As we all know, it’s the top teams’ job to model the organisation’s values. But amidst a crammed calendar and with remote working very much a part of our lives, the question is ‘how to strengthen culture in a way that sparks joy and connection as well as supporting change?’
Our experience is that it takes a few key ingredients to do this in a way that ensures that it is more than a box-ticking exercise but not so overwhelming that it constantly sinks to the bottom of the To Do list.
In a 3-hour workshop, there are a few ingredients that really make this work in our experience.
- Lay the foundations of Trust and Psychological Safety first by providing a sound ‘Why’ that is grounded in neuroscience.
- Don’t make it theoretical, connect it to the real work and experience inside the organisation. Start with the Executive Team, or the Executive Team and Board together.
- Make it specific, jargon free and playful. Whilst the words on the page are important, it’s the positive experience of discussing behaviours that are tricky, that builds relational muscle and resilience.
The timing for doing this work might surprise you. Whilst Team Forming, and Strategic Planning periods are common, we’ve also just supported:
- A mid-sized disability organisation whose CEO was leaving and wanted to leave a legacy of safety and connectivity in the staff and team.
- A large organisation that is moving exceptionally fast and needed to get under the skin of their new brand values
- A small health organisation that wanted to strengthen the relationship between the Board and Executive Team
The moral is, there’s no one right time for dipping in and strengthening culture. For us, one of the ways we assess whether what we just did is working, is whether participants bound out of the room excited to repeat the exercise with their own teams. It’s a simple and wonderful metric of how culture-setting can be made accessible and viral – all in just 3 hours!