Talent Innovation for Engagement and Leadership Development

Businesses are getting more complex and ambiguous. Talent pools are more diverse and mobile. The market place is more volatile and uncertain. What can you as a leader be equipped for lead now into the future. How would you approach talent engagement, leadership development in the context of the marketplace. Want insights as to what you can do? Watch the recording of the Hangout edition of Talent Innovations 2015 with Dr Wayne Pernell, High Performance Leadership Coach and Cheryl Liew-Chng, CEO/Founder of LifeWorkz and Certified High Performance Coach to know the trends that are unfolding which are impacting your talent pool and marketplace, learn what smart organizations are doing about these happenings, be equipped as to what you can do as a contemporary leader. Watch right now.

What are you doing for talent engagement in 2015? Leave you comments and thoughts below.

Show Notes:  You may reach Cheryl at and Wayne at

Full Transcription here:

Cheryl:            Hey, there. My name is Cheryl, CEO of LifeWorkz, founder of 24-Hour Woman. Welcome to Talent Innovation 2015. Today, we’d meet Dr. Wayne Pernell, all the way from the US and you are in for treat because we’ll be sharing with you the emerging trends, current situation, things that we have worked with, with organization has worked and not worked for talent innovation, leadership, high performance.

All the good stuff and all the things that you need to know going into the year forward or in the next 12 months as you plan out your talent strategies, your leadership strategies. First of all, let me welcome Wayne. Hey, Wayne. How are you?

Wayne:           Great, Cheryl. This is going to be a lot of fun because not only are we looking at talent innovation, we’re also looking at some predictions we have for the year ahead as well. We’ll look at some trends, we’ll look ahead. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Cheryl:            Yes. For those of you that’s watching this right now, Wayne and I have been trying to come together to get this sharing session out to the audience, to the community of people managers, and decision makers [so that 00:01:18] the strategies that’s needed to move your organizations forward in a very complex and suddenly, a very much more volatile kind of business environment. We are seeing changes in the talent pool.

We have about an hour, so I’m just going to jump right in and ask Wayne to share with us what are the trends that he’s seeing out in the US. Many of your clients, Wayne, I believe are global form, so you would also be seeing what’s happening around the world. What are some of your thoughts?

Wayne:           My background is in clinical psychology and I brought that to business about 30 years ago. I’ve been able to do organization development, talent development, and leadership development, working with some senior executives and some major groups across the country.

I am a high performance leadership coach, a certified high performance coach. I focus on leadership and what I see are pockets of really creative talent percolating up. What happens is that more and more senior leaders are recognizing the need for creativity. I’m actually seeing a polar split so either “it’s my way, or get out, or it’s our way.

What’s interesting about that is that it’s very vision-based and so our way is based on what vision we have as a group, a collective group looking at where we headed. Once the talent pool that comes on is really well-informed about what the vision is, it becomes their choice whether to stay and contribute toward that vision, or whether to say, “Well, that’s not the vision for me. I want to find a different company.”

The old style was you come to work, you learn to sit at a desk for eight hours, you learn to do your thing, that’s it. There’s more collaboration that I’m seeing in the workforce and what I’m also seeing is that the enlightened leaders are the ones that are actually calling for that. They are looking at individual differences and making cross-departmental teams so that individuals can talk together and there’s no more silo.

Cheryl:            Right. Actually, we are seeing some similar developments on our end and as you know, we do a lot of work with regards to the generations in a workplace. We are in the midst of the huge crew change with baby boomers that will be potentially leaving the workforce and lots of the millennials coming right in.

We do see people taking a lot more control with regards to the work that they do and smart leaders like you say, contemporary leaders realized that the demographics are changing just like their market place is changing.

Leadership is also, the new leadership we see that it’s going to be successful now and going into the future are those who are able to build commons, find common ground, are people who are able to have a dilemma and be able to decide upon a dilemma. Because there’s no good … I mean, any solution is not the perfect solution, but they have the courage to take that forward.

Importantly, their people joined them because they find that it is meaningful, they find that it is alive, and they find that their voices are heard. I thought that when I was preparing for this, I thought that’s interesting because one of your key message as you look with leaders going forward is about rule making, isn’t it?

Wayne:           It is actually. Right. You can see right back here, Meaning Maker Leadership is my website, Really, what I start with there is the definition of the self. You see, I believe that leaders have to be … I believe many things about leaders. The first is that just about everybody is a leader.

It doesn’t matter where you are in an organization, or at home, or in a community. If you’re being noticed or watched – it could be even by your kids or it could be by a small group of work colleagues – if you’re being watched, you’re potentially a leader.

Cheryl:            Absolutely.

Wayne:           I believe that to be a good leader, you have to good in relationships. You have to be good with understanding other people and I think that to be good in relationships, you have to be really strong in yourself.

Actually, I have seven steps in Meaning Maker Leadership that I walk people through. That’s what I look for in a really strong organization is, “Does the leader have a good definition of self? Do they know who they are, both personally and professionally?” The second thing, do you want me to talk about this now or shall I go into it later?

Cheryl:            Well, we can go into it that later. In fact as you know, in a couple of months time, we’ve got a host special, again, another special webinar where we were focused just the entire hour on leadership. It’s good to know if they need to find out more information, it’s, right?

