Organisation Development
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How the Anxiety Epidemic in the Workplace is Ruining your Health

How the Anxiety Epidemic in the Workplace is Ruining your Health | Organisation Development | Scoop.it

 

While there are a host of factors that attribute to anxiety, our work culture plays a big role. It’s where people spend most of their waking hours; and how we process our work lives has a dramatic affect on our well being.

“Surveys show that stress levels [in the US] have progressively increased over the past four decades,” Paul J. Rosch, MD, Chairman of the Board of The American Institute of Stress, told the Atlantic’s Maura Kelly.

 

Technology is a huge part of this trend, as it’s completely transformed how we live and work. We’re now connected 24/7, and the rapid pace of innovation means that almost any industry is constantly on the verge of being disrupted.

 

In a demanding world that’s increasingly complex, “it’s almost logical that people would respond with anxiety,” Tony Schwartz, founder of the Energy Project, tells Business Insider. “People respond with fear, and fear is anxiety.”


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The Evolving Organization

The Evolving Organization | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
I wasn’t receiving complaints from the people on the team. I could just see it in the their eyes. There was exhaustion and not the good kind of exhaustion from doing complicated and hard work. It was the exhaustion you see when individuals on a team have to do too much interpersonal yak shaving. Writing software, the core job of a software engineer, had become too taxing and it was taking a toll.

It was incredibly hard for a simple feature to get out the door because we found ourselves in an all too common collaboration overload situation. Our wish to create continuity meant that the managers in the tech organization had to maintain expertise over 5-6 different priorities across 5-6 different tracks and at any given time would have to switch contexts to help one of their engineers out or discuss an ongoing project or upcoming release. For individual contributors and product managers, it manifested differently with questions of who was responsible for what. It didn’t lead to finger pointing, but ownership was sufficiently muddy that it became hard to move as quickly as we’d like. Even worse, personal and team success became elusive because a matrix, by its very nature, diffuses responsibility across the collective.
David Hain's insight:

Nice little mini-case on some downsides of matrix structures.

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What We Learned from Improving Diversity Rates at Pinterest

What We Learned from Improving Diversity Rates at Pinterest | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
I joined Pinterest as the company’s first Head of Diversity in January of 2016. By the end of that year, we had hit or exceeded most of our goals, improving hiring rates of underrepresented engineers from 1 to 9% and increasing underrepresented talent from 7% to 12% in other roles. But we saw limited movement for women engineers, only increasing our hiring rate from 21% to 22%, which fell short of our goal. While higher than industry norms, this flatness was in large part due to our focus on putting more women in senior roles versus in entry-level roles (more on that later). Over the course of my first year at Pinterest, I’ve learned four key lessons about how to improve diversity from within a company:
David Hain's insight:

Insights on tackling diversity.

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How Vital is Your Organization? Key Findings & Report on the 2017 Vitality Survey • Six Seconds

How Vital is Your Organization? Key Findings & Report on the 2017 Vitality Survey • Six Seconds | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Are people in your organization energized and happy or anxious and stressed? Does it matter? New research offers important insights into people and what drives performance. Here are three key findings, and a link to download the full report.
David Hain's insight:

Evidence of the clear link between organisational EQ practice and performance.

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The CEO’s guide to competing through HR 

The CEO’s guide to competing through HR  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it

We believe the time is right to accelerate the reinvention of HR as a hard-edged function capable of understanding the drivers of strategy and deploying talent in support of it—most importantly as a result of the availability of new technological tools that unleash the power of data analytics.

To advance the agenda, we believe businesses need to concentrate on four things: rethinking the role of business partner to enable a better understanding of the vital link with strategy, using people analytics to identify the talent actions that will drive the value, fixing HR operations so they are not a distraction from HR’s higher mission, and focusing HR resources in more agile ways so as to support these fresh priorities. Companies that take these steps will move toward a next generation of HR that’s data driven, not experience driven; systematic, not ad hoc; and consistent, not hit and miss.

