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Eat Sleep Work Repeat

By @brucedaisley

Better workplace culture

How can we make work better? Each week @brucedaisley chats to scientists and experts to improve our jobs. Sign up for the newsletter


No Opting Out - The Realities of Politics in the workplace

Sign up for the free newsletterDoes political discourse have a place in the workplace? What is going on Basecamp? A truly dazzling discussion with Megan Reitz, Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Ashridge Executive Education – part of Hult International Business School. I got in touch with Megan when I saw her articles about Basecamp, Coinbase and political activism at work. Along the way we discuss Jonathan Haidt and whether Gen Z’s are softer than previous generations. I reference a discussion between Jonathan Haidt and the very first guest of the podcast Richard Reeves. Haidt’s book The Coddling of the American Mind is an intoxicating spell. It tells you really clearly why young people are softer now than previous generations (and that argument would be all the better if it were true).Firstly, in depth coverage of the specifics of the Basecamp issue.Then, Megan’s articles: what is your response to employee activism? Part twoWhy employee activism needs to feature in your HR strategyThe Douglas Adams quote: Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
11/05/2146m 0s

Amazon: creating the 'invention machine' culture

Amazon announced its earnings last week - and saw its share price hit a record high. Announcing that they’d surpassed 200 million Prime members was just one of the milestones that the company was able to celebrate in a blowout performance. The company’s sales - no doubt helped by a captive audience trapped at home in a pandemic - rose by 44%, a growth clip that would seem impossibly high for a 17 year old firm if we hadn’t seen Apple’s revenue grow by 54% two days previously.The interesting difference between Amazon and many of the tech brands that we’re surrounded with is that much of their innovation comes from within. For sure we all use multiple products by Google, but the search company bought YouTube, bought Android, bought what became Google Maps, bought Waze, bought Nest, bought their self-driving cars business, bought DoubleClick ads, and also bought lots of things that are now sitting in the where are they now? file like Fitbit and Motorola. Sure we know that Facebook own Instagram (bought in 2012), Whatsapp (bought in 2014) and Oculus (bought in 2014) but their homeground products (remember Poke? Slingshot? Lasso? of course you don’t).The big question you might ask about these big tech cultures is ‘if they’re so special how come they don’t create any follow-on hits themselves?’ Tech versions of Pixar they are not, they’re the Maroon 5’s of invention, shipping in the clever ideas of other people to keep them bopping in the app charts. It’s not unfair to characterise these companies as bloated bureaucracies propped up by vastly cash generative ad businesses. The commercial real estate expert Dror Poleg commented last week that we sometimes look to the examples set by these big firms as a sign of what the smart brains are doing. Poleg was looking at JP Morgan just about agreeing to some degree of hybrid working. The truth of all of these firms is that, despite the external mystique, they are able to avoid decisions of scarcity by their high margins and often make terrible decisions along the way. I’m often emailed by people who work at big tech firms who tell me that their job is a slow-moving bureaucracy overwhelmed with rules and red-tape, in contrast when people from education or local government contact me they are apologetic for how slow their cultures are to evolve. Little do they know how big tech firms share a lot in common with them.So how do Amazon do it? This week’s podcast is a discussion with long-time Amazon exec Colin Bryar. Along the way we talk through Amazon’s Leadership Principles, how Amazon created products like Kindle and Prime, their recruitment process, and much more. But there was one thing that really stood out to me and that was the idea of ‘Separable, Single-Threaded Leadership’. As Colin told me Jeff Bezos made a comment one day, ‘The best way to fail at inventing something is by making it somebody’s part-time job’. Bezos realised that the worst part of people’s roles was having to keep dozens (hundreds!) of colleagues in the loop because of co-dependencies. The best way to make people feel empowered by their job was to genuinely empower them - to let them get on with them without having to tell everyone what they were doing all of the time. To that end Bezos decided ‘that if we wanted Amazon to be place where builders can build, we needed to eliminate communication, not encourage it’. Wow. Think about that. Someone recognising that the worst part of your job is endless video calls and emails stopping you actually doing your job. As Colin puts it, ‘In other words, Jeff’s vision was that we needed to focus on loosely coupled...  See for privacy and opt-out information.
03/05/2150m 6s

Should we use the restart for a reset?

This week I chat to Elizabeth Uviebinené, Financial Times columnist and the iconic author of Slay in Your Lane about her new book The Reset. With Slay (‘The Black Girl Bible’) she proved that she could sell huge amount of books to audiences who weren’t represented by mainstream books, but The Reset takes aim at work, society and a whole lot more… and it aimed at anyone! We have a fun and sparky discussion (including talking about the LinkedIn heart attack guy).Sign up for Make Work Better newsletter  See for privacy and opt-out information.
27/04/2148m 18s

Rutger Bregman is hopeful for humankind

Sign up for the newsletterRutger Bregman’s Humankind was my favourite book of 2020 and it comes out in paperback next month. A brilliant read (that also works wonderfully as an audiobook) it will appeal to fans of Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens or anyone who wants a provocative, thoughtful summer read.To mark the paperback release I spoke to him about universal basic income, the way that we've worked in lockdown, and why we turn our backs to lots of evidence that humans are innately kind, decent beings.Rutger's brilliant book Humankind is out in paperback in May 2021. For a full transcript of this interview go to the website.Rutger mentions he's written recently about the end of neoliberalism - you can read that here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/04/2158m 16s

Perspectives on the work to come

Sign up for the newsletterTwo discussions today about big stories in the news. Firstly I chat to senior features writer at The Economist about his brilliant special report on work. Callum wrote the special report on work in this week's Economist - you can find it here.Then I have a discussion with CEO and podcaster Dan Murray-Serter. Dan runs his own start-up, Heights.We talk about three articles:What Gen Z workers want from their bossesI've learned to never treat my work like a familyLockdown mental fatigue is revived by social contactThese and of the articles I find relevant to how work is changing are included in the weekly Make Work Better newsletter - sign up now.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/04/211h 2m

It's time to kick bias out of your work

Sign up for the newsletterKim Scott is the straight talking author of the phenomenal hit Radical Candour. Now she's back with a huge new book that's set to be equally as impactful.She joined me with business partner Trier Bryant to discuss themes of diversity, workplace bias, bullying and harassment - and what any of us can do to stamp it out. Along the way we go into plenty of specific examples that will help you think about issues like this in your own workplace. We also get real talking about why standing up - even to good people - is an important thing we all need to do. There are some good stories in this episode!Kim's new book is Just Work - available now.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
04/04/211h 8m

Robin Dunbar makes the case for human connection

Sign up for the newsletter What a guest today. I've tried to speak to Professor Robin Dunbar for 4 or 5 years.Robin has a new book out called Friends which is the sort of book you can lose yourself in on a holiday (if anyone lets you have one). I enjoyed it for surprising me and going beyond what I already knew.So reliant are human beings on our social collaboration that it has been suggested that our bodies have evolved the feeling of loneliness, an alarm system that aggressively resists isolation. Many other animals don’t have anything close to this — some mammals and birds actively seek isolation, spending weeks and months alone aside from rituals of mating and raising their offspring - something that Robin Dunbar and others have demonstrated is a reflection of brain size. Robin Dunbar ‘spent the better part of twenty-five years studying the behaviour of wild animals’ - mainly monkeys, goats and antelopes. He wanted to understand social evolution - why species had the social systems that they have developed. He admits that ‘humans were, at best, only a very superficial interest’. He noticed that monkeys and apes were social in a way that other animals were not. They would spend hours grooming each other, hours upon hours entwined round each other cleaning each other’s fur. ‘I had been deeply impressed by the fact that they groomed far more than they ever needed to for purely hygienic purposes’. It seemed there was some mutual pleasure in this action. When he took the time to explore what was the causal factor for this grooming long haired monkeys spent no longer grooming than shorthaired monkeys, large monkeys spent no longer grooming than small monkeys. The complexity of the hair management task wasn’t the prompt. Rather it was the size of the brains of the primate that determined the amount of time spent. Dunbar proposed the Social Brain Hypothesis - that a species brain size constrains the size of its social group. ‘The problem with living in stable, permanent groups is that considerable diplomatic and social skills are needed to prevent the stresses and niggles of living in close proximity with others from overwhelming us,’ - we need big brains to help us manage the politics of a bigger tribe.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/03/2155m 16s

Scott Galloway rips work a new one

A recording of a Twitter Spaces discussion with Scott Galloway. We talk remote working, why cities will never die, why working hard is Scott's top career advice. Along the way we talk about the power of touch, Goldman Sachs, missing humans and what will come next for work.The Twitter Spaces app also blings a lot too, sorry about that. I've edited about 200 of them out.Scott's book Post Corona is a bestseller.Sign up for the newsletter.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
18/03/2155m 16s

Can you imagine your job without email or Zoom?

Buy A World Without EmailI’ve talked a lot about Cal Newport’s provocations about abolishing email (and Zoom calls) [find them here and here]. And in fact, I had someone last week astonished when I suggested we should try to limit video calls to eight hours a week. They thought I’d lost my mind. How would we get things done unless we were on video calls all day?This default to video and emails is what Cal Newport calls the Hyperactive Hive Mind. He’s convinced that we’ll look back at the way we’re working right now and be embarrassed we optimised for what was easy rather than what was productive. Cal outlines how we should be setting about to fix work - by changing our relationship with technology.It is a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant provocation that is unique to him and I think will give all us reason to reflect.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
24/02/2154m 18s

Conflicted: Is there a route to better disagreement at work?

Pre-order Conflicted now - available from 18th FebYou can also read Ian's post on Paul McCartney that I mentioned on the show and follow him on Twitter here.What's the route to better decision making at work? What can any of us do to ensure we resolve our disputes in a more productive way. A brilliant discussion with Ian Leslie about his forthcoming new book, Conflicted.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/02/2155m 6s

The surprising root of resilience

Subscribe to the newsletter of the podcastA couple of things for you. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned here but I’ve done a new Audible Original podcast/audiobook called No Office Required. It is free. In December I spent a long time contacting a wide range of people from the likes of the author of Solo, Rebecca Seal through to futurists, psychologists, architects to find out the most effective way to do remote working. Like I say it’s free if you’re an Audible subscriber. I love audiobooks, whether just to break up the cycle of podcasts or because the escape into a novel can be really satisfying. If youre interested in getting going in the shownotes I’ve listed some of my favourite recent listens as inspiration.A free download of my new Audible Original here - No Office RequiredFor those who aren't audiobook fans some inspiration on audiobooksIf you want to write a book here's my guide.Secondly I was on Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO podcast. I’ve listened to a lot of his podcasts - he was the founder of the Social Chain media agency and I’ve met him a couple of times through that. He invited me down, it was only when I got to the Tube that I remembered it was going to be video. I had my full working from home garb on. Climate school strike T shirt and that. Anyhow there’s been lovely feedback to the discussion. We discuss why work culture isn’t feeling right at the moment, what any of us can do about it and also - as I used to work at Twitter - Donald Trump being banned from the platform. Again there’s a link to that below.I chatted to Steven Bartlett on his Diary of a CEO podcast - watch it here.On with today’s episode. At the moment I’m in the middle of writing a book on the myth of resilience. What’s the myth of resilience, the myth is that resilience is an individual strength that some of us have and some of us don’t. As I’ve been immersed in the most wonderful research along the way there’s been some people who I’ve seen their work and thought firstly I’d like to chat to them and secondly they’d be a good podcast.Today’s guest is Dr Damian Scarf, he teaches at the University of Otago in New Zealand.I saw him do a short and impactful TED talk: Dr Damian Scarf's TEDx TalkVery much like Dr Jill Bolte Taylor who did that wonderful lecture about having a stroke, Damian uses his psychology to diagnose what went wrong with him when he was studying. He describes how he thought the way to get things done was to cut himself off. And as he cut himself off from more people he felt worse.He says:‘it’s our connections with those around us, the groups we belong to, that bolster our resilience. The number of groups we belong to not only bolsters our resilience, but is also protective against developing depression, can be curative of existing depression, and helps to prevent depression relapse. Even when you're old, groups are critical. The more groups we belong to, the slower our cognitive decline’.So could our strength come from our connections? Photo by See for privacy and opt-out information.
26/01/2136m 30s

Our Coworking Future?

