044: Making Culture Conscious, Tangible and Visible with Brett Putter


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Brett Putter offers leaders clarity on how to identify and manage culture within an organization. Brett Putter mentions how culture can be challenging, invisible, subconscious, and an intangible beast that lives below the surface. He states, “I only ended up including 50 plus just a little bit over 50 leaders, because the majority of companies had not done a good job of defining and embedding their culture.” He shares how interviewing companies gave him insight on how to build his culture development framework.

In this episode, Brett Putter shares his passion for defining, embedding, and managing company culture. Brett Putter believes that culture is relatively simple to embed. He breaks down six ways to embed culture and drive a company forward.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Techniques for building a well-defined culture
  • Consequences of bad culture
  • Embedding a strong functional culture on company values
  • The importance of maintaining a great culture

Resources Mentioned in this episode:

About the Guest:

Bretton Putter is an expert in company culture development, consulted by companies and leaders worldwide on how to design, build and develop a strong, functional company culture.

He is the CEO of CultureGene, a Culture Leadership Platform helping high-growth companies build strong, functional cultures.

Prior to founding CultureGene Brett ran an international executive search firm working with high-growth tech companies to expand their executive teams across Europe and the USA.

Brett has just launched his second book, Own Your Culture: How to Define, Embed and Manage your Company Culture.

Full Transcript: Powered by Otter.ai 


Welcome to the Culture Design Show where we feature conversations with leaders and thinkers who are passionate about culture and design. Now, let’s get started with the show.

Steve Chaparro 

This podcast is brought to you by culture design studio. This is where I help creative organizations transform their cultures, from being controlling to being collaborative. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned. Your creative talent demands a co-creative culture in order to produce their best work. But there’s a problem. So let’s see if we can recognize some of these signs.

There’s no framework to move your culture forward. You have high turnover and low morale. There’s increasing toxicity across all levels. There’s t engagement and satisfaction that are on the decline. There’s a misalignment between the employer brand and the employee experience. And there’s poor communication about expectations and values. So if you want to learn more about how I provide facilitation and coaching for your creative team, reach out to me at CultureDesignStudio.com.

Our guest today is Brett Putter. He is an expert in company culture development and has consulted companies and leaders worldwide, on how to design, build and develop a strong functional company culture. He is the CEO of CultureGene, a culture leadership platform, helping high growth companies build strong functional cultures. I like the sound of that. Also, Brett has just launched his second book Own Your Culture: How to Define, Embed and Manage your Company Culture. Brett, welcome to the show.

Brett Putter 

Steve, thanks very much for having me. I’m really looking forward to our chat today.

Steve Chaparro 

Well, as we were just talking, just before we press record, you have made this big leap to taking your family from the UK over to Portugal. And you just probably hours ago. Got your internet setup, so this is like fortuitous for us. Congratulations for making that move.

Brett Putter 

Thanks very much. Yeah. I didn’t expect to get it today. So I was really pleased. And as I mentioned we’re going into lockdown tomorrow. So if I hadn’t gotten it today I don’t know what happened. But yeah, Portugal’s a little warmer, a little sunnier. And my wife and I wanted to change for a couple of years, so we’ve headed to Lisbon.

Steve Chaparro 

Well, speaking of lockdown I have this is my remote studio in my home. And for those that are listening throughout the podcast, you may hear some noises in the background on my end, it’s actually trashed and I didn’t realize it.

So if you hear any noise in the background, that’s probably what it is. But let’s get on with the show. Brett, I’d love to hear about your professional journey. You know, I think that culture is a huge passion. And I might even call it my life calling. How do you view company culture? And how did you land on that as your focus in your work?

Brett Putter 

Yeah, so prior to setting up CultureGene, I ran an executive search firm for 16 years. And I helped high growth early-stage companies build their teams anywhere between Moscow and San Francisco. So we were internationally focused, typically working with venture capital-backed companies. And about five years ago, now, I was lucky enough to work with three CEOs, who all had a very clear understanding of their culture.

