We like to use abstract words to describe company culture.
"Our company is innovative, driven but with a sense of humor."
But culture isn't defined by the words we use to describe it. Culture is defined by the consistent every day processes that are thoughtfully put in place.
Here's an example:
While on vacation in Maine, we experienced Diver Ed's Dive-In Theater. (If you are ever in Bar Harbor all four of us would give it the full five stars!) Diver Ed has spent years carefully crafting the culture and experience we encountered on the boat.
Wouldn't it have been easier to pre-print name tag labels? They knew we were coming. Or perhaps have us stop on the way in and fill out the traditional sticker?
Passing out rolls of duct tape and sharpies to a boat full of people took time. (Of course, what were we doing but waiting anyway.) But it was a perfect match to the culture Diver Ed is trying to include his guests in. And besides, isn't it always a little thrill to find out whether or not the duct tape really will tear in the right spot?
I've never before used duct tape for a name tag. I probably won't again. And that's the key. Finding places in our culture where we can highlight what makes the organizations we are a part of unique and special. Creating culture is everyone's responsibility.