Eat Sleep Work Repeat
Is the 4 day week a cult that we can all get behind?
For today’s episode I went to meet Alex Soujung Kim Pang. Alex has written a lot about our relationship with work, first in his book Rest and now in his book WORK LESS, DO MORE which is a refreshed version of Shorter.
When we first spoke the evidence for shorter working was a series of quirky stories of pioneering firms, frequently led by maverick bosses. In the last three years the landscape for shorter working (encompassing all manner of adaptations like four day weeks, compressed hours, 9 day fortnights and more) has transformed. Alex himself has played a role for 4 Day Week Global helping to design the mechanics of programs for test firms.
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177. The single thing that every organisation should do to fix culture39:58Professor Frances Frei is the biggest brain in the field of workplace culture and I was delighted to get another opportunity to talk to her.She explains the one thing that firms should do to fix their cultures (spoiler: train their managers), why she thinks inclusion is a more important element of culture than just diversity.The previous episode with Frances FreiFrances and Anne’s podcast FixableFrances’ and Anne Morriss’ new book Move Fast and Fix ThingsSign up for the newsletter Quotes from the book that I cited: “One way to build cynicism quickly in an organisation, something we see all the time, by the way - is to ask people for their input and then do very little with the information they give you (and take a long time to even do that)’Robert McDonald, former CEO of P&G “Organisations are perfectly designed to get the results they get… if you don’t like the results you need to change the design”. We're often asked for a summary of how to build a workplace where everyone feels welcome. Our short answer is to recruit great people you don't already know, give them interesting work to do, and invest in them as if your company's future depends on it. If they deserve a promotion, give it to them in a timely man-ner. Don't make them wait. Don't make them go to a competitor to get the role, title, and decision rights they already earned on your watch. And in the name of all that is right and just in the world, pay them fairly and equitably for the work they do.”
176. Is toxic culture driving your team away?40:33Eat Sleep Work Repeat is hosted by Bruce Daisley, Ellen Scott and Matthew Cook. Sign up to the newsletterIs toxic culture driving your team away?If you’re someone whose job it is think about culture, or maybe you’re a boss who has tried to communicate values to your team then today’s episode is an essential listen.Donald Sull and Charlie Sull are a father and son research team who have discovered extraordinary insights into values and what they look like in the real world.Here are some articles to get you going to understand the world of the Sulls:Toxic Culture Is Driving the Great ResignationThe Toxic Culture Gap Shows Companies Are Failing WomenWhy leaders need to worry about toxic culture?Charlie and Donald have a business that focusses on this called Culture X.
175. WorkChat: are you ready to declare your workplace relationships?41:37Eat Sleep Work Repeat is hosted by Bruce Daisley, Ellen Scott and Matthew Cook. Sign up to the newsletterThis week we go deep on the latest news about work.ITV tell staff to declare ‘friendships’Moderation staff at Facebook are suing over PTSDBBC staff given help for stress levels'We Had To Remove This Post' - brilliant novella by Hanna BervoetsOobah Butler’s Amazon show on Channel 4Reddit anti workReddit r/LateStageCapitalismMatt’s final comment about having orgasms to boost productivityBig Train sketch: 'no wanking in the office please'
174. WorkChat: Is work heading for a freelance future?41:05Eat Sleep Work Repeat is hosted by Bruce Daisley, Ellen C Scott and Matthew Cook. Sign up to the newsletterThis week we go deep on the latest news about work. We discuss:Two thirds of bosses expect a return to the office by 2036KPMG CEO surveyDavid Foster Wallace - This is Water commencement speechShonda Rhimes “Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life”80% of remote workers claim to have two jobsEmail sign-offs are changingCoffee badging as a protest against being in the officeSnail girl jobs (and the toxicity of ‘trends’ about women working less)The gendered nature of WFH assessment (participants in research were less likely to choose to hire working mothers than childless women)
173. I’m loving Big Ange instead33:42Sign up for the newsletterWhat Ange Postecoglou changed at Spurs in his first 100 days: ‘The mood has been transformed’Charlie writes about the oratory of Ange PostecoglouLast week I read something wonderful about the culture of Tottenham Hotspur, I contacted the writer and it felt like it was worth putting out quickly. We’ve got a couple of podcast recorded with Matt and Ellen so we’ll be back for a fuller episode next week.Ange Postecoglou has been the manager of Spurs, Tottenham Hotspur, for around a hundred days. In that time he’s started something of a transformation. And I can tell that because the Spurs fans I know how have started smiling. Spurs have started the season well, currently sitting 2nd in the Premier League. But more than that the players seem to be happy and are playing exciting football.There was a brilliant article by Charlie Ecceshare from The Athletic looking into the culture of the club under Ange, the article talked about how the mood of the club has been transformed.For anyone interested in the impact that cultural change can create it was a fascinating read, full