I recently spoke with Shawn Nason on his podcast, the Combustion Chronicles. As someone who lives in the world of human-centered design, he is a joy to speak with, and he asks great questions! In fact, at 7:37 of the podcast, he inquires, “What’s your advice to leaders who want to create a positive, human-first culture?” This question kicked off the first of 3 tips to creating a human-first culture.

First, start with the end in mind.

Begin with ENVISIONING what kind of culture you want to create. Then shift to ENGAGING – bringing the team together to co-create a plan. You can answer the following four questions:

  1. Who do you want to be?
  2. What do you want your company to stand for?
  3. Which people do you need to help bring that vision to life?
  4. What practices will you employ to foster your desired culture?

A human-first culture means we must be intentional with our time.

Later in our chat at 12:15, we talk about how our calendar never lies. It’s the one place we can always go to see where our priorities lie, because it shows us where and how we spend our time.

On this topic, Shawn commented, “There’s this perception that smaller companies can’t keep up with the customer experience that the big players offer, because they have a larger workforce.” Well, I think we all have to (get to) play to our strengths! If we have the opportunity to work at a small or medium-sized companies, we’re not weighed down by global imperatives, matrixed layers, or grandfathered-in agreements. In fact, when your ambitions exceed your resources, you find yourself in a sweet spot because it forces you to be creative. You can think up and execute things that people in bigger companies can’t!

Shawn asked a last question, “What advice do you have for executives who want to put people first?”

Then, imagine you work at an agency! 😄

That’s where I am now. And my company is only people. So if you only had people, what might you do differently? And today as our workplace and schedules change, let’s shift our question from “HOW will we go back to work?” to “WHY will we go back to work?” Is this job worthy of your time? You’re worth something and you deserve to work somewhere where you’re valued. To read more about my thoughts on “The Great Resignation”, click here. Listen to my entire discussion with Shawn Nason, click here.

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