Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

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Book Review of Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 10, 2017
Filed in Collaboration, Communication, Culture, Employee Engagement

We were about 20 years too early. Back then, my group at IBM extolled the benefits of understanding organisations as complex systems – ones where it was impossible to predict how things were going to turn out; where technology and the speed of change fostered non-linear relationships; where a small thing could have a big […]

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The Role of Storytelling in a Team of Teams

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 18, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture

Four-star general Stanley McChrystal became the commander of US forces in Afghanistan in the mid-2000s. When he arrived in the country, he found the American military operating much as it always had, through command-and-control organisational structures. It didn’t take him long to figure out that wasn’t working against an enemy organised in flat networks that […]

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Embed a new way of thinking with stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 11, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture, Leadership Posts

As I have said before, if you want to change a work culture, you need to change the stories that are told about it. But I’ve never been a fan of the single-story approach to change. Personally, I can’t think of a time when just one amazing story transformed a company. (Some have even gone […]

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Like it or not, stories are shaping your company culture

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 28, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture, Strategy

Gerry Lynch is the general manager of Mars New Zealand, the food and retail business that gives us Mars bars, M&Ms, MasterFoods and Whiskas, to name just a few of their brands. The company, which employs a couple of hundred people, is also a regular finalist in, and winner of, New Zealand’s long-running IBM Kenexa […]

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Don’t try to change someone’s mind, do this instead

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 15, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Collaboration, Culture

Last month, The New Yorker published an article called ‘Why facts don’t change our minds’, in which the author, Elizabeth Kolbert, reviews some research showing that even ‘reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational’. Kolbert’s popular article makes a good case for the idea that if you want to change someone’s mind about something, facts may […]

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How management by wandering around (MBWA) helps with change management

Posted by  Mark Schenk —December 15, 2016
Filed in Culture, Employee Engagement

When I was doing my first degree back in the late 1970s, one of the very important – and simple – techniques for being a more effective manager was known as ‘management by wandering around’ (MBWA). The essence of MBWA is to get up from behind your desk – which managers often think of as […]

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Complex times call for disruptive leadership

Posted by  David Green —July 29, 2016
Filed in Culture, Employee Engagement, Leadership Posts

Business writers are increasingly using the term ‘disruption’ to refer to a range of forces which modern organisations are dealing with. It is the latest in a long list of challenges which over recent decades, have been variously referred to as ‘churn’, ‘turmoil’, ‘constant change’, ‘uncertainty’, ‘unpredictability’, ‘complexity’, ‘instability’, ‘chaos’, ‘dissonance’ and ‘turbulence’. Twenty years […]

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Creating a customer service culture through storytelling

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 15, 2016
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture

If you peer through the glass doors of an Apple outlet just before opening time, you’ll see the blue-uniformed employees huddled in the middle of the store in focused conversation. One of the topics will be the previous day’s net promoter scores, where employees have asked customers to rate the possibility, based on the service […]

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How do we prosper in a changing business environment?

Posted by  David Green —June 10, 2016
Filed in Anecdotes, Culture

Just four years ago, Peter took up the role of CEO of a company which for years had supplied maintenance services to the mining industry, called Mitchells Maintenance. The business came with over a thousand staff and a good reputation with its customers. The previous year, one of its contracts had gone awry. The board […]

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The evolution of storytelling

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 7, 2015
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture

The beautiful campus of the Australian National University is nestled in the heart of the country’s bush capital, Canberra. I attended the ANU in the 1980s, majoring in geography and prehistory. In my first prehistory tutorial, I recall asking my tutor whether we had to remember dates to pass the course. I’m not sure who […]

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