43 minutes | Mar 28, 2023
112 | Disrupting Norms - How to Make Work More Likeable | Greg Offner Jr.
Are you aware of the three employee archetypes? The Keeper, the Leaper, and the Sleeper? If not, prepare to learn about them and how best to engage them. Greg Offner Jr. – speaker, coach and consultant is here to share his fascinating insights on the psychology of change in organizations and how to disrupt the norm to create sustainable change. Drawing on his experience as a duelling piano performer, Gregory intertwines principles used in the world of piano bars with the business world to make work more enjoyable. Gregory shares the importance of prioritizing skill development and the need for a culture shift that starts from the top but is endorsed and expected at all company levels. Key discussions include: Taking the irk out of work! The importance of disrupting the norm in business How to become the organization that everyone wants on their resume Employee advocacy and the rise of boomerang employees The power of incentives in the workplace Plus, lots more! If you are eager to learn how to create a culture of engagement and enjoyment while improving your organization's bottom line, this episode is a must-listen for you! "Work is eight hours if we're lucky of our life every day. And not everybody gets to do something they love. But couldn't you at least like it? I mean, what's wrong with trying to make work a little more likable? And so that's what I do." – Gregory Offner Jr. ABOUT GREGORY OFFNER JR: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregoryoffnerjr/ Work: https://www.gregoryoffner.com/ ABOUT SCOTT: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. ABOUT WORKVIVO: If you're struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review it! This podcast was proudly produced in partnership with podlad.com
39 minutes | Mar 13, 2023
111 | Creating A Culture of Care | Paul Ter Wal
Is your organisation drowning in a sea of Human Resources policies? Are you tired of the stagnant work culture norms? Is this war of talent and high employee turnover era worrying you? If so, this episode is for you! Corporate culture and engagement specialist Paul Ter Wal is here to guide you on creating a positive culture, making your organisation a wonderful place to work and succeed. Paul Ter Wal is the managing partner of Andare Consulting and is a celebrated international speaker specialising in culture and engagement. In this episode, Paul serves you invaluable advice on creating a culture of care. He unveils the power of purpose and core values, the benefits of investing in listening and trust and reveals why shareholders must make short-term sacrifices for long-term success. Key discussions include: An introduction to Paul Ter Wal Is customer experience overshadowing employee experience? Language matters: it’s time to stop using the term human resources. The importance of infusing core values when onboarding employees. Belonging in the workplace and the elastic band of resilience. Integrating sustainability into your business. Plus lots more! Are you ready to learn how to improve employee engagement, foster resilience, and create a workplace where employees want to stay? Well, go ahead and hit play now! “We need to change our perspective, from the short term of gaining a lot of money to a longer period of time, and invest in trust and then engagement, and then see that the productivity will go up.” – Paul Ter Wal. ABOUT PAUL TER WAL: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulterwal/ Work: https://www.paulterwal.nl/ | https://team-andare.com/ ABOUT SCOTT: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. ABOUT WORKVIVO: If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review it!
41 minutes | Feb 15, 2023
110 | Unlocking The Secret to Transformational Change | Sophia Kristjansson
Is your organisation on a mission to achieve true inclusion and belonging but struggling to know where to begin? If so, this episode is for you! Joining Scott to discuss inclusive leadership and the secret to transformational change is special guest Sophia Kristjansson. Sophia is a US-based with UK university roots, founder of Lexicon Lens, A DEI people development and change professional, and author. Throughout the discussion, Sophia offers valuable advice and practical tips that you can implement today to build more inclusive cultures. Sophia also explores the power of uniqueness, the importance of gaining bias awareness, and the role of values within inclusive cultures. Key discussions include: The equation to building a sense of belonging in the workplace How people leaders are a catalyst for businesses Diversity and inclusion: is there a difference between the two? How leaders and teams can discover unconscious biases in the workplace Building inclusive cultures: The role of values within an organisation Plus lots more! This enlightening discussion will teach you the secret recipe to a more inclusive and diverse workplace. Hit that play button now to learn how to empower your employees and drive your organisation’s success! “If you don’t have diverse perspectives, if you don’t have different kinds of people in all layers of your business, you are basically leaving money on the table and saying, I really don’t care about that.” - Sophia Kristjansson. ABOUT SOPHIA KRISTJANSSON: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophiakristjansson Book: https://www.transformationalchangebook.com/buy-book Work: http://lexiconleadership.com/ ABOUT SCOTT: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by click here. ABOUT WORKVIVO: If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review it! This podcast is produced in partnership with podlad.com
45 minutes | Dec 9, 2022
109 | Your Organisational Culture is Your USP (Unique Selling Point) | Dan Sodergren
On our latest episode of the Building Better Cultures podcast, we speak to Dan Sodergren. Dan is the Co-Founder of YourFLOCK. This SaaS platform helps teams to grow by finding the best-fit candidates and maximising their value to your unique team based on culture. In this episode, we talk about organizational culture, employee engagement, and remote vs hybrid work. Key discussions: 1. How leaders can use culture as a tool to drive employee engagement and productivity. 2. Effective strategies and best practices for improving engagement among your employees. 3. What you should do to avoid common challenges to achieve high levels of engagement in the workplace. And lots more! Whether you're a business owner, People Leader, HR professional, or employee, this episode will give listeners a deeper understanding of culture's role in the modern workplace. DAN'S LINKS: Company: https://yourflock.co.uk/ TEDx Talk: The Future Of Work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=uiZJkod7h-4&feature=emb_title LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-sodergren-futureofwork/ ABOUT SCOTT: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. ABOUT WORKVIVO: If you're struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review it!
