4 Step Process
Why does culture matter, and more importantly, why does it matter to you?
In an initial workshop looking at some unusual and fascinating stories of transformation through culture, we’ll discover more about the impact a robust corporate ethos can make.
At that workshop, we will analyse the need for it within your organisation, and start to gather values statements and words.
Our starting point is to connect you with your own personal values: getting you in the mindset of what matters most to you, what you can lean on to make tough choices, what you're prepared to make sacrifices for.
We then delve in to your business, gather words that represent its truth and its aspirations, start to see patterns, clashes and matches.
Moving back out into the organisation, we consult on and analyse your values. On the way, we'll check into your corporate vision, ensuring there's an ambition everyone can get behind that gives them good reason to strive.
This will involve your senior team, and a good cross section of people you nominate for consultation. They will be employees, clients and suppliers - people within and outside the business, all sharing stories that peel back the layers, create patterns and reveal the truth about your values in practice.
Once we've proposed and agreed a great values set and the story that brings it to life, we're ready for stage two.
Active ethos plan
It's vital to draw your values wholeheartedly into the organisation, and to do that people need to understand them, understand how they apply to them, and understand how to apply them. To start that, we create a summary explanation of each value and its context.
We also report back to our step one consultees - your team, clients and suppliers - to update them on some of the results of their input (though not yet sharing the values), and start to form the beginnings of a Champions network.
At this time we also agree your corporate organogram, featuring every business and their departments, and key external stakeholder groups. With this in hand, we meet the leader in every group, and discuss with them how the values can be brought into their team's daily lives, as well as asking them to recommend an ActiveEthos Champion.
In conclusion of this step we write a long-form description for each values statement, going into detail about its practical application across your organisation.
Active Ethos Implementation
For each segment of the organogram, we set out a list of values deliverables and KPIs, ensuring that the list is the same length for every different group.
We also formally select and record a Champion to be responsible for values development in their area of your business. At board level there will be one lead for the whole project who can maintain the energy and focus necessary for ongoing success.
This diagram along with your Ethos statement, its narrative and explanations (long and short form) are built into an ActiveEthos Handbook. The guide also includes practical insights to why values matter, the difference they make to people within organisations, and tips on how to use them - as well as interesting guides on understanding personal values and applying them.
Your ActiveEthos Champions are then recruited and trained on their role using this Handbook, with clear brief on expectations and benefits. This work is delivered in close partnership between Larkenby and the lead for the project with their nominated project team.
Active Ethos Launch
From one organisation to another the style of launch will vary. It's influenced by workforce location, brand character, established and future culture. However, it is essential to have a point at which the ActiveEthos becomes formally 'the way we do things round here', celebrated and embraced by everyone.
Starting with an internal launch, we help you to plan and deliver the event that works for you and your team, to ensure they feel early-adopter ownership, and are able to understand and question the programme within their own network first.
This is closely followed by sessions in which the ActiveEthos Champions across the business start the process of education and instillation.
Quick on the heels of the internal launch is an external partners launch and briefing: clients, suppliers and other stakeholders need to understand the significance of this process, what it means for them - and what is expected of them.
Other areas of the business may well choose to do this too: Communications and Marketing, for example, can use it to inform their strategy, agency briefings, brand messaging and campaign planning. Their timings are an important part of the overarching launch programme.
And you're set. Your ActiveEthos is formalised, rigorously planned and out there. Now it's up to you and your team, everyone in and around the organisation, to keep up the momentum, maintain focus, keep it alive - and reap the rewards.