David Hain's insight:

McKinsey on potential  re-influencing of HR through cultivating a big data enabled strategic edge.

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5 ways companies can attract and retain female talent 

5 ways companies can attract and retain female talent  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
The calls for gender balance have been going on for years, yet organisations still struggle to source, attract and retain top female talent. Changes in the basic nature of our workplaces accompanied by demographic shifts of declining and aging populations, it’s clear that recruitment practises need to be re-assessed or even completely revamped to attract and retain female talent. The days of dipping into the “old boys” network to produce candidates just like themselves should be long gone. Yet they linger. With strong business cases for gender balance highlighted by leading global organisations and large companies publicly taking the initiative at CEO level, there is still much work to done and changes to be made.

Research from Deloitte suggests that the demographic to involve more pro-actively is at middle management level. With organisations still sourcing and  interviewing candidates in traditional ways, affinity and confirmation bias play a key role in selection choices. There is no doubt that despite the wide publicised gender dividend the female talent pipeline has at best a stress fracture and in some parts a massive leak. It needs a serious fix.
David Hain's insight:

None of these positive discrimination practices looks difficult - yet still we struggle to improve gender balance!

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10 companies that are great at empathy

10 companies that are great at empathy | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
If this year’s index is anything to go by, that change might already be taking place. Take Ryanair, the budget airline with a somewhat chequered history when it comes to customer service. Last year it finished second from bottom in the index.

Perhaps it was the repeat profit warnings, but the company realized change was needed: low prices weren’t going to be enough to keep customers coming back. So it embarked on what has been described as a Damascene conversion.

Through its Always Getting Better programme, Ryanair set about listening to customer feedback and scrapping the policies people didn’t like – unallocated seating, draconian luggage rules and hidden charges.

The new approach is already paying off: this year Ryanair not only increased net profits, but it climbed 13 places in the Empathy Index. Proof that empathy isn’t just about being a nice guy: it makes good business sense.

You can see the full 2016 Empathy Index here.
David Hain's insight:

Nice little tale about Europe's formerly most hated airline seeing the light - and improving the bottom line as well as the customer experience!

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The insidious problem of men not taking parental leave, resilience and the mental stress of Brexit

The insidious problem of men not taking parental leave, resilience and the mental stress of Brexit | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Jamie Lawrence, Editor, HRZone: What will crack the insidious problem of men just not feeling able to take parental leave or even admit to employers they want to spend time caring for their children?

Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health, Manchester Business School: It’s a really big issue. Men don’t apply for parental leave or flexible working as much as woman do and that is a real issue.

And the reason they don’t - I’ve done a big study funded by the Lottery fund and I did it with Working Families and a colleague from Lancaster - and we looked at both a large public and private sector body and tried to find out why men don’t do this.

And the answer was "it will adversely affect my career." Yet women apply - they also feel it will adversely affect their career but not to the same extent that men do.

Because for men it’s about them feeling that the organisation will think they’re less committed - and they’re not, and won’t be, they are just trying to engage with their family and participate and be ‘new mannish’ and get some good balance between work and life but what inhibits them is the fear that taking flexible working and parental leave will adversely affect their careers.
David Hain's insight:

Job anxiety affecting parental leave - can't be a good thing!

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Getting to the Critical Few Behaviors That Can Drive Cultural Change

Getting to the Critical Few Behaviors That Can Drive Cultural Change | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Focusing on a “critical few” behaviors is one of the fundamental tenets of working effectively with organizational culture. Sometimes called keystone behaviors, these are patterns of acting that are tangible, repeatable, observable, and measurable, and will contribute to achieving an organization’s strategic and operational objectives. The behaviors are critical because they will have a significant impact on business performance when exhibited by large numbers of people; they are few because people can really only remember and change three to five key behaviors at one time.

In the work done by Katzenbach Center consultants around the world, we have seen how a focus on a critical few behaviors helps bring about changes that contribute to meaningful business outcomes, whether it is a medical devices manufacturer tallying 10 straight quarters of revenue growth or a technology firm saving US$100 million a year in warranty costs.
David Hain's insight:

Are you clear on the few critical behaviours you are trying to leverage for your organisations growth?

