Let’s Fix Work Episode 92:

On today’s show, I’m speaking to Elena Valentine, the Co-Founder, CEO, and Servant Leader of Skill Scout, a Chicago-based filmmaking company. Elena and her colleagues are workplace documentarians—they tell workplace stories. What’s a workplace story? Well, it could be a video on a careers page. It could be a film attached to a job description. Or, it could be a welcome video on your first day of work. 

Listen in as Elena and I talk about the many different work environments and how every job has a purpose and a story behind it. If you’re interested in a far-ranging discussion about workplace identity, tune into this episode of Let’s Fix Work

In this episode you’ll hear:

  1. BTS (behind the scenes) of a workplace filmmaker, what they do and how they do it.
  2. How social justice and equality intersect in workplace storytelling.
  3. Bridging the gap between HR departments and people in power with those doing the work.
  4. How Elena became a workplace filmmaker and why this is important to her.
  5. Elena answers the question, “Are there work environments that lend themselves to better stories compared to others?”
  6. The ethical dilemma of being asked to work with a company or organization whose values, mission, or viewpoints don’t necessarily match your values or those of your company.



Elena Valentine, Co-Founder, CEO, and Servant Leader at Skill Scout, defines a workplace filmmaker and the work she does like this, “We create video stories to make meaningful connections in the workplace whether that’s hiring or by making more meaningful ties between leadership and employees. That’s what we do.”


While it may be true the role of a filmmaker is to make any workplace look exciting, there is a broader and even more important goal to achieve. Elena explains, “I go out there and help depict all work environments as real as I can. So, what we end up doing is creating authentic windows for both candidates and employees to understand whether or not the organization fits for them.” 


We have some incredible human resource leaders who are telling stories, every day. This is the role of a human resource leader—to tell stories of your own experience with others. The question we have not been addressing for some time is, “What are we doing to empower the employees we work with to tell the stories themselves?” 

Up until this point, there weren’t tools or trends which led us to see there could be multiple people who could tell this story and, in some ways and quite frankly, take the weight off of the human resource leader to do this. 

So, filling this role has been a big part of what Elena and her team are doing. Their work has allowed them to empower employees to be the Chief Human Storytellers of their business. Here is more from Elena, “A company is not just made up of one story. It’s not just one story about one human resources leader or those select employees. It’s actually all of them. And so, what we need to do to drive this idea forward is get into the meaning of their work and empower them to share why they do what they do.”

Resources from this episode:

Skill Scout
Skill Scout on YouTube
Elena on Twitter
Elena on LinkedIn
Laurie on Instagram
Laurie on LinkedIn
Read more from Laurie
Work with Laurie




  1. Hi LFR!

    I totally enjoyed your discussion with Elena But what I’m wondering about now is Johnson & Johnson. As a kid who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, I remember the Tylenol scare. As everyone knows, J&J let their credo be their guide and took Tylenol off the shelves, and they continue to be lauded for this even 40 years later. It comes up in every business ethics class ever, and truly was a great example of a company doing good. But what about J&J today? Is the credo still guiding them now? Sure doesn’t look like it with the baby powder lawsuit. If we’re going to talk about the credo guiding them in the 70’s, we need to also question if it is still their North Star now.

Comments are closed.