12 episodes

A show about forward-thinking people leaders, innovators and academics and how they think we can fix work to make it more meaningful, healthy, inclusive and sustainable. This podcast aims to be informative, fun and a bit provocative. Hosted by award-wining business journalist and WTW Digital Influencer of the Year 2023 Siân Harrington. Produced by The People Space. Find more at www.thepeoplespace.com 

Work's Not Working... Let's Fix It‪!‬ Sian Harrington

    • Business

A show about forward-thinking people leaders, innovators and academics and how they think we can fix work to make it more meaningful, healthy, inclusive and sustainable. This podcast aims to be informative, fun and a bit provocative. Hosted by award-wining business journalist and WTW Digital Influencer of the Year 2023 Siân Harrington. Produced by The People Space. Find more at www.thepeoplespace.com 

    It's Not the What, It's the Why. Steps to Evidence-Based HR: Rob Briner

    It's Not the What, It's the Why. Steps to Evidence-Based HR: Rob Briner

    In this episode, Siân Harrington speaks with Rob Briner about the challenges and benefits of adopting an evidence-based approach in HR. They discuss the focus on HR fads and the need to shift towards a more informed and effective HR practice. They explore the role of data and analytics in evidence-based HR and the mindset and skills required to implement this approach. They also highlight areas of HR that are poorly evidenced and discuss how taking an evidence-based approach can lead to more meaningful, healthy, inclusive and sustainable work.

     Key takeaways
    ·       Why HR fads are often ineffective and can be corrosive to the profession
    ·       How evidence-based HR involves looking at multiple sources of evidence, including data, personal experience, stakeholder input and scientific research
    ·       Challenges in implementing an evidence-based approach 
    ·       How data and analytics play a crucial role in evidence-based HR but it is important to consider the quality and relevance of the data
    ·       Areas of HR that are poorly evidenced include diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and leadership development
    ·       Some organisations are leading the field in evidence-based HR but there is still a need for more widespread adoption
    ·       Taking an evidence-based approach can help make work more meaningful, healthy, inclusive and sustainable by focusing on what is important and making better-informed decisions.
    ·       Three steps to help you start on the journey towards an evidence-based approach.

    About Rob Briner

    Rob is professor of organizational psychology at Queen Mary, University of London and associate research director at Corporate Research Forum (CRF). He is also currently a visiting professor of evidence-based HRM at Birkbeck (University of London) and professor at Oslo Nye Høyskole. He was previously co-founder and scientific director of the Center for Evidence-Based Management and has held positions at the Institute for Employment Studies, London School of Economics, King’s College (University of London), Bath University and University of Edinburgh. For more information on his recent work with the Corporate Research Forum on evidence-based HR please check out the Evidence-Based HR Knowledge Hub. 
    Interested in insights about people leadership, HR and the future of work? Sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter here: https://bit.ly/TPSupdates Follow Siân on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sian-harrington-thepeoplespace/ Skip the search. Make informed decisions in minutes, not hours. Our curated and created content cuts through the noise, providing you with the precise information and expert analysis you need to tackle your challenges, when you need it! The People Space Premium https://bit.ly/TPSPremium Follow The People Space on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePeopleSpace

    • 43 min
    The Innovation Misstep. Redirecting Focus for Meaningful Outcomes: Cris Beswick

    The Innovation Misstep. Redirecting Focus for Meaningful Outcomes: Cris Beswick

    In this episode, Siân Harrington speaks to innovation expert Cris Beswick about misconceptions about innovation and how the way we approach it today is not delivering the outcomes businesses want.

    Cris emphasises that innovation is not just about new products or technology. He defines innovation as the introduction of new or different solutions that solve genuine problems and add value.  He highlights the importance of innovation in today's rapidly changing business landscape and explains why it is crucial for organisations to focus on it.

    Cris also addresses the challenges in approaching innovation, the role of leadership and the need for a culture of innovation. And he shares practical steps for leaders to foster innovation within their organisations.

