Creating Culture in a Hybrid Workplace with Ben Michaelis and Kevin Delaney
This week’s World Reimagined podcast episode explores how leaders can embrace the hybrid workplace, and how they can encourage the evolution of workplace culture.
Research shows that strong comradery and collaboration among coworkers is essential for building successful organizations. And in today’s world of hybrid work, it’s perhaps more important than ever. It’s up to leaders to create a culture that prioritizes these positive co-working relationships and fosters employee engagement.
In this episode, host Gautam Mukunda speaks with Ben Michealis, Co-founder and CEO of the group.io, and Kevin Delaney, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Charter, about how leaders can build successful in this new world of work. The duo discusses the importance of bringing humanity to work, while maintaining boundaries between work and personal life.
The quiet quitting and Great Resignation are diagnostics on businesses.Kevin Delaney, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of Charter
So much of the problem is we get into these sorts of momentary, transactional relationships where it's just about what is the transaction, as opposed to the larger picture, which is the broad relationship of how do we, how are we relating to one another long term?Ben Michaelis, Co-Founder and CEO of Group.io
Guest information for Creating Culture in a Hybrid Workplace
Ben Michaelis: Whether he’s coaching clients on navigating the ever-changing landscape of work and personal life or making space for hard conversations and open dialogue through his non-profit The Decency Project, he’s focused on helping others to connect the dots, pointing them toward through-lines and links that others cannot see. Creating sacred spaces that facilitate connection, foster empathy, and build community is what drives his work: He is known for bringing together people who have outsize impacts on each other’s lives through his retreats for the group, and he puts great care into constructing talks and working sessions for corporate clients looking to leverage his fluency in organizational dynamics to foster healthy change.
The author of Your Next Big Thing: Ten Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy, Ben applies a cross-training mentality to his career, following his curiosity and seeking both fresh problems and perspectives. After graduating summa cum laude from Columbia University, he traveled to Nepal and India to study with Buddhist monks before getting his Master’s Degree from New York University in 2001 and his PhD in 2004. Before starting his private practice, Ben served as a clinical intern at New York University-Bellevue Hospital. He’s since co-founded The Clinicians Collective, an organization connecting private-practice clinicians and providing group health plans, and launched One Minute Diagnosis, a YouTube series on common mental health disorders that is used by various non-profit and governmental organizations. Incubating new ideas and having projects in the pipeline is core to who he is and what he does.
Kevin J. Delaney is a co-founder and CEO of Charter, a media and services company that aims to transform every workplace. He was previously a senior editor for The New York Times and The Information. Kevin co-founded Quartz and served as co-CEO and editor in chief from 2012 to 2019. Prior to Quartz, Kevin was a reporter at the Wall Street Journal for a decade, with that time split between Paris and San Francisco. While covering internet companies such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook, he became convinced that newspapers could do more to ensure that good journalism thrives in the digital age. He became managing editor of WSJ.com, where he led efforts that helped greatly expand the Journal’s online readership. Early in his career, Kevin was a reporter for SmartMoney magazine and a TV producer in Montreal. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has a degree in history from Yale University.
How can the great leaders of today meet the challenges of tomorrow?
Ben Michaelis (00:06):
If someone answers yes, to the question, "Do you have a best friend at work?" They're much more likely to be engaged and much more likely to be retained. When you take the view that if you approach people who you do business with in this sort of service mentality, everyone benefits.
Kevin Delaney (00:23):
Bringing our unanimity to our teams, to our workplaces, that ultimately teams are better functioning, higher performing, people are more engaged and more retained.
Speaker 3 (00:37):
World Reimagined, with Gautam Mukunda. A leadership podcast for a changing world. An original podcast from Nasdaq.
Ben Michaelis (00:45):
We're in hybrid environment. We've seen a need to build a greater foundation of trust between leaders and their teams than ever before.