41 minutes | Nov 1, 2022
108 | The Science of Storytelling & How It Works | Richard Newman
EPISODE SUMMARY: Do you think storytelling has no place at work? That it’s just a fluffy exercise that doesn’t deliver results? Then, the latest guest on the Building Better Culture podcast, Richard Newman, the Founder and CEO of BodyTalk, says, “You’re missing the point!” Richard shares that for a millennia, the human brain has learned to sequence and process information delivered as a story, but HOW that story is told makes all the DIFFERENCE. We learn about the neuroscience behind effective communication to yield actionable results and fully engage your people. You’ll learn how to blast through denial, overcome the brain’s resistance to change and avoid “non-verbal leakage.” It transforms workplace cultures by delivering information in ways our brains can receive process, and act upon – with the kinds of epic outcomes your corporate leaders will doubtless remember. Heroic journeys start in small daily interactions, and Richard is here to share some of the tools most critical tools set that stage. KEY INSIGHTS: >>> Focus on storytelling as a vehicle for connection. >>> It’s critical to understand how the logical and emotional minds differ when it comes to interacting with information, depending on how its delivered. >>> Stories that fail? They are stories that make you, your company, product or service the hero. >>> Stories that succeed? Those that deliver a compelling hero’s journey through the eyes of the listeners – the recipients of your intended message. >>> Non-Verbal Leakage: Body language, tone and words need to be in complete alignment. If they are incongruent, the effect is inauthentic and can generate distrust. Humans respond viscerally to energy and subtext. >>> Start Small: The quickest way to break down resistance to storytelling in the workplace is to integrate it into every daily interaction. It’s not a heroic tale, but a framework to deliver information in ways that the brains of others can accept, process and act upon. FURTHER RESOURCES: >>> "Thinking Fast and Slow," by Daniel Kahneman. ABOUT RICHARD: Company: https://ukbodytalk.com/ Book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/191645920X Podcast: LIFT with Richard Newman LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardnewmanspeaks/ ABOUT SCOTT: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. ABOUT WORKVIVO: If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review it!
37 minutes | Sep 16, 2022
107 | Empathy & Compassion in Organisational Culture | Rob Volpe
On this episode of the Building Better Cultures podcast, we drill down on the pivotal role that empathy plays in the workplace – especially in this time of remote work and back-to-back-to-back Zoom interactions. It’s about understanding someone else’s perspective, yes. But equally important is the ability to fully and non-judgmentally inhabit another person’s shoes, then communicate back in ways that create meaningful connection. Our guest Rob Volpe, CEO of Ignite 360, is an “empathy activist” who consults with businesses struggling to weave understanding and compassion into workplace cultures. With his Five Steps to Build + Apply Empathy at Work, Rob shows leaders how to integrate simple – but transformational – practices to embody your brand and build self-awareness among teams across the enterprise. Studies show that organisations that prioritise empathy generate more loyalty, innovation and inclusivity among employees. You’ll come away from this episode with a keen understanding of how to listen with full awareness as well as specific exercises to build your empathy muscle and invite authentic communication at every level of your business. KEY INSIGHTS: 1. The Empathy Crisis: Many leaders find it difficult to connect with personal perspectives and are untrained in the art of leveraging the power of storytelling in the workplace. 2. Leaders who promote empathy in the workplace see significant increases in loyalty, innovation and inclusivity among team members. 3. There is a difference between emotional empathy and cognitive empathy – one that many old-school leaders don’t fully understand, resulting in unfounded fears about losing respect. 4. Rob’s Macro-Level Framework: - Bring self-awareness in deciding how to show up. - Have the courage to practice empathy. - Adopt The Five Steps, which require practice and inevitable stumbles. - Offer yourself grace and forgiveness. 5. Rob’s Five Steps to Empathy: - Dismantle judgment: Notice negativity and resist casting aspersion. - Reframe Questions: Skip “why” – with its negative, closed associations and undertones. - Listen Actively: Be present and use all your senses to take in what others are saying. - Integrate Understanding: Stay open to and curious about divergent points of view. - Use Solution Imagination: Take what you’ve heard to advance the conversation, closing the gap between knowledge and action. >>> Rob’s Top Tip: Be courageous. Empathy is acquired one step at a time! LINKS: Company: https://www.ignite-360.com Book: https://www.5stepstoempathy.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rmvolpe/ ABOUT SCOTT: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. ABOUT WORKVIVO: If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review it!
40 minutes | Aug 18, 2022
106 | Raw Leadership Principles; Curiosity, Authenticity & Vulnerability | Colleen Bashar
In this episode of the Building Better Cultures podcast, we learn about the principles of Raw Leadership, how to lean into your authentic power as a leader and how to create better organisational cultures that your employees want to participate in. Our guest is Colleen Bashar, is the Senior VP of Global Solution Sales for Guidewire Software; a cloud-based service that efficiently combines digital, core, analytics, and AI to deliver results to clients. Colleen walks us through her 16-year journey at the company, where she started as a sales consultant, to her current position as a people leader and how she effectively manages a team of over 150 people. KEY INSIGHTS: >>> What ‘Raw Leadership’ is, and its three core values: Curiosity, Authenticity and Vulnerability. >>> The importance of investing and reflecting on yourself as a leader to help you lean into your authentic self. >>> Why practicing self-awareness is incredibly powerful. LINKS: GuideWire LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/guidewire-software/ Colleen’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleenscott/ ABOUT SCOTT: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. ABOUT OUR SPONSOR - WORKVIVO: If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration.
7 minutes | Aug 3, 2022
105 | The Power of Pride Stories | Shorts by BBC
Celebrating Success and Building Pride: We're doing some focus groups for a new client, and an attendee said, "We used to hear stories of the difference we made, and we don't hear about it anymore. It'd be nice to get that back." Why is it important? Because it helps to celebrate your purpose – Why you exist – through the difference you make, and that's at the very core of the culture you want to create. Stories bring strategy to life: Strategy is boring – stories bring it to life and show the difference people can make. The halo effect is people seeing examples of the difference they can make. Aligned with your strategy, it highlights the difference everyone can make They create a sense of belonging and a reason to stay – we know from research that people will move jobs for a mere 5-10% pay rise, so we need to do something more to get them to stay – pride is EMOTIVE and powerful. So how can you find and tell them? Proactively look for them – get your senior leaders or internal communications staff out into the business, talking to people and asking, 'Tell me a story about a time when you or someone on the team made a difference.' Create feedback channels for your front-line staff to provide feedback on the stories they see and hear. And turn it into a recognition programme or reward your people when they submit a story. Using Your Stories: Bring them to life at staff events, turn them into short internal podcasts or videos on your intranet - even email as a last resort Keep it local – ask leaders at team meetings to spend 10 mins asking teams about what's made them proud. About Scott (Your host): Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here.