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Andrea Ross's curator insight, June 6, 7:57 AM

The recruitment industry can be pretty volatile which makes it even more important for recruitment leaders to embrace change than to shy away from it. Whether it be implementing new initiatives, changing current behaviors that entice success all need buy in from your current workforce and accountability from management to see it through. Happy Reading and Happy Friday. 

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, June 7, 12:37 PM

Interesting...

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Create a Can-Do Learning Culture 

Create a Can-Do Learning Culture  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it

Ttoo often, when hands-on managers get involved in doing work they behave in ways that can limit their team’s learning. They jump into the fray, heads down, and plow through the work like the individual contributors they used to be. Or worse, they become micromanagers who encourage boss-dependence.


What’s needed is for these hands-on managers to first learn how to think differently about their dual roles as both players and managers. Instead of being held back by orthodox management thinking that encourages managers to think in terms of “either I’m leading my team or I’m doing work,” these hands-on managers need to shift their thinking about workforce development to a mindset that says “I can do work and do it in ways that accelerate learning for my team members.” Then leading and doing become mutually reinforcing, ongoing activities.

Once hands-on managers adopt this “both/and” mindset, they can begin to recognize the many opportunities they have to create a learning culture while working with their team members. But the key to taking full advantage of these opportunities is for hands-on leaders to learn some trainable skills.

David Hain's insight:

The difference between either/or, versus both/and, is vital to continued organisation development!

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What Gets You Up in the Morning?

What Gets You Up in the Morning? | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
What keeps you up at night? It’s a question we’ve heard posed in nearly every panel and senior leader interview conducted in recent years, and as a result, it has become tiresome and rote. But I believe the effect of this query is more pernicious than simply boring — stay awake long enough to think it through, and you’ll recognize its essentially negative nature. The question assumes that leaders are in the habit — indeed, that they have a responsibility — to let worry pervade their every hour, even those precious few required to refresh, balance, and sustain human effort.

That’s why it was bracing to hear the chief economist of a global bank describe how his CEO responded to this question at a recent meeting of senior employees. “I’m sick of that question,” the CEO had said. “Besides, it misses the point. More important is: What makes me leap out of bed in the morning?”
David Hain's insight:

Why do you bother? Maybe the answer is also a key to good OD...

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Ian Berry's curator insight, June 4, 12:21 AM
I like the reference to "challenge the process" If stuff is keeping you awake at night and/or you're getting up in the morning not looking forward to the day ahead then respectfully I suggest you must challenge your processes
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Why Organizations Need Chief Knowledge Curators 

Why Organizations Need Chief Knowledge Curators  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
To ensure that his team is always in tune and aligned with a common approach to drive strategic vision, Amazon.com Inc.’s CEO Jeff Bezos created a corporate book club; he requires his team to read books curated by himself. Leaders like Bezos understand how the absence of structured knowledge sharing creates room for unproductive discussions, silos and lack of genuine commitment to the execution effort.

On the other hand, with leader-led knowledge sharing, organizations can influence behavioral shifts that align their vision with those of their employees, customers, stakeholders and communities. Why don’t more leaders adopt this deliberate knowledge sharing to drive business success?

Leaders recognize that effective execution is greater than half of the leadership challenge when it comes to improving performance via strategic change. Too frequently, however, we still seek solutions from the same toolkit, which has not previously delivered results. To drive effective strategy execution, companies need to embrace the potential their leaders have to influence organizational conversations by deliberately curating and sharing knowledge using digital communication channels.
David Hain's insight:

Knowledge sharing - the urgency of successful organisation development?

