The Complexity of Hybrid Engagement

The concept of a hybrid work model gained momentum about 18 months ago.

And as companies began to explore it, the buzz from HR teams was this is going to get complicated. And they were right. At this point, very few managers have “mastered” it, and many employees are saying it’s clunky and not resetting the culture the way leaders hoped it would. And it’s still one of the top Google searches this year.

There’s a clear delineation between why one model was easy and the other is more difficult. The virtual model solved for individuals. There wasn’t a choice about the virtual setting as a way of working. Everyone was in it, and everyone adjusted to it. Interestingly, most companies said it worked. They gained efficiencies and felt that they were able to leverage individuals effectively. What most managers now say is that the team aspect suffered in a virtual setting. It was just harder, and in some cases not feasible, to keep employees connected to each other and leveraging the skills of each other. So, high productivity from individuals but much less collaboration across teams.

And that’s the shift with the hybrid model. Companies want to bring back the collaboration that helps processes evolve and improve as they moved forward. The complexity is that when companies opened their doors, few acknowledged the objective and the shift from individual focus to team focus. And companies didn’t give managers a lot of guidance on how to build team contracts. And managers need it. They learned so much in the last two years about managing to individual needs, and now they aren’t sure how to balance individual needs against team priorities. In order for hybrid models to work, the priorities of the team have to come first.

In our workshops, we talk about the difference in engagement of the work and engagement of individuals. Both are a part of setting the hybrid model, but the approach may differ between the work and the people.

To reset the engagement of teamwork, we coach managers to define the work of the team first. Build a visual representation of what the team does and the connection points that the team needs to integrate the work and deliver outcomes. The manager defines the connection points and the vehicle used to collaborate on work. Over the last two years, managers have jumped back into details to keep processes going. While managers had good connection to most employees, the employees didn’t have consistent and essential connection to each other. It’s time to pull out and let team members own the processes.

The manager sets the date, the time, the cadence and the process of teamwork. The employees drive the connection that comes from it. It’s the engagement of teamwork that allows us to learn from each other, build trust with each other and ultimately, leverage each other toward better outcomes.

Managers have to be unapologetic about putting the team first in the hybrid model and having new norms that are requirements for being on a team. If the team needs to meet in person on Mondays, then the team has to meet in person on Mondays. Interestingly, as we’ve worked with managers on defining the “team contract,” they aren’t getting the resistance that they thought they would. That’s because we don’t need to reset to how we worked two years ago, and most people welcome the connection back to the team. Employees are adjusting to new expectations, and many admit that the shift to hybrid wasn’t as dramatic as they feared.

But will the culture reset if different teams have different contracts? How can managers continue to drive personal connection with employees that they don’t see regularly? The connection part is proving to be the toughest part of the hybrid model. It was the toughest part of the virtual model, and it remains amongst groups that don’t get together regularly.

Managers sure tried. From virtual games, to wine tastings, competitions and hobby huddles, they did it all. It’s just hard to accept that looking at a screen can deliver the same energy and engagement as sitting across from someone. It worked for a while when life was virtual, and the screen connection was the only connection we had. But life has reset. People are out in restaurants, seeing friends and family in person. Ironically, for many employees, the work group is the only one they don’t see regularly. Managers who try to set virtual connection points are competing with the in-person connections that have returned to all other parts of life.

To reset engagement with people, we need to acknowledge that virtual connection isn’t as good. We get energy from being with people, and while different people like different doses of that energy, a virtual connection doesn’t deliver the same thing. Managers have to find ways to build connection into a team contract.

In-person connection fits easily in a local teamwork model because people are in the same location and getting meals together or planning events together comes easily. Many companies are returning to in-person meetings which creates an opportunity for those who aren’t in the same location to plan for touchpoints throughout the year. It’s an essential part of strengthening a culture, and if your team doesn’t have the opportunity to get together, you need to create it. Even global teams that are very far apart are finding ways to bring employees who live in the same country together so that everyone has the opportunity to reset, re-energize or begin relationships.

