Crelos April 2013 Newsletter

Crelos April 2013 Newsletter


Welcome to the Crelos regular update

‘Culture’ has been described as the problem and ‘culture change’ the solution. The profit chasing, greed culture of banks has been blamed for the financial crisis; the culture of sensationalism and headline chasing - at the expense of evidence based truth in journalism, for the crisis of confidence in British media and, the culture entitlement of government for the failings of politicians. ‘Culture’ it is said, was the problem and ‘culture change’ the answer.

‘Culture’ is a human construct that applies to collective activity. It is the social and unwritten rules with regard to how people in groups interact; the collective habits. Culture is built through interactions between people in groups and changing culture requires that we change just that.

Cultural studies have their roots in understanding how to help people who have different societal origins interact to get things done. Early anthropologists recognised that whilst some differences between people from different cultures were observable and describable, these differences were rarely sufficient to really understand how work got done.

For those who work in this arena, there is a paradox in cultural change. The reality being that changing the culture should not be a goal. The goal must be to change the tangible things about what the service does for the customer and how people will do their work; gradually, it is this that will deliver the culture change. The how is fundamentally where the risks lie, changing how we work (beliefs, behaviours, structures and systems) is the challenging part which takes skill and commitment.

In this edition of Crelos Quarterly, we take a deeper dive in to matters of culture and culture change and explore the preliminary findings of our research conducted in collaboration with the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Club in to how Non-Executive Director Development is delivering a new breed of NED. On a completely different note, in Recipe for Change, we congratulate one of our client’s Grant Thornton International on winning International Accounting Bulletin’s 'Network of the year' Award.

As always I look forward to hearing your feedback, thoughts and comments.

Ali Gill
CEO, Crelos Ltd

Ali Gill

At A Glance...

Shaping our Current Thinking

In Practice


Did you know?


Shaping our Current Thinking


Understanding and Working on Culture

There is never a wrong time to focus on culture – like strategy – the work on culture is never finished. It needs to be embedded as an element of the organisations dialogue – systematically reviewed, openly discussed and supported by specific measures.

In this article Ali Gill summarises recent research on culture and cultural change. It is written for leaders and consultants with a desire to learn more about organisational culture and its role in business performance. It is not meant to be exhaustive but rather to stimulate thought and to provide some practical guidance about the tools available for understanding culture, designing a desired culture or working to change culture. Read the full article here.




Buy Books not Boobs

On 8th March, people all over the world celebrated International Women’s Day with over one thousand events to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women and to reflect on the continuing challenges women still face.

As a prelude to IWD, Ali Gill spoke to Year 9 and 10 pupils from St. Edward’s School, Oxford about the perils of maintaining an unequal world. In this article, Head of Year, Simon Larter-Evans summarises her talk. Top advice for the girls was “buy books, not boobs. Invest in your mind and learn both the written and unwritten rules”. And for the boys? “Make no mistake, women are just as competitive, and you’ll all have more fun”. Read the full article here.

Founded in 1863, St Edward’s is an independent, co-educational boarding school situated in North Oxford. Visit


International Women’s Day


Human Capital Handbook 2013: Breaking the Grip of Short-Termism – A Review

HPA-Consulting should be congratulated on the latest version of their Human Capital Handbook: Breaking the Grip of Short-Termism, the fourth volume in the series. This volume grasps a much talked about but until now barely acted upon issue, the short-termism of capital markets and corporate financial reporting. Read more here.


Human Capital Handbook 2013

In Practice


Recipe for Change

We would like to congratulate one of our clients Grant Thornton International for being awarded “Network of the Year” at the prestigious annual International Accounting Bulletin awards in March. Read more here.


Grant Thornton Logo

Non-Executive Director Development delivers a new breed of NED

The Financial Times Non-Executive Directors Certificate is a formally accredited, level 7, post graduate qualification, for new and existing non-executive directors. Ali Gill has been delivering on the programme since its inception and now in its seventh run is researching, with Alana Inness and collaborators from the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Club, the behavioural development of over 100 current and future NEDs. Read more here.

Alana Inness
Consultant, Crelos


Financial Times Non-Executive Directors Certificate

Salz Review: An Independent Review of Barclay’s Business Practices

The Salz Review of Barclays’ Business Practices has delivered its report to the Board of Barclays PLC. The Review was commissioned by the Board of Barclays in July 2012 as an independent external Review of Barclays’ business practices led by Anthony Salz. Ali Gill supported the Reviewers by providing advice on culture. The full report is available to download at the Review website


Salz Review Cover Page



Ali Gill will be speaking at the following events and workshops over the coming year:



Did you know?


New research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) reveals that globally, more women are making it into senior management roles than at any time since 2010. However, progress is slower in the G7 group of developed economies than in the high growth economies of Asia and the Far East.

  • Globally, 24% of senior management roles are now filled by women. This is up from 21% in 2012.
  • However, the G7 economies come bottom of the league table with just 21% of senior roles occupied by women. This compares to 28% in the BRIC economies, 32% in South East Asia and 40% in the Baltic states.
  • Japan (7% of senior roles occupied by women, the worst performer), the UK (19%) and the USA (20%) are in the bottom eight countries for women in senior management. These economies are also experiencing low levels of growth.
  • In contrast, top of the table for women in senior management is China, with 51%. GDP growth for 2012 there is expected to be between 7-8%.
  • The situation is even starker when looking at boardroom positions. In the G7, just 16% of board members are women. This compares to 26% in the BRIC economies and 38% in the Baltic states.
  • Flexible working, while welcomed by many, does not appear to be a determining factor in getting women into top positions. 72% of businesses in the poor-performing G7 countries provide flexible working, while in top of the table China only 27% of businesses offer flexible working, and only 40% in the BRIC economies.



Did you know?