45 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
104 | Future of Work - What Now? | Kevin Empey
Episode Summary: On this episode of Building Better Cultures we’re checking in with Kevin Empey, Managing Director of WorkMatters, who first shared thoughts about pandemic fall-out back in March 2021 (Ep 61) Kevin details various models going forward and where the priorities must lie for leaders invested in cultivating agility as well as sustainability. The need for onsite collaboration and innovation is real, but so are the advantages virtual workers have seen in skipping their commutes. Are hybrid solutions a brilliant compromise or the source of confusing mixed messages? Finding the right balance will require leaders to develop experiential metrics as well as communications that resonate with the hearts and minds of employees. “We have an opportunity to reset workplace culture and reaffirm it,” says Kevin. “And also maybe to lose some of those values that we said were important, but in fact actually are not.” Employee experience and servant leadership loom large on the new Work 4.0 horizon – one ideally based in fulsome, authentic values and transparency. What signals is your workplace culture sending in this time of transition? Key Takeaways: Pandemic overnight transformed old, arguably broken models of workplace culture. What’s coming next? Organisational culture has been infused with a complexity of choice, modes of operation, challenges and opportunities. Should leaders embrace flexibility or prioritize certainty? Kevin advocates for “freedom within a frame,” providing guardrails while preserving a critical measure of flexibility. Workplace culture has been forever redefined by the upsides that employees have experienced in working remotely. There is an element of questioning that makes directives less easily rolled out than in the past. Change management today requires more intentionality than ever, with leadership mapping communications to employee hearts and minds. Office productivity and meaningful collaboration have a bar to meet. Employees no longer want to default to long commutes just to check the box. What’s does Work 4.0 look like? Kevin sees two intersecting horizons: The 2022 Agenda: Helping leaders and managers navigate the transition to new work models that are sustainable and effective today. The Long-Term Agenda: Visioning objectives, strategies and cultural values that will drive greater adaptivity and agility moving into the future. Kevin believes several factors that will be determinative of corporate fates: Whether flexible, forward-looking models for performance management, rewards, development, recruitment and succession are adopted. Whether leaders put in place processes adapted to new workplace cultures. Whether Future of Work strategy is leveraged to examine and redefine who, how, why and whether certain workplace processes remain viable. Whether agile cultural, leadership and employee experience strategies are established and sustainable in the long term. Advice for maximizing organizational opportunity at this juncture: Implement coaching and HR support to foster servant leadership. Adopt strategies that thoughtfully reflect corporate values and culture. Acknowledge and address leadership vulnerability in the face of unknown variables and change. Balance open communications and a human-centered approach with a more directive, command-and-control leadership style where indicated. Moving ahead cultural values are center stage, revealing truths and challenging received wisdom about what works and doesn’t for employees across demographics. Leaders are faced with a unique opportunity to undertake a robust assessment of the values that underpin their cultures and will shape workplace health going into the future. About Kevin Empey: Kevin is the founder of WorkMatters, a leadership and organisation development consulting firm focused on supporting business leaders, HR leaders and their employees prepare for the changing world of work. Follow Kevin: Website: https://workmatters.ie WorkMatters @LinkedIn Kevin @LinkedIn Kevin @Twitter About Scott: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. About Workvivo: If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration.
36 minutes | May 12, 2022
103 | Hybrid Working: Is it Really the Best of Both Worlds? | Andrew Bartlow
Episode Summary: Organisations of all sizes are trying to define parameters for today's new workplace cultures – whether remote, on-site or in-between. Host, Scott McInnes, invites a people management expert Andrew Bartlow, the Founder and Managing Partner at the People Leader Accelerator, to share his 25+ years of expertise. Andrew shares practical tips and tools leaders can implement when establishing healthy workplace cultures. He dives into detail on a critical strategy –– clarity –– and its importance in engaging and motivating your organization to pursue corporate goals. Thank you to our sponsor, Workvivo, the communications and collaboration platform that provides seamless digital integration for your hybrid or traditional workplace. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review it! Key Takeaways: 1. Leaders need to stay flexible and iterative with new workplace models while at the same time communicating solid, dependable plans. 2. Change management via tiny steps can be disruptive. Andrew advises "ripping off the bandage" and carefully considering decisions to accelerate adoption and minimize fatigue. 3. Internal communications are the core much that happens within organizations, but rather than dropping by a desk, it's about dropping in on chat or Slack. 4. Determine the best modes of communication. What works most effectively at each level of the organization? 5. Learning through listening (and osmosis) isn't gone. It's just moved from the hallway or cafeteria to social media platforms. 6. Create dedicated corporate retreat spaces where "planful" human interaction occurs. 7. Execute meaningful, consistent communications and check-ins at all levels. 8. Andrew sees new mediums as potentially impactful alternatives to the written word: Podcasts, short audios, and video messaging. 9. To retain and recruit talent in a highly competitive market, organizations must offer remote options, fair compensation, and competent and humane management. 10. Andrew believes the No. 1 thing to build a thriving workplace culture is clarity, including well-defined organizational priorities and comprehensive and comprehensible messaging. About Andrew: Andrew helps organisations design people-management practices that support success. Leveraging 25+ years of Human Resources and Talent experience within the most highly regarded HR functions globally, he provides organisational advisory services and mentoring for HR leaders. Website: www.peopleleaderaccelerator.com Andrew @LinkedIn About Scott: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. About Workvivo: If you're struggling with communications in new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration.