    Key takeaways:
    Innovation is not just about new products or technology; it is about introducing new or different solutions that solve genuine problems and add valueInnovation is vital for organisations to thrive and stay competitive in today's rapidly changing business landscapeOrganisations needs to focus on how owns, drives and contributesto the innovation agendaWhy does everyone blame the 'permafrost' middle manager? Managers are frozen by the system around themInnovation should not be limited to a specific department or team; it is a capability that should be embraced by everyone in the organisationYou can't build a culture of innovation, so what do we mean by that phrase? Building a culture of innovation requires a clear purpose, conscious leadership decisions and alignment of processes, practices, behaviours and cultureWhy HR needs a seat at the innovation tablePractical steps you can take to become more innovative.About Cris Beswick

    Cris Beswick is a leading thinker and strategic advisor on innovation leadership and culture and a pioneer in the field of measuring corporate innovation maturity. He’s the co-founder of innovation advisory firm Outcome and best-selling author of Building a culture of Innovation.
    Interested in insights about people leadership, HR and the future of work? Sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter here: https://bit.ly/TPSupdates Follow Siân on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sian-harrington-thepeoplespace/ Skip the search. Make informed decisions in minutes, not hours. Our curated and created content cuts through the noise, providing you with the precise information and expert analysis you need to tackle your challenges, when you need it! The People Space Premium https://bit.ly/TPSPremium Follow The People Space on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePeopleSpace

    • 40 min
    The ROI of Empathy. How Compassionate Leaders Drive Business Results: Michael Jenkins

    The ROI of Empathy. How Compassionate Leaders Drive Business Results: Michael Jenkins

    In this episode of Work's Not Working... Let's Fix It, Siân Harrington and acclaimed thinker Michael Jenkins, author of Expert Humans: Critical Leadership Skills for a Disrupted World, explore why a blend of altruism, empathy and compassion is key to transforming today's workplace into a thriving, humane environment where individuals and organizations can succeed together.

    Today's workplaces, more often than not, lack these essential qualities. Transactional relationships, metrics-driven evaluations and mechanistic tasks can sometimes make us forget the genuine human connections that form the essence of a thriving organisation. Yet, evidence suggests those who embrace compassion who understand and act upon it, are the ones more likely to climb the professional ladder, to earn higher incomes and to contribute more profoundly to their organisations 
    Just imagine a workplace where the heart meets the machine, where compassion intertwines with technology to create a harmonious, productive environment. In this age of AI let's not forget our intrinsic human advantage, our ability to care, connect and create meaningful relationships. This is what Michael calls being expert human.

    Key takeaways
    Importance of compassion and empathy: Why these traits are crucial in the workplace for fostering a humane environment conducive to growth and how 'expert humans' leverage care, connection and meaningful relationshipsDigital transformation and disruptors: How AI, the pandemic, inequality, sustainability and trust are disrupting modern society, plus the "tyranny of the algorithm" and why being an expert human matters more than everACE Model - Altruism, Compassion, Empathy: An explanation of the ACE model and what each of these traits mean in practiceHow you can personally develop altruism, compassion and empathy: Practical approaches to enhancing your personal empathy and your organizational compassionROI of Empathy and Compassion Training: How to develop the business case for  empathy and compassion trainingReal-life business implementations: Hear how organizations are using ACEPractical steps for leaders: The first three steps you should take to become a compassionate and empathetic leaderAbout Michael Jenkins

    Michael Jenkins, born in Malaysia, has had a distinguished career across continents. A Durham University alumnus with advanced studies from Nanzan University, he's worked at Toyota and was a director at INSEAD. A former CEO of Roffey Park leadership institute, he founded Expert Humans and partners with the Future Work Forum. He is author of Expert Humans: Critical Leadership Skills for a Disrupted World and Toxic Humans - Combatting Poisonous Leadership in Boards and Organisations,  published in January 2024.
    Interested in insights about people leadership, HR and the future of work? Sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter here: https://bit.ly/TPSupdates Follow Siân on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sian-harrington-thepeoplespace/ Skip the search. Make informed decisions in minutes, not hours. Our curated and created content cuts through the noise, providing you with the precise information and expert analysis you need to tackle your challenges, when you need it! The People Space Premium https://bit.ly/TPSPremium Follow The People Space on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePeopleSpace

