Introducing Forward, an SAP Original Series with Baratunde Thurston, Adam Grant, and Leading Brands

“Right now, everything may look abnormal. But this may be our next normal.” That’s how author, former Daily Show producer, and comedian Baratunde Thurston kicks off the launch episode of our new SAP series, Forward.

The last two years have required us all to make big changes to the way we do everything, especially how we work. Amid all the uncertainty, one thing is clear: after where we’ve been, we have to look Forward and change work for good.

That’s why we’re working with another incredible host, Adam Grant. As his generation’s leading organizational psychologist and the host of WorkLife, a TED original podcast, Grant is ideally suited to help our listeners find inspiration and glean best practices from the companies that are thriving in the new normal.

Conversations You Won’t Hear Anywhere Else

In the eight episodes of Forward, we give you the chance to learn how leading companies are grappling with trending issues.

In the launch episode, Thurston talks to Chandra Sanders, program director of RISE at The Mom Project, an online community that provides career resources for female professionals. There has never been a better “job description” of what it takes to be a mom and what that means for the companies that hire them.

Thurston also talks to Grace Zuncic, chief people and culture officer at Chobani, which has taken a pioneering stance on the most difficult issues impacting employee wellness. Says Zuncic: “We started to implement some programs, do things differently, and take a new mindset to how we approached mental health, various inequities, and long-term policies.”

In the follow-on episodes, Grant will explore an important truth: the way organizations approach their people and the experiences they have at work ultimately impacts the bottom line.

In conversation with Sandy McIntosh, executive vice president, people and culture and chief human resources officer at TELUS, Grant will explore how leading with flexibility and compassion supports well-being. One takeaway: sometimes the way to get the best results is to acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers.

You’ll hear Jen Fisher, chief well-being officer at Deloitte US, declare to Grant that it’s possible to beat burnout at scale. Fisher also talks about how it was her own experience beating burnout that not only lead her to this discovery but also to the job she has now.

Grant talks to Amanda Rajkumar, executive board member, Global Human Resources, People, and Culture, at adidas, about a topic that’s especially relevant now: what it takes to have difficult conversations to drive real, meaningful change about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Finally, Grant and Barb Mason, group head and chief human resources officer at Scotiabank, discuss how a new approach to learning and development might lead to long-term success in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We are privileged to partner with these leaders on helping to make work better for all. We are inspired every day by the work they do. We thank our customers for sharing their strategies and stories in the episodes of Forward.


Catch every episode of the SAP original series
Forward at sap.com/HXMForward.


Carolyn Judge Phillip is vice president of Corporate Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors.