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The Employee Trinity: Engaged, Happy and Motivated

27/06/2014

I once worked for a company that told me this on my first day:

“When you work here we want you to feel happy. We want you to understand your value, your place, and the difference between being good, and being great.”

Leaders are often looking for ways to increase the efficiency of their workforce. By engaging them enthusiastically, logically and collectively, employee productivity can be attained. However true that is, this was the first time any company had ever mentioned my happiness and employee greatness in the same sentence.

So, as I usually do when I hear something that makes me pause, I asked: “What do you mean happy?”

This was the first time any company had ever mentioned my happiness and employee greatness in the same sentence.

Almost immediately, flickers of team hugs, and “feeling” sticks flashed before my eyes. My then boss’ response was nothing, if not similar to someone speaking a foreign language to me:

“A happy employee is not necessarily an engaged employee, and an engaged employee is not necessarily a happy one, but, we have found that to win in the marketplace…you must first learn what makes your employees want to be in your workplace.”

Truth be-told, it was like every other office, same lunch area, same divisions of people and so forth, but there was one notable difference: me. I felt part of something. I felt appreciated, and valued from day one. I had a large amount of autonomy and responsibility, but also knew I had managers who saw me as a human being-not worker 7-34.

Since then, I have occasionally reflected on what that culture and that company taught me. I realized they understood the difference between a happy employee and an engaged employee. I also realized they understood how to transform that happiness into productivity.

“Everything that pushed me to be greater, were the things that could never be counted like dollars and cents: the genuine atmosphere, the extraordinary people, and the free and open communication.”

A happy employee is not necessarily an engaged employee, and an engaged employee is not necessarily a happy one, but, we have found that to win in the marketplace…you must first learn what makes your employees want to be in your workplace.

I realized that the most important things I was ever taught from that company came from what they told me on my first day. I realized that my drive to be great was sustained by my company’s willingness to do the following:

1. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Understanding that employee relationships are not “mini projects” is what distinguishes the great companies from the good ones. Communication with your employees is not a “project”, but similar to a child playing a game of hide and seek. A child never plays to win, but plays because they sincerely like the adventure in “finding” someone. Employee and manager communication is the same. Honest and sincere communication should continue for as long as the company wishes to thrive. Just like an efficacious relationship with your husband or wife should not be a mini project; neither should the one between an employee and their manager.

2. Measure the Unmeasurable

How to measure what doesn’t have an outright, visible dollar amount has been the biggest challenge for most companies. Measuring employee happiness, engagement and motivation is much more than just monitoring KPI’s. If you have employees engaging and feeling included, you’re going to have higher motivation, increased efficiency, and generally better ideas and innovation, but how do you measure that?

The best way is to listen to what makes your employees happy and motivated at work. The best way I have seen this done is by engaging with them through an internal social app. This application was a mobile and web app that not only measured employee happiness, but was also a central conduit for company news. It was innovative, and generally speaking, user friendly and engaging.

If you listen to what your employees are saying, foster an atmosphere of inspired partnership, and encourage input from everyone, you’ll see surges in adeptness and collaboration that lead to quantifiable growths in profits.

3.  Foster employee initiative

Initiative is the foundation of all governance. Without initiative, there is no leadership, only inert observership. In closed organizations, the inventiveness is left to management. When barriers are high, personal initiative is resisted and those who may be more self-sufficient, inventive and original in their thoughts and actions are discouraged for being so.

If you listen to what your employees are saying, foster an atmosphere of inspired partnership, and encourage input from everyone, you’ll see surges in adeptness and collaboration that lead to quantifiable growths in profits.

In a culture with low barriers, people recognize that they have the chance and responsibility to create fresh ways of realizing their own awesomeness. Accordingly, they take the lead to create positive and lasting change. Personal value gets mixed with personal dexterity, and employees begin to find their place within the company, and also their motivation, reasons to engage, and personal sense of happiness at work.

In summary, as Albert Einstein said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Companies must throw away the rulebook, and try new things. See what works for them, and create authentic leaders who will become champions of their brand.

By: Shauna Sexsmith, Associate Consultant @ Apricot Consulting

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Enneagram for the Highly Effective Leader

12/12/2013

Leadership excellence is one the greatest challenges facing companies across the globe.  In fact, most top leaders leave their positions within three years or less under duress.  In today’s challenging and changing workplace leaders are often faced with a plethora of varied problems requiring multiple intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.  From intergenerational teams to global expansion, business leaders must develop skills they didn’t necessarily learn while getting their MBA.  Often called the soft skills of the workplace, they are turning out to be the difficult yet pertinent skills needed to become an outstanding leader.

