Opportunity Space Episode 2: Talent Show



In this conversation, Tod Lickerman, Craig Van Pelt and Angela Roseboro discuss the importance of talent in organizations and the challenges and opportunities of a multi-generational workforce. They highlight the changing discussion on talent in companies and the strategic priority of talent in the C-Suite. They also emphasize the value of cultivating a network and mentoring, as well as the role of emotional intelligence and experience.

Additionally, the conversation explores the intersection of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with talent acquisition and retention. It emphasizes the importance of diversity of thought and the need for intentional leadership to create inclusive cultures. The role of the workplace in fostering collaboration and connection is also discussed, particularly in the context of hybrid work. The challenges of talent acquisition and retention are highlighted, along with the need for a cohesive talent strategy. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the potential impact of AI on the workforce.


Listen in on Spotify. 






  • Talent is a core component of successful organizations, and companies need to prioritize attracting, retaining, and developing the right talent.
  • The discussion on talent has evolved, with companies now focusing on how to attract and retain talent in a competitive market.
  • A multi-generational workforce presents both challenges and opportunities, and organizations need to create systems and processes that foster collaboration and leverage the strengths of each generation.
  • Cultivating a network and mentoring others is crucial for career development and success, and leaders should always be recruiting and helping others in their professional journeys.
  • Emotional intelligence and experience play a significant role in navigating the clash of generations and effectively working together.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are integral to talent management, as organizations need to create inclusive environments that attract and retain diverse talent. DEI should be seen as a talent conversation rather than a separate topic.
  • Diversity of thought is crucial for innovation and success in organizations.
  • The workplace plays a significant role in fostering collaboration, connection, and culture.
  • Hybrid work presents challenges in maintaining collaboration and avoiding silos.
  • Talent acquisition and retention require a deliberate and strategic approach.
  • Intentional leadership is essential for creating inclusive cultures and engaging employees.
  • AI can fill gaps and enhance productivity, but critical thinking remains a valuable skill.




  • 00:00 Introduction and Setting the Stage
  • 07:04 The Changing Discussion on Talent in Companies
  • 09:04 The Strategic Priority of Talent in the C-Suite
  • 10:02 Challenges and Opportunities of a Multi-Generational Workforce
  • 15:22 The Value of Cultivating a Network and Mentoring
  • 21:01 The Challenge of Motivating Gen Xers in Leadership Roles
  • 22:04 Navigating the Clash of Generations
  • 23:07 The Role of Emotional Intelligence and Experience
  • 23:28 The Connection Between DEI and Talent
  • 26:30 The Importance of Diversity of Thought
  • 30:00 The Role of the Workplace in DEI
  • 33:20 The Challenges of Hybrid Work
  • 34:24 The Difficulty of Talent Acquisition and Retention
  • 37:55 The Need for Intentional Leadership
  • 40:23 The Impact of AI on the Workforce




Tod Lickerman (00:21)

Welcome to the opportunity space podcast. Today's an exciting topic. Today's talent show. We're going to dive deep into the topic. That's core to all thriving organizations, talent and people in this business environment today, we're seeing access to engagement.

and retention of labor is one of the most pressing challenges that any business faces. Today in the podcast, we have Angela Roseboro. Angela is chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at Toast, a cloud-based all-in-one digital technology platform for restaurants. She has more than 18 years of leadership experience, building best-in-class human resource diversity and engagement platforms for global Fortune 500 companies. Angela and I worked together at JLL a few years ago.

Then she went on to Riot Games and now Toast. And we're very proud to count her as a board member here at Cresa. So welcome, Angela.

We also have Craig Van Pelt, head of research here at Cresa. Craig has more than 20 years’ experience in research and land use consulting. So our goal today is to explore and unravel the complexities surrounding the talent dynamic, why it's important, and how businesses are responding to this important topic.

First, let's ask Craig to shed some light on stats behind the talent dynamic. Craig. 

Craig Van Pelt 

Thanks, Tod. So it's really is an interesting time right now. Since the announcement of the pandemic in March of 2020, you know, all of this remote work, what's happening with knowledge workers? I think one thing we've heard is efficiency has gone down, but BLS puts out productivity stats every month and in actuality and how they measure productivity for knowledge workers, it's actually almost 7% higher now than it was pre-pandemic. So people are being productive while working hybrid. And the great resignation, 

That wasn't fantasy. That was real in March of 2022. It really peaked. But quits are 30% higher now than they were pre pandemic. So more people are, are leaving their jobs. What's interesting right now is we are actually in the middle of having four generations of workers in the workforce right now with Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. So there's this melding of all these different types of workers and experiences they have in education and technology adoption. So it's a really interesting time. And Baby Boomers, you hear this a lot, but over around 10,000 workers a day, Baby Boomers

All baby boomers will be 65. So we're looking at a passing of the guard from baby boomers, welcoming Gen Z and millennials. And Gen Z and millennials are gonna make up almost 40% of the workforce by 2030. And Gen Z will soon pass millennials as the most populous on earth and the most diverse we've ever seen. So there's a lot happening with our workforce. There's a lot that leadership needs to consider and think about as they chase talent and try to retain talent.

