E122 - You don’t need permission to create positive work experiences - with Shawn Murphy

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We are wired to belong. Contemporary workplaces are modern-day tribes, and yet so many leaders treat them as transactional places of misery. In fact, 82% of leaders have been found to be lacking in the required skills to lead effectively. There is a serious deficit in the soft skills.

Author, consultant and tech startup leader, Shawn Murphy talks with me about the key principles of belonging in his latest book, Work Tribes:The Surprising Secret to Breakthrough Performance, Astonishing Results, and Keeping Teams Together.  These are to be valued, welcomed, and wanted.

We discuss the ins and outs of belonging, how it’s an outcome, not a program, how you can’t operationalise belonging but you can develop programs to develop leadership skills that foster belonging, how any behaviour change expected from a training program needs to be backed up by accountable tracking afterwards, why ‘hiring for culture fit’ is a fast-track to building a country club and not a successful business, why hiring for ‘how you can contribute to the culture’ is a better approach, how we need to have better conversations - ones about the playbook and values and purpose of an organisation - so we can avoid catty bitchiness in workplaces, and how we don’t need to wait for permission or a program to create positive work experience. We can get started right now with self awareness.


Shawn’s cool Tech startup

Shawn’s book

Brene Brown and her work on belonging

About Shawn Murphy: 

Shawn Murphy.png

Shawn Murphy, author of Work Tribes:The Surprising Secret to Breakthrough Performance, Astonishing Results, and Keeping Teams Together (HarperCollins Leadership), has nearly thirty years of consulting experience and advising companies on implementing organizational change and culture change. Central to his work is applying human behavior and needs to help achieve business results and create a satisfying experience of work for employees. Because of his extensive experience and keen insight, Shawn was handpicked to be part of IBM’s elite New Way to Work futurist group.

Shawn is currently the Director of Organizational Development and Workplace Trends at Silicon Valley start-up, Bluescape. He lives in Northern California.



Related episodes:

E58 - Staff Loyalty & how to get it - Interview with Craig Cherry

E34 - Stop measuring people's performance! An interview with Stacey Barr, performance measurement specialist

E41 - 5 currencies employees and volunteers care about


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About your host,  Zoë Routh:


Zoë Routh is one of Australia’s leading experts on people stuff - the stuff that gets in our way of producing results, and the stuff that lights us up. She works with the growers, makers, builders to make people stuff fun and practical.

Zoë is the author of three books: 'Composure - How centered leaders make the biggest impact',  'Moments - Leadership when it matters most' and 'Loyalty - Stop unwanted stuff turnover, boost engagement, and build lifelong advocates." Zoë is also the producer of the Zoë Routh Leadership Podcast.