kimberly explained how they went from an industry in turmoil to one that is thriving.
When it comes to the future of leadership Kimberly believes it needs to be less about command and control and more about giving people a purpose and helping them understand the impact they are having on the organization and the customers. People want to follow someone they trust and believe in, not someone who sits up at the top and barks out orders.
She also feels that data will play a huge role in the future of leadership. She says, “We sit on a tremendous amount of data that can be so powerful to our consumer particularly as we refine our approach on personalization. We have a saying here that consumers want us to “show me that you know me”. How do we take all of this data and really turn it into something that is personalized to the consumer, to our members? From my perspective, I'm thinking through the same on how do we do the same for our workforce? Is there a world in the future where everyone doesn't have to have the exact same benefits or everyone doesn't have to have the exact same work schedule? I don't know we haven't done a lot work on it but I do believe with the advent of all the data analytics we can craft some pretty specialized programs not only for consumers but for employees alike.”
Clay Johnson is the EVP and Chief Information Officer at Walmart and Jacqui Canney is the EVP and Chief People Officer at Walmart. With over 2 million employees, Walmart is the largest private employer in the world, so as you can imagine it is a huge challenge to be able to retain, train and upskill that big of a workforce. One of the things we touched on during the podcast interview back in December 2018 was how leaders can balance shareholder value and doing what’s right for the employee.
Clay and Jacqui both agreed that treating your employees well and equipping them with the tools and resources they need have a direct correlation with shareholder value---they aren’t two separate issues.
Jacqui says, “What drives us is that shared value concept and having our associates have the benefits, the training, the education, the wages that are market relevant in leading in many ways that's how we differentiate as winning. So we talk about our people make the difference that's absolutely what we believe and I think that you'll see that people talk about companies and they say our people are our asset. Our people are our company and investing in our people is investing in our company and I would say if you look back at our results, since we made that public announcement around where Wall Street kind of dinged us on the share price our results continued to climb and I do believe because we are providing a better customer proposition but that's because our people are better equipped with the tools, the education, the training that they need to serve the customers whether it's online or in the store”
What you will learn in this episode:
- How Tracy Reinhold became the Chief Security Officer at Fannie Mae and what he attributes his success to
- How Peter Walmsley addresses employee engagement and performance reviews at GSN Games
- How the leadership model at Lego has changed and why
- Why focusing on shareholder value alone is a bad thing
- How to get leaders and managers to buy into change
- What skills and abilities WW (Weight Watchers) is looking for in leaders for 2025 and beyond
Direct download: Mashup_Podcast_may519.mp3
-- posted at: 8:39am PDT
Thu, 2 May 2019
AI and Automation is still at the forefront of so many conversations that business leaders are having. And the core issue that continues to be the main focus of these conversations is whether we are going to create more jobs than we replace or vice versa.
I have a different concern when it comes to AI and Automation. My concern is, are we going to create jobs that people actually want. What if we are able to create enough new jobs to make up for those replaced by technology, but they are jobs that people hate. What if they are jobs that make people feel like cogs? What if these jobs leave them feeling disengaged or undervalued? Are these jobs worth creating?
So the conversation I think we need to be focusing on now is, how do we create new jobs that people actually want to have?
Mon, 29 April 2019
Ashley Goodall is that SVP of Leadership and Team Intelligence at Cisco and the author of the new book, Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World. Prior to Cisco, Ashley spent 14 years at Deloitte where he worked in several roles, including Director and Chief Learning Officer, Leadership Development.
When conducting research for the book, Ashley and co-author Marcus Buckingham found that a lot of the “basic truths” people think they know about work are actually not true at all. These nine lies that they found are based on data and evidence from the real world of work, it’s not just an opinion or a philosophy.
These nine lies found in the world of work are:
- People care which company they work for
- The best plan wins
- The best organizations cascade goals
- People are well rounded
- People need feedback
- People can reliably rate other people
- People have potential
- Work life balance matters most
- Leadership is a thing
If you are like me, reading through the list you may be surprised to see a lot of statements that you have held as truth for many years, even decades. But as Ashley went through and explained the reasoning behind why these statements are lies it made complete sense.
Taking number one as an example, people care which company they work for, it may seem like an obvious statement. But the truth is people don’t care what company they work for, they care about the team they work with. The experience inside of a company varies from team to team.
Ashley says, “We discovered at Cisco, I mean I think this data point is the one that sort of puts the whole thing into a fairly sharp focus, if you go from one of our 50% most engaged teams to one of our 50% least engaged teams, in other words, you pass the sort of median point of team engagement in a downward direction, your chance of voluntarily resigning from Cisco goes up by 45%.That's an enormous, enormous, enormous difference. And the point is, of course, as you go from a great team to a horrible team, you're still working for Cisco, so if it were true that you cared which company you worked for, that hasn't changed. But clearly, every time what trumps this idea of company is team.”
Another example is number eight, work life balance matters most. We hear a lot about work life balance, but Ashley says it is an unattainable idea and the phrasing is deceiving. Saying work life balance implies that everything about work is bad and everything about life is good. And trying to keep a perfect balance between the two is fragile and stressful.
“More useful is the idea that whether it's in work or in life, there are certain activities that fill us up, that rejuvenate us, that express who we are as people, where we want to make our biggest mark on the world. Activities that replenish us, activities that express, if you like, our love for the world around us, and that it's not really work life balance that we should be after, therefore, it is love loathe imbalance. We want to intelligently work throughout our lives to create more of the activities that we love, and fewer of the activities we loathe, whether that's at work, our outside work.”
So what is the purpose of the book and redefining the workplace truths? These lies cause dysfunction and frustration inside of organizations and they keep leaders from achieving their true potential. By identifying and addressing these lies in the workplace our organizations can function more effectively and our leaders can be more successful.
What you will learn in this episode:
- Ashley’s role inside Cisco
- The nine lies about work that we generally accept as truth
- The data and evidence Ashley and Marcus used for the book
- The 3 problems with the annual performance reviews and what Cisco is doing instead
- What makes a good team leader
Direct download: Ashley20Goodall20podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 12:21pm PDT
Thu, 25 April 2019
Most organizations set aside specific time to appreciate employees. Sometimes it is one day a year, sometimes once a month, but it is usually sporadic. Usually it consists of one day a year where the company provides food, games, activities, prizes, etc… to celebrate their employees.