And I was tasked with the mandate was, find us candidates who match the skills, the experience, but also match the values of the company. And I’d never done this before. So it was a much, much harder search to do. It’s hard enough to find good candidates now find a good candidates that match and you got to prove their match. So it took us much longer to do. But the outcomes of the interview process and the way that unfolded and then the impact that the candidates made on those companies demonstrated to me that this was the missing link.

Initially, I thought it was the missing link for startups because they don’t have enough time to work on this stuff. And they don’t really have the experience of working on it often. But it turns out this is the missing link for most companies. And I was so blown away by the way the candidates and the CEOs and the interviews interacted and where you could see the values fit was so clear. It was like okay, wow I got to really understand this.

So that’s when I started researching everything to do with culture, interviewing the CEOs I’ve interviewed and leaders I’ve interviewed writing the books, podcasts, blogs, etc, etc, etc. And that’s sort of four years ago is weird, really. I decided to focus 100 percent on company culture development.

Steve Chaparro 

Yeah, that’s right. I mean, I say that that’s right because it is a unique thing to ask an executive search professional to provide a cultural fit. And I think I think even that that word cultural fit has, you know, maybe different meanings for different people. Because I think sometimes it’s that cultural fit is more based on personality, in many cases, whether those are personality fit, and whether the personalities of that individual and leaders at the company mesh together.

But when you actually focus it more on values, that is their value alignment. that’s a much deeper conversation, what are some of the things that that you noticed that came out of those either one conversations or even those placements?

Brett Putter 

And so that’s actually a great point, I actually believe that culture fit is impossible. It’s impossible to hire for culture fit because culture food really is your gut instinct working. And it’s, it’s very subjective. Everybody has their own gut instinct about a candidate. And I just don’t believe you can do it effectively and scalably for high growth companies. But when we start working on values, how we do it is we take a value, we define the expected behaviors against that value.

So let me take you through this as an example. Teamwork. The problem with the word teamwork is lots of people can interpret it in different ways one person can say it’s a group of people working together for a common goal. I might say, teamwork, to me means the team comes first. We’re talking about the same thing. But there’s a slight difference. And actually, we could make different decisions based on exactly the same input.

So what we do is we define what those values mean. And then we built interview questions against those behaviors that we’ve defined. So to give you an example, if it was my company, teamwork was the value. The expected behavior was the team always comes first. The interview question is when last did you take one for the team? And why?

Steve Chaparro 

Yeah, so good.

Brett Putter 

And now you focusing on an exact action when it happened, what it was, what the impact was, and you could interview somebody for 20 minutes just on that question. And then if you ask each candidate exactly the same question, then you’re in a position to evaluate them based on vividness. And based on believability, now you can score those candidates.

So that point about going to values that we worked on, we didn’t have it perfect in those first searches, because we were still working it out. But it’s something that I’ve really perfected now with CultureGene to really get right. And we even, you know, the job we did was an awesome job, as headhunters for those first three clients that were really focused on culture. But since then, we’ve taken this to a whole new level in terms of really getting under the skin of the candidate and being able to compare candidates directly against similar questions.

Steve Chaparro 

So many questions are pouring into my mind, but I’m going to reserve them until we talk about your book in a moment. Because I think there are so many, I think what we’ve just been talking about right now is focused more on the recruiting side of things, and I’d love to hear how that translates to the entire employee experience or culture in general. But before we do that, I’d love to learn a little bit more about CultureGene give us an overview of what you folks do at CultureGene.

Brett Putter 

So what we do is typically work with a little bit later stage startup and high growth companies. And these are companies that have maybe got to 25/30/40/50, maybe up to 100 people. And those companies are now realizing that they, first of all, the CEO understands that culture is really important, but they don’t know how to implement it, they don’t know what to do, they may have done some work on their values and their mission and their vision, but it’s not moving from there.

And so what we do is we have a three-stage process where we either define or refine the values, mission, and vision of the company. And then we embed those into the leadership team, the functions, and the processes of the business. And that, for example, is a really deep process where we will take individuals, individual leaders and give them a framework as to how to lead their team through the lens of culture, through the lens of values, and living the values.