Daniel Goleman’s article, The Focused Leader, in the most recent issue of Harvard Business Review points out that,

“A focused leader is not the person concentrating on the three most important priorities of the year, or the most brilliant systems thinker, or the one most in tune with the corporate culture. Focused leaders ..are in touch with their inner feelings, they can control their impulses, they are aware of how others see them, they understand what others need from them..”

 

He recommends developing 3 intuitive skills, ‘..focusing on yourself, focusing on others, and focusing on the wider world’  to develop the leadership skills needed in today’s global marketplace.

 

An ancient tool called the enneagram is proving to be a powerful way to help leaders learn and grow in development of these interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.  Because the Enneagram is cross-cultural and highly accurate, it can be effectively used in the global business environment to help with communication, conflict resolution, feedback, strategy and self-mastery. In fact, Apricot believes the Enneagram is the most practical and effective tool for today’s workplace as it provides a philosophical and psychological framework that is broken down into nine simple yet distinct and fundamentally different personality types.

 

Enneagram describes three fundamentally different types of human intelligence (Instinctual, Emotional & Cognitive) each of which is based on an explicit perceptual filter, or way of understanding the world. This filter determines what individuals pay attention to and how they direct their energy.

 

Each of these three intelligences harbor inherent beliefs about what is needed in life for survival and satisfaction and is manifested in a particular focus of attention and subsequent personality type – your patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.

 

By isolating your type of intelligence and determining your Enneagram ‘personality type’, you can begin to uncover and understand more about what is driving your behavior and how your personality impacts on your daily life, including family, work and intimate relationships.

 

We at Apricot favor using the Enneagram approach as it teaches a simple and effective way to allow people to discuss habitual responses (personality) accurately without blame or malice. The Enneagram, while challenging, helps to foster understanding and empathy by assisting us to understand other people as they are to themselves, rather than as we see them.

 

Best of all, this is a tool that encourages a great deal of self-development, enabling greater personal strides at a faster pace.

 

For today’s business leader the enneagram can prove to be a crucial tool, because, in the words of Goleman,

“.. a failure to focus inward leaves you rudderless, a failure to focus on others renders you clueless, and a failure to focus outward may leave you blindsided.”

Certified in the use of the Enneagram in the Business setting, Apricot can train and enhance your team and their leadership skills for the 21st Century.

 

 

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Try a little tenderness

28/08/2013

Australia is on a mad countdown to an election, which will decide the next prime minister and government of our vast and sparsely populated nation – which has led me to thinking about leadership and what has become of it!

You’ve no doubt heard the popular quote – ’not all good managers can be leaders, but all good leaders can be managers’.  Do you agree, disagree?  What really is the difference?  A natty trick for discerning the difference is that leaders have followers and managers have subordinates – one has attained power through rank, money earned, promotion, sometimes even hard work, and the other has power (and followers don’t forget) no matter what they do – though it may well involve rank, promotion, money and hard work.

Leaders on show in Australia could take a leaf out of the Dalai Lama’s handbook and try distributing a little genuine kindness.  Imagine a potential leader, in any country, saying to his or her opponent, ‘now that’s a good idea’; displaying empathy in a dark (or light) moment; or genuinely laughing at the others joke in a debate, no matter if it was actually funny?  A compliment towards the others family, and empathetic query after health, would be shocking… at first.  Once the nation collectively dragged its jaw from the floor, it might find itself also feeling generally more kindly, making it easier and less distasteful to vote.

Great leaders realise genuine kindness is the difference that makes them great leaders.  In her article, Leading Made Simple, Susan Mazza poses the question ‘could committing an act of leadership be as simple as committing an act of kindness’?  I say ‘yes’!

Yes too, that kindness can require effort – a leader may be bogged down in ‘things’ – overwork, controversy, policy, or politics, or the way he/she looks and sounds – and kindness can be hard to muster.  However, to go out of the way to offer an encouraging word, a sympathetic, empathetic ear, or just to help out, shows true strength of character, conviction and strong, powerful leadership.

Anita Roddick, leader and visionary of fair trade through her social enterprise The Body Shop, has laid it out nicely, ‘the end result of kindness is that it draws people to you’.

