Work doesn't have to be just a job. Join host Chris Taylor as he connects with authors, thought leaders, consultants and methodologies that are shaping the new world of work into an experience that engages us all. Your work matters. It's time to show up. For show notes and more, please visit: http://actionablebooks.com/podcast
Friend of a Friend
For many people, the word “networking” sends chills down their spines. Luckily, David Burkus’ Friend of a Friend is not a networking advice book—instead, it examines the complexity of the networks that already exist in the world, the social science that underpins them, and how to better understand them. We were delighted to host Burkus on the podcast for a lively discussion about how networks work—how they skew our perception of the world, how we can seek out alternative perspectives, and how we can leverage social capital to improve our circumstances.
Fusing Brand and Culture
For many years, we have discussed brand and culture as two separate things. Brand represents the reputation and perception of an organization, while culture refers to the way that people experience working at an organization. However, in our increasingly digital, and therefore transparent world, the alignment between brand and culture is becoming a competitive advantage. We were delighted to host Denise Lee Yohn, author of Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies, for a discussion about this alignment between brand and culture. Denise layers her 25 years of brand and marketing experience with an interest in the power of culture together to create some of the most successful companies in the world.
Rules of Engagement
Change is perhaps the only constant we can count on. Whether you call it “disruption” or prefer, as author Carolyn Swora does, to use the more positive word, “evolution,” it’s no secret that we live in a world that demands adaptability. And yet, most organizations are structured based on outdated hierarchies, rigid decision making processes, and an industrial-era emphasis on process and productivity. We were delighted to host Carolyn Swora on the podcast for an in-depth discussion of her book Rules of Engagement: Building a Workplace Culture to Thrive in an Uncertain World. Carolyn shared her thoughts on the realities of living (and thriving) in a VUCA world, why organizations need to focus on people, not process, and why culture change efforts that are still based on industrial thinking around productivity are bound to fail.
Creating Great Choices
Full disclosure: here at Actionable, we are huge fans of Roger Martin’s work. Not only has he been named the #1 management thinker by Thinkers50, but his work has helped to frame many of our internal project and strategy discussions. We are delighted to host Roger for a conversation about his latest book, Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking. Roger shared his thoughts on the origins and evolution of his work, the power of narrative for making complex ideas more understandable, and his four step process for moving beyond “either/or” decision making processes, toward creating greater choices through integrative thinking.
Becoming a Professional Mind-Maker-Upper
Phil Jones noticed that in large groups of people, particularly in commercial scenarios, with all things being equal (skill, capabilities, resources), some people are just way more successful. He realized that the key differentiator was that top performers knew exactly what to say, how to say it, and how to make it count. These “magic words” of influence are the basis of his new book, Exactly What to Say—where he unpacks some of the verbal cues that we can all directly apply to our conversations, to move people from “maybe” to a definitive yes or no. Phil joined us for a funny and insightful conversation about the power of words to help you become more persuasive.
Embracing Your Onlyness
In her previous books, Nilofer Merchant has taught us how to "create business solutions through collaborative strategy" (The New How) and has shared the 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era. Now she's back with a new tome, The Power of Onlyness, and such luminaries as Susan Cain, Amy Cuddy, and Dan Pink are already singing its praises. Its premise is this: the Internet has been the great leveler, demolishing hierarchies and giving all of us, regardless of our status, a platform to spread our message and change the world—as long as we embrace and harness our "onlyness", that one thing that sets us apart from everyone else. During our chat, we touch upon the following:
Why you no longer need to be part of an organization or require capital to make a dent in the world How do we define—and own—our onlyness? Can we do it ourselves? Those questions that you can't answer and don't leave you alone are really the first step in discovering your onlyness Encountering fear and anger while striving to embrace your onlyness Bringing our authentic selves to our interactions with others (and the sobering fact that 61% of us don't reveal our true selves in the workplace) We all have the power to make a dent in the world, and it lies within our onlyness.
Note: Unfortunately we encountered an audio issue during the recording of our interview with Nilofer. We apologize and hope that the quality of the conversation will help make up for it.