Interaction's Thrivalism

Thrivalism: What We've Learnt

February 08, 2022 Interaction Season 2 Episode 3
Thrivalism: What We've Learnt
Interaction's Thrivalism
Show Notes Transcript

Toby and Dieter recap on their experiences so far, discussing the keys points made by each of our guests while bickering occasionally and getting interrupted by a handyman.

Show notes

Dieter Wood on LinkedIn

Toby Brown on LinkedIn

S1E1: Taxi! Adventures in Building Culture with Autocab's Head of Culture, Lucy Sunner

S1E2: Creating Communities with Cubex's Sarah Trahair-Williams

S1E3: Environmental Hazards with Joanna Watchman, Work in Mind

S1E4: Beyond The Badges: Tackling Sustainability with CEG's Paul Richardson

S1E5: Bagels Do Not A Company Culture Make! With Amy Kean

S2E1: Creating Psychological Safety with Harry Singer, MD of Singer Instruments

S2E2: What Can Businesses Learn From Religion? with Sanderson Jones

Tech Business Culture Survival Guide 

S2E3: Welcome to The Wokeplace with Rupert Dean, Co-Founder and CEO of x+why

Season 3 coming soon!

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 Thrivalism’s end of series wrap up. This is usually the bit where Dieter does along slightly boring monologue, where he stumbles over a Word document that I've written him. But today we're here face to face to have a chat about what we've learnt from two series of Thrivalism so far. Dieter say “hello”. 


Dieter Wood: Good morning, Toby. I'm disappointed that I can't do my long, boring monologue intro, and that means that I won't be doing it for the next series. 


Toby Brown: Well, to be honest, that's something I wanted to discuss with you anyway! So that's good. We haven't got two hours this morning. So why are we here today, Dieter? 


Dieter Wood: Well, it's been a pretty good series or two series, and we thought, well, we couldn't get any more guests. So we thought as we've been the most common people doing interviews, why not interview each other and think about what we've loved, what’s challenged us, our thoughts? Maybe what we disagreed with? 


Toby Brown: Didn't even listen to the end of that because I'm just still rankling that you call me common. I think an interesting starting point is in terms of the actual podcast itself  what has been challenging? I found it impossible to listen to my own voice. I can't do it. 


Dieter Wood: Is this a self-help podcast for people who are trying to do podcasts? I would say it's definitely more difficult than you expect. You need way more equipment than you would imagine. I would say we were hugely helped by a friend of ours who up until the point of his introduction, it was all very amateur, but weirdly, we send the absolute nonsense to him, and it would come back sounding actually OK. I've realised now, and one of the best tricks of podcasting is you can pay. There's two grades to podcasting editing and you pay a little bit more and they take all the ums and AHS and pauses out of your conversation. So even when you sound a bit like you don't know what to say, they don't know they're just magic with it.  


Toby Brown: Like, yeah, well, sometimes there's only so much they can do. I found diary management impossible as well, like actually trying to coordinate three or four people at the same time, even over Zoom. It's just it's a non-starter, isn't it? Can't do it. 

The admin escapes me. The chat is fine. The other thing for me, it also took me a while to realise that editing means you don't have to worry too much about what you actually say because you can delete. And we've probably got two and a half hours of deleted footage shot on the floor that isn't appropriate for broadcast. 


Dieter Wood: Yeah, luckily for our listeners, there's probably not a lot of interesting content in the outtakes to make anything. 


Toby Brown: Let's go back through the episodes that we've done. We've had some brilliant guests, actually, and we've got some more lined up for next year, which is awesome. Series three of Thrivalism will launch around February with some brilliant guests in the pipeline, so more on that later. We started off talking to Lucy Sunner from Autocar, a sort of automated taxi booking system bought by Uber. She's Head of Culture, installed to drive change through their culture, sort of cement and build it out as they scale. What were your key takeaways from your chat with her? 


