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Embracing Cultural Adaptability

Cultivating an impactful company culture while operating mostly remote is no simple task. While a shift to digital platforms has offered a level playing field for employee involvement, most virtual interactions offer only one-sided conversations and little room for creativity.

Thankfully, as humans, we have evolved unique and highly flexible techniques for adapting to novel environments. This was true for an initial pivot to an all-virtual business model and is now relevant for maintaining strong company culture. By embracing cultural adaptability, organizations can tap into innovative strategies to widen coworker interactions and reignite team cohesion.

Here’s how W5 is taking advantage of online opportunities to keep morale high and fuel collaboration:

Theme of the Month

To create an environment for candid conversations, W5’ers recently got together for its first ever Theme of the Month meeting. The team now meets virtually once a month to learn about a topic that inspires professional and personal growth. For September, the theme was MOTIVATION.

To personalize the experience for each employee and push beyond the possible stressors of a book club format, the W5 team is given free rein on their choice of learning. We begin the meeting by sharing stories of how the theme plays out for each of us. Below are five quick techniques we discussed to stay motivated:

  1. Just 5 Minutes is a method to “trick” your brain into thinking you are focusing on a task for just five minutes. More often than not, the five minutes will run out and next thing you know you completed an hour-long living room workout.
  2. The Pomodoro Technique is an effective time management tool for not only getting momentum on a task but also remembering to take breaks to reduce the need for long recovery at the end of the day.
  3. The 5 Second Rule is a simple practice made to build new habits. Have an idea? According to bestselling author Mel Robbins, to shift out of automatic thinking patterns, you have five seconds to take action.
  4. Creating To-Do Lists of never-ending tasks is one thing, but designing a checklist with small, doable steps will help get projects done. 
  5. 2-Day Rule is all about showing up and doing the work. Under any circumstance, never skip a habit more than two days in a row.

After sharing a quick recap of resources read, watched, or listened to, key learnings are shared among the group. Here’s a few resources and takeaways on motivation to inspire you and your team to stay on track:

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Updated: Humanistic psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, points out that humans are complex. We have an inner destiny, but we also need to pay the bills. As we work to stay focused on initiatives through current challenges, it is important to nurture needs along the entire pyramid.
  • Discipline Equals Freedom: In this episode of the Tribe of Mentors Podcast, retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer and bestselling author, Jocko Willink, discusses putting up boundaries to create freedom in your life. Looking to be free from health issues caused by poor lifestyle choices? Create discipline to maintain a balanced diet and consistent exercise routine.
  • Dopamine Detox: By way of Silicon Valley, this trend is based on the notion that overstimulation from screen time may lead to a tolerance for dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and happiness. By avoiding stimuli that trigger impulse behaviors, we can take a must-needed rest at baseline. The goal of the “detoxing” is to derive pleasure and feel motivated with less dopamine. (One of Netflix’s top watches, The Social Dilemma, highlights the dangers of this overstimulation as well).
  • Staying Focused Under Pressure: In this TED Talk, Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, emphasizes that life is tough and there are challenges we simply cannot predict. He recommends cultivating neutral thinking or looking at the truth of the situation. By living moment-to-moment without an emotional lens, we can successfully visualize and carry out our goals.  

W5 believes in a culture that embraces curiosity and perspective and adapts to an ever-changing landscape. Share how your team is kindling its culture in these challenging times!

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