Todd Lickerman

So hopefully today we'll shed some more light on what are some of those challenges and opportunities. You know, it's interesting because we're living in a world where demand for knowledge workers surpasses the supply and business finds themselves navigating really uncharted waters. We could see it demographically. We could see this talent war coming. But honestly, I never suspected it would come so closely on the heels of a major shock recession and come so quickly and pervasively. So interesting times to say the least.

So Angela, you chose to focus your career on talent. Why is that? Tell us about that and why is this topic so compelling to you?

Angela Roseboro (04:07)

You know, when I think about companies and how they are going to be successful, it is all about people. I think we cannot treat people as commodities. And when I decided to go into this career, I wanted to go into a place where the most valuable asset that a company has, and how could I help shape that? And I truly believe people is the most valuable currency that an organization has.

And so it is the heart of it. Like if you don't have people, you don't run a company. So my ability to help identify the type of talent, how do you attract that talent? How do you keep that talent? How do you grow that talent? Was so pivotal to an organization's success that I wanted to be in that mix. And I think, you know, sometimes you will hear the people conversation is not as compelling as when we're talking about finance or technology.

And I still believe that it is at the heart of every successful company. Um, to be successful, you've got to have the right talent and you've got to have the right people and you got to learn how to navigate. Um, Craig, you did forget as we always do to talk about Gen X. What goes on with Gen X? We never talk about Gen X. So, which is also, which is also a very, um,

Craig Van Pelt (05:25)

I'm a Gen Xer too.

Angela Roseboro (05:30)

really think about how GenX works and very, very compelling in terms of like how you think about talent. So I chose this career because I wanted to be at the heart of what makes a company successful.

Tod Lickerman (05:42)

You know, we get, we're in the real estate business and we get pretty excited about real estate. It's, it's really fascinating right now because real estate now follows talent as it always should have. And, and as excited as we get about real estate, it's maybe 10% of the cost of talent, right? And so talent is everything. Look, give us your point of view. How's, how's the discussion of talent changed throughout companies and especially at the C-suite?

Angela Roseboro (05:58)


Tod Lickerman (06:11)

How is this on the company agenda?

Angela Roseboro (06:14)

You know, I heard Craig talk about pre-pandemic and post-pandemic. And one thing that I know is that the way we work, you know, we've probably thought we're gonna go back to the way it was. And there are some great opportunities there but there are great challenges. So I think the conversation about talent has been more pervasive now than I've seen it in the past. And I'll tell you why. Because in this space where we now have opportunity to, you know, I think about JLL and we had to move to Chicago. Like people were choosing to make moves based on companies. That's gone away. People are also choosing their companies. So it's not, you know, 20 years ago, companies chose people. Now people choose companies. So that's changed the way how we have to talk about talent. And so anytime I talk to a leader about their organization and they don't know who's going to succeed them, what talent they have in their organization,

I think that's an issue because we also know, again, 20 years ago, you hit loyalist. Remember, if you didn't work five years in a company, we like, ah, that person's a job hopper. Well, that notion has been debunked. And I think the average tenure of folks are probably like three to five years. And so we can't even have the same kind of thought process about what we think longevity looks like. So I think it's forcing companies to have to talk about how do I retain talent,

knowledge workers who are really highly skilled and competent and can go other places. And so we, it's changed the conversation that way. In the C-suite, I think any C-suite that doesn't have on their strategic priorities talent as one of those, are, is not going to position themselves for success in the future. You have to know what's next. You should be knowing who your next C, you should be identifying your next CEO. Maybe they're like four levels away, but you should be thinking about.

who I need to grow, what opportunities do I have to grow my talent, where do I have to go outside so that we can hit our business goals? And I think sometimes we focus so much on the business goals, we don't focus enough on the people that have to be successful to get those people goals. So I'm seeing more talent because I think companies are now challenged. We've been talking about this talent war forever. Now I think it's really real and people are feeling it in a very different way.

I'm hearing more conversations about how do we attract this talent? How do we get people to choose? How do we go after that talent that I've ever heard before? So I do believe that we're now in this space. And I think a couple of things have happened. One, again, it's never like you should be hired. You should be happy to work here. People are choosing where they want to work based on the company's orbit, structure, what they do, kind of the culture. And we have to be the place where people choose us every day and people want to stay with us every day. And that's a whole different conversation than we used to have.

