100 episodes

Constraints drive innovation. We talk about complex issues related to work & culture.

Thinking Inside the Box Matt Burns

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 4 Ratings

Constraints drive innovation. We talk about complex issues related to work & culture.

    Karim Lessard: Employee Lifetime Value

    Karim Lessard: Employee Lifetime Value

    In today’s episode, I chat with Karim Lessard, Technology CEO, serial entrepreneur & my co-founder at BentoHR.
    What can you say about someone who’s stood by you when times were tough? When the easiest thing, the most practical thing, to do is cut your losses & simply walk away. The pandemic was an inflection point for all of us. Personally & professionally. And for agency owners such as myself, at times it was pretty bleak.
    I haven’t publicly shared a lot of what we discussed in today’s podcast. The ebbs & flows, the twists and turns. Though as we mark our 100th podcast episode, it seemed only fitting to have my business partner, and BentoHR co-founder, join us for a frank discussion on what the last 2+ years have been like. 
    Karim Lessard is an accomplished leader in his own right. A serial entrepreneur with origins in financial services, then technology. Today Karim serves as the CEO of 7Simple Machines, a Seattle-based consultancy and incubator that untangles workplace digital complexities, delivering simple, elegant solutions.

    Employee Lifetime Value is a concept borne of this difficult time. Fitting as it solves a particularly difficult challenge. Quantifying the return on internal organizational investments - think employee training, experience and technologies - is nearly impossible in most organizations. 
    Employee Lifetime Value provides a framework to have these discussions. To quantify an organization’s current state, establish its desired future state, and for the first time, to begin productive, quantitative discussions that make the business case for digital transformations. 

    Karim Lessard

    Karim Lessard began his banking career with Seafirst Bank and ended it 17 years later shortly after the collapse of Washington Mutual.  He moved into technology start-ups and now runs 7 Simple Machines, a technology firm and incubator that has spun off companies in HR (BentoHR) and health care (Contatto Medical). 

    Karim is very involved in the Circular Economy and is the co-founder of Regenerated Textile Industries, a start-up that’s building machines to modernize the apparel supply chain by making apparel out of recycled textile waste.  Karim serves on the Board of Trustees at The Bush School with an emphasis on DEI, Finance and alumni engagement.  Karim drives old Land cruisers, skis, and builds things like snow caves, and tree houses.

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    Thinking Inside the Box

    Constraints drive innovation. We tackle the most complex issues related to work & culture. And if you enjoy the work we’re doing here, consider giving us a 5-star rating, leaving a comment & subscribing. It ensures you get updated whenever we release new content & really helps amplify our message. 
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    Matt Burns

    Matt Burns is an award-winning executive, social entrepreneur and speaker. He believes in the power of community, simplicity & technology.

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    • 58 min
    Farzana Nayani: Knowing Yourself is Being Yourself

    Farzana Nayani: Knowing Yourself is Being Yourself

    In today’s episode, I chat with Farzana Nayani (she/hers) a recognized Diversity, Equity & Inclusion specialist, business & strategy coach and international keynote speaker. 
    Farzana has worked with Fortune 500 corporations, public agencies, higher education institutions, school districts, and non-profit organizations as a consultant and trainer on diversity and inclusion, intercultural communication, supplier diversity, and employee engagement. Her advisory work with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), entrepreneurship, and racial equity & inclusion has taken her to engagements across North America, from the White House to Silicon Valley. 
    Farzana’s expertise has been featured in media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, DiversityInc, Parents magazine, NPR, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, and the LA Times. Her book Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Racialized World was released in 2020, and her highly anticipated book The Power of Employee Resource Groups: How People Create Authentic Change was recently released in June 2022. 
    It was a good jumping-off point for our discussion. What is the purpose of Employee Resource Groups? Where do they go wrong? And how can organizations harness them to realize more engaging, committed workforces?
    It was such a pleasure reconnecting with Farzana. We had a lot of fun. And I hope you enjoy it. 

    Farzana Nayani

    Farzana Nayani (she/hers) is a recognized Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion specialist, business and strategy coach, and international keynote speaker. She has worked with Fortune 500 corporations, public agencies, higher education institutions, school districts, and non-profit organizations as a consultant and trainer on diversity and inclusion, intercultural communication, supplier diversity, and employee engagement. 
    Farzana’s advisory work with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), small business advocacy, and entrepreneurship, and racial equity & inclusion has taken her to engagements across North America, from the White House to Silicon Valley. Her book Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Racialized World was released in 2020, and her highly anticipated book The Power of Employee Resource Groups: How People Create Authentic Change was recently released in June 2022.