I’ll vote for that.

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Recognition needs re-thinking.

31/10/2012

Motivation beyond dollar figures – employee recognition

‘People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.’
Zig Ziglar

Coffee lovers out there know that satisfying feeling of caffeine running through your body and giving you a burst of energy. We also know that this jolt does not last long, so we go searching again.
This is just the same for motivation and how we really want to be recognised. What about the long- term satisfaction, we as human beings crave?

In the twentieth century, the typical equation of recognition equals money rang true for most organisations and their employees.

However, as perspectives are changing about the working environment and what people really want, this attitude towards recognition needs to be rewarded differently.

Bestselling author Daniel Pink states in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, the ‘carrot-and-stick’ approach to recognising good work has long gone. The real performance booster for people, whether it is work, home or school, is the human need to direct our own lives, learning and creating new things and bettering ourselves.

It has been said, no matter the amount of free lunches or bonuses you provide for staff; if you are not supplying simple human interaction for individuals who are working for the organisation’s mission – you are missing the most important element.

A sincere ‘Thank You’ or ‘Well done’ would be more substantial than a free sandwich. It may seem small and simple, but can have an enormous effect on an individual and can create a positive attitude towards all aspects of their work.

Pink states the three elements of true motivation are – autonomy, mastery and purpose.

The best way to approach the fundamentals of motivation is to already establish the condition for a genuinely motivating environment.

‘And the people on your team must have autonomy, they must have ample opportunity to pursue mastery and their daily duties must relate to a larger purpose. If these elements are in place, the best strategy to provide is a sense of urgency and significance – and then get out of the talent’s way’ said Pink.

Referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, if people have a feeling of safety in the workplace it can improve their esteem and then self-actualisation – where motivation, productivity and happiness thrive.

Reassess the next time that an employee has worked hard and what you feel would be the best outcome for their recognition.

 

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Three tools to help leaders and their staff.

17/10/2012

During one’s career there is always a starting point before you can progress up the career ladder.

There are not many (if any) people that have made it to where they are now without some guidance sought from those senior to them.

Quite often this guidance has come in the form of coaching, mentoring or counselling.

Coaching is a means of enabling people to achieve their goals for improved performance, growth or career enhancement.

Mentoring describes a relationship between a senior (mentor) and lesser experienced individual (mentee). It involves work face-to-face to foster professional, academic or personal development.

And finally counselling, in terms of business, applies to helping someone reframe problems and learn new strategies to improve circumstances in any area of their life.

Each of these methods has a way of providing success and empowerment for an individual but the key for a leader or manager is to understand when use of each tool would be necessary. One is not better than any other; it is knowing when to use which concept.

Today we’ll discuss the importance of coaching in the workplace.

As described in this very simple video, it requires the leader facilitating the coachee move in the right direction, helping them define their own problems as well as how they can solve them.

This enables the coachee to understand the issue, gain confidence in their own methods and empower themself to accomplish the next task that hinders them.

By facilitating this process and helping the coachee progress, the leader can hold them accountable to their “self defined” solutions. As humans if we understand our own problems and determine how to solve them ourselves we own the solutions. We will be far more likely to follow this path than if we are told what is wrong and have our problems solved for us.

A commonly used process to help a coach facilitate this process is G.R.O.W. – Goal, Reality, Options and Wrap-Up.

Goal, is the end result that the employee should be searching for. To be the most effective it needs to be defined so it is clear and apparent when achieved.
Reality, is how far the employee is away from their goal and the amount of ‘steps’ needed.
Options, these are the ways/strategies to achieve the goals.
Wrap-Up, is about the way forward and the need to be converted into action steps which will take the client to their goal.

Understanding how the G.R.O.W process  can help a manager coach their staff to the right outcomes will ensure they not only own the problem but its solution as well.

In future posts we’ll talk about mentoring and counseling and how they also fit into the managers’ toolkit.

 

Apricot offers executive coaching and mentoring to help leaders reach their full potential. Using a variety of assessments tools help to determine development needs and performance goals Apricot performs, confidential one-on-one coaching with executives, senior and mid-level managers and develop and deliver customised leadership programs.

Apricot staff are accredited in a range of Performance Management tools including: Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI), Enneagram of Personality and Human Synergistics.

 

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Are you helping or hindering your team’s innovation?

14/09/2012

Innovation in simple terms is creating something new. Sounds easy enough, right? But as humans, we will all remember a time when we needed to have that creative spark, but something was not quite right and we couldn’t achieve our goal.

