Back to episodes

How to Drive Change in a Diverse, Chaotic World

Gillian Fischer
Director, Transformation & Customer Success
Mindbridge Ai
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Apple Music

Culture is what happens when no one is looking.

Gillian Fischer

In this episode

In this incredible episode, Gillian Fisher shares her personal experience driving change and creating an outstanding company culture in a diverse, sometimes chaotic world.

We also discuss the importance of building self-confidence. Gillian summed up how she reached her potential in the industry: “As a young, female, blond, non-technical leader, I had to tear down my own walls and turn them into pedestals."

Our conversion also covered the relationship between AI and humans, and the impact this connection can and will have on cultural change. 

Gillian is an incredibly talented leader focused on driving growth, transformation, and technology adoption, including AI.

She has a wide range of global experiences, extending from developing and managing a strategic account programs to leading complex organizational transformations for multinational companies, such as IBM and MindBrindge AI. 

Outside of work and volunteer initiatives, Gillian is a passionate endurance athlete, amateur artist, and creative baker.

Tune in to hear Gillian's advice on how to drive positive change within your organization! 

. . .

Enjoyed this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  review and share the podcast with your colleagues.

In this episode




Gillian’s vision on change management


Impact of company size on change management


Leading through chaos


Gillian’s take on how to build a great company culture


Gillian’s experience working in Alberta during the 2014 oil crisis


Creating culture in a cosmopolitan environment


Stop diminishing yourself. How to turn your own walls into pedestals.


Education as an investment


AI, humans and cultural change


How to feel good working from home


Books recommendations on change and culture

Resources from this episode

Transcript of episode

Gillian: Okay.

Cassy: All right. So thanks so much, Gillian, For joining me here on the culture builders podcast. Why don't you start by telling our listeners a little bit about yourself and ah, in your background.

Gillian: Awesome. Well, thanks so much for having me as well. I'm really excited. I love talking about culture. It's one of those topics that I find you can get really, really, really excited and into the great bar talk topic as well. So I'm excited to be here a little bit about myself. I currently work for a company called Mine Bridge on the Director of Transformation and customer success there. Ah, the reason why I joined mine Bridge an AI company is actually because I am really passionate about helping people. And that's why actually went into to really work specifically within a I II company. 

So a bit about kind of my background, my backgrounds in change management, adoption, transformation, business strategy, and mixed with this passion of how people work in organizational psychology and all those kind of behavioral pieces that that bring together all, um, bring together at all. So that's a little bit about my background prior to mine bridge. I worked at IBM and I also had lots of opportunities to practice some other type of consulting in different engagements and outside of work. I'm a big passion endurance athlete. I love getting applied. I love I'm lucky enoughto live in Ottawa close to get no park.

Ah, and I also have various creative outlets whether it's painting or baking or lots of other different things, just to help me kind of create space through creativity.

Cassy: You're telling me you got on the bike for the first time this last weekend?

Gillian: Yeah. Yeah, I did. So we're just a chatting of before and it's the first weekend. That's really worm. And then also one of the first weekend since kind of Kobe. It started that Ah, we had a little bit less restriction. So I was super excited, Got out, got no park, opened up for the first time for cyclists, and I think I may have overdone it a bit, but it was a good it was a good first dry

Cassy: well, good for you. And we're here on May 25th. So really, like you said, it's you know, it's one of the I feel like we're starting to feel a little bit of normalcy now, in a way where this like new normal. This is like the new normal, if at least for me, it's felt that way. And you mentioned change and change management. Like how? What's it like? You know, in in an organization right now with so much change And maybe first of all, you can explain a little bit about um, like, what does? What does change management mean to you?

Gillian: Yeah, it's a great question. Eso I actually like to think of change management is really just change. Eso just kind of primarily at its core. And when I think about change, management and transformation, I mean one changes changes, really the new constant. 

You know, the little bit of a paradox there in terms of our world are evolving and transforming so quickly that we actually, you know, staying in the status quo is just just not normal anymore. It's or it's not a way that we can continue to thrive in this in this world, So we have to continuously adapt and find ways to do that in a way that allows us to really have gross and, um, think contains improvement. So when I think about change and transformation, I actually really think about breaking it down to four big building looks. Eso at the core of really have a big effective change within your organization or active transformation. 