In 1995, Russian artist Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid embarked on an experiment. They surveyed people in 14 different country from around the world to find, what they called, the most wanted painting. By asking a series of questions like, "Do you like indoor or outdoor scenes?" And, "What's your favorite color?" They hoped to create an optimally satisfying painting for each country. But a funny thing happened. With a few minor differences here and there, everyone's most wanted painting was the same. Almost universally people like landscapes. They liked blue sky and a body of water in the background. They enjoyed trees with branches low enough to climb and they liked a path leading away from the viewer, that almost beckons you to follow it. Upon studying this project art philosopher, Denis Dutton, noted that the landscapes people preferred very closely mimicked the place to seen habitats in which early humans evolved.
We like having water to drink, trees to protect us and a path to guide us, even in places like Iceland, where such a landscape does not exist. In short, there's something inherent in human psychology that find happiness in looking at nature and being invited to come along. So, what are leaders to make of this? Especially in this new world where our offices sometimes aren't in offices and instead can be anywhere.
Ben Michaelis (02:42):
So, I did a meeting with a leadership team about two weeks ago and I could see where everyone was
and I asked everyone to turn off their camera and go into nature for five minutes, whatever that meant. Gautam (02:58): Ben Michaelis, is the co-founder and CEO of thegroup.io, where he works to support leaders in their organizations by focusing on alignment, learning and improving connections. Those connections often start small, but they can ripple into something bigger.
Ben Michaelis (03:14):
Even in this urban environment there's not a lot of nature where I am, but I stood near a tree, I asked everyone to do that, because there's a lot of data indicating that reduces our stress in all kinds of environments. And then I had everyone come back on, I had everyone set a timer, come back on to the meeting and I asked people what they did. And one of the loveliest things was that this was a team that works together, a number of them mentioned that they spent time with their dogs during those five minutes. And people that had worked together for, I don't even know how long, had never even known that they each had dogs and it really just created a bond. And then we could continue on with what we were focusing on, but being able to do things like that are so micro, but it really makes a huge difference.
In just a simple five minute exercise, asking the group he was leading to connect with nature, led them to connect ultimately with each other. And as research has shown time and time again, building inter- personal relationships within a team is one of the best ways to keep that team together.
Kevin Delaney (04:16):
The other research that has been around for a while, but is the Gallup research about having a friend at work?
Kevin Delaney, is the CEO and editor in chief of Charter. A media insights company that aims to shepherd workplaces through the increasingly tricky landscape of modern work and their task has only gotten more challenging now that not all workplaces even exist outside of cyberspace.
Kevin Delaney (04:40):
As you probably know Gallup has been pulling hundreds of thousands of workers for decades and what they found is that if someone answers, yes, to the question, "Do you have a best friend at work?" They're much more likely to be engaged, they're much more likely to be retained and their team is much more likely to be productive. And so, it's clear that bringing ourselves honestly and openly to our workplace and also being open to, and pursuing friendships with our colleagues, real quality human relationships are things that are not just important for avoiding the kind of over optimization, algorithmization of our economy that human beings are the kind of byproducts and victims of, but it's actually the key for sustainable high performance. If you want what these business leaders have said that they want, which is high performance over time, then you should be thinking about these practices that have not been as central as they should be to how we think about our workplaces.
Ben Michaelis (05:44):
Yeah. I mean, I think that we're doing a lot of psycho education with leaders (laughs) and some of the questions that I, I get, honestly. At one point I was talking to the C Suite in this one company that we work with and I was talking about creating an environment where people can talk more about what's going on with themselves, in their lives and I kid you not, one of the leaders was like, "Well, why would we do that? That doesn't, why would we do that?" And I was like, "Are you kidding? Because we're whole human beings here and we're not just what we do. We're not just our function" And it really was a moment where he was like, "Oh." He had to take a step back (laughs). But the more we can do that it allows for that psychological safety. And that's one of the challenges with hybrid work, because when we're on, you know, whatever these platforms are, Teams or Zoom or whatever, a lot of the interactions really are transactional.
