Creating a Culture that Rocks – Let’s Sing from the Same Song Sheet
It was a bluebird day in the Rocky Mountains. I had just delivered the closing keynote at a conference in Lake Louise all about creating a winning workplace culture.
It was an intense experience and I was looking forward to clearing my head in the fresh mountain air. I had just pushed away from the Canmore Nordic Centre for a cross-country ski, with the early morning sun doing its best to fool me into thinking that it wasn’t actually twenty below zero.
After what seemed like an eternity (but was only five minutes!), I finished the initial climb and headed into the forest where the air was much calmer.
As I approached my first descent, I carefully guided my skis into the tracks and got into a tuck. As I was working hard to stay upright, I noticed how the morning sun – now directly behind me – casted a perfectly symmetrical shadow of my head, shoulders, poles, and ski tips on the track just ahead of me. The light was guiding me down the trail and it reinforced what I had experienced at the conference in Lake Louise.
Rocking Out… In the Rockies!
The event was put on by Seasons Retirement Living – a company that owns and operates 20 retirement communities in Ontario and Alberta.
200 members of their leadership team attended. The theme of the conference was “Creating a Culture that Rocks,” and the program was designed to enable participants to explore unique collaboration.
As the conference closer, it was my pleasure to observe proceedings throughout and present a closing keynote to tie it all together.
I took in a presentation by Jim Knight, a former senior exec with the Hard Rock Café, who spoke about the world’s great brands. Jim has a rough-hewn look – big hair and tattoos – and would look every bit the part on stage with AC-DC. He shared his beliefs about what it takes to create a winning work culture and boiled it down to having employees whose competence, character, and behavior aligned to produce extraordinary customer experiences day in and day out.
In Jim’s words, organizations that “rock it out” are ones where everyone “sings from the same song sheet.”
At Seasons, that would include the 16-year-old new hire working in food prep, the Fun Manager (a real and very important position), and EVERYONE else up to the executives at head office.
Fittingly, Jim’s presentation was followed by an afternoon team building exercise put on by Banding People Together, a group of behavioral scientists who also happen to be amazing musicians and composers.
I was fascinated watching them take the Seasons’ team through an exercise to create awareness about the four personality styles (one of my favorite subjects) and tie personality styles to famous musical celebrities.
Next, they broke into groups of twenty-five, each group with its own musician, and were assigned to compose an original song about the work they did and what it meant to them. For the finale, each group took to the stage with their musician to unveil their new composition. The songs were packed with emotion and both the performers and the audience were in awe.
The Show Must Go On!
The next morning, I had the honor of closing the conference.
I reinforced the key takeaways from the conference presenters and most of all, I celebrated the diversity of the Seasons’ team and the incredible difference they make in the lives of its residents by working to “rock it out” every day!
We all need a point of reference to guide us… whether it is at home, on a ski trail, or in the work that we do in our diverse workplaces. When we collaborate and celebrate our various styles we are better able to sing from the same song sheet.
This I believe… beyond a shadow of a doubt!
Meg Soper is a motivational humorist speaker who can help you learn to shift your perspective and laugh along the way of life as you take on life’s stressors. Rock it out with Meg today!
More posts? Bring it on!