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Center Stage: The Voice of The Project Economy
30 minutes | Oct 26, 2021
Helping Organizations to Change Faster
How good is your company at change management? How can we combine technology and change to improve performance? How can organizations create more effective environments of learning? How do we find the hidden talent within our organization? This Center Stage podcast is with professor and entrepreneur Dr. Nabeel Ahmad about the disruptive effects of change, automation and data on talent development. Dr. Ahmad is Chief Strategy Officer of Changeforce.AI, a software platform for helping organizations to change faster. This discussion is focused on keeping up with the rapid pace of change though technology that helps people focus on critical strategy outcomes and finding the hidden talent within an organization.
29 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
Reinventing Organizations Through Networks
Katrina Pugh, a faculty member and former Academic Director of Columbia University’s Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) Master of Science program, helps our Center Stage audience explore the value of networks. Kate has over 20 years of consulting and industry experience in the financial services, life sciences, energy, information technology, and international development sectors. She was co-investigator with Monash University on a PMI-funded research study, Building project managers capability: Knowledge transfer in projects using knowledge networks.Kate emphasizes how networks build interdependence and spaces where people come together for conversation, collaboration and co-creation. She highlights the significant variety in networks, spreading a spectrum of possible outcomes, from marketable products, to providing just-in-time problem-solving, to providing solidarity and scale. She also helps us distinguish between enduring networks and time-bounded project teams.Given work and other pressures, one might ask, “What’s the value of investing in networks?” Kate walks us through the knowledge-sharing and knowledge-creation benefits from networks, resulting from the network’s capitalizing on its diversity of thought, reach, scale, and sense of belonging. A leading value of networks is the efficiency that comes from stacking experiences and solutions, rather than reinventing the wheel. This pooled knowledge can help organizations and professionals accelerate projects and reduce time-to-market. Research has shown that networked projects far outperform non-networked projects.Networks generate benefits for professionals but also for their employers. Staff engaged in networks become better risk-takers, advocates and innovators for the business and for customers. Encouraging network engagement demonstrates management’s support for employee growth and professional development. And, it goes without saying that organizations benefit by learning faster about key developments and capabilities outside of their walls.Networks need a vision, governance, expertise and energy to be successful. Focus helps network participants concentrate their attention. Governance and structure need to be tailored to enable the right forms of engagement. For example, networks focused on members’ problem-solving need different structures from those which are co-creating products like open source software. And all networks need a variety of people with expertise, willingness to share and ability to reach out to others to help the network grow and thrive. Over time, networks may need to refresh to stay relevant and broaden their diversity of thought, experiences and perspectives. When aligned to the organization’s strategy, networks can prove to be a cost-effective pathway to market innovation, job satisfaction, and project efficiency. To explore more about networks, check out Kate’s books on the topic:· Smarter Innovation: How Interactive Processes Drive Better Business Results (Ark Group, 2014); and· Sharing Hidden Know-How: How Managers Solve Thorny Problems with the Knowledge Jam (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, April 2011).Kate has also delivered webinars on collaborative work and knowledge networks for Projectmanagement.com:· Sustainably Smarter: How Knowledge Networks Build PM Skills.· In the Digital Fray, Don’t Just Converse. Collaborate Inclusively.&
29 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Empowering Women for the Future of Work
In this podcast, Susan Coleman and Ed Hoffman discuss the importance of empowering women in order to create collaborative organization cultures where diversity, creativity, innovation and the easy negotiation of difference can thrive. Susan Coleman has over 30 years of experience training and facilitating tens of thousands of people around the world in negotiation and collaborative strategies to build common ground as well as empowering women through negotiation. Susan works extensively on developing negotiation and intercultural communication skills, coaching/mediating difficult conversations, providing large group facilitation to groups as large as 1000 to arrive at a shared vision for forward action, and more. Susan hosts The Peacebuilding Podcast: From Conflict to Common Ground – a gathering for today’s most innovative, courageous and inspired practitioners exploring the best strategies and ideas to build common ground across the divides of worldview, gender, culture and difference.
