The Culture Builders

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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.

March 13, 2020  

The Culture Builders Burst – Sleep well on International Sleep Day

It's World Sleep Day today so, in this short Burst Episode, Owen taps Beccy - the head of our Physiological Faculty - for her top five tips on Sleep. While there's bound to be a couple you've heard before in there (that doesn't make them wrong - go do something about them), there are also a couple that we'd hope are new to you including thinking about how the way you get up in the morning might make a difference to your sleep at night... Hopefully that's enough to peak your curiosity. That said, we're always curious about what works for other people, so feel free to get in touch and tell us!

March 9, 2020  

The Culture Builders Burst – keeping a team a team when everyone’s remote

When asked to describe remote working, we talk about a high-stress environment. Unless you are adept at working at home, it can be one of the hardest environments to be effective in – new distractions, lack of resources and, as we explore in this podcast, something that can make people feel isolated.

Jane and Chris explore more ideas around how to make a success of remote working – staying connected, being proactive in relationships and ensuring your social sphere doesn’t shrink down to the few people that you absolutely need to connect with.

Also, don’t forget the upcoming podcast on Friday 13th of March at UK-time – lots more ideas around how to be effective and remote work like a pro. Sign up here.

February 28, 2020  

The Culture Builders Burst – the challenge of remote working

Right now, many companies are facing up to the challenge of temporarily changing how their people work – putting in place travel bans and remote working requirements as part of their efforts to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Like a snow-day, the novelty of the situation soon wears off, and people across the globe (particularly in China and Hong Kong, where people have been facing this situation far longer) are struggling to make the situation work. Put simply, most of us just don’t know how to work effectively outside of the office. 

We’ve dedicated this week’s podcast (and some of our wider sharing with the business community) to this area – Jane, Chris and the team have been producing support materials for organisations wanting to help people remain connected, positive and effective. In this burst we share some quick tips and thinking to get people into the right mindset for remote working and virtual collaboration.

There’s more to come on this – we are determined to do our bit and help people in this difficult period. Keep an eye on our social feeds for more tips and tools, and take a moment to sign up to our upcoming web-cast on this topic.


January 24, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive – Standard Chartered Bank & culture change through ethical investment

2020 has made a dramatic entrance, with a number of world events putting the issues of global warming, climate change and carbon reduction at the very front of all of our minds. The changes needed run through every culture – local, national, global and, critically, organisational. To make lasting shifts that will slow global warming, we need organisations to take significant action. 

We got the opportunity to find out how one company – Standard Chartered Bank – is driving this change with its shifting focus onto ethical investment. Samantha Bramley, Director, Environmental and Social Risk Management, joined us on our latest Deep-Dive podcast to talk about how the bank is re-focusing on ethical issues and the impact this is having on the organisation.

Samantha draws out a story of change that it compelling and cause for hope. The impact of her and the wider team’s work is major, both for the organisations they fund and for the culture of the bank. They’ve started a positive movement that is changing the way people think and act. And that can only be a good thing.


January 10, 2020  

The Culture Builders Deep Dive: Leadership Lessons for your first 90 days in post

How do you prepare to step into a new leadership role? What can you do before the move to make sure you're at your best for it? What do you need to do, for yourself and others, during the first 60-90 days in role to get off to the best start? In this episode Jane gets to talk to Seb Monk - Chief Experience Officer at property tech and shared living start-up, Lyvly - about how he prepared for the move and what he's been doing in his early days in post.
Seb shares learning from the environments and transitions across his career, including moves from the armed forces into corporate law, on to retail with Waitrose, into Dyson and now to Lyvly. He draws our attention to the things he's kept and tried to repeat, and the things he's done differently this time around.

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