Interaction's Thrivalism

What's What in Workplace Culture - With Lizzie Benton

October 24, 2023 Interaction Season 5 Episode 4
What's What in Workplace Culture - With Lizzie Benton
Interaction's Thrivalism
More Info
Interaction's Thrivalism
What's What in Workplace Culture - With Lizzie Benton
Oct 24, 2023 Season 5 Episode 4

In this episode Toby talks with fellow workplace culture podcast host Lizzie Benton. Lizzie hosts the "Make It Thrive" podcast and is "a curious explorer for better ways of working."

They discuss what they've learned since diving headfirst into workplace culture, touching on topics such as the role of middle-manager, useless workplace culture initiatives and planning for alien invasions.

Check out the podcast or just read the full transcript. 

Find more from Lizzie here:
Liberty Mind | Adopt Progressive Ways of Working
Make It Thrive: The Company Culture Podcast 

In the episode Lizzie mentions Shorter: How to Revolutionise the Work Week by Alex Soojun Kim-Pang and Toby mentions this episode of Thrivalism with Amy Kean

Thanks for listening! Check out Interaction's website for more workplace culture content and case studies (or just follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter).

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode Toby talks with fellow workplace culture podcast host Lizzie Benton. Lizzie hosts the "Make It Thrive" podcast and is "a curious explorer for better ways of working."

They discuss what they've learned since diving headfirst into workplace culture, touching on topics such as the role of middle-manager, useless workplace culture initiatives and planning for alien invasions.

Check out the podcast or just read the full transcript. 

Find more from Lizzie here:
Liberty Mind | Adopt Progressive Ways of Working
Make It Thrive: The Company Culture Podcast 

In the episode Lizzie mentions Shorter: How to Revolutionise the Work Week by Alex Soojun Kim-Pang and Toby mentions this episode of Thrivalism with Amy Kean

Thanks for listening! Check out Interaction's website for more workplace culture content and case studies (or just follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter).

Toby Brown: Hello and welcome to Interaction's Thrivalism. I'm your host, Toby Brown, and today we've got a great guest with us, Lizzie Benton. She's on a mission to help companies revolutionise the way they work. She's got a really strong belief that when people find happiness and fulfilment in their jobs, it naturally benefits the business. She specialises in liberating organisations from bureaucratic practices and guiding them towards adopting new processes, structures and mindsets. But equally as important to me. She hosts a great workplace culture podcast, so I thought it would be fascinating to pick a brains and see what she's learned over her 11 seasons. Lots of stuff in the show notes for this. Let's crack straight on chatting to Lizzie. Lizzie, amazing to have you on. We'll just get straight into it. We're both podcast hosts. We both cover similar issues workplace culture, both passionate about that. How did you get into it and arrive at hosting a podcast?


Lizzie Benton: Well, how did I arrive at hosting a podcast is probably a more simpler thing to talk about, because my friend actually started a podcast years ago all around kind of just women's lifestyle topics. I loved her podcast and she said, you know what? You should really do one for your business because you've got plenty to talk about. And so she showed me the ropes, as it were, and I just thought, oh, I'll give this a go. Little did I know, it's basically like a part time job.


Toby Brown: How long ago was that? Was that before podcasting got really popular? Or was that around the time that everyone was starting to get into it?


Lizzie Benton: I think to be honest, that was the time everyone was starting to get into it, really, and I was only just getting into listening to podcasts myself then. So I knew that there were certain podcasts that I really enjoy listening to, and I enjoyed their format and sort of certain individuals who I was picking up on. 


Toby Brown: Obviously it's founded in workplace culture which makes it really interesting for us to be able to dive into it. But tell us your route to getting involved with workplace culture and your background there.


