The Intelligent Workplace

The Intelligent Workplace

Episode 13

Battling Fear and Toxicity in the workplace

Heather Newman
CEO, CMO & MVP
An amazing multi-tasking woman

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Heather Newman is a woman of many talents. Not only is she an established podcaster, host of the Mavens Do It Better podcast, but she is also a Microsoft MVP, CMO at Content Panda and CEO of marketing consulting firm, Creative Maven. Add to those responsibilities that she is also a highly sought after public speaker, and its fair to say that I was truly grateful to be able to grab some of her time recently!

Heather was in Australia as a guest of the Digital Workplace Conference where she workshops and spoke to delegates in thought leadership sessions.  One of her sessions discussed the idea that Fear and Toxicity have no place in contemporary corporate cultures, something that really resonated with me, so I invited her on to explore the topic with me.

Show Notes Links:
https://www.mavensdoitbetter.com/
https://www.contentpanda.com/
https://www.creativemaven.com/
https://www.dwcau.com.au/
https://www.livetiles.nyc/intelligent-intranet/livesmiles

Chris:                    

I recorded this episode of the Intelligent Workplace Podcast while on the road at the Digital Workplace Conference in Sydney recently. I do apologize in advance if there is some background noise in this recording, as we were speaking in an open room. Heading into this interview, I was really feeling the pressure, as my guest was another podcaster, Heather Newman. Actually just referring to her as a podcast doesn’t really do her justice.

Chris:                    

Heather is not only an established podcaster, host of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast, but she’s also a Microsoft MVP and CMO at Content Panda. A high tech business dedicated to creating products that deliver a superior user experience and value to businesses. And to those responsibilities that she is also CEO of marketing consulting firm, Creative Maven. And it’s fair to say that I was truly grateful to be able to grab some of her time recently.

Chris:                    

Heather was in Australia as a guest of the Digital Workplace Conference, where she ran a few workshops and spoke to delegates in thought leadership sessions. One of her sessions discussed the idea that fear and toxicity have no place in contemporary corporate cultures. Something that really resonated with me. So I invited her onto the podcast to explore the topic. Please enjoy this episode of the Intelligent Workplace, with my guest Creative Maven, Heather Newman.

Heather:             

Hello. Thank you for having me. Hello listeners.

Chris:                    

And we are live from the Sofitel Wentworth today for the the conference. So we do apologize if there’s a little bit of background audio. We’ve had to try and find a quiet spot to do this interview.

Heather:             

We are live and in the mix.

Chris:                    

In the mix. That’s great. So before we get started, I just want to say that I’m really appreciative of your time to come and talk with me today. I mean you have a lot on your plate.

Heather:             

I do. I do. I spend them well, but yes, no problem. I love doing podcasts and thanking you for asking. That’s great.

Chris:                    

Awesome. Awesome. I mentioned to you in an email this week that that topic of fear toxicity in the workplace really resonated with me and especially the idea that fear in the workplace can be really destructive, in terms of culture, creativity, and achieving goals. What led you to make this a focus of your life’s work?

Heather:             

I think it was… No, I know it was because of the work I do as a speaker, going around the world as an MVP and talking about diversity and inclusion. And also working with tons of different clients from corporate to start up and all of that. I do hear a lot of stories and I see a lot of things. And I tend to take what I see in my life, in my own life and then also with others, and I usually blend those into presentations that I give. And sometimes it comes from me getting angry about something as well and wanting to do something about it. So channeling those into presentations instead of nasty emails is always a good thing.

Chris:                    

Yeah. Nice. Nice. So let’s set the scene for the listeners and let’s explain why allowing your culture to be infested with fear and toxicity can be so detrimental to achieving any goals that you set.

Heather:             

Yeah, I think top of mind for most people, just on a straight up financial level, is that training people and having someone come in and spend three, to six, to nine months, or a year, or a year and a half with your company and then they don’t feel they belong. They’re not getting heard. They’re not being listened to. They may have a horrible boss, cut to that movie with Jennifer Aniston, which nobody wants to deal with. I think that retention is a really big thing and that’s just talking about the money aspect of it, for a business, but that’s really important.

Heather:             

You spend all that time and energy and you lose somebody because of culture, that’s silly. So that on a sort of a financial recruiting HR level is one thing. But I also think it’s just that if we spend maybe a third of our life sleeping, we spend a third of our lives at home, play, other things and we spend another third at work. That’s not a lot of time. That one third is toxic, or you hate it, or you dread going there, that’s a big problem. And I think companies have a responsibility of making good culture, having places where they can engage with their employees. And if they’re not doing that and if they’re not seeing it, they’re just maybe not even looking hard enough.

