30. Design Celebrations and Symbols

Overview: This task identifies desired behavioral norms. It develops rituals, symbols, and ceremonies to support and maintain the new culture in which businesses find they need to operate. Most change requires some cultural modification to support it.

Considerations: Corporate culture is recognized by its symbols, celebrations, and ceremonies. Deliberate use of business unit rituals, symbols, and group celebrations and ceremonies will reinforce a particular set of attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs. Common examples include celebrating birthdays, introducing new employees to everyone, arranging Friday afternoon get-togethers, holding company picnics, and sending letters of congratulation. A more substantial example may include the use of bonuses and the manner bonuses are administered. Who has led a recent motivating event? Why might some celebrations be frowned upon? Is there an opportunity to introduce a new kind of celebration into the organization to emphasize a new change?


  • State to the Farmers and Scientists “This task identifies cost-appropriate ways for each team to celebrate their success, so that standards and guidelines can be established and communicated up-front rather than after-the-fact.”
  • Identify needs of employees, e.g. behavioral norms. Look at existing rituals, symbols, and ceremonies and use all that apply.
  • Design new rituals, symbols, and ceremonies to aid in meeting employee needs and business objectives.
  • Obtain opinions and feedback from employees.
  • Obtain management approval for cultural change actions.

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