Yes, you can design your culture and this is why you should.

What is it? Culture is a living dynamic ever evolving notion – an energetic phenomenon.  It is influenced by the interaction of human beings, their energy, their mindsets, their life experiences.

Culture spawns behaviours!  We may not see culture but we certainly do experience the behaviours of those who engage with it and enrol in it.

Culture may be invisible and it may be intangible, however, the impact it has on an organisation’s success can be both visible (from the inside and the outside) and absolutely tangible.

What makes up culture?  It is a combination of your purpose, your why, your vision, your non-negotiable values, your brand promise, the way you meet human needs, your blue prints and so much more.  (“It feels like energy to me.”)

When do you design a culture?

  1. Up front! Start-ups are in the enviable position of having a clean slate to work with. They get to decide what behaviours need to play out in their organisation to enable the vision they have for their new business to turn up.  They can decide what environment would best suit the people (team, customers, suppliers, alliances) they want to attract.  They get to decide how they will be do things in their business. Once that is clear, they can design a fresh new culture that will promote that desired behaviour.
  2. If the current culture is no longer conducive to high performance. A culture may need to be re-designed when a mature business re-invents itself in order to be more future ready.  A culture may need to change simply because it no longer serves the organisation, the team or the individuals.  Culture is a constant work-in-progress.

In all cases, work must be done sooner rather than later.  It is easier to reset a misaligned culture that has not yet been embedded throughout the entire organisation.

Culture is caught not taught

The culture that is “loudest”, the most evident, the most visible, is the culture that will prevail.  And here lies the need for and the power of strong aware leadership.  Learn more about this insight at

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What happens when the owner or the leader leaves the building?
  • How is the culture of the enterprise maintained in their absence?
  • Do behaviours change

The answers will give insights into the state and sustainability of culture and reflects the priority placed on culture by leadership.

More on this in Part 2 of this series on Culture by Design.

You can read more about what we do at

If you need help with designing or refining your culture, drop us a line and register your interest at  We look forward to hearing from you.


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