Chris:                    

Yep. I work in a fantastic culture now. But speaking from experience, I completely understand why you’d be so passionate about this topic because I worked in a toxic culture in the past and it was absolutely exhausting. Every single day you’re feeling like someone’s always out to get you, or you have to cover your ass to make sure that you don’t get into trouble, or that you don’t get stabbed in the back. It sounds less like a episode in being in an office, it’s more like something like Orange is the New Black or something.

Heather:             

It’s a soap opera. Yeah. And no one wants to actually… We like to watch them, but we don’t like to live inside of them. Yeah. Absolutely.

Chris:                    

Yeah. I just found that during that time, I was dreading going to work. Then you see how I feel now about how I’m so excited about what we’re doing-

Heather:             

I know. Your emails were so full of joy and excitement. I was like, “Of course I’m going to do this. You’re awesome.”

Chris:                    

So what are some of the telltale signs that your organization is going toxic?

Heather:             

Well I think it looks where people are stressed all the time and they bring that stress home. That’s the other big thing, is when you’re stressed out at work and when you’re upset all the time, you bring that stuff home, which affects your family life as well, Right? And you become a broken record and then that’s damaging to your personal relationships as well. I think that where people won’t speak up and they don’t feel like they can share an idea, either because it will be knocked down immediately or it’ll immediately be stolen and credit taken by somebody else.

Heather:             

So I think that where you find people just hanging back and doing sort of status quo stuff, I mean people don’t like laziness and they also sort of don’t like superstars. You know what I mean? So it’s like-

Chris:                    

We call that tall poppy syndrome in Australia.

Heather:             

Yeah, yeah. That’s right. That’s right. I learned that when I was in New Zealand. We talked about that as well. Yeah. So I feel it’s just… And it comes down from the owners and executives for sure. It’s how they lead and how they treat people, and if it’s all about revenue and all about money. We all run businesses, right?

Chris:                    

It has to be part of it. Yeah.

Heather:             

You have to have revenue, you have to have cash flow. Absolutely. But I mean there’s so many studies that show that people are so much more productive when they’re happy at work and people are more productive when there’s diverse and inclusive cultures. There is data out there now, reports have been done. And I think that’s something about sort of diversity inclusion and this employee connection that for a long time people were like, “Oh yeah, yeah.”

Heather:             

And people have been studying it, there’s reports out now that show all of these facts and figures. So you can say, “Hey, maybe we should work on our morale. Maybe we should have a workshop. Maybe we should bring somebody in to talk to us and help us with this that can see from outside.” And so that’s a lot of this stuff that I’ve been doing, is taking these presentations and putting them into more workshop settings and online classes. Also it’s interesting, the fear and toxicity presentation gets picked up alongside of technical presentations that I do.

Heather:             

And it’s a safe place to do it either at a conference. But having somebody come in and do that inside and have less workplace is a little bit scarier because are you admitting that there’s fear and toxicity in your workplace if you bring someone in to do it? So it’s a harder sell a little bit. But I think that companies are saying, “You know what? Even if there’s no problem, maybe we should just talk about it because we want to make sure that one doesn’t happen.” And also a lot of the times I think sometimes it’s one person, or a couple of people.

Heather:             

And then that one person [crosstalk] group mentality, you get these sort of cliques and gangs and stuff. Gang is a strong word, but still that mobby, group mentality that it’s okay to do this to other people. And that’s when you get people leaving because they’re like, “You know what? There’s these four people that are terrible and I just I can’t-“

Chris:                    

Can’t take it anymore.

Heather:             

“… Can’t take it.” And so they leave,

Chris:                    

I mean being that this is a tech podcast, what kind of technology is out there to help sort of address some of these problems?

Heather:             

Well, I mean we work in the Microsoft world, so I’m am Microsoft-centric of course. But I do think that at the basis of a lot of… Yammer, is for that outer loop, for the company wide, for being able to communicate out in a larger way to the entire company, Yammer Is great. Also Microsoft Teams is very hot right now. And lots of transition from Skype, to business, to Teams. And Teams has got a lot of fun in it. It’s obviously the communications hub, that’s got our files, and conversations, and chats and all that. But there’s the Praise app. You can put that in and you can give people praise. There’s all the gifts, and emojis, and can customize emojis, and all that stuff.