50 minutes | Apr 28, 2022
102 | Knitting Remote Into Workplace Culture | Darren Murph
Episode Summary: Darren Murph is an organisational architect who specialises in and knows what works – and what doesn’t. Based on 15 years at GitLab, most recently as Head of Remote, he has all kinds of concrete advice for organisations trying to figure out the correct configuration for their individually distributed workplace models. Some C-suiters are reluctant to abandon old office-based operations, emphasizing proximity over business results. But looking ahead at the role and impacts of organisational design, Darren believes the forward-thinking, progressive leaders (and ultimately the most successful enterprises) will embrace flexibility, learning and a healthy redefinition of what it means to … build better cultures. You can check out GitLab’s playbook, filled with information about all things remote, here. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate, review and follow it! Key Takeaways: GitLab was founded as an all-remote company and today has 1,500 team members in more than 67+ countries with no brick-and-mortar offices. What to keep in mind when getting started with a remote work design: Shift your mindset from where people work to how people work. Actively implement programs that combat proximity bias. Leadership can communicate that there is no advantage in working at the office by themselves working from home. Audit workflows across your organisation and ask: Will this work if everyone is distributed, or do they need to be in an office? Then build out a changelog based on those jobs that require an office and reconceive them. Making remote work viable across the enterprise builds resiliency. All-remote or all co-located workplace environments are the easiest to administer because the playing field is even. Hybrid, by contrast, can quickly devolve into the worst of all scenarios with proximity bias and jockeying. The easiest way to hedge against proximity bias is to keep senior leaders outside the office by default. Remote work is a top-down proposition and requires conviction. Agility is key, and the ability to test, learn, and iterate. People and operations can be modulated based on proactive experimentation. Darren references research compiled by the workplace communications platform Slack that reveals interesting insights into the impacts on middle management of the overnight adoption of remote work and the current lack of response on the part of leadership. Writers Take Note: The most important thing a company can do is ensure that all employees have strong written communication skills. Effective storytelling will be far more influential in remote environments that don’t rely on or reward charisma and talk. Scott recommends some related reading from a previous guest, John Simmons, author of "We, Me, Them and It." On Diversity: Hire a diverse group of recruiters, watch your staffing demographic shift, and broaden by extension. Parting thoughts for leaders at companies of all sizes: Build the right workplace culture and ethics into your business model. Fully embrace a people-first orientation that recognizes the power of uplifting employees with empathy and flexibility. Take advantage of the journey and opportunity to get honest, embracing the importance of values fit – not just a culture fit. About Darren: Named an “oracle of remote work” by CNBC, Darren serves as GitLab’s Head of Remote. He is a visionary in organisational design, leading at the intersection of people, culture, operations, inclusivity, marketing, employer branding and communication. Contact/Follow Darren: About Darren/GitLab @LinkedIn @Twitter About Scott: Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. About Workvivo: If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration.
38 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
101 | Driving Sustainability Through Employees, with James Hartley
Episode Summary Big corporate initiatives designed to transform workplace cultures are often top-down affairs, this week’s guest has taken a different approach to integrate sustainability across Swiss Re, a global financial services provider. James Hartley, a global HR Leader at Swiss Re, shares with us the nuts and bolts of their CO2NetZero programme, a rallying point for climate activism that has ignited ongoing interest and creativity among employees around the world. James has maintained the momentum by staying communicative and open to changes as well as by fostering storytelling that resonates on a personal level. The results? Many measurable quantitative and qualitative impacts, large and small, as well as an interactive app that more than 4,000 employees have downloaded to track, learn about and better understand the ways in which environmental healing starts with the kind of individual daily efforts we can all make — if we know how. Key Takeaways James unpacks Swiss Re’s corporate DNA, which fuels a commitment to sustainability: A purpose-led culture whose core mission includes empowering employees to help make the world more resilient. Climate change and reaching a net-zero footprint is a central corporate value. Does micro-change make an actual difference? Absolutely — when people band together to take individual actions that build community and truly add up through sheer volume. Swiss Re’s CO2NetZero programme is iterative — meant to be co-created, fluid and responsive to feedback from across the enterprise. Inviting employees at every level of the organisation to participate not just in the execution but the conception of an ESG programme is key. By building cross-functional teams, staging workshops and taking ongoing feedback, leadership secured tremendous buy-in. Internal champions play an important role by spreading the word and engaging others. Narrative Benefits: Out of Swiss Re’s company-wide commitment to sustainability has come a wealth of anecdotes, both emotional and practical, that connect to the “why.” Sharing personal stories opens up emotional connections in even “right-brained” financial services types, reinforcing the overall corporate commitment to climate activism. Swiss Re’s sustainability programme is built on trust, not micromanagement. James believes employees feel deputized and motivated to take action independently. Bottom Line Stats: 130,000 individual acts of climate activism. 1,500 tonnes of direct removal through carbon certificates. A cumulative direct removal of thousands of tonnes globally. Maintaining Momentum: James fosters ongoing engagement by cultivating connections, very often through constantly refreshed shared stories and interactive tools on the app. The platform is constantly refreshed with new series of challenges, education and information. Regional champions are deputized to run with locally relevant ideas. Recommended first steps for companies of any size that want to make a concerted commitment to sustainability: Start a conversation. Don’t be intimidated by being the need to be something big, shiny and already fully formed. Create a space for individuals to bring their ideas and express their creativity through action. No matter the size of your organisation, recognize that every single action contributes to a joint movement that drives bigger global change. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review it! About Scott Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. About James A transformational and purpose-led People & Culture Executive, James has extensive global HR experience. James on LinkedIn - @LinkedIn Website - About Swiss Re's Sustainability Programme About Workvivo If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration.
39 minutes | Mar 22, 2022
100 | Values Work When They're Authentic, Measurable and Sustained, with Sandy Cross
Episode Summary: Are you ready to integrate a values-based component into your corporate ethos? It’s a big commitment, but one with tremendous ROI at every level. On this episode of Building Better Cultures, Scott talks with Sandy Cross, CPO in the Professional Golf Association of America (PGA). But for it to work, the effort must be for real. Without buy-in from top leadership – a deep understanding and commitment to sustained change – don’t bother, says Sandy. The PGA’s working group based its program on feedback from up and down the organization, and leaders have deployed it without equivocation. Learn what elements are key to upping your DEI game and how your workplace culture’s frame of mind benefits when a clearly articulated corporate values set is kept front of mind. Key Takeaways Mission-driven to values-based: The PGA culture embraced its mission deeply but Sandy advocated for more attention to the “how” of executing that agenda. The PGA developed a playbook to support four people-centered pillar values – each of which includes visible, observable behaviours: Have each other’s back. Practice gratitude. Get better every day. Start with clarity. Sandy’s initiatives have bolstered retention by fostering the flexible, culturally connected hybrid workplace that Millennials (especially) demand. The PGA used a bottom-up approach to define values, based on the outcome of a working group of nine employees selected by peers. Keeping It Real: Sandy’s values-driven agenda emphasizes measurable, behaviors and actions. Having well-defined values gives a chance for difficult conversations because they provide a shared language, foundation and understanding. Committed Deployment: The PGA’s approach is holistic, using values as a lens starting at the hiring process through onboarding and annual values-based (as separate from performance-based) evaluations. Opportunity for Growth: Team members who “get it” can serve as coaches, mentoring and encouraging open communication among team members. Watch Out for Weaponization: There can be friction because values-based culture doesn’t promise that everyone gets what they want every time. Powerful Goal-Setting: Each PGA individual on an annual basis must identify one of the shared values they intend to prioritize for improvement and articulate what success would look like. What’s the desired behavior or outcome? The best first steps for organizations undertaking a “values journey”: Talk to the leadership team. Are they ready on every level to embark on – and stay committed to – the journey? Support and embody the mission throughout the enterprise. The program has to be embedded across the full employee lifecycle. If it’s not going to be a deep, sustained commitment, say Sandy, skip it. False starts, shallow or hollow efforts are definitively a step in the wrong direction. About Scott Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. About Sandy As Chief People Officer for the PGA of American with responsibility for DEI, Sandy’s career journey has been about building purpose-driven, values-based and people-centric cultures. Learn more here: Website: www.pga.com Sandy @Twitter Sandy @LinkedIn About Workvivo If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration.