A recent article by Professor Baba Shiv from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business prompted us to write this blog post on innovation and creativity. Shiv discussed the concept of understanding how our mind reacts when we need to be innovative.

When we are trying to be creative or innovative and our emotional balance is not quite right, we instinctively navigate towards comfort. We seek a safe place. If we are stressed out, or unable to even think without the fear of someone looking over your shoulder or criticising our work, the temptation is to retreat from a creative place and seek something more comfortable.

Apricot Consulting’s CEO Derek Linsell explains that a basic human instinct is to be naturally creative, some more than others, however there are restrictions to finding this creative space.

“Some systems we become part of, schools or communities, force the creativity out of us,” he said.

“Just look at a child’s drawing. That child can see a rocket ship and an astronaut – but to an adult it just looks like a bunch of lines. The child can see what they have drawn clearly because they feel safe and encouraged. They are only thinking creatively.”

For an organisation to be creative and innovative, it must encourage its employees to find this safe innovative space – a good leader’s job is to create this space for their team. Without some degree of safety, there will be no innovation.

“Organisations have to be creative in order to stay ahead and grow in themselves – simple. Provide safety and a sense of worth to your employees and you will be rewarded,” Linsell said.

The diagram below shows how our emotions are constantly fluctuating. We are always floating along somewhere along the axes of Boredom and Excitement; and Anxiety and Contentment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the “sweet spot” is difficult, but understanding how you get there is critical. The truly great innovative minds can stay within close reach of this “sweet spot” and the truly great leaders help their team find their sweet spot.

So are your helping or hindering your team be innovative?

 

Apricot Consulting can help organisations understand the environment they are operating within and identify ways they can stand out from their competitors. We use a range of techniques such as innovation labs to help build innovative cultures and let the creative process flow.

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Unfreeze, change and mould – change management in a new form.

4/09/2012

Change management for an organisation can work like reshaping an ice cube – it is all about the process that helps assist the change.

As with change in anyone’s life it can be unsettling and threatening to the current norm; but sometime’s it can be successful. And other times it can make a situation worse than before.

The understanding of the change, acceptance and movement forward will be the momentum to cope.

There are many discussions and theories on the approach to change management and all have relevant, key points.

Take Kurt Lewin’s example of ice – unfreeze, change, refreeze.

The first step is the unfreezing and probably the most important to understand, particularly in the changing world we live in today. It involves stopping and assessing the current situation and realising that you are at this point for a reason; a need to change and get out of your comfort zone.

Stage two begins with knowing that change is not an event, but a process. And here will be the hardest part for people to adjust to while they are learning and understanding these changes.

The process of the learning curve needs to be communicated well so as not to fall in the trap of thinking that the change is the problem; it is the mismanagement of that change that occurs.

And finally stage three is the refreeze, the idea of establishing stability once these changes have been actioned.

It is important to remember that this final process has no set timeframe, as it could take weeks for some and far longer for others to completely adjust to their new set routines, rules and practices.

Even the best leaders and mangers can overlook change and its impact on the organisation as a whole. By conscientiously working with all parties from an early stage, these barriers or issues can be addressed, handled and supported to ensure the change happens as smoothly as possible.

Apricot Consulting approaches the final stage from a different perspective. We prefer to use a more liquid approach, kind of like jelly!  Unfreeze, change and mould so the final product is not solid but not liquid. After all, change is a now a constant even after some elements have been implemented. Yes, there needs to be an amount of certainty but that change will need to be moulded again, sometimes over and over again. So don’t freeze it solid – perhaps something more mouldable, like jelly.

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Why is sport so important in Australian culture?

8/08/2012

Australians like to think of themselves as sports obsessives, a nation of people who play hard, are loyal to their team and passionate about sporting endeavour. Stefan Grun looks at the background to this sense of national identity.

There are three main factors that define a culture – values, environment and reminders.

Values are those things which define behaviours the group deems are acceptable; environment is both the physical and social environments of the group; and the reminders are the stories we tell, visual reminders such as signs and symbols; and physical reminders or rituals.

View sport from these cultural perspectives and you won’t be surprised why we Aussies find it to be so important.

