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The People Impact Podcast

The People Impact Podcast

By Lisa Dempsey & Marjolijn Vlug
Welcome to the People Impact Podcast... because your impact on people matters.

This is for you if you are interested in expanding your perspective on people in your organization - and yourself as a human being.

We explore ideas about impacting and improving the way people lead and work together in organisations today.

For all of you out there who are open to new views, visions and dreams.

Featuring Lisa Dempsey and Marjolijn Vlug. We used to be HR Matters, now we are taking a wider view.
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Inclusion Makes More Room for Everyone, with guest Kelly Cooper

The People Impact Podcast

Spaces for Anti-Racism, with guest Valerie Spain
We need to be talking about racism without people of colour present.  The work Valerie Spain does - and the way that she does it - is pretty special. Valerie is a certified coach and antiracism educator, DEI consultant and group facilitator, particularly focusing on white people doing the inner work of racial justice and of developing an action plan. Affinity groups and employee resource groups have been around for marginalised groups and minorities. Valerie hosts them for white people, coming together to learn about racism and whiteness. Educating ourselves as white people, with white people. “Come together with other like-minded white folks who want to learn,” is her invitation. Why do white people have to step into a separate group to do this? It’s a way of talking about the work of anti-racism without adding to the emotional burden for people of colour – while acknowledging the work that many people of colour have already done. It’s a way of doing our own work, in a safe space, to develop our emotional resilience. Even if this self-development is uncomfortable, or something you’re not used to doing, that discomfort is not a signal to stop. It’s a signal that something is happening for you, you are reacting to something – identify what you’re reacting to and then make a decision from there. That’s something you can learn. Developing the awareness of whiteness, the ‘invisible’ nature of it. Noticing white supremacy culture in the world, in the organisation, between you and your colleagues. White supremacy culture may seem at first like too big of a term in this context (and what is the discomfort signal, what is happening for as you were reading this?). Whiteness is a concept that affects everyone, whether you’re a person of colour or not. Racism is embedded in our whole world. In most parts of the world, and in most organisations, whiteness is prioritised, is the default, and has the best cards in the deck, simply put: that is white supremacy. Let’s examine how this shows up in your organisation. What is the bias that is built into your particular work environment? Anti-racism work for white people means finding out what you can find out without asking people of colour. Valerie has shared resources for you – and feel free to ask for more if you’re looking for other information. Because when you’re thinking, educating yourself, taking actionable steps, you can get ongoing support through your experience of learning and change, from people like Valerie. And you’re welcome to join the company of likeminded people. It makes all the difference, when you want to make a difference. More about Valerie Spain: and More resources: see episode comments on the People Impact podcast page on LinkedIn  More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
July 07, 2022
How To Choose In Chaotic Times
Life is messy. It’s a messy time to be alive in this world, with so much going on. Predictability is on the decline. Some (including us) would even call it a trend towards chaos. This is a long-term thing. As Dutch Professor (in Sustainability Transitions) Jan Rotmans noted, “We are living not in an era of change, but in a change of era.” You can’t keep your head down and wait until it’s over. You’re in the middle of it. We all are. So how do you show up with it? Which parts are happening to you? There is plenty that is outside of your control. How do you choose to be with it? And what is your piece of the puzzle that you can make your own choices about? Chaos will happen. When it does, what do you choose? More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
June 23, 2022
Wellness Across the Board, with guest Tarin Calmeyer
Wellness is about effective, healthy habits for life. Your life, all sides of it. Your workplace has a huge impact on your wellness, and vice versa: an organisation will run so much better when team members are well. Tarin Calmeyer makes this clear from various angles. She is a corporate wellness specialist, the founder of Remote Team Wellness, a multipassionate and multidimensional human being, and a global citizen. Wellness means so much more than a 15-minute workout or one-time meditation event in the office. Not only is it Mental Health & Mindfulness Physical Fitness Emotional Wellness Financial Wellness Occupational Wellness Tarin too often hears the question “How do we make people more productive without burning out?” It’s actually this question that is the biggest change needed to wellness. People are not machines. Burnout is coming from productivity culture, hustle culture. This mentality is in dire need of change. For organisations, this means creating a wellness practice. Wellness requires a culture and mentality that values human beings. For you as an individual, wellness is a journey. That means ritualising wellness into our everyday lives. Allowing ourselves to look at ourselves as multidimensional human beings. Get it into your every day in every way. How? Start by taking a breath. Then another. Your breath is the one constant thread that runs through your entire life. It can be the thing that shifts your state immediately. It is your own check-in point. The simplest things can be the most potent. Allow yourself to show up as the fullest version of yourself. That’s what life is all about. Live yours. More about Tarin Calmeyer: More about Remote Team Wellness: More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
June 10, 2022
Turning Teal, with guest Simon Dixon
The hierarchy of the classic pyramid org chart has very little added value for clients and, moreover, focuses your competitive spirit on beating your colleague to get the promotion, instead of on “we’re going to win or lose together”. So, Simon Dixon worked out a better way. When Simon set up Hatmill, a specialist logistics consultancy, “The starting point was doing the opposite of doing the stuff I didn’t like in previous places,” where the people management structures and processes weren’t set up to get the best out of everyone. At Hatmill, “what’s ingrained is the amount of trust that everyone has in each other. Trust in each other’s judgment. We trust people to work together, support each other, and trust each other to give each other feedback to improve, not to critique or belittle each other. We make sure that we operate on an adult-to-adult basis.”  It gives the people on the team a different perspective on what work means: how you can feel about yourself and the work you do. In addition to creating a nicer experience at work, it pays off in business: “We’ve grown about 40% over the last nine years. I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted it would generate that. We realised it happened because we’ve got people focussing on doing a good job and not screwing each other over in the next promotion cycle. There’s a sense of ownership, team, belonging and purpose.”  What’s essential to shaping your organisation in this way, Simon points out clearly: you have to have someone at the top who is wholly committed to this. You can’t have only a bit of it. You either trust people or you don’t. “The starting point has to be having a mind that is open enough to think there is a different way of running an organisation.” Having people who think, and know, that it is possible. “Step one is having an open mind.” More about Simon Dixon: More about Hatmill: More about Teal organisations: More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
May 27, 2022
Consistency In New Beginnings
Sometimes a new beginning can mark a bigger shift, from the old you to the new you. “Wait a minute. I changed my mind. But I’ve always done it this other way. Won’t I be labelled inconsistent, erratic, unpredictable or unreliable, if I suddenly change?” Sure, but it’s your life. You get to make your choices. It makes sense that with new information may come a change of mind: knowing what we know now, this is not taking us where we thought. What’s actually important is this other thing. We’re going to shift direction. You choose. To either continue, because it works, or to make a new beginning. As big or small as is needed. Because you realise there’s something else that’s more important. That’s what helps you step into that new beginning calmly and confidently, in a grounded way. Moreover, it is empowering to own and name the shift, the change. There are other things that are always a part of you – that is what grounds you. They are the values that have consistently been a part of you. Deeper, quieter, longer-term values. The consistency that is the core of you. Along the lines of what you care about, rather than the external “it’ll make sense to other people” or “it’s what others want me to do.” The bigger picture vision is about where you want to go in the long run. The change and the consistency are both part of the total picture. Life doesn’t sail in straight lines. Adjust course. And celebrate your new beginning. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
May 13, 2022
Living to Learn
Learning is the one consistent thing that happens in our lives. In small kids you can see the speed of learning, and in our continuing development as adults we thrive when we’re learning a new thing.  Yet, we can get trapped in ‘this is the way things should be’ or ‘this is the way things are’. Give yourself space to learn. Seeing your own and other people’s development on a longer timeline, giving yourself and others the space to learn, is vital. From this viewpoint, it’s easier to be aware how huge shifts can happen and become so natural that you can’t even imagine it was ever different - you’ve so completely integrated the learnings.  Change - volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity - is the status of our environment. New pieces of information can give you new perspectives. The sooner you integrate those, the more agile you can be. It’s become essential to integrate learning into your day-to-day. When you recognise your learning as a habit, it’s easier to do. And when you celebrate your learning, you strengthen your perseverance and resourcefulness. You retain more information and make learning more attractive to keep doing. There are so many things that you didn’t know. Now you know. And you can bring it forward. Including big and small steps that make positive change. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
April 28, 2022
How Men Become Allies in the Workplace, with guest Ray Arata
It’s not always easy to be told about or recognize your own privilege. Or to show up and be your best person. We’re sharing the story of Ray Arata, who has dedicated his life to working with men on living and leading from the heart. Advancing healthy masculinity in the leadership conversation. Creating a safe space for men to move out of their heads and be whole humans. Ray shares his own experiences of recognising the rights, privileges and opportunities of being a (white) man. His man-in-the-mirror moment and how he ended up launching himself into the D&I space, forever an ally in training. An ally to gender equality at first, then broadening into wider diversity & inclusion consulting. “Here’s an invitation to a men’s group. Call my wife, she’ll tell you. It changed my life.” The unavoidable light is shining on men to rewrite the narrative. The outdated playbook of what it means to be a man. To decide to get interested in what the lived experiences of other people are. “This all sounds great, but where do I start?” When you’re not yet past your fear of saying or doing the wrong thing – so you do nothing, for now. Or when you want to do something and aren’t sure yet what, exactly. Ray shares his tips in four clear steps for, well, anyone wanting to be an ally to anybody. Show up. Get inspired. Are you being your best person? Life’s too short. Keep going. And maybe even go first. More about Ray Arata: Better Man Conference (June and November 2022 in the US, soon also in the UK). Showing Up: How Men Can Become Effective Allies in the Workplace Blog: Showing Up With Heart Blog: Celebrating Women, Activating Men: A Recipe for Gender Partnership and More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
April 14, 2022
Integrate Your Values
“Hey, wait a minute. Maybe one the reasons why I’m exhausted all of the time is because I’m doing things that are out of alignment with my values.” Spend the time to find out what your values are and make decisions that are aligned with them. Values are about understanding your own internal compass: what are the things that you as an individual find important? What are the things that bring you energy and take energy away from you? Everyone has their own top-# list in their own particular order. This is why you make your decisions and other people make completely different ones. Figuring out more clearly what your values are, helps you make decisions that make sense in light of who you are. Unless there are values that are competing for priority in a certain situation. What do you do when two of your values are pulling against one another? Like valuing results *or* relationships. Or spending time on your own learning *or* on being kind to other people. That’s where knowing your values is an even more significant part of your personal leadership. While seeing the paradox, knowing both of those conflicting values are true for you, right then and there you can still make decisions. Because you have the capability and the resourcefulness to be with that. Learn about a great way to focus on how they can actually help each other and integrate them together. Building your own unique foundation of personal leadership. Referenced: Ann Betz about valugration More about Ann Betz and Ursula Pottinga at BEabove Leadership  More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
April 01, 2022
Who Is Your Inner Leader?