43 minutes | Mar 8, 2022
99 | The Pandemic Pushed Mental Health Out of the Workplace Shadows | Niamh Fitzpatrick
Episode SummaryIf we didn’t already know it, the pandemic laid bare the fact that, as humans, we inevitably bring our whole selves to our jobs - including a range of emotions. This episode of Building Better Cultures focuses on mental health, which has taken center stage in the workplace and softened the separation between personal and professional. Our guest, Niamh Fitzpatrick, a psychologist who works with business and sportspeople alike The pandemic deprived us of the ability to congregate among our favourite tribes (sports, entertainment, extended family, volunteer activities) but it also delivered a critical pause — a chance to get honest with ourselves and assess our priorities. Our workplaces can be a source of the safety and acceptance on which humans thrive, particularly when leaders (themselves humans in need of support) foster cultures of openness and psychological safety. This episode offers advice about how to recognize and respond to workers in distress; the role of communication and empathy in fostering healthy, productive workplace cultures; and how to bring out the best in teams by seeing, accepting and supporting the very real impacts of mental health. Key Takeaways Humans are tribal by nature and we seek out professional, social and familial groups with which to identify, share values and protection as well as create accountability. Why the pandemic has deeply impacted mental health: Daily tribal connections (sports, entertainment, social networks and other diversions/rituals) were suddenly completely shut down. Covid19 produced heightened emotions and vulnerability in people across the spectrum. The pause induced by lockdown afforded people a chance to notice feelings. Because we are humans first, we bring mental health challenges with us into the workplace; or we pay the price for suppressing them. Teams do not perform to their highest capacity when mental health is being denied or ignored. Successful leaders encourage their teams to express feelings within the workplace context. Executives, too, are humans impacted psychologically by the same stresses with which they are helping employees cope. Leaders who want to be alert and astute about mental health impacts should: Tune in and determine their employees’ psychological baseline (even if only via Zoom): Are individual workers typically late, harried, prepared, unprepared or overwhelmed? Dial-up managerial skills and take note of the status quo. Watch for any changes in effect and then follow up with questions and concerns. Four pillars to protect leaders from burnout: (1) Sleep/rest (2) fresh air/movement (3) nutrition/hydration and (4) connection. Effective leaders give workers permission to process their emotions. Niamh’s Top Takeaway: An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour. The sooner authentic mental health challenges are validated, the sooner we can process emotions and take steps to move on. About Scott Learn more about Scott McInnes, your host and the Founder and Director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. About NiamhNiamh Fitzpatrick is a psychologist who works in the area of peak performance in sport and business, helping sportspeople and business leaders with performing under pressure, confidence in business, resilience in the face of setbacks, team cohesion and corporate wellness. She also works with people around loss and grief and wrote ‘Tell Me the Truth About Loss,' following the tragic death of her sister, Daire Fitzpatrick, an Irish Coastguard pilot in 2017. Website: http://www.niamhfitzpatrickpsychology.ie Twitter: @NFitzPsychology About Workvivo If you’re struggling with communications in this time of new hybrid workplace conditions, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration.
5 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
98 | Hire For Culture Add, Not Culture Fit | Shorts by BBC
There's been a recent trend towards hiring for culture or values fit. It seems sensible in principle - hire people who share a similar working ethos and they should fit in and get going more quickly - but, in doing so, what might you be missing? How can hiring people with similar value sets help to create more diverse workforces? Or create that bit of tension and challenge that often results in bringing the best out in your people? So maybe it's not about hiring for cultural fit, but about hiring for cultural add or cultural stretch? ----------------------------------------- 'Shorts by Building Better Cultures' is a short-form podcast in which we share our tuppenceworth on subjects in the areas of leadership, employee engagement, organisational culture and internal communications. #BuildingBetterCultures #BBCShorts #InspiringChange #CreatingConnections
47 minutes | Feb 21, 2022
97 | What Leaders Can Do to be Better Communicators in the Hybrid Workplace, with Peter Hopwood
SummaryIn this episode of Building Better Cultures, we hear from a top virtual-speaking specialist who sees a golden opportunity in the virtual world. Peter Hopwood, a global executive speaker coach, believes the most reticent public speakers can emerge as stronger, more engaging communicators than ever before. There are ways to leverage your online environment and actually take pleasure in an ability to control the stage. Peter highlights the many variables (from sound to lighting to backdrop to gesticulation) that can be modulated to our advantage. He also explains other new factors to consider, such as the imperative to develop disciplined, compelling messaging that quickly captures – and then holds – people's interests. To learn more about the Building Better Cultures podcast and related services, visit www.BuildingBetterCultures.com. You can also find out more about Scott's coaching and consultancy by visiting Inspiring Change's website. If you're struggling with communications in this time of hybrid workplace, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. Key Takeaways Some of the changes and challenges that leaders in our new hybrid face: In a virtual world we lack all the usual sense-based indicators and cues. Screens requires that we amplify (or minimize) our expressions, gestures and actions so that they read remotely. Factors like sound, lighting, voice, concision, air time all impact how we come across online. Attention spans are shorter and harder to marshal remotely when so many competing apps are there to distract. Stay conscious at all times of how you're showing up, whether you're connecting and how brief the amount of time to engage really is. Many leaders are lagging behind in awareness, oblivious that what worked in boardrooms doesn't translate to Zoom, WebEx or whatever other online platform. When you're appearing onscreen, capitalize on the upside! You're 100% in control and can manage how you project and what kind of background you present. What storytelling is for Peter and why it matters: Stories about what has happened to us and the attendant emotions define us as humans and create the bridges through which we connect. Emotional connection = Power of storytelling. Emblematic words in a post-cubicle hybrid workplace where people show up differently – Empathy, Gratitude and Community Advice from Peter for leaders who wish to become better communicators: Be curious and show curiosity; and tell stories Key Quotes"I help teams and professionals find their stories and deliver them in a way that connects in a way that people will remember for the right reasons." "Screens are almost more intimate than face to face so the key is really being aware of how we're coming across." "We really have to make sure that the things we share (onscreen) are more concise, more to the point, get people feeling engaged and connected." "If you can do well and get chemistry going (onscreen) it can only help you when it comes to going back to or building on your in-person communications skills." "If we can connect with emotion and get people to feel that emotion and connect it with the message we want to share, then to me that is the power of storytelling and how to use it." About PeterBritish Global Speaker Coach, Virtual Speaking Specialist & TEDx Coach, Storytelling for Sales Trainer, Worldwide Corporate Events MC & Speaker - lived in 7 countries, worked in 42, currently based in Croatia, working worldwide on Zoom! Storytelling strategist, confidence-booster & connector, I help professionals and global teams define, craft and deliver stronger stories, connect with their audiences and customers and take control of their messages, storyline & speaking impact. Follow Our GuestWebsite: www.peter-hopwood.com Peter @LinkedIn (lots of tips and resources) About Scott McInnesLearn more about Scott McInnes, founder and director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. About WorkvivoDiscover Workvivo, a workplace communication and engagement platform that offers seamless digital integration, here.
