Join Kyle as he speaks with Ira Wolfe about innovation, staying resilient and adaptable, and the future of work.
Ira S Wolfe is a “Millennial trapped in a Baby Boomer body” and the world’s first Chief Googlization Officer. He ranks in the top 5 Global Thought Leader in Future of Work and HR on Thinkers 360. He is president of Poised for the Future Company and founder of Success Performance Solutions. Ira has presented on the prestigious red carpet of TEDx, stage of DisruptHR, and is the author of several books including Recruiting in the Age of Googlization, selected by Book Authority as one of the all-time best HR and Recruiting books.
He hosts the weekly Geeks Geezers and Googlization Show, leads Googlization Nation, and is on a personal mission to unlock the secrets of human adaptability, ensuring no one is left behind living in the fastest period of change in history. He recently joined an elite group of global business consultants when he achieved AQ Certified Practitioner status. Ira is typically no further than a few clicks away as he is a frequent contributor (to HR and business blogs including CornerstoneonDemand’s ReWork, LinkedIn, and Medium) as well as podcast guest.
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Normal in the 60s was that a woman needed her husband's permission to get birth control needed her husband's signature to get alone. Normal was women didn't go to Ivy League schools. That was normal. Is that the normal way you're talking about?Kyle Roed:
This is the rebel HR podcast. If you're a professional looking for innovative thought provoking information in the world of human resources, this is the right podcast for you. Alright, Rebel HR listeners. I'm extremely excited to welcome our guests today. Ira wolf. Ira is a millennial trapped in a baby boomer body and the world's first chief Google zation. Officer. He ranks in the top five global thought leaders and future of work and HR on thinker's 360. He's the president of poised for the future company, and founder of success performance solutions. He's presented a number of different stages. And today we're going to be talking about Google isation of HR. Welcome to the show, Ira.Ira Wolfe:
Hey, thanks very much, Kyle, hope you're doing well. I really appreciate being here.Kyle Roed:
Well, we appreciate you spending some time with us. And I'm just I'm fascinated to dig into this topic. You know, we're all about kind of innovation in the HR space. And I think some of the work that you do, and your your perspective is going to be really, really valuable. So why don't we start off just for our listeners? What is Google isation?Ira Wolfe:
Glad you asked that. Google has zation literally started about 1314 years ago, my book, my prior book was geek skeezers, Google zation, which is now I read, now I use that as the name of my podcast. But oh, it's gonna be about the wired tired and technology. We're talking about the four, the four or five generations in the workplace at the time. And, you know, people were just talking about that point, it was the millennials. And then, you know, a couple years prior to that it was Gen Gen X, and then a couple. And now we talk about Gen Z. But ultimately, people tend to do just look at the generations and exclude the environment that they grew up in technology. So I wrote the book on saying, Okay, yeah, there are differences in the four generations or five generations. But there is an impact of technology. So I was going to call it the wire tired and technology. And then I heard Warren Bennis had a book out about the geeks in the geezers. And I thought that was a that was a good aspect. And it was geek fuses and technology. And I don't know where I came where I saw it, but I came up somewhere with Google isation. I think it was I saw the zation of something. And it's like Google, Google, Google isation. And the alliteration worked great on. A lot of my themes are about look, alert, people remember alliterations, share, or like acronyms and mnemonics. What evolved to what I was writing what I was going to do an update to the book, realizing I actually didn't talk a whole lot about technology in the book. When I couple years later was about 2015 2016. I did my TED talk was about change. And I said, Okay, I have all this information. I'm going to kind of expand upon, you know, my 15 minute TED Talk, I'm going to write a book. And so I went back to geek skeezers globalization, figured I'll talk about didn't talk about Gen Z at the time, because they really were not in the workplace. And I realized that the technology, you know, we were talking about this before, we just went on the air, the technology changed so fast. So here, I wrote a book in 2008, the iPhone had just come out in 2007. And it's got How did I not talk about like the iPad, about tablets, not about the iPad itself, but it's about tablets, or the cloud. And realizing it's while the iPad wasn't introduced the 2010. And then between 2010 and 2016, it became well adapt, you know, I mean, every, you know, is became mainstream, ubiquitous. Yeah. Yeah. And there were so many different tablets, and then the, you know, their phones got smaller than they got larger. So they got became almost many tablets, right. So the theme became how quickly things changed. And Google's ation, actually long way around there. But Google zation became the convergence of people technology and business. Interesting. And, you know, then we had 2020 and convergence of people technology and business.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, your timings right. Your timing is right. 2020. And if you weren't, at least a little bit tech savvy, you had to figure it out. Pretty Quick last year, that's for sure.Ira Wolfe:
Oh, absolutely. And people are struggling. And that's something you know, we can go into it talk my passion project for about the last year and a half, which just again happened to find a lot of time last year to be able to do it was about adaptability, about, you know, what's required for people to change. And we talked about that, but most people thought it was a functional thing that if you, if you, if you start if you knew how to use technology, or if you learned how to use technology, that meant you that meant you were adaptable. Now, it just meant you, you knew how to use technology. struggling with it, I mean, people are struggling, you know, people were sent home, and now they're back. They're trying to get back before struggling, what does back mean? But this back to normal mean? What does that you people are talking, you know, you're you're an HR and what's the hybrid workforce look like? And people think it's this, you know, you're either at home, you're at work, or you're hybrid. Okay, now you're getting into hybrid, and no one has a clue what a hybrid is hybrid means four days a week in the office and one day out, because that's not what a lot of people think is hybrid people are, it's like, well, I'll come in when I have to. But that doesn't mean I'm coming in four days a week is three days a week, is it two days a week? And then do all the people who are talking about that, that say, Yeah, well, I really want to get back to the office. But I also don't want to commute five days a week. So I'm going to come in Mondays and Wednesdays. Because my spouse is coming in those days, I'll be home with the kids. Yeah. And I can be home. And they say but we want you to come in Tuesday and Thursday. Well, that doesn't work, right? Because people adapted to this. And I don't people just aren't going back to it. I mean, I've seen statistics as high as 80% of people who were were working remote. Want to continue to work remote some of the time. Yeah. And some of the time becomes a variable. So from an HR perspective, management perspective, how do we make it work all the time, and then the rabbit hole goes down. So how do you develop a culture when these people come? There's one group of workers coming in Monday and Wednesday and the other one coming in Tuesday and Thursday, and and every once in a while everybody gets together? And how do you make that happen? And how do you create a culture during that environment? That's utilization by the way? Yeah. Globalization. That's what it is. It's not just Google. It's, it's really beyond Google. But it's about the convergence of people, technology and business.Kyle Roed:
Right. And it's I think, you know, that kind of that thought exercise that you just went through. And the, you know, that that thing that thinking, I mean, that's happening everywhere, right now, if you're it, and you're the person in the HR department, trying to figure out how to Okay, you've got all these things converging at once you've got this implementation of this new technology that probably has worked better than you expected, in most cases, I think. I was actually pleasantly surprised how quickly people adapted to video meetings instead of business travel meetings, and, you know, in the efficiency that came out of that. But yeah, then you also have the counter argument of Yeah. How do you build a culture when, when you haven't intentionally structured your business around working remotely? And the answer is, it's really, really freaking hard.Ira Wolfe:
It's hard before Yeah, I think it became, oh, we were, it's almost, and I say this not so much tongue in cheek, because it's a little a little bit of sarcastic here. Sarcasm, is that we talked about how do we build a culture remote, but then you go back to you know, Gallup, certainly, you know, everybody's probably familiar with the Gallup statistics, that we only have 30% engagement of employees before the pandemic, right for years. And it's not like, Oh, well, it was really tough in 2019. No, this is going back since they started. It's almost 25 years, I think they've been tracking employee engagement. And statistically, it's pretty consistent. It was about 30% of the of the workforce was was engaged. And 70% was it was disengaged. So the, you know, even though we focused and we talked a lot about company culture, we weren't very good at it.Kyle Roed:
Always sucked.Ira Wolfe:
It wasn't very good. Yeah. So here's a kind of a clean slate. And yeah, for some people, it was very, very difficult. How do we through a two dimensional screen, create a culture and Other companies did it. In fact, some companies, it improved, because there was more engagement. There was more availability. The senior manager, the CEO, the CEO, and the other senior managers became more authentic, they became more transparent. You were able to see inside their home, you know, they were interrupted by kids. They were interrupted by cats and dogs, the phone rang. Oh, hang on, the doorbell is ringing my Amazon deliveries here, I gotta go sign for where if that happened, and that's all culture by the way. All right. There's no magic to it. That's that's culture. If that happens before the pandemic, then it's, hey, when we have a meeting, you need to be focused. And then all of a sudden, everybody became it became vulnerable. Everybody can be susceptible, susceptible. So in some ways, the culture, the culture was exposed, and it's like we weren't very good at this before. And now we have a chance of making it better. And you can't can do it through technology exclusively, you know, is slack as good as having a chat around the watercooler? No. But if I don't have to spend an hour, an hour and a half in commuting, right, and all the hassles and I can do it instantaneously. Yeah, I think it's probably a better culture. Yeah, I, I really push back on the fact of how hard it is. I just don't think we were very good at it in the first place. And but we were pushed to do it. Right now. It's all of a sudden, well, how do we have a culture and a remote workforce? Right? I don't know, because we don't have a good have a good blueprint before this?Kyle Roed:
