Eat Sleep Work Repeat

By Bruce Daisley

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A podcast about making work better.

How can we fix work? Each week we chat to scientists and experts to improve our jobs. The book of the show - The Joy of Work is a UK top 10 bestseller: Hosted by @brucedaisley. Contact the show

Episode Date
Play: tales of success from an NHS hospital

A lot of people have asked me if I’m going to do an episode on the importance of play.

One of the challenges of the word play is that its such a broad word and its associations aren’t always helpful when it comes to bringing everyone with us but today's guest I think shows what an incredible thing it can be.

Heidi Edmundson is an emergency medicine consultant in the Emergency Department at the Whittington Hospital. She wrote this article in the Guardian in January: I introduced fun to the lives of  A&E staff. The laughter was infectious

We explore themes of how you turn individuals into a team? This inspirational senior doctor recognised that exercises her team did on their downtime seemed to energise and inspire them - and made them more connected. I think you’ll end up wanting to read more of the theatrical exercises that Heidi used to help forge a tightly bonded team?

Here is a full guide to Forum Theatre and its games.

This goes deep - can playing games with each other be a simple way to remind ourselves of each other’s humanity where that empathy seems to be a super power that helps us do a better job?

I loved this discussion so much - you can keep up with Heidi here on her Twitter.

Apr 22, 2019
Culture and conditions under the radar - tales from the gig economy

James Bloodworth lived undercover working in Amazon warehouses, care homes and clocked up hours as an Uber driver to see the realities of modern work for millions of Brits. It makes for a fascinating glimpse at the lives of people who often get ignored from the privilege of the open plan.

James' compelling book Hired is out now.

Apr 15, 2019
Mental Health & Emotions - practical ways of fixing work

This week I talk to Josh Krichefski (CEO, Mediacom UK) and Liz Fosslien (co-author of No Hard Feelings: Emotions at Work and How They Help Us Succeed).

Josh explains how they put mental health on the agenda on his firm by starting an honest, open discussion on it. Then we talk to Liz who gives us a users' guide to emotions at work. What can we do to make work a most empathetic way.

The Seligman model we discuss is the '3Ps'. Personalisation, Pervasiveness and Permanence.

Apr 08, 2019
Gender in the workplace - breaking the glass wall

What if the way we've created work was built around the things that men prefer. Sue Unerman makes the compelling case that the workplace has evolved to serve male skills - and that this isn't good for the workplace and it isn't good for workers.

Sue Unerman is the Chief Transformation Officer at Mediacom, and also the author of two widely acclaimed books. We discussed her book (written with Kathryn Jacob) The Glass Wall

Follow Sue on Twitter.

Apr 01, 2019
Jim Collins on making good culture great

Jim Collins is one of the most respected business writers in the world. With his books Good to Great and Made to Last he became the observer of great companies and what made them special.

He's just published a new book which is a supplement to Good to Great (pssssst, read GTG first).

Mar 18, 2019
Dave Trott on beating creative blindness (live from IAB Leadership Summit)

Dave Trott is a creative director, copywriter, and author. A colossus of advertising who has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by D&AD.

I chatted to him at the IAB Leadership Summit in St Albans.

It's not a talk about work culture as such - just a fascinating chat with someone whose job it was to be creative for a living. Dave's latest book Creative Blindness is a riot of colourful stories and lively lessons. Follow Dave on Twitter.

Mar 12, 2019
Employee engagement // The secret of 'story night'

Today we’re chatting to the MD of the innovations company IDEO, Sue Siddall to hear how they bring the power of telling stories to life in their organisation. In addition we’ve got a legend of workplace study today. William Kahn was responsible for creating two of the big concepts of positive workplaces. He coined the concepts of both psychological safety and employee engagement.

William Kahn is Professor of Organisational Behavior at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. He received his BA in Psychology from Clark University and his doctorate in Psychology from Yale University.

Sue Siddall tells us about 'Story Night' at IDEO. Sue is the UK MD of IDEO - a company who often provide inspiration to other organisations when they are thinking of fixing their culture.

If you like this, sign up for the New Work Now mailer here.

Mar 04, 2019
Could laughter be the root of good culture?

If you’ve not already subscribed there’s a weekly email that goes out with the podcast. This week's includes a brilliant article on how small teams seem to be more radical, there’s a couple of discussions about Professor Adam Grant’s work and there’s a really good article on laughter in teams.

The laughter in teams article is from some research that NASA is looking at when it comes to casting their first expeditions to Mars. NASA looked at the success of different teams in isolation in Antartica. And it seemed that when there is a joker in the team, someone gifted in the art of lightening the mood it helps the overall morale of the team. I found this one fascinating, in The Joy of Work i talk about the successful Cambridge Boat race team in 2008 whose performance was transformed from a losing practice tie to winning boat race performance when they promoted a funny colleague to the boat. They felt that even though this wasn’t the best performing athlete they all felt themselves to be in a better mental state when he was present.

This is really neglected as a component of a happy team and if you’ve read The Joy of Work you’ll know I’m obsessed with it.

And it leads on to today’s guest. Robert Provine’s 2000 book Laughter is a real page turner of research about one of the most enjoyable but least studied aspects of modern life. He has also gone on to cover laughter - and other human behaviours in his 2013 book Curious Behaviour - Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond. Provine is the world’s expert on the subject. When we talked to Professor Sophie Scott in the live episode on laughter at work this time last year she mentioned professor Provine several times, and he’s also been the consultant for products like Tickle Me Elmo.