And then the third stage is where we essentially teach the company how to manage their culture. So it’s defined, embed, and manage. And this ranges we work with, with our clients for three months to 12 months and sometimes longer. Because you can’t embed these changes that we making at the CEO level down over a weekend. It takes a bit of time. So that’s really what we do. I bought some software, not me personally, I’d be dangerous with it. But we bought some software that actually mirrors the process.

So I was actually approached by two remote companies 18 months ago saying, Can you help us define, you know, work on our culture. And I realized I couldn’t because they don’t, they’re not in the same room, they’re not in the same office together. So I bought, I bought the software for distributed teams because I saw an opportunity coming down the line, I didn’t expect this pandemic to happen. But it’s really, you know, it’s allowed us to really accelerate the way we serve as our clients because we’ve got a digital process that is in place of me or one of my colleagues being in the room.

Steve Chaparro 

Yeah, yeah, I’m really fascinated by your focus, specifically, on startups and high growth companies. Why is it that you have chosen to niche down to that audience?

Brett Putter 

So it’s an audience I know very well. And that helps. But actually, the main reason is because they do not have years and years of bad habits, bad behaviors that have set in. And I don’t have to do so much undoing in the process, you always have, you know, culture is this random combination of good and bad behaviors, habits, rituals, communication styles, beliefs, principles, collaboration styles, etc, etc. But it’s good and bad, and the bad gets the bad because you’re moving so quickly. And you it’s not such a big issue, when there’s a small team, a bad habit or a bad behavior really comes to roost and becomes an issue when the team grows to 30/40/50 people or 100 people.

So what we try and do is work with startups, because they don’t have as many. And it’s not as embedded those behaviors are not as embedded. And it’s often the impediments to their success and they kind of know what’s happening. They know they have issues with their culture, they sort of have this feeling about it, but they don’t know what to do about it. And when we walk, that’s one of the things we do is we very much surface, the impediments to them achieving their culture, optimal culture capabilities.

Steve Chaparro 

Yeah, I like what you’re saying that they I think they instinctively or at least intuitively understand that there’s challenges that there are gaps, that there are things that need to be fixed. And I think sometimes, as you’ve you know, even defined in your framework, I think, even before, even before define is to understand like to like the awareness about what’s going on. And then to define it, it’s almost like you’re able to shape and mold the young padawan company in a way because they are hungry to learn and hungry to do things, right.

I think for me, there is the reason why I’m interested in the startup and high growth focus of yours is because I have seen that that is one of two major points of inflection in the life stage of a company, there is that one where there’s high growth, and I think in the area of the companies exceed is seen. They’re able to scale the experience for their customers. But often the culture is lagging behind, they haven’t learned how to scale their culture.

The other point of inflection is we think of it as a bell curve. That’s the front end of the bell curve, the down end of the bell curve, I’ve seen as those mature companies that have seen success, but are failing to respond to the changing landscape of the market, even the talent market, and they’re, they’re losing their effect on customers. And consequently, if they don’t change, they’re actually depreciating the employee experience as well.

But to your point, that was more mature companies are probably going to have already embedded in them some of those bad behaviors, and it’s gonna be much harder to turn those ships rather than sort of the more nimble and agile startups and high growth companies.

Brett Putter 

Exactly the there’s a lot less politics that I have to deal with. There’s a lot less people and I’ve gone through this experience, I know there’s a lot of banging your head against the wall, because everybody knows you, you know that you could be encroaching on their thing and their area, and what do you want to change? And why do you want to change it? I just can’t.  

I actually I go so far as to say that I will only work with companies that I like and resonate with the CEO, is I work, we changed that process, we change a lot of the way the CEO operates, the way the CEO leads, from a communication point of view, from a process point of view from a reward and recognition point of view, etc, etc.

So I you know, I wouldn’t for example, this also has happened to me in the past, but I was palmed off to the CEO to deliver this program. And then when I went back to the CEO and said, well, now you got to do this, and you got to change that. He said, Well, I don’t like this you know, and so there was a disconnect there and I learned that mistake as well.

