Culture: Lost and found

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? You’re back in elementary school and you misplaced your beloved neon orange windbreaker (I mean those were all the rage back in 2002). You backtrack through all the places you went that day. Asking yourself questions like, did I leave it on the playground during recess? What about the art cubby? Or maybe the lunch table in the cafeteria.  As a last resort, you check lost and found. Every lost and found that I have ever been to has absolutely no organization. Things are a piled mess; it’s a miracle if you find what you lost in the first place. Another thing I’ve noticed about lost and founds is that the majority of items remain unclaimed, whether someone didn’t notice it was gone or gave up looking for it.

You are probably wondering how this could be connected in any way to credit unions and culture. Well, you might find that your culture has become the misplaced “beloved neon orange windbreaker” that has entered into its own lost and found box.  However, your staff doesn’t have the time to go to the “Culture Lost and Found” and reclaim those little things they’ve not yet realized are missing, settling instead for a culture that is less than great. BUT I recommend digging through your culture’s lost and found. You may find there are a lot of important items in there that remain unclaimed. Those things could include, but are not limited to: productive communication, staff meetings, accountability, making time for other staff members, positivity, fun, and outside work activities.

You might ask, how could those things end up in a lost and found box and no one realized they were missing?! I think it’s fairly simple; we all get caught up in our day-to-day lists and projects, but tend to forget the small items and actions that allow growth and embrace change. It’s important to be aware when items and actions go missing in a culture. So, once you have embarked on culture rediscovery, make sure you don’t dump everything out of the box and yell “FOUND IT” to your staff. Things that have been missing in a culture need to be eased back in; otherwise it seems insincere, forced, or people look at you like you have ten heads.

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