Instead of Trying to Herd Cats, Put Out a Plate of Milk

The beating heart of business is people. No people, no business. Therefore in order to understand what drives business, you’ve got to understand what makes people tick. One age-old truth stands out in particular: we human beings are hardwired with the need to believe in something, and the need to belong.

From religion to sports to politics, the evidence is all right there before us. We are social animals who can’t help but form communities and organizations. Nevertheless, not all kinds of organizations are similar or even desirable.

According to the seminal works of Jim Collins co-author of Good to Great, the most successful companies are visionary organizations guided by a “core ideology.” Here’s an important caveat, however. Good “core ideology” is not coercively enforced. It is bought into by the participants.

In other words, as we’re fond of saying at Living Blueprint, to create a great culture, instead of trying to herd cats, put out a plate of milk. Every company that wants to be a Monster in its industry has to give its people something real to believe in, and to belong to.

When founders and CEOs come to us, we often uncover some gaps that need to be closed. Far from being a rare problem, every organization’s founders and leaders experience challenges in rallying the troops. Under any regular circumstances, this can be tricky enough as it is, but during periods of crisis, high-growth or scaling, it becomes even more of a crucial priority to honor decisively, so you can ensure your growth stays true to your voice and values.

Otherwise, growth for growth’s sake won’t sustain you.

So go ahead, express what you stand for and in effect put out that plate of nutritious milk.

So many teams could use more.

Editor’s note: This is a post from Amir Ahmad Nasr of Living Blueprint on culture and leadership.