Culture Club

Rosanna Machado | September 22, 2022

It’s a natural feeling to crave a sense of belonging – I’m sure we’ve all felt it but what does it mean? Culture and cult are separated by just three letters and yet they are perceived very differently. Cult often has negative connotations around a group slightly under duress whereas a good culture is highly sought after as it usually leads to a happier and more productive company. So how do we ensure we stay on the right side of culture?

Culture is not about creating clones of ourselves and wanting people to think, act and behave in the same way. We are often drawn to like-minded people – this may be conscious or unconscious and yet if we really want our company or community to thrive, we need diversity.  I like to think of culture as curating a set of values for people to adopt and then play out in their own styles. It is rare that we make the most of the differences within our team and yet to get the best out of a team, we should celebrate and capitalise on what each person brings to the table. We need to bring those values to life for the team so that everyone is on the journey. I realise in the past I have lived values but not articulated them clearly – something I know I will be sure to do in the future.

So when you are thinking about the kind of culture that you want to create, think about the values that are important, how you can embrace individualism within the team, how you can cultivate that sense of belonging whilst also giving people the freedom to create their own identity, to learn, to grow, to thrive and to fly. Most companies want everyone moving in the same direction but that doesn’t mean we have to take the same route.