But I think that the startups are, you’re right, they’re agile they’re hungry. The way I look at it as it’s almost like having loose nuts on the wheel of your car. When you’re going slowly, it doesn’t make such a big difference. But if you’re getting 150 miles and now on one of those wheels come all comes off you dead.

Steve Chaparro 

Sounds like you’ve described my car. I think one of the things so about those founders and those visionary leaders of the startups because they are visionaries, right? They’re creating something from almost nothing. I’d love to hear about what has been your experience in sort of the inner journey that these CEOs and founders need to undergo.

Because I’ve always subscribed to the idea that if a leader wants to see change in their companies, they must undergo that change first. What are your thoughts about how what you have seen in regards to the inner journey of CEOs as they go through this process?

Brett Putter 

Yeah, I would, I would definitely agree that the CEOs got to understand that they and their organization and the way they operate needs to change. I’ve seen there originally four CEO archetypes and I’ve now added a fifth one, because of this pandemic, but basically the first CEO was didn’t doesn’t care about culture, culture, irrelevant, I’m just going to drive the business for the way I want to drive it. The second SEO is what I call the dip the toe in the water CEO. And they’ve tried something, it kind of, they know it’s important, they’ve tried a couple of things, but it hasn’t really stuck. The third type of CEO is the tick box CEO. And they do it as a tick box exercise. And then they forget about.

And then the fourth type is the CEO gets it gets understands how to embed it a little bit and then and then develops it from there. And that’s the sort of cultural way of CEO, and I found that the first type and the third type that the tick box exercise, and the first type, which is the sort of culture agnostic CEO, they’ve got to go through a lot of pain before they realize that.

And often they are either too arrogant or too oblivious to realize that they have high turnover, partly because of their culture, they have poor behavior, but because of their culture, and they are often ultimately the reason for that behavior. Because, you know,  look up to our leaders. So I prefer to work with the other two, where they’ve tried something, understand how important it is and need to help or really want to accelerate it.

Steve Chaparro 

So do you do an assessment in your discovery process or your sales process to determine where that CEO kind of fits along that matrix?

Brett Putter 

Yeah, I have, I have a fairly in-depth conversation with the CEO. In my previous life, as I said, I was a headhunter, so I interviewed the hell out of the CEO, actually. Because I don’t want to be three or four months down the line and realize that this person doesn’t like the way I work, I don’t like the way they work, and it’s not gonna work.

So you know, the best type of CEO for me is the CEO, who I will say to them, this is what I’d like you to do and this is how I’d like you to do it. And they’ll say yes to that, but this isn’t going to land for our company. Let’s work out how we do it slightly differently. And so they push back when they need to push back, they understand that we need to try things, they understand that things may not always work, but they are proactive towards moving the culture forward.

Steve Chaparro 

I completely agree that culture needs culture change needs to begin at the top with the CEO. But let’s say that you are approached by say, a department, let’s say a VP that is over, presiding over a certain function within the company. And they say, we want to improve the culture in say, marketing, I am the CMO, I want to kind of change the culture in marketing.

What are the pros and cons of that type of work? Because some people might say, well, let’s start small. Let’s gain some wins. And then let’s kind of spread the success like wildfire fire from there. What are your thoughts about that?

Brett Putter 

Yeah, so I, I was told interview the CMO, about the CEO, and about the actual, the actual culture of the company, because that’s going to come out anyway. And so understanding what the actual culture of the company is and understanding what the CMO wants to change the culture to be, will allow me to work out: A) Is it realistic, you know, these impediments may be too great?

And because the CEO was really good at deflecting, and the CEO created the space that actually sorry, this is the CEO of the division created the space for the team. And we actually got it right. But we spent a lot of time working out where this could fail and working out how the magic mothership could impose negative restrictions on the environment. And once I realized that there would be issues but we would be able to overcome them. And they weren’t a huge deal-breaker for me, then we went ahead and did that.