Tod Lickerman (09:10)

You know, it really is. I find that the best organizations have always created a flywheel of talent, always know that they're going to bring in more talent than they keep, right? Because people go off and do great things. And you're almost judged by the quality of your alumni, right? So we've seen that before. Well, that's the this is that supercharge, right? Because if people may only stay three years, or they may move on to something else is that you have to constantly be feeding the machine training.

and engaging and creating a series of engaging experiences for people to come and stay, right? If I can have that next great experience there, maybe my next three or stint is at your company, not at some other company. And that's an ongoing engagement that is really beyond, like you say, what we've had to do up until now.

Angela Roseboro (10:03)

Yeah, you're always recruiting. You're always, like every time you go to a conference, you're always thinking, can this person work in our organization? You said something interesting, Tod, that I, you know, when I, the one thing I hear when I look at all these survey results, career, that people wanna know what the next part of their career, and I also think we have to rethink what career ladder looks like. Career can be breath. It doesn't always have to be like kind of this upper trajectory.

What people are really thinking about is what experiences do I need to get to the next level? And I think we have to rethink career development and we have to help our employees rethink what career means as well, because I think we always think it's the manager to the director to the VP, when it could be, the manager to the manager to the manager to get to the, to accelerate to the director to get to the VP. But I also want to know that people want to know that they have a place in your organization.

And so I always, you know, when I talk to organizations, I talk about who do you wanna keep? Who can go to the next level? How are you gonna get them ready? Do you have the capability? When we talk about, you know, even on a board level, when we talk about where the company wants to go, we have the right people and the right capabilities. Do we have it internally? Do we have to go out? And sometimes we may not have the space right now, but we always have to be thinking about what type of talent we need in our organization. And as leaders, we are always recruiting. We are always

get that database going, like it may not be now. And so I am saying everyone now is a recruiter because it is hard to get talent. You know, I always ask people, why'd you take that call? There's something that's going on. If I can't get you to take that call, then it's gonna be, I took the call because I know Tod. I took the call because I believe in where Tod's going. It's not gonna be a recruiter calling. It's gonna be because Tod's asked me to come to the organization. So leaders should always be recruiting.

Tod Lickerman (11:51)

You know, I find people do this really well. They're just always connecting. You know, they're always interested in hearing from you and what do you want to do next or how can I help and you help. And I find that if you, if you're a resource like that and you help people, however you can, little connection, small connections, how, if you, if they know, Hey, I have this thing I should call that person. And that's the way you think of others. You can be a real force multiplier inside your organization and out.

Angela Roseboro (11:56)


Tod Lickerman (12:21)

And you create a bit of a, like I said, a bit of a flywheel that helps attract and just generate, but that's a lot of work, right? That's not just, I'm going to put an ad in the paper and I have a lot of applications.

Angela Roseboro (12:33)

We're putting ads in paper. But you do so many lunches. You're probably a person that does this really well in terms of networks. And how many lunches do you have? How many after work drinks and dinners do you have? Just getting to know people that you may not even know today, but you might want to be able to call on like five years from now because you can make that call.

Tod Lickerman (12:35)


Well, you know, the reason I like to do it is because I think I put myself back when I was starting my career, right? When you had nothing and you're just trying to get going. And how many people didn't help, right? And I just keep remembering what that felt like, right? Not that I expected a lot of people to help me, but I keep going back to saying, hey, look, if I can help, if I can understand their story, if I can hear where they want to go and help them get there.

Well, then that's just, you know, I would have liked to have had that, you know, and I'll focus on that. And it really, you know, it's the pay it forward. It works really well. And I just think that's something organizations, that's not a nice to have that. You have to be that kind of a talent machine in order to succeed because you're going to, otherwise you're faced with, you know, just unheard of levels of turnover, of lack of engagement, of.

What's our story? What's our identity? I mean, things fall apart pretty quick if you're just a body shop.

Hey, Angela, let me ask you this, multi-generational workforce, right? What kind of challenges and opportunities exist with so many different generations in the same workplace?

Angela Roseboro (14:12)

When people ask me questions, it was the number two questions they asked. But when I watched the way organizations behave, it's the number one issue we face. So you have four generations in the workplace. And what we know is that people are, their value set, how they work, is really fueled by how they grew up. And so I remember a long time ago, and we were talking about bringing in talent. And they said, Angela, these young people just don't want to wait their turn. I'm like, well.

where we had to look at the yellow pages to find out a number, they can go on the internet. So the pace is faster. And I think that helps an organization be more productive, because there's less downtime. I mean, you think about that. But the challenge is, how do we work together in a way that we are all productive? I'm working on a project now with some Gen Zs and Millennials, and they like to work asynchronously. Like, everything is in a dot.

