Building community in the digital age with Lars Schmidt, Founder and Community Catalyst of Amplify

How to build an authentic community for People Ops leaders.

New World of Work logo alongside Lars Schmidt's headshot

Welcome to New World of Work: a podcast exploring the new frontier of the modern workforce. In each episode, we’ll hear from some of the world’s best and brightest people and culture experts on the cutting-edge topics HR professionals are most interested in today, explored through a global lens.

Episode description

As the digital revolution continues to unfold, creating a sense of tight-knit community has never been easier, but paradoxically, it’s also never been more challenging. Building a strong sense of community involves more than touching a few buttons—it requires a human perspective that leverages our unique capabilities to see one another on a fundamental level. In this episode, Rhys sits down with Lars Schmidt, the Founder and Community Catalyst of Amplify, to discuss the process of building an authentic community for people operations leaders. Lars shares his career backstory so far, and he also explains why a strong sense of community has never been more important for people operations leaders as we all adjust to this digital, globally distributed age.

Episode transcript

Rhys: Welcome to New World of Work, a podcast exploring the new frontier of the modern workforce. I'm Rhys Black, head of remote here at Oyster, a global people operations platform, making it easier than ever to build a brilliant team on an international scale. On New World of Work, we'll hear from some of the world's best and brightest people and culture experts on cutting edge topics that people operations professionals need to hear today all through a global lens. Join us as we navigate this New World of Work together and learn more about each other along the way. As the digital revolution continues to unfold, creating a sense of tight knit community has never been easier but paradoxically, it's also never been more challenging. With an ever increasing group of tools, platforms and messaging channels available, we've been gifted with the incredible ability to communicate with one another at lightning speed. However, this doesn't always mean the connections we're making are high quality, empathetic or fulfilling. Building a strong sense of community involves more than just touching a few buttons. It requires a human perspective that leverages our unique capabilities to see one another on a fundamental level. As we all adjust to this digital, globally distributed age. A strong sense of community has never been more important for people ops leaders. On this episode, we have Lars Schmidt, the founder and community catalyst of Amplify to discuss this. He kicked off the episode by sharing his career backstory. 

