Your digital journey starts here
Book a free one-to-one consultation to discuss the current status of your digital workplace. Each consultation is followed up with a bundle of useful resources to help get you started.
In this year’s first episode of Digital Workplace Impact, host Nancy Goebel takes a look at the top podcasts from the 2023 series and offers you a résumé of those that proved most popular with listeners.
As a baker’s half dozen, this collection is a highlights reel of delights. Each podcast presents the opportunity to learn more not only about recent industry insights and developments, but also about key players and change-makers.
Topics covered last year were wide and varied: from DWG's own predictions for the industry to living examples of digital transformation; from a people-first approach to AI through to impact stories from DWG’s awards programme, leading research, and more.
All had common threads – lively conversation, thought-provoking ideas and insightful questioning – along with helpful advice for digital workplace leaders and practitioners everywhere.
So, to get closer to ideas and developments that helped to shape the digital workplace last year, take a listen to Nancy’s ‘baker’s half dozen’ collection of the top Digital Workplace Impact podcasts from 2023.
Digital Workplace Impact Episode 132: Digital Workplace Impact’s 2023 highlights reel
[00:00:02.650] – Nancy Goebel
As the host of Digital Workplace Impact podcasts, I really seek to endeavor to provide you, our listeners, with an insightful exploration of the digital workplace landscape. And this 2023 podcasts covered a wide range of topics, from DWG’s own predictions for the industry, to living examples of digital transformation, to a people first approach to AI, to even impact stories from our awards program and our leading research and so much more. This year, I’ve decided to curate a list of our top seven podcasts of 2023. I’m thinking of this collection as a baker’s half dozen. What they all have in common is that they reflect my commitment to investigating and exploring the ideas, the practices, and the people impacting the digital worlds of work. And of course, to keep you not only informed of the latest industry insights and learnings, but also the key players and developments. This is Nancy Goebel, your host and DWG’s Chief Executive. And as always, Digital Workplace Impact is brought to you by the Digital Workplace Group. Join me now for a 2023 episode highlights reel presented as a baker’s half dozen. Happy listening, you.
[00:01:54.280] – Nancy Goebel
Growing up, I remember hearing my French Caribbean grandfather saying, “Le temps ne passe pas. C’est nous qui passons”. My somewhat poetic translation is, it’s not time that passes rather, it is we who pass through time. With the 2023 recording season for Digital Workplace Impact podcast winding down for the year end holidays, I had to stop and explore how the Pod listeners have passed through time. I’m opting to call this baker’s half dozen as a share. You’re about to learn all about the six episodes that came squarely on top based on a review of our listener volumes. But I’m also including a bonus episode that was released only a few short weeks ago, because I can see it’s already on pace to join this list of toppers. So here’s your rundown of Digital Workplace Impact’s top seven episodes of 2023. Kicking things off with episode number one, I was truly, truly humbled to see that it turned out to be episode 114, which was DWG’s 2023 predictions for the digital workplace.
[00:03:29.670] – Nancy Goebel
Prediction number three is looking at the metaverse as the new digital archipelago of workplace experiences. Now, this is an area that definitely sparked a lot of questions during our member preview session. In the simplest terms, people wanted a definition of
[00:03:51.770] – Nancy Goebel
This is just one of two episodes when I ran solo during the year. My 2023 predictions for the Digital Workplace was the focus for episode 114, and in it I covered what became, in large part, the ten megatrends that came to unfold in 2023. I’ll leave it for you to run through the ten via playback, but I just wanted to wet your appetite here with the super prediction, which served as the wrapper. And it goes as follows the Digital Workplace gets a home, a heart, a brain and courage. Welcome to the land of Oz.
[00:04:39.590] – Judy Garland
I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.
[00:04:42.110] – Nancy Goebel
Okay, it’s time for episode number two, and it’s actually Episode 117: Domino’s delivers a culture and communications rock star.
[00:04:53.070] – Stacie Barrett
One of the things that I learned early on at my career at Domino’s, because this is an incredibly fast-paced business with lots of information and lots of constant change, we frustrated our end users by providing them with all of that information and constant change. It was our job to filter that and using those tools to not share everything, but share the important things on the right tools and push the important things in the right tools. And I think that’s going to be important part of the strategy for every communicator always is figuring out the best way to do that for their organization.
