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HCI Webinar: Building Company Culture From the Bottom-Up, with Brett Hoogeveen

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Brett Hoogeveen about building company culture from the bottom-up. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:

Quick Recap


Jonathan and Brett discussed the importance of building company culture from the bottom up, emphasizing the need for a grassroots approach and the role of leadership in shaping the culture. They also highlighted the significance of aligning corporate initiatives with employee personal success and happiness, and the value of being a coachable individual for success in personal and professional life.


Bottom-Up Approach to Company Culture


Jonathan stressed the importance of a bottom-up approach to company culture, emphasizing that meaningful and sustainable change can only be achieved through a grassroots effort. He introduced Brett Hoogeveen, co-founder of Better Culture, to share his insights on the topic. Brett shared his experience with running a family business focused on company culture and highlighted the value of both top-down and bottom-up approaches. Jonathan also addressed a common skepticism about the possibility of influencing company culture, referring to an article that suggested this was a futile effort.


Managing Company Culture for Success


Brett and Jonathan discussed the importance of company culture and the need for active management to shape it. They agreed that if left unattended, company culture can develop in negative and unhealthy ways. Brett shared his experience of talking to people about the significance of a healthy workplace culture, emphasizing that either people understand and value it, or they don't. He posed a question about whether managers would prefer an engaged, connected, and energetic employee or one who just shows up and does their job without much enthusiasm. Jonathan and Brett both answered that managers would prefer the former.


Organization Culture Development and Influence


Brett and Jonathan discussed the influence and development of an organization's culture. Brett emphasized that culture is shaped by the attitudes and behaviors of individuals within the group, and that it can be intentionally influenced. He pointed out the importance of leadership principles and core values, as well as the roles of executives, management, HR, and all employees in building and maintaining a healthy culture. Jonathan agreed, viewing the investment in culture as a long-term, ongoing process that benefits both the company and its employees.


Multi-Faceted Approach for Culture Change


Jonathan and Brett discussed the importance of a multi-faceted approach to changing an organization's culture. They argued that a one-pronged approach is not sustainable and will not lead to long-term change. Instead, they emphasized the need for a bottom-up, grassroots approach that engages all employees in the culture-building process. Brett shared their journey of developing a product based on 20 tenets of workplace culture, which they aimed to use to help organizations intentionally improve their workplace culture from the bottom up.


Aligning Corporate Initiatives With Employee Success


Brett and Jonathan discussed the importance of aligning corporate initiatives with employee personal success and happiness. Brett emphasized the value of fostering a culture that supports employee development and team success, which in turn benefits the organization. Jonathan agreed, highlighting the need for clear communication about the benefits and the potential for enhanced opportunities for development and advancement. They also discussed the challenges of overcoming resistance to change and the importance of advocates at the grassroots level to promote new initiatives. Lastly, Brett mentioned an internal conflict about how to use a newly built IP, highlighting the potential for different markets on the culture and professional development sides.


Coachability, Positive Intent, and Culture Building


Brett and Jonathan discussed the importance of being a coachable individual for success and happiness in personal and professional life. They emphasized on the significance of assuming positive intent in interactions with others and how it contributes to team health, culture, and personal well-being. Brett then introduced a tool developed to help organizations build better culture from the bottom up, aiding in the process of equipping managers and employees with necessary resources and strategies.


Listen to the webinar here:



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