Culture by Design Podcast

You can become a cultural architect no matter your position, your title, or your authority. Join us in building cultures of inclusion, innovation, and candor by design.

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During this episode of Culture by Design, we're continuing our four­-part series on the change management principle, Behave Until You Believe. These episodes are focused on the practical application of each of the four stages of psychological safety and, this week, Tim and Junior tackle Stage Three: Contributor Safety. During the episode, they'll discuss our innate need to make a difference, the relationship between autonomy and accountability, and relevant examples and behaviors that will help you put contributor safety into actual practice. 

Expertise is a double edged sword. On one side, it’s knowledge, it's useful, and it’s leverage. On the other side, you can become insulated and you can lose touch with context. "The danger of the expert is that he often becomes a prisoner of his own expertise." -Peter Drucker. There is no field of knowledge that is static or complete. Nothing is in a state of true equilibrium, so if you don’t move with the unfolding of knowledge in your field of expertise, you become increasingly obsolete and irrelevant. 

Today's episode is part two of our four-part series on the Change Management Principle, Behave Until You Believe. This week, Tim and Junior talk about what learner safety is, the two domains of learning, why learning is error-driven, and their top 3 picks from the 4 Stages Behavioral Guide as actions we can take to “Behave Until we Believe” in Stage 2 Learner Safety.

Mission-type orders include a clear statement of the superior commander's intent and state each unit's tasks in terms of operational effects to be achieved rather than specific commands. A mission-type order only works when your junior officers have the capability to do the job, including the critical and strategic thinking capability. If they don’t, the mission-type order is more dangerous than a static “command order.”

To kick off this series, Tim and Junior will talk about what it means to behave until you believe as a principle, behaviors and environments that foster inclusion safety, the difference between bonding and bridging, and give you specific, real ways to create an environment of inclusion.

Everyone has special gifts, talents, and aptitudes– areas where their potential ability is two or three standard deviations from the mean. The problem is, many of us can’t see them because they are not obvious. No one comes with a list of their talents.

You can't just speak a speak-up culture into existence. Doing so in the absence of psychological safety is actually an abdication of leadership and an admission of failure. Tim and Junior talk about the four separations presented in Tim's article that create the conditions to give all employees a voice and motivate them to use it. They are: (1) separate worth from worthiness, (2) separate loyalty from agreement, (3) separate status from opinion, and (4) separate permission from adoption.

One of the hardest things for leaders to learn is when to be more or less directive, when to tighten down and when to loosen up. Too little intervention and you’re an absentee landlord. Too much, and you’re micromanaging. As humans we yearn for autonomy in our contribution. We want to create, we want to affect reality in a way that is uniquely ours and in order to do this, we need room.

In this week's episode of Culture by Design, Tim and Junior discuss The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety in a way you might not expect. Using social exchange theory, they'll do a deeper dive to add some color to The 4 Stages model and give you additional tools and frames to use when you look at psychological safety.

There’s tremendous incentive to make things as easy as possible but adversity is a constant. Take five minutes and ask yourself, name 3 people you consider to be beautiful people. Not in looks but in character. Why those three names? What characterizes their experience? Have they had easy lives?

Psychological safety has been found to be the number one variable in team performance, and in recent episodes we've discussed the most important variable for psychological safety was the leader of the team. As a manager, as a leader of people, you either lead the way or you get in the way. Much of what dictates whether you're leading the way or getting in the way is the way in which you integrate or don't integrate psychological safety into your work.

"There’s a lot of hatred, prejudice, discrimination, and contention between and among people who don’t really even know each other. Humans tend to fear difference, especially at a distance." -James Baldwin 1963 “Many of our society's greatest problems are created by people who don’t feel seen and heard.” -David Brooks “

Today Tim and Junior will be discussing coaching and accountability. These are two of the most important tactical levers a leader has and they always go together. If we do these things well, we’ll be able to effectively transfer two things to our people: 1) Critical thinking and 2) Ownership. In this conversation, Tim and Junior will reference the coaching and accountability matrix created by Dr. Clark which we have included below.

