Workplace cultures may be classified as fearful or fearless. Which one is yours? Before you respond, let me clarify the distinctions between the two.
One of the most common emotions at work is fear. According to a Gallup poll, just three out of ten workers say their views are valued at work. Simply said, if no one cares, why would individuals speak out or contribute? That’s the issue with scared cultures.
Importance of Fearless Culture, Psychological safety is essential for individuals to feel comfortable asking questions, voicing concerns, and sharing ideas without fear of retribution. Building a courageous culture, on the other hand, requires more. Other features, such as rules, rituals, or decision-making, might encourage individuals to behave out of fear rather than bravery.
In this piece, I’ll explain what distinguishes brave corporate cultures from frightened ones, why you should care, and how to create a courageous culture.
The Impact of Fear on company culture
When I ask individuals what is limiting them or their teams from accomplishing the finest work of their life, there is a recurrent theme: fear.
People are terrified of making errors, being vulnerable at work, being evaluated by others, being penalized for experimenting with new methods of working, or of rigorous systems such as performance evaluations. The list is endless.
Fear obstructs and may immobilize individuals. Rather than giving their all, they adjust to fit in. Yet, fearlessness does not imply the absence of dread; we need this crucial feeling to warn us of possible hazards. Actually, fear is normal (and healthy) when we are going to take risks or create something for the first time.
Fearlessness is defined as behaving despite our concerns rather than not being scared. Brave leaders explore and tackle their anxieties; they demonstrate courage in the face of adversity.
Barking Up the Wrong Tree author Eric Barker discusses how US Navy SEALs use the ability of “cognitive reappraisal” to regulate their emotional reaction to external stimuli – they tell themselves a new narrative about what’s going on.
Fear is a warning indicator that something bad is going to happen. “Fear is no illusion,” stated former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb. Fear exists. Convince yourself that it isn’t, and you’ll die.” Fear is a mental struggle, and by addressing it, you may use it to your advantage. “This is fear,” Webb used to think before combat, “and I’m going to utilize it.”
Why does this matter in terms of the importance of fearless culture in the workplace?
Fearful societies, as opposed to fearless civilizations, bring out the worst in individuals.
Fear and silence are inextricably linked. People participate less when they are terrified. As seen in the figure below, this produces a vicious cycle in which individuals stifle their opinions, resulting in groupthink, disengagement, and even unethical action.
What is the importance of fearless culture in the workplace?
People in a brave company lead with courage; they are encouraged to do the right thing above what is easy. The Importance of Fearless Culture not only allows individuals to be themselves but also encourages brave talks.
Above all, a brave Importance of Fearless Culture encourages involvement and cooperation. It unleashes a company’s or team’s latent potential.
Positive outcomes are preceded by a courageous culture:
- Businesses with a strong culture outperform their competition by 30%-200%. (McKinsey)
- Companies that follow their mission are 30% more inventive (Deloitte)
- Fearlessness and purpose enhance business capacity to change by 84% and consumer loyalty by 80%. (EY)
The importance of Fearless Culture is defined by three fundamental characteristics;
“We share a future,” says the alignment.
“We are courageous together,” they say.
“We move smarter and quicker,” says Agility.
1. Alignment: “We have a common future.”
Courageous organizations not only have a mission; they live it, even if it comes at a cost.
Everyone believed CVS’s CEO was insane when he originally declared that the company would quit selling tobacco goods. Why get rid of a $2 billion income stream? The conclusion was simple for Larry Merlo: selling cigarettes made no sense for a corporation whose mission statement is “assisting individuals on their road to better health.”
The choice was not only brave but also prudent in the long term. CVS helped individuals to quit smoking by living according to their mission: (38% of its consumers became more inclined to stop purchasing cigarettes entirely). Additionally, consumers thanked the business by spending more money in the shop, thereby compensating for the possible income loss.
People in courageous cultures are united because they are clear about the effect they want to make (beyond the organization). The Core represents the main blocks used to construct the common future in the Importance of Fearless Culture Design Canvas: Purpose, Values, Priorities, and Behaviors that are rewarded or penalized.
2. Identification: “We are courageous together:”
Importance of Fearless Culture, People in companies not only feel safe but also act fearlessly. Good interpersonal connections are essential for encouraging daring talks that confront difficulties, strengthen teamwork, and generate new solutions.
Originality is precious, and few institutions understand this as well as Pixar. The organization adopts extreme honesty to convert “ugly babies” into movie office hits. During a brain trust, the team in charge of making a new film shows their work in progress with their colleagues in order to gather feedback. To be courteous, no one holds back on such occasions.
According to Ed Catmull, most movies are unattractive. Pixar has established an Importance of Fearless Culture of innovation and cooperation via brave talks that are designed to assist the work to flourish rather than to criticize individuals.
Brave cultures provide a strong feeling of belonging, uniting individuals. The Emotional Culture block on the Culture Design Canvas comprises the following blocks: Psychological Safety, Feedback, and Rituals.
3. Swiftness: “We move quicker and wiser.”
Rules and procedures are not an impediment in daring cultures. They recognize that being agile is a mentality transition rather than a process-oriented one. Instead of instructing individuals what to do, fearless organizations treat them like adults; they have fewer, simpler, and more flexible regulations.
The “Never with empty hands” standard at IKEA urges individuals to take action and behave like owners. Employees are urged to take care of anything that is out of place, unorganized, or damaged. It makes no difference what one’s job description, title, or area is; when individuals notice something that has to be fixed, they take action.
The “Simplicity is a virtue” idea defines not just IKEA’s approach to furniture design, but also its operating system. People are paralyzed by complicated regulations – IKEA thinks that excessive planning and control produce additional bureaucracy. “Let simplicity and common sense govern your planning,” the Swedish store advises its staff.
Importance of Fearless Cultures prioritizes mentality over procedure to promote agility. The Functional Culture on the Culture Design Canvas covers the following blocks: Meetings, Decision-Making, and Rules and Norms.
So, is your culture fearful or fearless?