It has been quoted that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” but I would have to push back on that statement. I would instead state that we have to figure out how to get culture and strategy to eat breakfast together! Culture without strategy is like having the wind with no sails while having sailed with no wind does little good either. Both are dependent on the other.
After seven years of implementing a strategy for a Culture of Good at TCC, one of the nation’s largest Verizon Wireless retailers, I’ve learned the value of having a solid culture plan that you can execute. Whether your organization has 30, 300, or 3,000 employees (as TCC does), a strategy is the sails of your journey propelled by the wind of your culture.
The one culture strategy move you have to make that most organizations don’t is forming a culture storytelling team. No matter how much effort you put into your culture, telling the story of your culture is the most underrated impactor toward sustaining any successful initiatives for the long term.
Here’s what a culture storytelling team offers your culture strategy:
- It creates company-wide communications that make personal, emotional connections with individuals in the organization (notably, living up to your values and purpose)
- It advises on communication methods and plans for your community events and milestones
- It assists the organization’s marketing team in developing collateral and messaging related to the work you do in giving back to your community
- It develops plans for communication, messaging, and storytelling focusing on tying the good you do to your business as well as “shining the spotlight,” internally and externally
Here are the qualities of those who should be on your culture storytelling team:
- Those who bring diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skillsets from across the organization
- Those passionate about your values, doing good, and the transformation of serving your strategy with your mission
- Those who understand the need to go ‘above and beyond’ to meet the needs of the team
- Those experienced with writing, marketing, and internal/external communications preferred
Here’s how you know your culture storytelling team is headed for success:
- When it Is formed and meeting regularly
- When it has a diverse group of members who are passionate about your culture, and it’s values, vision, and purpose
- When it has created and is executing a communication plan for internal and external stakeholders
- When it is taking steps to sustain the effort through authentic storytelling that makes an emotional connection with all stakeholders
Although you should never do good to be seen, you should always be seen doing good. Your culture storytelling team ensures that all stakeholders have an emotional connection to your values, vision, and mission to connect to how you give back to your community. There are four main resources you can devote to your culture efforts: time, talent, treasure, and testimony. Your culture storytellers are your testimony.
Reach out for consulting services from the Culture of Good in forming a culture storytelling team.