The Better Work Project: 2020 Year in Review

17 December

2020 has been a year like no other. In this podcast, we review the year that was and recap our favourite podcast topics from the year, including radical candour, self-organising teams, leadership, unlearning, agility, and so much more.



  • Radical candour is about building good relationships with people and building trust.
  • Some key techniques for performing under pressure include creating a set of personal values to be a compass to come back to, journaling for reflection, and breathwork to bring our limbic system, which is often activated when we're under stress under control.
  • It's all very well to have intentions, but you also need to create new habits.
  • When dealing with pressure, it’s critical to understand the central versus expendable in pressure situations.
  • We need to embrace that leadership is a verb instead of a noun.
  • Some of the strong examples we’ve seen from leaders this year have been from those that have empathy. So, they understand that it's a tough time and they can convey that to people. They show humility in that they don't have all the answers, but they're still willing to give things a try, and they can make tough decisions.
  • In the face of significant change and fear, we revert back to set patterns of behaviour.
  • There seems to be a strong desire to move to a hybrid work from home model. We're going to have to somewhat learn as we go and think about what does that mean for organisations and for people when they're working from home, what extra equipment, what extra allowances in terms of time and other things are going to be necessary for individuals when they're working from home?
  • Self-organised teams are critical, but self-organised teams have to be empowered.
  • With COVID, people are focussed on the current state. There's not as much future state analysis or risk-taking going on. So there's not as much need for complicated, complex decision-making and action-taking that happens in the self-organised environment.
  • In the midst of COVID, there's a great opportunity to innovate. But it's something that most people do not feel comfortable doing. And so the vast majority of companies are still in survival mode.
  • Recent neuroscience research explained that habits can become so hard-wired that they actually become threaded in your DNA. 
  • When learning or trying something new, we will inevitably be not very good to start with. The challenge is to get comfortable in that uncomfortable space.


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