I really believe any kind of four key things. So the 1st 1 is leadership. There's lots of elements of off what Rosen toe leadership really there. But really having that changed leadership, uh, resiliency. Ability to adapt ability to pivot ability to understand your core values that you cannot hold on to you so that leadership peace the second element of strategy so understanding your business strategy and how your business strategy relates to those core values and how your business strategy and relates to the also the direction that you've been giving your team so understanding your business strategy. It also ties in at the end with understanding our why. I find that when I talk about change a lot of time, people say, Oh, you change, change, change. But you know, how do I get the hora Wyatt of it on? So it's a good good connection as well. So leadership strategy, the 3rd 1 is engagement. 

So understanding how you actually create a good stakeholder experience. Whether that's Nick, please spirits a customer experience or another steak will experience. How do you really get engagement? And how do you build an experienced so that whatever change we're going through actually creates long term, long term attention behaviors that you're looking for and then the last one is execution. So that's kind of the project management side of change. And honestly, my experience with this is that people spend a lot of time on the execution piece. Was the project management Give me the 12 step process. Give me the, you know, deliver Bols, Look, let me finish these exact things that I have to do. 

Um, and less time on the strategy are last time on the leadership, us less time on the engagement. But you still need those operational pieces to make sure that your transformation or changing a ship goes through on time. So those are the four elements. That's how I like to break them down. And I feel like if you can build those building blocks, you can actually take them and then a tap them to it ever Ah, projects, scenario, contacts, environment that you're in to be able, Teoh, effectively transform your organization.

Cassy: Interesting. And you, you've worked in many different organizations that that air different sizes and have different cultures. How would you say it? It differs on the type of organization or the size. Or or do you find that those four are constant?

Gillian: Oh, great question. So I believe the four building blocks leadership. Uh, sorry. Um, leadership, engagement, execution and strategy are all the same in terms of you need this for building blocks, but how you execute them will vary depending under context. The organization, the situation you're in on, they're all gonna have varying degrees. I mean, you might already be in a situation where there's only a few of you. Um, it's a collaborative environment, your body, all the engagement you need, you know? 

And it's just natural, um, verses. You might be in a very large organization that's not traditionally had a stakeholder experience, focus and haven't really had a really positive change results. And, you know, it might be the first time you were going through this and saying, Hey, we really have to put in effort to dio more engagement to do more outreach to bring people into the change to help them make decisions. So it kind of just depends on I believe in you those four building blocks, but absolutely the depths. And, um, you know, the strategy that you will take in each of those buckets will vary depending on your organization, in your contacts, for sure.

Cassy: And you talked about leadership, and it's interesting because you wrote a, um you wanna block post about leading during chaos or leading in through chaos? Um, can you talk a little bit more about about that?

Gillian: Yeah. So that blood post was a purely selfish block post. I was. I was sitting down, and I believe it was the end of week one of our work from home. Kobe and I was observing a lot of things going on. So I was sitting there and I've deserving. Hey, you know what? We were really quick to mobilize. We were really quick to get our employees say, but I was starting to see the business community react differently. I'm starting to see the business community kind of move beyond okay, Our people are safe. 

Were quick to do that in only a few days and moving very quickly into okay, What's is going to mean for the economy, Um and you know, how are we gonna manage? On certain times and I was watching these things happen, and it was all on the same time. There's all these speculations. I mean, really, Early on end of March on, guy sat there and I was trying to ask myself, What can I do right now to provide the most value back to my organization? I was struggling a little bit. The other thing are struggling with is that I was traditionally in a very collaborative environment at work, and I was traditionally in a very collaborative environment with my leadership team. And what kind of happens when you get into a bit of a crisis is that you actually start to bring the decision making group down into a manageable size that you can quickly make decisions.

So if you're in a very collaborative environment, normally we're almost everybody's discuss and talk to you. And all of a sudden you have to bring and shrink that Dan Ah, you You actually have people outside. Who are you know in my okay. Some director, um, that are now not necessarily in the really big, high level decisions that you have to quickly met. Eight at the top, you know, in the sea level executive suite. So I sat down. I said, You know, how can I help us? How can I help my team? How can I have my organization? How can I lead up? How can I lead down How can lead out? 

And so I started to put together some of the principles. That's where the blood came from. One of the things I did is I reached out to a pure group that I have missed them are much higher up than I am. You know, C level executives need to level executives. And I just asked him a really simple question of what do you need from your teams right now? You know, And there are not, By the way, there are not in my organization. I actually only reach up to one individual. My organization. I made sure I had someone from healthcare's I'm in, um, from not for profit, like, kind of around on the spectrum. And the response I got back were amazing. I mean, they were just so incredibly rich in terms of, you know, a lot of them kind of came and said, You know what?

