The Cultural Synergist

Insights for the month with Dr Tom Verghese

The Cultural Synergist- Insights for the month


March 2022

Issue # 167

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Proactive vs Reactive DEI


We have recently been engaged to work with a client that is experiencing rapid growth and has partnered with a global leader in their field. The leadership contacted us, as they felt it was a good time to revisit their organisational values and ensure that they are aligned and in place as they expand. Having recently worked with another external organisation, the leadership noticed that some of the behaviours of the external staff had influenced their staff, shifting behaviour towards being less inclusive. As an organisation that values diversity and inclusion, the leadership swiftly decided and saw value in taking steps to alleviate this shift and ensure that it didn’t continue on a trajectory that could lead to challenges is this space.

The next steps involve engaging the team in a workshop to review their values, redefine them if necessary and as future growth happens, ensure that the organisation and staff commit to upholding these values.

It is wonderful to see organisations taking a proactive stance when it comes to diversity and inclusion. It demonstrates excellent leadership, foresight and vision. In some ways it is very much like a health check, making sure all is well and making the changes you need before an issue arises or becomes serious. Too often some of the “symptoms” of exclusion are not listened to or ignored by leadership and it can snowball into greater issues for the organisation affecting recruitment, staff performance, staff retention and client interactions. The response then becomes reactive and usually requires significant effort and work to recalibrate and realign the organisation.

How are your organisational values aligning with your culture? Are you taking a proactive or reactive approach and what are the impacts of that for the organisation?

Quote of the month:


"We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race."

- Kofi Anan



Book recommendation:



Disruption Leadership Matters, Gary Ryan

Disruption Leadership Matters, combines theory and practice that highlights how influential leaders have led the people in their organisations throughout the pandemic. Founder of Organisations That Matter, Leadership and high-performance culture expert author Gary Ryan highlights the critical differences between leaders who believe the people in their organisation are human beings versus leaders who believe they lead human resources.

The disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic has changed everything. It is time for 21stCentury leaders to step up and lead in a manner that is great for yourself, great for your employees, and great for your organisation's bottom line.

The book provides insights into:
  • Techniques and tactics that show you precisely what you need to do to create a high-performance culture
  • How to use your company vision to drive performance
  • The critical skill that differentiates good leaders from great leaders
  • How to use these techniques to benefit the team you lead even if your organisation's culture is poor
  • Strategies high-performing organisations use to leverage the full benefits of diversity and inclusion.

Disruption Leadership Matters is confronting, insightful and practical. It will prompt you to reflect and re-assess how you lead. Are you trapped in the 20th Century, or are you a 21st Century Leader? Gary Ryan uses practical examples from various organisations that will get you thinking about the future. Importantly, Gary teaches the concepts and the tools to equip you to lead as the world emerges from the pandemic. This book can assist leaders to ensure their organisation establishes the high-performance culture it needs to survive and thrive in the coming years.