Visual Communications and Career Management from Startup to Canadian Government with Ana Lissansky

If you want to absorb more about visual communications, career and talent management then this is the episode for you. CEOs, seasoned marketing and hr professionals will learn a lot from this episode, the full transcription can be found below.

If you are someone who is interested in visual communications, career, and talent management, then this podcast episode is for you. In it, we speak with expert Ana Lissansky, a seasoned professional in these fields who has worked in the Canadian government for many years. With her wealth of knowledge and experience, she has much to teach CEOs, talented marketing professionals, and HR professionals alike. In this episode, she shares insights on topics such as visual communications best practices and strategies for managing your career and developing your talent. Whether you are looking to grow your skills and knowledge in visual communications or working on enhancing your career or talent management strategies, this episode will be an invaluable resource. So tune in today to learn from one of the top experts in visual communications!

Ana Lissansky can be found here on LinkedIn 

You can also learn more about personal branding here. (it enabled me to speak with Ana originally!) and how it will benefit you when people try to pick your brains here.

And if you want to go the extra mile and learn about luxury branding you can dig deep here.

Nathaniel Schooler  0:23
Today, I would like to introduce you to Ana Lissansky. Ana is a marketing and communications leader. Fluent in five languages, with stints in everything from a fast scaling tech start-up to large government departments, to advising the Prime Minister’s Office of Canada.

Ana also recently helped launch a new globally focused federal agency with a focus on setting up its digital presence.

So let’s dig into this exciting episode.

Nathaniel Schooler .37
Well, hey Ana. It’s really nice to speak with you again.

And I am really quite interested in hearing about visual communication today. And few of the other topics that we’re going to discuss, quite interested to hear where you start with visual communications.

Ana Lissansky  1:14
As with any type of communication, you really need to start with solid research and planning. In terms of the product that you’re trying to produce and develop. So what I mean by research and planning is, you really need to know your audience, who is interpreting or looking at this piece.

I always like to start with asking a lot of questions. Getting in the person’s head, if you are able to speak to people from your audience, if you are not able to kind of get a hold of someone from who’s going to be viewing this product, or this piece of visual communication.

So if you think about it, maybe a presentation, for example, to use a point of reference, if you’re not able to speak to someone and ask a lot of questions, then you can approximate and talk to them, someone who fits or is approximates your audience, or knows your audience a lot better than you.

So that’s very, very key and it’s a very key early step, because you’re going to really kind of consolidate that knowledge, use that knowledge to find ways to then ensure that your product, your visual product, can surprise them can maybe throw in a bit of humour, but what all while staying in the right tone and style for what that person or that audience prefers or would kind of would resonate with them. So I always start off with that, and I think that’s a key component that a lot of people miss, they don’t involve their user or their audience in the design process, you can definitely start with that.

Once you’ve got a solid understanding of your persona, that the persona of the people who are going to consume that product, that visual product they need to know-

What’s your objective?

What are you trying to do?

If I were to give it in a nutshell, you would use this knowledge to find ways to surprise your audience, maybe throw in some humour, but all the while sticking within a tone and style that’s appropriate for the audience.

Once you have all of this knowledge, you’ve communicated with someone who knows your audience, or someone who is part of the audience and you gained all that knowledge, then you use that to create a persona.

That persona is basically when you’re thinking about your product, your visual product, you’re designing it for them. You are the what you’re going to choose next and the visuals and the typefaces and everything else that’s going to kind of comprise that final visual product, you’re going to be targeting them and you’re going to keep them in mind.

So now that you’ve done that research, that preliminary research, you need to know what is your objective and if I could use just two words, to really encapsulate what the objective is a visual products, typically, it’s to persuade, to sell something, a product or service or a brand or yourself or an idea and the other purpose of visual communications or visual elements and anything that you’re doing is to be memorable.

So you really are trying to get at least several pieces of whatever it is you’re producing, or several elements to stick in their head. Because being memorable and being sticky, or sticking in someone’s head is what is going to support that end goal of persuasion.

Nathaniel Schooler  4:51
Hopefully, you’ll be memorable for all the right reasons, if you if you manage to get it right.

Ana Lissansky  4:57
Absolutely. I’ll give you an example. So if I’m developing a presentation that will be presented to developers, for example, they would expect that the visuals I would use in that presentation would be typically websites or apps, mobile apps, or other visual layouts.

So what I would do is actually throw that on its head, I would use physical products in the real world, for example, maybe I would show instead of a web page, I would show a restaurant experience to illustrate what a good experience could look like.

Then I would tie that in how that can be done as a walk-through on a web based visual product. After I do the research and planning phase, then we get into creation. So this is where you’re trying to get creative and whether it’s you creating your own PowerPoint presentation, or it’s you providing creative direction to a team member, or whether it’s you trying to communicate what your senior executive or CEO wants to see in the final creative product.

In the end, you still need to communicate that with visuals because visual people, designers are visual people typically. And so they need to be inspired, right. So whether you’re you’re getting inspired, or whether you’re trying to inspire your designers, in order for them to get what you’re trying to achieve.

I typically like to start this whole inspiration phase with somewhat of a mood board. And a mood board doesn’t have to be really complex, it doesn’t have to be like this big board with, you know, printed things, it could be done online, it could be done on Pinterest, it could be done on any kind of a variety of tools that you could use to develop a mood board.

So essentially what you’re doing is you’re gathering a series of images or visuals that match the mood or the tone or the style that you’re trying to get in the final visual product. As part of this inspiration stage, you could definitely take a look at trends, but I would be cautious with trends because trends are just their movements and design and very few things have never been done before.

We essentially try to use trends for inspiration, but you want the designer or the person creating the product to then make it their own rather than simply copying.

Of course, trends can be used to ensure that your final product looks current and looks like it’s been well thought out and is going to resonate because it’s what people are currently being kind of piqued about the industry.

Also I always like to, in terms of trends, I’ll always look out for, okay, what are my brands, what are the products and services that I’m really impressed with their design, really impressed with their advertising, really, really impressed and pay attention to the videos or products they’re producing and I’ll do a scan of those brands and those brands are always in my head.

There’s always a good top five of these types of brands. That’s kind of what I would do at this stage is look around and see what are they doing?

You could use Google, you could use a variety of tools.

What are the top most viewed YouTube videos for that brand?

What are the top most visited web pages for that? There’s lots of tools you can use to find that out. Then you kind of look at, some of these recent products.

What are they using?

What trends?

What design trends?

And communication trends that are they using?
You know, thereby that’s why it’s resonating so well, because they’re obviously doing it right.

Nathaniel Schooler  9:09
Of course. So really you’re you’re you’re trying to tell a story, then with your visual communication to hopefully not every every sort of demographic at the same time. You’re trying to kind of, really hone it down so that you get the right audience the right message at the right time. Is that fair to say?