Urgency is good, but only in doses. If we rely consistently on urgency, what do we get? Stress, poor decision-making, and decreased creativity. Urgency has a short shelf-life, it relies heavily on emotion and that emotion dissipates, so in the long run you should rely on vision and discipline to keep you going over a long period of time.

In today's episode Tim and Junior define culture and explain the three levels at which it lives. They explain the most important level of culture: the micro-culture & the single most important variable for influencing psychological safety on a team. Today's conversations includes a peek into some of our survey data that’s brand new coming out of LeaderFactor’s Psychological Safety Survey Tools.

We need to distinguish between an operating environment and a test or experimental environment. It’s the difference between practice and the game. Each time we make a mistake, we learn about a cause and effect relationship. We learn what causes what. We learn what doesn’t work.

What happens when you don't have psychological safety, and how does it affect your bottom line? In this episode of the Culture by Design podcast, Tim and Junior share some of the research behind the need for psychological safety at work.

Judgment is the correct application of your expertise but just because you’re an expert doesn’t mean you have good judgment. Quality judgment is a skill that must be developed. Not everyone is born with it.

In this week's episode of Culture by Design, Tim and Junior explain The Ladder of Vulnerability. We all experience vulnerability at work differently, and you have a ladder of vulnerability that's unique to you. This episode, and the online resources available to accompany it, will make it easier for you to talk about vulnerability at work. With these tools, you can change the conversation around vulnerability by providing a more practical, data-driven approach.

The biggest barrier to learning today is not access, it’s motivation. Many people stop learning even though it’s an innate need and desire. The solution? Make learning completely your responsibility and avoid learning welfare like the plague.

Tim and Junior will discuss vision as it relates to leadership and personal development. It's to see what doesn't exist, to see what others can't, and to see potential and possibility in yourself, in others, and in the organization.

When you step into a formal leadership role, you face a built-in obstacle: you have to work harder to stay in reality. Why? Because now there’s a power differential. Honesty and candor comes with risk; it can be dangerous. You get less feedback and it’s filtered.

If decisions are the primary output of any leader, then improving decision-making is a crucial part of becoming a better leader. The two define and frame the concept, and then share practical ways to improve judgment as a learnable skill. 

Today's lesson: You will grow based on what you demand of yourself. Today's key action: Write down an area of your life that's falling or has fallen into equilibrium in which you should demand more of yourself. Then go and do whatever might be appropriate to improve

In this episode, we're continuing our Leading with Character and Competence series with a discussion on the second cornerstone of competence, change. Change always requires the performance of additional work and the absorption of additional stress. It's a gateway competency in the 21st century. Sometimes we choose it, and sometimes it chooses us.

Tim and Junior discuss what it means to be an agile self­-directed learner, why it's important to learn at or above the speed of change, and how to keep yourself competitive and relevant in an increasingly fast-­paced, changing environment.

In this episode of Culture by Design, Tim and Junior talk about courage as a leadership trait. Courage is a characteristic you need if you want to take risks, innovate, and progress. It's the biggest difference between managers and leaders.

In today's episode, Tim and Junior continue the "Leading with Character and Competence" series by discussing the third cornerstone of character: accountability. Great leaders love accountability. They are not afraid of transparency and take ownership of their actions and outcomes. Their high levels of accountability help them avoid blame, denial, or excuses.

In today's episode, we're continuing our leadership series on leading with character and competence with a discussion on the second cornerstone of character: humility. Humility is a performance accelerator; it allows you to develop, grow, and progress faster. It's the culminating stage of a leader's emotional and psychological development, and it's also one of the most difficult character traits to cultivate. This is a unique episode that will leave you with insights on humility that you haven't considered, which you can use to improve your leadership today.

In today's episode, we're continuing our Leading with Character & Competence series with a discussion about integrity. Integrity is the first cornerstone of character and is about being honest, trustworthy, and reliable. It's about doing the right thing even when it's difficult. Integrity is key to building trust and credibility, which are essential for effective leadership.

At LeaderFactor, we view leadership as an applied discipline. It’s a learnable skill. It’s something that you can improve with good information and a lot of effort. Leadership is a factor in every decision and every outcome. Character and competence are two big pieces of leadership that will frame everything that follows.