As managers and leaders ask for guidance on retaining employees, I often say that people leave companies as individuals. If their work environment and setting is always individual, the culture doesn’t have much of an impact on them. But they tend to stay with companies when they belong to a team or have friendships where they work. The company culture comes through in the people they know and the leaders they like to work with. We talked about this on a recent podcast, Resetting & Reducing Social Distance.

The hybrid model has more complexity, and to work well, it has to focus on the work of the team and the connection of individuals to each other.

If you’re interested in improving your team’s model, we can help through our group workshops or 1:1 coaching to build a tailored plan for your team.

We’re here when you need us!

Want a free 15-minute consultation with us to see how we can help you or your leaders? Book a call now!

Sally Williamson & Associates

Managing a Hybrid Workforce: Resetting Offices, Employees & Expectations

We’ve reached it … the other side of work from home. And as companies begin to layout new plans, a variety of options are emerging. Some workers are already back in the office every day, some will continue in a work-from-home format, and many will shift to a blended schedule that includes time in the office and time at home.

And with all of these transitions, managers will have to reset expectations.

Here’s why.

Work from home was all over the board…for good reason. Managers pulled together WFH employees and found a way of working together that was different and effective. In many instances because there wasn’t a good alternative. Because many people weren’t in the office, they weren’t aware of how different some of the choices were among managers, across teams and from company to company. We’ve heard it all, from teams that get together every morning to groups that haven’t really met as a team for more than a year. And we’ve seen it all, from employees who got no support to set a home office environment to those equipped with the lighting and camera requirements to emulate a true office setting.

That’s why the reset will be different. While managers tried ways to keep teams connected and involved with each other, the overall takeaway is that the company culture struggles when people don’t have a place and a community that brings them together. Not every day, but most days, so that individuals don’t lose the power of teamwork. And companies know that the employee experience needs to feel consistent and connected across all teams. They also know that they can manage impressions much better in a work environment.

Impressions never really went away. We noticed when someone wasn’t really dressed for work; we noticed when someone seemed distracted, and we noticed when technology failed. We saw it all, but since we were all in it together, we tried harder to focus on what we heard vs. what we saw.

And that’s where the shift begins.

Once a few people went back, the expectations came back as well. It doesn’t really matter where you are when you talk to a manager or a customer, but how you show up for that discussion does.  And if someone has given you their attention, the expectation is that you will do the same.

Can you deliver a presentation with poor lighting? Sure, but the impact drops by more than 50% when people can’t see your face. Can you meet with a client from your bedroom? Sure, but it isn’t where they are anymore and they notice the difference. In fact, more than 80% say they’re distracted by it. And can you demonstrate product capabilities if your internet freezes? Sure, but more than 75% of viewers place some of that responsibility on you. They assume you weren’t prepared and didn’t check to be sure you could deliver the presentation well from your location.

The bottom line is that people working in offices now have a home-court advantage. The office environment makes it much easier to show up well. And when some people show up better than others, impressions can lead to assumptions that are hard to overcome.

Right now, and for the next few months, managers will have to reset expectations of what participation, intention and focus look like in different settings.

As employees adjust to blended schedules or hybrid settings, managers will need to redefine what work from home really means. Is it about a relaxed schedule and flexible hours? Is it a decrease in hours and more time to manage family and personal time? Or is it simply a different location with the same expectations as in-office expectations?

In short order, we will feel the shift from “we’ll make it work” to “why aren’t you doing what I’m doing” comparisons. Clarity on expectations will be key. If people are held accountable to the same expectations, then companies will need to provide the right tools to help employees improve their home work environment. And if you haven’t done so, it will take training to help a virtual employee think about intention and impressions in an “out of the office” setting.

Over the last year, we’ve trained thousands of people to leverage virtual tools and show up with meaningful intention. And while it was a survival tool for many, it has shifted to a differentiator in impressions of people, products and companies.

The gaps and comparisons will only continue as we begin to mix the format and experiences between office settings and virtual settings. It doesn’t have to be a handicap; it can be a great choice as long as it comes with guidelines and expectations. We can help you do it as you focus not just on where people will work but how they drive influence and impact in any setting.