Wayne:           Exactly.

Cheryl:            You brought up two interesting trends that we’re also seeing here in Asia that are increasing a need for a workplace to be collaborative and that the leader needs to be one that is able to know about themselves, but also be able to help others find a meaning and alignment.

Wayne:           Absolutely.

Cheryl:            We see a lot of that as we work. Actually the trend that we are seeing here in Asia, increasing diversity in the generations in the culture, gender, and generation diversity. That’s a key area that we focused on at LifeWorkz. We see that the leader plays a critical role in building a more inclusive workplace, right?

Wayne:           Yeah.

Cheryl:            That’s why for us, we define it as “Are you a contemporary leader? Are you able to embrace whatever that’s happening in your talent pool and in your businesses and bring that forward?”

Wayne:           Let’s talk about contemporary and embracing whatever is happening because I think diversity was such a big word that was pushed around since the 80’s, maybe even before that. It has taken on different meaning over time and I think what we look at now is as the workplace shifts, and we are looking at millennials, and even what’s called the “indigenous digital generation,” that they are born into digital. They won’t even what a record is, right?

Cheryl:            Oh, yeah.

Wayne:           They won’t know how to read a watch that’s got hands, so in terms of “indigenous digital,” the millennials, as we get a workplace like that, everybody actually comes with a different background. It’s not about ethnicity. Where I think diversity used to be about ethnicity, now it’s about “What do you bring? Who are you? What kind of talent do you have?” and that mixture is really very different.

What we look for in a diverse workplace is very different. And being able to draw on each individual’s strengths, I think that’s the sign of a great leader: is to recognize what strengths does this person bring versus this (other) person. What’s great when you really, really look at that diversity is that there’s an overlap, and that there’s actually more commonality than there is diversity.

Cheryl:            Absolutely.

Wayne:           Rather than pushing away, you get this commonality with this special flavor or perspective. That perspective is what makes for a really strong organizations.

Cheryl:            You are absolutely right to say that the definition of diversity has evolved and we’re not talking about more the physical appearance anymore, but more in terms of the diversity of thoughts. Because that is the genuine value that you bring to the organization, the diversity of thoughts and therefore, the leadership that is able to cope with the diverse thoughts that comes to the workplace and be able to funnel it down so that people do see a common ground, right?

Wayne:           I agree.

Cheryl:            That’s what we see in terms of the trends unfolding. As we get into work with some of the organizations, we are able to test out certain strategies that has helped them to be successful. One final thought about trends though as far as Asia is concerned, we see the impact of technology. Huge impact in terms of when how we work, and when how we communicate and engage with one another.

Wayne:           True.

Cheryl:            What are your thoughts on your side?

Wayne:           Well, even what we’re doing here, Cheryl, is a big tribute to technology. I mean, I’m sitting in the Bay Area, the San Francisco bay area in California and you’re in Singapore. The fact that we can host this essentially on different days, you’re in one day and I’m in another… you’re actually living in my future. I think that that’s fabulous because I think what we’re seeing is the ability to cross-collaborate using technology that’s now available.

I mean, 20 years ago, this was barely emerging and almost nobody used this kind of technology. This, specifically, wasn’t available at all. The ability to gather new information, to pick certain pieces that are useful and then to incorporate them into the specific work site, I think that that’s available in an instant and that the really good leaders are looking for people that can do that.

What we do, you and I is to really help those leaders to find those people or to help those leaders to use filters so that they know what they’re looking for. You and I are helping organizations to be able to get faster at doing this kind of communication and to look at what works in terms of communication. I do want to say one more thing if I’m allowed to go on a drift here.

Cheryl:            Anything else before we hit on to the next section.

Wayne:           I think the other thing that’s true in terms of high level communication and technology is that we do need to go back to basics. There’s a certain level of “Wow. Well, I’m able to communicate via webcam across multiple contents around the world.” Also, there’s a certain level of decorum, being able to use language in a way both with text because that’s really fast and efficient, but very often misunderstood. With email, especially, tonality is missed.

I think it’s back to basics for leaders especially, but also for the work teams who are trying to communicate with each other and with their leaders to look at what’s called Meta-Communication. I mean, 38% of what we communicate is through our tone. We could express joy just by having our voices go up or if some thing is oh-so-serious, then we get deeper and lower through tonality.

38% of what we communicate comes through that way and 55% comes through in our facial expression and our body language. I think that leaders and even the workforce, the general workforce, often forgets that. In the midst of emerging technology, I think it’s really important that we go back to basics as well and use that (meta-communication) as an anchor for how we communicate.

Cheryl:            It ties back right into the trends that we are seeing in terms of having a more diverse workplace.

Wayne:           Definitely.

Cheryl:            Definitely, communication and how we communicate. When do and how we communicate would really be the ones that would built the platform for inclusion. Right?

Wayne:           Exactly.

Cheryl:            We’ve got more people joining us, Wayne. Well, for those of you who have just joined us, welcome. Dr. Wayne Wayne Pernell and myself have just been talking about what are some of the emerging trends that we are seeing in terms of talent and leadership based under what that he’s doing now in the US with global firms and myself in Asia with global firms and with the regional and local entities. I want to move on and because we just wanted to make sure that we keep on to time.

