Creating a Virtuous Culture; Our thoughts on the Dropbox and The School of Life latest research

Thomas Davies | 20 Dec 2017|

Keeping employees engaged in the workforce has become an increasing priority for many companies. Dropbox has recently partnered with The School of Life with the aim of exploring what it takes to get back to meaningful work.Their new research has thrown light on the workforce, showing how 64% of us heading to the office today are feeling ‘out of our depth’ a key part of the ‘imposter syndrome’ where we feel like we’re ‘faking it’ at the job we’re doing. The research also found that in many cases, teamwork isn’t working in UK businesses. According to the study, the key is to ‘have a common goal’ and ‘work with people you respect’.  1

At Temporall, we work with our clients to understand that their company’s culture is paramount to enabling successful teamwork and collaboration.

We found it interesting that the study emphasizes the importance to ‘intentionally design your team’s culture of collaboration’ as ‘the quality of your individual work and your own collective fulfilment depends on it.’ This is fundamental to our business ideology. I would urge as many CEOs and Board Members as possible to include culture as a strategy as a core business metric, as opposed to something that is solely a function of HR.

Companies that recognise and invest in culture as a strategy are future proofing their business. It is imperative therefore to clarify your broader organisational purpose, as the study from Dropbox and The School of Life suggests ‘when organisations fail to adequately define or communicate to employees the deeper purpose behind their work, they run the risk of spawning a workforce of disengaged loafers.’

We help our clients close the gap, from where they are and where they want to be, and perhaps most importantly, we put people first beyond anything else. Culture is not something you can just hope will turn out well, but requires careful design, nurturing  and strategizing, it should be measurable across the organisation. In fact it is the ability to design the culture that you want that supports agility and systemic value for the company. Our Culture & Innovation Index does exactly that surveying the attitudes and behaviours in the organisation. Culture byDesign allows people to take the path less trodden, to get them future-proofed and become the next, better version of themselves.

As the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle stipulated, it is hard to be virtuous unless the institutions we engage with are also virtuous. As the study from Dropbox and The School of Life shows, ‘organisations must also contribute to the collaborative success of their teams by creating cultures and practices that make it easier for individuals to practise the collaborative virtues needed.’ 2 While technology has been sold as the saviour of collaboration, it has to be implemented as a tool for collaboration rather than the reason to collaborate. Indeed digital transformation is 10% technology and 90% people and culture. Rather than depending on technology to affect cultural change, we design a culture that can utilise technology, to then affect and then create value for that business. If you don’t design your own future, someone else will design you out of it.

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1Source: Dropbox and The School of Life study (http://bit.ly/2GXdESX)
2Source: Dropbox and The School of Life study (http://bit.ly/2GYfTRO)

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