Ana Lissansky 9:29
Yes, absolutely. This is why in the research phase, we looked at the persona, because you, you might have maybe one or two personas that you’re trying to hit with a product, you you’re not going to try to hit everybody or all possible personas, you really want to hone in on kind of the top one, top two personas.

Otherwise, your visual product is going to be too messy and too scattered, and trying to talk to everyone and trying to incorporate every type of, you know, visual, or like the way I like to think about it, if you’re communicating to specific sector, well, there’s tons of sub sectors.

You don’t want to include a visual from every single sub sector you’re going to, then you’re going to run into the situation where your visual product is too busy and when the person is looking at it, their eyes go everywhere and not focused on the thing you’re trying to communicate and persuade.

So to avoid those kinds of challenges. What I recommend is you really think about the background and the foreground, and how does the eye move?

Where does the eye on the product first start out and what does it look first?

Then how does it move along the web page or around the PowerPoint slide? Or whichever product you’re developing.

This technique really applies to pretty much any visual product and in order to determine whether all of these things if you’re doing these things, well, I highly recommend you pre test your product, your visual product.

So even if I personally am doing let’s say, a presentation at a conference, for example, I will do this whatever I have developed, and I follow this process, and I’ve definitely thought about my personas, etc., I will still pre test it with people, I trust people whose opinions I trust and who either ideally know the persona that I’m trying to target and would be able to give me some more insights or help me to surmise the impact, because they will always you will always have a second pair of eyes, or even a third pair of eyes, they can definitely tell a notice a lot more things than you might, because you’ve been kind of needy been this product and working on it for a long time time, you start to start to kind of not be able to see its flaws.

So I highly recommend it as part of the creation and development phase to pre test, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it does not have to take a lot of time, it’s just a step that’s really important to ensure you catch anything you might have missed.

Nathaniel Schooler  12:22
Definitely, I think it’s really important to have different viewpoints as well, with this sort of thing. I have a various select handful of friends and business associates. You’re completely correct with what you’re saying, most things have been done before. So it’s like, a lot of things have been done already, just check out what’s working, and then take that forwards and sort of put your own stamp on it.

We’re not talking about taking someone’s idea, but we’re talking about taking inspiration from other campaigns that have been run is that is that fair to say?

Ana Lissansky 13:00
Yes, absolutely, and the key is to have a lot of different viewpoints. Everybody has their own biases and their own viewpoints, their own opinions on colour on typefaces, or fonts they prefer on, you know, everybody’s got their own biases.

If you’re really trying to kind of disaster check your product, having a variety of people having a look at it, especially if it’s a really important product, like a major ad campaign, or, you’re presenting to a very large audience, and you only have like, five minutes to really make an impact and tell your story, you definitely want to prepare with that kind of thing.

You want to pre-test and you want to make sure that you have really looked at looked at it from all possible angles. But what I would caution is, in the end, you still kind of know what based on experience. If you’ve done this type of thing before based on experience, you would know, like this element I know is going to do well with this audience.

So with those kinds of things, I would say trust your gut and if you’re presenting to an audience that is of a different culture, for example, here’s where pre-testing any of your visuals will be very, very important.

Nathaniel Schooler  14:25
That’s,  so important because you just don’t know until you test that with people who are in that demographic. You might even have not done enough research, you might have the wrong word in there, that could mean something completely awful to the audience as well. They might just go mental, you know?

Ana Lissansky 14:45
Yes, absolutely. It’s not just words, colours as well. Colours have different connotations and different meanings in different cultures. Especially with you never know, between one country or another red can be good in another country could be completely negative. Of course,

Nathaniel Schooler  15:04
Of course in Asia like everywhere, except for Cambodia red is a great the prosperous colour, but in Cambodia, that’s what the Khmer Rouge used to wear red and white scarves. So having red in Cambodia is probably not the right thing to do. I could be wrong, because things change and I think that’s why it’s important as well, to kind of keep up with what’s going on in the present, instead of just going back to the past and saying, well, that’s what it was like, then.

I mean, I think having, you know, really up to date information is super important as well you know. I think it’s really fascinating how the colours in kind of Latin America are so much more vibrant than that a lot of other places.

Ana Lissansky 15:51
Yes, absolutely, absolutely and having lived in Latin America, yes, I can definitely tell, not just from from in terms of clothes and what people wear and styles, but in terms of what they kind of visually see as engaging. It would be different than, for example, if you’re targeting a North American corporate client.

Nathaniel Schooler  16:14
Would you say that they’re more sort of (how do I put this) conservative in North America than they are in Latin America?

Ana Lissansky 16:22
I would say that it depends on the sector. If you’re targeting the tech sector, you can definitely go you can push the envelope, you can go a lot further. The types of backgrounds that comprise the tech sector are so varied, and the culture in the tech sector is so different.

Let’s say, for example, the banking sector. So it’s really, I would say it’s dependent on sector.

But if you were to compare, for example, you can even go ahead and try and looking at, let’s say, websites. Country websites will tell you a lot about what types of colours they consider to be positive or good, or communicating good messages. So for example, I go to pro Mexico, just promoting Mexico, and you would see that that website is very colourful, it’s got more than one bright colour on it, and things like that.

Then you would go to compare it to, let’s say, select USA, and you would go in there and say, well, it’s grey and blue, right? So those kinds of comparisons, and again, this can be done with anything, not just in terms of how countries promote and market themselves, but you can, you can sample a set of companies that you’re targeting in the country by looking at what they’re doing visually.

Nathaniel Schooler  17:43
Well, thanks for sharing all those insights. That’s really, really interesting. So am I right? In saying that you would, before you even think about the visual communication, you’re doing your research, and obviously, you’ve already done your wording. So you know, the kind of message that you want to get across, you don’t really know, the sorts of visuals you’re going to use to get that message across, is that is that fair to say?

Ana Lissansky 18:07
Yeah, it’s fair to say. Then during the creation phase, that’s when you would kind of come together with, your mood board and all the visual options that you have. Then you move into finalizing the product, and you’ve got a finished piece and tested it, and pre tested it, sometimes more than one stage.

Then once you deliver your product, or deliver your presentation, or launch your app, you always want to be getting feedback. You have to have a good feedback loop. Whether it be asking people how the presentation went, what they learned, or, whether they got a message that you were trying to get across, or measuring all of your campaigns and conducting a lot of ‘A’, ‘B’ testing to ensure that you are actually using the visual kind of the visual that will do the best and that is performing the best. So that’s actually very important. I don’t like to say, ‘A’, ‘B’ testing because I most of the time, I do like ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ testing.

You test like five variants and find out what’s the best ad that is resonating the best with your target audience for example, in terms of advertising, in terms of a presentation you’re doing to a large group of people, like I said, there’s ways afterwards to either email organizers or speak to some people afterwards, but you always want to try to get that feedback loop so that you can improve and you kind of almost throw it back at them and be like, okay, ‘so tell me:- “What You Think I said’?