[00:05:41.720] – Nancy Goebel
Meet Stacie Barrett, Director of Internal communications at Domino’s, the world’s largest pizza company. An exceptional digital workplace practitioner, Stacie is someone who’s responsible for both digital and in person communications to Domino’s franchisees and corporate team members globally. Within minutes of the conversation, you will see why OFC named Stacie a rock star of culture and communication. Together, Stacie and I had a chance to discuss what it takes to harness the best of storytelling and technology while filtering out the non=essentials for the time poor and often disparate audiences. She bills herself as a lifelong learner, and Stacie’s approach is grounded in purpose and empathy and active listening, humor and impact. So for a slice of Stacey’s recipe for success, including pizza sharing and advice for internal communicators in the hot seat, do have a listen to Episode 117.
[00:06:54.870] – Nancy Goebel
In the number three spot is Episode 122 and it’s entitled Unlocking the power of generative AI, like Chat GPT, in the workplace.
[00:07:07.690] – Florin Rotar
This Generative AI is going to force a rethink between the relationship and the engagement between people and technology. Anything as fundamental as the one during the Industrial Revolution. It is going to impact everyone. It is going to blur the distinction between knowledge workers and there I use the term blue collar workers. And I think the successful organizations here will be the ones which deeply understand how to leverage this to support employees creativity, quality to share sort of the lessons learned and the experience around how this will strengthen people’s sense of workplace contribution.
[00:07:57.610] – Nancy Goebel
My longtime mentor and strategic partner, Florin Rotar was recently named Chief AI Officer at Avenade. Listening to this episode, you will quickly come to understand why, with a perfect blend of cool, confidence, intellect, and unique perspectives, Florin gets at the heart of the hype, the risks and the opportunities and ask whether Chat GPT and emerging AI capabilities will democratize artificial intelligence at large. We also explore whether there is potential for ChatGPT and generative AI capabilities to compare with what mechanization did to spark the Industrial Revolution. And we also talked about how to best approach AI as a springboard for evolving today’s digital workplaces. Episode 122 is really about what the future might hold, along with some great advice on how best to seize the opportunities that this pivotal moment can bring.
[00:09:11.550] – Nancy Goebel
Number four on the list is Episode 116 Back to the future with enterprise social.
[00:09:17.860] – Kevin Olp
We are all here together to be able to do a job and to serve customers and serve the organization. And so there’s got to be a balance as well between each of our workforces strongly held feelings and positions and the tasks that we’re all here to do. And those organizations that flex too strongly one way or the other tend to struggle. The ones who can find that balance are the ones that seem to be thriving the best right now.
[00:09:51.980] – Nancy Goebel
This one features DWG member alum and longtime personal friend, as well as currently a DWG author and lead strategy consultant. And this is none other than Kevin Olp. In this episode, Kevin drops into the studio to unbox his findings on the evolution of enterprise social networks. And the research that he published under the DWG banner this year is entitled Intranet 2.0 and enterprise social networks: How they’ve changed the way we work. And as part of this research, Kevin examines how ESNs have been adopted or not, in some cases by organizations. And he really put some thoughtful considerations to help us think through how ESNs have actually changed how we work and explores how they’ve evolved over the last decade and a half. Together. Kevin and I use this podcast to dig into whether early expectations have been realized to uncover the barriers that have stood in the way to ponder what should be taken into the future, and indeed ask whether taking a step back to view progress reveals some important learnings that will help practitioners to create and sustain more thriving ESNs for the future. So if where you’re going doesn’t need roads, take a listen to Episode 116 for help with your journey back to the future of ESNs.
[00:11:38.290] – Dr Emmett Brown
Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.
[00:11:42.930] – Nancy Goebel
Next up is episode 119. And this episode is entitled Prioritizing digital accessibility to create workplaces that thrive.
[00:11:54.730] – Shimrit Janes
Accessibility is essentially about equity. That’s why it needs to be an important part of DEI work. It ensures that everyone can access the resources they need, not just to survive, but to thrive.
