The Culture Builders

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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.

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.

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.

May 15, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive – managing emotions at 400 mph

Mike Ling is one of the flying team with the Blades Aerobatic Team – a place earnt through a spectacular military flying career, that concluded with him taking one of the lead pilot roles in the world renowned Red Arrows. He spoke to us recently to share more of his story and put into context some of our work and thinking around areas such as emotional management during stressful situations and the criticality of physiological management.

His story is nothing short of heart-stopping, in the interview he talks about a near-fatal crash that nearly ended his flying career, and how he found new depths of resilience and determination during his long road to recovery. We’ve always had the utmost admiration for the Red Arrows pilots, and Mike demonstrates exactly why – calm, humble and a total professional. There’s a great deal of his story and thinking that translates into the wider business culture – flying has taught him a great deal, and he’s very happy to share his wisdom.

May 6, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Culture lessons from a global team

"The necessity of presence is over-rated – I’m far more focused on output and productivity, rather than the number of hours you’re sat in the office,” states Joel Krutz, former CFO of Viacom CBS International and this episode’s guest. He has, for many years worked with a team that spans the globe, so when he talks about remote working and remote teams, you sit back and listen!

You’ll need your notepads ready for this one, as Jane and Joel chat about the reality of a workforce upon which the sun never sets and how to both deliver your best and get the same out of others when time and distance are major factors. Joel talks passionately about the importance of ‘knowing the reality of the individual’ in order to work with them effectively. The factor that comes across strongly during the interview is his view that working with an international team requires a great deal of proactivity – success doesn’t come by chance.  If you want some clear, practical thinking on how remote working can impact your talent pool, help you build a different approach to judging how people add value and the ways in which communication can be used with dispersed teams, Joel is your man.

 
May 1, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive - What does three years of home working teach you?

Our guest this episode describes the current (April 2020) remote working situation as ‘taking off one pair of slippers and putting on different ones. Since 2016, when a leukemia diagnosis forced Frank Cunnane to re-think his work patterns, he’s been re-shaping his working patterns to take into account the new reality for him.

We asked him to share his learnings from this experience, to talk about the changes he made and the new attitudes he developed to enable him to still be an effective leader. His role as Vice President & Regional CIO EMEA for Sony Pictures Entertainment requires a great deal of him, which he sustainably delivers from his home base. Jane worked with Frank for many years, and it’s with a real delight that she got some time with him on the line to share his story and his growth during that tough time.

April 28, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Remote working – it’s about trust & talent

James Skinner, Director of Digital Technology for Specsavers has a number of keen perspectives on how an organisation can develop its remote working culture. James joins Jane Sparrow to talk about what it means to build a remote-working focused culture and the attitudes that leaders need to foster authentically if they are to make the transition to a more fluid working approach a success. 

His experience in companies such as Dyson and Specsavers and the different ways they approach this area are highly illuminating. One area he raises on the podcast is the link between flexible work patterns and talent attraction – the first has to be on offer to attract the second. Trust is also high on his list – James sees it as the cornerstone of success when leading a team. Ultimately, it’s about what people do and the output they create, rather than the way they do this.

April 23, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive – On the road with a remote working pro

Continuing our remote working focus, Jane is joined by Jonathan Hood - Business Development Manager – Coloplast is no stranger to remote working, having worked as a field rep for the company. He shares with Jane his experiences of the highs and lows of remote working and the learnings he’s taken from the journey (metaphorical and physical) of transitioning into the role.

One of the key stand-outs is the opportunity to use the time and the experience to learn. Jonathan uses his journeys as a way of adding to his knowledge bank and catching up on stimulating content. He’s also developed a keen eye for detailed planning to ensure he maximises his time. Alongside the planning and development, it’s also important for him to maintain a healthy lifestyle – avoiding the pitfalls of poor diet choices that a life on the road can offer.

April 10, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive – managing an age diverse workforce during the lockdown

We are joined on this episode by Steve Butler, author of Managing the Gap – a highly practical look at inter-generational working and how to get the best out of an age-diverse workforce. This area has become a key factor for remote working, with the focus turning on the under 25s as they struggle the most with this extraordinary environment.

Steve talks about his experience managing a diverse age group through the current challenges – how he’s seeing the differences manifest and the activities he’s putting in place to ensure people are included and supported. As ever, Steve takes the positive practical approach, seeing learning and growth opportunities for his workforce and for himself.

March 24, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Meet and understand the remote workers

When we say ‘people are’ we totally lose the individuality that makes our workforce so varied, vibrant, robust and challenging. Right now, with the challenges of remote working near the top of every organisation’s list, it’s critical that we continue to think about people as unique individuals, who each need a specific plan to ensure they can be successful, remain positive and stay healthy (you included).

So, meet Frankie, Drew, Charlie and Remi – four characters that bring to life the challenges that we are all facing – distractions, stress, worry, dislocation and boredom. In this episode, Jane and Chris bring these people to life, and talk through the ways that we can support them and ensure we factor in what they need and mitigate what we need – forging that third culture that’s so critical for success. 

Finally, we launched our latest book this week! It’s chapter two of the Bank of Me – the Remote Working Edition. Packed full of ideas, tips and actions to keep everyone focused and motivated when working remotely. Grab the ebook off Amazon now.