Saturday, 27 September 2008

Culture change

I had forgotten what working in an organisation was like, I think. Political. Bureaucratic. Sometimes dysfunctional.

It is curious. Seemingly bright and intelligent individuals come together to achieve less than the sum of their parts.

And there comes a time when you think, where can I do most good? At an individual or organisational level? Sure, successful organisational change can work, but are individual level interventions on average the way to create most good in the world?

If organisational change is to work two features seem to be important. Clarity of direction from the top and knowing how to win arguments below. I guess the former just takes time and patience, but without the latter, you are doomed.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Some thank yous

For my research into meaning at work:

The respondees
To the 511 people who completed the survey.

The researchers
Amy Wrzesniewski, Laura King, Carol Ryff, Mike Steger, Kendall Cotton Bronk, Seana Moran, Douglas May, Bob Emmons, Kara Arnold, Rachel Lewis, ALL of whom provided inspiration and encouragement by e-mail and through their research.

Frank Bond, whose theories surrounding psychological flexibility will form a good part of the next chapter of my life.

Relationship builders and supporters
Mariko O'Neill, my ex, Whytey my best mate, Julee de Jong, Steve and Hope Jackson, Tim Boughton and Dan Harrison, sort of.

To Reena Govindji at the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology - she appears in two lists.

Psychologists and friends Kirsty Buchanan, Amanda Hone, Satara Lester and Amelia Wise.

Bal Hegedus Pickvance and others at Serco.

Dedicated to:
Mike, Mum, Granny and Pa. My greatest supporters of all.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Be the change you want to see...

Seth talks about recruiting online for a paid internship.

As the owner of a small business, the first type of person we hire is someone who could pay for themselves, leave a profit for us, and then have capacity to grow from there. The second type of person would be someone who was already doing the work, demonstrating in what they do, that they can excel in the field. It's about being the change. It would be unlikely that we'd ever hire someone just on the basis of promise or enthusiasm alone. It's the action and knowledge that differentiates.

At PA Consulting, promotion criteria were laid out in some detail in complicated booklets, but it was actually clearer than that. If you watched someone at work you could generally guess what grade they were from their actions. If you were ever surprised by how junior they were, they were generally promoted within the year. The promotion (and hiring) critieria for any firm is simple: you have to be the person whose role you're after.

Working backwards from your dream role is the way to get it. What would you have to do in order to be the person who fulfils the job?

There is always a way.