Why culture matters, now more than ever

The culture of your agency or studio stretches far beyond fancy decor, ping pong tables or DJs in the foyer, says leadership coach and Global MD, Creative at The Talent Business, Tanya Livesey. And it can prove vital in how businesses navigate the difficult times we are in

“As I have learned these past eight weeks, a crisis brings you clarity about what is truly important…. The world needs human connection now more than ever” – Brian Chesky, Co-Founder, Airbnb

There’s nothing like a crisis to test the strength of your culture. When our daily working practices and our assumptions about the future have been turned on their heads, we’ve all had to scramble to rethink, reorganise and tentatively start to re-plan for what our worlds will look like in future. However, when there’s chaos, one thing can powerfully rise above it – and that’s your culture.

Research from McKinsey shows that unhealthy cultures do not respond well to change, with as many as 70% of failed business transformations being due to culture-related issues. This momentous period of change we’re in right now will be an acid test, not just for our agility in business strategy, but for the health of our cultures too.

Invisible but powerful, culture is the glue that binds your organisation. It’s what will keep your team emotionally together, even when you’re all apart. Shared beliefs, ideals and agendas don’t need to be in the same room to connect. It’s why culture matters – now more than ever.

Invisible but powerful, culture is the glue that binds your organisation. It’s what will keep your team emotionally together, even when you’re all apart.

It’s perhaps too easy to shorthand culture for cool workspaces, tempting in-office perks and team drinks in the local – but if these are the foundations of your culture, they are likely to collapse in the new world order. When you strip away the glossy context, as working from home has so brutally done, then what you have left is what really matters.

Culture is a complex, living and constantly changing thing, which comes from how people interact and connect. It’s informed by the company’s vision and values and it’s shaped by the company’s history and the layers of mythologies that are woven into the fabric of its past. But most importantly, it’s influenced by the beliefs and behaviours of its leadership team.

JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Milton Keynes