Wayne:           That’s a productivity strength that you have and I think that’s also one of the things that makes for a really solid leader, so very good. Keep track of time and keep us going. Go, Cheryl.

Cheryl:            Because I think the next topic we’re going to get into, because of all these emerging trends, talent innovation and leadership sort of there’s merger in some of the traits and skill set and teams that being built up that I am seeing as we go into the future. One of the fundamentals I believe is how can we build each individual become a high performer just as the leader is a high performer but in different arenas and in different roles?

Both of us are certified high performance coach and we all know, there are at most 200 of us. I think it’s important as part of talent innovation how the individuals, number one, find mastery again. Number two, be align and find purpose and number three, be able to have that freedom because they are high performers. They are not going to so-called “under perform” or not contribute to the team and to the organization.

I want to touch a little bit on the work that we do, or you and I do with regards to high performance with the organizations we are now working with for organization effectiveness. What are some of the things that had work, had not work, and how should we be experimenting with this? What are you thoughts?

Wayne:           Well, I’m going to go back to vision and values, that’s the place that I start. People can’t align with any kind of movement if they don’t understand it. It’s really up to the leader to convey what his or her values are for the work process, for the work projects, and for the vision ahead and to really look at what lies ahead.

Where does this department, where does this project, where does this unit, this division, or this whole business entity, where are we heading? That’s really up to the leader to make that clear, where we heading in the next one year, two years, five years. Always, when I start, and even in looking at high performance, I start with vision, I start with values.

In high performance, we look at five different areas. We look at clarity being number one, energy, courage, productivity, and influence, those are five key areas. Where we can get clarity about where we’re headed, where we can get clarity about who we are, where we can get clarity about what we want. Then it becomes the task to communicate that.

That is gigantic and that’s how you get from being a high performer to being a super high performer and to be able to engage the team because they’re clear that you believe in where you’re headed. I think as a leader, you’re going to want to develop those skills.

Cheryl:            What we have done with regards to high performance is we work with leaders on those areas, but we have also work with individuals, right?

Wayne:           Yeah!

Cheryl:            … In the area of clarity, energy, productivity, and impact and influence because they impact the day today and it actually does impact the final outcome that you see. What we have also done is we are not in step with human resource team, we have the operations team, etc., to look at what does it mean then to engage them in terms of clarity.

The skill of of storytelling becomes something that we help leaders with to be able to … Saying it once in an email or in a town hall does not cut it, you need to repeat what you say consistently over seven times before they actually realize that “Yes, that’s exactly that is needed from me. Define and understand, that’s greater clarity.”

The other thing that we see working with the human resource team in terms of structures and practices is really getting them to help the leaders to understand what it means to enable each voice in the room to be heard so that does greater level of impact and influence for the team members and therefore does greater autonomy.

Other fundamentals that Daniel Pink talks about in terms of the new schience in management and motivation. The other thing that we have, we have seen successful organizations and certainly, the internal managers and the HR teams work on is how to do we build a culture. Again, it goes back to the piece, “How do we build a culture where each talent counts?”

It goes back to my work around diversity and inclusion, but about how can HR and senior management now not view one-size-fit-all, but every talent counts and therefore every talent’s way of gaining clarity of what he does mean to the organization or what the organization expects of him.

In terms of productivity, how do we help? That’s my belief about people in organizations is the role of the managers and the leaders to remove the barriers to our team, doing great work. Right?

Wayne:           I agree.

Cheryl:            That’s what motivates me to be hosting Talent Innovation and the Talent and Leadership Innovation conversation because I believe that’s where it starts.

Wayne:           You said two things that I’d like to underscore: one is that leaders need to repeat their message seven or eight times before it’s heard. I don’t know about you but when I conveyed that to leaders, when I’ve told them that, they’re like “Why can’t they get that the first time?”

The key is not you repeat yourself over, and over, and over again, because that puts you in a parental tone, in a parental place, and you’ll get a child-like push back where people just don’t want to hear it. You repeat yourself in different ways and you repeat yourself with different media.

I think that using a video message, using an all-staff meeting, using a follow-up email to convey what you want to say is really important. The other thing you said is how do you get involvement? How do you get people to feel appreciated? Really, study, after study, after study, since the early 80’s has confirmed that what makes a person feel good about work is not (primarily) pay. That’s usually number five on the list.

Among the top things are they want is acknowledgement. They want to know that what they do matters. If you’re not taking the time to verbally high-five like “I saw you do this thing, that was fabulous. It matters. It matters to our project.” If you’re not taking the time to do that, you’re killing the project.

The other thing that I do with my teams that I work with is I encourage verbal high-fives amongst team members. That’s like if you see this behavior happen and it’s part of what we’re trying to build as a culture, high-five each other. Just walk by and high-five or say something like, “Nice going.”

Acknowledge each other because I think that has to become a trend; I think it’s something we can change. I think moving forward, we can turn into … We can make a culture of appreciation and gratitude. That’s part of culture and that is part of success, as a matter of fact.

Cheryl:            Absolutely.

Wayne:           Attitude and empathy are both highly correlated with success.

Cheryl:            Right. We see this, the high-five piece is showing gratitude and appreciation piece, so, so critical, particularly with the younger generations coming into the workplace where they kind of wait for the entire year for you to say, “Great job.” Something that has work very well for our clients is that we empower every individual team member to show the appreciation to reinforce the behaviors that we want to be seeing in the workplace, rather than just waiting for the leader or the manager to be the only ones doing so.