And what we've been doing with a lot of these hybrid teams is, creating structures and also doing brief off-sites, bursts if you will, with these teams, so that they can spend some quality time getting to know one another more fully as human beings, so that they're basically building up positive affect with one another. Imagine the three of us are working together and I say something totally rude, not intentional maybe it's intentional, who knows? And you guys are like, "Uh, that guy Ben, is kind of a jerk." And that's what you're left with. That's gonna stay with you. Whereas, if we're working in person and I say something rude and then 20 minutes later we're talking about only, you know, only the [inaudible 00:07:23] in the building so- show that we all watch or whatever. Suddenly there's more positive affect towards me and those things balance out. But if you're doing everything entirely remotely, there's really not a lot of room for that and it sort of really strains these relationships.
Kevin Delaney (07:37):
I think there's some tactics that help when you're working remotely. I'm sure Ben, you work with companies on this too, you know? One of the ones that at Charter, we use very regularly and it's really, I think it's really important around this question of psychological safety and trust and team work is, this red, yellow, green exercise. With the beginning of our weekly meetings we go around and everyone says how they're showing up at work that day, including for the work itself, but also for things that may be spilling over into how they show up at work. We recently, several members of our team said that they were showing up red in the workplace. That's, you know, red being like, not good. And the reason was that they are parents and they were caught in that challenging zone between the end of summer camp and the beginning of the school year and the strain of actually just navigating that was so extreme that it was going to color anything that they did in the course of their day.
And, so just knowing that created the understanding that, "We're in this together and I can support you through that and we can talk about this. And when I'm showing up red I'm gonna share that as well." I agree with Ben, that it's really important for people to spend time together and that's why hybrid working is a preferable option when it's a possibility, to completely remote working. But there are things that you can do when you're virtual that are shown to build trust in a team.
The ways we interact with other people, including critically the ways we work together to build trust and maintain harmony, are governed by a myriad of unwritten rules. Say for example, when you visit your family. There's one particular chair that your father always sits in, the same one he's had for your entire life. Is there a legally enforceable document or executive order that officially declare that piece of furniture, dad's chair? Of course there isn't, but even given that would you ever sit in it? Absolutely not. These unspoken rules for how we act around each other are everywhere. Economists call them implicit contracts, and they exist not just between people, but between employees and companies as well. While an explicit contract specifies things like, compensation and responsibilities, the implicit contract governs all the ways employees and their bosses agree to work together. (10:07):
The infinite number of ways we all interact in the workplace that are far too intangible or idiosyncratic to ever be written down. These implicit contracts are crucial for companies longterm health. When they're honored, leaders provide a nurturing environment in exchange for hard work and loyalty over many years, but when they're broken things can go very wrong. Economist Larry Summers, and Andrei Scleifer, found that this is exactly what happens in many hostile takeovers. The new owners often break these implicit contracts squeezing the existing teams until the breakdown or quit, to generate as much short term revenue as possible. As a result shareholders might be better off, but everyone else does worse. This doesn't create value it just transfers it for employees and customers to investors and often in the long run the company, it's customers, it's community and everyone it employs, suffer.
Our implicit contracts were also interrupted in the spring of 2020, when millions of workers suddenly found themselves at home doing their jobs from phones and laptops and other devices they had on them all the time, which meant employers had a decision to make.
Ben Michaelis (11:22):
It's something that happened at the very beginning of the pandemic is, certain jobs basically just became 24-hour jobs. For knowledge workers that had access to their computers at all times there became this expectation that they would always be on, or accessible. And without mentioning names a number of different companies realized, because their workforce was like, "We can't do this. Uh, we can't do this anymore. We don't have lives." I mean, I me- one company, I remember this woman was saying that she would bring her phone into the shower like, she would keep it next to the shower, so that she could shower and be accessible to the people that were leading her company and she was having a lot of problems. And we have been helping to try to put systems in place between management and leaders and their teams, so that there can be natural barriers.
