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Viewing entries tagged with 'culture'

Casual racism? Er, no

Posted by Philip on 28 September 2017, 10:38 am in , , , , , , ,

Long time no blog. My wrist is slowly healing, however, typing is still arduous. I was recently asked to contribute to an article on casual racism for an Australian publisher, so I thought I'd make the most of it and paste my responses. Hopefully I'll be back to blogging regularly in a few weeks.

Do you think casual racism still exists in many Kiwi workplaces?

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Turning inclusion inside out

Posted by Philip on 14 June 2017, 6:46 pm in , , , , ,

Inclusion. Such a buzzword of our time. But, as I've written before, inclusion is but a whisper away from assimilation and colonisation. Currently, inclusion asks, "How can we include others in the mainstream? But, what if we asked, "How can we include the mainstream in others?" instead?

One of my clients, Be. Accessible, is achieving this inside-out version of inclusion admirably by referring to disabled people as access citizens and pointing out that, at some time in our lives (whether due to ageing, temporary or permanent injury or illness), everyone will be an access citizen. This disrupts the conversation about one in four people having 'special' needs (them) and the rest (us). It reframes the conversation — we're all in the same boat in regards to needing spaces and places to be accessible. This framing invites the mainstream into the access community.

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Rape culture — how do we address it and end it?

Posted by Philip on 8 June 2016, 1:33 pm in , , , , , ,

Trigger warning: this post contains challenging references to rape and sexual violence.

I was moved by Madeleine Holden's piece in The Spinoff today, about Brock Turner, the 19- (now 20-) year-old Stanford student athlete sentenced to six months imprisonment after, in January last year, he raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. It's a passionate bit of writing, angry actually and, rightfully so, Holden asks the question, "What culture raised Turner to become a rapist?"

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Depression and anxiety — illness not weakness. Or something else?

Posted by Philip on 9 May 2016, 4:38 pm in , , , , ,

Last Thursday I attended the Health Promotion Agency's video preview session for its refresh of The National Depression Initiative​ (depression.org.nz). The National Depression Initiative (NDI) "aims to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety on the lives of New Zealanders by aiding early recognition, appropriate treatment, and recovery."

I was there as one of 15 New Zealanders who have shared their stories of living with depression and anxiety. For me, it was living with aggressive and abusive neighbours over two years (2011 and 2012) that created acute anxiety ​​and prompted me to offer to share my story. But, in the course of doing so, I've come to realise that I've experienced both depression and anxiety many times over my lifetime.

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How the forces of the arts, media and culture influence and shape our thinking and our national identity

Posted by Philip on 21 August 2015, 12:53 pm in , , , , , , ,

This week I was part of a panel for Leadership New Zealand tasked with speaking to this post's title. No pressure. By the time Dr Wayne Hope (AUT University), Qiujing Wong (Borderless), Rewi Spraggon and myself had traversed it, it was obvious how broad the topic was.

I could begin to speak on behalf of my fellow panellists, but thought I'd share my thoughts.

I began by sharing this media release I wrote in 2005 in response to the then National Party's appointment of Wayne Mapp as "Political Correctness Eradicator". Aside from the stupidity of the role, I pointed out that, ten years on, the token gestures paid to diversity in the arts, media and cultural spheres haven't really increased.

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Fringe leadership – what are the alternatives?

Posted by Philip on 1 April 2015, 2:43 pm in , , , , , ,

When it comes to leading change and creating social movements, particularly when it involves people on the margins of society, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming success means “widening” the mainstream to accept a new group of previously excluded citizens.

Reverence may be paid to new rituals and customs. Changes may be made to environments to make them more accessible or representative. Language may be scrutinised and modified to create a more welcoming lexicon. Laws may change to increase rights and entitlements.

In themselves these acknowledgements are important and meaningful. They achieve their intent – to decrease exclusion and increase participation.

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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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Diversity — are you trying to get it right?

Posted by Philip on 12 November 2013, 4:04 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

wrong_way_thumbs_up

If you are, you're very likely to get it wrong.

Organisations that build cultures that require people to do the right thing in regards to culture, gender, sexuality, function (disability) etc, create behaviours governed by fear. People will avoid engagement in order to stay safe, because they'll be scared of getting it wrong.

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Peter Joseph's new series shows how activism misses the bigger picture

Posted by Philip on 7 November 2013, 8:00 am in , , , ,

The Zeitgeist Movement's founder Peter Joseph's latest offering is an excellent six-part webisode, "Culture in Decline."  

Using content and ideas from his earlier Zeitgeist movie series, he has created a powerful, more easily digestible and sometimes very funny expose of the damage that capitalism and the monetary system is doing to the environment, society and humanity itself.

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Diversity dilemma - ethnic culture

Posted by Philip on 6 December 2011, 2:31 pm in , , , ,

Growing awareness of cultural diversity has become commonplace in workplaces around New Zealand.

But here's the dilemma: Culture is changing constantly, particularly among generations, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Learning what is culturally appropriate in one context may or may not be relevant in another. 

The inquiry here is how to create the space for culture to emerge fluidly and comfortably by decaying expectations about what is the right and wrong way to do things. It's about generously allowing people to get things wrong and politely explaining why. And being prepared to authentically apologise when a mistake is realised.

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