Think and Grow a Rich Company Culture

In order to cultivate exceptional company culture, you need to “Think and Grow Rich.”

There’s powerful truth in Napoleon Hill’s wisdom when it comes to the matter – “Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.”

However, this week’s guest speaker on the #FlipMyFunnel Podcast Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at Hubspot, expanded upon that same wisdom in terms of how you and your company can think and grow together.

The difference is, instead of focusing on amassing immense wealth or power, Katie suggests a different target. And as she says, we’re only human – the ‘riches’ will follow.

At this point you may be wondering, ‘that’s great in all, but where do I start’? You’re also probably wondering, ‘what is this mysterious target you speak of?’

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Thinking and Growing Rich Culture

Company growth starts with the individual.

When we asked Katie how each individual should be contributing to their company’s cultural evolution, she said, “Learning and growing is the most important thing”.

You have to take a pledge to learn every single day. You must learn what matters. You have to learn to see who’s being truthful and who’s not. You have to learn to present clear messages.

That’s the first part of the ‘growth’ equation. However, the equation gets messed up when a promotion is confused with growth and thinking they are one in the same.

[Tweet “”Learning and growing is the most important thing.” – @katieburkie #FlipMyFunnel”]

Redefining Growth

Katie exclaimed that there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and motivated. In fact, she encouraged it. The problem she sees arising is that young, hungry, motivated people hop around between jobs every couple of years, chasing more money and more powerful titles.

So, naturally, we asked her advice. What should you focus on instead?

Katie began by stating, “Even after you get a promotion you should be thinking, ‘what can I do better or differently tomorrow that I didn’t do today’?”

That is the essence of growth – incrementally getting better each and every day.

The New Target

The target you should set your sights on is focusing on doing work that you really love with people that you admire. The title and the money will take care of itself. Titles only affect your bank account and maybe your views on LinkedIn. But you shouldn’t dismiss titles and money as useless, either.

With that in mind, Katie strongly encourages us to, “have a good combination of patience and impatience.”

In other words, It’s okay to be a little impatient and want things to expand faster. But if you find yourself saying, ‘I haven’t gotten a promotion in x months’, take a deep breath. A lot of people have gone many years growing and improving without a title change.

With this new mindset, let’s have a conversation about the ideal company culture.

[Tweet “”Have a good combination of patience and impatience.” – @katieburkie #FlipMyFunnel”]

The Ideal Company Culture

Katie said the first thing she looks at regarding a company is the energy.

Picture Netflix’s company culture for example.

Netflix employees are shockingly helpful and positive. More so than that, practically every person who works for the company appears to be on a mission to revolutionize the world. Maybe that’s a little extreme. The point is you need to have a purpose that’s connected to something greater than yourself.

At the leadership level, you also need to think of your employees in the same way that you do with stakeholders, prospects, customers. You need to communicate with them effectively.

You need to be able to inspire them and engage them. You need to be able to know when things aren’t working and when to fix them. It’s also extremely important to create and deliver exceptional experiences and then share those stories with the world.

However, Katie goes on further and really calls us all to action in a particular area – diversity.

How should we ‘think and grow’ diversity?

We have to be intentional.

In other words, you have to be intentional about making diversity an opportunity to tackle. But it shouldn’t be a business opportunity, an HR challenge or a recruiting challenge.

We all have an obligation to be better and to think about the organizations we are building and how inclusive they feel. She jokingly expressed this alluding to some of the headlines from this past year.

With that being said, Katie has high expectations for the future:

“I hope over time the next generation of people who work in tech in a decade, will look different, will come from different backgrounds, and to do that we need to start a deeper conversation that’s sometimes uncomfortable.”

It’s important to call each other out on things we can improve and we have to make that commitment at the leadership level. In the coming years, we need to build companies that look as diverse as our customer base.

To wrap things up, I’ll leave you with an important message Katie left us – “Every company has one thing they can do better.”

Be the person that speaks up and makes a commitment to thinking and growing rich company culture.

[Tweet ““Every company has one thing they can do better .” – @katieburkie #FlipMyFunnel”]


This post is based on a podcast interview with Katie Burke. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The #FlipMyFunnel Podcast. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode at flipmyfunnel.com/podcast