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

The Language of Exclusion

Individuals who have been part of an outstanding team say that it is a unique and uplifting experience. Yet so many teams fail to deliver. Steve Simpson reports on one reason why teams fail…  I’m a member of the National Speakers Association of Australia. For  me, the association has been extremely valuable – in terms

The ‘In Crowd’

The July edition of the Harvard Business Review has a fascinating article that talks about being in the ‘in-crowd’. Titled, ‘Are You In the In Crowd?’, author Art Kleiner discusses an intriguing – and previously covert – aspect of organisational dynamics. Read on…. Ever wonder why an initiative fails to be implemented, despite all the

Spiral of Silence

We’ve recently come across a concept that has inherent appeal – the ‘Spiral of Silence’. Developed by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, founder and director of the Allensbach Institute (Germany’s version of the Gallop pole) the argument is that public opinion is a tangible force that controls people’s decisions. Imagine you and some other people are sitting around

Security Goes AWOL

One of the more visible changes since 11th September 2001 that many of us experience is the heightened security at airports and at public events. There have been sustained and serious efforts to ensure public safety. Yet a BBC production brings into question the extent to which corporate culture is undermining security measures…    I’ve

Perceptual Lenses

As a reader of Cultural Intelligence, you will know of the considerable work that has gone into the Unwritten Ground Rules or UGRs® concept over recent years. You would also know that the work hasn’t stopped either! Below is an insight into recent work into perceptual lenses… I have defined UGRs® as people’s perceptions of

Off-Handed Power

In most organisations, power is seen to rest in the hands of managers. The more senior the manager, the more power. Yet in reality, power rests with each and every person in a team. Sometimes exercising that power can have significant effect – and sometimes it can be off-handed and unintentional. Read on… Can you

No Tolerance Policy

As customers, we have all-too-often heard the same justification for an organisation not responding to our request – the dreaded ‘policy’. “It’s not company policy” is often the first response to an unusual or difficult customer request. In the article below, Steve Simpson recommends a policy reversal – one that is imposed on all staff

Negative Magnetism

Have you ever noticed that some people have a magnetism about them – they seem to draw people to them? Steve Simpson contends that people are not the only ‘magnets’ in organsiations. He contends below that the topic of conversation can often be drawn to negative issues – and this is something about which we