“Wrong Fit, Right Fit” with Author & Former CLO Andre Martin

The Next Practices Weekly call series has become a well-attended and wide-ranging discussion for HR leaders each Thursday at 11am ET / 8am PT. On this week's call, Bethany Vogel, i4cp Community Program Manager, and Tom Stone, i4cp Senior Research Analyst, facilitated a conversation with special guest Andre Martin, PhD, author of Wrong Fit, Right Fit: Why How We Work Matters More Than Ever, and former learning and talent management executive at Accenture, Google, Target, Nike, and Mars. Here are some highlights from the call:

  • One of Martin's overall goals is to make work feel less like work. His recent book, Wrong Fit, Right Fit: Why How We Work Matters More Than Ever, arose from this perspective as well as Martin's curiosity about what makes great workplaces truly great.
  • The research for the book involved interviewing over 100 individuals about their experiences of right and wrong fit with a company. Martin emphasized the importance of understanding individual work preferences and the negative impact of wrong fit on wellbeing and work-life balance. He also shared his concern about the issue of disengagement in companies, which is estimated to cause a staggering loss of 7.9 trillion dollars in productivity.
  • Martin shared six trends that he sees as crucial to getting us to our current state of work:
    • The rise of the culture deck and the birth of marketing the aspirational company.
    • The ping pong table and the introduction of purpose-less perks.
    • A decade of decadent growth and a lack of urgent innovation and gaining resilience.
    • The age of infinite browsing and an impending crisis of commitment.
    • The side hustle economy and a search for more prosperity and more available creative outlets.
    • The search for meaning and the era of being more versus doing more.
  • Martin noted that the concept of 'right fit' in a workplace is a challenging one, and he emphasized the importance of understanding the difference between who an employee is vs. how they work and how companies function. He noted that many successful CEOs have experienced moments of wrong fit and that addressing this issue can significantly reduce stress.
  • Martin emphasized the need for individuals to reflect deeply on their personal needs and aspirations before taking a job. He also highlighted the importance of understanding one's true values, beyond the generic ones that everyone claims to value, as they can influence major life decisions. Here are the kinds of key questions you need to ask:
    • What values are most important in big decisions?
    • What is the life you want to live in the next 5-10 years?
    • What are your superpowers and shadow sides?
    • What kind of career are you building?
    • What is your ideal leader or manager?
    • What is your ideal company?
    • How do you like to work?
    • What matters most to you right now?
    • What is the narrative you will bring to a job search?
  • Martin noted the many challenges companies face in training employees on how the work really gets done, the need for a unified project management system, and a clear understanding of the company's principles, practices, and platforms.
  • Martin also noted the misconception that creative individuals thrive in chaos. He shared an anecdote about a colleague who initially resisted strict guidelines at her company but later realized that they enabled her to focus on her work. He emphasized that standardized principles, practices, and platforms can be liberating for creative individuals, allowing them to excel within a structured environment.

Links to resources shared on the call:

This event is approved for certification credits.