Lizzie Benton: I was in a marketing agency and I was the manager of a team and everything that I was doing outside of work in terms of my personal development and coaching and things like that, I was bringing into the team to help them develop and learn and grow, because I'm a bit of a self-development junkie. So everything that I was doing kind of in my personal time, I was bringing into work, and the guys at the company were like, look, Lizzie, whatever you're doing with your team is clearly working because they're kind of the happiest. And also their results are incredible. So how about you come and sort of do this for the whole company? And so I got promoted to head of operations, which meant my sort of sole role within that position was to develop team culture and the people essentially. So I started to to roll out certain things. And unfortunately I then got made redundant and it went through a really ugly buyout. And yeah, we all got made redundant. And I thought, right, this is the moment I can either jump back into the rat race of a career, or I can decide to try and do something for myself and take everything that I've learned from this experience and take it a step further, because I was just loving it so much. And so that's what I did.


Toby Brown: Let's talk about the first stage of your podcast and how that got started. Obviously, you told us how you got into it, but how long has it been running for now.


Lizzie Benton: I can't even remember exactly the year that I started it, but I'm on season 11 now, so I do a couple of seasons each year, so I think I started around about 2018, 2019, not long after I'd started my business, just because my friend had said, oh, maybe that might help your business and help you talk about the things that you're doing. So yeah, it's I forget how long I've been doing it because it's just become kind of a natural thing where, you know, every few months I'll go, right. What's the next season going to be and start thinking about the themes of each season.


Toby Brown: And obviously you've done it across a period where time went really weird anyway over Covid. As part of that, you've seen lots of stuff in the workplace change and obviously conversations about the workplace accelerating constantly and changing track constantly. And it'd be really interesting to get into a few of the key themes maybe you've noticed recently over those times, maybe ones you're bored with now, or ones you think are coming up. Are there things that keep coming up with guests of yours that you think are worth examining further?


Lizzie Benton: Yeah, absolutely. It has been such a journey over the past few years because I was doing the podcast pre-COVID, and then the themes were very much around some kind of, I would say, pretty basic things that are going on in culture, you know, you know, the typical ones, like people don't live by their values, blah, blah, blah, that kind of thing. And I was kind of getting a bit bored of it during Covid was really interesting because I had so many different conversations with people, with their thoughts on what they thought might change. And then obviously now we're in this other realm where we're now post-Covid. So I feel like the journey of that itself is really fascinating. And how people were making predictions. And even I think it was Alex Pang, the author of Shorter: How to Revolutionise the Work Week. He came on during Covid and he was in California at the time and he was talking, he was saying, you know, Lizzie, this this isn't a one time thing. You know, we're going to see waves and waves of change happen. And he's not been wrong. He was probably the most open minded about what's actually going on in the world.


I was really fortunate that I had Peter J. Scott, who is an artificial intelligence expert on the podcast in 2020. He's ex NASA. So he has done some amazing things with artificial intelligence. And that conversation was like in 2020 when it wasn't really being as spoken about as it is now. So I think the things that are really emerging that fascinate me are still this challenge between companies rigidly wanting to stay as they are. And they're kind of forced, you know, desire to keep things as they were, where people are now, like, no, that doesn't work for me, that doesn't work for my lifestyle, doesn't work for me as an individual. And so we're seeing this kind of societal shift in terms of what work looks like now. And that really fascinates me because I don't think, you know, generationally it gets labelled all the time of like, oh, it's the Gen Z, you know, being all entitled about the workplace. I really don't think they are. From the conversations I've had, this is multigenerational. This isn't just one generation spearheading change. This is as a society, we're done with the way work has been done for so long.


Toby Brown: So one thing that I'm really interested in, is where that power balance is lying between the big organisations saying, all right, time to come back to the office five days a week, and the employees saying it's not going to work for us. And depending on where you look and who you listen to, you get really shifting perspectives of where that power lies. Who do you think that power sits with at the moment? Is it the people or is it the big organisations who are employing them?


