4 Celebration Blunders to Avoid At All Cost

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The balloons are set.

The streamers and decorations are ready to go.

You and your staff are about to par-tay!

And if you’re not careful, you could actually be about to put a ding in your organization’s culture.

Because even a party needs to be rooted in a plan.

The truth is that celebrations can be an integral part of your culture-building plan. Celebrations of organizational wins can underscore team values, can affirm strong performance and can simply inject a tone of pure fun.

But beware. There are at least 4 potential pitfalls of an ill-conceived celebration that can do more organizational harm than good.

1.   The “celebrating too soon blunder”

Reserve your celebration for big deals; for significant wins. If you make everything a big deal, then nothing’s a big deal.

If you start having a parade each time someone hits a single, then a grand slam won’t seem quite as noteworthy

2.   The “wrong-presenter fiasco”

It really matters who hands out the “way to go” accolades.

Sometimes the point leader prefers to maintain a low profile, or simply wants to allow a second-in-command a moment in the limelight.

But if an accomplishment being recognized is a big deal, it needs to be acknowledged by a big leader.

3.   The “celebration-delayed faux-pas”

Celebrating organizational wins can be a lot of work. Some organizations save on the hassle by having just one big celebration per year; kind of a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.

But a celebration delayed saps the accomplishment of any sense of significance.

If you’re going to acknowledge a win, do it as soon as is practically possible.

4.   The “disconnected celebration blooper”

If you want to be strategic about shaping your culture, connect your celebrations with your values.

For example, if you value organizational integrity, celebrate the fact that your team completed a project when they committed to; on time and on budget.

Don’t squander a celebration on a non-value based accomplishment.

The culture of your church or organization isn’t a chance occurrence. It is a direct result of the values you do, or do not, celebrate.

So choose the culture you want and celebrate the wins that will reinforce those cultural values.

But celebrate wisely.

Because even a party needs to be rooted in a plan.

How do you leverage celebrations to build your culture?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Willow Creek Association. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave & Willow and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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