of specifics and clear actions. Aren’t all of us looking to change the mood of our jobs? I got in touch with Charlie and we talked about Postecoglou, culture and the impact that culture has on results. In the show note you’ll find links to Charlie’s articles, YouTube clips of some team talks we discuss and some other things that you might find of interest, like an interview with Gary Lineker. Fabulous interview with Gary LinekerBig Ange motivational speechThank you to Charlie, all of the articles mentioned are in the show notes. What a fabulous discussion. I’m grateful for him taking the time to chat to me. If you’re interested in workplace culture you can sign up to the newsletter in the show notes - and also check out previous episodes on Liverpool FC, Barcelona and the All Blacks.Further listening:Inside Klopp's early days at LiverpoolA close look at Barcelona's cultureThe culture of the All BlacksReinventing the culture of the England team with Gareth Southgate
172. Psychological safety - setting the record straight45:51Eat Sleep Work Repeat is hosted by Bruce Daisley, Ellen C Scott and Matthew Cook. Ellen is away this week - we were working hard to squeeze an elite guest in.Amy Edmondson is the most renowned organisational psychologist in the world. In other words she's looked to more than anyone else for the answers of how to fix work.In this in depth discussion she talks us through what she understands by psychological safety, how any of us can create it and what she believes the best team structure is to achieve it.We're also joined by Octavius Black, founder of Mind Gym, who provide behavioural science based interventions for lots of the biggest companies in the world.Amy's new book is The Right Kind of Wrong
171. Are you having fun?01:04:00Eat Sleep Work Repeat is hosted by Bruce Daisley, Ellen C Scott and Matthew Cook.Sign up for the Make Work Better newsletterCatherine Price is a science and health writer who has written a couple of sensationally timely books.Firstly How to Break Up With Your PhoneSecondly, and today’s discussion focusses on this, The Power of FunI was put on to it by Elle Hunt’s Power of Fun article in The GuardianMemorise it: fun is playful connected flow
170. WorkChat: Hang on, was the office stressing us out all along?51:04Sign up for the Make Work Better newsletterEat Sleep Work Repeat is hosted by Bruce Daisley, Ellen C Scott and Matthew Cook.Ellen wrote about her learnings about being a managerDespite government threats of legal action Cambridgeshire council are continuing their evidence-led trial of the 4-day week. “Nine in ten councils are struggling with job recruitment and retention and a four-day working week could be the answer”Ellen mentions this article on Stylist about boundaries (registration required)Half of the employees of Grindr were fired after the firm issued a RTO order. This included 100% of the firm’s trans employees. As Matt points out in the show trans employees are subject to the legislative whims of different states in the US and understandably try to locate in safe places.We talk about the World Values Survey report "What the world thinks about work"People in the UK are least likely to say work is important in their life. It's still seems pretty high, 73% of the UK public say work is very or rather important in their life - but significantly lower than other countries. Other western nations such as Italy, Spain, Sweden, France and Norway all rank much higher than the UK on this measure, with more than nine in 10 saying work is important in their life.Headline warning: This is not a new development. the share of the British public who say work is important in their life has hardly changed in three decades But there are big generational differences in views on whether work should always come first. One of the most interesting charts has been millennial's views crashing: it went from a hustle culture high of 41% in 2009 to 14% in 2022. That is a huge shift in attitudeLibby Sander is an internationally renowned expert on work and the workplace, the MBA Director and Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Bond University. She is a leading thinker on understanding the future of work, and how we can reimagine it to live more meaningful and creative lives.Read Libby on RTO
169. The world's best performance coach explains how he transforms teams01:12:15I’m joined again by new cohosts Ellen C Scott and Matthew Cook.Buy BelongingOwen Eastwood is the most in-demand team performance coach in the worldHe's earned that reputation by delivering break-through results with a diverse range of teams from Gareth Southgate’s England team and the England women’s team, to the senior leadership team of NATO. His former clients represent an elite range of teams who have gone on to achieve incredible victories. We wanted to understand how he did it.What does he say? What does he ask?Eastwood’s approach is consistent. By zooming out and pointing our fleeting contribution to legacy he urges teams to think about their ‘Us’ story. For me this suggests that what he’s actually doing is emphasising a powerful shared identity. In my mind I would see this as activating a visceral bond of community, he chooses to label it as ‘belonging’. That distinction ends up feeling semantic when presented with what his approach achieves.This week on the podcast I’m joined by new co-hosts Ellen Scott and Matthew Cook as we talk to Owen and debate purpose, identity and belonging.It’s a truly brilliant listen.Follow Owen on LinkedInJoe Lycett’s remarkable special - the last 20 minutes of this are astonishing viewingEllen on thinking about leaving work on time