HR Superstars
HR Superstars

Episode 1 · 1 year ago

The Evolution of Company Culture and HR’s Role in Catalyzing Transformational Change w/ Mike Bokina


HR people are advocating for themselves more and more.

They want to have a seat at the table. But what’s the point of that seat at the table? Why do they want it in the first place? And how can they bring their skills to the table to create transformation inside their companies?

To learn more about how HR professionals can act as catalysts for transformational change, drive strategy forward, and help teams flourish, we talked with Mike Bokina, Vice President and Head of Human Resources at Siemens USA. 

What we talked about:

-Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for HR leaders.

-The role managers play in helping employees own their growth.

-A unique philosophy around rewards and recognition.

-Continuous growth management vs. annual performance reviews.

-How to facilitate more open and transparent dialogue around difficult topics.

For the entire interview, subscribe to HR Superstars on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

We, as h our professionals, have talked historically about having that seat at the table, but what does that really mean? And, and I like to think of it in those terms of being catalysts for change. You're listening to HR superstars, a podcast from fifteen five that highlights stories from the front lines of HR and people offs. Each episode will showcase fascinating conversations with leaders offering their unique experiences and advice for building an extraordinary company and culture. Let's get into the show. Hey everybody, welcome back. Really excited to have Mike Bakina here with me and David today. Mike has more than twenty years of HR experience, with a focus in the areas of HR strategy, HR measurement and improving the performance of the overall HR function. Mike is the VP of Human Resources of the Americas for Siemens Corporation. Previously, Mike was VP and global head of HR organizational effectiveness, and this role he was responsible for, in the end, planning for the global HR function, including HR strategy, the HR planning cycle and the global HR budget. In addition, he was an architect and delivered on seamen's HR global transformation prior to this. Mike was an HR strategy consultant for PWC Sarahtoga in New York City and held various HR positions at prudential financial across the US. Mike graduated with a degree in English and rhetoric. That's going to be useful for this podcast to Mike from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and has an MBA with a focus on hr management. From fairlay, Dickinson and Madison, New Jersey. MIC resides in northern New Jersey with his wife Aaron and his three kids Ryan, Noah and Sadie. Mike enjoys tennis, traveling, live music and time with his family, probably getting a little bit more of a couple of those than the others these days. Mike, Welcome to the show. Thank you so much, really glad to be here today. Yeah, it's so good to have you, Mike. You know, we were chatting a little bit before this this discussion you were you were talking about how in a lot of hr people are advocating more and more they want to be more of a strategic partner, they want more of a see the table, and you had shared something about your your view on that topic, specifically around. Well, well, why do they want that? See to the table and being an agent for change in transformation? What if you could share a little bit about your thinking of Philosophy in that regard? Yeah, would love to. I do think we, as h our professionals have talked historically about having that seat at the table, but what does that really mean? And and I like to think of it in those terms of being catalysts for change and, and I could argue, given the COVID pandemic, racial justice topics, a historical election process, many companies are re examining their port folios, their products, how they operate, which leads to cultural evolution, if not revolution, and I think that's where we as h our professionals start to help be that catalyst for change. Where did those organizations want to go and what are the systems or processes that need to be more agile and change to support that evolution or revolution? I think that's where we as h our professionals come in and, and I know at least it's seemens we've been really focused on how do we bring those those rights solutions to the table to help our business leaders navigate the uncertainty, but also also push that transformation forward. So, Mike, I love the idea of cultural evolution, if not revolution, and I'd love to go a little deeper into this because it's actually something I've been thinking about a lot. You know that the needs of the modern human being are way more complex today than they were ten years ago, fifty years ago, that the world is more complex than it's ever been and that as our cultures and our approach to leadership...

