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HCI Webinar: Gamifying and Operationalizing Workplace Culture, with Alexandra Bowden

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Alexandra Bowden about gamifying and operationalizing workplace culture. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Quick Recap


Jonathan H. Westover and Alexandra Bowden discussed the concept of gamifying and operationalizing workplace culture. They emphasized the importance of defining clear behaviors and actions that align with the organization's values, and the potential for using gamification as a tool to engage and align employees. They also highlighted the need for consistent effort and purposeful action in maintaining a good culture, and the risks of leaders losing credibility and trust when they fail to follow through on their initial promises.


From Dancing to Talent Consulting: Alexandra Bowden's Journey


Alexandra shared her journey from professional dancing to talent consulting, highlighting her goal of helping individuals find their ideal career and guiding companies to retain top talent. She emphasized the importance of understanding corporate culture and her personal experience of transitioning from the arts to the corporate world. Alexandra also recounted her career progression, from her executive assistant role to co-chair of the recruiting committee, and finally to town acquisition due to her department's growth. She expressed her passion for creating fun and creative corporate workplaces, leading her to start her own company, People First.


HR, Culture, and DEI Paths and Impact


Alexandra and Jonathan discussed their personal experiences and paths into the field of HR, culture, and DEI. They shared their belief that many people take a non-linear path to this field and that it's not necessary to have a traditional linear path. They emphasized the importance of creating positive work environments and the potential for individuals to have an impact in their organizations, regardless of their title or role. They also discussed the concept of gamifying and operationalizing workplace culture.


Operationalizing Culture in Organizations


Alexandra and Jonathan discussed the importance of operationalizing culture in organizations. Alexandra emphasized that culture is not a static entity, but an evolving aspect of the organization that requires intentional planning. She highlighted a gap in organizations having plans for people and culture compared to other areas such as finance, marketing, and strategy. Alexandra suggested using gamification as a tool to engage and align employees around the defined culture. She stressed the importance of defining clear behaviors and actions that align with the organization's values, ensuring buy-in from all levels.


Culture Change: A Habitual Effort


Alexandra and Jonathan discussed the importance of systematizing and operationalizing company culture. They emphasized that a good culture is not just about performative actions or nice messaging, but about embedding it into the daily life of the organization. They also noted that culture is a hard, but achievable goal, which requires consistent effort and purposeful action. The conversation concluded with the analogy of culture change being similar to personal habit change, requiring time, consistent effort, and small habit changes. They also highlighted that companies often bring in experts like themselves for help, often reactively due to problems such as people leaving or financial losses.


Trust and Communication in Long-Term Change Processes


Jonathan and Alexandra Bowden engaged in a conversation about the importance of transparency and effective communication in maintaining trust and commitment in a long-term change process within an organization. They emphasized that initial meetings and enthusiasm should be followed by consistent action to avoid eroding trust. They also highlighted the need for ongoing communication and transparency throughout the implementation process. The discussion also touched on the risks of leaders losing credibility and trust when they fail to follow through on their initial promises.


Empowering Tools for Growing Organizations


Alexandra discussed the importance of consistent values and tools within a growing organization. She explained that they provide tools to their employees, certify them to play a business game, and, on occasion, provide challenges and disseminate information to leaders and CEOs. Alexandra Bowden emphasized that their goal is to effect a broader change in the world and the way people work, rather than focusing solely on profit. She highlighted their commitment to empowering people with the necessary tools for success.


Connect, Learn, Start: A Conversation on Professional Growth


Alexandra explained how the audience could connect with her and her team, via LinkedIn and their website choosepeoplefirst.com. She emphasized the importance of not waiting to start, but rather starting today because tomorrow might be too late. Jonathan agreed with Alexandra Bowden's sentiment, encouraging the audience to start, learn, and iterate, rather than waiting until they have everything perfectly figured out.


Listen to the webinar here:





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