Friday, 4 May 2012

Newsletter Issue 216, May 2012

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 216, May 2012
Hi guys,
Does your organisational culture match your customers' culture? Does your organisational culture match your national culture? If not, why is it important? Check out Changing Corporate Culture below.
How many Maori terms are in current usage in New Zealand? Get the brain working in Kiwitanga
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Changing Corporate Culture

Organisational culture has probably been best defined by Deal and Kennedy in 1982 as "The way we do things around here" (p. 4). This explanation encapsulates all that can be right and wrong with organisational cultures; all that can hold us back, hold us together or blow us apart.
Culture is probably the single most important tool that leaders have in their tool kit. Good management of culture means that all staff know what they need to do, when they need to do it, and the spirit in which they should do it.
Culture usually reflects our societal culture. The trouble is, we can't see it; we can't taste it; we can't touch it; and half the time we can't even point to anything that reflects it. Culture manifests itself in our values: what we wear, what is acceptable to say, how we deal with customers, how we treat each other, how honest we are and how decisions get made. Culture determines whether we can talk to the CEO freely, whether it is OK to bring your kids to work, whether you need to follow formal communication channels, and whether there are hugs or hand-shakes or eye-rolls.
And sometimes we take our eye off the ball. We get out of step with the rest of the world, or the world suddenly shifts on us (think 11 September 2001). If we stay where we are, we slowly become irrelevant to our markets, our staff and our nation, and we die. To prevent that, we need to change what we have held to be our organisational truth, and make deliberate cultural change.
But that change is easier said than done.
In order to change organisational culture, you need resources:
  • Audit – Conduct a situational analysis (SWOT), a market forces analysis, then a cultural audit/analysis, identifying those cultural elements needing change. Evaluate the gap between what you have and what you want to have. You need to understand CLEARLY why the change should happen, and what components of your organisational culture are holding you back. Are these Deal & Kennedy's organisational symbols? Rituals? Stories? Acts? Processes? Reward Systems? Values? A difference between what you say and what you do? Or a combination of these?
  • Explain the reason for change – Clearly communicate convey why the change needs to happen. If the organisation's survival is threatened, it needs to be clearly communicated so staff understand this is 'mission critical', not just a ‘nice to have’.
  • Visionary leadership – a leader, or an idea champion in the organisation, who grasps the need for cultural change, and has the authority, responsibility and the resources to be able to see the change through.
  • Time – to achieve effective cultural change will take a LONG time, and a lot of dedication. It might take only three years to make cultural change stick; or as long as a decade.
  • Commitment – because of the time it will take to embed cultural change, the C-team needs to be committed to resourcing this as a long term project, with wide ramifications. For example, to make change stick, you will need to consider EVERY ONE of the following items that Hellriegel and Slocum (2003) identified:
    • Organisational Design: how your organisation is put together - whether it is centralised, de-centralised, in autonomous teams, business units or geographically isolated will all have an impact on whether your cultural change works or is rejected. Culture, strategy, and structure are intertwined, so a new culture is likely to need a new combination of tasks and responsibilities. Be prepared to consider initiating a reorganisation, but wherever possible, don't make people redundant (redundant people may become bitter, and those left behind feel guilty).
    • Organisational Systems: implement the process and systems changes identified in your audit; for example, to green your entire work processes, you will need to consider strategy, finance, IT, marketing, manufacturing, value chain, supplier-customer relationships, and inputs and outputs.
    • Reward Systems: Change HR processes so new personnel are introduced to the culture and are rewarded for behaviours that benefit the organisation. You may need new rewards systems, evaluation, induction, socialisation & social functions to support the changed  culture
    • Leadership: you will need new stories & rituals to convey and drive down the new vision - the cultural artefacts that are the warp and weave of the fabric of an organisations culture and legitimise your new way of doing things.
    • Teams: shake people out of their silos and comfort zones. Lack of team participation is a common way for cultural innovation to fail.
    • Individuals: though acts of leadership by individuals throughout the organisation, the new culture is embedded, story by story, act by act, ritual by ritual, until the change takes. This means you need to select people who will embrace the change and help drive it down through the organisation, and absorb their gritty understanding of the detail of their work, linking that with the intended change.
Cultural change is hard work, but well worth it.

  • Deal, T. E. & Kennedy, A. A. (1982). Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
  • Hellriegel, Don & Slocum, John W. Jr. (2003). Organizational Behavior (10th Edition). USA: South-Western College Publishers [based on McKinsey 7-S Framework in Peters, Thomas J. & Waterman, Robert H. (1982). In search of excellence: lessons from America's best-run companies. USA: Harper & Row (p. 10)].