How big is the team that we’re going to be working with and how big is that in relation to the rest of the organization? And is there a possibility to put a moat around it? Or like a barrier, again, a barrier around the team. I’ve actually done this for a company that there’s a very large Wealth Management bank in the UK called LGT Vestra. And one of their departments came to me and said, We are a little bit of a sort of entrepreneurial bunch. And we want you to come and help us with our culture.

Steve Chaparro 

Yeah, that’s very interesting, because I do see that many times, where, you know, as leaders start to grow their respective areas of responsibility, there is this desire, and sometimes they will say, Well, if we can get this work to be kicked off, at the company-wide level, I want to just move forward with my own department. And there’s obviously some good, good things about that, but also some, maybe some unintended consequences that can come from that as well.

I want to now move to your book, this is your second book, its own your culture. And the subtitle is how to define embed and manage your company culture, what compelled you to write this book?

Brett Putter 

So I, I realized, having done having research culture, and having got sort of under the skin of company culture, I realized that nobody had written a book, a tactical book, about company culture. What I mean by that is, a lot of books are written theoretically about company culture, or about Southwest Airlines, or about Zappos based in piece Tony, more about Nordstrom, but this is many years after the hard work is done.

So it looks like a really polished thing. But actually, when you’re in the trenches, building a company, it’s damn hard to do, because you’re trying to survive on the one hand, but you also know you need to invest in this because this is critical. And so I decided that I wanted to write a book on what companies do tactically every day and how they learn and where they fail and where they succeed. And I have a pretty good network in the tech industry. So I knew I could call on people that I knew, who would then be able to introduce me to other companies and other people, and other leaders who I could interview.

And so the interviewing did many things that gave me the content for the book, but it also gave me insight on how to build out my process, how to improve my process. It you know, writing the blogs to write the book, gave me the knowledge and the insight that I have, and it’s you know, it’s priceless in terms of that exercise. It’s not priceless, because actually, it really took it out of me, this book broke me twice. This book really, really sorted me out. I’m not a very good writer.

It’s like I’ve mentioned in the book, I say, it’s like walking, wading through knee mud in waders while wrestling an anaconda, and being chased by a crocodile or an alligator. It’s just not nice. But you got it, you know, I just had to push through. And that’s really the reason why I felt that that there was a great books written about culture. But I felt that nobody had written a book where I could pick it up and read a chapter about onboarding. Then see, see seven or eight examples of how companies onboard.

Need a chapter about diversity and inclusion and see how companies do diversity inclusion, and how companies look at your diversity inclusion and what they doing on a day-to-day basis, what they’re testing, what they’re exploring and experimenting with and what’s working, and what’s not. I think this is you know, being able to open a book and say, Okay, I’m going to try this with my company next week, is a really powerful thing to be able to do.

Steve Chaparro 

Yeah. So I noticed you said that you wrote the blogs to write the book and that you conducted interviews, give us a little more color around what that looked like in terms of I remember hearing in a video interview with you put in the past who said that you actually interviewed a lot more CEOs than you might have cited in the book. What was that process like? Other than being arduous and breaking you twice?

Brett Putter 

Well, the interviews are the fun bit actually. Because the leaders who are, who have really invested in their culture are incredibly generous with their time and incredibly generous with their knowledge they had that was the all. I have all I should have really just interviewed leaders, you know, and then got somebody else to write the book because I love that part of it.

But essentially, what happened is I hit my network, and I spoke to a couple of people. And they said, well go and speak to Jackie, she’s running a great culture, and go speak to Bob. And he’s running a great culture. And I had a list of questions that basically allowed me to get deeper and deeper into the onion of company culture. So starting at, what are your values, mission, and vision? You know, what do you do to reward/recognize those? What are you measuring against them? How are you developing it, I’m training, learning and development and so on.

