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A Celebration of our 100th Episode featuring the Mike Petrusky Interview

Geoff Snavely hosts a special edition of the show as we celebrate this major milestone for “The Workplace Innovator Podcast” – Episode #100! The tables are turned for Mike Petrusky when Geoff takes over asking the questions with the help of past guests of the podcast, including Thomas L. Mitchell, Jr., CFM, CFMJ, IFMA Fellow, … Continue reading "A Celebration of our 100th Episode featuring the Mike Petrusky Interview"

A Celebration of our 100th Episode featuring the Mike Petrusky Interview

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Geoff Snavely hosts a special edition of the show as we celebrate this major milestone for “The Workplace Innovator Podcast” – Episode #100! The tables are turned for Mike Petrusky when Geoff takes over asking the questions with the help of past guests of the podcast, including Thomas L. Mitchell, Jr., CFM, CFMJ, IFMA Fellow, Kay Sargent, David Wagner, Andrea Sanchez, Rex Miller, Robert D. Fox, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, and Arnold Levin. Mike and Geoff swap stories about lessons learned from the industry leaders who have visited the show, while providing inspiration for facing our fears and chatting about music (and music videos) that will bring a smile to your face during these challenging times! (45 minutes)

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Share your thoughts with Mike via email: [email protected]

Read the full transcript:

Mike Petrusky (00:00):

Hey folks, it’s Mike. Welcome to Episode 100 of the Workplace Innovator Podcast. This is a real milestone for the show. My friend Geoff Snavely and I had planned to do something really special here for a very long time. When we sat down to record a little while ago, concerned about potential spread of the coronavirus was already in the news. But, wow, what a difference a couple of weeks makes.

            At the time this episode is being published, most public gatherings and events have been canceled. Our workplaces and really our whole lives have been disrupted dramatically. Geoff and I talked about dealing with fear and the potential of some big changes in the marketplace, but we had no idea what was to come, of course, which makes listening now to some of our comments back then seem really rather prescient and maybe even a little bit eerie.

            We’re certainly living now in unprecedented times. I’m also doing something unprecedented with this week’s show. I’m not going to limit the episode to just 20 minutes. For the first time, I’m going to play for you the complete conversation with very minimal edits. I think you’ll appreciate and maybe even be inspired by my chat with Geoff. It was very real. It was fun. I hope you enjoy listening to all of it.

            One last thing, if the thought of taking part in a discussion like this is something that appeals to you. I invite you to join me this Wednesday at noon Eastern Time for my new weekly live stream broadcast. We’re calling it Workplace Innovator Interactive. I hope that you can be a part of the conversation as we seek to come together as a community and encourage each other during these challenging times. Thanks.

Geoff Snavely (01:49):

If you were to start the podcast series from scratch today, go back to April 2018. What would you do differently? If you had that magic wand, what would you do differently? Is that the same answer or …

Mike Petrusky (02:01):

Boy, I hate to be cliche. I wouldn’t change a thing, Geoff. I listened back recently to the very first episode of the Workplace Innovator Podcast and everything I said in that nine-minute introductory episode was exactly what I wanted to do on this show. I really was appreciative that I have guessed right.

            This is the Workplace Innovator Podcast where we talk with corporate real estate and facility management leaders about the industry trends and technologies impacting your organization. This show is powered by iOFFICE, the leading employee experience focused IWMS software that delivers real-time data and mobile tools to help you intelligently manage your digital workplace.

Geoff Snavely (02:46):

Hey, everybody. This is DJ Mike P. No, sorry. I can’t pull it off. This is not DJ Mike P.

Mike Petrusky (02:56):

I love it.

Geoff Snavely (02:56):

This is … I don’t know. Gym Master Geoffrey.

Mike Petrusky (03:01):

Geoffy Geoff. All right.

Geoff Snavely (03:03):

Yeah. I don’t know something cool and hip like that.

Mike Petrusky (03:06):

Beatbox, Geoffy Geoff.

Geoff Snavely (03:06):

But how was that was?

Mike Petrusky (03:07):

That was awesome. I think that was fantastic.

Geoff Snavely (03:10):

I think I do need the background music though.

Mike Petrusky (03:12):

Yeah. We’ll put that in later.

Geoff Snavely (03:13):

Okay. All right. But in all seriousness, I do want to welcome our audience to the Workplace Innovator Podcast. This is a very special episode.

Mike Petrusky (03:26):

Sure is.

Geoff Snavely (03:27):

I am honored and excited to be here because this is a milestone that we should be very, very proud of. This is the hundredth Workplace Innovator Episode.

Mike Petrusky (03:38):

Woo-hoo. Yeah.

Geoff Snavely (03:40):

Yeah. How many things happen 100 times in general? But before we get started, I do actually want to introduce myself. My name is Geoff Snavely with MilliCare Floor & Textile Care. Our plan, you might be wondering, what is our plan for this podcast?

Mike Petrusky (03:59):

Yeah. What is our plan for this podcast, Geoff, because we didn’t really talk about it?

Geoff Snavely (04:03):

What are we going to be doing today? Well, what we’re going to do is we’re going to turn the tables.

Mike Petrusky (04:09):

Like a turntable, like a wiki, wiki, wiki, final cut.

Geoff Snavely (04:12):

I will be interviewing the host of the show …

Mike Petrusky (04:12):

You’d be the host.

Geoff Snavely (04:18):

… who I will introduce in a moment.

Mike Petrusky (04:20):

I am the guest.

Geoff Snavely (04:21):

That is correct, a role reversal, turning of the tables.

Mike Petrusky (04:25):

I’m not comfortable with this. But let’s proceed.