But I believe everyday should be employee appreciation day. Not necessarily having a party everyday, but doing things to show your employees that they matter and that they are doing a great job. Something as simple as having an open door policy for a set time every single day as a manager. What would your organization look like if you treated every single day as a People Day or an Employee Appreciation Day? Would this make your organization a place where your employees want, not need, to show up? How would it improve the morale, productivity, happiness, work ethic and atmosphere in your organization?
Mon, 22 April 2019
Thomas Kochan is the George M. Bunker Professor of Work and Employment Relations at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and co-director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research. Thomas has actually been a faculty member at MIT since 1980. In 2010, he led the formation of the Employment Policy Research Network, an online think tank on the subject of employment. In 2015, he was honored by the Aspen Institute with a Faculty Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award for his research and teaching on business practices that contribute to an economy that works for all. Thomas is the author of Shaping the Future of Work: What Future Worker, Business, Government, and Education Leaders Need To Do For All To Prosper and Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families' Agenda for America.
Thomas has been looking at the future of work and employment for 40 years, he has seen the workforce and the economy change quite a bit over the years but he says our policies, values, and practices in America have not kept up with that pace of change. It has been his lifelong work to advocate for innovation, policy changes, and updated workplace practices.
Since the 1970s there has been a disconnect between how the economy is doing and how the average worker is doing. Prior to the 70s when productivity went up and the economy got stronger, the compensation for the average worker also went up. But now, Thomas says, due to deregulation, the rise of Wall Street, a decline in unions, and advances in technology we have a disconnect. We are still using the policies, practices, and social contract of the 50s and 60s, which no longer works.
Thomas says it is critical for organizations, educational institutions, government, and individual employees to engage with each other and work together to build a new, updated social contract. We’ve got to invent new policies, practices, and institutions as we move forward and shape the future of work.
When it comes to the future of work, some people are worried about the future of jobs. They are concerned when they hear about automation, AI, and other technologies because of the effect they will have on jobs and the economy. Thomas is optimistic, as long as we are proactive in shaping the future of work ourselves and we don’t just let the future happen to us while we sit back passively.
Thomas says, “If we are proactive, we can shape the future of work in ways that really help to broaden the distribution of benefits, augment work more effectively and change the way in which tasks and work, our jobs are done rather than to just see it as a way of displacing labor. And then for those people who will be displaced, and there will be people whose jobs are negatively affected. We then have to figure out how we can help them just provide retraining or provide compensation so we don't have a big gap between the winners and losers in this race with technology. So our perspective is let's get on and let's talk about what we can proactively do to shape the future of work. And I think it's a healthy way to approach this issue.”
For people who are worried about the future of work, Thomas’ advice is to be a lifelong learner, don’t just put your head in the sand and think you have a degree so you are good for life. That is no longer good enough. He also says it is important to have a mix of behavioral skills--be reliable, be flexible, learn to communicate well. If you need training in a new technology or program, speak up and be assertive.
What you will learn in this episode:
- Big trends Thomas is paying attention to
- The changes Thomas has seen in the world of work over the past 40 years
- What we need to do to move forward and shape the future of work
- What leaders will need to adjust in order to be effective in the future of work
- What is the voice gap and how can we close it
- What does lifelong learning mean and how can you practice it
- Whether Thomas is an optimist or pessimist when it comes to the future
Direct download: Thomas20Kochan20podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 8:31am PDT
Thu, 18 April 2019
Are you a leader that truly acts like a coach and mentor? A leader who actually believes in being a coach or mentor to their employees doesn’t stop once the employees get to a certain level of success. They are willing to help others be more successful, even if it means the employees become more successful than they are.
But what I often see is that leaders act as a coach or mentor to employees up until they reach a certain level of success and then the leader holds the employees back or pushes them down, so as not to be outdone by their mentees. But that is not a true coach/mentor.
A true coach/mentor guides, encourages and helps their mentees and when the mentees reach a level of greater success than the actual coach/mentor the coach/mentor is filled with pride, accomplishment and happiness knowing that they helped the mentees get there.
Think about the relationship between a parent and child. If a child becomes successful in education or sports or a special skill, the parent doesn’t push them down and say “how dare you be more successful than I am in this area! I created you, and you dare to outdo me!”. No. They feel overwhelmed with pride in their child. The parent gets excited to see their child accomplish things they themselves were never able to do.
That is how we should think and act as leaders. We should take pride in seeing our employees succeed and move up in the company. Do you show up everyday with a coaching/mentorship mindset?
Direct download: one_trait_most_leaders_dont_have.mp3
-- posted at: 2:59pm PDT
Mon, 15 April 2019
Xavier Unkovic is the President of Amy’s Kitchen, a family owned, privately held company founded in 1987 that manufactures organic and non-GMO convenience and frozen foods. Amy’s Kitchen employs around 2,400 people in California, Oregon, and Idaho and their products are sold all around the country. Prior to Amy’s Kitchen Xavier was the Global President of Mars Drinks, a company known for brands like M&Ms, Uncle Ben’s, Dove, and Orbit.
When asked how he was able to make his way up to the president of a company Xavier said it was a combination of hard work, great mentors and coaches, a love for the work he is doing, and the ability to surround himself with great people. He says being a leader is not about knowing it all.
“I keep saying to my managers, when you go to school, we teach you at school to have all the answers and it's pretty damaging when it comes to the future at work where at work, it's not about having the answers, it's about providing the answers together. Not you, as a manager, having all the answers for your people but working it out with your people, being all together, working towards a solution, not having all the answers yourself.”
A lot of people wonder how to find the right job, one that they will enjoy, keep them engaged, and one that will allow them to fulfill a purpose. Xavier believes a big part of finding the right company to work for is defining your personal self purpose--why do you believe you exist? What makes you happy? What do you strive for? If you can define your self purpose it will be a lot easier to find the company and the role that’s right for you.
But what if you don’t know what that purpose is yet? Xavier shares that he didn’t find his own driving purpose until he was 40 years old. He said in order to get to that point he had to put his thoughts and emotions down on paper and he was able to use his time at the job he had at the time to define, grow, and develop that sense of purpose before ultimately finding Amy’s Kitchen.
He also said he had some fantastic mentors who helped him through the process of finding his purpose and passion in life.