Want some help defining expectations and managing a hybrid workforce? Schedule a call with us and we’ll share our insights and tools to help you reset your team.

Sally Williamson & Associates

“I Need Resources” is the Wrong Message!

As companies reset for a new chapter in 2021, there has been a lot of reflecting on how companies and teams made it through the uncertainty and disruption of 2020. One way was to reallocate resources or reduce teams. It drove efficiencies quickly, and it saved money. At the time, it was a difficult, but smart, step.

And now, managers tell us that what they saw as a temporary situation seems to be the new and expected normal on their teams. They’re stuck in the “do more with less” direction, and it’s causing burnout as employees continue to manage their roles and a part of someone else’s. Managers feel an urgency to reset and pull their teams out of the overload. And they’re headed into executive-level conversations with this message: “If we want to complete our project on time, I need five resources to do X”, “If we add 10 employees back to the team, we can do X.” It follows our message format, but it falls short of approval by most leaders.

Here’s why.

It’s the most common request leaders hear in companies. “I need more people.” It was the most common request before 2020 took place. So, you can imagine what it must be like now as more teams are short-staffed. If every manager added a headcount, the company would be right back to the pre-2020 bottom line. And leaders aren’t interested in backing up. They believe a lot was learned from 2020 and efficiencies – doing more with less – resonates as a positive outcome.

But the managers’ predicament is not an excuse; it’s a real challenge and a real threat to the retention of talent. Managers need to have these conversations, but they need to shift the storyline from “I can’t do it without people” to “we have choices to make about how we accomplish this”. It means shifting the storyline to focus on a business decision and outcome rather than the challenges they’re feeling to deliver against it.

The starting point is messaging that focuses on choices and actions that lead to outcomes. Take people and headcount out of the equation. It seems like odd guidance, but it makes a big difference. When managers look at initiatives, they think from the desired outcome backward and map out how to get the work completed. They map a single path to completion, and they quickly see the need for resources to complete tasks.

When leaders look at initiatives, they consider multiple paths to lead to the outcome. They rarely see it as a single path. So, when a manager comes to them and says: “If we want to deliver X on time, we need five additional people on the team.”, leaders ask questions like: “What other options did you consider?” And when managers don’t have that context, leaders get frustrated that multiple options weren’t considered.

The best way to lead these conversations is to learn to think more from the leaders’ perspective. If you have a project in front of you that doesn’t seem doable without adding resources, pull back and think about all the options/paths you have to get there.

Assume you’re down four people and have been since last year. You have been given a tight timetable to deliver product Z, and it’s the same timetable you delivered against with those four people you no longer have. You know you can’t do it without the full team in place. That’s fair; it’s how you delivered products prior to 2020. But before you head down the single path with a message that says, “I need resources,” think a little broader.

You could:

  • Partner with another team by prioritizing product Z over a product from another team on a similar timetable.
  • Outsource some of the product steps to avoid adding FTEs and instead add specific help to specific steps.
  • Push out the delivery date based on a new timeline that seems feasible to the team you have in place.

When a leader is presented with options like this, they look at the situation differently. They hear 1) change the approach 2) double efforts on critical steps or 3) change the timetable. They see that you’re thinking through options to get to an outcome instead of bringing challenges you have with a single path. It aligns more with the types of decisions they’re used to making, and it’s the most effective way to help them consider compromise.

The second point for the communicator to consider is setting context. In our workshops, we call it “Framing the Situation,” and we provide a methodology to help a communicator align a leader to the topic of choices that have been made to date. Instead of jumping to “How are we going to do this,” a good communicator will reset what’s already happened to date. This helps a leader see that they have already made some of the decisions that have led to the current topic.

A manager who is down four resources might begin a storyline like this:

“Last year, with uncertainty in front of us, we reduced the team by four people. And we asked the remaining six to work tirelessly to get product Y into the market in six months. They did that, and we have seen the product perform well by delivering expected revenue and good customer reviews. So, it was a success last year out of working differently on the team.