There’s some fascinating discussion. Laughter seems to signal a couple of things, safety and play. He makes a really interesting point at the end about the current state of politics being filled with the opposite of laughter - which is fear and anger

There was an interesting exercise a few years ago (and this was called out in Dan Lyons book lab rats) the exercise was conducted by Dan Ariely looked at the data from Great Place to Work. Ariely wanted to see if they had anything that correlated with stock data, to see if it would give you good investment advice to put money in good culture companies. Great Place to Work has been running since 1981 and each year has surveyed thousands of workers. Ariely looked at the data they had gathered.

There was one factor that leapt out. But it was an odd thing. It was safety. Companies where people consistently reported feeling safe at work tended to outperform the stock market average, sometimes by 200%. It applied to physical and emotional safety. The other factor that seemed to correlate was companies that had a strong sense of welcome.

If you listen to Professor Provine laughter would be in service of making all of those things stronger. What follows is the science of laughter, why we laugh and what it does. I hope you enjoy it.

Robert R. Provine, is a neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. I called him on the phone to pick his brain

Feb 17, 2019
Free extract of The Joy of Work

Thanks to Penguin Random House here's a free extract of a couple of different parts of The Joy of Work.

You can buy the full audiobook here.:

Feb 05, 2019
Cal Newport preaches Digital Minimalism

This episode today is magnificent – you’re really going to be stimulated and challenged by it.

Today’s episode is with someone I contacted 2 years ago to discuss his previous book. Cal Newport’s Deep Work was a simple avocation of the process of using uninterrupted concentration to get things done. He’s now back with a new book about taking the same principles beyond work into life. It's a guide for achieving happiness by being more intentional in how you use technology. Some might call it a manual.


What follows here is a sensational discussion with Cal - Digital Minimalism is out next week. I heard someone say recently that if you hear a new idea and its not shocking, its not really new. On that criteria this is really new. You’re going to find it mind expanding. Maybe you’ll disagree with it but it will leave you thinking for hours afterwards.


Cal believes we should eliminate email. He thinks we should stop being connected to 100s of people on social media. He thinks we should distinguish between social conversation and digital connection. Where we should eliminate all digital interactions.


He’s got a way for you to get there. He speaks of three principles of digital minimalism

  • Clutter is costly
  • Optimisation is important
  • Intentionality is satisfying

Here's a great article on the book.

His suggestions in the book – that we touch on are that we should abandon weak digital ties with people. If you find yourself merely liking someone’s photographs in the course of your relationship then you should detach yourself from them. I remember when I was on Facebook thinking I was going to cull anyone I wouldn’t go over and greet if I saw in the street and he says something probably a couple of steps further.


Not only is this chat great but he tells me about his next book that sounds incredible. I won’t make a big introduction because I asked Cal to do that himself so here he is. He’s Cal.

Jan 28, 2019
Long hours and loneliness - fixing workplace misery

This is a podcast about making work better.

You can find all of the previous episodes on the website.

Here we go, two little things today to make you feel more brainy. It’s Blue Monday in the UK today - the day when we’re told it’s the most miserable day of the year - when we hate our job. By listening to these experts you’ll have some guidelines how you can make work better. They give solutions but I think once you listen to the data you’ll work out what to do yourselves.

Firstly something that might not seem directly connected to people in work initially but it’s about loneliness. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University. We start talking about the problem of loneliness in society and we go on to consider how loneliness is growing in work.

Next I wanted to talk to two researchers who have set about investigating if working long hours - or working harder leads to greater workplace success. The authors of the paper are the brilliant Argyro Avgoustaki from ESCP Europe and Hans Frankort from Cass Business School

Read the paper on fixing work by Argyro Avgoustaki (ESCP Europe) and Hans Frankort (Cass Business School)

Jan 21, 2019
Apps, algorithms and your next job

If you're looking to get a job sometime in the next decade - and that includes almost all of us - there's a very high probability that you're going to be exposed to a psychometric test. As they become enhanced by AI and made more scaleable via apps these tests are going to go everywhere. So what are the implications for what work is going to look at.

This episode I'm looking into the evolving nature of recruiting and how its changing to accommodate the latest science and also innovations in technology. Firstly I'm going to get my hands dirty testing one of the new evolving candidate testing apps that are starting to emerge. Then I'm chatting to Rich Littledale and he is a chartered psychologist who previously worked at a leadership consulting firm and now helps start ups with their strategic people challenges.

Buy The Joy of Work

Follow Rich Littledale

Read more about PeopleUp - Rich's firm

Sign up for Eat Sleep Updates

Just a reminder that all of the episodes are live on the website Eat Sleep Work Repeat.

Rich Littledale runs a company called People Up. In the show he mentioned a blog post - you can find it here.

As Rich there says most orchestras have now introduced blind auditions and in fact most them use carpeted stages to avoid the sound of shoes. Read more here:

Jan 14, 2019
Evidence Based Management - Rob Briner

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Rob Briner is an professor of organisational behaviour at London Queen Mary’s University - he's rated the top HR thinker in the UK. This is a brilliant chat. Very much essential listening for anyone interested in HR but also worth listening for those of us who sit thinking ‘what do HR actually do?’ or what should we do to improve things round here.