Therefore, there is an elevation and the workplace becomes more dynamic, there’s more positivity. In terms of talent innovation, I think the application here for talent innovation is that to create practices that would enable us to have more uplifting organization. Because everything else going around has a lot of doom and down with spiral.

If your organization is able to create engagement to having a workplace that’s more uplifting, then that is an organization that would immediately have that buzz of that difference.

Wayne:           It’s true. There’s a word you implied but left out and that word is “fun.” Right? What we’re seeing more and more is we’ve got a culture that comes from gaming, that video games are part of the culture from very early on at this point. Now, to put it as gamification is the verb, or noun I guess, to gamify is the verb …

When things become something worth working toward and everybody is pushing toward the same thing, and there’s some level of “Wow, I can see it. I can see it. We’re almost there” and you’ve got the leader both acknowledging what the direction is as well as looking back and acknowledging individual contributors.

The key to this is not to make anybody feel like a loser over and over again. It’s like “Oh, employee of the month.” That very seldom works because employee of the month means that nobody else is worthy of recognition.

It’s really important that the leader goes, “Wow, you contributed in this way and look at where we got. You contributed in this way, look at where we got” and to make it fun along the way. That’s where Meaning Maker Leadership asks for the leader to pause, to find those places where is that you’re actually making a difference with your team and that you’re team recognizes that they’re making a difference in the project.

Cheryl:            That’s exactly what we work with with organizations around the different generations at work. We do alone work around optimizing generations in a workplace and like you said, find the right way of delivering the recognition.

I think all of us have good intention. We all want to reward the people for doing a good work but often the way that we are rewarding and acknowledging them, they’re shying away because they’re “I don’t feel that I’m being rewarded. I feel like I’m being punished.” One of the pieces that I always tell my client is “What do we do when we find that we have a high performer?”

Wayne:           Right. You punish them for being good at what they do …

Cheryl:            We usually give them more work. As far as the high performance is concerned, they are “Why should I be a high performer when I’m just increasingly being piled up and choked up with worK?”

Wayne:           Exactly.

Cheryl:            That’s a place where you think that that’s a high potential but be able to talk to them about it, is it about work on them rather than when they look across, they say, “Hey, what is that guy doing?”

When you have a complex and diverse workforce, you need to be mindful about the kind of reward and recognition about how frequent is. Not just the HR but people managers, they are the closest to the talent pool. That’s where we see a lot of innovation coming through because then the people managers themselves are the ones who think through.

These are the people that’s on my team and this is what would work in collaboration with the HR teams and the diversity and inclusion team to structure things that would work. Because even if you have a lot of investment, if it’s not working, it’s waste of investment.

Wayne:           Right. I mean, the other thing is let’s talk investment. A lot of times, leaders or managers who are also leaders along the way, they think that the best incentives is to give their team members money. Well, that’s number five on the list. Let’s talk about why. Because if someone gets some money along the way, what do they expect the next year? What do they expect the next time around? What if they contributed more, but you’re only giving them the same amount of money?

What that does is it sets up an expectation, it sets up a culture of entitlement and it’s like “Well, I work twice as hard this year and I got the same amount? Forget it.” Unfortunately, that becomes a set-up for embezzlement in an organization. It’s “I’ll take a few pencils. I’ll take a ream of paper. I deserve it. I’ve worked hard.” And that (embezzlement) shows up in different ways.

The reason I’m bringing it up is to caution our leaders who are watching this that it’s really important that you don’t setup a culture of entitlement. The way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to catch people doing things right. Be out there, show them that you’re invested in the process. The other thing is to invest in your team.

Cheryl:            Sorry, let me just give a quick example about catching people doing things right. We were working with a company and this CEO has this habit. He goes around with his hand phone and he would just go and snap pictures, but he would snap pictures of what is happening right. Then he would send this picture to the department heads and the division heads and say, “This is what I saw and it’s great.” It is the department and division heads to communicate to that specific person where it happened.

The whole chain … He basically, they created a whole of movement of “Let’s catch people doing right.” Because we are very good in catching people doing wrong, right? Actually, our eyes are trained for that.

Wayne:           True.

Cheryl:            Over their last job months have enabled them to a more positive environment, and an environment are eager to do that which is [value-added 30:28].

Wayne:           Yes.

Cheryl:            Sorry, I disrupted you.

Wayne:           No. It’s all good. I think I was just talking about investment, right?

Cheryl:            Yes.

Wayne:           The other part of investment, right? Yes, catching people doing something right has to match the vision. It’s one thing to say, “This person did something right” to tie it and to make it really strong, and to tie it to “that matches the vision of our program, of our process, of our company. Yes, let’s celebrate that” and it keeps the vision in front of the team.

Where I was headed also was the investment in the individual, that paying somebody is different because it just keeps them at arms length. If you really find out what they’re interested in and you want to invest in them then to develop a high performer by increasing their, knowledge, their skills, or their abilities, their KSAs, right? We talked about KSA, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. When you invest in them, you are showing them you care about them.

You make them a part of the process and then because you’ve invested in them, it does build loyalty. You do get that pay off of someone wanting to show you what they’ve learned in investing of themselves then into the company.

