The Future of Work is a weekly show hosted by Broadsuite Media Group's Shelly Kramer, focusing on how people work today, the myriad ways the workplace is evolving, what is coming in the future, and how people, technology, and data are driving that. Whether it's deep dives into digital transformation, the evolution of corporate culture, technology and innovation, or generational insights, the #FutureofWork is where you'll get the information you need for business success.
How to Create More Meaningful Connections in a Remote World
In this episode of the webcast, I’m joined by Shameem Smillie, the Director of Global Contact Center Solutions at Mitel for a conversation around connection, personalized customer experiences, and what ‘meaningful connections’ mean in a digital world, what the future of work looks like in post-pandemic times — and some practical ways businesses can think about strengthening their communication skills.
Let’s face it, the last year has been a slog. Almost a year ago to the day, for many of us the world shut down, our companies shifted almost overnight to remove work, kids shifted to remote learning, and we hunkered down. And in case you’ve not noticed, it’s largely been cloud solutions and collaboration applications/platforms that have made this shift possible.
We kicked off our conversation talking about the rapid shift involved globally as organizations and their workers shifted to work from home and how navigating work, family, obligations regarding children and beyond have played a role.
Shameem shared with some of her thoughts on a change in the demographics that has embraced technology, how the BandAid solutions that were initially put in place by many organizations in the early WFH days are now being evaluated (and often replaced), and how her expertise in customer experience helps her be especially attuned to meaningful moments of conversation and the things organizations can do to empower and facilitate them.
Our conversation touched on:
Remote work is here to stay Consumer appetite is for faster, more personal interaction and the businesses rising to the top are those that understand that and put good communications first What businesses seem to have struggled with the most as they adapted to a WFH, distributed workforce What kind of adjustments companies are going to need to make as we gradually ease back into a more normal of doing things The tangible ways that businesses can strengthen communication skills What the foundational technology is, the must-haves, in order to get communication technology and communications skills where they need to be so as to deliver not only the optimum in customer experience (think contact centers) as well as the optimum in employee experience. Shameem also shared some great customer use cases, including touching on some verticals who have experienced hyper accelerated growth over the course of the last year, and how they’ve navigated a sudden pivot in their work, collaboration, and communication style, and their experiences and success stories that we can all learn from.
If you’re looking to up your communication game and focused on how to create more meaningful digital communications in a remote (or hybrid) world, this is a conversation that I think you’ll enjoy — and benefit from.
If you’d like a deeper dive into this topic, download an ebook developed by Mitel that I was thrilled to participate in, Mitel’s Now of Work. The ebook features insights from a group of well-known industry experts and focuses on the integrated solutions for remote, hybrid, and in-office workforces that are the future of work, and how using streamlined communication for better collaboration, understanding best-in-class practices around security and compliance for tech solutions is the path to a future of work that is personified by meaningful communications that are both collaborative and hassle free.
Today’s HR Pro in the Leadership Equation
Today’s HR pros are seeing a shift in their roles within organizations, from administrative managers and leaders to playing an integral role in business strategy and success. How to successfully navigate that transition and deliver value to the organization can be a challenge, and one that many are looking for help and guidance on.
That’s where my guest on today’s Future of Work Talk comes in. Ed Muzio is the author of Iterate: Run a Fast, Flexible, Focused Management Teamand his expertise on this front is well-documented.
Ed is the CEO of Group Harmonics, a company focused on helping companies create culture change, boost performance, and provide practical solutions to work place problems. His clients include not only HR pros, but business leaders as well, and his message across the board is all about iteration, adaptability, agility, and continuous learning.
Successful managers are the ones who can learn to move away from silos, wasted time and effort, unnecessary competition within teams, and who can embrace intelligent goal setting and attainment as well as effective management of resources.
That’s what Ed’s latest book is all about, teaching managers and business leaders how to iterate, and build and grow strong, successful teams.
The premises there are really no different for HR pros than they are for other business leaders and managers within an organization.
In our conversation today we tackle challenges HR pros and other leaders face, and how to embrace an iterative mindset and management/leadership style. Whether you’re in HR or a senior executive, Ed’s advice is timely, relevant, and sure to add value to your strategies moving forward.
Howard Ross on How the Need for Connection is Tearing Our Culture Apart
Today’s Future of Work Talk show is focused on workplace culture, and specifically polarization and divisiveness that exists within organizations. At a time when our political landscape is incredibly polarized, in spite of the diversity of our nation, or workplaces are likewise polarized.
