Three Ways to Transform Culture from the Inside Out

On Wednesday, January 27th, we hosted “Culture from the Inside Out,” our first virtual event of 2021. Attendees from over seven different states, representing over 20 different organizations, gathered to focus on a vital component of organizational culture that is often overlooked - ourselves.

Attendees represented forward thinking organizations from across seven different states.

Our speakers, Karla Angel and Ted Gurman, helped us understand that who we are as humans, and how we show up everyday, is all about starting from within. If we can expand our self awareness, harness our individuality, and create sustainable habits, we have the rare opportunity to drive cultural transformation in a way that’s authentic to ourselves. Karla and Ted will be the instructors of two newly launched virtual CultureCon Courses, “Intentional Leadership” and “Behavior Design Mastery for Life and Work,” respectively.

Through reflections with our Culture Geek community, here are our top three takeaways:

1. Get clarity on your leadership values

In Karla Angel’s presentation, “Growing Your Leadership Awareness: Focus On Culture,” she took our attendees through an engaging, introspective exercise that helped us identify the overlap between our personal values and the values that we want to promote within our organizations. Rarely are they the exact same, but when we can tap into the shared values, we create a unique opportunity to use our intrinsic motivators and strengths to embody the behaviors that mean something to us, and our organizations. This creates natural and authentic ways for us to ‘show up’ and live our values, both in benefit to ourselves and our organizations.

2. Know when you’re not showing up

Even after we identify the overlap between our personal values and our company values, it doesn’t guarantee we will always come to work with behaviors that reflect those values. We will have bad days. We will get “stuck.” That’s perfectly normal. What’s important, however, is having the self-awareness to know when we’re not living up to our values. In these moments, we are accountable to ourselves to create the right experiences, or habits (wait for it), that help bring our values to life.

3. Create sustainable habits

In Ted Gurman’s presentation, “Go Small Or Go Home: Harnessing the Game-Changing Power of Tiny,” he demonstrated that lasting behavioral changes require tiny habit formations. Using Dr. BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits Method, we learned that how we show up at work is heavily influenced through our daily routines, both positive and negative. When aligned to our values, positive routines create regular opportunities for us to find restorative energy. Easier said than done, right? Wrong! Believe it or not, it can actually be easy. Through the Tiny Habits Method, we’re taught to start small and to create habits around well established, existing routines. For example, if one of your values is ‘Gratitude,’ a tiny habit could look like this:


“After I wake up in the morning, and my feet first hit the ground, I will say out loud, ‘This is going to be a great day.’”

Or

“After I finish my daily stand-up meeting, I will send an email thanking one team member for their contributions.”


Over time, this habit becomes embedded into your everyday life. Now, you show up to work with more positive energy because you’re intentionally creating opportunities to live in a way that matches your behaviors with your values.

As individuals, when we can tap into our shared values, increase our self-awareness, and create [tiny] habits towards lasting positive behaviors, we have the agency to inspire change around organizational culture.

If you want to take these learnings to the next level, don’t miss Ted and Karla’s upcoming Courses. Their respective six week virtual learning experiences “go deep” into the topics of Intentional Leadership and Behavior Design Mastery for Life and Work. Using a small cohort model, participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end.

Make Connections, Grow Perspective, Change Culture