I believe everyone is a culture expert.”

– Robert Richman

Often when we talk about the success of a company we say “it’s their culture”. But what does that mean? What exactly is culture in a company and why is it so closely linked to the success (or failure) of an organization?

Widely regarded as an expert on the topic of culture is Robert Richman, our guest on this show. He was the chief culture strategist at Zappo’s under Tony Hsieh and founded Zappo’s Insights which went on to be a multi-million dollar business on its own. He is also the author of Culture Blueprint and is here to answer those questions.

Listen to this episode and discover:

  • What is the power of a strong culture?
  • What did Steve Jobs say was his greatest invention?
  • Why a quiet culture can be a bad sign, and what to do about it.
  • Why explicit permission is so vital to your company’s culture.
  • What are the two conversations around culture?
  • And so much more…

 Episode Overview

When asked to explain what he thinks culture is Robert says the very act of defining culture is valuable to organizations. He has asked numerous audiences during his speaking career and has gotten various answers – all of which are correct. The important takeaway he emphasizes to his audience and on today’s show is to start talking about culture. It’s how you’ll define yours and how you’ll start to shift it.

He also explains culture is something we can all pick up on within just a few minutes of being in a company’s offices. Even though you may not be able to put words to it you’ll know what a company is like just by being around the environment and the people for a short length of time.

Because of that we are all experts on culture, we all understand culture is important to the success of an organization. Much like watching a good basketball team that is well-coached, has played together for awhile and knows each other, connections in a company are formed among the individuals and trust is created through those connections.

That’s when a culture is strong, but what happens when it’s not and it’s time to work on strengthening or repairing the culture? Robert has seen more than his share of mistakes made in this area, the biggest of which is telling people what to do. Giving people directives, even to do things they want to do, only backfires. You have to let people opt in, participate and choose for themselves otherwise whatever you tell them to do won’t work.

Some of the companies he’s consulted with have had leaders who wanted a certain performance or objective to be reached. And rather than allowing their people to give ideas and feedback the leader simply mandates the actions needed to be taken by the staff to achieve that end result.

The best way to work with your team to create a strong culture and implement objectives is to present the idea, ask for feedback, ask for your staff’s input and ideas on how to make that happen. And always be open along the way: your team may have better ideas than the ones you have thought of so be open to hearing them and changing direction accordingly.

Also on today’s episode Robert shares the symptoms indicative of a culture issue, the first and most important step to take to address the culture issue and the top excuses he hears from executives on why they can’t make changes to their culture.

Because culture is such an important factor in the success and growth of a company be sure to listen in and get ready to implement what you learn on this episode of Grow My Revenue with Robert Richman.


Below are resources mentioned during the interview.

THANKS, Robert

If you enjoyed this session with Robert Richman, let him know by clicking on the link below to send him a quick message on LinkedIn or Twitter:

twitter Click here to thank Robert Richman on Twitter
linkedin Click here to thank Robert Richman on LinkedIn

What’s On Your Mind

As always, this episode provides inspiration, entertainment, and especially an actionable message that can drive remarkable results – and if you have any questions for a future episode, contact me.