Dieter Wood: Well, yeah, I really liked Lucy. She was full of enthusiasm, wasn't she? And she had like the ultimate challenge I thought at Autocab. It was actually quite an old business and was quite traditional and had, I suppose, a non-typical team, I think in many ways, but then was growing really fast and had been bought out by Uber. I think the things that were really interesting is the key things that they had to do. I was really pleased because it actually made me think that at Interaction we're doing a lot of those already, but it just goes to show, doesn’t it? It's about it's definitely just all about connection, but you can't expect it to randomly just happen. You have to put some structure around it. You have to create situations where those bonds happen, whether that's online or in person. And that was a lot of the challenges they were having. But it was relatively simple but consistent and thorough and checking upon yourself and making sure you doing the right thing and checking back to the team, make sure they appreciate what you're doing and then check you and the management to make sure the right direction. But, you know, sounds simple, you need the right people to do it. And she clearly was really good. 


Toby Brown: This answer was almost as long as the actual podcast itself. So well done. I think one of the things that comes up a lot when we talk about culture and all the guests have raised it to some level is the idea of being deliberate in creating culture. It's actually not expected to happen by actually putting thought into what you do and what you don't do, how you track it, because culture, although it is organic, needs a framework to work from. And that's something that I think all the guests have touched on in interesting ways. The second one, we spoke to Sarah Trahair-Williams from Cubex, and again, that was you. One thing I learnt quite early on that podcast is we need to pad the desks because there's quite a lot of background banging. Glasses getting put down, but we've really moved beyond that now, so that's good. So Sarah is also really passionate about getting people into the business, about more diversity within the business, people coming up through the ranks, about sustainability, about creating communities. So what are some takeaways for you in that one? 


Dieter Wood: It was really refreshing, wasn't it? Well, not just with Sarah from Cubex,, but obviously with Paul from CEG. There's been a massive change, I think, in the way developers are looking at their role and that is hugely evolving all the way across that sector. And they talked you talked a lot about placemaking and the importance of it and the importance that Cubex placed on it, and it was really refreshing. So that was the thing that I kept like you just kept going back to placemaking and about creating opportunities. 


Toby Brown: I feel that those topics can often come across as quite cynical and commercially driven. But actually, with both of those guys, they felt really genuine and authentic, and they were really meaningful subjects for them to be progressing. 


Dieter Wood: Yeah, I mean, you know, is obviously good commercial practise to make a good place because It's not just enough to have a white box anymore, is it? It's everything that goes around it and they understand expectations are higher. It was refreshing, wasn't it? It was really great to hear it right from the horse's mouth. The people who were responsible for literally putting bricks and mortar together. Yeah, their passion.  


Toby Brown: You shared a passion, for some sort of types of cement or something, which I zoned out. I don't know that, but I'm sure everyone else is really interested.  


Dieter Wood: Actually, yeah, I still do. What, reinforced concrete? 


Toby Brown: What's your favourite type of reinforced concrete? 


Dieter Wood: Pretty stressed, pretty 


Toby Brown: Stressed? I know all about that. I'll start. We spoke to, well, Debs, in fact, spoke to Joanna Watchman, and covered a lot of topics in mental health, WELL, buildings,  the importance of light and biophilia, blue collar vs. white collar attitude to ?wellness and stuff in the workplace. Any takeaways from that? 


Dieter Wood: You know, she was very good at reflecting back and positioning the things that we all know, which is bad buildings are really bad for you. And whether that’s air, whether that's light, whether that's acoustics and sound, and we don't pay enough attention to them. And she made that, you know, the comparison towards your facilities manager in the office you might work in probably has more impact on your health than your doctor does. And that's a really good thing to think about. And we, you know, we focus on the quality of the water in some of the buildings or we focus on the heat and cool, but we don't really think as much about the air quality. And that's one thing that's really changed at the pandemic. And it's a conversation that as an Interaction, we're probably always having. But I don't think we were really listening. And now people really think about air quality and fresh air a lot more. And, you know, as we have to make an office much more of a destination and people have more of a choice about whether or not they go there, things like natural light and acoustics. Yeah, I mean, it's great. I'm so excited that these conversations have come around. 


Toby Brown: More to the fore, but one of the things we discuss is whether they are driven by circumstance at the moment. And then they’ll sort of fade back into the background over the next five years or so or if they're here to stay. 


Dieter Wood: Well, I'm trying to think of a single thing in society where as anything develops, any idea, at least for hobby technology, what is inevitably you get more and more and more and more choice. I'm trying to think of something where less choice becomes the evolution. I don't think people will go to having less choice about what they want to do from their nine to five. So they will expect more choice, more choice will evolve. And therefore, if they have choice, it's got to be. They're going to choose the thing that's better for them. 