Like they don't want to talk to you, they just want to put it in the dock. At some point we got to get in a room. And so for me, this is about how the company create systems and processes that drive collaboration in a way that it helps everyone realize their superpower. So it doesn't always have to be one way. It is really, yes, there's some things we can do asynchronously, there's some things we got to get in a room and collaborate live. And I think what companies are having to do now, they're either,

going way to the, like, let's pay it to one generation when they really should be thinking about what does collaboration now mean for our organization and how do we now work together effectively? And that's gonna look different than how I used to work. But it doesn't mean that it has to be so different that I can't work that way. And I think that's a good idea.

Tod Lickerman (15:58)

Yeah, you know, those cross-functional, cross-generational teams are really interesting. It's hard, but boy, you sure get a lot out of it. You know, as I look at, I've worked in organizations that had people that stayed in the workforce a long, long time. I worked at one organization where one of the top performers was almost 90 years old. And it was really, really fascinating. It was somebody who had tremendous insight and experience and was still very, very relevant. And then you see,

up and comers in today's organizations who are technology savvy and tool savvy and can hit the ground with productivity that would make your head spin, right? In the areas we grew up in. I was talking to a tech company CEO recently and we're just talking about how does he drive adoption of the tech? And we just said, you know what? Make it free for all the first years in our firm. If it's free, they'll all have it. And guess what? The rest of the company will find out about it.

right, because they'll be using the tool, they'll be more important, they'll be more productive, they'll be pulled into teams and we're off and running. Versus, let's spend a lot of time training those that have a long learning curve, let's train some great up and comers who then can get on teams and use it.

Angela Roseboro (17:13)

It's interesting because the 90 year old who has all this knowledge is just as valuable as the technology. So to me, it is about how do you bring those skillsets together and in a way in which they can work together and be very productive. We all are tied to the way we grew up working. I am tied to the way. When we went from, I didn't have a door of my office to having to be around people, that was really hard for me, right? But it was...

But there was still very much value to that. So I think it's about how do you adopt, but how for you as a company leverage the talents of those four generations. And do not forget about Gen X. I call us the forgotten generation because we are now the CEOs, we're probably more the CEOs of tech companies and more open companies and there's a lot of knowledge shared there. But I think it's really important for us to figure out.

as an organization, what does collaboration mean? And how does that value each generation and what they bring to the table? Because they all do.

Tod Lickerman (18:19)

You know, he said something interesting is that, uh, your generation grows up and becomes more and more influential, broader, more powerful than you ever would think. Right. And this idea that, you know, I was always the youngest in my class, right. So I, cause I have a, I have a late birthday and I got into school a little bit younger than everyone else. I was always thinking, geez, you know, I'm always going to be in the bottom of the totem pole here. And then you, and then you, you know,

you progress a little bit and then all of a sudden your peers in another company and then that person got this job and this person got that job and you'd be surprised. And then one day you wake up and then you do have that network and it is really fascinating. It speaks to the value of cultivating a network as you build your career all the way throughout because it's super valuable and that's your peer group.

Angela Roseboro (18:52)


It really is, it really is. It is hard for me to go from being the, I remember being the youngest in the room. It's just, and now I'm looking at someone else and how I was treated as being the youngest in the room. And now I'm not the youngest in the room and just being aware of what that means for that person who is now the youngest in the room. And to your point, what you talked about earlier, how do I help bring them along?

Tod Lickerman (19:10)

Hey, you know.

Angela Roseboro (19:32)

Not in the way that I did it, but hearing them and helping them do it in the way that really is authentic to them.

Tod Lickerman (19:39)

You know what's interesting? So I am a Gen Xer. I actually, my first role was with Arthur Anderson here in Chicago, which is a very matrixed organization and that was my cohort and they're still my, some of my best friends, but we are now at an age of Gen X where we are in leadership roles. There's a challenge here. We are leadership roles, but so oftentimes Gen Xers don't want to go to the office because they succeeded to such a.

level or height, but they're the ones that need to be the training and mentoring those younger generations, the Japanese and millennials. And I think it's a challenge to motivate people out of a certain level of achievement to actually make that investment because that's what it is. Well, the organization needs you. You may not need the organization quite as much because you're an independent worker, but the organization needs you.

that at all levels. Yep.

Angela Roseboro (20:42)

And I do think it's understanding, first of all, you know, you said, Kirk, there was this stat that talks about Gen Z is going to overtake all of us, right? And I have a Gen Z daughter, and I will tell you how much that clashes every time. Like she has, I mean, she's the smartest person about everything, because she has access to information at her fingers. What she doesn't has is experience.