“But it came with compromise. In order to get product Y to market on the timetable, we skipped two critical points. We reduced testing, and we eliminated some of our protocols for integration. You may remember this conversation and debate last May. We made the decision to skip steps at the time, because we felt product Y so closely aligned to product X that launched the previous year. We seemed aligned with customer response and felt the break with protocols would have limited risks. In this one case, we were right.

“This year, product Z doesn’t align in the same way and following the modified steps would create bigger compromise and increased risks. As a product team, you have asked us to reset the “best practices” and protocols of development that you put in place three years ago. And when we do that, it will create some different choices to consider for product Z.”

This context aligns the leader to the topic and the broader reset they’ve put in place across the organization. They have agreed to the best practices and protocols for product Z before hearing the choices they need to make. And as you probably noticed, it calls out steps they value and a process that they put into place. So, it’s easier for the leader to consider options when they’re trying to avoid product compromise and risks.

The idea of adding back resources hasn’t come up. But it may be brought up by the leader. Because as they think through the options above, they may ask: “What if we didn’t change the approach or the timetable and instead of relying on contract resources, we added people back to your team?” When it’s set in the broader picture, it now looks like the least disruptive solution rather than the only way you can figure out how to solve a challenge.

Learning to lead conversations from a leader’s perspective is something we’ve been helping managers do for more than three decades. If you’re preparing for a tough conversation, we can help you develop the storyline that leads to the desired outcome.

So, whether you’d like to schedule a coaching session to focus on a specific conversation or book a group workshop to learn the fundamentals, we hope you’ll call us when you need us.

Sally Williamson & Associates

Disrupted! A Talent Acquisition Perspective

Subscribe to the podcast!

Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on Apple Podcasts Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on Spotify Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on iHeartRadio

Disruption happens every day across the corporate world. As employees, we experience reorgs, layoffs and acquisitions, and as disrupters ourselves we move cross country, chase ideas and challenge norms. But amidst all the disruption we all experience, some of us seem to thrive in times of turmoil.

These are the communicators who have mastered the two secret arts hidden within corporate disruption: learning how to establish a compelling brand and build an intriguing career narrative. They are skills that take time to perfect, but they’re the differentiator factors between those who are cast adrift from disruption and those who prosper from it.

We believe in this strongly…and it’s why we wrote our latest book: Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand & Your Career.

But don’t just take our word for it. On this episode, Hurst Williamson is joined by 2 Talent Acquisition specialists to share their perspectives on the trends they see every day and what makes a job candidate successful…or forgettable.

More About the Guests

Elisa Abner-Taschwer is the Talent Acquisition Manager at FORUM Credit Union in Fishers, Indiana. She has over 30 years of HR experience, primarily in Talent Acquisition. Elisa lives with her husband of 27 years and their Mini Golden Doodle, Max.

Lauren Baksh, M.Ed. is the Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Graphic Packaging International. She has over ten years of talent management experience in the manufacturing industry and currently supports her team with the design and execution of holistic recruiting experiences for US salaried positions. Lauren lives in Atlanta with her husband, two daughters, and two fur babies.

