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World Changers: Exploring the future of work

World Changers: Exploring the future of work

By scarlettabbott

Inspired by our annual trend report, World Changers explores the events, themes and behaviours impacting our world of work. In the series we take a monthly dive into a topic from the report, discuss our predictions and talk with industry experts to get their take.

If you're an internal comms or HR pro, or have an interest in how the world of work is changing, do join us.
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All fired up

World Changers: Exploring the future of workNov 17, 2023

All fired up

All fired up

Extreme weather events around the globe this year have hammered home the real impacts of climate change. But that means some people have only just woken up to what the rest of us have been banging on about for decades. Companies that don’t address sustainability – and bring their employees along on the journey – invite risk. 

It’s a privilege to be environmentally conscious and broadly speaking, climate engagement tends to increase with education and income. But the emergency we’re facing needs more people at the table. Just as diversity supercharges business performance, addressing our impact on the planet demands new ideas, smarter decision-making and the ability to solve problems quickly. 


How can we create an equal playing field so we can tackle this crisis together? 


In the last episode of the World Changers 2023 podcast series, host Elle Bradley-Cox sits down with senior consultant and scarlettabbott sustainability champion Harry Grout to talk about a fairer climate transition and how small behavioural shifts can create big positive change. 

And, when we’re bombarded by messages every day, we asked the team, what was the last sustainability comms campaign that has stuck in your head? 


Enjoy the episode and we’ll see you next year for World Changers 2024 … 

Cut to the chase 

  • We ask the team scarlettabbott to share the most effective sustainability comms campaign they’ve seen recently – 01:15 

  • Sustainability champion, Harry Grout, explains what it means to be carbon literate – 06:52 

  • How sustainability road maps are useful, and how they can be better – 09:52 

  • What leaders can and can’t do when it comes to sustainability – 15:20. 

Want more? 

World Changers is a podcast by employee engagement consultancy scarlettabbott. Find out more at

Nov 17, 202319:56
Reset or rise

Reset or rise

World Changers: Exploring the future of work 

What happens when striving for a better work-life balance has the unintended consequence of complacency? Managers need to have difficult conversations – without drifting back to the bad old days of grind and hustle culture. 


Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum says that the pandemic gave us a “rare but narrow opportunity to reflect, reimagine and reset our work”. But that window is quickly closing. And while our relationship with work and our expectations have changed, many leaders’ attitudes haven’t, leading to a fundamental clash when it comes to issues of mental health, wellbeing and development. 


In this episode, host Elle Bradley-Cox sits down with director of consultancy Lu McKay to talk about the give/get contract and how leaders can deliver in this new world of work. Yes, we hear horror stories in the news about disconnected CEOs and employees, but when we look at individual cases, the gap is a communication one. 


We also asked the scarlettabbott team for some examples of good worker/manager relationships and spoke to Daniel Cave, journalist and head of content at Executive Grapevine. He gave us his take on how the HR and comms space is reacting to changing employee expectations. In short: not that well … 


Cut to the chase 

  • We ask team scarlettabbott what’s happening in our clients’ worlds, specifically when it comes to worker/manager conversations – 01:15 

  • Daniel Cave gives us the inside scoop on what’s happening in the HR and comms space – 05:52 

  • Director of consultancy Lu McKay on the sticky middle of line management – 09:29 

  • How can managers have tough conversations without crossing the line? – 17:06 

Want more? 

World Changers is a podcast by employee engagement consultancy scarlettabbott. Find out more at

Oct 10, 202319:60
Keeping me sweet

Keeping me sweet

Ep.8 Keeping me sweet

The talent vacuum is real. Too many clever folk are leaving work for countless reasons – many beyond anyone’s circle of control. But one thing businesses can influence is culture.

Companies that resist leaning into this will feel the pain – and cost – of employees leaving in droves. So how do we draw in new talent and hang on to the amazing people we already have? With a clear company culture.

 Culture is often seen as a bit of a nebulous concept. Tricky to measure, and hard to quantify, what makes up the DNA of an organisation can be hard to pin down. But not impossible, as Lisa Hawksworth, our director of culture and insights, is on a mission to prove.

In this episode Elle Bradley-Cox sits down with Lisa – who lives, breathes and probably dreams about company culture – to talk about the workplace war for talent and why a cracking culture is the secret weapon.

Cut to the chase:

  • We ask team scarlettabbott their reasons for leaving a previous job, and was it sweet or sour? – 01:14
  • When comms is one of the hardest working most underappreciated roles, what keeps us sweet? We asked the community – 06:24
  • Queen of culture Lisa Hawksworth on how to keep your right-fit talent – 08:20
  • What makes a good culture? – 16:12

Want more?

Want to get involved in the conversation? Chat to us over on X, formally known as Twitter, @scarlettabbott or drop us an email at 

      Read the World Changers article Keeping me sweet.