Heather:             

And in the workshop I was giving yesterday on end user adoption, it is about the psychology of humans about dealing with change. And part of that is making these things fun. you want to be part of them. It’s about gamification. It’s about bringing those ideas in and on top of sort of that psychological change and everybody’s different, right? People learn doing different ways. So some people are visual, oral, kinesthetic, all of that. So it’s like, how do we address these things inside of the software we’re using? And Teams has a lot of that functionality built into it. So you can have a teams or a channel that’s just about fun stuff.

Chris:                    

Yep. You can just have a conversation entirely in gifs I’ve found.

Heather:             

Oh absolutely. I do it all the time. Yeah. All the time. Yeah. For sure.

Chris:                    

So bringing it back to sort of a little bit more, a little bit serious. At what point does a toxic culture start to actually affect the mental health of the people working within it?

Heather:             

Well, I think you see just simply more people taking sick leave. You have people taking breaks where they are going to their doctors and saying, “Hey.” And the doctors are like, “You know what? You just need to take a leave of absence for a little bit.” So you have the removal of people, removing themselves out of the situation.

Heather:             

So that’s definitely part of it. And then I think you just see drops in productivity. People don’t finish things on time, you’re not getting things done and-

Chris:                    

And not going the extra mile?

Heather:             

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chris:                    

Extra effort. Yeah.

Heather:             

I was talking to a girl that I met through Seb Matthews at SharePoint Saturday, London, her name is [Alsea Losch 00:11:56] and she was on my podcast recently.

Chris:                    

Nice. Mavens Do It Better?

Heather:             

Yeah.

Chris:                    

Yeah.

Heather:             

Yeah. And we were talking about all of this, and she was telling me, and she works for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HPE, in London, in England. And they have instituted a wellness Friday, where they allow three hours, the last three hours of the day, for people to take care of themselves, do something, read a book, go off. And yeah. And so to me it’s like there’s part of this that’s about us as individuals being compassionate and, kind and, full of gratitude, and all of those things that are part of what we should be doing as humans. But it’s also about companies taking a step and saying, “Hey, okay. Is it a workshop? Or is it just that we need to give people a moment to go be creative?”

Chris:                    

Yeah. It’s because our lives are so scheduled and everything up to the minute. Just that little bit of a break.

Heather:             

Scheduled and noisy.

Chris:                    

Yeah.

Heather:             

We’re getting information at a rate that is unbelievable, so to actually shut your phone down. That’s another thing, turning your phone off to have a conversation with somebody for some deep listening and shutting the laptop. And with Teams for example, I’m going forth with turning the video on and it’s helpful because you get that interaction that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Chris:                    

Yeah. That’s why I do all those podcasts face to face because what we’ve got right now, you’re bouncing off each other and it’s the same with the Teams chat. You can see those people. I just think it just adds a little bit more richness to the conversation.

Heather:             

Absolutely. And you can blur the background, right?

Chris:                    

Well, Yes. We had that this morning with your friend CJ. He’s blurred his background because in the background he had lots of boxes he hadn’t unpacked from his move.

Heather:             

Oh, that’s right. Hi CJ, yay. That’s awesome.

Chris:                    

We had a guest speaker, at an offsite just recently, and he was a self-made man. And he’d worked his whole life and ultimately became very successful running a tourism business back home in Tasmania. And one of the things he said to the team was something along the lines of, “Don’t let fear get in the way of you being creative, as it will cripple you.” And we’re taught as a young age to fear lots of things. And then when we hit our adult years, any creativity one had as a child is kind of diminished. So how do you help people get that balance back?

Heather:             

I think it’s sort of looking at really… We all have fear, right? And that’s people talk about the lizard brain.

Chris:                    

Yes, yes. Do you want to Explain that quickly? Because I find that really interesting. Yeah.

Heather:             

So lizard brain is basically the concept that our brains are very, very old. And it’s the fight or flight response that we had to being chased around by saber tooth tigers. And luckily we aren’t really chased around by those anymore. But we have that same triggered response and it’s the part of the brain that’s called the amygdala, or Amy g dala, as I like to call it.

Heather:             

But anyway, it is one of those things where instead of having a reaction to run, we have this little voice in our head that is always telling us that like, “Oh my gosh, is he looking at me like I’m crazy? Do I look okay? Am I dressed all right? Do I have the skills?” And so it plays doubt. And those things trigger us to say and do things that we often don’t mean, that we don’t really think, but we say them, or we do them in response to fear.