Lars: In terms of my career, I spent a little over 20 years in the field. Most of that time in corporate roles. I started off as a technical recruiter and then moved in house, mostly in tech in California. So I ran global talent at Ticketmaster. Then I ran talent for Magento, which is an open source e-commerce company to help them get ramped up for an acquisition by eBay and then move to the D.C. area where I live now in northern Virginia and so came here, moved here for family reasons. And then soon after joined NPR in 2010. It was a really interesting time for them. They're in the process of kind of evolving and pivoting from radio and broadcast to digital. And so my role was heading talent acquisition and innovation kind of to lead that transformation. And so I spent three years doing that. And then at the end of 2013, you know, left to start my own firm Amplify. And so kind of had the entrepreneurial bug wanted to see what I could build. And yeah, I've been doing that ever since. When I started Amplify, I you know, it was interesting. I wasn't one of those people who always dreamt of being an entrepreneur and having my own company. I'm actually the opposite was true. I never wanted to do that. I wanted a steady paycheck in the nine to five but I quickly realized in the kind of roles in the work that I'd be doing, I would never have a nine to five and said then I thought, well, if I'm not going to do that, let me see what I could perhaps build on my own. And so when I first launched Amplify, I was mostly focused in the strategic consulting and that tended to be in the areas of employer brand strategy and recruiting optimization, which was to the areas where I personally went deep. I'd spend most of my career in those spaces. And so I knew a lot about the subject matter. I felt very confident there. I had no idea how to run the business. And so, interestingly enough, I knew I wanted to start my own firm, probably about a year before I actually did it. And what I did was I created a kind of informal, you know, mentor board or board of the then board of Advisors of entrepreneurs and founders from my network. And I really spent a year learning from them about what is what do you need to think about when running a business, when building a business? You know, from a subject matter expertize, I felt confident there but I knew that I need to learn a lot about running a business and how to set that up in marketing and just all the things that as a corporate practitioner, you never do. And so that was really helpful for me. So that by the time I was ready to actually, you know, leave and kind of, you know, cut the cord and officially launched my firm, I felt more confident in my ability to actually build a business than just my ability to do the work. So it worked out really well. So when you look at my business today, it's evolved a bit over the last eight years. When I founded Amplify and I was mostly focused in consulting. A lot of that was in tech. So clients from, you know, Space X, Hootsuite, Dashlane, Plaid and others. The mission of Amplify kind of my personal mission has always been accelerating innovation in H.R. And so over the years, the business had evolved to now there's really three components that make up Amplify. There's executive search, which is, you know, more specifically focused on companies that are building kind of next generation H.R. and people programs and teams and leaders that practice that type of H.R.. So again, that's what my network is. I don't do any work on kind of the legacy transactional side of H.R.. The second component is actually the newest component is an accelerator platform. And this is a kind of multi-tiered platform aimed at developing, connecting and supporting the next generation of chief people officers. So there's a four week kind of peer learning cohort program that are part that's part of that. There's on demand courses, there's a community, there's a job board and there's also an open source learning lab that collectively make up the accelerator. And then the third component is Amplify media. And Amplify media as the redefining H.R. podcast through defining each our book. I have a column for Fast Company, where I write about kind of modern H.R. and work and people practices. And so all of those roll up to the Amplify media umbrella. And really, when you look across those three channels, they all connect back to the my personal mission, which is accelerating innovation in H.R.. So you know, everything while they're different, very different ways of achieving that, they all connect in doing that. And so it's a really probably for the first time since I've been an entrepreneur, I think this past year has allowed me, especially with the launch of the accelerator platform to build a truly kind of integrated and connected business that all works towards serving that mission. 

Rhys: Lars's overall mission of driving innovation forward and the people of space is an inspiring one. As I learned during our conversation, everything he does in his career relates back to this underlying goal. So it's clear that he's driven by a deep sense of passion and purpose. Unsurprisingly, Lars defines his approach to people ops as being orientated around innovation and creativity. He's constantly looking to push the boundaries with out of the box thinking. And one of the ways he's doing this currently is through his open source initiative.

