Based in Australia, Steve Simpson created the UGRs concept in the early 1990s after coming to realise that his work with companies on customer service was influenced heavily by workplace cultures. Steve created the UGRs concept in recognition of the fact that most of the literature and models on workplace culture was complex, academic and impractical.
Around the same time, yet on the other side of the planet in South Africa, Stef du Plessis was forging a career in the employee engagement space. Working under the auspices of the University of Johannesburg, Stef had built a team of OD practitioners and was working with major corporations – all the time looking for new ways to get employees on board and on track.
A chance meeting in Australia at the turn of the century would change their lives. Steve and Stef almost instantly realised that their respective bodies of work were a perfect fit. A wonderful friendship and business partnership was born. Since then, Steve and Stef have co-developed the UGRs concept to a point where it is used in companies across the globe to transform cultures.
Steve has a Masters Degree from the University of Alberta, and Stef has a Masters Degree (cum laude) from the University of Johannesburg. They have co-authored a recently released book titled ‘A Culture Turned’.
Decades of Experience
In the 1980s it was Situational Leadership and Ken Blanchard, and Body Language and Alan Pease. In the 2000s, it was Jim Collins and Good to Great. Now is the time for UGRs.
Guy Russo, CEO Kmart and Target, Australia and NZ
If an organisation is serious about understanding at a grass roots level what do people actually think, what actually happens, UGRs are absolutely the way to go.
Mandeep Dhatt, ED HR, McLaren Automotive, UK
UGRs initiated a corporate “Road to Damascus” experience, creating the foundation for our future sustainable success.
Ian Cockerill, (former) President, Gold Fields Limited
Steve and Stef have created a range of strategies that can be implemented in organisations to strategically improve workplace cultures. There are two broad streams of initiatives that have been developed. One stream relates to systematic processes that need to be put into place to ensure that UGRs are 'top of mind' in the organisation. The second stream of initiatives relates to improving skill sets of both leaders and staff.