And what she doesn't always appreciate is experience. So we have really good conversations around how she thinks, really recognizing how smart she is. And then how that translates into how she works into an organization. And there's a lot of parts where she's like, I'm not gonna compromise this mom. Where I would be like, oh yeah, you should compromise that. But my goal is how do you help her navigate through it? Because there's a...

intelligence there and a skill set there that we have to capture and I'm all for it but it is I won't say that it is not it's not always easy but it is necessary.

Tod Lickerman (21:45)

But it's the emotional intelligence, right? And that emotional intelligence comes with experience. And, and seeing others do the similar work and watching them on a day-to-day basis. And that's part of something I think we're missing. Hey Angela, let me ask you this. How does DEI feed into the conversation?

Angela Roseboro (22:06)

You know, for a long time we see DEI as a separate conversation. DEI is a talent conversation. You know, when you think about just sheer what talent looks like, and the type of talent you have, we shouldn't be having a separate conversation. I think what happens in DEI, it creates a level of discomfort, because we're all creatures of wanting to be around people who are like us. But,

If I were relegated to just people, I'll use this as an example, I love strategy. And I was in a group that we are all strategic. We came with 150 ideas. We executed on nothing. And so you got to have that diversity to that. You got to have those disruptors. You got to be able to create space. Um, because for companies for them to be successful is going to be about innovation. So you got to be deliberate and intentional about bringing in different perspectives.

and letting that perspective and valuing those perspectives so that you can create something greater. Otherwise we'll keep doing the same thing. We'd still be looking at the yellow pages, right? And so there's always gonna be something as a company that's disruptive. One of the examples I use is Blockbuster. Like I used to love to go to Blockbuster. It was my Friday night, go get my DVDs and go and my daughter started watching Netflix.

Like no one's gonna watch a movie on their computer. And I think Blockbuster thought like I did. They built their product for me, not recognizing that there are other people who are gonna bring in some disruption around how they're gonna view content. We gotta, I think companies sometimes when we are successful, we become creatures of habit and we have to allow disruption to breathe so that we can be better as an organization. That's where I think DEI comes in.

I also, I had a person once that said, hey, Angela, tell me how hiring a woman makes me better. I said, well, tell me how hiring a man makes you better. This is just about talent. And I think talent is going to look different. What we have to be okay with is being uncomfortable, being comfortable being uncomfortable. But what I find, once you make that first step, then it becomes very easy because what you are really focused on, what you all should be focused on is how does a company become better. So for companies, I say,

I don't ask about talent and diverse talent. I ask about talent and I'll ask, okay, what perspectives do you need that you do not have? What experiences do you need that you do not have? What understanding of your customers do you have that you do not have? And we should be deliberate around that. So I'm not a fan of saying, let's talk about talent and diverse talent. I think you need that diversity of thought, perspective, experience. You've got to know your customer. You've got to be, your customer has to see themselves in you. And that is

pretty, pretty important, particularly in our business and real estate. So I think that is one of the biggest business reasons that I think we need to continue this conversation. I think we get caught up in the politicization of DEI. We really should be talking about the talent.

Tod Lickerman (25:08)

Well, and as look as country changes, as the demographics change, homogeneity is a risk, right? And so you want to be cycling through folks that are representative of the world that you're in, right? And then if you have that, then you're going to get a natural diversity of thought internally. But I think a couple other things you and I have talked about in the past. One is you can't just look

for people that look just like you. You have to figure out how am I gonna get a wider view? How am I gonna look for talent, not look for somebody that looks like me? And then how do I create a culture that sponsors people, right? That people feel comfortable in, right? People won't stay at a company. No matter what kind of company it is and what you do, you're not gonna stay at a company if you feel like an outsider, right? So how do you create an inclusive culture where talented people come and say,

I can have a career here.

Angela Roseboro (26:09)

I think diversity, I so agree with you, diversity in some minds are passive. You're gonna have that diversity of thought and process and just given the demographics, you're gonna have differences. The beauty, the end game is that you want to have that perspective represented in your thought process so that you can be a better company and you can get better outcomes. And so it's one thing I can have.

you know, a diverse room and still not be successful because I'm not allowing for, I'm not valuing that perspective. And I'll give you an example. I was interviewing a person that was, I'm left-handed and we're just creatures of comfort. We talked about left-handed the whole interview. And for some reason, maybe I thought that was the best person for the job, but all I really talked about is the thing that was left-handed. And I don't, so I don't think people consciously say, you know what, I want to be around people who are like me. I think it's just the connection that we have.