Show Notes

  • Careers are no longer on a straight and narrow path.
    • People will change their job/career 7-10 times throughout their career.
    • Interview determines if there will be a next change in a person’s career.
  • What does it take to make a job a candidate memorable or forgettable?
  • What percentage of people are good at interviewing?
    • Less than 5%
    • Not as many people are good at interviewing that think they are good at interviewing.
    • Those that think they are good at interviewing usually lack authenticity.
  • What goes wrong in an interview?
    • Lack of prep – didn’t know much about the company or the interviewer.
    • Lacked confidence – unaware of body language.
    • Lacked impact – didn’t understand their experiences well.
    • Prospective employee must be interviewing the company as well as being interviewed by the company.
    • Preparation will help a candidate seal the deal.
    • Good story tellers have better impact in an interview.
  • Virtual vs. In-Person Interviews
    • Same challenges exist in a virtual interview as an in person interview.
    • Candidates see virtual as more informal and have a low awareness of their setting and background.
    • Fewer people ghost virtual interviews.
  • When prepping for a virtual interview, consider it the same as if you are going to meet with someone – dress professionally
  • Potential employers encourage prospective employees to ask questions about the attire and the platform being used to the interview
  • How many resumes for a potential position are reviewed?
    • Far too many
    • 20-30+ resumes for an open position
    • 30-50 resumes
  • What really makes a candidate stand out?
    • Individuals who understand the organization and the culture
    • Candidates with confidence in themselves and the ability to have a good vision as to what they want in their new position
    • Candidates must be a good cultural fit
    • Candidates must ask questions in the interview and understand the opportunity
  • The most critical skills for a top candidate:
    • Problem solving and thinking
    • Collaboration and cooperation
    • Communication and influence
  • Advice to stand-out in interviews:
    • Translate the experience you had with the job you want to do. Think about things that you’ve done that have given you that experience
    • Update your resume annually and add accomplishments from the previous years.
    • Highlight how you work on a team
  • Candidates approach an interview very reactively
    • Understand the resume is a list – make sure to drive the interview and conversation
    • Have a reactive and proactive interview
    • Be prepared to  highlight your key aspects
    • Be able to shape your narrative and asked questions about the company while staying authentic
    • Come with questions to make it a conversation.
  • Employers are looking for people that want to work for the company not the job
  • Is there a war for talent? It’s a very favorable market for talent right now
  • Companies are trying to be the company that people want to join and understand that not all candidates are going to have 100% of the skills that are being looked for in a candidate.
  • Candidates must show up as their authentic self.
  • Employees own their development and the company and their manager are there to support the individual. Take a risk and it might change!


Order Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand & Your Career today here or on Amazon.


Like what you hear? Hear more episodes like this on the What’s Your Story podcast page!

Disrupted! A Talent Development Perspective

Subscribe to the podcast!

Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on Apple Podcasts Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on Spotify Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on iHeartRadio

Disruption happens every day across the corporate world. As employees, we experience reorgs, layoffs and acquisitions, and as disrupters ourselves we move cross country, chase ideas and challenge norms. But amidst all the disruption we all experience, some of us seem to thrive in times of turmoil.

These are the communicators who have mastered the two secret arts hidden within corporate disruption: learning how to establish a compelling brand and build an intriguing career narrative. They are skills that take time to perfect, but they’re the differentiator factors between those who are cast adrift from disruption and those who prosper from it.

We believe in this strongly…and it’s why we wrote our latest book: Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand & Your Career.

But don’t just take our word for it. On this episode, Hurst Williamson is joined by 3 Talent Development specialists to share their perspectives on what makes an employee a high-potential candidate and what traits they look for in tomorrow’s leaders.

More About the Guests

Alexandra Daily-Diamond is the Northwest Regional Talent Development Manager at Gensler, a design and architecture firm. In her role, she identifies people-focused solutions to HR challenges. She focuses on organizational and employee development and engagement, talent management, coaching, and HR strategies that promote wellbeing.

Hilda Curry is the Enterprise Learning Management Systems Administrator for Methodist Health System, a non-profit healthcare organization located in Dallas, Texas. Hilda has over 25 years of experience in corporate & healthcare learning and talent development, and has held a series of progressive positions in the training and development field.

Megan Breiseth is the Senior Director of Learning and Development at InsideTrack. Megan has worked in employee development since 2006. At InsideTrack, she coached online adult learners and eventually moved into Learning and Development leadership. During her career, Megan has built and managed learning programs that unlock the potential in coaches, managers, and support staff.

