The Key to Real Culture Change

Have you struggled with why it’s so hard to change culture in your company or organization? The status quo has this sneaky pull–bringing people back to the same ol’ same ol’ ways of doing things.

Watch the video above for one of the secrets to real culture change (and see photos from my years working in Panama’s Darien Gap).

You can’t think your way into great culture. Real culture change has to connect the head and the heart.

I began my career in the rain forests of Panama working with Indigenous Peoples to preserve their land rights.

I knew during my first trip to their lands that it was my destiny to stay. I ended up working with them for seven years.  What I didn’t know at the time was that my journey with them would lead me to my second career:  helping unleash passion and purpose in the workplace.

While in Panama I witnessed the way Indigenous People used stories to build their common bonds.  In their meetings, they gave time for people to tell their stories.  The result was strong ties that allowed them to act with great purpose and conviction.

When I came back to the United States, I found that a lot of organizational management tools paled compared to meeting techniques I had witnessed among the Indigenous tribes.

The charts, words and analytical spreadsheets that drove western style decision-making didn’t seem to get at the heart of what made organizations tick.

Then I stumbled across a nascent group of organizational storytellers, and I knew I had found my tribe.  We later christened this DC-based group the Golden Fleece.  Together we pioneered storytelling methodologies we could use with our demanding, mostly U.S.-based clients.

Stories create a frame for my culture work. Customer stories, staff stories, business owner stories–each hold gems that reveal the core culture and communications strategy that can make a company or organization rise to the next level of success.

Watch the video to learn more about one of the powerful tools you can use to drive culture and unleash passion and purpose in the workplace.

Posted in Culture, Values, Videos.