Lars: I think when it comes to my philosophy around people ops, I've been really fortunate over my career and especially when you factor in some of the media channels I've had offered to to work on is to work with incredible chief people officers, CHROs, people leaders that are really pushing the boundaries of the field. And it have been for a while. And so, you know, I have a really interesting seat in the industry because I myself am not a practitioner, you know, I'm not in that seat. But because of my podcast and open source and editorial projects, you know, I'm deeply embedded in that world and in that space. And I have a front row seat to kind of trends of where things are going and what's next and what are some of the big challenges that you know, people operators are grappling with right now. So I think for for my approach, it's really oriented around innovation, creativity, iteration and most importantly, I think just in terms of my own ethos around people ops is open source. You know, I've been a champion of open source for years and I think that that is probably the single, the two things. One is open source. Two is community. I think the and the intersection of those two things is probably the most transformative thing in people operations right now because we're no longer working in silos. We're no longer, you know, black boxes who, you know, can't learn from each other in a way in a meaningful way that scales outside of those one-to-one relationships that we've always had. So I'm a huge proponent and champion of building in public and amplifying work of practitioners who are doing that to help it reach a broader audience. So I think when you look at open source and there's lots of different flavors of it, so for example, you know, HR Open Source was an initiative that I co-founded with my friend Ambrosia Vertesi back in 2015. I'm no longer involved in HR Open Source. We turn that over to an operating board. And so now I'm just a cheerleader on the sidelines. But, you know, really like a lot of good things, the idea of HR Open Source started over beers and queso at south by Southwest. And Ambrosia and I, you know, I had come up more from recruiting. She had come up more from H.R. and we were at a point in our careers where we were pretty deeply plugged in to these different communities and ecosystems of people doing really innovative work in both of those spaces. And for us, we likened it to plugging into the matrix. Once we had access to this kind of collective intellect of these people that were really pushing the boundaries of the field, it drastically scaled our ability to make an impact in our current role. And so we said, that's great for us. But the vast majority of practitioners are still operating in these legacy siloed black box models where they don't have access to those ideas and those templates and that information. And so because both of us had spent a lot of time working in tech, we know we looked at open source software as a blueprint and said, could something like that work in H.R. and so that was really the driver behind HR Open Source. We piloted it within Hootsuite for the first five months. You know, after that, we determined that it did have traction. We spun it out as its own thing and watched it grow to over 10000 members and over 100 countries. And the real philosophy behind it, it wasn't so much, there is no proprietary nature to HR Open Source, like we cheered on every whether it was Google Rework, hacking, H.R., disrupt, H.R., you know, any entity, community or organization that was being built around opening access and opening practices and opening ideas and templates and sharing. We wanted to champion and I still want to champion. And so that's really the driver and kind of how HR Open Source came to be. And I think, you know, it came at a pivotal time in our organization and our industry, I should say where if you look across the industry now, there's lots of different communities and organizations and groups that I would frame is open source. I think the idea of sharing practices and building in public by default is gaining more momentum as opposed to even five years ago, where very few companies did that. And so it's been it's been amazing to watch our views towards open source evolve over this time, particularly over the last two years with the pandemic. That's been an absolute, you know, accelerator in people sharing practices. Because again, when you think about the early days of the pandemic, none of us had been through anything like that. There was no playbook around, well, this is how you navigate your global workforce through a global pandemic, the once in a generation global pandemic. Nobody knew what to do. We look to each other, Hey, how are you approaching this? Hey, where are you going for news? Hey, how are you informing your employees? And we leaned on that ability to tap into others, our peers, ideas and practices to steer our own strategy. So that was just, you know, that was an absolute proof point in the value of open source. And I think for for me, that was kind of the turning point. I think there's no going back and there's no questioning whether open source is the future. Those that don't see that, you know, they're really going to struggle, I think, to kind of find a home in this new generation of H.R. and people ops. 

Rhys: Given Lars's passion for the open source initiative, it's no surprise that he's a big proponent of creating a tight knit sense of community among people ops professionals. While in the past leaders tended to stay hush hush about their strategies to keep the competition at bay, Lars is vehemently opposed to this way of thinking. The world has changed fundamentally since this philosophy was born. It's time we come together to exchange knowledge in a constructive way without fearing the consequences of sharing trade secrets. 

Lars: You know, when you think about the history of H.R. and sharing and kind of black box approaches to talent, you know, in my view, a lot of that comes from legacy thinking in H.R.. And part of that is, you know, we've had this notion of the war for talent beaten in our heads for over a decade now. You know, this idea that competition is zero-sum, right? And again, the war for talent started it more specifically as it related to recruiting. But I think it really broadened where a company is looked at their people practices as a proprietary advantage, right? It was, it was, it was a trade secret. Like, we can't tell other people how we approach performance because maybe they'll do it and then they'll win in the marketplace. And frankly, that's bullshit thinking. There is no need for, you know, one of the things that we did specifically in HR Open Source and even now and some of the work that I do in open source initiatives in HR Open Source learning lab is to spotlight examples of great work that's being done. But I'm always very deliberate to not call them best practices because the reason that practice is successful in that company is because of their culture, their team, their budget, their resources, their ability to execute. No other company can replicate that exactly. So if you share how you do this thing that you do, you're not going to diminish your ability to do that well, just because another company might be inspired by that and they're not going to be able to replicate what you do exactly. They're maybe going to do a different version of that that works for them based on their culture, locations, employees, you know, budgets and all the things that go into making up that project. And so I think as we got into the earlier part of this past decade, you know, companies there were more conferences. You started to see more communities outside of the traditional, you know, quote unquote bodies of knowledge like SHRM or otherwise. And you started to see more grassroots efforts from practitioners actually saying, you know what? I'm not learning the way that I need to learn from these organizations. I'm not developing the way that I need to develop from these organizations. I'm going to take it upon myself to build my own network, to build my own community. And a lot of those were built on sharing and collaboration and open source. And so you just started to see this shift in mindset that began taking place in the earlier part of last decade and accelerated through the decade where, you know, now as we are, you know, beginning to get ready to head into 2022, which feels really weird to say this is now the more default practice. It's more of an exception to find black box thinkers than the rule. And I see that trend is continuing. 