Cheryl:            We are seeing this at play, particularly with the younger generation. The more you invest in them in the sense of knowing what their aspirations are, their dreams are, and I know many of the people on the call might say, “Oh, they want to be the top of the organization in 18 months. That’s not going to happen.” If you know that that’s the aspiration, how can we help them, number one, understand what is needed to be at that seat?

Number two, if they are really interested, how we are willing to invest with them so that their dreams and aspiration becomes part of our process of developing the pipeline. We are seeing organization who invested time and I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy, but investing time and energy, having that conversation, building the structures to care for them if they are committed. That’s where the element …

I wouldn’t push that far to say, “Loyalty” but I would say that the element of retention is possible because you are intertwining things like career management, things like learning and development, things I respect that you have an aspiration. “Let’s work together, it sets up collaboration.” That all works very well for the younger generation that’s coming in.

Wayne:           It works for everybody. I mean, if you approach with respect and collaboration and show a need to invest or a desire to invest, you do that with anybody at any level, I’d say especially with the younger generation, but I don’t want to exclude those that have been around for 20 years. They’re like “Well, I know how this works,” right?

If you got somebody who’s at this place where they’ve been there, they know how it works, they just want to do their job, if you showed up differently as a leader with that person, you could guide them. You could make some movement because they’re used to you being a certain way with them, they’re used to them being a certain way in the job.

I think that it’s really important that we look at whether people are in the wrong job or whether they’re in the job wrong. It’s up to us as leaders to come and develop them to see what they’re interested in.

Cheryl:            The area that I wanted to touch on was that for the baby boomers and actually looking at the talent shortage that we are seeing right now is about the right fit of the person.

Wayne:           It is about fit.

Cheryl:            You cannot find the right fit for a person on a full of perspective, then knowing the person’s aspiration or knowing your potential recruits. [Stars 00:34:45] aspiration would be helpful for you to tap on in terms of your recruitment and your retention strategy.

One of the things that we have been helping for companies is in terms of helping them transit so-called that potential baby boomers who might be thinking of retiring, how can we help them evolve into a different career, but still within the organization, so what’s the pattern?

You know that I’m very passionate about flexibility at work because I think it’s such a waste of effort of you having invested and train individuals, only for them to leave after X numbers of years with you.

If you know the aspirations, if you know what they are facing in their life stage, flexibility of carving out when, where, and how work gets done and still, it’s important that work gets done, helps you to tap on talent pool that you might not have before and help you to keep the talent pool that you have already invested in.

Wayne:           Right. That’s true.

Cheryl:            Do you see that flexibility is going to be and increasingly critical too? Because I feel, as I look across organizations, we have all tapped on the financials, compensation, and benefits. We have tap on management development, communication. All the engagements factors that we are seeing are for talent management, for talent innovation, we have tap one at four to five very consistently, overnight. My goodness, 5, 10, 15 years.

What’s new I see as talent innovation in terms of flexibility, in terms of a more contemporary leader, and in terms of being embracing them [a sea 00:36:33] of thoughts by creating a more inclusive workplace. These are the four things that I see would bring us forward.

I’m moving really right into what … We are talking about the trends, we have talked about what has looked in organizations, and now perhaps sharing with the people that’s on the call, What do we see going forward? What would you see is going forward?

Wayne:           Well, I just love that you use the word “flexibility.” I think that that’s a gigantic word. I think that it is often missed. When I’m working with leaders, I look for two things in my leaders, one is credibility, did they say what they mean and do they do what they say? The other is flexibility and so it goes back to vision.

Are they able to say, “We are headed this direction and I’m putting you in charge. I really don’t care how we get there, I mean, I have some ideas, this is what I think we should do but ultimately, we’re going to end here. We’re going to end right here, so how do we get there?” Sometimes, it’s back and forth.

The flexibility, I have a vision for where we’re headed. I think that the communication happens. I think that that’s got to go back to basics and when I say that, I don’t mean going back to the way it was in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s where communication in an office or work place was oh-so stern. I mean, there were definite roles that a person had and they couldn’t break out of this box.

I think that the flexibility to have less bossiness is going to be what we see that the ability to communicate beyond boundaries within the cube is going to be what we see. That the ability for cross-collaboration is also going to be something that we’re going to see more of where you’re going to see innovators become sales people and you’re going to see the sales people are going to be innovators.

I mean, nobody expects someone who sells a product to actually think about what they could create that might actually make that product better. I mean, people didn’t used to think that but I think coming forward, we’re looking at “It doesn’t matter what your role is. We want you as a contributor.”

When you’re talking about leaders as being flexible, I do look for credibility, do we have a vision for where we’re headed? Flexibility, can we gather information and then put it into implementation in a way that makes sense to get us to this place we said we’re going to go.

Cheryl:            I want to pick out the point where you say, “We’re going to work a lot beyond the cubicles.” Because one of key things I think going forward, we’re going to see an increasing need, of the increasing views of virtual teams, but which are fact that talents is all over the world right now.

Wayne:           It is.

Cheryl:            … and to find a right fit for the current jobs that is so called “the jobs” that is … The jobs today may not be the jobs in the next couple of months. Having the virtual teams is one of the key things I see. I know it is not new. It is in practice for the longest time, but really harnessing the value of a virtual team and having leaders who are comfortable to be leading virtual teams because you don’t see them.