Then  you get their wording of what they thought they learned and then you can evaluate your own presentation, and whether the visuals you had helped you tell the story, or maybe you need to change up, maybe you need to adjust.

Nathaniel Schooler  20:03
Well, that’s absolutely brilliant!  I’ve been doing a bit of research into brand marketing. That’s one of my passions. I’m really fascinated by that. I did an episode the other day that you probably love to listen to with my friend Douglas and he’s one of my associates as well. He worked with Krug Champagne and various other really prestige brands.

Luxury Branding with Krug Champagne with Douglas Commaille – Episode 35

You’ve worked with in government and I just find the whole the whole marketing world is so fascinating.

PR and Crisis Communications : Expert Sandra Coyle Demystifies – Episode 34

There’s so much information that you can just pick up and what he instilled in me is, before you even try and brief the designer, it’s all about the brand wording and just keeping that super simple so that people can actually understand what on earth you’re talking about, and I think that’s the most interesting thing about about marketing.

Once we move forward with with kind of the more technology focused research in terms of brand wording, I think that’s going to impact visual communications quite a lot as well and that’s quite exciting!

The whole prospect of that over the next few years is, it’s quite exciting, actually, for me, and I would imagine for you as well, actually.

Ana Lissansky 21:20
Yes. So, in addition to brands and products, we mentioned countries and marketing countries, and how those all the countries use as part of their visual communication.

But what I’ve also done is marketing people, politicians and, or what they’re actually doing, what they’re actually communicating to their constituents, and what type of visuals help to communicate that, and almost the, the tone and the style and the rhythm of the products match, basically the brand of that person.

When they do match, and the supporters and the base, they basically have a better understanding and it will resonate better with them. So that’s always interesting when you kind of are, let’s say, not just selecting visuals to go with your product, but even selecting clips of a person.

Which parts of it matches to what they’re typically trying to communicate? What they’re typically trying to showcase. And then, of course, combining that with other elements, whether it be photography, layered, taxed, and music, music and sound is also something that has an impact on your overall product, whether it could be a video or a podcast.

Nathaniel Schooler  22:50
Yeah, very much. So, I sort of chose a really uplifting kind of reggae tune. So I got my sister to do the voice-over for my podcast. She’s American, but I got her to do an English accent and that’s been really quite amazing. I  picked an English actress called Joanna Lumley and I said, ‘Can you can you do Joanna Lumley’s voice?’

She could have actually copied it completely, but she didn’t actually get it on point. So I thought, well, actually, I quite liked how she said it. So I just left it. It’s a really positive intro and a positive outro. Which is really important to set the mood and everything else. It’s fascinating how all these things just fit in together. I think it’s just it’s a huge topic and I think at some point we should certainly talk about it some more. Once you’ve been in your in your new job for a little bit longer with your current current job, because you seem to just get promoted all the time! Every time I speak to you been promoted.

So that leads us that leads us into our next topic, which is career planning. I’d love to kick-off 10 to 15 minutes about that before we before we diversify into the next couple of topics. So where do you start with career planning? Where would you begin?

Ana Lissansky 24:16
So I would start really trying, especially early on your career, to try to seek out jobs in your field in the field that you’re interested in, that you’re passionate about, that you like, and enjoy. For me, that’s communications and marketing, but for someone else, it’s something else.

In that field, try to get jobs and roles at the beginning where you can get a broad range of skill sets where you can try and do a bit of everything within that field. And the reason I like to say that is because it will really teach you what you will really enjoy to do.
You know, we work many hours in the week and throughout the year. And it has to be something you’re passionate about and it has to be something you will enjoy. So that kind of early on process, I highly recommend and that’s kind of how I did it, where I worked at a start-up.

I wore all the marketing hats, I was the web developer, I was the graphic designer, I was the coder, I was the person who did the layout. E-blasts, events, conferences, business development, lead generation, CRM, everything, so that I could kind of learn the full spectrum of what  everything that a business needs to create a brand, create messaging, create products that they then use to reach their audiences, and of course, how all that ties in with the business development angle.

I remember having conference calls with people across Canada, or sales teams across Canada, or sales teams in California and listening to them a lot on a regular basis, to understand what the business development side is thinking and feeling and working towards every day. Because marketing often-times is a supporter to that. So this was just one illustration, but could on in any sector, where you basically kind of get a broad range of skills, you decide where your strengths are, and then where your passions are and hopefully there’s a match there.

If there isn’t a match of course, you can develop your skills and get more training, more learning or education or, perhaps asked to job shadow someone if you don’t have the skills and something but you really must think:-

“Oh, my gosh, I really am passionate about that.”

And “I really enjoy this part of the field.”

So I would definitely encourage to start with that. Then once you know and that and that’s really important, because when you first start out in your career, you actually don’t know what you like, you don’t know you’re not sure you kind of know that you like this field, but then you’ll find out later that it’s a lot broader than you expected. So basically, what you do once you’ve discovered that area that you really want to hone in on, then you try to ensure that you’re trying to learn as much as possible about that area, and as part of that, you want to be really keeping up your skills and improving your skills all the time, meaning learning all the time learning something new every day and of course, keeping up your skills.

What I like to think with that is relentless innovation. Always be learning something new. Just like companies who are not relentlessly innovating.

Same thing with you in your career, if you’re not learning constantly, you’re going to be stuck, you’re going to find people later on in your career coming into your organizations are teams that know more than you. If that’s happening, it means that you’re not keeping up your skills and things are evolving all the time and changing.

This applies to many, many sectors, not just the tech sector, which was the example I used earlier, but in many sectors, there’s a lot of impact in terms of innovation and evolution that is being propelled by, the internet and AI and all of these emerging technologies.

So now that you’ve uncovered what your passion is, and the area of your field that you really want to move forward on, and progress in your career, you need to get yourself some mentors need to find a person who is in a role that you aspire to be in, and you can find these people now, with LinkedIn, you can do some research, compose a really good intro.

It might not get a response from a everyone, but you will get a response from someone, there’s a lot of people who enjoy mentoring. In fact, I also mentor people myself, because I always want to give back. If I have had good mentors throughout my career, I want to also help other folks who are starting out early in their career.

So having mentors is very important. But in addition to that, I would also encourage you to have trusted advisors. And the difference between mentors and trusted advisors is that trusted advisors are going to be people who know you very, very well. And typically, you would want them to be people from diverse backgrounds, but who know you very well.

So for example, I have an advisor who’s very into politics, like, way beyond me, like, knows the results of all elections, follows Canadian and US politics and global geopolitics to some extent, but kind of a lot further, kind of, then I would go and then I have someone who, from a different sector and a different country, but who has been a long term long-time good friend of mine, and knows me very well. And we still kind of stay in touch.

I have another advisor who was actually in the same field as me. So that’s also important, do you want to have advisors in the same field that you were working in as well, because they can kind of be your person, you can bounce back ideas with, you can share best practices with, you can find out about career progression opportunities from you can get referrals from etc.

