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Looks like Winter is approaching with the cold weather upon us.  

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Supermarket Supervisor
Organisational Learning Made Easy


So I’m out at an IT company last week and the HR Manager is singing the praises of the place. Apparently there are no issues. As he explained to me, there was a lot of acrimony between the managers but the HR Manager has cleared that up and now everyone is getting along perfectly.

Tis fair to say I didn’t like this feller and I could barely listen to him blowing his own trumpet. I had a look at his nose to see if it was growing. But it wasn’t so I think he actually believed in what he was saying.

Anyway as I’m leaving he’s still blowing the trumpet and then he passes on a pearler to me. Verbatim 

TB (Trumpet Blower) And we’re very fortunate here as we have very strong values

Dme (Disilliusioned Me) Oh that’s good what are your values?

TB What?

Dme What are your values?

TB I’m not sure, they are in the process of being updated

Dme Which values do you think you’ll roll over?

TB I’m not sure what the previous ones were 

Well I didn’t get a sale out of the company but it was fairly satisfying. The trumpeter had been silenced. What absolute nonsense to say you’ve got a strong set of values and then not be able to back up the statement. Imagine if you asked someone what were their personal values and they replied “I’m not sure they haven’t been updated yet”. 

Personally I do like organisational values. If used correctly they can help steer an organisation in the “right” direction. But if you’re only dabbling with them to be a show pony then just hijack these ones. These are generic enough and at least you haven't wasted time prescribing values that are only show ponies. 

Our ABC organisation has 5 key values:

  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Customer Service
  • Professionalism
  • Accountability

If values are important to you and you’d like to deep dive a bit more here is a course I’d recommend: https://www.preftrain.com.au/uploads/course_files/values_based_leadership_2017.pdf 

Supermarket Supervisor

This event happened on the weekend. The observer of the event  is very close to me but would ensure I was “shot at dawn” if her name ever appeared in the great newsletter.

So an older customer is buying some flowers and a card and it is about 8am. He’s been ushered into the self serve as all the other cashiers are shut. He gestures that he doesn’t want to go to the self serve and reluctantly the culprit supervisor opens a cash register to serve him. So our nameless observer feels sorry for the gentlemen and gets on with her shopping.

Twenty minutes later, she finds herself waiting in a large queue to pay for her groceries, with only one register open. Then the culprit supervisor opens a new register and beckons people out of the long queue to her newly opened register (and saves the day). Our nameless observer has seen the same thing happen with the culprit supervisor over and over again.

So our nameless observer said to the supervisor "you do this all the time, you create problems, so that you can look good by fixing them". When the nameless observer told me that story, I immediately got excited about the next newsletter. She’s 100% correct. Some people create problems so they can fix them. Maybe its ego, importance, power...whatever.

Here’s a couple of examples:

The IT person who won’t give you a simple password so you need him to fix something small. I remember having a showdown with an IT feller as I reminded him that he doesn’t own the password. It wasn’t his property. I got the password but he sabotaged my computer and it never ran smoothly again.

The department manager who won’t sign off your project. Everything has been agreed but you can’t get the sign off. At the last minute the department manager saves the project and signs off. There was no need for the delay. The department manager just wanted you to suffer and sweat

So the next time you see someone creating problems so they can fix them, remember the supermarket supervisor story.

Organisational Learning Made Easy

Can you remember all those learning videos that organisations used to have? You’d watch videos during your induction. How to deliver great customer service etc. Basil Fawlty would often appear. I used to like some of those videos. The problem was trying to find the right video to fit with your culture etc. 

One of my cousins was working for a short time as a traffic warden. Because the turnover was very high, the organisation didn’t want to spend too much money on training. So the traffic wardens learnt a lot of stuff by watching cheap videos. His favourite was “How to stance when a member of the public is very irate with you”. Apparently you lean back on one leg whilst holding your trigger hand over the holster. As you can imagine, the video was not very useful as none of the traffic wardens in the UK are permitted to carry guns. The video was useless.  Someone must have bought the video from the USA and decided that it was close enough. 

With the technology available now, many organisations are making their own short videos. It is amazing what someone can learn via a well structured organisational learning video. There’s no cultural impediments as its been made on site. The messages are specific rather than generic. 

The good news is that we are going to run 2 workshops to demonstrate how to make a quality organisational learning video. 

Melbourne – 26th May Saxons, L6, 500 Collins Street Melbourne Cost: $620 ex GST

Sydney – 26th  May Saxons, L10, 10 Barrack Street Sydney Cost: $620 ex GST 

In these workshops, participants discover the essential components of scripting. Participants will leverage adult learning principles to deliver engaging video content. By the end of the session each participant will have made their own video. Here is a link to this course https://www.preftrain.com.au/uploads/course_files/design_workplace_videos.pdf