Welcome to the introductory episode of The New Future of Work (TM)! This is a special interview with our Executive Producer, Neil Hughes as he interviews the podcast host, Monica Bourgeau. In this episode, we talk about why Monica created this podcast, what you can expect to get from it, as well as a sneak preview of some of her upcoming guests.
The first full episode of The New Future of Work (TM) Podcast will launch on November 11, 2022.
Show Transcript (via AI – please excuse any errors):
Neil Hughes (00:44):
My name is Neil C Hughes. I’m usually the host of the Tech Talks Daily podcast, but today I have the honor of introducing you to my good friend Monica, who’s gonna be the host of this podcast called The New Future of Work. And so, Monica, for people tuning into this podcast for the very first time, can I ask you to tell everyone listening a little about who you are and what you do?
Monica Bourgeau (01:09):
Sure. Thanks Neil. Well, I’m a future of work consultant and executive coach, and I work with organizations and leaders who are trying to transform their workplace culture, but they don’t know where to start. So just to step back a little bit and tell you a little bit about my background, I actually grew up in very rural Montana. I then went on to study psychology and ended up getting a master’s degree in management and organizational leadership. And after my undergraduate degree, I did what I thought we were supposed to do, right? I went and got a corporate job and thought if I could just climb the corporate ladder and become a senior executive, then everything would be okay. And so I was really committed to that, even though I had a very young daughter at the time and was really juggling a lot and had a lot on my plate.
Monica Bourgeau (01:59):
But I worked a lot and I was really kind of committed to this goal. And so I worked a lot and essentially I ended up, I did end up becoming a healthcare executive before I was 30. And once I got there, I kind of took a look around and realized, you know, I was pretty miserable. I didn’t enjoy what I was doing and working all of the long hours and stress really affected my family relationships and took a lot of time away from my daughter. And so I really started reevaluating things. And I blamed myself a lot. You know, I did a lot of looking at, you know, could I be more productive? Could I manage my time better? You know, all of these different things that we do to kind of try to make it work. I ended up leaving the corporate world and went into business for myself a few times and kind of went back and forth because I always thought that it was my fault.
Monica Bourgeau (02:57):
You know, if I could just work harder, if I could just manage my time better, if I could just do something better, then the workplace would work for me. I’ve always been somebody who enjoys working and really know that it’s part of my purpose in life is to have a career and make a difference in the workplace. And so you know, I did that a number of times and also ended up burning out at work a number of times because I worked so many hours and was kind of constantly in a state of imbalance. And so I finally left the corporate world for good back in 2020. Before that I wrote a book called The Change Code, kind of looking at some of these systems and why systems in general are struggling right now. You know, our, our work systems, our political systems, our school systems, there’s just a lot of challenges in the world right now.
Monica Bourgeau (03:52):
And so I wanted to understand that a little bit better. And I also studying to become a futurist. And so I started taking courses with an organization in Germany, actually called Futur/io and an organization in Copenhagen. And I took some classes at MIT and really started studying the future and realized this connection between kind of this lifelong love hate relationship that I had with work and trying to have a career and trying to be a mom and trying to, you know, maintain my home and my health and all of these different things that we juggle. And so as part of this process, I really started to identify new ways of working and organizations that are beginning to create the future of work today, both here in the US and also in other countries and the way other countries work as well. That became fascinating for me and is part of why I wanted to start this podcast is to share what I’ve been learning about these emerging trends and how the workplace is changing today, hopefully for the better, to make it a little bit more manageable for other people who are out there trying to just juggle it all but also really want to have a career.
Neil Hughes (05:11):
And you listed so many great reasons there. Well, I’m excited for you to launch this podcast. I’ve interviewed over 2,200 different people and people often say to me, now what have, what have everybody got in common that I’ve gone on to achieve great success? And I think we all have moments where we are challenged. We have moments where we, we are frustrated with our lives, we come across problems in the workplace, but for the most part, and I possibly include myself in this, I might complain about it and not do anything about it. But what you are doing here is you’re trying to make a difference, building a future of work and actually looking for a solution. And that is one of the things that excites me. And I suspect that so much of what you just said will resonate with people all around the world no matter what their gender is. They’ve been parents, they’re workers, they have friends they’re trying to juggle and get through life. And I cannot commend you enough for what you’re doing here. And I’d love to just expand a little more on why a podcast, What inspired you to create this? Could you expand on that for me?