For people who don’t have a sense of purpose in their current role or at their current company, Xavier suggests, “If you're not happy, do something, for sure. Quit, I don't know. But do something. Try to really understand which company will make you strive. Sometimes it's not about the company, it's about the boss. Sometimes you can be in the right place as a company but you don't have the right manager. So my advice when it's the case of the manager, is try to have a conversation with the manager. Often, people quit because they believe the managers do not care about them and they don't invest into the relationship. My advice would be, sit down with your manager and tell them how it's impacting you. If the case is your manager is engaging you and not the company but I would definitely give the advice to everyone to select the company they want to work for, not just go for the paycheck. Life is too short, life is too short.”
What you will learn in this episode:
- Xavier’s leadership journey and how he became president of a company
- Why finding your personal self purpose is so important
- The story behind how Amy’s Kitchen started
- What to do if you don’t find purpose in your current position
- Why Xavier never starts his day by reading emails
- What Xavier does when an employee comes to him and says they are not fulfilled at work
Amy’s Kitchen: https://www.amys.com/
Direct download: Xavier20Unkovic20podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 8:41am PDT
Thu, 11 April 2019
The Internet of Things (IoT) is having a huge impact on the way we live and the way we work. But many people are still trying to figure out what IoT actually is. Here is my simple explanation.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a huge topic of discussion these days and it is having a profound impact on the way we live and work. But many people are still trying to figure out what IoT actually means.
Simply put, IoT is all devices that have an on and off switch, are powered by electricity or batteries that have the ability to be connected together and share data with each other. You may already have a lot of these devices in your home, such as Smart TVs, Smartphones, Fitbits, Alexa, etc….
Eventually there will be many other objects in this category as technology allows things such as toothbrushes, coffee pots, cars, and calendars to be connected. There will be a day when you can wake up to your alarm and all at once your coffee pot will know that you are up and start making a cup of coffee and your smart car will know when to start and come to pick you up. You may even have a car that can notify your office when you are stuck in traffic and running late and move your appointments back on your calendar.
We are already seeing a lot of new appliances and wearables on the market that can connect to each other, like the fridge that can look inside and tell you what food items you are low on and add these food items to a grocery list on your phone. IoT can make our lives easier, more productive and more efficient. But are we ready to live in this kind of a world where everything is connected and sharing data?
Direct download: what-is-the-internet-of-things.mp3
-- posted at: 9:18am PDT
Mon, 8 April 2019
Tim Brown is the CEO of IDEO, the global design and innovation company behind projects such as the first Apple mouse and the first notebook style computer. The team of around 800 people are located around the world and they come from a wide variety of backgrounds--everything from chefs, practicing physicians, software engineers, to filmmakers and everything in between. But they all have one thing in common, a methodology of design.
Tim is also the author of the book, Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. What does design thinking actually mean? Tim says, “The big difference between thinking and design thinking is the doing bit, which doesn't crop up in the term design thinking...When you start the creative process you do not know what the answer is. Most people when they're presented with the problem of solve a problem but they have no idea what the answer is, they're sort of, they don't know what to do with it. It's like the proverbial blank sheet of paper. And so what design thinking is, is a set of processes and methods for getting you to an answer.”
Tim and his team at IDEO take a design based approach to everything from education to IT work to leadership. They have three cycles that employees go through over their time with the company, those cycles are learning, practicing, and mastering. They have found that to “really master something, you should teach it”.
What is it like to work at IDEO? Tim says the biggest difference between IDEO and other organizations is that “we spend almost all of our time creating new things. Whereas in most organizations only some people spend some of their time doing it.”
Employees at IDEO work mostly in teams rather than individually, they believe in group creativity rather than individual creativity. They have a very diverse team with people coming from all sorts of educational and career backgrounds with a wide variety of skills. And their company’s cultural values are very important and include things like “help others be successful, not just focused on your own success”. They see this value played out on a daily basis.
When asked for advice on how individual employees can start bringing in design thinking to their organizations Tim suggests they first observe the organization and keep a record of what they notice. This is true especially newer employees, they will observe different things than an employee who has been in the organization for years would. Always keep a notebook or sketchbook with thoughts, ideas, questions, observations, etc...And then when you get a chance speak up about what you notice and things you see that could be improved upon.
For leaders looking to implement design thinking, Tim says, “it takes bravery from leaders to realize that actually, there are problems to be solved, opportunities to be grabbed, and that if we put resources and teams against it, there’s a payoff.” Be brave and understand that you won’t always have the answers and that’s okay.
What You Will Learn in this episode:
- What Design Thinking actually means and how to apply it to work
- What it’s like to work at IDEO
- What is one of the great diseases of the modern organization according to Tim
- Examples of companies who are good at thinking creatively
- How Tim deals with failure
Links From The Episode:
Direct download: Tim20Brown20podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 8:54am PDT
Wed, 3 April 2019
Imagine you are looking through the narrow end of a paper cone. The space in the cone closest to your eye is very narrow and closed in, but the farther out into the cone you look the wider it becomes.
Futurists use a tool/technique called the cone of possibilities to explore different scenarios that could happen in the future. The narrow part of the cone is the near future, it includes present time and a couple of months or even a couple of years into the future. But as the cone gets wider it signifies time further out into the future--think 10, 20 or even 50+ years in the future. It is wider because there are many more scenarios/possibilities that could happen that far in the future vs. what could happen in the near future.
Futurists use a couple of different ways to think in terms of scenarios. The first scenario they use is to look at their ideal scenario. What they would like to happen. The second scenario they use is a likely scenario, what might happen realistically. Then the third scenario is to look at what could happen, but is not likely to happen.
Futurists can then use these different scenarios to look at anything the future could bring so that they are not surprised by anything. We can also use this technique ourselves to define and outline our own scenarios. By doing this we can take a look at our ideal scenarios and see what we would need to do personally to get to that ideal scenario and we can look at all the other possible scenarios so that we can prepare for anything that may happen.
Direct download: think_like_a_futurist.mp3
-- posted at: 9:43pm PDT
Sun, 31 March 2019
Horst Schulze is the Co-Founder and former President of the Ritz-Carlton and author of the new book, Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise. Even though he is technically retired, he is staying extremely busy. Horst is currently the Chairman Emeritus of Capella Hotel Group, he is on five boards, and he does some consulting work.