Again, going back to flexibility, virtual teams is going to come into play. How do you measure performance but you don’t see them? How can you just make sure that they are contributing without the usual suspect of “How long had they been at the workplace? Did they leave work early?” The whole notion of flexibility is not just going to be when, where, and how, what gets done. It’s going to be flexibility in terms of careers.

Wayne:           True.

Cheryl:            Flexibility in terms of the career vs life stage. Flexibility in terms of matching the life stage so does continue engagement. We have talent that you already have. The other piece that I picked up from what you have just reflected on is that of values, going back to the basic of values and valuing contribution.

Increasingly, whether job descriptions is going to be sufficient or we were increasingly need managers and teams to be empowered to say, “This is the outcome that we want to see.”

Wayne:           Well, that’s the key right there. That’s the key and we’re going to be focusing more and more as we look at the virtual workforce. We’re going to be focusing more and more on outcomes-based evaluations. That’s the outcome we want to see. Where this brings us back Cheryl is almost full circle to “How do we verbally high-five? How do we catch people doing things right if someone’s halfway around the world?”

The flexibility piece is for the leader to keep his or her fingers on the pulse of every little process that’s going on so that they can acknowledge it, so that they can say, “You know what? This outcome appeared. Thank you, it contributes to the whole in this way. Fabulous.”

It’s not necessarily “I saw you do this thing,” but it’s an outcome. This little piece of the whole process makes a big difference.

Cheryl:            I’m just going to pause that before we go more into what do we see happening and how can we be prepared for it. Those of you on the call, if you have any questions based on what we have just discussed, go ahead and send me your question in the chat box. I will catch it and then we will either answer it on this call, or we will have a follow-up if we run the whole time. Feel free to put in your questions right now for Wayne and myself.

We spoke about the trends. If you have any questions about trends, if you have any questions about the work that we have been doing and the success that we have been seeing with our clients based on what they have implemented and you have questions around that. All your questions that will help you elevate some of your concerns on moving forward in terms of talent innovation and in terms of leadership development going in to the next 12 months.

Wayne:           Right, or if you’re coaching a team and have questions about how to move your team or to move a team you’re not even working with but you want to help.

Cheryl:            The other piece that I see that would be increasing in importance is that of having high performing individuals and high performing teams. I mean, I’m not going to talk so much about leaders, we expect leaders to be high performance because you need to be bringing that team along, right? You spoke about every individual on the team is a leader, right?

Wayne:           Yes.

Cheryl:            I totally believe in that. We’ve also talked about in going to the future, a job description may not be the all encompassing. It’s about how we deliver the value to our customer.

Wayne:           Exactly.

Cheryl:            I read an interesting article the other day about [Michael Dale 44:04] and how they are seeing fruits of privatization once again, how innovation, how people engagement is getting better, and how they see that they’re actually building value for their customer. That’s where I think is one of the key things that we want to see going into the future for organizations.

Wayne:           I agree.

Cheryl:            What are your thoughts? How can we encourage non-performers to become visible performer, and then from a performer to become a high performer? That’s a question that I’ve often been asked. I would like to hear your thoughts around that.

Wayne:           Thanks. I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with teams with that problem and here’s have somebody who is perceived as a non-performer. Now, you said that that we expect leaders to be high performers and the truth is that leaders don’t … Sometimes, leaders have been promoted to a place without actually, they have the position, but they don’t have the skills.

They are leaders based on their positioning, not based on the fact that they actually can lead. I think it’s really important for any of us to say, “Okay, maybe we’re stuck. Maybe I’m stuck.” Then back to the question, “How do you get somebody who’s not performing at a certain level to get to that next level or to get on board?”

Again, there are couple of ways to do that from my perspective. I see it as a conversation that is based around the visions and the values of the company. There’s an expectation that people contribute in a certain way and then there’s a choice of “Are you going to be contributing at that level?” or “Are you going to choose to work somewhere else?” That’s one.

The there is to look at knowledge, skills, and abilities. Can that person be elevated in any of those? If so, what do they need in terms knowledge? What do they need to learn in terms of skills? How do we work with them to build their skill set?

Sometimes we say, “Here’s a piece of paper, learn it. Now, do it” instead of “Look, we can offer mentorship program. I would love it if you’d shadow this person for two weeks, and then you’re going to be better in your own job. Come back and tell me what you’ve learned every single day.” We look at different styles and …

Cheryl:            You know what that means, that means people managers and structures becoming more flexible because it’s a lot about the deployment. It’s about using every opportunity for people to learn, and grow, and be engaged with one another in the organization.

Wayne:           Exactly. I love that word, “Engagement with the organization. Engagement.” Absolutely. That’s what we’re after, ultimately is engagement. It’s personal engagement, it’s professional engagement, it’s engagement with each other individually, it’s engagement with a broader group.

Really, what we’re doing is we are acting as models and so where I said anybody can be leader, I’m asking anybody at any level of an organization to be the model of the best that they can be for that organization. If you’re the CEO, you’d better be modelling it. You’d better show up with joy – showing that this is what you love and this is where you’re headed. Otherwise, get out.