34 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
Leading the James Webb Space Telescope
In this podcast, Greg Robinson discusses leading complex programs and the leadership required for the James Webb Space Telescope. The James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) will be the world’s premier space science observatory when it launches later in 2021. Webb’s revolutionary technology will explore every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, to everything in between. This podcast features themes around leading complex missions, learning to be a leader, global collaboration, and the future of work. We also listen to Greg describe the emotions of launch.
34 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
Making Work Fun
Knowledge is about learning from experience – whether your personal exploits or from the experiences of others. Pim de Morree and Joost Minnaar quit their professional jobs and co-founded Corporate Rebels to identify companies that have innovated how to better engage people with their work.By learning from the experiences of others, they developed insights on things that any organization or practitioner can do to make work fun. Their work captured the attention of such media as The New York Times, Forbes and BBC, and they achieved the “Top 30 Emergent Management Thinkers” from Thinkers50 Institute.Pim de Morree joins this episode of Center Stage to share those insights and a new venture to help shape the future of work. Starting his career as an in industrial engineering, Pim became frustrated with the outdated working practices that challenge productivity, creativity and performance. After working three years in a corporate job, he knew he needed something different. With his long-time friend Joost, both quit their jobs, formed a partnership, and set off to research, write about and share knowledge of organizations that make work fun.Some of the key insights surfaced during this podcast episode include:Anyone can enable change, from people just entering the workforce to innovators at the staff level.Innovation and change in structures and ways of working are happening everywhere around the globe and in all types of organizations, including long-time traditional organizations as well as start-ups.The future of work – whether changing organizational structures, cultures or ways of working – require all of us to embrace continuous learning. That also means we have to unlearn or let go of things that made us successful in the past because those factors may hold us back from ensuring our future relevance.For more details about the Corporate Rebels, their new Academy or for robust conversation about the future of work, visit: https://corporate-rebels.com/reinvent-your-organizational-culture/.
33 minutes | Aug 17, 2021
Replacing Brain Drain with Brain Gain
Ronit Avni founded Localized, a platform that unlocks educated talent for global companies, because she wanted to enable talented professionals living in emerging markets to have world-class career opportunities regardless of where they live. As an immigrant to the United States, Avni knew firsthand that poor local economic conditions often lead to “brain drain” in which educated workers leave their home countries to seek better jobs elsewhere. “Many countries lose 30% of their population to brain drain,” says Avni. “They're losing all this talent that they have nurtured.”As a social entrepreneur who previously started and exited a successful mission-driven media company, Avni saw an opportunity to help reverse this trend. The combination of mobile device penetration around the world, internet connectivity, and a knowledge economy now makes it possible for people to work and learn from others across geographies and time zones. “None of this is rocket science, but it is a fundamental shift in how these interactions happen,” she says. With the ability to connect to global firms through technology, professionals no longer have to leave the countries where they’ve been raised to find a job. The resulting “brain gain” can increase the share of knowledge economy jobs in countries that have previously struggled to grow in knowledge-intensive industries.
32 minutes | Aug 3, 2021
Re-Envisioning Management through Teaming
Are you working in an organization where it seems there are lose-lose internal dynamics among managers? If so, why is that and how can you help to change it?The nature of work today requires collaboration and teaming to drive business outcomes like never before. Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for organizational leaders, managers and teams tackling tough problems. In this episode of Center Stage, Johanna shares how optimizing individual achievement over that of the team or organization deeply roots lose-lose propositions into organizational culture. Incorporating key concepts and learnings from her books, the Modern Management Made Easy series, she provides practical examples of how organizations are shifting structures and reward systems to create win-win engagements among managers. More importantly, she offers seven principles of modern management aimed at increasing performance, rather than overseeing people and their work. For example, the principle of catch people succeeding flips on its head the traditionally punitive, disciplinary role of management and moves it more toward motivation and recognition.Johanna also talks about how the impact of subtle change can impact management. She presents examples that illustrate the differences among managers who have a mindset of being “responsible for” versus “responsible to” their teams. She talks about how behaviors, actions and motivations are different for each mindset as well as the impacts of each mindset on individuals and teams.Having started her career as a software developer, Johanna has also worked as a project manager, program manager, and people manager. Today, as a consultant and trainer/coach, she helps leaders, teams, and organizations create successful teams and projects and manage risk. She has authored more than 18 books on modern management, leading teams, agile and lean program management, portfolio management and related topics. Read more of her blog, articles, and her Pragmatic Manager newsletter on www.jrothman.com.Chock full of good practices from real-life situations, this Center Stage podcast emphasizes the key role the modern manager can play in helping teams and organizations realize outcomes.