Monica Bourgeau (06:16):
Sure. Well, I think part of the reason that I wanted to do a podcast is because part of my process has been connecting with all of these amazing people across the globe that are doing things differently and think really innovatively. And so I just thought, wouldn’t it be cool to be able to share these amazing stories with other people who are in similar situations and who are also trying to change their workplace? And so for me, that was why is, I was having so much fun having these conversations and I thought it would be really helpful for others to hear these discussions as well.
Neil Hughes (06:54):
I love that. And especially because I think the world has changed so much over the last three years. And I’m curious now we’ve come through remote working, hybrid working. What do you think is wrong with the traditional workplace and why do you think we need to reinvent the way we work? Because I think it’s a question that nearly everybody’s asking right now, isn’t it?
Monica Bourgeau (07:13):
Yeah, that is such a good question. You know, personally for me, I believe that the workplace is broken and I think that we’re seeing that with other people as well, with things like the great resignation. And there’s a trend here in the US that’s become a popular term, the media called quiet Quitting.
Where people are doing just the bare minimum so that they don’t get fired, but they’re not fully engaging with their companies and their work, which to me is so sad because I believe that our work is such a big part of why we’re here and our contribution during our life and to, you know, be quite quitting and disengaged and not fully committed to the work that you’re doing. You know, quite honestly it’s soul sucking. I’ve, I’ve been in in positions like that where I’ve felt that, where I just didn’t feel that engagement, you know, even though I wanted to, I just couldn’t quite get engaged with the work position.
Monica Bourgeau (08:11):
I just feel that that’s really sad and that it’s a loss for a lot of companies that have these amazing employees with these tremendous gifts and they’re not tapping into it. I believe that the workplace has changed permanently and Covid was definitely a factor in that.
In fact, I follow a, a lot of futurists, but one of them is Jane McGonigal who recently published a book called Imaginable. And one of the things that she talks about in that book is that essentially for us, covid was a shared collective trauma because everyone in the world went through this trauma at the same time, where it basically upended our entire lives and changed everything overnight. And so, you know, as a human species, we all have that in common. And one of the things that she shared that I think is really cool is that has shown that the 10 years following a major trauma in someone’s life is a period of dramatic change. And so I look at that as a huge opportunity for us as humans to reflect back at what was working and what wasn’t working before covid and design better systems and better ways of being. And so I think that right now is just a time of huge opportunity for creating positive change. For me it’s focusing on changing the workplace.
Neil Hughes (09:36):
Wow, Incredible. And I completely agree with you. And again, so much of what you just said will resonate with people around the world. Every single person listening to this needs a reason to jump out of bed in the morning, a sense of purpose and building a future of work. It’s a future of work is something that will impact every single person. So as for the podcast though, what is the new Future of Work podcast? And I know you don’t wanna reveal too much cuz we have a lot of interviews lined up, but what can we expect in your first episode?
Monica Bourgeau (10:05):
Sure. So the New Future of Work podcast for me is my way of sharing workplace trends and highlighting emerging practices and companies that are creating the future of work today. You know, this isn’t tomorrow we’re talking about there are companies both in the US and abroad that are dramatically changing the workplace. They’re bringing in flexibility, they’re looking at four-day work weeks, they’re looking at remote work situations, hybrid work situations, self-managing teams, where you start to level the hierarchy where we don’t just necessarily have this top down leadership model anymore, but we actually have teams that are able to manage themselves. And I’ve seen that happen in just the most interesting places, including at a rural hospital. I’ve done a lot of work in healthcare and there’s a rural hospital in Wisconsin actually that has a self-managing team. They might not realize that, but they were having a hard time staffing their admissions desk.
Monica Bourgeau (11:04):
And so what they ended up doing was the CEO said, Okay, here’s the criteria. This is the work that needs to be completed. These are the hours that we need someone here, you guys work amongst yourself and come up with a workable solution. And so, you know, that dramatically changed that work environment because some of the employees were having a hard time with childcare and pickup and drop off from school and all different things. They were able to work together to come up with a schedule that met the needs of the organization, but also provided some of the flexibility that the employees needed. And so that’s been a tool for them to be able to, in their staffing levels, which was a real challenge. So those are kind of the, the stories that are exciting for me that are happening out there.
Neil Hughes (11:52):
And I’m gonna push you a little bit more now and ask you who are you gonna be speaking with? Are there any teases that you can share on some of the guests that you’ve lined up or, or some of the businesses that you might be speaking with in the coming weeks?
