Creating a Culture for Transformational Work
I had the privilege of attending an LLB Cannes talk on building cultures, featuring an exceptional panel of senior leaders from Accenture Song, Lego, Mother, and Framestore. They shared invaluable insights that can help you assess your own culture, ensuring it nurtures talent, adapts to new ways of working, and fosters ground breaking work.
Here are some key takeaways:
Tip One – Understanding What Drives People to the Office
Mother faced the challenge of encouraging employees to return to the office. Guided by their cultural pillar of curiosity, they posed questions to understand why people preferred working from home. They discovered that one reason was the ability to manage household chores, like doing laundry.
In response, Mother designed their new office to include laundry facilities. Although it may have seemed unconventional, they believed in its potential to cultivate the desired culture. This example beautifully illustrates the importance of listening to employee needs and delivering on them, even if it initially appears unusual. It demonstrates that people want to feel valued and heard, and addressing their needs can enhance their sense of belonging.
Tip Two – Embracing Vulnerability
During the panel, one participant courageously shared their experience of panic attacks and ADHD. The room shifted as the audience witnessed their openness and vulnerability. The insight gained was that when leaders are willing to show weakness and acknowledge they don’t have all the answers, it encourages their teams to do the same.
The level of vulnerability displayed by leaders sets the tone for the team’s comfort in expressing themselves authentically. Creating a culture where individuals can be themselves and feel respected for who they are has become increasingly crucial in today’s work environment.
Tip Three – The Power of Play
Listening to how Lego incorporates play into every aspect of their work was truly inspiring. Before starting any meeting, Lego engages in play. This could involve simple brick-based games or full team activities. It creates an atmosphere of curiosity, fostering innovative thinking. Similarly, Accenture Song begins meetings with sharing good news to set a positive tone.
Lego also has a “leadership playground” that exemplifies playfulness as a company-wide value, starting from the top. Additionally, they have an annual “play day” when the entire company takes a day off to reconnect with the company’s purpose and values.
Building on the previous tip, Lego has found that integrating play into the workplace and embracing the freedom to be silly and make mistakes naturally fosters vulnerability among team members.
When asked about managing leaders who don’t align with the company’s values, the panel emphasized that a strong culture swiftly rejects those who disrupt it. The clarity of expectations and standards within the culture ensure that anyone who doesn’t fit is quickly identified and addressed.
Culture is the heart of your business. It represents your people and plays a vital role in determining your success. Investing in your culture is not merely a “fluffy” endeavor; it is what will ultimately shape your future by attracting and retaining the right individuals.
In conclusion, these insights from accomplished companies remind us to prioritize culture as a powerful force that enables transformational work. By understanding and valuing the needs of your people, embracing vulnerability, and incorporating playfulness, you can create a culture that fosters innovation, collaboration, and overall success.
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