Sign for the newsletterWhat's going to happen with our workplaces.Today the theme is how, if we're not careful the way that we're using our workplaces is going redefine our work culture.At the start there is discussion about some of the themes in the most recent newsletter and then go on to chat to Nick LiVigne from Convene. Convene are a coworking/events business that allows you to adapt your needs to the minute-to-minute demands of your business - they have been very successful in the US and are coming to the UK in 2021.Nick explains how they see coworking evolving - and what to look for next.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
10/01/2137m 10s

Amy Gallo on resetting norms in 2021

Sign up for the Make Work Better newsletterThere is no better guest to kick off 2021 than Amy Gallo.Amy Gallo is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review writing about workplace dynamics and emotional intelligence. She is co-host of the wonderful Women at Work podcastShe's is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict and gave a hit TEDx talk on that subject in 2019.On the Women at Work podcast, Harvard Business Review staffers Amy Bernstein, Amy Gallo, and Emily Caulfield untangle some of the trickiest problems that women face at work. They talk to some of the sagest advisors on gender, they tell stories about their own experiences, and give practical advice to help women succeed at work.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
02/01/2143m 0s

Live Laugh Work - understanding humour at work

Sign up for the Make Work Better newsletter.How the heck did we end up thinking that humour and serious work are in opposition to each other?Today's guests, Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, run a tremendously successful course at Stanford Business School on how we can all use humour to be better (and happier) at our jobs.One of the people they have coming along to guest speaker at their course is Dick Costolo, Dick was my former boss as CEO of Twitter (and hired me to work there). He had an unorthodox background spending his post college years initially trying to make it as an improv comedian at the legendary comedy club Second City in Chicago (alongside people like Steve Carrell from The Office). I mention it because it comes up in conversation. In my first three months at Twitter I had an excruciating embarrassing episode with Dick, he was coming to London and was doing an event for us. I'd lined him up to be in conversation with Rory Sutherland. His assistant told me that I should get to his hotel for breakfast, get a nice table and order his food for him. Breakfast should be full cooked breakfast with plenty of crispy bacon. It had to be crispy. I'm not sure if she was trolling me but oh dear. The story deserves a full telling another time because it became a calamitous moment for me. When you hear mention of him this is why they laugh."When we observe humour in others it's so much more about mindset"Jennifer and Naomi say students tell them "I'm not funny, I don't want to try to be funny" and this is the important revelation, to experience humour we don't need to seek to be the star of the skit, but more we need to allow ourselves to laugh at the lightness of a moment.At the end of the book they give a context for the book, Jennifer's mother works in a hospital dealing with patients who at the end of their lives are asked to reflect on how they would have spent time differently. It becomes clear that the absence of joy in their everyday lives was unnecessary and tragic.Take their quiz to find your own humour style.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
27/12/2046m 44s

Seth Godin can make *YOU* creative

Sign up for the newsletterSeth Godin has cracked the secret of how to make you more creative. And the good news is that everyone can do it. He was so dogged by his need to share this that he has turned it into a book, The Practice. We talk about the simple way to unlock creativity and ask why schools don't teach this. At the end Seth gives his recommendations of the best things you should be reading (linked below)Seth's blogMy previous interview with Seth - How you can reinvent your company cultureSeth's recommendations:The War of Art by Steven PressfieldThe Art of Possibility by Rosamund Zander and Benjamin ZanderJust Kids (audiobook) by Patti SmithCaste by Isabel WilkersonAkimbo courses  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/12/2042m 46s

GCHQ: Working inside intelligence

Sign up for the newsletterThere was an incredible response to the episode with Chris hayward last week. I know that Chris was really touched with the response. He’s not on Twitter but I know he was responding to some people on Linkedin last week. Today’s episode is much lighter in tone but it’s fascinating rare opportunity to get a different perspective into another world. During the summer someone at GCHQ got in touch and asked whether it would be of interest to get an insight into the modern world of spying and intelligence. I’ve been very fortunate that since I’ve been doing this podcast I’ve been invited to M15, to M16 and inside the SAS so I was delighted to go inside GCHQ. Especially as I was allowed to record it and have one of the first interviews with someone inside GCHQ. GCHQ (government communication headquarters - as its never known) was created in 1919 after the first world war as a way to gather intelligence to assist the British Government and UK military.It’s always had a unique culture - harking back to its old site at Bletchley Park where – deliberately – everyone worked in huts so the right hand didn’t know what the left was doing to maintain secrecy. The code breakers of Bletchley park were famously principally women and were credited with helping to end the war 2 years ahead of what would otherwise have occurred. I was fortunate to get a very rare interview with Jo Caven, a director at GCHQ, and one of the few people who are allowed to confirm they work at the organisation. It's a fun discussion - there's a few laughs in there - not least because Jo has a good sense of fun and entertains my more excitable questions.Some interesting reading:Spying in the digital ageDrab office was GCHQ baseUK is a spying leader  See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/11/2035m 37s

When everything gets too much - mental health & work

WARNING: INCLUDES THEMES OF SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION"I walked up and down Tottenham Court Road looking for a lorry to throw myself under"An episode going deep on mental health today. I chat to someone who has been brave enough to reveal their own breakdown and how they got to the verge of suicide. In a recent piece of research Deloitte surveyed 1000 UK employees, 55% say their colleagues are just as productive but 38% say that lockdown has had a negative impact on their wellbeing. Not long ago Chris Hayward was named the number 1 media buyer in the UK by industry bible Campaign, he was responsible for buying advertising campaigns for some of the best known brands in the world. An unfortunate accident made Chris's health take a turn for the worse and before anyone could notice he was spiralling through exhaustion and isolation into a very dark place. In this incredibly candid conversation Chris explains how he felt, how he's learned to cope and what he would say to others in his position.Support if you're feeling suicidalMental health support for young peopleHow to help someone else who is feeling suicidalIntroduction to Cognitive Behavioural TherapyCBT on YouTubeSign up for Make Work Better  See for privacy and opt-out information.
23/11/201h 2m

Understanding the brain - Lisa Feldman Barrett

Sign up for the newsletterToday's episode is for anyone who is curious about how human's tick. Work ultimately is a practice of the brain and how our brain processes and reacts to things is a fascination to me.I have a friend who is studying neuroscience and a couple of years ago at someone's wedding I was chatting to him and said 'who should I be reading?' and he said the best voice in the field was a psychologist called Lisa Feldman Barrett. Sure enough I looked her up and her book How Emotions Are Made was dazzling and brilliant. it covers themes of understanding emotions.One of the things that Lisa believes is that we don' t arrive programmed with emotions, we learn them along the way. The more emotions we're taught to understand the more we can feel. In her book she says people who read fiction books and learn to appreciate nuance of emotion end up feeling a wider range of emotions. She has a new book out. How Emotions Are Made is several hundred pages and her new book 7.5 Lessons About the Brain is much shorter and is very accessible. So if you're looking for a simple explainer about the brain it is a brilliant summary (I have disclose I way preferred the first book).Along the way you're going to discover that no your dog isn't capable of feeling guilt, we talk about the test (that was in a previous episode) called the Reading The Mind in the Eyes test.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
16/11/2048m 36s

Making the world (of work) happier: Mo Gawdat

What a truly wonderful conversation you're about to listen to today. Mo Gawdat is an expert on happiness and today's episode is a combination of philosophy and science - and it never fails to be stimulating to listen to every step of the way. This podcast used to be about happiness and work culture. And about 4 years I saw a captivating clip by Mo which went viral everywhere on the internet. I contacted him and finally here we are. Mo Gawdat was formerly the boss of Google X, the company's innovation lab, now he is one of the most respected thought leaders on how we can find happiness in our lives.Links mentioned in the show: Joe Biden's climate plan (I love this site Bloomberg Green btw their daily Green email is brilliant).Listen to Mo's podcast. I'm on this episode.Follow Mo on Twitter/Instagram.Here's Mo's original viral clip if you want to share it - YouTube/Facebook/TwitterMo mentions the most successful artist Romero Britto - here's his work, he wasn't kidding about his work being simplistic.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
09/11/201h 3m

Community 4: A champion community builder shares her advice

"When I moved to New York City, I realised what it meant to be truly lonely for the first time. I had no consistent community — people who would wonder where I was if I didn’t show up. I was disconnected. At the time, I thought that I was the only one who felt this way… but I was VERY wrong.Turns out, loneliness is a huge issue in the United States. The average American only has one close friend, and 75% of people are not satisfied with their friendships".Jillian Richardson found that one of the most relatable things that any of us can do is confess to others that we're lonely. Freshly arrived in Manhattan she found the paradox of big cities is that we can be alone while surrounded with others. Her response was to create the Joy List - a list that once set about connecting people across New York with other like minded individuals and now sets about connecting anyone virtually.The Joy List has become a phenomenon recommended by Esther Perel, Priya Parker and many more. She's also the author of Unlonely Planet.Jillian gives us her 5 rules of community - and cautions that while communities can exist in the workplace we should be cautious about trying to get everyone into the same community at work. She also talks about her 'Ask' and 'Offer' walls as a device to bring teams together.Peter Block: "Community requires a concept of the leader as one who creates experiences for others. Experiences that in themselves are examples of our desired future".If you're thinking I'd love Jillian's help she offers her services professionally both as a course and as personal coaching. If you want to hire her she's willing and able to take that on you can contact her here.Jillian mentions the Ritual Design Lab.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/10/2049m 49s

Community 3: How our rituals can forge our culture

Sign up for the newsletter.We're at part 3 of our series about community at work.Today's guest is one of the most respected community thinkers in the world, Casper ter Kuile, Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School and author of The Power of Ritual. His book is a practical guide to the way that communities come to life, not only is it practical it's also brilliantly written. I found myself annotating a lot of it and it's impossible not to learn from his wisdom on the topic.“Disconnection sours the sweet things in life and makes them nearly unbearable”Casper previously wrote a free book with Angie Thurston is at Harvard Divinity School called How We Gather which was a wonderful exploration of how post religious (secular) groups were creating get togethers that seemed to be inspired by the religious communities that went before them. Casper's perspective is wonderful, so respectful of religion even though he sits outside of it.This series of episodes has been about understanding how our organisations can shape a sense of belonging in us, especially when we're no longer physically together.I feel like the episodes are a journey. No one has professed to know the answers and there's plenty of cautionary notes. I'm certain anyone trying to shape community in their work will come away with plenty of thoughts after this. Not least that Casper says that it goes strongly against the spirit of community that someone in a community can fire someone else. Community is built on safety. In the podcast I also talk about a previous episode on rituals and you can find that here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
12/10/2048m 22s