Think about it: human beings are naturally drawn to “people just like them.” So even if our respective workplaces are comprised of diverse people, our tendency is to stay within the relative “safety” of our individual groups. Not diverse and inclusive at all.
My guest today is Howard Ross. Howard is an author, social justice advocate and an expert on identifying and addressing Unconscious Bias. His latest book, Our Search for Belonging: How the Need for Connection Is Tearing Our Culture Apart, explores how to bridge our increasing polarized society.
Howard and I discussed a variety of things, including how the Whole Foods and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store factions fully exemplify our polarization—and other things that are happening in the workplace that we’re not paying close enough attention to.
We touched on:
How we have turned our natural need for belonging into an unhealthy, destructive extreme. How our society is promoting segregation into “us” and “them” and the dangers that presents—for all of us What the consequences might be if society continues to fuel divisiveness What we can do, personally, to bridge these divides? What can businesses and organizations do to create inclusion and a true diverse culture within the organization, instead of just talking the talk. The ‘so what’ of my conversation with Howard was fascinating to me, and I think it might be to you as well. Here’s what organizations need to consider as it relates to culture, training, and the relationships their employees have with one another. While many organizations provide skills training, it’s just as important that they provide training in interpersonal areas, such as communication, inclusion, and addressing unconscious bias. This can be done, and it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge.
From Target’s “Courageous Conversations” workshops that engage employees of all backgrounds to talk about difficult issues, to Kaiser Permanente’s team culture, smart companies are exploring ways to build organizational structures that promote inclusivity. They are finding that working to remove bias in recruitment, hiring, onboarding and performance reviews pays off. They are challenging norms by asking courageous questions, embedding a positive organizational narrative around belonging and the value of diversity, and creating safe places to have dialogue around topics that are often difficult.
You can find Howard here (and I hope you will, he’s delightful):
Howard J Ross Twitter
Howard Ross LinkedIn
Cook Ross (Howard’s consulting firm)
If you’ve not yet subscribed to our Future of Work Talk webcast on YouTube, we hope you will, as we have many more fascinating conversations ahead.
If you prefer the podcast, you can find the Future of Work Talk podcast here:
And you can find our Future of Work Talk blog and the transcripts of these shows here:
Future of Work Talk archives
Trends and Challenges in Recruiting and Talent Acquisition
Today’s Future of Work Talk show focuses on trends and challenges in recruiting and talent acquisition, what’s now, what’s next, and what’s exciting.
My guest is Kara Mignanelli from the Global Strategic Management Institute (GSMI), an organization focused on educating today’s leaders for tomorrow’s performance. Kara is the SVP of People for GSMI and she’s also the company’s general counsel. Business is more complicated today than ever before, fueled by technology, privacy issues, compliance requirements, and social media … to name just a few, and it’s probably both awesome and rare to have the person who leads your HR team also happen to be an attorney.
GSMI is immersed in the educational space and focused on producing events across the country that make people better at what they do and to always be challenging the status quo. In fact, the status quo is a pretty dangerous place to settle in for long, largely due to how quickly technology has changed, is changing, and will change our world. It’s really that simple.
Kara and I kicked off our conversation by talking about an event that’s coming up fairly quickly, the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference, which will be held in San Francisco on January 31 and February 1.
Kara covers information about the event and what the audience generally looks like, and if you’re involved in talent recruitment in any way, this event should definitely be on your radar screen.
Next, we tackle some trends and challenges in recruiting and talent acquisition. Kara shares with us her insights on……
The top recruiting trends shaping recruiting & hiring for 2019.
The most challenging trend that will change the way recruiters do their job.
The biggest barriers to adopting and implementing technology like Artificial Intelligence or virtual reality in Talent Acquisition.
Kara also gives us a preview of some of the speakers featured at the SRSC event as well as the benefits in attending an event like SRSC.
Bottom line, as someone who has spoken at GMSI events in the past, the events are top-notch. The audience is engaged, the quality of the speakers are unparalleled, and the topics covered are critically important for today’s recruitment and talent acquisition pros. Check out the conference agenda here: SRSC Agenda and register here: SRSC Registration Link.
Get yourself to the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference! The event is in San Francisco from January 31st to February 1st and who doesn’t need a reason to get to SFO?
