If nowadays newborn companies have to invest not simply in being the best but in being unique, their identity is everything.
But developing a true identity is extremely difficult.
Company culture has a lot of different ingredients, it is somehow like a structure made of various materials. Clearly:
are part of the game. Values are extremely important, both for outlining and guiding company’s strategy.
But, what about rituals? Are they part of the strategic scenario?
If values are often defined as “what the company stands for” rituals are instead commonly addressed as “what and how does a company celebrate”.
Is this everything? If you look at the definition of “ritual”, every dictionary reports at least the concepts of:
- A ceremony
- A prescribed order for performing a ritual ceremony
- A series of actions or type of behaviour regularly and invariably followed by someone.
That’s way it’s not just a matter of celebrating something. Team lunches, events, shared activities and different ways of sharing success and company’s achievements are certainly very important, but this is not everything about rituals.
Rituals are also ceremonies, clusters of prescriptions and, even more important, a series of actions not just described, but, somehow, actively played, which means explained by simulating a situation or an action. And that’s a powerful way of explain something, as we know that quite a few persons after a while recall what they hear, more can remember what they hear and read, but everybody remembers for a long time what he/she can directly practise. Therefore, when we are talking about rituals we are mainly talking about a particular kind of processes.
In this way rituals may play a very important role in crafting and implementing company’s strategy. They can prove to be even more effective than processes in inspiring company’s people because they include in their structure not just a series of actions but a series of prescribed actions. Therefore they directly involve the principles of leadership. Only leaders in facts can craft and spread rituals, giving sense and importance to them: exactly like it should happen when implementing a strategy.
Rituals are important because they always tell a story by giving an example, a positive behaviour that can be immediately followed by other people within the company.
So rituals can help company to grow both in identity and self-awareness in many areas:
-communicating with stakeholders
– involving new resources within the company
-getting people familiar with company’s values and workflow
-getting managers to know top managers/founders priorities and vision
We can therefore assume that, concerning company culture, rituals occupy a central role, connecting company’s values and beliefs with stories/myths by giving to everyone in the firm the possibility of learning about company’s identity and values not just hearing of it but instead by diving into this stuff, impersonating the founders.