Slack

We can’t be slack when it comes to communication, or can we?

We all know that communication is key, king and critical is the business world. We need to know what’s going on in the business and the sector to make the right decisions and help ourselves and most importantly our clients. At CGL we have been trialing being slackers on this front… and it’s a great thing!

As we are all around the country and often overseas we are able to use slack to keep each other up to date with all the latest research, articles and the banter and antics around the office. Coming up later in the year we will be launching some new programs using the latest technology to keep us all up to date and engaged! Until then, don’t be a slacker, use slack.

http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/01/rocketship-emoji/


A long exposure of a road at twilight.

A Time For Change

A Time For Change

There are now more demands than ever placed on New Zealand non-profit organisations. Non-profits are expected to evaluate and report on an ever increasing number of effectiveness outcomes, create and manage a new culture of performance and professionalism, and collaborate with other non-profits on all phases of projects. In order to meet their demands, organisations are having to change not only their way of working but the way their leaders and employees think.

Supporting non-profit organisations to address change is a key area of focus at Capability Group Ltd. As a first step Capability Group interviewed more than 30 leaders (CEOs, Directors, and Managers) across the New Zealand non-profit sector to discuss current challenges faced by organisations and the wider sector, the ways in which organisations are overcoming the challenges, and the type of leaders needed to drive the change.

This article outlines what we discovered (http://www.slideshare.net/JeffreyGodbout/a-time-for-change-nz-nonprofits)


Design Thinking

I recently stumbled upon a good read titled 'Innovation is a State of Mind' by James O'Loghlin.

My takeaway so far is that innovators are not born a special DNA that makes them the avant-gard trendsetter we all look up to; they aren’t untouchables or a special breed. You don’t even to have to attend liberty arts college to be one.  Although most of us do innovate in some form or other at work, the difference with innovators is that they have a particular purpose in mind that feeds the wider customers’ needs.

We see the word ‘innovation’ used a lot in business culture and understand the role plays for businesses to hold its unique value in the market.  We also know that skill, knowledge and abilities of employees in a company, among other factors like culture, facilitate innovation.  Moreover, HR is responsible for creating the cultural environment where teams create and transform ideas and put them into practise.

Let the circle of innovation begin, you say … but how?  How do organisations train people to think like innovators?

As organisations increasingly focus on building innovation – we need to start with innovation capability -  coaching their staff to think like innovators. The methodologies vary for each organisation e.g. design thinking, Lean, business model canvas, Agile etc; there is no one prescribed pathway towards creating an innovative culture.

Design thinking is one methodology we apply at CGL to find the best-fit solution for all our services.

‘Design thinking’, is a user-centric, solution-focussed-thinking that starts with a goal of a better future rather than solving a specific problem.

Three things we love about design thinking is that

  • It starts with a deep understanding of the customer therefore allowing us to build a valuable experience based on the customers' need.
  • It allows us to build innovation as part of our everyday work life
  • It’s quick and repetitive process means we spend less time planning and more time doing.
  • It allows us to see the world through our customers' eyes, every day.

For more info, see Fast Company's simple description of the four key elements of design thinking: http://www.fastcompany.com/919258/design-thinking-what

Also, check out this case study of how a kiwi manufacturing company used HR and learning practices to drive innovation. http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/mgmt/research/omgr/kohli1.pdf


A child finger painting.

Simple vs. Complex Problems

Is best practice always a good thing?  Like a recipe for simple problems... but what about when the problem is more complex?

Featured in a paper on reform in the healthcare industry by Brenda Zimmerman of York University and Sholom Glouberman of the University of Toronto

Simple problems are ones like baking a cake from a mix. There is a recipe. Complicated problems are ones like sending a rocket to the moon. They can sometimes be broken down into a series of simple problems. But there is no straightforward recipe. Success frequently requires multiple people, often multiple teams, and specialized expertise. Unanticipated difficulties are frequent. Timing and coordination become serious concerns.

Complex problems are ones like raising a child. Once you learn how to send a rocket to the moon, you can repeat the process with other rockets and perfect it. One rocket is like another rocket. But not so with raising a child, the professors point out. Every child is unique. Although raising one child may provide experience, it does not guarantee success with the next child. Expertise is valuable but most certainly not sufficient. Indeed, the next child may require an entirely different approach from the previous one. And this brings up another feature of complex problems: their outcomes remain highly uncertain. Yet we all know that it is possible to raise a child well. It’s complex, that’s all.


