Company culture is one of my favourite topics. We spend a lot of time at work, I believe we should enjoy what we do, and who we do it with! There is no greater satisfaction than working for an organisation that you love to be part of. Yet too often leaders leave culture to chance, especially if it’s going well. This is when corporate culture is most at risk.
Culture can always get better. How can we encourage a flourishing culture? By trying a few experiments.
Corporate culture experiment #1: Give time for passion projects.
Everyone from Dan Pink to Steven Kotler have cited research showcasing how important autonomy is in people’s work. Autonomy, coupled with the encouragement to spend a few hours per week on a passion project in service to the organisation will unleash new ideas and boost engagement. Have you tried this yet?
Corporate culture experiment #2: Encourage research excursions.
A crucial component of creativity is being exposed to novel situations. When we visit other workplaces, industries, or places, the new materials fire up the association machine in our brain, creating new connections and sparking new ideas. What if you tasked your executive team to organise an excursion to another worksite in a new industry and followed it up with a debrief over drinks? There may be some amazing insights that come from it. If nothing else, you will be encouraging a leadership mindset of always looking for insights and improvements.
Corporate culture experiment #3: Create a Culture Crew
The Culture Crew can be invited from across the organisation, at all levels. Their remit may include monitoring implementation of the Culture Compass, seeking suggestions for peer recognition, organising celebrations, facilitating concerns from people about culture issues. People live up to expectations as much as they live down to them. By inviting people who do not usually have leadership delegations to be responsible for stewardship of the culture encourages others to step up and see the workplace with fresh eyes.
How might you include experiments in your leadership development framework?