I need you to make sure that you are all right and tell me if you're not, you know that they talked about the decision making how the funnel had to get smaller, but how you can impact their decision making. So what they needed, you know, is is really clear information. They needed to know if you were on the front line of the customer. They need to know what customers are feeling right now, so they need information.

Cassy: So

Gillian: all this kind of stuff came out of me just asking that one question. Um, and it formed what I felt was this really great blawg on, um, areas that you can as a leader, no matter where you are in your organization, even if you're not the sea level, you can actually help to navigate this storm. So that's a bit of background oven. And it's I think it's actually a really great, really great ah framework. It really helped me. And then, as I got it out there into the world had a lot of really good feedback. Come back to me about it.

Cassy: And people can find that unlinked in just by going to your profile will share a link also in in the description of the podcast so people can read it. Teoh. It was a great post, and I love how you talked about at the idea of leading up, down and across the organization, and it kind of goes to my belief around culture. But I love to understand more. What does it mean to you to build culture and organisation?

Gillian: Mm, yeah, that's a great question, and obviously the premise of this podcast this fall. So the way that I like to describe culture is I really believe that culture is what happens when no one's looking. So it's the water cooler talk. You know, it's the slack channel. It's the behaviors that people do when they're comfortable in their own game within an organisation. And culture runs really, really, really deep in organization, and it runs in all the places you wouldn't look so you can feel it. 

You know, um, that's what I think of culture. So when I think of the building culture I really think about norms and behaviors. But I also think about how people react to certain things and what feels comfortable in what environment is comfortable. So how can you build culture within an organization? One of the things I come back to a law and I talk about it in the blogger as well and I come back with a lot of change is really understanding and living by the core values of the organization. It is actually some research that shows that if you disagree with the core values of your organization, you might actually have some friction with your organization and you might not feel so comfortable zone. 

I see one of the reasons why you may not feel comfortable work, but when we talk about core values, there really something that that you can hold on to and pivot to. And they helped to drive the behaviors in an organization. Most importantly in a time of chaos, they actually are the one thing you can anchor onto. So what doesn't change? You know, when the whole world's changing? Well, what might not change for an organization is that are you know you want to be a trusted adviser to our client. So even though the world is changing and how we do business and everything is uncertain at the core, but we still need to be a trusted advisor, your client that's at our core values or integrity. Integrity doesn't change even if the world goes into a pendant, you know, or you know, or trust or driving exceptional experiences. You know, those things don't change the way we do them. Maybe changes. Um, but those core values don't change. 

So when you're building a culture within your organization and everyone can do that, I mean living by those poor values demonstrating those poor values. If integrity is a core value of your organization or authenticity, you know, how are you living by those by, Ah, even you know this feedback you're giving or the respect you're doing or you know, the information you're bringing up. 

If driving exceptional customer experiences, how are you helping to do that? Are you bringing forward innovative ideas to drive better experiences? Or are you making sure that you're getting the data into the operation systems so that you can understand data trends on where people are finding value in your experience like those are all things that you can dio, um, and it's what you can ground yourself, too. So I think that's that's a big element to it.

Cassy: It's so interesting that you talk about like it's not just the good times, but also in the bad times where those those values air tested right?

Gillian: Absolutely So three months ago, I written a block that I have not autistics after refinement. But I wrote a blood that was draft. That was about about The world seems to be moving really fast. We're in a time of growth. So it was the exact same premise. It was, Everything's moving, everyone's growing. And it was in the premise of AI and accounting. That's where I work. And it was about, you know, Okay, if everything's moving, all of a sudden, I need to have all these tools and accounting. 

You know? What can I hold onto? 

We'll the Miss World moving so fast and growing so fast and it was core values going to be a trust, advised your client. Ask yourself what? What do you need to to offer an amazing service and be ableto offer being a trusted adviser. Well, you know, the world continues to add more data, and we started you doing doing all of our transactions digitally and all those things. The exact same premise happens now. It's just a different frame. It's now we're not in the state of Gross. We're now in a state of uncertainty. These still go back and hold on to those core values. That's that's really at the core of it. So it's just a different premise. But it z exact same building blocks and thought process.