And sometimes we so focus on the connection that we forget about what kind of the skill sets and the perspective that we need because we're creatures of comfort. So I tell folks, it may be uncomfortable and that's okay. We're gonna say the wrong thing sometimes and that's okay because we're a learning organization. But the value you get out of having a diverse perspective is gonna pay off 10 fold. And I think one more thing, one example, I was working at a bank in Chicago.

And we were looking at ways in which we can increase revenue in our deposits. And a young woman said, hey, we should reach out to women. Like, well, we thought we did. But she created this marketing campaign, increased the deposits by like 35%. So when I think about the business case, and that came from a person who said, hey, I've had this experience, I think we can be better. And the business outcome was there. So...

And I think that's the business case and the beauty of having that perspective. Now we could have said, Oh no, we do everything right. Already. We don't need that, that thought. We did it. We said, Hey, let's try it. It had worked. If it doesn't work, there's nothing lost, but it worked and the bank was better for it. And we met our numbers. So you got to let that perspective in and you got to be willing to take, um, to understand the value of that perspective and try it out.

This is what I said.

Tod Lickerman (28:33)

What do you think the role that workplace plays in this?

Angela Roseboro (28:37)

I say now more than ever, workplace plays such, particularly post-being a role. We are all struggling. And I can tell you every company I've spoken with, we are all struggling with hybrid, return to work, remote work. I talked to an employee a couple of weeks ago and they had not seen another person in a year since they'd been there. So they're not connected to the company.

They're not connected to the organization. They're not connected to the people. Workplace plays such an important, because now we have to figure out when we bring people in, when we have to collaborate, and what type of space that we need to be able to do that effectively. And I think we're all struggling. There's no road, there's no playbook on this. And so I think workplace, bringing people together is always where we should be around each other at some point to connect to the company.

I think collaboration, I think we have to figure out how we create spaces that engage, that kind of encourage collaboration and connection, and when we should do that. And I think we are all trying to figure out that playbook. So as organizations, you know, the day of the office with the door is gone, because that's just gone. So how do we design workplaces that engage, that really encourage collaboration in the way in which we need it?

How do we create moments that matter so that when we bring people together, it's intentional? And there's a connection to the company. So I think it plays a huge role in how we're going to collaborate, how we're gonna innovate, and how we're going to really stay true to the culture of a company. Because workplace really kind of is representative of the culture of that.

Tod Lickerman (30:28)

You know, it's interesting what we're seeing in work styles, right? There, there is a portion of work that can be totally remote, right? That we really didn't have much of that before the pandemic. And it's something around 15% of the workforce just can be remote. In fact, there's some jobs that are just better, right? You have better access to talent and people can work remotely. That's great. But you know what? That's not 50%. That's maybe 15, right? In knowledge office workers, then the hybrid, right? Is about 50%.

And the interesting thing about hybrid is companies have decided that same day, hybrid means you're in on the same day. And what that just doesn't mean you got to put in 20 hours a week in the office. I mean, you have to be there the same day, same two days, save three, save four days. What it means is all the generations, all the departments, everybody working together because, you know, we may be the kind of, you know, Gen Z will look, I don't need much from the workforce because I'm

fully experienced and fully independent, and I'm just about productivity, but the organization needs you, right? And young folks need you, and you may not be able to recruit and retain young folks if they can't learn from others, right? So that convening of the workforce, and we've seen it in this hybrid thing, it's still an experiment going on, but the value of everyone being in and convening and working together and what that does to create the organization.

and what it does for the organization is really, really important. Thank you.

Angela Roseboro (31:58)

things I worry about in this space is do we lose our culture, right? And so if we're all, you know, if we're all on Zoom all day, now we're probably more productive, but we're also burning out as well. So I don't know the stats on burnout, but because you can do nine Zoom calls in a row and you're just spit. And so what I think what happens when you're in the what we what we miss, I don't know if we recognize that is the drive by.

or the like hellos or the connections or the things that really make you want to be with that company and those relationships. Those things are really still important. So I think we just have to figure out how we do that in a way that, you know, I worry about culture being lost. And we have, what I'm seeing more of is more silos because of how we're working together today and less collaboration.

which will result in as much as we think we're productive, less efficiencies. And so all of that works together.

Tod Lickerman (33:02)

Well, and it's just not a cohesive talent strategy, right? Talent, if you're building a team of just free agents that have no real affinity to the team, that's expensive labor that is out the door, right? So that doesn't work. The successful teams draft, develop, grow their own, learn, embrace. But look, we've grown up in...

Angela Roseboro (33:05)




Tod Lickerman (33:26)

different kinds of industries. And I can't say that every company I've worked for was really good at talent acquisition, retention and management. Why do you think it's so hard? Why do you think it's just so hard?

