Rutger Bregman’s Humankind was my favourite book of 2020 and it comes out in paperback next month. A brilliant read (that also works wonderfully as an audiobook) it will appeal to fans of Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens or anyone who wants a provocative, thoughtful summer read.
To mark the paperback release I spoke to him about universal basic income, the way that we've worked in lockdown, and why we turn our backs to lots of evidence that humans are innately kind, decent beings.
Rutger's brilliant book Humankind is out in paperback in May 2021. For a full transcript of this interview go to the website.
Rutger mentions he's written recently about the end of neoliberalism - you can read that here.
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Altri episodi di "Eat Sleep Work Repeat"
Our work went fully remote - Ask Me Anything!
38:13Sign up for the newsletter Over the last few weeks I've been intrigued with the firms who have chosen to bite the bullet and ditch their office. What are their philosophies about getting colleagues together in person? How do they think about recruiting? What software tools do they use? What made them make the leap?First up I talked to Camilla Boyer who plays a leading role at making the culture at events platform Hopin. Andrew McNeile is the Chief Customer Officer for Thinscale - a company that supplies secure remote working software for outsourcing firms. One of their customers has 375,000 user on their remote work systems. Then I chatted to Lewis Clark at Qatalog he is responsible for storytelling at Qatalog who are remote first (but he spends one day a week in the office).Then I realised all of these firms were in some way invested in the shift to remote working so I talked to a real person - Lisa Freshwater has been helping Blood Cancer UK ditch their office for good. Finally I chatted to Dan Sodergren whose company YourFLOCK is fully remote. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
How to tell if your boss is a narcissist
40:19How can we use the power of psychotherapy to help us in our jobs? A brilliant discussion with psychotherapist Naomi Shragai where we talk about how her practice has increasingly brought workplace issues to her coach.We cover:how imposters' syndrome might not be a disaster for your careerhow to tell if your boss is a narcissisthow to deal with boss who is a people pleaserIf you're a people watcher or amateur psychologist you're going to love this. Naomi's new book is The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life: How to Thrive at Work by Leaving Your Emotional Baggage Behind See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Power of Us
53:09Today’s episode is one for those who have an appetite for psychology. It is by two authors of a brand new book that I was interested to check out because it covers some of the biggest themes that hybrid working is going to impact - the issue of group identity. I genuinely think this is one of the biggest things that companies need to be thinking about right now.As we discuss a lot of firms have thought about mission or values but the very best organisations create a sense of collective identity in their teams (and look this might be slightly different identity for different themes).Identity is often seen to be something negative in politics or society - mainly because it is so expertly used by people we don't like. But it's incredibly powerful for any group - and understanding it is vital. Group identity is a big predictor of your likelihood of being vaccinated, clever nations like New Zealand used it to set about creating 'a team of five million' to fight the disease. The discussion is with by Jay Van Bavel and Dominic J. Packer who as you’ll hear are both Canadian psychologists practicising in the US. Their book, The Power of Us, is out this week. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The importance of company values - James Kerr talks Legacy
1:04:42Join the discussion on the newsletterThis is the first of two read-alongs in August. Stacks of listeners and newsletter subscribers are reading along on two culture books with us, today we’re talking about Legacy by James Kerr. In two weeks we’re talking about What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz. Even you don’t read them the podcast here will cover the lessons of the books for anyone interested in workplace culture - and learning together. Go to the newsletter to join in with the conversation.The All Blacks are the most successful rugby team of all time, in fact they have been called the most successful team in any sport. Drawing their players from a male population of just 2.5m New Zealand adult men, they don’t have any size advantage of the pool they draw from (if size determined outcome then England have more rugby players than the rest of the world combined). But the importance of team values have helped the team create and sustain a meaningful connection with the legacy of the team.‘Culture is like an organism, continually growing and changing’. Listen to the discussion then join the conversation about the key themes - either reply to the newsletter or add your comment in the chat threads here:Sweeping the sheds/no dickheadsRituals define the All Blacks’ cultureDivergent vs convergent meetings See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
No Opting Out - The Realities of Politics in the workplace
46:02Sign up for the free newsletterDoes political discourse have a place in the workplace? What is going on Basecamp? A truly dazzling discussion with Megan Reitz, Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Ashridge Executive Education – part of Hult International Business School. I got in touch with Megan when I saw her articles about Basecamp, Coinbase and political activism at work. Along the way we discuss Jonathan Haidt and whether Gen Z’s are softer than previous generations. I reference a discussion between Jonathan Haidt and the very first guest of the podcast Richard Reeves. Haidt’s book The Coddling of the American Mind is an intoxicating spell. It tells you really clearly why young people are softer now than previous generations (and that argument would be all the better if it were true).Firstly, in depth coverage of the specifics of the Basecamp issue.Then, Megan’s articles: what is your response to employee activism? Part twoWhy employee activism needs to feature in your HR strategyThe Douglas Adams quote: Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Amazon: creating the 'invention machine' culture
