Every organisation or team is a mini community, and needs its own centre of gravity.

Introducing the ringmaster.

An inspirational space provides the stage. The ringmaster creates the magic.

Releasing the circus vibe in every business.

We can apply circus thinking to every organisation. Whether virtual or physical, we create spaces where people can perform. The more consideration we give to it, the better the quality of performance will be.

The circus ring

This is prime space where everyone comes together. It’s the place where people get a sense of belonging, of being part of something bigger than their immediate circle, and where connections are forged and maintained. There is no precise format for the circus ring. It may be a central social space, a town hall for larger events, or even a collection of communal spaces. What matters is that it creates a sense of cohesive community.

Surrounding the circus ring

Step away from the circus ring and you find the tents for team get-togethers or specific activities. These interactions are vital for maintaining strong cohesion in one’s immediate tribe. And they need to have something of the atmosphere of the circus ring about them, giving connection to the centre.

The caravans around the perimeter

Finally, there’s the privacy of individual caravans all round the edge of the circus field. Solitary spaces where people can go to put their head down and engage in undisturbed work. In the context of hybrid work models, this will often be working from home, but within the workplace it will be reflected in the provision of booths, pods and cubicles. Within every caravan, the pull of the big top should still be felt.

And at the centre of it all is the ringmaster.

Every team leader, department manager, and CEO needs to be a ringmaster, creating a show that people want to be part of. Providing good reasons for people to come together.

The ringmaster is at heart a showperson. They know what brings things to life, whether in-person or via video link. How they do it can’t be pigeon-holed or prescribed in a textbook, but there are a few examples of what the ringmaster might do…

The Ringmaster in action

Creating high spots within the working week

It’s easy for the working week to become a bit of a featureless landscape of routine activity. The ringmaster looks for opportunities to break this up with events and activities that have a buzz about them and provide extra opportunity for people to engage with one another. The intention of the high spot is to create a function that your people won’t want to miss, which is the opposite to mandating attendance or creating a sense of duty.

Injecting energy into the ordinary

Creating high spots doesn’t mean fabricating a bunch of social activities. Yes, some social activities can be woven in – plenty of organisations have proved the benefit of Friday happy hour, and the like – but creating too many of these can be a turn-off for less socially inclined team members. The ringmaster adds a vibe to regular work-based events, such as transforming the weekly sales review meeting into a dynamic activity-based game, or staff recognition time into a talent show.

Focusing on activities over attendance

Achieving a magnetic circus ring involves thinking about activities rather than attendance, per se. In other words, we identify what regular interactions are needed to fulfil our objectives, and then set ourselves to make each one a stimulating people experience. This is a critical part of creating culture by design rather than leaving it to evolve. Designing vibrant interpersonal interactions removes the need to mandate a certain level of attendance.

Leveraging the power of your space

Maintain a strong relationship between your space and the activity that happens within it. An effective ringmaster designs his circus space for the activities that will take place within it. But once the space is there, he also continues innovating new acts that could take place within the space. This creative approach towards activity and space is a key part of the ringmaster’s role in creating a cultural vibe that attracts our people to participate.

More than ever before, we need to create a culture that our people want to be part of. Provide a sense of belonging and maintain a point of connection within our teams.

With our distinctive combination of highly talented creatives, exceptionally experienced craftsmen, and expert project managers, we really do rely on our people to deliver the Woodhouse magic! We're a close-knit team working to achieve extraordinary workspace results.

Want to bring circus-style attraction to your workplace?

Discuss the Ringmaster concept with Matthew