31 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Preparing Cognitive Athletes to Tackle Disruption
For the past two years, PMI has discussed gymnastic organizations that need to be adaptive and innovative to survive disruption. This session explores how practitioners too need to become cognitive athletes, putting adaptive, creative and sensing muscles into enhanced performance. Listen as Ade McCormack, the founder of the Disruption Readiness Institute, and Joseph Cahill explore how to prepare for an unknowable future.As work continues to shift from enacting processes to more creative and innovative work, Ade proposes that professionals should similarly adapt:Develop your brand.Focus on traits rather than emphasizing skills.Focus on your humanity, rather than just your work accomplishments.Shift and pivot from repeatable skills and capabilities that can easily be subsumed by AI and other technologies.Sense for environmental, social and organizational change so you can experiment early, learn from failure and be in demand as the change wave takes hold.Ade also identifies that the future of work will create challenges for organizations. Employers will need to shift their talent management approach from viewing people as simply cogs in the machine to treating them as cognitive assets that are the source of market-pleasing innovative products and services. This cultural shift means that instead of promoting efficiency and punishing failure, organizational leaders need to embrace experimenting and determining whether they are “failing enough.”This podcast is full of insights focused on the post-Industrial age and 21st century talent.In addition to founding the Disruption Readiness Institute, Ade has worked with some of the world's best-known brands in more than 40 countries. He has authored six books on digital and disruption and wrote for the Financial Times on the theme of digital leadership for over a decade. You can learn more about Ade’s perspectives, by visiting his blog at www.ademccormack.com.
44 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
Creating Standards for Knowledge and Innovation Management
Peter Merrill is leading the development of the ISO Management System Standard on innovation management; Ron Young chaired the BSI Standard committee and was part of the ISO Working Group that developed the Management System Standard on knowledge management. In this episode of Center Stage, they talk with PMI Chief Customer Officer Joe Cahill about how you standardize such abstract concepts.They explain that the standards focus on establishing enablement systems that can be managed. “We’re not trying to hug an elephant,” as Merrill says, a system is a set of elements which we manage so that they link together. Young explained that standards are based on a set of principles of good leadership and management and contain critical success factors for managing innovation and knowledge. They discussed how organizations can evolve from simply identifying lessons from a project, to actually learning those lessons, changing behavior’s and truly deriving value from project knowledge. Beyond the standards, Merrill and Young discuss the value of diversity and inclusion, and the role of artificial intelligence in knowledge creation. They conclude by sharing the visionary idea that we are moving into a knowledge economy where scarcity of resources is no longer the primary driver and where collaboration begins to supersede competition.
33 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Digital Experiences and Technology-Enabled Transformation
In this podcast, Jason Warnke and Joe Cahill discuss the impact of digital experiences on technology-enabled transformation. Jason Warnke serves as Senior Managing Director for Global Digital Experiences at Accenture. Digital Experiences is located within Accenture's internal IT leadership team and is responsible for driving technology-enabled experience transformation.Jason leads off by sharing examples of how technology in our business lives has not kept pace with what we have experienced in our lives as consumers. Many companies build their internal capabilities with a “technology first” mindset that can sometimes inhibit workflows, productivity and engagement that drive business performance.Shifting to a focus on employee experience looks at the impact of making it easier for employees to get things done in a digital way. Jason shares examples related to reducing multiple applications, making the user experience more intuitive, building applications into the flow of work and other tips. From a project delivery perspective, Jason discusses shifting from a requirements focus on what the employee believes is needed to truly understanding the intended outcomes the employee wants to enable, the service experience they expect, etc.. It is also about prioritizing capabilities so employees get the functionality that is most useful for them.Social networking and creating a “culture of cultures” is another area Jason explores. In a highly distributed organization, organizations need to recognize that employees can build community in ways that are different from approaches that work in highly centralized environments. In addition to work networks, organizations can help connect employees via social networks where they already engage, such as clubs for exercise enthusiasts, XBOX players, photographers, etc. This approaches recognizes that it is as important to build connections around interpersonal engagement, with people outside of the core team and among team members around the globe.Discussing new ways of working, Jason concludes with a focus on how digital transformation is changing project work and creating opportunities for leaner workflows.
