From: Changing People Inside <kk@karenkimberley.co.uk>
Subject: News from Changing People Inside
Reply: kk@karenkimberley.co.uk
March 2010
Tranquil Sea
Welcome to Changing People Inside
 
Dear Karen,

Well Spring appears to have arrived at last and as I write this the first daffodils are poking their pretty heads above the frost. 
 
February went by in a flash for me in a welter of work, weather, travel, and turmoil - I hope it was less frantic for you and that you find some interesting, amusing and useful thoughts below.
 
Best wishes,
 

Karen
Boring Seminar
Snow fun
Well February was quite a month! Trapped in a State of Emergency in Delaware, USA with not just one, but two of the second biggest snowstorms of all time hitting us full on. You can see from the photographs that 28 inches of snow meant that there was no visibility, no driving, no cycling and pretty much nothing to do except stay in the hotel and eat huge US sized portions of food! (I was based in Wilmington in the purple zone - the worst hit).

Luckily the two day leadership communication change event
I was facilitating went ahead just before the second storm hit. This meant changing flights and racing up the freeway from Philadelphia to Newark to get ahead of the storm and fly out before it dumped another tonne of snow. All this meant that sadly I didn't get to do more family history research (my grandparents and mother had immigrated to Philadelphia in the Fifties) as the snowstorm meant any travel by car was banned during the State of Emergency. Amazingly the snowploughs cleared the snow from major routes in just one day - those Americans are so determined!
Finding the link between communication and business success  
It seems like businesses are putting the spotlight on engaging and communicating with their people - even more so now that it appears Britain is emerging from recession. The risk of losing key people who are feeling less engaged, valued and motivated is thought to be highest at this time.
 
We have been working with a large financial institution to research how effective their communication is with their people. The review covers 13 business units, seven countries and four languages, with an on line survey, in depth interviews with the Executive Directors and 22 focus groups with employees- that's a lot of listening! Surprisingly it's the first time a communication review has been carried out across the whole organisation.
 
The survey focuses on the communication aspects that make a business a success - boiled down simply into four key areas, a model known as The Four Pillars:
 
Clarity of purpose - do all the leaders share a common perspective on the future direction and strategy for the company? Does everyone understand their role and what is expected of them?
 
Effective interfaces - how trusting are the relationships between people and their managers? Between managers and leaders? Between different departments and teams? And between customers and employees?  
 
Effective sharing of information - how well do the channels and media work? Are the right messages getting through to people? Can people get access to the information they need to do their jobs well? Is social media or useful tool or something people shy away from?
 
Communication behaviour of leaders - are leaders good role models for communication? Do they see communication as a priority - do they 'walk the talk' and communicate in a compelling and inspirational manner?   
 
How does your organisation measure up when you ask yourself these questions? Do you know the answers - for the whole business? Or could you make an educated guess? The benefit of a survey like this is it gives hard independent objective evidence and is based on a solid foundation of research undertaken for the International Association of Business Communicators/Item in 2000. if you would like to know more contact us: kk@karenkimberey.co.uk
New to the team 
To help with research we have enlisted the support of Nicky Day, who was until recently a Director with Ipsos -MORI.
 
BlinkNicky has a wealth of experience and expertise and is keen to take on more employee research projects with a particular focus on engagement and communication. Nicky has recent experience working with research based on themes from The MacLeod Review. 
 
 
The MacLeod Review

In the current economic climate improving business performance and therefore employee engagement is key. 
 
The MacLeod Review (a Government review of the potential benefits of employee engagement for UK business) highlighted the benefits of employee engagement but indicated that there is no one unique definition of employee engagement.  Nonetheless three key themes were identified; leadership (e.g. providing a clear and shared vision, visible leadership, behaving consistently with values and respect), engaging line management (e.g. providing clarity, empowering employees development etc.) and Voice (e.g. ability to put forward ideas and a strong sense of being listened to etc.)
 
If you would like to know more about how the findings can be incorporated into your research please let us know.
Really interesting video you MUST watch
 
Blink - The Power of Thinking without Thinking 
BlinkFinally I have got around to reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell - and what a fascinating insight into the power of the unconscious mind it is. The concept of 'thin-slicing' is about how we can gather information to make a judgement in a very short time. Our unconscious engages in thin slicing - an automated, accelerated alternative way of carrying out detailed analysis that is dazzling in its accuracy and simplicity.
 
Gladwell describes an example where the psychologist Nalini Ambady took tape recordings of conversations between surgeons and patients to see if she could determine which surgeons got sued by their patients and which didn't.
 
By listening to only 40 seconds of conversation - thin slicing - she filtered the slices for content, removed high frequency sound that enable us to hear words and only listened to a garbled mixture of intonation, pitch and rhythm. She analysed the slices, looking for qualities such as warmth, hostility, dominance and anxiousness and found using only those ratings she could predict which surgeons got sued and which didn't - a stunning result. So beware how much the tone and intonation of your speech can give you away ...
 
Footnote: given recent allegations of bullying in the press it could be fascinating to analyse what is said against how it's said...the body language of some politicians sometimes gives everything away ....   
Scientists discover new element
This was sent to us by a client in government with a sense of humour..!!
 
Oxford University researchers have discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pillocks.
Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.
 
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganisation in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that
Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as a critical morass.
 
When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many pillocks but twice as many morons.

Issue 2
Karen Kimberley Logo
In This Issue
Snow fun
Finding the link between communication and business success
New to the team
Really interesting video you MUST watch
Blink - The Power of thinking without thinking
Scientists discover new element
Snow fun!
 
A normally busy shopping mall becomes a ghost town.
A normally busy shopping mall
 No cycling!
No cycling!
 No visibility!
No cycling!
Philidelphia at night
No cycling!
Karen Kimberley
Karen Kimberley 

 
 

Karen Kimberley's company is based in Taplow near Maidenhead. She coaches people inside companies, to change things inside themselves, to improve their communication and performance. For more information contact Karen on Tel 01628 509593, Mobile: 07785 566468, e-mail kk@karenkimberley.co.uk, and visit the website www.karenkimberley.co.uk 

Click below to see other ways in which we have helped people through experiences of stress, depression, lack of motivation and anxiety www.karenkimberley.co.uk/case-studies.php

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Changing People Inside
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