I’d like my organizational leadership class to watch the entire season of Ted Lasso as a case study of how to create a culture. (If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, the Apple TV+ show is about an American football coach hired to coach a British soccer team. Instead of failing as the new divorcée owner hoped he would in order to spite her ex, Lasso brings effusive optimism, pure transparency, and genuine concern that not only inspires everyone but makes for very entertaining television.)
One of Lasso’s earliest moves is to install a suggestion box to allow the players to leave anonymous comments. (In keeping with yesterday’s theme of achieving gritty outcomes, the box consisted of a shoebox decorated by the equipment manager’s young niece.) Through this process, he learns that the shower pressure in the locker room is weak. A few days later, the players are surprised when the enhanced pressure almost knocks them to the ground.
The shower was a tangible way for Lasso to show the players that they mattered. It was the start of a host of small changes that added up through the season to transform how the team interacted with each other in the locker room — which translated to how they performed on the pitch (field). There is no silver bullet to culture change, rather it happens one showerhead at a time.
Building a strong culture happens when leaders listen. Let Ted Lasso show you what it looks like in action.