Q: Who is Maria Bryceland and what were you doing prior to starting your consultancy?
A: I have varied experience in my career across several sectors and industries, including B2B and B2C, at executive and board level.
As an individual, I’m really interested and committed to sustainability – both for the environment and in business. I enjoy helping businesses to succeed and believe sustainable approaches are the route to success.
I used to be a professional showjumper, but now you’ll find me enjoying the great outdoors on a challenging mountain bike trail! I find that competitive sport is quite similar to business – you need to be able to take a level of pressure and work through it to bring positive outcomes.
Q: What inspired you to start your new venture?
A: I believe it’s important for everyone to have a positive work-life balance and blend, which enriches the lives of colleagues and lifts the culture in a workplace. With the right tools and frameworks, businesses can create a positive culture which ultimately increases profitability. Sustainability is a key driver for me. I feel fortunate to be living my values every day, both in and outside of work.
Q: What are the main challenges companies face when it comes to culture?
A: The biggest problem is when business don’t think they have a problem. Every business has a culture – it’s in everything you say and do. But, when an organisation is not willing to acknowledge a problem, they won’t be able to solve it. The businesses that don’t place enough emphasis on their culture often find that there is a lack of colleague engagement, a lack of trust in the leadership team, teams are siloed, there are delays in projects, plus low profitability. Having a clear strategy and a common goal which everyone is working towards is crucial. Strategy is incredibly important, but it’s also pointless if you don’t have a great culture surrounding it.
Q: What are the main services you provide?
A: Our main services are focused on consultancy and one-to-one coaching. Our consultancy and culture diagnostics framework look at the ins and outs of your culture, including uncovering how individuals truly feel about their work. We also identify areas where support is needed, including making recommendations on how you can change things for the better.
One-to-one coaching is another service we provide. We can help to develop leaders in businesses and identify what is holding individuals back, then nurturing them to succeed.
Q: What are your top tips on how to create an extraordinary culture?
A: Going back to the basics is a big one. Businesses don’t tend to check their values and overarching goals such as why they do what they do. It’s important to challenge the simple questions and ask yourself if you have communicated these consistently and in the best way possible to your team. Does your team know why your business is doing what it’s doing and what they are contributing towards?
Communication can be an easy one to get right or get wrong, but all your people should feel recognised and a part of decisions in the business, even it’s a small decision such as what colour to paint the office.
I think culture plays a key role for everyone in the workplace. All members of your team should be acknowledging and embracing what you do. Do all colleagues’ attitudes match, and do they understand what is expected of them?
Q: What makes you different to other consultancies?
A: I believe that culture is everyone’s job – it’s their habits, attitudes, how they treat each other and particularly the job of senior leaders and managers. Acknowledging and embracing culture needs to be done by everyone. I’m passionate about helping businesses to build extraordinary cultures using a sustainable culture framework I’ve developed. I enjoy being part of enabling businesses to grow and succeed in a sustainable way. I have a professional but relaxed approach, and I live by my values and energy every day.