The 21st Century Workplace









May 2017
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Full disclosure: here at Actionable, we are huge fans of Roger Martin’s work. Not only has he been named the #1 management thinker by Thinkers50, but his work has helped to frame many of our internal project and strategy discussions. We are delighted to host Roger for a conversation about his latest book, Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking. Roger shared his thoughts on the origins and evolution of his work, the power of narrative for making complex ideas more understandable, and his four step process for moving beyond “either/or” decision making processes, toward creating greater choices through integrative thinking.

Direct download: RogerMartinCreatingGreatChoices.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am EDT

Phil Jones noticed that in large groups of people, particularly in commercial scenarios, with all things being equal (skill, capabilities, resources), some people are just way more successful. He realized that the key differentiator was that top performers knew exactly what to say, how to say it, and how to make it count. These “magic words” of influence are the basis of his new book, Exactly What to Say—where he unpacks some of the verbal cues that we can all directly apply to our conversations, to move people from “maybe” to a definitive yes or no. Phil joined us for a funny and insightful conversation about the power of words to help you become more persuasive.

Direct download: PhilJones_-_2017-11-14_9.13_AM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am EDT

In her previous books, Nilofer Merchant has taught us how to "create business solutions through collaborative strategy" (The New How) and has shared the 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era. Now she's back with a new tome, The Power of Onlyness, and such luminaries as Susan Cain, Amy Cuddy, and Dan Pink are already singing its praises. Its premise is this: the Internet has been the great leveler, demolishing hierarchies and giving all of us, regardless of our status, a platform to spread our message and change the world—as long as we embrace and harness our "onlyness", that one thing that sets us apart from everyone else. During our chat, we touch upon the following:

  • Why you no longer need to be part of an organization or require capital to make a dent in the world
  • How do we define—and own—our onlyness? Can we do it ourselves?
  • Those questions that you can't answer and don't leave you alone are really the first step in discovering your onlyness
  • Encountering fear and anger while striving to embrace your onlyness
  • Bringing our authentic selves to our interactions with others (and the sobering fact that 61% of us don't reveal our true selves in the workplace)

We all have the power to make a dent in the world, and it lies within our onlyness.

Note: Unfortunately we encountered an audio issue during the recording of our interview with Nilofer. We apologize and hope that the quality of the conversation will help make up for it.

Direct download: Embracing_Your_Onlyness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55pm EDT

We're delighted to welcome Mike Figliuolo, author and founder and managing director of thoughtLEADERS, on The 21st Century Workplace Podcast. With his first book, One Piece of Paper, Figliuolo helped us craft a simple and robust leadership philosophy. With his sophomore effort, Lead Inside the Box, co-authored by Victor Prince, Figliulo shifts his focus to "how smart leaders guide their teams to exceptional results". During our chat we dive into many areas, including:

  • What it was like co-writing a book virtually with someone he hadn't met in person
  • Triaging where you invest your time as a leader
  • How the book flips the traditional leadership model on its head with its performance matrix (and how we can best leverage it)
  • How much time should we allow between performance reviews?
  • Defining Leadership Capital
  • Why if something you say during a performance review surprises your direct report, you've failed as a leader

At first blush some of the ideas discussed in this conversation may sound a little counterintuitive, but we're certain that they will help you better invest your time as a leader.

Direct download: Whats_Your_Leadership_ROI.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:17pm EDT

In her new book, Hunch, Bernadette Jiwa explores the creative dearth that our distracted society is creating. She examines “innovation icons” like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk for the common trends they share. But then, and this is the exciting bit, Bernadette shows example after example of “ordinary geniuses”—people like you and me —who are creating their own breakthrough innovation, leveraging a simple set of practical tools that we can all benefit from. In this episode of The 21st Century Workplace, we discuss:

  • The limiting belief we have around what genius actually is
  • How we can reduce distractions to broaden our curiosity
  • Why a Hunch = Insight + Foresight
  • The subtle (but very important) distinction between Ideas and Opportunities
  • The winning combination of Curiosity, Empathy and Imagination

This conversation will leave you with some invaluable tips on how you can turn your everyday insights into the next big thing.

Actionable Quote
"I often wonder what Steve Jobs would think if he was transported down here now and how he would feel about what we're all doing. He was probably the last person who want to have his head down. He was as curious as a Meerkat."


Direct download: Turning_Everyday_Insights_Into_the_Next_Big_Thing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:41pm EDT