Because, if the barriers aren't there that we used to have, that involved commuting and not being able to do your work because you weren't physically on site, for some people we have to create those boundaries and create those sort of spaces that exist, because we need them.
So, when I was teaching at Harvard Business School I remember sort of mentioning briefly in class that one of the biggest problems for hourly workers was lack in control of their schedule, because scheduling software was scheduling them to optimize this. And so after class one of my students comes up to me and says, "So, I just want to chat for a moment." "Sure." And she starts crying like, just starts crying in front of me, which I'm sort of, "Okay." And she says, "I did this." I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "I created these programs for a company that I was part of before I came to HBS and it just never occurred to me that this would be a problem, right?" She said, "I was just optimizing the labor like, I had no idea that this was ruining people's lives and now I know I did this. I, I did this to hundreds, maybe thousands of people."
(13:09): And so I have a two part question. One is that, the idea that you should not push your workforce to the breaking point. The fact that that seems like a managerial revolution, as opposed to just some combination of good practice and basic human decency, is in and of itself says something about us and how did that happen? And, how do we get to a place where it is not, you know, a revolution? And then the second would be, what does it say about us that it doesn't even occur to us to, not to us, right? But it doesn't even occur to many people who were doing this the implications that this has on the life of the people who they're creating, right? And you said the 24/7 work environment that you're describing, that might actually be new for someone who does their work on a computer, but if you worked at a Walmart like, being on call all the time is not a new thing.
Kevin Delaney (13:54):
How we got there I think it's, you just look to the legacy of the 1980s for American business and you think about the business leaders who are on the cover of every business magazine and really held up as heroes. It's people like Neutron Jack Welch. And you look at the rise of leverage buyouts in private equity, where so much of the burden of the changes in those business that actually fell on the workers, were laid off who, who had their salaries held low. Who had to deal with minimal staffing and kind of bad working conditions. And so, I see that just played out and amplified through the 90s and, and since. And so I think that, that's what we've kind of reached in some ways the breaking point. Uh, and I think there's two reasons why people find themselves in situations, like your student who was creating these systems. First there's this sort of collective delusion that this is how capitalism works out and we need to participate in this and optimize it.
The second thing is that there just wasn't the governance mechanisms to protect workers against these sort of things. To s- were completely hollowed out and this is things like, organized labor and this is managers who actually, the middle managers who, strategic consulting firms for decades have made it their business and charged millions of dollars to actually strip out what they call, "The frozen middle." But the frozen middle are actually, effectively the team leaders, the captains, who actually are in there with the workers and can see what's going on and support them through the challenges and also can carry their issues back up through the chain of command. So, you know, there are interesting structural practices that I think companies should think about and the US more broadly should consider beyond organized labor. I think that maybe employees should have a voice, in some way, in the management or on the corporate boards of companies.
Like we see in Europe with these advisory councils and employee representatives on boards. So that the people running companies and the people creating these sort of optimization services aren't blind to the impact that their decision have on employees. They should want that voice, because not only does it make it harder for them to do things that are really immoral, it also allows them to benefit from the insights and the energy and the participation of workers in the running of the company. Which, contrary to the guiding business ideology that we've been suffered under, is actually a positive thing. When the workers can say like, "Here's how we could better serve customers. Here's how our system is not working." That's actually a good thing for companies.
This problem of constantly expanding work demands was addressed by Harvard Business School
professor Leslie Perlow in her book, Sleeping with Your Smart Phone. She found that employees at a company she was studying convinced themselves that they more or less had to work 24/7. But when Leslie made structural changes to the way they worked, even something as simple as having teams wrap up early one night a week, overall happiness at work not only improved, performance evaluations did too. Leslie showed that the brutal grind of 24 hour availability isn't just unnecessary, it's counterproductive. And yet many organizations still demand it. Leading in part to two terms that are heard a lot when discussing today's labor market. The great resignation and quiet quitting. Often they're framed as problems that leaders need to solve or combat or in some way eliminate, so that productive work can continue.
