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Digital: Disrupted: How Can Organizations, and Employees, Find the Right Fit?

Rocket Software

December 1, 2023

In this week’s episode, Paul is joined by Andre Martin, the author of Wrong Fit, Right Fit: Why How We Work Matters More Than Ever. Andre discusses how both companies and employees can find the “right fit,” why he believes we are in a crisis of commitment in the workplace, and how companies that have seen a loss in productivity can rediscover it.

Digital: Disrupted is a weekly podcast sponsored by Rocket Software, in which Paul Muller dives into the unique angles of digital transformation—the human side, the industry specifics, the pros and cons, and the unknown future. Paul asks tech/business experts today’s biggest questions, from “how do you go from disrupted to disruptor?” to “how does this matter to humanity?” Subscribe to gain foresight into what’s coming and insight on how to navigate it.

About This Week’s Guest:

Andre is the founder of Shift Space, a culture and executive development studio. Previously, Andre worked as the VP of People Development/Talent Management at Google and is considered an expert on career development coaching, corporate training, executive coaching, and leadership development.

Listen to the full episode here or check out some highlights below.

Digital Disrupted

Paul Muller: In your book and on your website the phrase “crisis of commitment in the workplace” comes up; these are incredibly strong words. In what way is it a crisis? What are the observables and what are the consequences?

Andre Martin: Well, if you look at the conversations we're having in the workplace right now, you look at what's in the news, 7.8 trillion of lost productivity due to disengagement in the workplace estimated by Gallup. That's more than the market cap of Apple, Google and Amazon combined. I mean, think about the power of what's not happening. That alone is a staggering statistic. But then you look at 75% of employees experience the Sunday scaries and stats like 70% of Gen Z planning on quitting their job in 2023—I could name stats for days—you look at these numbers and see something's happening where our organizations aren't getting the best of us, were not fully engaged, we're not totally committed. And without that, how are we going to solve these problems that we're sitting in and we're walking into every day?

I mean, the world is just radically more complex than it used to be. We need everyone at their best and fully committed to whatever cause they're a part of, and we're not seeing it. Everyone's infinitely browsing, they're looking for greener grass, and they're thinking about what else they can do. They got their side hustle, they're turning off their video. I mean, I look at the world, and I'm worried about it. I can't find a piece of data that has me optimistic about where we're headed—and I'm an optimist by nature. I mean I'm puppy dogs and sunshine every day, and I am struggling to find it in this case. And so that really compelled me to want to help in the ways that I could.

PM: So, one of the reasons I reached out to you as soon as I saw the title of the book, it immediately spoke to me on so many levels. I know from my time in corporate that the term “Right Fit” has kind of become commonplace. So, maybe we need to start a definitional place. What does “right fit” mean to you?

AM: I'll start with the definition that's in the book, which is that “right fit” is a deep and authentic dedication to how a company works day-to-day, right? Not all those things that we can see on websites and career sites, but literally the felt experience an employee has, or a talent has when they walk in the room. I connect to the way the company works, how we collaborate, solve problems, manage conflicts, and all those things I just talked about. And it's very different than fitting in. So, fitting in is this term that I feel strongly about because a lot of people are doing it. If you're in a marginalized community, you've been fitting in your entire life by inherently changing how you do something, how you show up, how you dress, how you look, you talk in order to be a part of a community. And there are a lot of really smart people working on that in the diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging space and

I revere their work. But there was a piece of the conversation that wasn't happening, which is that is highly important. If you don't have that and you're having to fit in on those dynamics, it's really hard. You end up feeling like you can't present an authentic version of yourself in whatever community you're joining. But when you think about companies, there's this other side of it which is just how we work.

If the way that a company socializes ideas doesn't fit the way that you at your best like to socialize ideas, you're losing creative energy. The way that I think about it is your creative energy is given every single day to something. And in the workplace, it's either flowing to your craft—what you're better than anybody in the world at—or it's flowing to the coordination of work and how you get things done. Often, there are a lot of people in the world who are in the wrong fit experiences impacting their creative energy. How do I do this the way the company does it even though it doesn't work for me? And the more factors you have to do that on every day, the less creative energy you have, your craft, which means you're less productive, you're less competent, you're less successful, your reputation takes a hit, and then you're sitting in a place where you feel like you haven't been a success or maybe you never were.