Culture … a strong foundation, lots of sprinkles and a few nuts

As CBE has grown our Organizational Development (OD) department has focused on how to make sure the culture we have built in our corporate office transcends time and space.  It’s not that we want all of our remote sites to be clones or mini-mes, not at all. But the foundation of our business, what is at the root, is what we want to foster. Because without that root, the organization that blooms from it will look completely different and what we do at CBE hinges on a culture that has been carefully developed to foster workplace satisfaction and performance for our partners.

A colleague of mine likened culture to vanilla ice cream.  Like the ingredients that make up ice cream, CBE has some specific ingredients that must be added to ensure a successful outcome.

Ice cream requires cream, sugar, milk and vanilla (and some cold temps!) to set up. CBE requires Core Values, The 7 Habits of Effective People, a focus on ethics, strategic goals and corporate imperatives to be consistently successful.

While we work to be sure that each site has these imperatives at its foundation, they also have their own toppings. We’re in six cities and two countries, there is bound to be some differentiation across offices! Sometimes even departments within the same building have different toppings.

So, whether a department or location has chocolate syrup, nuts, sprinkles, bananas, strawberries or even popcorn, it doesn’t matter.  In fact, we embrace the unique, diverse and creative tendencies between offices — just as long as the cornerstones of CBE’s foundation go unchanged.

As we’ve grown we’ve struggled with this a bit.  It’s hard to not want to replicate exactly what we know works and what has been good for us.  But we are learning that communication, transparency, release, empowerment and authenticity are the keys to being wildly successful, so we encourage our other CBE locations to add their own toppings and unleash their best into this world.

 

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