Create contagious cultures people want to belong to

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Photo Credit Chrysa Maragkou

Today we have some ideas to help you in your efforts to craft a culture that people (customers and employees) want to be a part of.

We choose what we want to be a part of friendships, marriage, employment, the brands we buy.

For any non-commodity (and even some commodities) when you gain a new customer it is because they want to be a part of your culture and your story.

But what does "culture" even mean?

Here is one definition "the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or a social group."

What is 'culture' for a company? You could say it is "the products, services, people, actions, and values."

Consider for a moment your current employer. Or a prior one. What is it about that companies cultures that you particularly enjoyed, or disliked?

Now consider brands you choose to do business with.

Would you buy clothes from a company that you knew uses sweatshops in a developing nation?

What about a retailer who supports a political organization you disagree with?

We are at choice.

Your customers and employees do the same.

People will tell stories about your company and its culture. Good or bad.

You may have heard this saying:

"People leave managers, not companies."

The nature of this is quote covered in much detail by Forbes in this article. And it's true. I'm sure we've all got a story or two on this topic. Did you keep those stories to yourself?

A manager is the front line of culture in a company. If they do not represent and create a compelling culture you will choose to leave.

Big enough company? Maybe you move teams rather than leaving.

The experiences you create internally and externally are the seeds people use to tell stories of their experience with your brand. Be it at a team, or organization level.

Here's how to be intentional about this.

  1. Begin with the end in mind: identify what you want people to say about your team, your department, your company, your brand. Write it down.
  2. Consider how you can create experiences that result in shareable moments that accrue to step #1
  3. People act how they are measured. Reward your people for creating those types of experience found in point #2

By doing these things you channel the 'why' of your intent and your team or brand into actionable behavior that employees and customers can experience and feel and share.

And there you have it.

A primer into creating cultures that draw people in rather than scaring them away.

Please use your new found power for good.

I'll leave you with a great example of how this manifests in the world of retail. Esther Christopherson, splendid storyteller ad retail guru shares how over here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rediscovering-retail-heartbeat-esther-christoffersen/

And now our weekly picks…

First up: https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2015/08/04/people-leave-managers-not-companies

Didn't click above? Click now! It's a great illustration of how culture and the stories people tell because of it will shape your organization.

Secondly: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rediscovering-retail-heartbeat-esther-christoffersen/

Read and follow Esther. Her insights and energy are contagious and infections.

And finally: https://hbr.org/2016/03/how-to-build-a-strategic-narrative

This topic is one of our favorites at Go Narrative. It's why we create our Narrative Pack as a part of our client's strategic communications foundation. If you'd like to know how we approach it grab 30 min on my calendar and we can chat.

Go Narrative is a marketing consultancy that assists business leaders in technology firms to build and implement advanced marketing strategies. Our secret sauce is storytelling for business growth and transformation. We can help you cut through the noise and improve your reputation. We love helping business leaders understand, use and apply storytelling in business via writing, presentations, video, strategy and actionable plans. Get attention. Be heard. Make an impact.

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