Ep. 36 Unicorns Over Rainbows: Creating a Culture of Small Changes for Business Success with Nathan Donaldson


In Today’s Episode:

  • Implementing small changes can lead to significant cultural transformation within organizations.
  • Building a culture of curiosity, accessibility, safety, and empathy can enhance team collaboration and productivity.
  • Creating a safe work environment fosters open communication and empowers employees to contribute effectively.
  • Prioritizing empathy in leadership enables a deeper understanding of team dynamics and facilitates successful change management.
  • Success in organizational design often involves slowing down, listening to team feedback, and empowering others to drive positive change.

In the new episode of the Love Not Fear podcast, host Eduard Brink is thrilled to welcome Nathan Donaldson, a visionary business leader from New Zealand. They explore Nathan’s incredible journey with Boost, a highly regarded software company known for its progressive non-hierarchical structure and innovative problem-solving approaches for government clients. Nathan reveals the essence of Boost’s success isn’t in its final products but in its cultural journey, which has led it to become one of New Zealand’s top workplaces.

Dive into the philosophies that have shaped Boost, including the strategic importance of creating vacuums within the company to foster initiative and accountability among team members. Nathan discusses his unique perspective on leadership, which involves significant personal evolution in areas like empathy, and how these changes have influenced Boost’s operations and ethos.

Get an inside look at Nathan’s book, “Unicorns Over Rainbows,” where he humorously tackles the unexpected journey from a management book potentially mistaken for a children’s toy to a profound exploration of making cultural changes within an organization. Join Eduard and Nathan for a deep dive into the strategies that could redefine your approach to business and leadership.

Safety is about creating that space where everybody feels empowered to be themselves.

Nathan Donaldson

Episode Timestamps:

00:00 – Transforming organizational design for empowerment and success

04:47 – Implementing cultural change through small, meaningful steps

10:19 – Creating safe spaces and the importance of empathy in business

19:18 – Experimenting with unlimited sick leave in the workplace

23:57 – Empowering teams through strategic leadership and patience

33:48 – Small changes for big impacts in business culture

You can learn to play chess in half an hour, but it takes a lifetime to master it.

Nathan Donaldson

The Three Pillars of Successful Organizational Change

🤍 Curiosity: Incorporating curiosity into the fabric of the organization ignites a sense of exploration and innovation. By encouraging team members to question the status quo and envision new possibilities, businesses can tap into the collective creativity and expertise of their workforce. Donaldson’s emphasis on curiosity as a driving force for change underscores the importance of continuously seeking improvement and adapting to external challenges and opportunities.

🤍 Accessibility: Making change accessible to all levels of the organization is essential for seamless implementation. Complex ideas and frameworks must be distilled into digestible concepts that can be easily understood and implemented by team members. By ensuring that changes are clear, concise, and relatable, businesses can create a culture of inclusion and collaboration that fosters sustainable growth and development.

🤍 Safety: Creating a safe space for open communication and idea sharing is fundamental to successful change management. Team members must feel empowered to voice their opinions, challenge existing norms, and engage in constructive debates without fear of judgment or reprisal. By cultivating a culture of psychological safety, organizations can harness the full potential of their workforce and drive transformational change with confidence and resilience.

🔊 To explore more insightful discussions and learn about Nathan Donaldson’s innovative approach to organizational design, listen to the full podcast episode. Stay tuned for inspiring content and valuable insights from the Love Not Fear podcast.


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