32 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
The Power of Leadership Emotions
In this podcast, Dr. Rodolfo De Acutis, Global PMO Lead R&D at Nestlé, and Joe Cahill discuss the leadership of emotions and the critical role of power skills for PMO and portfolio organizations. Dr. De Acutis shares that project leaders and change makers face a range of emotional triggers when engaging with stakeholders that they will need to manage. These triggers increase stress and can affect a project leader’s performance. He suggests a range of techniques leaders can use to reframe emotional responses, such as reflection and explaining the “why.”Dr. De Acutis also discusses the challenges facing organizations as they recruit and build their project leaders and teams. He believes that talent equals Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ). Thus, effective project leaders need to balance their technical and leadership/interpersonal skills. He strongly believes that project leaders still need strong technical skills, especially risk management, and need to incorporate approaches like agile and lean to respond to project characteristics which do not fit well with highly predictive approaches. But to rally a team to produce its best results requires building trust and being transparent.Dr. De Acutis closes with his focus on nourishing his own passion for knowledge and learning so he can continue to positively embrace the future of work.
30 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
The Business of Ethics
In this episode of the Center Stage podcast, Alan Richter and Joe Cahill discuss ethics in business and its impact on projects and organizations. As business becomes more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, organizations must address ethical considerations both internally and externally to stay relevant and reputable. To do so, they need leaders who can navigate the complexities of ethical decision making by understanding the impact of culture on ethics and the need for inclusivity. Dr. Richter is the Founder and President of QED Consulting, and the co-author of the Global Ethics & Integrity Benchmarks. He has consulted corporations for many years in multiple capacities, primarily in the areas of leadership, values, culture, and change. Dr. Richter has led teams in the development of leadership programs and processes and has designed pioneering instructional products in the areas of leadership, business ethics, workforce diversity, globalization, marketing, technology, and communications. He is a frequent presenter, has taught philosophy, psychology, and interdisciplinary courses, and is the author of several books and articles.
35 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Flexible Work Strategy
In this podcast, Cali Williams Yost shares insights about how organizations and employees have adapted to remote work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how work flexibility is here to stay. Cali is the founder and CEO of Flex + Strategy Group, a firm that helps organizations unlock performance and engagement by reimagining how, when, and where work gets done. Cali is one of the world’s leading authorities on flexible workplace strategies. She is the author of two books, and her expertise is regularly sought by media outlets ranging from MSNBC to the Wall Street Journal. Her corporate and organizational clients include banks, governments, health care systems, and universities. Forbes named her one of “40 Women to Watch Over 40,” and the New York Times has called her “one of the most sophisticated minds” on the transformation of work.
34 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
The Insight Discipline
In this podcast, we meet Liam Fahey who is the Cofounder and Partner at Leadership Forum LLC. The Forum allows intelligence and insight practitioners to learn from each other, hone their personal and professional skills, and augment their organizations’ thinking and decision capabilities.Liam is the author or editor of eight books and more than 50 articles or book chapters. His book, The Insight Discipline, provides a framework for organization analysis through enhanced intelligence and insight. He has won awards for his teaching (Teacher of the Year at Kellogg School of Management), research (six best paper awards), and professional service (the first winner of the Meritorious Award for Distinguished Service from the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals).His corporate clients include some of the world's best known brands, and he has delivered executive education to more than 10 universities around the globe. Prior to cofounding the Leadership Forum, Liam taught at Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and at Boston University. He serves as Professor of Management Practice at Babson College. Liam holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
33 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
The Leadership of Creative Projects for Economic Development and Growth
In this podcast, Iain Hamilton, Head of Creative Industries for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, discusses the leadership of creative projects and initiatives. Iain is a senior leader who works with the Scottish Government’s economic development agency – Highlands and Islands Enterprise. At the core of his work is a successful global project, XpoNorth, a unique event bringing together the creative and tech sectors to explore opportunities, identify trends, and find new business opportunities. XpoNorth attracts delegates from around the world ranging from multi-nationals to micro-businesses. Due to COVID-19, it has transformed to a digital community with lessons to be learned for all leaders. This is a conversation about the human element, digital capacity, networks, and the creation of economic value when business and government collaborate.