Geoff Snavely (04:28):

With that being said, I would like to introduce our special guests, our very special guest today, Mike Petrusky.

Mike Petrusky (04:34):

Hello Geoff. Thanks for having me.

Geoff Snavely (04:36):

Otherwise known as DJ Mike P.

Mike Petrusky (04:39):

To some in my crazy, living out my college fantasy mind that is how I talk to myself in the mirror each morning. Good morning, DJ Mike P.

Geoff Snavely (04:50):

This is a dream realized.

Mike Petrusky (04:52):

This is your day.

Geoff Snavely (04:52):

Who would have thought?

Mike Petrusky (04:54):

Go get them.

Geoff Snavely (04:55):

But I think we all know. But just to make sure Mike is the Director of Events & Growth Marketing with iOFFICE.

Mike Petrusky (05:04):

Yes, indeed.

Geoff Snavely (05:04):

All right. As we’ve mentioned, he is the host of the Workplace Innovator Podcast Series, which at this very moment is in its 100th episode.

Mike Petrusky (05:15):

Boom, drop the mic.

Geoff Snavely (05:17):

I learned a little while ago, that the first episode was done in April of 2018. Not only are we at a hundred episode, we were coming up on two years.

Mike Petrusky (05:29):

Two years of Workplace Innovator. It’s hard to believe.

Geoff Snavely (05:33):


Mike Petrusky (05:34):

Time has flown by. In a way it feels like yesterday. But in other ways, it’s a long, long time ago, and a lot of discussions and travel and conferences and, yeah. It’s one of those paradoxes, I like to say. You’ve got the feeling that, boy, that’s all two years ago. That just seems like yesterday, it was like this. But at the same time, man, there was a lot that’s happened in the last two years.

Geoff Snavely (06:00):

Yeah. Those are the things we want to talk about.

Mike Petrusky (06:02):

Yeah. Definitely.

Geoff Snavely (06:04):

You know what a big fan I am of yours.

Mike Petrusky (06:08):

Feeling’s mutual, thank you.

Geoff Snavely (06:09):

How much I admire what you have created with this podcast series and really just in terms of content creation in general …

Mike Petrusky (06:20):

Well, thank you, sir.

Geoff Snavely (06:21):

… and the value that you’re putting out there to facilities, managers, corporate, real estate executives and others listening to this podcast.

Mike Petrusky (06:31):

Big, big, huge open tent. We want to welcome the HR community, IT professionals, workplace, leaders of all stripes. Welcome here.

Geoff Snavely (06:40):

Yeah. I know that I’m a fan because I believe this is our fourth time sitting down together.

Mike Petrusky (06:47):

It is. It is. In fact, I just recently revisited our last time together. You were on the show a long time ago, Episode 13. You asked the question, “So what? Why are you doing this, Mike? Why do we care about all these industry trends and technologies? How do we get to the bottom of things?” It’s a great episode. I recommend our listeners go back and check it out.

Geoff Snavely (07:11):

Yeah. That every time it’s been a lot of fun. I always find myself walking out of the conversations with more than I came in with. I actually, I feel I get more from doing these shows with you than I give, which is great.

Mike Petrusky (07:31):

Huge compliment. Thank you very much.

Geoff Snavely (07:32):

I’m honored to be sitting here in this chair talking with you.

Mike Petrusky (07:35):

I knew that you were the right host for this particular episode of the show. Thank you for doing this.

Geoff Snavely (07:39):

Well, thank you for the invitation. I’m honored.

Mike Petrusky (07:42):

You got questions for me?

Geoff Snavely (07:44):

I do.

Mike Petrusky (07:45):


Geoff Snavely (07:46):

The last thing I’ll say to end this love fest before we get into the actual interview.

Mike Petrusky (07:50):

This is all going to be edited out. Don’t worry about it.

Geoff Snavely (07:52):

Is that the name of the series is Workplace Innovator. What you do is you go out and try to find people who are workplace innovators, people that have ideas, that are changing the industry, people that are making things happen, people that are making us think outside the box, people that are challenging norms, challenging the status quo.

Mike Petrusky (08:16):


Geoff Snavely (08:17):

But what I think everyone needs to remember with this is that you, my friend, are also an innovator. I’ll take it a step further.

Mike Petrusky (08:25):

What, me?

Geoff Snavely (08:26):

I will take it a step further and I’ll call you a pioneer.

Mike Petrusky (08:29):

Oh, boy.

Geoff Snavely (08:30):

How about that?

Mike Petrusky (08:30):

No, that’s too much pressure. That’s too much pressure.

Geoff Snavely (08:32):

But I think as we talk and I get a chance to turn the tables on you and ask them these questions. It would be impossible for anyone listening not to get a sense of what you’ve done as a pioneer and creating something new and different for all of us.

Mike Petrusky (08:50):

That’s incredibly humbling. I feel the pressure now, Geoff. But I will practice what I preach and be comfortable being uncomfortable. I am in your hands.

Geoff Snavely (08:59):

Okay. Let’s do it.

Mike Petrusky (09:00):

All right.

Geoff Snavely (09:01):

Now, I have to be honest and confess that I’ve been a little sneaky over the past few weeks. I have reached out to a few past guests of Workplace Innovator.

Mike Petrusky (09:13):

Someone coming out. Come on down. Who’s coming? Who’s coming out?

Geoff Snavely (09:16):

No surprise guests …

Mike Petrusky (09:16):


Geoff Snavely (09:18):

… in person. They’ll be here in spirit, though.

Mike Petrusky (09:20):


Geoff Snavely (09:21):

But by the way, I have to say that as I was looking through the library of the 90 plus episodes that you’ve put together over the past almost two years. It is impressive.

