When caught in a rip, lifesavers teach us not to follow our intuition to swim against it towards the safety of the shore, rather swim across it parallel to the shore, seemingly away from safety. Following our intuition against an indomitable force for any swimmer, risks exhaustion and being swept out to sea.

In times of crisis, like the global coronavirus pandemic, for many organisations the intuition is to head towards the safety of reducing costs and financial loss.

The pandemic is seen as an unyielding economic riptide, staying financially afloat whilst it takes it course, is to survive until…


After months of long hours, and stress at work, you finally arrive at your much anticipated dream holiday destination, to relax and unwind. Except you can’t. Holiday sabotage by the state of our mind, is real.

The world is experiencing a global pandemic, but for communities, and at a more micro-level, individuals, the experience is singular to the community, and person. This matters, for government, institutional, and also business and employer, responses to Covid-19.

unique starting point

Every individual’s circumstances at the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, were truly unique.

Like any species, genetics mean we inherit a whole lot of traits. Our appearance, inherent skills and capabilities, personalities and health.

Our environment — where we grow up, our family, influential people, relationships, circumstances, our work, and events in our lives — also enhance this uniqueness, including of…

Sleep was hard to come by last night (21 December 2019), sure, it was still 43 C / 109 F degrees after the sun set, and I don’t have air-conditioning. Rather, what’s keeping Australians awake, is living our new normal. The ongoing, catastrophic tragedy of loss of every life-form — human, wildlife, livestock, pets, forests, ecosystems — that is piercing the very soul of our society.

We grieve over climate change created losses through drought and soaring temperatures, warming oceans and dying marine ecosystems, dying river systems and water sources, degraded air quality, and the ravishes of extremes — monstrous…

Don’t believe those saying the recent Royal Commission into misconduct in Australia’s Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, has charted a clear course of actions to reform the sector. Ask for evidence from any sector actor or association representing institutions pilloried by Commission Hayne’s report, in support of any statements they make, that they’re already heading in the right direction.

Don’t accept on face value alone, the warnings about the negative consequences of implementing some of Commissioner Hayne’s recommendations.

Challenge those in the sector imploring more time is needed to reflect on what really needs to change and how to…

Participation in transforming the root causes of any harm caused by an organisation’s unhealthy culture, results in collective healing that fosters wellbeing.

Harm and Unhealthy Cultures in Organisations

Unhealthy workplace cultures with bullying, discrimination, harassment, poor leadership or work design (capacity and capability), obviously cause harm to many employees, and by extension, their family and friends. Toxic cultures can also be defined by customers, communities and the environment being harmed by the organisation’s products and services.

Recognising organisations are communities of people, when unhealthy, unethical or unlawful behaviours and practices are the norm, compliance with the status quo can mean many people are engaged in inflicting…

compassion | a very positive emotion that has to do with being thoughtful and decent | if someone shows kindness, caring and a willingness to help others, they’re showing compassion | you’re putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and really feeling for them |

The Dalai Lama speaking on “compassionate ethics”,

“considered all actions carried out for the welfare and benefit of other’s well-being as ethical.”

In a world littered with playbooks — “agile”, “innovation”, “globalisation”, “digital”, “platform”, “design”, “industry 4.0” and “political” — have we forgotten the best of being human, our powerful, innate ability to exercise compassion?


The most important skill of an expert in managing change, is knowing how to identify what needs to change, for industries and organisations.

Popular thinking about organisational change management really needs to be flipped upside down.

FROM … it’s supporting the implementation of an already defined solution to a problem or opportunity …

TO …. it’s knowing what needs to change.

Knowing what needs to change involves seeing the world of an organisation through a number of different frames or lens.

There’s many great publications based on research out there, such as the core textbook for my masters subject in…


Recommendations to fix an industry culture described as toxic — Australia’s banking, superannuation and financial services sector — suggest managing culture change at an organisational level. Changing anything in a complex system, human or otherwise, requires changing the system as a whole.

Banks, superannuation and financial services organisations supervised by industry regulators fixing their industry’s culture, when under their watch ~$7 billion was wrongfully taken from Australians, is viewed as unrealistic by many. It also ignores a system characterised by entrenched anti-competitive behaviours harming consumers, misconduct, unlawful and unconscionable behaviour, and the realities of evolving ecosystems and FinTech.

Managing cultural change of an industry

Knowledge, frameworks…

Karen Walker of Culture Smart

coach | consultant | speaker | writer

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store