Horst actually started in the hotel industry when he was 14 years old as a busboy. From there he worked his way up--waiter, kitchen staff, club manager, catering manager up to regional VP for 10 Hyatt hotels and then manager of food and beverage operations for all Hyatt hotels before ultimately receiving the call to help start a new hotel brand. When asked what career he would have had if he wasn’t in the hotel industry Horst said, “The hotel business. Again, and again, and again. I don't want to do anything else. That's what I love.”
A lot has changed in the hotel industry, and work in general, in the past several decades. One thing Horst has noticed in the hotel industry is how luxury has changed. It used to be that when you thought about a luxury hotel you would be looking for marble, chandeliers, expensive artwork, etc...But now luxury is about a personalized and individualized experience. Luxury looks different to everyone and being able to customize the clients stay is what it’s all about.
When it comes to work Horst says there have been changes over the past few decades, but there are some areas that still have a long way to go. One of these areas that needs work is creating a purpose for employees and helping them feel like they are an important part of the organization. This is part of what Horst believes is our leadership crisis.
“We still hire people to fulfill certain functions. But you know, the chair in which we're sitting is fulfilling a function. We have to become more aware that we actually hire human beings that want to be part of something. Not just fulfill a function like the chair, which we're sitting on. Once that understanding becomes deeper, we will adopt and create our systems around it.”
It used to be that the role of a manager was to hire people and then control them. Employees were just supposed to show up, listen to commands, and do what they are told--they weren’t supposed to think, speak up, or question anything.
There are still organizations today who operate like that, but thankfully we are moving away from that model. Employees today want to be a part of the decision making, they want to feel like they belong, they want a purpose and meaning behind what they do.
“What employee will do a better job? The one that must do the job, and is controlled to do it, or the one that wants to do the job? The answer should be quite easy. So in other words, I have to create an environment in which employees want to do the job, and that is leadership.”
What you will learn in this episode:
- How Horst went from a 14 year old busboy to the Co-Founder and President of the Ritz-Carlton
- What has changed in the hotel industry over the past few decades
- How hiring has changed and whether or not it is better now
- How to keep your employees connected to the mission of the company
- What Horst believes is our current leadership crisis and how we can fix it
Link from the episode:
Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise
Direct download: Horst20Schulze_Podcast.mp3
-- posted at: 10:46pm PDT
Wed, 27 March 2019
When we normally think about change, whether in our organizations or even in our personal lives, we tend to think about linear change. But what would happen if we thought about exponential change instead?
What’s the difference? Well a couple of years ago the famous futurist, Ray Kurzweil did an interview with the Financial Times and in the interview he compared linear growth to exponential growth. He said, “30 steps linearly gets you to 30. One, two, three, four, step 30 you’re at 30. With exponential growth, it’s one, two, four, eight. Step 30, you’re at a billion”
So taking 30 linear steps is not going to get you very far, but taking 30 exponential steps would be the equivalent of traveling around the world 26 times! There’s no telling where you would end up.
We live in an exponential world where things are changing very quickly, especially technology. In order to stay relevant we need to take our linear assumptions, ideas and concepts and adjust them for an exponential world.
Mon, 25 March 2019
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
-- posted at: 8:40am PDT
Thu, 21 March 2019
Business leaders at companies around the world are always asking, “how can we standardize corporate culture across all of our locations?” My response is, “do you really want to do that?”
Standardizing corporate culture is a subject that comes up quite frequently during my conversations with business leaders at companies around the world. They want to know how they can make it so that whether a person walks into their company in Australia, Japan, England or the U.S., they see and feel the same things.
But my question is, “do you really want to do that?”. People across the world are all going to have different behaviors, customs, beliefs, etc…and that’s okay. People in your organization should be able to be themselves at work. So if your office in Sydney, Australia looks different than the one in London, England that’s to be expected.
What we really want to standardize across all of our organizations is our values--doing good, collaboration, fun, trust, transparency, integrity--these are the things that should stay the same no matter what location you are walking into. As long as you have those core unifying things at the base of your organization differences in corporate culture should be welcomed and embraced.
Mon, 18 March 2019
Wade Foster is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zapier, a company that allows you to connect the apps you use daily in order to automate tasks and save time. The company was started back in 2011 as a side hustle for Wade and fellow founders, Brian and Mike. They now have 200 employees all over the world and over 100,000 customers.
All 200 employees work remotely from different locations, they don’t have any office buildings. Some managers might worry about leading a remote team, but Wade says there’s really no difference between leading an in person team versus leading a remote team. Whether or not you can see your team, the only way to know if your team is getting work done is to see the work, not the people themselves. You may have employees showing up to an office space everyday, sitting at their desks all day long, but it doesn’t mean they are being productive.
Wade says all managers, whether they have a remote team or not, need to understand the company’s goals, they need to know how to put teams together, and they need to be able to coach and mentor people. Wade believes it is also important for managers to regularly check in with their people to discuss work performance, experience, and even their personal lives.
When it comes to building company culture Zapier works hard to make sure employees build relationships with one another. One way they help employees connect is through a Slack App called Donut, which matches up three employees at random. Those three employees have to find time every week to talk with their group. They can talk about anything--books, hobbies, family, etc...they just need to get to know each other. Wade says, “If you kind of already know the person and you know them on a human level, it just makes it easier to connect with them when you get into the trenches and have to solve something really, really tough” They also hold two large in person retreats every year where all 200 employees come together to meet up and connect.
Hiring the right people is also critical when it comes to a remote workforce. Not everyone is a good fit for remote work. At Zapier they look for self-starters, who are motivated, and who have a go get it attitude.
For any organizations looking to incorporate a remote work program Wade suggests, “...don't overthink it. Being a manager in a remote environment is not so different than being a good manager in an office. A lot of the things that you need to do are the same. So, find the remote equivalent of those things and make it happen”.
What you will learn from the episode:
- How to manage a remote team
- Why Zapier continues to have a 100% remote workforce even now that they are growing
- Tools to use with a remote team
- What to look for when hiring remote workers
- How Zapier went from a side hustle to a successful business with over 100,000 customers
Link from the episode:
Direct download: Wade20Foster20podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 8:19am PDT
Wed, 13 March 2019
The game of Chess has been around since the 6th Century AD and it has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I think all business leaders should learn how to play because there are so many business lessons we can learn from Chess.