Mike Petrusky (09:34):

Yeah. It’s a blessing. It’s amazing.

Geoff Snavely (09:36):

The quality of guests and people, that jumps out at you. But the topics, the conversations that you’ve had, the content that’s been created, I think, the experiences that listeners have benefited from. I mean, it’s pretty awesome. What I’d like to do is share with you some of the questions and thoughts from a few past guests of Workplace Innovator.

Mike Petrusky (10:07):

That’s awesome.

Geoff Snavely (10:07):

You’re ready?

Mike Petrusky (10:08):

Yeah. I’m excited.

Geoff Snavely (10:09):

Okay. Let’s start with Thomas Mitchell from FM3IS Associates.

Mike Petrusky (10:15):

Yeah. From San Antonio, Texas.

Geoff Snavely (10:18):

His question to you is based on your prior interviewers with FM industry leaders, is there a particular area of concern where there seems to be no clear consensus on how best to address?

Mike Petrusky (10:32):

Wow. Put me on the hot seat here.

Geoff Snavely (10:34):


Mike Petrusky (10:37):

I think when it comes to the world of facility management, and I’ve been in this world a long time as you have. Not nearly as long as Thomas and many of my past guests who have been around 20, 30, 40 years. What strikes me about the facility management world is we’ve had this ongoing conversation about the shortage in skilled workers, the next generation of FM, the FM pipeline, call what you will, the fact there’s not enough facility management professionals up and coming to fill the roles that are currently needed.

Geoff Snavely (11:08):

The supply and demand.

Mike Petrusky (11:10):

Exactly. I hear that. We just take it as truth. Then I see conversations around the evolving role of the FM, and the even changing of the FM title to be more concierges type role. That’s maybe workplace manager is more of an appropriate title for certain industries. I hear that, then I go to visit these great facilities and they’re still … the job is getting done by someone. I have a hard time …

Geoff Snavely (11:39):

I understand. Yes.

Mike Petrusky (11:40):

… bridging that gap. How are we doing this, if there’s … whatever it is? In Los Angeles, there’s 50,000 unfilled FM jobs. Well, buildings are still operating and organizations are moving forward. In fact, they’re thriving in many ways, especially in the big cities where workplace and employee experiences become a priority. I know people are always evolving in their role. I’m always fascinated by that angle. But at the same time, this idea that many FM professionals go a long time trying to find a new position that fits their existing skill set.

            I think that speaks to this idea that it’s always changing. You may have incredible experience and great credentials, looking backwards. But when they’re out there trying to get hired for the future, there’s a disconnect and there’s a need. Again, it’s something we talked about on the show to be lifelong learners and continually upgrade your skill. There’s something there. There’s some reason for that and there’s a bridge that needs to be … whatever we do with bridges. There’s a …

Geoff Snavely (12:43):

You bridge gaps.

Mike Petrusky (12:46):

There’s a gap that needs bridge.

Geoff Snavely (12:47):

There you go.

Mike Petrusky (12:49):

Yeah. There’s that. Again, my word of the year and I started talking about it last year is this paradoxical idea of both things are true and both things can be true even they seem to be in contradiction.

Geoff Snavely (13:03):

Isn’t that great, though? I think paradox is something that should be embraced.

Mike Petrusky (13:10):

Yeah. It’s just the way of the world.

Geoff Snavely (13:13):

We don’t live in a black and white world. I think for FM as we’re talking, a lot of this is, is how does that community get the word out about FM as a career choice that, “Hey, if you like helping people, if you like solving problems, if you like technology, this is a great path for you.”

Mike Petrusky (13:33):

There you go.

Geoff Snavely (13:34):

But I have a feeling that your answer to that question would be a very common response and what’s on a lot of people’s minds. Thank you Thomas for your input.

Mike Petrusky (13:45):

Yes. Thank you, Thomas.

Geoff Snavely (13:45):

You ready for another one?

Mike Petrusky (13:46):

I’m ready.

Geoff Snavely (13:46):

Now, there was no way we were going to connect with past guests without hearing from Kay Sargent from HOK.

Mike Petrusky (13:55):

Wow. Yes.

Geoff Snavely (13:57):


Mike Petrusky (13:57):

The incomparable Kay Sargent.

Geoff Snavely (13:59):


Mike Petrusky (14:00):

One of my favorite guests. Thank you.

Geoff Snavely (14:01):

I know you’ve had many conversations with Kay. She was your guest on Episode 12 and maybe some others. But I went back. As I was going through the library, Episode 12 was the one that jumped out at me.

Mike Petrusky (14:19):

Yeah. We’ve done webinars together. We’ve done interviews. I got to get her back on the show looking ahead to the next hundred episodes, definitely get see Kay back in this chair. Looking forward to talking to her again.

Geoff Snavely (14:32):

Yeah. We are in good company with the number of people that have learned a lot from Kay. Here is a question from Kay. Over the years, you’ve interviewed a lot of people about workplace, what are you most concerned about and the most excited about?

Mike Petrusky (14:50):

Wow. Well, concern, the change is something that is happening in a lot of ways behind the scenes. Do you ever feel like there’s this thought that, yes, things are changing. But then day-to-day, things don’t look like they’re changing. We go a better routine. We’re still doing similar stuff we were doing two years ago. Yes. The technology’s come a long way. It’s not until you get 5, 10 years of the rearview and you look back and go, “Wow.”

Geoff Snavely (15:18):


Mike Petrusky (15:19):

Ten years ago, I didn’t even have an iPhone and look how independent I am on it today. I worry about that thing that’s going to surprise us. What is that thing? I used to ask this on my show a lot, maybe should bring it back as a question. What is the technology you think is going to be the next iPhone 10 years from now? I worry, too, that many of us, not just the young folks out there, the millennials and Gen Z. But people like me who have been very focused and moving for the last 10 plus years since the economy has been booming. Everything is going great. All ships have risen and high tide.

