75 of U.S employees will leave their job within 5 years of being there. That is really expensive for a company. And that is why corporate culture is important to a company’s success. On the flip side to that, 82% of employees said they’d be less likely to leave an organization if flexibility went way up. f their job flexibility, if they could choose their hours a little bit more, etc. Beyond that and you know, from different studies and different companies, you get slightly different data. But a whole bunch of companies have recorded on average, 100% more applications come in if that company’s really is is known for having a really great company culture. That’s why company culture is important.

In this video, we’re going to unpack 4 case studies from companies that you have heard about that also have some really practical strategies that you can then implement to improve your company culture whether you’re small or big. 

Our four case studies/anecdotes are going to come from

  • Google
  • SpaceX
  • Amazon; and a lesser-known
  • Traditional medicinals.

Let’s jump into it. Google. Right away, I’ve shared this in other videos and the New York Times has written about this. But Google went on a giant study a couple years back to unpack what are the characteristics of the highest performing teams within our culture at Google. The number one characteristic that they found was the degree of psychological safety in that team. And that’s really interesting. The way that they train that in onboarding is to talk about inclusivity of not only people but ideas. Wanting to seek and gather diverse perspectives. I love the way that they frame that because I had a mentor that once used to say that a choice of words is often a choice of worlds. The reason that for me is so potent is when I look at all of these companies, when I look at company culture… In company, you ask 20 people what company culture is you’ll get 20 different responses. But loosely, let’s say that corporate culture, company culture is the culmination the set of values, goals ,ideas, actions, behaviors and practices in a given organization. Now, we could go deep dive into what the definition is in the semantics. Not going to do that. Because I want to give you some more practical strategies to enhance corporate culture so that 75% of people don’t leave your company within 5 years. Because that’s really expensive.

Talking about that a choice of words is a choice of worlds. Elon Musk was noticing at SpaceX that there were way too many acronyms being used. And because the way that people are designed to want to seek that psychological safety, we don’t want to be caught dead not knowing an acronym. Oftentimes, we pretend to know acronyms. At one point, Elon sent out a memo saying, “No more acronyms at SpaceX.” Which is crazy because SpaceX, Nasa, like organizations that launch things into space usually use a lot of very complex terminology that gets bundled into quick acronyms for shorthand. Now, I don’t know the extent to which that is still thriving at SpaceX. It seems a little bit impractical to use zero acronyms. But the point is being clear and simple with our language allows us to involve everyone and not to lose out on perspectives because somebody’s pretending they know what’s happening.

Amazon culture makes it into the news quite frequently. I’m going to just let Jeff speak for himself in this clip about some practices if cult if practices are a part of culture. Speak about some practices at Amazon that absolutely shape culture and set it apart from many other companies. -We try to create teams that are no larger than can be fed with 2 pizzas. We call that the 2-pizza team rule. No powerpoints are used inside of Amazon. -I think that Amazon 2-pizza rule helps align with Google’s research and helps increase psychological safety. The bigger the room you get, the closer you get to public speaking snd people fear public speaking. In addition, to the 2-pizza rule and no powerpoint, Amazon also does this brilliantly unique thing which you may have heard about in other places. It’s become popularized says of the last couple years. But rather than getting together and starting a meeting verbally right away, especially in executive meetings, they’ve got a 6-page memo that’s written out. And they all get together and like study hall in high school. They sit there and read that executive summary that has details right, it’s sentences, it’s not bullet points. It is this detailed narrative and they actually teach narrative writing at Amazon. 

It’s this narrative, everybody reads together. Then they talk about it. Jeff Bezos talks about how impactful that is to just get everybody on the same page, the same context. Again, a choice of words is often a choice of worlds. Can you imagine starting your meeting with a half-hour of reading all the exact same words together, formulating your own thoughts, and then having discussion. It’s brilliant. You don’t need to people… Don’t need to feel the need to repeat themselves over and over again. It’s a brilliant strategy. Maybe not for every one of your meetings. But definitely, something to experiment with and try.

Lastly, traditional medicinals which might be a lesser-known company definitely than SpaceX Amazon and Google. But they’re a brilliant company. You might have sipped their tea before. I was talking with their CEO Blair Kellison at an event one time. One of the things he said to me really got lodged in my brain. It was the idea that purpose and culture are your 2 most valuable employees and they work 24/7. When you’re talking about why is corporate culture important, employees that you don’t technically pay a salary to that work 24/7 for you. And that works on the flip side too. If you have a really negative employee, that impacts the company. If you have a really negative work culture that’s working 24/7 to undermine whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.

I hope these 4 companies held some really great ideas, practical things that you can take to ramp up your company culture a little bit. Talk about this kind of stuff all the time on my YouTube channel and with clients that I work with I get to work with some of the smartest coolest organizations on the planet to help them build really foundational strong cultures of connection and engagement. 

If that’s something you’re looking for help on, check out the links in the description of our YouTube video below. We’d love to have a chat and talk. If you don’t want to have a chat and talk but you’re just looking for tools, we have this brilliantly designed connection toolkit filled with a couple card decks and books that I’ve written along with my partner, Will Wise to help companies create cultures of high psychological safety, cultures where communication is really effective, cultures that are worth showing up to. If you stuck around to this point in the video, I’m super grateful for you. You’re the kind of person that I like to hang out with. Thanks for being here in cyberspace with me. I hope that our pilots get this cross live in cyberspace at some point or in person. Have an awesome day. More videos here and here. If you want to check them out.

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