Pause, for just a moment. What does your entire being know? We invite some special guests in this episode. And yet it’s just Lisa and Marjolijn talking – about checking in with a part of yourself that brings you calm clarity and helps you make decisions. There are different words for this, and for now we call this your Inner Leader. A deeper, more grounded sense of who you are, your internal compass. A way out of overwhelm. Tap into who you really are, your inner wisdom and knowledge. The safe, grounded place within you. It’s deeply personal and individual. It’s a quiet place, and the more you engage with it, the stronger and clearer it becomes. The more often you go there, the more strongly it will clarify Who you really are in all this What you know is true Where you want to go from here Check in with your inner leader. It pre-empts that right brain hemisphere wanting to analyse all the if-then scenarios. You can get into such a spin when you try to analyse everything to pieces. You think that’s where you need to go, but it makes the existing overwhelm even more overwhelming. It’s really noisy and it will not give you all the answers. Bring forward the inner you that already knows. This helps you use the knowledge that exists in all parts of you, not just that small analytical part of your brain. Connect with everything that’s going on in a more grounded way. Then make more informed choices. It will be ok. You have the tools, the ability and the knowledge to do what you need to do. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
March 17, 2022
How to Celebrate What You Can, When You Can
Celebrate what you’re grateful for. There’s war going on, refugee crises, racism, extreme weather and climate change, covid. Yes, and… amidst all of what is going on for you right now, as you read this and listen, celebrate. Celebrating can often be something that you skip over. And it’s also something that can really bring you a lot of sustenance through all the difficulty we’re living through right now. To lift up your spirits and get more energy. We recorded this episode when sunny days were just starting to appear in The Netherlands, when covid measures were decreasing, and before Russia brought war upon the Ukraine – so we didn’t mention the most recent events in this episode. Yes, and… celebration even in moments of increasing uncertainty and worry is not only possible, but important. Because it helps us connect with our resilience, with resonance, and gives us a much-needed boost in dopamine during rough times. Appreciate what you’re grateful for. Hug your loved ones. Celebrate what you can, when you can. Celebrate what makes you feel alive. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
March 04, 2022
Pandemic Fatigue, Weathering the Storm
On a stormy day (with severe weather warnings) we’re staying indoors and talk about covid fatigue, pandemic fatigue, languishing. We noticed how something has quietly crept into our spirits. And we notice how talking about it helps. Dealing with our current covid reality is a permanent load to carry around. Covid takes up a big part of our already full plates. So many hoops to jump through – and they keep moving. With a pervasive undercurrent that makes it hard to recharge.  What are your words and metaphors for what you’re feeling? Let’s give this the recognition that it deserves. For us it's a lack of energy, a lack of bounce. We get tired and overwhelmed more easily. We have less space to be positive and resourceful. Responsibilities are pressing on us. Little bandwidth left and little space to turn it off. Less possibility available for downtime and replenishment. The ever-present stillness and aloneness gets so much bigger than it ever has been before. Lack of choice and autonomy.  Lack of novelty. Whether you want to acknowledge it in conversation or just go out into a field and scream, find an outlet. Air it out, all the stuff that’s been building. Let some of the fog get lighter and clearer.  There’s power in naming it. There’s even something that physically changes in you after naming the hard things. There’s movement, a bit of relief. Then let's see where we go from there. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
February 18, 2022
Perspectives on Wisdom, with guest Kayvan Kian
The complexity of situations, these days, is too high to use only one way of making decisions.   You could follow Aristotle’s perspective, who said: obstacles are an opportunity to build character.   Or Bruce Lee’s, instead: be water. Like a river hitting an obstacle, move around it like water. Which do you need right now? And what other perspectives are available? We talk about this with Kayvan Kian who, simply put, likes to create things that help. Kayvan’s an author, consultant and entrepreneur who inspires and supports leaders by looking at what is not here yet, and at what we can create to help each other. Recently, this took the shape of his new book called ‘What Is Wisdom?’ Over a number of rocky years, Kayvan realised that there are many perspectives you can take to make a decision. Reading philosophers, from the classic to the unconventional, turned out to be as great an inspiration as his own upbringing. The key he offers us is the possibility to switch between decision methods in various situations and on varying complex topics - like shifting gears in a car. Being aware of your natural tendencies and, in the moment, being aware of alternative perspectives. Then inviting yourself to switch. “It’s not about what should I have done, or what will I do next week, or tomorrow. It’s about what perspective is helpful right now.” “Because life is happening right now.” Bringing you more flexibility to adapt to a world that requires a lot from all of us. Creating this life as a living piece of art. More about Kayvan Kian: Books: ‘What Is Wisdom’, and ‘What is Water’ More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
February 03, 2022
Relational Trauma in the Workplace
Think about the things you may hear when you’re in a toxic personal relationship. Would you say those same things to a friend in a toxic employment relationship? And what do you tell yourself? “You’re making this up. It can’t be that bad.” “You should’ve done more. You should’ve acted differently.” “You shouldn’t complain because they’re so nice in other ways.” “It’s ok for your boss to yell at you because it’s your boss.” “It’s professional to just suck it up.” “In the workplace I can be treated as less than human. I get a paycheck and somehow that is enough.” What does that do to you in the long run? Employment relationships, the relationships between human beings and the organisation they’re in, are in fact very much like personal relationships. And when an employment relationship turn dysfunctional or even toxic, relational trauma can genuinely be the outcome. Stuck in a relationship because someone makes you believe it’s too risky to leave. Eating away at your self-esteem. What’s happening for you, how you respond, how it can stick with you and inform the way you react to what happens in your next job, and the next. It’s a natural human response to trauma, rather than you being incompetent at work. We’ve been conditioned to believe that somehow in the workplace these things are excusable. Just because we’re getting a pay check to be there, we can be treated in ways that in a romantic relationship or in friendships we know shouldn’t be putting up with. Somehow, workplaces have been given an escape card for far too long. People have been given permission to get away with bad behaviour, even been promoted for it. But bullying has nothing to do with leadership. It’s useful to see the parallels and look at this differently, honestly, to see what actually happens. When uncomfortable and dysfunctional turns into traumatising. When to set boundaries, or get out. When to get the support you need. How not to perpetuate the cycle. Lisa and Marjolijn both get personal in this episode. We share our own experiences with relational trauma at work, and our recovery. Hope this helps you, or someone you know, on your journey to prevent or heal. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
January 19, 2022
People Impact Trends for 2022 and Beyond
Curious about the 10 top People Impact Trends for the coming year, and decade? This is where the world is turning. This is what our antennae are picking up on what will impact and improve the way people lead and work together. We smilingly noticed that several of our topics were showing up as trends, either ahead of time or simultaneously. So, let’s have some serious fun with this and intentionally look ahead with our own list of trends for the future of People Impact. Addressing major shifts and developments, such as Organisations plunging into genuine relationship with employees Co-creating a bottom-up purpose Clear Listening as the new skill at the top of your wish list Drastic shifts in where people will live and (flexibly) work Resonant hopefulness and integrated resonance Celebrating an abundance of resourcefulness And changes impacting our deeply human daily lives, like Acknowledging different kinds of rest Privacy as a human right – including your employee data Climate impact on your workdays, (remote) workplaces and diverse teams Life Integration replacing work-life balance Have a listen and expand your perspective on what’s ahead for the people in your organization, and yourself. Shout out to the sources of several of these ideas and developments: The impactfully purpose-diven Marnix Geus with SeePeople and their Do-Good Profiler to find bottom-up purpose  The innovative, inspirational and creative brain of Sofia Mourato combining NVC and Compassionate Communication with Design Thinking Claude Silver highlighting life-work balance over work-life balance  More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at Article in Dutch: - De 5 grootste ontwikkelingen waar je als professional op moet letten (in Dutch) Continuing what’s been evolving over the past year: - 9 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2021 and Beyond - 10 Workplace Trends To Watch For In 2021
January 06, 2022
Leaders Are Made Every Day
There’s an age old question: Are Leaders born or made? In our latest People Impact Podcast we explore this question and the ins and outs of Leadership. Leadership is changing, evolving and being redefined. What used to be a small and privileged niche is now shifting, expanding and inviting us to reconsider some the old stories we used to buy into about Leadership. Let’s face it, today, no one inside an organization is an island. We are interconnected, interdependent, and working together with other human beings is required no matter what kind of role you have. Leadership is all about impact and you can have impact from any corner, any level, any chair, inside an organization. Leadership ability starts with being able to understand yourself, being the leader of one before leading many. Leadership is also a daily (active) practice, it’s not a destination. Leadership is about having a point of view - without judgment - owning your own point of view and accepting that it can and needs to co-exist with others. The heart of the matter is that Leadership is a journey that beings wherever you are, right now. Just like being in intimate relationships, there’s an art and science to learning to do it well, and there’s a natural learning curve. And there's a HUGE power in holding your hand up and saying this is something “I want to learn”. Leadership is an acquired skill set, an acquired mindset that all humans have capacity for. Take yourself seriously enough to slow down enough to observe and get curious about it. You are a human being therefore you are also a leader. Grant yourself the time and space to be the leader that is YOU. Tune into the latest People Impact Podcast episode and hear how Leaders are made every day. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
December 22, 2021
Crafting Your Equity Lens, with guest Matthew Reynolds
What is your truth? What are the systems that get in the way? And what will be your way to build unconditional belonging, nonetheless? In this episode we explore the sincere insights and genuinely beautiful approach of Matthew Reynolds to create a fundamental impact on the intersectionality of oppression (systems of racism, colonialism, sexism, capitalism). Matthew is a recent author, former teacher, artist. He is a facilitator and consultant in the DEI space with a deep perspective on the human experience, doing powerful, foundational work. He gracefully and bravely shares his own lived experiences that now inform his work to help people craft their own equity lens. An Equity lens is a tool crafted by the individual, utilising their own lived experiences. Ever evolving, as one meets new people, has new experiences, gains knowledge and wisdom, and recognizes what their own definition of antiracist work is. For the purpose of building unconditional belonging. A call to action. This means exploring: What is your truth? What does it mean for you to become your biggest, fullest and brightest? And equally offering others that personal dignity? What gets in the way? In this conversation we talk about spotting limiting beliefs as well as systems that are hurtful and harmful. To the point where you can calmly be in conversation and say, “No thank you. I don’t subscribe to that ideology.” When you craft your own equity lens, you will have a tool for yourself that shifts your consciousness and truly changes the culture around you. And, big picture: shifts the consciousness of humanity. (Pre)order Matthew Reynolds’s book: ‘BIGGEST, FULLEST, BRIGHTEST: Shifting the Consciousness of Humanity’ More about Matthew: More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
December 02, 2021
Redefining Success, with guest Susanne Grant