Cassy: And you worked in Alberta right around the time off. I think it was 2014 during the, uh, the oil crisis in the crash. Right. Um, what was that like? Because that must have been really testing.

Gillian: Yeah, Yeah, I was like, That was an interesting experience. That was one of the products I was on on in my earlier consulting careers. And we were out in Alberta, right when I remember, we started the project and, you know, the barrel was well over $100 a barrel and a couple of months, and it just it felt like a crashed overnight. It was an interesting experience I think it helped to, um, prepare me any of those experiences help you help to prepare, you know, for for future experiences where you find you have these dips. Ah, previous to that, I think my biggest experience. I was in university during the 2008 crash, So although I kind of felt that I didn't really I was a student. 

I was but protected, you know? So this and it was my first real experience when I was on the job where I showed up And, you know, half of the team was uncertain about their job. And every week it could have somebody drop off the project and you'd walk around and, you know, restaurants would be half empty. And there's like that, you know, they just kind of the experience up. That kind of happened. Um and actually, interesting thing was, I was living in Ontario at the time, and so you come to Ontario, people be like, yeah, cheap gas prices and you fly back to work, and you're like, Oh, this is not feeling so good. 

Um, so, yeah, I think I think when I take back from that experience was just really thinking of it as a case study of, you know, what was the communications like there? We actually had a really great leadership on our side. That was really supportive, Really great partners that were really supportive that, you know, talk just threw things that, you know, we're open to us a bit thes things on. 

So I try to go back and think about you know, what were some of the lessons I learned on and as well, you know, that we were able to re great gain traction, you know, after words, I was able to move on two different projects. And, um So how do you have the kind of work through those? So kind of taking some of those experiences right where he could and the lessons I can?

Cassy: Uh huh. That's interesting. And, I mean, you've had a lot of different, uh, lessons to working. You mentioned that you worked in a few different countries internationally. What was What was that? Like? And, uh, I guess Did you like, what did you find? I'm really curious to dig deeper on. Like what? How different the you know, creating culture at work can be depending on where you are in the world.

Gillian: Oh, yes. Yeah. It is a great question. I think we if anyone take in ah, business class on costs, cross cultural business or anything you learn about all these different, you know, high contacts, low context cultures and on. But you really gotta live it. Thio Thio. Believe it. I have one project where I was working with the team in Argentina, and it was a great example of just, you know, a completely different type of culture on in terms of they really had a family type of culture. They really love to bring people into conversations. 

Um, it was, you know, I remember us us having friction, cause we would have kind of, ah, set guideline of, like, a very set project plan. And they would kind of be like, Oh, you know, we want to do it this way. A kind of thing on And they were They were brilliant people to work with. Absolutely. But we just had a very different style when it came to the managing, and we actually had to learn each other style. Um, one of the more, I think, really examples in recent examples. Um, I was very fortunate in 2018. 

I gotta do a bit of a give back project in Senegal. So it was when I worked for IBM at the time, and they have an incredible program. Well, the CFC program and I was able to go. There was a for just over four weeks on the ground where I was working with. We had 15 different IBM er's from around the world. I'm you were there were working with the Ministry of Education on this get back projects we're bringing together all over all of our skills. And it was like, incredible skill sets that were that were available. I'm That was such an interesting project, cause not only did we have to learn the Senegalese culture, which was, you know, quite experience on its own. 

I mean, Andi, the way that they go about even like meetings is very different. I mean, you need twice as long to have a meeting because of greetings and because of, um, link, the way they go around linear. We used to say time is not linear and seven goal, it's it's really go with the flow. Um and their commitment to their own core values or commitment to their family and things like that. But we also had to learn the culture of everyone else on the team. So there's 15 of us. I believe it was 12 maybe 13. But I believe it was 12 different countries and each of those countries had a different culture, even myself, compared to my US colleagues have a different culture. 

So we actually had to within our own fifth group of 15 had to figure out how to work with each other. And that was really, really, um quite a test of our own patients and our own ability to kind of open up. Um, and once we were able to get over, No, I think that initial storming phase, you could really see the value in the richness of the diversity that was there. But it did take actually a little bit of time for us to get over that initial kind of storming phase on. 

But it's not just because there's new people in the room. It was actually because we literally had so many different cultures that we're sitting there. I think there was 99 Primary language is if I can remember correctly. So yeah, and English was the main common language, although not not not, you know, obviously not primary. Some of sometimes English was like some of his third or fourth language, and then French was the local language. So we also had that as well. So it was an interesting, interesting situation.