Support

Do you have more than 10 people in your support network?

While there is mounting evidence about the importance of engaging socially with others for our long-term health and wellbeing, here's some NZ research suggesting that there's plenty of Kiwis out there who have no supportive family or friends.  Maybe we could all do more to help!

Lonely Kiwis: http://bit.ly/1UTYRIv


A man climbs a circular stair

NZ Employees Lead the World in Strengths' Development

Nice to see NZ at the top of the list of countries leading the way on focusing on developing employees' strengths.  See overview of the research findings here, this article contains a link to the full report.

NZ World Leader in Strengths' Development


Evocca 2015

Evocca, Australia: 2015 to present day

Evocca is a rapidly growing Australian-based private training provider. Due to its significant increase in staff numbers over a short time frame, a number of organisational risks and opportunities were identified. These risks included falling student numbers due to reduced quality of the student learning experience related to the lack of a common understanding of effective teaching methods and practices, QA processes, H&S risks, and basic lack of understanding of organisational policies and procedures.

The project involved the implementation of the Axonify Employee Knowledge Platform in 2015 to an initial tranche of 1000 employees.  This included project management, implementation consultancy, change and communications advice and design and development of learning modules focused on induction, learning and teaching methods, curriculum design, and health and safety amongst others.

Capability Group worked with the internal L&D team to upskill them on e-learning as a key learning delivery approach and the design of a new learning programme. We trained pivotal members of the internal team in the use of the Axonify platform, systems administration, and our instructional design approach. The project has been a huge success with significant knowledge and confidence lifts, participation and frequency rates. Feedback from all participants has been very positive and more learning is planned to be delivered via bite-sized content, with a focus on reinforcement.

A key learning from this project is that a strong internal champion makes all the difference to a successful outcome. In this case, the national L&D manager was a huge champion and did everything possible to ensure this project was a success.


Fairfax Media 2014

Fairfax Media, New Zealand: 2014 to present day

Capability Group designed and delivered a continuous learning solution for Fairfax Media NZ National and Regional Sales teams ensuring identified business goals and performance indicators can be monitored and achieved. Capability Group managed the implementation of Axonify as Fairfax’s knowledge platform. The creation of content required us to work closely with Fairfax SMEs to develop bite-sized Axonify topics to reinforce Fairfax’s new sales process and methodology, as well as designing and delivering new technical product training. Capability Group is currently working with Fairfax Media in designing and delivering new blended learning programmes and ensuring existing learning is reinforced and sustained across the organisation.


Auckland Council

Auckland Council: 2011 to present day

Auckland Council is Australasia’s largest Council with a $3 billion annual budget and approximately 11,000 staff.

In 2011 we were asked to deliver two workshops for Auckland Council as part of its core curriculum.  These two workshops – “Building Personal Resilience” and “Leading Remote Teams” were so successful that we were requested to deliver them into different divisions/departments of the organisation.  In 2012, we were invited to provide a response to a RFP, and were successful in winning the bid to deliver three key workshops: “Team Leadership Training”, “Collaborative Relationships”, and “Training Tips for SMEs”.

The “Team Leadership Training” programme became the People Leaders Programme which is a longitudinal 4-day leadership programme that has been delivered to 1500 people leaders since 2012.  The purpose of the programme is to transform the culture of leadership at the Council, creating mindset shifts, establishing new cross-organisation relationships and building greater collaboration.  The programme links with the Council’s existing executive leadership programme and drives the content for other core curriculum programmes at the Council.

Capability Group continues to deliver key learning programmes as part of Council’s core curriculum.


Leadership Programme for SME’s

Leadership Programme for SME’s

In 2014, Capability Group decided it wanted to take the design principles and learning model that underpins our various leadership programmes for corporate clients and see if we could support SMEs across New Zealand to build their leadership capability. We established a partnership with the Greater East Tamaki Business Association (with a membership of 2,700 small to medium-sized businesses in the East Tamaki area) to design and pilot the programme. We contextualised our existing offering to the unique challenges faced by many SMEs and ran the first pilot programme in 2015. The programme focuses on building leadership capability in a local geographic area and building collaborative B2B relationships amongst those participating organisations.

The first group consisted of people leaders from ten different organisations.  The Greater East Tamaki Business Association organised an external, 360 review of the programme at the end of 2015.  Capability Group made minor tweaks to the programme as a result and we have just kicked off a second cohort in 2016.

focuses on building leadership capability in a local geographic area and building collaborative B2B relationships