Episode 131.5 – Green Apple Slice


Five Corporate Culture Fixes for BPM Success


The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss an IT Web article, “Five Corporate Culture Fixes for BPM Success” by Marilyn de Villiers.


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    Good morning. This is John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. I’ve got on the other line, Rachel Fisch.

    Rachel: Hey, John.

    John: I had to greet you quickly before you hung up. But yeah, but every Monday, we always get together and chat about an article that we find online about engagement or culture and things like that. I thought this one was really good and kind of interesting because it comes to us from South Africa. It was an ITWeb Business Technology blog. The article was written by Marilyn de Villiers. Did I do that right? I don’t even know.

    Rachel: I thought it was Marilyn de Villiers. But yeah.

    John: All right. No worries. I feel like I need a glass of wine in my hand when I say that. But the article is Five Corporate Culture Fixes for BPM Success. I had to look up what BPM meant.

    Rachel: I did too because I thought it was Bytes Per Minute.

    John: I thought it was Blood Pressure Monitor.

    Rachel: Blood pressure?

    John: I was like well, but it’s Business Process Management.

    Rachel: Got it. It makes much more sense.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. But if you have a bad BPM then you probably do need a Blood Pressure Monitor. I mean just saying. But I thought it was interesting because in the article, she says a common problem among many organizations is that their corporate culture actively undermines a natural desire for improvement which it is exactly what we all want.

    We want the job to be more efficient and do better but unfortunately, in my experience, whenever I worked anywhere nine times out of ten, you bring up a new idea of how to do something slightly differently and the needle on the record player scratches. Everyone looks at you like you got three eyeballs.

    Rachel: Right. Can you have the best internal processes? Can you be completely optimized in every way and have a really crappy culture? Basically, what this article is saying is actually no, they’re connected which I thought was pretty interesting.

    John: Right, which I think is a really great idea and something for people to think about rather than shooting down new ideas and poo-pooing that, it’s bring them all out. I think that that’s really interesting. On the flipside is, I guess we can’t spend all of our time always improving because then you actually don’t do anything, right?

    Rachel: Yes. That’s also a challenge where it’s like really? Do we have to be reviewing and redoing this process again? Can we actually get to the implementation stage, please?

    John: Yeah, yeah. No absolutely. But some of the tips that they said were basically, some of the things that we’ve covered before is just be an active leader. Don’t just pay lip service and write the firm morals on the wall or whatever it is, the mission statement and then not act that way. It’s actually follow through with what you say.

    Rachel: Yeah. Then they talk about not only initiatives that empower teams. You want to make sure that you’re working towards energizing and empowering your teams. But actually, there are initiatives that come out that do the complete opposite effect. So while you’re improving processes and things like that, are you maybe putting your really great culture at risk? This is in the advice on a CPO or a Chief Process Officer kind of to make sure that those are being watched carefully as well.

    John: Right. Absolutely. I think it’s fantastic. Plus, when you get people that are trying to make the workplace better and you actually listen to them and make some changes, then that just encourages them that they’re a part of this and they’re not just a cog in the wheel that they’re actually a valuable part of —

    Rachel: Of the process.

    John: Yeah, just encourages them and makes them want to come to work more rather than hey, I have this great idea to make something better. You’re like yeah, not today or ever.

    Rachel: Yeah. We don’t do that here.

    John: But a lot of great ideas and really interesting things on some things that — but like you said, I think it’s really neat how you can have really good process and be a really innovative company and have a bad culture and no, it’s very difficult to do that.

    Rachel: That kind of come hand-in-hand. I really like the last point was the celebrate successes. We’ve talked about how easy it really is to say thank you or to pause long enough in a really busy world to celebrate those successes instead of just getting on to the next challenge. Sometimes you need to be able to do that and it brings you guys together tighter as a team too.

    John: Absolutely. Absolutely. Right now is where I would have a bunch of kazoos and bells and whistles to celebrate our success. We made it through another episode.

    If you want to find out if Rachel picks up next Monday, subscribe and you won’t miss any of the episodes as well as on Wednesdays. Also, you can share with your friends and co-workers. Sometimes, those aren’t always the same people but that’s great. Yeah, absolutely follow us on Twitter if you’d like, GreenApplePod or I’m @Recovering CPA, Rachel’s @FischBooks.

    We’ll see you next Monday. Thanks, Rachel.

    Rachel: Yup. Have a good week, John.

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