Cassy: Well, yeah, that is That's very interesting. And I mean, I think it's it's, you know, it's it's amazing to see how fast people can adapt in such a short period of time, right?

Gillian: Absolutely, Absolutely. I mean, it was such a that that was a rapid project. I still look back at what we accomplished and all the deliver. Full story. We found out and it was crazy, but yeah, very could. Great people could adapt. I think it only took us, Really. I mean, not very long.

To kind of get together that the beautiful thing of it and one of the reasons why we're able to get there so quickly, though, was because we actually had very similar four values. Everybody was there to one toe help and give back everybody also identified with, um, they were at least everyone was always denied the Amur at the time, you know, So they kind of identify with some, uh um but really, they identified with near here once a lifetime journey, and we want to be open. 

And one of the reasons why we're here is to also meet everybody here. So we all kind of share that and we all shared. We all shared gratitude. Every single person on the team was incredibly grateful. And if you ever had anything, any kind of bad day, um, you know, you didn't have to look very far. So having those those core values really grounded us and helped us get through that storming face quite quickly.

Cassy: Adaptability is so important and being able to learn on the fly. And, um I mean, you were telling me before that you you had done your MBA at the age of 25. And, um, maybe you can tell me a little bit about and our listeners about you know, the decision to do your MBA at the time. Um, And how how this kind of impacted your career? Because it sounds like, you know, it. It did have a positive impact, at least. Ah,

Gillian: yeah, yeah, so it went back to school. But five years after graduating or a little bit less than five years after graduating, I went into the MBA program not because I thought that I was an executive, but because I really I felt like the factual program structure was the right program structure for me and also because at that point, I had been doing consulting. 

I've been actually accelerated through my career a bit, so I felt I was leading a lot of projects and I felt like I wanted to learn from every person in the room. And someone had once told me like If you if you're the smartest person in room, get out of the room with what are you doing in there? Is what I felt like. You know, if I could get into this program, which I was nervous at first, then, man, I could learn there was like 32 or 33 other people in there who were all executives that I could just people watch for two years and soak in all of their knowledge. 

That was one of the reasons why you did it, Andi. And why a push to get into that program? On top of that, it had, ah, very hands on structure to it. And it had a lot of opportunities for me to actually consult outside of my regular job in different areas that I didn't have confidence, I knew how to consulted. So there was also that element of kind of pushing myself out of my boundaries, the one saying that that stands out for me. I mean, there's 70 parts of the program that were incredible. Um, but the big thing that stand of stands out for me is actually something that happened within the first couple of weeks. So I walked into this broken very nervous. I was literally 25 years old when I walked in. Um, I also look, you know, at that time I looked like I was probably more like 18. 

So, you know, I still considered the idea all the time, so I knew I was walking into a very interesting place as well is half the people in the room had Children by age, so there was a little bit of that as Well, um, and I remember, you know, I continuously repeated a few words constantly or my first couple days, and they were I start every conversation with I know I'm young. 

I know I'm female. I know I am. You know, I don't have very much experience, but I can tell you this, and that's why I start every every time I like would say something I raised my hand or sit with my team. I would start with this, like, you know, big claim of who I was. And I was this young female in my head of blonde, you know, person who had no experience. What the heck was I doing here? But I have something to add. And I finally had someone pulled me aside. 

Actually, my director director, the program pulled me aside and was like, Are you done yet? You done? You doesn't saying this like, can you stop? You just stop saying it. And she's like you have tow own it like you just have to own it. And you have to stop saying it because every time you say you diminish, diminish yourself. So what I had to do was take these walls that I built. I built being female up in a technical world. I was working for a technical company. I built being young and looking younger. Um, I had built being blonde. I had built whatever else, Uh, the other thing. I'm functional, not technical. I'm not an engineer, so I automatically, you know, I'm a business degree. 

Why? Why would someone listen to me? I built by functions. I had these, like, four walls that I was living in, and it took me a while, but it was like, basically a transformation of how do I own these? How do I make these walls in the pedestals pretty quickly. I was able to do that because ah pretty quickly became obvious that people actually start looking to me in the rooms, answer a lot of questions. 