Tim and Junior will pick it up right where they left off and start by discussing contributor safety as it relates to our personal lives. They will continue with practical examples, and you’ll even get introduced to the LIVE model, an acronym to help you recognize and reward vulnerability around you. If you missed last week’s episode, you may consider starting there, because this conversation begins right where that one ends.

We all have relationships we wish to improve. The concepts behind The 4 Stages of  Psychological Safety™ can help us improve our relationships both at work and beyond the office into our everyday lives. This week Tim and Junior will get personal and discuss how recognizing and rewarding the vulnerable acts of others can make a positive impact everyone around us. This is part one in a two part mini series on this topic.

In today's episode, Tim and Junior dive into the world of cross-cultural communication and explore the importance of understanding cultural differences. From nonverbal communication to attitudes towards conflict and time orientation, they examine how cultural dimensions impact our behavior and interactions with others. Join them for an episode full of practical tips for developing intercultural competence and improving your effectiveness in a globalized world.

In this episode of Culture by Design, Tim and Junior discuss the importance of psychological safety in healthcare. They highlight the significant issue of medical errors in the industry and propose creating a culture of rewarded vulnerability to overcome the fear of speaking up. They also discuss the barriers to psychological safety in healthcare and the ultimate impact of psychological safety, which is to improve patient outcomes and reduce preventable medical errors, ultimately saving lives.

The goal of this episode is to explore how organizations can navigate through these difficult decisions and prioritize people and culture. If you haven't been affected by a layoff yet, chances are you'll eventually find yourself affected by one. You may avoid one, or maybe even run one. In any of those cases, today's discussion will help you.

In this episode, Tim and Junior will discuss the catastrophic consequences of a "nice" culture. The intention behind cultivating a nice culture is often genuine. Leaders believe they are doing a good thing that will motivate people and create inclusion. However, it often has the opposite effect, resulting in a lack of honest communication, intellectual bravery, innovation, and accountability.

In today's episode, Tim and Junior will also talk about Why Psychological Safety is Impossible Without Emotional Intelligence and the connection between these two important concepts. Emotional intelligence or EQ, as we define it, is your ability to interact effectively with other humans. It's your delivery system. This is a practical episode full of practical tips on how to improve your emotional intelligence and your interactions in general. 

What do you do if you want to bring psychological safety to your organization, but don't find yourself in a position of authority? Or if you do have some authority, how do you approach the topic of psychological safety with your teams and others who are not as familiar with the concept? In this weeks episode Tim and Junior will help you gain a better understanding of change management and cultural transformation.

Leadership is not an ethereal concept. It’s not as cinematic as you might think. It is about one simple and profoundly human thing--Influence. In this episode Tim and Junior breakdown 10 misleading leadership theories and how to avoid them.

In this episode Tim and Junior introduce the two leadership failure patterns found in The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety™ model - paternalism and exploitation. This is a very practical episode for managers and leaders but applies to anyone working with other humans.

In this episode of Culture by Design, Tim and Junior explain the 5 Functions of Leadership, originally created to provide a job description for a CEO. When you're an executive leader, nothing is your job and everything is your job. Delegated authority is hard to find success in, but this episode will help you better understand how to be effective in any leadership role.

Psychological safety is the key to creating a safer workplace where employees can bring up concerns and problems before they become disasters. This week Tim and Junior explore the link between psychological safety and physical safety for organizations where lives are on the line.

In this episode Tim and Junior discuss the seven misconceptions surrounding psychological safety. Some organizations and some leaders dismiss psychological safety because they believe that it means a whole host of things, that it doesn't mean. So they dismiss it and they ignore it. When helping leaders understand the topic of psychological safety, defining what psychological safety is not can be just as helpful as defining what it is.

There’s a power dynamic in every room. If you’re the CEO and you’re in the room, you control that dynamic. Positional power is consolidated in your hands, and what you say and do can draw people out or make them recoil with anxiety and fear. In this weeks episode Tim and Junior discuss 10 ways CEO's can create higher levels of psychological safety in the room. 

