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  • Writer's pictureErika Clegg

ActiveEthos: the definitive glossary

In the world of corporate culture there are a lot of words that can feel interchangeable, or be overlooked. There are often very subtle differences which will sit behind their use. To help you plan your approach to launching your own Active Ethos, here is a glossary of the words and terms you’ll encounter.


The guiding ambition for your organisation that gives everyone something to get behind, and makes it worth their while to live your values. Essential for leadership.


Your reason for being - why you are here, why you bother, what sits at the heart of your organisation. Simon Sinek calls it your ‘why’.


Also your unique purpose, your reason for being, that sets you apart from your peers. Your mission statement sets it out in clear and accessible terms.

A note on purpose and mission: Personally I feel that mission is planned and active, whereas purpose is rather more intuitive and internal. For example, my own purpose is 'to prosper, and cause others to prosper', whereas my mission is to instil Active Ethos wherever teams are a stranger to high-performing culture.

Active Ethos

The process of defining and phrasing the ethos and bringing it to life fully and sustainably in every aspect of your organisation.


The spirit of place - a driving force that defines your approach, attitude and ambitions


These are the things that are important to you - your principles and standards. It’s important to set values that you feel in your belly or you’ll find them hard to stick to.


This is the behavioural environment you create that carries your values through your people. This really is the big ticket item, which the 'active' part of ActiveEthos is designed to address.


This is the way your culture is carried into the world - instilling your ethos is essential to inform those behaviours.


Similar to values, these are your principles and moral choices.


The real-world, day to day, active deliverables by your team.


These are the things you and your team hold to be true, for right or wrong.


This is one essential, over-riding belief which in its way is as important as your vision. Larkenby's is that 'everything good should flourish'.


A phrase that encourages and sustains your team when resilience is needed, or the going gets tough. This might be your why, or your credo, or something based on personal outcomes and rewards.


Your brand is the intuitive articulation of your culture, how people perceive you and the expectations they have of your approach, quality, service and product.


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