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Bring Your Company Culture to Life: Use Lessons from Frosty the Snowman to Build Your Social Capital
by Colleen Kowalski on December 23, 2021
It is hard to go about your day without hearing popular holiday songs on the radio, in the supermarket, or on television. One of the most popular holiday songs, Frosty the Snowman, has been recorded over 150 times! This song has been turned into a few movies, merchandise, and has lived on for generations during the Christmas season.
How has Frosty the Snowman remained a staple of the holiday music scene for decades? And how can your business harness a bit of its staying power to enhance your own social capital? We analyzed the song and picked out a few lessons on how to strengthen your social capital and build value in your business.
Form a Strong Foundation
“Frosty the Snowman
Was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal
Frosty the Snowman
Is a fairytale they say
He was made of snow, but the children know
How he came to life one day”
Frosty the Snowman is famously made of snow, with a corncob pipe, button nose, and eyes made of coal. This structure has remained unchanged since the first version was released in 1950. By maintaining this strong foundation, Frosty is able to come to life for the children.
In a business, the strength of the social capital also begins with strong foundational elements; the organization’s vision and purpose. Your purpose guides every aspect of your business. Christopher Snider writes in Walking to Destiny, “Purpose expresses personal values, inspires and unifies the team, focuses action, and disciplines you to think strategically.”
The Social capital in your business incorporates this purpose, reflects your organization’s vision, and is ever-present in the day-to-day operations of your business. With a strong vision, your company will be more than a “fairytale.”
Build Upon the Foundation
“Oh, Frosty the Snowman
Was alive as he could be
And the children say he could laugh and play
Just the same as you and me”
Frosty is known to laugh and play the same as “you and me.” In the subsequent films that followed the popularity of the original song, Frosty leads the children here and there all around the square. For, even though he is made of snow, he shares the same interests as the kids.
One of the main components of strong social capital in your business is having clearly defined and lived Core Values. These Core Values impact the way a team works together, determine the culture of the organization, and embody the purpose and vision of the company.
Social capital represents your operations, your brand, the way your team works, and daily communications among employees and customers. EPI President, Scott Snider, shared, “For me, I thought we had great social capital, and then the pandemic hit and it was challenged. We had to change. For us, it was actually a pivotal positive change. EPI rewrote our purpose and core values, redefined work/life balance for our people, and began an unlimited vacation policy in 2021. We also focused on professional development programs and improved the way we communicate as a team.”
Add Character to Bring it to Life
“There must have been some magic
In that old silk hat they found
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around”
So how exactly did Frosty the Snowman come to life? Why an old silk hat, of course! But not just any old silk hat, this one was magic. Without this magic hat, Frosty would never have come to life, or inspired generations of children to build snowmen in the winter. Frosty is nothing without his hat, and your business is not as valuable without a defined brand and culture.
Your social capital represents your company culture and brand image. Culture is the “magic” of a business and what can set you apart from others. It is what makes your employees want to be there and what makes people want to partner with you. Chris Snider writes in Walking to Destiny, “Customers place a high value on the experience of doing business with you, not just your products and services. The way you do business is a reflection of your culture. If your team is connected to your vision, they will be more passionate, more creative, and more committed.”
Answer the following questions to determine if your Social Capital is strong:
- Does your company have expressed and written Core Values that are lived out daily by every member of the organization?
- Do you foster a community feeling amongst the employees through collaboration and creativity?
- Does every aspect of your work have your unique “stamp” on it that your customers could easily identify as your business?
- Do you encourage communication between all levels of employees and is employee feedback considered and accepted?
- Does your organization have strong social capital that builds transferrable value for potential buyers?
So, what is the “Magic Old Silk Hat” in your business?
Learn More About the Four Intangible Capitals
Learn more about Structural Capital in our 5-4-3-2-1: Five Things Every Business Owner Must Know About Exit Planning Whitepaper.Request the Whitepaper!