People have a life beyond their work desk. They have a mental health beyond the smile in your Zoom call. And they have a measure of success that is not, and should not be, the same measure of success for the organisation as a whole. Our guest Susanne Grant, Dutchie living in Scotland, is an award-winning work-life balance expert and bestselling author of the book Drop the Motherf*cking Struggle. She supports organisations and individuals around the world to redefine success. With that new definition of success, they can have the impact they really desire without sacrificing health, relationships and well-being. A degree, job title, money. Chasing the next thing and the next. So many hats we seem to need to wear in order to be good enough, to be successful. What’s your measurement of success? And who set that standard? Susanne talks with us about where to start with finding your own real version of success, and about taking your health seriously as a success factor. She shares her own story of redefining success, the symphony orchestra that includes our physical health and mental health, and how paying attention to that massively improved her health and well-being. Success starts with how you define it for yourself individually, and grows through as many iterations as you need during the course of your life. Susanne’s book: Drop the Motherf*cking Struggle More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
November 19, 2021
Belonging vs Fitting In
Fitting in is not the same as belonging. In this new People Impact podcast episode, Lisa and I discuss a shift and a deepening in perspective around this useful distinction. Belonging is not, does not look like or feel like fitting in. This is an intentional levelling up beyond ‘cultural fit’. Belonging means not trying to ask a square peg to cut off its corners to fit into a round hole – because those corners are part of who they are. No one should be expected to cut off parts of who they are. That’s fitting in. Trying to fit in is toxic on a personal level. It can be exhausting. The world is moving on from the idea that you decide what normal is, what fits. Requiring people to fit in – or excluding them when they don’t – is not constructive. You lose out. Belonging means letting people be more of themselves. Bringing more of their talents, skills and energy. You get so much more of a person when they get to bring themselves, especially those corners. It’s so much more conducive to collaboration and innovation. It means that in your organisation, you get to be YOU-shaped, belonging and acknowledged for who YOU are. Knowing that all the parts of you matter. Your voice is welcome at the table. So, in your organisation, are people really feeling, sensing, experiencing that they can bring all sides of their identity, and that they matter? Making that happen for your team is truly human leadership. Look around you and see who’s there. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
November 04, 2021
Resignation or Redesign
There is something kind of really genuinely dramatic going on. We’ve faced exceptional stress over the past year-and-a-half and it’s breaking open something that’s been simmering below the surface for a long time. This is about facing a moment of reckoning. People are choosing to leave jobs; it’s harder to find new people for certain roles. The Great Resignation, what’s actually happening? Feeling * sigh * resigned (pun intended) about that? That passive energy may come from organisations having been too resigned, too passive about their actual people impact. The effects that seemingly minor but really essential choices have brought onto the human beings inside your organisation. And people not willing to put up with that impact on their lives anymore. The good news: there are a lot of tools, initiatives, knowledge available now – to act differently. To reflect and choose to create a different people impact. Be honest about what hasn’t been working for you anymore. Face forward. This is where we are today. The world is in a different place. What are you saying no to, going forward, and what are you saying yes to? What impact do your organisation and yourself want to have, what are you contributing to in the world? More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
October 21, 2021
Hidden Gifts in Rough Times, with guest Meg Mateer
Tap into your true resilience in order to cultivate your impact – in your organisation and in the world. We had a great talk with Meg Mateer about her old definition and new definition of resilience: From thinking resilience is about powering through, pushing yourself beyond your limits, “just get over it” and letting work be the ultimate priority in order for yourself to grow. To acknowledging what is going on with you, understanding yourself as a system, with parts that are both ambitious and resistant, excited and anxious. When you grow a better understanding of yourself as a system, you will also see more clearly what is going on in larger systems, in organisations and the wider world. Meg is an organisational psychologist and consultant working at the intersection of strategy and emotional intelligence. She shares her personal story and rich learnings with us in this new episode. The key insight Meg brings: When you shift the way you relate to yourself, you shift the way you relate to others. Meg’s podcast: Break Down Wake Up – the wisdom in our distress. Breaking down is wisdom waking up: transform distress into fuel for personal and professional growth More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
October 08, 2021
What Authenticity Really Is
Beyond the static caused by assumptions and cliche, what is authenticity, really? And how does it infuse your people impact? Authenticity comes from a really good understanding of yourself. It is about the impact you choose to make from a deep, grounded place, that doesn’t feel quick. A quiet clarity. “Sometimes I can really feel it in my toes, bubbling up from my feet,” Lisa says. In our brand-new People Impact Podcast episode, we address what authenticity is and what it isn’t. How to get there, and how you know you’re ‘in it’. The effect your own authenticity has on yourself and the people around you. What is that people impact that you see happening when there’s more authenticity in your actions? More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
September 23, 2021
People Impact is not just about HR
Getting fresh insights about working together just got even better for you, because the HR Matters Podcast is no more! 😮 We’re now the People Impact Podcast. 😊 Because People Matter. Have a listen to the first episode of season 6 to hear more about the space this opens up to expand your perspective. To grow your vision. To have actual, purposeful, useful impact on the way people lead and work together in organisations. Pick up new ideas and views on (personal) leadership and how human beings interact effectively in the workplace. Get curious and inspired about your people impact. And if you’re curious to hear a bit more about us, Lisa and Marjolijn, you’ll enjoy this episode too. On the People Impact Podcast! You’ll see our new name appearing soon across our platforms and social media accounts. More about us: Marjolijn Vlug – - Lisa Dempsey – - Reach us both at
September 09, 2021
Rewarding the Value of HR
Hey HR professional, do you think you may be underpaid for the value you bring to your organisation and its people? This episode is for you. It’s our final episode of season five, and the last one specifically for you HR pros out there. We’re going out with a bang :)  We applaud the high standard of integrity of HR professionals to not misuse their knowledge of confidential information about other employee salaries. We clear up a bunch of misconceptions about HR salaries. We recognise that the gender pay gap plays a part, and we know that you as HR professionals can contribute to making it smaller. Up that benchmark. And up your negotiation skills. “I appreciate that offer, but I really think that what I can bring to this role is worth far more.” Negotiate your HR salary with integrity. Have a listen to hear our top tips. PS: Podcast season 6 will be available soon, with a major update! More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
August 26, 2021
How You Manage to Engage, with guest Pamela Hackett
In the best led businesses, leaders are actively in the game, and they connect with people: heads up, engage. You can do that pragmatically – and easily – once you look through the right lens. Pamela Hackett, our new guest, offers you a new perspective. She is CEO of Proudfoot, a firm that does meaty transformation processes. The people element is always at the backbone of this work. “We always start with the people side,” Pam states. “Because that’s going to pay back in spades.” She talks about leadership insights inspired by bad hair day moments (there’s a good story!) to turn up the volume on employee engagement. Discover the secret of the concept 1-5-30 in this episode: “If there was nothing else that you were able to do in your life as a manager, I would ask you to do 1-5-30.” Get in the game to really know what’s going on in your organisation. Referenced: More about Pamela Hackett: Pam’s new book: ‘Manage to Engage: How Great Managers Create Remarkable Results’ More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
August 13, 2021
Opportunities for Inclusion, with guest Madhu Mathoera
“I had to learn to create my own brave space.” Madhu Mathoera is bicultural: born and raised in The Hague (The Netherlands) by parents from Surinam. Her mission is to make organisations in The Netherlands more inclusive. We’re a diverse country, almost 25% have a diverse background – but we don’t see that in organisations. Being bicultural as part of Madhu’s identity brought her a lot: she learned how to comfortably switch between contexts but also to create her own place in the world. This episode is about connecting, listening to learn, creating a brave space. Diversity of ideas and talent, markets and customers. Opportunities for growth, both organisational and personal. And about a bicultural Bollywood & DJ Jean wedding. Have a listen to find out more. Referenced: Meer over en van Madhu Mathoera (in Dutch): Madhu Mathoera on LinkedIn: More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
July 29, 2021
Winds of Change in Employment
Let’s be honest, we live in a world where change is the only constant. However, the level of change in the world of work that we’ve collectively experienced since early 2020 has been unprecedented. Now that we’re on the back side of second waves and more businesses and services are opening up (in most places), we’re seeing some powerful and unique shifts in employment. People who are in high power jobs are leaving them without an immediate alternative to go to. People without work are choosing to not take certain opportunities - especially in the hospitality and food industries. So what is going on here? In this episode we explore what’s happening below the surface and what you can do about it! Tune in to hear more. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
July 17, 2021
Enabling Teams to Change, with guest Rishita Jones
People aren’t ‘resistant to change’. Each human being simply has a natural response to change. That’s what Rishita Jones is crystal clear on. Rishita’s an HR transformation expert and change manager extraordinaire who enables teams to evolve and businesses to modernise. In this new HR Matters Podcast episode, Rishita explains what makes teams come together to make change happen. Spotting how all elements of a change dynamic are interconnected; looking at the whole system instead of just the operational pieces. Giving teams the ability to see the connection between what they want to do, what they’re good at, what gives them joy, and what the organisation needs. Building change capability is about embedding change competency into the day-to-day work that we do. Unravelling the tangle of HR and change management – Rishita achieves that by truly validating assumptions, asking more questions, listening. Have a listen to find out more. More about Rishita Jones:  More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
July 01, 2021
Valuing Invisible Work, with guest Marieke Mooijen
10.9 trillion dollars’ worth of work in this world is invisible. That invisibility has real life financial and psychological consequences. What’s the deal here? Marieke Mooijen coaches people on leading themselves and making women more aware of what they have to pull off every day. She’s our guest in this new episode on economically invisible work. Economically invisible work includes work around raising children, informal care work, managing a household. In some parts of the world includes things as essential as building a fire and getting the water to get the day started. It’s both cognitive and emotional labour, the combination of which makes you the Worrier in Chief and brings a significant mental load. So much work that is done in the private sphere is not recognised as work. The consequences of this fall unequally, mostly on women.  What we’ve seen happen in the pandemic is that the invisible workload increased. Women were expected to take the lion’s share of it. Couldn’t combine it anymore with their paid workload. Lost their jobs most frequently. We need a reframe. This work is real. The skills are real. Anticipation, planning, executing, evaluating. From managing stakeholders to manual labour. Invisible workers: put your economically invisible work on your cv and on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t leave out a huge part of your life and skills. Marieke founded a LinkedIn company page for you, Economically Invisible Work International, that you can list as your employer right here on your profile. Recruiters: recognise and ask about people’s transferable skills. Couples and families: talk about this invisible work. Make it visible to make it valuable. Be proud of your experience, skills and accomplishments. Start the conversation. Make an inventory. Divide the work more equally. It’s the work that enables real life. Referenced: More about Marieke Mooijen: The mental load: Eve Rodsky and the Fair Play card game Your invisible employer: Economically Invisible Work International More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
