Last week, Friday evening at 6pm I was walking down Chapel Street, Melbourne and was distracted by the faint rock n roll coming from across the road in a restaurant called Soda Rock! It was not the familiar tune of ‘Shake a Tail Feather’ that inspired me to cross the road but in-fact, the vision of employees bouncing around the restaurant to a well choreographed dance, one was even on roller-skates.
By the time their two and a half minute dance interlude had completed, twelve customers had walked in and taken a seat.
There are so many talking points I’d like to discuss about this scenario such as;

  • This business knows how to surprise and delight existing customers
  • This business has processes in place to effortlessly attract new customers
  • This business has attracted staff that have the social intelligence to sense and stimulate customers through music and dance
  • This business is prepared to take risks and dares to be different, driving their competitive advantage ( there are many burger eateries on Chapel St)
  • This business knows how to empower their staff and encourages them to have fun

The talking point I feel most compelled to offer up as a key take away is the tribalism I witnessed amongst the staff.
Author of Tribes, Seth Goddin (one of my most favourite books) says: “Tribes are the most effective media channels ever, but they’re not for sale or for rent. Tribes don’t do what you want; they do what they want. Which is why joining and leading a tribe is such a powerful marketing investment.”
Seth’s theory proved to be right. When speaking with the supervisor (who had roller – skates on) I found out that one of their team rituals is to do this dance together on the hour every hour. Tools down, stop what you are doing and go for it. When I asked how they learn the dancing, he responded; “We just follow each other and support each other. When a new staff member joins us, we place them in the centre and they just go for it and copy, we have an absolute ball, and the customers love it too”.
For centuries experts have been referring to attracting people in your business that are ‘want to’ types. Do they truly want to be there and do they truly want to take care of the customers.’
When we motivate a tribe of people to co-create, we attract a workforce of ‘want to’ types not ‘have to’ types. A tribe naturally appoints leaders and often the role of leadership in a tribe will rotate and vary, allowing everyone to step up at some point and take the lead. Tribes are also made up of followers where people are happy to follow when required, knowing they are all contributing  towards the greater purpose.
‘Want to’ types are highly motivated and feel connected to the purpose of the business.
‘Try to’ types feel motivated to do the work but they don’t feel part of the tribe and therefore disconnected.
‘Like to’ types feel inspired to follow their tribe but motivation is lacking and therefore feels fabricated.
‘Have to’ types feel forced to follow process and procedures and often feel manipulated.
To simplify this and strip it right back – tribes often have shared values though connection to purpose and motivation to co – create.
What could be more fun than spending time with people at work that share the same values as you?
Click the link to watch the video
Jaquie Scammell
“Why serve when you can inspire”