News

  1. The third edition of Sandy Barnett and Susan O'Rourke's highly successful authoritative text, published by Pearson, is due out on September 30 2011.

    This new edition shows how innovative methods of communication teaching and learning can benefit and strengthen all organisations, especially in today's fast-changing business world.

    Control (organisation) and change (innovation) are two concepts that are inherent in the notion of communication; an innovative, dynamic, ever- changing, risk-taking and adaptive process that generates new relationships, new growth and new ways of thinking.

    Key topics and their effect on communication that are addressed in this latest edition include social media; global recession; international and crosscultural communication in New Zealand and globally; and ethics, sustainability and accountability:

    Learn more about the book . . . . . Communication: Organisation & Innovation

  2. Omnicom OCC Ltd with the Faculty of Creative Industries and Business of Unitec Institute of Technology, and the Unitec Falkenstein Trust are collaborating to radically change Business teaching & learning in New Zealand. Initial financial support and international research interest were confirmed in mid March 2011.

    The partners share the belief that the future economic success of New Zealand depends on increasing the quality and quantity of business people in New Zealand. They are aware that public education is failing to produce people skilled at collaborating in enterprise (see for example Fernando Reimers on HBR and TED LinkedIn discussion, Our Education System is Failing . . . ). It's failing produce people well able to bring their particular strengths and passions together to collaboratively, dramatically exceed their creative and productive possibilities as individuals.

    The Omnicom OCC/Unitec collaboration together with its maverick teacher associates is seizing the opportunity of the current radical revision of the New Zealand high school Business curriculum to achieve deep, widespread change; to develop and support leaders of the change.

    The challenge is to spread the experience of radically different ways of managing learning that will bring this new curriculum to life. That's not only about making room for teachers to experience new ways, and then enact them. It's also a matter of addressing the typically conventional assessment models and other education management systems and processes that control teachers and the way they control their students.

    The collaboration's purpose is to achieve such a transformation in a radically different way. Its first project, a pilot weekend-intensive workshop with follow-through coaching for a diverse range of invited participants, is booked for early May 2011. Although the collaboration's focus is initially local, the hope and plan, if the pilot is successful is to go national, and eventually international.

    For more information check out Tutaetoko and TXB

  3. Research by Sandra Barnett & Susan O'Rourke, published in the December 2010 issue of the Communication Journal of New Zealand, shows that although employers want graduates skilled in communication, business communication is compulsory in only 50% of Business degrees from major NZ tertiary education institutions. On top of that, it's very difficult for employers to gauge what graduates may have gained from any communication courses that they did complete.

    In contrast to USA & Europe, New Zealand undergraduate business education grew largely out of the accountancy field. As a result most Bachelors of Commerce have not included business communication. It has long been included in the NZ Diploma of Business but focused on skills seen as appropriate to the relatively narrow requirements of the accounting profession rather than to business in the wider sense.

    With recent writers in the business management field calling for a transformation in management and organisational communication (see Stephen Denning, The death & reinvention of management. Nov 2010) it seems clear that a transformation in communication education is overdue.

    Steve Barnett issued a challenge to communication educators at the December 2010 annual conference of the New Zealand Communication Association, to transform the way they organise and do communication education. Actually he challenges them to transform the way that business education generally is organised and done. Read his challenge here: Wanted: communication educators for management revolution.

  4. In Decemebr 2010 Pearson Education announced that six chapters from O'Rourke and Barnett "Communication Organisation & Innovation (2/e)" will comprise the Communication section of a Pearson Education's new custom book commissioned by AUT University. This is a first for O'Rouke and Barnett whose very sucessful book, used almost exclusively in NZ Diploma In Business Communication courses across New Zealand, goes to it's thrid edition in 2011

    Sandra Barnett & Susan O'Rourke are very pleased that their work has been acknowledged in this way as leading at that level of applied Communication eductaion in New Zealand.

  5. From early March to November 2010, following almost three years focusing on coaching business development in multiple firms with the Results.com organisation, Steve focused on the growth of one firm, mental health service provider Challenge Trust; an NGO with an entrepreneurial passion to thrive in the changing clinical, organisational and service world of health services.

    Steve connected with Challenge Trust as their Results.com Business Execution Specialist. Through that relationship he found opportunity to exploit his specific knowledge of organisation in mental health service delivery coupled with his business acumen and entrepreural passion in a very worthwhile way. Steve's move was at a time rich with opportunity for Challenge Trust to exploit it's established core organisational and clinical knowledge, skill and systems by applying them more widely and in novel ways to the field organisational and personal health.

    Learn more about Challenge Trust . . . . . Challenge Trust

  6. At the annual conference of NZCA in December 2009 Sandra was elected by her peers to the office of President.

    Sandra steps into the role at a time when demand for Communication knowledge and skill is rapidly increasing. Trust is at a premium in the post 2008/9 recession world and the social media phenomenon has become impossible for organisations to ignore. This comes at a time when the academic discipline of Communication in NZ tertiary education is fragmented in the wake of the progressively centralised administrative control of the last decade.

    NZCA's objective over the next three years is to contribute vigorously to uniting professionals in the field of Communication and promoting it as a vital field of applied research, teaching and practice in tertiary education and industry.

    Learn more about NZCA . . . . . New Zealand Communication Association

  7. Steve Barnett's innovative approach to change has been published in Clinical Management in Mental Health Services. 2009. Blackwell: London. Steve with his colleague Samson Tse wrote chapter 7 in this book edited by international experts in Mental Health Service: Chris Lloyd, Robert King, Frank Deane, and Kevin Gournay.

    Samson and Steve's chapter titled "Organisational changes towards recovery-oriented services" provides a novel, theoretically sound, practical way for mental health professionals to achieve organisational change.

    Steve presented a synopsis of the chapter titled "Treatment Guidelines for Organisational Dysfunction" to the August 2008 Conference for Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations at Cambridge University.

    Organisational dysfunction is a common barrier to learning and change in organisations of all kinds. Organisational wellness can be achieved by changing the way that the members relate to and communicate with each other.

    Managing the change project itself requires an approach to organisation and communication that typically seems novel to conventional project managers. It's not so much what you do; it's the way that you do it and the chapter sets out the way and the tools to manage the project.

    The book's esteemed editors expect the chapter's novel approach and methodology to challenge managers, be well cited and widely read.

  8. Pearson Education published the second edition of Sandy Barnett and Susan O'Rourke's authoritative text in August 2008, just in time for the second semester in Polytechnics all across New Zealand. This updates the first edition which won New Zealand wide recognition for its innovative, practical approach to understanding communication and learning to do it better. It became the standard text for NZ Diploma in Business and Diploma in Applied Communication students seeking skills and knowledge for their careers in PR, HR, Management, Marketing and Information Management.

    The book is organised around the concept of organisations and supply chains as webs of interpersonal communication relationships. New-media communications technologies have as yet untapped potential to revolutionise the way people interrelate and organise to do things together; the way they see themselves and the organisations that they are members of. The possibilities are huge for individuals and organisations that realise this potential. But many have a long way to go to get the basics of effective interpersonal communication for innovation and growth even half way right.

    Learn more about the book . . . . . Communication: Organisation & Innovation