Heather:             

And I also think, I’m not a psychologist, I’m not trained in that stuff. It’s just lots of things I’ve read and things I believe. But I also think that we all have something in our past when we were a kid, or at some point, where somebody in a place of authority in our lives told us something about ourselves, that we believed to be true. And we carry that through and we get triggered by those things. So I feel like at the end of the day, we’re continually fighting a fight that’s millions of years old. And something that really hurt us. And so we respond to other people with those very cave person reactions.

Heather:             

And so it’s about flipping the script on that and teaching that negative voice to be positive. And to not lead with fear. So I put a quote in my presentation that a friend reminded me of not too long ago, from Dune, the movie Dune, that’s essentially it’s about when you get rid of fear, all you have left is you, right? And so that’s awesome because you really want just your authentic self, without all that stuff on top of it if you can. And that’s kind of where we’re all climbing all the time. I think is to get rid of the fear and get rid of the doubt, and not lead with it.

Chris:                    

So how do we help people do that? Is it a mentoring program? What can we do?

Heather:             

Sure. I mean I think we need to help each other with it, one. And I think absolutely having mentors is absolutely wonderful. The diversity in tech program at Microsoft, there’s a whole new mentoring program, community mentors. I just signed up, I need to finish filling it out. But that’s great. So if folks are listening, that’s up on the tech community under diversity in tech, and that’s an app that you can download.

Heather:             

But a lot of these sorts of things start in a grassroots way. Not every company is going to have top down, the HR department doing something. It’s where a bunch of people get together and say like… I love a kudos or a praise committee. Where you reach out to people on your team and say, “Hey, you know what? When we’re in meetings, let’s support each other. When we give an idea, let’s repeat the idea with our name.” That was something that came out of the Obama White House staff. Not many people have heard that story.

Heather:             

But also I have one with friends and I’m like, “I’m going post an article or something like this and it’s important to me. And would you help me? Would you retweet it, or would you give me a cool comment?” Or all that kind of stuff. And so I think it’s about what we all do ourselves, but also how we support each other at work. And I definitely think, yeah, mentoring committees, call it that or just call it your tiger team. Or whatever it is. That kind of thing.

Chris:                    

Nice. So obviously your networking and building relationships is really key to that as well.

Heather:             

Yeah. Absolutely. I just actually turned in a session about networking for introverts because there’s a lot of people who are very-

Chris:                    

In this industry especially.

Heather:             

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And most people think they’re like, “Oh, speakers. Up on stage.” And all this stuff. And I was a theater major. I am an extrovert so.

Chris:                    

I can see that with your rose in your hair today.

Heather:             

Shocking right? But I know lots of people in this industry, and in the entertainment industry too, that are wicked shy. When they’re up on stage, they are just all over it, right? They’re introverts masquerading as extroverts, right? And so that to me, is an important skill. And the thing about introverts that’s great is that they’re usually really good listeners and when they do actually speak it’s because they’ve listened so well, and they’re so interested in other people.

Heather:             

So I think that understanding that not everybody… I think you lead sometimes with everybody’s exactly you. They’re not.

Chris:                    

They’re not.

Heather:             

Right? So giving space to two people to figure out how to network in the way that they feel comfortable is really important. You can’t just be like, “Go on out there, come on. Why aren’t you doing it better?” That’s not helpful.

Chris:                    

No. No. What about technology solutions and fostering creativity for those people who aren’t necessarily seen as a creative person?

Heather:             

Well, to me creativity is about a couple of swim lanes. There’s creativity that’s sort of that artistic creativity, that comes out of paint brushes and writing and all of that, right? I also think creativity has to do with finding alternatives and it sort of looks at problem solving in a way too. So creativity can be figuring out different ways to do things. And so that’s why I think for me, being someone who was a theater major going into technology, it was like, “Wow. Instead of paint brushes, it’s just ones and zeros of people figuring out how to do cool stuff in different ways.”

Chris:                    

I feel like you’d be an amazing design thinking sort of lead. Running those sessions. Do you do a bit of that?

Heather:             

Yeah, well, with my software company, with Content Panda, I’ve definitely been in influencing the UI and I’m our QA end user tester and all that kind of thing. But I think that honestly, I play Words With Friends.

Chris:                    

So does my wife, maybe you play together.

Heather:             

Yeah. Maybe. But things that where you’re working you’re brain in different ways. I think learning foreign languages, Duolingo is really great. For me, I try to lessen my screen time and I love Audible. So I listen to books a lot of the time, instead of looking at things. So I think it’s figuring out ways to take your brain and do different activities with it, to change things up, so that you can get that creative time. And just simply taking a walk around the block. Changing your state, meditation, all of that stuff.

