Cultivating a culture that supports our mission – By Chris Murchison

June 17, 2011

I have a fancy title: Vice President for Staff Development, Learning and Innovation at HopeLab. In a nutshell, my work is to cultivate a culture that supports our mission and values.

HopeLab dedicates substantial resources to creating culture.  Six years ago, as a young, small organization of less than a dozen employees, HopeLab’s management team made a conscious decision to invest in shaping our internal culture based on the belief that, over time, this investment would pay off.  With our collective professional experience, filled with successes and lessons learned from previous organizations, HopeLab management was prepared to apply our value of courageous experimentation with organization development. And we now approach this work like tending a garden (or making custard from scratch!) with constant care and attention.

One of HopeLab’s early investments was in my position; a high-level role tasked with visioning and building a work environment in which individuals are able to do their best work and are supported in living whole-heartedly, fully engaged and curious. The idea is that a well-designed organizational culture can drive business success.  This focus on culture guides everything we do — from our HR policies to performance management to the set up of our cubicles in the office.

I am a great believer in the power of culture and what can be achieved when this is a core focus of organization design and development.

This is the first of a series of blog posts offering insights into various aspects of our work to cultivate culture at HopeLab — our experiments. This will be a collection of stories, anecdotes, thoughts, and reflections, from me and from others inside and outside of our team at HopeLab. We invite you to make this a conversation and respond to what interests you!