Created with Sketch.
The Culture Builders
25 minutes | Sep 8, 2022
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Making the Four Day Week Work
“Four day working week ahead” shout all the headlines at the moment. But, as many are finding out, the reality of a truncated working pattern is far from easy. Jane got a chance to talk to David Taylor, the Group Commercial Director for Costain, who shared with her his experience of changing from a five to a four day week. The move was part of his search for a ‘quality of life upgrade’ but, when he trialled it, David found it was anything but – working a four day week just shifted the work into the weekend and pressurised the rest of the working week. It took a more fundamental change from David to get on track – using the muscle of Trust, and the skill of effective delegation to make appropriate space. On the podcast, he talks about the need to correctly message people about the intent, to manage expectations, and for the individual to deliver the proof that it can work. It’s a privilege, not a right, for David. He also shares the side benefit for others - how stepping back actually gives others a chance to step in and take more responsibility and grab learning opportunities. A great listen for anyone thinking of moving to a shorter working week.
30 minutes | Dec 7, 2021
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Flex in the new world of work
There is, without a doubt, a huge, global desire to remove the nine to five working patterns. But, to be balanced, it’s been on the way out for a number of years… but slowly and with great effort by a few determined people. In that vein, meet Emma Cleary – Founder of Flexibility Matters, an organisation that’s been specialising in placing candidates that are looking for flexible working patterns. In Emma’s own words, it’s been a tough sell for many years. But, for her, the rollercoaster cart has reached the top of the climb, and now is hurtling along the tracks. Why? Because we’ve all proved, conclusively, that flex working… works. We got some time with Emma recently to talk more about this, and get her views on the benefits (which have always been evident to some) of employing people that don’t adhere to the traditional patterns. Also, linked to this, is the trawl for talent and the attraction factors that an organisation needs to demonstrate. In short, it’s a rich conversation between her and Chris!
12 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
The Culture Builders Burst – putting numbers to the impact of the pandemic
During the early autumn of 2021, The Culture Builders commissioned an independent research project to look at the impact of the pandemic on organisations across the UK, and beyond. The aim was to identify the key factors that have been impacted (positively and negatively by the Lockdown and restrictions, and to chart out how this impact differs across organisations. The inevitable results demonstrated that areas such as engagement, talent development and culture have all been impacted (but more deeply than first thought). But the research told a story of two situations – smaller companies have been harder hit, but are more ready for the next phase, whereas larger organisations feel less impacted, but are still very much in the planning and exploration stage of their response. In this Burst episode, Chris Preston shares the top line summary, and his take on the findings – plus he shares the key factors that HR professionals believe will be the must-have traits for leaders taking people forward in this new post-pandemic poly-working world. You can get a copy of the White Paper here.
21 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Welcome to poly-working – meeting a myriad of needs
Since Jane and Chris developed the thinking behind the concept of Poly Working, the team has been inundated with requests for conversations, support and ideas. The notion of a multi-faceted approach to the return to work, and beyond, is a compelling call to action that challenges the overly simplistic remote working structures that some organisations are looking to implement. In this podcast, they open up the idea, and share how organisations are finding success as they find their way in the new world of work. There’s no one easy solution, and the guidance focuses more on conversations, connections and complexity. If we are to succeed in building a more balanced working life for everyone then we need to plan carefully as we release the pressure from the ‘elastic stretched taut’ that has been all our lives for the last 18 months. As ever, it’s a podcast that’s full of stories, advice and lessons learnt. You can also access the White Paper on poly-working HERE.
30 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
The Culture Builders Deep Dive - working with purpose at the heart of the culture
Selina Hales, founder of Glasgow-based Charity, Refuweegee talks to Owen Cook about managing, leading and looking after staff, volunteers, and yourself in a high-purpose environment, where people pour themselves into their work. The conversation brings lessons in working towards unachievable goals and developing a symbiotic relationship with your people in order to continue to perform under difficult circumstances. If this one doesn't give you goosebumps at some point, we don't know what will. This was recorded pre-pandemic.
