Authenticity - Transforming Workplace Culture

Simon Thiessen & Kirralea Walkerden

Every effective leader aspires to creating a great workplace culture in their organisation – but it often feels more difficult than it should. Faced with resistance to necessary change, many leaders compromise on their vision of the ideal culture and inadvertently accept mediocrity. Closing the gap between the workplace culture you have and the workplace culture you want is possible. It happens when you define your ideal culture and then align the things the organisation – and its people at levels – do, say, think and decide, with that ideal. Authenticity, Transforming Workplace Culture provides the tools, strategies and confidence for leaders to make their ideal workplace culture a reality.

Authenticity - Transforming Workplace Culture TRAILER
Trailer 1 min 3 sec

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Workplace culture is something we all create – and something we all have to live with. When people do things that are bad for that culture, everyone arounds them suffer. So why do we tolerate actions that hurt the workplace culture? Perhaps the metaphor we use will make the cost of inaction clear!  This episode we welcome our guest Pete Jensen, Director of Larsen Jensen and have a fantastic chat about the following:Workplace culture is not a spectator sport – it is not something that you watch, it is something you do. But a lot of people have a belief that someone else is responsible for the culture they work inWorkplace culture is like a swimming pool – and not one we sit beside in our deck chair. We come to work and get in the pool. That is our working environment – sometimes called climateWe all want to swim in a clean pool, fresh and clear water, but people do things in the water that isn’t good for it. That negatively impacts the qualityNow we have gone this far, might as well go all the way – sometimes people pee in the pool. But they still have to swim in itOften the people with the biggest bladders are the ones who complain most about the water. Now they are swimming in lower quality water and not enjoying it. But who is responsible?Everyone in that pool has the opportunity to make good choices and good decisions and keep the water pristinewhy doesn’t everyone just do the things that keep it cleanThe choices that define the culture are micro choices – and those that have a negative impact are often just lazy, easy or habitual choices – not being accountable, getting involved in petty differences, being too tired to go the extra step to help a co-worker or customer, engaging in gossip, being passive aggressive, complaining about management, not giving feedback or showing appreciation to a team member, not having an honest and courageous conversation, putting own needs above the teams, etcBottom line (no pun intended) – if you aren’t swimming in the water you want, how are you contributing to that? Once you have examined your own actions, it’s a great discussion to have with your teamSenior leaders have a disproportionate impact on the culture. Whatever you put in the water, the drops are bigger. Through modelling you set the benchmark and make it clear what is really expectedYou also have no right to ask others to make choices you don’t make for yourself. You don’t have to be perfect and you will make mistakes, but your credibility as a leader and a shaper of culture depends on you holding yourself to a high standard Thanks again to our guest in this episode Pete Jensen - Director of Larsen Jensen. You can connect with Pete via Linked In here. -----------------------------------------------   Want to check out how Authentic your organisation is? Take our free online Authentimeter Assessment tool here For our Peeing In The Pool Download - head to Full shownotes for all episodes can be found at 

Nov 25

49 min 30 sec

What does a great (an Authentic) workplace culture look like? In this episode we welcome our guest Rick Lenarcic, Chief Operating Officer of Grant Broadcasters to discuss the critical things that an organisation needs to focus on in order to achievable sustainable excellence. Spoiler: the bottom line is critical but, on it’s own, not enough. Recap from previous show: Authenticity is about aligning the things we do, say, think and decide with the workplace culture we claim we want to have. Anything else is inauthentic Change isn’t easy – and organisations often compromise on the culture they want to create instead of doing the hard yardsIf you do what you want to become consistently enough, change occursWhen organisations get too singular in their definition of outcomes and success, people or results – usually both – sufferOrganisations need to prioritise three sets of outcomesOutstanding employee experiences: team members have the opportunity to come to work, do their best and make a difference. They feel valued, included and motivatedExceptional customer or user experience: they have their actual and emotional needs satisfied, they are likely to do business with us again and recommend us to othersBottom line effectiveness: whatever it means in your organisation. For some organisations this is making a profit. For others it is achieving maximum efficiency within a defined budget. For a not for profit (not for loss either), it might be delivering the service they exist to provide while operating in a way that makes them sustainable into the future. For a sporting team it could be winning or achieving a specific ranking When results are achieved at all costs, people suffer – internally and externallyWhen people are prioritised over results, we see mediocrity and lack of accountabilityThe only sustainable approach is to make all three outcomes a priorityThe reality is you don’t often have to compromise between results and people. You can prioritise both by achieving results with and through people. Team members who have a great work experience produce better results and work harder for customers. Customers who have great experiences buy more and more often Thanks again to our guest in this episode Rick Lenarcic - Chief Operating Officer of Grant Broadcasters. You can connect with Rick via Linked In here. ----------------------------------------------- 1. Want to check out how Authentic your organisation is? Take our free online Authentimeter Assessment tool here 2. Full shownotes for all episodes can be found at If you enjoyed this episode and our Authenticity podcast generally, we have a favour. Please take two minutes to subscribe and to write a rating and review. You can do that on Apple Podcasts right now by clicking here. If you are an Android user, you can follow the podcast on Spotify here or Google Podcasts here.  These actions will help the podcast reach more people - thanks so much. 

Nov 24

48 min 30 sec

Every effective leader is striving to create the best workplace culture they can – because that is the key to exceptional and sustainable results. Authenticity is all about defining you’re your ideal workplace culture looks like and then aligning the things that an organisation, and its people, do, say, think and decide with that ideal. We very rarely have the opportunity to create a workplace culture from the ground up. We usually inherit a culture and then go about a process of shaping it to make it fit with the ideal culture we want for the organisation What is workplace culture?Theoretical models talk about culture as being shared beliefs, norms and expectations that govern the way people act – the way they go about their work, the way they conduct themselves, the way they interact with each otherAt a practical level, we consider culture to be the sum of every decision made in your organisation by everyone, every dayThese are not the big leadership and board decisions – these are the micro decisions that each person makes dozens of times each dayThose micro choices are shaped by the norms and expectations – so the theoretical and practical models are connectedIf we want to shape culture, we have to help people make different choices or decisions – and we do that by working on the shared norms and expectations How does culture work?Authenticity is about aligning the ‘things you do’ with the culture you want to have In reality, they are aligned with the culture you actually have – which is how that culture was createdOne mistake organisations make is to look at the outcomes (through customer satisfaction or staff engagement surveys) and work on those – when really they are the result not the causeWhat can you do about workplace culture?Start working on realigning the things people do, say, think and decide to make the consistent with the workplace culture you are striving to createThat should occur at four levelsAuthentic Organisations have systems, processes and rules that are consistent with the workplace culture you are trying to create’Authentic Leaders have the ability to grow people and use effective leadership styles and strategies that promote accountability and value peopleAuthentic Teams are robust and engage in honest conversations. They deal with issues, collaborate and commit to common goalsAuthentic Contributors are engaged, motivated, self-reflect and hold themselves to high standards on their tasks and in their interactions Thanks to our guest on this episode Kirralea Walkerden - Director of Operations at The Real Learning Experience, and in future episodes co-host of this show. You can connect with Kirralea via Linked In here -----------------------------------------------1. Want to check out how Authentic your organisation is? Take our free online Authentimeter Assessment tool here2. Full shownotes for all episodes can be found at

Nov 23

41 min 14 sec