...and management, I mean just everything related to that, we do need to reinvent reevaluate. What does that really look like on a, you know, practical, grounded level? How are you thinking about that reinvention at Siemens? Sure here. So a couple things. Maybe I'll put it in the framework of Maslow's hierarchy, but I'll put the spin on it from an HR perspective. And if you think about kind of the the basic needs, those are some of the things around health and safety and, dare I say checkmark in a lot of ways, at least it seemens. Then, as you move up that hierarchy, we start to think about those psychological needs from employees, about is my job safe? What are the policies that I need to be thinking of as I maybe work from home or going to the office, but that top end is really about building that self actualization and that resiliency, and I think what we're doing at Siemens is putting the power and the accountability into our employees hands through a whole set of tools, if you will. We've implemented a learning platform where, essentially there are many opportunities for learning and growth that you, as an employee can pick and choose, and there's a little bit of Ai involved and you can create your own learning boards, if you will, and it's really a choose your own adventure, and I think that's really important to support that evolution and revolution, that it's not always necessarily we're telling you this is how it is, but you, as an employee can work collaboratively with your manager, with your colleagues and explore all those training and development opportunities that are both there in the system but are also through crowdsourcing, through additional project work, whatever the case maybe. So we're really trying to blend all that with the authority in the power in the hands of the individuals, encased in some strong corporate messaging. I love that. Well, world does a manager play in? That, if any. Yeah, so I think there's a really unique opportunity for managers and we've spent a fair amount of time upskilling and providing new tools to our managers, because I think they're really critical. I don't believe managers own the development of their employees. The employees do, but I think managers are coaches and are stimulating interesting dialogs about, Hey, Mike, here's some things that you need to work on, or here's some other feedback I'm picking up or here's how a project went, to really give employees that direction and then continue that dialog so that you course correct when things don't go well, which are also giving that reaffirming, positive feedback. And I think that that that will of the manager is evolving quickly and I could say especially in a company like Seemans, where we've got a lot of different businesses, a lot of different locations and the most important person in your work life is likely your manager and how interact with that individual. We've been, we've been in a lot of thinking about this topic of manager effectiveness and the evolution of that. You know, the what a manager might have been graded on you twenty or thirty years ago in terms of their effectiveness is very different than the kind of skill set they need today in this day and age. So, you know, we're trying to move the ball forward and quant identifying what that is and helping companies, you know, leverage that so that, to your point, employees can be supported in best owning their own growth and evolution. There's one one aspect you talked about in terms of Maslow's hierarchy when I want to double click on because because, you know, I think a lot of organizations have, you know, buy and large, nailed that bottom rung safety and then a lot of organizations then try to skip forward to the self actualization and say like well, let's try to unlock our team's potential. But it's that middle layer. You know, I've always looked at maslows a diagnostic if you know. If there's something lower down on the rung that's threatened, right there's a there's a threat to our physical safety or psychological..., we we're not going to be focused at focused on being our best selves. So how do you guys think about that Middle Layer and addressing that with your people? Yeah, we spend a fair amount of time this year really focused there and I'll give us a couple of specific examples. We implemented an emergency leave policy early on in the pandemic in April. That afforded our employees ten days essentially paid time off when stricken by the pandemic. I think that was one layer of that psychological safety. We've had a lot of questions about equipment at home. How do I have a best set up if I am working from home, if I am going into a factory of production site or to a customer site? How do I ensure that we've got all the right protocols in place that I can come do my job, be successful and go home at right and not get sick? So that policy landscape, in that framework landscape, we've spent a fair amount of time crystallizing what it means, with the recognition it could change again right to provide enough the agility in those policies that maybe in our factory down in Grand Prairie, Texas, it might be a little bit different than in a corporate office outside of Chicago. Well, I think that's where the dynamic leadership, dynamic human leadership, really comes in because, you know, it's actually really interesting. I'm listening to this book transcend by Mark Barry Kaufman, who is basically saying hey, there was, there is so much we got wrong about maslow's work and he's always going in and kind of looking at his later work. And it's really fascinating because maslow never even presented the hierarchy of needs as a pyramid. And it was actually some it was an organizational development consultant that took his higher maslow's work and turned it into a pyramid and said, hey, it's more like a video game and you get to level one and they unlock level too, you can go to level three. And basilow never actually proposed as a proponent of that. He was talking about it as much more of this more of a fluid, simultaneous kind of emergent phenomenon. And of course, if you're hungry you're not going to be trying to look good in a suit, but you know that. So I think that's really interesting because we're rediscovering so much about maslow's work right now and that it is so into vigual and there can be multiple needs that need to be addressed simultaneously. So I love the idea of it's the individual that owns the individual is responsible for the fulfillment of their needs, but we're going to create the conditions where there's a broader menu, there's a broader arrangement so that people can actually have the permission to get those needs met. Yeah, maybe I'll tell a little story in that case, and this this was before the pandemic and not long after I started this role, but I was doing a listening to her right going to various seamen sites across the US and I was, I recall one specific one outside of Dallas, meeting with two thousand and twenty five colleagues and they were talking about hiring practices and what they could do around recruiting and one of the individuals said, well, hr told me I couldn't, and I said we are not the police. We're certainly going to make sure that there are no laws broken or any compliance issues, but just to your point chain, we want to provide a menu of options that make sense for your business, that can really be more dynamic and fluid and what works here or may not work somewhere else, and our business partners will be again that catalyst to have that dialog, because you're right, is at the middle of the hierarchy, the top of the hierarchy? I don't know, but we're providing that menu, if you will, have solutions that make the most sense. So how do you Internet it's going to say the you know, we mentioned being a catalyst. You know, one of the things I've often talked about in terms of culture is that, you know, I think people who think that they can go and control their culture and have it be exactly the way that they wanted or a bit misguided...