Community 2: A Community Manager Speaks Truth

Today's episode is a further exploration of how firms will try to evolve their culture by hiring Community Managers. If you've not listened to last week's episode featuring Sarah Drinkwater pull up, back up and tuck in to that one first. Sarah said the person I should talk to is Abadesi Osunsade from Brandwatch - and so that's who we are talking to today. Abadesi's title is VP Global Community & Belonging at the 500 strong organisation.We talk about seeking to get better at Diversity & Inclusion, giving voice to teams (and applicants) and how to build community in organisations who are no longer together.Abadesi mentions Square's Rise program. This is the scheme that ensures there's always one minority candidate at the last stage of each hiring process. You'll find more details on it here. (note I couldn't find it on the UK website so maybe stay on the US site when it asks if you want to move).Here's Abadesi's book and the other organisation she's part of The Hustle Crew.If you like this please do subscribe to the newsletter.Image by @claybanks at Unsplash.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
05/10/2043m 43s

Community 1: "HR has fallen"

Sign up for the Eat Sleep Work Repeat newsletter here.New podcast today - the first of four podcasts about what’s next with work - specifically how can we make work feel like a community again, especially when you’re hunkered down under the duvet trying to survive the November chill. Over the next few weeks I’m going to be chatting to some incredible guests.Today I kick off with Sarah Drinkwater who is a supreme community builder and now works for the Atomico fund.Some links to what we discuss!I mention that Gary runs Wonder - this is their websiteFollow Sarah on TwitterSarah's Medium postShe mentions Jason Fried's book Rework (my own bookThe InterintellectQ Anon - great piece on how one woman felt enveloped by the community (before she twigged it was all nonsense)Q Anon - outstanding Reply All when they pretty much work out which crackpot is behind it. Created by a crackpot, weaponised by the GRU.The Sunrise Movement - love these kidsImage by Shane Rounce on Unsplash  See for privacy and opt-out information.
29/09/2030m 33s

Burnout - understanding the other epidemic

Can't Even can be ordered nowAHP's original article in BuzzfeedAHP's newsletter is hereLast year Anne Helen Petersen’s Buzzfeed article about burnout became a viral sensation, spawning a seemingly never-ending wave of ‘Year of Burnout’ headlines. Petersen’s writing triggered such recognition because she rooted it in the ordinary, in everyday experiences that were instantly relatable. She evoked her own life where industrious professional productivity (as a writer) was combined with a weary inability to get things done in her private life.She initially thought there was something wrong with her. Googling for other people relating their aversion to getting sh!t done domestically, bills sitting unpaid, registrations unfiled, postal votes uncast, chores uncompleted. She realised it wasn’t personal, it was systematic. The way we were living was driving us to a constant feeling of being emotionally & physically spent.Relatedly, it was sad to read of the passing of David Graeber this week. As an academic he was an unexpected icon of progressive politics but more than anything he was someone who invited us to revisit our preconceived ideas about how society functioned. Graeber had mused in his book ‘Bullshit Jobs’, wondering what had happened to the 15-hour week that in 1930 John Maynard Keynes had predicted by the end of the 20th century. He wondered whether it was indeed possible but societally we might have to reorganise the world of work to achieve it. Insurgent thinking for many, but there are echoes of this conjecture in Petersen’s book. Some of her thoughts might find resonance with frazzled younger workers wondering why they won’t be free of their student loans until 2045 and looking at house prices simmering away at 10 times their salary.AHP reminds us that despite a whole genre of self-improvement literature that tells us that our personal actions can resolve burnout - or that, come on slouch, you need to be grittier, we need to point the finger at the actions of our firms, not ourselves. Ultimately she suggests that our casual acceptance of the way we’re working is having a toll on our psyche that can’t be easily unspun by productivity hacks and meditation apps. As Taylor Lorenz notes on the jacket, the book “is a compelling exploration of… how an entire generation has been set up to fail”.Sign up for the Eat Sleep Work Repeat newsletter here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
10/09/2042m 53s

The big return 3: a closer look at data

Subscribe to the newsletterToday's interviewees: Bhushan Sethi leads PwC's workplace strategy business and Ben Waber is the CEO of workplace analytics firm, Humanyze.Read the Humanyze research about the way work has changed since lockdown. Here's the previous episode I recorded with Ben Waber.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
07/09/2025m 55s

Gary Hamel: Battling bureaucracy - the big fix for broken work

I was fortunate to speak to Gary Hamel about his forthcoming new book, Humanocracy.He believes that the single most empowering (and profitable) thing that businesses can do is eliminate their creeping bureaucracy.He talks about how increasingly organisations are paralysed with red tape and bureaucracy. The end result is that they can’t get anything done. There are some clear examples of this from the recent past. He characterises the Microsoft era under Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer as being one where opportunity after opportunity was passed because the organisation was so heavily bureaucratic. Satya Nadella has freed the organisation from a lot of this – with evident results.Hamel proposes a series of questions that help you diagnose the extent of bureaucracy in your company - and you can read more about this here: read moreSubscribe to the newsletterBuy Gary Hamel's new book, Humanocracy  See for privacy and opt-out information.
18/08/2059m 13s

The big return 2: but what are other firms doing?

Subscribe to the newsletterWhat are other firms doing about returning to work? How can any of us work out the right thing to do? I chat to 4 more firms to hear their plans.Listen to conversations with Beth Marie Norbury from Babcock International, Tom Ellis from Brand Genetics, Richard from a big secret pharmaceuticals firm and Laura Pleasance from Captify. This is addition to Dan Cullen Shute last episode.Here's more on my survey I put out last week (from last week's newsletter):We’ve already heard loud and clear that workers don’t want to return to the old days but we’re starting to hear more about firm ordering workers back to their seating plan. L’Oreal US saw some unwelcomed attention this month when they told workers that if they didn’t come back ASAP they needed to authorise the firm having access to their private medical records.So what are other firms saying is going to happen next? I got just under 100 qualitative replies to the survey; from pharmaceutical companies to start-ups, charities to defence contractors. The replies detailed different approaches from companies as they try to work out how to act next. The main headlines were:Amongst all firms ‘normal’ has been postponed until 2021 - everything at the moment is being framed as interim. 2021 is when firms are expecting to be able to jump start their new culture.Just over two-fifths of firms (42%) have told workers they won’t be expected to return to offices until 2021 if they don’t want to. (26% back from September/October onwards, 31% already phasing some return of workers back to the office from August). This finding is consistent with the straw poll that Digiday performed across publishing and media companies.Some of the most interesting quotations showing the spectrum of positions:"[an organisation that went from 4 floors to 27 seats] It’s amazing how many of the things people said couldn’t be done from home could once COVID hit. We’re looking at a total rethink on workspaces and what the future looks like - a place for social interaction and collaboration with the ethos that work is something you do not somewhere you go… there’s no going back”“We issued a survey to understand what our people feel comfortable with, and on that basis have told everyone no one will be asked to work from the office if they prefer not to for the rest of the year”[We got everyone back to the office in mid July] “we're an office based business and we need to get used to being back in the office as we can't work from home together. No plans announced on long term flexibility but lots of employees are asking (as are new hires)”.“The success of working from home, and the fact that so many staff have said they now want more flexibility, has lead [the organisation] to put one of our office buildings up for lease. So a full 5 day return to the office for everyone wouldn’t even be possible”.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
14/08/2031m 34s

The big return 1: making the call on what to do next

Subscribe to the newsletterHere's Dan's tweets that started this conversation.Today's episode is first of two episodes about the big return to work. It covers themes that I've covered in the newsletter over the last few weeks. What are other firms doing? How will they make their decisions. Over the 2 episodes I've chatted to stacks of people to get their views. Firstly I talk to someone who went on the record describing his company's approach.Dan Cullen Shute is the boss of advertising agency, Creature he tweeted a few weeks ago that he was getting the band back together every Wednesday and Thursday. I asked him his thinking behind this and his vision of how this will create a special place to work.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
11/08/2042m 34s

Building resilience - understanding the human impact of work

"We think people want to be liked, but they need to be needed".A thoroughly stimulating discussion here - that I've allowed to run long because it's so interesting.I met a brilliant guy called Misha Byrne who worked for a company called NeuroPower. I was so taken with what he was talking about (applying neuroscience to work) that we arranged to meet up, and he brought Peter Burow, the founder of the company along.There's some wonderful stuff in this discussion:the important of Relatedness in teamshow we build affinity between people who might not initially see a connection with each other (in this case doctors from India and Pakistan)how good teams don't avoid conflict, they are comfortable with ithow resilience can be built in teams"We think people want to be liked, they need to be needed"The model that they use in their work is RELISH: Relatedness, Expression, Leading the pack, Interpersonal connection, See Progress and Hope for the futureWe talk a lot about Matt Lieberman's book, Social.Misha invites listeners to drop him an email you can do that here. Peter's book is here or you can read it for free here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
07/07/2054m 40s

What's the value of an office?

"Tuesday and Thursday, see you there. BOOM!"A lot of us are starting to long for human contact again and the office feels like a happy place to be. But what does the office of the future look like? I chatted to the brilliant Antony Slumbers (follow him on Twitter here). Antony is regarded as a visionary thinker in the real estate market and runs a course for you to learn to be the same.Antony is incredibly incisive:"in the same way we realised we didn't need a shop to go shopping we've realised we don't need an office to do work"."no company wants an office, they want a productive workforce"To get this and more sign up to the newsletter.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/06/2038m 59s

Fewer predictions, more experiments - what's next with work?