June 18, 2021
The (R)evolution and Purpose of HR
Creating architecture: the structure for organisations and people to work together effectively. And creating cultures: the interaction between humans and the organisations they work in. That’s the real purpose of HR work. Our wish for this field (that hopefully soon won’t be called HR anymore) is to make it lighter, faster, more constructive. Continuously improving, with meaning and purpose. All those check-the-box exercises of what your textbook says HR should be doing? Konmari your way through them and let it go(ooo). Figure out what pieces of your work are foundational for your organisation and constructive for its people - what purpose do these pieces serve? Why do they matter? Why are they important? Really thinking this through will take you to the opposite of checking-the-box work. Allow yourself to actually deliver on the promise of providing a good structure for the people in your organisation to thrive in. Create effective spaces for people to work and collaborate together. There is real value in that. If it sounds overly simplified, that’s because of all the dead weight that is dropped. Giving you lots more room to breathe. And we promise: shedding that ballast can be a lot of fun. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
June 03, 2021
The Art and Science of Noticing Others
The value of feeling seen and heard. We know it matters. Making that happen, genuinely seeing and hearing others, and doing that in a conscious and intentional way - that’s a piece of personal growth with real life impact. This episode is about the ability to notice others. To slow down and see the whole person, not just the deliverables that we needed done yesterday. See that they have a life beyond the role they play in your organisation. Asking, noticing, remembering what it is that this person likes to talk about, cares about. This means being curious, noticing and engaging with people as real human beings, even the ones you normally wouldn’t talk with. That matters, exponentially. And guess what: when you notice people, they’ll notice you, and what you care about. Referenced in this episode: ‘The art and science of noticing others’ More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
May 21, 2021
Redefining Feedback
Feedback. We all know it’s important. We know people benefit and grow from really great feedback. So why is really good feedback so scarce in our workplaces? Feedback in its purest form is an act of vulnerability on the part of both the giver and receiver. And this makes it uncomfortable. Still despite the discomfort it is valuable. Consider the cost of the mental load you carry around each day thinking or worrying about people, situations and their behavior / impact. It’s likely huge. By redefining feedback, taking it out of the space of fixing, having answers and shifting it to curiosity, openness and real authenticity so much more becomes possible. Tune into this episode to hear more about how you can start redefining feedback in your organization today and why it’s important. (For more information on the SBI feedback model visit: More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
May 07, 2021
Inclusion Makes More Room for Everyone, with guest Kelly Cooper
Imagine you’re trying to bring more diversity and inclusion to the Canadian forestry sector: a sector where the traditional image of diversity used to be a woman in heels holding a saw.  Kelly Cooper, the founder and CEO of the Centre for Social Intelligence, is excited about the changes she is seeing in Canada. She was able to realise an industry-wide initiative and created the first public-private partnership on diversity and inclusion in the natural resources sector. She built this step by step, got leverage and raised funds to achieve gender equality and the meaningful inclusion of women, Indigenous peoples, and new Canadians at all levels. Kelly explains that D&I makes a difference for the economy, but also for society: when we create greater equality at work, other options and roles for people’s lives, there’s more room for everyone to choose what works for them – for their health (men’s life expectancy) and families (spending time with kids) too. “Have that position of curiosity as your front foot, and go forth with that, and see what happens. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.” Referenced in this episode: Kelly Cooper provides a blueprint on how to set out the vision and framework, and get the c-suite on board, in her book ‘Lead the Change, the Competitive Advantage of Diversity & Inclusion’. Free to grow in Forestry: “Everyone’s free to grow in their career.”  More about us:  Lisa Dempsey – -   Marjolijn Vlug – -   Reach us both at
April 22, 2021
The Psychological Contract
It has profound impact on how people show up at work and yet it hardly ever gets addressed. It’s all that is not on paper, but that is implied, assumed and perceived. Alongside the legal employment agreement there is the psychological contract: the actual relationship between organisation and employee. And just like the relationships in your personal life it takes work that is worth the investment. The psychological contract has lots more impact on our day-to-day behaviour at work than that piece of paper that you signed or that policy handbook on your intranet. It impacts how much people are willing to contribute and what they think of you as an employer. It starts from the moment someone even considers applying for a job until after they’ve left. It gets built in the mesh of relationships in your workplace. Built of expectations, assumptions, perspectives in someone’s head that you can’t really know until you talk about them. You don’t know unless you ask. By addressing this, you can signal, clarify and understand those assumptions so much better. This will help you honour the deal that people – including you – feel they have with their employer: trusting my employer to invest in me in a way that is balanced with what I invest in my work. This is your way to building trust and facilitating change. More about us:  Lisa Dempsey – -  Marjolijn Vlug –  -  Reach us both at
April 09, 2021
Training Your Diversity & Inclusion Muscles, with guest Bernice Feller-Thijm
Bernice Feller-Thijm is an inclusion strategist who helps organisations truly create a diverse and inclusive culture. Especially after the surge of the BLM movement, conversations started happening within organisations that hadn’t been had before. What became all the more apparent is that right now, not everyone gets to participate in the same way. What helps is firstly to have a lot of conversations, to grow our understanding: we all have different lived experiences. Every organisation and group of people is different, with its own history and systems. So Bernice starts bottom-up to transform existing history into something constructive and future proof. Don’t underestimate how much time it takes. You don’t go to the gym once and expect to be fit right away. You cannot expect that everything is going to be different after just one conversation or training. This is about retraining your brain and realising your brain made shortcuts. You cannot undo [insert your age] years of brain training in one afternoon. Then hold each other accountable. If you’re going to change the culture and not change the KPIs, it won’t work. Integrate this into your organisation to make lasting change. Flex that muscle. Let’s get fitter! More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
March 26, 2021
Processing All of This
Are you literate in reading all the relevant information? With all that’s going on around us, and inside you, it’s high time to process and digest. All that’s in your head and in your heart – and also in your body. Neuroscience shows that the nerves in our entire body are constantly picking up, and giving off, signals. A whole rich field of information that’s available to you. What are you noticing? Weight on your shoulders, carrying a lot on your back, your belly full of this? Slow down and just observe. No harm done in just observing. Perhaps put words to it. Then consciously choose, rather than be swept away in the moment. That’s a genuine leadership skill and a fundamental part of emotional intelligence. It helps you lead by example, build trust and psychological safety for others. For yourself, this will help you find out what you truly need, especially now that a lot of ways to cope and recharge are unavailable. Go from being annoyed to curious and more kind to yourself. Then suddenly, you have options. Suddenly there is space, instead of being boxed in. More about us: Lisa Dempsey – - Marjolijn Vlug – - Reach us both at
March 12, 2021
Gender Diverse Recruitment in Tech, with guest Eden Whitcomb
Eden Whitcomb is not just any tech recruiter in Berlin. In our new HR Matters podcast episode, Eden tells us how he started out with great sales skills (as you do, in recruitment) and then got curious to grow further. He started to work out the patterns and trends in the work that he’d been doing. In one year, he recruited 97% men and 3% women. What was happening here, he wanted to figure out, and is that really what clients – and he himself – wanted? Organisations that want to diversify ask for proper consulting. This is what we intend to do, can you help us get there? Eden explains how figuring out what you’re doing, how, and why, helps you move forward with a clearer head. Contributing to something bigger than yourself, and creating that for yourself, is Eden’s story. He is doing meaningful things, not just talking about them. And he has some gems of tips of course. “I guarantee you, at some point you can make a difference. Even if it’s just the one person, that person can speak to the right person, and that’s how things can evolve.” Referenced by Eden in this episode (Berlin based and international): · Women Techmakers · Py Ladies · Berlin geekettes
February 26, 2021
Championing HR for Humans, with guest Julie Turney
If you work in HR, you’ll recognise this. If you don’t, this may be an eye opener for you. As HR professionals, we are the vault for a lot of secrets. We hold so much information for other people. Life happens right in our workplaces, and HR professionals take on a big part of dealing with that. Hiring to firing – for right or wrong reasons. New life to health issues and death. Financial troubles. Harassment, discrimination. Politics. Too often, we get little space to process that. And it dramatically impacts the way we interact in the organisation. The way we authentically interact with other humans. Because when there’s no room to process, we feel the need to put up protective blockers that makes us more robotic; that dehumanise us. Julie Turney, our new guest, cares for the people that care for our people every day. After a solid career in HR and corporate, she now is an HR for HR support coach: supporting the people who support the people. Julie warmly recommends you to (re)familiarise yourself with who you are and why you entered into your HR career. To understand your HR voice. You are not defined by your organisation. You are so much more than that. And you’re not a robot. This is how we (re)humanise our workplaces. Referenced: Julie Turney’s podcast HR Sound-Off Book: Confessions of an HR Pro (to pre-order now)
February 12, 2021
Community is Your Support for Big Picture Change
When you’re wishing and actively aiming for big picture change around diversity, inclusion, equity, equality and justice, that means you’re making long-term behaviour change happen, from personal awareness to large systems. And you can’t fix that all with a snap of the finger. The topic of our newest episode can play a vital role in your journey: communities. They’re the place where you can get support, offer support and boost each other keep making steps on a regular basis. This is where real resilience comes from. What is more, we are social animals. By nature, we want to connect and belong, and that especially goes for people who understand the value of belonging from personal experience. We talk about how to find and grow your communities: By noticing opportunities to join, or create them. By realising that it matters how you show up. And by taking inventory of the communities you already are a part of, how they serve you, and what else you would wish for. If you’re listening to this and feeling, ‘Oh I could use me some resilience and some community?’ feel free to check in with us. There are great communities in our HR Matters network and if we can make a connection for you, we’d be happy to do that.
January 29, 2021
Gratitude and Change of Perspective
The first thing we want to start off our brand-new season with is a tandem of two tools to help you feel lighter and see new possibilities. Looking ahead at 2021, we are more than eager to go forward and get out of the heavy, sticky place that is right now. Logical problem solving doesn’t always get you there. In times like these, what you need is a deeper resourcefulness that we all have inside of us. First: Gratitude. Taking a pause and figuring out what is the gift in this moment, amongst all of the crap, the hard stuff, the weight, the challenges. What is the good that is also here? What am I gaining here? Pausing and reflecting on that will give you space to breathe. It will make that which you can appreciate in your situation more tangible and real. Please know that the practice of gratitude – it genuinely is a practice, not something that automatically happens – is not about bypassing the hard stuff. It’s perfectly ok not to be ok. Let the things that you’re sad or frustrated about be a smaller part of what you spend your time thinking of by adding more thoughts on what you’re grateful for. Second: Looking at your situation from a totally different angle will help you spark new ideas. Shifting your perspective gives lightness. It brings your brain the freedom of creativity. Learning how to deal with hard times will be helpful at any time and in any circumstance. It makes so much more possible.
