Episode 148.5 – Green Apple Slice


When Brand Strategy And Corporate Culture Collide



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 a Forbes article, “When Brand Strategy And Corporate Culture Collide” by Levetica Watts.


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    Good morning. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. I have on the other line, the Accountants Group Leader in Canada for Sage, Rachel Fisch.

    Rachel: Hey, John.

    John: Rachel, how are you?

    Rachel: Good. How are you?

    John: Doing excellent. I just did Sage Session Seattle last week.

    Rachel: Awesome.

    John: I had a lot of fun. Met quite a few green apples out there shattering the stereotype which was really cool.

    Rachel: That’s awesome.

    John: Yeah. There was a guy that played NHL Hockey and there was a woman that sails the world in a sailboat yacht and there was a guy who coaches high school football. There was a guy that had his art hanging in the White House when he was in high school.

    Rachel: Cool.

    John: Yeah. It was like, this is it coolest group of people ever. Every Monday, we always get together and chat about an article we find online about corporate culture, engagement. I found this article in Forbes called “When Brand Strategy and Corporate Culture Collide,” by Levitica Watts. It just talked about when HR and marketing team up and get together, some crazy stuff happens.

    Rachel: What? It does. So this to me, when she’s talking about culture seeping through all of these different areas of your organization and we often say, how? What does that look like? This is a classic example of when you allow corporate culture to seep through the different areas of the organization and then when you’re connecting peers to work together in new and different ways. It totally makes sense as you’re reading this. There would be a connection between HR and marketing. Basically, the principle here that it’s using is like brand ambassadors and what they are, how you can use them within your organization and of course a neat little five step plan to do that. But in most cases, you look at HR as this modular unit within your organization that just kind of keeps that to themselves and —

    John: Well, yeah, HR is also where I have all my meeting.

    Rachel: I was just going to say. Right. And then there is marketing and then usually the cool kids and coming up with the ideas in playing with PowerPoint outdate — no, I’m not sure. But there is actually value in combining this and then what does that look like? So I actually think that this is a genius article that talks about what it looks like when you allow great culture to seep through your entire organization.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. I loved that where it said, engage your employees and create that dialogue and collect thoughts on them of what the brand means and what the values are and what they think needs to be improved rather than just come down from the top with here’s what’s happening. It’s like, well, maybe — actually, talk to people and find out. But the one that I really liked was focusing on onboarding. That’s something that just last week I talked with Bobby Chadha about on the Wednesday episode.

    Rachel: I love Bobby.

    John: Yeah, he was great in just talking about how important onboarding is, because really you’re communicating that culture starts from even when you’re recruiting to that person all the way through all those communications and everything else. But the onboarding is where it’s like, all right, you’re jumping into the deep end and let’s go. It’s actually showing them that this is the culture here and this is how it’s okay to behave. I think it’s really important that a lot of companies a lot of times gloss over. It’s okay. Here is your cube and here is your computer and here is a big binder for you to read and we’ll get back to you this afternoon.

    Rachel: I totally agree because not only when it comes to employee onboarding, but I think both you and I talked to a lot of accounting firms and other professional services and things like that. To me, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly people skip over client onboarding. That’s a great opportunity for you to present and play out what your culture is, what your company believes, what the expectations are, where your boundaries are. All of those things that you can set a great client engagement right from the very first conversation.

    John: If you’d like to read the article, you can go to greenapplepodcast.com. There’s a link right there. Also if you’re listening on iTunes or whatever Android app you’re listening on, please leave a rating and maybe a review. It really helps other people hear about the podcast as well with the whole algorithm thing. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the show so you don’t miss any of the episodes every Monday with Rachel. And every Wednesday, I’m interviewing a different person that’s out there shattering the stereotype with their hobbies and passions and interests outside of work. I hope you have a great rest of the week, Rachel. We’ll talk to you then.

    Rachel: You too, John. Talk to you later.

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