[00:12:06.050] – Nancy Goebel
In episode 119, I was joined once again by the insightful and astute Shimrit Janes, who is DWG’s Director of Knowledge. And together in this episode, we examine the importance of prioritizing digital accessibility, which is the subject of the final chapter of a three part research series that Shimrit has written on the inclusive digital workplace. The discussion really journeys through the understanding of disabilities and the role of accessibility in removing a combination of environmental, systemic and attitudinal barriers to participation. We really took some time to stop and explore the backdrop of four different disability models and how these have fit into the digital workplace. Under scrutiny as part of the discussion is a case study from MassMutual, and it really helps us uncover a range of insights, including the crucial part of digital accessibility and how it can help create a healthy living system in an organization. What’s Shimrit’s advice throughout? Well, I’d say the headlines are adopt a learning mindset to uncover what you don’t know, how you can start to learn more, and just why it’s so important to do so. So for a thought provoking discussion that can really help propel your thinking around digital accessibility, you’ll definitely want to give episode 119 a listen.
[00:13:58.120] – Shimrit Janes
When people think about accessibility, digital accessibility, they’re focused on compliance and regulations and kind of meeting the standards that have been set, but that doesn’t mean the experience is usable. So there’s an example that’s spoken about. If you think about a hotel, for example, and you might have a ramp going into it so that people who use wheelchairs and people who have buggies and all sorts as well are able to access the hotel, but the ramp is put at the back, so you’re entering through the goods entrance even though you’re a customer. So it’s not an equitable experience to somebody if they’re going down the back entrance versus the front like everybody else. So technically it’s accessible, but it’s not a usable experience. So I think this is where design really needs to come into it, and you need people who understand that they’re not just checking boxes. This is the same for all DEI work. You’re not just checking a box that you’ve done it, but you’re really thinking through the experience. And so if you’re passionate about user experience, you need to be thinking through not just, are we checking our boxes for compliance, for accessibility, but are we actually working with people to understand if what we’re designing is usable as well?
[00:15:13.430] – Nancy Goebel
Okay, next up is Episode 128: A Microsoft MVP’s blueprint for Copilot readiness.
[00:15:22.710] – Darrell Webster
That cognitive load that we all face when we’re trying to start on an idea and we’re switching from one task to, oh, that’s right, I’ve got to get that presentation done, where there’s that pause of, okay, where do I start? What do I do? What am I going to begin with? And being able to get that starter based on real information and a collection of what has been created within your teams and your groups, within your organization is so valuable that it’s not just that you’re picking things out of thin air or you’re having to recall certain thoughts. It’s a beginning. And it’s not necessarily that writing the whole thing for you, it’s a starter. So I see that as definitely a huge benefit.
[00:16:09.230] – Nancy Goebel
At a summer DWG event, I had a chance to chat with Melanie Hohertz, a DWG member and Microsoft MVP, and in conversation with her, I asked her who she follows, and she mentioned that Darrell Webster, a fellow Microsoft MVP, tops the list. So of course I had to invite Darrell into the pod. He’s highly regarded for his insights across the Microsoft portfolio of 365 capabilities. Darrell is a New Zealander who specializes in modern work mentoring and is a fellow podcaster. And I have to say I truly enjoyed exchanging insights and reflections on generative AI, more specifically Microsoft Copilot. With, you know, with Microsoft having recently published their new pricing model for Copilot and having it take a spotlight as part of Microsoft Ignite last week, this episode couldn’t be a more timely listen. And what I think is key here is that Darrell talks through the necessity of understanding this new technology, what it could reveal about the enterprise, the value that it can uncover, but also the need to prepare well and to create community around its introduction. And he brings this set of concepts together through a mini blueprint for readiness as Copilot advances into the workplace, we know that generative AI has the potential to spark a whole new level of natural curiosity and strengthen collaboration.
[00:18:10.270] – Nancy Goebel
But it might also surface some information that we shouldn’t always see. So Darrell really helps to crystallize those watchouts to consider, along with encouragement to explore what’s ahead.
[00:18:25.460] – Darrell Webster
Whatever app that you’re in, being able to get that starter and summarize or collect or start to build something for you across different apps is a big feature.
[00:18:38.800] – Nancy Goebel
And we’re getting into the final stretch with number six, and that’s Episode 126: The importance of building Unilever’s culture in a hybrid world.
[00:18:52.810] – Alessandro Ventura
I definitely believe that having the right tools, but also having the right mindset can really help stimulating creativity whenever and wherever it happens.
[00:19:06.050] – Nancy Goebel
So the big question in this episode is can technology empower and amplify the impact that humans can produce in a hybrid workplace?