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    Thinking Inside the Box

    Constraints drive innovation. We tackle the most complex issues related to work & culture. And if you enjoy the work we’re doing here, consider giving us a 5-star rating, leaving a comment & subscribing. It ensures you get updated whenever we release new content & really helps amplify our message. 
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    Matt Burns

    Matt Burns is an award-winning executive, social entrepreneur and speaker. He believes in the power of community, simplicity & technology.

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    • 41 min
    Tom Manning: Pathways to Performance Management

    Tom Manning: Pathways to Performance Management

    In today’s episode, I chat with Tom Manning, Founder of the Pathway Academy UK, an organization dedicated to redefining traditional performance management and creating healthy, high performing teams. Tom is also the author of Pathway, changing the workplace game. 
    Tom & I originally met at an interesting inflection point in my life. In 2018, I had just left my corporate executive role, and was traveling throughout western Europe, meeting with potential clients, partners & collaborators. I met Tom in London England, and appropriately, over tea, had a wonderful conversation about a topic that frankly frustrated me to no-end - performance management. 
    The term gives me a low-key form of PTSD & evokes images of a low-value, highly bureaucratic administrative process that no one enjoys. Not HR, who are often tasked with administering it. Not the managers tasked with delivering it within their teams. And certainly not the employees, who if they entered the room with expectations of a robust discussion, personalized feedback, and details of their individual career paths, left feeling largely unmotivated. Disillusioned with an often annual process that frankly did little for them. 
    Today’s chat followed up on our earlier conversation. It gave us a chance to catch-up, and check-in on how Tom’s thinking has evolved in the past 4 years. We chatted about the state of performance management in today’s post-pandemic landscape. We talked about the importance of coaching as a complement to performance management, and ended with a fascinating discussion regarding how we can all play a part in creating healthier Relationships in the Workplace.
    It was such a pleasure reconnecting with Tom. We had a lot of fun. And I hope you enjoy it. 

    Tom Manning

    Tom Manning specialises in creating healthy, accountable teams.  Innovating in these areas and the areas of performance management Tom brings a very new and unique approach that helps organisations, teams and leaders to achieve more consistent results, with higher levels of accountability, in a healthy way. 

    Having been through his own journey addressing problems in his own relationships he recognised there was a big need and opportunity to create healthier, more productive relationships in the workplace, and re-write the old ways of thinking around performance management, accountability and emotional health.

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    Thinking Inside the Box

    Constraints drive innovation. We tackle the most complex issues related to work & culture. And if you enjoy the work we’re doing here, consider giving us a 5-star rating, leaving a comment & subscribing. It ensures you get updated whenever we release new content & really helps amplify our message. 
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    Matt Burns

    Matt Burns is an award-winning executive, social entrepreneur and speaker. He believes in the power of community, simplicity & technology.

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    • 35 min
    Mark Williams: The Hidden Power of LinkedIn

    Mark Williams: The Hidden Power of LinkedIn

    In today’s episode, I chat with Mark Williams, Founder of ETN LinkedIn Training, an organization at the leading edge of LinkedIn thought leadership, workshops & training sessions. Mark is also the host of the popular LinkedInformed podcast, a must-listen for anyone interested in better understanding LinkedIn & all of its nooks & crannies.
    Together we tackled a lot fun topics, beginning with Mark’s professional journey, what life was like as a LinkedIn trainer in 2008, and his insights on how the platform has evolved over the past 14 years. Spoiler alert - it’s changed a lot. 
    From its early days as a predominantly recruitment platform, LinkedIn has evolved to become a true social networking site. With content creators & contributors from around the world adding their voices to topics related to all things work. It gave me the opportunity to share my own LinkedIn experiences. From humble beginnings to a vibrant community of over 50,000, born of sharing my own insights. And being vulnerable.

    Together we provide a compelling case for leaders of all stripes to leverage LinkedIn both professionally and personally. As always, we had a lot of fun. And I hope you enjoy it.

    Mark Williams

    Mark Williams (commonly known as ‘Mr LinkedIn) is widely regarded as one of the world’s top LinkedIn experts. Following a career spanning 20 years in the recruitment industry Mark set up ETN LinkedIn training in 2008. Since then he has trained thousands of LinkedIn users from a diverse range of industries and roles.
    He is also an accomplished keynote speaker, author and award winning podcaster with his popular weekly show ‘LinkedInformed’. Mark’s passion for his niche subject shines through as he enthusiastically demonstrates why LinkedIn is such a key business tool.

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    Thinking Inside the Box

    Constraints drive innovation. Each week we tackle the most complex issues related to work & culture.

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    Matt Burns

    Matt Burns is an award-winning executive, social entrepreneur and speaker. He believes in the power of community, simplicity & technology.

