Bob 'n Joyce Talk HR 'n OD

Bob Stapleton and Joyce Wilson-Sanford

The Bob 'n Joyce Talk HR 'n OD podcast, hosted by Bob Stapleton and Joyce Wilson-Sanford, is for Human Resources and Organizational Development change-makers committed to bold work in an era that calls for the skills, values and partnership of these two disciplines. Bob and Joyce are former HR and OD C-suite executives who share their successes, failures, and hacks. They believe that it's an exciting time for this work and give specifics around acquisitions, policy nightmares, and grand moments. This podcast is to support your work and to take a moment to step away from the daily chaos. Come on in, grab a snack, and welcome!

Episode 0: Welcome to the Bob 'n Joyce Talk HR 'n OD Podcast!
Trailer 1 min 45 sec

All Episodes

It turns out we weren’t finished unraveling why sustaining change is so difficult when we go through training. In this episode, we explore the forces both for and against making change stick. In a world that so needs positive change, there may not be a more important conversation. In this episode, you will get: • Why the energy that fuels change needs constant replenishment and ways to do it • How to anticipate and mitigate change derailleurs • Practical tools and strategies for training and development practitioners Come in, grab a snack, welcome!

Dec 7

23 min 25 sec

Why does training too often miss the mark? This is the central question we take on in today’s podcast. Bob’nJoyce deconstruct the distinction between learning and training that is often confused with one another, or worse yet, considered the same. When you mix up one for the other, the bottom line, employee satisfaction, and customer service all suffer. If that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will. Come on in, grab a snack, welcome!

Dec 2

24 min 46 sec

In this episode, Bob’nJoyce explore the importance of finding respite and meaningful work in a dispirited, confused world. We have been through a lot these last two years and many of us are trying to figure out what we need going forward to be fulfilled and happy. This is a messy but worthwhile pursuit. In this episode, you will get: * Ideas for leaders on how to navigate in turbulent times * Strategies for all us to thrive in chaos and loss * The power of HR/OD to be asking the right question from the right audience This episode is a spaghetti session where we throw a lot on the proverbial wall to see what sticks. Come in… Grab a snack (preferably popcorn)… Welcome!

Nov 23

31 min 38 sec

This week, Bob’nJoyce take on the merits of working in big organizations. With a record number of Americans quitting their jobs, they suggest that people just might find meaning and fulfillment in a large organization. Big companies are too often regarded as impersonal, bureaucratic, and rigid. Bob’nJoyce take on this myth based on their experience. In this episode, you will learn: Why big companies with big aspirations create community and purpose That working in big companies doesn’t mean losing oneself What is behind the shift in power to workers fed up with their workplace Why employees in toxic work environments have choices Come on in, grab a snack, welcome!

Nov 18

16 min 23 sec

In this episode, Bob’njoyce explore the importance of employee pay benefits to reflect an organization’s culture and values. All too often, employers mimic the market to determine what benefits to offer employees. While this is an important data point, an organization must also factor in its values and culture. Why this conversation now? Many companies, small and large, are struggling to pivot from past pay benefit practices that no longer meet the demands of a changing workforce. Assessing employee benefits through the lens of culture and values, and what employees most value, is critical to making this pivot. In this episode, you will get: • The importance of having leadership, OD, and HR in this conversation • Why lifestyle benefits like PTO, work from home, and health and wellness needs to be reinvented • Why companies are struggling to get it right • Examples of companies that integrate culture and values into their employee benefits Come on in, grab a snack, welcome!

Nov 10

25 min 26 sec

In today’s episode we explore a brainstorming technique called, “What if…”, a conversation exercise that unleashes creativity, innovation, and new ideas. Bob’nJoyce take on the topic of the seismic change in the workplace resulting from two years of Covid disruption. Many organizations are returning to the old way of work despite worker resistance and resignations. Using the “What if” technique is about creating infinite possibilities by taking a future perspective. Okay, maybe not infinite but more than you might think. In this episode you will get: • An actual demo of how “What if…” works. • Why in our current tumult, the “What if…” technique is needed now more than ever • Tips on how to synthesize and prioritize the ideas that burble up “What if…” is an oldie but goodie technique. Our hope is that our conversation brings it back given the current chaos and discontent.