            Well, now, we’re getting to the point and we know it’s inevitable that the real estate market and the economy overall is going to take a dip. It’s going to be a recession at some point, whatever it’s caused by, whether it’s fear of the pandemic we’re dealing with now or something else. There’s going to be some shifts, and we’ve been through them before, guys like us. But there’s a lot of people who haven’t. That fear is something that is often managed based on experience.

            If you don’t have an experience, knowing that things will be okay, and you just have to pivot and adapt and things like that. People can make poor decisions in those scenarios. I worry about that a little bit.

Geoff Snavely (16:39):

Yeah. Decision based on emotion sometimes or the fear of the unknown, or, “Hey, this is different. This is something we’ve never experienced before. Therefore, it’s bad.” Then years down the road, when you have the benefit of perspective. You realize that, “Hey, we got through it.”

Mike Petrusky (17:00):

Yeah, exactly. One of my guests actually was David Wagner from NELSON Worldwide, big architecture firm. Met him up in Philadelphia and we chatted. One of my favorite conversations because we talked about this, I don’t think I made the final cut of the episode. But I asked him about the inevitability of something like this happening. He said, and others have told me that, “Yeah, things will … the pendulum right now is swung very much to the side of the employee, and attraction and retention of talent, because the tight job market is so paramount. But that swing may go back when we get into some tight, hard times and there’s cost cutting and we don’t have the budgets for a lot of the amenities and so forth. Some of the jobs go away and therefore it’s less competitive.” But he thinks that the pendulum will, again, go back maybe not as far to the extreme, but it’s this balancing out that needs to happen. I don’t worry about it, because we do have to face those things all the time in small increments.

            There’s change. We talked about on the show all the time. There’s change. There’s challenges. There’s new technology tools. There’s new strategies that we’re implementing. We were always talking about dealing with those. But it’s something big that really shifts the market and shifts our world of facility management in real estate is something that I’m concerned about in a way.

            But again, I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic guy, cup is half full. I think we’re going to be fine in the long run. But again, it does take that perspective in that experience to see the over the horizon when times get dark.

Geoff Snavely (18:38):

Yeah. Then knowing that in those situations, historically, a lot of good comes from the bad. Growth happens …

Mike Petrusky (18:48):


Geoff Snavely (18:48):

… with those struggles and with having to adjust and adapt.

Mike Petrusky (18:53):

That’s our personal lives as well. You’re not excited thinking about the next disaster happening in your personal world. But you find in looking back, hindsight tells you that was a huge growth moment for me …

Geoff Snavely (19:08):

Once you get through it.

Mike Petrusky (19:09):

… and I’m better off it. Better off because …

Geoff Snavely (19:10):

It’s that old, can’t see the forest for the trees [crosstalk 00:19:13].

Mike Petrusky (19:14):

… inspiration quote because I got a lot of them. I can throw at you …

Geoff Snavely (19:16):

Somebody said that. I got to meet that person who said that.

Mike Petrusky (19:19):

Not sure what that means, but it’s a good one.

Geoff Snavely (19:21):

Well, the next part of Kay’s question, which listening to you talk, it sounds like they may be connected. She’s asking what are you most excited about? Because what I’m hearing you say is that one of your biggest concerns is also something that energizes you. It’s this confidence of, “Hey, there’s an unknown out there. What’s coming next? What’s the challenge is going to be?” But the feeling that we’re going to get through it and we’re going to be better for it and even … I mean, I can hear it in your voice. There’s an enthusiasm there about, “Hey, bring it on. Let’s go.”

Mike Petrusky (19:59):

Well, I’m not sure about bring it on. I’m not, again, rooting for things bad to happen. But at the time, I have a confidence that comes from experience and personal foundations and faith and just understanding of human beings and where we’ve come. The snapshot of the world over the last 10, 15 years is a very small blink of an eye in the big picture of our society of the workplace even, of the built environment.

            I love hearing experts who share stories that go back to the Industrial Revolution. In the origins of the office and things like that are fascinating to me. It’s really very young industry in many, many ways, going back to maybe the ’60s and some of the design concepts that are now even coming back into vogue after 50 or 60 years.

            It’s a fascinating time and I continue to be optimistic about the future. I’m excited to have this platform to share stories with people as they deal with these things, whatever they may be. I was kind of the intention going into this and will certainly be my intention in the future if and when we face challenges together and have an opportunity to help each other get through.

Geoff Snavely (21:11):

Well, it’s interesting, the idea of so much has changed, but so much has stayed the same.

Mike Petrusky (21:16):


Geoff Snavely (21:16):

Because there’s some constants there that people and their needs change specifically. But at its core, those basic needs are the same as they were, you mentioned many, many, many years ago. Buildings look different. They perform different in a lot of ways, technology and a lot of advancements. But the overall purpose of those buildings and what they were built to do, how much is that really changed?

Mike Petrusky (21:42):

Another paradox, Geoff.

Geoff Snavely (21:43):

Another paradox. That’s right.

Mike Petrusky (21:44):

You’re diving right into my theme here. You’re supporting it. Thank you so much. In with that in mind, Geoff, there’s a quote I found, although I then later found it wasn’t attributed to the person I thought it was, which is often the case. I think people often talk about Yogi Berra-isms and all these great witty things that Yogi Berra allegedly said. Well, my favorite Yogi Berra-ism is “I never said most of the things I said.”