Heather:             

And some people are like, “I hate meditating.” But the thing is I usually meditate for 10 minutes before I do any presentation. Just to get a minute to ground myself, before I have to go do what I do. So tons of great apps. There’s Calm and Breathe and they’re all one word apps, very of today. But I think lots of those things on your phone can help in my screen time, minimize social media, all that sort of stuff.

Chris:                    

I myself like to brew beer.

Heather:             

Oh cool. Oh, that’s so great.

Chris:                    

That’s my escape because it’s all completely hands on. There’s no screens and it’s just just at one with the ingredients.

Heather:             

I love to get in, on, under, over water. I love anything that has to do with the ocean and all that stuff.

Chris:                    

Fantastic. Fantastic. Still sort of on the collaboration creativity side of things. Do you think that organizations sometimes just fall into the trap of thinking that collaboration tools such as whether it be Yammer, Teams, Slack, Flowdock will be a silver bullet for turning them into a creative organization?

Heather:             

Yeah. Yes. Yeah. I think so. I think that it’s kind of like, I don’t know, somebody puts something on the dinner table and it’s like, “I don’t know, do we eat it or do it not?” You know what I mean? Is it good? Is it going to be yummy or whatever? I mean, I don’t know. Creativity is one of those things that I think some of it can be learned. I think a lot of it comes from who you are and where you come from and how you were allowed to be creative as a kid. Some people are just inherently creative. I don’t know if there’s a silver bullet for creativity except for encouragement.

Chris:                    

Yep. Leveraging the more creative ones in the room perhaps, so that everybody can share in that together.

Heather:             

Yeah and putting people together to again, come up with alternative solutions to things and figure out ways to solve problems. It’s like putting a puzzle together. It’s like when you’re at a cabin and your grandma’s like, “We’re going to put a puzzle together.” And you’re like, “Oh, my gosh. No.”

Chris:                    

I’ll do the flat bits around the edge and that’s it.

Heather:             

Yeah. But then it becomes a group think and everybody kind of participates in it. And it’s an all play and everybody’s like… You walk by and you’re like, “Oh, why not? I’m going to put a damn puzzle piece in there.” And once you start getting into the groove there and you start seeing the picture that you’re creating in that puzzle, that’s awesome. And so I think team building exercises, and role playing, and doing projects together like that. And also giving people a voice to participate and not being like, “Hey Jeff is the most creative person and they’re going to fix this thing.”

Heather:             

And you’re like, “Well, I guess I can’t contribute anything to it. It’s like, “Wait a minute. Hey, we’re all going to take a look at this. Do some group think on it, kind of crowdsource it, if you will.” Some of the best creative things that have come out of so many companies that I work with, has been when they’ve crowdsourced internally with their own company and even externally with their clients. So I think it’s also letting go of a stranglehold on certain things too. I have that problem for sure.

Chris:                    

It’s like in the past only the marketing teams allowed to be creative. But it’s everyone now.

Heather:             

Yeah, absolutely. Or the marketing team is so precious-

Chris:                    

Sometimes.

Heather:             

… About that. I both give a lot of flack and I take a lot of flack for [crosstalk] being a marketer. So but having a stranglehold on like, “We’re the only ones that can think of these ideas and we’ll come up with the tagline. And dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.”

Heather:             

And it’s like, “Well, you don’t necessarily talk to customers all the time, so why don’t we talk to the sales team, or a technical evangelist, or whatever. To bring those ideas back in about what people are saying and really thinking about things.” So with me coming from the theater, you have to have every aspect. You have to have the set designer, you have to have a director, you have to an actress, you have to have an audience to make a play happen, without any of those elements, it fails.

Chris:                    

How good are your jazz hands?

Heather:             

Oh, look at that.

Chris:                    

Very good.

Heather:             

Oh my God, I was in show choir too.

Chris:                    

I wish everybody could see this. Hey, you work with a lot of clients on addressing fear and toxicity in their workplaces. Has they’ve been a client that you’ve worked with where you’ve really turned things around and been really proud of the results?

Heather:             

Ah, yeah, of course. And not naming any names on that. But yeah, I think so. I think some of the smaller companies it’s not necessarily the startups that I’ve been really talking to because they seem to be very… It’s not that it’s an age thing, but it’s a little bit where it’s like, they’re a little bit more aggressive about all of these things. So it’s sort of companies that have been around 10 years or so and maybe they’re in that three, four, 500 area.