    • 42 min
    Let's call time on greenwashing: From ESG compliance to sustainable performance: Dean Sanders

    Let's call time on greenwashing: From ESG compliance to sustainable performance: Dean Sanders

    Sustainability has become a top agenda item for organizations globally. But many get stuck in a compliance rut, missing real opportunities for innovation and competitive edge. In this episode Dean Sanders tells Siân Harrington how leaders can move their organizations from box–ticking to transformational and profitable sustainability.
    As chief enterprise officer at ESG consultancy Anthesis Dean has decades of experience guiding major brands and multinationals. He believes we’re at a pivotal "reality of now" moment. The data shows shocking resource depletion and climate impacts. But there’s still time to act, if leaders can shift mindsets and strategy. 
    Key takeways: 
    The difference between sustainability and sustainable performance. The latter views sustainability through the lens of business strategy and competitive advantage, not just complianceMany businesses get stuck in compliance mode, box-ticking to meet regulations. This is the "day one" survival mentalityLeaders need a "day two" mindset – re-approaching sustainability as an opportunity for innovation, new partnerships and strategic advantage. This requires entrepreneurial spirit, social purpose and gritPeople/HR functions have a key role in attracting talent who care about purpose and embedding sustainability across the organization's culture. But accountability must sit with senior leadersHave optimism backed by science/evidence. Many sustainable businesses are growing underground and will shoot up. Focus on your purpose and the few material sustainability issues where you can drive real changeOn a personal level, find your purpose and role in serving others. Challenge short-termism and selfishness. Derive joy from having a positive impact. The urgency of sustainability issues calls for a pivot from compliance to performance, from survival mode to seizing opportunities. This is a time for radical innovation, not incremental change. HR leaders have an obligation to foster the leadership mindsets, organizational culture and human capabilities to lead on sustainability – and gain competitive edge. Listen now to find out what role  you can play in making your organization a true sustainability leader.
    About Dean Sanders

    Dean is chief enterprise officer at global sustainability consultancy group Anthesis and  founder and chairman of GoodBrand, a corporate social innovation consultancy. He believes imagination and courage and a commitment to serve the common good are the hallmarks of the wise leaders of the future. Prior to establishing GoodBrand Dean held a number of international marketing and sales positions at Kraft Foods. He is an Honorary Fellow at Durham University Business School. He is co-author of The Adventure of Sustainable Performance, Beyond ESG Compliance to Leadership in the New Era with founder of Anthesis, Stuart McLachlan.
    Interested in insights about people leadership, HR and the future of work? Sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter here: https://bit.ly/TPSupdates Follow Siân on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sian-harrington-thepeoplespace/ Skip the search. Make informed decisions in minutes, not hours. Our curated and created content cuts through the noise, providing you with the precise information and expert analysis you need to tackle your challenges, when you need it! The People Space Premium https://bit.ly/TPSPremium Follow The People Space on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePeopleSpace

    • 41 min
    How to Use Humour and Improv to Communicate in a VUCA World: Neil Mullarkey

    How to Use Humour and Improv to Communicate in a VUCA World: Neil Mullarkey

    In this episode of Work's Not Working... Let's Fix It, Siân Harrington chats to celebrated comedian and communications expert Neil Mullarkey about the why we need to improve communication in the workplace and the potential of improvisation as a tool for doing so.
    Neil recounts his journey from teaming up with Mike Myers in the 1980s and co-founding the Comedy Store Players to exploring how improvisation can enhance workplace collaboration. Delving into the business realm, he emphasizes how crucial 'soft skills' like listening and adaptability have become, especially with research highlighting the lack of communication skills in modern work environments. In fact, poor communication has been estimated to cost businesses dearly in terms of productivity.

