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Tips on getting culture right in your business or team

Getting culture right in business team

Everyone who knows anything about business understands culture is important. Getting it right however is a whole other story. Part of the reason is, a good culture in one environment isn’t necessarily in another. It’s also because knowing the kind of culture you want and creating it is vastly different.

How is culture defined?

  • Cohesive teams.
  • Fulfilled individuals.
  • Productive performance.

Simple right? The reality is if you can tick those three boxes, you are doing well. One of the risks in the pursuit of a positive culture however is over complicating it. The three pillars above are interconnected. If you put two together, you are in line to get the third by proxy. In simplifying the proposition, you set out a canvas for culture as opposed to prescribing it.

Creating and or keeping a good culture

For me, as a custodian of culture at Magnum & Co this is something I think about a lot. Ours is amazing but we don’t take it for granted. Our recipe for keeping it comes down to this:

1. Being clear on expectations but empowering people to express themselves in a supportive way

Teams need to feel safe to fail if they are to innovate and perform. As mentioned earlier though, this recipe can’t simply be applied in every instance, as the difference between environments is the variance in the ways people interpret things like ‘clarity’, ‘support’ and ‘safety’. Getting to the crux of these interpretations is therefore crucial. And it should be said these are goal posts that move, it’s not set and forget.

2. Getting the balance right with a good cross section of perspectives and experiences

We like to challenge each other to consider new things, but we do it with humility and grace. This means balance is crucial. For us, we actually do extended DISC profiling to ensure we get a good spread across the spectrum for this reason. We also continue to invest in the ongoing development of our people through a program we call ‘The Magnum Academy‘ so perspectives and experiences continue to develop.

3. Showing that we are here for more than money

Having heart is the connective tissue. You get a sense of this on our social channels. It’s the acknowledgement that there is more to life than work, and our personal purpose must be valued at an organisational level. We practice mindfulness in the office a couple of times a week and we also bring pets in, not just for fun or to step back from the task at hand, but also as a means to seeing life’s big picture. When the business sets the tone like this, it is a fantastic catalyst for trust.

Why getting culture right matters

For me it’s this — the right culture unlocks potential. It lends itself to leadership being a shared responsibility and allows people to grow as opposed to feeling like they are waiting for the more senior person to move on or up. This kind of culture attracts the right people and keeps them longer. And when you boil it down, it means you can achieve so much more while having a lot of fun doing it.

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