            I think that applies to a lot of quotes I hear on the show, because I do ask for inspirational quotes all the time. People will say, “This is from Gandhi, or whomever.” Then somebody else will come on and say, “Well, that really is not Gandhi, or that wasn’t Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln.” I love quotes and I’m going to continue to ask about them. I don’t fact-check on the show. This isn’t Snopes.

            I’m going to be cool about letting guest share and I’m going to do the same here because there’s a quote that I like. I always thought it was C.S. Lewis. But I’ve read recently it was not in the book, The Chronicles of Narnia. But he basically said something about this idea you just shared, which is, “It’s funny how day-to-day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.”

            This is all over the internet. There’s those mimes and little graphics. But apparently he never said it or wasn’t in the book and I’m not a big reader. I saw the movies. But I didn’t actually read the book. But it’s a great idea. I think it’s a valid idea. Whoever said it was onto something.

Geoff Snavely (23:11):

Perspective is so elusive. But that is a great idea to keep in mind. Let’s shift gears a little bit and have a little bit of fun with this bonus question from Kay Sargent. If you had to pick one song, just one, what would it be?

Mike Petrusky (23:30):

Oh, boy. I always think I put my guests on the spot all the time and ask for a favorite song. I never have had the tables turned.

Geoff Snavely (23:40):

Any listener of your podcast series knows that you are a music lover?

Mike Petrusky (23:45):

Oh, absolutely.

Geoff Snavely (23:46):

Specifically a U2 lover?

Mike Petrusky (23:49):

Last time we were together. I think I broke into some U2 very terribly.

Geoff Snavely (23:52):

Right. This is an important question.

Mike Petrusky (23:55):


Geoff Snavely (23:56):

Just one.

Mike Petrusky (23:57):

Thanks for putting me on the spot, Kay.

Geoff Snavely (23:58):

Yeah. Just one.

Mike Petrusky (24:00):

I tell you what. I will give you a single song that sums up so much of what’s going on in my world. The idea of podcasting evolving to include video, I’m trying a little something here today.

Geoff Snavely (24:14):

Okay. I think I know where you’re going.

Mike Petrusky (24:15):

Webinars becoming not just an audio conversation with a presentation, but webcams and video is becoming essential again. All things old are new again. Geoff, you know where I’m going. Back to the early ’80s.

Geoff Snavely (24:31):


Mike Petrusky (24:32):

Video killed the radio star. Video killed the radio star.

Geoff Snavely (24:37):

I had a feeling that’s where you were going.

Mike Petrusky (24:39):

In my mind and in mind my car. We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far. Oh-a-a-a oh. Join me anytime, Geoff.

Geoff Snavely (24:49):

No. I would …

Mike Petrusky (24:49):

Oh-a-a-a oh.

Geoff Snavely (24:52):

I cannot share that spotlight.

Mike Petrusky (24:53):

But you know the song and you know the idea behind the song. That was back when radio dominated the music world and then MTV came along and Video Killed the Radio Star. But did it really? No. Radio persists today. In fact, podcasting is bigger than ever, which is largely audio only. But you’re finding that YouTube, conversations on podcasts are being broadcast on YouTube or live streamed and we’re recording this conversation today. You may see some highlights from our 100th episode.

Geoff Snavely (25:22):

Great job to pick an incredible song and topic …

Mike Petrusky (25:24):

Can you name the artist?

Geoff Snavely (25:25):

… and they tie it in. No, I cannot.

Mike Petrusky (25:27):

Can you name the artist?

Geoff Snavely (25:30):

I cannot. I don’t know if I’m proud that I can’t or if I’m a little disappointed in myself, but no.

Mike Petrusky (25:36):

You’ll kick yourself when you hear me say, “The Buggles.”

Geoff Snavely (25:38):

Oh, right. The Buggles.

Mike Petrusky (25:40):

All their major hits. Video Killed the Radio Star, and crickets?

Geoff Snavely (25:47):

Right, right.

Mike Petrusky (25:48):

The Buggles. Thank you very much.

Geoff Snavely (25:49):

I don’t think they played that when I saw him in concert.

Mike Petrusky (25:54):


Geoff Snavely (25:56):

Okay. Let’s keep things moving.

Mike Petrusky (25:58):

All right.

Geoff Snavely (25:59):

Next, we heard from Andrea Sanchez.

Mike Petrusky (26:02):

Hey. Hey Andrea. Long time no talk. Hope all’s well.

Geoff Snavely (26:07):

With Future Line Incorporated and she was your guest …

Mike Petrusky (26:11):

On a webinar first. We did a webinar together. Then I did a guest appearance on her Twitter chat.

Geoff Snavely (26:18):


Mike Petrusky (26:19):

#DareToBe, which was super stressful and I don’t know how you do it every week, Andrea, but those …

Geoff Snavely (26:25):

I believe she was a guest at the Summit. What did we call?

Mike Petrusky (26:31):

Wow. Going way back, the FM Innovator Summit in Houston. She did a fantastic job leading the crowd with some inspirational kickoff at 6:00 in the morning. I’m forever in her debt. Yes, we did a webinar together about change management. That became a podcast episode, which again, is something that we’re doing more routinely. I love doing webinars and having that hour-long Q&A at end and all those things.

            But to keep it in that podcast format, I think it’s something that people like to digest the information in a summary form. I hope people enjoy those. I’m going to continue to do them in the future. Any suggestions on topics and guests are always welcome. But I have some ideas in mind already, for the next hundred episodes, and webinars will be a part of that.

            Again, in fact, I just had a recent conversation with Rex Miller, the book author, The Healthy Workplace Nudge. He was a guest on the show when he released that book. He’s got a new book coming out. We’re going to create another conversational webinar around it and then make that a podcast as well. Looking forward to having Rex back on the show.