Well, it's, it's, that's an interesting point, you know, one of the things that I would call out, and I'm sure many other HR practitioners can relate to this, we also there's a lot more visibility on it now, because we can much more efficiently gauge how our teams are feeling through the use of some of these tools. So now that everybody's on a video call, I can see everybody's nonverbals on that call, in a moment, I know something's going on, something's going on with Gary, Gary looks really pissed off, I better see, you know, it's like, we have all these data points now. And it's, you know, some of the things that may have been happening, you know, on a phone call, that we just don't know about are now in a video call that we do. And I think it's highlighted some of those challenges. For me, specifically, my job prior to the pandemic was traveling 50% of the time. And as an HR guy, I'm traveling around to see how the team's doing. And do audits and assessments and help and a lot of my job doesn't need to be in person. But the efficiency of being able to talk to somebody in Singapore, or Amsterdam, or the UK, in a matter of minutes is so much more effective than, you know, getting jetlag and being gone for my family for a week. Right. So there's there, there is definitely some things that need to be retained. My experience, I would I would agree that our experience at my company has specifically been it's been an improved employee experience. And we've seen significantly improved connections, especially amongst our our our global business units that have previously pretty much were in silos and didn't interact with each other much. Now, we're now we're seeing a lot of that interaction. And it's, I think technology has has, has enabled it I I guess my question would be as I reflect on that, you know, what, what if 2020 hadn't happened? You know, what if it wasn't that weird, like Black Swan event, and everybody just gets forced to do this? You know, what, what's your perspective on that?Ira Wolfe:
Yeah, it's interesting, as we talk about, I don't talk about the Black Swan but but in the seem to leave was who came up with that term, the Black Swan, he wrote the book on it. And frankly, the pandemic was not a black swan event, because it was predictable. Yeah. We just ignored all the slides. Yeah, we just didn't listen, or many people did. But he talks about being anti fragile of how do you grow? How do you, which is what we're talking about? How do you grow stronger? It's not just resilience. Resilience is, is how do you bounce back and grit, you know, a lot of people talk about grit, and they talk about, you know, that's endurance, that's perseverance and passion, according to Angela Duckworth. But if the environments changing around there, and you're just persevering, and you're bouncing back, but everything else is changing around you, then you came back to, you know, it's like, I don't like Rip Van Winkle. Or what was the Shawshank Redemption? You know, it comes out 50 years later, and it's like, wow, the world is moving so fast. That changed so much. And that's sort of what how happens with grit and resilience is that that's where you come out. And he, and what they seem to leave all the long way around Black Swan, but with the same elite talks about is how do you grow? How do you become anti fragile? anti fragile is how do you grow stronger? How do you become better after an event like this, and a lot of people are just in coping mode. And doing and I think that relates back to the culture that relates back to the technology is that a, this is the new world, we're not going back to the way it was, we're not going back to a normal that we used to know. And when we can talk about, you know, some of that as well. But one of the things that we are going to do is that we we need to, you know, what lessons did we learn through the pandemic? And and certainly one of them is we don't have to have every meeting in person. There will be occasions we'll have where the interaction until we have virtual reality and holograms, you know, mainstream. Until then there will be opportunities that I had situations where physically we should be in the same place. Right. But we don't need to be for quite a bit. And people who telecommute who have telecommute for years, I've been virtual for 15 years, actually more than that since 2004. Because I we moved into office, and I never moved into the office. I had an interim I was also an interim role as a VP of a hospital. So I said, Oh, when I was supposed to be for six months, when we're out of that, I'll move into my office that extended for three years, the end of three years, I said, I'm not going to move back in because everybody is used to me not being there. So I'm not going to move back into my office. And I literally moved out of state. And then my my employer, who is one of my employees have been with me for 18 years said, Do you mind if I move to? You know, is it okay if I worked from Virginia? And I said, Well, sure. I'm working from Maryland. So we shut down the office, she moved in Virginia. Now she's in Missouri. We've been doing it all along. And it functioned fine. So the World Cups up to us last year, and realize it can't work. Yeah, there's times where it'd be nice to just walk into the other office and drop something on the desk. But you don't have to. And I think that's the lesson we were on. So you asked about what happens. And father's to say I asked asked the other way around. I said what if 2020 wasn't the blip? Right? What a lot of people think, oh, that's like a once in 100 years. So now we can go the next 99 years and everything's gonna be normal. No, that's not the case. This this is the normal. What if 2020 didn't happen? It would have probably stayed under the projections that existed that by 2030, you'd have 40% of the population working remote. We did it in 48 hours.Kyle Roed:
