Tag Archives: Transformation

UC’s Organisational Culture Transformation

In 2013 we started to take a deliberate look at our organisational culture –

“the shared values, norms and expectations that guide us in terms of how we approach our work, interact with each other and interact with our students, stakeholders and customers. Organisational culture includes the patterns of behaviour that are encouraged, discouraged, or tolerated by people and systems over time.”

Why? An organisation’s culture affects performance, employee engagement and the ability to create an innovative and positive work environment.

The first steps we took were to enhance constructive behaviours* in our staff in leadership roles. We are utilising a 360 degree tool called the LifeStyles Inventory (LSI), coupled with coaching. The LSI has continued to be part of the readiness for the next stage – enhancing Culture – to support our continued efforts to be People Prepared to Make a Difference and to achieve our strategic goals.

(* The four Constructive behaviours are: Achievement, Self-actualising, Humanistic-Encouraging and Affiliative.)

The Culture component of the journey began in earnest in 2015 and is now underway for the majority of staff. So far 76% of staff have had the opportunity to participate and have started to discuss the UC culture they experience (“Actual”) and the UC culture they desire (“Ideal”). These conversations, activities and initiatives are supported and validated by the measurement tools we are using – provided by Human Synergistics.

This culture transformation is an SMT-led initiative. HR’s role is to support each SMT member as they plan when and how they will deploy the measurement tools, and support their areas to close the gap between the perceived ‘actual’ and ‘ideal’ culture. Culture Leadership teams have been established in each area. The Culture Leader’s role is to debrief results with their staff, initiate and support discussions to build understanding of the results, and to enable and empower staff with their subsequent activities, changes, relationship building and initiatives.

Learning Community for Culture Leaders “Blue CLUES”, a series of sessions for the growing group of Culture Leaders, will start in March. The purpose of these sessions will be to learn – from leaders and guest experts, as well as from each other – and to network in order to share our experiences and lessons.

Invitations for the inaugural session on 22 March will be sent soon for those who are designated Culture Leaders in their areas. Our guest speaker will be Shaun McCarthy, Director Human Synergistics Australasia. Please pencil in the date.

Feature Article
If you are wondering how to take a (further) step in the right direction, this article may prompt some thinking…

“8 Things Constructive People Don’t Do”. Published on 17 Jan 2018, By Dominic Gourley. “Sometimes it’s easiest to know what Constructive is by looking at its contrast…”

Dominic’s article refers to the Human Synergistics Constructive behaviours at the individual level. If you are not familiar with these or you want to see them compared with the styles at the organisational/culture perspective, you might find this article of interest.

Finding Out More
– Please see UC’s Culture Journey website for more information on the UC programme, timeline, tools, articles and whitepapers, FAQs and more.
Listen to the VC talking about this topic

I plan to provide you with updates, resources, guest blogs etc. once a month. If you have any success stories to share from your area’s work following your culture discussions, please contact me, I welcome your input.

Ngā mihi nui
Karen Mather
Organisational Development Manager

Ernest Rutherford Blessed

The Blessing of the new Ernest Rutherford Building, Stage 1 of the Rutherford Regional Science and Innovation Centre, took place at 9am on Wednesday 22 November 2017. This is a prelude to the College of Science beginning their relocation into the new building, an exciting event that is just around the corner.

Present from the College of Science were Charmaine Atherfold, Professor Mike Reid and Professor Matthew Turnball, from the Office of the DVC Maori – Ripeka Tamanui-Hurunui and Liz Brown, and from Capital Works – Mark Homewood and Mary Watson. The Blessing was conducted by Reverend Spanky Moore.

Photo: from left – Charmaine Atherfold, Reverend Spanky Moore, Professor Mike Reid and Professor Matthew Turnbull

Identity and Access Management Programme update

Over the course of this year the Identity and Access Management Programme has, through a number of workshops, been gathering information about the wide variety of resources available at UC, and the rules behind who gets access to them. Along with this information gathering the team has been carrying out technical reviews of systems, development of processes and policies for how Identity and Access may be managed in the future, and working through the procurement of a number of services ready for 2018.

As mentioned in our communication in September the project provided a paper to the UC governance groups detailing the activity, cost and implementation approach for the remainder of the project over 2018 and 2019 . This was paper was endorsed and approved by council in its meeting on Wednesday 25 October.

The team will continue to work on completing the 2017 activities while preparing for 2018.

IAM Project 2018:

  • Core Identity Platform: Procurement and Implementation – Design, Build, Test, Staged deployment and Support
  • Provisioning (process that adds and remove access to resources): Procurement and Implementation through to completing all testing.


IAM Project 2019

  • Provisioning: Staged deployment and Support
  • Self-Service: Implementation – Design, Build, Test, Staged deployment and Support
  • Password Management: Implementation – Design, Build, Test, Staged deployment and Support
  • External Users & Cloud: Implementation – Design, Build, Test, Staged deployment and Support


In 2018 the team will be providing regular updates to all stakeholder groups through UC Communications and through a dedicated website where up to date information on the projects progress can be tracked.

If you would like more information you can contact the project: identityproject@canterbury.ac.nz


Jeff Field, University Registrar
Stephen Sheere, IAM Project Manager

Easy Enrolment Early Release

Walter Elliott once said “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other”.

This quote aptly describes the Student First Programme | Ākonga ki Mua (‘Programme’), which encompasses many finish lines. Progressing past each finish line contributes to building a student management system experience for students and staff that is simple, fast and certain.

I am pleased to announce the achievement of the first of these finish lines this month with the successful launch of the Easy Enrolment Early Release (‘Early Release’) for the College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora (‘CEHHD’). Achieving this means that student applicants interested in our Teaching Programmes can now apply online.

Providing this option removes the barrier between the digital world our teaching student applicants live in and the paper-based, manual way they enrolled previously.

Collaboration has featured strongly in this success – thank you to our CEHHD and Student Services colleagues. I especially acknowledge our ITS colleagues for their solid support.

To date the Early Release has fielded over 100 submitted applications.

Three weeks into the Early Release student and staff feedback has been encouraging with a number of early benefits identified. For our student applicants, no more lengthy paper-based applications, they can upload and store supporting documents and they know exactly where they’re at within the initial application process. For our staff, no more keying in paper-based applications and centralised access to documentation means more time to focus on other higher value activities.

These early benefits align strongly to building an experience for students and staff that is simple, fast and certain and contributes to the University’s drive to recover student numbers back up to
pre-earthquake levels.

One thing’s clear, perseverance is key if we’re to transform the experience we provide to our students and to you, our staff.

Ngā mihi
Dr Hamish Cochrane
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) | Te Tumu Tuarua Ākonga
Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) Student First Programme

NOTE:  The ‘Student First Programme Team will report directly into Professor Ian Wright, after Dr Hamish Cochrane leaves.

campus master plan released

The Campus Master Plan that will guide campus development for the next 30 years, has been publicly released today.

The plan has been developed by the Learning Resources team through a lengthy process of research, analysis and consultation with all sectors of the UC community to determine the final vision.

Alex Hanlon (Director of Learning Resources | Kaihautū Matua, Te Ratonga Rauemi Ako says it’s been really exciting to facilitate how our community will develop from now and into the future.

“While we started with the physical estate, it was very much about how our spaces enable all the fantastic work that our community does. From student events to high-end research facilities, UC is a little city inside a larger city and we had to consider how lots of different things relate to each other.”

View the Campus Master Plan in more detail at: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/capitalworks/planning/index.shtml