Toby Brown: Yeah, I'm desperately trying to understand what you mean, and I'm not. I don't get it. So I think as far as the choice goes and that surely it's a matter of reducing choice and go. And actually, these are the standards for all the buildings that are just taken as a given in five years’ time, for instance, with quality of air quality light, those sort of things and setting benchmarks for those. Or do you think they'll be really important for a couple of years and then people won't be 


Dieter Wood: Talking about them so much? I think normalises, doesn't it? Like BREEAM, with the building standards 


Toby Brown: One of my favourite cheeses, 


Dieter Wood: We don't quote me a word about maybe it's like 20 years ago I was setting a standard across building developments, environmental performance and thermal performance. Except that BREEAM very good, which people were trying to attain to get to, is now almost like building regs minimum. Now you can't really build a new building that isn't very good. Whether you get the standard or not is your choice, but it just becomes normal and accepted. And therefore, if you give people choice, that's the minimum, isn't it? 


Toby Brown: Well, that segues is nicely onto Paul Richardson's episode from CEG because that was about the badges of sustainability and what a complex issue is and how clients often put off by the costs and the complexity, and how there are different ways to measure the same sort of things and different standards. So what were your main takeaways from that conversation?  


Dieter Wood: Oh, I really liked Paul. I thought CEG were full of passion about what they were doing in terms of buildings. 


(Knock on door) 


Toby Brown: Ok, the door’s been answered,  Dieter's gas stove has been fixed, very simple job, two turns of a screwdriver, done. He could have done it himself, but that's fine. We were talking about the podcast episode with CEG’s Paul Richardson. One of the points that came up in Paul's episode was he was fascinated by the changing dynamics between landlords and tenants and how landlords have got to now treat tenants as more of clients rather than sort of adversarial opponents. You're involved in those conversations all the time. How do you see that relationship shifting when you when you're out? 


Dieter Wood: Well, he was absolutely spot on, wasn't he about the way the market has changed? How is that going to develop? I think the thing is that the interaction between landlords and the occupiers is much stronger because of the amount of services that those landlords are providing. And if you look at something like EQ, which is one of the buildings we were talking about, which is fantastic new development in Bristol, there are a huge mass base which the landlord retains being provided to the occupiers, you know, restaurant, cafe, communal spaces, auditoriums, etc. So there's going to be more relationships because there's more points, I suppose, to be considered around what that service agreement is equally. Like anything, occupiers are just demanding more. So we talked a little bit about the environmental credentials, the energy efficiency credentials and the facilities that they provide. There's just more pressure on those guys to add a little extra. And if you can add a bit extra into the quality of service and the quality of the relationship, you kind of those things just add to the value proposition for it. 


Toby Brown: So you're a landlord, you've got maybe slightly older property, you're looking at the market. What are the first three things you sort out to be competitive?  


Dieter Wood: Energy efficiency and sustainability credentials absolutely forefront, I think, for lots and lots of occupiers, which is brilliant and it's completely changed in the last few years, I think certainly in the market here in the Southwest. You've got to activate the ground floor, those difficult to rent ground floor spaces. 


Toby Brown: What do you mean by activate it? 


Dieter Wood: Well, I think, you know, let's hope the times when you have office buildings where when you're walking down the street and you're on the side of an office building and it's just a load of cladding, no depths, no visibility to that building, it's just the car park of something like that. That's not good. It's not good for the cityscapes. It's not good for the way it feels when you walk around a town or city and it doesn't add any value to the landlord, you can't rent it out for very much or it's a bit dull. So what they're doing is activating those ground floors by getting co-working or flex lease operators in there that put in cafes in there. They're putting shared services in there. They're putting spaces that all occupiers can use. That is really, really important. And that is definitely something I would focus on if I was going to refurbish a building. 


Toby Brown: Nice, it seems. I finished then, but asked for three points.  


Dieter Wood: Well, well, at least you can count. The third thing is the experience, isn't it? This is the thing. The Flex lease and the co-working operators have done so well. We went to go and see XandWhy, and this is something that they had done brilliantly. Also, Runway East, a client of ours do brilliantly. You walk in the days of the ex-military or police force security guy on the front desk, demanding to you to side a load of paperwork before you were given access through the gates, hopefully they've gone, and it's all about a massive smile. “Welcome to our building. How can I help you? Do you want a coffee?” and that immediate sense that you are in the right place? That is so, so important 


Toby Brown: Point three - smashed it, got there in the end. Also, we moved on from that one from sort of talk about building properties to culture. And that was when I was having a chat with Amy Kean. What do you want to ask me? 