I am quite obsessed with the game of Chess. It has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and it is something that I really enjoy doing. Chess is not only a fun and challenging game, but it also provides many life lessons.
I think all business leaders should learn how to play chess because it can teach us a lot about business.
Here are the 6 biggest business lessons I have learned from playing chess:
1. How to work with AI
2. How to look at the big picture
4. How to look at several different situations and figure out what outcomes each may bring
5. How to identify patterns
6. How to be comfortable with the unknown
All of these lessons are important to learn and will help you be a better leader. So, if you have some extra time on your hands, try Chess. I highly recommend it.
Direct download: The_One_Game_Business_Leaders_Should_Play.mp3
-- posted at: 10:22pm PDT
Mon, 11 March 2019
Kenny McDonald is the President and Chief Economic Officer of Columbus 2020, an economic development organization for the 11-county Columbus, Ohio region. This initiative was started back in 2010 by a team of more than 20 economic development experts who wanted to actively do something to improve their area after the ‘07-’08 recession.
At the beginning, in 2010, the team behind Columbus 2020 came up with four main long-term goals that they would focus on over the next 10 years. The goals were:
- Add 150,000 net new jobs
- Generate $8 billion of capital investment
- Raise personal per capita income by 30 percent
- Earn recognition as a leader in economic development
They didn’t want to just recover from the recession, they wanted the city of Columbus to do better than it ever had before. And this strategy paid off, in 2018, just 8 years into their 10-year plan, they had already met three out of the four goals.
Now a big focus for Columbus is preparing the workforce of the future. One of the major trends around the future of work Kenny is paying attention to is the mass automation happening in a lot of industries including finance, insurance, and retail.
Kenny says, “We're asking ourselves what will be automated, what jobs exist now and have existed for decades that maybe in the next 5 or 10 years are no longer going to be a way for people to earn income, how are they going to do that? How are we going to create that tax base out of that in the future? So we consider ourselves a laboratory and are leaning into all of those changes.”
After studying automation, Kenny and the team of economic development experts he works with believe that around 200,000 jobs in their region are under serious risk of going away due to automation. But they don’t see that as a threat, they see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to create better jobs for humans while leaving the unskilled, labor intensive jobs to technology.
When asked who is responsible for retraining and upskilling the workers who are displaced to to job automation, Kenny said it should be a combined effort between the community, the major employers, and educational institutions. These major players need to have open and honest discussions to figure out how jobs are changing and what needs to be done to better equip people for the future of work.
Even though there is a large responsibility on the community, employers, and schools, that does not leave the individual employee off the hook. “The need, the velocity of which continued education is going to be required for you to be a competitive employee in the future is going to require a lot of responsibility. So you're going to be responsible for raising your hand and saying, "I want that training. I'm willing to make a little bit of a time sacrifice to learn that skill to evolve as technologies evolve and continue my career.People that are willing to do that are going to have tremendous opportunity, maybe even greater opportunity than we've ever seen before. But those that are unwilling to do that or perhaps don't have the insight and aren't given the roadmap around that are going to have a difficult time.”
When it comes to advice for listeners, Kenny says it is important to get involved in your community, especially if you work for one of the major employers in your area or if you are an academic leader. Find ways to partner with your city, get involved, and start conversations. Figure out where your city needs to be in 5-10 years and start building it now.
What you will learn in the episode:
- How Columbus is preparing the next generation for the future of jobs
- How Columbus 2020 got started and what success they have seen so far
- What trends Kenny is paying attention to
- What jobs will most likely disappear in the near future
- Who is responsible for retraining and upskilling displaced workers
- Whether or not a college degree still has value
Links from the Episode:
Columbus 2020: https://columbusregion.com/columbus-2020/
Kenny’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennymcdonald/
Direct download: Kenny20McDonald20podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 1:16pm PDT
Fri, 8 March 2019
When we think of traditional HR functions we typically think about hiring, firing, policies, training and rules/regulations. But in the future of work we need a shift in the role that HR plays in the organization. We need HR to not be like HR.
I know we cannot ignore the traditional HR duties, but I think those duties should make up a small percentage of time compared to how much time is spent on driving change in the organization.
That is what HR should be focusing on. It should be called Human Transformation instead of Human Resources. Why? Because their role should be centered on helping the organization grow, evolve and move forward. HR should be a part of the company, not because legally it has to be there, but because the organization wants and needs transformational growth.
Mon, 4 March 2019
Greg Hanover is the CEO of LiveOps, a virtual call center company that provides services for a wide variety of industries including healthcare, retail, travel, hospitality, and insurance. LiveOps has a little over 200 full-time employees and they have 14,000 independent contractors who work virtually from home. Having a team of virtual agents has allowed LiveOps to be more cost effective, flexible, and innovative than a traditional brick and mortar call center.
Having flexible and remote work options is becoming more and more valuable to employees, no matter what industry they are in. But a lot of executives shy away from giving these options because of the concerns that come with leading a virtual workforce. How do you know if they are actually working? How do you measure productivity? How do you create a cohesive corporate culture when not everyone is in the same building everyday?
Greg says it ultimately comes down to your communication strategy. Having effective and consistent communication is critical when it comes to working with a virtual team. The great thing is there are so many tools and platforms available now that leaders can take advantage of. LiveOps has built their own collaboration tool called LiveOps Nation which allows agents to communicate with one another, share tips and secrets, find company wide news, etc...It allows the leaders to disseminate information to the whole team, very quickly.
It is also important to set expectations early when leading a virtual team. Starting at the interview, the potential employee should know what attributes you are looking for in a team member, what is expected of them, and what their responsibilities will be. “We all know there are some people who can be more successful than others in a virtual environment”, Greg says. Working virtually requires self-motivation, a certain amount of drive, an entrepreneurial spirit and self-control.
“One of the big things or processes we have in place is every agent signs what we call a statement of work. And we make it clear, so whether you're supporting a large retail customer or one of our insurance customers, or healthcare customers, we're going to list out what the requirements are to support that customer. So we may have certain requirements around number of hours worked each week or certain quality metrics that have to be met to stay active on a program. We'll clearly outline in that statement of work with the agent what the requirements are to support that end customer. There are requirements. It's not a free for all model.”