Environment
First let’s look at the environment. If you’ve been to the MCG to watch an AFL match, or cricket test match, you will know the power of sitting in the stands of this grand colosseum watching the gladiators do battle below. The history oozes from every nook and cranny and you can hear the ghosts of legends past regaling you of their amazing feats from summers and winters long gone. Just as it does from the stands and social clubs at any suburban or country football ground across the country.

In country towns the football and netball club is often the social heart of the town. Many old timers connect the demise of their country town with when the footy club folded and there was nowhere to go on a Saturday afternoon – sport was THE social fabric of the town. In the city, going to the footy is still a key social activity, connecting friends, families and complete strangers. Seeing a grown man passionately hug a complete stranger when their underdog team beats the premiership favourites never gets old.

Reminders
How many stories of Australian folklore involve a sporting legend or sports event. Even those who know little about sport know The Don averaged a tick under 100 and was bowled for a duck in his last innings, walking from the ground with tears in his eyes. Winning the America’s Cup prompted an unofficial public holiday and almost everyone knows of a mare called Makaybe Diva who won three straight Melbourne cups, and the most visited exhibit at the Museum is still Phar Lap – 80 years since he met his tragic death on foreign shores. How many countries worship horses like we do?

The new Friday ritual is submitting your footy tips or finalising your supercoach lineup. This feeds into the Monday morning office banter which still revolves around whether your team beat mine, which has now extended to include anxious analysis of how you went in these competitions. The weekend ritual has changed slightly as our society gets busier and busier, but even in this day of the smartphone we still turn up in droves to the cathedrals of our worship, decked out in jumpers and scarves or covered in war paint – proudly showing our tribal colours for all to see. You can usually tell who’s going well in finals by the footy scarves you spot in the CBD on a Monday, even nudging from under the collars of some very expensive business suits.

Values
What values do Australian’s admire? A lot of our values seem to be derived from our favourite sporting legends – both good and bad. Is it John Landy aborting his world record attempt to help a fallen competitor? Is it Adam Gilchrist walking when he edged a catch in a World Cup semi-final when no one else knew, even the umpire? Perhaps it’s Pat Cash forgetting the Royal Rules and stuffiness when he clambered into the stands on claiming the ultimate tennis prize at Wimbeldon? Others might note Bob Hawke’s statement that any boss sacking someone taking a sickie post America’s Cup victory would be a “bum”.

Aussie’s most look for honesty. Look how we shun our former sporting identities for their misdemeanours if they take us for fools and think we can’t see through their spin. Wayne Carey was shunned, Ricky Nixon ostracised and Jason Akermanis is now largely ignored as they pretend they’ve done nothing wrong or offended no one.

However, look how we embrace the sins and foibles of Shane Warne because he not only admits to his imperfections, but embraces them. He has built the Shane Warne brand around his larrikin personality. Matthew Johns was another prominent sporting identity who resurrected a career on the back of admitting his sins.

So much of Australian culture celebrates the rituals and symbols of sport. We embrace the stories of current and past legends and pin our hopes on the next potential saviour who will rescue our struggling team. The religion of sport in Australian life touches almost everyone.

Even our Prime Ministers recognise the power of sport to connect them to the average Aussie voter. Just think of Julia at the footy or John Howard’s off spinners. Actually, perhaps let’s remember Bob Hawke’s America’s Cup order instead – honest larrikin who loved to celebrate a sporting winner. Who doesn’t?

Along with being an AFL Field umpire and passionate sports fan and writer, Stefan Grun is a leadership development consultant specialising in the areas of effective communication, organisational development and culture change programs. With almost two decades experience in elite business and sporting environments, Stefan is passionate about transferring and sharing the lessons from one field to the other.

Previously posted on www.openforum.com.au

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Embedding CSR into an organisation’s heart and soul.

20/06/2012

Chairman of Ford Motor Company, William Ford Jr. once said, “social obligation is much bigger than supporting worthy causes. It includes anything that impacts people and the quality of their lives.”

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is what is changing those impacts and the quality of people’s lives. It is now being used more and more in the heart of the business strategy. This includes its HR strategies, marketing strategies as well as the thinking behind investor relations.

There are still sceptics, there will always be – but the changes and significance of having a CSR program implemented for many organisations globally, is huge. The variation of transparency on environmental and social commitments, waste management (not just physical waste but power etc) all the way to employee engagement to bringing about massive social change is what makes CSR sexy.

There are points which CSR covers across the board that affect daily running and optimally the strength of companies. To start off with CSR is important for human resources (HR). Why? And who says so? Some HR Managers would argue they already do plenty towards CSR in the company such as employee wellbeing and volunteer programs, so what makes sustainability any different?