We talk about ‘evidence based management’ - which you can find out more about here: The Centre for Evidence Based Management. I’d researched it but he explained it way better. He ends up giving me his take on work culture and lots lots more.

Rob outlines some of the pitfalls that any of us make when we set about fixing work. He also explains the challenges of psychology - discussing something called 'the replication crisis' about large scale studies.

Jan 07, 2019
Ideas, innovation & work (the police episode 2)

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Following up the discussion with Andy Rhodes this week it's a second episode about the police. My original plan was to edit both of them to get one episode about the profession but both were too good to chop up. So I want to flag that It's kind of about work culture but also kind of just a brilliant chat with a fascinating person. Consider it as a box set with the other police episode. When it gets into its flow it covers dog shows, walking buses and all manner of brilliance.

Stevyn Colgan joined the police after a bet from his dad - which he explains. I was put on him by our last guest Andy Rhodes who told me about ways they used dog shows to reduce the tension on council estates. Rather than chop it down to just cover the way that Stevyn led innovation in the workplace I've just left it intact. He's too interesting for me to butcher the chat.

Stevyn is the perfect example of a multi level life via his illustrations he became friends with Douglas Adams and ended up being a writer on the TV show QI. He wrote a book about his police problem solving unit work called One Step ahead. He's actually just published a novel called a Murder to Die For.

I'm not gonna lie we spent ages one summer evening sitting in the pub garden of a Amersham pub. My intro is me reminding him about this podcast but the chat it provokes is quite interesting.

If you want to learn more sign up for our newsletter at - thanks for listening.

Dec 13, 2018
The police: decision making under pressure - life in a high stress job

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This is the first of two episodes on the police this week. One on dealing with stress in 'blue light' professions, one on how to be creative in stressful environments.

Andy Rhodes is the Chief Constable of Lancashire - and has responsibility for the wellbeing initiative in the UK police force. He talks through the challenges of policing under pressure. What do you do to stop police profiling people they encounter? The answer starts with how you treat them at work. I think you'll be inspired with the lead that Andy is taking.

To hear more about the evidence based approach to wellbeing in the police go to the Oscar Kilo website.

Dec 11, 2018
Adam Kay - This is Going To Hurt

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We’re talking work culture in different ways for the next few episodes. The next two episodes after this are in the police force. But today’s guest is the best selling author of the year - Adam Kay. This is Going to Hurt : Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor has sold over a million copies. It’s also won the readers’ choice book of the year this year. So there’s a chance you’ve read it and if so you will love the discussion with Adam Kay because he takes us into the working environment in hospitals. If you’ve not read it I could not recommend this beautiful, funny, principled book more.

Adam explains in the book that the title Junior Doctor is a touch misleading - everyone who isn’t a consultant is titled a junior doctor. He is successful comedy writer who wrote the book 7 years after leaving the health service after a terrible terrible day at work. He wrote it because he found underpaid overworked health workers being politicised by the vampires who run government. Specifically the multi-millionaire former health secretary who claimed that in some way that doctors were greedy. The book is the funniest thing you’ll read this year and we covered that but we also talked through the working culture in hospitals.

US listeners will know that the issue of single payer health care is a hot topic in the US - in the UK we have the NHS and it’s worth saying as Adam says it is a source of national pride. We just need to fund it properly.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I joined Adam for a chat at restaurant in West London.

Dec 03, 2018
How painting the walls pink changed a culture

How can painting the walls of a company change their culture? We explore with Jez Groom today's guest.

An episode this week on behavioural science. It was prompted a little by discussions with Seth Godin and others. It was thinking can you change the culture in organisations by the way you engineer choices available to people - and I’m speaking to a behavioural scientist about these things.

First a bit of background - we discuss a reading list in the show and I’ve included it in the show notes but it’s worth giving you an intro. One of the best books I love on behavioural science is YES by Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin and Robert Cialdini.

In that book they spend chapter after chapter going through how the language that we use to invite people to do things has a big impact on what they subsequently do. TV shopping channels used to say ‘operators are waiting to take your call’ but they realised that that language made customers envisage rows of idle call handlers waiting for any sucker to buy something. So they changed it to ‘if lines are busy please try again later’. Similarly hotels evolved the notes about towels that you see when you stay as a guest. A lot of these things are built on the principles of influence made famous by Robert Cialdini.

The authors split hotel rooms, half with a note saying please recycle your towel by hanging it up, the other used social proof by saying ‘most guests at our hotel help the environment by reusing their towels’. They looked at the results. The people who got the social proof message were 26% more likely to recycle their towel. They found that they could easily improve on this by using principles of reciprocation - saying the hotel would make a donation if they reused the towel, and then further by saying ‘to thank you we’ve already made a donation’. And a weird specificity ‘by saying the majority of the people who used THIS room had reused their towel.

So if decision architecture can play a part in these things, can it make an impact on work. There may be decision architecture around your office. Maybe there are fewer waste paper bins than before - or you’re encouraged to use different recycle bins that are further away by the company alerting you to the benefits of these things.

Today’s guest is Jez Groom who runs the behavioural science company Cowry Consulting.

