Our Go 2 Thrive podcast guest today is Rex Miller. Rex is a futurist consultant speaker and communications expert. When your organization needs to move its culture needle to better adapt and innovate, Rex is someone to turn to. He co-wrote the book, the Healthy Workplace Nudge.

The main question of this interview: 

How Do We Nudge the Culture Needle in Organizations?

Please click the audio player to hear our entire conversation.

We asked Rex the following questions:

        • Share a favorite quote, and why it resonates with you?
        • How did you come up with the name ‘shadow culture’? Because that’s the untouchable part of the company culture, which a lot of people have a hard time to address or even to see it.
        • What are the five buckets to addressing culture change?
        • Can you explain for the audience what is a nudge, as used in the definition or as used in the title of your book?
        • What was the most shocking thing and the most uplifting thing you heard about workplace wellness, when interviewing so many leaders and experts for your book, the Healthy Workplace Nudge?
        • What makes for a toxic work environment physically and emotionally?
        • Besides all these figures you share, there is also a war for talent going which makes it challenging for companies to be stay competitive be competitive, right?
        • What is one easy step an organization can do with existing space to enhance the well being of its employees?
        • Why have open workspaces failed? And when can they succeed?
        • What is your vision for creating a thriving diverse, inclusive workplace?

Interview highlights

        • “We should strive for bringing our whole self to work, doing our best work going home at the end of the day, happier and healthier. That should be your benchmark.”
        • I learned that what we don’t see is more important than what we do see: this shadow culture, which are the invisible attitudes, habits, values and behaviors that run the place when you’re not there.
        • The challenge that leaders have is that when they show up, they never see the shadow culture because it changes. The people’s behavior goes into what they call boss behavior.
        • Nudges are being used in lots of different ways to help behavior and public policy. But we looked at it from a design standpoint, and it’s called change architecture. You make the choice you want [to implement] the easier choice, and you make the choice you don’t want, a little more difficult.
        • Two shocking things. The first shocking thing is that if you just look at the numbers alone wellness programs, by and large, do not work. 95% of wellness programs are a waste of money.
        • The second shock was, we’re on an existential curve. Chronic Disease is rising at about a 7% compounded rate per year. In the United States, 50% of our population has some form of chronic disease. 70% of people are overweight or obese, which then leads to metabolic syndrome, which leads to chronic disease.
        • The two other parts are cultural. A toxic boss […], if you have a bad relationship with your boss, it’s killing you. The culture: is it a dog eat culture or is it a cooperative culture.
        • The Achilles heel for organizations is that mid-management level. They absorb stress from the front-line who reports to them and then from their [boss]. Another level too, is that people get promoted into management for a lot of the wrong reasons.
        • An easy step is they can begin looking at the nudge audit and looking at areas that incentivize. The biggest part is handling the distraction noise issue. And really taking a serious look, do we have the right ratio of areas where people can get breakout space or small conferencing? Those are two easy low hanging fruit things to do.
        • Most of the problems we see: one size [does not] fits all; not enough breakout space, heads-down space; whether it fits the culture; no culture adjustment or training and very little stakeholder engagement in the process.
        • My vision for the future? We have what we call the domino nudge theory. Starting with the low hanging fruit, shift the environment. Do the inexpensive things where you don’t have to get budget approval.

Thanks to Rex Miller for joining us in this episode!
Please click the audio player to hear our entire conversation.

Rex Miller on LinkedIn
Rex’s website: RexMiller.com
Contact rex@rexmiller.com or via his LinkedIn profile to request a copy of the Nudge Audit. Please state you heard about it on his Go2Thrive podcast interview!

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