And the thing is, I could, I only ended up including 50 plus just a little bit over 50. leaders, because the majority of companies had not done a good job of defining and embedding their culture. As soon as I got below the first level of values, or mission or vision, and started really digging into the onion and asking them about how they were embedding their culture, what they were doing, and how they were thinking about it as leaders, what frameworks they were using it, people would lead as we go, We do a little bit of Employee of the Month stuff, but not much more than that, but our culture is really great.

And you know that is a dangerous place to be because you don’t really know what good or bad is because it’s, you know, it’s the first day and so I only one out of every 10 companies, I’ve had to speak to over 500 leaders to interview just over 50. So that’s really that that was the eye-opener for me of the opportunity. And the challenge, because it’s about education, it’s about people understanding what culture is. And people are understanding how critically important it is. Because if 90% of companies out there have not done a good job of company culture, then there’s something is wrong in the system.

Steve Chaparro 

Right. And that what you just cited is essentially what is the premise, as I understand it, of the book, it says, you write on your LinkedIn profile says company culture is one sustainable competitive advantage that a CEO has complete control over yet only 1 out of 10 leaders have invested in developing their culture. That’s right 90% of leaders have not invested in their culture, not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know how to. That’s the premise of the book?

Brett Putter 

That’s the premise of the book. In other words, I, the aim of the book is to explain how to do it, and to use those examples of startups in the trenches fighting the battles, to demonstrate it. And the interesting, interesting fact about that, instead of the 10%, is only half of those companies have done a really good job. So it’s less than what it’s less than one out of 10 has done a really good job, frankly.

But they’re all working on it. They’re all developing on it. And the companies I interviewed know how important it is. So you know, you it’s culture, for me, my mission is to help turn company culture into a recognized business function. The same way that sales, marketing, or finances, if you went to your investors and said, we’re not gonna do anything on finance for a couple of months, we’re gonna, you know, we just need more finance for three or four months and deal with these other things, your investors would fire you, as a CEO of a company.

But you can theoretically do that with culture, and you shouldn’t be able to, it shouldn’t be possible, culture should be managed in the same way that sales is managed, or engineering is managed in the sense that you measure it, you’ve got your outcomes, you’ve got your agreed objectives, etc, etc, etc. And that’s my, to my goal, my aim is to create that in the world of work.

Steve Chaparro 

Yeah, it seems to me that if people were to understand that culture can be a lever, that if you optimize, that leverage, all of these other functions will be literally exponentially more profitable, more productive, because you’ve satisfied the inner workings or you’ve addressed the inner workings. And if you know, it’s like a the human body, if there’s anyone system in the human body that is out of is not functioning well then there is dis-ease or disease in the entire body.

And so if you can address the operating system, that is culture, everything else will work that much better. And I think too many times they don’t think of it as well, where does that fall on my P&L? It doesn’t produce revenue. It doesn’t, you know, well, it actually does, but you just can’t quantify it in a very direct way.

Brett Putter 

And that’s my job. So the book is the first step in that in that while the second step because the process is the first step. But the book is the second step of educating people around what to do. And then the third step is going to be around measurement. Measuring, not measuring engagement, engagement is one piece of the puzzle, but actually measuring your culture from the whole of it. That’s really what my task is.

Steve Chaparro 

So let’s talk about three takeaways that we can get from the book. And I’m going to read one, understand the consequences of the good and bad decisions that affect culture and the techniques to deal with them. Let’s address that briefly. What does that mean?

Brett Putter 

So what that means is, if you look at companies that are doing a really great job building a strong functional culture, once they get close to doing a really excellent job on it, they’re able to look at the decisions that they’re making, and go does this match our values? Does this decision match our values or not. And if it doesn’t match our values, we should either if we decide to, if we decide to take this decision, we should either change our values or reevaluate what we’re doing with our values.

So the good and bad decision making, if you’ve got a well defined strong functional culture, you’re able to your whole team knows what’s expected of them, they know how to live it, they are consciously aware of what the culture is, and how they delivering against that culture. And they are consciously aware of making decisions that match up with the values and behaviors expected by the business.