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Reimagining Performance Recognition� – Rob Peters – Medium

Reimagining Performance Recognition� – Rob Peters – Medium | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Businesses understand that employees stay with their companies for foundational reasons. Despite the popular notion that a competitive salary is a preeminent reason why employees commit to their positions, the fact, employees commit to their roles because they are vested in their duties and feel interlocked to the business and its goals. The truth is competitive salary ranks fifth on the list of reasons why employees stay with their firms. But having and retaining committed employees does not occur with the turn of a switch. Organizations build this level of relationship capital by interacting, supporting and publicly (and privately) acknowledging individual and team success.
The Relationship Capital (RC) Recognition Game as enabled by the Peer SaaS platform is one reimagined way to acknowledge and reward your employees by leveraging technology, commitment, and cultural mindset. It’s not just the right thing to do for your employees, but it also comes with a high R.O.I.
David Hain's insight:

Are you capturing and rewarding relationship capital?

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People & Organization Insights - Leadership & Human Resources Research

People & Organization Insights - Leadership & Human Resources Research | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Although companies are spending billions of dollars annually on leadership development and talent management, few are seeing the desired impact on business results.

The problem is both ongoing and systemic. In an annual global survey conducted over the last eight years, "managing talent" and "improving leadership development" have consistently remained in the red zone of future importance and low current capability. This situation has continued, despite exorbitant spend on leadership development and talent management. Among the factors handicapping leadership and talent initiatives are a focus on certification versus learning, fragmented talent management systems, and a disconnect between capabilities and business strategy.

These issues can be avoided—and business performance accelerated—by companies that are able to effectively link value creation with capability building and talent development. These companies stand to gain significant tangible value by getting it right.
David Hain's insight:

Th e prized is big if your organisation can harness talent in support of future value...

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Mental Health at Work Report 2016

Mental Health at Work Report 2016 | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
We undertook a national survey to understand the reality of how mental health is experienced at work.  The survey results tell us that progress is being made but there is a need for greater organisational awareness of the support required for better mental health at work. Significant and potentially damaging disconnects exist that demand an urgent response from business.

Employers need to recognise the scale of poor mental health in the workplace and take significant steps to reduce the risk of their workplace being a contributor.  Employers have a duty of care to their employees to respond to mental ill health just as they
would to a physical illness.  Organisations should equip their managers with the tools, support and organisational culture they need to do their job well, which must include managing employees with mental health issues. It makes good business sense to foster a culture of openness that supports employees with a mental health issue to work and stay in work.
David Hain's insight:

Poor mental health at work costs £bfs! But it doesn't have to be that way, and we can all do something about it!

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A transformation in management theory and practice is needed

A transformation in management theory and practice is needed | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
When it comes to Strategic Management for decades the focus has been on Scientific Management - which was never scientific in the first place - and the idea business could be run and controlled like a machine. Such ideas ignored the fact businesses are social systems – the clue being in the term “company” - and operate within even larger social systems. And for decades management theories have been obsessed with performance, efficiency and competition. I am not suggesting they are unimportant factors, but as Colin Price, a co-author of Beyond Performance[v] said in an interview with me, “When it comes to achieving sustained excellence in performance, what separates winners from losers, paradoxically, is the very focus on performance. Performance focused leaders invest heavily in those things that enable targets to be met quarter-by-quarter, year-by-year but they tend to neglect investment in company health; investments in the organization that need to be made today in order to survive and thrive tomorrow”. Good strategic management cares about performance and health in the short, medium and long-term.
David Hain's insight:

When thinking about change, focus on organisations as social systems not science experiments! Useful warning from Paul Barnett.

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How the Science of Well-Being is Evolving

How the Science of Well-Being is Evolving | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
The field of positive psychology was born when researchers noticed that psychology was awfully negative—focusing on illness and suffering but mute on the topic of how to thrive and flourish.

Two decades later, you could say that positive psychology is moving past this dichotomy of positive and negative, toward a more nuanced perspective on the good life. At least, that was one of the themes at the International Positive Psychology Association’s 5th World Congress, a four-day conference held earlier this month that brought together more than 1,300 researchers, practitioners, students, and journalists in Montreal, Canada.