    Key takeaways:
    Modern communication platforms (eg emails, WhatsApp, Teams) have increased, leading to confusion and overwhelmPandemic lockdown revealed an abundance of formal communication but a lack of informal communication, affecting rapport-buildingThe importance of oracy: the ability to express oneself fluently in speech.Key improv skills: the philosophy of 'Yes, and,' where one listens, accepts and then adds to the conversation.From LAGER to LASER: tools to approach improvisationTips for improving virtual collaborationIn a fast-changing world, predictability is a myth; leaders should be prepared for uncertaintyHow to bridge the gap between structured strategy and spontaneous adaptability How leaders can develop an 'In the Moment' mindset Humour's role in work todaySiân and Neil do some live improv!If you want to cultivate environments where effective communication fosters productivity, creativity and confidence  - or you want to build these skills - then this episode is for you.

    About Neil Mullarkey

    Neil is a communication expert based in London, UK. He has delivered hundreds of keynotes and workshops to various organizations across the world in 25 countries and counting including Microsoft, KPMG, WPP, Saatchi & Saatchi, Vodafone, EY, Google, Deloitte and GSK. He is a guest speaker at London Business School, London Business Forum and Bayes Business School.

    He is also a prominent comedian. He performs weekly with the Comedy Store Players, Europe’s top improv troupe which he co-founded in 1985 and often appears on TV and radio shows such as QI and The Pentaverate.  He has also appeared in two Austin Powers movies. He is author of In the Moment: Build your confidence, communication and creativity at work published by Kogan Page.
    Interested in insights about people leadership, HR and the future of work? Sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter here: https://bit.ly/TPSupdates Follow Siân on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sian-harrington-thepeoplespace/ Skip the search. Make informed decisions in minutes, not hours. Our curated and created content cuts through the noise, providing you with the precise information and expert analysis you need to tackle your challenges, when you need it! The People Space Premium https://bit.ly/TPSPremium Follow The People Space on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePeopleSpace

    • 47 min
    From Unconscious Exclusion to Conscious Inclusion - How to Avoid the Traps and Make Real Progress: Catherine Garrod

    From Unconscious Exclusion to Conscious Inclusion - How to Avoid the Traps and Make Real Progress: Catherine Garrod

    In this episode, Siân Harrington interviews Catherine Garrod, author of Conscious Inclusion: How to ‘do’ EDI one decision at time  who helped entertainment company Sky become the Most Inclusive Employer in the UK, about why, despite billions of dollars of investment, little progress has been made in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in organizations.
    We discuss the importance of inclusion in the workplace, the challenges  organizations face in creating more inclusive cultures and the practical steps they can take to make progress.  We also talk about the traps that organizations can fall into when trying to create more inclusive cultures and how to avoid these traps to make real progress towards inclusion.
    Key takeaways:
    Inclusion is not about ticking boxes or meeting quotas. It's about creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard and involvedThere are three main traps that organizations can fall into when trying to create more inclusive cultures: fear, accountability and the illusion of inclusionThe first step to creating a more inclusive culture is to start with inclusion, not diversityCreate a clear plan for inclusion and track progress regularlyIdentify the good things that you're already doing and the gaps that need to be filledBe aware of the challenges of flexible working and the evolution of technology and how to ensure that these changes are inclusive for everyone.If you're interested in learning more about how to make your organization more inclusive, then this episode is for you.
     About Catherine Garrod
    Catherine  is the founder of Compelling Culture and author of Conscious Inclusion: How to ‘do’ EDI one decision at time. She led Sky to become the Most Inclusive Employer in the UK, with 80% of teams increasing their diversity. Now as a consultant, she combines the power of listening, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, to make the complex simple. And collaborates to define practical actions people can implement today, tomorrow and the day after, to transform the organisations she works with. Clients using her inclusion diagnostic are achieving a 15% improvement within 18 months.
    Interested in insights about people leadership, HR and the future of work? Sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter here: https://bit.ly/TPSupdates Follow Siân on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sian-harrington-thepeoplespace/ Skip the search. Make informed decisions in minutes, not hours. Our curated and created content cuts through the noise, providing you with the precise information and expert analysis you need to tackle your challenges, when you need it! The People Space Premium https://bit.ly/TPSPremium Follow The People Space on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePeopleSpace

    • 42 min

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