9 episodes

Most podcasts out there today do little more than provide a platform for somebody to promote their latest book.

As a person who has been interviewed hundreds of times on these kinds of programs, I know how they work – contrived and pre-planned. In fact, you will likely hear the same messages nearly every time an expert is interviewed.

The Indispensable Conversation is different.

We host authentic conversations about real topics that impact leaders of all kinds. There are no read ahead questions, no retakes, no BS.

Just one guest, one provocative question, one indispensable conversation.

The Indispensable Conversation James M. Kerr

    • Business

Most podcasts out there today do little more than provide a platform for somebody to promote their latest book.

As a person who has been interviewed hundreds of times on these kinds of programs, I know how they work – contrived and pre-planned. In fact, you will likely hear the same messages nearly every time an expert is interviewed.

The Indispensable Conversation is different.

We host authentic conversations about real topics that impact leaders of all kinds. There are no read ahead questions, no retakes, no BS.

Just one guest, one provocative question, one indispensable conversation.

    Is It Diversity and Inclusion or Adversity and Delusion?

    Is It Diversity and Inclusion or Adversity and Delusion?

    If you want diversity and inclusion in the workplace, you need to promote and hire differently.

    It is really that simple.

    I  have worked with clients in transforming their company cultures for nearly 30 years. Diversity and inclusion continues to be a stumbling  block for many. Why? The fact remains that people hire other people that look, think, and behave like them. It seems that no amount of training  or awareness sessions is going to change this reality. Rather, we must  decide to deliberately change whom we hire and promote.

    Eugene Frazier is absolutely the "right guest" to explore the "Diversity and Inclusion" issue with me on this episode of The Indispensable Conversation. 

    Besides being the Co-Founder of Courageous Leadership, a member of the MG-100 and on the Forbes Coaches Council. Eugene is a diversity and inclusion expert with nearly 30 years of experience in the space.  

    Check-out this honest conversation about diversity and inclusion between two guys from two different races.

    • 32 min
    What will work life look like in 2031?

    What will work life look like in 2031?

    That's just 10 years from now! 

    This question is about the future of work. It's a question about the professional work settings that today's 6th Grade Middle School students will face when they graduate from college? If innovation and technology continues to rule how work is done, are we heading towards a business world with few rules, one where an budding market of specialists and niche players emerge and rule the day? Do we expect that large corporations, thirsty for highly productive human assets,  push past the limits of human ability by investing in augmentation technology, medication and implants -- just to give their people the edge?

    We explore these questions with my guest Diana Wu David on this episode of The Indispensable Conversation.

    Diana started her career working on high level strategy as a management consultant and as an assistant to Dr. Henry Kissinger at Kissinger Associates. She is also a former Financial Times executive, author of Future Proof: Reinventing Work in an Age of Acceleration and an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School’s EMBA Global Asia.

    Diana is absolutely the "right guest" to explore the "Future of Work" issue with me.

    • 33 min
    Is the War for Talent Fake News?

    Is the War for Talent Fake News?

    While the pandemic has left people sick, tired, exhausted, and rattled. It has also upended their notions of what work should look like. 

    The Great Resignation continues to grab headlines as different work arrangements are taking shape around the globe, including hybrid, remote, 4 day workweek and 25 hour week, to name a few.

    Should top leaders be worried?

    We explore these questions, and more, on this episode of The Indispensable Conversation with my guest, the CHRO to the Stars, Paul Falcone.

    Paul is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Motion Picture and Television Fund & Bestselling Author with HarperCollins Leadership. Paul is also a regular contributor to HR Magazine and a long-term adjunct faculty member in UCLA School of Business & Management.

    It is this resume that makes Peter the "right guest" to explore the "War for Talent" issue with me.

    • 32 min
    Do thought leaders have an obligation to help other thought leaders?

    Do thought leaders have an obligation to help other thought leaders?

    I explore this question on this episode of The Indispensable Conversation with my guest Peter Winick.    

    Peter is the Founder and CEO, Thought Leadership Leverage. He is what many consider a "Thought Leader Whisperer" bringing the best out in his thought leadership clients.    

    It is this reputation that makes Peter the "right guest" to explore the issue of thought leadership obligations.

    As for me, I define a thought leader as one motivated by the need to contribute to the betterment of leadership thinking, by that definition, it would seem that a true thought leader has a duty to promote great ideas, even if those ideas are not there own.

    Additionally, if you're like me and are of the mindset that we live a life of abundance, then, of course, thought leaders should help other thought leaders -- there's plenty of management consulting and coaching work to go around.  

    However, if your worldview is one marked by scarcity, you likely believe that others must lose for you to win.

    Listen-in as we debate this provocative subject.

    • 32 min
    Have We Lost The Art of Thinking?

    Have We Lost The Art of Thinking?

    In the world of Google, our minds are constantly being bombarded by data, and we’re forced to interpret it in real-time with no time to synthesize and reflect. What effect does that have on our thinking?

    What about critical thinking? Have we lost the ability to separate fact from opinion, as result?

    Experts suggest that we are wired to unknowingly spin everything to avoid any degree of dissonance.

    I wonder, have we lost the art of thinking.

    I explore this question on this episode of The Indispensable Conversation with my guest Dr. Oleg Konovalov. He is a member of Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches, the Thinkers50 and is the author of The Vision Code.     

    Because he writes about the future and the importance of business vision, Oleg is the "right guest" to explore this important question with me.

    Tune-in, if you dare to know...    

    • 31 min
    Should We Care About Decency in Leadership Within corporate America?

    Should We Care About Decency in Leadership Within corporate America?

    Being a consultant who does a ton of work in the culture change and organizational design and development space, I think decency counts -- a lot! 

    Additionally, I think it's one of the characteristics that is all too often forgotten when times get tough. Given where we have been over that past couple of years, the question of decency's importance in business is worth some further examination.

    My guest for this episode of The Indispensable Conversation is the incomparable Harry Kraemer, Jr., the retired chairman and CEO of Baxter International Inc., a multi-billion-dollar global healthcare company and a professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where he teaches in the MBA and the Executive MBA programs.

    Having to deal with so many ethical questions and challenges over his tenure as the top leader of tens of thousands of his employees worldwide, Harry is the absolutely "right" person to talk with about the importance of decency in leadership.

    • 37 min

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