So when I had, I don't have a lot of technical ecstasies. Although I did have more than I thought. I didn't realize how much technical expertise I had gained by working on so many technical projects. Um, especially when you're in change management, cause you always have to translate technical in tow, people requirements. So you actually learn a lot more than you think you do, But once one and people actually value the it was one employee experience in space is coming on. 

So might my my expertise and consulting. And some of some of my talents were actually really valuable, Never to my age. I had a lot of people told me aside and said, I wish I was your age when I did this program. You know what you have to lose. Like hold my gosh. Everyone's expecting to make mistakes like you basically have a free pass, like go for it s So, you know, people were just, you know, baffled that I would even they were they Actually, a lot of people told me they were embarrassed, You know, on that I would be giving really valuable input in there, like, man, I'm 20 years older with 20 years spirits. So it made me actually just appreciate my age and appreciate the opportunity in front of me. We did not make me think left of anyone else, By the way, it just made me appreciate my own self. Um, being female. 

You know, I think that was actually something that I had to kind of acknowledge and say, You know what? This is a really good time to be a female who wants to be in leadership, but it's actually a really good time. Um, we're in a state of transformation, and I can continue to be a voice, and I can help people my age figure out navigate the past. So I might as well do that, um, in the last one, you know, the kind of the you know who I am. I'm a bit of, ah, bubbly type person, and that maybe seems like it takes my intelligence down. But I know that what I say is solid. 

And also I love love to dress up. I love toe feel good. And I should I should own that I should own who I am. I shouldn't worry about it. So basically, how do I take those walls and transfer them into pedestals and stand on top them and say, Yeah, I'm a young, you know, functional, you know, female leader and I can't wait to work with you. Let's go. You know, it was kind of basically how I had to translate it.

Um, that was a big, big piece and all the other stuff. I learned massive message and, you know, massive improvements. But I think that that confidence alone was something I was missing. And I know I think I would have got there, but it would have taken me a lot longer, probably if I wasn't forced into it.

Cassy: Addressing people I've heard. You know, we've got this idea of diversity and inclusion, but like, Belongingness is this kind of new piece that's been brought to the table recently. It makes me think of that right. Like you. You you had that feeling of belonging. This after. And so, you know, kudos to that professor for coming up to you and, you know, and saying that to you, but, uh, yeah, that's what wouldn't. Interesting, interesting experience. I'm curious. What do you think about, uh, I guess, Like, what do you think about, um, about, um, education in a time of cove it or would you like, Have you considered can any further education, or would you consider any further education?

Gillian: Oh, my goodness. I I honestly think education is an investment. Um, I've never looked at it any other way. I think there is a great question about you know, especially depending on the program you doing. It can be very expensive, so you might want to be looking at at those pieces. But education?

I mean, there's so many alternatives to education right now. Um, and there's there's lots of ways that you can learn. I am jealous of people who get toe learn, you know, and have the opportunity. So I I I I don't think I'll ever be in a position where I feel like education isn't a good investment. What I think is important. No. Is that you yourself? You get what you put into it. Ultimately, at the end the day, right, so you yourself have to have to want to learn. And that's what's going. Teoh, Um, just kind of drive the best results for everybody. Absolutely. There's so many great things even, you know, free master classes or, like everyone's learning new skills likely to it. It's interesting. I feel like in a way people have unleashed a bit more creativity in Covic. You see people cooking news, things, and I'm trying to moves and it's it's cool. I think it's really, really cool,

Cassy: and I saw him posted about you had you wrote A. I think it was a post on LinkedIn about AI and humans. Andi, Human in the machine and kind of cultural change, I guess specifically, you know, within accounting or or, you know, working in this field. It's hard to change, like change is not easy, especially, you know, in this is world of AI and humans. But need you can talk about that a little bit more and how you see, um, these these kind of two worlds merging.

Gillian: Yeah, absolutely. There's a really fabulous book out there called A Super Powers. It's a little bit of scary read, to be honest, there's a lot. There's a lot of scary reads out there, but I I I've read several books over the last couple years on this topic and that one. It was very well articulated, and in many ways I just feel like it's a great book. If people are looking to kind of fullest the because then the second part of the book, he really actually brings out human in the machine and how it superpower together. 

He also talks about organizations that are super powers within a I kind of the top ones out there. So that's why it's a bit of a scary scary read. But in general, you know, we're looking at these emerging technologies and we are, you know, it vassals my mind, and it scares me, toe. So look at you know where we're going to be in a couple of years, Andi. And then even scarier to think of what we're gonna be in in 10 2030 40 years on and the productions. 