World Changers is a podcast by employee engagement consultancy scarlettabbott. Find out more at

Sep 18, 202324:08
Digital dark age. Plugging the information black hole

Digital dark age. Plugging the information black hole

Aug 02, 202318:00
Don't @me: shrinking the workplace social network

Don't @me: shrinking the workplace social network

Don’t @me 

World Changers: Exploring the future of work 

Episode description: 

The digital working revolution has excited and inspired a generation of workers, who demand the benefits of remote working with digital connection. It’s a way of working that isn’t just feasible, it’s desirable too. But now that many of us are connected with everyone, everywhere, all the time, that sense of community is shifting. 

There’s no denying that digital platforms have changed the way we communicate, collaborate and create community. Once, platforms like Facebook satiated a social need, but now, we’re in an age of curation, purging our platforms and keeping our circles small. 

So in this episode, we asked senior members of the scarlettabbott team to share their tips for dealing with the daily deluge of notifications, especially when there are too many to count. 

Also, host Elle Bradley-Cox sits down with head of digital Tony Stewart for his take on the shrinking workplace network and the changing ways people and businesses are connecting online. 

Cut to the chase 

  • Senior leaders at scarlettabbott share how they prioritise those pesky notifications – 01:34 

  • Some socials statistics from the comms community – 05:18 

  • Our head of digital Tony Stewart on the shifting attitudes to digital platforms – 05:39 

  • Digital revolution and the P-word – 14:10 

  • What businesses can learn from the gaming community – 17:26. 

Want more? 

World Changers is a podcast by employee engagement consultancy scarlettabbott. Find out more at Find out more at

Jun 28, 202310:36
It's time for the stick. Supercharging your D&I efforts

It's time for the stick. Supercharging your D&I efforts

World Changers: Exploring the future of work  

Your diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts have bought you progress, but what if it’s time to take a stronger approach? What if, to bring about real organisational change, it’s time to employ the proverbial stick and take a harder stance on calling out and identifying unacceptable behaviours? 

Your people and your prospective employees look to you to create an environment in which everyone can feel and do their best. If your D&I policies are not explicit enough you risk demonstrating your inaction. It’s up tovyou to bring the policies and the progress you want to see happen.


In this episode of our World Changers podcast our host and senior editorial consultant, Elle Bradley-Cox, asks colleagues where they turn for guidance on what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace.


Elle also sits down with director of client experience, and staunch D&I champion, Russ Norton to discover how you can put your foot down when it comes to inequality and how your attitudes and efforts to D&I may need to change to keep up with progress in your workplace.

Cut to the chase 

· The team shares their sources for where to find reliable and up-to-date guidance on inclusive behaviour – 01:37

· Our head of client experience Russ Norton on the carrot and the stick – 04:10

· What are the risks of a hard-line approach to D&I? – 10:43

· Our internal communication friends share their D&I priority for the next 12 months – 14:48


 Want to get involved in the conversation?

World Changers is a podcast by employee engagement consultancy scarlettabbott. Find out more at   

May 31, 202323:32
Make me care. Storytelling with empathy.

Make me care. Storytelling with empathy.

Episode description:  

Making audiences care is one of the fundamentals of employee engagement. But why is that so difficult? Well, it has a lot to do with trust.

If we don’t trust what we hear, we shut off. And in the world of work, it can have further ramifications: we start to distrust authoritative sources, hear negative tales about our employees and frankly, get tired of the noise. So, who wouldn’t want to turn the volume down?

In this episode, senior editorial consultant, Elle Bradley-Cox, sits down with editorial assistant, Charlie Feasby, to discuss how communicators can overcome the challenge of distrust and disconnect among employees, and the vital role empathy plays in storytelling.

We also speak to members of the scarlettabbott team – and some of our internal comms friends – about what they look for in a trusted news source, and the stories that have stood out from the crowd recently to really strike a chord with them.

Cut to the chase

  • What the team looks for in a trusted source – 01:28
  • An external perspective: our internal comms friends share their thoughts – 05:41
  • How can communicators tackle the challenge of disconnect and distrust? – 08:47
  • The bliss point – 14:45 
  • Empathy in storytelling – 20:40

Want more? 


World Changers is a podcast by employee engagement consultancy scarlettabbott. Find out more at  

May 04, 202328:50
The new office etiquette

The new office etiquette

Mind your manners: the new office etiquette 

World Changers: Exploring the future of work 

Episode description:  

An increasingly large number of people are back in the office, while others continue to collaborate virtually. So, what virtual-first lessons can we adopt for hybrid working? You might be surprised: it starts with etiquette. 

Everyone knows not to heat up fish in the office microwave or take the last biscuit, right? Because when we’re all in one place, a code of etiquette arises. Yet in our virtual-first worlds of work, we’ve had to learn these unwritten rules – for example, taking turns to shoulder the unsociable meeting times across time zones to adopt asynchronous working.  

In this episode, senior editorial consultant Elle Bradley-Cox talks with cultural anthropologist (and snappy office dresser) Dr Alex Gapud about proximity bias in the hybrid world and how managers can educate their people to get around it.  