20 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
The Culture Builders Deep Dive - Leadership in the charitable sector
In this episode, our Head of Programmes, Owen Cook, talks with Diana Jupp, the CEO at Pancreatic Cancer UK - the Charity leading on raising awareness of this type of cancer and providing support to patients and families affected by it. Diana talks about the challenges that working in a charity so closely linked to loss brings to her and the team. During the course of the conversation Diana shares her insights on maintaining culture whilst growing an organisation, the difficulty of finding the right balance between investment and delivery when you have limited resources, and what to watch out for in your people when they are driven by purpose, possibly to the point of burnout. This podcast was recorded pre the pandemic.
24 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
The Culture Builders Deep Dive - keeping an eye on the talent ball
How do you maintain culture, connection and performance in your organisation when you add talent? In this episode, Hilary Wells - HR Director for Hawkeye - talks to Owen about managing and developing people to achieve high-performance. Hilary shares her insights on recruiting people during phases of rapid growth, in contexts ranging from family-owned, to truly global businesses and dealing with the resulting shifting dynamics.
30 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Talent in the new reality
Kellie McSorley, Founder of SILK Search and The SET joins Jane Sparrow to discuss the current and emerging talent landscape that organisations are experiencing. Her insight is both deep and broad – bringing in a number of perspectives that point to the emerging direction that organisations will be taking as they look for the next wave of senior leaders. In a pandemic and hopefully post-pandemic world, new skills are going to be critical as companies look to on-board people who bring a strong mix of ‘soft skills’ that enable them to effectively manage a rapidly evolving workplace. Placed as she is in the thick of the search for talent, Kellie talks fluently about the immediate Executive talent needs and what is being seen on the horizon. A compelling listen.
31 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Don’t wing culture in aviation
Jane and Chris both take time on this episode to interview Peter Davies – a man whose vast experience and knowledge of the aviation industry and its unique leadership challenges needs two interviewers to do justice to! He’s a turn-around specialist who has rekindled the passion, and passenger numbers in a number of airlines and aviation-related organisations. But he’s not your average trouble-shooter. To give you an insight into this, he devotes five minutes of this podcast talking about fixing toilets. It’s not as trivial as it seems, and it’s something that typifies Peter’s style – caring about the small elements that make an organisation successful. And, critically, caring about its people. He talks about the head and the heart of organisations, and where they sit for him. You’ll be surprised and fascinated by his answers. He’s a positive challenger or, as he calls himself, ‘a fixed disruptor’. His industry insight is fascinating, and his wider leadership approach is inspirational.
35 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – The Culture of the Board
Sir John Tusa’s board experience reads like a top ten list for the UK arts world. He’s been part of the governance process for organisations such as The British Museum, The English National Opera and the National Portrait Gallery. This, on top of a career that’s seen him running the BBC World Service, co-founding Newsnight and managing London’s Barbican Centre. So, when John writes a book about Boards, you know it’s going to be good. Chris recently reviewed John’s new book – On Board – and was compelled to talk to him about how an organisation’s culture is impacted by governance, and the people who are trusted with it. What he got was a podcast that is packed with stories that draw from four decades of practical experience, both as a senior leader and as a senior Board member. You’ll want your pen ready for this one – it’s littered with advice and insight that everyone will value.
32 minutes | Nov 26, 2020
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Energising a magnetic culture
Libby Townsend – Group People Director at OVO Group – joins Jane Sparrow to discuss her experiences in a range of corporates, and what she sees as the deeper factors that create a ‘magnetic culture’ for organisations – drawing in and keeping bright people as we enter the new year and a range of new challenges and possibilities She shares her journey and learning points around the creation and maintenance of strong cultures - such as her tent-in-a-field induction with Virgin Mobile and how it demonstrated the power of fun in an organisation. Libby also talks about the difficulty of ‘retro-fitting’ purpose in organisations, and the challenge of trying to motivate a ‘stale’ culture. Currently, Libby feels that the organisations weathering the current situation most successfully are those that have a clear, lived purpose, and are actively encouraging dialogue and communication that is based on it. She sees managers as the vital success factor, and believes that organisations should be placing a great deal of emphasis and support on this group – something based on her own experience of being a mentor and remaining connected to those she has supported as they have grown.