...that at best we can influence it and then culture kind of the merves. I imagine, like I think about like a catalyst and a you know, a chemical thing, right where it's actually the spark that creates the change. So when you know you're talking about really empowering people to take their own development into their own hands and you're providing a set of tools on one hand, wrapped in corporate messaging on the other hand, how do you think about that messaging? Is that the place that you feel like can be that influence to start to create that change? And then how do you keep continuing to steer it and make sure it's going in the way that you wanted to? Yeah, it's a really interesting question and particularly relevant this week and and I'll tell you a little bit about something we've just launched globally and certainly here in the US. It's a refresh, I'll say, more modern, approach to performance management. We call it growth talks and I'll talk about the innerds of it just a second. But I think, David, to your point, we kick things off by having some strong messages to the leadership team here in the US. I filmed a video yesterday with our CEO and one of our business leads about our role is leaders in this whole notion of growth talks and a new performance management approach. Next week our global CEO and our Global Chrro will send out a message. So all those things are happening to set the tone in the framework and we can keep referring back to those key messages. But now bring forward all the assets that support the messages and and and I'll tell you I've said this to a few leaders. Some of you will be trailblazers in this concept. Some of you will feel like it's too far out and that you need a bit more process and tool around performance management. Okay, I think you can move faster, but we won't police it will give you guidance or refer back to those messages and the assets to push you along. But you have to be part of that change and not just feel like corporate or leadership is forcing me to do something. Well, and it kind of makes me think that the term growth dialogs is very intentional, because it's not a it's not a growth monolog. You know, it's not you telling the whole company this is how you need to grow. It's actually saying, Hey, well, what do you want? You know, what do you wear? What what needs are not being addressed for you right now? And what would it moving the water mark? What would make moving the needle on that need actually look like? And what's the strategy behind it? Right, exactly, and and and to that point, it's futuristic in its in its very basic element. Right, we are not going to require people to go into a performance management tool and place a bunch of targets. If you want to, you can. We are not going to require that you document your end conversations. Again, you can if you'd like. We're not going to require ratings. It is it is something that we say if you're having this continuous dialog with your employees, if you're reaching out to peers and colleagues to solicit and and seek feedback. That will be the key to growing your skills and capabilities and being more successful in your job or, course, correcting if things aren't going so well. And that's the quintessential piece of growth talks is we're taking the handcuffs off. You get to run with it yourself as leaders, managers and employees, and you'll make it work for what makes sense in your organization. The other quick thing that I would mention too, that that is very importantly attached to this, is a different philosophy around rewards and recognition and the notion of it should be more just in time. I'm not sold that an annual merit process makes the most sense for all organizations. Maybe for some, but I think growth talks allows us to say, shame, you did a great job on that project. I'm going to give you an immediate award. Hey, yeah, exactly, I can wry. Could be a week..., whatever it is, you're right, a David Mike Pickin has given me cash and a week off. I'm not exactly and it may mean that you're not getting your annual increase because we just put money in your pocket today and Justin Yeah, it's just lexing and saying and if you do all the right dialog then you can have the justin time rewards. Right. So, so what do you think is different? Why is like? What's different today that HR is catching onto the idea of continuous dialog, continuous performance man performance management, growth talks versus, you know, the old paradigm of once a year you have a performance review and you talk about performance, and that's also, you know, going to influence compensation. Like what's different today than thirty years ago? Of Why? Why we actually are creating this system to address the needs of today. Yeah, maybe I'll point to two factors. One a bit more internal and then I think some exogenous forces that exist internally. I'll say it was last December. I was in Munich and we had a global h our leadership team meeting and our current CEO is actually the acting Chroh at the time, roll in Bush, and we had a very open, transparent dialog about what we thought about our performance management process. And I'll call it a process, and I don't think a lot of US raised our hands to say it's accomplishing everything we want. We just simply didn't and I think that kicked off and spurred a whole set of conversations about what it could look like and feel like. So I think that's one aspect. The the outside influences is simply the speed at which we're moving in in our personal and professional lives. Think about I look at what I wrote down from my goals last year. None of them were relet of it after covid racial justice, all those things, and so that sadic nature of that historical view makes no sense in a fast moving world. It's goal alignment, it's goal adjustment through the course of the year because business moves so fast. So it's a pace of acceleration. Just the rate of change forces us to not do an annual process, an annual growth talk that he needs to be all happening throughout the entire year exactly exactly. And and we've done a little bit of a test case, if you will, within my own organization. It's really if HR camp do it, and then we're going out and asking the business to think about things in a new way. It can be challenging, it can be all even say painful, right, because sometimes you, like I have to call that individual and maybe give them some tough feedback. And so what we tried to create is this notion of better skills on how we give feedback, but also how we're ready to receive feedback. Yeah, which I think is just as critical, but we sometimes forget about it. Have you heard of the book thanks for the feedback? Yeah, really, really interesting and you know it's a for our listeners. It's a it's a great book that it's surely focused on receiving feedback. It's not about giving it. It's actually just the art of receiving feedback, which is so often overlooked. We're say, Hey, we you need to give better feedback. If a better feedback, but if the person receiving it isn't able to adopt it and digest it and assimilate it, parse out the projections and the the the Bas from the truth, and then actually do something with that, then feedback as useless. Yeah, and I've seen it effective even in my own team. We're there is this greater craving to say hey, my kid, can you give me some feedback based on how this project is going? You know, now is a good time, essentially. Right, there's all that that study that says, when you ask for feedback you're mentally prepared for whatever it may be, and so we're trying to stimulate that, to say ask the question, ask for the feedback. Have you seen? I They I know you're playing around with our product right now. Have you seen the real time feedback request? Absolutely, yeah, yeah, and up been using it with the team a little bit and it's opened up some new dialog, I'll tell you that right because both... can type some things in, but then when I talk to the colleagues it's like, Hey, what were we thinking and let's take this a different direction than maybe a standard one on one would go. So for me and some of the enlightening things is that it has open new dialog because we're asking more questions of each other. Yeah, yeah, I mean that's that's I mean half the battle right there is getting people to actually stop and ask the questions. If you can automate that in any way, Orr create nudges or have you know, have people just be prompted right it. It leads to more, more of that dialog. I want to shift gears. You know, you mentioned you know this past year, this has been a really intense year for for so many of us and you mentioned, you know, the racial justice conversation a couple of times. I'm curious, you know if and how that has been something that's been a discussion inside of semens into what degree that you guys have addressed that or not. Yeah, I think a couple things. It's of course forced us to take a hard look at our practices and really kind of dig into our data to understand, well, what are hiring practices really look like? What kind of jobs do we have their where they located? How are we attracting qualified, diverse candidates into our organization? So I think it's given us a whole different appreciation. So I think that's one element to like a lot of other organizations, we implemented a series of courageous conversations are Dei had. Michelle grant really has been at the forefront of driving this across the organization to have more open, transparent dialog that sometimes can be difficult, if not painful, but to to give us better language and better appreciation on how we talk to each other about racial issues. So I think those are some of the things that have been going on and we're constantly looking to elevate that dialog within the walls of Siemens, but also given that we're a you know, we're our portfolio is really focused on that business to society angle. Is. So what can we do, also from a societal perspective, whether that's donating covid test to HBCUS, whatever the case may be, to make more of an impact in society? Yeah, I mean I think it's really interesting that it's not just it's not our responsibility just to get our own own house in order and actually ensure more diverse leadership and representation and our own awareness, you know, I mean we're three white guys here, of our awareness of our own privilege, of the ways that, you know, the deck is stacked in a different way for us than for a person of color. But then also how do we extend it and take on a broader, you know, broader responsibility as a corporation with a lot of influence in the world to actually leverage our privilege to give more people privilege exactly exactly. It's a it's a challenging balance, right, because you want to commit the right resources and capacity to it and then, of course you'd overlay covid and all kinds of other topics and everything's just kind of come together at once, creating a bit of a firestorm. All the more reason why an annual performance review once a year to talk about how things are going is completely inadequate. Exactly. And you know, I was thinking a little bit about that and I'll give a little bit of a shout out to our CEO, Barbara. We while we didn't call it growth talks, throughout this last year we're constantly in dialog about how things are going and what I sense, and what I told her just yesterday when we were filming our video, is we've been engaging in growth talks all year. We quickly text each other. Hey, you got five minutes? What are you thinking about this? Hey, maybe we take it this direction or like, here's something for you to contemplate. And and and it's, I'll say, some subtle coaching, but it's fantastic coaching because it's in the moment and I think a lot of a lot of leaders and managers do engage in that but probably haven't identified it as that, that coaching moment or that continuous dialog. So Mike had shifting. Here's a...