Jez told me at his old company Ogilvy they’d realised they could make breakthroughs in this area when they had introduced a hand stamp on the hand of workers in a food manufacture plant. No matter how much workers were told they needed to wash their hands to prevent kids getting ill or transferring dirt. But only 60% were doing it. They introduced a stamp a brown coloured e coli virus bug. It took 30 seconds to wash off. The bacterial count tumbled but most of this was kept after the 3 weeks of them doing it. The stamp had changed behaviour.

Link in to Jez

Find out more about Cowry Consulting

The books we discussed

The Joy of Work

Yes! 60 Secrets from Science of Persuasion

Pigeons getting variable rewards

Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell


Predictably Irrational


Nov 26, 2018
Seth Godin - reinvent your culture

(sound fixed)

Seth Godin has been one of the world's freshest thinkers since before the internet was on solid food.

After a first career packaging books, he then rose to his own fame creating permission marketing.

His blog is many people's favourite stop on the web bus route picking up a million passengers every day.

We use his latest book This is Marketing as the model to bring to reinventing your workplace culture. What's the way to use his influence strategies to improve your job?

The chat is brilliant and goes everywhere. Clearly Eat Sleep Work Repeat isn’t a marketing podcast but everyone can learn something from Seth.

Contact the show

Nov 13, 2018
Unlocking workplace creativity - Teresa Amabile

Contact the show

This week's episode features the iconic Teresa Amabile - she's a professor at Harvard Business School. Originally educated and employed as a chemist, Teresa received her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University.

If you're interested in her work this YouTube clip is a great start point.

Before the chat with Professor Amabile we talk through the news in work culture this week. Here's the explosive article on Netflix:

WSJ on Netflix

WSJ on Google's walkouts

You can pre-order The Joy of Work at Amazon.

Nov 05, 2018
Alive at work - Dan Cable

Dan Cable is the author of the life affirming and brilliant Alive at Work - one of the most inspiring visions of what work could look like. The discussion covers big themes of purpose and motivation but brings simple practical tips. What are the simple things that any of us could do to our induction processes at work? How could we encourage our teams to bring their selves to work.

I mention two articles. One by Sarah O'Connor in the FT and this one by Josh Hall about compulsory wellness.

You can get in touch with Bruce here on Twitter. All of the previous episodes are available on the website

Oct 22, 2018
Jeffrey Pfeffer: Dying for a Paycheck

Today’s guest is regarded as one of the most influential management thinkers in the world largely because he considers themes and human behaviours that others avoid discussing. Jeffrey Pfeffer is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He’s author of books like Management BS, Power and most recently Dying for a Paycheck and it’s the last two books that we mainly discuss in today’s chat.

Read Dying for a Paycheck and Power

Jeffrey mentions this New York Times article about the stress of someone in the legal profession.

His book Power has become a global best seller largely because it is a manual for the Machiavellian. It’s a modern day version of Niccolò Machiavelli’s 16th century book The Prince. It’s not that Pfeffer believes this is what we should behave like to be our best selves but rather if we don’t behave like this we’re going to be exploited.

In the course notes for Jeffrey's stanford class on power he says that "insufficient sensitivity to and skill coping with power have cost Stanford graduates promotions opportunities and even their jobs".

Fundamentally the mistake we’re all making according to Pfeffer is believing that the world is fair. I know I’m guilty of this. Whether you watch US politics or British politics but I certainly find myself looking at current events thinking that a reckoning will come when the good guys will win and sort things out. Spoiler alert. The good guys don’t win. And the source for that point is history.

Pfeffer's belief is that in business they don't win so arm yourself. He believes that leaders often ascend to their position not through an innate goodness but because they understand the rules of power.

Oct 15, 2018
The Good Jobs Strategy

Read more on the Good Jobs Strategy

Pre-order the Joy of Work

If you like this the easiest way to get it is to subscribe on Apple podcasts - give us a rating while you’re there.

Zeynep Ton is a Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

She studies the retail sector and the way that some firms have invested in paying more and doing more for their workers. She studied firms like QuikTrip, Trader Joes, Mercador in Spain - she found that firms that treat their workers better achieve better results.

Quik Trips profit is double the retail average - all of her firms are more profitable and show consistent growth. And this is work that needs doing in 2012 The Independent reported that only 1 in 7 British supermarket workers earned a living wage.


We’ll talk about how they make their jobs happier but the key parts are they make some key decisions upfront (1) offer less (2) standardise and empower their teams (3) they train their workers to do all of the jobs and (4) they operate with slack - with spare capacity.

When I studied Zeynep's work - and even more so when I chatted to her I thought there's something in this that every single company can use.

Oct 08, 2018
Adam Grant - Optimism about work culture

Professor Adam Grant is the most important business writer in the world - a man who says his study is focussing on how to make work suck less.

Adam is author of books like Give and Take, Option B, Originals, he's also the host of a chart topping podcast on work culture called Work Life with TED.

Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for seven straight years - his books have told over a million copies .

Give and Take examines why helping others drives our success. Originals explores how individuals champion new ideas and leaders fight groupthink; Option B, with Sheryl Sandberg, is a #1 bestseller on facing adversity and building resilience.

For more about Bridgwater read here

The full episode is live on the website:

Pre order The Joy of Work

Sep 30, 2018
Testing the New Work Manifesto

Around 12 months ago myself and Sue Todd created the new work manifesto. It was an attempt to start the debate about simple things that we can change. You can find it on the podcast website

It's had a briliant response, research companies have asked to help validate it, different professions like doctors and police have been in touch asking if they can adapt it for their working. Lots of companies have told me they've been trying it out with their teams.

