Dr. Colleen Batchelder

Cancel Culture: Why It’s a Surprising Benefit for Your Company

photo of woman leaning on wooden table

Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took years, multiple espressos, and countless bowls of pasta to even gain one inch of progress.

For years, life moved at a slower pace. And it was easier to adjust to the shift in culture and perspective.

However, that is not the case right now.

Cancel Culture isn’t new; in fact, it’s been around for centuries. But it’s shifting the way that we work at record speed. Unlike Rome, it can be built in a day.

Cancel Culture has been gaining more and more momentum with the help of Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook. And people who were once silent are now voicing their opinions, standing against injustice, and demanding immediate change.

Now, to the naked eye, it might seem like Cancel Culture is challenging traditions and threatening the idea of slow and steady progress. But in reality, it’s simply moving away from the platitudes and asking for implementation––and that’s a really positive thing.

Or in the word of Martha Stweart, “It’s a good thing.”

Think about it this way.

If a restaurant served you a bowl of marinara that tasted like pure salt, you’d want to cancel the meal and get your money refunded, right? Well, the same is true for business. For years, the workplace has tasted like salt. Cancel Culture is simply making the recipe taste edible.

Related Article: 3 Ways Gen Z is The Most Diverse Generation

What is Cancel Culture?

People have always deserved to work in a healthy environment. But what people wanted and what they received were two very different things.

For years, discrimination was excused, inlcusion was dismissed, and equity was nothing more than the butt of countless jokes in the boardroom. All that changed with Cancel Cuture. 

Now, I get it. The idea of being canceled can be triggering. But, in all honesty, you’re not being canceled, you’re being given the opportunity to grow and learn as a leader. And growth is imperative for your success.

So, remember, Cancel Culture is not about being so sensitive that every little thing (unintended or not) causes a disruption. It’s not about sensitivity at all. Cancel Culture is about common sense and equity.

It’s simply about creating a workplace of mutual benefit. In essence, the movement is about protecting the greater good of society. This is why it’s imperative to understand that cancel culture is not just a hashtag. It’s an expectation of fairness and respect.

Related Article: Here are 4 Strategies for Creating a Diverse College Campus

Why it’s a benefit to your company

Cancel Culture is a chance for your company to show the world you care about ethics and justice, not just quarterly profits or how well your product sells online.

This movement isn’t a step towards better branding, and it’s a chance to show your team and your customers the core of your mission––it’s a chance to stick up for those who might not be able to stick up for themselves.

There are countless reasons why this trend is beneficial to your company; some of the biggest reasons include:

  • When you listen to cancel-worthy arguments and speak out against them—you’re showing that your company doesn’t stand for injustice or unethical behavior.
  • When you put Cancel Culture rules in place, you are showing your customers that not only are they valued––but so are their voices. It is also a sign of outstanding leadership within the company.
  • You’re also ensuring that your employees know where they stand. And they can feel confident in those practices. It’s a way to separate your company from competitors and show that your brand ethic supersedes profits.

Related Article: The Power of Fortune 500 Companies Supporting Women in Business

Is Cancel Culture Always a Good Thing?

No, it’s not always a good thing, and like anything, it can become a crutch and a cane––and there are several “no-nos” that you need to remember:

1. Don’t use it as a weapon

It’s not a way to silence those who have a different perspective or opinion from your own.

Cancel Culture is about hearing one another and finding ways to create mutual spaces of respect, and it’s about giving people a chance to learn, not destroy.

2. Don’t use it as a way to get rid of dissenters

It’s important to consider other opinions, even if they are counter-intuitive to your own.

Cancel Culture isn’t meant to be used in situations where you’re losing an argument, and it’s not a one-upmanship, and it’s a way to work together.

3. Don’t cancel for the sake of canceling somenone/something

It’s not meant to shut someone down––it’s meant to open up dialogue and create new avenues of understanding.

Cancel Culture is about taking the time to learn––not censor.

How to implement Cancel Culture in your workplace

First, it’s essential to make this trend a topic of conversation within your company. You can do this by holding an in-office discussion with employees and creating space for a Q&A to address any assumptions and concerns.

Second, introduce Cancel Culture to your new hires and ask for input on expanding or improving it.

We’ve all heard it said, “You can’t see the forest through the trees.” Well, the same is valid for business practices.

It’s not easy to embrace Cancel Culture if we’re not creating space in our organizations for actual accountability.

Third, develop policies that outline what Cancel Culture means for your company and its employees. It’s critical to develop strategies that keep everyone on the same page.

Fourth, be willing to listen to feedback and criticism. Allow accountability to shape the direction of your company. Be ready to learn something new.

Final Thoughts

The Cancel Culture movement is having a profound impact on society in many positive ways. While it’s easy to demonize the phenomenon, companies should see this as an opportunity for increased accountability, ethics, and equity.

So, try out some of these practices, learn from your team, and listen to criicism with open ears and an open mind.

It’s a process. And a lifetime commitement. And if you’re willing to risk being wrong, you’ll be able to figure out how to make it right.

How have you embraced Cancel Culture? Let us know by emailing us or commenting below!

As a Leadership Strategist, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Executive Coach, and National Speaker, I help leaders create companies where Millennials and Generation Z want to work. My doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives also gives me an added edge because I approach generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens.
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