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    • 54 min
    Kandi Gongora: The Role of Innovation in Transformation

    Kandi Gongora: The Role of Innovation in Transformation

    In today’s episode, I chat with Kandi Gongora, Chief Transformation & People Officer at Goodway Group, a NYC-based full-service data-driven digital marketing solutions partner. 
    In the 2+ years I’ve known Kandi, from our time together in HackingHR, to her participation at the Global HR Summit - the world’s largest enterprise virtual reality conference - Kandi has always had a passion for learning, behavioural science & innovation. 
    Each are foundational elements of successful transformations. 
    Together we tackled a lot of fun topics; beginning with her professional journey; how she stitches together experiences in operations, technology & HR to enable transformation at a rapidly-growing digital marketing organization. 
    We discuss her firm’s use of virtual reality. Pioneered at the Global HR Summit in 2020 - still, amazingly, over a year later, the largest enterprise business conference ever presented in virtual reality - where Kandi was one of our 60 speakers; participating via VR headset as a panellist from her home just outside of Dallas, Texas, to an audience of over 800; nearly half of which were also in VR headsets. Truly remarkable.
    Today, Kandi is piloting the use of virtual reality in her own organization; purchasing over 400 VR headsets - one for each employee at the Goodway group - to enable activities ranging from team huddles, brainstorm sessions & recently, their first organization-wide meeting. New employees now receive one in their hiring packages. 
    Though traditional business metrics fall short in quantifying the returns from these investments. Employee Lifetime Value provides a framework to have these discussions. And it's an idea I wanted Kandi’s feedback on. As always, we had a lot of fun. And I hope you enjoy it. 

    Kandi Gongora
     
    Kandi Gongora is the Vice President of People and Organizational Excellence at Goodway Group, where she leads people experience, rev operations, strategic and organizational development functions. Kandi’s passion for learning, behavioural science, holistic well-being and business has led her on a non-traditional career path into “HR”. 
     
    With over 20 years of experience, she has held various leadership positions including Director of Organizational Excellence at Park Place Dealerships, where she led the large luxury automobile group to become the recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige Award, and Quality Systems Manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises.  She holds a BS, Multidisciplinary Studies from McMurry University and is a graduate of Southern Methodist University’s executive education program.

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    Thinking Inside the Box

    Constraints drive innovation. Each week we tackle the most complex issues related to work & culture.

    LinkedIn
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    Twitter
    Website
    Apple Podcasts
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    Matt Burns

    Matt Burns is an award-winning executive, social entrepreneur and speaker. He believes in the power of community, simplicity & technology.

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    • 45 min
    Alli Trussell: Scaling Human Touch

    Alli Trussell: Scaling Human Touch

    In today’s episode, I chat with Alli Trussell, Chief of Staff at Wunderkind, formerly BounceX. Wunderkind is a leading performance marketing engine that delivers tailored experiences for digital clients at scale. And in her role, Alli oversees the execution of the organization’s high priority strategic initiatives, operationalizes their vision, and manages communications for the CEO, executive team, and all other enterprise-wide messaging. 
    It’s a dynamic role in a rapidly-scaling organization. 
    And she’s an interesting person to speak with for those of us interested in the future of work. 
    Discussions at the intersection of technology and humanity are a recurring theme on this podcast. And as organizations scramble to redefine their cultures, strategies, programs, tools, and processes, they’ll need to strike a balance between the two. 
    Can personal touch be scaled using technology? Can we scale ourselves? Can we move beyond "performance management" to "performance acceleration"?
    We tackled these questions, and many more in what was a really engaging conversation. 
    It was a great discussion and I hope you enjoy it.

    Alli Trussell

    Alli Trussell is Chief of Staff at Wunderkind, one of the fastest-growing SaaS and Marketing companies in the United States. With proven experience in people management, talent acquisition and departmental development, Alli is at the heart of Wunderkind's extensive internal operations. She is passionate about employee success and has a professional mission to make "Career Pathing" the new "Performance Management."
     Alli is an expert in strategic assistance, PR and relationship management, having served as right hand to Wunderkind's CEO in the past. Today, she executes some of Wunderkind's most important strategic initiatives and is constantly innovating ways to harness and boost talent across departments.

    With an unconventional story of success in the tech world, Alli Trussell captivates audiences with engaging stories about life and work in New York City, and managing relationships and people in fast-paced business contexts. Hosts and audiences alike will love her energy, vision and story. 
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    Thinking Inside the Box

    Constraints drive innovation. Each week we tackle the most complex issues related to work & culture.

    LinkedIn
    Instagram
    Twitter
    Website
    Apple Podcasts
    Google Podcasts
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    Pocket Cast

    Matt Burns

    Matt Burns is an award-winning executive, social entrepreneur and speaker. He believes in the power of community, simplicity & technology.

    LinkedIn
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    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Mark Colgan ,

Great show

The perspectives Matt and his guests offer on this podcast are incredible. If you’re looking for key insights and actionable advice around work and culture, I highly recommend this show. Thanks Matt!

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