Firstly a conversation with David D'Souza the membership director of CIPD (incidentally is a fantastic Twitter follow).David talks about the choices available to firms right now:do we want to be famous for the new culture that we've created?or our actions going to be defined by reactive actions to bosses' whims?If you want to follow the Twitter list I mention you'll find it here.If you're interested in workplace culture you might like my newsletter  See for privacy and opt-out information.
23/06/2030m 30s

Reinventing work: why you need to understand the 'self other overlap'

Subscribe to the Make Work Better mailoutI'm so excited about what is in the next few episodes. This is a short series of episodes about what we're about to lose with the end of office culture, and how we can build something new. If you like this please do share it.Today's episode has two great interviews. Later I’m going to hear from the frontline how firms are changing their use of technology by chatting to Adrienne Gormley, Head of EMEA at Dropbox.The first conversation is with Dr Emma Cohen, Associate Professor in Cognitive Anthropology at Oxford University. It went to see Dr Cohen before the lockdown and chatted to her in her office. Emma is going to teach you about the impact of working with other people. You're going to learn about how this impacts exercise and then about the self-other overlap. Over the next few episodes we're going to look at this more because understanding this is the secret of building new work.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/06/2048m 43s

Feeling ok - understanding work & stress

Subscribe to the Make Work Better mailoutSubscribe to Your Table's Ready PodcastVaried episode today, firstly for Mental Health Awareness week, two members of West Midlands Fire Service talk about stress at work and when it's ok to say you're not ok. Then later in the show a brief discussion with April Vellacott and Jez Groom who give us a brief glimpse of how to use behavioural hacks to improve work.Buy their book Ripple here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
21/05/2053m 29s

The world's top culture doctor: Professor Frances Frei talks Uber, WeWork & more

If you're interested in workplace culture you might like my newsletter makeworkbetter.substack.comI've been chasing this conversation for over 2 years and I'm delighted today to talk to the world’s most sought after culture doctor: Frances Frei is the Red Adair of work culture problems.If something goes wrong at WeWork, Uber or Riot Games there’s one name you call… You’ll be thrilled to hear the brilliant, thoughtful interview Frances gives.She’s very clear answering:could Uber have kept Travis Kalanick and solved their problems?what’s horrifically wrong with 360 appraisals?what is the first action she takes when she goes into a firmcan anyone be the agent for change in culture?her feeling on the importance of purposeFrances and her wife are the authors of a brand new book called Unleashed which recounts their experience at Uber, WeWork and more.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/05/2053m 32s

Beating burnout - learning from the YouTuber experience with Arron Crascall & Elle Mills

If you're interested in workplace culture you might like my newsletter makeworkbetter.substack.comRecorded live at Vidcon 2020As we sit in a strange period of work, a slight distraction from the normal cycle with a discussion with two digital creators.Arron Crascall has almost certainly appeared in your feed on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. He started using Vine when he was working at William Hill bookmakers and his content started to develop a bigger and bigger audience when he started using strangers as participants in his clips. Clip 1, clip 2.Elle Mills has been described as the John Hughes for the YouTube generation and as 'the celebrity every YouTuber wants to be'. She creates fully rendered films that are appointment to view content. She's also been incredibly candid about the toll that creating has had on her. Here's when she turned her mum's house into a frat house , when she lived without the internet, her coming out video was a break-out smash, a slumber party with her brother and all his exes.Tickets for Arron's live tour are on sale now.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/04/2047m 22s

Diversity and creative thinking - the power of rebel ideas (with Matthew Syed)

If you're interested in workplace culture you might like my newsletter makeworkbetter.substack.comThis episode is about the power of diverse thinking. Our guest is the thinker, writer, commentator Matthew Syed.Matthew represented Great Britain in table tennis at the Barcelona and Sydney Olympics. He’s since gone on to the one of the biggest, most successful business writers in the UK with his books like Bounce in 2010, Black Box Thinking in 2015, a kid’s book You Are Awesome in 2018 and Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking in 2019.Rebel Ideas has just come out in paperback this week. If you enjoyed this episode please do share it on social media and get in touch via the website, I’d love to hear from you.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
15/04/2042m 51s

Work Undone: what happens now? A discussion with Prof Dan Cable

"Purpose is something that can be found but cannot be given"For this episode I talk with London Business School professor Dan Cable about what work is going to look like in the future as we contemplate the fall out of coronavirus and homeworking. Clearly a lot of firms aren't going to make it through this completely unprecedented situation and to some extent maybe these discussions might seem like first world problems. The intention is to help us understand how we can use this moment to make work better - never waste a good crisis - as we say in the show.You can talk about this episode - and more - on our new forum.Follow Dan on Twitter.Dr Laurie Santos' happiness course and podcast.Dan's book Alive at Work is a firm listener favourite.Find Dan here in gif form.Listen to Dan's podcast hereREAD: Dan talked about a paper saying bosses think less of workers they don't see.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
23/03/2054m 54s

A career of kindness - Christie Watson on nurse's lives

You can talk about this episode - and more - on our new forum.Well what a strange time we’re living through. I don’t what I can say that hasn’t already been said. So to some extent this episode is a distraction - something interesting to listen to from a profession that is always in our highest regard in times like this but too easily forgotten in easy times.Christie Watson is a trained nurse who spent 20 years working in hospitals across London. She’s an Incredible testament to never allowing your creative spark to die. She explains to me how she wrote her first book - an award winning novel while studying a course in creative writing and working as a nurse - and also being a single mother. The novel won the immensely prestigious Costa Book Award (a prize she didn’t know she was nominated for). Brilliantly she had to Google the prize when she got called to say she’d won it.Her book The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story is a remarkable tale of a job right in the heart of anxious families while retaining professional distance. I was interested what the job of nurse was like.We talk about privilege - mainly mine that I found her book so eyeopening about areas that i was oblivious to.It’s a beautiful account that has become a best seller because of the sympathy that runs through it. In one episode chrissie washes the hair of a recently deceased patient so that the smell of the burning that killed them won’t pollute the family’s last momentChristie's book A Language of Kindness.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/03/2043m 50s

Inside the 4 day week

Join tens of thousands of listeners by signing up for the newsletter now.Second episode on the 4 day week. We go deep with someone who made the 4 day leap, Andrew Barnes' firm Perpetual Guardian made the shift to 4 days. He explains why some workers never told their partners, why others felt it transformed their experience of work and he gives the clear way to make a 4 day experiment work at your work.If you're interested in going shorter one of the best ways seems to be to try a summer experiment - maybe from May to September - so now is a good time to start the preparation. If you try it please get in touch to share your experience!Read the PDF of these episodes.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
10/03/2046m 27s

The 4 Day Revolution: Harder, better, faster, *shorter*

First of two new episodes on one theme. Until coronavirus swept the world the discussion of 2020 was about the future of work being based on working less to achieve more. There are two episodes on this today.Firstly former guest Alex Soojung Kim Pang talks about the research celebrating the benefits of working shorter (his book on the same subject came out this week). He spent the last 3 years going into firms that are using shorter working to build retention, productivity and creativity. He gives a clear roadmap of why you should consider working shorter, what the pitfalls are and what you could see as the benefit.The next episode looks at a case study of a company that went 4 days to improve productivity. What did they do and how did it work out?Download the PDF of this episode.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
10/03/2031m 12s

Inside Microsoft's cultural reinvention

When the biggest company in the world slipped from its throne how did a new CEO try to rescue it using culture. What did Satya Nadella do? How did it succeed, how did it fail? What can any of us do to change our company culture?Download the PDF of the episode's lessons.This episode draws on the outstanding paper by Herminia Ibarra, Aneeta Rattan and Anna Johnston from London Business School.Here's the famous cartoon about Microsoft (vs other tech firms of the time)  See for privacy and opt-out information.
03/03/2043m 15s

Why should anyone listen to you? The power of messengers

"We used to think 'the medium is the message', now we know that the messenger is the message".Stephen Martin was the co-writer of one of my favourite books, Yes! so I was thrilled when I saw he had a new book, Messengers. He agreed to come on and talk about both books. How important are superficial aspects like appearance in our credibility. What is the one thing that we should do to make people like us more?We discuss decision architecture, how any of us can influence others and the constituent parts of the choices that we all make.Stephen - and his co-author, Joseph Marks are two of the most fascinating experts to help us interpret the complexities of trust and how we can foster a warmth in our own communication.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
05/02/2051m 40s

Thinking about work - a discussion with Alain de Botton

Here he is, the philosopher king. Alain de Botton is the man that wrote philosophy books that sold like airport thrillers. He's sold millions of books reflecting on life, work and happiness.We share a wonderful discussion about what role work can fulfil in our lives, where education is going wrong and how we can use psychology to help diagnose the challenges of our problem colleagues.Alain's two new books from The School of Life are How to Get on With Your Colleagues and How to Think More EffectivelyYou can follow him on Twitter.School of Life has over 5m subscribers on YouTube.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
29/01/2052m 30s

What next in your career?

Join tens of thousands of listeners by signing up for the newsletter now.Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper are the creators of the Squiggly Careers podcast - and the authors of a brand new book, The Squiggly Career. If you're wondering what to do with your life Sarah and Helen might be the best person to help you find the right answers for you.This episode answers questions about what we should expect from our jobs - and the where happiness at work lives.Helen mentioned the values episode of their podcast and you'll find it here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/01/2048m 23s

Let's talk about flex... flexible working

Hot topic right now. Annie Auerbach talks about her way of working flexibly and explains how all of us could be living a life we love.Annie is the author of Flex.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/12/1928m 6s

What's stopping you from doing your best work ever?

What's stopping you from you doing your best work ever? That's the question that Aaron Dignan (working at his culture consultancy, The Ready) asks the companies he meets. Often the biggest barrier to us doing our best work is often our own attitude and mindset - and Dignan takes us step by step into his process. Aaron's book Brave New Work, is out now.Also mentioned in this episode:Johann Hari's TED Talk  See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/10/1944m 1s

Talking teams - an interview with Pippa Grange - head of team & culture at the England football team

Recorded at the Good Day at Work event in Manchester, hosted by Robertson Cooper.During the last World Cup, as we gradually started believing in the prospects of a team whose members had surprised us with their humour, work-rate and calm demeanour there was a wonderful newspaper article that garnered lots of attention about the secrets of their transformation.The piece introduced us to one of the people responsible for overhauling the mindset of the England squad. Previously players for the national team had always worn the heavy expectations upon them like a stiff and weighty leather overcoat. In the recent past those called up (like Raheem Sterling) have commented that the pressure created by fan aggression has stiffled players’ ability to express themselves creatively.The nation was collectively astonished to see a very different England mentality this time round. And, as The Guardian article showed, Dr Pippa Grange was one of the people responsible.It was a great honour to interview Pippa at the Good Day at Work event in Manchester in September 2019. The event was fully sold out, such was the interest in the outstanding line up of speakers.Pippa spoke of:the importance of cultural momentsthe very first thing she does to build a winning culturewhat it’s like to be in that room before a huge gamethe realities of being a woman in the man’s world of sportthe single thing that is way more important than positivityhow a big (stressful) adventure can lead to wellnessThe conversation was outstanding. Pippa is outgoing from the FA as I write this – I can’t wait to see what she does next.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
09/10/1956m 24s

Could Uber have won with a different culture?