Lizzie Benton: Yeah, that's such a good question. I feel that there is a power kind of struggle going on. You know, unfortunately the power does obviously sit with the employer because they are the ones who can decide what people do without really any other decision-making power. You know, the authority sits with them. So it is really frustrating. Unfortunately people are still of the mindset and unfortunately the media doesn't help, you know, telling people that we're in a recession, telling people that jobs are scarce and we're going through all these different crises. We've got to remember that a lot of those things are driven by an agenda. That news is driven by an agenda, and what ends up happening is that forces people to act and behave a certain way. And so, you know, people will feel like, oh, I can't change jobs because this is going on and this is really unstable. The truth is, work is always unstable. The one thing people never talk about is the fact that a business, most businesses do not show their employees their business books and their business accounts because they're like, oh, I couldn't do that because a they'd want more money. So we're just lying to people all the time that things are stable. There's no such thing as stability within business. Say we kind of treat people like children in the workplace with giving them a lack of information that then makes them feel a sense of comfort because they think, oh, everything's fine until the boss comes in and says, everything isn't fine.


Toby Brown: I know we've not been saying anything, but actually we've not made any money for two years.


Lizzie Benton: Off you go. And you're like, oh, okay. And that's what we're kind of in this very weird relationship with that we are accepting that they're not going to give us the information and trusting that they're going to look after us when that's not the case.


Toby Brown: I think one thing that's probably nice about having, you know, platforms to be able to talk about this stuff is I've had some people on, like Harry Singer of Singer Technologies who make incredible medical instruments, and they've taken exactly the opposite approach, where they've opened their books entirely, giving everyone a profit share a totally transparent with how their books are, how everything looks, how the margins are, that sort of stuff. And there seems to be lots of smaller businesses who've used this entire thing as a way to re-evaluate how they operate and how they engage with their people. And that is really interesting. But we need to give them bigger voices and shine a light on them and make more people operate that way, if we can. And there were some other people I spoke to at the start of lockdown who, when we were talking about wellbeing and things like that, and, you know, companies talking about, oh, you've got four classes of yoga every month and everyone's encouraged to take a walk for ten minutes during the day. And the companies that I found really interesting were the ones that were going well, we've actually used it as an opportunity to re-evaluate how much work our people take on and the sort of clients we engage with and how frequently we pay our people, and all those things that actually lead to loads of stress and pressure


So I think lots of people are thinking radically about what work can look like, but often the narrative doesn't pick up on those voices. So it's quite interesting to be able to delve into them a bit, I think. And I guess along those lines, you know, 11 series, lots of episodes. Have you had any episodes that were particularly standout or memorable for you or stuff that you really took some, some learnings away from?


Lizzie Benton: Yeah, absolutely. There's so many. It's always really hard because I'm sure you're the same. You can't pick a favourite. It's like picking your favourite child, but at the same time, one area of fascination for me personally, and especially with the work that I do, because I'm really fortunate that I do work with a lot more progressive organisations. I would say the one area that I still find really fascinating, and that I've had some great conversations on the podcast about, is all around the future of work and uncertainty and how we try to shape shift with uncertainty. 


So I was really fortunate to have two futurists on the podcast about different things. So Debbie Ryan and Esme Wilcox, and with them we really spoke about the future and predictability and trying to constantly predict what's going to happen. But really not a lot of businesses are doing the scenario planning of what happens if or what happens when. And I find that really fascinating because with a lot of my work, we look at the present situation. So where are we right now that we're finding pain or tension, and how do we want to shift to something that feels better and helps us operate in a different way? The way they work is looking at these scenario plans and looking at, okay, what happens if, for example, like we found out recently, UFOs exist, what happens if aliens invade? You know, it's not as extreme, but it is all the stuff.


Toby Brown: I really started a podcast to get into all this. Aliens? Let’s go. 


Lizzie Benton: It makes it just makes for such fascinating conversations. But that's an extreme example. But then it's also for companies going, okay, we have one supplier of our product who helps us produce, and they're in China. If something happens to China, we're then going to be impacted. That and so many companies don't think this way. They're just constantly in the now. And actually if they if they road tested some of these scenarios in this future planning with their team, there'd be so much more resilient and adaptive to the world that we live in rather than still playing around with pains that that should have been dealt months ago, let alone looking to the future. So I feel like those conversations that I've had, they're not only kind of a passion point for me, but they also offer an insight into how to make working with the future practical. 