I mean, they're a bit like Kobe projections, whether a bit uncertainties. But they're still, you know, kind of based on some some level of of data and act prissy. So the question isn't whether or not you know, we're going to get there. 

The question is really a time of of when we're going to get there. And uhm, at that time, you know what policies and things will be in place. Teoh shape how it looks. So what I think about AI and machines. I mean, there's a lot of really great examples, and you can look at, um, you know, some of this is actually a really great documentary on deepmind and things that you can watch to just kind of see how powerful some of these new tools are. But there is quite a bit of evidence that shows that, you know, human versus human. And, let's say a game of chest, you know, obviously gonna winner human human versus machine in the game of chest machines at this point is far above ing and can typically beat the best human. Um, but humans plus machine still has an advantage. 

So when we look at, you know, emerging technologies, we're looking at ways that we can increase productivity. We're looking at ways that we can better enable. Ah, humans. We're looking at ways that we can automate, you know, maybe specific tests that don't necessarily that actually, from a human capacity of perspective, really are going to become too large for us to do. You know, we're talking about data sets and things like that. Um, so a lot of it is understanding how human and machine can actually work together to to really be enabled, um, and to really kind of move the productivity line forward. It's It's an interesting, crazy debate because there's a lot of there's a lot of impacts to it, right? There's maybe massive impacts. And there's going to be massive amounts of re Skilling that are going to be required, and it is going to make us think differently. 

You know, there's going to we're gonna have to think about, you know how from we continue to Barack provide value. Um, and I think one of the things that I always come back to when people say, you know it's gonna take over all of our dolls or things like that I come back often to remember that human plus machine is really powerful together. And think of yourself. Think of what are things that a machine can't do very easily. Um, you know, think of things that are like innately human. 

So, you know, intuition, creativity, curiosity, like those are all things that that really, at a core are very human nature. Human centric. Um, so it it's it's valuable for us to think about those skills is going to be increasingly more valuable when we talk about her own software in our own company. You know, we often talk about us really providing a tool, but we're not taking away the curiosity or the judgment, um, of our users in fact, that is what what they are the best Ash, that is really their value is is really to kind of go in and interpret and understand. Um, you know, So I think that's that's kind of another way of looking at it as well,

Cassy: and that shift in mindset to understanding that. Like, how would you recommend that that leaders or just people in organizations can kind of shift their culture to embrace it to a culture embracing this, um, as opposed t just being like, you know, this is going to destroy everything, right?

Gillian: So, to be honest, my my riel advices to come back to what we talked about earlier, which is your core values. So let's take, you know, let's talk about being able to be a trusted advisor. That's what your core values your rock. In a financial world that has increasing more data every single day, it is beyond human capacity to be able to kind of go through. How do you continue to be a trusted adviser? You know, you need tools to be able to do that and think about technology, really, as a tool is an enabler. So, um, if if you have an organization that is saying, you know, I don't You know it's gonna wipe out my child. Or what? Or what not You might ask them. Just put the question back on them. Okay? Lets go up your core values. You say you want to be a trusted adviser. How do you plan to continue being this trusted adviser as your clients world continues to change. Did, um you know, and you know, there's certain it wade through that water a little bit, but at one point, it's just gonna be too deep, you know? And you're gonna find that there's gonna be people who tried away through the water, and then another we're gonna be stuck. So that's that's one. That's one conversation you kind of come back to is really if we really do truly want to be or, you know, you often see organizations who said they want to be innovative or value driven all of these questions. Okay, Well, how are you going to continue to do that as your clients organizations change? And that's more valid than ever right now, with co bit, um, Now, you know, you get lots of other resistant pieces. You know there's loss of investment required. There's a lot of skill set required to. That's gonna be a big piece. It's like re Skilling or bringing in new talent. Um, there's all of those barriers and it's not easy. It's not a one day flip over foot the switch on. But I mean, that's that's at its core. That's a lot of where you have to start.

Cassy: And you mentioned before that you had You have a lot of experience working from home, right? Or working remotely, Let's say, um and I guess I'm so this is this hasn't been much of, ah change for you. Really? Um, given some of the experience you had, regardless of everything else going on in the world. But, um, I mean, how what's it been like for you? And do you have any any advice to those of us that ah, you know, might have have been, you know, might be new to this remote work culture?

