Building Corporate Culture with Stories
So what is our corporate culture like? It is shaped above all by our Vierklang of Purpose, Vision, Values and Strategies. This is our master plan, which we are all responsible for and implement as a team. Another thing that contributes to our culture is stories, thestories we tell about ourselves.
Corporate culture is a culture like any other
Storytelling has helped to build, communicate and transmit cultures since ancient times. People have always sat together around the campfire and shared experiences and views. Within each culture there are also shared values. These are passed on and expressed through stories. In the same way, by telling a story about our company, I can infer whether someone would feel comfortable with us. The origin story and the founding motivation are the most important tools to achieve this.
I can use the storytelling technique in many situations: In recruiting interviews, when onboarding new employees or in meetings with the whole team. I can also do so when planning strategies for the next six months. In each of these situations, I convey and strengthen our culture.
Ideas for connection-building narratives
What kind of stories could I tell for that? Fairy tales or sci-fi sagas? We have some more suitable ideas here:
- What is our Purpose? What are we doing this for, beyond making money?
- Our Vision: Where will we be in five years when everything has gone really well?
- How do we work together? How do we behave?
- The things we don’t do.
- What is a big taboo or no-go for us?
- A cool story that could only happen here is …
- Who is our role model or an inspiration for us?
- If I as a (new) employee want to fit in and be successful, then I need …
- … and when I represent our brand to the outside world, it is important that …
For each of these stories, the CoA Academy has something to say. For example, in 2027 we will be the brand that first comes to mind when leadership development is mentioned in growth companies—when everything has gone mega, which is what we are working towards. A no-go for us is to preach one thing and do another. We live what we teach.
What are your stories? We are interested in hearing them!