January 13, 2021
The Next Iteration of You, with guest Garry Turner
He was having a great life and career path, yet Garry Turner felt a heartache. So he got curious. “This is not the whole of me,” he realised. “There are more sides to me that I want to bring out.” Garry is an interpersonal catalyst who combines commercial expertise with a deep understanding of culture and people - and increasingly, inclusion. From his international sales job he upskilled to organisational development and added that to his role in the same organisation. In this episode, Garry tells us that what made this happen was tuning in with the question ‘What is the impact I want to have right now?’ The offer he presented the organisation was: you’ll get 100% of me, and not just 55%. He highlights the blend in that offer: Being clear on who you are, what you believe in and what you value. And also understanding the business enough to bring your idea or challenge in terms of what the decision makers can understand and value. The next step on Garry’s horizon is to raise opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in his organisation. We look forward to this next iteration of Garry Turner. And to the next iteration of you. Where will you start? More from Garry: The Value Through Vulnerability Podcast, with Mike Vacanti & Garry Turner:
December 23, 2020
Putting Empathy to Work, with guest Maria Ross
Cash flow, creativity and compassion are not mutually exclusive. Our new HR Matters podcast guest Maria Ross discovered how empathy is the superpower of marketers while working as a brand strategist, researched the competitive advantages of empathy to customers and employees, and poured it all into her book ‘The Empathy Edge’. This episode is about putting empathy to work. Empathy is a mindset, a method of perspective taking: seeing the world from another person’s point of view. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, but that you have an understanding of their context and see them as a whole human being. It’s about gathering information from taking that other perspective and then using that insight to make informed decisions that are actually appreciated. When you have happy, fulfilled employees who feel seen, heard and valued, they’re going to innovate more, collaborate better and deliver an amazing customer experience. Your business practice can make empathy the default mode of operation when you build an environment where empathy is rewarded, modelled and acknowledged. As humans, we are wired for empathy. It’s a muscle you can strengthen to get to ‘I want more of this, let’s keep going.’
December 10, 2020
Working Remotely Together (and doing it well) with guest Lisette Sutherland
This year’s been busy for remote working enthusiast – we’d say guru, really – Lisette Sutherland! She opens up her treasure chest to share her insights on how to keep this remote working adventure going well. Because it looks like we’ll be working from home for a longer time, both by necessity and choice. Lisette’s first and biggest tip: get comfortable in your workspace. Wherever you’re working, figure out what you (and your team) need to be productive and design your work around that. Remote working and in-person office working are two different things and it works best to design them differently. It’s like radio vs tv: they both offer their own unique limits and opportunities. Break up your 2D screen time overload and set up new routines for real connective human discussions. “We really need to pay attention to each other, and reach out.” Very few people want to go back to working in the office 100% of the time – or from home 100% of the time. We want the freedom to choose when and where we’re most productive. So let’s set everything up and design it in the best possible way: what is going to work best for us? Referenced: Collaboration Superpowers: Lisette Sutherland, author: Oatmeal cartoon: 'Why working from home is both awesome and horrible'
November 26, 2020
Leading With Trust and Connection, with guest Jason Treu
It is the only safe and solid ground for the diversity of thinking that is essential to create a solidly successful business: Trust. And yet, creating it is something that leaders tend to skip over. We’ve seen that strong teams with a high level of trust are created after they have worked together for an extended time span, or gone through a galvanising crisis. Our guest Jason Treu talks us through how to replicate that creation of trust. How do you build bridges with different people and competing interests? Jason created the ‘Cards Against Mundanity’ game to bring connection and belonging through getting to know people on a Real level. Asking the questions prompted by these cards helps teams share personal experiences that wouldn’t otherwise come up in daily work convo. Seeing how similar we really are, opens the door to celebrating each other and connecting. And it rockets trust between people. Conversations that move things forward. Open the door a little bit and then there’s a world of opportunity.
November 10, 2020
Allyship In Many Ways
When you commit to being an ally at work and want to take meaningful antiracist action, there are various roles you can take on, to fit with who you are, where you are and what you are particularly good at. We talk about some good examples of this in our new episode: Recommending Black people and people of colour, actively talking about their expertise and skills. Inviting an investment in the person you’re recommending. Inviting people to be visible with their knowledge and expertise, creating room on a podium. Amplifying people’s voices to make sure they’re getting room to be heard. Inviting diverse people and perspectives when you see they’re not represented. Investigating, reading about, researching knowledge and experiences. Speaking up and speaking out - being the opposite of a silent bystander. Creating safe spaces for people to tell their stories, share their experiences. This is our invitation to you to make a well-informed choice on how you want to participate. Choose what is most resonant with who you are and what you have the opportunity to do. Understand the value that it provides.  And keep it going. Working together, we’re moving the needle. Referenced in this episode: '7 Examples of What Being an Ally at Work Really Looks Like', by Karen Catlin
October 28, 2020
Work of Art, with guest Viktória Pikovská
Viktória Pikovská, a professional photographer and art business owner, tells us her personal leadership story. Viktória’s journey brought her from Slovakia, where she captured human emotion in photography, to the art scene in Rotterdam, where she started her own art business. Starting a business that connects to her purpose, and providing a human-centred work environment for her own team, has proven as important as the purpose of the business itself: Finding just the right piece of art for their clients that brings a positive, energising impulse to the people in the space. Viktoria’s start-up Victory Art works with underrepresented artists from Eastern Europe to help them develop their voice and find a place on the global art market: they look for unique, powerful art where other people aren’t looking. “This is what drives me forward,” Viktoria explains. Because art creates connection between people. When people feel connected, they feel closer to each other, to work as a team and create something amazing. It goes far beyond what hangs on your wall, it connects your whole team and builds your vision.
October 16, 2020
At all times. Particularly now. It is going to get better, but in the meantime: Resilience. There are a million and one things our minds are trying to solve. Our brains are in overdrive trying to solve problems that are, at the moment, largely unsolvable. Ask your brain to slow down. Give yourself permission to say, right now, for a few moments, I’m not trying to solve anything. Your brain needs a break. And a dash of gratitude. About anything big or small that you appreciate today. Bringing in the gratitude and stopping all of the other thoughts. Just for a few moments. It’s in the small things and brief moments that are so easy to take for granted, and in the brief moments. They are important. This time is really about reinventing new routines, new patterns of behaviour. Redesigning the structures of how you recharge. Get really conscious about what it is that you need. Because you need to recharge to be able to do the things that you find important – and to do them effectively. Turning them into habit is a part of the key. Recharge, connect, rebuild structures, make a conscious choice. Be brave, reach out. You don’t need to have to figure everything out on your own, not even this. Reconnect - to yourself and to the bigger world. And keep going.
September 30, 2020
Zooming Out and Taking a Stand
With everything that’s going on in the world right now, how do you and your organisation show up? The clearer you get on that, the stronger and more beneficial it gets for your bottom line, for your people, for yourself. The current levels and arenas of crisis impact everyone and they come with a lot of rigidity, divisiveness, tenseness. We can guarantee your customers, your employees, your business are all impacted. It’s a lot, right? So how do you continue as an organisation, as a professional, with all of this flying around? What do you do when, no matter what you do as a business, someone will point a finger? Take a birds’ eye view. Consider what you want to be telling your grandchildren, or your great-grandchildren, about how you showed up in 2020 and onward. Surf the waves knowing that you did what you intended to do, what you find important, with conscious and deliberate choices. Getting to choose how you show up is the biggest gift. This is the real opportunity in the crisis. Make your business one of the things that people can feel good about. Listen to this new episode and hear more about how this works and what it will bring you.
September 16, 2020
Racism Through the Lens of Systems Thinking
Did you realise? It’s always in the room. Unwritten expectations that influence and guide the day-to-day actions and decisions in your organisation. You see it in how people show up, in how they interact. This episode looks at systemic thinking and specifically at how a systems perspective can help us diminish racism in work environments – even where you hadn’t noticed the impact of it before. What are the things that are said and done, or maybe not said and done, in your workplace? This is how we do, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This episode invites you to consciously choose what you want to contribute to. We offer some suggestions and welcome your additions.  What are the things you can start doing? And keep doing? Can you support people that contribute to improvement and that speak up; can you listen? And can you start holding people accountable for their KPIs, goals, behaviour? You are not the whole system. You’re not responsible for the whole thing, but you can play your part. Your part in building workplaces where we *all* can grow. Referenced: Ijeoma Oluo, Facebook Live video (July 23, 2020) 
September 02, 2020
Writing Your Own Badass Story, with guest Laura Khalil
Talking personal leadership: kind, funny, outspoken, courageous. That’s what Laura Khalil brings in her work and to this episode. In all of her initiatives, Laura Khalil helps ambitious women and allies live well and lead well. We talked with Laura about taking charge of the things we can control in our lives, recognising the things we can’t and moving forward with a lot of grace. Honestly asking ourselves: what is the role I’m playing in my working life and how is that serving me? And: How good can it get? That’s when you start to write your own story. The follow-up step Laura presents is to reframe how other people think about you. When someone sees you as less than, as a stereotype, a woman, a minority, misjudging one part of your identity, instead of valuing all you bring to the table. Bringing awareness to what they’re saying, with empathy, is her powerful way to open up that conversation. Holding space for them to respond, with courage and a sense of humour. “Let’s have a conversation about what’s really going on here.” You can find out more about Laura and her work here:
August 19, 2020
Addressing Racism in the Workplace, with guest Vivian Acquah
Diversity & inclusion is a journey. Strengthening it in your work environment is, as Vivian Acquah sees it, like a dish that requires marinating and developing flavour. Vivian is the Workplace Wellness advocate who contributes to keeping your employees happy, healthy and safe. She recently published an article with actionable advice on how to dismantle racism in the workplace. When you realise that this is something you want to contribute to, where do you start? - Addressing racism in your organisation starts with providing a safe environment for people to speak up. - Remind people you’re a company of diversity and inclusion, inside and outside the organisation. - There’s room for leaders to be on this journey. “I would rather feel valued in a company that is doing their best to raise awareness,” Vivian says, “to bring leaders towards listening and learning”. We’d love to see you walking. Taking more than just one step, one checklist, procedure or training. One-time initiatives such as awareness or bias training can be fun, but they don’t work. That’s simply because one training will not make the permanent positive change happen that you’re looking for – more on this in our next episode, subscribe if you’d like to hear. This is about listening to people’s experiences and learning, nudging your co-workers to do so too. “Changing the day-to-day to making more space for people to actually get to know one another as human beings and build real connections.” Keeping those conversations going. And share your recipes! :) Referenced: 5 Ways To Dismantle Racism In The Workplace
August 04, 2020
Learning the Value of Laughter, with guest Chris Tabish
The world of work is hard enough as it is, so why is it that we laugh so little in the work place? And why might laughter be important?  In this episode of HR Matters, we explore the value and importance of laughter, comedy and what our guest Chris Tabish calls Comediology. In fact he found it so valuable he wrote a whole book about it by this very name.  As Chris says, there’s this thing called “ourselves” we forget about having in business. It’s so easy to get caught up in benchmarking, reporting, analysis and what everybody else thinks we forget that we actually have an opinion - in fact we even have an authority inside ourselves.  Hear how Chris learned in his journey that the tools we learned in comedy actually helped him in business. By connecting better with people, learning not to take himself and others so seriously a whole new layer emerged, a more effective self - that could have fun while getting stuff done too!  Learn to embrace who you are, embrace your version of funny. You are magical and special exactly as you are and most importantly….. Be yourself because everybody else is taken.