In 2020, kicking and screaming, but it got it done.Ira Wolfe:
We didn't have time to kick and scream. He just did it. It's like just go home. We actually my stepdaughter, just daughter in law, she was just calling the work. There. They shut they decided after a year they shutting down the office as they come in and pick up your computer. You know, up until then they were working on a laptop and it's like no, come in, pick up your computer. So there's still those transitions going along. It's gonna be somewhere in the hybrid world. But I think if people are looking for hybrid as some type of defined workspace, you know, we had some guests on my podcast, and we've been talking about it they they talked about the four day workweek, which has been talked about for four years. And a four day workweek is not it. It really is a symbol for change. It's not necessarily for 10 hour days, which people say oh, yeah, we can do that. And then you can have a Friday. Now it's because beyond that, and maybe, maybe a four day workweek also can mean two days in the office two days. Remote, right? four day workweek. We were redefined work. Work does not mean it has to be done in an office. Right. And by the way, remote doesn't mean it has to be done at home. You were working remote when you were. Yeah. When you weren't in the office. You were working remote. Right. Right. So remote is is even a misnomer. People always think Is it because we you were you were talking to somebody the other day said 90% of her time she's been traveling. She had an office, but she works. She's been remote and nobody ever considered a remote because she had a name tag on an office. Right a corporate building, which was never used. Right?Kyle Roed:
Yeah, my team just just knows when the door shut that it was locked. You know, I was just traveling, you know, so call me. And then when that, you know, when we're in the middle of pandemic, the door was always shut and so they just called me and not a whole lot changed. You know, 90% of my job was already on the phone. So, it, it just turned into video meetings, that was the biggest change.Ira Wolfe:
You know, it's funny I've had, I've been in business 26 years, there's my 26th year, I've had clients for, I have one of my longest clients is, since 1999. If I would have bumped into them on a street, standing in line somewhere with them, I would have not known who they were until the last year, I'd never met them physically didn't know what they look like other than a LinkedIn picture, right? or something, I had no idea. But over the last year, I got to meet a lot of my clients. Because it was easier because we did a video call and we got to see each other. So Eve. So again, there, you know, things have changed, some things have gotten a lot better, felt feel a lot closer to a lot of people, again, sharing experiences, backgrounds, you look in the back and you see a painting or you know, you see your kids drawings, or you see something from sports, it just creates a lot more opportunity rather than a sterile environment.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, you get on those calls. And you're like, you know, if you don't see like a cameo from a cat or a dog. One of my favorites was right, it was would have been like May, June, right around that time where we were like, Oh, geez, we might be home longer than we thought. At one point I was on a call on everybody was growing some sort of facial hair.Ira Wolfe:
Long hair, yeah. You know, couldn't go get your hair cut. So everybody's just seeing how long it could go. I remember being on a call really early on. And again, it just exposed the The fact is that I'm not sure a lot of these opportunities would have existed before. But I remember I was a call there was a group and they were doing these was the global mental, the mental, global mentor network. And they they had they they have their mentor network was was really top officials and they had general Stanley McChrystal from the effect data set years. Wow. And he was he was one of this, the speakers and they were talking about how you adapt. And he was talking about logistics and planning and what it was like, you know, to mobilize or de mobilize or extract, you know, basically he was talking about extracting forces, you're talking about taking people out of the workforce. And you know, in the middle of his presentation, his young granddaughter comes in, and he just picks her up, puts on her lap and introduces her everybody. Were prior to that, that would have been like, right before that was where that episode happened on like YouTube, where a little young child ran into the executives office. Oh, yeah, green, like the mother came in and quickly her stole away. Oh, I'm so embarrassed. That happened. He tried to talk right through it like nothing was going on, you know, now is like a real human being. Yeah, that's what that's what most people go through when they're working from home. And prior to that it was a distraction. And over the year, it became all the valuable time we had to have now with our kids that you never used to see. Right. So I'm like that now we have to I don't have a young kids but I have a grandchild is 19 months. And he when he we bait my my mostly my wife, I'll say at that point babysits Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I try to carve out some time. But soon as he comes over, he wants to come down to my office. So he'll come in and oftentimes I'm on a call. And I just pick them up, introduce him to the group. Now. He waves And off he goes. Yep. That made us human beings. Right. Right. That made us that man is real, which I? So I hope we don't lose that.Kyle Roed:
