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Episode 185 - Paying Off Your Organisation's Human Debt Through Agility & Psychological Safety (with Duena Blomstrom, Founder & CEO @ People Not Tech)

Diversity & Inclusion
Product Culture
Psychological Safety

Episode 185: Paying Off Your Organisation's Human Debt Through Agility & Psychological Safety

Duena Blomstrom, Founder & CEO @ People Not Tech

10 Aug 2023

10 Aug 2023 Duena Blomstrom head shot

Listen here!

Content Warning - May Contain Adult Language or Themes
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About the Episode

Duena Blomstrom is a renowned fintech thought leader who got tired of seeing the same problems in the workplace and decided to go out and try to solve them. Duena took on banking culture with "Emotional Banking" before moving onto wider organisational change with "People Before Tech". We spoke about some of the common problems faced within organisations, how to try to solve them, and some of the reasons why companies resist those solutions.

Episode highlights:

1. Santa Claus is not going to come and "puke a generative culture on your enterprise"

There are no magic bullets to organisational transformation, but it's also simpler than it sounds. You need to take a number of smaller, measurable steps that move the needle. And teams have a lot more power to affect change than they think - they don't need to await permission.

2. We're not fixing it because we get in our own way

We let the status quo persist because we don't challenge ourselves, and think this is just the way business works. There's too much fear in the workplace and it's holding us back.

3. Impression Management is a big problem at work

People are afraid of looking incompetent, intrusive or troublesome at work. This is natural, but it limits us in the workplace. Start noticing when you exhibit these behaviours, and they'll start to go away automatically. It's important to speak up.

4. All companies have some level of Human Debt

As with tech debt, all companies accrue Human Debt as they grow. Human Debt is the result of all the abandoned initiatives and missed opportunities to affect change. It adds up and the interest repayments can start to cripple you.

5. You don't need to pay all the Human Debt off at once

Some bad behaviours will eventually naturally expire. As a society, we've gotten better at standing up for what's right (although there's still plenty of work to do). But, ultimately, you should pay the most burdensome Human Debt off first.

Buy "People Before Tech"

People Before Tech cover

"Built upon fascinating research and an international array of case studies, People Before Tech is an incisive examination of how organizations through their digital transformations become stranded with unoptimised teams and disenfranchised employees. Duena highlights that it is vital not just to implement technology, but also to integrate it into the existing organizational culture and structure, before providing practical guidance and advice on how business leaders and HR professionals can heighten efficiency and effectiveness of workplace teams through collaborative and innovative initiatives."

Check it out on Amazon.

Contact Duena

You can connect with Duena on LinkedIn or on her website DuenaBlomstrom.com, where you can find links to all her various endeavours!

Duena Blomstrom and me before the recording