Blog : Conscious Culture

Conscious Culture

Companies with a conscious culture are often recognized as a Best Employer, have high levels of innovation and are outperforming the market. Conscious Capitalism describes a Conscious Culture as a culture that “fosters love and care and builds trust between a company’s team members and its other stakeholders. Conscious Culture is an energizing and unifying force, that truly brings a Conscious Business to life.”

Based on our decades of experience and research with highly engaged companies we have highlighted 8 Success Factors that distinguish a conscious culture.

  1. Strong Alignment

Everyone sings from the same songs sheet. It doesn’t mean that people agree all the time and don’t engage in robust discussion. When it comes to the big questions, the strategic context there is a high level of alignment in the organisation. A conscious culture is defined by a clear set of values and behaviours, a common language and a set of shared expectations that is not just expressed but also lived and demonstrated through actions and decisions. Rhythms, rituals and stories bring those values alive and reinforce the conscious culture. People feel at home and have friends at work.

  1. Inspired by Purpose

Leaders engage rather than control, they lead and inspire with a clear sense of purpose. They walk their talk authentically and are role models to look up to. People love to be part of the business and feel like they are contributing to something bigger than themselves.

  1. Culture of trust

A conscious culture is a fearless culture where relationships are built on trust. People feel safe to own and share their emotions, are happy to speak up and make courageous decisions. People trust, empower and encourage each other and give unconditional support.

  1. Transparent and respectful

People are respectful, open and transparent in their communication. Leaders use coaching to develop people, set clear expectations when discussing goals and give radically candid feedback when required. People talk directly to people rather than talking about them behind their backs.

  1. Acknowledgment and Recognition

Leaders are humble and demonstrate gratitude. For them it is not about how good the leader is, it is how good the people in his team are. People can bring all of who they are to work and leaders acknowledge and recognise contributions to the team and give credit for standout performances. They focus on what is going right.

  1. Sense of One Team

People put the team first and have a high desire for mutual success. They try to create win wins and encourage high levels of collaboration.

  1. Energy and Flow

People are energised working in the business. It is fun and there is laughter. There is a sense of flow in the organisation, no bureaucracy to slow things down but a high level of ownership, self-responsibility and personal accountability. The structure is flat; decisions are taken quickly.

  1. Approach to Challenges and Failure

When it comes to problems/challenges people spend time finding a solution rather than describing the problem in detail.  Issued get solved in an agile way. You feel high levels of curiosity and experimentation is key to success. People are encouraged to fail often, to fail early but to make new mistakes. Failure is an opportunity to continuously learn, to create innovation and to constantly improve.

Do you want to transform your culture to this? Read more about cultural transformation.

 

8 Signs of a Conscious Culture

Companies with a conscious culture are often recognized as a Best Employer, have high levels of innovation and are outperforming the market. Conscious Capitalism describes a Conscious Culture as a culture that “fosters love and care and builds trust between a company’s team members and its other stakeholders. Conscious Culture is an energizing and unifying force, that truly brings a Conscious Business to life.”

Based on our decades of experience and research with highly engaged companies we have highlighted 8 Success Factors that distinguish a conscious culture.

 

1. Strong Alignment

Everyone sings from the same songs sheet. It doesn’t mean that people agree all the time and don’t engage in robust discussion. When it comes to the big questions, the strategic context there is a high level of alignment in the organisation. A conscious culture is defined by a clear set of values and behaviours, a common language and a set of shared expectations that is not just expressed but also lived and demonstrated through actions and decisions. Rhythms, rituals and stories bring those values alive and reinforce the conscious culture. People feel at home and have friends at work.

2. Inspired by Purpose

Leaders engage rather than control, they lead and inspire with a clear sense of purpose. They walk their talk authentically and are role models to look up to. People love to be part of the business and feel like they are contributing to something bigger than themselves.

3. Culture of trust

A conscious culture is a fearless culture where relationships are built on trust. People feel safe to own and share their emotions, are happy to speak up and make courageous decisions. People trust, empower and encourage each other and give unconditional support.

4. Transparent and respectful

People are respectful, open and transparent in their communication. Leaders use coaching to develop people, set clear expectations when discussing goals and give radically candid feedback when required. People talk directly to people rather than talking about them behind their backs.

5. Acknowledgment and Recognition

Leaders are humble and demonstrate gratitude. For them it is not about how good the leader is, it is how good the people in his team are. People can bring all of who they are to work and leaders acknowledge and recognise contributions to the team and give credit for standout performances. They focus on what is going right.

6. Sense of One Team

People put the team first and have a high desire for mutual success. They try to create win win wins and encourage high levels of collaboration.

7. Energy and Flow

People are energised working in the business. It is fun and there is laughter. There is a sense of flow in the organisation, no bureaucracy to slow things down but a high level of ownership, self-responsibility and personal accountability. The structure is flat; decisions are taken quickly.

8. Approach to Challenges and Failure

When it comes to problems/challenges people spend time finding a solution rather than describing the problem in detail.  Issued get solved in an agile way. You feel high levels of curiosity and experimentation is key to success. People are encouraged to fail often, to fail early but to make new mistakes. Failure is an opportunity to continuously learn, to create innovation and to constantly improve.

Do you want to transform your culture to this? Read more about creating a conscious culture at your organization.

8 Signs of a Toxic Culture

A toxic culture is the opposite of a conscious culture. When your body is full of toxins it won’t perform at its best. In fact, it may make the body sluggish, tired and overweight.  The same happens with a toxic culture. Here are some tell signs that you have a toxic culture.

1. Motivation

People are motivated by personal gain, status, hierarchy and titles which are important to the ego. People create internal competition and want to win at all cost. They want power and control and try to manipulate people and situations to get what they want sometimes they might even use bullying behaviour. Personal agendas are sometimes even more important than the company vision.

2. Leadership

Managers give orders, people follow and don’t dare to speak up or speak openly, even if what has been ordered doesn’t make any sense at all. Managers may micromanage with little or no vision and manage by creating undue pressure and focus on short term results.

3. Collaboration

People withhold information, their ideas, their talent and their truth completely or only share it selectively depending on what serves them personally. Sometimes they have given up because no one listens to me anyway and they become disengaged. Or maybe they have given up because of the lack of appreciation or because the leaders take credit for other people’s achievements.

4. Structure

The organisation is run through rigid structure, processes and rules have to be followed and thinking outside the box is not encouraged. People are afraid of breaking the rules. Do as you are told as per your job description and nothing to the left or right. Failure is punished.

5. Ownership

People make excuses for not achieving their targets and try to find problems elsewhere, blaming other people or circumstances and complaining about the lack of resources etc. It is important to be right and to criticise and judge others.

6. Relationships

Relationships are often dysfunctional and reactive. You may witness defensive behaviour, drama and infighting, personal vendettas, anger or unresolved longstanding conflicts. You may find people using divisive language, us and them thinking ie the bosses and the staff and silo thinking all of which leads to little collaboration.

7. Environment

Disrespect, gossip talk about people, informal grapevine is more effective than company communication. Sarcasm and cynicism bigger than trust

8. Happiness

Little happiness at work, no smiles or laughter, no one is talking with each other unless they have to, low energy, people feel drained thinking about going to work, fear is palpable when you walk into a meeting and in the worst case people feel concerned for their job because no one is safe.

If you recognise your own organisation in one or more of the above descriptions, even if it is just in part, it is definitely time for a cultural transformation.