Peter Drucker famously stated "Culture eats strategy for breakfast", starting a global debate about the importance of workplace culture in achieving business success. As our approaches towards people at work have changed since the 1950's, so too has our global vocabulary. We have started using terms like 'employer brand' and 'workplace culture' and we are becoming more and more aware of just how important workplace culture is in terms of enabling us to attract, develop and retain top talent and to ultimately achieve our strategic business objectives.
Creating or improving workplace culture is not an 'HR thing' but instead a strategic imperative and a leadership responsibility. Unfortunately, however, the vast majority of business and even HR leaders, don't understand enough about workplace culture and know even less about how to ensure that a toxic workplace culture doesn't go un-checked.
This first season of our podcast The Leadership Burrito focuses on toxic workplace culture, as it is a growing global concern across all industries. A Gallup survey found that less than 15% of employees globally, are engaged at work. Workplace culture is undeniably a big contributing factor to these shockingly low figures. The aim of this first season is really to unpack the importance of workplace culture as a strategic imperative and to explore some of the factors which contribute to toxic workplace cultures and to then provide helpful tools and tips to create lasting improvements and changes.
Our guests for Season 1 are all experts in their fields and selflessly shared knowledge, learning and stories aimed at educating, enlightening and empowering our listeners. In order of appearance:
Based in Toronto, Canada, Hilton Barbour has a background in Marketing and Strategy and uses his skills to assist organisations wishing to effect lasting organisational culture change and transformation.
Assistant Clinical Professor in UCSF Medical School's Department of Psychiatry, Dr Cameron Sepah is a trained clinical psychologist who specializes in behavioural medicine. Besides his work as a faculty member, Dr Sepah regularly publishes articles and he is a keen supporter of VC's and start-ups. Dr Sepah is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs with coaching and capital to develop thriving people and products.
Joining us from Nottinghamshire in the UK, Andy Davies is Head of Global Enablement at People First. A major proponent of empathy, kindness, transparency, collaboration and candid conversations, Andy is a pioneer of the 'check-in' conversation as a cornerstone to building amazing workplace cultures and improving employee engagement.
Colin J Browne is an author and globally renowned speaker. In episode 5 of Season 1, Colin shares his personal story about hiring someone who turned out not to be a 'culture fit' and how this experience inspired him to start interviewing business leaders who were getting workplace culture, right. You can purchase Colin's book "How to build a happy sandpit" on Amazon or chat to his team about "Iceberg" the board-game that allows you to stress-test your culture by requiring participants to solve a series of problems relating to the Titanic tragedy, using only your company's core values.
Another author joined our esteemed panel of guests for Season 1 all the way from Arizona. Certified Empowerment Coach, Rene Johnson shared her insights about the skills modern leaders need in order to drive and improve workplace culture. Rene's book "Leaving your Comfort Zone" is an empowering and inspiring read.
Rae D'Umay is a Master Facilitator and veteran of Change Management, based in Seattle. Rae is especially skilled at assisting organisations to navigate difficult change and is a huge fan of incorporating Design Thinking into more traditional HR to improve Employee Experience and Engagement.
Our final guest for Season 1 is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Kieron McRae is a veteran of organisational change management and a pioneer of accelerated culture change methodologies, having developed the #90dayculturechallenge with our host Deborah Hartung