Creating an Ideal Culture - Part 2

Last week we talked about how the image of a tree can be applied to this love-based leadership concept. We began with the leaves and the physical aspects of an organization. I also approached the next layer of culture as the smaller stems and branches of the rituals and routines of a business. Today we pick up with part two of this series to explore how corporate culture can be achieved.As the branches thicken, closer to the trunk, we think of the strength that stories carry within organizations. These stories can be stories of love, care, and pride in the organization’s accomplishments or they can be stories steeped in fear and told in ways that leverage fear and manipulation.Stories told in organizations often become organizational legends. I remember working for a land developer when the CEO was flying in to visit us on his private jet with entourage in tow. A story that circulated among the staff was that he hated blue. Needless to say, none of us wore blue that day. I must admit that I found it odd that he “hated blue” since the company logo was a deep blue appearing on all of our signage, stationary, collateral material, and business cards. The legend was so strong and fear-based that not one of us tested the validity of the story.Positive stories often depict the humble beginnings and dedicated work of early employees, shared year after year with the newer employees. To our prospective buyers, I would offer the story of how our company grew and showed them our wall of photos of communities that we had developed to “tell the story” of our company’s history. This form of storytelling instilled confidence in buyers that we had experience, integrity, and credibility. In fact, we called this space our credibility wall.We also shared funny stories each year at the holiday party about humorous experiences we had with customers and with each other. Stories bond people together, connecting one another through shared experiences while meeting needs for belongingness and esteem.Next week, we will look at the bridge in our culture of the behaviors to our most deeply rooted values mental models and perceptions, the bridge of our beliefs. Don’t be shy, let me know your thoughts or questions!With love,Maria