Real Time Innovation

Real Time Innovation

A collaborative case study of innovation in a Australian Public Service agency:  ComSuper

Written by Christine Svarcas, Branch Head Business Reform ComSuper and Simon Brown-Greaves, Director FBG
  • "Red tape reduction"
  • "Do more with less"
  • "Efficiency dividends"
  • "Work smarter not harder"

Are these the mantras in your organisation at a time when resources are tight and change seems synonymous with cost cutting?  Are these the responses staff are receiving from their managers when they tell them they are at capacity in terms of workload and KPIs?   If so I bet a lot of the time they are falling on deaf ears.   

Faced with resourcing challenges, ComSuper – the agency charged with managing the superannuation funds of more than 600,000 current and former Australian public servants and military personnel – decided that the way to find solutions was not to preach well-worn slogans but to get employees involved in a sophisticated and research based approach to stimulating innovation across the organisation.

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Hungry for change?

Hungry for change?

Research has shown that culture is one of the most pervasive and elusive organisational drivers, but when we get it right, it can facilitate sustained high performance. It is therefore well worth leaders’ time to actively work on their culture and ensure it is aligned to the overall purpose of the organisation. So, the question is: “What do leaders need to do if cultural shift is desired?”

We are often asked to work with organisations, particularly leaders, to help them get their culture ‘right’. The assumption that can often sit behind this request is that culture is something that is tangible – that it can be easily diagnosed and influenced with the right tool and intervention. However, in our experience, it is more accurate to say that culture is the outcome of tangible things, much like the ingredients of a cake. Without flour, sugar, butter and eggs, the cake can’t exist. The art for organisations is knowing the right ingredients that will produce their ideal culture ‘cake’.

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Organisational Transformation: How to avoid Death Valley

Organisational Transformation:  How to avoid Death Valley

If you are an experienced executive, you will probably have your fair share of stories, good and bad, about organisational change.  You will probably know about Kotter's burning platform and be able to describe the essential elements of successful change programs.  The problem is research tells us (as does our own experience) that many attempts to transform an organisation either fail or are fraught with delays, disruption and reduced performance.

So we have tried to look at and understand some of the key reasons why so many organisations struggle with the transformation process and end up with an unscheduled trip into Death Valley.  Whilst we know organisations want to get from Point A to Point B in good organisational health, here are the 7 things you should do if you’d rather take the road into the valley of death!  

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