Organisational culture is a funny thing! People say it’s something intangible and you can't really pin it down – but at the same time there have been literally thousands of books and articles written about it.
At Curo we’ve had a pretty good go at defining what we think it means for us in our ‘culture web’ (the fact that it neatly fitted into a Dylon dye visual was a bonus – although anyone under 35 will probably need to look that up on a historic designs site!).
But four years ago when we launched our new brand we set out a framework to guide "the way we do things around here" and today I see constant reminders of what has become part of our DNA.
We identified things that were important to us: what you see when you come to Curo; what you hear; how we get things done. These are all part of our personality; a modern dynamic business with a clear priority to deliver outstanding customer service.
I love the way so many phrases and concepts have become common parlance and practice amongst colleagues… "where are you on the spiral?"... "that was playing green"... "what's the customer NPS this month?"... "meet me in Cupcake!" [one of the tasty sounding rooms in our meeting suite/sweet]... "help yourself to a latte"... I could go on.
I’m often reminded by new colleagues that lots of things we take for granted here are very different in other companies, and do define us as a group of people with shared values, customs and idiosyncrasies.
I’m thinking about this now as we’re about to start updating our culture web and our Big Plan (that’s our strategic plan) – it’s a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come and on the things we still want to do and be. A values-driven business that helps people to succeed in life still remains at our core, but the solutions and innovations we can devise and create through our daily contributions remain to be imagined.
So just four years ago... there was no ‘Curo’ brand; no silver vans; no Hub, no Lounge, Meadow or Lab – important spaces for our customers and colleagues to use to meet, learn and be inspired; the Orb, our intranet, hadn’t been invented; Limelights and Spotlights – our two award schemes – were a distant dream.
Energize – our business-wide customer service programme – was waiting to be created; we hadn't heard of NPS; no company-wide briefings or face-to-face communications with the Executive Team.
QL, our combined CRM and finance system was just being born; our repairs colleagues were not allowed to wear shorts (health and safety guv!); staff were not allowed to use the internet at their desks; there was no Inspirational Leadership Programme; we relied on others to build all our homes and ground-breaking; and award-winning services like Step Down from Hospital and ILS didn't exist!
While not all of these things are culture per se, they are building blocks of what make us Curo.
What will I be writing in another four years’ time I wonder?