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"You cannot amalgamate personality to make a culture"

Insight and takeaways from Ed Andrew talking to Dr Richard Claydon

Originally from England, Richard has worked in Europe, Asia and Australia he is a pioneer in the world of organisational culture and management. He consults to global organisations and governments, speaking on the future of work and also teaches MBA students. His interests lie in creating a human workplace, enabling playful creativity as a means to engage, build trust and collaborate at work thereby building sustainable business models. He was awarded a scholarship from Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney for his Phd. Now living between Hong Kong and Sydney in this interview he provides a masterclass on cultural change and creating an engaged human workforce.  It is a must listen to for all business leaders, entrepreneurs and the HR community. He is also human after all and Captain of the Neutral Bay Tennis Club.  


  • How Asia is more open to the idea of management structure and new ideas


  • The real progress and investment into starts ups and technology innovation is happening in mainland China. How Hong Kong is becoming a fintech hub.


  • PWC Employee Experience conference - Australian leaders were the most confident in the Western world that they were ready for the 4th industrial revolution but their employees thought their leaders were the least ready for it - so there is a huge disconnect.

  • How the Command and Control nature of Western leadership is broken and based on outdated principles over a hundred years old. 


  • In China they extract every drop of talent, in any form, from their employees. 

  • On being a member of the Catalyst Network in Australia.

  • Company culture and values are interpreted differently both individually and departmentally but this does not mean they are not aligned in their own way.  Every piece of research says you cannot develop one uniform culture. 

  • Employees are humans and experience situations differently and uniquely.  


  • There is tension in the HR industry as it becomes disrupted and HR leaders are not always turning to the game changers.


  • The three paths of employees experiencing change - ambivalence, game players and dramateurs/chameleons.  

  • Even in change programs, the leaders are often the most resistant to new ideas and shut down creativity and innovation.

  • The three ways to impact change and create collaborative employee frameworks.  Co-designed cultures, effective coaching and mentoring, the learning of human skills around emotional intelligence.


  • How to enable effective decision making by adopting the start up concept of 'fast fail' and amplification of success.  Promoting how to work in uncomfortable situations.


  • Discussing Aaron McEwan of Gartner and the open source approach - enabling everyone to have a voice and ask for everyones opinion regardless of skill set to make decisions in meetings.  Trusting in the human capacity to solve problems and deliver solutions.

  • The concept of the super connector to really understand the nuances of what everyone is thinking and doing - Adam Grant talks about this as well. 

  • Hiring people who have learned diverse skills in different sectors, learned languages and travelled are far more adaptable and long serving that hyper specialist vertical roles.


  • Acoff talks about never getting into trouble for doing something and making mistakes.  

  • 25 years of data suggests the most highly ranked companies for employee engagement understand the practise of play and creativity, with employees having the freedom to express ideas and run with them. 

  • Whole Foods, Costco and South West Airlines are examples of companies striving to be different and mirror some of what he is teaching his MBA students.

If you would like to contact Richard you can do so by email or below:


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