Geoff Snavely (27:37):

Good. Great.

Mike Petrusky (27:38):

Great guest. Yeah.

Geoff Snavely (27:39):

You ready for the question?

Mike Petrusky (27:41):

Yeah, definitely. Andrea’s question.

Geoff Snavely (27:42):

Yeah. Here it is. What would be your dream topic and/or person to interview and why?

Mike Petrusky (27:48):

That’s easy. This one’s easy. I’m just afraid to ask, Seth Godin.

Geoff Snavely (27:54):


Mike Petrusky (27:54):

He is a marketing guru, my hero in the marketing world, and so relevant to all the things we talked about on the show, human nature.

Geoff Snavely (28:03):

You’ve talked about his book many times in our past conversations.

Mike Petrusky (28:06):

Many books, yes. His most recent book was about marketing. But he’s written about tribes. He’s written about being a central part of an organization, Linchpin. Now he’s got a podcast called Akimbo, ba-dum, pum, pum, pum, pum, pum, pum, pum, pum, ba-dum, no, no, no.

Geoff Snavely (28:24):


Mike Petrusky (28:24):

If you check it out, it’s just 20 minutes of wisdom, way beyond anything I could ever share. But he used to do routinely interviews on podcasts when he was marketing a project or something. I thought, I’m just going to email him, he reads his email. I know he does. He’s got thousands and thousands, if not millions of fans. But I’m going to be brave and get out of my comfort zone and ask him to be on the show, and I’ve never done it. It’s a personal goal at some point to reach out and try that. I just don’t feel like I’m equipped just yet.

Geoff Snavely (28:55):

Bonus question from Andrea.

Mike Petrusky (28:57):


Geoff Snavely (28:57):

If you could insert yourself in any ’80s music video, which one would it be and why?

Mike Petrusky (29:05):


Geoff Snavely (29:05):

Love this question.

Mike Petrusky (29:06):

Wow. That is a great question.

Geoff Snavely (29:07):

Now, The Buggles had a music video.

Mike Petrusky (29:10):

Yeah. No.

Geoff Snavely (29:11):

I don’t know that they did. But I would assume that would be video …

Mike Petrusky (29:13):

I tell you that would be great. That would be great. But no, my mind immediately went to the most memorable video of the ’80s probably which was A-ha Take On Me, with the comic book world and the girl gets brought in by the lead singer into this world of comics and there’s this cool animation that goes along with that. That stands out.

            But if I’m being honest, back in the ’80s I was a teenage boy. Maybe being on that yacht with Duran Duran, Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand. For reasons I won’t go into, that was pretty much a memorable video.

Geoff Snavely (29:48):


Mike Petrusky (29:48):

I think we all could appreciate.

Geoff Snavely (29:50):

For reasons I won’t go into. If I were to answer that question, I think it would be the Whitesnake video, Here I Go Again.

Mike Petrusky (29:57):

Tawny Kitaen.

Geoff Snavely (29:58):

Yeah. That’s right.

Mike Petrusky (29:59):

Thank you Whitesnake.

Geoff Snavely (30:00):

Yeah. Okay.

Mike Petrusky (30:01):

That’s a whole another podcast, Geoff.

Geoff Snavely (30:03):

That is. That is. Okay. We also heard from Bob Fox with Fox Architects.

Mike Petrusky (30:09):

Awesome. Yeah.

Geoff Snavely (30:10):

Bob was your guest in Episode 47.

Mike Petrusky (30:14):

Yes. Another great time.

Geoff Snavely (30:16):

Now, Bob, what he’s bringing to the table here is not a question.

Mike Petrusky (30:21):

Is he going to sing for me? Is he coming out to sing? Bob, you didn’t do it on the broadcast. Would you do it today?

Geoff Snavely (30:27):

That’s where we’re going here. This is a suggestion. What Bob suggests is to do something to get you out of your comfort zone.

Mike Petrusky (30:37):

Already there. It’s only been done. You accomplished that.

Geoff Snavely (30:38):

Well, you’re right. That’s true. I guess that’s true. What Bob said is exactly what you just described. He said, “Hey, Mike tried to get me to sing on the podcast and to get me out of my comfort zone. Well, hey, what would it take to get Mike out of his comfort zone?” It made me think a little bit. Do you ever get out of your comfort zone?

Mike Petrusky (31:01):

All the time.

Geoff Snavely (31:02):

I think what you just said is, this is out of your comfort zone right now.

Mike Petrusky (31:05):


Geoff Snavely (31:05):

Right. What would get you out of your comfort zone? I wonder if even in some of your episodes, your podcast, is that something that has happened where you were all of a sudden out of your comfort zone in that conversation?

Mike Petrusky (31:23):

Yes and yes and all the above. I often … This is a little behind the scenes of the Workplace Innovator podcast. When I get into anything controversial on the show, I tend to want to avoid that. I will edit out things that I think might cause someone to disagree and right get upset.

Geoff Snavely (31:41):

Because you want to appeal to all audiences?

Mike Petrusky (31:43):

Yeah. I just want to be none … I don’t want to be a lightning rod for anything. But if we’re going to be authentic, and we’re going to have great conversations that are useful and helpful and stimulate dialogue, you’ve got to express opinions and share what you believe.

            I’m going to try to do that more in the future without offending people purposely. I’m not trying to be offensive anyway. But we are in a very polarized society. I joke about it in my speeches. I usually try to set it up like we’re talking about politics or I’m about to talk about politics and everything is either red or blue, and I curveball it and say in Star Wars, lightsabers, red and blue lightsabers. But in the world of even Star Wars, everybody is at each other’s throats over either you’re wrong or they’re wrong. You take your sides and you don’t have a constructive dialogue at that point, because of the nature of social media. It was specifically.

