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Cultural insight interventions: when start ups level down it helps the rest of us see how to aim high

Organisations, Uncategorized No Comments

This year we have seen Airbnb seeking to shift the culture of the world whilst Uber get into bother about its internal culture .

Getting the culture of start-ups right is increasingly discussed – this list of things to watch out for has resonated for many on one social media platform.

The culture of a business or charity is formed in its early days – often around the behaviours of its founders and the way other colleagues respond to it, and that normally involves acceptance or leaving. The truth is that once a culture of an enterprise is formed, it is very, very hard to shift it.

So getting it right at the start is key – and not just for start-ups in the sharing economy.

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Do you support the rSPB?

Improvement, Uncategorized No Comments

I live in Cambridge. The city and its surrounding area is home to one of (if not) the biggest and most vibrant conservation communities in the world. The RSPB is part of it. However, that is not the rSPB I am thinking of here.

I work across sectors. Time and time again I see the attraction of structural change to leaders. The more senior they are, the more they are attracted it seems.

However, I largely agree with the Australian organisational commentator Peter Fuda that the search for the perfect structure is futile and that “With the right values and behaviours, almost any structure can work.”

If we see organisations as communities then getting the processes, as well as behaviours, right is also crucial. Actually these ideas can be implemented more quickly than structural solutions (which, to be clear, are important too). Simple rules to guide day to day choices and moment to moment decisions about the processes used and behaviours lived are enormously helpful. I wrote about this a few years ago using a rather unsavoury example.

Recommendations for results from Structural, Process and Behavioural change. Think of something you are trying to achieve right now. Is your approach balanced – like a bird in flight?


OOO #3

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And another great OOO.

Oz wine: a metaphor

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Some things have a long reign. For example, QE2.

Others a short one (eg after the fuss on the Netscape float in 1995 things changed rather fast for them…maybe a metaphor for what Facebook faces for its future as a public listed company now).

40 years ago Monty Python parodied Australian wine, playing to long standing prejudices.

But the tables (table wine!) turned pretty quickly after that silly smugness. Top Oz wine have been highly rated for many decades now.

A lesson for us all when making firm judgements – eg about implications of the current wave of anxiety on the Euro wobbles and Austerity (along side the rise of China). Marx said “History repeats itself, first time as tragedy and second time as farce”. A hundred years later the poet Steve Turner said: “History repeats itself – has to, no one is listening”. But maybe the future may not be what we predict from our current mindset and far more than a repeat of the past.

Chatty brands – what is your online personality?

Plan, Uncategorized No Comments

We have noted before the more informal style of marketing (http://www.idenk.co.uk/blog/?p=1425 ) that seems all the rage

How chatty is your brand online (both on web pages, emails and messages) – and that might mean you (ie you as a brand – even in a charity or not for profit organisation)

What about this I just received following cashing in a voucher when switching to a greener energy supplier:

“Hello Phil
Welcome to XXXXX Wines, and thank you for giving us a try.

Before you get started, we want to be totally honest with you. There might be some wines in your case you don’t enjoy.

Not because they’re bad wines. Just because we all have different tastes. That’s the lovely thing about wine!

We only want you to pay for wines you love

So if you do come across a wine that isn’t for you, then please call and we’ll put the money back in your account. Then you can spend it on some wine you DO love.

Plus… if you do decide to come back for more, we’ll make sure you never drink a dud bottle of wine again, scout’s honour.

So happy drinking, and please don’t be shy

We won’t be offended. We would much rather you told us, so we can get it right.

Just call us and ask for your Wine. They’re lovely, friendly people and they know our wines inside out!

Best Wishes”


Words to come

Think, Uncategorized No Comments

In our festive Business Briefing, we asked what words and phrases colleagues were struck by this year. Some of the answers were posted in our first briefing of 2012 on happiness.

Some others from 2011 we have received include: kind and kindness; wise and wisdom; decision loom and decision weaving ; epistemic awareness – and kitsch.

I am listening now in a new way…

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In charge of the inbox?

Personal productivity, Uncategorized No Comments

Managing emails comes up time and time again with our clients along with managing diaries and meetings.   

Being in charge of your emails is an important skill in our connected world.

We have written about personal productivity (see the second half of this Business Briefing) and this on email management from The Guardian makes similar points – and argue the ‘war’ on emails may never be won.

One thing that rarely comes up is how hard it can be to do the skim reading and quick replies needed on the small screens and handsets of  iPhones and Blackberries.

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Wise quotes – who says so?

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Here are 10 quotes to help in moments of doubt. What do you think of them?

Chris evans top 10

Does knowing that they are from Chris Evans’ book ‘Memoirs of a Fruit Cake’ change what you think of their value?

Argumentum ad hominem?

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Email: phil.hadridge@idenk.com