So it’s important to not just have kind of a mentor and a senior position from a personal from the perspective of a role you want to aspire to, but also to have mentors that are more close advisors that you go to when you’re about to make a career decision, and you bounce those ideas back, back, back and forth off and then you gather all of your advisors opinions, and you think about what you want to do, and what I like to do is, I definitely do a pro con list.

I’m all about numbers and I’m about evaluating things a bit more, from an objective point of view or as objective as possible, obviously, to some extent, career decisions can be emotional, but most of the time, I like to keep them pragmatic and really analyse.

What do I have here?

What can I gain in the new role?

Am I going to be learning something new and the new role?
And that’s, that’s really kind of my biggest question:- “Will I be learning something new, will I be challenging myself?”

Also, sometimes things that go into the progress could be things like, well, the senior leadership in this new place, or this new role is people who I am really inspired by. So that could be another element.

But definitely have a mentor have trusted advisors make sure that they are from diverse backgrounds, but that they also know you very well and and do a pro-con list before you make any kind of career decisions and career moves and be able to do that and to get those mentors, of course, you need to be networking.

So attending networking events, both local and international, attending industry sector events, this will help you build your contacts, build your network of people who could either one day become your mentors, or refer you to a job or recommend an opportunity that you could apply for. So it’s very, very important to network and to build your contacts.

I use LinkedIn heavily and I definitely anytime I go to an event or networking activity, I will connect with people I’ve met with. I will send a very personalized note to remind them how we met occasionally, depending on the person depending on, how associated they are with my field, or how much I think that they know, and that I could learn from them, I would go ahead and actually follow up a little bit more regularly to maintain that relationship. I would potentially go for coffee or for lunch with them, I would continue the conversation and see what else I could learn from that person.

Does that make sense?

Nathaniel Schooler  33:32
So that’s all very interesting and I completely agree with you with all of that!

I think it’s very important to realize as well that you’re not going to be in your current job forever, probably the chances are, they were saying that people in their 20’s by the time they reach sort of 30 have had like, nine different career changes that just amazed me, that I was like, Wow! So it’s kind of like, all these business skills that you learn and this acumen you build up and these connections just create so much learning and so much fun. I think it makes your career a lot more rewarding as well, most certainly.

Ana Lissansky 34:15
Yes. What I found most handy is the networking part is I’ve had people offer me jobs, amazing jobs from a networking I went event I went to four years ago, where I met this person once and spoke to them for maybe two minutes, and just in that short time frame, I guess I was able to land an impression.

So later on when they were thinking of someone who is strong in marketing or strong in that field, or I don’t even recall what we talked about, honestly, but it was probably about marketing, four years later, they refer me to someone when that person is looking for someone strong in that field. So I absolutely do not discount, and it’s tough for some people, because I’m a very type A personality loves meeting new people who loves walking up to strangers and talking to whoever and not really somebody who’s afraid to do that.

But then, I’m an extrovert. It could be really tough for introverts to do this, this really crucial key step, and if they’re not doing the networking part that could be said, holding them back. So that’s one thing I wanted to really kind of mentioned that you have got to develop it. So even if you’re an introvert, you’ve got to develop a got to work at the networking part.

Of course, let’s say you’re deciding to move on, you’ve accepted that new job, or it’s a promotion, you want to really make sure that whatever job you’re leaving, you leave that job well.  So in some jobs, I have helped find my replacement in some jobs, I have given significantly more notice than the minimum to ensure that if there’s a really kind of easy and smooth transition for the other, the previous employer, it’s really important to not burn any bridges and to really keep in mind that anybody you’ve worked with, even if they’re not, you’re one of the people in your references list, any one of them can be called at any time and ask and people can ask about you.

You really want to make sure you leave everything in a good place. And of course, in this role that you’ve had, or even any future role you’re moving on to, it’s really important to keep track of all of your wins anything that you do, write it down, if it’s a big achievement, a big success, write it down, it will help you in your career planning and it will help you in your maintaining and updating your CV and then make sure that you promote your wins.

Because if you don’t kind of merchandise or promote your wins, nobody will know about them or not enough people will know about them and then you won’t hear about these promotional opportunities.

Of course, while you do that, I also highly emphasize, to ensure that you give credit where whether it be your teams or colleagues or other managers or other leaders that have helped you always give credit where it’s where it’s due. Because again, sometimes it’s actually good to even over give credit because all of that kind of stays in people’s heads. And it stays as an opinion or reminder of yourself. So you always want to leave that good and positive impression and not the impression of like, you just take credit for everything right.

Nathaniel Schooler  37:31
Yes, I agree. We feel these people winning the Grammys and don’t worry and I think that when they do give credit to their team and everything, it just adds a whole new feeling to what they’re saying. It gives us a warm feeling, instead of a kind of almost egotistical thing. But it’s a difficult thing to promote yourself in front of people without being egotistical. Being Canadian, I mean, you’re Canadian that I see in you, right?

Ana Lissansky 38:05
Yes, I am Canadian now. I moved to Canada when I was eight years old. Prior to that. I lived in Peru for a bit.

Ana Lissansky 38:17
Yeah, but I was actually born in Russia.

Nathaniel Schooler  38:21
I love Peru. It’s one of my favourite places. I spent nearly six weeks there. Travelling when I was in my 20s is a great place.

My point I was trying to get to was, I think cultures actually can hold people back. So for example, I live in England. So you being in Canada, you are a little softer than the Americans. So what I mean by that is a lot of Americans, they will shout about their achievements.

You, are more British, I think, in fact, then actually American in the way that I look at the Canadian culture and the way that you promote yourself is a lot more on the whole, it’s a lot more British than is American and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

I’m not saying that the Americans are doing anything wrong what I’m saying is, is that us as British people and there will be a lot of British people listening to this, because it’s, it will be in front of  people within lots of organizations within the UK and worldwide… but I think we need to be more American in our promotion and our self promotion, but not to the detriment of our relationships.

And there’s a very fine line between being yourself and actually stepping out and over promoting who you are, so that people look up to. That’s not what we’re talking about is it?

Ana Lissansky 39:56
Yes, and this goes hand in hand, with the whole government giving credit thing well, but also what I often struggle with is, should I promote just the results and just make sure the results are that the organization is made aware of them, versus just kind of promoting myself?

So I’ve always stuck to promoting the results more and not promoting myself as much, and that’s worked for me, but I don’t know, it depends on the culture of the organization as well.

You really need to hone in and understand your organization’s culture, because you need to know whether just promoting the results is going to work for you has it worked for others, or if that is not the type of place where that’s going to work where you have to actually promote yourself constantly, you have to get face time with senior leaders constantly, maybe do some after work activities, go for five to seven type of drinks after work or things like that, then that those are the kinds of things you will have to do in order to be able to surface in terms of especially larger organizations as someone who is where they are merits of promotion or merits of the career progress in that sense.