The scarlettabbott team gave us some of their workplace pet peeves – like an unannounced call or an ignored Teams message – and we asked the wider comms community for their opinion on the shift in etiquette. 


Cut to the chase: 

  • We asked our team: what’s your number one workplace etiquette breach – 00:49 
  • The connotations of etiquette – 04:16 
  • We asked the comms community: how do you think workplace etiquette has shifted since the move to hybrid working – 05:16 
  • The challenge of trust in hybrid working – 07:35 
  • In conversation with Dr Alex Gapud – 08:22 
  • Explore etiquette further – 21:19 

Want more? 

  • Join us for this month’s webinar with our expert voices 

World Changes as a podcast by employee engagement consultancy scarlettabbott. Find out more at  

Apr 04, 202319:44
Here we go again. Resilience 2.0

Here we go again. Resilience 2.0

It’s time to dig deep – again. With a long and ugly recession predicted for 2023, employers and employees are going to have to tap into new wells of strengths to survive and thrive. In many cases, that strength is depleted from the chaos and uncertainty of the last three years. So, now’s the time to shore up our internal defences and come together as teammates to weather this latest storm.

Together, senior editorial consultant Elle Bradley-Cox and senior project manager Lucy Stead discuss what resilience in the workplace really means. She speaks openly about having a good team behind you when you’re not performing at 100 per cent, and how her experience trekking in Nepal taught her to break down projects into small, manageable chunks.

We also asked team scarlettabbott when have you had to bend and not break? And who helped you through? They talk about when they have broken and how to recover, resilience during the pandemic, ways to clear your head when things become too much and using times of resilience to grow.

Cut to the chase:

  • What does resilience mean in organisations across different industries? – 01:12
  • The team talks about being flexible in the face of challenges – 02:20
  • Our cultural anthropologist, Dr Alex Gapud, on the role managers play in resilience – 08:10
  • In conversation with senior project manager Lucy Stead – 08:44
  • Further resources to explore resilience 2.0 – 21:12

Want more?

World Changes is a podcast by employee engagement consultancy scarlettabbott. Find out more at

Feb 28, 202321:49
Harnessing your rebels
Jan 31, 202319:19
Global Warning

Global Warning

The business world is full of terms like ESG and sustainability right now but ambiguity about what they mean, too much talk and not enough action, and decades long time scales that feel out of reach mean it can be hard for businesses and people to take meaningful actions towards sustainability goals savvy companies will seize collective awareness and energy- and use it as a force for good.

One of our directors of consultancy Alastair Atkinson chose this theme as his world changer. Our host Elle Bradley-Cox sat down with Alastair and consultant Harry Grout to talk about the progress that's been made in this last year.

Later in this episode Elle talks with Chris Maloney, global head of content and channels at Rolls-Royce on the great work they have been doing to increase awareness about their own drive for sustainability.

Want more? 

Watch our Cop27 Roundtable Reflections 

Dec 07, 202257:25
Balancing bots and beings

Balancing bots and beings

Are the bots taking over? Frankly, no. They’ll never be able to do the tasks that humans can perform with such, well, humanity. But businesses need to embrace AI to free up people to do more meaningful work. And humans need to be able to trust AI to work ethically so they can stop resenting it and start co-operating with it.

Dr Alex Gapud chose this theme as his World Changer for our 2022 report. Later in this episode, we chat with Neil Fogarty, Co-Founder and CEO of Human – a deep tech enterprise specialising in psycholinguistic AI to get his take on how virtual colleagues are revolutionising the employee engagement space.

But, before that, Elle caught up with Alex, and head of digital Tony Stewart, to put bots and beings head-to-head.

Oct 19, 202241:57
Alumni Ambassadors

Alumni Ambassadors

There's no such thing as a job for life anymore. But you'll certainly remember what it was like to work for your former employer long after you've left. 

Now, will you look back with fond nostaligia? Or shudder at the toxic culture you endured? 

Alumni networks offer a rich seam of advocacy when companies get the employee experience right. 

Lisa Hawksworth chose this theme as her World Changer for our 2022 report. In this episode, Elle Bradley-Cox speaks with Lisa and our colleague, cultural anthropologist and former lecturer, Dr. Alex Gapud to find out about harnessing the power of the alumni network.

Sep 27, 202221:17
A Beta experience

A Beta experience

All hail digital, the saviour of remote working.

When the world turned upside down, we embraced digital fast, too fast! Many organisations didn't deliver it well. And now digital has a real image problem. But if we look at digital as an experience, instead of just another set of channels, it has the potential to revolutionise how we network and collaborate at work.

Or head of digital Tony Stewart chose this theme as his World Changer for 2022 report. In this episode, Elle, Tony and Lydia Edwards-Massie explore how we can move from a beta to a better online experience and Elle chats with Rob Fawkes, Head of Sales and Marketing at Community Engagement agency Standing on Giants, about the parallels of internal  and external communities.Want to skip to a specific section? Here‘s what we talked about:

00:00 Intro the session and roundtable with Elle, Tony and Lydia

01:25 Tony, what are you observing in the digital post-pandemic workplace?