Angela Roseboro (33:33)


I, you know, I've been reflecting on this question. There's a couple of things. I think sometimes we hire for speed versus what we really need because we're like, we're on the go, go. So, you know, when I think about either volunteer or involuntary and there's some companies who hire for speed, that's gonna be really high. I think we need to take a breath. We need to have a cohesive talent strategy and really spend a lot of time in the beginning.

process so that, you know, go slow to go fast is what I say about talent. So I think that's from a talent that, or you will always be spinning. I also think people who are very marketable, once they get to a certain level, sometimes it becomes cost prohibitive. So I was like, who do you have? Like, we're not developing enough in our pipeline. And I always think about how are we developing? I remember we used to do this really well. We would be looking at that.

junior analyst and saying, okay, what could that person do? And we would be identifying talent early. And I think we're starting to do a buy strategy versus a build strategy, particularly when we are on the heels of having to fill roles. And we have to do that equally. We have to figure out where do we buy talent where we need to build. I think the building will drive retention because people will want to stay because they know they have a future. I think the engagement component

You know, what I love about engagement is that means that people will give you 110% of their discretionary effort. And I think that's awesome. And we do these surveys that tell you why people are not engaged, and yet we don't do anything to address those. So we should take two or three things to say what's going on that, because what the other thing that I say is that either I'm highly engaged, I'm neutral, which you're probably getting with 80%, or I've quit and stayed, meaning I'm just waiting for five o'clock to come and I'm out. You're not getting anything from that.

that part of your organization. But if you can start in that middle, you have highly engaged, and you can start with the people who are like neutral, understand what their needs are, and really look at what they're telling us, because they're telling us something, and do something about it, and tell people we're doing something about it. I think that increases engagement. They also has to be, you know, I always think this is where I think leaders have to rally us more, share our vision, because we wanna buy into the vision of the leadership team. And so we should, we should have compelling visions

And how does my work fit into that vision? How does what I do every day help the company grow? Because we all want to come to a company to help them achieve their mission. So I think it's tough because we're not taking the time to really dissect what's going on in our organizations. We're just building for speed. And I think over time, for a short term, that's going to work. Longer term, I don't think that that's a successful strategy.

Tod Lickerman (36:33)

No, it becomes a hamster wheel, right? Because you're in and out and in and out and in and out. And I think some key things you hit on was if people know why what they do, what the overall goal is and mission and what I do in service of that, that helps a ton, right? Because nobody wants to work at a purposeless job, right? And I just think it's a lot of work, right? It's like gardening.

Angela Roseboro (36:36)


Tod Lickerman (37:01)

You know, you're, you're pruning, you're watering, you're maintaining. It's, it's a lot of effort and you can't treat talent like it's just, uh, you know, a given it's a lot of work.

Angela Roseboro (37:13)

It's hard to be a leader. It's hard to be a manager. Cause you really have to think about the needs of your folks and how you're developing your folks. And I think most times that I fall for this too, is like, I gotta get this thing done. Right? And I'm not thinking about the how, I'm not thinking about how I'm bringing people along. I'm really focused on the deliverable versus the people.

And I think that we have to balance that a bit. So one thing I do, and I think I said this to you a long time ago, like I will have 30 minute discussions just ad hoc with my people that work for me. And we don't talk about work, we just kind of talk. And that feels, and I do it once a month. And black feels like a lot of time, but it's an investment in getting to know the person. It's particularly now when I think about the new generations coming up, they want to feel like you care about them.

They want to go to an organization that has purpose and mission and that you care about me as an individual. Back when we were going through, you know, we didn't think that way. That's not how we thought about it. So there's more intention. And I would I talk about why this is hard because it takes more intention than it did before. But we have to invest in that intention.

Tod Lickerman (38:25)

You know, the thing I like about generations in the workforce today is they appreciate authenticity more than I think it used to be, right? And that's where those kind of interactions and being real and being vulnerable goes a long way and it leads to engagement, right? People understand that you're authentic and they know who you really are and vice versa. That will lead to alignment and engagement.

Hey, look, I've got a question. How do you think AI is gonna play out in the workforce? Do you think it'll fill in gaps? Do you think it'll replace jobs? Do you think we all will be working for computers as their pets? What do you think?