So you have to kind of match you have to match what you’re going to do to the culture of the organization. And if that doesn’t sit well with you. And if you’re not comfortable with that, then perhaps consider a lateral move to another organization where the culture fits better with the way that you like to work.
Because, it’s really hard to change people it’s really, really hard. But it’s not that hard to these days, to change jobs and to change organizations not as hard at me as it may have been 10 to 20 years ago.

Nathaniel Schooler  41:50
When I think people are used to moving a lot more these days in terms of your career planning, I think taking the time to think about your personal brand. Everyone has one and what you look like from the outside to the outside world is really, really important.

A lot of people actually miss the fact that everything that they do on social media can be seen by someone, especially if it’s a public post.

Some people will avoid social media all together, because they don’t want to show off what they do in their spare time. But I think actually, there needs to be sort of healthy balance from my point of view as to how that is managed, and what is public and what is not public. And how we actually engage with other people online as well as offline is really, really important. And that goes back to getting your brand wording, right.

I’ve got, I’ve got all sorts of presentations, I’ll drop a link in the in the show notes. If anyone wants to work on work on their brand wording and their image, I think it’s important to think about firstly, the words you’re using to talk about yourself, which become part of your CV, or your resume if you’re across the pond.

Those words become your personal statement, the the credibility and authority and why you’re different and or better than anyone else really needs to come through so that people can actually understand why they should be talking with you instead of someone else. And then you need to think about the pictures that you’re sharing the kind of head shots that you’re getting the kind of social outings that you’re taking, and where you are and avoid taking pictures and posting them when you’ve been drinking alcohol is a piece of advice that I follow.

I think it’s super, super important to just be aware, just step back from yourself and imagine that you’re someone who doesn’t know you; who might even hire you want to recommend you and then think will:-

“Would you recommend you to someone else?”

Is where I would end. What do you think?

Ana Lissansky 44:09
Yes, absolutely. I’ve definitely done that throughout my career as well. I changed my LinkedIn description of what I do every time. What I do changes, sometimes multiple times within the same role within the same organization, because roles can evolve. So I’m really looking at that, from a new perspective. Then I ask myself, if I read this, and I didn’t know me at all, what I’d be able to tell exactly, the value that I’m bringing to the organization, as well as get a little bit of personality in there just a tiny bit, because I find descriptions that sound extremely dry, well, that’s get from that I get that that person is also extremely dry. And then that might not fit well with my organization in terms of fit.

Nathaniel Schooler  45:02
Yes, I agree. 100%, I think that was the first place I saw you was on LinkedIn and that’s why we connected and that was probably I would say, about five years ago, four years ago and I read your profile and just thought you were someone that I wanted to speak with and learn more about, and I think that’s the most important thing, isn’t it?

It’s making your profile friendly enough. So someone might want to approach you, but not over friendly, and then not over arrogant as well.

It’s a very, very difficult thing to get, right. But I think you certainly have done it. And it’s been great to watch your career. Impressive, to see what you’ve done in such a short space of time, really.  I think it’s fantastic. So onto onto the next on to the next topic, I think we should we should talk about organization recruitment. So when, when you’re recruiting, where do you start?

Ana Lissansky 46:00
I start with the role, what do I need?

I start with an unbiased view of it, like, what are the skills that I need in my team, what what am I missing, and what are the the sets of assets and skills that the person needs to have in order to be able to do the best job they possibly can in that role. In my field, the types of jobs I hire for are writers, I hire graphic designers, video producers, I also hire a social media specialist and I also hire events, people.

So in these types of roles, there’s a certain kind of skill set. Typically, in communications and marketing, you need someone basic skill set that is really, really important that everyone must have, which is writing the ability to write really, really well, persuasively, and with really strong grammar and punctuation.

So whatever industry or sector you’re in, and you’re hiring for, kind of try to discover what that baseline skill set really is, you know, for different types of roles are more analytical, you would have a baseline skill set that everyone must have will be more mathematical and statistical in nature, but I find what those baseline skill sets are and then I build out the job description.

The job description is really, really important. It needs to be impactful in needs to clearly show what the person is going to be doing. People don’t like uncertainty. People don’t want to work for dull organizations.

So when you read your job description, does it sound standard and dull?

Or does it sound interesting, dynamic and exciting?
So what I would do as well, kind of with everything else that I do, is I would show it to lots of people and have them look at it and read it, even people who are kind of not looking for that type of role, but just to get an impression.

What’s the impression you get of the organization and of the role?

Or I would ask something like:-

What do you think this person is going to do when they get here?

So if that is not clear, or the answers I’m getting are not clear, then I would have to go back to the drawing board and adjust the job description. That’s actually quite important and as part of that process, you’re going to be end up putting your job description on your website most likely, or on other staffing and hiring websites or on LinkedIn, for example.

So you really need to ensure that you think about the process of the people who are going to look at it, and what else are they going to do?

They’re probably going to Google you that probably going to go the website, they’re probably going to look at other people who work at the organization, their descriptions on LinkedIn, they’re, if they’re going to be more in depth with the research, they’re probably going to see if there’s any news releases, or articles or any other organizations writing about your company, what they’re saying, you know, they might go and look at glass door to see what some feedback is from people.

So they’re going to be doing a lot of internet research, you have to ensure this, if you want to attract the top the best talent, that everything that person sees about your organization is top notch, from your website, “About Us” page, to the job description to your description, the hiring managers description on LinkedIn, to some of the key top people in your organization, what their profiles look like, on LinkedIn and this is very key.

This is why in every organization where I’m in this type of role, like a digital role, I ensure that I give senior and C suite level folks to on LinkedIn and why their profiles are important, why it’s important that they are filled out because it’s not just for themselves, for them to be exposed to new job opportunities.

It’s actually a branding element of their organization, and how our organization brands itself impact its ability to hire top talent, because in the end impacts the organization’s potential to succeed. So that is very, very key and I provide that kind of training internally to stop at all levels into C suite as well, and I’ve done so in my current organization and it was very well received.

Nathaniel Schooler  50:42
I moved recently, I don’t know, six months ago or something and I received an email from someone who’s a local recruitment agency. This young man sent me a message and he pointed to a job in a local marketing agents and he said, Well, this agency, I think there’s a role that would be perfect for you in this agency and I’d like I’d like to put you forward for the role. So I asked him a little bit more about it and I took a look at it. The first thing that I did is I went to LinkedIn and I looked at the managing director of the business. That was the first thing because I’m not saying I’m top top level, but if I was to work in a business, I would work directly with the managing director, or the marketing manager, or quite high up. So when I looked at this guy’s profile.

I was just like, I was just…my mouth was open! Because, in fact, he had, he literally, you could see his career history really irrelevant to the business.

