Leadership’s role in cultural stewardship

One of my favourite adages about business finance includes the phrase “Cash is King”, but I wonder if from a broader corporate perspective, maybe “culture is king”.

Why are we all banging on about Beautifully Effective?

Salad has long appreciated the deep impact of our distinctive culture, encapsulated in our guiding principle: “Beautifully Effective”. We’ve recently invited our colleagues to share what this philosophy signifies to them with our wider community and further cement it within our cultural identity. This blog explores the pivotal role of leadership in cultural stewardship, the transformative influence of communication, and the importance of repetition and accountability.

Nurturing a Cultural Identity

In business, a company’s culture can often be its most intangible, yet unique and potent asset (or, in the worst cases, liability). It shapes not just how work gets done but also why. At Salad, we’ve long been aware of the profound influence of our culture on our success. We’ve distilled some primary features of our approach into our trademark; “Beautifully Effective.” I thought I would share why we recently invited our colleagues to each define and share what it means to them.

The Leader’s Role in Cultural Stewardship

Every person within a community or business contributes to the culture, and not least its leader(s). Salad has a relatively flat structure and is more democratic than many workplaces, but still, leaders play a pivotal role in endorsing, harnessing and nurturing culture. They serve as the guardians of cultural values, responsible for protecting, dispelling, and evolving them as the need arises.

There’s a widely shared adage which I also subscribe to; “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” emphasising the significant impact culture has on an organisation’s capability to deliver.

The Power of Communication in Impacting Culture

I believe clear and effective communication is a linchpin in any effort to influence culture. Maybe it was Jeff Weiner who first said “When you are tired of saying it, people are starting to hear it” – whoever said that first, I have definitely found it to be the case so many times; when a colleague says or thinks “But I’ve already said or told them that” … it takes time, and repetition for information to really sink in and stick.

Repetition and Recapitulation

By inviting each of our colleagues to write a blog about what Beautifully Effective means to them, we invite them to consider for themselves if they agree with it, what resonates for them, how it impacts their work and to help lead them to making it their own mantra, and not a mere corporate trope.

Broadcast and Accountability

As each of us has shared what Beautifully Effective means to us, or our work at Salad, and sharing these blogs with everyone, helps our own accountability; it gives licence to customers to expect it from us, for us to hold each other to account, and for us to further cement these foundational values in Salad.

Attracting like-minded people

Whether it be in starting to work with new customers and their brands and digital assets, or recruiting a new team, by stating loud and proud who we are, and what you should expect from us, I also hope this will appeal to people who also value something that has been beautifully crafted, and designed by experts, which also highly effectively serves a commercial purpose.

That, to me, is what our Beautifully Effective commitment means.

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