Dieter Wood: Amy Kean, so interesting. I can't remember the exact title of that podcast, but I thought you had a typo and accidental put on. 


Toby Brown: Bagels Do Not A Company Culture Make 
It’s just a very literary style quote, so that's all. I wouldn't expect you to understand it, but that's correct. It was definitely our sweariest guest. Absolutely. Love talking to Amy. Like absolutely firecracker. Do loads of good work across lots of different areas. 


Dieter Wood: She was definitely not afraid to speak her mind. She had some very strong opinions on mental health, first aiders at work and about toxic cultures. It seemed that you had shared experience of toxic cultures in the past. You weren't quite revealing in that podcast, but I sense that you knew exactly what she meant. I think, 


Toby Brown: Well, my background is in media agencies and stuff like that, and they work people quite hard on often fairly low salaries until you're quite senior and they try and make up for that with strong cultures. Everyone out drinking together, lots of social stuff, and that in hindsight, really feels like it's papering over some fundamental cracks in what's wrong. And I think that's what Amy identified really well. I think talking to her, what I really liked is amongst all that there's lots of very nuanced, practical outtakes as well, which is really interesting to hear. So stuff like training teams in active listening, actually making a real foundational change to the way a business operates wouldn't have occurred to me, but actually makes loads of sense for how people communicate and get on. Stuff like that was really interesting. And I think understanding stuff like whether people are happy to post about the place they work for and share stuff on social or whether they're engaged on digital platforms and things like that, or being quite nuanced indicators of a healthy culture was really good. But she also swears like a trooper, which I like a lot, and I think it is know I'm seeing more and more naming and… shaming might be a bit hard, but I'm seeing more on Reddit, on sub forums or all these platforms. People are starting to stand up to toxic cultures. The stuff that happened BrewDog. There's a massive Antiwork sub on Reddit, where people decide to name and shame employers who treat employees really badly. That stuff feels like it's gaining a lot of ground, and you want to be on the right side of that. And I think that's really interesting mix to get into. 


Dieter Wood: Yeah, the leverage of power between the businesses and the people who work within them has been shifting for a long time, but it feels like social media adds another notch to that shift of leverage because they're able to just say, Well, there you go, it's out there and you can get enough momentum that suddenly BrewDog is a very good example of this. It's like, Well, how are you going to respond to that, which they did a pretty terrible job at responding and it was a really interesting having her view on it 


Toby Brown: And it gets leaked straight away because people now won't stand for it. And yes, there's not you can't paper over those cracks anymore. I think so. It's so important to get that culture right. I should get back to that point about the mental health first aiders being one of the reasons I really like that conversation was because when Amy expanded on that point, I thought, Yeah, that absolutely feels true, which is that having mental health first ladies in the business might be a way for business to pass off responsibility for that stuff onto people whose job it isn't and doesn't really care for. But then I see it in a whole different light, and there were lows things in our podcast that shift the work space for a bit. Okay? 


Dieter Wood: I didn't agree with it on this point. So I think what she was saying, and yes, I do agree on the point that you can't shift your responsibility as a business onto a few individuals who happen to have taken a course. However, is it not better that a few individuals have taken that course because we have mental health, first aiders at Interaction, lots of our clients have them. You are one of those people who have done that course, and maybe it's even if it's a four hour long suggested token course. Those people walk out of that course, having a being better equipped to deal with the situation than when they walked into it. And there would be more likely to see somebody else who is having struggles. So they're going have better visibility and are going to be better able to deal with it. You're right, it doesn't remove the flexibility in the business, but that has got to be a better place. And if you don't do 


Toby Brown: It, maybe, but that's something that comes right in at the end of somebody's process. So we were doing some webinars a little while ago on cultural work and wellbeing specifically. And one of the things that came from, I think it was Tom from Varn made a really good point where he was talking about addressing wellbeing and using COVID as a way to take stock and stuff. And he was like, rather than do pilates classes and tennis, they took the opportunity to focus our resources on fundamentally fixing things that were stressing people out. So how we deal with clients or how we manage workflows, or whether those things might be. That seems a much better, more responsible use of a business's resource than taking everyone out for a business going okay, we'll put everyone into training for a day and that problem is fixed and their mental health is fine. 