He was clearly someone that has been put in as a managing director, but someone else was kind of behind him and you could see that and tell that just from looking at the size of the business. I mean, it was quite a small business, probably  110 staff. So a fairly small enterprise in the scheme of things and I just did a look to them. And I thought to myself that I couldn’t work there, just because I looked at him and I sent the hiring manager a message saying… Well, I’d consider working maybe two days a week, if you’ve got projects some help with, and I never received a response, which made me laugh even more.

So it shows you that that, in fact, the first thing gives your company a bad reputation is your your top people having a bad profile.

Second thing is your companies who are hiring for, you need to have some manners like this is rife in the recruitment business. And if you are using recruitment agencies, then you need to, you need to tell them that everybody that speaks to them, about your business needs a polite response, saying why, they didn’t contact you, or why they didn’t get the job, or what.

I’ve been a lot of interviews over the years, probably not for a little while. But I think that manners maketh the man, is something that they say, over here.

Ana Lissansky  53:09
Yes, absolutely, I agree that any people that the organization hires to do headhunting or recruitment are essentially kind of representing the organization to some extent, and they’re leaving an impression.

So you want to ensure that that impression is a good one, whether or not that person gets hired, because it’s still a touch point with the community, the industry, people in the industry. So I completely agree with you not, and I also do the same.

I look at the organization and I look at least some of the top level people on LinkedIn and see what they have.

And sometimes, you know, if, if the organization seems to not have a lot of photos in the people’s profiles, or very empty profiles, that’s also an indicator to me, in terms of the openness of the culture and things like that, I mean, I know I’m inferring here. But especially for me, and for my field that is important for other types of fields might be a little bit less important, and of course, if you’re looking internationally, it would be less important in countries where LinkedIn or sites like LinkedIn or less used in that way, but if that happens, then I rely on the website, what does the website look like, and how much effort they put in and talking about the organization and what its vision is, and communicating its culture to some extent.

Nathaniel Schooler  54:37
Yes. I’ll tell you something funny what I did, I actually spoke to someone else the business. So I looked up someone else on LinkedIn, who worked there and it turned out that I met the guy for coffee.

When we sat down and had a conversation, it was really funny. So I basically said, you know, I’ve been approached by recruitment agent about this business and I just wanted to meet up with you for a coffee and like to have a conversation. He said, ‘Oh, that’s brilliant. I love to talk with you’. So I sat down with him and it was quite amusing. He said to me, that he actually owns 10% of the company and it was really quite funny. He, basically had built some sort of a big tech business a few years back, and he sold it for like, a huge amount of money, like eight figures, or something, you said, you don’t want to work there, you wouldn’t like it.

Ana Lissansky  55:27
Yes, that rolls into my next tip, which is to network.  I don’t just mean network from in terms of events in your industry, but also try to get to know people in the organization, if possible, or communicate with them, and in terms of when you’re recruiting, you want to have lots of points of contact back. So you want you want points of contact in your sector and in your industry, because then you might be able to kind of accumulate or get some CDs that are referred to you. But also, of course, at industry events, meeting a lot of people, they could either be potential hires in the future, or they could be sources of referrals. So I find that some of the best people have hired have been referrals. So I do tend to rely on that significantly, because typically, people who know me know the type of organization I’m in and the type of work I do they know what the other person well, then they can find a really good match. So I find networking definitely really helps and keeping in touch with other people you’ve worked with in the past, who you felt were very promising and very strong in certain areas. I certainly try to do that. I go for coffee with former members of my teams from almost every organization that I’ve worked in what I’ve been a manager or a senior leader, I try to stay in touch, to see where they’re at, where they’re going with their careers, because, you know, you could run into them in the future, you could potentially be hiring for this type of role again, and, if you were a solid manager, solid leader, they would want to work with you again, if that doesn’t work out. If you’re, you know, your job hiring process, your job description, your networking, all your contacts, is still not yielding kind of the best possible recruits, you may need to use a headhunter for difficult to fill roles. And I’ve certainly seen that in organizations and I’ve personally been headhunted. Of course.

Nathaniel Schooler  57:31
Naturally, of course.

Ana Lissansky  57:37
Pretty much. I would say my last my last three roles I was headhunted asked to apply to a position. But essentially, they wanted to hire me and some cases, I still had to apply.

It was it was very interesting and I would say that also, I’ve had a lot of cases where some of my senior leaders, directors, and above, they would move on to different organizations, and then they would say, ‘Oh, you know, why don’t you come and join me here and work on this or that’.

So that’s another thing is keeping in touch, not really limit yourself, keep in touch with people who you’ve worked with, before your level of people who have worked for you, and also senior leaders and senior leadership wherever possible, that will be my key recommendation.

You never know where a good recruit recommendation could come from hen you’re kind of really in a pinch, you’re really in a bind, and you need to fill a role quickly, you can use kind of those sources… job descriptions, strong networking  and headhunting.

The next kind of thing that’s important now that you’ve gotten your kind of list of potential recruits or you around your job posting for a certain amount of time and now you get to the screening phase. In the screening phase, it’s really important that typically, I haven’t done the initial screening phases lately, just because I’ve worked at large organizations.

So, large organizations typically get hundreds of applicants. So to do that phase myself, it would be very time consuming. So typically, you have another person, let’s say, in your HR department, doing the screening, and it’s really important that you communicate with that person have a one on one conversation, ideally, face to face meeting and communicate the role to the person to ensure that they really understand what you’re looking for. So that through that initial screening, you’re, you’re getting kind of the best of the best, or the cream of the crop, but that they understand what that means to you things to look out for.

So key skills. If you see this, that person was probably a good person to move on to the next stage for interviews, and that’s really kind of important in terms of identifying those things. I like to call them assets, or extra qualifications, or extra things that you’re seeing on people’s applications that really tell a story about the person.

That can include things like awards, volunteering, and being really kind of involved in the community, being involved in the sector, trying to give back to people starting out in the sector, and also really looking at being a well rounded, well rounded individuals. So that’s typically what I like to get given that type of meeting where I’m communicating to the HR person who’s going to be doing the screening for me very clearly what the role is, and also the type of ideal candidate what an ideal candidate looks like.

It’s almost like a creative brief, when you’re designing someone except your briefing someone on the person, the type of person you’re looking for, and that also has to be well done, and well thought out, or else you’re not going to get the screening candidates that you’re looking for.

Nathaniel Schooler  1:01:17
It’s quite fun, actually recruiting the amount of great people that you meet as well. Don’t be afraid, I think, to connect with them afterwards, as well, because you might not have the right role for them now, but potentially, in the future, another role might come up that might suit that person.

So I think, don’t be afraid to kind of openly network is that’s how I look at networking. Some people have a different attitude, they’ll only network with people that they actually know really well, or things like this. But I think it just depends on the individual and the organization and your policies, doesn’t it really, but it’s, it’s quite fun, isn’t it?

Ana Lissansky  1:01:54
Yes, absolutely. And I connect with anybody kind of pretty much who I’ve interviewed, I guess I would caution to connect with people who were later stages and then did not kind of pass or did not end up being recruited.

