“I want to say our culture is beautiful, but it’s disjointed.”

While lining up for her morning coffee on Day 3 of 4 last March of Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within (UPW) Conference in Los Angeles, California, Aileen de la Torre (a.k.a. my business partner extraordinaire), couldn’t help but notice the UPW badge of another individual in the lineup and started a culture conversation.

The owner of a mortgage brokerage company, she later found out, asked Aileen what type of work she was creating in this world. Rather than go into the standard elevator pitch, she asked, “Describe your company’s culture.”

Our fellow UPW participant paused to think, and then replied with, “I want to say our culture is beautiful, but it’s disjointed.”

Aileen’s eyes lit up. That’s what happens when you’re about to fulfill your life purpose.

“Tell me more…”, she replied with curiosity and a big smile.

After a few minutes of sharing stories, they exchanged contact information and another human moment was created.

So why do we get excited to hear this kind of response?

Because we can feel the desire for something greater. This business owner knows what’s possible and just needs a little guidance.

The reality is that all organizations already have a culture. It’s happening whether we are focusing on it or not. When humans gather together in a company environment, community, town, or country, “the heart and energy of a human experience”, our definition of culture at SPARK, is created. It’s inevitable because humans are made up of energy. Cultures are emotional and described as a feeling almost 99% of the time, according to recent research we conducted for the first BC Workplace Culture Scan Report scheduled to launch this Fall in 2019.

So, what happens when you are not intentional about your workplace culture and you just let it happen organically?

When you’re a smaller organization and can be present in every conversation, it may be possible to let your company culture unfold naturally. However, most organizations want to grow, and when that happens, that’s when the organic approach is less effective.

The result of not being intentional with your culture can cause the following:

  1. Misalignment. When people are confused or uncertain about their culture story – what the company stands for, why they exist, and what their vision is – the confusion leads to doubt, conflict, and eventually, misalignment.
  2. Lack of growth. When people are misaligned, they become disengaged. Their openness to share new ideas and thoughts are suppressed. They hold back and as a result, minimize their development and learning. Creativity and innovation are non-existent.
  3. Disconnection. When people feel misaligned, disengaged and they are not growing, the outcome is lack of connection to themselves and others. This disconnection leads to a lack of fulfillment or a sense of purpose. Without fulfillment, what is the reason for living?

In our research to determine the significance of designing an intentional workplace culture, we found that almost all of the participants we surveyed believe culture is important but less than half could effectively describe their culture.

How would you answer this question? Describe your company culture.

If you’re able to answer this question without any hesitation, the next step is to ask your leaders and team members to answer this question. Get curious and start a culture conversation. Listen to the words they use to describe your culture and how they share your company’s culture story. If you can feel the human connection, then you’re on the right path. Keep moving forward and continue to create a meaningful workplace culture. BONUS: Connect with us so we can add your culture story to our report and others can learn from you!

If you’re not able to answer this question confidently and from your heart, then it’s time to define your culture story.

Let’s start with a complimentary 75-minute Culture Discovery Session with your culture champions — leaders and team members that want to make culture their #1 priority.

The intention of the Culture Discovery Session is the following:

  • Learn more about your current culture
  • Define the ideal culture experience at your organization
  • Uncover your current team strengths and company vision
  • Share simple and practical ways to create your ideal culture

The experiential activities shared in this session will encourage honest and authentic conversations, leaving your team energized to design a culture with intention and purpose.

We’re excited to partner with that business owner and hear him describe his culture confidently and with conviction, “It’s beautiful.”

Lorie Corcuera