46 minutes | Feb 7, 2022
96 | Corporate Wellness is a Long-Term Commitment, with Donna Reilly
Summary: This episode of Building Better Cultures throws a spotlight on mental health and well-being as we tentatively re-enter workplace cultures forever changed by the pandemic. Scott’s guest, Donna Reilly, is an expert in the development of corporate wellness programs. She reflects on Covid19’s long-term impacts on organisations and the adjustments leaders will have to make in light of employees awakened to the importance of work-life balance. In this new reality, everyone has seen that remote offices can and do work. What does it mean when employees refuse to return to business as usual? Will there indeed be a “Great Resignation” or will corporate teams come together to evolve new methods for collaboration? Donna offers concrete advice for leaders and employees alike – as well as a special shout out for managers in the middle, who have been in many companies the advocates and protectors of employee health and wellbeing. Now, says Donna, it’s time for people at every level of the enterprise to take deep breaths and invest in self-care. Since a hybrid workplace model appears to be here to stay, Donna proposes that enlightened leadership undertake initiatives designed to protect corporate mental health and enhance overall well-being, collectively and individually, as move into a new era. Key Takeaways: There are multiple elements and experiences at play when it comes to people’s wants and needs in today’s workplace, which only empathy and communication can bridge. About “The Great Resignation” – Donna believes it has been what she prefers to term a “Great Awakening,” a result of the world’s pause, time in which people were able to reevaluate their quality of life and status quo. Organisations have some catching up to do now that workers have experienced flexible conditions Donna outlines some of the health and wellness issues that are likely to arise as the result of new hybrid work environments: FOR LEADERS: The one-size-fits-all model no longer applies. Employees are more self-aware and will require bespoke approaches to qualify of life. FOR EMPLOYEES: Health and safety procedures will be top of mind as will adjusting to more live interactions and less control over their work-life balance. Donna suggests some tactics for leaders seeking to smooth the transition: Survey employees both formally and informally, put champions on the ground and clearly establish what they want and need. LISTEN to feedback and concerns. Invest financially to establish the supportive tools indicated. Take a long-term approach to investing in employee health and wellness strategies, which have documented ROI. Donna suggests some tactics for employees seeking to smooth the transition: Don’t return to the office without taking time to prepare (logistics like child care, commuting, changes to morning/evening routines). Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself as you go. Employees have a responsibility to contribute to their own mental health and well-being, for which Donna can provide tools and support. But at the end of the day, the effort and commitment rests with individuals themselves. PARTING WORDS OF ADVICE FOR EMPLOYERS: Truly stop, listen and commit to long-term employee mental health and wellness “because that’s where you’ll get the biggest dividend.” PARTING WORDS OF ADVICE FOR EMPLOYEES: Don’t forget about your “self.” You know you best. Take baby steps every day, doing something you love in order to reinvest in and re-energize yourself. To learn more about the Building Better Cultures podcast and related services, visit www.BuildingBetterCultures.com. You can also find out more about Scott’s coaching and consultancy by visiting Inspiring Change's website. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider clicking here to rate and review! If you’re struggling with communications in this time of hybrid workplace, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. Key Quotes: “Although the restrictions are lifted, a lot of organisations are taking their time … You’re going to have different policies and procedures depending on where you work.” (Donna) “Instead of calling it ‘The Great Resignation,’ Why don’t we call it ‘The Great Awakening’ or ‘The Great Realization’ or ‘The Great Rejuvenation’ or “The Great Evaluation’?” (Donna) “Self-reflection and what that can lead to is definitely a catalyst for ‘The Great Resignation’ and from an organisational perspective, they’re learning too.” (Donna) “The (employer-employee) balance of power has somewhat shifted. People have had the time to go, ‘What do I really want?’ ” (Scott) “What we often forget is that people leaders are also people. We put all this pressure on them …but don’t spend enough time necessarily thinking about them as a group.” (Scott) "(Middle managers) need support from above in terms of who is there for them, but also a gentle reminder that you don’t have to be a solver of everybody’s problems. You’ve got a lot of internal and external help in that space.” (Donna) “The role of the organisation is to supply whatever might be needed in terms of people to go to for support, different initiatives or programs … but (employees) have to want to support and build their own well-being.” “I don’t think we’ll see the (mental health) impact until we’re fully at the end. We are still in that bit of survival mode, even as restrictions are lifting. People are still having that tense feeling. I don’t think we’re fully relaxed.” (Donna) “I don’t think it’s until we’ve come out the other side and allowed ourselves a sense of relaxation that we’re really going to be able to assess the damage.” (Donna) “If all that came out of Covid is that we talk about (sensitive issues) more openly, then that’s a win. That’s an absolute win!” (Scott) “Listen to what (your employees) want and take a long-term approach in terms of investment because that’s when you’ll get the biggest dividend.” (Donna) “When you start to feel stress levels rise, do something just for you! … People forget to take the time to check in on themselves and their energy levels. So take time for you.” (Donna) About Donna: Donna is an experienced wellness coach, trainer, facilitator and consultant. Her goal is to help people discover their true passion in life and work with them to reach their full potential. An experienced Senior HR Business Partner, she has worked in people functions across financial services for more than 16 years. Donna has a proven ability to work with stakeholders to executive team level and uses her energetic, creative, positive personality to help empower others and develop strong relationship with clients Follow Our Guest: Website: www.donnareillywellness.ie Donna @LinkedIn About Scott McInnes: Learn more about Scott McInnes, founder and director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here. About WorkvivoTo discover Workvivo, a workplace communication and engagement platform that offers seamless digital integration, please click here.
