The consulting collective A Tribe Called Humans (ATCH) coaches companies on their way to a more humane, sustainable and beneficial growth. In the field of Ritual Design, ATCH seeks to support organisations with the help of rituals to create more connection and a sense of community in transformation processes. The goal is also to cultivate corporate and brand values more efficiently and to unleash more collective creativity and innovative power. Andreas Kratzer, co-founder of A Tribe Called Humans, and Lena Brandt, responsible for Cultural Design at the Tribe, explain why rituals are an asset to the business world.

Cultivating rituals is part of our human coexistence. These can be everyday situations like celebrating the afternoon coffee break or the morning run, but also the big moments in life like wedding ceremonies, social celebrations, or a baptism. All of these events in people's lives attain their significance and uniqueness from conscious celebration. Rituals create moments of pause and have the power to bring people together.

»We live in times that are marked by insecurity, with little external stability. That's why we need to build structures on the inside,« explains Lena Brandt. She is convinced that small rituals are helpful »because they offer us support. We know what happens next, which grants us a sense of security for that moment.«

What works better for people works better for business.

A Tribe Called Humans was founded as a consulting collective by Andreas Kratzer and Bastian Lindberg. The two found each other as »partners in purpose« to make the business world more humane. It is their deep conviction that what works better for people works better for business. »A Tribe Called Humans pursues the mission of bringing people together to solve business challenges in the areas of brand, customer experience and culture in a creative process. To create a momentum that generates a sense of ownership and joy in what we do. What drives us as founders is a desire to change the priorities and hierarchies in the business world,« says Kratzer.

»If you involve people more and listen to them more closely - and really mean it -, you can design brands, products, services and corporate cultures that are made by people for people. In the spirit of our philosophy: what works better for people works better for business.«

Andreas Kratzer, founder A Tribe called Humans

Letting yourself be moved, be touched

Inspired by the approach of Human Centred Design, Ritual Design is also a process that focuses on people's needs and desires. This allows for the design of »emotional spaces« of all kinds - either to establish more transparency in the communication within teams, to encourage collective creativity or to create a safe space for authenticity and vulnerability. The so-called Burning Ritual, in which old burdens are being burned symbolically, is an example of a helpful ritual to start a new year or project with motivation and a feeling of liberation. »We are often asked how we accomplished that digitally during the pandemic. An animated campfire on a mural board is all it takes for this ritual to unfold in the virtual space. And it still has a long-term effect on the participants,« Lena Brandt explains. Rituals can help us let go of things and strengthen our mental resilience. »To this day there are many misconceptions about what resilience actually is,« says Lena Brandt. »It doesn't mean that I can fend off everything, but that I allow myself to be moved and touched by something and return to my original state in an altered way.« The impact of the happenings of the past two years on teams in organisations is something she witnesses strongly and tries to convey that you have to start at the root in order to bring about real change.

»Ritual Design is so wonderfully primal because generations before us have been practicing it: gathering in a circle to share stories and wisdom.« According to Lena, consulting holds great potential as it creates moments that evoke real awareness and mindfulness. »A ritual is something that changes me on one or more levels: for example, I step into a space - physically or energetically - and when I step out again, I feel more relaxed or more powerful,« Lena Brandt states. What happens during the ritual is a mindful engagement with our own inner world and the environment.

Rituals serve as a primal instrument that can strengthen organisational cultures and guide them in their constant transformation. In the corporate world, we often go through periods of crisis without consciously acknowledging and accepting them. Moments of failure are quickly being shrugged off, sometimes even passed over. With the help of rituals, we can address these moments differently, with greater mindfulness. For example, a ritual following a failed project can help us appreciate the path we have travelled and the work we have put in up to the moment of failure. Because in addition to money and resources, what has been invested in the failed project above all is the time and energy of the staff, of people. It is important to appreciate this – in moments of failure as well as in times of success.

And that is exactly what A Tribe Called Humans wants to accomplish with Ritual Design: to create more meaningful moments in the business world. With empathy and humanity.

More informationen on A Tribe called Humans via

Andreas Kratzer and Lena Brandt, based on a conversation with Sonja Pham for the mcbw Online Magazine.