I was lucky enough to enjoy Liverpool FC's victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi final at Wembley with my family! The immediate impact of arriving at Wembley and my subsequent reflection on the day was how powerful it is to belong to a "tribe". So as we drove south on the M6 we made a couple of stops at the motorway services and walked into an array of colour with Liverpool supporters wearing red and City supporters wearing sky blue. The two tribes immediately separated and kept themselves to themselves with lots of songs and banter flying around as they established which tribe they belonged to.
I have visited the same motorway services many times before with everyone mingling, chatting to and helping each other. The football tribe members are still there but without wearing colours or holding flags we have no idea who belongs to what and so are happy to to welcome each other with open arms. Anyway, it is amazing by merely wearing a certain colour how inclusive you become to others. We are all very different people and, as an introvert, I would definitely not be interacting with many but because they were part of "my tribe" I was happy to entertain a conversation, a smile or even a hug with any of them! Being part of the Liverpool family is very special at the moment and helped by such an amazing leader as Jurgen Klopp. He understands the city, its people, its history and has brought us all together to worship a football team that has fought above its weight for a few years now. We have a common purpose and vision and are all fighting for the same outcome.
Companies could learn a lot from this. Creating such a strong purpose and culture and recruiting the right people and followers to align to it is very powerful. Our client portfolio is full of such companies and the difference between them and their competitors who haven't taken the same approach is staggering. Staggering in a bad way! High attrition rates, inconsistent performance, lack of fight in the downtimes and much harder companies to recruit for as high calibre candidates want much more than a job.
There is a lot to learn from creating a strong tribe!
What is a tribal culture? If we think about and look at how tribes in the traditional and historic sense have worked, and from historic I mean evolutionary. At some point in time we have all had ancestors who were part of a tribe and there are many parts to a tribe to make it function, survive and thrive. Often roles within the tribe are dictated by gender, age, skill, temperament, agility, physicality, cognitive ability etc. For example, a tribe might have warriors, gardeners, carpenters, hunters, gatherers, medical men/women, teachers, carers, cooks, builders etc. Some of these roles might be handed down from generation to generation as family skills, others might be highly competitive and sought-after roles, such as warriors, you might even have to complete trials to become a warrior.