Dieter Wood: That's the thing, it doesn't have to be an either or. So the thing that Tom from Varn talks about is that all we took that time to think about our processes or our output or how we interface with clients. Shouldn't you be doing that anyway? 


Toby Brown: Well, seeing as I suppose he listens to this, yes, I’m sure he does do that anyway. Yes, all the time, 


Dieter Wood: They've got great business and these are very intelligent, bright, motivated chap. 


Toby Brown: Keep going. 


Dieter Wood: Oh, sure, he does that all the time, but we should all do that. And yes, it's not about just dealing with the stress it is about how did the stress get there in the first place and how can we fundamentally change the structure of the process, the requirements to stop that stress happening? But this is about dealing with the source. 


Toby Brown: I think in the world we work in. You realise that all those things are really complex, aren't they? Like mental health is as much about your quality of light and access to outdoor areas or whatever. Those things might be as much about  good air quality as it is about having a mental health facility on site as it is about having yoga classes, as it is about having structures in place to support you when stuff gets a bit much. So the answer is, who knows? 


Dieter Wood: Well, it's a very good link into Harry Singer. Singer Instruments have also been recognised by the HSC for the work they'd done on mental health? And obviously, that's something that was well funded and well-resourced within their business. I thought he was absolutely brilliant and clearly faced with a massive challenge of talent, with their business being in a really small niche but embracing the people who want to work with them. I mean, he was a lot about… 


Toby Brown: Just choose words. Choose a word and say it. Psychological, psychological safety. 


Dieter Wood: So that was the phrase I was looking for!  Psychological safety and the importance that in their business.  


Toby Brown: Your take? There were several sort of takeaways from that. It is a fascinating chart because he's a fascinating fellow, PhD in quantum chaos, which he explained to me. I still don't really understand. We discussed beforehand quite a lot about psychology, psychological safety, before the podcast. When on the podcast, his answer was actually much more succinct than our previous discussions, which was “just don't employ dickheads”, which I was expecting quite a long and analytical comment. And that was pretty clear until the point. So I enjoyed that, but also his framework about celebrating failure. And whenever that happens and celebrate that in leadership and across the floor and making that very visible, if somebody fails, it means they're trying and that is a safe space to fail in and you don't get innovation without failure and therefore fail, it should be rewarded. Sort of seems like a fairly straightforward point, but actually, it's really hard to remember that in the flurry of day to day business, 


Dieter Wood: I think, well, you know, toxic cultures and blame cultures are, I mean, the pretty much one of the same, aren't they? And if you remove a blame culture and just say, Look, you know, we all make mistakes, but it needs the leadership to say we make mistakes too. And you have to create that environment where people, you're happy for people to call you out and say, I don't know if that's aligned with our values, and I don't know if you've made the right decision there and you need to be able to say, Hmm, OK, let me ever think about it. Let's talk about it. And they may not always be right, and you may not always be right. But yeah, having the conversation is good, 


Toby Brown: And that leads onto something that's come up quite a lot in webinars and podcasts and all sorts of chats we've been having, which is about leadership, exposing their vulnerabilities more and leading in a sort of different style where they put vulnerability to the fore and try and help everyone else open up about their own and creating those safe arenas. So that's come up specifically with some tech companies we've been talking to as well. And you know, whether that sort of mental health or areas of innovation, they failure or something not very good at. I think we're now seeing those vulnerabilities turn into sort of leadership superpowers almost that are a lot more energising and encouraging for the people to work into them. 