For organizations or leaders who are looking to test out a remote workforce or a few remote positions, Greg’s advice is to “understand what does success look like in that position. And then make sure that you’ve clearly articulated that to the folks that you’re going to place in a remote environment”. It is important to lay out the requirements, expectations, job description, etc… ahead of time and use that as the measure of success.
Greg suggests starting small, maybe you give employees the option to work from home one day a week or you give them more flexibility in their schedules. But don’t try to run before you crawl. It may not be the best idea to start hiring a whole new team of remote workers if you’ve never managed this type of a team before. Start small and test things out, put the right tools in place, and set up guidelines and expectations up front.
What you will learn in this episode:
- How to lead a virtual team
- What tools LiveOps uses to collaborate and communicate
- What it is like to work at LiveOps
- How they stay competitive in the Bay Area
- How they train, upskill, and motivate a team they cannot see
- How they keep the team aspect alive while everyone is remote
- How to change the mindset of leaders so they can see the benefits and possibilities of remote working
Links from the episode:
Greg’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/greghanover/
Direct download: Greg20Hanover_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 11:04am PDT
Thu, 28 February 2019
There are many things that make up a great manager or leader. But I have identified one key characteristic that all truly great leaders and managers should have. It is something that employees all over the world consistently ask for and want. It is the ability to think in terms of a coach or mentor.
I have been inside a wide variety of organizations all across the world and have found that a lot of organizations say that they encourage and train their leaders to be mentors and coaches, but the truth is the coaching and mentoring only goes up to a certain point.
A leader who actually believes in being a mentor or coach to their employees doesn’t stop once the employees get to a certain level of success. The leaders goal is help others be more successful, even if it means the employees become more successful than the leader.
But what I often see is that leaders mentor/coach employees up until they reach a certain level of success and then the leader holds the employees back or pushes them down, so as not to be outdone by their mentees. But that is not a true coach/mentor.
A true coach/mentor guides, encourages and helps their mentees and when the mentees reach a level of greater success than the actual coach/mentor the coach/mentor is filled with pride, accomplishment and happiness knowing that they helped the mentees get there.
So, if you want to be the best leader/manager for your employees you must ask yourself, “Do I wake up everyday wanting to make other people more successful than I am?”
Direct download: what_makes_a_great_manager.mp3
-- posted at: 1:02am PDT
Mon, 25 February 2019
Dr. Marc Brackett is the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University and Dr. Robin Stern is the Associate Director of Partnerships for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, a licensed psychoanalyst, educator, and author. Dr. Stern is a licensed psychoanalyst, with over twenty-five years of experience treating individuals, couples, and groups, holding a doctorate in applied psychology from New York University. She is on the faculty of Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
Dr. Brackett is the lead developer of RULER (an acronym for the five key emotion skills) which is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 1,500 public, charter, and private pre-school to high schools across the United States and in other countries. Dr. Brackett has published 125 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards for his research on social and emotional learning.
What is emotional intelligence?
It is a mental ability - a set of skills that have to do with how we as human beings reason with and about our emotion states.
To understand the underlying skills that people use when they are emotionally intelligent we can look to Dr. Brackett’s RULER acronym.
RULER is an acronym that stands for the five skills of emotional intelligence:
- The first R is recognizing- essentially what we're trying to do is help people read people, read themselves accurately, whether it be through facial expression, body language, vocal tone, etc...
- Next is understand why they're having those feelings,
- The L stands for language or labeling those feeling with the best words
- The fourth skill is about expressing emotions, knowing how and when to do that with different people, in different situations
- The final is regulating emotions - so having the strategies to both manage your own emotions and to help other people to manage theirs as well
Why is emotional intelligence important in the workplace? Human relationships matter in the workplace, and emotional intelligence is critical in managing workplace relationships. Being emotionally intelligent helps us communicate, collaborate, and relate with others in our organizations. How we relate with others in the workplace greatly impacts engagement, happiness, mental health, physical health, and so much more.
This skill is important for all employees, but it is especially critical for leaders. Dr. Stern says, “Leaders are very big in the minds of the people who work with them. They're just huge and the hierarchy, the power and balance gives the way the leader treats people who work for him or her a tremendous amount of power to lift the person, make them feel great or send them off with a pleasant feeling or squash them and send them off with a feeling that they can't do anything right.Those are everyday interactions and you don't realize as a leader necessarily that when you're short with somebody that may set their whole afternoon off”.
So how can we start practicing emotional intelligence today? Dr. Brackett suggests starting by being transparent about how you feel. If you are a leader open up conversations with your employees to understand how they are feeling and why. If you are an employee speak up and give feedback when asked and don’t be shy about being open and honest.
He also suggests that everyone take advantage of apps, courses, and training that focus on being emotionally intelligent. You don’t become emotionally intelligent overnight. It takes constant practice, awareness, and growth. So keep working at it.
What you will learn in this episode:
- What emotional intelligence is and whether it is a hard skill or a soft skill
- How emotional intelligence impacts engagement, happiness, and productivity
- The impact social media has had on emotional intelligence
- The negative impacts of not having emotional intelligence in the workplace
- How to develop emotional intelligence as a leader
Links from the episode:
Direct download: Marc20and20Robin_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 9:06am PDT
Fri, 22 February 2019
In this new world of work skills are vitally important. One of the most crucial skills that we can possess is one that could help provide job security even as AI and automation continue replacing jobs.
In this rapidly changing world of work and life we live in, one of the most crucial skills we as individuals can possess, is motivation. We have to have the motivation to learn how to learn new things, the motivation to speak up at work and the motivation to experiment.
It is such an important skill that the CEO at AT&T told his employees that if they don’t have the motivation to take matters into their own hands--to learn how to learn and to be responsible for their own professional development--then they don’t belong at the company.
If we want to succeed, grow and thrive in this new world of work and life we have to take things into our own hands. Are you motivated enough?
Direct download: One_Crucial_Skill.mp3
-- posted at: 2:04pm PDT
Mon, 18 February 2019
DeLisa Alexander is the Chief People Officer at Red Hat, a role she has held since March 2011. She is responsible for leading Red Hat’s global Human Capital team, including Red Hat University College of Leadership and Management.