...little bit. What's your HR superpower? Oh boy, that is something you've been doing this for. You've been doing this for a number of years. You've you've got a pretty incredible experience and I mean, I think that more than the average company your you've been operating at a global level, than just in North America and so and I know it's a kind of, you know, duting our own horn is sometimes really weird, but I'm super curious, like what it was. What is the thing that like? How would hr at Siemens be different if Mike Bukina had never actually worked there? Maybe a slight nuance to the question, but I think what I take greatest pride in is trying to elevate the capabilities of the team and give them the space to be successful, take away some of the road blocks for take it on my own shoulders to take on those road blocks and give them the opportunity to to be that catalyst, to be that consultant, give them training, give them opportunities to get in front of their businesses and and I really felt positive about the team flourishing in the last year despite and in spite of all the challenges and to me, setting that strategic goal for where we want to go and then driving that strategy for to me has been all the value in the world. It's what I probably get the most kick out of and in my role and kind of just saying go at it, team, I'm happy to be here to be a coach, to give you guidance, you know, be a good ear, but I think you have all the capability in the world. will go do it. That's been something I've been particularly proud of and we'll continue to build on over the next few years. You Know Your Gallop strengths? By chance? I don't. Well, there's there's one of them, one of the thing. Thirty four strengths is maximizer, which is all about elevating the team and maximizing the potential of everybody around you, and I I I think you should go do the Gallop, you know, assessment, and I bet maximizer is up there. Yeah, it's fun to write, you know, to see folks they like, wow, that worked great. I introduced the new concept to the business leaders. They're running with it. That's what everybody in HR wants, right. That's your impacting change. Yeah, for sure. What are you most excited about in this role, in this field in the coming say three to five years, when you look out a little bit further than you know what's happening right now and you kind of think about the trajectory of how things have shifted over the last decade or so. But where we're going? Where are you looking ahead and how you thinking about that? Yeah, I think there's this interesting notion of I'll call a customization. I don't know if that's the best word, but you know, we talked about employee experience, we talked about what's most important to the individual companies. Really have to grapple with that looking forward because of a very decentralized and global workforce. So what works for somebody sitting in Austin, Texas, versus Singapore, versus Chicago, is very different and I think the HR profession needs to grapple with that. That one size does not fit all. We don't want chaos, we can't have chaos, but we really need to be thinking about those more I'll call local solutions and creating more almost micro cultures and to me an exciting avenue to explore in the future of HR. And that can be done in so many ways through technology, through strong corporate messaging, through more flexible policies but I do think that's a wave of the future, of balancing a corporate need but that very micro culture that exists in a site, a plant and an office. So the would you even say that, even within a single office there needs to be that individualization, because if you have a, you know, two hundred people and one office, you know all those two of those two hundred people are all the whole individuals and they're...