This episode is part five in our five part series on "What's Driving Demand for Psychological Safety". When individuals feel psychologically safe at work, they are more likely to report positive mental health outcomes such as increased job satisfaction, higher levels of well-being, and lower levels of stress and burnout.

This episode is part four in our five part series on "What's Causing Demand for Psychological Safety." Tim and Junior dive into the data behind the great resignation and the link between workplace culture and employee retention.

This week's episode is part three of our five part series on "What's Driving Demand for Psychological Safety". Tim and Junior discuss why the need for innovation sparking demand for psychological safety and how innovation is just as much cultural as it is technical.

This weeks episode is part two in our five part series on "What's Driving Demand for Psychological Safety". Tim and Junior sit down to discuss exclusion and social injustice as a driving force for psychological safety and ask each of us to consider our own behavior patterns as it relates to fostering cultures of inclusion.

It's a new year and we're kicking things off with a five part series on the forces driving demand for psychological safety. Today's episode will kick off the series and give us an overview of where we've been, where we are, and introduce the key drivers. In the following episodes of this series, Tim and Junior discuss exclusion and social injustice, and innovation, engagement and retention, mental health and wellness. Each of these paths lead back to the need and the demand for higher levels of psychological safety.

In this podcast Tim and Junior discuss the importance of bridging the gap between diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Diversity alone is not enough, and true progress comes from creating a culture of inclusion. To do that we must "cross the lines of natural affinity," or find common ground and build relationships with coworkers who may be different from ourselves.

In this episode, Tim and Junior discuss the intersection between diversity, inclusion, and innovation. We need diversity but cannot unlock the benefits of our differences without inclusion. When we have a diverse and inclusive environment innovation follows. Moving from diversity to inclusion is a journey from awareness to action, and many organizations stop at awareness, believing that it will lead to behavioral change. Sustainable behavioral change requires a commitment rather than just compliance.

On this week’s episode of the Culture by Design podcast, Tim and Junior break down one of Tim’s recent articles entitled Agile Doesn’t Work Without Psychological Safety. They explain why the failure patterns in Agile are inherently cultural, and how to fix them.

During this week’s episode of Culture by Design, Tim and Junior dissect the two kinds of leaders who shy away from psychological safety: those who feed on title and status, and those who try to hide their incompetence. They encourage healthy introspection as a tool to avoid becoming one of those leaders yourself. Are you a business leader looking to introduce psychological safety into your organization? Crack yourself open with this enlightening episode.

As an HR leader you have to make a lot of the tough calls. We don’t envy you, but we’re here to help. In this episode of Culture by Design, Tim and Junior recap LeaderFactor's latest webinar. Can you really know who will help or hurt your company culture from just an interview? Is psychological safety a big enough deal to cause someone to lose their job? And why should cultural impact be considered in the promotion process? Listen and find out.

On this week's episode of Culture by Design, Tim and Junior explain the theory behind the name of the podcast. Their claim? Culture is inevitable, and whether yours is a bad one or a good one is up to you. 

This week's episode is a team favorite, and is definitely worth the listen. Tim and Junior talk about why the workplace is a vulnerable place, what vulnerability is, and why actively rewarding vulnerability matters. Whether you're motivated by making others around you feel comfortable at work, or you want to improve team performance, you should model and reward acts of vulnerability across The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety.

Back by popular demand, this week's episode of Culture by Design comes from a webinar published in May 2021. Tim and Junior discuss some of the hard questions, like: Why do humans exclude each other? How do humans justify excluding each other? What is a junk theory of superiority? How do we create a deeply inclusive culture through psychological safety?

In this week's episode Tim and Junior take a step back from the four-part series on The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety to give listeners a broad overview of psychological safety as a concept, from the history, to the framework, to the patterns and norms of culture as a whole. The content for this episode is based on the debut of The Complete Guide to Psychological Safety, LeaderFactor's newest ebook available now.

It's the end of our four-part series on The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety, and this week Tim and Junior are talking about the fourth and final stage: challenger safety. What does it take to innovate on dynamic teams? At the end of the day, a lack of innovation is a culture issue, and knowing that is a game-changer. A culture-changer, if you will. Our hosts share their practical tips on how to do just that, and more, in this value-packed series finale.

