Advance Australia's Culture

Advance Australian Culture Influencing a shift in assumptions and attitudes about the need for greater diversity and how it can improve growth opportunities within Australia and across Asian nations

Purpose of this blog

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Cultures change constantly and, like an iceberg, they sometimes drift to a better place, others times they don't. To achieve diversity and remove the barriers that limit full productivity and restrict growth, we need to direct the country's culture as it glides through time.  As times change, so must our assumptions about who should work at what levels and who can make decisions about how business and society should operate.

Purpose of this blog

The idea that a nation's culture should be 'directed' is no different from the idea that its leaders should manage the health, education or financial systems. In all cases, what leaders are doing is ensuring a better future for the people who live within that culture. For thousands of years countries, cities and towns worldwide have been shaping the way 'things get done' so that they are able to realise their ambitions and dreams.

In this blog I’ll discuss more about why we should direct our culture, how we can all contribute to the change, who we should expect to lead social change and how it can be integrated with and reinforced by organisational change.

Anyone can adjust their culture

In Stepping Up I introduce many new ideas and concepts to help leaders direct the cultures of our country, organisations and individuals, so that they reinforce and support our ambitions and goals. Shifting old assumptions, adjusting values, influencing attitudes and rewarding good behaviour are a large part of the responsibility of the leaders of any business or society.

For nations like Australia, America, Canada, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and many others that have a high percentage of immigrant populations, a vital role for leaders is to integrate all the cultures represented to ensure harmony and prosperity.

For organisations that are undergoing change, or who are completing mergers or divestments, managing the cultural shifts that occur with the change is critical to achieving their business strategies.

For individuals, making a conscious adjustment to the assumptions they hold and the values they live by can fundamentally change the opportunities that come (or don’t come) their way.

In this blog I will present you with practical examples of how changing cultures contributes to economic performance and growth and how it can improve the lives of people who take up the mantle to lead culture change.

Please share your questions and comments along the way so that I can respond to the specific challenges or conditions you face.

The Culture Iceberg (detailed in Chapter 8)

The Culture Iceberg metaphor is one of the ideas I have used to illustrate how cultures form and operate. Cultures drift and values that influence the behaviours, productivity and performance of a country, organisation or group can suddenly look and feel very different from before. Leaders of societies, companies and groups are sometimes surprised when they discover that their culture has moved to a place that is not supportive of their ambitions and goals. The Culture Iceberg and the language used to describe the formation and operational processes of cultures, detailed in Stepping Up, will be discussed further in this blog to help you to know how to apply them.

Directing culture is the same as directing growth

To direct your culture is to direct your growth. To influence the way people think is to influence the effort they put into solving business problems creatively, quickly and cost efficiently. To show respect for and provide equal opportunity to people of all backgrounds and both genders, is to future-proof your business against mid-career departures of the people you have invested in. To demonstrate how assumptions about 'how things get done' are flawed is to remove the rights of laggards in your business to resist change and expect to keep their jobs. To change the number of women on your board or management team is to admit the missing experience and skills that could improve decision-making.

History has shown that little good comes to organisations that fail to be open to new learning and progressive thinking. Look at how many listed companies present in the 1960s no longer exist! Taking-off the blinkers to culture, diversity and all other things that are typically called 'the soft stuff' is like discovering yeast for bread. When you discover the link between culture and growth, you are assured of the rise in business performance that you seek.

If you have a story to share or wish to be a guest blogger, please contact me directly.

Thanks for stopping by.

Author: Pamela Young

 

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