Rhys: We're clearly seeing massive shifts in the workforce today, as evidenced by the name of this podcast. With Lars being on the forefront of this change, I was interested to hear his perspective on the nature of this transformation and what he foresees happening in the near future. He noted that as we usher in this New World of Work, it's about unlearning old habits and behaviors as well as learning new ones. 

Lars: The macro shift that we're experiencing right now isn't just learning a new way of work, it's unlearning an old way of working. And those are, you know, individually very difficult things to do paired together, that's a pretty substantial change management effort for the field of H.R. and people operations. That's also layered with, you know, traditionally we have operated more and in set constructs to how we think about benefits and time off and career progression. And now we're we're kind of grappling with how do we create more flexible constructs and that's not just, you know, co-located hybrid or remote but it's how we support our employees. And this shift from kind of one size fits all to more flexible and adaptive programs is also a huge shift. So that there's so much happening for H.R. and people operations right now. It's an incredibly exciting time. It's an incredibly stressful time. Burnout, we don't, you know, that's obviously at levels. And that's not just H.R. and people operations. I think everybody is kind of at that point. But we've been centered and central in everything that has been happening in our business over the last two years. And I don't see that changing in the next year. That's going to continue. And so there's just this great period of change but when you look at the opportunity that creates for our industry, we have a real ability and opportunity to rewrite what work looks like and what our function does and how we support our business, our employees and each other. And that's a huge opportunity that I'm just I'm so excited to see the work that is happening now and what will come out of this. 

Rhys: One of the major changes that's come out of the pandemic is the way we approach community. Although COVID 19 forced us apart, the paradox is that it also brought us closer together than ever. In many ways, there's never been a better time in history for creating a tight knit community among industry professionals. While you might believe community building is more of a challenge in a remote or distributed environment, Lars suggest the opposite is true. Connecting digitally may help people open up and be more vulnerable, provided there's a foundation of trust within the relationship. 