She joined Red Hat in 2001 and served in the office of General Counsel until 2006. In that role, DeLisa was responsible for equity and executive compensation and employment matters. Prior to Red Hat, she was associated with the law firm Kilpatrick Stockton where she focused on mergers, acquisitions, venture capital and licensing. DeLisa graduated with a BBA from James Madison University, holds an MBA from University of Baltimore, and earned her Juris Doctor from George Mason University.
Red Hat is a leading software company in the business of assembling open source components for the Linux operating system and related programs into a distribution package that can be ordered and implemented. They currently employ about 13,000 associates, with about 25% of the population working remotely. They have over 95 offices in 35 countries around the world.
Red Hat has been studying, implementing, and experimenting with a concept called open leadership and it has drastically changed how the company operates. They found that traditional, top down, hierarchical leadership did not work for their company and they knew they had to try something different.
What is open leadership? DeLisa says first of all, “They tend to have a growth mindset where they think everyone has something special to contribute. Everyone has something unique they can offer. And that a leader's role, whether it's a manager or a team lead or a technical lead their role is to act in an inclusive way. And a way that really brings out that individual's strengths and help them to contribute their unique talents.”
Open leaders will also see untapped potential in all of their employees. They believe that everyone is capable of learning and growing, they understand that it is their role as a leader to create an atmosphere where employees can learn, grow, and stretch themselves.
Red Hat also believes that leaders don’t necessarily have to be be managers of people. Anyone can be a leader. A leader is not defined by a title or position within the company, a leader is defined by their ability to influence others.
For organizations looking to implement the concept of open leadership DeLisa advises, “It's not a one size fits all. Open, is a continuum. So if you start from where you are and think about where you'd like to move, what I recommend always is understand the strengths of your organization, understand your organization's purpose, and really lean into the areas that are strengths for you that can help you to support that purpose more effectively by making some shifts. I always find that when you're trying to close a gap, it's much more difficult than leading into something that's your strength already.”
What you will learn In This Episode:
- How DeLisa went from the legal field to the HR space
- Big trends DeLisa is paying attention to
- DeLisa’s view on Millennials
- A look at the culture at Red Hat
- How Red Hat used stories from their own employees to create their company’s mission statement
- What open leadership is
Links from the episode:
Direct download: DeLissa20Alexander_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 7:03am PDT
Thu, 14 February 2019
We all have moments in our lives that stand out from the rest, moments that matter. For me personally some of the moments that matter are the day I got married, the day my daughter was born, and the day I bought my first house. But there are also moments that matter that relate to work, such as the 1st day at a new job, the day you get a promotion or even the day you leave a job.
Quite often organizations miss out on celebrating these moments that matter for their employees. Instead of thinking of employees as individuals they think of them simply as workers. In this new world of work where we have such an integration between work and life it is so important to acknowledge these moments that matter and make them special. These moments are what allow us to create amazing experiences for our employees.
One example of a missed opportunity is the first day at a new job. If we could set up our employees for a great first experience this could be a moment they truly remember, even 10 or 15 years down the road. But oftentimes the first day on a job can be a moment of terror, anxiety or even regret for people. They show up and it takes them 15 minutes to locate someone who can show them where to go, when they get to their desk the computer and phone aren’t set up, no one says hi or welcomes them, they sit alone at lunch, etc…
What if instead we chose to make that moment extraordinary by having a designated person ready and waiting for the new employee with a smile and an information packet, all of the equipment was set up, turned on and ready to go, we made it a point for other employees to stop by and say hi, and we provided a free lunch for that first day. Wouldn’t that make a difference.
So, stop and ask yourself, what are the moments that matter to your employees and how can you celebrate those moments?
Mon, 11 February 2019
Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown University and the author of a brand new book called Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. He earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, specializing in the theory of distributed systems. He has two other books, entitled Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World and So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.
What is Digital Minimalism?
Cal says It's a movement. And it's a like a rebellion. It's a rebellion against this idea that these small number of companies in Northern California (Twitter, Facebook, Google) should really dictate how we spend our time, and how we feel, and how we think. In recent years people have come to realize it is a problem to be so wrapped up and addicted to social media and technology in general. And people say, "I wanna create my own life, and I'll use technology on my own damn terms."
When asked why he wrote his latest book, Cal says it is because in the last two years or so, there has been this shift where people stopped making self-deprecating jokes about how often they check their phone and started to actually get really concerned. People got past this notion of like, "Oh, this is all fun, and maybe I use it too much," and really began to get worried that there were serious impacts on the quality of their life being caused by the digital tools in their personal life.
And they were getting fed up. They wanted more than just tips. There seemed to be a need in the marketplace for a strong response. He came up with a strong aggressive response if you want to take back your personal life from a lot of those digital distractions. And it was out of that, that Digital Minimalism was born.
And it’s not just our personal lives that are affected by technology. In the workplace we are just constantly communicating all day long. It's essentially an ongoing, ad hoc, unstructured conversation. Messages and chats and texts just bouncing back and forth. We're all a part of this sort of big organizational conversation. We sort of just try to figure things out on the fly.
Cal says the problem is that it turns out to be exactly the wrong way to work, if what you need to do is actually use your brain to produce new value. And this is the huge conflict that's driving people crazy in the workplace today, is that knowledge work requires people to use their brains, process information, concentrate on the information, and produce new valuable information. But it is impossible to do that when we have our concentration divided among hundreds of emails, constant IMs from coworkers, text messages, Skype messages, etc…
So we're living, essentially, a contradiction. We're working in a way that makes us really bad at working. And this is a really reason why Cal thinks so many people are getting so frustrated and feeling so burnt out about what it means to work in the digital age.
Three reasons why digital minimalism works:
- Clutter is costly – too many apps or services
- Optimization is important
- Intentionality trumps convenience
Cal doesn’t believe that technology in and of itself is a bad thing, but we have to find ways to step away from it to really let our minds work they way they were meant to, to really be able to connect one on one with other human beings, and to be able to rest and recharge.