One person contacted me and offered to share the experience and learnings of the New Work Manifesto in their team. And that was Tom Kegode. I went down one lunch time a few weeks ago to meet Tom and his team at Lloyds Bank Group. Tom is an innovations programme manager who has helped share the new work manifesto across LBG.

You're going to hear discussion of various parts of the manifesto and the way that people at Lloyds are trying to make work more positive and enjoyable. Round the table were Lloyds employees Sam, Kate, Miranda, Verica, Ben, Jess, Heather, Shirley, Alastair, Dave and of course Tom himself.

If you're interested in using the New Work Manifesto it all on the website, it's not copyright. Use it, change it, remix it, edit it but whatever you do please hit me on linked in or via twitter to tell me how you got on.

This is the last in the series. I'll be back after the summer with a stellar list of the people who have done the best research on work, laughter, philosophy and workplace creativity.

if you want to hear those episodes you're best subscribing via your podcast app.

I appreciate you listening. Please do get in touch.

Jul 02, 2018
Bringing purpose and autonomy to work

Two practical case studies this week. Businesses who have pulled back the curtain to show how they brought Purpose and Autonomy to life. Brilliant examples of companies trying new things and having success from them.

Rachel Bremer is the Communications Director at ASOS. She talks about how they re-energised 4000 young, ambitious employees to keep the business on an incredible growth path.

Laurie Young is the Development Director of Thoughtbot. He explains that they made one change that allowed them to get 5 days work done in 4 days - and what happened next.

Jun 19, 2018
Mental Health & Work - Emily Reynolds

I've wanted to do an episode on mental health for months. But to be honest I've felt really conscious of messing it up. I ended up chatting to the best journalist who writes about it and she suggested that we talk about it.

Emily Reynolds is one of the sharpest writers in the UK, writing for publications like Vice, Wired, The Guardian, Stylist. Incidentally she also writes about mental health. Her book 'A Beginner's Guide to Losing Your Mind' is a very readable take on the realities of all sorts of mental health conditions.

We talk about how MH impacts those who experience it, how people around them should take account and far more.

Also along the way we discuss Emily's blog post 'An Incomplete List of All of the Men In The Media Who Have Wronged Me' which got consumed in the #MeToo movement.

Follow her on the internet.

Jun 04, 2018
Making work more stimulating with side hustles - Emma Gannon

Lots of listeners have been hitting up my LinkedIn saying how can we make work better if we don't have a full-time permanent job. Emma Gannon might have the answer to their needs.

Emma is a podcaster, writer, broadcaster, blogger... in fact she's the perfect example of the freelance, multi-hyphenate lives that more of us are living in 2018.

A She describes how we can build careers out of freelance living and side hustles. How sometimes we can inspire ourselves and our own creativity with the things we do when we're not doing our main jobs.

Emma's podcast, Ctrl Alt Del is a phenom and her new book The Multi-Hyphen Method is out now.

May 31, 2018
Does Company Culture Exist? Dr Richard Claydon

Quite a brainy episode today. Dr Richard Claydon is a someone who likes to question why we claim things - he's a natural challenger. He describes himself as a Transdisciplinary Behavioural Scientist and Ironist.


He writes some interesting (if a bit too long) things on Linked In that a few people sent to me. We had a brilliant chat for well over an hour but i've tried to edit it into something enlightening and digestible.


Richard says something that I've been thinking a lot. We shouldn't be worrying about company culture. Office culture or more probably team culture is the most important thing for us to be focussing on. Richard runs a company called Organisational Misbehaviourist


We talk about how the ideas of strategy and culture have an ongoing battle in business circles. In the 1980s and 90s there was a lot of talk about work culture - he explains that this was because the Japanese businesses that were idolised tended to seem to have a good culture.


Here's why I find academics have such a valuable contribution to this debate. Richard talks about the work of Professor Joanne Martin from Stanford University who spent time looking at whether you could observe a single culture in organisations. And the answer was you never could. Company culture is a nice story we tell ourselves but it's an illusion. When it's most aggressively implemented it leads to people pretending to go along with it with ironic attachment. What a fascinating idea


we talk about Project Aristotle which is a massive piece of work that Google did that looked at the best performing teams. The finding of that work was that the secret of good teams was psychological safety - people feeling comfortable in speaking up with no fear of punishment. Where people could be their complete selves.. This finding drew on the findings of Amy Edmondson - if you're interested in these things here's:


A TED talk by Amy Edmondson


Read more about Google's Project Aristotle here

May 14, 2018
Inside the Brain - A Neuroscientist Explains

James Doty is a neuroscientist who has spent his career trying to demystify the power of the brain. He's a Clinical Professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

If you watch his TED Talk you're going to fall in love with James, a gentle thoughtful guy. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.

May 07, 2018
A Good Day at Work - Sir Cary Cooper

Sir Cary Cooper is a psychologist - 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. He founded Robertson Cooper - a business which is collection of psychologists and wellbeing experts intent on helping people have a good day at work. Everyone I've met there is just brilliantly inspiring too - which I guess shows good people hire good people

he's a brilliant follow on Twitter too @ProfCaryCooper

Apr 30, 2018
Being More Pirate

Sam Conniff Allende has spent his career building a youth marketing agency. Now he's concluded that the way to inspire younger workers is to channel the energy of the Golden Age of Piracy. In a fun discussion of pirates old and new Sam explains how the world would be a better place if we all tried to be a bit more pirate.