July 24, 2020
Let’s Talk About Race in the Workplace
You can probably hear it in our voices... this is a topic that really matters to us: systemic racism and the journey towards diversity, equity and inclusion. We are two white, cis, middle class, international women – which informs our perspective. We have a very deep commitment to inclusion. We know the value of inclusion: it unleashes innovation and allows any kind of organisation to thrive. Making your business stronger and to make humans welcome – that’s the heart of inclusion. Inclusion for all people, regardless of what skin tone they happen to have. Thanks to the speed and force of recent developments, conversation and actions can no longer be pushed back on the agenda. This is about how you and your business show up in the world, today and tomorrow. This is your call to courage. We want this to be a marathon of conversations and actions. We want us all to keep this up long-term. Because we can’t fix this in an instant. It’s intricate and takes time to understand. And it isn’t a marathon you can run on your own. Find people to have these conversations with and connect with. We’d be happy to talk and connect, ourselves.
July 08, 2020
Knowing Your Worth, with guest Denise Liebetrau
How do you know your worth? Part of this is investing in yourself. On the newest HR Matters Podcast episode, we talk with Denise Liebetrau about making sense of compensation and benefits, both from a business perspective as well as for individuals. We talk about individual human perspectives and conversations on comp and ben. Your own comp and ben. This is about knowing what you deliver that is of value, and how to articulate that. “If you can get really clear on who you are, what your skills are and what you deliver that’s of value, you can gain a level of confidence in yourself.” Then, it’s time to listen to the words used most in your organisation. “Every company has its own language and definition of success.” Get clear on what you are delivering that is of value, in the words and metrics of your organisation. Incorporate that and gently but clearly articulate that story. Build the reputation that allows people around you to recognise the value you bring. Then your story will be incredibly powerful. The real goal is: when you know your worth internally, it matters much less what the external opinions are about you. That’s where the real power comes in. What is your definition of success? Referenced: to contact Denise and receive her free 5-step process on the collaborative approach to difficult conversations.
June 24, 2020
Growing Inclusive Workplaces, with guest Toby Mildon
Diversity and Inclusion consultant Toby Mildon enables D&I in culture and business systems, and he just published a book called Inclusive Growth. In this episode we talk with Toby about the wide range of diversity: race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical and neurodiversity, and more. With his background in tech, he points us to the importance of culture combined with the power of technology – as well as the importance of diversity & inclusion in the tech sector itself. “How do people arrive to work in the morning, feeling like they belong in the organisation – that they want to stick around, that they can do their best work. That’s where we need to take the conversation to.” To a way of behaving, a way of being with people. Culture is the sum of all small to big behaviours in the workplace. Toby highlights his approach of championing and supporting people at the top of organisations to really lead the way and demonstrate inclusive behaviours. “Inclusive leaders are bold and they’re not afraid to rock the boat.” They’re comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. They’re open to new information.
June 11, 2020
Turning Uncertainty into Understanding
How is your brain dealing today?  At the start of our 4th HR Matters podcast season and before talking with new guests in the space of work, in this episode we get personal, talking about what it is like to live and lead right now.  There’s been nothing gradual about the transitions we’ve been experiencing. We see vast changes ahead that will have more ripple effects, happening to real people, in the economy, in cultures, in the environment. So much that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.  We’ve talked about the VUCA world before, but this is VUCA on hyperspeed, on steroids. Our lack of ability to predict makes this rough. It takes whatever you’re feeling and makes that ten times bigger.  Dealing with this is at the heart of Lisa’s work as a leadership coach. Coaching now more than ever is needed and relevant.  We talk about how constructive it is to share your experiences and process together, to create space in your head. To reflect on what you really need and what really matters. To connect, reflect and process in meaningful ways. So the big decisions don’t materialise from the fight-or-flight system of your brain.  Getting that clarity and intention is extremely valuable to make the right decisions when they need to be taken. Turn volatility into vision and uncertainty into understanding of what we really need and what really matters. Turn complexity into meaningful change and shift ambiguity into a genuine agility and resilience.  There is no clean, elegant exit plan B but a whole lot of trial and error as the world tries to figure out: where do we go from here.
May 27, 2020
New Ways of Working, with guest Shea Harty
How much our lives have changed right now around work, home and families. Finding new ways, new rhythms. Moving online, squeezing a desk into the bedroom, finding a quiet space for a call, finding work hours that work for you. In our final episode of season three features our former co-host and current fav guest of honour Shea Harty: “I definitely had to adjust my way of thinking, thinking of what ‘normal’ is.” “Trying to fit the current situation into what we used to do was the wrong approach, I realised quite quickly.” What you need, to do your work well, has changed, into brand new categories: home situations and personalities have a different impact now. What we have in common is that we’re all working on figuring this out as we find ways and keep adapting them to the evolving context outside. “What I’m really hoping is that we find a new way of working that no one’s ever thought of before. That it takes into account how different people are, the way they work.” With stress levels that allow for a good life outside work. With awareness and meaning in your work. And asking for what you need to support that. Get some practice in now, and keep it going!
May 13, 2020
A Framework for Psychological Safety, with guest Timothy R. Clark
How can you tell if an organisational culture is healthy? Research shows that psychological safety is the centerpiece of organisational culture, a bellwether for how an organisation is doing. Because it reflects basic human needs: if those aren’t met, you can’t compensate with other things. Dr Timothy R. Clark, leadership consultant, has researched the four stages of psychological safety and presents a clear framework. In this episode we speak with Dr Clark about his framework and how you identify what the group dynamic is in your team. This helps you find out where the room for improvement is in your situation. As Dr Clark puts it: “You either create a great culture, or you’re getting in the way.” With this clarity, there’s much you can do. Psychological safety is a competitive necessity, it is the lubricating oil that an organisation needs to survive and thrive.
April 28, 2020
People First At All Times, with guest Tom van der Lubbe
“Get the people together, tell them what the situation is, ask them how are we going to solve this.” In this new episode of the HR Matters Podcast, we speak with Tom van der Lubbe, ceo of Viisi, about ‘people first’ in times of crisis. Viisi has a double purpose: to change the world of finance, and to put people first, changing the way we work.  In these extraordinary circumstances they found that their priorities stay the same:  1. Solidarity first, and nothing else. Everybody keeps their job. We’re in this together.  2. Check your liquidity. The hierarchy reverses here: shareholders chip in first.  3. A crisis is always an opportunity as well. For spotting great behaviour, taking constructive actions, building an even stronger team. Viisi is seeing the empowerment, responsibility and ownership rise in their team.   When you create solidarity and psychological safety in an organisation, people really do want to show up for one another, and they will - because they value the business and their work. There will always be difficult economic times. The question is always: how do you treat the people in your organisation? Have a plan beforehand. And put people first always. Your team will be even stronger after this crisis.
April 10, 2020
Vulnerability and Courage, with guest Adé Adeniji
“Every person plays a role in the organisational culture. Every single person plays a role.” In our currently shifting world of work, we spoke with Adé Adeniji for this podcast episode. Adé works on building workplaces where people feel like they can show up and be their best selves. You may be reading about how to make workplaces great, but don’t know how to make that actually happen. It remains an aspirational thing. This is about finding the courage to step forward: Hey I want my workplace to become like this. What can I do to make it happen? Be aware of what you want to create. Rather than wait for someone else to take the initiative. Stand up and be courageous. *Especially now.* What you want is to press pause and go: ‘What am I doing when it comes to creating the organisational culture that I would love to see?’ There is always a ‘we’ in organisations, and how you show up in that ‘we’ always has an impact. The starting point is realising that this is a conversation where you explore and bring things to light, rather than come out with answers or prescriptions. That takes courage and vulnerability. Be brave and afraid at the same moment. Dance with it.
March 31, 2020
People First Mindset, with guest Marc-Peter from Viisi
“When you really put your people first, we think it’s logical that the rest will follow automatically,” states Marc-Peter of Viisi, a Dutch mortgage advice company that aims to change the world of finance. “We like to keep it very simple. We have one rule and that’s the Golden Rule: treat others like you want to be treated. Everything we do flows from that.” Marjolijn: “Why I’m so excited about Viisi is that lots of people are interested in that, but you’re actually doing it.” MPP: “Yeah, that’s why I’m here!” This new episode of the HR Matters podcast is about holacracy, motivation, purpose. Letting go of centralised decisions. Keeping people intrinsically motivated – because when they start, they already are, and all you really need to do is keep them that way. Transparent compensation, not connected to performance. Psychological safety. Small steps, small experiments, that you can do at any scale. “When you want to figure these things out, the first thing you do is talk to everyone. Talking to people is free.” It works on all the levels. And yet, “it’s never perfect. It’s always one step at a time.” Purpose is your new boss.
March 19, 2020
Professional Believer in People, with guest Marguerite Soeteman
Marguerite Soeteman-Reijnen is not only the Chairwoman of AON Holding, a Marketing Executive, and Supervisory Board Member of several organizations - she is also a passionate believer in people and their ability to make the impossible possible. Marguerite is a truly shining example that you can be Female, Ambitious and HUMAN at the same fact it's important. Join this wonderful conversation and listen to the wide array of powerful insights Marguerite shares on why the human element is the most distinguishing factor.  As a life long learner, she shares her perspective on the value of getting out of your comfort zone, tuning into trust and empathy, staying connected with people and topics outside your organization, finding peace-of-mind, and people being key to making the impossible possible. After all people are central to an organization, without people you don’t have an organization. Referenced in this episode:
March 05, 2020
HR looks different in 2020
In this episode we walk you through the changes taking place in the HR field, as sketched by Lars Schmidt in an insightful article on Fast Company: ‘7 Ways HR Looks Different in 2020’: “The leading edge of HR is having a transformational impact on business. Modern people teams are indispensable success enablers for the business.” This is what you want to know, put your focus towards and get excited about. It’s the future of HR. 1. Inclusion over diversity: Connect this to the purpose of your organisation. 2. Decentralise and empower over command and control: Create frameworks and enablement programmes that empower people. 3. Agile reviews over annual reviews: Move towards a culture of feedback and clarity for employees to understand how they are impacting their organisation. 4. Analytics and insight over metrics and reporting: Get the story behind the numbers and take meaningful action. 5. Policy for the many over policy against the few: Focus on the behaviours are you looking to drive and the purpose behind it. 6. Open source over black box: Stand tall in your value and be confident in sharing mistakes and learnings. 7. Business acumen over HR acumen: You need to know about the business. Be curious and understand the context in which you are working. These new ways of working will bring you from ‘Why is HR here?’ to ‘Why isn’t HR here?’ and towards making a true impact in your organisation. Business leaders recognise that they don’t always understand the people dynamics. They understand what it is that they want to achieve, but they don’t always know how to get there with the people in their organisation.  Your expertise of understanding the human behaviour and the human dynamics is really key to every business.