But leaders would be better served by looking at these not as an issue to be solved, but a symptom to be heeded.
Kevin Delaney (17:38):
Yeah, I think you're 100% right, that the quiet quitting and great resignation are diagnostics on businesses, you know? One really striking thing, just as a quick aside about the great resignation is that, you know, as we know historic numbers of people voluntarily quite their jobs and this is related to the labor market, but it's also related to the fact the people were not being paid live-in wages. And a lot of the people who were actually quitting their jobs, were quitting their jobs in the hopes of actually getting a raise that would bring them closer to having compensation and that would actually enable them to live with some dignity, as Ben said, and support themselves and their family. So, there a diagnostic, but there's also just a kind of structural reset there which has been really important. Unfortunately I think, you know, inflation is now undermining a lot of the salary gains that we saw over the past year, or two.
How do you fix the problems that quiet quitting, or the great resignation kind of point to? I would say that they're two things that I think are particularly powerful. I think one of them is being really clear about the purpose of your company and there's you know, there, there's like endless research that show that workers are looking for a connection to societal purpose in the workplace. And they're actually interestingly, across both Democrats and Republicans are looking for their employers to be more vocal, to be more active in standing up for addressing the issues of our day. Including climate change and inequality, racial injustice and including reproductive rights. But the point is that companies should understand what their purpose is and how that connects to society. And one simple practice is just to, as leaders go around organizations, is to listen and ask for stories about how their activities are having a positive impact on their customers, on their community, on their employees and then actually taking those stories and telling them and helping people understand the connection of the work that they're doing to societal purpose.
And hopefully, if the company does not have a connection to societal purpose and that's maybe something that the leaders should interrogate (laughs) a bit more seriously. The second thing goes back to this question of, the frozen middle and the team captains. And I have a former colleague Sam Walker, from the Wall Street Journal who did this really interesting research on dynasty sports teams. He focused on dynasty, teams that won championships more than one season in a row and this is teams like, you know, the Boston Celtics in the 1950s and 60s and the Montreal Canadiens in hockey and the FC Barcelona from, I think 2009 to 2012, when they won to tied 90 something percent of their matches. And the thing that Sam found in his research, the factor that correlated most closely with the team being a dynasty, was actually the team captain. And this was someone who like Carles Puyol, at FC Barcelona, who wasn't always the flashiest, the highest scoring, the prima donna, but it's the person who show leadership on the field in the course of play who's giving feedback and direction. Who is handing off the ball.
They were often not the most popular people. In times they were polarizing, because they were pretty direct in their feedback to team members. And I think the thing that organizations can do today is find, empower and support team leaders and use this team captain model, because we've seen is that so few organizations actually train and support these managers at the level of the team captains and I believe that's one of the key things to fixing what is ailing a lot of companies.
I love that. I think you've hit a lot of key points and just to kind of go back to this sort of what's being asked of business leaders these days? I mean, there's like crisis in political leadership and other leaders in our society are not present and there's a lot more being asked of business leaders these days, which is why it's particularly important to work with them. To sort of, I would say, teach them if they don't naturally have this philosophy of sort of servant leadership. And the idea of teaching the notion of servant leadership and instilling that from the top, it does filter through. And you mentioned both on the, uh, the question about the purpose of your company, we've more and more been sort of seeing a lot more of these, it's where we just are focusing on the big three, mission, vision and values and then putting in place a number of different strategies so that these are not just works on a paper, but these are living documents that people who lead, are having to sort of follow through on.And the more you can instill that notion of servant leadership, I think that really everybody wins.
The benefits of getting out into nature are well documented, both for the body and the mind. And there are signs that we're starting to prioritize human nature too. Looking after the mental health and wellbeing of our teams both in the office and in the classroom.
