Culture comes from the bottom. It’s born out of necessity.
Because of this, there is inherent value, people and direction the culture sways. Additionally, most businesses try to spot what is happening within culture spheres and niches in order to present an offer in a particular way, to particular people.
It’s difficult to drive culture, and it’s not out of scope.
Culture is a custom, art, and belief a group of people do. Notice, it’s an action, it’s what they do.
Within an organization, culture is meant to convey value, is gravitational, and is able to engage and retain employees who believe in what they are servicing.
“Trust is undeniably linked to doing what is right. 40 global companies tracked over the past year found ethical drivers such as integrity, dependability and purpose drive 76% of the trust capital of business, while competence accounts for only 24%.” — Edelman’s 2020 Trust Barometer Study.
This tells me that people are plenty capable if they’re interested in the cause of the business. Better yet, finding someone who is all-in, and needs to be brought up to speed with technology or the structure of the business is who we ideally want to join the team. Of course this is pending specificity of the role needed.
If you have time to develop someone, it is an investment in them and the organization.
The evidence tells us culture is important. Let’s figure out why.
If culture makes work meaningful, provides hands-on management, creates a positive environment, provides growth opportunities, then trust in leadership happens.
Reasons being culture provides a sense of purpose, cultivates loyalty internally than externally, and engages employees. First it's internal recognition, second is the action which follows.
“In April 2020, 58% of consumers said to earn or keep their trust, it was very-to-extremely important for a brand to offer a relevant set of beliefs and values. By June, this number had jumped to 69%.” — Prophet.
People know actions that are true, and if culture comes from the bottom, it means this where business needs to stem from.
The reasons for culture are to be of value & have relevance, to progress the industry, to activate internal teams, to breed leaders who can dispel misinformation and offer new perspectives.
It's polarizing, culture begins in the organization. It’s a team effort. What happens from satisfaction from work, is incredible performance.
The performance is the energy exchange from customer to organization. As business owners we must care, we must improve, we must simplify so our customers understand how committed we are to their results. It’s about the customer at the end of the day, however we get to them after we have done our own work.
“Companies whose employees are satisfied can outperform others in their industry by as much as 202%” — Get Happy
“Emotionally-honest brands don’t seek to avoid negative emotions, or reluctantly accept them as necessary distractions from the manufacture of happiness. Instead, they acknowledge that people experience a full range of emotions — often in a single day — and they provide positive opportunities to discuss and deal with those emotions. The more sadness, boredom or fear we admit into the emotional landscape of brands, the more opportunity we allow for happiness, love, adventure, and humour to flourish.” — Brand Mag
An important note, culture is human experience and expression, generally through a flow state. Think skateboarding, dance, music, art, graffiti, stencil art, clothing, — they all have deep areas rich with connection.
Let’s say you’re opening a new movement studio. Let's fast forward to opening day.
What do you think is the wiser idea, offer pamphlets to people outside the storefront or go to a park nearby with a sign offering free classes? I’d argue those free classes needed to happen months ago.
The message I’m sending is unless you are willing to consistently “look like a fool” until you are understood, there will be no trust in the team or from customers. For organization to work and be successful the energy must be tight.
How can we expect people to change their energy exchange if they aren’t convinced?
Earlier in the article, I mentioned most brands are not culture drivers. Instead they reaffirm beliefs in said-culture.
So where does that put us? It makes brands representations of culture. In rare cases, a brand can drive, redefine, and be a culture unto itself.
When I use the word brand, I am specifically referring to an organization who has taken their communications seriously with their team and customers. They’re engaged.
Only when brands are so tight energetically, they can not be deduced to a faux perception. Any reason to not acknowledge the organization is a disservice for the customer because we meet them where they are and show them opportunities beyond their feet.
Human experience & perception is the culmination of a service signed, sealed and delivered resonating in someone’s body.
One step further, we look at our business model to bring customers back into the fold. Circular economy has a huge weight here. As does any form of recycling and resourcefulness.
A great example is Vivo Barefoot shoes.
They make the best barefoot shows on the market. They also make the best recycled shoes on the market called Revivo. Not only that, the price falls nearly 50% with Revivo and that opens up accessibility. This was one company. What visionaries to see their high price as an obstruction and create an opportunity displaying responsibility and resourcefulness, and at the same time, increase accessibility.
I’m a fan, and I don’t own any of their shoes, yet.
Something happens when the culmination of work action and service collide. It becomes a human experience for customers. We have the privilege to make someone’s days easier, more lovely, more delightful, solve their challenge(s), and this is called emotional contagion.
Emotional contagion is the science synonym of vibes. No kidding.
“Emotional contagion is the phenomenon of having one person's emotions and related behaviors directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people. Emotions can be shared across individuals in many different ways both implicitly or explicitly.” — HBR
The writing is on the wall. No interaction is one-sided. Not even a transaction.
The act of an organization using their voice and developing their brand means something to people, based on how humans live today. Brands are a platform to create real change, real relationships, real connection, and with those kinds of interactions happening. Why not serve customers in the most emotionally intelligent way you possibly can, so they discover they can take that with them as well.