Yeah, I think it's, it's interesting, because, you know, so much of the work in in HR over the last few years has been about, you know, employee experience, human experience, humanizing the workplace being more authentic, you know, in the workplace. And, and, yeah, 2020 it was one of those years it was, you know, a lot of the technological changes that happened, it just kind of forced that a little bit. And I think it certainly humanized a number of a number of my colleagues. And, and it also it almost gave us you know, it's like, we were kind of in the same foxhole, right, you know, we've got this we've got this common enemy, this this unseen enemy, and we're all in the same situation together and just, you know, trying to trying to survive so you know, when we're going through some of these kind of these formative experiences and and you know, you talked about grit and getting stronger No, there's a tendency for people to just kind of long for normal. And you know, the phrase they feel like it's so overused now is this whole this this concept of the new normal? So as we look at normal, is that anything that we're ever going to get back to?Ira Wolfe:
I can't remember if it was in the beginning of this, or before we went on the air, we were talking about diversity and inclusion. Let's talk about social and racial equity. Justice. I'm not sure there's there's a whole segment of the population that does not want to go back to normal. You know, you can go back to when I was young, I mean, normal in the 60s, was that a woman needed her husband's permission to get birth control? needed her husband's signature to get alone? Normal was women didn't go to Ivy League schools. That was normal. Is that the normal way you're talking about? You know, prior to civil rights, I mean, we're 50 years into civil rights is normal that blacks aren't able to drink out of the same fire hydrant ride the same bus thing in the same hotels. That was normal back then. So the question is, is what's normal is is also unique to our perspective. People want to go back to what they knew what they're comfortable with. Some people do, other people do not. So I, I talk about the next. And I really think about it that way until everybody's, as you said, See, came up with new normal next normal future normal. Oh, right. Right. And one of my colleagues talked about, there'll be multiple futures. And so I, I tend to talk about preparing for the next waves, oral of normals, there will be, and normals becomes in multiple ways that you may experience normal differently than I do, but we're both white males. But then there's people in different parts of the country, different parts of the world, different colors, different races, different genders, that will experience normal for good or bad. It will be different for them. But it's also going to come in waves, not everybody's going to experience we're not. It wasn't like July 4, the world opens up and everybody's good. We know that's not going to happen. We know there's going to be other transformations. So how do we change our mindset? How do we individually adapt to next waves of normal? So I'm vaccinated. Pennsylvania is in pretty good shape. They're gonna they're talking about I think Philadelphia is like going full blast open in two or three weeks, you know, other parts of the state are doing that there's others other states that are still shutting down. We're still wondering what we're gonna do with schools. But it's not universal. I mean, it there are different. And then on top of that, it's like okay, the pandemics gone. But now we got a gas shortage.Kyle Roed:
Hackers on the pipeline and the gas.Ira Wolfe:
I talked about vuca. You know, I talk I talk about vuca, volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous I said, What a better acronym for 2020, volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. That's what it was. That's that, if you want to have one definition and normal, it will be volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. It's vuca. That's the new normal, which means that it's completely uncertain. It's uneven. We're gonna have waves of it. So my definition of normal is vuca, which is not most people's definition, the normal most people definition normal is predictable, slow, steady.Kyle Roed:
The answer to that is no.Kyle Roed:
Right? Right.Ira Wolfe:
We're not going back.Kyle Roed:
I'm really glad you didn't just answer it. No, because that would have been a much less entertaining response. Yeah, I mean, yeah, yeah, gas, you know, gas line hack. Like what a great example of just something that you know, it's probably predictable, but unexpected. And, and now you got the government coming out and saying, Hey, guys, don't fill out plastic bags with gas. It's not a good idea. You know, it's like, Come on, guys. Let's let's take a deep breath.Ira Wolfe:
Don't get all the toilet paper and paper towels.Kyle Roed:
