MBTI® Users Conference—The Art of Culture Hacking

03 Nov 2016

The perfect way to kick off the conference was Robert Richman’s keynote. Author of The Culture Blueprint: A Guide to Building the High-Performance Workplace, Richman shared that only one-third of organizations feel that their culture is in line with their business strategy. When he asked the audience for a definition of organizational culture, he got about 30 different answers, including traditions, moods, and feelings that are encouraged or discouraged. Richman shared the idea that “experience changes beliefs.” We each have a huge opportunity to learn from the success and challenges we experience. The four factors of positive psychology—perceived progress, perceived control, relationships, and higher purpose—can help.

Richman’s work at Zappos helped him understand the importance of organizational culture. Zappos stopped the advertising game they were playing and instead started creating a unique experience for customers. It was based on their core values of delivering a wow experience, embracing/driving change, creating fun and a little weirdness; being adventurous, creative, and open-minded; pursuing growth and learning; building open and honest relationships; building a positive team and family spirit; being passionate and determined; and being humble.

Richman shared with his audience that there are no good or bad cultures. Instead, there are strong or weak cultures. A strong culture exists when what people believe, say, and do are all in line. He sees culture as a game where people have a goal, rules, feedback (#1 employee complaint is not getting enough), and opting in. To impact a culture, people need to bring themselves into it (opting in) instead of taking from it. It’s a good reminder to ask ourselves, “What am I bringing to my culture today?”

By the way, I was able to briefly talk with Richman right before he went on stage. I asked him if he gets nervous before speaking to a large group of people. He told me he doesn’t really get nervous much any more after realizing that the speaker is on stage to focus on how the audience is doing and not how the speaker is doing. If speakers get too caught up in what people think of them, then they aren’t spending enough time on being there for their audience. I thought it was very generous of him to share this tip with me.

Want to read more about the Users Conference? Check out my previous blogs in this series:


 

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