Today’s episode is about Uber. Its based on a brilliant book that stacks of people have found themselves tearing through in one sitting over the last couple of weeks, It’s a book called Superpumped by Mike Isaac. If you’ve heard Mike talking about the book, this chat will be different because we’re just going to focus on the culture of Uber. The question for me was ‘would Uber ever have been as successful if their culture wasn’t so psychopathic and secondly could someone else adapt Uber’s culture a little to be slightly less blatant in their evilness and get away with it. On today’s episode. A brilliant discussion with Mike Isaac about the culture at Uber. I’m not supporting anything at all they did but there are certainly aspects of that you can’t help but think are brilliant. Travis Kalanick took people whose previous job had been running coffee stores and gave them whole cities to run. Giving people autonomy produced incredible, incredible results. The question then becomes - could you have got rid of the bad consequences by managing it better. And that is the question.Mike Isaac is a New York Times writer and the author of the brand new best selling Superpumped.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/09/1942m 46s

The lies we tell about work (interview with Marcus Buckingham)

If you're interested in workplace culture you might like my newsletter makeworkbetter.substack.comMarcus Buckingham is a research who has specialised in debunking some of the lies that pervade our jobs. His discoveries are eye-popping. Company culture can't be measured, 'OKRs' (goals) never work and much more. It's a compelling and entertaining listen.Get in touch to tell Bruce what you thought - or leave us a review at Apple podcasts.Eat Sleep Work Repeat is part of #PODSTRIKE.Buy 9 Lies About Work  See for privacy and opt-out information.
16/09/1946m 56s

How silent meetings and 'Magic Time' could change your life

On this week's pod, David Gasca and Steven Rogelberg explain how you can fix your meetings to make work less miserable.Firstly David Gasca outlines the Silent Meeting Manifesto. In the world of work we're surrounded with very little scrutiny of the norms of meetings and emails, in that context David's work helps reinvent one of the immovable pillars of work. Download the Amazon Kindle version here. Try a silent meeting and tell us how you get on.Then we spend time with the meeting doctor, Steven Rogelberg (author of The Surprising Science of Meetings). He tells us about 'Magic Time' and more.Our sponsor is Perkbox - the best platform to manage employee benefits.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/09/1940m 17s

Building Culture The Barcelona Way

In 2007 as Barcelona were looking to replace their manager they were faced with a difficult challenge. They decided if they were to move on with a strong sense of sustainable success they needed to think about the culture they wanted to build.They drew up a list of criteria for how they wanted to choose the manager. Interestingly most of the list didn't mention football. Damian Hughes, Professor of Organisational Psychology at Alliance Manchester Business School goes on to explain the Barcelona approach to the challenges they faced.Professor Hughes gives a 5 state model of culture. That was the work of James Baron and Michael Hannan at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Buy The Barcelona Way  See for privacy and opt-out information.
23/08/191h 7m

Inside the Liverpool culture of Jurgen Klopp

How did Jurgen Klopp build a culture that has caught the attention of everyone in sport. Including interviews with Klopp, Liverpool players and leading management psychologists we discover the 4 secrets of Klopp's culture at Liverpool (data, a simple plan, inclusivity, psychological safety).You’ll find episodes, transcripts and other good stuff on the website articles to read more:BEST READ: New York Times on Liverpool and dataMelissa Reddy interviewA look at KloppHow to improve engagementData and LiverpoolWATCH: How Jürgen Klopp made Liverpool BELIEVE again   See for privacy and opt-out information.
23/08/1954m 14s

Measuring the intelligence of teams

In 2015 Anita Williams Woolley and colleagues published some groundbreaking work understanding the 'collective intelligence' of teams.They asked 'can we judge the cognitive power of a certain group of people?'The answer was that yes, they could and also there were certain things that helped predict this collective intelligence.Professor Woolley explains the part that gender plays in this team intelligence and then gives you a test that you can take to help predict collective intelligence in your own teams. Anita's work is fascinating and immensely thought provoking. Is it time to change your team?You can take the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/06/1922m 10s

Play: tales of success from an NHS hospital

A lot of people have asked me if I’m going to do an episode on the importance of play.One of the challenges of the word play is that its such a broad word and its associations aren’t always helpful when it comes to bringing everyone with us but today's guest I think shows what an incredible thing it can be.Heidi Edmundson is an emergency medicine consultant in the Emergency Department at the Whittington Hospital. She wrote this article in the Guardian in January: I introduced fun to the lives of A&E staff. The laughter was infectiousWe explore themes of how you turn individuals into a team? This inspirational senior doctor recognised that exercises her team did on their downtime seemed to energise and inspire them - and made them more connected. I think you’ll end up wanting to read more of the theatrical exercises that Heidi used to help forge a tightly bonded team?Here is a full guide to Forum Theatre and its games.This goes deep - can playing games with each other be a simple way to remind ourselves of each other’s humanity where that empathy seems to be a super power that helps us do a better job?I loved this discussion so much - you can keep up with Heidi here on her Twitter.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/04/1940m 35s

Culture and conditions under the radar - tales from the gig economy

James Bloodworth lived undercover working in Amazon warehouses, care homes and clocked up hours as an Uber driver to see the realities of modern work for millions of Brits. It makes for a fascinating glimpse at the lives of people who often get ignored from the privilege of the open plan.James' compelling book Hired is out now.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
15/04/1945m 29s

Mental Health & Emotions - practical ways of fixing work

This week I talk to Josh Krichefski (CEO, Mediacom UK) and Liz Fosslien (co-author of No Hard Feelings: Emotions at Work and How They Help Us Succeed).Josh explains how they put mental health on the agenda on his firm by starting an honest, open discussion on it. Then we talk to Liz who gives us a users' guide to emotions at work. What can we do to make work a most empathetic way.The Seligman model we discuss is the '3Ps'. Personalisation, Pervasiveness and Permanence.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/04/1932m 58s

Gender in the workplace - breaking the glass wall

What if the way we've created work was built around the things that men prefer. Sue Unerman makes the compelling case that the workplace has evolved to serve male skills - and that this isn't good for the workplace and it isn't good for workers.Sue Unerman is the Chief Transformation Officer at Mediacom, and also the author of two widely acclaimed books. We discussed her book (written with Kathryn Jacob) The Glass WallFollow Sue on Twitter.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
01/04/1923m 17s

Jim Collins on making good culture great

Jim Collins is one of the most respected business writers in the world. With his books Good to Great and Made to Last he became the observer of great companies and what made them special.He's just published a new book which is a supplement to Good to Great (pssssst, read GTG first).  See for privacy and opt-out information.
18/03/1951m 11s

Dave Trott on beating creative blindness (live from IAB Leadership Summit)

Dave Trott is a creative director, copywriter, and author. A colossus of advertising who has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by D&AD.I chatted to him at the IAB Leadership Summit in St Albans.It's not a talk about work culture as such - just a fascinating chat with someone whose job it was to be creative for a living. Dave's latest book Creative Blindness is a riot of colourful stories and lively lessons. Follow Dave on Twitter.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
12/03/1941m 56s

Employee engagement // The secret of 'story night'

Today we’re chatting to the MD of the innovations company IDEO, Sue Siddall to hear how they bring the power of telling stories to life in their organisation. In addition we’ve got a legend of workplace study today. William Kahn was responsible for creating two of the big concepts of positive workplaces. He coined the concepts of both psychological safety and employee engagement. William Kahn is Professor of Organisational Behavior at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. He received his BA in Psychology from Clark University and his doctorate in Psychology from Yale University. Sue Siddall tells us about 'Story Night' at IDEO. Sue is the UK MD of IDEO - a company who often provide inspiration to other organisations when they are thinking of fixing their culture.If you like this, sign up for the New Work Now mailer here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
04/03/1926m 34s

Could laughter be the root of good culture?

If you’ve not already subscribed there’s a weekly email that goes out with the podcast. This week's includes a brilliant article on how small teams seem to be more radical, there’s a couple of discussions about Professor Adam Grant’s work and there’s a really good article on laughter in teams.The laughter in teams article is from some research that NASA is looking at when it comes to casting their first expeditions to Mars. NASA looked at the success of different teams in isolation in Antartica. And it seemed that when there is a joker in the team, someone gifted in the art of lightening the mood it helps the overall morale of the team. I found this one fascinating, in The Joy of Work i talk about the successful Cambridge Boat race team in 2008 whose performance was transformed from a losing practice tie to winning boat race performance when they promoted a funny colleague to the boat. They felt that even though this wasn’t the best performing athlete they all felt themselves to be in a better mental state when he was present. This is really neglected as a component of a happy team and if you’ve read The Joy of Work you’ll know I’m obsessed with it. And it leads on to today’s guest. Robert Provine’s 2000 book Laughter is a real page turner of research about one of the most enjoyable but least studied aspects of modern life. He has also gone on to cover laughter - and other human behaviours in his 2013 book Curious Behaviour - Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond. Provine is the world’s expert on the subject. When we talked to Professor Sophie Scott in the live episode on laughter at work this time last year she mentioned professor Provine several times, and he’s also been the consultant for products like Tickle Me Elmo. There’s some fascinating discussion. Laughter seems to signal a couple of things, safety and play. He makes a really interesting point at the end about the current state of politics being filled with the opposite of laughter - which is fear and angerThere was an interesting exercise a few years ago (and this was called out in Dan Lyons book lab rats) the exercise was conducted by Dan Ariely looked at the data from Great Place to Work. Ariely wanted to see if they had anything that correlated with stock data, to see if it would give you good investment advice to put money in good culture companies. Great Place to Work has been running since 1981 and each year has surveyed thousands of workers. Ariely looked at the data they had gathered.There was one factor that leapt out. But it was an odd thing. It was safety. Companies where people consistently reported feeling safe at work tended to outperform the stock market average, sometimes by 200%. It applied to physical and emotional safety. The other factor that seemed to correlate was companies that had a strong sense of welcome.If you listen to Professor Provine laughter would be in service of making all of those things stronger. What follows is the science of laughter, why we laugh and what it does. I hope you enjoy it.Robert R. Provine, is a neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. I called him on the phone to pick his brain  See for privacy and opt-out information.
17/02/1932m 50s

Free extract of The Joy of Work

Thanks to Penguin Random House here's a free extract of a couple of different parts of The Joy of Work.You can buy the full audiobook here.:  See for privacy and opt-out information.
05/02/1926m 7s

Cal Newport preaches Digital Minimalism

This episode today is magnificent – you’re really going to be stimulated and challenged by it.Today’s episode is with someone I contacted 2 years ago to discuss his previous book. Cal Newport’s Deep Work was a simple avocation of the process of using uninterrupted concentration to get things done. He’s now back with a new book about taking the same principles beyond work into life. It's a guide for achieving happiness by being more intentional in how you use technology. Some might call it a manual. What follows here is a sensational discussion with Cal - Digital Minimalism is out next week. I heard someone say recently that if you hear a new idea and its not shocking, its not really new. On that criteria this is really new. You’re going to find it mind expanding. Maybe you’ll disagree with it but it will leave you thinking for hours afterwards. Cal believes we should eliminate email. He thinks we should stop being connected to 100s of people on social media. He thinks we should distinguish between social conversation and digital connection. Where we should eliminate all digital interactions. He’s got a way for you to get there. He speaks of three principles of digital minimalismClutter is costlyOptimisation is importantIntentionality is satisfyingHere's a great article on the book.His suggestions in the book – that we touch on are that we should abandon weak digital ties with people. If you find yourself merely liking someone’s photographs in the course of your relationship then you should detach yourself from them. I remember when I was on Facebook thinking I was going to cull anyone I wouldn’t go over and greet if I saw in the street and he says something probably a couple of steps further. Not only is this chat great but he tells me about his next book that sounds incredible. I won’t make a big introduction because I asked Cal to do that himself so here he is. He’s Cal.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/01/1953m 21s

Long hours and loneliness - fixing workplace misery

This is a podcast about making work better. You can find all of the previous episodes on the website.Here we go, two little things today to make you feel more brainy. It’s Blue Monday in the UK today - the day when we’re told it’s the most miserable day of the year - when we hate our job. By listening to these experts you’ll have some guidelines how you can make work better. They give solutions but I think once you listen to the data you’ll work out what to do yourselves.Firstly something that might not seem directly connected to people in work initially but it’s about loneliness. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University. We start talking about the problem of loneliness in society and we go on to consider how loneliness is growing in work.Next I wanted to talk to two researchers who have set about investigating if working long hours - or working harder leads to greater workplace success. The authors of the paper are the brilliant Argyro Avgoustaki from ESCP Europe and Hans Frankort from Cass Business SchoolRead the paper on fixing work by Argyro Avgoustaki (ESCP Europe) and Hans Frankort (Cass Business School)  See for privacy and opt-out information.
21/01/1929m 28s

