We are passionate about helping leaders, HR, and ethics professionals build heart-healthy organizations with a culture of purpose and integrity.
Every other Thursday we post conversations with leading thinkers, researchers, and leaders on culture, values, ethics, and transformational change.
047. Parul Sharma: Beyond Greenwashing - Making Your Values Matter
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) concluded in mid-November. It can be difficult to discern between quantifiable achievements and empty promises. Parul Sharma, a distinguished human rights lawyer, contends that many companies spend more resources on communication around their sustainability initiatives than on the initiatives themselves. In this comprehensive and informative episode, Parul discusses what we can learn from COP26, the interconnectedness of issues such as human rights, climate justice, and corruption, and how to avoid greenwashing.
Parul Sharma has many years of experience in the areas of sustainability, human rights, and anti-corruption in high-risk markets. Parul is the President of Amnesty Sweden, and the CEO of The Academy for Human Rights in Business. She has been the Vice President of Global Responsibility at Stora Enso, the Head of CSR Compliance at a leading law firm, the Chair of the Swedish Government’s Agenda 2030 delegation, and the executive director of Greenpeace Sweden. The author of three books on Agenda 30, Parul is one of the most influential sustainability experts in Sweden, and is regularly interviewed by media and news channels.
046. Mats Alvesson: When Corporate Values Become Functional Stupidity
Instead of dealing with real organizational and cultural issues, leaders can often engage the organization in exercises around values that are at best meaningless or at worst lead to distrust and disillusion. A leading voice behind this criticism in Sweden is Professor Mats Alvesson, known for coining the term "functional stupidity". In this confronting and thought-provoking episode, Mats discusses how we can avoid functional stupidity and what it really takes to operate according to a set of principles we don't want to compromise.
Mats Alvesson is a management professor at Lund University, Sweden. He is interested in critical theory, qualitative research, and organizational studies. He has published numerous books, including The Stupidity Paradox (Profile, with A. Spicer), Managerial Lives (Cambridge University Press, with S. Sveningsson), Reflexive Leadership (Sage, with M. Blom & S. Sveningsson), and The Triumph of Emptiness (Oxford University Press). Mats' latest book, Return to Meaning (Oxford Univeristy Press, with Y. Gabriel & R. Paulsen) argues that we are currently witnessing not merely a decline in the quality of social science research, but the proliferation of meaningless research, of no value to society, and modest value to its authors - apart from securing employment and promotion.
045. Tonia Ries: Becoming a Trustworthy Organization
In this exciting and insightful episode, Tonia Ries, responsible for the Edelman Trust Barometer and the leader of the firm's global knowledge agenda, discusses the importance and role of trust within an organization, what it means to be trustworthy, and how to build trust with stakeholders. Indeed, it's not just enough to be seen as competent; we also need to be seen as ethical.
Tonia Ries is Executive Director of Intellectual Property for the Edelman Trust Institute, Edelman’s center for the study of trust and a learning laboratory for trust building between companies, institutions, brands and people. Her role includes stewardship of the Edelman Trust Barometer, the largest global survey and foremost authority on trust in institutions and brands. Now in its 21st year, the Trust Barometer surveys more than 34,000 people in 28 countries. Its cross-cultural insights are widely cited in media outlets such as The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, Fortune, Forbes and others. With more than 30 years of experience in marketing, research, strategy and media, Tonia regularly speaks at industry events and has been quoted on the business impact of media transformation by news outlets such as The New York Times and NPR.
044. Kevin Oakes: How to Lead a Culture Renovation
In this engaging and eye-opening episode, Kevin Oakes, the CEO and co-founder of i4cp (the leading authority on next practices in human capital), and the author of the recently published book, Culture Renovation™, unpacks the strategies and actions that i4cp, through extensive research, has learned are key to successfully renovating culture.
As CEO and co-founder of i4cp, Kevin Oakes provides strategic direction and vision, and is responsible for the overall operations of the organization. Kevin is a frequent author and international keynote speaker on next practices in human capital and works with business and HR executives on people practices that drive high performance. Kevin is the author of Culture Renovation™, which was published in January 2021. The book acts as a blueprint for senior leaders to positively change organizational culture and details 18 action steps that companies such as Microsoft, 3M and T-Mobile have followed to successfully renovate their cultures.
043. Guido Palazzo: Avoiding Ethical Tunnel Vision
In this informative and helpful episode, Guido Palazzo, a business ethics professor with a passion for examining and understanding unethical decision making, provides profound observations about the current state of society, and how to embrace uncertainty, fear, and irrationality with a sense of hope.
In addition, he shares ways that leaders and HR professionals can create an organizational culture that mitigates ethical tunnel vision.
Guido Palazzo is Professor of Business Ethics at HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne. In his research, he is passionate about the dark side of the force and examines unethical decision making from various angles. He is mainly known for his studies in globalization, in particular on human rights violations in global value chains, but he also studies the reasons for unethical behavior in organization and the impact of organized crime on business and society. Currently, he is examining the illegal toxic waste business of the Italian Mafia. He studied business administration and has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Marburg in Germany.
042. Kelly Richmond Pope: To Influence Culture - Tell A Better Story
"Think about how you can incorporate the things we do in our daily lives that we enjoy into your training programs - that is how you appeal to my emotional side and then you're more likely to get a change in behavior." Join your host, Tobias Sturesson, and his guest, Kelly Richmond Pope, for this episode on The Leading Transformational Change podcast.
In this candid and insightful conversation, Kelly Richmond Pope, a recognized expert in Forensic Accounting and the filmmaker who documented the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history, shares about why people often overlook "red flags" for too long, and how implicit trust in a leader might make us disregard the need for control and accountability systems. In addition, she explains why a compliance mentality doesn’t create an emotional connection to the values of an organization and why we need to tell stories that speak to people’s hearts.
Kelly Richmond Pope is an Associate Professor in the School of Accountancy and MIS at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She received her doctorate in accounting from Virginia Tech and worked in the forensic practice at KPMG. Kelly is a recognized expert in the forensic accounting field and has conducted forensic accounting seminars around the world for universities, corporations and governmental entities. In addition to her academic career, Kelly is a published author and the documentary filmmaker of All the Queens Horses, which chronicles the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history.
Powerful and so relevant
This discussion is a powerful reflection on the current state of our business environment as well as a call to action highlighting where we have the ability to act for positive change. As Tobias reflects a fitting conversation to start 2021.