Dieter Wood: Yeah, I mean, that's, you know, that's a tool that's being used for a long time. Someone like Brene Brown actually about leadership with vulnerability kind of championing it, the one that people would know. It's interesting. Is it because I think a lot of people would say that's a tool that they're using, but it was actually forced on a lot of people by the pandemic because you cannot be the big, tough boss when suddenly you're doing a video from home or, you know, a meeting from home and your three year old child comes in and starts hitting you with a stick or something. It changes the conversation. And I think that's a brilliant thing if there's silver linings to be had of, you know, all the other chaos. That's a really, really good thing. And weirdly, didn't we all feel more connected to each other because we can see into each other's living rooms. We met each other's partners and dogs and children. And yeah, we've all became more vulnerable. We became more normal and we all became more aligned. There wasn't that difference between us all a bit more 


Toby Brown: Humility and work a bit more lifefullness at work, maybe. But on the vulnerabilities point, I'm glad you're open to that conversation because I've actually made a spreadsheet here of 100 of your vulnerabilities, which I thought we could discuss one by one. So lifefullness is something that Sanderson Jones talked about, and that was a brilliant chat. I know some of them from way back, so I very much enjoyed having that conversation with him about bringing your full self to work and those sort of things. 


Dieter Wood: I particularly enjoy the part where he revealed, of course, that you and him know him, know each other through both being stand up comedians, which get you moved on very quickly from the point then. 


Toby Brown: Yeah, well, it's not about me, is it? So let's go. I mean, it should be, but essence, that's fine.. Yeah, we we knew each other for a while back on the comedy circuit, and he's obviously got a huge amount of transferable skills and charisma, and he puts a lot of thought into how people perceive things and the way people communicate best. And he's used all those to do some incredible work, I think. 


Dieter Wood: Yeah. So I mean, you know, the take home for me from that was like, think about your office as a church. It's just the place where people come together and when the really nice sort of small things you talked about when he was comparing it to churches, there's somebody who does the flowers and they end up having a small group with other people do the flowers and then somebody just the music, and there's someone who does the gardening and things like that. And he's right. I think lots of our clients are rapidly expanding tech businesses and they go from being these relatively small businesses, which the culture just kind of works because everyone kind of knows each other. That's how the business comes together, and everybody's very connected to the founders or the leadership. They can see each other's vulnerabilities. And then suddenly you go from being 10 to 20 to 50 to 100 to 200 people and they're expecting the same culture to just exist. And they still want to do everything together. And you can't. It's just too big. It's something when you start putting in hybrid working into that you never really get everybody together.  


Toby Brown: We've done that, the brilliant segue to push our tech culture survival guide, which we've got as a white paper. One of the points on that is about scaling. And when you hit a certain point, you then have to reduce those groups again. So they feel bonded and collaborative because you can't spread that across a big group of people. You have to have smaller subgroups in that that feel ownership over what they're doing, feel connected to the other groups in there. And again, it's about bringing things that people are good at and letting them do more of it. And that at Interaction, people have identified what their sort of roles are in the business and what they're what elements they're going to have the social stuff and live event stuff and the internal bits. And people have all settled into those roles as well.  


Dieter Wood: Sanderson was all about the kind of that bringing people together. That church, if you like and the need to be purposeful about it, don't just expect the Connexions and the bonding to have very similar to what Lucy was saying and clearly works for them.  


Toby Brown: I think one of the points made is about people resourcing stuff properly, and companies will spend loads of money on an  AGM or an away day or an event for the stuff, but they won't really want to spend money on making sure that runs smoothly. Someone owns the whole experience somebody planned it through properly, and it's really easy to overlook those things. But I think getting someone externally to do those things can be really valuable to business. 


Dieter Wood: Yeah, there's something about, you know, we structure meetings at Interaction and we plan those things out. Sometimes when you're putting them on paper, they feel a bit American and cheesy.  



But not everybody has it in them to. Not rise above it, but to embrace it and just make themselves to fall or to be the person who kind of pushes it through because it was that little bit of resistance, and that's where someone like Sanderson suddenly clearly has those skills.  


Toby Brown: Objective and authoritative whose external can come in and do that where it's hard to drive. And certainly sometimes I think, yeah, yeah. So massive switch up between that and the next subject, which was Rupert Dean from XandWhy co-working space with purpose. That was when you hosted and I found it really interesting.  
XandWhy have got such a strong proposition and it's so clear what they are, where they sit in the market, the sort of businesses who will be attracted to them. I was left thinking about how successful that proposition would probably be based on its positioning and how difficult it might get for other co-working spaces who maybe just relying on a space and a vague sense of community. What what's it going to take for co-working companies to be really successful over the next couple of years? 