Apps, algorithms and your next job

If you're looking to get a job sometime in the next decade - and that includes almost all of us - there's a very high probability that you're going to be exposed to a psychometric test. As they become enhanced by AI and made more scaleable via apps these tests are going to go everywhere. So what are the implications for what work is going to look at.This episode I'm looking into the evolving nature of recruiting and how its changing to accommodate the latest science and also innovations in technology. Firstly I'm going to get my hands dirty testing one of the new evolving candidate testing apps that are starting to emerge. Then I'm chatting to Rich Littledale and he is a chartered psychologist who previously worked at a leadership consulting firm and now helps start ups with their strategic people challenges.Buy The Joy of WorkFollow Rich LittledaleRead more about PeopleUp - Rich's firmSign up for Eat Sleep UpdatesJust a reminder that all of the episodes are live on the website Eat Sleep Work Repeat.Rich Littledale runs a company called People Up. In the show he mentioned a blog post - you can find it here.As Rich there says most orchestras have now introduced blind auditions and in fact most them use carpeted stages to avoid the sound of shoes. Read more here:  See for privacy and opt-out information.
14/01/1946m 21s

Evidence Based Management - Rob Briner

Buy The Joy of WorkFollow Rob BrinerSign up for Eat Sleep UpdatesRob Briner is an professor of organisational behaviour at London Queen Mary’s University - he's rated the top HR thinker in the UK. This is a brilliant chat. Very much essential listening for anyone interested in HR but also worth listening for those of us who sit thinking ‘what do HR actually do?’ or what should we do to improve things round here.We talk about ‘evidence based management’ - which you can find out more about here: The Centre for Evidence Based Management. I’d researched it but he explained it way better. He ends up giving me his take on work culture and lots lots more. Rob outlines some of the pitfalls that any of us make when we set about fixing work. He also explains the challenges of psychology - discussing something called 'the replication crisis' about large scale studies.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
07/01/191h 9m

Ideas, innovation & work (the police episode 2)

Pre-order The Joy of WorkFollow Stevyn ColganSign up for Eat Sleep UpdatesFollowing up the discussion with Andy Rhodes this week it's a second episode about the police. My original plan was to edit both of them to get one episode about the profession but both were too good to chop up. So I want to flag that It's kind of about work culture but also kind of just a brilliant chat with a fascinating person. Consider it as a box set with the other police episode. When it gets into its flow it covers dog shows, walking buses and all manner of brilliance.Stevyn Colgan joined the police after a bet from his dad - which he explains. I was put on him by our last guest Andy Rhodes who told me about ways they used dog shows to reduce the tension on council estates. Rather than chop it down to just cover the way that Stevyn led innovation in the workplace I've just left it intact. He's too interesting for me to butcher the chat.Stevyn is the perfect example of a multi level life via his illustrations he became friends with Douglas Adams and ended up being a writer on the TV show QI. He wrote a book about his police problem solving unit work called One Step ahead. He's actually just published a novel called a Murder to Die For.I'm not gonna lie we spent ages one summer evening sitting in the pub garden of a Amersham pub. My intro is me reminding him about this podcast but the chat it provokes is quite interesting.If you want to learn more sign up for our newsletter at - thanks for listening.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/12/181h 3m

The police: decision making under pressure - life in a high stress job

Pre-order The Joy of WorkFollow Andy RhodesSign up for Eat Sleep UpdatesThis is the first of two episodes on the police this week. One on dealing with stress in 'blue light' professions, one on how to be creative in stressful environments.Andy Rhodes is the Chief Constable of Lancashire - and has responsibility for the wellbeing initiative in the UK police force. He talks through the challenges of policing under pressure. What do you do to stop police profiling people they encounter? The answer starts with how you treat them at work. I think you'll be inspired with the lead that Andy is taking.To hear more about the evidence based approach to wellbeing in the police go to the Oscar Kilo website.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
11/12/1845m 55s

Adam Kay - This is Going To Hurt

Pre-order The Joy of WorkFollow AdamSign up for Eat Sleep UpdatesWe’re talking work culture in different ways for the next few episodes. The next two episodes after this are in the police force. But today’s guest is the best selling author of the year - Adam Kay. This is Going to Hurt : Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor has sold over a million copies. It’s also won the readers’ choice book of the year this year. So there’s a chance you’ve read it and if so you will love the discussion with Adam Kay because he takes us into the working environment in hospitals. If you’ve not read it I could not recommend this beautiful, funny, principled book more. Adam explains in the book that the title Junior Doctor is a touch misleading - everyone who isn’t a consultant is titled a junior doctor. He is successful comedy writer who wrote the book 7 years after leaving the health service after a terrible terrible day at work. He wrote it because he found underpaid overworked health workers being politicised by the vampires who run government. Specifically the multi-millionaire former health secretary who claimed that in some way that doctors were greedy. The book is the funniest thing you’ll read this year and we covered that but we also talked through the working culture in hospitals. US listeners will know that the issue of single payer health care is a hot topic in the US - in the UK we have the NHS and it’s worth saying as Adam says it is a source of national pride. We just need to fund it properly. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I joined Adam for a chat at restaurant in West London.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
03/12/1830m 5s

How painting the walls pink changed a culture

How can painting the walls of a company change their culture? We explore with Jez Groom today's guest.An episode this week on behavioural science. It was prompted a little by discussions with Seth Godin and others. It was thinking can you change the culture in organisations by the way you engineer choices available to people - and I’m speaking to a behavioural scientist about these things.First a bit of background - we discuss a reading list in the show and I’ve included it in the show notes but it’s worth giving you an intro. One of the best books I love on behavioural science is YES by Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin and Robert Cialdini.In that book they spend chapter after chapter going through how the language that we use to invite people to do things has a big impact on what they subsequently do. TV shopping channels used to say ‘operators are waiting to take your call’ but they realised that that language made customers envisage rows of idle call handlers waiting for any sucker to buy something. So they changed it to ‘if lines are busy please try again later’. Similarly hotels evolved the notes about towels that you see when you stay as a guest. A lot of these things are built on the principles of influence made famous by Robert Cialdini.The authors split hotel rooms, half with a note saying please recycle your towel by hanging it up, the other used social proof by saying ‘most guests at our hotel help the environment by reusing their towels’. They looked at the results. The people who got the social proof message were 26% more likely to recycle their towel. They found that they could easily improve on this by using principles of reciprocation - saying the hotel would make a donation if they reused the towel, and then further by saying ‘to thank you we’ve already made a donation’. And a weird specificity ‘by saying the majority of the people who used THIS room had reused their towel.So if decision architecture can play a part in these things, can it make an impact on work. There may be decision architecture around your office. Maybe there are fewer waste paper bins than before - or you’re encouraged to use different recycle bins that are further away by the company alerting you to the benefits of these things.Today’s guest is Jez Groom who runs the behavioural science company Cowry Consulting.Jez told me at his old company Ogilvy they’d realised they could make breakthroughs in this area when they had introduced a hand stamp on the hand of workers in a food manufacture plant. No matter how much workers were told they needed to wash their hands to prevent kids getting ill or transferring dirt. But only 60% were doing it. They introduced a stamp a brown coloured e coli virus bug. It took 30 seconds to wash off. The bacterial count tumbled but most of this was kept after the 3 weeks of them doing it. The stamp had changed behaviour.Link in to JezFind out more about Cowry ConsultingThe books we discussedThe Joy of WorkYes! 60 Secrets from Science of PersuasionPigeons getting variable rewardsDrunk Tank Pink by Adam AlterBlink by Malcolm GladwellFreakonomicsPredictably IrrationalNudgeSee for privacy and opt-out information.
26/11/1856m 9s

Seth Godin - reinvent your culture

(sound fixed) Seth Godin has been one of the world's freshest thinkers since before the internet was on solid food.After a first career packaging books, he then rose to his own fame creating permission marketing.His blog is many people's favourite stop on the web bus route picking up a million passengers every day.We use his latest book This is Marketing as the model to bring to reinventing your workplace culture. What's the way to use his influence strategies to improve your job?The chat is brilliant and goes everywhere. Clearly Eat Sleep Work Repeat isn’t a marketing podcast but everyone can learn something from Seth.Contact the show  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/11/1853m 46s

Unlocking workplace creativity - Teresa Amabile

Contact the show podcast@eatsleepworkrepeat.fmThis week's episode features the iconic Teresa Amabile - she's a professor at Harvard Business School. Originally educated and employed as a chemist, Teresa received her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University.If you're interested in her work this YouTube clip is a great start point.Before the chat with Professor Amabile we talk through the news in work culture this week. Here's the explosive article on Netflix:WSJ on NetflixWSJ on Google's walkoutsYou can pre-order The Joy of Work at Amazon.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
05/11/1846m 18s

Alive at work - Dan Cable

Dan Cable is the author of the life affirming and brilliant Alive at Work - one of the most inspiring visions of what work could look like. The discussion covers big themes of purpose and motivation but brings simple practical tips. What are the simple things that any of us could do to our induction processes at work? How could we encourage our teams to bring their selves to work.I mention two articles. One by Sarah O'Connor in the FT and this one by Josh Hall about compulsory wellness.You can get in touch with Bruce here on Twitter. All of the previous episodes are available on the website  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/10/1837m 24s

Jeffrey Pfeffer: Dying for a Paycheck

Today’s guest is regarded as one of the most influential management thinkers in the world largely because he considers themes and human behaviours that others avoid discussing. Jeffrey Pfeffer is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He’s author of books like Management BS, Power and most recently Dying for a Paycheck and it’s the last two books that we mainly discuss in today’s chat.Read Dying for a Paycheck and PowerJeffrey mentions this New York Times article about the stress of someone in the legal profession.His book Power has become a global best seller largely because it is a manual for the Machiavellian. It’s a modern day version of Niccolò Machiavelli’s 16th century book The Prince. It’s not that Pfeffer believes this is what we should behave like to be our best selves but rather if we don’t behave like this we’re going to be exploited.In the course notes for Jeffrey's stanford class on power he says that "insufficient sensitivity to and skill coping with power have cost Stanford graduates promotions opportunities and even their jobs".Fundamentally the mistake we’re all making according to Pfeffer is believing that the world is fair. I know I’m guilty of this. Whether you watch US politics or British politics but I certainly find myself looking at current events thinking that a reckoning will come when the good guys will win and sort things out. Spoiler alert. The good guys don’t win. And the source for that point is history.Pfeffer's belief is that in business they don't win so arm yourself. He believes that leaders often ascend to their position not through an innate goodness but because they understand the rules of power.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
15/10/1838m 35s