Researchers shared the complexities and complications they were uncovering about the elements of well-being, from gratitude and mindfulness to passion and grit. Here are some of their insights.
David Hain's insight:

Insights from the latest wellbeing research. It's not as simple as following god/bad buzzwords!

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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, July 27, 6:54 AM
PP 2.0 is more nuanced
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Agile working: Key characteristics of an agile worker - Pearnkandola

Many organisations are looking at developing more effective agile working strategies to enable their people to work with more flexibility, freedom and time/cost efficiency. The immediate focus for these organisations is often on the technology and work space solutions to ensure their teams are equipped to work anywhere with WiFi and a power source.
What often gets overlooked or ignored – sometimes because it is simply too difficult – is the way that people respond and adapt to agile working. The psychology behind agile working is interesting and not at all straightforward, and so in this article I will explore some of the important findings from our own research and work with leaders in this field.
Over a period of five years we were invited, by one of the world’s leading technology companies, to get involved in researching the impact of agile and remote working on their leaders and teams.
We looked in particular at the psychological impact on team members and their leaders, as well as the performance implications and productivity. Through a series of interviews, live observation of interactions between teams that were using video and telecoms technology, as well as gathering data on the personality and attitudes of leaders and their teams, we built a picture of what it takes to be successful in an agile environment.
So, lets examine in more detail one of the key findings, which is that there are definite characteristics that enable some people to be better and more effective working in an agile environment.
David Hain's insight:

Stuart Duff on why some people suit agile working and others struggle. Good starting point for appropriate interventions...

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Top 10 Talent Practices

Top 10 Talent Practices | Organisation Development | Scoop.it

I am a big fan of top 10 lists. I make them all the time.  To name a few: “Top song covers that are better than the original”, “Top hockey fights”, “Best movie sequels”, “Most underrated guitar players.” I could do that all day.  So when a friend of mine asked me what talent practices are on my short list, I jumped at the challenge of turning it into a top 10 list.  

Here are the criteria for the list:

Low cost and/or high return on investment – The cost of most of these are more about time than money, some may require investment but they are high return
Non-technology – There are many important talent management technology innovations out there, but that is a separate list
Not dependent on size of company - I tried to include practices that equally apply to large and small companies
Here is the list, it is numbered but that is not indicative of importance or value:

David Hain's insight:

This is a good list of the most effective ways to nurture your people. And it's all simple stuff!

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How To Build A Winning Organizational Culture 

How To Build A Winning Organizational Culture  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
We are at an important inflection point. For most business organizations to survive and thrive, they must innovate. Innovation requires a business culture of purpose, values, and relationship capital. Many leaders have had the false belief that their organization’s culture was not a lever that they could effectively manage for higher levels of performance. Culture is often overlooked as a business driver because it’s an asset without a dollar value. Leaders need to assess and implement new operating models that leverage the innate purpose, values, and creativity of the individual and the team with the flexibility and efficiency of technology.
David Hain's insight:

Nice mini case studies on the effectiveness of measuring relationship capital!

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donhornsby's curator insight, June 28, 10:39 AM
For many organizations to compete effectively in the marketplace, they will need to cooperate effectively within their organization and with customers, partners, and suppliers. This may require them to nurture and shape their culture by capturing and building relationship capital.
 
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The Fish Rots From The Tail, While The Head Is Clueless

The Fish Rots From The Tail, While The Head Is Clueless | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Hierarchies have odd effects on us, physically and mentally. Where we sit in a power structure can influence our stress levels, our ability to cooperate, and even how we perceive the reality of our organizations.
We’ve just completed an analysis of more than 500 organizations and a pattern that emerged from the data was one that we see all too often with our clients: your perception of your organization’s commitment to its people is correlated with your position in that organization.
The higher up you are, the better your workplace seems (not just for you, but for everyone else, too).
David Hain's insight:

Appears our perception of organisational health is skewed by where we sit. All the more reason for seeking out others in a non-homogeneous space!