[00:19:17.450] – Alessandro Ventura
For some people, they need to be in a particular environment to stimulate their creativity. For other people, it’s the moment that matters. So how can we, through technology, be able to capture that level of creativity, stimulate that level of creativity, and then enable the collaboration that can boost that creativity?
[00:19:37.090] – Nancy Goebel
As part of Episode 126, we explore how global giant Unilever has made the best of technology solutions to create a more culture centered, collaborative, creative and connective workplace. And in this episode, Alessandro Ventura, who at the time was Global VP of Technology Transformation at Unilever, came into the studio to chat about his passions, priorities, and focus on delivering business impact by bringing out a mix of humanity and happiness into the hybrid workplace. It turns out on the day that he was promoted into a new role to head up enterprise transformation with the role of technology taking on added importance in the organization. And so it couldn’t have been a more exciting time for the conversation. And certainly Alessandro was quite engaging in this conversation and shared his insights and reflections on his career up until that point. He also offered some terrific advice for others on how to be empathetic and people focused leaders at work. So for some fascinating insights and a glimpse into Alessandro’s forward thinking approach to hybrid, do take a listen to episode 126.
[00:21:07.930] – Nancy Goebel
And to complete our baker’s half dozen, we have Episode 131: Digital transformation the Amazon way.
[00:21:19.390] – John Rossman
Digital transformation is an interesting term as kind of a category of thinking capability technology, but I think it’s a really hard operating model to attach to. And so Amazon’s thinking has always know start with the customer, what they’re trying to get done, their problem and work backwards into, well, what do we think our unique perspective is in helping to solve that customer need or that customer problem? The question I always ask is people always start with customer needs and requirements. What’s going on? I try to ask a little edgier question and the question I ask is what sucks? Because when you ask that’s, essentially what’s the real pain point? What is the real problem? Not what are kind of the low grade issues going on or needs or requirements, but what’s the real essence of their pain? You get pulled in deeper and you focus on more valuable things. And when something really hurts, when something’s really a pain point, customers buy.
[00:22:31.700] – Nancy Goebel
John Rossman, a former Amazon exec turned founder of Rossman Partners, is quite a special thought leader on digital and innovation strategies. He’s also the author of the best selling book The Amazon Way. And I have to say, I’m holding the book right now. This volume, which is one of several books that John’s written, really offers deep insights into Amazon’s unique leadership principles and tactics. And John doesn’t just leave that on the table for you to think about. I think he brings such a fascinating level of richness by delving into digital transformation, by exploring how Amazon’s leadership principles, customer obsession and innovative culture really can be translated into actionable steps that will help businesses accelerate their own digital transformations. Not surprisingly, as part of the conversation, we even dipped into the generative AI space as the next big disruptor for digital transformation and how that will impact the employee experience, the nature of work, and the possibility of creating AI infused versions of businesses. I have to say, episode 131 is a chock full of lessons and revealing leadership principles. The episode also reveals some principles and benefits of being an active skeptic in an age of disruption and uncertainty.
[00:24:20.850] – Nancy Goebel
So to cap off this episode, I want to take a moment to extend my warmest thanks to all of you. Yes, that’s you. Not only our studio guests, but also our listeners and our extraordinary production team. Digital Workplace Impact podcast is such a special part of my role as Chief Executive at DWG. Why? Well, simply because it brings me closer to all of you the industry thought leaders, the continuous learners, the changemakers, the deep subject matter experts, the ambitious ones, and so much more. After all, you’re at the heart of this podcast because it’s a space where we make powerful connections by sharing our stories, our journeys, and our collective learnings with each other.And happy listening when the next Digital Workplace Impact podcast drops. Until then, Digital Workplace Impact is brought to you by the Digital Workplace Group. DWG is a strategic partner covering all aspects of the evolving digital workplace industry, not only through membership, but also benchmarking and boutique consulting services. For more information, visit digitalworkplacegroup.com.
I've decided to curate a list of our top seven podcasts of 2023. I'm thinking of this collection as a baker's half dozen. What they all have in common is that they reflect my commitment to investigating and exploring the ideas, the practices, and the people impacting the digital worlds of work.
CEO, Digital Workplace Group
Learn more about DWG and our history, and the benefits of working with us.Read More
Book a free one-to-one consultation to discuss the current status of your digital workplace. Each consultation is followed up with a bundle of useful resources to help get you started.