• dragonfish

Organisational Culture: how do your people feel?

Updated: Apr 17, 2019


New Culture and Engagement Consultant, Jo Desmond, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the dragonfish team. Jo, who’s background is primarily in Leadership Development, Culture Change and Corporate Coaching, joined dragonfish at the beginning of May. Here, she shares her first impressions working for a consultancy that’s all about culture and performance.



Ah, yes… first impressions DO matter…

As I sat down around the oval table in the beautiful, light dragonfish boardroom of this Grade II listed building, I felt a sense of belonging. Not in an arrogant, ‘I’ve-got-this-job’ kind of way, because there are not many certainties in an interview situation, but, it was simply this: I felt like I’d come home.

It may sound cheesy to some, perhaps a bit spiritual to others. I just knew - knew I wanted to work here. I knew I wanted to be a part of the feeling: the strong sense of team, unmistakable authenticity, experience and humility (what a refreshing mix!), as well as the passionate energy for the work being done here that I sensed from my interviewers, Niall Cluley and Andree Gowar (MD and Strategy and Research Director at dragonfish).


But…what about the ‘fluffy stuff’?

So, what’s in a feeling? Do feelings matter? Isn’t it just safer to subscribe to the view that feelings are fluffy, immeasurable and therefore don’t matter as much as Operating Incomes and NPS scores?

I have often heard people describe organisational culture as ‘fluffy’, ‘intangible’ and ‘not measurable’, where the topic has slowly slipped down the organisational priority list as a result. Perhaps it’s because of my work with leaders, managers and teams over the years, understanding how they feel, how it impacts their behaviour, how having a sense of fulfilment affects performance, that I feel confident that feelings DO matter.


So, where does dragonfish fit it?

Since joining dragonfish, a little over 3 weeks ago – I’ve begun a journey of deeper understanding of what my experience and yes, intuition, has already shown me. Do I love the fact that we use our own research to partner with our clients to understand the impact of culture on business performance? How could I not? It’s the lens through which we view feelings, motivation and performance that helps us measure the impact of these things on an individual, on teams, on businesses and on the customer.

Am I passionate about the fact the we create alignment between vision, purpose and values for meaningful behaviour change? Absolutely! Because it is that very emotion – that connection with the purpose - that keeps people giving of themselves. And if people give of themselves – their teams know it; the business flourishes and the customers feel it.

And, do I fundamentally believe that the customer experience mirrors the employee experience – or, rather, that it should. Without question. That’s right, fair and logical. It’s also emotional.

Which brings me full circle really. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn through the team at dragonfish, work with fabulous clients and be a part of an organisation that effects genuine positive organisational change.


Lasting impressions?

Looking back on my first encounters here at dragonfish and the ensuing few weeks, I know that my feelings about starting work here were not without foundation. The difference is, now I understand why.

It’s the people. The relationships. The expertise. The strong sense of purpose. Yes, all of that, as I said. But it’s even more than that, it’s the values that tie us together. We know what they are, and we commit to living them every day.

That is what I experienced when I sat down for my interview and in the weeks that followed through my personalised induction process. The unmistakable authenticity that comes only from the congruence between vision, purpose and values. This is how it feels. At last, I am home. And I long to help others experience it too.


Do the people in your organisation feel this way? Contact us at dragonfish to find out how we can work with you to design an organisational culture that has a positive, lasting impact on your business performance


If you are interesting in attending any of our future events, products, or have a general enquiry, please contact our Connections Director, tina.hennessey@dragonfishuk.com.