Follow The Bright Spots
We won’t always get it right. As any business leader or entrepreneur or artist or impresario will tell you, you will mess up…lots. Those you work for and those who work for you will not be 100% on-point 100% of the time (“60 percent of the time, it works every time” Anchorman, anyone?…I digress).
I love how Hubspot describes their own culture code: “This document is part manifesto and part employee handbook. It’s part who we are and part who we aspire to be." They know they won't get it right every time, but it's an identity to live into.
One of the most effective long term tactics in living into the meaningful culture you desire is the consistent celebration of what is working well. Rather than pointing out where your team is failing, complaining about what isn’t working (without every proactively bringing solutions), gossiping about how stuff isn’t meeting your expectation, or how so-n-so isn’t living into the cultural standard you desire to uphold, focus on what is working. What the Heath brothers call “following the bright spots” in their book Switch! How To Change Things When Change is Hard.
According to a good friend who is a master of community development and crafting programs which create space for good things to run wild, this “focusing-on-what’s-already-working-then-celebrating-the-crap-out-of-it” is a powerful tactic in what he calls Asset Based Community Development.
When entering a community with hopes of bringing development and change and goodness—find the people, places, and things that are already working and already fostering healthy community and already helping people flourish to some degree. Then identify creative and sustainable ways to breath life into those things. In other words... “Follow The Bright Spots"
I saw this modeled exceptionally well during my time building our social business accelerator in the developing world. During our upstart phase I was put in touch with an organization called Social Entrepreneur Corps’ Community Empowerment Solutions. I was blown away at how their model/approach worked.
In short, their Micro-Consignment Model works to identify “local assets” — that is, locals who are vouched for by the community or local leadership — who are reputable, honest, hard-working, and entrepreneurial. CES then trains these entrepreneurs to start social-minded micro-businesses while also training others to run these consignment-based micro-businesses as well…Follow The Bright Spots.
So whether you’re trying to institute a change in culture at the office, at your weekly basketball game, or within your family—follow the bright spots to lead the change.
This is part five in our series on "Strategies in Building A Culture That Sticks".
Find other parts here:
Part 1: Don't Just Talk About It, Be About It (Series Intro)
Part 2: Build Traction & Buy-In Through Collaboration
Part 3: Set A Deadline. Ship. Iterate. Repeat.
Part 4: Don't Leave Your Culture To Chance: Model & Train to Educate & Forge A Culture You're Proud Of.