Within the walls of business centers and coworking spaces, culture can take on a significant role, and there are many who believe that it can make or break an environment. Coworking space operators seem to be particularly good at hiring team members who complement their clientele. But how important is it?
Awhile back I read an article by Aimee Groth about business place culture that seems especially pertinent in our highly competitive industry. She references a book called Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King and Hales Fischer-Wright, which points out how critical building a strong culture is and outlines the five stages of leadership and culture that work together to create an ideal environment for success. This formula can be followed as business center and coworking space operators build their teams.
One of the biggest problems occurs when businesses hire for skills rather than cultural “fit”, which can quickly cause the erosion of a team atmosphere, replaced by employees that may have talent but never really mesh with others. If they don’t understand and buy into the business center’s own brand and strategy, they can end up causing more issues than solving them. We’ve all experienced employees that are smart and skilled but become gears that never quite click with the rest of the machine.
Tribal Leadership outlines the positive effects of a positive culture with the right hires, including:
- Fear and stress go down as the “interpersonal friction” of working together decreases
- People seek employment in the company and stay, taking the company a long way toward winning the war for talent
- Organizational learning becomes effortless, with the tribe actively teaching its members the latest thinking and practices
- People’s overall health statistics improve. Injury rates and sick days go down
- Most exciting … is that people report feeling more alive and having more fun
Interestingly business centers and coworking spaces are very much in sync in terms of understanding the importance of culture and “personality” within their environments. Most of the people I’ve spoken with intuitively understand that you will attract the kinds of businesses that are reflected within your own team. So if the folks who are selling and running your centers and coworking spaces are energized and driven to be successful, chances are you will attract likeminded clients. Those owners and operators I’ve spoken with are quick to point out ideas that are spawned by their team and interactions with clients, ideas that go on to become programs, often including the community.
How does your center stack up in terms of tribal leadership? Are you putting culture before skills when you hire? What is your “tribe” culture?