8 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
The Culture Builders Burst – There’s something funny about culture
From March 2020 to today we have all been living and working on a rollercoaster – the initial stages filled us with fear and trepidation, but also with a keen sense of humour and shared laughter. Over time, fear has become resignation and humour has faded. But, with the change in seasons, steps ‘back’ around lockdown and people feeling at a low ebb, we need it more than ever. In this quick burst episode, Chris takes a dip into this surprisingly complex subject and highlights its importance (and risk) in creating a strong team culture. He also lays down the challenge of bringing it back – dialling back up the ‘funnies’ and finding ways to share humour. We all need to smile right now, and it’s not something we should leave to chance.
16 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
The Culture Builders Burst – Unplug to recharge
With statistics right now indicating that two thirds of us are facing issues with burn-out, it’s vital that we start taking on board the idea that ‘unplugging’ is a critical factor for sustainable working, and to give use a fighting change of making it through this most difficult, prolonged period of uncertainty. No one is taking the right amount of time off at the moment, and people are working longer and harder than ever. But it will end badly if we don’t make some changes now. Jane and Chris, on this Burst podcast, share some very practical ways of building in the ‘pauses’ and the permission to stop – even short moments that give us back the energy and focus that we need. They encourage listeners to think about ‘structured’ and ‘unstructured’ unplugging – either things we plan for and implement in a planned way, or those ‘happy interruptions’ that give us a pause and a change of pace. Their tips, as ever, range from the easy to the extreme – this time, it’s dogs and broken legs.
13 minutes | Sep 3, 2020
The Culture Builders Burst – How to make September the start of the next chapter
September will be a significant turning point for many of us – as the critical situation created by COVID19 will become a chronic situation that we are learning to live with. The change of the season and the return to school/work for many is a signal that a change is hopefully coming. We have an opportunity to define the next stage of our strange 2020 world, and it’s important that we don’t sleepwalk through it and miss the opportunity. Cultures are fluid, people are looking for change and, with the right pace, great things can happen. Jane and Chris share three areas of focus and consideration for anyone thinking about how to tackle the next few months – how to take ownership of the direction of travel and use the situation to move the culture of your organisation forwards. There’s a reminder of just how far we’ve come, how much new ‘muscle’ people have developed over the last few months – and how we harness this growth-under-pressure. As Chris says, there’s no blueprint for the future of work, so we either sit and wait for it to appear, or we create it ourselves.
31 minutes | Jul 9, 2020
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Curating a unique culture during rapid growth
How do you capture and maintain what makes your company culture fantastic when your growth trajectory brings in a slew of new people who have the potential to dilute that culture? This was the problem faced by Paul Knight when he joined the People Function in the rapidly-growing Perform Media Group seven years ago. Under his guidance, the organisation went from 750 people to more than 3,000 in less than four years, culminating in a necessary de-merger of the two parts (into Perform and DAZN) of the company to allow future growth. Throughout this time, Paul and the team were highly aware of the unique culture that had made Perform successful, and how their work should help curate it rather than remove it. Necessary systems and processes had to be ‘tuned’ to the right tone and levels of control to ensure they supported a highly commercial, casual and progressive organisation. In his own words, it wasn’t easy but, for Paul, it was the journey of a lifetime. Take a listen into that story.
