Expert Workshops

Our culture workshop series focuses on culture, in part because businesses with unhealthy cultures will always struggle to achieve anything, including the adoption of the best social, environmental and ethical practices.

Why We Start with Culture

The culture of an organisation can be described as the dynamics between all the people in it, and the sum of their interactions, perceptions, beliefs and values.

Put more simply, it’s what it feels like to be somewhere. Culture is not something you can always put your finger on. Another way to think about it is as “the way we do things around here”.

It presents itself in how people treat each other and how they speak to one another in the workplace. Organisational culture is curious, complex and in many ways subtle, even ambiguous.

But it is also the single most important attribute of any business or organisation and the most critical determinant of morale, cohesiveness, effectiveness and future success.

A business neglects culture at its peril.

Those who are aware that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ treat it with due care and attention, and invest in it on an ongoing basis. Where culture is neglected, employees will be neither happy, engaged nor empowered. And where this is the case, any kind of progress is an uphill battle at best.

Meet Our Culture Expert

Culture expert, Alex Barker, from Be More Pirate, has devised a unique series of four workshops for Responsible 100 businesses.

This tailored and hands-on series will equip those with responsibility for shaping the culture within their workplaces with the practical knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed.

Who the Course Is for & What We Will Cover

Join our unique culture course if you are: 

  • A BUSINESS OWNER or director
  • A MANAGER  who works closely with any operational or ethics functions
  • AN EMPLOYEE  with any responsibility for HR, culture, operations ethics, strategy
  • ANY OTHER EMPLOYEE!  Because culture is for, about and lived by everyone in the organisation, we support every business in including as many employees as possible into the culture work we’ll undertake together.

Over the following four modules we’ll explore different aspects of culture, covering how-tos, dos and don’ts, and possible catalysts for – and blockers of – change and improvement:

  • Understanding and defining culture
  • Embracing experimentation & failure
  • Communicating culture
  • Creating a code, manifesto or credo (that actually works)

How Will the Course Work

We’ll create a 15-20 minute video each month to introduce the aspect of culture that we’ll be working on. Participants will be tasked with simple assignments and experiments to undertake in the course of the first 3 weeks of the month.

At the end of each month, we’ll run a 90 minute online interactive sessions with a number of other comparable businesses. During these live sessions, we’ll discuss what we learned in the course of the month, what worked, what didn’t, and why this may have been the case.

We’ll support and learn from one another, we’ll act as critical friends to others and be ‘critical friended’ in return.

Throughout, you’ll also receive support and encouragement from Responsible 100. We’ll provide all our culture resources, including our benchmarks, know how, and links to supplementary material to enable you to discover more about any aspect of culture in more depth. You’ll be able to work through all such supplementary materials at a time and pace to suit you.

Course Benefits

  • Build an innovative, democratic, collaborative business culture that can withstand uncertainty
  • Go beyond job descriptions and unlock the true potential of your people
  • Gain actionable insights that can be applied to the day to day running of your business
  • Create a bespoke roadmap that will allow your business to grow without sacrificing employee wellbeing, ethics or integrity
  • Receive useful tools and resources on how to be a responsible business
  • Join a dynamic peer support network that navigates future challenges together
  • Create live case studies reflecting your culture and your journey, to share with your stakeholders

What Can We Learn from Pirates

How was it that on 18th century ships, a group of largely illiterate sword-carrying strangers managed to create the kind of workplace culture that we are still striving for today? Real diversity and equality? A fair and equitable reward system? Agency, accountability, transparency and trust?

When we think of pirates we tend to imagine bloodthirsty, drunken villains, but the truth is that they were collaborative, creative and highly organised. Pirates have a lot to teach us about culture.

Our culture expert, Alex Barker, runs Be More Pirate. It is a book turned social movement and consultancy that supports individuals and organisations to apply pirates principles to achieve their goals and have a positive impact on people and planet.

Over the past three years she has worked with hundreds of people and dozens of teams across the public and private sector, helping to improve their culture. Alex has a deep understanding of what underpins a strong organisational culture and many of these ideas are captured in her book How to Be More Pirate, which is a sequel to the original, capturing the learning from their global pirate network.

Alex’s approach to culture change is frank and realistic: pirates have no time for dithering or dishonesty, so there will be no fancy frameworks, high level abstract theories or sweeping things under the rug. Instead she works on some of the common but most critical indicators that underpin challenges around team culture: trust, courage, communication and purpose.

Alex has run large scale team workshops for companies such as innocent drinks, Oracle, Salesforce as well as various teams across the NHS. For the past year she has worked in depth with housing association ForHousing, supporting them to work more effectively with their communities and co-produce local initiatives with tenants.

Alex’s strengths are never coming from a business as usual perspective and pushing people past the belief that change is not possible. Pirates exist at the edges of the map in the future terrain that is both exciting and daunting, so the goal is always to confront some of the uncomfortable things that hold everyone back in order to uncover the opportunities for long lasting results.

Click for Alex’s website, the Be More Pirate website, and Alex’s LinkedIn profile.

Learn more about our other workshops available.