Making Your Culture Visible

As many readers know, we organize the steps it takes to be intentional and systematic about your culture into a simple structure we call the 8-step framework. One of the key elements in that framework is communicating your culture throughout the organization, or making it visible. In this post, I’ll explain why this is so important and offer some simple ideas you can quickly put to work.

It’s a form of advertising

Have you ever thought about why companies spend billions of dollars on advertising? Because it mostly works! The more we see something, the more it starts to feel familiar, and the more it gradually seeps into our consciousness. The same is also true for statements about our culture.

Before I go further, I want to make one thing perfectly clear here. Putting posters on your walls with your vision, mission, and values does Screen saver-01not magically transform your culture. And in fact, if the reality of your culture differs significantly from those posters, it can actually have a negative effect and cause people to become jaded or cynical. However, if our culture is real, then the more our people see statements about it, the better.

The more, the better

If the only time someone ever sees a visual, written form of your culture is on an 8.5×11 sheet with the corporate values and it’s stuffed into the new hire paperwork, sandwiched between the benefit enrollment forms and the I-9, how likely are people thinking about it? But if everywhere they look, they see statements about our culture, and they’re literally inundated with it, there’s a far better chance that they’re thinking about it, that it becomes part of their daily experience, that it becomes their vocabulary, and it begins to shape how they think.

There are unlimited ways you can do this–see samples. Here are just a few:

  • You can post them on the walls
  • You can put them on screen savers
  • You can put them electronic displays in your reception area
  • You can put them on mouse pads
  • You can put them on t-shirts
  • You can paint them on trucks
  • You can put them in the men’s room above the urinals and the women’s room on the mirrors.
  • You can put them in your e-mail signatures

As you can see, you’re limited only by your own creativity. But the more people see this around them, the better.

We hear from clients all the time that the Fundamentals™ have literally become their language – the way they speak around the office or the shop.   This has a very powerful effect on causing people to internalize the behaviors that lead to success. Making them visible throughout the workplace is a key contributor to this effort.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can put this system to work in your workplace, just give us a call or shoot us an e-mail.

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