Lars: Yeah, I think if you look at community today, you know, we're kind of in this golden age of community and there's lots of factors that are driving that. You know, part of it is the isolation many of us have experienced in the pandemic and our the social connections that we've lost during the past two years. We're finding other ways to try to make that up, whether it's online communities, interest level communities, et cetera. You look at emerging trends like Web 3 coming up and the intersection of, you know, NFTs and crypto and so much more. And those are all backbone, you know? Those are all backbone by community. And I think the same goes for different disciplines and industries like the value, if you know, I can talk for days about the value of community and people ops but all the points that I'll make as to the value will likely extend to many other industries as well. It's not unique to people ops certainly. I think it's a much more broader and kind of macro trend that we're experiencing. And what really a lot of it comes down to the empowerment of the individual, right? Your ability, I get the question a lot, especially after the buy book redefining H.R. in a lot of that was kind of comparing and contrasting legacy are from modern nature. And there are some, you know, organizations, some companies and some teams that are just deeply rooted in legacy H.R. And it's not the H.R. practitioners fault. You know, maybe leadership doesn't get the value of great H.R.. Maybe they're not willing to resource it. Maybe their expectations are low and they just want you to make sure people get paid. As their practitioners in those environments often ask, like, what do I do if I can develop here, if I can't, if I can't try new practices, if I can grow within this environment. And not everybody is in a position to leave that company and that role and that paycheck. And so you have to you have to honor that. But I think individuals, especially in those environments, there are so many communities in this space of modern practitioners, people that are pushing the boundaries, people that are eager to learn, people that are are really eager to share as well that you can plug into as a practitioner where you're not necessarily limited by your employer or your lack of budget to maybe do paid [00:20:53]clean. [0.0s] There's lots of free and open source community is that you can plug into. And so, you know, it's it's a fascinating kind of look at the empowerment for individuals to actually take control of their own development and their own growth by plugging into these communities even if they're an environment that that they're stifled and they're kind of capped in terms of growth within that company. Over the years, I built a lot of communities. And I've learned a lot of things that have been foundational in how I view communities and I think work and I've made a lot of mistakes, you know, of doing things that frankly haven't necessarily served the community or urban additive. And I think all of that has shaped how I view community today and specifically with the Amplify accelerator community that I'm building. I'm being way more intentional about that community and the fact that I wanted to be uniquely additive to the community members because I know that everybody has lots of options and there's tons of great communities out there. You know, to me, the hallmarks of a great community is one where people really care about each other and there's lots of communities that have, you know, they're really kind of more Q&A forums. People's pops up questions looking for answers. Those are fine and there's value in those. But I think when you look at the best communities and certainly what I aim to build with the Amplify accelerator, there's a real feeling of belonging and connectedness. You feel like, you know your community peers, you feel like they care about you, they care about your growth and development and that doesn't happen organically. My view is, I think you have to be, you know, someone intentional around engineering that kind of environment, creating customs, you know, culture, customs and rituals where that level of conversation and openness and frankly, vulnerability can exist. I think you need a bit of vulnerability for true communities to be successful because people have to be open to talking about and getting feedback on some of the tough stuff that we face, especially in people operations. Our job can be very lonely. Our job absolutely is stressful, particularly when you get up to the leadership levels and executive levels of people operations. There are things that you're dealing with that you can't really talk to other employees about or other people on your team about. And so having these peer communities where you can go and you can ask for advice and you can talk about some of the, you know, thorny dicey issues that we all face and know that you will get open and candid and supportive feedback makes so much difference. That's really where that sense of belonging comes from. And so, you know, for me, at least, you know, and as I think about the communities that I want to build today and more specifically, the Amplify accelerator community, that's the space that I want to build. I want to build a place where you want to actually go and hang out and spend time with your peers who become friends, in many cases. You know, and not just kind of pop in with the question and pop out and kind of use it for that, you know, utilitarian service. And I'm not saying that there's not value in that. There absolutely is, but that's just different than the kind of community that that I'm looking to build right now. I think that it's interesting, you know, a lot of people, you know, we can talk about introverts and extroverts, you know, some people in a group live in person setting are very happy getting up in front of a group and opening themselves fully up. That's probably more of the exception than the rule. I think a lot of people may not be comfortable in that setting. And so in distributed environments where we're connecting with people, you know, online through digital personas and digital personas, I mean, this is us, but this is us kind of, you know, typing and reading, writing texts or perhaps joining a video chat. I think it perhaps allows people who may not have been comfortable, engaging in those public settings to be more comfortable, engaging in these digital distributed settings because, you know, they're not necessarily putting themselves out there in the same way. And so I find that you actually get more engagement, more openness, more vulnerability in these distributed settings. The one qualifier, I will say, is that all of that is built on trust. So you certainly can't expect to have somebody come into your community without really knowing how you operate or knowing many of the individuals there and immediately drop their guard and open up about some of the thorny things they're facing. That's just not realistic. I think people have to come in. They're going to want to observe, they're going to want to, you know, begin engaging. And over time, the more touchpoints they have with the community members, the more they get a sense of comfort in how community members treat each other and operate with each other, you know, the more those guards will come down and the more they'll feel comfortable opening up and being vulnerable. And when you hit that point of vulnerability, I think that's where you can get the most from the community is because you don't have to front, right? You can you can be real about the things you're facing and how you're feeling about those things and get real help from other people who've been through those same things. And that, to me, is where the real value of kind of vulnerability in community comes into play. The one thing I'd add to that is not everybody is going to be comfortable being completely vulnerable. And that's also OK. I think a community, you know, ideally a thriving community fosters environment where people can show up in the ways they want to show up. Nothing needs to be forced. And so if you're somebody that is just more private, you know, introspective, whatever it may be, that's fine, too. And there shouldn't be any pressure to, you know, quote unquote be authentic or vulnerable or real in a way that's not congruent with how you actually operate. 

