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Applying Values and Developing your Remote Team Culture with Bretton Putter

Allan of RemoteCompass.com chats with Bretton Putter, CEO of CultureGene.ai

Brett is author of Culture Decks Decoded and Own Your Culture.

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Show notes:

  • Brett’s team helps clients define, embed, and manage their culture
  • Companies in rapid growth find that it’s time to invest in company culture
  • Brett’s research suggests that only one out of 10 companies has done anything about their company culture
  • Social distancing measures made organizations more aware of the importance of company culture
  • The leadership team allowed the four walls of the office to develop and maintain the culture
  • Companies that tend to grow rapidly invest in their culture early
  • When an organization is smaller (e.g. 3-person company) and doesn’t expect to grow beyond that, they can get away without being too systematic about their culture
  • It’s important for co-founders to understand your culture and values as they prepare to hire aggressively
  • Being systematic about your culture has a lot to do with how much and how fast your headcount will change
  • Start thinking about your culture when you’re a team of 15 to 20 as it’s difficult to connect with everyone everyday
  • The first 15 team members are likely hired from the founder’s network
  • Brett suggests there is no such thing as a “good culture”. It’s about whether one is a good fit for a company or not
  • A culture could be strong yet dysfunctional
  • A culture is strong when expectations are well-defined and lived by the company on a daily basis
  • You could have a well-defined culture that doesn’t drive the business forward
  • The companies with the strongest culture, based on Brett’s research, started working remotely from day one, because they didn’t have the option to do otherwise
  • Culture is “the way we do things around here”
  • “Culture and brand are two sides of the same coin, but culture comes first”
  • As teams switch from co-located work to remote work, the glue that kept them together is weakening
  • A well-defined culture brings stability and agility
  • Companies that are smart about culture explain what values mean to the organization
  • Values should be translated to ‘expected behaviors’
  • The team should define 3 to 6 behaviors that reflect each company value
  • If a company values ‘openness’, an example behavior is “we don’t talk about people behind their backs”
  • Your values should inform who you recognize as employee of the month, hire, promote, etc
  • If a team member joins a company remotely (e.g. from their own bedroom), they need to hear stories about what’s acceptable or not
  • You must keep repeating your culture’s message. You know you’re winning when your team’s eyes are starting to roll
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