Toby Brown: And why do you think people don't do that at the moment? Because the way you phrase it there, it sounds like a common sense thing to do. Work out where your vulnerabilities lie. What stops people from doing that?


Lizzie Benton: It's way, way, way at the bottom of the to do list, right. You know, like there's the things that people have got to get done for next week or for tomorrow. And so everything just gets put to the bottom of the to do list. And because we're in that reactive state rather than a responsive state, it just becomes something that never really happens or it's something nice to do. Maybe at a company offsite where everyone thinks about the future, it doesn't become something that's ingrained in how they operate. So I just don't think they prioritise it at all. It's just not something that they deem as urgent or as a priority. And it's the same with all sorts of organisations who should be really thinking like this. You know, we saw it unfortunately with Covid of how unprepared our government and our NHS were with adapting to that situation. Now, a global pandemic for a government is not an unusual scenario to play out. They road test these situations all the time. Scenario planning is something that came from the military, from the government. So there are so many instances where they have special procedures for terrorist attacks, special procedures for certain situations. They would have had a procedure for this, but they were massively unprepared. And I think we just don't learn from it, because we're just trying to carry on as if everything's going back to normal, when it will never go back to normal.


Toby Brown: And it's got to be a framing issue as well. I think if I put in a 9:00 meeting on a Monday morning and said, we're going to plan for an alien invasion, what happens then? Guarantee you get a full attendance to that? Just frame it properly.


Lizzie Benton: There we go. Make it way more fun.


Toby Brown: And we've touched on it briefly, but employee wellbeing has obviously been a massive focal point of several episodes of mine and many of yours. What are some of the shifts you're seeing there and some of the trends? Because I think, again, it's a really interesting subject out with a lot of areas where it's a bit like I've stuck a plaster on it, it's definitely fine, and a lot of areas where people are actually making really impactful, meaningful changes to how their employees engage with their life day to day. What are some of the examples on either end of that spectrum that you've come across?


Lizzie Benton: I get really annoyed with the plaster perks that really riles me up, and especially it will always come out, particularly around kind of like Mental Health Week and all those other weeks, and you'll see so many organisations promoting what they're doing for Mental Health Week or these other wellbeing weeks that happen. And it's not real. It's totally culture washing what actually goes on within their organisation. So it does really rile me up, and I feel like they're just not actually looking at that deeper problem. Like we spoke about earlier, that the fact that the work and the system within which people work is making people unwell, it's making people stressed. And I think on the other end of that scale is companies, you know, I'm very fortunate that I get to work with some of these more progressive organisations who are looking at that system. So, you know, thinking about things like, well, do we need managers? You know, the fact is, most employees complain of their manager causing the most stress and the most frustration in how they are managed. So we don't even need managers. 


Toby Brown: I just heard a collective shiver from a thousand managers as you said, that, just echoing across the void.


Lizzie Benton: It’s not that we don't need people to coach and support and mentor people. It's the shift in what leadership looks like. And we're so used to this micromanagement, command and control type of way of leading that so many managers aren't in that like coaching, supportive mentorship role. They're very much in that, you know, managing people rather than managing the work. And it's a totally different position that we need to take. And I do think it's the same with resilience. People keep talking about resilience, you know, like you either have it or you don't, or we need to like build up your resilience because you know, you're not being resilient enough in the workplace. And it's like an individual fault, like it's a fault on the employee if they're struggling, like, that's your fault. That's not our fault and that's not true. The system is the thing that's actually making people stressed and unwell. And like you said, overworking people and making this environment that's toxic, where ego and power plays get done all the time. Internal politics, you know, all of it's completely unnecessary as to what actually needs to get done. And so I just think in terms of the companies that really do wellbeing well are the ones who may be even subconsciously aren't focusing on wellbeing, they're just focusing on making a good place to work, where people can do great work. They're not going, oh, should we add in like a yoga day or a free gym membership? They haven't even got that in their heads. They're they're thinking at this from a much more micro scale of everything that we do as a team, as an organisation impacts how we feel as individual. So maybe we look at actually how we run meetings, how we make decisions, how we pay people like pay transparency, all of these different things, learning and development. It's a multifaceted area that I think the good companies really look at, and not just the plaster packs, as we say.