The Good Jobs Strategy

Read more on the Good Jobs StrategyPre-order the Joy of WorkIf you like this the easiest way to get it is to subscribe on Apple podcasts - give us a rating while you’re there.Zeynep Ton is a Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.She studies the retail sector and the way that some firms have invested in paying more and doing more for their workers. She studied firms like QuikTrip, Trader Joes, Mercador in Spain - she found that firms that treat their workers better achieve better results. Quik Trips profit is double the retail average - all of her firms are more profitable and show consistent growth. And this is work that needs doing in 2012 The Independent reported that only 1 in 7 British supermarket workers earned a living wage. We’ll talk about how they make their jobs happier but the key parts are they make some key decisions upfront (1) offer less (2) standardise and empower their teams (3) they train their workers to do all of the jobs and (4) they operate with slack - with spare capacity.When I studied Zeynep's work - and even more so when I chatted to her I thought there's something in this that every single company can use.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/10/1853m 12s

Adam Grant - Optimism about work culture

Professor Adam Grant is the most important business writer in the world - a man who says his study is focussing on how to make work suck less.Adam is author of books like Give and Take, Option B, Originals, he's also the host of a chart topping podcast on work culture called Work Life with TED.Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for seven straight years - his books have told over a million copies .Give and Take examines why helping others drives our success. Originals explores how individuals champion new ideas and leaders fight groupthink; Option B, with Sheryl Sandberg, is a #1 bestseller on facing adversity and building resilience.For more about Bridgwater read here full episode is live on the website: eatsleepworkrepeat.fmPre order The Joy of Work  See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/09/1848m 25s

Testing the New Work Manifesto

Around 12 months ago myself and Sue Todd created the new work manifesto. It was an attempt to start the debate about simple things that we can change. You can find it on the podcast website's had a briliant response, research companies have asked to help validate it, different professions like doctors and police have been in touch asking if they can adapt it for their working. Lots of companies have told me they've been trying it out with their teams.One person contacted me and offered to share the experience and learnings of the New Work Manifesto in their team. And that was Tom Kegode. I went down one lunch time a few weeks ago to meet Tom and his team at Lloyds Bank Group. Tom is an innovations programme manager who has helped share the new work manifesto across LBG.You're going to hear discussion of various parts of the manifesto and the way that people at Lloyds are trying to make work more positive and enjoyable. Round the table were Lloyds employees Sam, Kate, Miranda, Verica, Ben, Jess, Heather, Shirley, Alastair, Dave and of course Tom himself.If you're interested in using the New Work Manifesto it all on the website, it's not copyright. Use it, change it, remix it, edit it but whatever you do please hit me on linked in or via twitter to tell me how you got on.This is the last in the series. I'll be back after the summer with a stellar list of the people who have done the best research on work, laughter, philosophy and workplace creativity.if you want to hear those episodes you're best subscribing via your podcast app.I appreciate you listening. Please do get in touch.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
02/07/1835m 5s

Bringing purpose and autonomy to work

Two practical case studies this week. Businesses who have pulled back the curtain to show how they brought Purpose and Autonomy to life. Brilliant examples of companies trying new things and having success from them.Rachel Bremer is the Communications Director at ASOS. She talks about how they re-energised 4000 young, ambitious employees to keep the business on an incredible growth path.Laurie Young is the Development Director of Thoughtbot. He explains that they made one change that allowed them to get 5 days work done in 4 days - and what happened next.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/06/1834m 30s

Mental Health & Work - Emily Reynolds

I've wanted to do an episode on mental health for months. But to be honest I've felt really conscious of messing it up. I ended up chatting to the best journalist who writes about it and she suggested that we talk about it.Emily Reynolds is one of the sharpest writers in the UK, writing for publications like Vice, Wired, The Guardian, Stylist. Incidentally she also writes about mental health. Her book 'A Beginner's Guide to Losing Your Mind' is a very readable take on the realities of all sorts of mental health conditions.We talk about how MH impacts those who experience it, how people around them should take account and far more.Also along the way we discuss Emily's blog post 'An Incomplete List of All of the Men In The Media Who Have Wronged Me' which got consumed in the #MeToo movement.Follow her on the internet.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
04/06/1844m 46s

Making work more stimulating with side hustles - Emma Gannon

Lots of listeners have been hitting up my LinkedIn saying how can we make work better if we don't have a full-time permanent job. Emma Gannon might have the answer to their needs.Emma is a podcaster, writer, broadcaster, blogger... in fact she's the perfect example of the freelance, multi-hyphenate lives that more of us are living in 2018.A She describes how we can build careers out of freelance living and side hustles. How sometimes we can inspire ourselves and our own creativity with the things we do when we're not doing our main jobs.Emma's podcast, Ctrl Alt Del is a phenom and her new book The Multi-Hyphen Method is out now.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
31/05/1842m 30s

Does Company Culture Exist? Dr Richard Claydon

Quite a brainy episode today. Dr Richard Claydon is a someone who likes to question why we claim things - he's a natural challenger. He describes himself as a Transdisciplinary Behavioural Scientist and Ironist. He writes some interesting (if a bit too long) things on Linked In that a few people sent to me. We had a brilliant chat for well over an hour but i've tried to edit it into something enlightening and digestible. Richard says something that I've been thinking a lot. We shouldn't be worrying about company culture. Office culture or more probably team culture is the most important thing for us to be focussing on. Richard runs a company called Organisational Misbehaviourist We talk about how the ideas of strategy and culture have an ongoing battle in business circles. In the 1980s and 90s there was a lot of talk about work culture - he explains that this was because the Japanese businesses that were idolised tended to seem to have a good culture. Here's why I find academics have such a valuable contribution to this debate. Richard talks about the work of Professor Joanne Martin from Stanford University who spent time looking at whether you could observe a single culture in organisations. And the answer was you never could. Company culture is a nice story we tell ourselves but it's an illusion. When it's most aggressively implemented it leads to people pretending to go along with it with ironic attachment. What a fascinating idea we talk about Project Aristotle which is a massive piece of work that Google did that looked at the best performing teams. The finding of that work was that the secret of good teams was psychological safety - people feeling comfortable in speaking up with no fear of punishment. Where people could be their complete selves.. This finding drew on the findings of Amy Edmondson - if you're interested in these things here's: A TED talk by Amy Edmondson Read more about Google's Project Aristotle here  See for privacy and opt-out information.
14/05/1827m 0s

Inside the Brain - A Neuroscientist Explains

James Doty is a neuroscientist who has spent his career trying to demystify the power of the brain. He's a Clinical Professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.If you watch his TED Talk you're going to fall in love with James, a gentle thoughtful guy. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
07/05/1823m 58s

A Good Day at Work - Sir Cary Cooper

Sir Cary Cooper is a psychologist - 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. He founded Robertson Cooper - a business which is collection of psychologists and wellbeing experts intent on helping people have a good day at work. Everyone I've met there is just brilliantly inspiring too - which I guess shows good people hire good peoplehe's a brilliant follow on Twitter too @ProfCaryCooper  See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/04/1844m 42s

Being More Pirate

Sam Conniff Allende has spent his career building a youth marketing agency. Now he's concluded that the way to inspire younger workers is to channel the energy of the Golden Age of Piracy. In a fun discussion of pirates old and new Sam explains how the world would be a better place if we all tried to be a bit more pirate.Sam's book Be More Pirate is published on 3rd May 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @SamConniff and @BeMorePirate  See for privacy and opt-out information.
26/04/1837m 51s

Bad bosses: what makes a good leader?

Dr Amanda Goodall is a Senior Lecturer in Management at Cass Business school. I don't normally do stuff on leaders. There's enough leader lit out there. So I actually came upon Dr Amanda Goodall's work when I was looking at something else. I encountered her work when I was reading about the effect of our bosses on us. Bad bosses are the worst thing at work. Amanda's research says we'll ask twice as much money to work someone who we can't stand. It's way more important than anything else. When someone resigns they resign from an individual not a firm. So then she asked in her research what makes a good manager. She found that statistically people who are the best at management are those who were actually best at the original job. She believes hospitals should be run by doctors. Companies that make tech products should be run by people who build tech products. Football teams should hire someone who was the best footballer. You might think of exceptions and her widely cited work says your examples are outliers.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
16/04/1839m 37s

Thought Leaders 2: Chris Barez Brown

Who's Elvis round here? There was a time when answering that question would have earned you a nice cheque from the National Enquirer.The second part of a spotlight on Thought Leaders - the gurus who are challenging the status quo.Chris Barez-Brown is a best selling author, speaker and culture change consultant. …….He says: "We train businesses to manage change"As he describes, Chris provides immerse experiences to improve the culture of leadership teams. These things don't come cheaply - one company told me they'd spent over a million pountsChris talks about something called 'talk it out' that is really interesting. I held this episode back because I was going to do a whole episode about the power of walking because a scientist called Marily Oprezzo who has done a paper on this - I may come back to Marily soon!Always feel free to connect to me on Linked In.Follow us on Twitter @EatSleepWkRpt  See for privacy and opt-out information.
09/04/1827m 52s

Thought Leaders 1: Tom Goodwin

Two episodes here listening to some of the people who are challenging, provoking and questioning the status quo.Tom Goodwin Exec VP at the media agency Zenith in New York. He's the head of innovation down there. But on the web is where Tom is a player. He is Linked In's number 1 influencer in the marketing field. That accolade will set you back 560,000 followers. How did he end up there? Well Tom wrote a tweet (or series of tweets) that developed a life of their own. has responded to his internet renown with a new book Digital Darwinism - Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Business Disruptionthat's out now.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
09/04/1837m 28s

Laughter - how to bring the LOLs back to the office

A brilliant live discussion from Ad Week Europe on the scientific value of laughter - and how to bring it back to work.Featuring Professor Sophie Scott, broadcaster Geoff Lloyd and sitcom writer Paul Coleman. Hosted by Bruce Daisley and Sue Todd.All episodes are live at Please like and subscribe.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
24/03/1849m 9s

Rituals, Emotions and food

Inside the rituals of two happy businesses. Over the last couple of months a few people have come up to me to tell me stories about things their companies do. Firstly Andy Puleston - a Radio 1 alumni - came up to me and chatted to me about some of the things they did during the Andy Parfitt reinvention. Pizza meetings, heroic leaving speeches and lots of private offices filled with eclectic music and chat. I've let this run on because I found it fascinating. Ask me one time how I applied to get a job at Radio 1. Had an interview with Andy Parfitt and everything. Ah well.Secondly we talk to Claudia Newman - Head of New Business at Young and Rubicon. She tells me about Crisp Thursday and their Start the Week meeting. I loved this chat.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/03/1855m 0s

The Culture Code - the best culture book of 2018

The Culture Code is the best book on work culture likely to be published this year. From Daniel Coyle author of the Talent Code, an international bestseller that cracked the formula of individual success. In the subsequent 5 years he's immersed himself in the best teams in the world - Navy SEALS, sports teams and some of the most creative companies in the world (including Pixar and IDEO).Now he's ready to share the remarkable output of his work. Coyle's book gives clear guidance of what anyone who runs a team or works in a team should do. A full transcript is on the website:  See for privacy and opt-out information.
05/02/1835m 13s

Cracking the secret of when - Daniel Pink

When is your most creative time of the working day? When should you schedule your concentrated deep work? What the heck is a 'nappuccino' and what will it do for you? Daniel Pink explains how we can use timing to help improve our working environment.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
01/02/1834m 13s

