Cultural change management
  • Is your workforce satisfied? are you satisfied with your workforce?
  • Are your staff: too competitive? not competitive enough?
    .......................complacent? anxious?
    .......................antisocial? overly social?
    .......................indecisive? impulsive?
  • Are you realising the benefits of your investment in workforce productivity? Or are you lacking the support of an adaptive organisational culture?
  • Do people in the labour market have a negative perception of your organisation's culture?

If any of these issues sound familiar, then taking a closer look at your organisation's culture will improve the marketability, retention, and productivity of your workforce.  I consult on cultural change management in a range of contexts including:

  • misalignment of culture to strategy
  • workforce restructuring
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • counter-productive attitudes and behaviour

The drivers of organisational culture fall into two categories: (a) the rules, protocols and structures that guide the way your people behave and work, and (b) the attitudes, values, belief systems and mindsets of these people.

Change is challenging… yet it is the one constant in the modern world. The challenge comes largely from the fact that humans are deeply habitual -we learn to do things that work for us and become reliant on our familiar routines.  Because of this we tend think, and therefore, act habitually.  And therein lies the difficulty -change is required, yet in many ways we are hard-wired to resist it.

An organisation is its people… so in order to get to the heart of organisational culture, you must confront it at the personal level.  Change is usually dependent on a set of individuals who have different upbringings, values and experiences, so understanding the nature of personal change is critical if cultural change is to be successful.

People must be ready, willing and able to change.  In order for habit change to take place, people must know what to do (the specific details of what is required in a way that they can understand and apply), they must know why to do it (the reason), they must want to do it (the motivation) and they must know how to do it (the skills).

The process for cultural change.  I tailor my approach to the individual needs of my clients. However, the usual process is follows:

  1. Clarifying the vision and strategy of the organisation or team
  2. Auditing and understanding the current culture
  3. Identifying the required culture
  4. Designing programmes/processes required to implement the new culture
  5. Implementing the programme and processes
  6. Dealing with change resistance;  supporting, mentoring and following up to ensure change is permanent,
  7. Ongoing audits
Stress Management

I consult on all aspect of stress management, assisting with the implementation of policies, running stress management seminars and also counselling individuals to better manage stress in their lives and at work.

The results of stress. Stress is the "wear and tear" our bodies, minds and emotions experience as we adjust to our continually changing work and home environment.  Stress can motivate us, and can act as a driver of increased awareness, learning and progress. But it can also result in feelings of distrust, rejection, anger, and depression, which in turn can lead to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. At work, stress can result in lack of focus, anxiety, apathy and defeatism, which all have the potential to severely compromise productivity.

Employers' responsibilities. The New Zealand Health & Safety in Employment Act (1992) requires employers to take all reasonable precautions to safeguard the health of employees.  Amendments to this Act - mirroring recent court cases - confirm the employer's particular obligations to protect employees from physical and mental harm caused by work-related stress. So stress is not just an issue for employees - it is now clearly and unequivocally an issue for employers.  Therefore, companies must adopt sound stress management policies and assist their employees in dealing with workplace stress. 

The work environment. The key factor in stress at work is not what we experience, but rather how we experience it. Our cognitions and emotions play a large mediating role in the "stress" experience, as does the environment in which we work.  An environment where we feel secure, supported, empowered and where our work role uses our talents effectively will clearly promote both high performance and emotional wellbeing.

  • When you "lead", does your staff "follow"?
  • Are you getting the best out of your people?
  • Do you have problems in managing and leading your staff, your teams?
  • Do you find yourself frustrated at the performance of people who could be doing better?

In a tight labour market, creating a productive social environment - where your people genuinely feel supported by management - lies at the heart of leadership.
I have a deep understanding and significant experience in the development of leadership frameworks and in mentoring individual managers in their leadership skills. I don’t use off-the-shelf leadership programmes, but rather talk with you, gather information and ascertain your needs before designing and delivering the solutions that you need.

Leadership and management. 
For many, the need for strong leadership often becomes something of a quandary - difficult to understand and apply.  In practice, the terms "leadership" and "management" are often used interchangeably, referring to a company's management team as its leaders, or individuals who are actually managers are referred to as the "leaders" of various management teams.  There's no doubt that a leader has to manage the resources at his or her disposal. But leadership itself is something different altogether...

The elements of leadership. 
Leadership involves the creation of a clear and compelling vision that employees both feel a part of and feel a strong drive to achieve. It is the ability to inspire and motivate employees through the process of change, and it requires the ability to communicate effectively across a wide range of situations.  It involves understanding who your people are, what drives them and what is required to keep them performing and high levels.

Team development

I consult on all aspects of team development, including:

  • team cohesion
  • team self-evaluation
  • conflict resolution
  • team problem solving
  • performance and accountability
  • alignment of team goals and behaviour to organisational strategy

The ideal team will work dynamically, interdependently and adaptively to achieve shared and valued objectives.  Much of my past consulting on team dynamics has in the context of elite sport.  I have consulted to one of world's most successful provincial rugby teams, the Canterbury Crusaders. This has taught me a huge amount about how to develop a top-class, high-performing team that succeeds year-in and year-out.

The recipe for team success is largely dependent on the ingredients of clear vision and lived values, making sure that everyone knows and embraces their role, efficient systems of performance accountability, and of course top-class coaching and leadership.