05:05  Lydia, you've been working with British Transport Police to launch Yammer. What were the priorities and goals in that project?

06:33 Tony, you've just produced a video called '7 pillars to digital success', tell us about that.

07:77 We're being told that community lives back in the office. What do you think?

09:53 Let's talk about Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri. What does his recent video to the insta-community teach us?

16:19  Lydia, tell us some tips and tricks we can take from your project management expertise to create a superb digital experience.

18:46 Tony, are there any new platforms really exciting you right now?

21:55 Interview with Rob Fawkes, head of sales and marketing at Standing on Giants

22:26 Standing on Giants' work has historically involved external customer communities. But it's recently started to shift into internal ones. Talk to me about that.

26:09 Let's talk about the power of active listening

28:50 Tell us about the similarities and differences you've notices between internal and external communities

33:04 We talk about measurement a lot here. What does that look like in your world?

35:42 What are some of the pitfalls clients make when setting up an online community?

40:28 Rob, who do you nominate as your 2022 World Changer?


Tony's 7 Pillars to Digital Success

Aug 10, 202243:10
Side hustles and success

Side hustles and success

Ever looked at your job and felt like it wasn’t enough? That you want  more? As more of us take time after the pandemic to reconsider the kind  of work we do – almost half in fact, according to McKinsey – it raises  the question: What if corporate decision-making could embrace the  possibilities and realise the benefits of the side hustle?

Our marketing manager Kate Went chose this theme as her World Changer for our 2022 report. Later in this episode, we chat with Bradley  Barlow, Communications Officer and D&I Partner at SGN about his  passion projects and how he feels IC teams can help highlight the  stories of our side hustles.

But, before that, Elle spoke with Kate, and a few more of our  scarlettabbott team mates to find out what lights their fire, outside  the 9-5.

Jul 11, 202241:60
TikTok killed the tickbox

TikTok killed the tickbox

In the past year, video has become the most influential global communication medium, thanks in no small part to the meteoric rise of TikTok. Leaders and brands that relied on carefully copywritten statements and artfully curated PR stunts are being challenged to show a more authentic voice, on camera, to prove they really practice what they preach.

So, what does this mean for communication teams?

Russ Norton chose this theme as World Changer for our 2022 report. Later in this episode, we chat with Max Mukhin, diversity, equity, and inclusion business partner at Deliveroo. But, before that, Russ and Elle got together with colleague, senior consultant William Carnegie to explore how TikTok killed the tickbox.

00:00 Intro to the session and internal roundtable with Elle Bradley-Cox, Russ Norton and William Carnegie

01:17 Russ, why do you love TikTok so much?

02:44 Is TikTok just a place for hot takes and outrage?

06:25 What are the crossover opportunities for internal comms?

08:47 What advice would you give to a leader looking to emulate the TikTok style of comms?

12:32 What are the risks of this approach to communicating?

18:55 What barriers get in the way of being more open about our diversities in the workplace?

27:53 Interview with Max Mukhin, diversity, equity and inclusion business partner, Deliveroo. 

29:02 We're seeing more job roles in the D&I space - what's driving it?

33:50 Is just recruiting a D&I person enough? What's it really going take to drive some more meaningful change?

42:10 It's the time of year when companies change their logos to rainbows - how do you feel about this?

44:01 How can leaders be better allies?

48.29 Who do you nominate as your 2022 World Changer?

Interested in exploring the topic further with us? Join our webinar on 30 June or watch the recording back 

Jun 14, 202251:59
Constructive journalism

Constructive journalism

It’s not about more information. It’s about better.

The news should be there to serve democracy and help people make informed, rational decisions. But nothing grabs our attention more than sensationalised news and emotionally charged political opinions. The problem is that when political language seeps into the stories and opinions we consume, we’re driven to ignore the facts and believe what we want to.

The same principles apply to internal communication. In its most basic sense, it’s there to serve the people and inform them about their busines so they make good decisions based on a shared purpose and vision. But pay me a pound for every time I’ve heard that IC is spin by a fancier name and I could quit my day job.

So, how do we strike a balance between the two worlds of information and entertainment and create better content for sceptical audiences that gets consumed?

Host Elle Bradley-Cox chose this theme as her World Changer for the 2022 report. Later in this episode, we chat with Ulrik Haagerup from The Constructive Institute. But, before that, Elle got together with colleagues and fellow writers Connor Faulkner and Lucy Chapham to surface the story. 

Want to skip to a section?

00:00 Intro to the episode

01:42 What do we mean by 'constructive journalism'?

03:31 How can we find a middle ground in our comms that isn't overly worthy and also isn't antagonistic?

09:55 Is there another way to approach the 'TLDR'?

10:40 'If nobody gets mad, it's not journalism, it's advertising' Yes or no?

11:36 Let's talk about the power of colleague opinion. When does it work brilliantly?

15:50 What types of media are you consuming now?

22:11 What kinds of conversations are you having with IC teams about content planning now?

25:14 What principles of constructive journalism are key for IC teams to take away from this conversation?