I kind of i don't i don't know about other HR people, but I kind of find HR to be kind of like a funny thing. Case Study in human behavior and like a little bit of psychology, a little bit of sociology mixed in and, and sometimes it's just it's just kind of fun to watch the, you know, the reactions of people. But as we talk about the kind of the vuca world and I agree 100%, you know, I like to say changes the only constant. And I can't remember where I heard that I didn't. I didn't make that up. ButIra Wolfe:
what what, which is also interesting, Hercules said that, like in 400 BC, that's where that came from. It's true. They've been talking all along. Yeah. Yeah. copyright and trademark. Yeah. Every talking along that since the since BC. Yeah, it changes the only constant we still haven't yet as human beings, we still don't believe it.Kyle Roed:
Yeah. So so how do we, how do we build that muscle? How do we build our adaptability? So that so that we're ready for that so that we can be nimble in these types of situations? and glad?Ira Wolfe:
Yes, I've been, you know, again, my TED talk was about vuca was about, we talked about vuca prime, which I got to give credit to Bob Johansen from the Institute of future, he turned me on to that. And he talked about, you know, how do you turn volatility is the vuca prime and vuca prime, his version of it was a vision, understanding, clarity, and agility. So how do you? So that was the focus? How do you turn that uncertainty into tools that you can use? And you know, there's a couple different variations of that I did my TED Talk. That's what we talked about. But making that it's like, how do you make that transition? And so I was, I was introduced to the adaptability quotient A few years ago, and then ended up partnering with an organization in the UK, they did a lot of research there, Singularity University, through the UN, through a couple of corporations and a few other universities. And they started to look at the question you just asked, how do we build that? And what they, they identified, there were 15 dimensions, and they broken into three categories. We, individuals have abilities, they have skills, and then there was our character, how does our personality impact that? So as an extrovert, we need to talk to other people, we need to think out loud. And for introverts, you think to yourself, you know, you're mulling over? And how does that impact your ability to change. And then the third factor was the environment. And the environment is the company culture, which we've just we've we also talked about earlier. So company culture wasn't necessarily that we had to be in one place. And there there was something that you felt, but it was measured by company support, team support, emotional support, how stressful is the job, and how stressful is the environment in which you're working? So so you have the three categories, and they call it the ACE model, AC E, which is abilities, character and environment. I've been focusing on the abilities. And we mentioned two of the five abilities before grit and resilience. So we do need grit, we do need, we need resilience, because moving through the stages of adaptability is at the low end, or people who collapse who fail who decline. And then you have coping, so there's skills you need to cope with change. But coping doesn't help you get better. And then you can grow How do you grow with change? And that or how do you thrive with change because you can grow but not thrive? So the four stages are declining, coping, growing and thriving. How do you move through those? Well, you need grit and resilience. You need to persevere to go from one step to the other. You need resilience, because there's going to be setbacks no matter what. We're going to have setbacks. But how do you become better? How do we go back to that anti fragility that I talked about? How do you grow stronger and better? And in order to do that, you need growth, have a growth mindset. If you're familiar with growth mindset, Carol Dweck, w d ck if anybody wants to look that up. She wrote a book she did a study studies with kids, which is the same what Angela Duckworth did with grit they identified you know that in kids first and then how do we take that to business? They grow a fixed mindset is and I was afflicted with a group growth. My fixed mindset for years fixed mindset was that our our, our IQ was set. Our intelligence was set. And you're either smarter, you're not or you're good or you're not. And at some point, you know, if you had good grades if you were smart, if you were a star athlete, you stopped expensive. And you stop trying things. Because if you failed, people would say, Oh, I thought you were so good. I thought you were the star. I thought you, you know, you were the top of the class, I thought you, I hired you to do this job. And now you're saying you need to go back to school. I got hired a student, if they need to go back to school, why do I need to do that? So you started to fall into that fixed mindset. And growth mindset was just that life is life. We're always evolving. We're always learning, we're always growing, we're gonna make we're gonna make mistakes, you learn from your mistakes. So we need a growth mindset, we need mental flexibility. Mental flexibility is the ability of a couple, there's a couple definitions for it. But primarily, it's the ability to take two opposing thoughts and keep two opposing thoughts in your head at the same time. So it's, it's literally listening to CNN and Fox News, and simultaneously, and not taking sides. But trying to see what's the big picture? How does this all work? And and not not having your head blow up? Yeah. Yeah. So it's, it's mental flexibility is a struggle. And then the final one is unlearning. That's not the final one. The fifth one is