44 minutes | Jan 24, 2022
95 | Measuring Workplace Culture for Success, with Karen Jones
Not only is meaningful, sustainable cultural change possible in the workplace, but it’s also something that can be mapped and measured. In this episode of Building Better Cultures, Karen Jones spells out the many elements of the gold standard diagnostic model she deploys as a Managing Director at Denison Consulting. The inquiry starts with a survey of 12 key cultural measures, but those results are not an endpoint. On the contrary, they are meant as a starting place for critical conversations about what’s working within a workplace culture – and what most clearly is not. The kind of diagnostic consulting that Karen does depends on tremendous buy-in. While her initial point of entry is most often through Human Resources, the work can’t fully succeed unless support comes from the top echelons of leadership. That ownership and willingness to be accountable are what fosters the atmosphere of trust required for employees throughout the ranks. The Denison process depends on candid, vulnerable feedback from team members at every level of the enterprise and, says Karen, that will never happen if they don’t feel safe to speak out. And once they do share thoughts? It’s on corporate leadership to take real, meaningful steps towards adopting solutions. Failure to put evident muscle behind the outcome of a cultural survey will only leave employees dispirited, if not cynical, about the entire process. Learn how high-performance culture can go to the next level when a concrete methodology, open communication and leadership integrity converge. It’s a conversation timelier and more important than ever for companies adapting to today’s quickly evolving hybrid workplace. An overview of Denison’s model is available here along with other resources To learn more about the Building Better Cultures podcast and related services, visit www.BuildingBetterCultures.com. You can also find out more about Scott’s coaching and consultancy by visiting Inspiring Change's website. If you’re struggling with communications, especially within the context of the hybrid workplace, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. Key Takeaways: The path through medicine, psychology and research ultimately brought Karen to where she is today, working as a coach and expert on organisational culture. Karen believes culture isn’t something that can be summed up quickly, but that can – with the right tools – be measured and modeled. This requires balancing mission in the market and systems/processes to enable desired results. Diagnostic measures assess beliefs and assumptions that people are making in their organisational context – which originate from their own personal context. Throwing terms and affirmations up on a wall or into corporate literature will only breed cynicism if leadership has not committed to putting infrastructure and sustained support around those professed values. The very real impacts of having a toxic team member, even one who is highly successful, and at what point they must be asked to move on. And, if the employee is invited to leave, will leadership make clear that it was a values-based decision? Setting the Bar: Communicating values and systems in support of a high-performance culture will inspire specific conversation about the strengths and challenges to getting there. Culture is Business: It doesn’t matter what strategies or innovations leadership tries to implement, it will fail if team members aren’t fully bought in. Denison’s focus is on ensuring adoption, which requires thoughtful strategic mapping. It’s essential to establish an open climate of trust in which behaviors can be discussed and members of the enterprise at all levels feel safe to speak candidly about conditions on the ground. Culture most often sits with HR, but the owner should be the CEO along with the entire senior management team. If the effort is compartmentalized in HR, that’s a red flag. It needs to be adopted from the top-down, bottom-up and everywhere in between. Karen’s thoughts about the single most impactful thing that leaders can do today to improve their culture: Be curious. Ask your teams how they are feeling, what they need, what they don’t have. Set clear expectations and stay open. Key Quotes: “In order to really understand your current state of culture you have to have a mechanism that starts to elevate those beliefs and assumptions that are driving people’s perceptions of the business.” “I believe people want to come to work to be their best. They get distracted when systems, processes or indeed people bring them down in motivation or emotionally or tap into fears.” “We have failed as a consulting firm if culture is a separate piece that people do when they have a bit of capacity. Knowing your culture, understanding, diagnosing, discussing it on a daily basis with your teams is really doing culture work.” “You can’t create trust. Trust is an outcome of reliability, keeping promises.” “If we’ve done the strategy mapping, all the leaders understand their contribution to the culture. It’s also the responsibility of every single person; every individual creates and impacts culture.” “We have the quantitative number on the measure but after diagnostics, for us, comes honest conversation. The number isn’t the be-all, end-all. It’s significant, but what really matters is teams sitting down and sharing the story (behind the numbers).” “We like to assume we leave our emotions at the door when we go to work. We absolutely do not. We’re human. It’s about the being, not the doing.” “Sometimes leadership teams might need to do some work themselves before they’re ready for this level of exposure.” About Karen: Karen works closely with clients and certified partners to turn what is often ambiguous and intangible into something energising and productive. She helps organisations define the high-performance culture they are seeking to create in order to drive their business results, through aligning people to their strategy and ensuring they are able to deliver the promises they make to their customers. Working in the board room and the shop floor to align corporate culture and leadership climate, Karen aligns with teams to build their strategic clarity and create an environment that builds commitment. Follow Our Guest Website: www.denisonconsulting.com Email: email@example.com @LinkedIn About WorkvivoDiscover Workvivo, a workplace communication and engagement platform that offers seamless digital integration, please click here. About Scott McInnesLearn more about Scott McInnes, founder and director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here.
