How to Clarify and Share Your Aspirations for the Way People Treat Each Other at Work

The difference between a great place to work and a job is the way people treat each other. The most important thing about us is the way we treat each other while we do the work.

It’s catastrophic when the tone of an organization happens by accident. You can’t set tone alone. But you must clarify and share your aspirations for the way people treat each other.

“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” George Washington Carver

You must clarify and share your aspirations for the way people treat each other while they work. Image of a person looking in a small mirror.

Clarify and share your aspirations:

#1. Identify ten words you want to characterize your organization in the future.

#2. Cut your ten words that describe your future organization down to five. Rank them in order of priority. How do you feel about your top three? What if your organization could only be described by your top word? If you’re not thrilled with your top three words, go back to #1 and start again.

#3. Write a vivid paragraph for each of your top five words describing how that characteristic will be manifested in your future organization. Conclude each paragraph by describing the essential character of each attribute.

#4. Make symbols that reflect the essential character of each word. For example, draw a lighthouse for an aspiration to shine in a dark world.

#5. Ask your team to do steps #1 – #4 for your current organization, not future. What do you notice?

#6. Ask your team to do steps #1 – #4 for their ideal organization. (Do steps five and six at separate times.)

#7. Schedule individual lunch conversations offsite with your leaders to listen to their aspirations for organizational culture.

#8. Begin conversations about current state. Share your aspirations. Start taking action.

What three words would you use to share your aspirations for an ideal organization? Why?

How might you share your aspirations?

Still curious:

5 Essentials of Culture Building

What Makes a Company a Great Place To Work

Move in the Right Direction with a Culture Champion

**This post is adapted from, Culture Rules Field Guide, by Mark Miller and Randy Gravitt.

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