An Inflection Point For People Management w/ John Foster
Best-Self Management · 51 minutes ·

An Inflection Point For People Management w/ John Foster

Note: This podcast interview was recorded earlier in 2020, but is still filled with lessons and advice applicable to challenges presented by the new world of remote work, though it will not reflect an awareness of just how much things have transformed. 

Employee development is one of the most strategic decision-making areas for any company. Developing your people’s skills and creating a positive employee experience requires thoughtful, deliberate action. Today’s guest has built his career around helping businesses do just that. 

John Foster is a business designer who helps people and organizations perform at their best. He has served many of the world’s most innovative companies in both internal roles and consulting relationships. John has broad experience designing, building, and managing internal operations for talent-driven companies.

In this episode, John describes the most crucial components of helping your people perform at their best. First of all, it is important to place them in roles where they are best positioned to utilize their strengths. Once there, management needs to provide the proper support so that employees are not bogged down with things they can’t handle.

As Chief People Officer at TrueCar, John strives to make sure that his organization is providing the necessary environment for people to perform well together. This is something that was seldom done decades ago. John explains why he thinks workplace culture has shifted, often for the better, and where he thinks it will go from here.

How can you help your people understand where their strengths lie? Let us know in the comments on the episode page!


In this episode:

  • Striking a balance between supporting people in becoming their best selves and expecting individuals to bring their best
  • The process for determining if your people and organization are operating at their highest levels
  • How attitudes toward fostering intrinsic motivation at work have shifted over time
  • Expert predictions about future shifts in workplace environments and expectations
  • Using challenges and novelty to strengthen a team’s cohesion and an individual’s growth



“Work is very rarely ever something you do alone. An organization is best served by providing conditions where people work better together.” [3:34]

“Now we’re living when CEOs and executives don’t really know the answer to the problem that’s going to help their company grow. So they have to ask the people in their company to help them figure it out.” [13:31]

“Individuals have to be accountable for delivering what they said they would. Companies have to be open to letting individuals define how they’re going to deliver it.”  [31:54]

“Learning and growing means you’re going to have setbacks and you’re going to make mistakes. But that’s not failure.” [38:12]

“If you have people who are more self-aware and clear about who they are, what they want, and what they can do, the outcome is automatic.” [42:50]



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