unlearning. And then learning is not dumping, you know, it's not doing a brain dump. It's not forgetting everything you did. But it's how do I unlearn the bad behaviors or the counterproductive favors they worked, they helped me get to this, this place. That's what I was known for. But you know what, if I continue to do that over and over again, they're not going to work, it's not going to be helpful. It's not, they're not going to be as successful. So I need to, to learn new things. But I need to unlearn or maybe you apply them in a different way and unlearn the old model. So the five abilities that we can, and these, the good thing about this, they're all learnable is grit, resilience, mental flexibility, growth, mindset, and on learning. And by doing that, they've been able to demonstrate that people that can improve in those areas can become more adaptable. And ultimately, what adaptability does, is that adaptability gives you the courage, to try new things, to take that step to try a new behavior to get a new job, to change the business model, whatever it might be, it gives you the courage to do that. And the more the more attempts you have at it, the more confident you become. And ultimately, if you become confident, you're more hopeful. And this is about hope. I mean, it's about you can't go into the future with a dystopian view that the robots are going to take our jobs. And the world's coming to an end. And we're all going to fix the AP as a climate change. And, you know, it'll be underwater. I mean, if that's how are we going to, we're always going to be on the defensive, you're not going to be optimistic, but how do you develop hope? How do you become more hopeful for our future? And in order to do that, you need to be confident, you need to be courageous. And so I don't look at it as adaptability as Oh, it's a number one leadership skill. It's an everybody's skill. And the group that I partnered with has a mission. I mean, their mission is, how do you help 100 million people in the next 10 years not be left behind? Because that's the risk of how many, you know, World Economic Forum estimates. This was before 2020 estimated that 375 million people are at risk of being left behind. And some of that was just lack of technology. Some of that was lack of clean water, clean air, in other events, but it's as much worse now it just got accelerated. So again, you know, how do we make that leap? How do we get people more comfortable, more courageous, more confident, more hopeful, is through adaptability. And the good thing is they're, they're also uniquely human skills. We, they there we are so far off from having a robot or AI being more open minded. You know, they can they can learn patterns, but they can't unlearn the patterns that they come up with. That's not that. That's not what you know, ai does. Eventually, yeah, but we're pretty far off from that. So what are the uniquely human skills we can teach people to develop and improve and and it's grit, resilience, mental flexibility, growth, mindset and learning.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely, it and thank you so much. I think you summed it up so well and and, you know, as I reflect on, on, on my career and my growth in, in organizational, you know, experiences that I've had and, you know, if if you're in human resources and you aren't adaptable, you're it's really going to be a struggle. It's not going to be fun. You know, quite frankly, and I think, especially in our world, it is easy to, it's easy to lose hope, sometimes, because because the problems are so challenging. And you have to have that kind of that grit and resilience, and you have to, you have to sometime you're helping people through maybe some of the worst situations that they've ever dealt with in their lives. Whether that's, you know, termination of employment, or, you know, the illness of a family member or themselves, you know, those, those types of situations land on our desk all the time. And but I loved your perspective that, you know, hope, you know, hope allows you to be adaptable. And and, you know, I think that, that certainly hit home for me, it's kind of like the, I can't remember the movie, but it was it was a woody allen movie. And he, he was a young, young child, and he said, you know, what's the point, eventually the sun's gonna, you know, grow up, and it's gonna be over in a few billion years. So why are we here at all?Ira Wolfe:
A unique perspective of looking at things. Yeah. It's interesting, because, you know, what, when we talk about, you know, from an HR perspective, we talk about, I get a call every day. I mean, my business is, we primarily do like pre employment and leadership testing. So I get a call is, do you, you know, we want to test for grit, we want to test for emotional intelligence, or, and then I'm involved with a lot of other conversations on diversity and inclusion of bias and pay equity. How do we make those changes? Well, that all requires a bit of adaptability. But all the people that are involved, how do you get people to become more accepting of other people? How do you get people to become more empathetic? How do you do that? How do you become more empathetic? How do you develop emotional intelligence, which is the ability to see, to feel somebody else's emotions to be able to read the crowd? How do you do that? If you don't have a growth mindset, if you don't have mental flexibility, and unlearning. So we can't all the tasks, all the projects that are on as well, this year, we're going to focus leadership and emotional intelligence. And strategically we're going to look at diversity and inclusion. And then maybe we can talk about adaptability. You