Show Notes

    • Disruption is happening across the board in companies and for employees. Employees no longer have a mapped-out career path.
    • Seek opportunities to expand your skills and repackage your potential.
    • What do companies think about talent development?
    • What percentage of the workforce has needed to do some kind of rest in 2020?
      • 100% of the team had a reset in priorities, personal goals, and how they do the work.
      • All training was converted to virtual learning, 10% of corporate employees shifted to work from home.
      • 100% of people’s jobs changed and circumstances changed. Staff neededg to focus on what is most essential for students and institutions to meet their basic needs. Prioritize safety, wellness, and how to set up systems to support employees so they could show up.
    • Pandemic aside – What other things would be examples of organization disruptions?
      • Integrating separate systems into one
      • Transition from for profit to nonprofit business
      • Change roles to be more scalable and sustainable
      • More efficiency changes in the workplace
      • Pandemic heightened changes that would have happened otherwise but pandemic made it more urgent.
      • Economy is a general factor in disruption. – Global company and global economic impact.
      • Companies are shifting to have a clear focus to elevate the human experience.
    • What is the organization’s responsibility in an employee’s development and what is the employee’s responsibility in that?
      • Company being intentional to listen and empower.
      • Employees seek out feedback on what the individual could do better.
      • Ask the questions that are going to get employees thinking deeply.
      • Empower employees to own their career and see themselves.
      • Have a specific program for leaders.
      • Offer employees training or tuition reimbursement.
      • Encourage them to play a visible role in committees.
      • Offer the opportunity to get input from coworkers and managers.
    • What happens when an individual hits a wall where they don’t have the skills they didn’t know they needed to advance but were still good at their current job?
      • Push employees to get the skill – many companies will work with employees to get them to develop the skills they need to continue.
      • Encourage employees to have a conversation with managers to get the skills they need.
      • Library of competency to get measured on.
      • The goal is to look within the company but they will be open to hire outside the company if a specific skill is needed quickly.
      • In times like this, a person would lose the job for somebody who has that skill if the employee has not done anything to grow.
    • When a person is having their potential assessed, being great at what they can do isn’t always a great indicator that they can stretch when a skill is needed.
    • Examples of employees that were hired from other industries to do a new job:
      • Head chef- great head of customer service
      • DJ as a sales person
      • Zookeeper as a head of operations
    • 3 key attributes that talent development looks for in any position
      1. Ability to communicate and influence others
      2. Agility during changes or times of uncertainty
      3. Problem solving and critical thinking
    • Debunking of the rumor of “There’s never enough “top talent”
    • Personal brand and feedback
    • The book goes over the importance of hitting the reset to create your brand you must make yourself visible.
      • Participate in programs.
      • Volunteer for outside organizations.
      • Champion specific projects.
      • Use talent and skills on a broad perspective.
    • Personal brand is how people think about and talk about you when you aren’t around.
      • Asking for feedback removes the barrier and opens it up for an honest conversation.
      • If you dread feedback, work on your mindset around feedback, your mindset will share your reality. We can’t grow unless we get negative feedback. Seek feedback and control the narrative.
      • Participate in a performance review for yourself and from your manager. Feedback should be given on a day-to-day basis.
      • Not all feedback is useful but it’s important to put yourself out there. Seek feedback from individuals that make you nervous.
    • You can’t grow without stress or change – everyone deserves to love what they do. Always seek to grow and chase meaning and purpose.


Order Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand & Your Career today here or on Amazon.


Like what you hear? Hear more episodes like this on the What’s Your Story podcast page!

Disrupted! A Podcast with the Creators: Why We Wrote It and What We Learned

Subscribe to the podcast!

Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on Apple Podcasts Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on Spotify Listen to the Stories Behind a Purpose with CeCe Morken - Sally Williamson & Associates on iHeartRadio

Disruption happens a lot across the corporate world. Sometimes, from a company’s perspective through realigning functions. And sometimes by employees themselves as they make choices to try different things. But whether disruption is caused by a company or an individual, it’s occurring more frequently.

And from our vantage point, we see individuals who aren’t ready for it…and aren’t good at resetting around a challenge or an opportunity that disruption causes. The book sets out to help individuals understand why disruption occurs and how to plan for resets.

This episode of What’s Your Story has guest host, Lia, who interviews Sally, Hurst, and LaKesha about book insights, highlights and maybe a few tips from the latest book, Disrupted! How to Reset your Brand and Your Career.

