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Podcast: Learning and leadership culture

Dani Saadu
Published: March 12, 2024
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An In Good Company podcast with Dani Saadu, Head of People & Culture, Wavemaker

How to build a learning culture that drives business forward 

What contribution can learning and leadership have on your culture? What role does talent management have to play in your strategy and what's the next people challenge that organisations need to be looking out for?

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Dani Saadu is an experienced people and culture leader with a background in talent development, currently on the speaker circuit and just off his first book launch … he may have joined Dan to talk about the above, but their conversation quickly moves from tipping King Charles off the best sellers list, to 'Traitors'. It’s a blast… 

How important is purpose?

Purpose is absolutely key. It’s essential on an individual, group and organisational level. It stems through the whole thing. People who are the most resilient have the best mental wellbeing, mental health, those who are positive, happy in their lives, generally have a really clear purpose of what they're trying to achieve. And when they've achieved that, they create another purpose. So they always have something that they're trying to strive and achieve for having that purpose in life. 

It's the same with a high performing team. If you take a team that is high performing, that is delivering in the workplace or wherever, they have a goal and a purpose about what they want to achieve - this is our target, this is where we want to get to and how are we going to get there? And the same with an organisation. If you look at organisations that are delivering, have a strong culture and are the most successful, they have a clear strategy and everybody in the business understands it. A clear purpose is easy to communicate, and when something is easy to communicate it is clearly understood and engaged with.

Does a human-centric approach get results?

I've got quite a large network and I've had conversations with people who feel that if you are too human centred, too empathetic, you are soft and can't make tough decisions. You can't deliver commerciality; you can't be profitable. And that isn't true. Yes, many people are ruthless to get to where they are. But what you don't hear about are the stories of people who have become successful because they've got a human centred approach.

Nowadays, especially post-COVID, people want a human centred approach, connectivity, for you to be empathetic to their circumstances and their situation. And if you are that, what you end up with is people who are more committed to the purpose of your organisation, what you're trying to deliver, and they will give more of their time and actually perform better. And therefore you do get to good performance, you do get to commerciality, you become successful and you retain talent.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify

Watch our interview here:

Listen again

024: Wellbeing, resilience and mitigating burnout with Sahar Muhsin Laufman

Coming up

026: What is experiential learning? with Chiara Fregonese, Impact

Follow Impact on Spotify and subscribe to our channel on YouTube

Hit the button below if you'd like to find out more about Dani Saadu and Kevin McAlpin's book, The CAPEX Formula for Learning and Performance: Mega-trends driving the new world of work, learning, skills, and HR

Link to buy on Amazon