Nov 2

25 min 12 sec

Blind spots exist in every organization. They conceal organizational truths, that when left uncovered, hinder effectiveness and stifle innovation. In this episode, Bob and Joyce explore HR/OD’s responsibility to speak truth to power. This important HR/OD role requires courage and determination to confront taboos and tip sacred cows. In this episode we uncover: * Why speaking truth to power is so important * The unintended consequences of not confronting truths * How to increase leaderships' receptibility to hearing uncomfortable truths * Using inquiry to speaking truth to power in a respectful and effective way * A conversation exercise that provides safety for people to tell harsh truths HR/OD needs to do more to expose organization truths. This begins through discovery and courageous conversation. Today’s podcast begins that conversation. Come on in, grab a snack, welcome…

Oct 26

29 min 42 sec

In today’s podcast, our guest, Joe Doty, shares how to be aware of and overcome workplace burnout. Joe is Executive Director at Feagin Leadership Program and Duke School of Medicine Leadership Development Program (LEAD). Nowhere has burnout been more prevalent than for frontline medical workers. In his role at the Duke School of medicine, Joe has seen close-up the impacts of burnout on medical professionals. In this episode, you will get: A deeper understanding of why burnout happens A methodology for ‘seeing’ burnout through self-awareness The basic skills of leadership, influencing others, and emotional intelligence The importance of resilience and how to become more resilient Thanks to Joe, today’s episode is packed with a lot of practical advice and wisdom. So come on in, grab a snack, welcome!

Oct 18

30 min 31 sec

Chaos and uncertainty has become the new normal and, as a result, we find ourselves at the beginning of the learning curve to cope. In this episode, Bobn’Joyce suggest strategies to not only survive, but thrive when chaos and uncertainty exist. You will get: * 7 clear strategies to navigate tough times * Why being in the ‘murky middle’ is an opportunity to create and innovate * The power of storytelling and taking the long view in providing perspective and hope * Leadership’s role in combating fear, calling-out unrealistic expectations, and providing context to get people unstuck * How to use de Bono’s lateral thinking to uncover solutions in murky times * Ways to create smooth edges and open-up thinking when all seems hopeless Get ready to be uncomfortable so make sure to have a snack, and soothing beverage as you listen.

Oct 11

28 min 3 sec

In this episode, we explore the sources and implications of organizational pain. HR/OD and leadership have a role in addressing organizational pain that is often murky and unsettling. So what to do? That question is opened-up, examined, and learnings teased out based on real stories. In this episode: • You will learn why ignoring pain almost never works • The role of managers and HR/OD in addressing organizational pain • What works, and doesn’t work in managing pain • You will get practical tips on tactics to address the people impact of organizational pain

Sep 28

30 min 29 sec

In this episode, Bob’NJoyce explore the benefits, and yes, the power of humor. More and more, organizations are declaring humor as a value. Leaders who are seen as not taking themselves too seriously, connect better with employees and put them at ease. So what is going is going here and why more now than ever? We take this on and discuss: • Why humor and play softens the system, loosens thinking, and helps people connect • How humor takes the edges off big fat mistakes and failures • Humor as the X-factor character trait in leadership • The power of Nurf balls, fun play, and goofy meeting warmups Come in… grab a snack… prepare to laugh and have fun. Welcome!

Sep 21

22 min 2 sec

In this episode, Bob’nJoyce get granular on all things HR. Joyce interviews Bob on the arc of his career in HR and his perspectives on the power of HR when aligned with OD and leadership. In this episode we: * Provide examples on how to break into and grow in HR * Discuss the multifaceted nature of HR which is what attracts and, at times, frustrates practitioners * Discuss the balance of attending to the day-to-day while moving the needle on what matters most * Babble about HR/OD reporting structures Come in… grab a snack, welcome!