30:18 Interview with Ulrik Haagerup, CEP of The Constructive Institute

31:07 You've just returned from the International Journalism Conference - what was the mood in the room?

38:16 How does it feel to see theories of constructive journalism playing out in the media?

43:26 Are you finding more readers are turning the news off because there's too much noise?

45:22 Who are the people really agitating for change in journalism?

50:37 Has anything really surprised you since you started following the path of constructive journalism?

53:17 Who would you nominate as your 2022 World Changer?

May 04, 202255:45
Part time pioneers

Part time pioneers

Delving in to our World Changer on flexible working, our podcast host Elle Bradley-Cox explores part time pioneers

What does your working day look like now? I’ll bet you a breakroom  brew and a biscuit that it’s quite different to your pre-pandemic  schedule.

For many of us, the office-based 9-5, as we knew it, is well and  truly a thing of the past. As hybrid working ushers in the potential to  design our days, first by necessity, then by normalisation, there’s an  expectation that this flexibility will help us to better balance our  work and life commitments.

So, does a more fluid way of working help banish burnout? Does less  physical presence lead to less trust from leaders? And will flexibility  for all finally begin to stop the stigma that surrounds parents who go  part-time?

Guest interview

Matt Manners, chief inspiration officer, Inspiring Workplaces

Want to skip to a specific section? Here‘s what we talked about:

01:19 Roundtable with Elle, Lu and Patrick

  • 01:22 What inspired to you tackle this topic?
  • 02:47 Are you both card-carrying advocates for flexibility?
  • 03:41 Lu, you became a mum last year - did this change your perspective on the 9-5?
  • 04:48 Patrick, how do you feel about flexibility as a Dad?
  • 05:53 How can leaders help pave the way?
  • 08:49 Is flexibility carrying through to front-line industries, too?
  • 10:09 Do you have any examples of organisations really championing flexibility?

14:01 Interview with Matt Manners, Inspiring Workplaces

  • 15:05 Tell us about your decision to trial the 4 day working week.
  • 16:48 What has the impact been?
  • 19:19 Is there a risk of a negative impact on collaboration and team cohesion?
  • 21:37 What learnings would you pass on to organisations thinking of trialling it?
  • 22.54 Are more unusual flexible perks, like paid sabbaticals, a fad or a shift that's here to stay?
  • 25:21 How do you think we can create more fairness in flexibility?
  • 26:54 Who do you nominate as your 2022 World Changer?

World Changers report

Join us for 'Let's talk about flex' 

Apr 13, 202229:26
Beautiful minds

Beautiful minds

Delving in to our World Changer on neurodiversity, our podcast host Elle Bradley-Cox explores some Beautiful Minds

Whether it’s driven by the business case or the moral case,  neurodivergent people are finally beginning to be valued by the  mainstream, as several high-profile corporate announcements in 2021  show. But, to make sure this isn’t just a token moment, we need to  disrupt hiring policies and change mindsets for the long term.

In this episode, we chat with Anthony Friel, who sits on the board of  Neurodiversity in Business as chief community officer. He’s also a  senior consultant at Deloitte, bringing his business expertise and  insights to the charity. But, before that, Hester Lonergan, Russell  Norton and Elle Bradley-Cox get together to explore some beautiful minds

Guest interview

Anthony Friel, senior consultant at Deloitte.

Want to skip to a specific section? Here‘s what we talked about:

00:00 Intro to the episode.

01:03 Roundtable with Elle, Hester and Russ

  • 01:10 Hester, what inspired you to write about this subject?
  • 04:54 Russ, from your perspective as a D&I champion, what conversations have you seen?
  • 08:50 How can we start to break down some of the cliches around neurodiversity?
  • 14:38 What considerations should we have for neurodiverse colleagues in the workplace?

24:41 Interview with Anthony Friel, senior consultant at Deloitte

  • 25:12 Tell us about your work on the board of  Neurodiversity in Business
  • 28:57 Where does your passion for helping neurodivergent people come from?
  • 31:52 What's changing the conversation in businesses? Is it allyship? Is it activism?
  • 36:09 Tell us about how intersectionality impacts the conversations you're having
  • 39:49 What does nurturing neurodivergence look like at Deloitte?
  • 43:56 What do HR and IC teams need to do to help move the needle?
  • 49:32 Who do you nominate as your 2022 World Changer?

Join our webinar:

We'll be sharing practical tips and in-house experiences on how to nurture neurodiversity:

Sign up:

Mar 02, 202255:31
Back to the future
Feb 02, 202248:20
Goodbye 2021 ...
Dec 01, 202124:14
A question of trust

A question of trust

For too long, the perception of ‘getting the job done’ was tied to visibility. If an employee was in their seat, then they must be doing their job, right? We can debate the rights and wrongs of presenteeism, what we can’t deny is that it’s rife in business. Or it was, pre-pandemic.

