Tag: Culture and Organisational Development

Inside the Black Box: Mergers and Acquisitions

With start-up culture thriving and businesses needing to constantly evolve and think on their feet, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) have become more appealing than ever. Nevertheless, they can present a unique set of challenges on many levels. Under this landscape, two businesses are forming into one entity (merger) or one business is purchasing and taking over the other (acquisition.) The appeal and challenge is in the newness of absorbing a competitor or rebuilding and conducting business optimisation on operations to maximise efficiency, productivity and profit. The fear is in the unknown and the vast desire to move quickly. The answers are all inside the black box.

Where do we find the information we need to make the decision? What do we disclose to the buyer? How much do we share to the potential acquirer? When do we give out the secret sauce?

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“Organisational culture is essential to the success of any business. In the early childhood education sector, it is particularly important, as parents know that their children will benefit from a positive culture.

Often, we think of culture and leadership from an internal, human resources perspective, but given the way it influences service provision, customers often take organisational culture into account when selecting a business. Culture affects employees – both positively and negatively, and when deciding what centre to choose for their family, the most important factor influencing parents is the quality of educators, which means focusing on organisational culture in childcare is the basis of being customer-centric.”

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Organisational culture is essential to the success of any business. In the early childhood education sector, it is particularly important, as parents know that their children will benefit from a positive culture. Often, we think of culture and leadership from an internal, human resources perspective, but given the way it influences service provision, customers often take organisational culture into account when selecting a business.

Culture affects employees – both positively and negatively, and when deciding what centre to choose for their family, the most important factor influencing parents is the quality of educators, which means focusing on organisational culture in childcare is the basis of being customer-centric.

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Looking Into The Future Workplace and How Organisations Can Adapt

Unsurprisingly, the future workplace will be driven by technology. The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), automation and robotics will dramatically change both the number of jobs available and the skills required to do them.

We are now moving towards a future where machines help humans to process, analyse and evaluate the huge amount of data created. Yes, this will mean that some jobs will become redundant. However, it is important to remember that the ultimate goal here is to allow humans to spend more time engaged in value-adding activities such as strategic thinking, creativity and decision making.

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Start small; but start.

Gradually Adapting to the Future Workplace

There is much discussion about the future of work but it appears while some organisations are preparing (e.g. creating start-up teams and internal “gig” roles) for a world where artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are prevalent and the norm – others are continuing to operate as always. Change was slow and incremental: now it is rapid, radical and unpredictable.

Failing to look over the horizon could cost businesses their livelihood and people their jobs. (Think about organisations that no longer exist e.g. Borders, Polaroid and Blockbuster).

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Top Tips for Starting a New Role

Starting a new job can be a little nerve-wracking. No matter how much preparation you have done – that first day can feel a little uncomfortable. Not unlike those brand new black brogues I bought myself for my new role as Consultant – People Performance with Change2020.After a week with Change2020, my new shoes are worn in and I feel I’m part of the team.  It feels like I have known my colleagues for much longer than a week and that I am already contributing to clients and the business.

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Connections

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was in the final stage of the weekly shop.  I selected a checkout manned by a young guy (he looked about 12 but I am sure he was older!).  Bradley (his name badge gave him away) was friendly and we undertook the usual pleasantries until something happened.

He started saying something and then he stopped himself.  Being a curious person, I asked him to share what he had been going to say.

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Being Malleable

Malleability and Adaptive Leadership

While it is a very long time ago, I still remember being in my year 8 science class and first learning about malleable metals (e.g. gold, silver, copper, lead and aluminium) – those metals that can be hammered, pressed or rolled into thin sheets without breaking.  This was around the same time the Periodic Table became my friend as I learnt a “song” to help me to remember all the elements.  (As an aside, a cute modern day version of a song can be found on YouTube)

Since that time I have always been attracted to the word malleable (particularly now that I can spell it).  This interest further peaked as I moved into leadership roles combined with the discoveries in neuroscience (the study of the nervous system and the brain).  Neuroplasticity is the term used when referring to the malleability of the brain. Neuroscience has proved that it is possible to change the way we behave with the motivation and support – due to the brain’s malleability.

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Belief really can make a difference!

Creating a Culture of Belief in the Workplace

What a treat for our sporting nation – the two key codes of football celebrating grand final wins with the underdogs getting up on both occasions. Having grown up with an almost obsessive love for AFL, I am absolutely delighted that the Western Bulldogs are the 2016 premiers (even though I am a passionate and long-suffering Carlton supporter)!

How does a team come from 7th on the ladder to win the flag? How do they overcome a 62-year premiership drought? How do they manage to play as a high performing team week after week even though their beloved and highly skilled captain was injured early in the 2016 season?

My observation – they believed they could do it. They were 100% focused on the outcome, they had a shared goal, a goal which was largely shared by the entire western suburban population of Melbourne.

So often we use sporting analogies in the business world; it seems apt, in a sporting team everyone must know their role, commit to maintaining and building their skills, always be there to play their role in the game, recognise the strengths of others and provide opportunities for them to be optimised, operate selflessly, communicate continually, reflect on performance and opportunities for improvements and always remain focused on the goal, in this instance the premiership.

While the analogy works we are rarely treated to leadership and teamwork such as that demonstrated by high performing sporting teams. There is no doubt that the busy changing world we operate in creates challenges for teams to remain aligned or high performing, but surely they should never lose sight of the goal?

If we believe in what we do, why we do it and our role in it, then regardless of the rapidly changing environment we are faced with, alignment, high performance and ultimately achieving the goal is more likely.

How do you create ‘belief’ in the workplace?

  1. Share the ‘why’ – ensure every person knows why the business, service or team exists; it builds engagement, ownership and belief, it creates the story which employees can place themselves in
  2. Be clear on roles so each person knows how they can contribute to the goal
  3. Keep everyone informed, celebrate successes and share learnings from mistakes
  4. Encourage ideas from all parts of the business, listen, consider and give feedback
  5. Invest in skills and behaviours of your team so they are equipped to achieve the goal
  6. Recognise that leadership can emerge from anywhere at any time, encourage it!

The ecstasy of the Western Bulldogs win will easily carry them through the off-season while they enjoy a well-earned break. But first, they will take a deep breath, they will celebrate, they will reflect on their role in this momentous event and they will demonstrate thanks to every supporter who shared in their belief that anything is possible!

Nine Habits to Embrace Ambiguity

Recently Change2020 launched the Embrace ambiguity movement. This movement is about firstly acknowledging where your tolerance of ambiguity sits and then taking action to Embrace ambiguity – both at home and at work.

At Change2020, we believe that Embracing ambiguity is imperative if you are to remain relevant as a leader.  Research also identifies that “leaders who are comfortable with uncertainty and competent under ambiguous conditions might very well provide a competitive advantage to organisations”[1].

So, if relevancy and having a competitive advantage are important to you, is it time to jump on board and join the Embrace ambiguity movement.

Joining the movement is simple, the first step is to complete our survey by clicking here to determine your tolerance of ambiguity.

We have developed nine habits that will assist you to Embrace ambiguity.

These are:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Take the reins
  3. Focus on what matters
  4. Rewire expectations
  5. Hatch butterfly moments
  6. Open the floodgates
  7. Challenge idea killers
  8. Be courageous
  9. Let go and move on

Over the next nine weeks will be releasing a blog on each of these habits. Watch out for these to build your tolerance to Embrace ambiguity.

[1] White, R.P. and Shullman, S.L., Acceptance of Uncertainty as an Indicator of Effective Leadership, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 2010, Vol 62, No 2, 94 – 104