We debuted our podcast, “Nothing’s Sacred,” in April 2020, with the goal of discussing and debating trends and innovations that are transforming how we work.
Co-hosted by recruitAbility CEO Nad Elias and 3rd & Lamar CEO Nick Schenck, this podcast has featured a variety of business leaders in industries such as enterprise software, artificial intelligence, and hospitality.
Below are some of our favorite soundbites from last year.
Erik Qualman – Author and Keynote Speaker
We learned a lot from Erik Qualman, who joined our show to discuss his book, “The Focus Project,” and the lessons he’s learned from speaking to hundreds of business leaders around the world. Listen to podcast.
Qualman on the key to focusing at work:
“It’s about saying no. And so some of the top learnings were A) focus is hard, but focus can become a habit. B) people that are super successful, they’re not more talented or smarter than us. They have the ability to say no. And how do they say no? They have systems and processes in place. They don’t rely on willpower.
“So it’s a system or a process in place that helps them say no. So today, through this learning, I’m much better at saying no, because most of us are people-pleasers, because it actually does benefit you to be a people-pleaser going back thousands of years, you know, tribes, assimilating with the tribe.
“But now today, if someone asks a request, if it’s not an emphatic yes, then it’s an emphatic no. And so that’s what most of the top performers have understood and they embrace.”
Ellis Winstanley – Owner of El Arroyo, Abel’s on the Lake, Hey! Sanitize
We had a blast talking to serial entrepreneur Ellis Winstanley, who has launched and managed a variety of businesses in his career. Below are some of our favorite excerpts, and here is his hiring advice. Click here to listen to the podcast.
Winstanley on his best business advice:
“Remember when Ben Stiller spikes the volleyball into his future sister-in-law’s face (in “Meet The Parents”), his mother-in-law runs into the swimming pool with all of her clothes on to help her adult daughter? I always think like when things get crazy, like, just don’t run into the swimming pool with all your clothes on.
“And that’s something that you kind of have to think through, especially with times like this. Get the facts, think through the real issues, and then make a good decision. And iterate fast, you know?”
Winstanley on finding intangibles in businesses (and the El Arroyo sign):
“One of the things we look for when we do these deals – [when] we restructure things – we look for kind of intangibles or things that are fundamentally good that just need to be developed more. And the sign was one of those things.
“It had for years and years and years been built up. And so we focused on putting it out there on social media and finding ways for it to connect with people. And we just started going harder at that, right? So we started with a 3,000-person Facebook page, and we did a little bit of boosting, but more than that, we just focused on good content. Our method was just creating something very real people could connect with when there was a lot of fake stuff on social media all the time.”
Steve Meier – Head of Growth at KUNGFU.AI
Companies continue to integrate artificial intelligence into their businesses at a rapid pace. Steve Meier works at KUNGFU.AI, an AI services firm in Austin that is facilitating the growth of AI and machine learning. Listen to podcast.
Meier on the value of natural language processing and sentiment analysis:
“That’s something that’s been around back when I was first leveraging IBM Watson back in 2015. So sentiment analysis and that type of natural language processing isn’t even all that new, but what’s more interesting now is to be able to understand, okay, so my brand has negative sentiment and let’s give it a score from zero to a hundred, and you’re a 53, and all your competitors are 74. It’s a negative sentiment, but what you do with that information, like how is that information actually actionable?
“And what’s becoming more interesting – and the newer area of artificial intelligence is now to say, okay, well help me summarize how people feel about my brand, and what exactly is getting that issue or pause or concern. And once you can get down to that level, you actually have actionable feedback that you can address versus either over-indexing on a vocal minority of opinions, or just blindly guessing.”
Meier on the TV show that best represents what AI could become:
“Check out Amazon Prime Video and the show called Upload, which is basically, you know, set 20 years into the future where we can upload our consciousness to a hard drive.So when we die, our loved ones can still interface with us, right? So it’s a sense of digital immortality, but that’s the central plot.
“The world they create around it on how artificial intelligence applies, where like convenience stores, there are no people working in convenience stores and it’s all robotics, which actually makes a ton of sense in a COVID future, right? Where we want less contact with people we don’t deem necessary. I could see that happening in the short term. So they do a really good job of painting a picture of like practical applications.”
Tommy Hansen – Manager of Business Recruiting at Juniper Square
Juniper Square is a company in hyper-growth that provides the private funds industry with easy-to-use software that streamlines fundraising, investment administration, and investor reporting. Tommy Hansen talked to us about engaging employees remotely. Listen to podcast.
Hansen on measuring the success of remote employee onboarding:
“So we’re very data-driven. We do a lot of surveys. After everyone kind of wraps up onboarding, they take a survey and we get their feedback from that, which we definitely have used to make changes. Additionally, as a member of the recruiting team, I always like to meet with people at the end of their first week.
“I take feedback as well. And then we make those changes. So both through surveys and then through check-ins. And then our hiring managers are very involved in onboarding recruiting. It’s like a true partnership. They really see the value in the stronger that partnership is between the hiring manager and the talent team, the better the process is going to be, and the stronger candidate experience there will be.”