Toby Brown: And there's two things I'd like to pick up on those points. One of them is I had a guest on called Amy Keane, who raised two points that had sort of escaped me until she mentioned it. And they're both about pushing back that responsibility onto the individual. One of them, she went off about mental health first aiders, which I haven't paid too much attention to. I am one, but I was like, okay, it feels like a positive thing to have in a company. And Amy's point was that is the company going back on you now is your responsibility for your own mental health and look after each other. And that's our hands wiped and we're done. Thank you. And the other point was around imposter syndrome and that not really existing, but that being a sign you're probably in a shit company. If they're making you feel like an imposter, you're probably in the wrong place. And I wonder how much of that is related to more remote working and hybrid working and organisations being, which it's just very difficult to get your hands dirty with culture now, isn't it, if people aren't all in the same place. So on that train of thought, then you mentioned managers sitting around not being comfortable with not micromanaging and stuff like that. Say you're a mid-level manager and your organisation has gone mostly remote, and suddenly you feel unempowered and a bit useless because you know, your team's productivity has stayed fine. Their output is happy. What do you do in that role? Like you're that manager. What do you do to make yourself important? Not important is the wrong word, isn't it? But vital to your organisation again?



Lizzie Benton: It's making yourself valuable, isn't it? Like your role has to exist for a purpose. And so if it was me as a manager, I would say to my team, what is it that you need from me to support you? Like, what is it that you need? Like, I've worked with teams before who sometimes, you know, their team was very sort of self managing and could co-exist almost independently from the larger organisation. And so the manager's job in that particular case was almost like a heat shield to protect the team from some of the toxic ways of working that the rest of the organisation was working with. So because they knew as a team, look, we work really well together like this. We don't need them coming in here with their ego and their big boots and stomping over what we need to do. And so this particular manager was the heat shield. You know, they were the ones protecting them and making sure that they were kind of like the go between, between the team and the wider organisation and what was getting done. And so you can be a heat shield, you know, if you're experiencing you've got a particular culture within your team, but the organisation has a very different culture than you as a team member, as a manager can really make a difference there. But it's also asking your team, what do you need from me, what would help and support you in that way? You know, I'll never forget that. When Google decided to experiment with self-management and they did a ridiculous thing by taking away managers and that's it.


Well, managers still provide a function, right? They are still there for something. So you can't just take away managers. That isn't self-management. Self-management is creating more scaffolding so that the team can self-manage. And so it was asking okay what do we need in replacement of managers. Are there certain structures or processes? And if we have something like a role of a manager what that looks like in in most circumstances is that person is a coach. So when the team hit a problem, they're not telling them what to do. They're coaching them through the problem. And that is a totally different mindset to take on than oh, I need to be the one that tells them all the solutions because I'm the one in the power position and they have to play out what I'm going to tell them. That doesn't help them grow, it doesn't help them learn. And then what you end up doing as a leader, as you grow into all those positions, as you scale the hierarchy, you end up just becoming everyone's problem solver. And then you go, oh, why is everyone coming to me? Why can't anyone take any accountability? You've never given anyone accountability from the day Dot. So that's why they're not going to take any accountability. And you're going to be overwhelmed with the amount of decisions you now have to make.


Toby Brown: So parenting is what we're saying and parenting to me. So we mentioned that the role of leadership there, what does really good leadership look like at the moment to you?