7 minutes | Jan 18, 2022
94 | Creating Boundaries | Shorts by BBC
Our latest BBC shorts is about Creating Boundaries. The pandemic has accelerated the idea of home / remote working and it’s here to stay. It’s given us the flexibility to create a more blended approach to our work and home lives, like bringing the kids to school, doing a load of laundry, grabbing a coffee or going to a doctor's appointment. BUT… We’re missing the downtime commuting gave us. We need to take that time back and do something we enjoy, like read a book, call someone up on the phone, listen to a podcast or just chill out! AND… We’ve not been great at creating and maintaining boundaries. A lot of us are working more hours, but are we being effective by doing so? When you finish work for the day, actually STOP. Decide a time that your workday ends and leave it there – no laptop, phone, email, chat, you get the picture. Turn the notifications OFF. Make time for yourself – Schedule in (YOUR CALENDAR) some time for you. The time you will use to rest, process and recharge. And, hey, you’re allowed to relax. You don’t need to feel guilty about it. You’ll be a better person and more energized to take on challenges and roadblocks. Work-wise do the same; Agree on a schedule with your team — When do we turn on? When do we switch off? There need to be guidelines but they need to be respected - you will be a more productive colleague for it. And if you’re a boss, lead by example. Change doesn’t just happen — YOU need to make it happen, for yourself, your colleagues or your team. So what will you commit to doing differently today? ----------------------------------------- 'Shorts by Building Better Cultures' is a short-form podcast in which we share our tuppenceworth on subjects in the areas of leadership, employee engagement, organisational culture and internal communications. #buildingbettercultures #BBCShorts #inspiringchange #creatingconnections
37 minutes | Jan 11, 2022
93 | Think Globally, Communicate Locally: Tips for Effective Internal Messaging, With Ray Walsh
Summary: The Building Better Cultures podcast starts out the new year with a lively conversation featuring Ray Walsh, a communications and internal localization consultant whose professional background and years of living in various European markets have given him unique insights into the power and nuance behind effective messaging. The author of “Localizing Employee Communications: A Handbook” shares thoughts about the challenges unique to global organizations that want uniformity of messaging but not at the expense of effective penetration among the employees those internal corporate communications must reach. Ray reflects on the responsibility of leaders to collaborate and co-create communications by taking an active role in the process. The most effective internal communications understand and incorporate local culture. English works as the global language of business to a large degree, but not in all instances, which is why Ray has developed a framework for tackling the thorny problem of reaching across business units and teams in markets of varying sizes and cultures with variable norms. This podcast offers concrete tips for building (and co-creating) compelling content that will resonate among individuals while preserving central corporate culture and messaging. Click here to read more about Ray’s approach through his handbook, “Localizing Employee Communications.” To learn more about the Building Better Cultures podcast and related services, visit www.buildingbettercultures.com If you’re struggling with communications while adapting to a hybrid workplace model, click here to explore Workvivo, a collaboration platform that offers seamless digital integration. Key Takeaways: About the perennial challenges in Global (and global – small “g”) Communications: Differences in language and culture. Comms materials not written in the local language (or taking into consideration other workplace differentiators) are less compelling, effective and inclusive. Lack of comms leaders with skills to translate, personalize and make more accessible internal marketing materials is a problem within many corporations. Ray shares thoughts on the cascade approach, in particular internationally - when management across functions is asked to share information but not provided language support, it leads to fragmentary duplication of effort and puts the enterprise at risk for error or inconsistency. Co-creation of communications requires thoughtful briefings, including: Who’s the audience? What’s the desired outcome? Is there anything you need to measure and why? Consider presentations that take specific approaches (co-created, translated, versus cascaded as-is). Ray finds it helpful to group markets into tiers: Tier 1: Large markets that merit co-creation of materials. Tier 2: Mid-sized markets in which materials are simply translated word for word. Tier 3: Smaller markets in which content might simply be passed on as-is. Irrespective of tiers, it’s important to be collaborative in developing communications and work with those who are most engaged and able to make messages accessible for employees downstream. The Power of Storytelling: Most leaders still don’t fully understand what it truly is, the kinds of color available to all of us or the many low-stress ways in which life experience can be personalized and incorporated in presentations. Ray believes it’s advantageous to produce internal communications materials in the local culture’s native tongue when the objective is to resonate on a deeper emotional level. Ray offers his best advice for companies looking to improve communications: Rather than centralizing, identify local stakeholders, consult with them often, given them time to co-create, translate if necessary and use their advice as you produce global materials in English for smaller markets. Key Quotes: “In regional offices here in Europe I see physically that we have gaps – gaps in understanding, gaps in motivation, business conditions, culture. More of us that work in home offices need to know that we have these gaps.” “People are more likely to act on content that speaks to them.” “We have to rely on (a cascade approach) a lot and I think we should. Unfortunately information isn’t like water. It doesn’t flow naturally like a cascade, so it has its problems.” “I don’t think we can simply put out a campaign and say, ‘Let’s cascade this’ and just assume that they’re going to do it effectively and in a fully engaged way.” “If you’re going into too much detail, you’re underestimating what your mature communicators can do for you. And if you don’t give enough detail, then you’re really encouraging … just flipping it forward.” “It’s really important wherever possible to connect communications with (leadership’s) desired local outcomes.” “Anything that connects abstract, global concepts to local examples, we consider a story; anything that grounds lofty concepts into the specifics of the workday.” “When we’re trying to motivate or persuade, that’s where I think it’s much more effective to speak to (local employees’) guts; to use their mother tongue, to make it easier for them.” “If you want to change behavior – or, more likely, prevent misbehavior – trainings coming from us in the Anglosphere may not be so effective.” “We have to from the very beginning build a mindset for global-ready content. Global readiness, I believe, should be built into almost everything we produce.” About Ray: Ray Walsh is an American communications consultant based in Prague. For 20 years he has supported global clients in a variety of industries and managed employee communications in-house for companies including UPS and DXC Technology. He has lived in his native US, and in Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Follow Our Guest: Website: www.raywalsh.net @LinkedIn About WorkvivoTo discover Workvivo, a workplace communication and engagement platform that offers seamless digital integration, please click here. About Scott McInnes: Learn more about Scott McInnes, founder and director of Inspiring Change, by clicking here.