Are you in the wrong job, or are you in the job wrong? Wrap your head around that and bring back that joy. I’m going to talk about high performance again. That comes through clarity, greater clarity. If you know where you’re headed, that’s awesome. Greater energy, in an instant, can you bring yourself back or are you feeling this slump in the afternoon and it’s just terrible? No. You know what? In an instant, because you want to, you can actually bring more energy.

Next, courage: the courage to do the right thing, the courage to do the next thing, the courage to have that conversation. Imagine how much energy goes into holding you back because you might be afraid.

Cheryl:            This is one of the key pieces around diversity and inclusion too.

Wayne:           Definitely.

Cheryl:            You have the courage being even the quietest voice in the room. Do you have the courage to be heard, courage to speak? That’s the reason why I’m excited about high performance being something that we see as a leader for talent innovation in the coming years, not just coming months, coming years.

Because if we are able to empower our talent to be high performers based on what you have just described that both of us work on in terms of clarity, energy, courage, the productivity, presence, the physiology. If every individual increases their performance by 2%, what should that’s going to be?

We are not just depending on the leader to have that high performance shift, but we are anticipating that if everybody has that 2% shift. Imagine your millennials, your generation next, your baby boomers, waking up to say that “Hey, it’s not time to retire. There’s no retirement. I’m still engaged. I still love what I do.” How much more energy, joy, and productivity, and engagement the organization will have?

Wayne:           Right. It’s “I love what I do and I’m contributing,” not “I love what I do. Don’t kick me out because I’m a certain age, I love what I do and I’ve got this idea. I’m ready to lead that team and I’m in it and I want to talk to this person.” The ability for leaders to think beyond the boundaries that they had even.

A lot of times, people come in to companies that have specified roles and the ability to break out of those roles and to really engage at all levels now is going to be what’s hugely important.

Cheryl:            Right. I’m just seeing that … I put a poll out while we were having a conversation about the audience, knowing what it takes to build high performance and the answer is yes or no. Most of them come, we have half-half. Half say yes, half say no. I think there’s room for us to explore on another call with regards to high performance.

I trust those who are on the call with us right now. We’ll just keep track when that particular one will be because I think that would be one that is most interesting, at least for myself. Going forward, I see high performance for talent innovation and leadership. I see it being a contemporary leader that makes meaning for the people, being important in the midst of all the chaos and all the noise.

Wayne:           Yes. I think though it concerns me that it’s 50-50 because what that tells me is that there may be a misunderstanding about high performance is. Right?

Cheryl:            Right.

Wayne:           How can everybody in the company be a high performer? The truth is, you’re not going to have absolutely everybody. You are going to get some people who show up, they punch the clock, they do their work, they punch out, they’re done.

You can get a majority of the workforce to be high performers within their realm. I’m not asking the mail clerk to lead the company, but I am asking that the mail clerk if that person has an idea that there’s a way that that idea can be given to the next level up, the next level up, the next level up, and that that mail clerk can be recognized for contributing.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a terrible idea, what matters is that there’s a process. I think that we need to be really recognizing the generativity of things when people contribute, it makes the whole organization grow. It’s really about seeing your leaders to make sure that that’s there at all levels.

No, not everybody’s going to come in and go, “Okay, I’m on. It’s time.” Can you bring your own joy to whatever level you are in the organization?

Cheryl:            Yes. Being a high performer within your context is actually, I think one of the key pieces because that’s where you interact on a day-to-day basis anyway. For me, that is important.

What else do I see going forward as important? I see the workplace increasingly diverse and virtual and therefore, the ability for the organization to engage the talent pools through inclusion, building inclusion, building skill set, and helping people understand one another.

In the past, we call this team building, but I’d like to say that it’s not about team building. It’s about looking at the entire thing about “How do we build team effectiveness?” Right?

Wayne:           Yes.

Cheryl:            it’s not just “rah-rah, beat the team” but rather as a team, through the process of work if you like, how effective are we. Because if everybody is contributing, then we will be a highly effective team and if everybody is a high performer, we have a high performing team.

Wayne:           The psychologist in me wants to talk a little bit.

Cheryl:            Yes. All right.

Wayne:           You used a great term and that was understanding. What I’ve seen and I think there have been some good studies that backed this up is that the more we understand about others as individuals, the stronger we become as a team.

The whole purpose of team building which is kind of a strange term, but the whole purpose of what used to be team building, “Can we work together?” is to see how people work together, the games that people play during team building exercises.

What I found is that if you actually take people away from the workplace or that even in virtual, if you invite conversations on a more personal level, that the work team becomes even stronger.

There’s a book that I just read called the “Checklist Manifesto” and what they talked about, one of the things that they talked about was that even in moving through the checklist making sure that things are done a certain way, that in order to make anybody feel comfortable with stopping a process to be able to either contribute or stop it because it’s going wrong, there has to be a level of familiarity.

I think it’s really important that at any level in the organization, we look at how can we build a working knowledge of each other. How can we become friendly? We don’t have to be best friends, but how can become friendly and understand the other person to a degree that’s not common in current places now?

Cheryl:            We have a couple of moments left. I just want to catch the last one because we didn’t talk very much about this. In the face of a talent shortage, the other piece that I see coming on very, very strongly and that statistics show this is that we’re going to have increased number of women in the workplace. Women in the workplace at different levels of leadership.

