Organisational Thermometer

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Jock Mcneish Elbow Room

Featured Image: Jock Macneish My Elbow Room

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  28 March 2023

Designing an Organisational Thermometer in Practice

The chance of a lifetime to launch an international career! Designing a generic organisational thermometer; aligning it with participative organisational change at the workplace level, enthusiastically supported by management. This could become a competitive game changer.

1 Main Points

  • ACTEW (ACT Electricity & Water) and satisfaction indices.
  • The design criteria for the ACTEW surveys.
  • The attributes of an organisational thermometer and the issues involved.
  • ACT Public Works & Services
  • Conclusion

2 Background

2.1 ACTEW as a Case Study

The satisfaction indices arose accidentally in our Q Research work for ACTEW (ACT Electricity and Water). They wanted to look at satisfaction indices for their customers and I managed to tack on staff as well. The situation was tenuous and we certainly didn’t have any remit to pursue organisational change.

Nevertheless the marketing manager and the CEO were keen to look at satisfaction indices and we conducted them twice a year in April and October for domestic customers (what they really wanted) and once a year for large customers and staff from late 1992 to late 1994. (We also conducted a staff satisfaction index for an ACT Government Department in December 1994 with a report in January 1995.)

The work with ACTEW wasn’t sufficient to establish a baseline for staff satisfaction, but it helped ACTEW towards corporatisation. (I always thought that surveying the domestic customers twice a year was excessive but the money was good.)

I don’t think ACTEW was interested in the approach after corporatisation. I’d made my own sunset clause decision to cease involvement with Q Research and take a year overseas in February 1995 (see Karakorum Highway for the purpose of the trip).

Although customer satisfaction is unique to each organisation, staff satisfaction is generic and can be applied to any reasonably sized organisation and hence so can an organisational thermometer. ACTEW had 1370 employees when we began our satisfaction surveys.

Between late 1992 and the end of 1994 I treated the staff satisfaction indices developed at ACTEW very seriously. I was thinking of developing the tool of staff satisfaction into an organisational thermometer to take to the world.

2.2 My Choice

In every life one comes to forks in the road or choice points. For example, I married person A, but should I have married person B instead (hypothetical only). One occasionally wonders about this and what life might have been on path B, not seriously because that is dangerous. Similarly, I entertained the idea briefly, almost a daydream, of devoting a career to organisational thermometers and workplace change. Instead, Denise and I headed off to the Karakorum Highway and a year of adventure — a wonderful trip.

The organisational thermometer approach was also a unique and a wonderful opportunity. I even had a potential collaborative pathway forward. I don’t regret not doing so. Nevertheless, the opportunity still exists. Maybe someone will take it up. Continue reading “Organisational Thermometer”


Food in Chiang Mai 7: 2023 Update

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Feature Flower Festival Parade Float

Featured Image: The 46th Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2023, Parade Float

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  8 March 2023

2023 Food in Chiang Mai Update

1 Introduction

Tourism, Marijuana and Food

Certainly, it is time for an update on Chiang Mai. I was last there in 2018 — other travel then Covid-19 got in the way. In 2023 we spent two weeks in Chiang Mai in January/February. Three highlights of this visit were:

  1. Birding. In many previous trips to Thailand we’d never involved ourselves in discovering Thailand’s amazing bird species;
  2. We’d met Ron Simpson and Panya (Toy) Suwan previously through our Akha friends Phennapha and Phing Phing but we’d never been in Chiang Mai for their annual antique textiles (mainly Chinese and tribal) exhibition. In 2023 we were actually present for their Dragon and Phoenix Exhibition near Wat Ket and bought some Hmong (Miao) cloth and two bracelets.
  3. We also attended the 46th annual Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2023 and parade from 3-5 February for the first time, which was fascinating. The parade begins at 8 am Saturday from the railway station, crosses Narawat bridge and proceeds up to and circuits the old city to the park. The floats, flower displays and stalls then remain at Nong Buak Haad Park until the festival ends on Sunday.

Times were tough for Chiang Mai and all Thailand because of Covid and because of the reliance of the Thai economy on tourism. Many shops, tourist venues and restaurants closed temporarily or permanently. Australian visas on arrival in Thailand are normally 30 days. From October 2022 to March 2023 a token by the government has extended them to 45 days. It gave us a few extra days on a month.

The Thais say that things began to improve from July 2022 and were good now. I doubt that as on the beaches of the west coast, Krabi and Ko Lanta, numbers were well down on normal. Similarly, in Chiang Mai. And, although parts of Bangkok appeared crowded — Chinatown after 6pm, Soi 4 Nana and a few other places at specific times, elsewhere wasn’t. The malls seemed relatively devoid of foreigners. Continue reading “Food in Chiang Mai 7: 2023 Update”