If you make the wrong decision, you learn from it. And if you behave the wrong way, you’re often called out on it. Because your team don’t want that. So it’s about decision making. And it’s about behaviors. And it’s about being able to recognize because you have such a strong framework around culture without being able to recognize, if we make this decision, we’re going against our values, and there are going to be serious, serious, serious knock-on effects against this decision. But if we have to do it, then we have to change our culture, which may mean we lose half of our people.

Steve Chaparro 

Absolutely not. And I think that’s one culture as it addresses values. But I think sometimes even just in general when you decide on a strategy, and then you make a decision that is contrary to that strategy because it’s opportunistic, then either one, do you change your strategy, or two, do not pursue that opportunity. And I think the same thing applies here with culture.

So that’s just maybe one example that comes to mind. I’ve been in a business leading business development at a firm that I was at before. And that was one of the things that I would try to address is that whenever we pursued an opportunity that went against our strategy, I had to really, you know, try to hold the line of what we were really all about. And that definitely applies to culture as well.

So another takeaway is, develop a checklist of decisions and activities that will strengthen your culture and thereby your business. What are some additional thoughts there?

Brett Putter 

So culture is this challenging, invisible, subconscious, and intangible beasts that lives below the surface, mainly? And it is and the best leaders bring it to the surface and make it conscious, tangible, and visible. But actually, the interesting thing is culture is relatively simple to embed. There are only six ways to embed company culture. And this is the checklist I talked about for leaders.

The six ways to embed culture How do you reward and recognize? What do you measure and pay attention to? Where do you invest in allocate your resources? What are you doing with regards to training, learning, and development? How do you behave in crisis situations? And how do you hire fire and promote? So if you take that those six points and you go, Okay, how am I What am I rewarding and recognizing as a leader? Am I rewarding and recognizing behaviors that fit the values of the business? Or am I rewarding and recognizing behaviors that turns?

If I reward and recognize politics, and if I promote somebody who’s political and backstabbing, then it then the rest of the organization they have to get to have to adapt and become political and backstabbing to be like that. So it’s the same What are you measuring and paying attention to if you measure the wrong details, or you don’t measure anything at all, it shows that you don’t care if you don’t hire against values and you don’t fire when people don’t have the values.

So this is a really simple checklist. There are only six points against it. But if you have a clear understanding of what your culture is, and what your values are, you can look at your this checklist in your values. Aha, this is the right decision. This is the wrong decision once again. So it’s a really simple pop element of the book to go and say, Okay, this is a six-point framework to help me lead in a different way.

Steve Chaparro 

Well, as much of a culture nerd as I am, with the way you’ve laid that out, and you know, to be able to place it in a framework like that. I really There’s so much more for me to learn about the culture. And you know, especially in you know, to say these are the six ways to embed culture, that’s a fascinating thing. And it’s such a valuable resource for leaders out there.

Because I think that’s the type of things that they are looking for help on is like, Okay, I understand that I need to define it. And maybe we’ve done some work around defining it, but the real work happens when you actually want to embed it. And then thereafter, as you say, to manage it, as well. So I’m really excited about our conversation. This has been really, really helpful.

I encourage people to reach out to you and get some more information, but to definitely read your book, folks, we’re even talking to Brett Potter CEO of Culture Gene, and he is the author of Own Your Culture: How to Define, Embed and Manage your Company Culture. So I definitely want folks to get that book but Brett, if people want to reach out to you, where can they find you?

Brett Putter 

They can find me on LinkedIn, Steve, and I’m on Twitter. But if people want to reach out to me directly, I’m I spend 20% of my time learning I’m, I’m a student of culture, I’m a seven to culture, because it’s this, this is this incredible learning opportunity. So people want to reach out to me, they can drop me an email at [email protected]

And, you know, I’m happy to talk, I’m happy to shoot the breeze and just explore culture and what people are doing. It’s my passion. It’s my life’s work, as you were saying, and as you can relate, so I’m really happy to talk to people, and yeah, please do reach out.

Steve Chaparro 

Well, thank you, Brett. Thank you for coming on to the show.

Brett Putter 

Steve. My pleasure. Thanks for having me.


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