Managing Organisational Culture Renewal Programmes: The Role of Human Nature

Thu, Nov 17, 2016 6:00 PM (GMT+8)
The HEAD Foundation 20 Upper Circular Road The Riverwalk #02-21 Singapore 058416

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The culture of an organisation is the manifestation of the shared values, underlying beliefs and assumptions, of the individuals within it. Dysfunctional organisations have inappropriate cultures simply because they operate on incorrect assumptions about the real nature of human beings. Managers have attempted to radically transform their organisations into "healthier", more productive and viable corporations even though the methods employed for such cultural renewal may differ. Hear from Dr. Phil Harker on his unique insights into some important 'hidden variables' that play a key role in the likely success or failure of these organisational renewal programmes. Drawing on four decades of experience, both as an academic and 'embedded consultant' within a wide variety of organisations undergoing organisational change, Dr. Harker will highlight the largely unquestioned assumptions that managers hold regarding human nature, which affects the success rate of such organisational renewal programmes.

Dr. Phil Harker has spent the last thirty-five years lecturing and practicing in the fields of organisational, clinical, and educational psychology. For more than thirty years Phil has practiced as an organisational development consultant to a wide range of Government Departments and non-government corporations in Australia and New Zealand. 


Dr. Phillip Harker
Registered Applied Psychologist, Phil Harker & Associates Pty Ltd

Phil Harker has spent the last thirty-five years lecturing and practicing in the fields of organisational, clinical, and educational psychology, holding tenured positions at the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and Griffith University. He was Chairman of the Board of Rivermount College 2001-2003. During 2005 – 2007, he was Executive/Academic Director responsible for the establishment of the Organisational and Personal Development Institute at the East-West Cultural Development Centre in Singapore, a not-for-profit arm of the IMC Pan Asia Alliance group of companies. From 2008 – 2012 he was involved full time in dispute resolution and the organisational-culture renewal programs at Babcock and Brown Power, and Stanwell Corporation.

For more than thirty years Phil has practiced as an organisational development consultant to a wide range of Government Departments and non-government corporations in Australia and New Zealand including such organisations as the Department of Education, Department of Family Services, Australian Institute of Management, Telstra, Comalco, Thuringowa Shire Council, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Criminal Justice Commission, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, ERGON, Babcock & Brown Power Pty Ltd, Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Ltd, Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd, and was the chief consulting psychologist
with the electricity generation industry in Queensland for more than twenty years with an essential focus on leadership development, and organisational culture renewal for sustainability. He has also conducted, throughout this same period, a pro bono practice in clinical psychology and a personal counselling service, with over two thousand clients from private, business, educational, and family settings and has presented over one hundred parenting & family relationship programs in Australia in New Zealand.

Phil co-authored with Ted Scott (CEO of Stanwell Corporation and named by News Corp’s Boss Magazine as one of Australia’s Top 30 Leaders) the popular books HUMANITY AT WORK and the later edition, THE MYTH OF NINE TO FIVE: Work, Work Places, and Workplace Relationships. Boss Magazine named this latter book as amongst the top ten management texts they had reviewed during 2002. In 2001 & 2002, Phil & Ted conducted a series of one day Master Classes on behalf of the Australian Institute of Management entitled Leadership and Self for business leaders in key city and regional centres throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory. Phil has been a Keynote Speaker at more than fifty professional conferences and addressed numerous audiences as a guest speaker on a wide range of diverse subjects such as Organisational Culture & Organisation Development; Leadership Development; Motivation – ‘Moving Beyond Passive Compliance to Active Involvement;’ Team Development; Personal Adjustment & Interpersonal Relationships; Managing Difficult People – The Bully and The Manipulator; Conflict Resolution; Understanding and Overcoming Addiction; Leadership & Spirituality – The Management of Meaning; The True Nature of Free-Will & Responsibility; What It Means to be Human; Influencing Fundamental Change; Managing Stress, and Understanding People in Life & Work – Some New Ways
of ‘Seeing’.

His doctoral thesis, Managerial Assumptions Regarding Human Nature and the Success of Failure of Organisational Change Programs, addressed the central problem that has undermined so many organisational culture renewal programs – managerial mindsets regarding the real nature of human motivation – and his coauthored books with Ted Scott presented the theoretical changes in thinking and practical solutions needed to prevent such failures from occurring.

During 2004 – 2005, Phil presented as a regular weekly guest psychologist with compère Richard Fidler on ABC National Radio in Queensland Australia.

This event is presented by The HEAD Foundation, a Singapore-based think tank devoted to research and policy influence in education and leadership, for development in Asia. Admission is free.

Managing Organisational Culture Renewal Programmes: The Role of Human Nature

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