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SPOS #921 – Lisen Stromberg On Shaping The Future Of Work

Six Pixels of Separation Podcast

Release Date: 03/03/2024

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Welcome to episode #921 of Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast.

Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast - Episode #921. In a transformative era for the global workplace, Lisen Stromberg guides leaders towards creating more inclusive and innovative work cultures. As the CEO and Co-founder of PrismWork, Lisen has dedicated the latter half of her career to reshaping the way businesses approach leadership and workplace dynamics. Her latest contribution to this work is her new book, Intentional Power - The 6 Essential Leadership Skills for Triple Bottom Line Impact (co-authored with Corey Jones and JeanAnn Nichols), which serves as a compass for those navigating the complexities of modern leadership. The book emphasizes the importance of empathy, inclusivity, and strategic leadership in achieving a triple bottom line impact. It also outlines six essential leadership skills crucial for navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by the future of work. From the impact of AI on various professions to the rejection of traditional educational paths, Lisen and her co-authors explore the multifaceted nature of leadership in the 21st century. Lisen's journey from a successful career in marketing to a leader in culture innovation and leadership transformation is marked by a critical insight: The work environment matters as much as the work itself. This realization propelled her towards establishing PrismWork, where she and her team have been instrumental in fostering workplaces that not only prioritize productivity but also embrace diversity and inclusivity as core values. In this episode, Lisen (who also authored, Work Pause Thrive) breaks down the current shift in workplace culture (and what we need to do about it). She delves into the nuances of building inclusive cultures amidst the tensions of wokeism, the fragility of the economy, and the evolving nature of capitalism. With the rise of "power skills" in job descriptions and the competitive job market's demand for deep culture, Lisen's insights offer guidance for leaders striving for excellence in a rapidly changing world. She also deep-dives on the rise of women entrepreneurs and the impact of motherhood on career trajectories. By advocating for Intentional Power, she underscores the need for leaders to wield their influence with purpose and empathy, shaping a future where work is not just about profitability, but also about creating value for all stakeholders. Lisen's mission is clear: To inspire leaders to use their power intentionally for the collective good. Enjoy the conversation...

Takeaways:

  • The meaning of work and workplace culture have dramatically changed, driven by a new generation of talent with a collaborative and inclusive approach.
  • Building inclusive cultures requires the development of power skills such as humility, empathy, accountability, resiliency, transparency, and inclusivity.
  • The future of capitalism lies in stakeholder capitalism, which focuses on meeting the needs of a myriad of stakeholders and creating sustainable long-term solutions.
  • Leadership is not limited to those at the top; individuals at every level have a role and responsibility in shaping workplace culture.
  • The impact of AI on the future of work raises concerns about job displacement and the need for continuous learning and adaptation. 
  • The “middle years” of the future of work are a critical period that requires careful navigation to avoid negative consequences.
  • While there is a growing rejection of college education, essential careers such as plumbing, electricians, nurses, and doctors will still be in demand.
  • Supporting humans in the future of work requires a shift towards capitalism for good, where meaningful services and support are provided to employees.
  • Empathy is a crucial trait for leaders, and there are three types of empathy: cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and compassion empathy.
  • The optionality of employees and the shift in power dynamics in the workplace require a focus on ‘power with’ rather than ‘power over’.
  • The rise of women entrepreneurs highlights the need for better support and infrastructure for freelancers and self-employed individuals.

Chapters:

  • 00:00 - Introduction and Background
  • 01:18 - The Changing Landscape of Workplace Culture
  • 03:21 - The Shift in Identity and Meaning of Work
  • 04:48 - The Importance of Culture in the New Way of Working
  • 06:06 - The Challenges of Building Inclusive Cultures
  • 07:32 - Navigating the Tensions of Wokeism and Inclusion
  • 10:31 - The Fragility of the Economy and the Future of Capitalism
  • 12:46 - Sustainable Culture in the Face of CEO Tenure
  • 15:07 - Empowering Middle Management for Cultural Transformation
  • 16:26 - The Challenge of Building Deep Culture in a Competitive Job Market
  • 19:09 - The Rise of Power Skills in Job Descriptions
  • 20:37 - Balancing Rigor and Performance with Humanity and Empathy
  • 28:18 - Navigating Ageism and the Changing Workforce
  • 30:22 - The Impact of AI on the Future of Work
  • 39:15 - The Rejection of College and the Need for Essential Careers
  • 40:09 - Supporting Humans in the Future of Work
  • 42:22 - The Importance of Empathy in Leadership
  • 43:45 - The Nuances of Empathy and the Three Types
  • 45:47 - The Optionality of Employees and the Shift in Power
  • 47:13 - The Shift from ‘Power Over’ to ‘Power With’
  • 48:10 - The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs
  • 49:19 - The Chasm Between Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed
  • 51:33 - Difficult Conversations and the Future of Connectivity