Karen Ferris

Simplifying The Complexity That Is Change

Karen is a self-professed service management and organisational change management rebel with a cause. Acclaimed internationally as an author and speaker, with industry acknowledgment of her reputation as a Thought Leader, she provides both strategic and practical advice and insights to her audiences. Her ability to share her experience and knowledge ensures that everyone is empowered to make a difference within their organisation.

Karen is the author of four books on organisational change and leadership. In 2014 itSMF Australia bestowed her with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the industry.

For the last five years, she has been voted one of the top 25 thought leaders in service management by HDI. In 2017 the Business Relationship Management Institute presented her with a Global Excellence Award and in 2018 CMI awarded her the Rebel Award for ‘The person breaking all the rules to make things better for all’

Culture does not live here

Many organisations are demanding employees return to the office on a specified number of days per week or specified days per week. One reason given is that it will impact the organisational culture. Look up the definition of “culture” and you will not find one mention of a location, building or office. Culture is about shared values and beliefs, assumptions and expectations, and patterns of behaviour. Culture does not live in an office. There are examples of great cultures in fully distributed teams. If you believe that you need everyone in the office for organisational culture reasons, you did not have a good culture in the first place. There are many other reasons being given such as the need to utilise real estate, the need for people to be visible, people need to be together for collaboration and innovation, and we need to know people are working. All these reasons are unfounded and are being espoused as a reason to return to the way it was before the pandemic. There is no going back. Period. It is time for extraordinary teams to do extraordinary things and ask WHY? Keep on asking WHY. It is time to make common sense prevail. The true remote or distributed working model provides both flexibility and autonomy. The flexibility to work where you want, when you want, and how you want, and the autonomy to choose how to use that flexibility. Work is what we do, not where we go. Let’s build a culture that embraces the biggest opportunity with which we have ever been presented. The opportunity to redefine work.