Stepping Up - Preface & Contents
Stepping Up is for leaders in business and society who are looking to increase productivity and achieve growth in the Asian Century. By building greater diversity in society and the workplace we can unlock productivity potential that is lying dormant.
Allowing both genders and people of all cultures who live in Australia to fully participate in the workplace will enable us to increase social cohesion, stimulate innovation, boost productivity, raise income levels and thereby improve individual net worth and GDP.
Realising full participation requires that everyone has the same opportunity to be appointed to positions that reflect their skills and experience, reach the level that reflects their performance and capability and be free to climb up the ladder unencumbered without bumping their heads on the glass or bamboo ceilings.
Stepping Up presents economic and social arguments for greater diversity and how the culture changes needed to achieve it are the same changes that would help to boost the growth of our industries and communities. Australia’s future and the future prosperity of its people is reliant upon us keeping our nation at the forefront of Western nations and taking advantage of our proximity to, and engagement with, the fastest-growing region of the world.
Stepping Up challenges and empowers leaders to drive culture change to achieve gender and cultural diversity and enable growth. It questions our success at assimilating immigrants and supporting them to build productive careers, at welcoming home expatriates who have been away to gain valuable international experience, and at creating equitable working environments where females can develop and ascend the organisation on merit in the same way as men.
The facts are that relative to many of our global trading partners Australia is challenged by much of this. Australia needs its political leaders and leaders of business and society to collaborate, create a shared vision that will inspire the people of Australia to follow and lead us in culture change to join the more progressive societies of the world.
In this book we look at how greater diversity in society and the workplace requires culture change in the groups we belong to that shape our attitudes and behaviours. We take an in-depth look at three main cultures – country culture, organisation culture and your own culture. We also take a brief look at other cultures that impact us at home and at work such as sports clubs, communities, associations, chambers, universities, schools and places of worship.
This book raises awareness of opportunities and possibilities; provides insight into current issues through the voices of 100 leaders interviewed from across Australia and Asia; and presents readers with culture-change solutions to shift attitudes and adjust behaviours that limit our performance. The voices of the 100 leaders interviewed reflect strong consensus on many key issues and confirm the call for action. At the same time there is some disagreement amongst the leaders, which highlights the disparate nature of our society.
The scope of Stepping Up is broad, from leading cultural change to increasing national diversity and advancing Australia’s productivity and growth in Asia. It includes discussion about things that impact these ambitions, such as the Australian culture and its values, skills shortages, gender roles and education, women on boards and quotas, multiculturalism and immigrant integration. It also discusses where we should look for leadership on diversity and the pluses and minuses of being an island nation.
Stepping Up provides readers with inspiration, knowledge and motivation to lead change in their community, company, club or clan to help make Australia a more diverse, highly productive and regionally connected country. The potential is enormous.
If you would like to be part of the nationwide community of people who are leading the way to our future, please share
your thoughts, initiatives and change projects on this website. I would also welcome your feedback on the ideas
and opinions presented in this book.
"The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and
the responsibility that we all had.
It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility."
John Lennon, (1940-1980) English musician and singer-songwriter with The Beatles
Part One: The Power of Diversity
Chapter 1 – Taking the Mantle
Leaders, step forward please
Economic and social gains
It’s time for change
Acceptance and inclusion boosts participation
Full participation boosts productivity
Clarifying ‘full participation’
Culture: A blocker or enabler?
The Culture Iceberg
The Culture Circuit
Leadership and followship
100 leaders contribute
Approach to reading Stepping Up
A rich collection of views
Navigate your way
Chapter 2 – Listening
100 leaders share their stories
Key research themes
Can Australia grow through Asia?
Impact of Australia’s culture on growth
Cultural diversity and the opportunities
Gender diversity and the opportunities
Future development of Australian society
Where to from here?
Chapter 3 – Discovering Diversity
Experiencing a new culture in Asia
Total immersion in Asia
At work in cross-cultural Europe
Contrasting cultures across the globe
Returning ‘home’ to Australia
An ‘immigrant’s’ view
It’s time to help with diversity
The journey ahead
Part Two: The Issues Impacting Growth
Chapter 4 – The Asian Opportunity
Asking 100 leaders about Asia
Opportunities for business in Asia
Australians abroad in Asia
Asian languages and culture
Shaping up for success
Australia, a world view
Asian people in Australia
2012, a year of bold plans
Key messages about Asia
No doubt: we need to act now
Chapter 5 – The Australian Opportunity
Australia’s customs and traditions
Without direction cultures can drift
Exploring Australian culture
What’s fabulous about Australian culture?
What‘s not so fabulous?
What are Australia’s core values?
What attitudes do people hold?
What do our behaviours convey?
What cultural challenges need addressing?
Key messages about Australian culture
Chapter 6 – Cultural Diversity
First in, first served
Some sectors, certain conditions
Language-learning chronically undervalued
Break through behavioural barriers
Cultural diversity in Australia
Integration or ‘embracing difference’?
Two encouraging personal stories
Key messages about cultural diversity
Chapter 7 – Gender Equality
Hope is not a method
Australia’s relative position on gender
More women, better performance
100 leaders’ gender perspectives
What do you think about women on boards?
What do you think about having quotas?
How well are women supporting gender equality?
What about gender roles, mentoring and education?
What does gender bias look like?
What issues do we need to address?
What opportunities are there to consider?
What strategies have you employed?
What advice do you have for others?
Three stories: discrimination, sexual advances and bullying
Key messages about gender diversity from 100 leaders
Why so little change?
Let’s rethink gender roles and games
Quicken the pace with mixed-gender teams
The elephant in the room
Need for cultural change
Beyond delusions and myths are courage and pride
Part Three: Changing Cultures
Chapter 8 – How Cultures Operate
Changing culture is the ‘hard stuff ’
The Culture Iceberg
Language in culture
Culture blind spots
The Culture Circuit
How to unlearn behaviours
Sustaining change: Making diversity stick
Chapter 9 – Redirecting your Country Culture
Country culture dominates
Strong characters can impact country cultures
Norway shifts assumptions
How country cultures form and operate
Challenging elements of Australian culture
Outside influences on performance
How do we evolve Australia’s country culture?
How can you contribute to change?
Chapter 10 – Redirecting your Individual Culture
Influences on your own culture
Proving assumptions wrong
How you can shift assumptions
Being open to changing assumptions
Three men adjust their Icebergs
Be the leader that will honour you
Chapter 11 – Organisation Culture
Leaders deliver gender diversity
Evolved cultures foster women-in-operations
Woolworths: Sponsoring women to grow business
McDonald’s: No barriers, no limits
Ernst & Young: A conscious redirection
Professional service firms’ cultures
Organisations and the Culture Iceberg
Organisation Culture: Contrasting your culture with another
Part Four: Leaders and Society
Chapter 12 – Who should lead?
Many good ideas
Who should lead on diversity in society?
Who should lead on diversity in business?
Who should follow?
Is Australia ready for change?
Leading culture change
Australia in the Asian Century
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