Now, the challenge facing employers is a different one. Alarmingly it resulted in a sales boom of monitoring software. Now, as we find ourselves considering hybrid working models, how will the relationship between employee and employees shift? How do we maintain trust for those working remotely, particularly as some colleagues return to the traditional line of sight? Can trust ever be truly equitable? And what part does internal comms play in helping build that sense of colleague confidence?

Senior writer Patrick Halkett chose this theme as his World Changer for our 2021 report.

Later in this episode, host Elle Bradley-Cox chats with Rob Briggs, director of Graystone Communications, to explore his contribution to the IABC Global Handbook, looking at the different components of organisational trust. Before that, Elle and Patrick sit down to talk trust. 


00:00 Intro to the episode.

01:29 Roundtable with Elle and Patrick

  • 01:33 Interesting that you chose to cover Trust again for World Changers. Are you a particularly paranoid person?
  • 03:18 You mentioned the rise of monitoring software. Do you think this is a sea change or just an initial knee-jerk reaction?
  • 04:28 In the report you talk about managers role in building trust. What is your view?
  • 07:29 Do you think we're at risk of bias in a hybrid workplace between people who are physically present, and those who aren't?
  • 9:20 What can we do to help foster greater trust in the workplace?
  • 11:59 Technology - a force for good or bad, when it comes to trust?
  • 14:00 What role does IC play in terms of organisational trust?

18:38 Interview with Rob Briggs, director, Graystone Communications

  • 19:09 What did you discover about trust in your research for the chapter in the IABC Global Handbook?
  • 25:13 Has the pandemic had a positive or negative impact on organisational trust?
  • 31:13 Have you ever met a leader who didn't think organisational trust and truth was important?
  • 37:23 If trust has been eroded in a workplace, can it be built back?
  • 39:34 Is it possible to measure trust?
  • 42:28 What can IC teams do to foster truth in their organisations?
  • 48:20 Who do you nominate as your 2021 World Changer?
Nov 01, 202151:14
Self and safety

Self and safety

18 months of Covid-19 related anxiety, a looming threat of climate devastation, political fractions, and the rumblings of war. Never have we all felt so vulnerable at the same time. It’s an existential crisis on a global scale – and a fascinating anthropological study. So, what does a chronic feeling of vulnerability do to us?

Recognising our response to risk, and helping people address it, can give us the tools to banish the burnout that comes with chronic and sustained stress. How can we do that in the face of so many threats and challenges? Who has the responsibility of taking on that task? And where do you even start?

Cultural anthropologist Dr Alex Gapud chose this theme as his World Changer for our 2021 report. He joins lead behavioural scientist Lindsay Kohler and our host Elle Bradley-Cox to talk self and safety. 

Later in this episode, Elle chats with Janet Lessells, senior internal communications manager at SGN to get her views on creating an environment where employees feel safe to speak up.


00:00 Intro to the episode.

01:25 Roundtable with Elle, Alex and Lindsay

  • 01:27 What impact does prolonged stress have on our wellbeing?
  • 11:45 What does a lack of boundaries do to our psychological safety?
  • 15:35 Do you have examples of where psychological safety has been compromised in a workplace?
  • 18:50 What about examples of where it's done well?
  • 26:07 Whose "job" is psychological safety?
  • 27:25 How can we encourage psychological safety in a hybrid workplace?

31:30 Interview with Janet Lessells, Internal Communications Manager, SGN

  • 32:01 What does psychological safety mean to you?
  • 35:06 Why is it particularly important at SGN
  • 36:18 Can you share an example of where people have needed to speak up recently at SGN?
  • 37:33 Do you think people will lose the ability to be as open as they have been as we move to hybrid working?
  • 39:30 What will best make people feel safe to speak up at work?
  • 42:24 Who do you nominate as your 2021 World Changer?
Oct 08, 202144:34
Smells like team spirit

Smells like team spirit

Zoom fatigue, long days spent alone in spare rooms, the absence of the watercooler. The face-to-face famine that lockdown gave us definitely impacted our wellbeing. But what about our cultures?

Without those spontaneous moments of connection, our lives become more regimented and, for some, the cultural cornerstones found in the office felt very far away. Many reported a feeling of disconnection after the novelty of virtual quizzes wore off.

While the world may now be opening back up, the shift towards a hybrid future leaves us in cultural hinterland. How can we as internal communicators, help to bridge the divide to maintain cohesion?

Senior consultant Lisa Hawksworth chose this theme as her World Changer for our 2021 report. Host Elle Bradley-Cox joins Lisa, and head of client experience Russ Norton for a very cultured conversation. And later in this episode, Elle chats with director of communications Sen Sami to find out how she’s channelling her passion for culture at aerospace and defence company Raytheon.

01:25 Roundtable with Elle, Lisa and Russ

  • 01:25 What have you observed about workplace culture since the pandemic?
  • 03:38 Are there cultures that sank or swam during Covid?
  • 04:53 Can you replicate cultural markers without a physical workplace?
  • 09:36 How can change the perception of culture as a 'fluffy nice to have?'
  • 17:15 Will culture be influenced by a changing jobs market and talent pool?