31 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
East Meets West: Perspectives on Knowledge at Work
Our age of global collaboration has created a profound exchange of knowledge across the world. Knowledge, however, is still local and practiced in diverse ways. In this podcast, Naoki Ogiwara, Managing Director of Knowledge Associates Japan, will discuss the differences between Eastern and Western firms on knowledge. Naoki discusses with PMI COO, Joe Cahill, the latest trends in knowledge within organizations and the vital role of collaboration and knowledge assets. He explains the importance of “ba” (creation of spaces and places) for learning. Naoki also discusses the need for integration between operational standards and innovative approaches.
30 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
Talent Acquisition, Change, and Technology
Our world is one of ideas, thoughts, and technology. At the core are talented people who generate the ideas and products we desire. Sean Kelley, talent innovator, has worked across leading organizations responsible for creating this world.In this podcast, Sean Kelley is an advisor to leaders offering insights on change, talent acquisition, and women in technology. Sean has served as a leader in Amazon as Director Talent Acquisition, Microsoft, Starbucks, and the US Naval Academy. He is currently working on issues related to finding a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, veteran’s transition and employment in technology industry, and diverse representation in the technology field.
31 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
Coaching & Entrepreneurship
This story explores entrepreneurship, knowledge transfer and co-creating with a focus on PMI’s long-standing partnership with ENACTUS and its student teams. This episode features Lili Csorba, corporate relations executive for the ENACTUS Queen Mary student team, and Gavin Henderson, project management business advisor from the PMI United Kingdom Chapter’s London Branch.ENACTUS is a community of student, academic, and business leaders taking entrepreneurial action for social impact to create a better world. ENACTUS has over 72,000 students across the globe who are entrepreneurial, values-driven social innovators representing 1,730 campuses in 36 countries who positively impact the lives of 1.3 million people each year.PMI enables partnerships between PMI Chapters and ENACTUS national chapters to provide project management mentors to student teams. PMI is also a sponsor of several ENACTUS national competitions.
36 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
Ethics, Technology, and Innovation
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the human-technology interface, the value proposition of products and services, and the future of work. This technology, like others, can advance positive or negative social outcomes, but often, the associated ethical considerations are considered lastly if at all. This episode of Center Stage explores a range of the ethical implications as the use of AI in business applications from credit scoring to autonomous vehicles explodes. The podcast also proposes some practical steps organizational leaders can use for developing a framework for AI ethics. Incorporating findings from the most recent The State of AI Ethics Report, Abhishek Gupta, founder of Montreal AI Ethics Institute, and Joe Cahill walk us through examples of design and use cases that reflect that dichotomy of positive and negative social outcomes.
32 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
Innovation to Deliver Value
David Dabscheck is the founder and CEO of GIANT Innovation, which transforms the way organizations and people think and act to become world-class innovators. David has led hundreds of innovation projects and workshops with leading organizations from a broad range of industries, including Citi, ExxonMobil, Roche, Columbia University, and Siemens Energy. He is an active social innovation entrepreneur having created several start-ups. David is the founder of the Innovation Leaders Round Table, a regular gathering of over 200 executive and senior level innovation practitioners. In this podcast, David helps us explore innovation through a lens that will highlight important factors for delivering value to organizations. This includes considering the low cost environment using failure for learning and how to think about experimentation.
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