May 31, 2017
Dr. Linda Sharkey and Morag Barrett, co-authors of
The Future-Proof Workplace, share their views on how the
industrial revolution left us with the broken and toxic workplaces
we see today. Virtual enterprises and aspirational millennials do
not thrive under command-and-control leadership. Linda and Morag
talk about how a culture of curiosity, learning, diversity, growth,
and purpose can future-proof the workplace to lend purpose and
power to individuals and teams.
[5:40] Linda explains that the rules of industry were
designed for an era with different values and beliefs, such as the
belief that people need to be controlled and managed to achieve
their goals. The manual manufacturing environment is replaced by
automation. ‘Command and control’ is still seen in the office.
Linda would rather see ideas put in place to help people be the
best they can be, and contribute fully.
[9:59] Linda comments on command and control. She
considers the pressure to produce and sell, which has been present
since the Great Recession, causes leaders to revert to the default
style of command and control to meet high-pressure deadlines.
[16:09] Linda says more books are written on
leadership than any other topic. Leadership has been an issue for
thousands of years. The style of leadership that is engaging,
focused on development and on the individuals you are leading, with
heart, has always been successful. People have tolerated command
and control, but changed conditions and technology have made it
unsustainable for this century.
[17:41] Linda considers how current massive changes
may cause us to step back and ask how can we really get to that
place we’ve all been talking about for the last 50 years, of
belonging, of diversity, with a culture that values people, and
makes them feel they can participate and innovate, and feel
appreciated. Things will never be as they were in the 1960s, so
embrace the change and transform along with it.
[20:11] Morag studied authors Christophe Morin,
Sebastian Junger, and Robin Dunbar for her first book, on the
importance of professional relationships. Technology gives us an
illusion of connection, but social media friends are not friends to
call on in an emergency. The neuroscience of what makes us human —
how we work together, is important. Morag cites Daniel Pink on
autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
[23:02] Linda stresses the importance of purpose.
Purpose needs to be the rallying cause. People get much more
excited about what they’re doing, when thinking from a purposeful
perspective. Deep down, people do want to help other people, and
want to make and do things that will make a difference and leave a
[24:56] Connection and empathy are basic principles.
Morag suggests pausing to check in, and connect, before you dive
into the project. Relationships are critical to success in the 21st
century. Linda says technology gives us information very quickly,
but the emotional connection, and feeling of a relationship is what
makes a difference to people. Google research shows that the best
teams care about each other.
[34:18] Morag says leaders today need to have these
conversations: what culture do we have on this team, what are our
rules of engagement, and how are we working together? Start
creating a language and framework that effects change, at your
level of influence, if you are not in the C-suite. There will be a
ripple effect to the rest of the organization.
[39:17] Deal humanely with people that don’t produce.
But saying that a certain percentage will be cut is toxic. Look at
your strategy, and look at your people. Who has the skills now to
move the strategy forward, who needs development, and who would
work better in another area, or at another company? Keep the
workforce vital, to deliver on the strategy. Dump the rules, and
grow people with the company.
[43:49] Morag shares case studies. They helped
someone pivot from the mindset of a treadmill career track to a
portfolio career, where the same skills performed a different role,
and provided empowerment and fulfillment. Linda and Morag helped a
team move past the way it has always been done, to an innovative,
influential solution. Linda and Morag helped an organization find
hidden talent in-house.
[47:18] Linda shares a cultural transformation story
of a Canadian division of a global company. With six months of
serious effort, they really changed how leadership acted, and how
they were interacting with the company. They measured the results
with psychometric tools. Over a year, they were able to turn the
culture around to become a star division in the company. Use
science, not hunches, to make changes.
The Future-Proof Workplace: Six Strategies to
Accelerate Talent Development, Reshape
Your Culture, and Succeed with Purpose, by Linda Sharkey, PhD.
and Morag Barrett
Website: FutureProofWorkplace.com For a special 40% discount
on the book.
Dr. Linda Sharkey is the author of The Future-Proof
Workplace and a trusted transformational expert, author,
speaker, and global leadership development coach.
Through her programs and no-nonsense approach, she
helps create high-potential leaders and shapes company culture.
Linda has deep experience working with Fortune 50 companies, and
held senior human resource executive positions at Hewlett-Packard
and at GE Capital.
Her co-authored book Winning With Transglobal
Leadership was named one of the top 30 best business books for
Dr. Sharkey is a founding member of the Marshall
Goldsmith Group, and an inspiring keynote speaker at many global
events, including the Global HR Academy with the Conference Board
and the World Human Resources Development Conference, where she was
honored with the “Super Women Achievement Award.”
Morag Barrett is the author of The Future-Proof
Workplace and Cultivate: The Power of Winning
Relationships. She is also the founder and CEO of SkyeTeam, an
international HR and leadership development company.
With a background in corporate banking, Morag brings
a pragmatic perspective to her work with forward-thinking
organizations, from start-up to FTSE 100 and Fortune 100 companies.
She is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur.com, CIO.com, and the
American Management Association.
Prior to founding SkyeTeam, Morag held leadership
positions at Level 3 Communications, and NatWest Bank where she
advised international organizations on their corporate strategy and
growth plans. Originally from the UK, she has experience working
with more than 3,000 leaders in twenty countries on four
Books Mentioned in This Episode
Insight: Why We’re Not as
Self-aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us
Succeed at Work and In Life, by Tasha Eurich
Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your
Customer's Brain, by Patrick Renvoise and Christophe
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian
How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar's Number and
Other Evolutionary Quirks, by Robin
Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships, by Morag
Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, by
"The Five Keys to a Successful Google Team," Google work article by
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want
and Career You Deserve, by Liz Ryan
The Future of Management, by Gary Hamel
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning
Organization, by Peter M. Senge