Company culture

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The Perfect company

Recently, I was working as a change manager on a gigantic roll out project for a massive multinational.  Everything was exactly as it should be.  When the business had an idea they spontaneously reached out to their IT colleagues to seek advice and support.  And when the IT team hit a technical problem the business was always there to help them. The senior managers too, were very supportive, asking how they could lend a hand. Everywhere I went, people understood the problem that our project was solving and the benefits of solving it. The communication department were fantastic, they anticipated [...]

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How many hours do you work a week?

Once upon a time this was a simple question to answer, you started at a given hour and finished at a given hour, deducted an hour for lunch and twenty minutes for tea breaks and multiplied by five. The only ambiguity for some office workers was if to include their commute time or not. For most people, today, the answer can be extremely difficult to calculate. (Now let’s immediately agree that, for most office employees, working today has got to be a lot more inspiring than it was in the 1950’s, or even up to the point where the short [...]

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How not to reward someone

I was driving to my quiet place this morning when I heard a very interesting story on the radio.  It was being told by Dan Ariely, a professor in psychology and behavioural economics. A few years ago Dan had met a locksmith whose clients were complaining about how much he charged. ‘It never used to be the case’, he had said.  ‘When I started out, I wasn’t very good at my job. When I was called to someone who had locked themselves out of their house, it used to take me quite a while to get them in.  Often, I [...]

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The pinball effect – big company / small company

There are some things that make me laugh, not out loud but deep inside; one is hearing an earnest teenager telling me how their life is going to be, another is hearing someone who has only worked in a large organisation tell me how change would be much easier to implement in a small one! You can call it the arrogance, naivety, over confidence or simple ambition but we humans (especially us males) like to believe in our ability to have influence over the life and times of others. So many genuine people from big companies tell me how they [...]

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Finding your tribe

In previous blogs, I have tried to reiterate the absolute need for diversity in the workplace, especially when innovation and creativity are basic requirements. However, I do not want to override or forget one very basic other need and that is to ‘find your tribe’.  On an individual level, we can be happy with the content of our work but still, somehow feel uncomfortable with the people around us.  Company culture, departmental behaviour, cliques and groups can either make us feel welcome or constantly on the outside. When listening to the stories of many ‘great lives’, one thing always seems [...]

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