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- 05 Apr 2016
Posted by: Kendall Hogg

Keogh Consulting attended the March 2016 HR Summit, held at the Gold Coast, where we shared journeys of culture change, innovation, diversity, leadership and continuous improvement.  

We loved the focus on culture and brand, a powerful blend that is too often ignored by organisations who are scratching their heads as they deal with declining levels of employee engagement and customer satisfaction.  Richard Barrett (Barrett Values Centre) suggests that sustainable brands emerge when what is reflected internally in the culture is reflected outwardly though the brand. “Building love for the brand from the inside out” sounded like a winning formula for engagement.   

Equally, we loved the metaphor used as a frame to explain how organisations are changing. Traditionally, being likened to cathedrals and now starting to resemble bazaars, where consumers hold the power. 

We were truly impressed by the great work that a financial organisation in Australia is doing to promote diversity and equality. The catchphrase “What interests my boss, fascinates me” is used powerfully. Gender and culture performance metrics are simple, scarily transparent and receive the same degree of scrutiny that the financials do.   

The presentation on the paradoxical nature of culture change, also caught our attention. It’s a big ask, when you expect leaders who have been rewarded and recognised for maintaining the status quo, to lead the change. And it’s perilous to expect that an approach that worked for one organisation, will work in another.  

Part of the paradox of culture change is also the insidious nature of incongruity.  Leaders are the catalyst for change and the intended or unintended consequences of their actions are far reaching and set the tone for the change effort.   The perspective shared at the Summit about the power of choice for leaders, in defining and empowering change, was illustrative of the new paradigms being created to drive sustainable change.

And the question that emerges for us: - Are we really stretching the envelope and embracing the new paradigm, or maintaining the status quo?

HR and OD practices are starting to shift, from fundamentally redesigning physical workspaces, to changing how we manage performance (hurrah!). Assigning numerical ratings is being replaced by frequent, employee-initiated “touchpoints”.  A feedback conversation is now being transformed into a contribution and impact conversation.

The frequent reference to connection, resonated strongly. Connecting individuals to the vision and purpose of the organisation, to their teams, to the community and to the contribution that they make to the organisation.

This brings us to our new offering, and our showcase at the HR Summit. Over 30 years of experience has led us to believe that when people in organisations truly connect with the strategic goal of the organisation, they are a force to be reckoned with. Magic happens, hearts and minds are engaged, the imagined starts to becomes a reality, and there is long term behavioural change. We call this Momentum. 

Do you want to create and sustain momentum towards a big strategic goal?  Do you want to build the internal capability of your organisation as you do? Then contact us  to find out more about Momentum.     

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