What is intentional culture?

At January's Oystercatchers Club evening, we'll be digging into company culture and how it impacts performance.

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Type 'Culture and performance' into google and you'll get millions of results demonstrating how well understood it is that the culture that a business fosters has a direct impact on any number of factors: outputs, profitability, staff recruitment and retention, reputation. It's also one of the reasons that 'Best Place to Work' was one of the most popular and hotly contested categories at the recent Oystercatchers Awards.

Understanding the drivers of your company culture, and how those values work and are communicated across your business is critical to creating and nurturing a strong and coherent culture. Sometimes, great cultures evolve through the force of leadership but these accidental cultures - where values and systems are implicit rather than explicit - are at risk of drifting if the what, why and how are not properly understood and actively cultivated.

Which is why actively creating and nurturing the right kind of culture - an intentional culture - is important in ensuring that the company not only remains rooted in its core values, but that they are actively expressed and lived within the company.

So how do you build an intentional culture? 

Adrian Walcott, CEO of Brands With Values believes that the key to transitioning from an accidental culture to an intentional culture is having a clear understanding of the values of your employees, the values they see being practised in the workplace and those that are desired. it's a process that involves defining the spectrum of values that encompass human behaviour, capture the values across the business, segment the culture - seniority, gender, ethnicity etc, extrapolate various permutations and identify blockers, then track the culture through values to see how well the gap between personal, organisational and desired values of all are being met. 

Adrian talks more about this process in his recent article on Campaign which delves more into the idea and value of intentional culture.


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