Season 1: Finding and keeping great people

Duke Stump Chief Brand Officer at Newlab

Embrace the unknown to achieve the impossible

Why strong cultures create better brands

Great brands come from great company cultures. And great culture comes from caring and bravery. It’s about not being afraid to venture into the unknown. To take risks and not be afraid to fail. When you become more comfortable in this space, it energises a business and its people. It’s an exciting adventure to go on!

For over 30 years I’ve worked with some of the bravest companies on the planet. I’ve shaped brands with soul and meaning in diverse environments and different markets. Incredible people have been a constant along the way.

Ignite your internal culture

In each of those businesses, the power and identity of their cultures made them strong and made them stand out. Have no doubt, at the heart of every great brand is a buoyant and vibrant internal culture. One that welcomes disruption, diversity and creative tension; that operates not in fear but in freedom. From these cultures, new things happen. 

Freedom breeds high performance

To the people that drive these cultures, freedom and trust are paramount.  

In truth, people want to feel valued, and they want to add value. That means you have to care about your people. To develop a dynamic culture, create clarity of purpose and the conditions for them to produce their best work.

Imagine if work felt like play? Imagine if work was play.

duke stump

Create the conditions for magic to happen

Too often I see progress hindered by the need for predictive outcomes. The need to know what’s going to happen. It’s business by numbers. The metrics become the focus. You play safe, and become myopic. You lose the freedom of agility and stop taking risks. Ultimately your company loses its soul, its sense of wonderment and the desire to find a new way; a better way. 

So, what if you stepped away from the numbers and the graphs? Would it lead to chaos, or might your people feel more empowered? Imagine if they rose to the challenge and delivered their best work. Why? Because you’ve put your trust in them; and in turn, they wanted to prove you made the right decision.

Beauty comes from not knowing

When you have faith in uncertainty, in not knowing, things start to happen. Things you could never have imagined. My advice? Invite the unknown. They’ll be an interesting guest at the party. Sure, they may be a little unpredictable, shall we say, but they’ll make a difference. And gradually your people and your culture will begin to come alive.