Lizzie Benton: To me at the moment it would be empathetic. I'm not massively a massive fan of that word, but it would be very much this participative democratic leadership. That's how I see leadership, good leadership right now. I think there are times when other leadership styles are necessary, but in the time that we're in, we need to see more participative leadership. You know, and especially in this era of heightened diversity and inclusion, we're finally getting to a stage where we need to actually accept that we need more minds in the room. Then I think we need leaders who are willing to be vulnerable, to ask for help, to talk about some of the tough stuff that's going on in the business. So for me, it's really that participative approach and a very human approach. I'm fed up of these leaders thinking that they need to wear a certain mask and behave a certain way, because we have to be professional and we have to lead a certain way. It's like, that isn't leadership that is, that's playing leadership, that's playing a role, a type typecast of leadership that's not authentic.


Toby Brown: Is that you think the pandemic hastened a bit because you got an insight into people's lives in their homes, and their dogs go mad and children spilling baked beans in the background and stuff like that. Do you think it did serve to level people a bit?


Lizzie Benton: 100%, yeah, because there was just no hiding from who you are, right? Your whole self. Because we are whole individuals, we don't kind of play a part at work. Take that hat off and then come home and put a different hat on. That doesn't work. Like everything merges together now, and especially because we are in this world where everything is accessible, you know, our work is still accessible when we're at home and our home is still accessible when we're at work. So we cannot differentiate between the two. And so we have to stop playing this idea that we have a work self and we have a home self. We have to start realising that we are a full individual who sometimes needs to be emotional at work about something that's going on, who needs to show up completely authentically. And I do believe that that has helped create more of that immersion of whole self. We are whole people with whole lives, with children, with hobbies, with health. And those things all need to work in an equilibrium, equilibrium together.


Toby Brown: I do remember one really good Teams call. Someone very senior from a parent organisation of a parent organisation was on there, but they thought that the camera was off and it was probably 3:00 in the afternoon, and their wife bought them a massive gin and tonic on a big silver tray, and they just sat there drinking it. And we were like, you know we can see you.  I thought, there's his real self, bringing his real self to work and his real self is an alcoholic. So. There we go. We're all in the same boat now, so it's fine. When you're having these sort of talks with people on the podcast and being in the work you do outside of the podcast, are there any challenges you come up frequently or mindsets you feel you need to try and get around, or like particular issues that people get particularly stuck on?


Lizzie Benton: It's still the them versus us. So whenever leaders kind of, you know, we get on a conversation and they're like the team like they, they, they like those other people, those minions that are just not doing what I'm telling them to do. It's the same mindset of them versus us and the fact that it's the people that have the problem and not the leader. And I always say you have to start with the leaders. You have to start with leadership to shift that. Because if you want to do some kind of culture transformation or evolution, it starts with those who have the biggest influence. Because everything they say, everything they do, influences everybody else. They set the standard, whether they like that or not. And so they can't be the ones telling someone else what to do while not also doing it themselves. You know that whole do as I say, not as I do. That mentality just doesn't work anymore. And especially now that we see everything, you know, it's easy to find people so accessible because of social media. And that's where the challenge still remains of of kind of parent, like we said earlier, parenting people and believing that just because we're in a leadership position and we've got to that position, we are somehow infallible. We are absolutely not.


Toby Brown: I feel like you're quite positive and optimistic about how things are going to develop. Is that the correct? 


Lizzie Benton: I'm just generally a positive person. I'll admit it's hard. It's hard work staying positive sometimes because, you know, you see things in the news and you're just like, why? Why are we doing things this way? And I do get really like not to get on my soapbox about the UK or anything, but I do get really fed up of the way we run things systemically from, you know, everything filters down whatever the government does that then influences everything else. And so I do get a bit fed up sometimes with some of the policies that are coming out that then influence.


Toby Brown: Of Rees-Mogg, telling everyone to get back to work.


