Hi. Grace Judson here, with Day Three of the
Virtual Corporate Culture Challenge.
And over the last two days, you looked at what your culture says it is, what it actually currently is, and thought about some of the tweaks you want to make or add in order to adapt to today’s reality. You’ve also picked out the three primary cultural qualities that are most important right now, in this moment.
Now you need to decide how you will communicate those qualities.
And the first thing you must recognize is that, however you choose to do it, it will not be once and done.
So – did I bait-and-switch by promising a three-day Challenge, and now I’m telling you you’re going to keep going? Well, remember, I said this Challenge would help you gain confidence in how … and as I know you know, culture is something that has to be reinforced, modeled, evolved, demonstrated, communicated – over and over and over again.
And I want to emphasize again that what needs to be communicated right now is not the whole story of your organizational culture. That is too huge, it’s too unwieldy, and it’s not what’s needed right now. And actually, it’s seldom what’s needed, because then it becomes mostly conceptual, which isn’t helpful. What you’re doing here now is giving people tools – specific steps and behaviors they can do in order to improve their employee experience within the corporate culture – and that’s always better than intellectual concepts for creating the kinds of shifts that you want.
The best way to know if your people are “walking the talk” – actually living the three core qualities you’re selecting – is to identify specific behaviors or competencies that demonstrate each one.
For instance, if we go back to Rachel Botsman, whom I quoted in yesterday’s video about the points she made about trust: she listed four behaviors that absolutely qualify as competencies for a leader to exhibit in demonstrating they’re successful in that particular quality of trust.
I recommend choosing competencies that apply to everyone, although they may apply more in some situations to the leaders than to the individual contributors. But even so, if you go back to Botsman’s four behaviors, I would say they all – even the fourth one – apply to everyone on the team, not just to the leaders. And you can reference the transcript from yesterday if you need a refresher on those four points that she makes.
Next, you need to decide how you’ll communicate these cultural qualities and the competencies – the behaviors – that you’ll be expecting everyone to demonstrate. I’ve listed a number of options in the worksheet for you to pick from in terms of communication, in terms of supporting people going forward. And by all means, add as many more as you wish; mine were just sort of to get you – give you a list to get you going. Mix things up; different people hear different things in different ways, someone may be paying attention one day, but not on another – you know how that works, right? We all know, personally, how that works.
I will emphasize again that this needs to be an ongoing thing! We were able to cover a lot of ground in just a few days, but the real challenge is still to come. And that how you’ll communicate, support, and maintain these qualities of your culture, these three qualities that you have considered most important right now, and others that you’ll continue to add and tweak over time.
So although today’s worksheet asks you when you will start communicating, there’s no end date. Referring again to Rachel Botsman: she points out that consistency is key in any effort around supporting and maintaining a positive culture. I’ve – that actually comes in an article that she wrote, and I have included the link to that article on this page for you to link to.
One more thing: you can always come back and do this again on your own. You can download the audio files and the transcripts for the videos, and you have the worksheets on hand already. If you choose, you can use this process over and over again, building essential aspects of your company’s culture on an ongoing, incremental basis.
Day Four is when the Grand Prize will be awarded. If you have posted on Days One and Two – and no, you cannot go back and post retroactively! – but if you’ve posted on Days One and Two and you also post a comment today with some insights that you have come to as you have gone through this, especially, obviously, for today’s, then you’ll be eligible for the Grand Prize drawing as well as for today’s prize.
So – good luck, and go forth and start communicating!
(The prizes were for the original participants in the three-day Challenge, and have all been awarded; there are no prizes currently being offered.)
What I really liked about today’s challenge was it “forced” me to think about those specific steps to “walk the talk” which is a point I made in my comment yesterday. It’s easy to put things down on paper but it takes continuous effort to put those words into action. And it’s so easy to be distracted by the day-to-day busyness when everyone is together in the office, yet alone when people are separated by remote work. I liked so many of the ideas on how to continuously communicate the aspects of our company culture that I think are most important (I said Trust, Care and Transparency), and I tried to think about how I could really ensure I was doing this. For me, some easy ways are to make it a regular part of team meetings and 1:1 meetings. That will help in my department, but the real challenge is company-wide communication. As one of the “culture champions” for my organization, this is an area that I need to give more focus and this challenge has given me some really good tools and ideas to do that. Thank you so much!
You are so, so, so correct: “It’s easy to put things down on paper but it takes continuous effort to putthose words into action.”
I am DELIGHTED that this process has helped you!
I think that one of the competencies or behaviors on must demonstrate to “walk the talk” is to not always talk but to listen. We all know how to listen but the key is to listen effectively. That means not to interrupt, after all if you rearrange the letters of the word “listen” you can get the word “silent” which is something you must do to effectively hear someone. Also, most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply (quote from Stephen Covey). I find this to be true in myself and I imagine others do as well-it’s hard to turn that part of your brain off and just focus on what the other person is saying but with practice it can be done.
So true, Debby – and listening is one of those shockingly difficult skills. We simply aren’t taught HOW to listen at any point during regular education!
And you’ve made a really important point here that if we don’t listen to what the employees are saying, we miss out on how the culture is actually being interpreted and lived. YES.
By the way, I’ll add that I think part of listening is knowing how to encourage people to talk. Silence is certainly one aspect of that – I have a friend who talks about silence being a “full partner” in conversation – but there’s more to it, including ways to encourage people to keep going but *without* making them feel interrogated.
In fact, one of the books in today’s Prize bundle defines tools for doing exactly that!