Is culture in your organisation more by luck than judgement… or a miracle?
If we talk about culture, some of us will immediately think about – culture change, culture capital, culture transformation – let’s be disruptive for a moment, how about Culture Club?
But seriously, what does culture mean to you and your organisation? Here we explore the double sided coin – internal v external – and how to bring both halves together. On one side of this coin we have the internal factors, ie. the importance of culture in shaping your vision, values and ethos. Whilst externally, we focus on branding and communications. Whichever way you flip the coin, these sides are inter-related and one and the same. So how do we get this coin shiny and gleaming, and fit for purpose?
Let’s start by looking to the commercial world and posing the questions – what in fact is culture and how important is it? Deloitte has recently reported that 94% of employees believe strong company culture is key to business success. Broadly speaking, an organisation’s culture impacts on performance and employee wellbeing and can transform the company into a team. The benefits of a positive culture are multitudinous, including attracting new talent, keeping your best employees, employees as advocates, and a motivated, engaged and satisfied workforce.
In terms of what makes a good school culture, picture a 3D tapestry with interwoven elements that impact on each other. There’s shared values, fundamental beliefs, behaviours, expectations and tangible evidence underpinning everything. A good culture usually comes from messages that promotes characteristics such as good communication, diversity, recognition, integrity, hard work, collaboration and strong purpose.
Bringing the conversation back to the world of education, if we consider measuring successful organisations by culture, then looking at the student experience at UK universities may be an interesting exercise. In the Sunday Times University League Table 2021, universities are ranked by student experience and the proportion of positive responses from the National Student Survey relating to course organisation; learning resources and community; student voice and overall satisfaction with courses. The top 3: St Andrews scoring 84.2%; Loughborough - 80.6% and Imperial College London - 79.3%.
From a marketing perspective, this is where the double sided coin comes into play. Internally, we suggest revisiting your vision, values and ethos. What are the behaviours around your values? And more importantly, define your school’s big idea – what is it that you want your wide ranging stakeholders to ‘feel’ when they come in to contact with your school.
From here the school’s image will metaphorically and literally be shaped and will surface as your public profile – the external factors. The school will then be able to create a portfolio of messages, visuals and creatives that captures the school’s culture and pupil/staff experience. This translates into the school’s brand which is inextricably linked to reputation – a school’s most precious and valuable asset.
So, if you are looking for more than “It’s a miracle” (yes, it’s in Billboard’s top 10 Culture Club songs!), learn more about how to bring your school’s culture to life through marketing and your brand.
Our top 5 ‘free’ offering include:
- Signing up to one of our marketing workshops – 25 masterclasses on offer
- Downloading our White Papers: Inside the world of school branding (published Jan 2021) and Prospecting for Gold: successful recruitment and retention of staff and pupils in the education sector (published November 2021)
- 2021/22 diary with partner organisation case studies
- A printed journal featuring a year in the life of an education marketer
- A complimentary 20 minute one-to-one mentoring session for your school
To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements or call 020 8892 2242.