Key to a Healthy Culture

We all want to work in a culture that’s energizing, healthy and thriving. We know how successful value based businesses can be, take Zappos and Wholefoods Markets as examples.

In addition to operating by a set of vibrant values – a key to a healthy corporate culture is vulnerability.
Operating based on conscientious values creates vulnerability – it also requires courage.

There is never one without the other. We want innovation and creativity however vulnerability, for most of us, is something we would rather avoid.

There are places in our lives, perhaps at home, where we do not have as much trouble being vulnerable, in other settings, like in business, that’s a different matter.

For many of us we armor up before heading off to work, limiting our vulnerability but at the same time our courage, innovation and creativity are also limited – we lock it all up being careful how we show up.

The irony of vulnerability is that while we may not love the feeling of being exposed – it is the foundation of courage.

We love courage, we watch movies that celebrate the hero, we share posts on social media that talk about someone’s perseverance despite tough circumstances. We love a fighter, someone that has overcome difficult situations, and there’s never been a non vulnerable hero. Think about it…

What does vulnerability look like at work?

Vulnerability could be:
•Asking for help from a co-worker when you feel like you should be able to handle it.
•Letting someone know that you’re overwhelmed with the workload.
•Asking to have something (re)explained to you when you feel like you should already know it but don’t.
•Saying “I am Sorry”.
•Messing up and taking responsibility.
•Holding yourself and others accountable.
•Having those difficult conversations.
•Learning new tools.

Vulnerability is the courage to run with a new idea and to explore possible new ways to tackle a current challenge -developing a new process or product, developing your leadership skills, and being willing to fail as well as be successful.

Vulnerability feels scary and it can be. It’s also the birthplace of connection, innovation, accountability and creativity.

If you want yourself, your teams and your organization to thrive, create a culture that is open to being vulnerable. That kind of courage will enable you to stand out amongst your competition and keep you forging ahead in an ever evolving marketplace.

Brené Brown says “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you can’t have both”

When you chose to live and work more vulnerably, you’re also choosing to be more courageous. And, as we step into being vulnerable it is the portal for others to do the same…

To being courageous,
Corinne McElroy