Sam's book Be More Pirate is published on 3rd May 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @SamConniff and @BeMorePirate

Apr 26, 2018
Bad bosses: what makes a good leader?

Dr Amanda Goodall is a Senior Lecturer in Management at Cass Business school. I don't normally do stuff on leaders. There's enough leader lit out there. So I actually came upon Dr Amanda Goodall's work when I was looking at something else. I encountered her work when I was reading about the effect of our bosses on us. 

Bad bosses are the worst thing at work. Amanda's research says we'll ask twice as much money to work someone who we can't stand. It's way more important than anything else. When someone resigns they resign from an individual not a firm. 

So then she asked in her research what makes a good manager. She found that statistically people who are the best at management are those who were actually best at the original job. She believes hospitals should be run by doctors. Companies that make tech products should be run by people who build tech products. Football teams should hire someone who was the best footballer. 

You might think of exceptions and her widely cited work says your examples are outliers.

Apr 16, 2018
Thought Leaders 2: Chris Barez Brown

Who's Elvis round here? There was a time when answering that question would have earned you a nice cheque from the National Enquirer.

The second part of a spotlight on Thought Leaders - the gurus who are challenging the status quo.

Chris Barez-Brown is a best selling author, speaker and culture change consultant. …….He says: "We train businesses to manage change"

As he describes, Chris provides immerse experiences to improve the culture of leadership teams. These things don't come cheaply - one company told me they'd spent over a million pounts

Chris talks about something called 'talk it out' that is really interesting. I held this episode back because I was going to do a whole episode about the power of walking because a scientist called Marily Oprezzo who has done a paper on this - I may come back to Marily soon!

Always feel free to connect to me on Linked In.

Follow us on Twitter @EatSleepWkRpt

Apr 09, 2018
Thought Leaders 1: Tom Goodwin

Two episodes here listening to some of the people who are challenging, provoking and questioning the status quo.

Tom Goodwin Exec VP at the media agency Zenith in New York. He's the head of innovation down there. But on the web is where Tom is a player. He is Linked In's number 1 influencer in the marketing field. That accolade will set you back 560,000 followers. 

How did he end up there? Well Tom wrote a tweet (or series of tweets) that developed a life of their own.

Tom has responded to his internet renown with a new book Digital Darwinism - Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Business Disruption

that's out now. 

Apr 09, 2018
Laughter - how to bring the LOLs back to the office

A brilliant live discussion from Ad Week Europe on the scientific value of laughter - and how to bring it back to work.

Featuring Professor Sophie Scott, broadcaster Geoff Lloyd and sitcom writer Paul Coleman. Hosted by Bruce Daisley and Sue Todd.

All episodes are live at Please like and subscribe.

Mar 24, 2018
Rituals, Emotions and food

Inside the rituals of two happy businesses. Over the last couple of months a few people have come up to me to tell me stories about things their companies do.

Firstly Andy Puleston - a Radio 1 alumni - came up to me and chatted to me about some of the things they did during the Andy Parfitt reinvention. Pizza meetings, heroic leaving speeches and lots of private offices filled with eclectic music and chat. I've let this run on because I found it fascinating. Ask me one time how I applied to get a job at Radio 1. Had an interview with Andy Parfitt and everything. Ah well.

Secondly we talk to Claudia Newman - Head of New Business at Young and Rubicon. She tells me about Crisp Thursday and their Start the Week meeting. I loved this chat.

Mar 19, 2018
The Culture Code - the best culture book of 2018

The Culture Code is the best book on work culture likely to be published this year. From Daniel Coyle author of the Talent Code, an international bestseller that cracked the formula of individual success. In the subsequent 5 years he's immersed himself in the best teams in the world - Navy SEALS, sports teams and some of the most creative companies in the world (including Pixar and IDEO).

Now he's ready to share the remarkable output of his work. Coyle's book gives clear guidance of what anyone who runs a team or works in a team should do.


A full transcript is on the website:

Feb 05, 2018
Cracking the secret of when - Daniel Pink

When is your most creative time of the working day? When should you schedule your concentrated deep work? What the heck is a 'nappuccino' and what will it do for you? Daniel Pink explains how we can use timing to help improve our working environment.

Feb 01, 2018
Measuring the intelligence of teams

In 2015 Anita Williams Woolley and colleagues published some groundbreaking work understanding the 'collective intelligence' of teams.

They asked 'can we judge the cognitive power of a certain group of people?'

The answer was that yes, they could and also there were certain things that helped predict this collective intelligence.

Professor Woolley explains the part that gender plays in this team intelligence and then gives you a test that you can take to help predict collective intelligence in your own teams. Anita's work is fascinating and immensely thought provoking. Is it time to change your team?

You can take the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test here.

Jan 22, 2018
#MeToo & Work

As becoming increasingly clear the single biggest issue of work culture in the last 10 years has been the Me Too movement.

Louise Ridley and Kirstie Brewer, freelance journalists and founders of Second Source discuss their involvement in the campaign to remove toxic sexual behaviour.

Second Source is a group of women journalists trying to tackle sexual harassment in the media industry.

Find details here: or follow them on Twitter

Emily Reynolds' blog post can be found here.