Have you noticed how many Maori (and Pacifika) words have been adopted into daily Kiwi usage?
I was reading an article by Max Cryer (2012, p. 43) recently, where he said "More Maori words have moved into the vernacular and everyday reportage. In 2001 an Australian journalist visiting New Zealand wrote with surprise that he needed a dictionary to read the daily newspaper because so many Maori words were in everyday use".
Well, I would suggest in the intervening eleven years, many more words have made the leap to everyday usage; due to Maori TV, Kohunga Reo and plain, good old education. Kiwis don't need an explanation for mokopuna, tamariki, kia kaha, urupā and wharepaku, and understand National Radio announcers saying "Ata mārie, nga mihi o te wā" on Morning Report.
Our language has also adopted blends of Maori and English - Kiwitanga for things that are precious to New Zealanders, and half-pai for kinda sorta good.
Not only is the daily expansion and evolution of our language a wonderful thing, what it says about who we are is also quite special. I think it means that, as a nation, we are growing up. All New Zealanders are taking their place with pride; in the Pacific, not in the North Sea.
Congratulations, Aotearoa. Kia kaha.

Reference: Cryer, Max (2012). Our Evolving Language. Alive, Issue 10, 2012 (pp. 42-45). NZ: Southern Cross Health Society.

Presentation End: Roll Credits

Did you know that you can run a rolling credits list at the end of your PowerPoint presentation, to thank those who have helped you? TechRepublic's newsletter listed a how-to recently at
Using PowerPoint’s Credits effect, what you do is:
  1. Add a new slide with a suitable title, containing a bulleted list of the names of those whom you wish to thank
  2. In the names text box, add three or four empty lines between each name (NB: as you add lines, the font will shrink, but ignore this for now)
  3. In the names text box, select all the text:
    1. click the 'Bullets' icon on the toolbar to remove the bullets
    2. Click the 'Center' text alignment icon to centre the items between the left and right margins
    3. In the 'Font Size' dropdown list, select 32 (this increases the font size so that text is forced below your slide's bottom margin, but we can ignore that too)
    4. In the 'Font Color' dropdown, select white (your text will momentarily disappear, but that's fine too).
  4. In the title text box, select all the text, and in the 'Font Color' dropdown, change the title’s font colour to white as well (you might want to change the title’s alignment or font size, but we’re not concerned with the slide’s title in this example).
  5. Right click on the slide’s background (outside any text boxes) and choose 'Format Background' (or, in 2003, 'Background'). From the 'Color' dropdown, choose black, and then click 'Close'.
  6. To add the Credits effects:
    1. Key Ctrl & A to select all the objects on the slide (ie, your title text box and your names text box)
    2. Click the Animations tab, and in the Advanced Animation group, click Add Animation. If 'Credits' isn’t in the 'Entrance' section, select 'More Entrance Effects' (in 2003, go to Slide Show | Custom Animation | Add Effects dropdown | choose Entrance | More Effects).
    3. In the 'Exciting' section of the dialogue box, select 'Credits' and click OK.
    4. In the Advanced Animation group of the dialogue box, click Animation Pane (this pane should be open already in PowerPoint 2003):
      1. Select the first item, Title 1, and in the Timing group, set this item’s "Start" setting to 'After Previous'.
      2. Select the second item and enter a 'Delay' setting of 2 seconds (in 2003, right-click the effect, choose Timing, then set the 'Delay').
You can now view how your slide will look by keying F5. Sit back and watch your credits roll from the bottom of the screen to the top :-)

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • c-suite, (or c-team) all the "C" level executives in a company. For example, the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CFO (Chief Financial Officer), CIO (Chief Information Officer), and so forth.
Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we are look at all you can do with Page commands in Explorer (both Windows & Internet):
  • Explorer "Go the bottom item on the screen. Use a second time to select the item one screen below" Page Down
  • Explorer "Go the top item on the screen. Use a second time to select the item one screen above" Page Up Explorer "Move to additional items above an already selected item, without selecting the additional items" Ctrl & Page Up Explorer "Move to additional items below an already selected item, without selecting the additional items" Ctrl & Page Down Explorer "Select additional items above an already selected item" Shift & Page Up Explorer "Select additional items below an already selected item" Shift & Page Down Frontpage "One screen down " Shift & Page Down Frontpage "One screen up " Shift & Page Up IE "Scroll toward the beginning of a document in larger increments " Page Up IE "Scroll toward the end of a document in larger increments " Page Down

Hot Linx
A couple of years ago, Dean Kamen - Segway & iBot inventor - started work on a Stirling engine scooter. Read about the concept at
While tertiary training is expensive, NOT taking on tertiary training is far more expensive. Check out what the Atlantic has to say on this at
Ceramic artist Katie Gold creates fabulous sculptures from clay. View some of her creations at and read about why she does what she does at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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