More about The Creators

Sally Williamson is the founder of SW&A and an expert in all things related to spoken communication. Sally brings more than three decades of experience, insights and a general love of connection to empower more than 15,000 leaders and managers to influence and impact any group. Disrupted! is her fourth book.

Hurst Williamson is the ultimate utility player who can uncover client needs, lead a workshop or weave an incredible tale. He owns every room and brings genuine engagement to communication. He is the heart of the career journey and a proud member of the generation most disrupted. But he sees it as an opportunity to tell your story and own your journey. And he’s helping many of our clients do just that. Hurst co-authored Disrupted! and it is his second book.

LaKesha Edwards is a life-long learner who loves research, insights and discovery. With a Ph.D. added to her own career journey, she questions what we’re learning and how we’re solving it. And with SW&A, she creates the steps to continue a development experience by thinking through what we learn, what we teach and how we coach. And quite frankly, she keeps us all on our toes. She led the research behind Disrupted!

Show Notes

  • Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand and Your Career
    • Disruption happens all over the world and it’s occurring more frequently.
    • This book sets out to help individuals understand why disruption occurs and how to plan for resets.
  • Why Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand and Your Career was written:
    • It felt like the right time for the topic and they had the tools to sell it.
    • As a communications firm they have a broad view of business change.
    • SW&A wanted to support individuals and how they deal with disruption.
    • This time, around wanted to include two new minds in the process to have fresh perspective about a topic that will directly affect their generation.
    • The timing of COVID-19 offered the space, insight, and necessity for this book.
    • This book has blended all their different talents together.
  • What was Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand and Your Career trying to uncover and discover?
    • Focus on developing the skills of current employees.
    • Noting talent strategies have shifted with business beliefs.
    • Talent acquisition is trying to bring in the needed talent to solve for gaps.
  • Where does that create insight for a reader or an individual who’s thinking through their own career path and development?
    • Talent Leaders have encouraged employees to take ownership of their own career path.
    • Training for employees to directly support company goals is 82%.
    •  8% of their time is focused on development outside of company goals.
    • If your interest does not align with the company’s goals, it will not be a priority.
  • Talent development is in charge of supplying the people to let that growth happen. Goals get narrow fast – if an individual doesn’t fit in the scope, they will fall behind.
    • Employees must take ownership to develop their skills to make sure they stand out.
    • Employees must not rely on somebody watching out for them- they must own their career.
    • There is not a master database of employee’s development, skills, and career goals.
  • How to stay competitive?
    • Feedback – is the best indication of what an employee’s file at a company is. Seek feedback to control personal brand. Seek feedback from individuals that make you nervous.
    • Personal brand is how people think about you and talk about you when you’re not around.
  • What are the critical skills needed today?
    • Communication and influence.
    • Problem solving and critical thinking.
    • Agility during times of change and uncertainty.
  • To be a better strategic thinker is to be a better strategic communicator.
  • Talent recruiters will look for talent outside an organization if specific skills are needed quickly.
  • How are disruption and reset related?
  • Disruption is what everyone feels.
    • It happens to everybody and at any time. Not always handled well.
  • The rest are the people who take control of disruption.
    • How they pivot.
    • The art of how you take disruption and turn it into insight.
  • What does reset look like?
    • Everybody will have to reset at some time in their career.
    • An individual will change jobs 7-10 times in their career.
    • Reset comes down to the interview.
    • In the Talent Acquisition podcast they were asked how many people are good at interviewing? Less than 5 percent.
  • Talent acquisition is competing for top talent. Many people don’t understand how to explain their skills through storytelling. Acquiring skills that fit a specific job is not always through traditional experiences.
  • In the book they look at different career levels early, mid, and peak career.
  • People are successful in reset if they have a compelling brand and a compelling career narrative.
    • 1st half of Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand and Your Career is about personal brand and coaching around feedback. It’s broken down between early, mid-career and peak career.
    • 2nd half pivots into a career narrative. How to think about organizing all your experience together. Mindset shifts on how you think and talk about yourself.

Order Disrupted! How to Reset Your Brand & Your Career today here or on Amazon.

Like what you hear? Hear more episodes like this on the What’s Your Story podcast page!