Welcome! Here we have a rich resource of insights into UGRs, in a series of articles below.

Enjoy the read!

Training is so often promoted as the solution to problems being experienced in an organisation – take a look at just about any business plan and training is almost certain to be part of the business growth strategy. Steve Simpson believes that in some instances, training can be a total waste of time. Even worse,
When it comes to workplace culture, we think there’s a water-tight case. Here’s the logic as we see it: Workplace culture is probably the most important driver of organisational performance Companies need to agree on the kind of culture they need in place to ensure their future success To the extent this cultural profile is
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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…
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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