Why Do UGRs Exist?

Have you ever wondered why UGRs exist? A little wine, good food and a beautiful evening in Queensland was the setting for a discussion on this very topic. It is summarised below (also it is evidence that not too much wine was enjoyed!) On my recent trip to Queensland, I sat with three great people

What Causes UGRs?

Unwritten Ground Rules or UGRs® are people’s perceptions of ‘this is the way we do things around here’. Incredibly, UGRs dictate people’s behaviour, yet they are rarely if ever discussed openly. Here, Steve Simpson takes a deeper look at UGRs… When I work with companies to help boost their culture, one  of the most common

We’re Open and Honest

Most mid and large sized organisations have Values Statements. In many cases, these are a powerful tool to galvanise a team and to maximise the performance of the organisation. Yet in other cases, Values Statements and other documents can do harm… Many businesses make proclamations about the way they operate. Internal documents often centre on

Values Converted

Most organisations have an impressive list of Values Statements that are framed and adorn the walls of corridors and offices. But how much do they really impact on people? A recent email from one of our readers suggests that they count for nothing if the UGRs contradict them. Here’s a slightly edited version of the

Unwritten Rules Apply Elsewhere

Steve Simpson’s recently released book – UGRs: Cracking the Corporate Culture Code – talks about the powerful impact that Unwritten Ground Rules have on the levels of service provided by any organisation. Unwritten Ground Rules apply in contexts other than work however – as Steve recently discovered in an article that discussed Unwritten Rules in

UGRs® – A Laughing Matter

The concept of UGRs® (Unwritten Ground Rules) has enabled people to understand their organisation’s culture, and to put in place strategies to improve it. One of the challenges people face in understanding their own culture is to get a fix on prevailing UGRs. Steve Simpson’s recent insights are below. Read on… In my first year

Trust and UGRs®

In the last edition of Cultural Intelligence, we canvassed the concepts of ‘softball’ and ‘hardball’. It’s fair to say there are varying views on the extent to which we should focus on each of these in our day-to-day work! We’ll fuel the fire a little more below, with an article by Steve Simpson on the

Time to Change Lenses

It’s really difficult to comprehend the argument that there is no absolute ‘reality’ – that each of us interprets events through our own experiences and inherent biases. Steve Simpson contends that this is indeed the case – and that in our quest to understand the world through generalisations, we can sometimes make seriously flawed judgements…

The Politics of Favour

Many organisations are wracked by internal dynamics that conspire to actively work against optimal performance. Sometimes, the internal issues are obvious – management weaknesses, overt conflict and insufficient resources are examples of these. But in other instances, the negative internal dynamics are much more subtle and difficult to observe…. When I studied for my Masters

The Origin of UGR’s

UGRs – ‘Unwritten Ground Rules’ are a new way of thinking about and managing an organisation’s culture. They inflict a great deal of pressure in terms of how people should behave. But how do they start? Much of the discussion on UGRs in Steve Simpson’s book (UGRs: Cracking the Corporate Culture Code) and in this