Lizzie Benton: Exactly. It's just like, how do I get out of this country? So it does really infuriate me. And that makes me a bit sad because I'm like, the people at the top are so far removed from the reality of everyday person, and I can't believe in the UK we're still working in this way, that it's almost like this. This aristocracy is still in government and talking for people that they've got absolutely no clue about. So it does really infuriate me. And it's the same, you know, it's taken so much. I think it's Anna Whitehouse] who's taken the flex appeal, you know, to the House of Commons. And she has been campaigning for that for so long. And I'm just thinking, I can't believe how long these things are taking to be in bed. And unfortunately people keep saying to me, oh, when's things going to change? When's things going to change? I feel like it has to be a bottom up shift, because to change that system is going to take decades. So we need radical companies and radical businesses who are going to be the agitators. We need them to be doing things differently and people to be doing things differently. We need to kind of take some radical responsibility for what we're doing and be the agitators in the situation, because it isn't until people really start a movement that then things will really change.


Toby Brown: And what can that look like for people on a day-to-day level? If you're running a business, you have got really good intentions. You've got 100 people working for you. What are some micro steps they can take to start being agitators for a better experience for everybody?


Lizzie Benton: It's just literally asking yourself the question, what can we do better, you know, as a team, as an organisation? I don't think there's anything, you know, I don't believe that there's one quick fix, and I would never want to be someone that offers that. But I always say to people and say to teams, what is one thing you can just do over the next three months that would make it better that, you know, talk to your team. Don't just do this from a like a HR roll out. Oh, we're going to do this all of a sudden. You know, I'll never forget one of my case study of a of a client who, you know, they'd seen so much around everything that's going on with sort of gender fluidity and everything that they decided, oh, we're just going to make all of the toilets gender neutral, which is a great idea. But when you consider they're the type of organisation they are and the area they were in that really got the backup of a lot of people. They didn't have dialogue about that. They just rolled it out because they saw it as this thing that was happening and that causes more pain in the culture, although the intention is really good there. You know, we want to be a place that welcomes people who are gender fluid. It can be really disruptive for the people that are already working there, and you need to have dialogue. So I always say, what is something you can co-create together to make something better? And you have to have a dialogue about that. So that would probably be my advice, I would say.


Toby Brown: Sounds good. That just reminded me of our work somewhere once, that it was part of a merger with several companies merging together, and one of the offices, which wasn't based near the main office, woke up one morning and they had the values of the main office just written on their wall overnight, three values they had never heard of, never had any input in, never cared about, just appeared on the walls like live these values now. Okay. Yeah, fine. And then they wonder why it went wrong. But we're going to wrap up, I guess, a note that I'd like to wrap up on if you could get rid of any cliches or things that irritate you about the workplace culture conversation, what would you bin off room 101 guess what would you what would you get rid of?


Lizzie Benton: Oh, it's so hard. There's too it's so I'm going to choose two. It'd be like we're a family that makes me spew in my mouth. I hate that when people say that about that.


Toby Brown: People hate their families.


Lizzie Benton: Like, yeah, lots of people have some very messed up families. That's what I always think. And then the second one is the work. We work hard, play hard. Yeah, that is awful.


Toby Brown: Isn't it? Absolutely disgusting. And I think there's lots of red flags isn't there. When you look at an organisation those are two really good ones. They just mean we're going to work really hard and pay you basically nothing but a fruit bowl.

Lizzie, it's been really nice having you on. Thanks for that chat. It's been absolutely awesome when people want to find out a bit more about what you do, obviously there's the podcast and we'll put all that stuff in the show notes. But where would you direct people?


Lizzie Benton: I just find me on LinkedIn. Yeah. If you want to come and kind of reach out to me on LinkedIn. I write a lot of stuff and usually rant about a lot of stuff as well, so apologies in advance if you do follow me.


Toby Brown: I've heard you're massive on TikTok too.


Lizzie Benton: Yeah, that's a whole other story…


Toby Brown: Well, I hope you enjoyed that conversation. We'll be back in two weeks with another episode of Thrivalism. And if you enjoyed it, which I hope you did because you stayed all the way to the end, do give us a review on your podcast platform of choice. Thanks and see you soon!