How do we create a corporate culture that is revered by everyone? Cultures like Zappos, The San Antonio Spurs, Disney, Pixar Studios and Southwest Airlines? The answer is in ‘Belonging.’
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors survived because of their ability to make very fast decisions when they came across a new or unidentified threat (back then, threats could eat us so we had to think fast). That innate, hardwired ability still exists in our brains today. It is known as our limbic system, or ‘lizard brain.’
Today our lizard brains have the ability to, within micro-seconds, instantly judge and analyze someone or something and make an instant assessment of things like height, attractiveness, age, profession, status, etc. Our lizard brains are also constantly scanning and assessing our ‘safety.’
By safety, I am not only referring to our physical safety and whether we are about to get hit by a car or slip on an icy sidewalk, I also mean our ‘social safety.’ When we are young and still innocent, we didn’t give our social safety a second thought. Everyone in our kindergarten class was someone to play with. We didn’t judge them. We didn’t care if they were black, white, fat, skinny or dressed funny. We accepted everyone. We hadn’t been taught to judge, hate or feel inferior in any way… yet.
Fast forward to adulthood. Our lizard brains are constantly scanning the environment. Multiple times per second, we are scanning to see if there are any signs of some new threat. Threats like… What did the CEO really mean when he said he had some exciting news? What was ‘that look’ that my manager just gave me all about?
This is NOT good for building a positive corporate culture.
In order to build a connected, high performance corporate culture of belonging – like you had in kindergarten – we, as leaders, must:
Do this and you will hit a magical nirvana cultural state I call ‘belonging.’ We people feel they belong, they will move mountains through good times and bad.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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