I guess it depends on the role. But kind of, if I’ve had people they were, they seemed really strong, but they would be good, potentially a good fit for another role, but not that specific role. But I can tell that they have potential and that they’re, they’re strong, then I would definitely connect in that if sometimes I would reach out proactively and connect with them because I know, at some point, I might need someone like that. So I can then, you know, check out my LinkedIn and search based on those skill sets. So, you’ve screened well at this point, and you get to the interview stage.

I know that people have really different styles and techniques for doing interviews in a variety of sectors and so I wanted to really pick questions that could be adjusted and could apply to any sector and that would really, really tell a story about a person, and then you can really find out some key things and will give you a better sense of whether they would be a good fit for your organization.

So these two questions are I always like to throw in a question on asking the person to give an example of a high pressure situation they were under, what contributed to that high pressure, and what did they do to be able to complete their project or product or whatever they were working on successfully. And what are the steps that they took, I always liked this question, because I like seeing what people think they consider to be a high pressure situation, right.

It’s really, really telling a lot of the times, and it’s a really, really good way to match up people to the role because of the role is very high pressure and very demanding, and the example the person uses, in your opinion, again, you’re working in the organization, you know, the amount of pressure, if it doesn’t match, then you are probably better off not hiring that person, because they’re going to be overwhelmed, or they’re just not senior enough in their experience to be able to handle that level of pressure.

So sometimes you just experience levels not there where you can just go, ‘you’re still learning.’ So there’s a mismatch in terms of level of knowledge and seniority in terms of the role. On the other hand, I’ve seen a lot of people, answer that question. If they are very, very keen, they’re very, very driven I and not necessarily the most senior or the most experience person, but I can see that I can see that they could do it, and they could, they can make it happen.

So those kinds of questions, were you asking them to come up with an example from their experience are really telling. So that’s my first question.

Nathaniel Schooler  1:05:15
Now. I love that. I love that. I think it’s fantastic question. Brilliant. Yes.

Ana Lissansky 1:05:19
Yes. Then my second question is also very important and could be seen as a very crucial question, because what you’re really trying to avoid is bringing in people into your team or organization who are overly arrogant, who are overly overly self absorbed, because they those types of people can really destroy a culture.

They can really have a negative impact, even if they’re very strong and their skill sets are excellent. Also all their acumen and volunteering and awards and all of those things are there on paper, there’s got to be questions in your interview that try to weed out the ultra arrogant and other question I would recommend is rate your knowledge of sector trends, and where the sector will be in five to 10 years.

Anyone, who says 9 or 10 don’t believe them but run now, because it’s very telling, it’s very early, even if you actually know, at the nine level, you know, it’s like, do they have a little bit of humbleness, and will they go for age and that kind of thing. I think it’s really, really key because, that tells you a lot about the person, especially in tag or in social media, marketing, communications, and some of the fields that I’ve worked in, you don’t really know that far out.

You could, maybe forecast and you could kind of predict some elements, but I would consider a level tend to be like Google, like how well Google knows… and because of algorithms, and all of this, and they have Google DeepMind, and they have all these things and tools, maybe they know, but the average person is not going to know what you know.

Nathaniel Schooler  1:07:18
Yeah, exactly. I would probably if you ask me that question. I think I’d probably say five or six. Because I don’t think anyone actually knows. I mean, if you look at how many companies have actually disappeared in the last 20 years. 150 or 200 year old businesses that have disappeared overnight because of the new trend,

Ana Lissansky 1:07:42
Where is Kodak?

Nathaniel Schooler  1:07:42
Yes, I was just thinking about Kodak.

Ana Lissansky 1:07:45
Exactly. Their iconic, they’re like iconic.

Nathaniel Schooler 1:07:48
Kodak, Blockbuster. I was reading something about Blockbuster earlier. Infact, the CEO launched a competitor to Netflix, but the board did not have buy in, he didn’t have buy in with the board. And then the board fired him and they and they killed the program and they would have lived. Interesting isn’t that?

Ana Lissansky 1:08:16
That’s because they’re not pursuing relentless innovation.

Nathaniel Schooler  1:08:21
Exactly, exactly.

So have you got any more questions? Or do you want to get on to the next the next topic?

Ana Lissansky 1:08:31
Just one last thing about the whole hiring process is, I like to include the test and reference face in the test phase, I’d like to always include a test that simulates as closely as possible, a really realistic part of the job.

So if you’re to be a writer, I would give you a writing test and if you typically have a day or two to come up with a 500 to 700 word article. Well, that’s what I would do, actually give you a couple of days to come back to me with the test. So, I want the situation to simulate what the actual work will be like, and how what kind of timelines you’re actually going to have.

That’s definitely key at the testing stage, and has helped me over the years. I’ve interviewed over 80 to 100 people in the last two years. So I’ve got a pretty good sample size, and I know who I’ve hired and how well they’ve, they’ve done in the end. I’ve got a pretty good, sense of development of those tests, but always hone in on that one kind of really, really crucial part of the job. If you’re thinking about which part of the job to test, just think of the part of the job that you know.

When someone comes in, you never really know, it’s hard to tell that part. So then that’s the part you want to test.

Then finally, for the references stage, this is where I like to ask questions, to understand the people’s interpersonal skills and understand them a little bit more deeply to ask them to give me some examples of when they’ve had to deal with a tough situation, give me some examples of when they’ve dealt with conflict, give me some examples of when, there was a shortage and the team and lots of people were sick, or, on vacation, or whatever, and how did the person react. Also what did they do in those kinds of situations to really understand their work ethic, their interpersonal skills, their judgment and the reliability.

Nathaniel Schooler 1:10:31
So over to talent management? Where do you start with talent management from, from where I’m sitting, there is sort of different components to that, I mean, you want to you want to kind of motivate people don’t do you want to encourage them, and you want them to learn, but what else do you think I’m kind of missing there?

Ana Lissansky 1:10:52
Well, I always start with the talent management phase, I kind of look at it holistically.  I look at my whole team, and I look at the identify the team skills, the team strong points, who’s stronger, and what, and then I look at our organizational plan for next year, and maybe even the three year plan, if we have a three year plan, and you look at what you need. So here’s the talent I have.

Now, here’s the skill sets I have now, here is how much I have of each of these. So based on the work we’re trying to accomplish in the coming year, or even in the longer term, this is what I’m going to need.

So there’s definitely a little bit of HR planning associated with that. Then once I identify the missing skills, then I determine, in terms of a strategy to bring those skills in order to develop those skills internally. There’s lots of ways to do that. So one way is to think about that skill and how much corporate knowledge the person needed internal corporate knowledge to do that skill to do that job really well. So in that case, you might want to go for hiring a full time employee that’s going to be in house and working with you closely versus a consultant or contractor. If, however, it’s something that you don’t think there will be a full time role for, and you don’t think that it’s something you can have as like a speciality within your shop, within your team, then it’s probably better to contract that out, get either an agency or consulting firm, etc.