I would be remiss to not also mention some upcoming GMSI events, as they are also sure to be excellent. They include:
Social Media Strategies Summit (two events)
March 19-21 in Anaheim and Chicago April 30-May2
The Business of Blockchain, March 19-21 in Anaheim
Employer Branding Strategies Conference, held in San Diego in May,
The Business of Bots, San Francisco February 5-7
You can find the full list of GMSI events here.
If you like the Future of Work Talk webcast, please be sure and take a minute to subscribe, and if you’d rather get this content in audio form, subscribe to our podcast here: (insert link to podcast). And if you’re watching or listening and have a topic you’d like covered and/or would like to be a guest, send me an email at shelly at v3b dot com — I’d love to get to know you.
How Diverse and Inclusive Teams Change the Game - FOW 007
Shelly Kramer's guest on today's Future of Work Talk show is Debbie Madden, CEO and founder of Stride Consulting, an Agile software development consultancy in NYC.
Debbie has unparalleled leadership in the technology space, and she's pretty good at writing her own success stories, building five companies from the ground up prior to founding Stride. She's also the author of Hire Women: An Agile Framework for Hiring and Retaining Women in Tech and a sought-after speaker on the topic of diversity in tech.
Debbie is a CEO, wife, mom, cancer survivor—and, well, in case it's not already crystal clear, she's pretty much a badass in every sense. With a reputation as a passionate woman executive in technology, she's is a sought-after writer and speaker discussing diversity and inclusion, hiring technology leaders, and defending women in the workplace. She has appeared in popular media outlets such as Inc., Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.
A few minutes with Debbie and you'll see that she's as passionate about helping businesses embrace diversity and inclusion as she is about helping her clients improve business outcomes through the use of software—and she's nothing short of amazing.
Some of the things we discuss include:
What inspired the book Hire Women, and Debbie's unique approach to writing it. The characteristics of being a great leader isn't something we're born with—it's something we learn over time. And sometimes, when you're least expecting it, life can throw you a curveball that inadvertently results in you becoming an even better leader. Debbie's story is a prime example of just that. Diverse teams are more effective and get more done than homogenous ones. Yet, despite decades of effort, many tech teams are failing at hiring and retaining women. The reason: we’re looking in the wrong place. Hiring women doesn’t start with recruiting—but she'll tell you where it does start and how to revamp your approach. Want to champion inclusion and diversity within your organization? Debbie has some great advice on how to make that happen, in a way that's measurable and sustainable and positions you for success. Debbie's advice to women on how to do some work in advance that will allow more buy in for their ideas and presentations (and it's really simple).
Let’s Talk About the Global Employee Disengagement Crisis - FOW 006
On this episode of the Future of Work Talk webcast, Shelly Kramer interviews best-selling author, international keynote speaker, and all around smarty, Jill Christensen. Their conversation revolves around the global employee disengagement crisis—what it is, why it happens, and what we can do about that.
Jill is the founder and president of Jill Christensen International, a global firm focused on teaching companies her proven strategy to re-engage employees. Prior to launching her consulting firm in 2009, Jill was a Corporate Communications Fortune 500 business executive at Avaya and Western. She holds a Six Sigma Green Belt, was named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, and partners with the best and brightest leaders around the world to re-engage employees, improve productivity, retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth.
Jill's an expert when it comes to cracking the code of employee disengagement, and her book: If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement is a best-seller for good reason.
When companies the world over are embracing digital transformation, far too often the focus is on technology and tools rather than on the people. What they’re overlooking is that people are what make companies great—not technology. People are what make (or break) the culture of an organization, and engaged, connected, inspired, motivated employees are the secret to both attracting top talent, but also to retaining top talent.
In our conversation, we touch on what’s happening with this disengagement crisis, why traditional approaches don’t work, and how embracing a new, innovative approach will get you the results you desire. We explore:
What exactly is employee engagement? How bad is the global crisis? What are the benefits of having engaged employees? Why hasn’t progress been made in three decades? What can organizations do to change this and make progress?
Jill’s proven approach to increase employee engagement will without a doubt help you and your team as you work to focus on whatever it is you do—whether it’s finding and recruiting talent, managing, leading, motivating, and inspiring employees, or putting programs and systems in place to help you retain employees and make sure they not only stay around, but that they are flourishing and growing within your organization, and truly engaged in what it is you’re all working together to accomplish.
You can find Jill here:
Jill on Twitter
Jill on LinkedIn
Jill on Facebook