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Viewing entries tagged with 'change'

Watching culture emerge

Posted by Philip on 10 March 2014, 12:42 pm in , , , ,

There’s a lot of talk about creating and changing culture in groups and organisations. The assumption is that culture can be manipulated by design and somehow a desire for a certain “shape” of culture can be transposed onto a group of people at will.

I’m not sure that’s possible.

Robert H. Schaffer suggests in the Harvard Business Review that, 'To Change the Culture, Stop Trying to "Change the Culture"’. He reflects that the “multitude of programs — training, re-organization, systems redesign, and communications campaigns” imposed to create widespread culture change, are “trying to transform a whole lot of cultural dynamics all at once. We’ve found that managers get better results when they start with a few smaller successes, which then provide a basis for expanding.”

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The power of labels — is it time to move on?

Posted by Philip on 1 March 2014, 11:51 am in , , ,

Label saying "Who are you?"Yesterday I posted a meme, which said, “Better to have lost in love than to live with a psycho for the rest of your life.”

I liked it of course, otherwise I wouldn’t have posted it. Eleven others did too, some commenting on Facebook, “Amen to that,” and “Definitely!!”

Then this: “Hate it. It’s beat up on people with mental illness time again. Ever had the amazing person you love tell you that they just can't deal with your mental illness anymore? Our society is totally phobic about people with mental illness having intimate relationships.”

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On needing to run a marathon to feel fully human

Posted by Philip on 5 November 2013, 10:19 am in , , , , ,

On 4 November 2013, 3 News' Mike McRoberts quoted Peter Loft, the head of the Achilles Foundation, which has been sending disabled athletes to the New York marathon for 20 years:

"They come here with disabilities — and they leave feeling like full human beings."

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Let's have some new gender stories please

Posted by Philip on 6 October 2013, 12:12 pm in , , , , ,

Boy George

When I was a kid, there were girls and boys, men and women. My sister was a bit of a tomboy (hardly surprising perhaps, given she had two older brothers). Truth be known, I was a bit of bit of a sissy (not as acceptable as my sister's gender-non-stereotypical behaviour) but, apart from 'big boys don't cry', I was never particularly shamed on account of it.

Those were the early 70s and 80s. Cut to the mid-80s, as puberty and adolescent coarsed through my body and threw open my mind, one afternoon I was watching Ready to Roll and a new song appeared on the charts: "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" by Culture Club. The group was fronted by this person over whom, for the next couple of weeks (there was no Google back then), I obsessed. Whether they were female or male, I really couldn't tell.

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What if attitudes don't really matter?

Posted by Philip on 24 September 2013, 12:00 pm in , , , ,

An orange

Attitude is everything, they say. What if I said, I don't think so?

Consider that, as long as it remains inside my head, my attitude means nothing. It's only when I speak it, or act on it, that it begins to matter.

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Is the wonder of diversity getting lost in fear of being wrong?

Posted by Philip on 23 September 2013, 9:58 am in , , , ,

Young male looks scared

In my twenties, I used to run disability awareness workshops, mainly for people working in disability services. I had an assumption and an agenda — they were wrong and I was there to show them that and tell them how to be right.

Over the years, I've met people who had been in those workshops. They've told me they'd never forgotten the workshop and how scared of me they were.

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Diversity through three social change lenses

Posted by Philip on 22 August 2013, 6:18 pm in , , , , , , ,

The notion of diversity is still, in my opinion, hopelessly limited. In the last month I narrowly missed the launch of DiverseNZ (their website diversenz.org is still dead...I mean, not live). Then I watched Helen Clark speak, albeit eloquently, but so basically, about women in leadership at TEDx Auckland 2013.

Clark, like DiverseNZ, spoke about women in leadership like it was a new idea. I wondered what year it was. Actually, what century.

The consistent and continual confusion of categorisation and representation with diversity is something I bang on about all the time. This week I guest lectured at Unitec's "Community Development & Social Change" and "Mental Health & Disability programmes". This time I banged a slightly different beat, thanks to a framework created by friend and fellow social change practitioner, Gael Surgenor.

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The difference between doing and being diversity

Posted by Philip on 30 July 2013, 10:35 am in , , , ,

Organisations that "do" diversity:

  • Have policies, strategies and plans to manage it
  • Get trained in different aspects of diversity - gender, culture, sexuality, disability
  • Have "ethnic" days, lunches, etc
  • Count staff categories
  • Try hard to work out how to attract a wider range of employees and customers
  • Apply for diversity awards and have diversity groups
  • Desperately try not to offend anyone
  • Have to manage complaints
  • Take diversity very seriously

Organisations that "are" diversity:

  • Encourage self awareness and reflection amongst staff to let it lead the organisation
  • Talk about diversity around the lunch table
  • Have staff who offer to share their beliefs, values, customs and lives with each other
  • Are open to changing things when people come and go
  • Naturally attract a wide range of employees and customers
  • Forgive people for getting things wrong
  • Generously explain to each other why something may be offensive
  • Play with and explore diversity

Most organisations do diversity. What they really do is categorise and represent people.

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What I don't do and why (HT @thisissethsblog)

Posted by Philip on 2 May 2013, 2:04 pm in , , , , , ,

This morning I read a blog post by Seth Godin. He's one of my favourite bloggers, mainly because he's brief and uses ideas from one area and applies them to others.

Here's what it said (I've taken the beginning, middle and end — you can read the whole post here).

If your writing feels like nothing but easily defensible aphorisms, as if you're saying things that are obvious... Consider the alternative. Say the opposite.... And then tell us why. We'd love to know how you're going to wriggle out of that. And along the way, if your story is a good one, we might even give it a try. 

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Belonging: Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest, and WiserEarth (Wiser.org)

Posted by Philip on 9 April 2013, 8:27 pm in , , , , , ,

Not often when one person says, "It's ok, you're not the only one(s)."

Paul Hawken's speech at the Bioneers conference on the world's largest movement, which is comprised of hundreds of thousands of grassroots organizations that address social and environmental justice. This speech stemmed from Hawken's book, "Blessed Unrest," which laid the groundwork for WiserEarth (Wiser.org). Wiser.org empowers and connects like-minded individuals and organizations around the World - Together we are striving to create change through our passion for sustainability and social justice.

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