So I always like to use the example of like, CGI animation. If you’re in communications, and you want to develop regularly, products and visuals, and occasionally, you want to have beautiful CGI animation in them. I mean, you’re not going to hire someone in house for that you’re going to contract that out.

You’re not going to have a full time person and doing that. So hire for the missing skills, but really determine if it’s something you need full time and it’s something that needs corporate knowledge or something that can with a good brief, can be done by external providers. I mean, what are your thoughts on that? Not I know, you do some of that a lot of that work? How do you find companies kind of that you’ve worked with? Have they done that assessment?

Nathaniel Schooler  1:13:29
I think in the marketing world, that’s my predominant sort of industry that I’m in marketing and sales, really, I would consider the two aligned very closely, really. I think sales people like to think that they do all the work, but actually, without the marketing people behind them, that it just wouldn’t really work. I think it really depends on the brief. I mean, I sort of work agency side. So if I don’t get a brief that says, right, you need to contact this amount of people, and we need to get this amount of people to say yes, and then we need to get, a conversation happening with this amount of people, I think the planning is, is the most important thing and actually working out what skills are actually missing from most certainly, like you say, from from the actual business itself.

I think there’s a massive, massive sort of misnomer that you can hire every everybody into your, into your business, because that’s totally wrong. I think there needs to be a healthy balance between the agency and also the business. I mean, obviously, depending on the size of the business, some small businesses or some even huge businesses can manage most of most of the marketing themselves.

But those businesses, I mean, you know, I do quite a bit of work with IBM with through a partner agency, and they work with loads of technology companies, and if the technology companies could do it themselves, they would, but actually can’t, because they’re missing out on some of the specialist knowledge and keeping up with the up to date trends.

Because it’s our business to keep up with what’s going on, and whilst whilst everyone in the marketing world likes to think every nothing has changed, I do agree that very little has changed. But there are still new things that are happening that people need to keep the finger on the pulse and learn about because without that the competitive advantage is lost. I think that’s, that’s really important.

Ana Lissansky 1:15:34
Yes, yes. Then if you decide that you’re going to develop the skills, let’s say it’s your core business, then there’s lots of ways you can do that. You can do it through training. So formal training, webinars, classroom training, and all those kinds of things.

Although I find lately there’s, there’s been quite a few kind of high quality providers in terms of webinar and online training. But there’s also like newsletters, podcast conferences, you could also ask your team to propose something new every month, because you know that to do that, they’ll need to be always kind of on their toes and learning. So that’s one good tip.

I always like to do with my teams, ensure your team feels valued and supported, watch for signs of disengagement. Or you then you might lose your top talent. You got to keep it in mind in your head, that top talent is always kind of getting kind of approached and potentially offer things. So you need to ensure that your team feels supported, that you’re constantly kind of checking in with them, and making sure that they are they feel like they have the skills that they need, or the time that they need to do the job right. If not, if any of those two things are missing, then adjustments need to be made to the team and that’s all it’s all part of talent management.

Nathaniel Schooler  1:16:57
Yes, I think certainly looking at their personality traits, and looking at the skill sets they’ve got, and then saying, Well, if this person actually is good at ‘x,, then I can see that they would be very good at ‘y’ and ‘z’ as well.

Then perhaps, finding them the time to certainly learn on their own on their own time, giving them some extra time to do that. But showing them a few tips that I mean, for example, if they want to learn how to edit audio, just as an example, you could just show them what they need to launch something, I think there’s a lot to be said for actually on the job training, I think that actually sitting there in front of a webinar was you’re looking on Facebook, a lot of the time is a waste of waste of everyone’s time, really.

But I also think that actually keeping your eyes peeled of what else is happening in other organizations within other sectors is also very, very worthwhile.  I think, you know, missing missing out on that is quite sad. I think that every job needs to have a room, actually, some space to learn, you need you need, I think, an hour a day, at least to to learn about what is going on in this world. Because just look at it! It’s fragmented.

There are no I don’t like the word disruption. But the word disruption is everywhere. It’s in every industry, it’s in every sector, it’s in every job. I think keeping up to speed with how technology is going to affect your job and actually planning with your employees, or your boss or your friends and associates.

Also thinking that right now, I’ll just give an example. Right now, marketing is moving in the in the world of chatbot. So if you know that your job is going to become less manual and more about, statistics and looking into the chat bot and saying, “Well, okay, we had 5000 responses last month.”

Out of these questions that were not answered, because the chatbot didn’t have the information, then you know, that next month, you’re going to have to have that chatbot working properly with those with those things. So if you don’t have that skill, and you’re manually talking to people, and you don’t have a chat bot, just as an example, you need to learn how you’re going to have to partner with AI. It’s not going to take your job.

There are loads of people that have heard about it. And I think that’s a big no no. I was talking to Winston Churchill’s grandson the other day, who’s on another episode. And he’s an angel investor, he runs a firm in America, they’ve done over 1000 start-ups. Sold businesses to IBM and various other companies.

But what made me laugh is he said something. He’s said, Look, we’re not going to be like the Jetsons, any suit anytime soon! Certainly not within the next 10 years, are we going to be flying about in a spacecraft like the Jetsons…and he thought it was very unlikely that we’re going to end up like the Flintstones.

But the most important thing is the ethics. It’s the ethics of the organization, and I think don’t be afraid to speak up. If you don’t think your organization has the right ethics, when it comes to AI, digital disruption, and what they’re doing, don’t be afraid to speak to your line manager, speak to people within that organization and say, ‘Look, if we’re not careful, we’re not going to have jobs in the next 5 to 10 years, or a year, two years, because our jobs are changing so quickly. And you’re not up-skilling us fast enough’.

So that is a big worry for a lot of people, but they don’t need to worry, they just need to be a bit more like you and I, and actually continually learning new skills. That’s how we started our conversation, didn’t we earlier, which is what you said, and I’m, I’m a massive believer in that I’m learning all the time every day, my brain is continually exercising and it’s tiring. I’m not gonna lie at times, it is exhausting. But if you don’t have a culture of growth, then why would anyone want to come and work there anyway?

Ana Lissansky  1:21:33
Absolutely. And my final point is, in fact about the culture. So basically, talent management shouldn’t be a thing you check off the list, it should be part of the culture of your organization. You could be kind of the deciding factor for that you could be deciding factor for whether that top performing person on your team is going to stay or leave too soon. So I’ll leave that at that.

Nathaniel Schooler  1:22:01
Yes, I agree. I agree. 100% and yes, I can’t thank you enough for your time. It’s been really educational for me actually. And really interesting as usual.

Ana Lissansky 1:22:15
Okay, great. Thanks so much. That’s great!

Nathaniel Schooler  1:22:19
If people want to get hold of you, I will drop a link for your LinkedIn in the show notes.

Unknown  1:22:26
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