Ideas and Insights


Podcasts for uncertain times #4

If you are like us, we find podcasts to be an easy way to access new information or gain different perspectives. For one thing, they are great for making effective use of time when you are travelling, or you need a break from sitting in front of your computer.

So again we have made a small selection from the plethora of podcasts that are available, that we hope they appeal to a range of needs and interests.

Read more…
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Gods in a time of Corona

Bernie Neville

We continue today, thousands of years on, to use Greco-Roman gods as metaphors for different perspectives on life, different patterns of behavior, different constellations of beliefs values, needs, instincts and habits.

When Jung developed his archetypal theory, he continued in this tradition, finding the the gods in personal and collective behavior.

James Hillman related these and other archetypes to great myths across many cultures, but it is those of us whose roots lie in European history that tend to go back time and again to the Greco-Roman gods for our metaphors and images.

Contemporary archetypal psychologists continue to use the same language and share this same perspective and we have (over the last few years) covered off on sixteen of the gods as they become evident in organizational cultures.

Our colleague and friend Bernie Neville has written an intriguing essay on how the current positions, strategies, hopes, fears and explanations we see and hear about Covid-19 are, yet again, the god images give a distinct and observable shape to our understanding of the virus, its impacts and our response to them.

Read and enjoy Bernie’s expose of The Gods in a Time of Corona and how they continue to explain our understandings.

If this field of understanding interests you then you can explore more in our book Olympus Inc. – Intervening for Cultural Change.

Tim Dalmau
October 2020

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Snake oil and culture change

I had the very sobering experience 1 week ago of listening to the CEO of a client organization (large dispersed manufacturer) telling me how he had been approached by a local consulting firm offering to help him and his colleagues create the culture that would see the company through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

This was a staggering story for two distinct reasons: firstly, any person (let alone a professional consultant) who believes they can define what will be needed and how to engineer culture in a client organization over the next 6 months has truly been smoking something. A quick scan of the two companion newsletter items on responding to catastrophes will quickly explain why this is so.

But there is a second and much deeper concern in the story, one that has been around for the last 20 years or more and one that, unfortunately, will be around when this pandemic is over – the promise the consulting firm implied that they could actually intentionally engineer a desired culture.

Read more…
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Integrating cultures after a merger

Jill Tideman has prepared a short paper on Integrating cultures after a merger: rising to the challenge.

She explores the challenges organizations face when two or more cultures come together as a result of a merger, especially if the hoped for financial benefits of a merger are to be realized.

Click here to download her paper.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Motivation: unlocking discretionary effort

“The greatest resource in an organization is not its people, it is the untapped potential of its people”.

So said Richard Bawden. When one can tap into the discretionary effort of a workforce the organization’s performance soars. Some call this motivating others, or tapping into a person’s motivation. The opposite is an apathetic or, even worse, alienated workforce.

Read more…
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Intangibles matter when designing organizations

When experts talk of the term organization design, they are referring to the operating model and processes, systems, capabilities and structures that underpin and organization and help it to deliver value to its customers and stakeholders, efficiently and effectively. Organization design is both an art and science! Read more…

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

The leader as a source of contagious destruction

Much has happened in the last two decades to re-shape our understanding of the effect we have on one another. There was a time when we used to think we were independent, autonomous agents who chose to react (or not) to another’s behavior. Those days are well and truly gone.

Read more…

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Hades organizations: joyless and in the throes of dying?

From a 2014 Ideas & Insight article,  the Unconscious Organization I commenced a series of articles about organizational archetypes based on the Greek Gods. I have drawn on much of the material in the book I co-wrote with Bernie Neville – Olympus Inc.  We described 16 unconscious patterns of behavior (archetypes) that describe some of the dynamics of organizations, exemplified by the characteristic behavior of 16 Greek gods and goddesses.  It is through an understanding of these patterns in organizational dynamics that we can better understand and influence organizational culture. Read more…

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Bold Herakles: An heroic organizational archetype

The Greek myths are full of heroes, men and women who lived a long time ago and dealt with the gods directly – often, it appears, on equal terms. The most popular of the hero stories were the stories of Herakles the hero who was not only a man but a god.

There are many tales of Herakles. Picture, if you will, a man of great energy and drive, plenty of good will towards people and a tendency to take the most direct path to any goal. He is good-humoured, generous and courageous. On the other hand, compared to other heroes like Odysseus, Perseus and Jason, he is not very clever, nor particularly charming. His lack of subtlety is symbolised in his choice of the club as his preferred weapon. He has a violent temper and an enormous appetite. He is macho man. Read more…

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Athena organizations built on consensus and involvement

Athena eventually emerges in classical times as a goddess of civilization, of household arts and crafts, especially weaving, and of the defence of civilization against those who would destroy it. More than any other god, she represents a point of balance between the male-dominated and autocratic culture of the Greek invaders and the concrete, matri-centric culture of the people they conquered and assimilated. She represents normality, consensus, balance. In political terms she is democracy. Read more…

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Buy Tim & Steve’s Book

''A truly useful and practical book'' Rich Shapiro, EY

Value Added Free Training

Sign up to receive regular training and insights to further your business