Say Cheese?

Three steps to a great team culture!

I?think teams are like cheese?both require a solid and stable culture to excel and be great! Let me point out that I do love a great cheese! So much, in fact, that my wedding cake was made of cheese wheels (pictured)!

So, what does culture actually do? Well from a cheese making perspective it?s the culture that turns the milk into cheese, without the culture, it would just be a watery mess. Once the milk has turned to curd (with the help of rennet) the culture continues its work to develop the flavours and complexity of the cheese. The better the culture, the better the cheese!

I think teams are the same – a great team will have a great culture working in the background. I believe a great team culture can be achieved in three steps:

STEP 1: SAY – Talk to your people?about work life, about home life, about their goals. Get to know and understand what motivates them. What makes them get out of bed each morning and come to work for you? Share a little about yourself too, what are your interests outside of work? What challenges have you faced in your career so far?

As the team develops allow your conversations to go deeper, talk to your people about what might be holding them back. Challenge them and let them challenge you in return. Keep talking and openly discussing concerns in order to continue to move forward.

Having an open and ongoing dialogue within your team will help develop trust and confidence that you care about them as people, not just resources.

STEP 2: DO – As a leader, it?s easy to tell your team what they want to hear but words alone won?t improve your culture! ?Do? is about following through with action and making sure that what you?re doing aligns with what you?re saying. Because when it doesn?t you will erode culture and struggle to gain genuine buy-in from your staff. I expand on this in my Walking the Talk blog.

STEP 3: BE ? While ?Say? and ?Do? can be achieved, by developing new habits, ?Be? is about who you are and who your team is. ?Be? happens naturally when ?Say? and ?Do? are aligned and your team believes in their purpose and the contribution they?re capable of making! The team and organisation?s values will influence who the team become along with the results they produce over a longer period. Make sure that what you?re saying and doing align with these values.

Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves summarise culture by saying ?people won?t perform until the organisation feels like a common unit that everyone has a vested interest in, and often it?s the little things that help to make this happen?.

So, respect the impact your culture has on the greatness of your team and celebrate your successes along with your failures! Perhaps with some cheese and a glass of wine (or Grapetiser for those who don?t drink)!


Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating dynamic team environments through adaptable leadership. She is a leadership coach, trainer, facilitator, mentor and speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.?If you?d like to know more about how she can work with you, and your team, drop her an email


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