I also am curious about what Gotham actually said to his student, because it reminded me of when I, I listened to this interview with the person that created the YouTube algorithm to try to optimize for, uh, you know, just more views and the guilt that they felt about creating that and unforeseen consequences. This thing that Kevin said about Jack Welsh in the 1980s and like, you can even go back further to Ford, and the assembly line of looking at humans based on like, one task in particular and we've come so far in terms of our specialization or atomization of the worker, you know? A hundred plus years ago people that were considered to be, you know, highly intelligent, gifted, quite varied. They did lots of different things with their intellect. They weren't just one specific task and as we've broken people down into their like, very component parts they become, you know, seen as interchangeable, replaceable and it's sort of a logical conclusion of these sort of transactional experiences at work.
And it's interesting that you mention the sort of, the frozen middle Kevin, because my company's called thegroup.io, that is invariably when, the level at which we get brought in is first at that level. That is where the stress collects, because it's coming from above and from below and that's the place that we first intervene in companies typically, because there's just so much stress at that point in the company.
Before I did my [inaudible 00:24:19] I was at McKenzie, I remember when I first joined, asking like, "So, what do we do exactly?" Right? Like it's not intuitively obvious and basically well, the partner I was working with explained that well, our clients are basically, he's a bear at mass capacity all the time. Right there managing their company on the day-to-day, all the time and what we do is solve the problems that they don't have the slack capacity to solve, right? I said, "That makes sense to me." And then I, you know, being a 23-year-old and, you know, not having the political savvy, as my wife says, of the average rabbit asked, "Aren't we the people who told them to get rid of all the slack capacity?" And, um, (laughing), um.
Kevin Delaney (24:57):
How long were you at McKenzie (laughs)?
Ben Michaelis (24:59):
Uh, 18 months (laughs). Um, um, 21 months, 21 months, yeah, 21 months.
So, the answer to your question Ben, by the way is, I told my student, "I understand you feel bad and, and you actually should feel bad. Like, you know, you did this thing. Like I can't give you, I can't give you absolution for it, because you made choices that had profound impacts on thousands of people." But what I can say is what you did, is probably what just about anyone would've done in your shoes. That you should realize that where you were, was a part of a system and a structure that had both trained you and selected you and incentivized you, to make the, exactly the choices that you have made. And by being here at HBS you had a chance to be someone who was not just sort of a cog in the system, but you had the chance to be someone who is shaping the system. I said, "Well, what I want for you is never forget how you feel right now, because two years from now, five years from now, 20 years from now, you'll get the chance to make sure the outcomes are different. That's your job now."
Ben Michaelis (25:57):
And participate in a case study to share your experience with other people, so that the other people who find themselves in similar situations actually make the right choice.
Kevin Delaney (26:06):
I just think that [inaudible 00:26:07], it's so rare actually what you're able to do for that student, because a lot of times people, out of, uh, I don't know a different sense, they try to make it all okay and truly as a teacher you are like, "No, use that emotion." What a wonderful gift you gave that student.
I hope so. I think she would've just preferred it if I'd just said, you know, "No, it's okay." But (laughs), but I didn't think that was my job.
Ben Michaelis (26:32):
If you zoom all the way out from what you did, that's exactly what the three of us are really talking about. Is, so much of the problem is we get into these sort of momentary transactional relationships where it's just about, what is the transaction? As opposed to the larger picture, which is the broad relationship of, how are we really relating to one another long term? And I think that that idea, which obviously Jack Welsh and I'm not trying to like castigate him, but this idea of making the sale in that moment, it's quite shortsighted. And trying to say, "Wait a minute, what are we doing here? What is the overall, what is the geshalt of what we're trying to do?" And serving something larger, and when you can do that effectively it doesn't always lead to positive outcomes, but it can lead to better ones.