21:21 Interview with Sen Sami, director of communications, Raytheon UK

  • 21:49 You have a new initiative called 'High Performance Culture' - tell us about that
  • 25:38 Did the pandemic change the course of direction for that project?
  • 27:16 How did you keep culture front of mind amid all the change and challenges?
  • 28:40 What drives Raytheon UK employees?
  • 30:29 What has the pandemic taught you about trusted and non trusted sources?
  • 31:01 Who would you nominate as your 2021 World Changer?
Sep 03, 202134:40
Bad education

Bad education

We don’t need no education. Or do we?

The current education system has long been based on a narrow and linear learning structure, assessed by arbitrary markers. At school we work towards grades that, on paper, indicate a level of competence. But when we move from learning to earning, we’re often ill prepared to meet our employers’ expectations. It can be quite the culture shock.

And what about those learners who march to the beat of their own drum? Busy teachers don’t always have the resources to offer the learning styles they need to thrive, so they don’t.

After a year of major disruption to our education systems, and with the world of work facing skills shortages and succession challenges, what can we do to bridge the gaps?

Host Elle Bradley-Cox is joined by the author of this World Changer, Alastair Atkinson, and marketing manager Kate Went, as well as special guest Sarah Magee, Professional Development Manager at the IoIC, as they go back to school.

Want to skip to a specific section? Here's what we talked about:

00:00 Intro to the episode.

01:27 Roundtable with Elle, Alastair and Kate

01.32 Al, why did you choose this theme?

03:35 How important is talent attract right now and how does it link to brand?

07.19 What impact has Covid had on the education system?

13.38 What about work experience. Is it worth it?

16.38 What about diversity when it comes to talent attraction?

20.04 What can we be doing to bridge the gap between learning and earning?

23.20 Interview with Sarah Magee, professional development manager, IoIC

23.51 Have your views on the education system changed since you wrote for our report?

26.43 How can we as IC prosfessionals help create meaningful change in the system?

30.00 Are we seeing the IC talent pipeline changing now?

33.02 What are the biggest skills gaps in our industry right now?

34.06 Who do you nominate as your 2021 World Changer?

Aug 10, 202139:45
Vive La Revolution

Vive La Revolution

Hierarchy is a staple of corporate life. Careers have been built on it, power is wielded through it, and those at the top of the ladder aren’t going to cede their place easily. But now we’ve glimpsed into the CEO’s bedroom, and seen frontline colleagues transform into superheroes, how will that revolutionise stereotypical workplace structures?

The pandemic may have accelerated the operational transformation of many businesses, but can we genuinely say the same about internal hierarchies? While we may have been presented with an opportunity to reinvent, the appetite to do so has been lukewarm in many boardrooms.

So, is it time to shake up the status quo? What are the opportunities for businesses willing to break with tradition? What are the risks for those who aren’t?

Senior consultant Daniel Lambie chose this theme as his World Changer for our 2021 report. Host Elle Bradley-Cox chats with Daniel and scarlettabbott co-founder Rachel Thornton to get their views on whether hierarchy still has a place in our new world of work. And, later in the episode, guest Kate Shaw, senior internal comms manager at Nationwide shares her thoughts on what the future of work means for organisational hierarchies.

Want to skip to a specific section? Here's what we talked about:

00:00 Intro to the episode.

01:30 Roundtable with Elle, Daniel and Rachel, exploring the rise of employee activism.

  • 00:50 Now we're transitioning to a hybrid world of work, will all those possibilities vanish? And what's the effect it will have?
  • 04:28 Let's talk about the place for hierarchy in a post-pandemic workplace.  Do you feel like that will have to change in some organisations?
  • 09:58 Who's doing this well at the moment when it comes to evolving the hierarchy?
  • 11:16 Framing is really important. People can be turned off by words like  "policy" and "process". What are the ways people are making this sound  sexy to employees?
  • 12:16 How do how do good leaders balance the risk that comes with being more agile?
  • 19:18 What should organisations and good leaders be thinking about right now?
  • 21:48 Remote working brought a kind of 'digital democratisation' for quieter  voices. Will we lose that as the start to return to previous ways of  working?
  • 25:21 It's a big leadership mindset to flip from command and control to enabling. What will that take from leaders?
  • 28:04 Do you think businesses are ready at this point to truly embrace change?

30:00 A conversation with Kate Shaw, Nationwide, about the organisation's future of work plans and the impact on it's structure.

  • 33:50 Nationwide  has been so progressive with your future of work vision. How has it  landed with various levels of leadership and management?
  • 35:56 You mentioned, 'if one person's virtual, then everybody should be virtual' - how does this look going forward?
  • 38:40 How do you think the future of work vision will affect your hierarchy at Nationwide?
  • 40:44 Did Nationwide have aspirations to flatten the hierarchy pre-pandemic?
  • 42:54 What are you doing to equip your leaders for success?
  • 46:31 It might be too soon to tell, but how is colleague perception and expectation of leaders to follow through?
  • 52:46 Who would you nominate as your 2021 World Changer?
Jul 07, 202155:19
The great awakening

The great awakening

Diving in to another topic from our 2021 World Changers report, Elle Bradley-Cox explores the rise of activism.

