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CultureLab with Aga Bajer

Aga Bajer: Culture Strategist, Writer, Coach



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Bob Sutton: On Making the Right Things Easier and the Wrong Things Harder

Can you remember a time when it felt like things at work were unjustifiably and annoyingly hard? Maybe you had to read a 1000-word email that could have been just one paragraph, or had to attend a two-hour meeting that could have been an email. Or maybe you had to manually input data although the process should have been automated ages ago. The reality is that every workplace is clogged with this type of destructive friction—the time-consuming, and soul-crushing practices that drive us crazy and undermine our ability to achieve meaningful goals. I imagine that at the global scale, millions of hours must get lost every day to red tape, workarounds that shouldn’t have to exist in the first place, and to misguided leaders who pile on needless complexity. My guest today, Professor Bob Sutton has been so fascinated by the friction we experience in organisations that he researched it for a decade. His work resulted in a book co-authored with Huggy Rao, The Friction Project. Bob Sutton is an organizational psychologist and Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University.  He studies leadership, innovation, organizational change, and workplace dynamics.  His main focus over the past decade is on scaling and leading at scale—how to grow organizations, spread good things (and remove bad things) in teams and organizations. In this conversation, Bob Sutton and I talk about how to identify good and bad friction in an organization and how to make the right things easier and the wrong things harder. You can follow Bob Sutton on LinkedIn. You can find the transcript HERE. Join the CultureBrained® Community– a one-of-a-kind virtual community for Heads of Culture, founders, and leaders who want to up their culture game. Check out more of our free resources 👉 HERE.

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