Episode 146.5 – Green Apple Slice


Guiding Principles for Building a Successful Organizational Culture



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 Employee Connect, “Guiding Principles for Building a Successful Organizational Culture” by Bryon Conway.


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    Good morning, everyone. It’s John Garrett, coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices coming off a week of sage sessions New York City. I had so much fun. Speaking of sage, the accountants group, leader for Canada, Rachel Fisch. Yeah, Rachel, you’re here. Yes.

    Rachel: I am.

    John: Every week, we get together and talk through an article online, employee engagement and culture and things like that and how it applies in the accounting consulting — so, yeah. This article, I found that — I thought it was really great as an employee connect. It’s guiding principles for building a successful organizational culture, an article by Byron Conway on how — you have to be intentional with your culture and then aligning it with three different dimensions. You talked about in the beginning there of symbolic reminders that are visible.

    Rachel: That’s kind of fancy language for stuff, stuff that you have around the office that just reminds people of your commitment and what your culture is. Houston behavior is a recurring act which tend to trigger other behaviors of both visible and invisible kinds. Okay, so the way you act, so we’ve got stuff and what you do and then what you think in your mindset. And then I’m curling down and you see the bullets and you see the bolds. I’m like, okay.

    John: There we go. There’s the meet of it right there. Any of these stand out to you as something that’s different or something that we haven’t really talked about before?

    Rachel: You know what, I actually like the way that he started with number one. I should maybe explain it first before talking about it, which is aligned with your organizations present cultural situation. So for me, when we’re talking about firms and stuff like that, they want to jump straight to what they want it to look like without taking into consideration sometimes the work that they’ll need to do to get it there. It is really like turning a ship in some cases. If you can be aware of and working with the way that it exists right now, it’s really going to help you understand how to get your culture from where it is currently to where you want to see it. And so, you can’t really ignore that present state scenario before moving forward. So I thought that was actually pretty important.

    John: Yeah, you got to start where you are, because people aren’t going to change that quickly. I thought when that was really great was change behavior and mindsets will follow.

    Rachel: Yes, fake it until you make it.

    John: Yeah, it’s kind of that whole idea of you walk into places that have that motto on the wall and then you look around. You’re like none of this is happening.

    Rachel: None of it, no.

    John: None of it is an action. I think a big part of that too is also you got to deal with the heart, the why and the purpose behind it and getting people in tune with that as well is really big, because that’s probably the most important part and then the actions and then the mind is last because it will just fall into line with everything else that’s going.

    Rachel: Yeah. That kind of supports the next couple of points, like just playing the genuine leaders and demonstrate the impact of culture change quickly and then employing the communication methods. Of course, we talked about communication in terms of culture and changing culture. And then actually, I’m going to wrap up with my next favorite which is also the last one. So I’m just going to book it in here. My favorites are number one the number nine. But it says, actively manage the cultural situation over time. So there isn’t ever a point where you get — we made it. We have the best culture.

    Now, we’re just going to take our foot off the gas and where the e goes. That’s not actually the way this works. It’s something that you’re going to need to continue maintaining because you are going to be hiring new people that now need to get into the culture. You are going to be working with organizational changes. And so, if culture is this thing as Katie Burke mentioned in her article a few weeks ago, is this thing that seeps through the entire organization and every element of it. Those things are fluid and they change constantly. You do need to be actively managing the culture piece of it as you go as well. You can’t forget about that.

    John: Yeah, no. That’s exactly where it’s at. And I love the line at the end there of expecting evolution, not a revolution. It doesn’t happen overnight and we’re not getting pitchforks and torches and running everyone out who doesn’t believe. It’s not a quick fix where you flip the switch and everybody is now doing whatever the new thing is.

    Rachel: It takes time and work and effort and all those things. But yeah, there’s some definitely some great points in it for sure.

    John: Cool. Well, thank you so much, Rachel. That was awesome. If people would like to see the article, they can go to greenapplepodcast.com and there will be a link there. Follow us on Twitter and don’t forget to hit subscribe, so you can get all the Monday Green Apple Slices with Rachel and I. Then I do interviews on Wednesdays with different professionals that are known for a passion and interest outside of work. Check them all out, hit subscribe and we’ll see you next week. Have a good one, Rachel.

    Rachel: Very cool. You too, John. Bye-bye.

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