Heather:             

And so yeah, I think I’ve done a couple of workshops and it usually isn’t, “I’m coming in to talk about fear of toxicity.” You know what I mean? That’s not what… I think people see that and get interested and ask me about it. And so I do different aspects inside of that topic and that comes back to sort of what I call power skills. It’s whatever is listed as a soft skill. So it’s leadership, it’s communication, it’s team building, it’s problem solving, all of those things.

Heather:             

And so you can sort of get in there with one of those power skills. And then what I can do is that I can fairly easily assess kind of what’s going on in inside of a company and then we figure out where to go next on how to expand on that. A lot of times presentation and meeting skills is a great way to get in because everybody kind of needs that. So usually that’s sort of an in with people. And then leadership, working with the leadership team.

Heather:             

Usually it’s a combination of leadership and presentation skills because I can get to the C levels at the leadership or managers level, and I can get to the presentation skills on other levels. So I get a look at the top down view and the bottom up view. And then I kind of figure out what’s going on in the middle. And then we add on depending on what’s going to work for them.

Chris:                    

Fair enough. Yeah. So the topics we’ve discussed here today, they’re pretty huge really. But for organizations that recognize that they might be a little bit toxic or lacking creativity, what do you think would be the absolute first step they can do to starting to right the ship?

Heather:             

I am a big fan of an all hands meeting. I think companies don’t do those enough. I like the whole the whole Simon Sinek, what’s your why and all of that? I think that a lot of times companies don’t share that kind of stuff. They may have a vision statement or a mission statement and that’s one thing. But to really hear from somebody from the C level talk about what their passion is, how they got started. Half the time you don’t even know the history of a company. You have the about section and you have your website. But to hear story. Like this morning Debbie in our keynote, she shared a lot of personal stories about this thing called balance and having meaning and all of that. And I think that we connect emotionally to stories.

Heather:             

And so corporations don’t have emotions we have emotions. And so I feel like when someone can decide to be a bit vulnerable, be brave and talk about their stories. And not in that sort of CEOie way of, “Let me tell you… Dah, dah, dah.” And it’s like, “Okay, no. Actually let me tell you where this came from and this is why we’re here. And this is what kind of culture I want us and we want us as a C level is to have.” To me, that’s important. And it shouldn’t happen just once a year.

Chris:                    

As someone who does an external podcast, which we’re doing today, and someone who doe an internal one, it’s all about me trying to extract those stories from the C level, and sales team, and the admin, and the marketers. Thank you so much. You just validating what I do. It’s fantastic.

Heather:             

Oh good. Well, wonderful.

Chris:                    

Fantastic. Well, thanks Heather for your time today. This has been an absolute joy chatting with you. Something a little bit different for my podcast, but I think it’s a really valid topic that we’ve discussed here today. And yeah, thanks for your time.

Heather:             

You’re welcome. I love working, talking about all of these things.

Chris:                    

I can tell.

Heather:             

And yeah, I know. It gets me very excited. So yeah. So I appreciate the time and thank you listeners. And, yeah, thanks.

Chris:                    

Thanks a lot.

Heather:             

All right.

Chris:                    

Cheers.

Heather:             

Cheers.

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Decoding Disruption in the age of Artificial Intelligence

Larry Quick, is the founder of Resilient Futures, a company that specialises in working with their clients to leverage disruption in their industry. He is also the co-author of “Disrupted: Strategy for Exponential Change” and the original developer of the Strategy in Action framework.

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A “Happiness Hacker” seeking happiness in a scheduled life

Penny Locaso isn’t afraid to shake things up and go all in on what she believes in. She launched BKindred in 2015 and turned her life upside down in doing so. She quit a successful career as an executive, called time on an 18 year relationship and relocated her family across the country. She was searching for happiness and wouldn’t quit until she found it!

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The “Four Birds” of Change Management

Debbie Ireland is the Managing Director of ShareThePoint Ltd, a New Zealand company that specialises in Office 365 and SharePoint training. Debbie’s involvement in the tech industry doesn’t stop there, she also manages the Annual Digital Workplace Conference in Australia and New Zealand.

Other than running her business and organising conferences, Debbie is all about people…understanding what makes them tick and how to get the best out of them alongside the amazing technology we use in our daily lives. I thought I would borrow upon her expertise to discuss something that has been mentioned quite frequently in some of my interviews lately…Change Management.

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