Category Archives: Organisational Development

Weaving the Rope – UC’s New Organisational Culture Sessions

Kia ora koutou,

It is my pleasure to announce a new initiative called “Weaving the Rope” which provides organisational culture sessions for all staff.

A constructive culture will help us all to be more innovative, collaborative and fulfilled in our work by creating an environment for us to develop as individuals and teams and contribute to  the overall performance of UC.

Weaving the Rope sessions will be offered 4 times per year and cover topics relating to organisational culture development at UC.

You may have heard of Blue CLUES for the UC Culture Leadership group. Our leaders  found these sessions very beneficial and have therefore supported the Weaving the Rope initiative, which is similar but available to all staff to attend.

The first session will showcase “How Culture Works”. This session will suit everyone no matter where they are in the culture development journey.

Come along if:

  • You’ve not seen any results but are still interested in hearing about this;
  • You’ve seen your OCI/OEI results and are interested in learning more;
  • Your team have initially worked on your results, but things have slowed down;
  • Your team are still firing ahead with working towards creating the desired culture.

We will be running the same 2 hour session 3 times on 25 & 26 September in the John Britten Conference Foyer. To register via Eventbrite please click on the one date/time option below that suits you best. Spaces are limited to 100 per session.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Helpful links

How the “Weaving the Rope” name evolved

UC’s organisational development

Ngā mihi

Rachel Dillon

 Organisational Development Advisor

Avoidance and Blame – Whiria te Taura Tangata #19

A new initiative  “Weaving The Rope” – a “Blue CLUES” for all staff is coming soon so keep an eye out!

Blue CLUES:  Just over 100 leaders attended the event “Applying ADKAR to Culture Change”. Thank you to Annelies Kamp and Misty Sato (EHHD), Alex Hanlon (LR), Lynn McClelland and Jayne Austin (SSAC) and Wendy Lawson (Science) for their “speed dating” skills in sharing their culture stories. We’ll load materials to the website soon.

Avoidance and blame I had the privilege of hearing some excellent speakers last week. One of them shared a thought-provoking, amusing video which made me think about

“blame culture”.

What does that mean? Most definitions talked about situations where people are reluctant to speak out, take risks, or accept responsibility because they fear criticism, retribution or worse. This shows up in culture results in the passive/defensive cluster particularly as Avoidance – “people are expected to shift responsibilities to others and avoid being blamed for mistakes”. This style impacts all the constructive styles but particularly Achievement and Self-actualised, and it kills innovation.

As Human Synergistics say in their Whitepaper – Organisational Culture: Beyond Employee Engagement (page 24)

“…it’s not about ignoring mistakes, it’s about how the circumstance of the mistake is dealt with. Is the focus on blame or improvement? Are people given help to improve their performance?”

  • What does Avoidance look like on your circumplex?
  • Is it impacting your colleagues and your ability to achieve? Work well together? Innovate?
  • What conversations could you lead or behaviours could you model to reduce Avoidance and blame?
  • Have you seen the overall results? How does yours compare?

I will leave those thoughts with you as well as Dr Brené Brown’s video (3.25mins) to make you laugh (or at least give a wry smile if you recognise a little of yourself in her words).

Ngā manaakitanga with best wishes,

Karen Mather
Organisational Development

Intelligent Automation: Call for Potential Processes

UC has begun a programme of work to access and implement intelligent automation opportunities across the University.

The aim of this programme is to utilise intelligent automation to provide improved service to students, clients, suppliers and staff and provide staff with more time to complete unfinished tasks, solve complex problems, and perform additional tasks.

The programme is following on from the bank statement coding and reconciliation process that was developed as a proof of concept in January of this year.

The key requirements for automation candidates is to be rules based, have high volume and repetition. If you have a process or part of a process that you think has aspects ready for automation please get in touch with a member of the team at  intelligentautomation@canterbury.ac.nz.

To read a short overview of what RPA is and what makes a good candidate, click here>

Richmond Tait
Business Finance Director

Achievement – Whiria te Taura Tangata #18

Kia ora koutou

Achievement

I am feeling a little behind the eight-ball this month. Having returned two weeks ago from three weeks leave overseas, I feel a bit like I am still chasing my tail trying to get through the backlog plus the normal workload, as well as those new pieces of work that come our way unexpectedly. I am feeling very uncomfortable about this as I usually feel highly organised and achievement focussed!

This led me to think about Achievement – which is of course one of the constructive styles in the culture model we are using. So I thought I’d ‘work smart’ and share a very good Daniel Goleman article “Balance Your Need to Achieve”.

“Research shows that Achievement Orientation for personal goals matters crucially in early career jobs, while it morphs into a concern for the team or organization goals at higher levels.”

It is about balancing your Achievement focus with emotional intelligence, so as to help others achieve.  This, I would suggest, aligns nicely with the other three constructive styles.

Finding Out More

Ngā manaakitanga (with best wishes),

Karen Mather
Organisational Development

Creative Problem Solving ↔ Constructive Culture Whiria te Taura Tangata #17

Design Thinking

Back in August last year we highlighted the use of Problem Solving Circles to promote and grow a constructive culture. A number of you attended the advertised Blue CLUES sessions about this topic.

I hope you’ve been able to make use of this excellent tool and a number of the other tools in UC’s Ideation and Innovation Toolset.

A tool in that Toolset that I’d like to highlight today is Design Thinking.

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success”. —Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

Design thinking solutions are desirable from a human point of view but also technologically feasible and economically viable. It is not a methodology for every problem but in the right situations, it is very powerful. This is a good overview article and here are the resources we have gathered for you.

Many of us perhaps desire to attend the d.school at Stanford University (I know I do) but that probably isn’t a feasible or viable proposition! The great news is – you can study Design Thinking here at UC.

I’ve just completed this paper myself and (apart from thoroughly enjoying myself) I learnt about the theory behind the Design Thinking methodology, when it is appropriate to use it, and how to practically apply it.

photo of design thinking
At the CDHB Design Lab

If you are interested you can take this paper as part of UC’s MBA or our Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership or, as a one-off.

Culture resurvey after three years – College of Education, Health and Human Development

Congratulations to the College of Education, Health and Human Development on their recent retest results – an increase in the number of staff responding to the survey and noticeable growth in the constructive styles! I look forward to you sharing some stories once you’ve had time to reflect on your results within the College.

Finding Out More

Ngā manaakitanga (with best wishes),

Karen Mather
Organisational Development