Evolving our culture - a shared endeavour

Monday, 20 June 2016

Our 'culture' is the combination of shared beliefs, values, norms, and assumptions that shape the behaviour of people within the organisation. Put simply... it's the way we do things around here.

Curious collaborative courageous - where you create the future

It has been said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, suggesting that however brilliant a strategic plan may be, its potential to succeed relies heavily on the organisational culture.

The UON culture has evolved over the past 50 years.  As the world around us changes, the question is will it remain 'fit for purpose'?

Over the past few months, staff across UON have come together to consider how we can ensure our culture enables our success under NeW Futures. Since March, more than 130 staff have participated in workshops to consider the behaviours deemed most important and a further 400+ responded to a short survey helping to rank the behaviours in order of importance in the context of NeW Futures.

Based on this broad input from across the organisation, three behaviours were articulated

  • Curious: We think big, see opportunity, are open to new ideas and ask why.
  • Collaborative: We embrace change, adapt and respond together. We’re more powerful when we engage across disciplines, geographies and pointes of view.
  • Courageous: We’re bold thinkers who have the confidence to take risks.

Since April, these behaviours have been tested with a broad range of staff and leaders across UON, receiving strong support at all levels and in different pockets of the organisation. They have already generated some great discussions and a commitment from each member of the Executive Committee to demonstrating them and embedding them in “the way they do things” in their Faculties and Divisions.

“This will be very much a collective effort,” Director People and Workforce Strategy, Sharon Champness said.

“This is giving us all licence to be more curious, more collaborative and more courageous in the way we work, which will not only achieve great outcomes but will also improve our experience of the workplace. It also provides a clear frame for each of us to respectively remind our colleagues and leaders where their behaviour doesn’t align to the culture we have all agreed upon,” Sharon said.

  • createthefuture@newcastle.edu.au

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.