Sep 14

31 min 11 sec

In this episode, our guest, John Vegas, speaks about the role of HR/OD in an organization’s success. Over a thirty-year career, John has worked in many roles in both HR/OD across diverse industries, and ultimately led several high impact HR/OD functions. In this episode, you will: * Witness John’s passion for unleashing the potential of individuals and organizations * Get sage advice on creating powerful partnerships with CEO's and their teams * Get advice on launching a career in HR/OD * Hear about John’s innovative, bold work in diversity, equity, and inclusion in both business and education * Learn John’s approach to big change and shifting a culture. Come on in....Grab a snack...Welcome

Sep 7

33 min 20 sec

Blind spots can be the Achilles heel of leadership. In this episode, we explore why our blind spots hinder our effectiveness and an organization's success. The problem is that we all have them. In this episode, we: • Explore what blind spots are. • Discuss our personal blind spots and how we ‘see’ them. • Review the most common leadership blind spots. • Focus on what leaders can do to ‘see’ their blind spots. Come in…Grab a snack…Welcome


Aug 31

23 min 43 sec

The saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” is at the heart of successful mentoring. In this episode, we will explore mentoring programs and why some work but many don’t. The dilemma that unfolded in today’s podcast is that while the merits of mentoring relationships are critical to organizational success, both Bob’nJoyce had bad experiences with formal mentoring programs. In this episode, we will: * Explore the pitfalls of former mentoring programs * Discuss the importance of a learning culture * Describe the necessary conditions for mentoring to flourish * Provide practical tips that work No doubt the need for great mentoring has never been greater. In this episode, we play in the mentoring sandbox, get a little messy, but there are nuggets to add to your OD/HR skills toolbox. Enjoy…

Aug 24

20 min 20 sec

Organizations are grappling with reinventing their workplace to attract and retain talent. In this episode, Bob’nJoyce noodle over what is possible when companies are imaginative and courageous in rethinking their workplaces. We riffed: * The assumption/myth that workplaces will return to pre-Covid norms * Why it may be time to throw out the old HR handbook * What employees value and therefore will demand from their work * Trusting employees will get the work done regardless of where/how they work * Giving your workers choice and freedom. Enjoy today’s podcast.

Aug 17

22 min 21 sec

Third Party Facilitation (TPF) is an underappreciated role that HR & OD practitioners play. In this episode, we explore the importance and complexity of TPF. Most third-party facilitations are confidential. Many involve conflict or very intimate situations that must be held in confidence. When there is a power differential involved, the work is more complex. TPF is not coaching and is not therapy. It takes creating a safe, neutral space for "understanding the misunderstanding" between two people so that right action can be taken. Not easy. Not visible. And very necessary.

Aug 10

24 min 46 sec

How does a food grocer from Maine launch a college recruiting program that attracted graduates from prestigious colleges and universities? In this episode, we explore one company’s innovative, counterintuitive approach to hiring high potential college graduates into an accelerated learning program. The program was called the Retail Management Trainee Program (RMT), an ordinary name that produced extraordinary results. In this episode, we discuss how the RMT program: * Produced a generation of CEO’s and senior executives for Delhaize-Ahold * Promoted diversity objectives * Has evolved and flourished for 40+ years * What your organization can do to transform their college recruiting process to achieve extraordinary results. Welcome. Grab a snack. Come on in.

Aug 3

29 min 38 sec

Looking ahead there are more unknowns for families, institutions, and organizations as we emerge from the pandemic. In today’s episode, we take on the discomfort and demands of stepping into the unknown. For leaders, the ability to adroitly navigate the unknown is a core competency. We explore what that looks like and how it can be learned. In this episode we discuss: • The importance of constant contact when facing unknowns • Acting when old ways no longer work • The merit of taking medium size steps • Leaning into the discomfort of letting go Enjoy today’s episode.

Jul 27

26 min 8 sec

In this episode, Bob’nJoyce explore why curiosity is a critical 21st Century leadership skill. It isn't a flavor of the week trend. Curiosity is the bedrock of creativity and imagination. Without it, there is no innovation or creativity. Crisis or radical change demands new ideas. This is where being curious comes in. Problem is, it’s not easy for many leaders. We discuss: —how trauma can freeze-out curiosity —where new ideas come from —that curious CEO's are invaluable —when a problem demands curiosity

Jul 20

22 min 29 sec

This episode salutes front line HR/OD professionals who do the tough work every day to move people and organizations forward. These heroes must thread the needle on what is best for the organization and employees while staying grounded. In this episode, we discuss: • Speaking truth to power • The dance between proactive and reactive mode • Wrestling with thorny challenges and dilemmas • Going from compliance cop to strategic partner Kudos to all of you for the work you do every day often without recognition!