On this week's episode of the Culture by Design podcast, Tim and Junior continue the series with Stage 3: Contributor Safety. Why do we hate being micromanaged? And what does that have to do with psychological safety? This episode is full of moments of introspection where you can ask yourself, do I allow others to create value?

Stage 2 Learner Safety is is part two in our four part series based on Timothy R. Clark’s book The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation. In this episode Timothy R. Clark and Junior Clark answer key questions around how to create a culture where there is both encouragement to learn and engagement in the learning process.

In this week on the Culture by Design podcast, Tim and Junior introduce the first episode of a four-part series on The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety. This week's topic? Stage One: Inclusion Safety. In this value-packed, hour-long conversation, Tim and Junior dive deep into questions like: How does inclusion relate to diversity and equity? Is interaction the same thing as connection? And what can we do to foster inclusion safety in our cultural spheres?

In this week’s episode of the Culture by Design podcast, Timothy R. Clark is joined by Melody Wilding, author of Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work. As an executive coach, professor of Human Behavior, licensed social worker, and Harvard Business Review contributor, Melody has lots to say about how burnout, ambition, sensitivity and empathy.

Today Tim and Junior sit down to discuss Tim’s recent Harvard Business Review article titled “Don’t Let Hierarchy Stifle Innovation.” There are a lot of concepts that Tim wasn’t able to include in his article that are discussed today, including how to improve our interactions, how to unleash bottom-up innovation and the role that hierarchy plays in innovation and execution.

Back by popular demand is another special episode talking about engagement and psychological safety. Tim and Junior talk about which is a lead measure, which is a lag measure, and which is a consequence of the other. This episode comes from a previous webinar recorded in 2021. Give it a listen:

In this week’s episode of Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark is joined by Caroline von Koenig, Fidelity International’s global Wellbeing Lead. They discuss how self-awareness, resilience, and understanding can create cultures that are healthy, inclusive and safe for all types of people. Caroline’s interests in neurodiversity and cultural identity made for a great conversation. Give it a listen:

In this week’s episode of Culture by Design, Lindsay Kaplan, head of People Development at Clif Bar joins Timothy R. Clark to talk about anxiety, vulnerability, and what it takes to be a human leader. She advocates for authenticity, empathy, and adaptability as the main characteristics of good leaders and encourages listeners to chase a growth mindset.

In this episode of Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark is joined by Bobbye Sweat, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for First Command Financial Services in Forth Worth, Texas. Bobbye shares her experiences in seven different industries as she has worked to meet people where they are. She explains that if you really care, you’ll be authentic. That foundation of inclusion makes all the difference.

In this episode, we recap our live virtual event where Timothy R. Clark was joined by panelists Rafael Ramos from Coca-Cola FEMSA, Chantal le Roux from Amazon Web Services, Zaineb Haider from Cigna, and Tracey Walker from RSM. Together they discuss their own personal ladders of vulnerability based on the LeaderFactor vulnerability self-assessment.

On this week’s episode of Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark is joined by Wenche Fredriksen, Senior Vice President Head of Diversity & Inclusion at DNB, Norway’s largest bank with over 10,000 employees. Wenche wears her heart on her sleeve as she tells Tim her story and explains how she found success in failing, being average, and being human. She encourages listeners to bring their full selves to work and advocate for psychological safety in their workplaces.

This week on Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark is joined by James Evans, Director of Knowledge Lab at the University of Chicago. They talk about how to activate diversity, how to harness collective intelligence, and the paradoxical interplay between innovation and execution.

In this week’s episode of Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark is joined by Nelson Derry, Global Head of Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Aesop. Nelson’s inspiring upbringing and the depth of his career experience have shaped his worldview and taught him valuable lessons. He and Tim explore his story and discuss what it really takes to intentionally change organizational culture. Hint: it involves shedding bias and harnessing divergent perspectives.

In this episode of Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark is joined by Jeri Larsen. They talk about how to meet the individual needs of team members, what it means to be a self-directed learner, and tackle some of the hardest elements of organizational culture. The main question at play: How can we make sure that our people are the happiest?