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Appreciative Inquiry Supports the Journey to Teal 

Appreciative Inquiry Supports the Journey to Teal  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
In many organizations, the longing for wholeness, more appreciation, a sense of purpose, and – at least to some extent – self-management is noticeable, even in organizations not aware of the Teal or Reinventing Organizations context.

Appreciative Inquiry is a value-oriented change and development process that starts from and is based on creating a safe space in which people feel seen and appreciated as whole human beings. On this basis, they are able to contribute fully, listen into their shared purpose, and create the desired future in a more and more self-managed way.

All three Teal breakthroughs of Wholeness, Evolutionary Purpose, and Self-Management are in-built qualities in the AI processes. And since it is a neutral process, any theme, as well as the breakthroughs themselves, can be addressed as a “core-theme.”

Since AI is such a powerful process and support structure, we want to tell you what this method is and to encourage you to experiment with it.
David Hain's insight:

Appreciative Inquiry - a mind and tool set that may just be the right one for these times of discord and confusion?

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The World Bank Makes Learning Central to Global Economic Development 

The World Bank Makes Learning Central to Global Economic Development  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
To solve the world’s big problems, countries have to share and share alike when it comes to information.
David Hain's insight:

In our uncertain future, learning collaboratively might be our greatest challenge!

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Your Company's Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote: Part 1, The Performance-Values Matrix

Your Company's Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote: Part 1, The Performance-Values Matrix | Organisation Development | Scoop.it

“The actual company values, as opposed to the nice-sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go.”

- Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility

Every time I walk into a new company I am advising, I invariably encounter a set of noble values that are prominently displayed on the walls. So the first thing I do is look past them by carefully observing how people really behave, which tells me what I actually need to know.

It’s not that most companies are disingenuous about the values they espouse. One of Enron’s “aspirational values” was integrity, which may have genuinely expressed who they wanted to be at the beginning. But over time, this did not reflect their “practiced values” of who they actually became when they committed fraud.

The gap between aspirational and practiced values is diagnostic of how much your company’s culture needs to improve. The actions you are taking to bridge the gap is prognostic of whether it will.

David Hain's insight:

It's how they walk, not how they talk! How to  spot the real culture through noticing incongruence!

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How to Make Raising Difficult Issues Everyone’s Job

How to Make Raising Difficult Issues Everyone’s Job | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
If you want people in your organization and leaders on your team to routinely raise difficult issues, regardless of who does or doesn’t benefit, you have to do more than let them know it’s safe to do so. You have to make it an expectation, and back it up with processes and behavior that reinforce it. Here are a few examples of what I’ve seen great organizations do.

David Hain's insight:

The candour dilemma. It's great to have and difficult to get - unless you plan and role model it...

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Focusing on what works for workplace diversity 

Focusing on what works for workplace diversity  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
For faster progress, companies need to draw on the power of design, rethink their assumptions, and use data to inform decision making.

The call for greater diversity in the boardroom and beyond hasn’t yet yielded significant change. Most efforts progress by inches, but companies that take a new tack to address unconscious bias and build a more inclusive workforce could turn the tide on gender issues. In this interview with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland, Harvard Kennedy School professor of public policy Iris Bohnet talks about what is working—and what is not—when it comes to building a more equitable workplace. An edited version of her remarks follows.
David Hain's insight:

Use AI/big data to promote workplace diversity?

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Dianne Hofner Saphiere's curator insight, May 5, 12:41 PM
This is exactly why Cultural Detective is such an invaluable tool. It provides the ongoing, personalized, structured learning that research shows is key to developing intercultural competence. And our Ecotonos: A Simulation of Collaborating Across Differences develops the decision-making skills needed for diverse teams, organizations and communities.
Dianne Hofner Saphiere's curator insight, May 5, 12:42 PM
This is exactly why Cultural Detective is such an invaluable tool. It provides the ongoing, personalized, structured learning that research shows is key to developing intercultural competence. And our Ecotonos: A Simulation of Collaborating Across Differences develops the decision-making skills needed for diverse teams, organizations and communities.