Switched  on, tuned in, politically aware. Woke. Every generation has its own  expression for activism. Whatever you call it, 2020 was one of those  landmark turbulent years when it took an angry and bloody leap forward.  Being locked down made us wake up.

A year on from the death of George Floyd, and in the wake of Sarah  Everard’s murder, political scandals, social unrest and a burgeoning  climate crisis where black, minority and indigenous communities are  disproportionately affected, how much has really changed? We may be  louder at vocalising the injustices we see in the world, but it doesn’t  stop them happening.

And as the slow pace of change and reform causes our frustrations to  mount, we often look to our employers, hoping to see them throw their  considerable power and weight behind the causes we care about. Too  often, they’re found wanting.

Elle Bradley-Cox joins head of client experience and D&I champion Russ Norton and senior writer and sustainability maven Jacey Lamerton to answer the question, can we really ban this politics from the factory floor? And should we keep the status quo as we pretend to embrace all  views? Or no views at all? Whatever we decide, internal communicators  are in the seat of power.

Guest interview

Sally Bucknell, Director, Diversity & Inclusiveness at EY

Jun 07, 202145:17
Stigma in the shadows

Stigma in the shadows

Diving in to another topic from our 2021 World Changers report, Elle Bradley-Cox explores taboo topics in the workplace.

Do you remember when talking about your mental health at work was off-limits and considered a massive overshare?

Unwritten social rules dictated that certain topics were off the  table. But the Covid catalyst meant we had a collective shorthand to  point to. We were ‘all in the same boat’. It was ok not to be ok. It  always should have been – but the stigmas associated with taboos made  them impossible to explore openly.

But now, the floodgates are open. Organisations are restructuring  their benefits, examining their policies and putting mental health  centre stage. For some, the gesture is still more performative than  productive. But the conversation has well and truly started.

So, what’s next? From periods to politics, menopause to money, what  are the taboo topics lurking in the shadows? And how can we in internal  comms, help bring them into the light?

Elle Bradley-Cox joins lead behavioural scientist Lindsay Kohler and head of client experience Russ Norton to share the stigmas they believe should be brought out of the shadows.

Guest interview

In this episode, we turn the mic back on ourselves, for a candid conversation with senior consultant Alastair Atkinson about his experiences with anxiety and depression, and his thoughts on what organisations can do to best support their people.

01:44 Roundtable with Elle Bradley-Cox, Lindsay Kohler and Russ Norton, exploring taboo topics in the workplace.

  • 01:51 Lindsay, what made you want to explore stigma specifically?
  • 02:32 After 2020 many topics are out in the open. From mental health to BLM, how do we decide where to focus our energy?
  • 05:15 These topics can be a lot to tackle. Is there a good place to start?
  • 07:35 The pandemic was a door opener for the conversation about mental health. So, what's next? Where do we do from here?
  • 09:42 What are some of the taboos not yet on our radars? And will anything be off limits in the future?
  • 15:26 Thinking about our new hybrid world of work, are there stigmas that could be exacerbated?
  • 18:15 What conversations have clients been having about the hybrid workplace?
  • 19:15 What are our audiences telling us about workplace taboos? How do we make D&I more relevent to the reluctant?

20:40 A candid conversation with Alastair Atkinson, discussing his experiences with mental health, and reflections on what employers can do to support their people.

May 06, 202141:05
The quiet captain

The quiet captain

Think about a leader you know and what springs to mind: leadership or loudership?

Fortune favours the brave and, in our age of influence, the person who shouts the loudest is often the one who gets listened to. After all, building a personal brand comes with certain expectations that a leader should be loud, proud and physically visible.

But in 2020, those who thrive on communicating to crowded rooms had to step back behind the screen. It became clear just how little good leadership has to do with making a speech, and how much it has to do with making a mark.

So, what does leadership look like now? As we face into a hybrid world of work, what will we want from the people in charge? And, after a year of digital democratisation, will we look to new voices to lead the way?

Senior consultant Steph Finn chose this theme as her World Changer for our 2021 report. In this epiode, Elle Bradley-Cox joins Steph and scarlettabbott managing director Jeremy Petty for a candit conversation about leadership over the last 12 months. 

Elle also grabs some time with quiet leader coach Iain Wilkie to get his views on supporting quieter voices in the workplace.

Apr 06, 202140:40
Information NOW
Mar 01, 202136:54
Nurture your networks
Feb 01, 202142:03
Welcome to World Changers.

Welcome to World Changers.

A taste of what's to come. 

Alongside the release our 2021 report, we're excited to launch World Changers - The Podcast. Each month, we'll be taking a deeper look at the trends shifting and evolving our world of work, featuring interviews with key experts. 

Join our host Elle Bradley-Cox as she takes us on this year's World Changers journey. And don't forget to explore the interactive World Changers 2021 report at

Jan 20, 202102:11