...going to have different needs, they're going to have they're not of they're not the same person, and so there needs to be that customization even now within the micro culture, the micro individual culture. Yeah, yeah, I see it in my own team right have got a couple different teams of HR partners and based on the businesses they support, where they may be located, there are different cultures that emerge and what they need to be successful. And if I just said everybody gets the same that wouldn't work and then of course the business wouldn't benefit. So I see it even within my own team of you know, of about ADHR partners, that there are different needs at a very local level. Yeah, that's that's fascinating. I have bigges semens again now and then. Yeah, divisionally, your your say as well. It's always the million dollar question. So globally it's about three hundred and seventy thousand. In the US, when we look at all the seamens brands, they're about fiftyzero employees. The Siemens area that that is in under my scope is about Twentyzero employees. So we've got an energy business that just spun off, we've got a health and airs business and we also have a mobility business. So we've got all kinds of pieces parts, but we stay very well coordinated to ensure that we've got that good brand and and kind of story from a corporate level. Yeah, that's great. I'm really curious. You know, there's you know, obviously we're still in the midst of Covid here. There's some good news, like the end of the tunnel, but but I think it's going to be a tough winter and more and more on I'm talking to h our folks about what is life post covid look like, and we keep hearing this narrative about how, you know, video meetings are going to be normalized, where we don't have to work from offices all the time. There might be more flexibility and choice. That seems to be kind of a theme that that's occurring. I'm curious how you guys are thinking about it and you know, are you thinking about just going back to life, be free covid in terms of your work structure, or is it something different? I think it's a bit in the middle. I think we're obviously thoughtful about our office space and do people need to go back in and some jobs? Absolutely. I think being more imaginative and creative around our office space is how I like to think about it. So our global CEO, Roland, as I mentioned earlier, introduce this concept of new normal where he essentially said you can work from home two to three days a week, if your job allows it, do it, which automatically puts pressure on on technology and collaboration tools. But for those other couple days that maybe you're going into the office, don't sit in the corner and Peck on your computer. Yeah, he said, as face for collaboration innovation. Right, those those water cooler conversations where you can aduess topics, and I think that's the pivot that I think it's important in our market is when you go to the office, what are you there for? ME, there only there for a half day because you're doing a white board exercise with five colleagues, great, call it a day at lunch, go home and work from there if you're going to peck on your computer. The rest of that. How much of a contrast is the message of Hey, you know, work from home two to four days if you want in from a year ago at seamans and just in terms of the global culture, I would say covid was absolutely a forcing function because our new normal team kind of through covid. A year ago we were definitely more of in general, more of a company of let's go into the office, you know, let's let's be there five days a week. We've got to have that interaction to be successful and that will help us show that we're getting work done. I think with Covid we took advantage of that opportunity to build out some new collaboration tools, and then this new normal just took it to the next level. So I'd say here in the US were well position and thought full about it, but it doesn't mean we're completely there yet. Yeah, I love this,...

