The Workplace Health and Wellbeing Podcast

Improving and Transforming Organisational Cultures - with David Liddle

Episode Summary

In this episode, Sheila Lord and Peter Kelly are talking to David Liddle about organisational cultures. What a good organisational culture should look like and how we go about creating better ones. David is CEO of the TCM Group and a thought leader in the areas of organisational dynamics, conflict resolution, and transformational culture. He is the author of two highly acclaimed books ‘MANAGING CONFLICT’ and ‘TRANSFORMATIONAL CULTURE and was ranked in the top 20 HR Most influential Thinkers 2021 by HR Magazine

Episode Transcription

The UK Psych Health and Safety, we’re chatting with David Liddle, Chief Executive Officer of the TCM Group, an award-winning provider of conflict resolution, culture change, and leadership development programmes. David is recognised as one of the top 20 HR Most Influential Thinkers, and he’s also the author of two highly acclaimed books, ‘Managing Conflict’ and ‘Transformational Culture.’ His career of 30+ years is full of passion for collaboration, inclusion, empowerment, and bringing people together to deliver high-impact transformational change within organisations. Throughout today’s episode, we dive into numerous aspects of organisational culture and strategies for improving and transforming organisational culture.

David’s career journey is nothing short of fascinating. We talk about his career journey and how he became a passionate advocate of people-centered, purpose-driven, fair, and just systems resolving issues. One of the key aspects of transforming organisational culture is having a clear definition of the optimal organisational culture that we strive to build. So we asked David what constitutes a good organisational culture looks like. 

Many organisations have some level of toxic traits in their culture, and in some cases, these toxic traits can be quite obscure. We dive into how these toxic traits get embedded into organisational culture and the measures organisations can take to gradually transform toxic cultures into better workplaces. David also shares his thoughts on how HR professionals could contribute to organisational culture.

The pandemic and its ripple effects have caused massive changes in the modern workplace in the last two years. And organisations are yet to properly figure out how to adapt to the new normal in terms of workplace conditions and culture. We touch on how this has affected David’s line of work and how organisations could better prepare for the new normal. Another area we touch on is the new ISO standard for occupational health and safety management. David shares his take on how effective it will be and the importance of implementing measures to improve safety in organisations. Wrapping up the episode, David shares his thoughts on why trust is a vital factor in building better work environments.

[02:12] Getting to Know David – We start the conversation with a brief look at David’s long career journey and how his work relates to improving organisational culture.

[05:10] Good Organisational Culture – David shares with us some of the key characteristics that define a good organisational culture. 

[09:21] Transforming Toxic Cultures – We dive deep into some of the most common contributing factors to toxic organisational cultures and strategies for overcoming these issues.

[14:30] Effects of the Pandemic – In the last two years, the way organisations function has been altered drastically. We talk about how the effects of the pandemic show up in David’s area of focus.

[19:40] Lessons for HR – Some of the measures HR professionals could take to improve the work culture and employee experience inside an organisation.

[25:00] New ISO Standard – David shares his take on the new ISO-44003 standard for occupational health and safety management and its efficacy.

[32:30] Hybrid Working – How organisations can approach managing and improving organisational culture in a semi-remote work environment.

[36:14] Trust and Remote Work – Why trust plays a vital factor in a remote work environment and how organisations can build trust in order to adapt better to the new normal.



David’s Books:

Managing Conflict: A Practical Guide to Resolution in the Workplace

Transformational Culture: Develop a People-Centred Organisation for Improved Performance

Connect with David:

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Connect with BMR Health and Wellbeing




“My career, in a nutshell, could be defined as a mission to change the way we think about justice in our organisations.”

“We need to trust people, let people get on with the jobs and trust them that they’re going to do a good job, and allow them to do that.”

“I see the shifts in the tectonic plates of the workplace driven by geopolitical changes and also through the pandemic, as one of the greatest opportunities we have in our society to rethink the world of work.”

“One of the cultural norms I see when I’m working with toxic cultures as a mediator facilitator is that we’ve lost the art of disagreeing well.”