Communication essentials: culture

One of my favorite aspects of cultural brand is ‘rituals.’ You know, all those fun things your company does each year that just kind of ‘happen’… but if you skipped them, there would be hell to pay.

We have a lot in our office. Secret Santa (I’m a little out of control with it). Thankful emails. And pumpkin decorating, just to name a few.

It used to be pumpkin carving, but as the contest grew and people got a little more … shall we say, intense … the contest morphed to ‘design,’ as in you don’t need to carve to win.

I was at the first pumpkin contest in 2003. So yeah, we’ve been doing this for almost 20 years. It’s kind of cool because now my kids decorate my pumpkin – and if you thought I hated losing … I have nothing on them.

Some people may be reading this thinking, ‘Pumpkin decorating? Really?’ Really! Hey, if it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for akhia.

Of course, it’s not about the pumpkin contest. Or any ritual actually. It’s about the way those rituals are treated, protected and preserved. Think about any family tradition you have. How are those traditions with your work family any different? And just like they were handed down to you … it’s important to protect them and hand them over to other family members to build that culture.

So go ahead. Have fun. Celebrate Halloween with your family!

2021 pumpkin contest winners:


Mellissa Gallagher: Olaf; Mike Lawrence: The Shining; Sarah Carlson: Ted Lasso; Courtney Bandeen: Campfire & S'mores.