February 19, 2020
Prototype Your Talent Development, with guest Wouter Smeets
Dutch entrepreneur (and surfer) Wouter Smeets is an innovation expert who took the best practices of innovation and put them into talent development. With Prototype You he nurtures continuous learning in organizations. In this episode we dive into Wouter’s views and his program, which empowers employees to become the director of their own personal development and career. Traditionally you went to an ad-hoc training at the company’s request. But in the world we live in now, organisations need to keep up with the speed of change and innovation. As a result, expertise and skills in the workplace get outdated fast. Continuous learning needs to be embedded in organisations to keep up with the speed of change. Prototype You means: you are the prototype of your own personal development and career. “We nurture ownership throughout the entire journey,” says Smeets. This approach to talent development benefits from the best parts of lean, agile, design thinking and peer-to-peer collaboration. It provides a structure for continuous learning, including the most essential features of the learning cycle, to make it really deliver value. An important take-away: make sure to have employees develop from their own ambitions and talents to get the most out of them. Don’t impose only organisational ambitions on your employees. That mindset change is at the core of making learning at the speed of business truly happen. “Don’t think for employees but help them think for themselves. They may have a co-pilot but they get to choose their own direction.”
February 05, 2020
The Business Case for Kindness
Is it really possible to be both professional and kind?? ABSOLUTELY! In fact it is vital. When kindness becomes a basic assumption in business it transforms everything. Kindness is the key opening up the space beyond basic transaction, to meeting people on the human level.  Kindness is the gateway to getting unstuck and moving your business forward. When we are able to bring kindness together with boundaries, relationships blossom and the shift from scarcity into abundance becomes real. But how does it work and how do you keep everyone from being a doormat? Take a listen and learn what can happen for your business when you start from an assumption of kindness. Referenced in the episode: Additional Reading:
January 22, 2020
Mastering Thank Yous and True Acknowledgements
It’s one of the biggest management myths: that you shouldn’t say ‘thank you’ to people too often. Indeed, when you take a thank you to the next level and turn it into a true acknowledgement of someone, that will strengthen them to bring more of that good work, it will improve trust and connection, and will solidify compliments that they received earlier. A ‘thank you’ is the most valuable thing you can give to employees – and co-workers, and managers. When done right. What exactly makes a good acknowledgement is something worth talking about and working on. There’s more to it and there’s more to be gained. In this podcast episode, we discuss what makes an acknowledgement work best: being precise, choosing the right moment, being present and, for the other person, receiving it well. Getting to the essence of what it is that you want to acknowledge, what you appreciate about someone. Choosing to encourage behaviour in a team, or getting personal and appreciating an individual skill one-on-one. Taking a moment to let that person be really seen. And when you get a thank you, letting it sink in and strengthen your inner compass. Awkward? That’s ok. Just give it a go.
January 07, 2020
New Decade, Clear Values
“What feels like a messy, complicated situation becomes crystal clear very quickly.” Looking ahead to a whole new decade, this new episode clarifies how it pays off to get clear on the values of your organisation. As our organisations continue to evolve and develop, having clear values will no longer be that nice-to-have. It’s going to become vital and important because it’ll be the backbone of your business. Having clear values will help you set up you a framework that, in the short term, makes decisions easier, faster and more aligned with where you want to go. In the long term, it empowers agility in today’s rapidly changing world. It’s what you need in the world today to stay standing and to achieve long-term success as an organisation. For HR it means the difference between spending huge time and effort on hefty policy documents versus bringing clarity and directly impacting the business. “Suddenly we took an almost 60-page monster policy that was impossible to implement... and we turned it into five pages of meaningful information. Not only was it clearer and more simple and straightforward, the business finally understood why this policy supported the overall business strategy.” We expect 2020 to be a milestone year which will herald a lot of changes. Wishing you happy holidays and a purposeful new year!
December 23, 2019
Below the Surface of Culture Change, with guest Shea Harty
This is what you need for that elusive and complex goal: successful cultural change. The essential factors to making big changes. Having worked with large corporates trying to transform in a quickly changing world, and for start-ups growing into scale-ups, Shea Harty brings in her views as our special guest on this new podcast episode. From identifying what is really going on below the surface with co-workers getting nostalgic about what their workplace was like before, lamenting the times when they could give every co-worker a slice of cake for their birthday. To celebrating the milestones of bringing the new vision to life in your part of the organisation. From talking with employees, instead of at them. Discovering champions and ambassadors as early as possible. To carving out the space needed to go through the stages of the change process. Making time for a team to work through it, before you reach the stage of actually living it. From the real value in engaging an external perspective – a neutral someone who isn’t married to the same stakes that you are in your position and your role. To being curious about what this ride is bringing you.
December 12, 2019
Holding Space: the Under-the-Radar Skill You Want to Have
There is an under-the-radar skill that you’ll be happy to be more aware of, and that you'll want to put high up on your list of things to develop. If you’re already good at this, you’ll want to cherish it and inspire it in others.  Marjolijn describes it as making room in your head for other people’s stories, for other people’s choices. Lisa calls it holding space. It’s about realizing that the way that you see the world, your perspective, is not the one and only. Park your judgement and get curious. Why would you do that? It will help you open up stuck conversations and shine a light on new information. Get you to find new ways to move forward in tough situations. Is it good for business? Definitely. You’re missing out if you’re missing this skill. Listen in on the story of the day I got booked into a hotel room that didn’t have any curtains. Or Lisa’s story about the waiter who picked up her fork and took a bite of her dessert.  How about your own points of view? They’re valid. Just make some space alongside them. We have all kinds of snap judgements, and big opinions. Hold a bit of space to test them out. Be aware of your perspective, and be aware that there may be other perspectives alongside yours. Hold space and see how valuable a skill this really is.
November 26, 2019
All Aboard! Getting More Women on Boards
This year there's been a lot of news about getting more women on Boards of companies and organizations around the world. But, as with most great things, this is easier said than done.  In this episode we talk about the challenges, opportunities, bias, privilege, quotas and going back to basics.  How do we change the status quo? Is it changing fast enough? And don't you just want to be one of the guys? And getting slapped in the face with new perspective and how this can actually help your company win more business. Referenced resources in this episode: Tina Fey - the value of more women in the room: McKinsey Research - more diversity = more success:  Forbes - The Future of Women on Boards: Financieele Dagblad article: Wall Street Journal article: More extensive links and interview with Lisa by MacMillan International Higher Education on Diversity and Inclusion:
November 15, 2019
The Best Run Companies Do More
Upping stock prices and shareholder value is no longer the measure of success. The best run companies do more. “Shareholder profits can no longer be the primary goal of corporations,” was the statement that came from a group of top CEOs in the US this summer. Businesses should be balancing the needs of shareholders with customers, employees, suppliers and local communities. “We commit to delivering value to all of them.” You have a responsibility to deliver value to the wider world around you, not just to shareholders. Makes sense? Well, more and more people are catching on! It’s a great statement especially coming from that group of powerful people. But what needs to happen in practice?  Shift your focus to social revenue. For business leaders: if stock prices have been your main KPI until now, the opportunity is wide open to start finding ways to evaluate how you are increasing your company’s social revenue. For HR: introduce and develop your insights into the employee experience. Use that information to make your organisation run better. This is your opportunity to understand what your overall impact truly is on the broader world: inside and outside your organisation. To really work on what you want to be creating in the world. Because the best run companies do more. Referenced in this episode: "Group of top CEOs says maximizing shareholder profits no longer can be the primary goal of corporations" - The Washington Post "6 Ways CEOs Can Prove They Care About More Than Shareholder Value" - Harvard Business Review
October 30, 2019
Create the future you want to live in: behind the scenes
Welcome to the third season of HR Matters! This season, Lisa Dempsey and Marjolijn Vlug will be your hosts and Shea Harty will reappear as a guest on our podcast. We are starting off the season with a glance behind the scenes into why, and how, we make this podcast for you. Making these episodes is an active decision with a clear purpose: to talk about how the human way of interacting at work, and intentions that may fall by the wayside when you’re wrapped up in your busy workdays. The big picture ideas that resonate – we make those accessible, practical and human. The things that you feel are important, but that you may not be talking about much yet, and you’re not sure how to implement when you get back to your desk and your inbox. We make HR Matters for you. So you can create the future you want to live in, and the future workplace you want to create for others. You’re not in this alone, we’re in this together. Don’t be a stranger: you’re welcome to share, like, comment and send us a message. In this episode I mention an article by Gary Vaynerchuk that’s worth a read: Kindness is the ultimate strength in both business and life.
October 15, 2019
Helping Organizations Become More Human, with guest Ronald Meijers
This episode with Ronald Meijers is a real goldmine. Ronald is a Partner at Deloitte and Leads the Transformation, Leadership & Governance as well as the Financial Services verticals. We could have spent hours discussing work, leadership and organizations with him.  Lisa connected with Ronald during the Deloitte BOLD Leaders program and was delighted to find genuinely refreshing views inside a large management consultancy, and you'll see why during this episode.  If you've ever wondered what purpose has to do with business, how leadership and authority differ, or why the group of people who must lead shifts toward the future are the least likely to be good at it and why scalable efficiency is being replaced with scalable learning THIS is the episode to listen to.  *Side note: anchor is experiencing technical difficulties, alternative recording method was used which resulted in a few sound impurities. Happily the golden content makes it more that worthwhile to give this a listen!
October 02, 2019
Understanding the big picture of Employee Experience, with guest Heleen Mes
Our newest podcast guest literally wrote the book on Employee Experience in the Netherlands. She collected best practices, insights, research and shares her best advice with us. Heleen Mes and her co-author Gea Peper are the biggest EX experts we know. In this episode, Heleen shares her insights and gets you up to speed on this innovation in HR. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to upgrading the employee experience in your organisation. The definition of what EX is and can be is quite wide. But it is energising to hear where you can start and what it will bring you.
September 16, 2019
Summer Blast From the Past No. 2
During this summer we're resharing some of our favourite episodes. This favourite is about the future of HR. In the following episode, recorded in January 2019, we talk about the skills that HR professionals and recruiters will need to be able to deal with the rapidly changing world around us. From data to values and all that's needed to help people work together successfully.  We'll be back with a brand new episode in September!
August 20, 2019
Summer Blast From the Past No. 1
We're taking a quick summer break and wanted to share some our favorite episodes from the past two seasons with you. We hope you enjoy these blasts from the past and look forward to sharing our new material with you in September!  In this episode recorded on 11 September 2018, we explore an interview with Elon Musk, which was followed up by an open letter from Arianna Huffington. We discuss if working 120+ hours a week, followed by days and nights in the office without taking a break to go home is brilliance/burnout, or hero/anti-hero behavior. How does this translate to you and your organization?  The New York Times source article:  Arianna Huffington's letter: 
July 30, 2019
New Managers Thrown Into the Deep End
Most managers are promoted based on their how well they performed. Some are promoted without any training or support. We took a look at becoming a manager, what does it take? How to managers become leaders? What scares people away from being managers? And does a person need to be a manager? We discussed the importance of having a mentor when you are just starting out as a manager.  We also took a look at the company, Honey and their promotion process with their managers. Their approach laid out in Thrive Global, inspired this podcast. Follow our podcast. Follow us on Facebook. Let us know what you think, and give us suggestions about topics you would like to hear discussed. 