Jul 13

22 min 7 sec

In this episode, Bob and Joyce talk about the difference between leading and managing. They play with defining both and talk about the blend of leading and managing going on today. They mention an assessment tool they think is good for leaders. The important role of a manager today is heightened due to the recruitment slump going on due to Covid. It is the managers of a company who are the key to hiring good people and retaining them. The new demand in managing is the nurture and psychological safety of associates. They discuss how compensation should fit the value of managing and share some ideas about how to do it. They ask for people to react and come on the Podcast to discuss the manager role as the epicenter of success for a business (this is a challenge).

Jul 6

25 min 54 sec

In this podcast, Bob 'n Joyce talk about unexpected or "no obvious solution" moments where there is no time for a planned OD intervention. They describe what they did in those situations that worked. In different ways, they brought together the people being impacted to create an approach or solution for themselves. Often the success of this kind of experience lessened resistance to larger system change. Crisis creates opportunity to do things very creative and different.

Jun 29

24 min 34 sec

In this episode, Bob 'n Joyce talk about the hiring process and the demand on HR/OD to get it right. There is nothing more important to a company’s success than hiring the best people and too many companies aren’t. We explore what’s not working and brainstorm ideas to make your hiring process a powerful differentiator. In this episode, you will get: • Why right now is a great opportunity to attract great talent. • How to make your hiring process a magnet for attracting the best. • Branding your values and vision into your hiring process. • Why it's important to be both high touch and high tech in your hiring process.

Jun 22

21 min 30 sec

In this episode, Bob 'n Joyce share how the use of guided imagery helped kick off a profound culture shift in the Hannaford Supermarkets of New England. They discuss: a specific script of a guided imagery they used with large groups of food retailers to initiate the co-creation of a vision introduced by the new CEO Talk about how a radical method worked and why the CEO was bold enough to give it a try How the use of large groups of up to 350 people managed to be productive and galvanizing (involving over 2500 people!)

Jun 15

26 min 21 sec

Bob’N Joyce discuss the pervasive issue of employee and organizational burnout. Once a taboo topic, the pandemic has exposed that it is a real condition, that left unaddressed, devastates individuals, teams, and entire organizations. Rethink the responsibilities of employers to their employees amidst changing priorities. Discover how employers can promote resilience. In this episode, we cover: • The role HR/OD plays in confronting burnout • Helpful tips on how to detect burnout • Actions to take when you are in burn out • Interventions to expose and heal organizational burnout

Jun 8

19 min 31 sec

OD practitioners wear a lot of hats. In this episode, Bob’nJoyce sort through these many hats using the Global OD Model developed by ODN. This model defines the discipline of organizational development and assesses areas for professional development. We discussed: • The multi-faceted work of an OD professional working inside a company and the richness of the work as well as the complexity of the many hats worn when working inside. • The work we have done that fits under each segment of the Global OD Model to show the benefit of having a model that provides grounding for both the OD leader and the company • The benefit of the model to serve as a kind of “you are here” map that helps both the practitioner and the company to understand the work and give context.

Jun 1

25 min 36 sec

Turnabout is fair play. In this episode, Bob’n Joyce discuss common OD/HR leadership flaws and their unintended consequences. HR/OD professionals, like CEO’s, are human and, as a result, imperfect. We all possess flaws that, if left unattended, diminish our impact. Here are a few of the common flaws we discuss: • Acting too small when what is needed is big • Going too bold, too far, too soon before ‘massaging it” into the system • Over-owning what is, and the self-imposed demand to solve • OD/HR speak/language that loses and/or turns off others in the process • Knowing when to fold your hand and leave You get it, we, Joyce and Me, have many flaws. Let’s celebrate our humanity!

May 25

17 min 29 sec

CEOs are human and, as a result, imperfect. They all possess flaws that if left unattended, diminish both their impact as well as that of the team reporting to them. In this episode, Bob’n Joyce discuss common flaws they have observed and their unintended consequences. Here are some of the common flaws they discuss: • Blind spots – The failure to ask the question, “What am I not seeing?” • The discipline to stay on message • Pulling from the same bag of tricks • Delivering and receiving tough messages

May 18

24 min 5 sec

A company needs a culture that supports the business and energizes its employees. In this episode, Bob ‘n Joyce: • Attempt to define what culture is and why it matters. • Suggest a fun tool to diagnose an existing culture. • Describe an intervention of 2,500 people to co-create a vision and culture. Come in, grab a snack, Welcome!

