Applying Values and Developing your Remote Team Culture with Bretton Putter

Allan of chats with Bretton Putter, CEO of

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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