To attract and retain the best employees, organisations have to be the best. Employees are very conscious of their own employee brand. They don’t want that “damaged “by a tainted organisation or company brand. The best organisations today are those that are innovative, fun, safe and are impacting the world in a way beyond themselves.

So what about employee engagement and retention? Surely that is a basic connection between CSR and HR?

Without happy and encouraged employees, you struggle to find a happy, fulfilling workplace. The CSR programs and initiatives set up have a huge role in both how staff feel about the company and its schemes and also, whether it is portrayed through staff productivity.

This is particularly apparent for new graduates heading into the workforce who are now on the lookout for these sustainable, transparent organisations. Many are even willing to take a cut in pay, for a company that would encourage volunteering and have a positive environmental footprint. A stat from Harvard Business Review in 2011, stated that –

88.3% of graduating MBA students said they would take pay cut to work for firms that have ethical business practices, and the average amount they’d forgo is $8,087, according to a survey of 759 students in North America and Europe.”

NetImpact also recently completed a study across all generations, and found many of the ‘new generation’ millenialls expect to make an impact through their work.

This brings out a new trend called ‘impact careers’ – which is simple terms means making positive social/environmental differences through one’s work.  A motion not commonly associated with previous generations of workers.

Generation Y, particularly those with a college education, have been taught throughout their lives to think globally. They are instilled with feelings of becoming a world citizen. This is particularly enforced by technology such as the internet, social networking and increased global mobility.

But although the internal dealings are important, the stakeholders and external interests cannot be forgotten either.

Investors are constantly putting up their money behind organisations that participate in ethical behaviour in their business practices.

Particularly areas such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling or weapons manufacturing are typically avoided – unlike what was reported in Jakarta Post last month reporting tobacco firms targeting minors via CSR programs!

For the most successful and effective corporations, CSR is now a major consideration of overall strategic planning. It affects many aspects of the corporation’s life: its people, consumers, suppliers and investors – prime example of the BP oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf Coast. Now three years on, BP has spent around $150 million into promotions to help recover the region – with a very large positive impact being made on residents and local businesses.

As many organisations do not yet get this concept, implementing these practices will ensure responsible and socially aware corporations are ahead of the curve in HR strategies, marketing strategies as well the relationships with investors and will be around for the long haul. Knowledge is no longer power; responsibility is.

 

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Inside Apricot.

25/04/2012

Apricot has been working on some exciting ventures this year and we are already well under way with many projects in both the US and Australia.

The Salvation Army, Western Territory, USA.

There are two major projects we have been working on for the last 8 months.

Firstly we are helping to build the relationship of the  Salvation Army with the Californian Government. For over 120 years The Salvation Army has run hundreds of programs and spent hundreds of millions of dollars, assisted millions of Californians without any formal relationship with the Californian Government. Apricot is helping TSA to see what they are actually doing now and in the past and how to communicate that great story to the Government

The second project is one that is very moving. We are working with the Adult Rehabilitation Centres (ARC’s) to help build greater links with the graduates into the broader Salvation Army community and programs. This is what has also taken me to Hawaii and Los Angeles. There are 22 centres in the Western Territory and has the largest residential rehabilitation program in the United States. They receive no Government funding for this and it is free to the participants, financed through The Salvation Army thrift stores.

I continue to work with BlueScope steel in Kansas City, Kansas. This organisation has been through great change and it has been a real pleasure to work with a number of the senior executives as well design an innovative CSR program working with recently released prisoners.

We have also just begun to work with Ambulance Victoria. This is an organisation that has been under incredible change for the last couple of years. Here we will be helping AV to understand its internal culture of the organisation and be clear about what behaviours and culture they want to drive their success for the future. This organisation has been in operation since 1880 and has a long and illustrious history. With non-profit organisations, the change of culture internally can be a real challenge. Many people working in such environments have a sense of duty or calling. We want to tap into this commitment helping to design behaviours that work best for the employees and the organisation.

Another exciting project is with University of Tasmania. We have been working with the executive team here for about six months. This project is to work with the executives to help develop a team to achieve the goals for this changing institution.

These are only some of the projects Apricot Consulting is working on at present. We continue to work with others and with many more opportunities lining up, the future is looking bright. Keep an eye out on Twitter, Facebook and the website for more information.

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