            But in these conversations where we can have a thoughtful, respectful dialogue, I love the idea of being able to be more opinionated and share valuable information and get told that I’m wrong. That reminds me just recently back on episode 90 and 91, it turned into a two-part because it was so challenging and so good is I had a guest, Arnold Levin from Gensler, a veteran of the industry, architect, strategic thinker, someone who looks at the big picture, and has that hindsight of 40 years in the industry. He’s a little bit cynical about it.

            We talk about trends all the time. We talk about this is the next big thing and then things don’t change. He was calling us out as an industry. It made me a little uncomfortable, because it was putting my audience in an awkward position, I thought. But after going through that conversation, I made it a two-part episode because it was so challenging and so good. Because he said, “Let’s stop talking about trends. Well, you heard at the beginning of the show, it’s about the industry trends and technologies.”

            That’s why I’ve set this show up to be. Arnold was basically saying, “We spent too much time talking about trends.” I appreciate that level of strong opinion, and cynicism, and willingness to put himself out there with some opinions that I didn’t agree with everything he said, and I’m sure my listeners didn’t agree with everything he said. But it made us think and it made us really decide what do I believe about this out of the other?

Geoff Snavely (34:00):

Well, that’s great, because you think about your audience and what type of experience you hope they get out of listening to one of your episodes. Maybe they learn something. Maybe they just had some fun. Maybe it gave them an opportunity to think differently.

Mike Petrusky (34:18):


Geoff Snavely (34:19):

It sounds like that’s what you’re talking about is whether you agree with whomever it might be or not. We’re going to spend some time in challenge everyone to think a little bit differently and see what happens.

Mike Petrusky (34:31):

The old Steve Jobs Apple approach. Absolutely.

Geoff Snavely (34:33):

Challenge the status quo. Absolutely.

Mike Petrusky (34:35):

That’s why I’m guessing this episode may be longer than 20 minutes because it’s really hard to do in a 20-minute podcast format, which is tightly controlled by those parameters, which serves a purpose. I do it for a reason. But when I have a particularly interesting conversation that does challenge me in some way, it often becomes a two-part episode because I don’t want to cut out a lot of that great content.

Geoff Snavely (34:59):

Right. Yeah. Good.

Mike Petrusky (35:01):

We’re going to be Episode 100 and Episode 100A.

Geoff Snavely (35:08):

Yeah, 100A, 100B.

Mike Petrusky (35:08):

Yeah. I’m not sure how many …

Geoff Snavely (35:09):

I’m not done yet, because I haven’t gotten to my questions. It may be even more.

Mike Petrusky (35:14):

Which reminds me we’re going to have to wrap this up at some point, Geoff.

Geoff Snavely (35:18):

Well, there’s no way I was going to have an opportunity to grab the microphone and not ask you some questions? I mean, we’ve known each other a long time and asking questions is one of my favorite things to do.

Mike Petrusky (35:18):


Geoff Snavely (35:31):

Of course, I do have some questions, because not only did we hear from those other guests that I just mentioned, but you also heard from Geoff Snavely from MilliCare Floor & textile Care who was your guest on Episode 13 of Workplace Innovator.

Mike Petrusky (35:46):

Yes, indeed.

Geoff Snavely (35:47):

I do have some questions for you. I learned in this … I’ll start with, I guess, a series of questions and I learned this approach from a mentor of mine and I’ll call this best, least, and magic wand. My question is what have you liked the best about doing podcasts over the past several years?

Mike Petrusky (36:12):

Easy. That’s the interaction with my guests, the ability to meet so many great people, what I used to call celebrities in our industry, whether it’s an IFMA or a cornet celebrity, somebody I see on stage, and somebody has written a book and I’m like, “Wow, that person is really an amazing industry leader.” Why would they talk to me and then to have them sit and find that they’re just like all of us, very down to earth, humble people who are just, again, wonderful servant, hearts, and willing to share. That’s been the best for this, for sure.

Geoff Snavely (36:48):

It has given you a vehicle to connect with some really, truly amazing people.

Mike Petrusky (36:53):

Yeah. I like to call them friends, although maybe our interaction was brief. But whenever I see those folks at a conference or another event or get on the phone and have a chance to chat with them, it’s always very rewarding.

            What was the question? The next is worst?

Geoff Snavely (37:09):

It’s what have you liked least about the podcast series or I guess other ways to look at that question would be, what has been your biggest challenge? I guess it’s time for a little honesty.

Mike Petrusky (37:20):

Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you. I’ll call myself out here to maybe hopefully spur on some action. I had a guest on an episode that hasn’t even been aired yet. He asked me afterward, I was packing up the equipment, and telling about the process, how I edit everything later using certain tools. My computer was making funny noises like it is today. I’m frustrated. I need new equipment, new software. That means learning new technology, new tools, or better tools out there potentially. But it requires me to do that thing that we all hate, which is take a step back and be inefficient for awhile while you learn a new thing that could take you into the future.

            That’s the idea that scares me and is least appealing to me. But again, if I’m going to practice what we talked about in the show, I need to do that, attack that fear of becoming less efficient for a period of time to get into the new tools that will require me to stay relevant, whether it’s adding video and streaming and doing things that are, right now, out of my expertise. I’m very comfortable doing the things the way I was doing them four years ago when I first started podcasting. But times have changed. That’s a long time in the world of audio technology.

Geoff Snavely (38:35):

Yeah. I think it makes sense. I do think that’s very honest. The final piece of this is if you had a magic wand, how would you use it, or …

Mike Petrusky (38:48):

I would spread some pixie dust over someone to create them into being an executive producer, who would do all of that work for me?

