On July 24, 2018, Nate Thompson, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation OppenheimerFunds, will join four other learning leaders from high profile organizations on a panel moderated by Mike Prokopeak, CLO, of CLO Media at Bridge’s annual user conference in Keystone, Colorado.
This year’s theme is Big Top Bridge which means Thompson will get to eat some corn dogs and take a spin on a few rides, but he’s really excited to share his thoughts and passions around why inspiration is so vital to organizational transformation in these times of disruption.
Q&A With Nate Thompson
We cannot wait to hear more from Thompson about tapping into the hearts and minds of your learners at the conference. To hold us over until then, we chatted with him about his career, his best manager, and what the future of work looks like.
Bridge: Who was your best manager and what made them so great?
Thompson: I have had several wonderful mentors, but my current leader, Dalton Li, is one of a kind. Imagine meeting a visionary and inspiring leader who is deeply committed to people and culture while leading organizational transformation. He leads with humility, seeks to understand, models inclusion and enables autonomy, mastery and purpose. For many years, I wondered if I would find a mentor that goes beyond the usual. Someone that asks courageous questions, deeply inspires me and challenges me to become a better human being while achieving my professional potential. Dalton is that person for me.
Bridge: What’s the one thing you wish you had learned before you started your career?
Thompson: Spend your career empowering others and helping them achieve their potential and you will enjoy a lifetime of magical moments!
Bridge: What’s the one skill you would tell the upcoming workforce to practice over and over?
Thompson: We are now in a period of non-linear change. It’s VITAL that everyone become a continuous learner—just like breathing.
Bridge: What’s the best job you’ve ever had?
Thompson: The one I have now! I love going into the place that others run from. Big transformation work is not for the faint of heart. I’ve come to love the complexities of this type of challenge.
Bridge: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Thompson: I once worked on a team with an incongruence problem. Leadership was saying one thing and doing another. It was very painful and caused 50% of the team to turnover within 6 months and 90% within 1 year. In the absence of trust relationships fall apart.
Bridge: What does the future of work look like in your company?
Thompson: There’s so much to talk about here and it’s so exciting! I’ll try to keep it short. I designed our Future of Work program in late 2016. We launched it to half of the company in 2017 and we are refreshing it for an enterprise relaunch in 2018. It’s called “Career 2.0 | The Future of Work.”
The intent of the program is to raise awareness and start an enterprise conversation around six key elements:
· Our world, industry and organization are being disrupted.
· These non-linear disruptions will change the future of work and our careers.
· We are all facing this so naturally this authentic conversation belongs to all of us.
· You light a fire big enough under someone, but you can inspire them to choose into this.
· A growth mindset, continuous learning, experimentation and career agility are essential to surfing these disruptive waves.
· We are all in this together and the decisions we make now will have a significant impact on our future.
Here are some exciting examples of new structures we have introduced to inspire and foster this future of work culture:
· Go-and-See. It’s one thing to talk about new ways of thinking and working. It’s another to take groups of people to go visit award winning companies to see their culture and learn how they work. This is where inspiration happens!
· CTOPS. Six full days per year where people can take time to develop, learn future skills, and attend events.
· Fellowships. A unique structure to increase the number of career development and internal mobility opportunities that help build future skills and capabilities in support of Career 2.0.
· Experiments and the experiment tour. We hang balloons over the space of anyone who is running experiments. This is our visual workplace way of raising awareness around experimentation and continuous improvement. We want people to experiment, measure their progress and share the good work—success or failure.
Bridge: What’s the most delicious carnival treat on the planet?
Thompson: I don’t know. I’m not really a sweets person.
Join us at Big Top Bridge July 22-24 and get more insights from Nate Thompson and other learning leaders during our panel discussion while networking with colleagues, learning about the latest in performance-management software, and enjoy some deep-fried food.
You can also enjoy Big Top Bridge from the comfort of your couch. If you can't make the trip to Keystone, Colorado then join us online while we live stream our keynote sessions.