#MeToo & Work

As becoming increasingly clear the single biggest issue of work culture in the last 10 years has been the Me Too movement.Louise Ridley and Kirstie Brewer, freelance journalists and founders of Second Source discuss their involvement in the campaign to remove toxic sexual behaviour.Second Source is a group of women journalists trying to tackle sexual harassment in the media industry.Find details here: or follow them on TwitterEmily Reynolds' blog post can be found here.The Vice UK anonymous letter is here: tweets discussing the response to that letter is here.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
16/01/1836m 9s

The New Work Manifesto

Over the last 35 episodes we've discussed improvements to work, now we bring them all together.In discussion with Sue Todd, CEO of Magnetic, we discuss the New Work Manifesto. The manifesto is an 8 point plan, designed to help us improve work and get more from our time at our desks.The manifesto can be found at Send us your thoughts and suggestions.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/01/1857m 20s

The Year in Work Culture with Andre Spicer

The dramas at Uber, the reckoning of the #MeToo movement, the BBC pay gap, Bruce is joined by Andre Spicer to debate the biggest work culture issues of the year. Along the way we also discuss Andre's global fame as a lemonade stand pirate.Andre also talks about his two new books this year: Business Bullshit and Desperately Seeking Self Improvement.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
26/12/1744m 29s

Are the robots taking over? Matthew Taylor on the future of work

EAT SLEEP SHORT: Are the robots coming for your job? This year Matthew Taylor delivered a report to the Prime Minister looking at the future of work in the UK. Here he explains his outlook on the future of work and how work can set about being a force to increase happiness.Matthew Taylor is the CEO of the RSA. He was previously a political strategist working with Tony Blair.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
21/12/1713m 47s

Building teams with grit

Angela Duckworth's Grit was one of the most impactful business books of 2016.Here in an Eat Sleep short Angela talks about building resilient culture and the thing to look for when hiring someone with a gritty tenacity.In her late twenties, Angela left a demanding job as a management consultant to teach maths to seventh graders in the New York City state schools. Angela is a MacArthur “genius” grant winner, researcher and CEO of Character Lab.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/12/1710m 4s

Culture as the secret ingredient - Richard Reed and the Innocent story

Richard Reed was one the founders of Innocent - the most unlikely David taking on the Goliaths of the soft drinks business. With little more than a perky brand, unbounded optimism and a winning culture they're become the biggest juice brand in the UK.So how did Richard build this exceptional culture? What was the Innocent version of 'Don't Be Evil'? Richard shares special techniques like 'learn one, do one, teach one' that helped share a climate of humble learning.Richard talks about his new book 'If I Could Tell You One Thing' advice from the most respected people in the world, plus Michael McIntyre.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
12/12/1737m 14s

Beating Burnout - Managing Energy in the Email Age

VOLUME FIXEDDavid McClements is the founder of Whitewater international training & consultancy” ( . He works training and developing top performers. I saw David speak recently and was struck with his willingness to challenge some of the best established ideas.His discussion about Chris Hoy and energy management is fascinating.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
04/12/1729m 3s

Bjarke Ingels - Cultural Architect

Bjarke Ingels is the number 1 architect in the world. His buildings are taking the world by storm with their fearless disregard for the conventions and norms of our dull cities. Bjarke's buildings are both fun and immensely practical.By when the greatest in his field is thinking about the future of work how does he design it? Bjarke explains how he is building innovative workspaces - both for others and for his own company.Bjarke talks both about the cutting edge buildings that he is creating and references some of the accidentally brilliant buildings of the past like Building 20 at MIT which produced 9 Noble prize winners.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
26/11/1742m 17s

Data on how offices work

Ben Waber is the CEO of Humanyze, a firm that spun pioneering work from MIT into the world's leading people analytics business. Their technology can track how your office is working.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
21/11/1736m 36s

Remote: Control?

Jason Fried - at Basecamp - and Deborah Rippol - at Buffer - are writing the future. Exemplars of a new world of working where our offices are less important than our intellects. Both champion working remotely and letting our workplaces being secondary to our home lives.Jason is the author of books like Rework and Remote. Deborah is the People Success Manager at Buffer.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
15/11/1741m 16s

Alive at work - making work better with emotion

Dan Cable is a Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. His forthcoming book Alive at Work is visionary for helping us understand how to improve the sense of engagement in the workplace.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/11/1741m 14s

Work culture: happiness first then success

Emma Seppala is a happiness expert. She's spent her life studying how we can be happier in life and has all the evidence to prove it. Emma gives a life affirming reminder that happiness at work isn't a luxury, it's a prerequisite for success and creativity. Emma's book The Happiness Track is superb.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/10/1725m 20s

Biz Stone - designing great culture

Biz Stone is a founder of Twitter - famously returning to the company in 2017. We talk about design, about his first start-up where the culture got corrupted and then intentionally inventing a culture to be more effective.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
18/10/1737m 27s

Is Deep Work the solution?

Cal Newport is convinced that in 10 years we'll laugh at the way we're working today. We need a production line-like innovation to fix work... Enter Deep Work.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
16/10/1738m 9s

Daniel Pink on the secret of drive

Dan Pink is the most important researcher for understanding workplace motivation.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
02/10/1727m 27s

The Science of Being Happier at Work

Full notes and transcript at Tweet us @eatsleepwkrpt  See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/09/1716m 17s

Obliquity - achieving happiness indirectly

In 2010 John Kay wrote an article for the FT called Obliquity. It proved so popular that it became a best selling book. Obliquity is the concept that to achieve what we want to do we should aim for other things - we achieve our goals obliquely. Tweet us your feedback @eatsleepwkrpt  See for privacy and opt-out information.
03/07/1716m 58s

Improving work with play

Joi Ito runs the Media Lab at MIT. In his new book Whiplash he gives an account of how the only way we can improve work is if we build cultures that are set to innovate and experiment.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
19/06/1732m 37s

Honey I hacked my job

Hear from 5 people who have tried to change their work routines - with mixed results. Guests include Jenny Biggam and Zoe Basri from media agency The 7 Stars, David Wilding from Twitter, Laura Archer who turned her lunch break into 6 weeks extra holiday and Andy Oakes who has learned to work in bursts. Laura's book Gone For Lunch is a truly fun way to inspire yourself to do more with your time:  See for privacy and opt-out information.
05/06/1740m 37s

Reboot your career

Get inspiration from three people who started again. Martin Morales left his life in the music industry to open the restaurant he always dreamed. Paul Coleman created a life that combines innovation consultancy with writing Car Share for Peter Kay. Lisa Unwin set up She's Back to empower women's return to work after having children.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
28/05/1759m 30s

The way we're working isn't working

Tony Schwartz is an incredibly successful writer, journalist and speaker. 15 years ago he set about changing the way we work. Seeing the growing exhaustion of people around him he's helped us understand why we're overwhelmed and what we need to do to push back. Listen to Tony and you'll have the perfect reason to decline that extra meeting to go for a walk. Let's all commit to #TakeBackOurLunch please. I'll meet you in the park.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
22/05/1729m 12s

The surprising secret of workplace creativity

If most people knew the enjoyable secret of workplace creativity they'd probably feel liberated from the judgement of their peers. In this episode we hear inspiration from the ideas of Lucy Kellaway (FT journalist) and scientific evidence from Professor Sandy Pentland. Professor Pentland explains the single activity that characterises creative workplace - and it's probably something that you love doing.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/05/1728m 55s

Rest - work less to do more

Rest is the fascinating new book by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. It outlines how a combination of sleep, rest, vacation and exercise can help us achieve more. Late nights spent glugging coffee achieve exactly the opposite of what we think - as Alex explains.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/05/1738m 42s

The Results Only Work Environment

Dan Pink has called ROWE the future of work. ROWE is the Results Only Work Environment. It's the idea that we don't worry about what people do at work as long as the job gets done. That means they don't have to come in at 9. Or 10. Or 11. Or go home at 4. If they do the job, that's what we asked them to do... Jody Thompson is the co-creator of the ROWE system. With Calli Ressler she wrote 'Work Sucks'  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/05/1728m 25s

"If we're not changing anything, what was the point of the internet?"

Rory Sutherland is the Vice Chairman of advertising group Ogilvy. Through his 30 years in the media industry he has become renowned for championing the use of behavioural economics. Rory is an author and regularly writes for The Spectactor.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
08/05/1759m 1s

The Culture of Teams - the Boat Race and Camp Bastion

Mark De Rond is an ethnographer who embeds himself with teams under pressure. What's the culture like in a field hospital in Camp Bastion, in the boat race crew? Mark's latest book 'Doctors at War' - a first hand account of the culture in Camp Bastion's hospital - is out this week.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
02/05/1731m 37s

How Harry Styles Can Solve Diversity in Tech

Sacha Judd tells us how an online conspiracy about two members of One Direction led her to understand how we're failing to attract women into tech roles. Sacha is Managing Director at Hoku Group. She can be found at @szechuan  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/03/1720m 22s

Uber - When Cultures Go Bad?

Brad Stone has written behind the scenes studies of some of the most well known tech firms in the world. By spending time with the leaders of Uber, Amazon and Airbnb Brad has gained a deep understanding of what culture these firms create - whether via accident or design. Brad's latest book is The Upstarts - about Uber and Airbnb.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
18/03/1723m 39s

Why Your Open Plan Office is a Mistake

Andre Spicer is a professor in organisational behaviour at Cass Business School. He's written about the disfunction of world places and the advent of 'organisational stupidity'. He's provocative and insightful. Tweet your views to @eatsleepwkrpt  See for privacy and opt-out information.
27/02/1735m 50s

Time To Get Radically Honest

Kim Scott is the co-Founder of Candor, Inc and the author of Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity which is out in March 2017. Kim's view is that we spend too long at work not speaking frankly to each other. She's convinced that straight talking could solve a lot of problems. Follow Kim @kimballscott  See for privacy and opt-out information.
20/02/1723m 59s

Finding happiness through breaks

Paul Dolan is the author of Happiness By Design - a guide to making the decisions that lead you to being happier. Joining me to discuss is John Owen - CEO of the Decision Practice. Subscribe on iTunes. Tweet us @EatSleepWkRpt  See for privacy and opt-out information.
13/02/1737m 37s

Lean in - 3 perspectives

Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In is the best selling book about work culture for the last 5 years. We talk to three women to get their view on the book - and of feminism in the world place. Dawn Foster is a Guardian journalist and the writer of Lean Out. Melissa Barnes leads Twitter's relations with the biggest brands in the world. Sue Todd is the CEO of Magnetic.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
06/02/1730m 44s

The Netflix Culture Document "We're Not a Family"

The "Netflix culture document" is one of the best known works on company culture. For a company that is beloved of millions for it's shows and service, their published document is a spiky explanation of the realities of working there. Patty McCord is one of the brains behind it. She explains why the brutal honesty of the document is such a contrast to what we normally hear from firms.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
30/01/1737m 49s

Diversity Deception

Featuring Dan Lyons (realDanLyons) - author of Disrupted - and Dara Nasr (@daranasr, UK MD of Twitter) Dan Lyons - Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble is available now. We're all busy, so I enjoyed the audiobook version. You can revisit the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs here:  See for privacy and opt-out information.
16/01/1746m 39s


Eat Sleep Work Repeat is your favourite podcast about work, happiness and how those two things meet. Starts January - subscribe now.
26/12/161m 47s
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