The Vice UK anonymous letter is here:

The tweets discussing the response to that letter is here.

Jan 16, 2018
The New Work Manifesto

Over the last 35 episodes we've discussed improvements to work, now we bring them all together.

In discussion with Sue Todd, CEO of Magnetic, we discuss the New Work Manifesto. The manifesto is an 8 point plan, designed to help us improve work and get more from our time at our desks.

The manifesto can be found at Send us your thoughts and suggestions.

Jan 08, 2018
The Year in Work Culture with Andre Spicer

The dramas at Uber, the reckoning of the #MeToo movement, the BBC pay gap, Bruce is joined by Andre Spicer to debate the biggest work culture issues of the year. Along the way we also discuss Andre's global fame as a lemonade stand pirate.

Andre also talks about his two new books this year: Business Bullshit and Desperately Seeking Self Improvement.

Dec 26, 2017
Are the robots taking over? Matthew Taylor on the future of work

EAT SLEEP SHORT: Are the robots coming for your job? This year Matthew Taylor delivered a report to the Prime Minister looking at the future of work in the UK. Here he explains his outlook on the future of work and how work can set about being a force to increase happiness.

Matthew Taylor is the CEO of the RSA. He was previously a political strategist working with Tony Blair.

Dec 21, 2017
Building teams with grit

Angela Duckworth's Grit was one of the most impactful business books of 2016.

Here in an Eat Sleep short Angela talks about building resilient culture and the thing to look for when hiring someone with a gritty tenacity.

In her late twenties, Angela left a demanding job as a management consultant to teach maths to seventh graders in the New York City state schools. Angela is a MacArthur “genius” grant winner, researcher and CEO of Character Lab.

Dec 20, 2017
Culture as the secret ingredient - Richard Reed and the Innocent story

Richard Reed was one the founders of Innocent - the most unlikely David taking on the Goliaths of the soft drinks business. With little more than a perky brand, unbounded optimism and a winning culture they're become the biggest juice brand in the UK.

So how did Richard build this exceptional culture? What was the Innocent version of 'Don't Be Evil'? Richard shares special techniques like 'learn one, do one, teach one' that helped share a climate of humble learning.

Richard talks about his new book 'If I Could Tell You One Thing' advice from the most respected people in the world, plus Michael McIntyre.

Dec 12, 2017
Beating Burnout - Managing Energy in the Email Age


David McClements is the founder of Whitewater international training & consultancy” ( . He works training and developing top performers. I saw David speak recently and was struck with his willingness to challenge some of the best established ideas.

His discussion about Chris Hoy and energy management is fascinating.

Dec 04, 2017
Bjarke Ingels - Cultural Architect

Bjarke Ingels is the number 1 architect in the world. His buildings are taking the world by storm with their fearless disregard for the conventions and norms of our dull cities. Bjarke's buildings are both fun and immensely practical.

By when the greatest in his field is thinking about the future of work how does he design it? Bjarke explains how he is building innovative workspaces - both for others and for his own company.

Bjarke talks both about the cutting edge buildings that he is creating and references some of the accidentally brilliant buildings of the past like Building 20 at MIT which produced 9 Noble prize winners.

Nov 26, 2017
Data on how offices work

Ben Waber is the CEO of Humanyze, a firm that spun pioneering work from MIT into the world's leading people analytics business. Their technology can track how your office is working.

Nov 21, 2017
Remote: Control?

Jason Fried - at Basecamp - and Deborah Rippol - at Buffer - are writing the future. Exemplars of a new world of working where our offices are less important than our intellects. Both champion working remotely and letting our workplaces being secondary to our home lives.

Jason is the author of books like Rework and Remote. Deborah is the People Success Manager at Buffer.

Nov 15, 2017
Alive at work - making work better with emotion

Dan Cable is a Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. His forthcoming book Alive at Work is visionary for helping us understand how to improve the sense of engagement in the workplace. 

Nov 06, 2017
Work culture: happiness first then success

Emma Seppala is a happiness expert. She's spent her life studying how we can be happier in life and has all the evidence to prove it. Emma gives a life affirming reminder that happiness at work isn't a luxury, it's a prerequisite for success and creativity. Emma's book The Happiness Track is superb.

Oct 30, 2017
Biz Stone - designing great culture
Biz Stone is a founder of Twitter - famously returning to the company in 2017. We talk about design, about his first start-up where the culture got corrupted and then intentionally inventing a culture to be more effective.
Oct 18, 2017
Is Deep Work the solution?

Cal Newport is convinced that in 10 years we'll laugh at the way we're working today. We need a production line-like innovation to fix work... Enter Deep Work.

