For organisations, culture is defined by Merriam-Webster as the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterises an institution or organisation. Culture is something set in any group by the people in it, whether intended or not. For a lot of us, starting a new job or contract, or walking into a new environment means walking into a place where the culture is already defined, both in the Monday-to-Friday workplace and in the charitable.
So, what is Counterculture? Our old friend Merriam-Webster defines counterculture as the values and norms that run counter to those of established society. Counterculture has been a powerful force throughout history and can be a powerful tool today in ways both big and small.
Today, value-for-money and a process-driven vision is at the heart of culture for many businesses and organisations. While these things are in fact important, counterculture must aim to uproot and demonstrate they are not the be-all and end-all. At the end of the day, the work we do ultimately is aimed at the betterment of people’s lives, whether directly or in the periphery, and that the processes and products we make are a part of the greater purpose of serving people.
Contagious counterculture is about spreading values and norms that run in against the flow to what is defined in the place or setting we find ourselves in. We do this through action, and living out the values and from the vision we are given, putting people back as the focus, never hesitant to be a disruption to the status quo.
At GRS, we strive to make our values not just our values, our mission not just our mission. Integrity, Courage, Excellence, Tenacity, Respect, Authenticity, Candour, Contentment. These are the things we want to see in every workplace. When we discuss contagious counterculture, we talk about ‘infecting’ the organisations and settings we are sent to, collaborate with and can make our daily 9 to 5 home in. We positively ‘infect’ (no pun intended) workplaces with our values and our mission; to be a Profit for Purpose, Profit for People, People for Planet, Problem Solving Company.
Never hesitate to be a disruption to the status quo.