Activating Company Values Through Purposeful Ritual Design with Ezra Bookman

Ezra Bookman at the CultureLab podcast

Rituals are a fascinating aspect of human behavior. From ancient religions to the modern workplace, they play a significant role in shaping our culture and behavior.

Although recognized as an integral component of culture by many esteemed culture frameworks, rituals are often overlooked as an effective tool to activate and embed core values.

However, organizations that are intentional about building a thriving culture are starting to utilize the power of rituals as a critical tool in creating a unique and authentic company culture that aligns with the core of who they are and what they stand for.

Our guest Ezra Bookman, the founder of Ritualist, specializes in designing secular rituals.

Ezra has been sought out by business leaders from all industries, all looking to create a stronger sense of community and infuse their values into the everyday fabric of their organization.

Through this week’s episode of the CultureLab podcast, we learn from Ezra how purposeful ritual design can help us build a more values-driven, engaged, and productive workforce.

Rituals create a feeling of belonging and connection within groups of people.

Episode highlights

  • The difference between a ritual, a habit, a routine, and a tradition.
  • The interdependency of workplace culture and rituals.
  • Characteristics of great rituals.
  • The role of intentionality in ritual design.
  • A good starting point for designing workplace rituals that reinforce and support your desired culture.
  • The key objections people have when it comes to rituals.
  • Spirituality at work.

Rituals don’t need to be religious and they don’t even need to be spiritual. They just need to be special.

Listen to the interview in the player below or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, and it may be featured on a future episode.

More about Ezra Bookman

Ezra Bookman is a nationally recognized ritual designer, speaker, coach, and Founder of Ritualist, a creative studio helping leaders cultivate more conscious companies and connected communities. His work has been featured in the NYTimes, The Atlantic, VICE, and ABC News, and he has collaborated with an eclectic variety of organizations and thought-leaders including Accenture, Intuit, The Esalen Institute, Ephemeral Tattoos, The NYC Mayor’s Office, The Dream Bigger Foundation, Esther Perel, and Priya Parker. Before founding Ritualist, Ezra served as the Artistic Director for Lab/Shul, an experimental, artist-driven, God-optional Jewish community in NYC.

Ezra Bookman is a nationally recognized experience designer, artist, and facilitator exploring the transformational power of ritual. He is the founder of Ritualist, the first ever creative studio specializing in the design of rituals; the youngest member on the Board of Directors of The Secret City, an Obie Award-winning arts organization; and the former Artistic Director for Lab/Shul, an experimental, artist-driven, God-optional Jewish community in NYC.

He has collaborated with organizations like Accenture, Intuit, Esalen, Ephemeral Tattoos, The NYC Mayor’s Office, Maestro Health, Reimagine Festival, Talk Social, The Joy List, House of Yes, Reboot, and New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, and has co-produced events featuring visionary thought-leaders and artists like Esther Perel, Priya Parker, Jill Soloway, Darren Aronofsky, Steve Bodow, and Ben Sinclair.

Books mentioned in this conversation

The Art of Community by Charles Vogl

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

People mentioned in this conversation

Catherine Price

Priya Parker

Additional resources

The Ritualist

CultureBrained® Community – a one-of-a-kind virtual community for Heads of Culture, founders, and leaders who want to up their culture game.

The Culture Playbook Guide.

Discover Your Personal Values.

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