Building family culture—it’s not a phrase I hear often.
In the business world, or the nonprofit world, we hear a lot of talk about “building culture.” Sometimes it means the retreat where you go off into the woods and engage in trust building exercises—like high ropes courses, trust falls, and other such “fun games.”
Over the years, I’ve met some incredible companies who’ve done an amazing job building company culture. Just recently, I facilitated a family legacy workshop for the leaders of Solomon Builders. I was struck by the easy-going exchange and the laughter shared by the group.
Some time ago, I met with a company that went all-in for building company culture. Their values were scrolled on the wall throughout the building. They had team meetings built around the values. They rewarded behaviors consistent with the values. Their company cafeteria was added specifically to build workplace communication.
But what about building family culture?
Somehow, we treat family differently. We treat family as fun, but we typically would never impose the structure on family that we do our business or organization.
Why? I suppose “structure” is a bad word.
We are supposed to treat family as a fun place to be. But when I talk about structure, I simply mean defining our values, our vision, our mission. They are the core of family identity. They become the core of how we live out who we are on a day-by-day basis.
Family culture is the idea of teaching a way of life, a way of living in the world. It represents our stories, our core values, our traditions, and our practices.
Family culture provides meaning and identity to our daily lives.
So perhaps the better question is why wouldn’t we be as intentional about building family culture as we are with business culture?
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Published November 7, 2022