Dieter Wood: Yeah, you're right. Their purpose is really strong. So it's this is where the expectations are lifting. It's again, it's running parallel into the things with Cubex and with CEG around development. Yes, it's now just expected that the space is going to be really, really good. It's going to be expected that it's got a nice, friendly person. There's decent coffee and there's decent snacks. And the meeting rooms work properly in the AV worked properly. That is kind of that was the USP to those businesses 10 years ago. It's got to rise above it, and the ones who will be most successful are the ones that are really, really clear of the types of businesses that you will be collaborating with. So to be successful, I think you've got to start bringing something together interesting in the pandemic. There was lots of talk around these regional hubs where the thing that might connect people as your co-workers might be the location that you live in, rather than be the sector that you're in or the business that you work for. I haven't quite seen that yet. 


Toby Brown: That seems one of those pandemic ideas that disappeared quite quietly.  


Dieter Wood: Maybe it's because I think people have realised that they are do need to travel, potentially to see their colleagues. It isn't just enough to be in a workplace and just do it all online.  


Toby Brown: Those are sort of some key themes that have touched on all the episodes, I think. What do you reckon we'll be talking about at the end of next year in terms of the podcast we've done and some of the themes we're going to see come to the fore next year? 


Dieter Wood: Well, I think this is going out in 2022, so I think at the end of this year, in 2022, the challenge is which I consistently see our clients talking about everything. It's all about hybrid hybrid hybrid, where you up until the kind of more recent restrictions pre-Christmas in 2021, it was like back in the office or people were finding their way back in and we were trying to find the right way about it. And it was there was a need to not tell people to come in but make it a destination and come in. But then we had this thing where it was very hybrid. And how does a business deal with a hybrid situation? How do we cope when not everybody's in at the same time when certain people will never meet because they don't work on the same days dealing with meetings where some people are in the room and some people are out the room? That is a massive challenge, and I think it's something that, you know, if you're if you're involved in a few offices, there must be a massive focus on sorting that situation out because it does not work at all. I can't really think of a decent bit of tech that does that. 


Toby Brown: Well, no, it feels like those conversations start off quite big. How do you make it work? Very quickly go down into the weeds of the detail of, well, if he's on a headset and she's on the phone and they're in a room and how do we get these teams to cross paths even though they're not in the office and like very quickly goes down right into the granular aspects of how you run your business and run your meetings and stuff, doesn't it?  


Dieter Wood: That. I think definitely what we're going to see and I can sense it speaking out in the market. There's been a lot of talk about what's good for the people and what's good for the teams and what's good for the individual and the conversation about what's good for the business has been less public, I think. But definitely there's conversations are starting to happen. You can't just allow everybody to have total freedom to come it out whenever they want and maybe be in a meeting or maybe be online, not in that meeting. You have to start setting some parameters around it. It is difficult whilst the pandemic is still going on to start to set that agenda. But I think that's the conversation that's going to be quite strong in 2020. 


Toby Brown: And it's one of the points that one of our webinar guests made was allowing your team to work totally remotely is abdicating responsibility. As much as saying you need to be in the office five days a week is sort of dictating stuff both equally lazy, perhaps if they're not properly thought through and strategize. But you'll get, you know, if you live and work from home full time, you're giving up your input into their welfare, you're giving up their input into, you know, whether they are being progressed at work and maybe pushing through stuff that's uncomfortable for them but makes them grow. There's a lot of lot of things to consider, no matter what end of the spectrum you fall on. But I think businesses feel reticent to discuss that stuff because it looks quite bad when everyone suddenly thinking about wellness and employee wellbeing and the individual and those sort of things. 


Dieter Wood: Yeah, delicate conversations aren't there, but we are going to banish all boring offices. That's what we do because nobody's going to do a bad commute to go into a toxic culture to a place where they don't feel bonded, where there isn't really rituals that are managed and curated with their colleagues and in a bad office environment with bad acoustics, bad lighting, bad levels of natural light, all the things that we consistently been talking to and saying. That is where the market is going, and that's where the expectations are. 


Toby Brown: Good way to wrap up Series Two. 


Dieter Wood: Well, let's hope these predictions are correct. So luckily for us, a few people might listen to this at the start of 2021. The chances of anyone listening to it again to check whether we were correct or not. I would say is low.  


Toby Brown: We should probably give a reward if anyone listens at the end of 2022 and comes back to us on these predictions, they can have what? We’ll think about it. It’s a wrap!