Angela Roseboro (39:01)


It's interesting, I would have thought the latter maybe five years ago. Like, have you ever seen the movie The Terminator? Like, that was good, that's the future. What I now see is that it's filling in gaps. It is making us more efficient and making us, allowing us to go faster. Like, I'm typing an email, it'll finish my sentence. So, and I think it just allows me not to have to.

to move faster than I had before. So I think it's filling gaps. I don't think AI will ever take over people. Maybe talk to me in 2050, maybe I'll have a different view. But I do think that it will allow us to be more productive. Now, what we do with the extra time that the AI will allow us to do is something that people have to struggle with. Do you just fill it with more time? What do you do with that? Because it is gonna make us more productive. And what I'm seeing now is like,

I was afraid of it at first and I'm like, you know what? It's going to allow us to be more efficient in how we work. Now, what do we do with these efficiencies and how do we leverage that to help us grow as a company? That's what I think we should be thinking about.

Tod Lickerman (40:30)

What do you think future of work and AI? You know, I think the one place there where AI can really help, I would assume, within talent is just reviewing hundreds and hundreds of applications that must come in. And you have to review just as someone who has done in the past. It is such a hassle to go through that process of just applying for a role and doing the same thing over and over again.

That again, that's process. I think that can go better. Um, in terms of AI in the workplace, I look at, look, I work in research. Um, and well, I, what I do is create content. I hope AI can help me produce content because that will free me up time to do more thinking and really what the narrative is and why it matters. And if I could free up some of that, that original time that might take me to put together a four or five sentence or paragraph narrative on something, I think.

That's great. And it also allows me to, to do some of that critical, deeper thinking and presentation opportunities to show people, um, why it matters instead of just sending it to them, for example, because that onto this is just frees up time. Right. Look, I, this is one of my favorite subjects, right? So I'll give you a couple of thoughts from my, my brain on this is that one is the whole swaths of things that people are really not very good at. Uh, and

that can be done through intelligent automation. So what is that just good, right? Just things get done better with fewer mistakes. But ultimately it's a productivity tool, right? It's like typing to word processing, right? To dictation. All those things are just speed and depth and productivity tools. And I was at this lecture at my son's school and it was teachers and parents talking to an AI.

kind of practitioners. And they said, what do we do? If we can't tell who wrote the paper, what do we do? And we're all sitting in the audience going, yeah, what do we do? Because my son will write the paper on chat GPT. I know it, he probably already has. And the teacher had a great, great answer. He said, look, he said, what I do is, is I make them present their work now. Don't just hand in a paper, put it up on the board and present it.

So you have to demonstrate that you have insight. And he said, frankly, if they used AI to do it and they had the insights to keep up with what happened, then I treat that as good. He said, in fact, we design these projects that they have to go do that they can use AI, but they're much more complicated. Figure out how you're gonna colonize this planet. How are you gonna get there? What's everything gonna work? And then the students now can do something at a much deeper level by using AI

to do calculations and bring stuff together, but then they have to explain. And if we can get to that level of using those tremendous tools to go to a whole different level of creativity and productivity, to me that sounds like much more interesting work than sitting and reviewing applications as a knowledge worker. So that's my hope. I love that.

Angela Roseboro (43:48)

I love that, Tod, because one of the caveats I have on AI is will it decrease our ability to have critical thinking? And that's such a skill that we will always need. The second caveat to AI is AI is built by humans. And so when I think about the application process, I think about, OK, is there bias innately in the AI that's going to allow me not to see the whole group of folks? So.

I think we have to really, I feel like to your point, it's a tool. I don't think it's a tool that I feel comfortable that we can rely on based on like, until we see more evidence. But I, and I, again, my caveat was, is it going to, one thing I think is so critical that critical thinking is in judgment is still such, it's pretty much you wanna be a leader. And I still wanna build that muscle with people. So.

I love what you talked about because then it still has to demonstrate the critical thinking which is a skill that we need for every manager, every leader, every worker, knowledge worker that we have.

Tod Lickerman (44:49)

Yeah, I think and look with the demographics and ongoing growth, we need productivity increases, right? And so, so it's, it's there is a promise there, right? That could really help the talent equation rather than a replacement kind of a productivity enhancer. But look, this was super fun, Angela and Craig, it's always it's always great talking to you. I think

Angela Roseboro (44:57)


Tod Lickerman (45:16)

I think we've come to is no matter what business you're in, you're in the talent business, right? I think workplace matters because, you know, convening and engaging people matters, right? That's the business that we're in. And I think, you know, getting this to work right, you know, it's at the top of the agenda now, which is fantastic to see. Everybody's talking about talent. Everybody's talking about multi-generational workforce. Everybody's talking about how do we make our company work in this environment.

And that hasn't always been the case. People oftentimes were not the front of mind. So it's pretty exciting, if not a daunting time. And I think this is an ongoing conversation for all of us.

Angela Roseboro (45:57)

really is.

Tod Lickerman (45:59)

Well, thank you, Angela. And thank you for watching or listening to this Opportunity Space podcast. And we look forward to seeing you on the next one.