Every time I first walk into a new client’s offices I get an instant feeling for the place. The energy. The vibe. The smell of the place.
Same as when I visit new places and cities. I recently visited a small regional city [population 5 million] in India. Went for an afternoon stroll in the main local shopping and business district. And I gotta say that life for the 1.24 billion who live in India is pretty tough. Noisy. Hectic. Busy. All crammed in. Very stressful. And it showed on the faces of the people I passed. No smiles. Negative body language. A slightly tense look in their eyes. And that pretty much summed up the smell of the place for me in downtown regional India.
Then there are places I love. The smell of Byron Bay. Soak up the sun. Cool off in the ocean. Chill and chat. Be yourself. People who smile, have relaxed and open body language, and look you in the eyes.
It’s exactly the same in companies. Some companies have a constrained culture of compliance, control, and contract. These are the employees who don’t smile, have negative body language, and a slightly tense look in their eyes.
It all comes down to the smell of the place. i.e. It has nothing to do with the actual people who work there. It has everything to do with the context in which they are working. Because it’s the context that shapes the way people feel and behave.
And so the task for companies who want to create a workplace filled with thriving employees is to change the context, not the people who work there. Create Byron Bay in your company. Or New York. Or Shanghai. Whatever your preference, and whatever works for your company’s needs. Just don’t create a context that is contaminated with bad memories, negativity and constraints.
Oh, and by the way, if you’re working at the wrong place, and you want to be working in a "New York", contact Aquent and move to a "New York".
About the Author
I'm The Brand Guy, a bloke who uses brand to help companies and people create the world they want to succeed in. I run a Strategy + Design + Communication company with my Designer mate Nick Beckhurst - called Brandcraft - and I do keynote talks and run workshops on Brand, People and Communication at conferences and seminars. I got my brand expertise working in the ad industry. I believe that brand is a management issue, not a marketing concept, and everything can and must be driven by and aligned to your brand strategy; your business strategy, your products and services, your culture, your people, your marketplace positioning, as well as [not just] your communications. The way I do branding that connects with and engages people is based on positive psychology. My approach is to feed the hungry spirit people have for their lives and their work by using their brand to create meaning, purpose, and destiny. I self-published my positive psychology book in 2008, called Wake Up Tiger. It’s a wake up call for people and workers who are dissatisfied with their lives, often even in the face of their ‘success’