Your Culture Should Be Like a Donkey

Here’s a thought: Your company culture should be more like a donkey than a unicorn.

Not our idea. Laurie Bennett said that. His entire presentation to a DisruptHR group in Vancouver, BC was on the virtues of having a culture that, like a donkey, is “real, hardworking and normal.” A unicorn may be magical, magnificent and “unarguably magnificent,” he agreed, but it’s also mythical and when it comes to a corporate culture, “you want your culture  to be a donkey.”

Over the next five minutes — all DisruptHR talks are sharply time-limited — Bennett makes a compelling case for a donkey culture, dispelling myths his company, Within People, found too many business leaders believe.

It’s a myth, he argues, that “If we somehow try to capture out culture, it will somehow lose its magic.” The belief comes from the fear that if a culture is written down, others will try to copy it, and, perhaps even more worrisome is that “we must show up to it.” In other words, once you articulate the values and purpose, you must live them and be measured by them.

He mentions other myths, such as the one that a culture is having a fun workplace and the one that culture is about being different.

Watch as Bennett walks us through these myths and shows us how much better it is for a culture to emulate a donkey.

Article Continues Below

In partnership with DisruptHR, TLNT presents some of the best Disrupt presentations from events across North America and now the world. Disrupt talks are modeled on the TEDx concept: Short, to the point talks on all things HR — talent, culture and technology.

 

DISRUPT is an information exchange designed to energize, inform and empower people in the HR field.

Founded by Disrupt's CEO Jennifer McClure, events are organized by volunteer teams working with Disrupt staff who assist in the planning. Events have a maximum of 14 speakers, who get 5 minutes and no more than 20 slides for their presentation.

Interested in organizing a DisruptHR event in your city? Here's how to get started.

Topics