In this week’s episode of Culture by Design, Chantal le Roux, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Program Manager at Amazon Web Services joins Timothy R. Clark to talk about how to embed inclusive strategy into workplace culture. It’s core business, something that people need to take ownership of in order to create spaces that are truly psychologically safe.

In this episode of Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark is joined by Suhail Al Kharsah, Enterprise Agile Coach with the Central Transformation Office for Pharma International at Roche. Suhail shares the gems that he has learned from his many diverse professional and cultural experiences. Together they discuss the fluidity of connection, the need to overcome perfectionism mindsets, and how to set expectations that allow for experimentation.

On this week’s episode of Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark is joined by Garry Browne, Head of Learning and Development at Nestle UK and Ireland. They discuss all things reflection, passion, and introspection.If intrinsic motivation and self-awareness are your jam, if you’re curious about the interplay between leadership and inclusivity, or if you want to learn how to harness your interests into work that you’re passionate about, press play.

Why is change so difficult to maintain? How can reaching beyond quantitative data improve problem solving? In this week's episode of Culture By Design, Tony Daloisio joins Timothy R. Clark to discuss the recipe for lasting change and the possibilities of influence and intuition in leadership and business thinking.

Rarely do organizations reward leaders for the things they stop doing. We should be excited at the prospect of simplifying processes and getting operational clarity. Clarity in creates speed. How do you create clarity and eliminate the "resistance" to organizational change? In this week’s episode of Culture by Design, Timothy R. Clark interviews Marcelino Sanchez, Managing Principal at Agilityze on how you can infuse agility into the DNA of your culture.

What does it mean to be brave at work? Do you look at bravery as a skill that you can develop? This week Ed Evarts joins Timothy R. Clark to discuss what that looks like for leaders and individual contributors to be brave at work.

What happens when you treat your people as the number one asset in the building? There are positive consequences that ripple throughout the organization. This week, Paul Phelan, Head of Leadership Development at Jardine Motors Group shares his story and unique experiences with leadership training. Enjoy this episode of Culture by Design.

How do you put people in the best positions to be successful? How do you draw stories and insights from data to shape your employe engagement experience? The answer is empathy and an absolute focus on helping people. This episode features our conversation with Brandon Springle, Director of Human Resources for Shaw Industries.

What does it mean to be an authentic and inclusive leader? Voted “Most Supportive Leader” by her employees and colleagues, Zoe Mitchell shares her story and her advice for becoming an authentic and inclusive leader with host Timothy R. Clark.

"If you're not doing relationships right, you're not doing life right" this week Timothy R. Clark interviews Kenny Luck founder of Every Man Ministries and ECPA platinum award winning author of 24 books. Together they discuss connecting in a post-pandemic virtual world and the importance of getting your relationships right.

What if everyone in your organization approached their role and understood its direct impact on the core mission and values of the organization? How do you create shared meaning. In this episode Timothy R. Clark interviews Dr. Reggie Crane on how to approach shared meaning.

Timothy R Clark invites Mark Polson to discuss design thinking and how to create a climate where creativity and innovation thrive. Mark is former VP of Creativity and Business Innovation at Estée Lauder, Principal and Founder of Polson & Associates and Professor for the MPS Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing Management Program.

Timothy R Clark invites olympic medalist, speaker, trainer and consultant Dan Collins to discuss team culture and becoming our best selves. Dan shares insights on how to make a bigger contribution and discover your strengths.

Timothy R. Clark invites Love Odih Kumuyi founder of Unsiloed to discuss how organizations can design more inclusive environments and get unsiloed. Love offers practical tools for making lasting change while also sharing pitfalls to avoid when navigating cultural transformation.

Dr. Timothy R. Clark invites Nicki Eyre to discuss navigating workplace bullying from both the individual and organizational level, why encouraging a speak-up culture is not enough, and how to have both performance and cultural accountability for individual contributors and leaders.

Welcome to “Culture by Design” a LeaderFactor Podcast. We’ll bring together expertise from around the globe to discuss the unique challenges facing leaders working in highly dynamic environments. To help you create a culture by design not by default.