This is a call to all leaders, employees and practitioners to engage and collaborate with us on the following subject: How do you facilitate knowledge transfer between older experienced employees who are about to retire and younger inexperienced employees in an organisation?
Organisations are facing the pain of losing their experts to retirement, in some cases without having sufficiently given these experts the mechanism to share their knowledge, expertise and wisdom.
Discussion points include:
Almost 7 years ago, Aiden Choles, Raymond Salzwedel and I decided to embark on a journey together that became The Narrative Lab. Raymond has since moved on to a successful consulting career in EOH, and now the time has come for me to venture out on my own as well.
Engaging with a complex phenomenon is quite challenging experience. It is even more challenging for leaders and managers who are required to do something about these problems. Markets, shareholders and employees look to leaders for guidance and sound decision-making in navigating complexity. It is because of this that leaders need to keep their wits about them. Being aware of the emotional and psychological responses one has to a complex problem is a critical leadership capability.
One of the common responses we see from leaders who face up to complex challenges is a very subtle one. It is rooted in the human need for information and certainty in uncertain contexts i.e. the need to explain what is happening.
The story of Oscar Pretorius, the star paralympian, has dominated the news headlines in South and the world since Thursday morning. I got off a plane reading a stream of tweet that he had murdered his girlfriend, mistaking her for an intruder in her house. Why has this story dominated the new headlines and social conversation space?
I believe looking at the story through a narrative lens (no pun intended) explains why this story grips us. Firstly, an understanding of Booker's 7 Basic Plots is required.
Here's a nice little nugget of wisdom from one of our favourite organisational thought leaders at the moment, Henry Cloud. The message is simple. If you want a certain culture, then do more of that deed.
A culture is powerful. It has the ability to help us thrive or suck the life out of us. And at the same time, whatever culture we are in, we influence it as well. Everyone is a force who exerts a bit of themselves into that culture and helps form it.
Whether you are on one end of the culture, where you are a part of leadership where you have direct power and the ability to do something large to change the nature of what happens there, or you work in other positions where your power is more about influence than control, you do have a role. You can either go along with what it exists, or you can be a voice and a force for growth. We always have to choose.
And to be a real power in the culture, you have to show up with deeds. Actions, not just words, have power. In organizations, if you want to influence the culture, then act your way there. Behave your way there. If you want a culture that is a listening culture, listen. If you want a culture that is truth telling, tell the truth. If you want one that challenges people to perform, perform. If you want one that takes risks and is not afraid of failure, step out. And on and on. Then, your influence will have real power.
Hat tip to Sonja Blingaut for finding this.
SIMONSAYS communications signs research and organisational development consultancy
Friday, 02 November, 2012
Niche organisational development and research consultancy, The Narrative Lab (TNL), has appointed SIMONSAYS communications to handle its ongoing public relations requirements.
Based in Johannesburg, TNL offers tailor made solutions that equip leaders with the tools to understand the dynamics and problems experienced by their organisations, while also arming management with techniques to educate, motivate and shift mindsets so that sustainable change can take place. Using business narrative (or story-telling) as a diagnostic and intervention tool, TNL has conducted successful projects with companies such as Anglo American, Nedbank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Harmony, Sasol and Vodacom, to name but a few.
The PR appointment is effective from November and the campaign will focus on developing the TNL corporate image within South Africa – profiling its strategic direction and new product solutions into the market place.
SIMONSAYS communications MD, Melanie Stevens says: “We are looking forward to working with an innovative research consultancy that has a truly unique approach to people development and organisational problem solving. TNL has already built up a strong presence with many blue-chip companies and we intend to further develop this reputation by creating opportunities that will enhance its profile.
SIMONSAYS communications is an agency that specialises in publicity generating campaigns for its extensive client base. Clients in the agency’s fold include a host of companies across various industries, as well as non-profit initiatives. The teams’ core competencies encompass strategic consultancy, crises communication, as well as the origination and implementation of internal and external communication campaigns and project management.
About The Narrative Lab:
The Narrative Lab (TNL) is a South African company which through the use of narrative, probes and influences the mindsets, perceptions and belief systems that govern the patterns of behaviour within a team or organisation. Providing tailor-made solutions for business narrative in organisations, TNL gathers valuable stories and metaphors relating to various challenges facing a company. Using these anecdotes and narratives, TNL practitioners equip organisational leaders with the tools to understand the problems experienced by their people, as well as the language needed to articulate, educate, motivate and shift mindsets so create sustainable change.
Drafted and distributed by SIMONSAYS communications on behalf VWV:
We do a lot of work in the area of metaphor in organisations nowadays, and I'm continually amazed by how they pervade our everyday language. Seems we have Shakespeare to thank for many of the terms we use.
(this was created by a 20 year old literary student from London. I can't vouch for it's accuracy)
The issue of humanity is recieving a lot of our attention. On the back of our thought piece on humanity, we've initiated a mini narrative survey on the issue of humanity in the workplace.
We've gathered a considerable number of experiences of dehumanisation in the workplace through stories in our previous narrative capture projects, none of our projects have been specifically focused on humanity itself.
We're keen to get a sense of the level of humanity in organisations currently, so we've decided to conduct an internal research project on this topic using a survey we've developed. We assure you of complete anonymity as all names and references will be removed when sharing any results. We encourage you to invite friends and colleagues to complete the survey as well. The survey will be open from today until 1 October 2012.
If you would be interested in hearing the results of the survey, please either contact us or use the email address field at the end of the survey.
Please click here to take part in our survey.
If you turn your ear to the organisational and business 'winds' and try to discern its whispers you will begin to hear a new sound; a call to restore humanity in the workplace. You can see this manifesting in business literature through the promotion of ideas such as happiness in the workplace and building strength-based cultures. More and more authors are also writing about the crucial role of meaning and purpose in work in employee engagement. This increasing swell is linked to the positive psychology movement, founded by among others Prof Marty Seligman and Dr D Clifton, which has become a widely accepted discipline in recent years.
We have noticed this call as a latent theme underpinning many of the stories we've gathered in our narrative capture projects over the last 5 years. The sheer number of negative experiences we've witnessed through narrative are testament to the lack of humanity in our businesses. And so, it is not only the business thinkers who are promoting the restoration of humanity in the workplace, but it is also the workers, normal people who work in our organisations, albeit through telling stories that are labeled as 'complaining' by leaders.
If the call is to restore humanity, there are two important questions to be asked. Firstly, when did we lose it, and secondly, what is it that we refer to when we speak of humanity?