Gillian: Yeah, well, I feel like by now, hopefully people have found and found a groove and settled in on for me. It's ah lot about just making sure that I feel good so I think goes back to that old that old quote of you can't give what you what you don't have. And if you don't feel good or you don't have energy like you can't given are due to your team, you can't give one of your best. So a lot of it for me is actually I I keep a very similar structure to my day. We're girl is the fact that I work from home, so I still get up. 

But I still do work out in the morning. You know, I still make sure that I change my clothes so I'm not dressed in my sweats all day, But I actually changed my clothes physically and sometimes I changed clothes after five PM just toe like feel like I've changed, you know, finish my work day. Um, it's also beginning cautious that I'm that I'm eating healthy. So a big thing is that it's really easy to kind of just pull those snacks out. But, you know, you want to make sure that you are eating healthy and that you're not getting kind of big interview lags through the day on, so those air Those are a couple items. I think when it comes Teoh Teoh, working with your teams as well. It's also a understanding of what could be really exhausting to from working from home. 

So I will be honest. There was. There's a few days where, you know, five o clock came and I had a few zoom calls of my friends and I said, I can't do another zoo call like I am exhausted staring at screens all day. I mean, that's doing on my computer. I'm staring at my going. I'm not walking between meetings. I'm barely walking in and out of the room. I haven't really had any fresh air today. I need to completely disconnect. And, um, one thing I noticed actually was when I when I was going to the office, I would have, you know, 30 minutes in the morning and usually 45 minutes at night to just kind of decompress my day, and that would be my switch over. So how do I, you know, how do I have one of those switch overs? Still, I still need it. I still need a way to be compressed. 

I can't just, you know, go just act fluidly So, um, part of it was okay. I need to shut up the zoo meeting. I need to get away from my cell phone. I just away from screens. And for me, it's been a lot of like making sure I have a walk every night. You know, is I try to get out close after five, but at some point, I just need to get out of the house and just walk for 30 or 40 40 minutes. Um, toe have that decompressed time, Um, Or to, you know, put on a podcast or something, just like my my brain. So those are a couple a couple of key things. There's lots of really great tips and tricks out there on, you know, how have collaborative sessions online and how to keep people engaged and communicated to and in all those kind of things. But, uh, those that those at the top top items from a for sure.

Cassy: Great. And, yeah, you wrote a post about mindfulness. I know that. You know, like you said, taking care of your mind in your body so important, especially in a time like this, where you know there's there could be so much added stress and anxiety in the world. Right. So we'll share a link to that to, um I'm sure you know, people would love to read about their about that A swell. Um, I was curious. Are there any books or that you would recommend on change or on culture and all that you'd recommend for our listeners?

Gillian: Yeah, I returned a few. So, um, a couple When? Um, the one book actually totally changed my mind. Give me alone. So I was expecting it is a book called Immunity to Change. It's a fantastic book. 

It's great for both personal training. Organizational change. So me to change a few other books? I'm currently in the middle of a book called Multiple Heirs Right Now. Eso multipliers. How do you make other leaders of how the best leaders make everyone else murder? And it's just a really fantastic read about how you can amplify your team and productivity and culture. 

I think it's it's great I'm only halfway through it, but I've really, really loved it. Um, Creativity Inc is a great one. The founder of Pixar, um, he writes a fantastic book on culture as well on blast when I have his work rules, which is a book, I believe it was the vice. You're the senior vice president of our vice president of HR. 

Google wrote work rules and another great one. It's a little bit more of an HR take. But the thing I love about the Google book is, and I honestly because Google has so much data, they talk a lot about the things I tried and then they have dated, approved if it worked or didn't work. So they just have a ton of information and on they share so much of it. And so I love that. And I actually brought it to work a few times and showed a man a manager. And being like, this is this is what we should do. Look, that's proven that it works at Google. So that's a great weather. Is all those air kind of four books? I would I would definitely put on your bookshelf.

[00:43:39] Cassy: Great. Well, thank you so much, Gillian. It was great to have you as a guest on the culture builders podcast. I can't wait for our listeners. Teoh know here this and look forward to having you as a guest again. Perhaps in six months to a year just to get a ah, you know, follow up on DSI. How you're doing,

[00:43:57] Gillian: Thanks. Appreciate It was fun.

[00:43:59] Cassy: Thank you.

In this season

Culture building tips, straight to your inbox.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.