I find this exciting because it is coming to a point where we are seeing the kind of leadership that’s needed in the organization [in they come 56:42] different voices that is needed in the boardroom and that women is going to be an increasing resource that we would want to be tapping on and how do we again, bring them therefor.

We know that we have a huge initiatives around diversity, but what efforts are we putting in in terms of building a culture of inclusion so that you can actually have the benefit of the diversity of thoughts?

Wayne:           That’s a great action step for our viewers. That’s a great question, I think, for our viewers. Remember from my perspective, diversity has to do with the different perspectives that people bring to the organization and that’s based on their background, male, female, different ethnicities. We’ve all come from different places, we all have different things to contribute.

One of the key things that I look for is curiosity. I really, really, love that. Can you be curious? Can you stay curious? Can you encourage curiosity and wonder? Doing that, I think, will help you bring the workplace together.

I don’t how know to get more women into the boardroom, but I think that being able to say that that’s a desire, I think is the first step.

Cheryl:            I think it’s a process and it’s going it to be … One thing I caution when I work with organizations and they say, “We want more women in workplace,” I basically say, “Let’s first of all, look at things that we can remove to allow your talent to rise.” Because as you remove those barriers, women will begin to step up and women in the various workplaces will step up based on their contribution and all. Second thing is that in any of this movement, the men needs to be involved.

Wayne:           Definitely.

Cheryl:            All right? It is not a guerrilla warfare and that’s something I always attribute. It’s not a warfare, it’s about how we can let our talent pool arise.

Wayne:           Agreed.

Cheryl:            That is the role of the leaders. All right. We have a couple of moments left. Wayne, to our audience listening in, what would be three things that you think moving forward in terms of talent, innovation, and leadership? They need toconsider in order for them and the organizations to thrive and be able to cut through all the chaos and to really be able to be a sustainable business.

Wayne:           Well, it’s interesting. I think the first thing is really clarify who you are and where you’re headed and so really creating a very solid vision. It is the seven steps that I look at, definition of self is really huge.

You use the term “flexibility,” I think that’s gigantic. I look at flexibility, I look at credibility. Are you doing what you say? Are you being flexible and how you get there? The third is are you acknowledging the team for the steps they’re taking?

I wanted to invite before we conclude, I wanted to invite people to go to and get the handout. There’s a workbook that I have that will walk through you the seven steps and you’ll go through definition of self, what’s your direction, there’s a little bit on courage, there’s a little bit under calling. There are more.

I invite you to go and you can download a form. You can also download a form for a strategy session with me as a leadership coach if that’s something you’re interested of. Again Cheryl, that’s what I’m seeing and that’s a special offer for our viewing audience.

Cheryl:            Right. What I would advocate for our audience to be looking at is really looking at your culture of flexibility because that, number one, it is not easily copied by your competitors. It becomes part of your competitive advantage.

Build a culture of flexibility. It’s going to take time and most of the time I tell my clients, “You take 12 to 15 months before you see the seed of a new beginning” if you like.

Wayne:           I agree.

Cheryl:            The other area that I see for talent innovation and leadership is people are tired and therefore, if we were to be able to go in and show them that high performance is not going to make you more tired. High performance is going to make you more engaged, more joyful, and more fulfilled in what you’re doing. That is going to do a long way in terms of talent, and leadership, and engagement.

The third thing that I see that’s important is the valuing of inclusion. I thought that more can be said all of us would experience that the workplace we are having right now is no longer the homogenious workplace that we used to have. Increasingly moving forward, there’s going to be even more diversity in culture, gender, and generations, and more.

Inclusion becomes a key piece because people do not leave organizations. People leave their managers, people leave their teams.

Wayne:           I agree.

Cheryl:            That’s where I see for people managers, for leaders. Those three pieces, flexibility, high performance, and inclusion would be the three places that you would want to make sure you have innovative solutions to that. That’s what I think and I see that smart organizations are moving in that direction.

Wayne:           That’s correct.

Cheryl:            Likewise, if you are based in Asia and if you want to have a strategy session with me for your talent strategy, you can find me at Very obviously, I’m based in Asia and the solutions, and the strategies that I would be talking with you on would be very Asia-effective solutions. We can then have a session where we can know how we can innovate in terms of your talent engagement and leadership development.

Well, that’s all the time we have. Wayne, a pleasure to finally have this conversation.

Wayne:           It’s been a true pleasure and I really look forward to new levels of success and happiness for you, for our leaders who are watching, and for the work teams that are affected by the leaders that are watching. Cool. This is great. Thank you.

Cheryl:            Thank you for joining us. Well, for all of you out there, this is Talent Innovation 2015 with Cheryl, myself, Cheryl Liew-Chng and Dr. Wayne Pernell. You can find us at and Wayne, where can they reach you?

Wayne:           They can reach me at Wayne, W-A-Y-N-E. Pernell, P-E-R-N-E-L-L,, and it comes right to me. That’s sort of the inside track to get to me. If you want to write me there, that’s great.

Cheryl:            Okay. On behalf of Wayne, my name is Cheryl, CEO of LifeWorkz, founder of the 24-Hour Woman. Thank you so much for joining us for Talent Innovation 2015. We look forward to seeing you again in any of our online and offline events. See you soon and have a great day.

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