Geoff Snavely (38:57):

Oh, I see. I guess, the magic wand … Okay. A support or resources to help with all those things.

Mike Petrusky (39:05):


Geoff Snavely (39:06):

If you were to start the podcast series from scratch today, go back to April 2018, what would you do differently? If you had that magic wand, what would you do differently? Is that the same answer or …

Mike Petrusky (39:21):

Boy. I hate to be cliche. I wouldn’t change a thing, Geoff because all the mean things. I listened back recently to the very first episode of the Workplace Innovator Podcast and everything I said in that nine-minute introductory episode was exactly what I wanted to do on this show. I really was appreciative that I had guessed right.

            Now, talking about being uncomfortable, and I’ll mention it here, mine as well. I’m actually starting a second podcast. This will continue. Workplace Innovator will continue. We’re going to talk about the workplace …

Geoff Snavely (39:52):

Is this breaking news?

Mike Petrusky (39:53):

Breaking news, maybe. Yeah. This could be breaking news, because iOFFICE has recently acquired a number of other technology companies that are more in the asset management side of the aisle, more facilities, operations, assets, manufacturing, other industries beyond the corporate real estate world. We really felt instead of diluting this show and trying to cover it all, we’re going to create a second show.

            It’s going to be called the Asset Champion Podcast. I’m going to have similar discussions with folks that are more in the side of operations and maintenance and asset management. I have a little bit of an understanding because of my background in facility management and the IFMA community about that. But it’s a whole new world, Geoff.

            When you get into large equipment and maintaining turbines and manufacturing facilities and fleet management, it’s a whole another world than corporate real estate. I have to really go into this unknown again and start learning much like I did a decade ago about the FM profession. I have to learn more about the reliability and what it takes to keep things moving.

            There’s a whole another world of associations around reliability and uptime. There’s credentials related to that. Being a professional in that area is very similar but different in a lot of ways what an FM or a CRE professional has to deal with.

Geoff Snavely (41:22):

I mean, with your passion to learn and to help people, there’s no doubt that you’ll figure that out …

Mike Petrusky (41:22):

Well, thank you.

Geoff Snavely (41:28):

… and create something great. The final question I would ask, I’ll take my temporary host hat off and slip back into my Workplace Innovator. audience member hat.

Mike Petrusky (41:41):

Okay. All right.

Geoff Snavely (41:42):

All of us in the industry owe you a huge thank you for everything that you’ve done, all the effort that you’ve put in. You were talking a little while ago about some of the things that maybe you like least about, what you do. What you didn’t mention is the travel.

Mike Petrusky (42:01):

I love that part of it. I love to travel.

Geoff Snavely (42:02):

Right. But there’s a tremendous amount of work that goes in just to get to where you’re going, get things set up. There’s a lot of logistics. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I wanted to thank you for that, for all that hard work and in delivering such great content and experiences for us. What do you need from us? How can we pay it forward? What are some things that we could do for you to help keep this thing going?

Mike Petrusky (42:32):

Wow. Well, thanks for asking. I would just say share the show, send people to The latest episodes right there on the homepage. There’re some resources available there. But there’s also access to the complete library. That’s probably where you went to view all the past episodes, and so forth.

            There’s opportunity to interact with me. Don’t be afraid to reach out, to send me a note on LinkedIn, send me an email at podcast at I try to answer them all. I get a lot of messages. But if it’s somebody who’s just listening and appreciating, and sharing the show, I can’t thank them enough and I can’t thank you enough for doing this today. This has been amazing. I just appreciate you even asking that question. Thank you so much.

Geoff Snavely (43:21):

Did everyone hear that? The message is to spread the word. I have mentioned Workplace Innovator to many people over the years, sent links to different …

Mike Petrusky (43:21):

That’s the best. You’re the best.

Geoff Snavely (43:30):

… to different episodes. I’ve never received a complaint. In fact, I get a lot of thank yous and “Hey, that was great and how do I get more” kind of thing.

Mike Petrusky (43:30):


Geoff Snavely (43:40):

I will tell the audience listening that doing that can be very rewarding to help connect people with something that can really help them in a lot of ways. Look, thank you for this opportunity to sit in this chair as the host of Workplace Innovator.

Mike Petrusky (43:57):


Geoff Snavely (43:58):

I can only hope that I was a JV version of DJ Mike P.

Mike Petrusky (44:06):

Oh, no, no bigger and better, grandmaster Geoffy Geoff.

Geoff Snavely (44:09):

The last thing I will say is that you, my friend, are a workplace innovator. In fact, you are you are the ultimate workplace innovator. Thank you for everything that you’ve done. Thank you for everything that you will continue to do. I’m looking forward to many, many future conversations.

Mike Petrusky (44:28):

Same here. Thank you, Geoff. Really appreciate it. Should we do the closeout together? I hope in some way, we have inspired the audience today …

Geoff Snavely (44:37):

… to be a Workplace Innovator. Peace out.

Mike Petrusky (44:45):

… to be a Workplace Innovator. Peace out. Yes.

            You’ve been listening to the Workplace Innovator Podcast. I hope you found this discussion beneficial as we work together to build partnerships that lead to Innovative Workplace Solutions.

            For more information about how iOFFICE can help you create an employee centric workspace. by delivering digital technology that enhances the employee experience, visit


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As the host of both the Workplace Innovator Podcast and the Asset Champion Podcast, Mike's role at Eptura is to share thought leadership with CRE, FM, and IT leaders in the digital and hybrid workplace. As an in-demand public speaker, Mike engages audiences with his focus on the human element of workplace and facility management at International Facility Management Association, CoreNet, and other industry events.

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