7th Jul 2021
3 Min Read

PODCAST | Ep.6 Vive La Revolution

Elle Bradley-Cox
Elle Bradley-Cox
World Changers

Diving in to another topic from our 2021 World Changers report, Elle Bradley-Cox explores the rise of activism.

Hierarchy is a staple of corporate life. Careers have been built on it, power is wielded through it, and those at the top of the ladder aren’t going to cede their place easily. But now we’ve glimpsed into the CEO’s bedroom, and seen frontline colleagues transform into superheroes, how will that revolutionise stereotypical workplace structures?

The pandemic may have accelerated the operational transformation of many businesses, but can we genuinely say the same about internal hierarchies?

While we may have been presented with an opportunity to reinvent, the appetite to do so has been lukewarm in many boardrooms. So, is it time to shake up the status quo? What are the opportunities for businesses willing to break with tradition? What are the risks for those who aren’t?

Senior consultant Daniel Lambie chose this theme as his World Changer for our 2021 report. Host Elle Bradley-Cox chats with Daniel and scarlettabbott co-founder Rachel Thornton to get their views on whether hierarchy still has a place in our new world of work.

And, later in the episode, guest Kate Shaw, senior internal comms manager at Nationwide shares her thoughts on what the future of work means for organisational hierarchies.


Guest interview

Kate Shaw, senior internal communications manager, Nationwide.

    Want to skip to a specific section? Here‘s what we talked about:

    00:00 Intro to the episode.

    01:30 Roundtable with Elle, Daniel and Rachel, exploring the rise of employee activism.

    • 00:50 Now we‘re transitioning to a hybrid world of work, will all those possibilities vanish? And what‘s the effect it will have?
    • 04:28 Let‘s talk about the place for hierarchy in a post-pandemic workplace. Do you feel like that will have to change in some organisations?
    • 09:58 Who‘s doing this well at the moment when it comes to evolving the hierarchy?
    • 11:16 Framing is really important. People can be turned off by words like "policy" and "process". What are the ways people are making this sound sexy to employees?
    • 12:16 How do how do good leaders balance the risk that comes with being more agile?
    • 19:18 What should organisations and good leaders be thinking about right now?
    • 21:48 Remote working brought a kind of ‘digital democratisation‘ for quieter voices. Will we lose that as the start to return to previous ways of working?
    • 25:21 It‘s a big leadership mindset to flip from command and control to enabling. What will that take from leaders?
    • 28:04 Do you think businesses are ready at this point to truly embrace change?

    30:00 A conversation with Kate Shaw, Nationwide, about the organisation‘s future of work plans and the impact on it‘s structure.

    • 33:50 Nationwide has been so progressive with your future of work vision. How has it landed with various levels of leadership and management?
    • 35:56 You mentioned, ‘if one person‘s virtual, then everybody should be virtual‘ - how does this look going forward?
    • 38:40 How do you think the future of work vision will affect your hierarchy at Nationwide?
    • 40:44 Did Nationwide have aspirations to flatten the hierarchy pre-pandemic?
    • 42:54 What are you doing to equip your leaders for success?
    • 46:31 It might be too soon to tell, but how is colleague perception and expectation of leaders to follow through?
    • 52:46 Who would you nominate as your 2021 World Changer?

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