A company culture is akin to a person’s personality. It embraces values and practices that are shared by all employees. Culture is never accidental; it is carefully planned, built and nurtured. A community-based culture is where employees don’t just see their daily activities as a job; rather, it is in tune with their belief and even their own personal lifestyle.
One of the strongest community cultures I have recently encountered recently is Lulelemon, a Canada-based international yoga-inspired clothing company that went public in 2007.
The company’s manifesto includes a long list of statements that range from their product philosophy (”lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.“) to what seems like personal goals (”Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.“) and tongue-in-cheek green living advice (”Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.”).
And the “community” is not limited to those who are on the payroll. The ambassador program is extended to individuals in their store communities who “embody the lululemon lifestyle and live our culture”.You will find free yoga lessons at their stores over the weekends, advice on finding suitable yoga classes in your neighbourhood, and more.
So, guess what kind of employees they would attract? And what kind of dialogues would happen between these employees and Lululemon’s customers?