All of us have a culture. And when it comes to culture, it’s about the way that you conduct yourself at work and the things you do. In this episode, Erik shares what he heard from an audiobook by the founder of Home Depot about inculcating people.
Erik J. Olson (00:01):
Why culture matters at work? What is happening? This is Erik J. Olson. Yeah. Why does culture even matter? Right. We hear a lot about that these days creating a culture of excellence or, you know, inculcating people. I heard that in an audio book by the founder of home Depot, actually he talks about inculcating, how things are done. Look, culture is not the plaques that are like on your wall. It’s not the posters that are on your wall. It’s not having a ping pong table at the office. It’s not about taking half days on Friday. It’s not, it’s not about any of that bullshit, to be honest with you. Like all of that is just a huge distraction. Just a huge distraction culture is, is really the way things are done around here. Now, whether you like it or not, you have a culture. I have a culture.
Erik J. Olson (00:56):
The question is, do we want to influence that culture? Do we want to be explicit about our culture? Do we want to create a culture or have a culture created for us? So when we talk about creating a culture or having a culture in the company, you’re gonna have a culture, no matter what, the only question is, is it what you want, right? Is it what you intended to create? And are you doing something to make it happen? If you’re not doing anything to make a culture, the way that you want, then it’s just happening to you. Is that happening because of you or for you? And that’s a problem. So when it comes to culture, it’s about the way that you conduct yourself at work. It’s about the way that you do things. Now. I mentioned the the book that I’m reading right now by the founder of home Depot.
Erik J. Olson (01:43):
It’s an older book. He came out probably about 20 years ago and he talks about inculcating. That, that I don’t even know if that’s a real word, but that’s the word he uses. So it must be real inculcating, new employees about the way things are done at home Depot. And here’s an example at the home Depot. You’re I know you’re familiar with the home Depot, right? That’s why I’m using this example. They very specifically want to have a warehouse feeling to it. They, it is a warehouse and they want it to feel like a warehouse. Some of their early employees, when they were first opening stores would like Polish the floors and like dust the shelves. And like they would bring all the product to the front and they would do what’s called facing it, which means like it’s all on a straight line. Like sometimes when you go to a grocery store and the person’s just stocked, like the serial aisle, it’s like all perfectly lined up, right? There’s like no gaps, cuz they brought everything to the front and it’s aligned with one another. So that that’s in that that’s very common in retail. And so the people that initially opened the home depots, not knowing better were gonna surprise the founders before the opening day. And they took, they cleaned the whole store and they brought everything to the front. It was nice and, and dust free and, and the owners came in, they were
Erik J. Olson (02:58):
Like, what the hell is this? This is not what we want. This is not what we do here at the home Depot. And they literally took hours before the store opening to reverse that they got in a forklift and they drove around. They skid, they dropped skid marks everywhere. They moved the product around. They want it to look like a warehouse. They don’t want it to look like a showroom, very specific culture that they created. And when someone unknowingly went against that culture, they brought it back to the way they wanted. So there’s a lot of examples in, in this book about culture and inculcating your employees and then being very specific about it. We’re very specific here as well. There are things that we expect of ourselves, of myself that we do here day in and day out. And a lot of these things revolve around the core values.
Erik J. Olson (03:48):
So things like transparency, we’re never gonna like beat around the Bush and mask the truth. Now just come right out and say it. What do we need to know? Be transparent with each other, be transparent with our clients, right? There’s quality. We expect quality work and I don’t need to like prefix that with high quality, no quality is quality. There’s quality. So we expect that. I expect passion outta my folks. This is our culture, right? And I need to not only say it over and over and over and over again, but I need to put systems in place that reinforce that, which we’ve done here. So when we talk about culture, it should go back to your core values as well. So if you’re running a company, do you have core values? Do you have a culture? What are you doing to enforce that value system and the culture? Like I said before, you’re gonna have a culture, whether you like it or not, the thing is, do you want to try to influence it before it gets set in its ways.