50:06Amazon announced its earnings last week - and saw its share price hit a record high. Announcing that they’d surpassed 200 million Prime members was just one of the milestones that the company was able to celebrate in a blowout performance. The company’s sales - no doubt helped by a captive audience trapped at home in a pandemic - rose by 44%, a growth clip that would seem impossibly high for a 17 year old firm if we hadn’t seen Apple’s revenue grow by 54% two days previously.The interesting difference between Amazon and many of the tech brands that we’re surrounded with is that much of their innovation comes from within. For sure we all use multiple products by Google, but the search company bought YouTube, bought Android, bought what became Google Maps, bought Waze, bought Nest, bought their self-driving cars business, bought DoubleClick ads, and also bought lots of things that are now sitting in the where are they now? file like Fitbit and Motorola. Sure we know that Facebook own Instagram (bought in 2012), Whatsapp (bought in 2014) and Oculus (bought in 2014) but their homeground products (remember Poke? Slingshot? Lasso? of course you don’t).The big question you might ask about these big tech cultures is ‘if they’re so special how come they don’t create any follow-on hits themselves?’ Tech versions of Pixar they are not, they’re the Maroon 5’s of invention, shipping in the clever ideas of other people to keep them bopping in the app charts. It’s not unfair to characterise these companies as bloated bureaucracies propped up by vastly cash generative ad businesses. The commercial real estate expert Dror Poleg commented last week that we sometimes look to the examples set by these big firms as a sign of what the smart brains are doing. Poleg was looking at JP Morgan just about agreeing to some degree of hybrid working. The truth of all of these firms is that, despite the external mystique, they are able to avoid decisions of scarcity by their high margins and often make terrible decisions along the way. I’m often emailed by people who work at big tech firms who tell me that their job is a slow-moving bureaucracy overwhelmed with rules and red-tape, in contrast when people from education or local government contact me they are apologetic for how slow their cultures are to evolve. Little do they know how big tech firms share a lot in common with them.So how do Amazon do it? This week’s podcast is a discussion with long-time Amazon exec Colin Bryar. Along the way we talk through Amazon’s Leadership Principles, how Amazon created products like Kindle and Prime, their recruitment process, and much more. But there was one thing that really stood out to me and that was the idea of ‘Separable, Single-Threaded Leadership’. As Colin told me Jeff Bezos made a comment one day, ‘The best way to fail at inventing something is by making it somebody’s part-time job’. Bezos realised that the worst part of people’s roles was having to keep dozens (hundreds!) of colleagues in the loop because of co-dependencies. The best way to make people feel empowered by their job was to genuinely empower them - to let them get on with them without having to tell everyone what they were doing all of the time. To that end Bezos decided ‘that if we wanted Amazon to be place where builders can build, we needed to eliminate communication, not encourage it’. Wow. Think about that. Someone recognising that the worst part of your job is endless video calls and emails stopping you actually doing your job. As Colin puts it, ‘In other words, Jeff’s vision was that we needed to focus on loosely coupled... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Should we use the restart for a reset?
48:18This week I chat to Elizabeth Uviebinené, Financial Times columnist and the iconic author of Slay in Your Lane about her new book The Reset. With Slay (‘The Black Girl Bible’) she proved that she could sell huge amount of books to audiences who weren’t represented by mainstream books, but The Reset takes aim at work, society and a whole lot more… and it aimed at anyone! We have a fun and sparky discussion (including talking about the LinkedIn heart attack guy).Sign up for Make Work Better newsletter See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Rutger Bregman is hopeful for humankind
58:16Sign up for the newsletterRutger Bregman’s Humankind was my favourite book of 2020 and it comes out in paperback next month. A brilliant read (that also works wonderfully as an audiobook) it will appeal to fans of Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens or anyone who wants a provocative, thoughtful summer read.To mark the paperback release I spoke to him about universal basic income, the way that we've worked in lockdown, and why we turn our backs to lots of evidence that humans are innately kind, decent beings.Rutger's brilliant book Humankind is out in paperback in May 2021. For a full transcript of this interview go to the website.Rutger mentions he's written recently about the end of neoliberalism - you can read that here. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Perspectives on the work to come
1:02:23Sign up for the newsletterTwo discussions today about big stories in the news. Firstly I chat to senior features writer at The Economist about his brilliant special report on work. Callum wrote the special report on work in this week's Economist - you can find it here.Then I have a discussion with CEO and podcaster Dan Murray-Serter. Dan runs his own start-up, Heights.We talk about three articles:What Gen Z workers want from their bossesI've learned to never treat my work like a familyLockdown mental fatigue is revived by social contactThese and of the articles I find relevant to how work is changing are included in the weekly Make Work Better newsletter - sign up now. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It's time to kick bias out of your work
1:08:18Sign up for the newsletterKim Scott is the straight talking author of the phenomenal hit Radical Candour. Now she's back with a huge new book that's set to be equally as impactful.She joined me with business partner Trier Bryant to discuss themes of diversity, workplace bias, bullying and harassment - and what any of us can do to stamp it out. Along the way we go into plenty of specific examples that will help you think about issues like this in your own workplace. We also get real talking about why standing up - even to good people - is an important thing we all need to do. There are some good stories in this episode!Kim's new book is Just Work - available now. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.