Humanity Works Better

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Humanity Works Better

Five Practices to Lead with Awareness, Choice and the Courage to Change

Debbie Cohen, Kate Roeske Zummer


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In Humanity Works Better, leadership experts Debbie Cohen and Kate Roeske-Zummer chart a new path forward: one that brings humanity, awareness, choice, and courage to the workplace. Their five practices explain how leaders and their teams can build the muscle required to work together as engaged productive human beings - the magic for a healthy culture and better business results.

Get the best—not just the most—out of your people.

Our modern workforce is suffering. For too long, organizations and leaders have sought success through a focus on efficiency and productivity, and it’s costing us dearly. Workplaces have become toxic and getting work done is a lot harder than it needs to be. Bullying and abuse has reached epidemic levels—along with high rates of burnout, turnover, and fatigue. Clearly, something needs to change.

In Humanity Works Better, leadership experts Debbie Cohen and Kate Roeske-Zummer chart a new path forward: one that brings humanity to the workplace through awareness, choice, and courage. The result? A healthier, more productive work environment that draws the best—rather than squeezes the most—out of people.

Inspired by proven techniques they’ve used to transform teams at organizations like Mozilla, Pinterest, Saba, Articulate, and Charge EPC, the authors guide you through their Five Practices. Through these Practices, company culture converts from toxic to healthy, from competitive to collaborative, from fearful to trusting, one human at a time.
That human we are talking about is you. Because, when you change, the people around you change. The Five Practices help you navigate the complex relationships that make us human beings, complexities that become roadblocks and make it hard to get important work done. This audiobook helps you build the awareness and master the skills to become a better person, and a better leader.


Debbie Cohen:

Debbie Cohen believes that systemic change cannot happen without individual change, and that individual change requires a responsive environment to nurture the effort. This both/and approach to management is at the core of her leadership development style. If there’s an elephant in the room, you can count on Debbie to put it squarely in the middle of the table, with warmth and humor, so that everyone can take part in the conversation. She then facilitates change at the point of greatest need and least resistance, honoring the capacity for change in individuals and organizations. As additional need is demonstrated, more support is offered. Transformation happens in phases based on the readiness to learn, assimilate and grow.

Debbie has held executive Human Resource positions for First Look, the Mozilla Corporation, Razorfish and Time Warner. Prior to Time Warner, Debbie was the Senior Strategist for Bright Horizons Family Solutions, where she was known as a leader in human-capital management, dependent care and work/life balance. Debbie is committed to balancing the needs and interests of individuals with those of the broader organization to unleash the power of possibility in the midst of complexity.


Kate Roeske-Zummer believes that transformation is possible for everyone. She helps clients identify their unique opportunities—and what may be standing in the way—so that they can become the leaders they were meant to be. Kate believes that reactive management styles are ineffective and that vulnerability-based leadership creates stronger relationships, more authentic connections and better results. Through online 360s, Kate dives deep with clients. Her skill-based approach helps leaders cultivate the communication skills and values that drive success across the organization.

Since 2003, Kate has worked with both corporate and nonprofit clients, including Mozilla, Pinterest, Adobe, DaVita, CBS Interactive, United Way of America, RW Baird, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and Mather and The Colorado Education Initiative. Her work has been focused on being a part of a deep cultural shift in organizations, where she has helped leaders examine their values, accountability and what it means to be a contributing member of the organization. This has resulted in big shifts—within the organizations themselves, as well as within their shared language, leadership development and understanding of what it means to be a leader.

Kate began her career at Ogilvy & Mather where she eventually rose in the ranks to become Strategic Planner, Senior Director. Her primary focus was on strategic development for such Fortune 500 companies as Ponds, Dove, United Way and Kodak. Kate also served on the faculty of the Coaches Training Institute for nearly eight years where she delivered training throughout North America, Canada, England and South Africa.