July 16, 2019
Secrets to getting the best out of people
It’s a loss to the business when talented people go – and a boost when they’re in the spot where they can bring their best.  We had a good conversation with a talented senior marketing director at a large corporate. By playing what she calls an extended game of chess, she made her team members work faster, easier and better in their new roles, more pro-actively and energetic – improving kpi’s for the department, results for the organisation, and trust levels in the team.  From inexperienced manager through a good learning curve in ‘the company chess game’ to powerful success in talent management, she brought her organisation what it needed, before they even asked for it.  How she did this and what made her succeed is what we found out in this podcast episode. “Start with listening to your team. But not just listening; really, really listening. And finding out what they mean.” 
July 03, 2019
Making Room for More: the Importance of Family Leave
On the back of Father's Day and with the expansion of parental leave in the European Union and the Netherlands, we tackle the sometimes sensitive topic of having children. What happens at home affects life at work. When employees make the decision to have a child they expect a reasonable amount of time to take care of the new addition to the family. Managers have to find a way to accept this change and make accommodations.  Have a listen to our perspectives and some tips on how managers can adjust to the changes in their team.  And if you know a company whose policies support parental leave over and beyond what the law requires, let us know in the comments! We want to know about who is doing it right so others can learn from their example.
June 20, 2019
It’s funny because it’s true, with guests Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss
Michael Voss and Jennifer Rock write books about the corporate workplace. Not management books, but a darkly funny and all too recognisable novel about universal truths, from the agonies of working under a bad boss to the joy of finding free food in the break room.  Their latest, 'Operation Clusterpuck', is newly available. We read it and wanted to hear more, in this podcast episode. So... did this stuff really happen to them? And why did they exchange their corporate jobs for making an impact by writing books, and co-founding their own communications agency?  They get personal about their own stories, and inspiring about their views on transparent and honest internal communications. Referenced in this episode:  A great taste of the Rock/Voss sense of humour, and choice of topic (video) Where to order ‘Operation Clusterpuck’ and ‘B.S. Incorporated’:
May 29, 2019
Thank Goodness for Millennials
So Millennials, we’ve been talking about you.  When you’re asking, ‘Why do you tolerate low performance?’ We agree that when poor performers go unmanaged, and managers lack the ability to address their impact, that spreads like a virus.. When you say, ‘ROI is not enough for me, I want a job with purpose,’ we see that the hierarchy of what you find important has shifted from previous generations. And the outspokenness. We see that you do care, and you’re willing to walk away because of it. Because these things matter. And in this day and age, organisations are just not going to get away with it anymore – and they shouldn’t. So thank you, Millennials. You and the other new generations in the workplace are not enabling poorly performing employers anymore. And the things they've previously been using as band-aids. The fruit baskets and the foosball tables. Do understand that it is a hard transformation for organisations to undergo – although so worth it. What we look forward to is that you bring that passion and outspokenness to more places, to the organisations that haven’t put on the shiny purpose marketing beacons yet. We’re happy to have you join in.  There’s a growing expectation and need of real authenticity. For people to be able to show up as individuals. As humans. Because people matter. Referenced in this episode and interesting further info:  Why Millennials Keep Dumping You: An Open Letter to Management Ania Sullivan: From the Cube of a Millennial Everybody Matters Podcast: Millennials and Leadership
May 14, 2019
Recruitment: Right People, Right Fit - the good, bad & ugly
How can an organization recruit the right people for the right position? And what are some of the things that get in the way?  Is there a role for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to play in recruitment?  This week we ponder all this and more on the topic of recruitment…together with something a little different: Lisa is sick, Shea’s microphone is a little off and Marjolijn, well she’s doing well - thank goodness!  Tune in and find out how you can improve your recruitment process and experience today! Resources:  Link to the Heineken Candidate Experience:
May 03, 2019
What YOU, yes you, can do to improve your work culture, with guest Bruce Daisley
Want to improve your work experience and company culture? There’s a brand new book that writes about the best things that anyone can do, in any job, to work on improving your workdays. In this episode, we get to find out how the author, Bruce Daisley (who is VP of Twitter EMEA as well), found this out and why it works so well.  Turns out it is no wonder we’re increasingly feeling stuck, our neverending work days filled with meetings and emails  and open plan offices. What Bruce discovered is that actually most of the stuff we do at work is actually against all of the research, all of the evidence. And the best part is, he also found practical, real things you can do to make changes in your work environment. From the bottom-up. And wait for it... starting with how to find time and energy to actually do this.  To rediscover the joy of work. Have a listen and join in, it'll be worth it. Referenced:  The Joy of Work by Bruce Daisley  Plezier in je werk (Dutch edition) door Bruce Daisley  Eat Sleep Work Repeat, podcast with Bruce Daisley and guest Zeynep Ton 
April 17, 2019
Can We Really Measure Happiness at Work? with guest Jessica Brook
We spoke with People Scientist, Jessica Brook from CultureAmp! She gave us her insights and expertise on when measuring engagement works and when it doesn't. Listen to our lively conversation as we discuss how companies can move the needle forward with their employees. What are the higher drives for employee engagement? And what the heck is Collective Intelligence? And soooo much more!
April 03, 2019
Looking for Authenticity in a Job Interview
What are the cornerstones of successful job interviews – for both sides of the table? We read an article on what 7 CEOs notice the most in job interviews, and add our own insights in this new podcast episode. About the journey between how you go into and come out of an interview. Bringing your whole self to the table. How to prevent falling for windbags. The importance of how people talk about you when you leave the room.  And about the one question that everybody who has ever read anything about preparing for an interview secretly loathes – plus how to deal with it. Referenced:  '7 CEOs on What They Notice the Most on Job Interviews'
March 19, 2019
HR Is Dead... Long Live HR (part 2)
The word on the street is that HR has a terrible reputation. How do we get out of that situation? We talked about this topic earlier and found there’s a deeper conversation to be had here. We investigate how HR professionals can show others that what they’re bringing to the table has real value – essential to running a business.  It is up to HR to step up and lead this shift, by upping their skill set.  To a different way of working. Because life has changed. The business landscape has changed. Dramatically. There is a whole new field to explore. What makes people work, what helps them thrive? Because that’s the win-win situation for businesses and employees.  HR unlocks the people potential. Look us up on Facebook and tell us what's on your mind: thoughts, ideas, questions or topics? We'd love to hear from you. Referenced:  'HR Is Not Your Friend. Here’s Why' (Fortune)  'HR has lost the trust of employees. Here's who has it now' (TechCrunch) Daniel H. Pink's book To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others  
March 05, 2019
The Joy of Monday Mornings, with Guest Max Hunter, Chief Joy Officer
Join our conversation with Max Hunter, Chief Joy Officer and champion for Monday mornings. We had a great chat with Max about the importance of having joy at work and how companies can improve work culture. Max also shared his journey to Chief Joy Officer and how he convinces CEOs that happiness at work is good for the bottom line.  Referenced:  The Chief Joy Officer and the Eastern Princess - Max Hunter's talk at the 2018 HR Congress in Brussels What the hell does a Chief Joy Officer actually do?
February 19, 2019
HR Is Dead (part 1)
In this episode we explore the paradox of the role HR plays in many businesses and what the role of HR should or could even be. Is HR Dead?  In our VUCA world what is the role of HR? What should a line manager be doing and should HR be doing? Is HR here for the employees or the business?  Tune in, listen, and we’d love to hear from you! What do you think? Are HR the administrators, the policy makers, the place to build and grow talent, the place to empower people, or something else? Articles referenced:
February 08, 2019
Future Skills for HR Professionals
Yes, you read that right....we have entered season 2. (Exciting!!!) Join us as we continue to delve into business topics that involve Human Resources. In this episode, we discuss what we think future HR professionals need in their training. Marjolijn Vlug brought us this topic after giving her friend advice on a new HR curriculum. Naturally, Lisa Dempsey and Shea Harty wanted to share their opinion as well. We share our views on what skills are needed to navigate human connections in an employment situation? As well as, what is the role of HR professionals when the world is moving more toward machine learning and data science?  Give us your feedback! What do YOU think needs to be added to Human Resources training?  And if you like this podcast, and we think you will, then share it!  Sharing is Caring! And follow us on our Facebook: HR Matters!!! We want to know what you think!!
January 08, 2019
Invite Them to Dance
This episode is about bringing diversity into the workplace. Or is it really diversity that we need? We talk about the value and benefits of consciously working at inviting, and welcoming, any viewpoint and voice to the table that is different from the standard perspective. But how, and why, do you do that? When the context you are in is different from the examples you've seen? And when it’s plain uncomfortable? Because you miss out on so much when you don’t. Referenced: Namely Releases First Workplace Diversity Report 2018, Uncovering Inequalities in the Modern Workplace and Empowering HR to Make a Difference Women still hold tiny minority of senior roles in financial services
December 19, 2018
End the Year-End Madness
Looking towards the end of the year, in this episode we talk about navigating the mad dash of the fourth quarter. When you're surfing that tidal wave of all of the stuff that needs to be done, how do you also get clear and intentional about what you want next year to look like? And how can you find allies and budget for what you really want and need? Listen in, choose ways to get proactive and join us in saying: it's going to be a good year ahead.
December 05, 2018
Google's Grass isn't Really Greener
Partially recorded in a cafe (a bit of background noise only at the start), this episode has us slowing down after a conference-heavy couple of weeks. We reflect on the news about the big walkout at Google on November 1st. Not everything about Google turns out to be aspirational for others: in a self-organized protest, 20.000 of their employees across the globe requested more transparency and an end to harassment and inequality. A grassroots protest to Google's global company culture. Which insights does this bring for our own workplaces and, even, for how we individually behave at work?  Referenced:  "We’re the Organizers of the Google Walkout. Here Are Our Demands"  Preceding NYTimes article  New York Times follow-up report on the walkout  Employee Experience, a Dutch book mentioned in the podcast
November 20, 2018
Dumb Rules
Recorded on October 11, 2018, this episode’s topic was suggested to us by a listener: Dumb Rules That Make Your Best People Want to Quit. This really resonated with us. People get frustrated with certain types of rules set by HR and managers and those rules become counter-productive. We talk about alternative approaches, a shift in mindset, and how to bring about change. What are some of the dumb rules you’ve seen? And what are the tips and tricks you’ve encountered to change them? Share your stories and ideas with us, we’d love to hear from you. The article, a Medium Feature Story: Also mentioned in the recording: Google’s toothbrush test Manoush Zomorodi’s 2017 TedTalk: ‘How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas’ Lisette Sutherland’s book ‘Work Together Anywhere: A Handbook on Working Remotely — Successfully — for Individuals, Teams, and Managers’
October 30, 2018
Brilliance or Burn-out
In this episode recorded on 11 September 2018, we explore an interview with Elon Musk, which was followed up by an open letter from Arianna Huffington. We discuss if working 120+ hours a week, followed by days and nights in the office without taking a break to go home is brilliance/burnout, or hero/anti-hero behavior. How does this translate to you and your organization?  The New York Times source article:  Arianna Huffington's letter:  We'd love to hear your insights, questions and feedback in the comments here:  Footnote: Since the recording of this podcast, Elon Musk has stepped down as chairman of the board of Tesla but is still fulfilling the role of CEO.
October 16, 2018