...this direction that the world's taking because, well, you said, but I mean you've been working from home I think we've gotten like what, ten days in the office with you and then eight years. I think a little bit more than more that. But but yes, I have definitely spent a lot of time working remotely and I think that there is remember how you to be insecure. When we'd go and pitch investors, you'd be like, Oh, should I tell them that I live in Sedona, Arizona? Maybe, maybe I shouldn't come up till later, once they've actually written the check. What's very funny about that is in, you know, two thousand and thirteen, two thousand and fourteen, there were some raised eyebrows, but by the time we were raising in two thousand and eighteen and nineteen, nobody even bad at a night, which which is amazing. It does say something about how the world's moving. But I think that most people that I know thrive on a balance of deep work, focused time when you don't have distractions, which is the pecking away on the computer, and sometime where there's collaboration your shared space. So I think that like this actually creates more of that distinction where people can go off work from home, get get get their keep work done, but then really leverage that time we're together for that collaborative work together. So I love the direction. Well, well, David, I guarantee you I can peck away at my computer and not be in deep work. That's I'm sure you can. Yeah, no guarantee. They're right, Mike, one thing you love about working from home and one thing you can't stand. I certainly appreciate the flexibility. You know, these four walls look look the same they have for the last nine months, but I can kind of do other things. I've got three kids, age twelve, nine and six, so it affords some different opportunities to be a bit more engaged in some of their life. Sometimes you don't want to be right, so I like that. I do miss the the the interaction with not only my own organization but just our employees in general. I loved being on the road and literally just sitting down and in a meeting room and saying what's on your minds. There's there's some being really valuable about that tangible time and I missed it. So I look forward to that post covid it may not look and feel exactly the same, but at least having a little bit more that human contact. Yeah, you know, I really Miss Business Travel, as strange as it is and as exhausting as it it can be, but as I love being on the road on my own, you know, and live in an airports, solo time on planes to think. Yeah, I remember when I was living in Singapore I was doing a fair amount of travel, especially to Munich, and I think I did some of my best work on those planes. Yeah, right, it was quiet time, a long enough plane ride where you had time and it's just like, Oh, I've got all these ideas, I want to get through a bunch of things, and I suspect some of my team at that time hated when I got off the plane and I replicated right and all those emails went out. He must have just arrived in Munich. David, what's the story of Simon Senek writing doing his best writing? Well, I think it was his first book, start with why and I think he was written up in might have been the New York Times where he realized, and this is just at the custom of when we had wi fi and plane. So it was it was really that last refuge where you could get on a plane and you didn't even have the option of getting on the Internet, and I believe one point he was having trouble finishing the book, so he booked a flight from New York City on Delta, leaving New York City and early in the morning of riding back in New York City late that night with the longest routes that he could get across the US get beyond the plane and finish the book. And I definitely took some of that. You know, I'm you know, I had say it's similar experience of getting great work done on planes, but then the Internet kind of screened it all up. And, David, I think that's a really important point about working from home is how do you generate that same kind of spark of innovation when you're sitting there at the same four walls? And whether it's collaboration tools online or encouraging...