May 11

36 min 30 sec

In this episode, Bob’nJoyce focus on line supervisors, and middle managers who are critical to getting the important work done. Unfortunately, this group is often neglected, marginalized and, at worse, maligned. Bob’nJoyce discuss the importance of managers to business success and how OD/HR can design processes that empower and reward them. In this episode, you will get: • Practical and far out ideas that makes managers feel seen and heard. • Using pay and power to recognize the importance of line-managers. • An intervention that empowers both managers and the CEOs. • The power of ‘what ifs exercise.’

May 3

42 min 49 sec

In this episode, Joyce shares the criteria that she and the CEOs she's worked with agreed to that enabled them to do bold work. She demonstrates the benefits of forging a partnership where trust, good will, and taking risk, opens the way for impactful interventions and making learning the heart of the organization. Here is a sample of nuggets to be mined in today’s episode : • The benefits of starting small and the magic of “pilots”. • The willingness to take it on the chin when things don’t go right. • The 80-20 rule – 20% of work happens in the meeting, 80% of the work is in the preparation. • The importance of getting 10% of the people in a meeting on your side beforehand. • Never make your CEO look silly or wrong.


Apr 28

28 min 13 sec

In this episode, we dig into the challenge of keeping an organization moving forward in times of turbulent transition. Bob ‘n Joyce share resources that have helped them and may help listeners today. Turbulence and change are the new normal. There are good nuggets to be mined in this episode.

Apr 20

27 min 53 sec

In Episode 14, we lean into the discomfort of learning from meeting facilitation gone awry. If you are doing bold work, you are bound to get stuck when you and others have no idea what you are doing or where you are going. Today Bob and Joyce discuss what do when your meeting plan isn’t working for you or participants. They discuss the role of metaphor, asking good questions, coming clean, and improvisation as means to work through these cringe-worthy moments. We all experience a flat meeting where you are leading. That is the gaffe. The magic is how we recover from the moments in the moment to get back on track.


Apr 13

26 min 55 sec

In this episode, we continue our conversation on 2021 leadership being reimagined. Joyce’s article on the “C’s” of leadership created a context for a new model of modern leadership. Today, we followed our energy to focus on feminine characteristics of leaders, many of which are included in the “C’s.” Today’s conversation takes on the prickly topic of feminine leadership characteristics that is often mistaken for gender-based, male versus female comparisons. Despite our own discomfort, we followed our energy to express our belief that modern leadership demands a more feminine approach. We invite you to listen to this conversation that raises as many questions as it answered.

Apr 6

21 min 45 sec

Old patterns and norms of leadership just don’t work anymore. In this Episode, Bob ‘n Joyce share the Big “C’s” of Leading – a framework for reimagining 2021 leadership. Modern leaders must lead differently to unleash organizational potential. They must skip a generation of leadership learning and leap into modern leading, learning while they are in mid-air. Only the most Courageous (one of the “C’s”) of leaders take this on.

Mar 30

28 min 47 sec

In Episode 11, Bob’nJoyce take on the topic of best practices in performance management and professional development. They share what worked well, what didn’t work at all, and the lessons they have learned along the way. Bob and Joyce cover: • The importance of open and frequent performance conversations • Why so many people whose jobs are on the line don’t know it • Moving from adversarial to productive performance dialogue • The magic of “in the moment” feedback Performance management continues to be hard to get right. Join us in the quagmire where punitive meets possibility.

Mar 23

32 min 29 sec

In this Podcast, Bob and Joyce continue to share funny, quirky, and true events that didn't work too well (we needed 2 episodes because we have so many). This episode reminds us that learning often comes from painful, cringing moments. It also reminds us of the value of having a work buddy to lean into. Some show flaws in the work. Some show courage. All are funny now but terrifying when they happened. Joyce and Bob cover: Recovering from a micro-aggression - maintaining your integrity in chaos - the burden of the HR/OD role - When and how to pivot when things go wrong- like really wrong.

