Aligning your company's vision with its culture can be one of the biggest challenges you'll face as a leader. It is so easy to dream big and fall short when decisions are stressful, the team grows bigger and the day-to-day stress takes over.
Talents lost into the cracks
In "Daring Greatly" author and researcher Brene Brown writes about "Minding the Gap": the discrepancy between what we say and what we do, "the values we espouse and the values we practice". She calls the space in between the "disengagement divide".
Because that is where, if nothing is done fast enough to bridge the gap, you will lose people: your best team members will fall in the cracks between your vision and your "lived-in" culture.
Trust is the quickest way to build a bridge
Our team loves to play. And among the many activities we take your teams on, one of the most popular is the scavenger hunt. During this, each team has to build a bridge. Not just any bridge, a Leonardo Da Vinci bridge, meaning, self-supporting.
This exercise is not just hilarious to watch (for us), it is a wonderful opportunity for connections, communication, vulnerability, and trust to be trialed, experienced, and challenged, in a setting that encourages people to be more themselves. We witness it every single time. People laugh, throw their hands in the air, pretend to give up, get upset, and ultimately, celebrate accomplishing something new, together.
As Brene Brown repeats throughout most of her work, Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, transformation, and growth.
Three words that we can often find in the vision board of many leaders.
By exposing your team to a new environment, without the usual "armor" of the Office, or the Zoom screen, people are finding new ways to relate to each other, and when facing unexpected "challenges" ("Now build a bridge!" or "start a fire!") they learn to navigate vulnerability and collaboration on a whole new level.
The part that nature plays
Nature is often seen as a nice background for a group photo. We've got nature on the pay role. As a full-time facilitator.
Nature does not take no for an answer and gently "forces" everyone to break from the daily routine, which, as comfortable as it may seem, inevitably hinders our creativity.
To think outside the box one must get out of the box. And stay outdoors for a while.
When surrounded by greenery, birds, and horizons (as opposed to brick walls and honking sounds) our bodies cannot help but slowly relax, sending signals to the brain to let the guard down and engage in a different, more authentic way.
Add different types of activities: from cooking, and running together to building huts and bridges... and you create the perfect environment for people to go deeper in understanding one another's strengths and weaknesses, and hold space for each other.
When done right, the benefits trickle down all the way back to the [home] office. These shared memories and experiences will form the History of the company and shape its culture.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast famously said management consultant and writer Peter Drucker.
We advise you to eat that breakfast outside, preferably surrounded by trees, water, and birds singing.