...people, I don't know. I've we've talked in our team a lot and it's getting colder here in the northeast. But go for walks, you know, if you like exercise, do it. If you like to cook, Cook because maybe that stimulate your brain in a new way. That's like, I have an idea. When maybe you're not getting on the plane or in front of the White Board in the office. So we tried to navigate that road to to appeal to the individual and where that creativity comes from. I try to take twenty percent of my meetings on just regular phone calls, with on a walk, because it's you know, I we used to advocate for a remote culture. Hey, vide zoom is the best. You know, we were one of Zoom's first customers. Actually, David got us on early. He knows the founder over there. And you know, we used to be like video, video, video for everything as the way, best way for amote culture, to have cohesion in that human connection. And now it's like get off zoom, turn the cup the camera off, you don't need to be on zoom for every single meeting. Pick up the phone, go for a walk. Yeah, and I love at least it seems the culture has been. You know what, I'm not going to go on on the video right now. Thanks for you joining on video. I am going for a walk or I've been on video all day. I need a break and people think got it, no problem, they turn their camera. So I like that that's evolved, I think in the last couple months where we're very free to say I'm not going on video or I'd like to do this on video for the following reasons. Back to the there's not a cookie cutter approach to what in the individual human actually needs to do their best work and to live their best lives. Exactly, exactly, really good. Okay, so well, Mike. One more question. If you could have all HR professionals adopt one mindset in order to be a better service to their companies their people, what would that be? Will tell you one that we've used a little bit on the team and I think it's resonated. It's a simple Hashtag, but it means a lot to us as an organization. It's go beyond. It's something that we put into play last year and it's, I think, been our our own personal catalyst as an organization to say if you did enough emails or if you made the right phone calls or you talked to the right peers, go one step further. If you had that first dialog with a leader about something, you probably need a second one, and I think it's part now permiated the organization as a way of thinking and living our professional lives. And I think the second piece that we've overlaid on it a little bit is that we're still working on is embrace the gray another Hashtag that I think it's there's a lot of ambiguity. I know a lot of managers, leaders employees want some black and white responses. I don't know if that's ever going to happen. So how do we as individuals in HR embrace the great and how do we help the rest of the organization do the same? Mike, Thank you so much for joining us. Real pleasure to get to get inside your mind and heart and what it means to lead a, you know, Fiftyzero Person Organization in the US. Really cool to hear your perspectives. It's great. Thank you, Mike, David chain. Great appreciate the time today and talk to you Sam. Fifteen five is the only evidence based people and performance platform for highly engaged and high performing organizations. Strategic HR leaders in all industries use the platform to win by improving communication, up leveling their managers and increasing company wide engagement. Learn more at Fifteen Fivecom you've been listening to HR superstars stories from the front lines of HR and people ops. Be Sure you never miss an episode by subscribing on your favorite podcast player. If you're listening on apple podcasts. We'd love for you to leave a thoughtful review or give a quick rating by tapping the stars. Thank you so much for listening. UNTIL NEXT TIME.

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