Monica Bourgeau (12:05):
Yes. So we’ve have a lot of amazing conversations scheduled and I’m so excited. One of our first guests is Dr. Gabe Charbonneau, who’s a family practice physician, and he’s working on kind of reinventing the workplace for physicians and he’s also the founder of Medicine Forward. I’m also going to speak with a Dutch futurist, whose name is Eric Korsvik Ostergaard. And Eric is actually working in the field where he goes and works with organizations to help them create little mini experiments to change their workplace. And so he talks with us about that process and how that looks. I also have a friend and fellow author, Dr. Peter Mary, who is the co-founder of Ubiquity University, which is an online learning platform to help kind of conscious leaders work in this current environment. And he’s also the author of a book called Why Work. And so I, I speak with Dr. Peter Mary as well, and lots of exciting conversations to come.
Neil Hughes (13:08):
Oh, exciting. I’ve read that book. So that’s one I’ll be checking out for sure. And as we talk about the future of work, obviously it impacts every single person, but who would you say the podcast is aimed?
Monica Bourgeau (13:20):
Yeah, great question. Well, it’s really aimed at organizational leaders, so CEOs, human resource directors, managers, anyone who’s leading some type of department, company or organization that they’re ready to change. They know that things aren’t working the way that they are and they’re open to listening to new ideas and new possible solutions.
Neil Hughes (13:45):
Awesome. And obviously this is Episode Zero, which is almost an intro episode just to prepare people for what to expect, but as they are just about to hit the subscribe. But, and then if they’ve not done already, please, I employ you to do that. But what would you say your ultimate aim for the show is, and what would you like listeners to walk away with from each episode?
Monica Bourgeau (14:05):
I would love people to walk away from each episode feeling very inspired and excited, and I want them to be able to go back to their workplace and look at it with different eyes, you know, because a lot of times when you first hear about some of these concepts, it’s easy to say, Oh, well that couldn’t work in my industry or that couldn’t work in my company. And I hear that all the time, and once we start to dive into it a little bit, we find that a lot of these new models are possible in your industry and in your company. And so yeah, just being able to look at their organization with new eyes.
Neil Hughes (14:41):
And something that excites me about recording this episode is once people are subscribed and you’ve got 10, 15, 20 interviews out there, you’re gonna be having so many rich conversations with people, and you are, you are an absolute natural at getting these insights from your guests. But many people will start to think, But what about Monica? What does she think? What does, what excites Monica about this? So this is my opportunity to ask that question on behalf of everyone listening. So Monica, what excites you about building a new future of work?
Monica Bourgeau (15:10):
Well, I think what excites me the most is that I feel like it will really help people. You know, I think that there’s this kind of shared frustration with work right now, you know, with things like the great resignation, but also, you know, unfortunately my daughter is now working in the corporate world, or, or fortunately I guess she has a good job, but I see her facing a lot of the same struggles that I faced when I was a young mom as well. She’s also a young mom, and it’s difficult, you know, when you have a very kind of rigid corporate environment, and you want to work and you enjoy working, but you’re kind of forced to fit in this cookie cutter mold, and if it doesn’t work for you, then you know, it can be really challenging. I think that’s what I’m most excited about, is being able to change the workplace for her and, you know, hopefully for my granddaughter and future generations.
Neil Hughes (16:06):
Excellent. Well, the podcast is already live on Spotify, Apple podcast, Amazon Music, and wherever you listen to your podcast. But finally, before I let you go, Monica, when can people expect those new episodes to drop and how can they find out a little bit more information about you too?
Monica Bourgeau (16:23):
Yeah, so we plan to release new episodes every two weeks and people can learn more about me and the podcast by visiting my company’s website www.newphasepartners.com or by connecting with me over on LinkedIn or Twitter. And my username is @MonicaBourgeau on both of those platforms.
Neil Hughes (16:46):
Well, I wish you the best of look with the New Future of Work podcast. I’m fortunate to see behind the scenes that you’ve got some great interviews lined up. You’ve already got seven or eight in the bag, so I’m looking forward to seeing these go out there. But thank you, Monica, for giving everybody a scene setter for the podcast and what they can expect.
Monica Bourgeau (17:03):
Thank you, Neil, and it was great talking with you today, and thank you for lending your expertise to the show. We really appreciate it. Thank you for listening to the New Future of Work podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave us a review and don’t forget to subscribe so you can be sure to catch our next episode.