know, right. I don't know how you do any of those things. Unless you teach people to become more understanding of other people to be able to walk in other people's shoes, to be able to read the crowd to see a different perspective to unlearn. I can't tell you how many things I have learned last year. And partly it was because somebody introduced to me I important part of us through the podcast, you interview some interesting guests. And they is like, Oh, I have never, I never saw that before. Right. You know how, and you know, how difficult it is, especially about racial inequalities? Yeah, I mean, there's so much that came out last year. And I was like, how did I not see that? I always I thought I was doing the right thing. And I wasn't. And, and again, it's not feel it. You feel guilty to a degree, but how do I how do I not continue to repeat that? Right? And and you have to be comfortable with that you can't become comfortable with it if you're not adaptable.Kyle Roed:
Right, right. Well, this has just been an absolutely wonderful conversation, and I want to be mindful of time. So really appreciate the content. Today, we're gonna shift gears and we're gonna go into the rebel human resources. Flash round. All right, here we go. Question number one. What are you reading right now?Ira Wolfe:
Oh, gosh. 15 books piled up on my desk? Yeah, um, two books. One is human accuracy. And it is probably going into your second question as well, because I'm listening to it on Audible. And, and reading it on Kindle simultaneously. And the other is the app adaptation advantage. And, obviously, for good reasons, we just talked a lot about it. Some really, really good perspectives, you know, and that human accuracies by Gary Hamel and megaways anini. And it's really excellent. It's, it shoots down bureaucracy, you know, the bureaucracy and HR is a bureaucracy.Kyle Roed:
Yeah. I hate bureaucracy. That's part of why, you know, we started this podcast to try to, you know, kind of knock down the the pillars of, of HR as the as the cop, or the, you know, the people catch you doing the wrong things, or drawing up a 600 page policy book that no one reads.Ira Wolfe:
Oh, exactly. So human accuracy, great, some great concepts in there. And I really enjoy that in depth adaptation advantage sort of fits in the same roomKyle Roed:
without it. All right, perfect. Question number two, Who should we be listening ToIra Wolfe:
obviously, Kyle Roed rebel HRKyle Roed:
enter shameless plug. All right, thanks. I appreciate it. IIra Wolfe:
think skeezers Google isation. There you go, is out there. Really, there are so many quality people. Josh Burson, you know, is certainly way out there. JOHN, you know, he's one of the leaders. But I'll give you some advice that I don't necessarily have one specific person. But I heard this by Jeff Hoffman, Jeff Hoffman was one of the co founders of Priceline. And he talked, I've drawn a blank, I just said, brain freeze of what the what he called it, but it was essentially every day, he for 10 or 15 minutes would read something, or listened to something that had nothing to do with his business. And people go well, why are you you know, he wasn't in the restaurant business. What Why were you doing restaurants? What your you were in banking? Why would you read about restaurants? Well, the drive thru didn't come from banking. The drive thru came from McDonald's, fast food restaurant cerdo. So why couldn't we do that? Why couldn't you drive up and drop your deposit off? Why do you have to come into the bank? So there's things happening in other industries that in will impact or you can learn from in your business? So my suggestion is, is you know, if it was who do I listen to pick somebody in some other industry, that you say, I don't know anything about this? And see what see what's happening in that business. And that'll be that'll be the lesson.Kyle Roed:
I love that response. Learn or unlearn something, by listening to someone different, right? Yeah. laughter. All right. Last question here hard hitting question for you. How can our listeners connect with you?Ira Wolfe:
Oh, many different ways. I'm on social wealth. I'm on my website success, performance. solutions.com. That's the business or simply Ivor wolf.com. That's my personal site. I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on Twitter, you can go. Just you can Google my name. But if you connect with me, reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter, I'll, I'll respond accordingly and connect back with you. You can also just Google swinging and Google zation. I s wolf SS for Steven. I will show up somewhere.Kyle Roed:
Absolutely. And newest book that's out and available. Now.Ira Wolfe:
It's recruiting in the age of globalization. It's on Amazon, you can go up to the website. It's available through my website as well. If you want to sign copy and go to the website, if you want a quick, go to Google or go to Amazon that.Kyle Roed:
Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Ira. It's just been absolutely wonderful talking to you today. And I thought some really valuable content for anybody whether you're an HR or not, I think anybody who's looking to to understand the new normal, and how that may need to shift in your mind, and some some ways to get there. I really appreciate it. Thanks, Ira.Ira Wolfe:
Thanks very much, though, as I always close, don't let the shift at your plans.Kyle Roed:
Thanks. All right, that does it for the rebel HR podcast. Yes, follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel a human resources.com use it opinions expressed by revelator our podcast was the opposite, not necessarily policy or position during this podcastJude Roed: