Tag Archives: organisational culture

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

We are all in this together – Whiria te Taura Tangata #14

Kia ora koutou!

He waka eke noa.

My understanding of this whakataukī is “we are all in this together”.

It uses the waka as a symbol of the need for cooperation and collaboration in order to move together towards a shared place or vision. With the Colleges of Arts and Engineering, and now the UC Health Centre, receiving their culture results we can now truly say this is the case.

Blue CLUES. The planning for the first Blue CLUES is underway and invitations will be sent soon to those in Culture Leadership roles.  The invitation is still open for work areas to host one of these seminars – open the session, contribute to the content etc. so just let me know if you wish to take this opportunity.

Contributions welcome. Contributions to this blog are welcome. If you have a story to share, feel free to talk to me or post it yourself.

Culture Bites Podcasts.The podcasts by Human Synergistics Australia are a useful resource that can be listened to, for example, in the car. The latest one “But in this industry we have to be like that…”  David Byrum and Dominic Gourley from Human Synergistics discuss the concept of different cultures within different industries – “In a University, we have to be Oppositional because …..” You can listen to it here (or download to your phone): But in this Industry we have to be like that…

Change in OD Team. Karen Grant has taken up a new role within HR as Reward and Recognition Consultant. Karen’s contribution to getting the culture development programme to this point has been significant and I thank her for everything she has done. Rachel Dillon, who has worked here as an HR Advisor, is now in the OD Advisor role.  Rachel will be managing the LSI, OCI/OEI, Blue CLUES etc. – so say kia ora.

Finding Out More

Ngā manaakitanga (with best wishes), Karen

Karen Mather
Organisational Development Manager


Team Management Profile

To encourage interactions at the group level across UC we have piloted the Team Management Profile (TMP) throughout 2018.  Close to 300 staff having taken the strengths-based self-assessment survey and then participated in a variety of workshops to debrief the results.

In addition to providing individual feedback on areas for development, the tool allows us to understand the working preferences of our colleagues.  This in turn is helping UC staff to overcome barriers that may have existed, and is leading to improved working relationships and performance.

Feedback has been positive from people who have used the tool, with many saying how fun and interactive the workshops are.

Some other comments received include:

“I used the TMP pacing tool before our first meeting and I felt it really made a difference.  Our communication style matched what it predicted, and I felt we achieved more in the meeting.”

“My Team have commented that they found it really interesting as well as fun.  They have all commented on the revelation that everyone in the Team would rather have a conversation about something rather than sending emails.  In just 24 hours I have seen staff being much freer in communicating face to face as we all now understand that this is a communication style that works for all of us.”

“I have had staff express to me how they are excited about being able to focus more on where their strengths lie and how they now have some more insight into how others operate at work.”

“I’ve had two 1:1 meetings with staff today and both staff members were eager to talk about their profiles in terms of what they are learning about themselves and generating ideas about how we could capitalise on the preferred working styles of the whole Team.”

If you are interested in finding out how the TMP could benefit your Research Group/Team/Area please talk to your HR Advisor.

Blue CLUES #4 – Moving Groups from the Red to the Blue

A reminder that our final Blue CLUES sessions for 2018 are being held next week (Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 November).  If you would like to come along and have not yet registered, please email organisationaldevelopment@canterbury.ac.nz

Hei konā mai

Karen Grant
Organisational Development Advisor

Whiria te Taura Tangata | Weave the Rope of People – UC’s Organisational Culture Development Programme

Another Blue CLUES session, some thoughts, and more… UC’s Organisational Culture Transformation – update #5

Kia ora koutou katoa

What’s this all about?
If you are just getting involved in UC’s organisational culture development programme or you are new to UC, here’s some background….
– UC’s Culture Development Programme – a collection of resources
– UC’s Culture Development Timeline – what’s happening when?
Cutting through the noise: What is Culture? – a good read on what organisational culture is and why it matters (pdf).

This month’s thought: from a Service Unit Manager whose team is a few months into working with their culture results…
“Our team culture has improved. Blame has left our vocabulary.”

The second Blue CLUES session is in the planning phase. Thanks for completing the survey after the first session and letting us know what you want from this learning community. We now have 180+ people in leadership roles who are involved in culture development so this time I am planning one session, but repeating it twice. This means we will have two smaller interactive groups plus you have the choice of two times. The session is likely to be held the week commencing 18 June. The working title is….

“Leading a Team out of the Green and into the Blue”

… and there will be a focus on building understanding of an Approval, Conventional, Dependent and Avoidance culture as well as formulating some strategies to reinforce the constructive styles. Look out for your invitation!

Information about the first Blue CLUES (including videos of the presentation and subsequent panel Q&A) can be found in my Blog #4.

* Blue refers to the four constructive styles – Achievement, Self-Actualising, Humanistic-Encouraging and Affiliative. CLUES is an acronym – Culture Leadership Understanding and Education Seminars.

“Culture Bites” Podcasts
Human Synergistics publish a variety of resources, here’s a couple to listen to:
– 001 Kickstarting a Passive Team (from a team member’s perspective) – 19 minute audio
– 002 Dealing with Delegation – 30 minute audio. There are good linkages here to the circumplex and behaviours as well as some suggested strategies for successful delegation e.g. reframing delegation towards the development of others as well as a way of maximising output. It also talks about ‘brave’ conversations and why people value feedback.

Finding Out More
– See UC’s Culture Development Programme website for more information on the UC programme, the underpinning research, tools, articles and white papers, FAQs and more.
– Share your good news storiesabout culture change.
– Previous blogs.

Ngā mihi nui
Karen Mather, Organisational Development Manager