I think a big part of it Ben, to your point is, bringing our humanity into the workplace, which is we've been coached and trained and selected to actually leave it out. And among the things that I think is really important over the last few decades, is the richer research that has been developed that shows that it is actually through bringing our humanity to our teams, to our workplaces, that ultimately teams are better functioning, higher performing. People are more engaged and more retained and there're just a few quick examples of that. One is the project that Google did, Project Aristotle, which has been written about a lot and ultimately it was the psychological safety, it was the trust within the team which was founded on, their actually knowing each other as people that ultimately was responsible. Not just for them having a team that got along and people who stayed there, but ultimately for their effectiveness and their performance.
Kevin and Ben have spent the last few years working to bring leaders and teams into this broad new future we're all trying to navigate and that made me curious. Who had prepared them to face the future? Who had most impressed them and why?
Ben Michaelis (28:35):
The person that has most impressed me and frankly had the biggest impact on my career is someone that both Kevin and I know very well, who is the journalist Charles Duhigg, who actually co-founded thegroup.io back with me back in 2017. And Charles is known for his [inaudible 00:28:51] prize winning journalism and his best selling books, The Power of Habit, Smarter Faster Better. But what people don't know is that Charles is, uh, just a great human being and sometimes when you get to know someone who's a public figure like Charles they can disappoint you, but in fact Charles is actually better than even his public persona allows. And he's been incredibly generous to me in terms of with his prodigious mind and, and actually connected me with my partner Dr. Stacey Steele who, not like you Kevin, was a former McKinsey, uh (laughs), worker. We still work with him very closely and he's really encouraged us to sort of take our humanistic approach to businesses to help improve culture learning and relationship.
Because as Kevin was citing, even if you don't want to do this out of the goodness of your heart, when you do these things it improves the quality of life. And frankly businesses that do this make more money.
Kevin Delaney (29:44):
Early on in my career I was really fortunate to have a really remarkable office mate and that person is Danny Pearl. He was a Wall Street Journalist who subsequently was kidnapped and killed in the course of his reporting. Danny was this amazing, larger-than-life personality who delighted in the people at the margins of history and the, putting the pieces together so diligently and earnestly to try and help figure out what the world is really about. He was someone who traveled so much. He found these characters ranging from, you know, some of the great figures of history like, Muhammad Yunus, who is among the first people to really look at write about in depth, to this community in Iran that had created this incredible rug, the world's largest rug. And he found both delight in, inside in this like incredibly, uh, curious approach to the world.
Danny, obviously, um, what happened to him was, uh, a tragic loss and I think that he has influenced a lot of us, a lot of journalists, who either worked with him directly or not, in terms of how we think about the work that we carry forward and, and the meaning and importance of that. In a world where the set of polarization and extremism that Danny was reporting on, has only intensified and the importance of the work in that context.
There's a saying familiar to everyone who spends time outdoors. "You should always leave nature better than you found it." It's an important mantra to keep in mind for leaders who are looking down the path wondering what the future of work looks like. Questions like, is it remote, in person, or hybrid? Are certainly important. Even considering that question and pondering the best fit for their teams means leaders are headed in that direction, but they need to go further. There isn't one formula that's right all the time for every workplace. Instead, leaders need to keep the spirit of an ideal workplace in mind and find the best way to get there. The office of the future might be real, it might be virtual, but it should make our teams feel psychologically safe, give them the sense that they can trust one another and critically let them have time for life outside of work.
Because planning for the future ultimately means planning for a day when we won't be in charge anymore, when we'll have to had the reigns to a new generation of leaders. And if by then we've built a culture that prioritizes a life outside the office, that's faster and strong connections of communication and that values and nourishes human nature, then we will truly have left the world of work better than we found it.
Speaker 3 (32:47):
World Reimagined with Gautam Mukunda. A leadership podcast for a changing world. An original podcast from Nasdaq.
Gautam Mukunda does not speak on behalf of Rose Park Advisors LLC, or any of its affiliates and is not soliciting investments or providing investment advice.