Mar 18

23 min 45 sec

In this Podcast, Bob and Joyce share funny, quirky, and true events that didn’t work so well. Many are funny in retrospect and show the need to pivot in the moment. Some show courage. Some show flaws in the work itself. And some show the ethical dilemmas that have to be navigated in doing OD/HR work inside an organization. Joyce and Bob cover: —large event disasters —Board meeting blow-up —Right sizing done well and not so well —A warm-up gone astray —Some hacks learned from the hiccups

Mar 2

32 min 35 sec

In today’s episode, we explore the many quagmires that we find ourselves in as HR/OD professionals. Easier said than done when we are in the quagmire too. We must assess continually the impact of uncertainty as well as ethical considerations, and then act to maintain the health and engagement of employees. Today’s conversation goes deep into the quagmire, specifically around race, and social inequality, and we took stabs about how to heal and move forward. This is a raggedy conversation that hopefully will leave you curious about your own story. We were nervous about posting this, but felt we must. Get ready to get uncomfortable.

Feb 23

38 min 8 sec

In this episode, BobnJoyce talk about less recognized elements of interventions that support good results and give examples. —treating participants as guests —preparing an entire HR department to serve as table “hosts/facilitators” for retail guests —designing an intervention that goes counter to organizational habit —the importance of setting atmosphere to support content —managing the tension of learning--adjusting from loose to tight

Feb 16

21 min 22 sec

In this episode, Bob’nJoyce interview Scott Harrison, one of the original members of Hannaford’s first store manager learning group. We invited Scott to Bob’nJoyce because as the old saying goes, “The proof in the pudding is in the eating.” Scott shares his recollection of the experience and how it transformed him and his fellow store managers. Some 30 years later, Scott describes how being a member of this learning group shaped his leadership as a C-suite executive at Food Lion, LLC.

Feb 9

37 min 52 sec

What would you do if your training budget was cut right before you were ready to launch a well thought out, integrated approach to store manager training? This is exactly what Joyce faced when she introduced learning groups as a ‘work around’ to her budget woes. Bob ‘n Joyce will explore this thing called learning groups- what they are, how they work, and how they transformed the work culture in retail.

Feb 2

36 min 8 sec

With the recent shift in power in our nation’s capital, this episode suggests a path forward to neutralize the polarized politics that defines our times. Using OD practices that sow the seeds of small ‘d’ democracy, communities can begin a dialogue where what binds us, a common purpose, becomes greater than what divides us.

Jan 26

27 min 52 sec

In this episode, Bob and Joyce talk about the fact that we, in the US and the world, are going through more than one trauma. They talk about trauma as shockingly fast change done to you, not with you. They share practices and approaches that they have used for companies and for individuals. They mention: * Bill Bridges work on change * What behaviors work in trauma chaos * A tool--the polarity continuum * The importance of HR/OD in teaching new ways of being in a work community * Ways to have conversations of profound differences

Jan 12

29 min 40 sec

In this episode, we revisited Kathy’s time at Hannaford as the head of HR and the powerful force she was that transformed HR and the company. If you worked with Kathy, our hope is that this podcast rekindles your own fond memories. If you didn’t know Kathy, we hope you enjoy the lessons of the early transition of HR becoming a strategic partner at the C-suite table.

Dec 2020

21 min 35 sec

In this episode, Bob’nJoyce share why they love OD. They are not alone. Leaders in HR and the C-suite are increasingly looking to OD to motivate employees in achieving organizational goals. So what is this thing we call OD and why is it a powerful discipline to unleash an organization’s potential? They cover: What excites them most about OD Why OD/HR is so fundamental to what is happening in the world today The importance of policy development on a culture The energy and power of OD done well

Nov 2020

14 min 59 sec

Join Bob Stapleton and Joyce Wilson-Sanford as they dive into what you can expect when listening to the Bob 'n Joyce Talk HR 'n OD Podcast. With new episodes each week, tune in to hear their tips, tricks, and hacks for Human Resources and Organizational Development. Learn about their experiences, why they started this podcast, and stay around for the laughs. View more information at

Nov 2020

21 min 40 sec

Welcome to the Bob 'n Joyce Talk HR 'n OD Podcast. Meet us, find our why we are doing this podcast, and what our hope is for you, our listeners. Don't forget to review us on Apple Podcasts, and to check out our Facebook page by searching for bobnjoyce. View more information at

Nov 2020

1 min 45 sec