Business Myths, Legends and Rituals

In my last blog I mentioned the myths and legends of an organisation that I used to work for. It was quite an extraordinary organisation for many reasons; The organisation was founded in the early 1900’s and like most organisations it evolved over time. It acquired businesses and it divested others. Someone asked me why the myths, legends and rituals of that particular organisation were worth talking about.
There were a number of things that I can think of. First of all, I think the Business Myths, Legends and Rituals of any organisation can be fascinating and tell you a lot. They are important because they help build the cultural and behavioural framework norms.
In the case of the business I worked for, it was able to attract, retain and engage the right type of people.
It paid people well, but it was more than that, the commitment of the people that worked there was almost contagious. In addition, the management team had the uncanny knack of knowing which people would fit into the business culture.
This organisation had a set of values and beliefs that were bought into by everyone. It was about people delivering results by using their individual experience and capabilities.
Employees designed and created the products and services and had incredible buy-in. They cared about the results. People at all levels were empowered to make decisions.
This made it tricky for competitors to copy or emulate the business culture, so it was rather unique.
The organisation had its own set of regular rituals like most organisations do, for example; Performance reviews, meetings and planning sessions.

Perfect?

As an organisation it wasn’t perfect and things could get tense and heated at times, but overall it was understood that everyone working together was the foundation of success.
It also had its own set of social rituals – things like drinks after work, the odd lunch together and celebrating people’s birthday. These were the things that brought people together.
For a long time, it had what most organisations covet and pay consultants lots of money to deliver.
The people that worked together then, still stay in contact with each other today. They have a sort of bond built from a shared experience and they helped shape the business myths, legends and rituals.
I am keen to know, what myths, legends and rituals are you creating?
Let me know in the comments section below.