32 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
The Culture Builders Deep Dive - Cultures and AI - a complex relationship
“The current situation is only accelerating what’s been happening for a while with AI,” believes Greg Orme, award-winning author of The Human Edge. He joins Chris on this podcast to discuss how this now-pervasive technology is changing the landscape of work for everyone, and how we should positively use the opportunity to ‘remove tasks, not jobs’ as part of its implementation. Greg brings a fascinating insight into how we, as a professional society, are responding to AI – where it’s being harnessed to help improve lives and where it’s disrupting traditional approaches for those less comfortable with its emergence. It’s a powerful tool, as Greg states, but one that we have full control over and, if we are mindful, can positively shape the impact it has on our organisational cultures. Ultimately, it’s down to the trust we place in both it and the leadership that encourages us to innovate around it. Right now, with the urgent need for new tools to help build the as-yet unclear future of work, AI is one tool we would do well to plan for. Sit back and enjoy a front-row seat as Greg and Chris muse about the ‘mess’ that will save us and the happy-loss of video recorders. It all makes sense upon listening!
21 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Leading BBC Studioworks through a crisis
Just a few short months into his tenure as CEO of BBC Studioworks, Andrew Moultrie faced the prospect of leading his organisation through the COVID19 crisis and resultant restrictions for broadcasters. The company, a subsidiary of the BBC, provides facilities for the filming and production of some of the most popular TV shows in this country and beyond – Eastenders and Strictly being just two of a wide range of outputs. The first tool he reached for? Emotional intelligence. Andrew credits any success of his leadership to this factor – far more so than models, process or structure. As he says himself: “Being an emotional kid in the 80s and 90s did not work for me – but now it’s a superpower.” Jane and the rest of the team have been working closely with Andrew and the wider BBC Studioworks team to implement a new approach to values and behaviours – fuelled by his desire to focus on creating a strong culture within the organisation. You can hear more of his initial leadership journey, how he approached being a ‘lockdown leader’, and his view on he importance of emotions for senior leaders on this podcast episode.
14 minutes | May 31, 2020
The Culture Builders Burst - Wellbeing becoming a critical part of business during the pandemic
Wellbeing has long been on the fringes of business - yes, it's important, but it's long been sat in the corner, adding value 'as and when'. But now, with the new landscape of a pandemic-hit world, we are seeing it rise to the top of the list of priorities. Jane and Chris share their thoughts on this, and talk about how the 'permission' to take advantage of wellbeing offerings and to be more open about using them are some of the unexpected benefits of the current lockdown situation. More than ever, we need people to be focused, sustainable and well.
19 minutes | May 28, 2020
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Lessons from COVID19 and the opportunities it offers
Back for part two, Andrew Keith, President of Lane Crawford, builds on his views around how the virus has been a catalyst for necessary but also desired change in the fashion industry. Since the 23rd of January his organisation has been surviving in a lockdown world, and he shares his views on how they have coped, the things he has done as a leader to ensure he remains a visible, connected leader, and the impact that the values and culture work has had in preparing them for this situation. He shares examples of where his retail team has become far more inventive in solving the blockers that lockdown presented – Zooming customers to show products and creating new routes to the communities that they work with. With Hong Kong now emerging from lockdown, he also talks about the excitement and uncertainty that he is seeing as people come back to work physically. He recognises the staggered nature of the return, and the importance of including everyone in this process. But most of all, he talks about the renewed sense of purpose, and how people in the company are looking ahead at the positive changes that the virus has encouraged and enabled them to make. In short, Andrew paints a blueprint for the future that we can all start to follow.
20 minutes | May 22, 2020
The Culture Builders Deep Dive – A sea change in the fashion industry
A number of leading figures in the fashion industry have taken the bold step of challenging the traditional seasonal model that dominates the market currently. It’s wasteful, frustrating and unnecessary. But it takes a brave voice to rock the boat so drastically. But that’s exactly what our guest this week, Andrew Keith – President, Lane Crawford – did recently. He, and a number of leading industry figures joined forces to call out the current situation and lay the groundwork for a new way of retailing. But the story starts three years earlier, when Lane Crawford (Asia’s leading luxury fashion retailer) undertook a root and branch re-think of its culture – defining a new purpose and ‘reason for being’ and working intensely to re-engineer the core tenets of the organisation. It was, as Andrew explains, the foundation for the change and challenge to the industry. He joins Jane Sparrow to talk about the drivers behind his challenge to the industry and how (with our help!) he moved a 170-year-old culture forward one big step.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022