Things you will learn:
- Why Cal doesn’t engage in social media like Facebook or Twitter
- Why he chose to write the book
- How to do a 30-day digital declutter, in which you wipe the slate clean, not of work stuff, but of optional personal technology
- Whether or not Cal is worried about the future
- The three principles of digital minimalism
- How you can start implementing digital minimalism today
- Strategies Jacob is using to manage his technology use
Direct download: Cal20Newport_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 8:05am PDT
Fri, 8 February 2019
The pace of technology in our world today is faster than it has ever been. We go out and buy the newest phone out on the market with all of the bells and whistles and the newest innovations and then a few months later it is obsolete as there’s a newer, better phone available. We always hear about how technology is benefiting our society. It boosts productivity and innovation, it provides greater accessibility to products and services and it allows for greater opportunities.
Technology provides great benefits, but are we using it in the right way? According to a chart created by Our World in Data showing the price changes in consumer goods and services over the last 20 years, we may not be using technology in the best way.
The chart shows that the price of TVs, clothes, software, toys and cars have either stayed the same or plummeted. At the same time the cost of things that everyone really, truly needs-- such as healthcare, tuition, and childcare-- has skyrocketed.
Are we taking all of the benefits from technology and putting them into the wrong things? My question is, if technology can create better productivity, innovation and opportunity, why aren’t we seeing that chart flipped?
Direct download: Is_Technology_Really_Improving_Our_Lives.mp3
-- posted at: 1:00am PDT
Fri, 1 February 2019
Aaron Levie is the Co-Founder and CEO of Box, a company that specializes in helping companies securely share and manage their information. The company was started back in 2005 while Aaron was in college. Back then it was him and one other person, but now 14 years later they have over 2,000 employees who serve 90,000 customers around the world.
But the road to success wasn’t easy. Aaron dealt with a lot of rejection along the way. When they were initially trying to start Box they received around a dozen rejections, but instead of giving up Aaron kept a positive attitude. He claims, “that was a good week for us, what are you talking about? That was like wow! The fact that people responded saying no was actually a good thing. We were like, “All right, we finally got a rejection””. This is what makes him a great entrepreneur, he held to his convictions and never gave up.
When it comes to leading Box, Aaron works hard to create a culture of openness and transparency. He explains that because the company began with four friends who were used to calling each other out on bad ideas, they were able to have transparency and candor built into the fabric of the founding team. Now they carry on those values even with 2,000 employees. They want an organization where employees can tell the CEO “you’re wrong”.
When asked how his leadership style has changed over the years, Aaron says it has been an evolution that has taken time. He is so passionate about everything that Box does, in the beginning he found it hard to not get involved with every little detail, but he has learned what to delegate, what to hire someone else for, and what areas he is still willing to “pull the CEO card to kind of push on”.
In today’s constantly changing world, it is difficult for businesses to stay relevant. Aaron explains that one of the biggest challenges companies face is having to not only be the best digital experience in their own industry, but having to be the best in any industry. With this digital age where everyone is so connected people have more choices than ever before and they are going to compare your company against all the rest.
Aaron says, “Never before did I compare my banking experience to my retail experience. And yet today, if my online bank isn’t as good as Amazon, then I don’t think that you’re a modern bank.”. In order to stay relevant Aaron believes as individuals we need to be flexible and adaptable in order to stay relevant and as organizations we need to stay focused on our customers. We need to help them solve a problem. Otherwise you will not exist in the future.
“It's all about customers and if you are not building an organization that is helping your customers solve a problem and succeed in solving that problem, you will not exist in the future. Maybe 50 years ago we were in an era where all you had to do is get really good at distribution and then any product you sold could kind of work, we're not in that time period right now. Distribution is infinite, customers have infinite access to anything they want. And so we are in a product driven, service driven era where if you don't have the relevant product or service for your customer, you won't exist.”
What you will learn:
- How Box got started
- How Aaron deals with rejection
- How to create a culture of openness and transparency
- Trends Aaron is paying attention to
- What it’s like to work at Box
- How to stay relevant in the fast pace of change
- How Aaron’s leadership style has changed over the years
Aaron Levie on LinkedIn
Direct download: Aaron20Levie_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 6:37am PDT
Thu, 31 January 2019
In my newest book, The Employee Experience Advantage, Airbnb was ranked one of the best organizations for employee experience and there is a rather odd practice they implement that may be helping them create such a successful corporate culture.
During every one of their regular company-wide meetings they bring up elephants, dead fish and vomit. Elephants are the big things inside of most organizations that no one dares to bring up, dead fish are the things that are in the past but the employees just can’t seem to forget about them and let them go, and the vomit is the things we need to just get out into the open, the things we want to vent about.
Most companies shy away from these topics, but Airbnb is not just addressing them, they are throwing them into the front and center of their company wide meetings. What are your organization’s elephants, dead fish and vomit? Perhaps you aren’t a huge fan of the labels given, but in the end it is all about creating a culture of transparency and trust. So what can your company do to help create a better culture and a better employee experience?
Direct download: elephants_vomit_deadfish_airbnb.mp3
-- posted at: 7:59pm PDT
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:
- Why Douglas wrote his book, Team Human
- Why humans are being devalued in the digital age and how to stop it
- The problem with Facebook, Twitter and Google
- How to balance what’s good for business and bad for people
- Why being human is a team sport
- Douglas’ thoughts on whether or not we are relying too much on technology
Link from the episode:
Direct download: Douglas20Rushkoff_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 9:57am PDT
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?
Direct download: What_we_do_with_AI_is_a_choice.mp3
-- posted at: 11:24pm PDT
Mon, 21 January 2019
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:
- How Lego implements storytelling in their recruitment and training processes
- How they are redesigning their leadership models and why
- Why including employees in company decisions is important
- What it’s like to work at Lego
- The job description of a Play Agent
- Lego’s four promises--what they are and how they affect the Lego culture
Direct download: Loren20Shuster_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 12:47am PDT
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.
Direct download: Skills_are_greater_than_jobs.mp3
-- posted at: 11:20pm PDT
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:
- Why companies are choosing to hire non-HR people to lead HR
- What does a Chief Inclusion Officer do?
- Typical biases that occur in most organizations
- How to measure D&I
- How D&I impacts engagement
- Technologies Dow Chemical is leveraging in the D&I space
- Why the conversation around D&I is so critical right now
Karen Carter on LinkedIn
Direct download: Karen20Carter_podcast_done.mp3
-- posted at: 9:15am PDT
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.
Direct download: The_changing_nature_of_companies.mp3
-- posted at: 11:20am PDT
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.
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
-- posted at: 8:20am PDT
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?