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[Podcast] Measuring, Growing, and Sustaining Culture

Culture can be measured. It can be grown. It can be sustained. Listen as culture development expert and certified CultureTalk Partner DJ Hurula interviews CultureTalk founders Cynthia Forstmann and Theresa Agresta. They break down the Archetype survey system and examine each stage of a culture-related initiative.

No time to listen? Catch the highlights below.

8:20 First Things First

When you lay out the groundwork of your brand, you want to get it right the first time. Slapping on a pretty sticker will only take you so far. Interrogating “who we are” and “what’s our purpose?” at a deeper-level will root your organization in a strong foundation that can support larger growth.

10:33 A Common Definition of Culture

Culture is a shared set of behaviors, agreements, and expectations. It operates under the surface and unfolds in the open. All of these things coalesce to form a sense of how it feels to be here — how it feels to sit in this building, how it feels to be part of this team.

21:26 Are Frameworks Limiting?

Creative people in creative positions might be skeptical of working within a framework. According to DJ, this attitude overlooks the value a structure can provide. A framework supplies a common language and allows for conversations to go deeper faster. It’s a reliable, repeatable, and relevant way of approaching meaty, yet slippery organizational challenges. 

"The Archetypes provide the guardrails, it’s up to you to plumb the depths."

34:45 The Power of Validation

Archetypes are not prescriptive, they’re descriptive. These storylines may be universal, but each individual and organizational storyline is uniquely expressed. The validation stage is so important because it is an invitation to take ownership of your patterns and name how they show up for you.

40:01 Is the Process Scary?

When measuring culture and validating the results, leadership especially might fear the sword of judgement swinging down. However, there are no good or bad Archetypes. Understanding culture through this lens gives the team a chance to celebrate all the great qualities that have gotten you to where you are, while consciousness grows around the practices that aren’t working for you.

48:52 Change is Possible

You bet. Culture is a living, breathing thing. Like all living things, culture can adapt and evolve. No matter how large an organization grows, the culture happens between the people. Again and again, we see that when people are inspired to take ownership of their own behaviors, that spark sets off a sea change.


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