Rhys: As an expert in this area, Lars shares this advice for building a sense of community and the people ops world. 

Lars: Spend some time researching all the different and people ops communities that are out there. There's a range of them, you know, and some are free. Some are paid. Some are focused on executive role. Some are focused on functional areas and roles. So, you know, spend some days, weeks, maybe months, you know, getting a feel for the landscape that's out there. And then, you know, join the communities that you think are going to be best aligned with how you want and what you need to get from a community. And then from there, kind of once you've done that, the diligence, that homework and you've identified the groups that you want to be a part of. You know, I think it's really important for all practitioners. This doesn't matter if you're listening and you're in an entry level role. If you're listening and you're in a chief role, the role the function doesn't matter, for all of us. Learning agility and building our own network equity are two of the most important things we can do today for a developmental standpoint, personal development, professional development. And so at a minimum, I would recommend taking one hour every week blocking your calendar and using that time for learning and networking. Using that time to visit some of those groups, you know, hopefully you can do that more than just that one hour a week. But at a minimum, you've got that one hour a week where you can catch up on all the conversations that are happening in those communities. You can catch up on those articles that your friends have set you to be like, Hey, you need to read this piece by Adam Grant or whatever it might be. You can catch up on the podcasts like this but you're prioritizing and protecting your own learning and your own network building. And from a tactical standpoint, that is something that every single person listening to this podcast should be doing and it will pay dividends because, you know, a lot of the nature of our roles right now, there's so much on our plate, and it'll be very easy for us to just spend 40, 50 or more hours a week only executing on the tasks on our desk. And so if we don't actually book this in our calendar and prioritize and defend it, it won't happen. And so again, that is a very simple hack that I think everybody should be doing is a let's take that one hour a week, block it, defend it. That is your time. That is for your own growth, your own development and the more you invest in yourself, the more valuable you're actually going to be to your employer because you know, the better informed you'll be about some of the new trends, practices, tools, whatever it might be. So, you know, don't look at a lot of us, you know, we're very committed to our companies and we want to make sure that we're doing all the things that our employees and our teams and our leadership groups need us to do. And oftentimes we overlook ourselves in that prioritization chain. And so you've got to be able to shift that thinking in a minimum take that hour. Invest in yourself and trust me, that will pay dividends for both you and your employer today and your employer tomorrow. 

Rhys: Blocking off some non-negotiable personal time in your calendar is certainly a habit I can get behind. Taking time to prioritize your mental health is essential and I love how Lars takes a balanced approach to work life balance. Finally, Lars wraps up our conversation by letting us in on some of the exciting projects he has won the goal and sharing the story of the first mistake he's ever made. 