Oct 16, 2017
Daniel Pink on the secret of drive
Dan Pink is the most important researcher for understanding workplace motivation.
Oct 02, 2017
The Science of Being Happier at Work

Full notes and transcript at Tweet us @eatsleepwkrpt

Sep 30, 2017
Obliquity - achieving happiness indirectly
In 2010 John Kay wrote an article for the FT called Obliquity. It proved so popular that it became a best selling book. Obliquity is the concept that to achieve what we want to do we should aim for other things - we achieve our goals obliquely. Tweet us your feedback @eatsleepwkrpt
Jul 03, 2017
Improving work with play
Joi Ito runs the Media Lab at MIT. In his new book Whiplash he gives an account of how the only way we can improve work is if we build cultures that are set to innovate and experiment.
Jun 19, 2017
Honey I hacked my job
Hear from 5 people who have tried to change their work routines - with mixed results. Guests include Jenny Biggam and Zoe Basri from media agency The 7 Stars, David Wilding from Twitter, Laura Archer who turned her lunch break into 6 weeks extra holiday and Andy Oakes who has learned to work in bursts. Laura's book Gone For Lunch is a truly fun way to inspire yourself to do more with your time:
Jun 05, 2017
Reboot your career

Get inspiration from three people who started again. Martin Morales left his life in the music industry to open the restaurant he always dreamed. Paul Coleman created a life that combines innovation consultancy with writing Car Share for Peter Kay. Lisa Unwin set up She's Back to empower women's return to work after having children.

May 28, 2017
The way we're working isn't working
Tony Schwartz is an incredibly successful writer, journalist and speaker. 15 years ago he set about changing the way we work. Seeing the growing exhaustion of people around him he's helped us understand why we're overwhelmed and what we need to do to push back. Listen to Tony and you'll have the perfect reason to decline that extra meeting to go for a walk. Let's all commit to #TakeBackOurLunch please. I'll meet you in the park.
May 22, 2017
The surprising secret of workplace creativity
If most people knew the enjoyable secret of workplace creativity they'd probably feel liberated from the judgement of their peers. In this episode we hear inspiration from the ideas of Lucy Kellaway (FT journalist) and scientific evidence from Professor Sandy Pentland. Professor Pentland explains the single activity that characterises creative workplace - and it's probably something that you love doing.
May 08, 2017
Rest - work less to do more
Rest is the fascinating new book by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. It outlines how a combination of sleep, rest, vacation and exercise can help us achieve more. Late nights spent glugging coffee achieve exactly the opposite of what we think - as Alex explains.
May 08, 2017
The Results Only Work Environment
Dan Pink has called ROWE the future of work. ROWE is the Results Only Work Environment. It's the idea that we don't worry about what people do at work as long as the job gets done. That means they don't have to come in at 9. Or 10. Or 11. Or go home at 4. If they do the job, that's what we asked them to do... Jody Thompson is the co-creator of the ROWE system. With Calli Ressler she wrote 'Work Sucks'
May 08, 2017
"If we're not changing anything, what was the point of the internet?"
Rory Sutherland is the Vice Chairman of advertising group Ogilvy. Through his 30 years in the media industry he has become renowned for championing the use of behavioural economics. Rory is an author and regularly writes for The Spectactor.
May 08, 2017
The Culture of Teams - the Boat Race and Camp Bastion
Mark De Rond is an ethnographer who embeds himself with teams under pressure. What's the culture like in a field hospital in Camp Bastion, in the boat race crew? Mark's latest book 'Doctors at War' - a first hand account of the culture in Camp Bastion's hospital - is out this week.
May 02, 2017
How Harry Styles Can Solve Diversity in Tech
Sacha Judd tells us how an online conspiracy about two members of One Direction led her to understand how we're failing to attract women into tech roles. Sacha is Managing Director at Hoku Group. She can be found at @szechuan
Mar 20, 2017
Uber - When Cultures Go Bad?
Brad Stone has written behind the scenes studies of some of the most well known tech firms in the world. By spending time with the leaders of Uber, Amazon and Airbnb Brad has gained a deep understanding of what culture these firms create - whether via accident or design. Brad's latest book is The Upstarts - about Uber and Airbnb.
Mar 18, 2017
Why Your Open Plan Office is a Mistake
Andre Spicer is a professor in organisational behaviour at Cass Business School. He's written about the disfunction of world places and the advent of 'organisational stupidity'. He's provocative and insightful. Tweet your views to @eatsleepwkrpt
Feb 27, 2017
Time To Get Radically Honest
Kim Scott is the co-Founder of Candor, Inc and the author of Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity which is out in March 2017. Kim's view is that we spend too long at work not speaking frankly to each other. She's convinced that straight talking could solve a lot of problems. Follow Kim @kimballscott
Feb 20, 2017
Finding happiness through breaks
Paul Dolan is the author of Happiness By Design - a guide to making the decisions that lead you to being happier. Joining me to discuss is John Owen - CEO of the Decision Practice. Subscribe on iTunes. Tweet us @EatSleepWkRpt
Feb 13, 2017
Lean in - 3 perspectives
Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In is the best selling book about work culture for the last 5 years. We talk to three women to get their view on the book - and of feminism in the world place. Dawn Foster is a Guardian journalist and the writer of Lean Out. Melissa Barnes leads Twitter's relations with the biggest brands in the world. Sue Todd is the CEO of Magnetic.
Feb 06, 2017
The Netflix Culture Document "We're Not a Family"
The "Netflix culture document" is one of the best known works on company culture. For a company that is beloved of millions for it's shows and service, their published document is a spiky explanation of the realities of working there. Patty McCord is one of the brains behind it. She explains why the brutal honesty of the document is such a contrast to what we normally hear from firms.
Jan 30, 2017
Diversity Deception
Featuring Dan Lyons (realDanLyons) - author of Disrupted - and Dara Nasr (@daranasr, UK MD of Twitter) Dan Lyons - Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble is available now. We're all busy, so I enjoyed the audiobook version. You can revisit the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs here:
Jan 16, 2017