Episode 163.5 – Green Apple Slice


How Your Corporate Culture Is Leaving Money On The Table



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 Chief Executive article, “How Your Corporate Culture Is Leaving Money On The Table” by Euan Davis.


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    Happy Monday. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. I am stuffed to the rafters with all my Thanksgiving in America food and bringing in the Canadian side because they had Thanksgiving a month ago.

    Rachel: Over a month ago. We’re a little ahead of you.

    John: Yeah, you guys are from the future.

    Rachel: That’s right.

    John: Right.

    Rachel: Isn’t it that the Australians that are from the future? That’s what Clayton Oates always tells me.

    John: Yeah. No, they like to think. They just have all the deadly things. That’s why they’re from the future with all their spiders and snakes and cassowaries and such. But yeah, I had a great Thanksgiving weekend and ready to hit the ground running. We got a full week ahead of us.

    Rachel: We do. No holidays this week, that’s right.

    John: I know, five days in a row. It’s going to be exhausting. I was super excited. I got a tweet from Corenne Gutierrez @HawkinsAshCPAs. She had heard me speak at the AAM conference in May. They went back and actually shot a promo video for their firm highlighting the passions of their people, the outside of work stuff. One’s a bike dude. One’s a soccer dad. One’s a camping explorer. It’s just really cool how they took that concept and made it into a promo video for their firm.

    Rachel: Yeah, that’s awesome. I was so proud of you to see that. It’s like, “Oh, John did something or influence something,” right?

    John: Right, right. Somebody listened and took notes.

    Rachel: Somebody is paying attention to all the thousands of people that you talk to every year. Somebody paid attention.

    John: It’s so awesome. What’s even better, it’s like when you watch the video, at no point do you say, “These are unprofessional people,” or, “I bet they’re not very good at accounting.” It’s like the opposite. It’s like, “Wow. They’re like real people. I bet they’re really good at what they do.” It’s really cool.

    Rachel: Yeah.

    John: Yeah. But every Monday, we always get together and talk through an article. I found this one on chiefexecutive.net, which I don’t even know how they let me in to read it. But I had to use your password, Rachel. That’s where that comes in.

    Rachel: It does come in handy once in a while, yeah.

    John: Right, right. But it was, “How Your Corporate Culture Is Leaving Money On The Table,” an article by Euan Davis. I thought it was interesting, some of the concepts that he brought up of just preparing your culture for the future I guess. Also just — it was stuff that we’ve talked about before, a little bit of where if you’re not intentional about it, then it will organically become something not good.

    Rachel: Yeah. No, I totally agree. We’re seeing this as a theme in a lot of places actually, right? Whether it’s doing things with passion or with intention or just to really deliberate choice that then changes things. One of the things that I’ve been seeing, especially as people look at their culture and go, “Okay, we need to change that,” but don’t think of all of the things that have to change in order for that to happen. I’m sure that change management people are like right up there with the froufrou wellness people.

    John: Right.

    Rachel: But in this case, they have insights and ability to identify multiple areas within the corporation that need help basically and then guide you through all of these things so, “Oh, what was it that I heard?” If you could have done it by yourself, you would’ve done it already, right? If all of these companies wanted better culture, they could have and were capable of doing it themselves, they would have done that already. They can’t and yet don’t often seek out help. I thought this article was really good at really identifying, as you said, like an intentional, a step-by-step thing on all of things that have to happen in order for that to really seep through. I thought that was good.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. I mean you can create it whatever you want it to be. That’s the beauty of it. It doesn’t have to be, “Well, that’s how it’s always been done,” or, “That’s how the person before me did it.” No, you’re now the person that has control over that. You can make it whatever you want. He actually had a stat here that revenue growth is 36% higher for companies that are intentional about their culture than those that are more complacent. I mean there’s dollars on the line here. It’s really that simple. It’s not something where it’s nice to have. It’s actually a business decision.

    Rachel: Right. I don’t think that an organization has positive work culture and is also complacent about it. Those that have it are really purposeful about getting it. Those that aren’t purposeful don’t have it. It’s you get it with effort or you don’t get it.

    John: Exactly. That’s the point right there, exactly. But then they went into a different, I guess, actions that executives can take to build a culture that they want to have. I think the one that really stood out to me was just how everyone can be vocal. It’s where we have these relationships that are not built just on work. Then if you have these relationships, then if you have a work conversation that isn’t necessarily positive, you’re like, “Hey, this is ridiculous. We need to do it a different way.” It’s not a personal attack on anyone. It’s just we’re trying to make things better. I mean that’s the thing that I remember when I worked. I mean everyone’s really resistant to change. They just want to do it the way that it’s always been done because they’re used to that. They’re familiar with that. But getting people — what is the phrase? — comfortable with being uncomfortable slightly, then that’s a good thing because then it gets people thinking ahead. It’s also something where if leaders are open to ideas from people at all levels, then that’s where the good stuff comes from. It’s the people that are on the ground doing the work.

    Rachel: That definitely does need to be welcome because typically, we’re talking about a group of risk averse people that’s just the nature of the industry that we’re in who aren’t necessarily going to be speaking up. To create not only a safe place for them to do so but also the means with which they can do so effectively and efficiently and feel like their heard, I think, is really powerful as well. Yeah, that one stuck out to me too. Imagine that two chatters, two talky people getting excited about a vocal employee.

    John: About being more vocal, there we go. That’s it. But there were five other ones —

    Rachel: Those are also good.

    John: Yeah. They’re also very good. We open up the organizational structures to rewire power and decision-making. It doesn’t always have to be top down. On a local level, if you will, on a smaller team, you can still make decisions and do things. We’re adults so be adults. If you want to read the whole article, you can go to greenapplepodcast.com. Don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any of the episodes. Maybe if you liked the show, head out to iTunes, your favourite Android app and leave a review. Because then it lets people know what we’re doing over with all the crazy, wacky stuff. Then there’s Rachel for reigning me in.

    Rachel: Pretty much.

    John: Pretty much, yeah. But if you want to check out that video from Hawkins Ash, you can follow us on Twitter @GreenApplePod or Rachel’s @FischBooks and I’m @RecoveringCPA. Yeah. Connect and we’ll talk to you next Monday. Have a good week, Rachel.

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

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