Lars: So as much as Amplify has evolved over the last eight years, what I'm really excited about is the newest platform, the accelerator platform, because I think, you know, we talked earlier in the podcast about my own personal mission, which is accelerating innovation in H.R., you know, a lot of the ways that I had done that prior to this year was, you know, through podcasts and books and Fast Company articles. And you know, those are probably somewhat helpful but it's more of a passive way of doing that. And with the accelerator, it is now an active way of actually, you know, developing, connecting and supporting the next generation of chief people officers. And so it's been, you know, we've run three cohorts this year. The fourth will be in February of next year. That'll be the Delta cohort. So I've had over 100 people all around the world kind of go through these four week learning programs and to see the connections that are being made and the relationships that are being built that last long beyond the four week period. It's so gratifying for me because as we've been talking about, I've been such a champion of of open source and community and and sharing and collaborating and innovative practices. And so now to see that happening at scale within the community, through people that are experiencing the accelerator, it's probably been the most gratifying thing that I've done in my career. And I'm just excited because this whole new platform is just getting started. So we're literally in year one. I think I launched the first cohort in May of 2021, so I just get so much energy and fulfillment seeing the way that the people that are interacting with each other and kind of, you know, light bulbs going off on and thinking about new concepts related to, you know, DEI or people analytics or whatever the functional area might be. That, to me, is just where I'm gonna be investing more and more time and energy and the ability to actually have an impact and help people at this scale is hugely rewarding. When looking back on my career, we all have lots of mistakes that we have made and I think as I look back, I've made plenty of them. So you know, me answering this question is trying to find my very best mistake because there's there's more than a few, probably last year during the pandemic. You know, I hosted the Redefining HR podcast for a little over two years now. When the early days of the pandemic, I thought, you know, it might be fun to try doing a live video show instead of recorded audio a podcast. Not only live, you know, the podcast was a weekly audio podcast. I thought it would be fun to do a daily video podcast format, which I did for about four weeks as a pilot and nobody watched. It was is basically me talking to friends, essentially and doing that live on video. But, you know, looking back, I think doing that actually, even though it didn't work out, is a pretty spectacular failure. It allowed me to begin experimenting with video in different ways that allowed me to begin this spring training with doing live events in some different ways. And I take a lot of those learnings, you know, this season of the podcast, you know, it's back to digital format, but it expanded to video. So this sixth season of Redefining HR has been video and audio, and that's taken off, this has been the most watched and viewed season that I've had yet. And I think there was a lot of lessons and learning in that failure of last year with that live show. And also, frankly, probably some some needed humility that came as well. You just because you build something, there will be people want that. And again, I probably thought, Hey, you know, we're all at home, you know, we're all sitting in front of our computers all day. This would be fun like and yeah, it wasn't. It was fun for me. It was fun for my guests. But in terms of being, you know, successful media, it absolutely was not. And so, yeah, but I learned a lot from it. And so I don't I certainly don't regret. I'm one that if I have an idea of something that I might want to pilot or experiment with, I don't think about it very long. I just do it, and I'm not afraid to try something that might fail spectacularly because I know I'll learn some things in there, even if it doesn't work. And so you know that the by the time the podcast is called 21st century HR, so 21st century HR live, it was a spectacular failure. But I'm grateful for what I learned from that and how that helped, you know, kind of reshape the direction of the podcast. 

Rhys: It was great speaking with Lars about his perspective on community building in the age of distributed work environments. I hope we'll take away some valuable learnings from this episode. Here are a few insights Lars shared I'll be keeping in my back pocket going forward. The old way of doing things and the world of people ops is on its way out the door. Today we're ushering in a new, more democratized industry or leaders can share information freely so that we can all improve. One of the key ingredients of building a true sense of community is a willingness to be vulnerable with others. To build an open and honest community and the people of this industry, we all need to voice their concerns more often and start an empowering dialog about our struggles. Ultimately, this will help build trust with one another over time and form long lasting relationships. The best kinds of communities are those that are made up of people who actually care about one another. [00:35:41]Go figure. [0.2s] Lars mentioned that are truly uplifting community will give people a feeling of belonging and connectedness. To build this kind of space, leaders need to be more intentional about the process from the get-go. Thank you for listening to the New World of Work, the podcast exploring the new frontier of the modern workforce through an international lens. We hope this episode serves to expand your horizons and open your mind to a new perspective. Be sure to subscribe, rate and review the podcast so that we can reach more listeners. I'm your host, Rhys Black. See you next time. 

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About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop and take care of a thriving global workforce. It lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

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