Culture a la Leaders

PERKS Editorial Team

PERKS Editorial Team


May 4, 2022

The Building Culture Podcast - Episode 5.4

Andrew YJ Kim, "Culture a la Leaders"

Why must leaders do both culture and strategy well? Andrew YJ Kim, CEO of Culture ‘n Strategy and author of Culture for the Left-brained Leader shares about the role leaders play in building a positive workplace and how to ingrain culture into the recruitment process.


You can download the episode here.
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Show notes:
  • Your book, Culture for the Left-brained Leader, was recently released in July 2021. 
    • What is the basis for writing your book? What needs does it address?
  • Who are we referring to when we say “left-brained leaders”? What audience will benefit from your teaching?
  • Observation: Building Culture is an HR-focused podcast, but I personally believe the conversation around building positive culture in the workplace is something that leaders from any background can’t ignore. In your opinion, when do you think this shift happened?
    • Why should leaders (everywhere, not just HR) pay attention to culture?
    • In startup culture, very well-known that HR leaders are hired very late. Culture is somewhat established already before HR comes in. Thoughts about this?
      • Why is it important to have an HR person come on sooner rather than later?
      • If no budget (let’s be real), things business owner should pay attention to so culture doesn’t go awry?
  • Recruitment. It’s a job seekers’ market and if you’re a job seeker, a lot of competition
  • Growth. How do you scale the culture that you’ve built?
    • Not new: lay out expectations clearly (verbal, written)
    • Executives don’t necessarily have direct interactions with departments - why you need to train administrators and middle managers (Gallup)
  • Follow with me - you and your HR/People & Culture dept have made your hires. In your book, you talk about how it’s easy for teams to set up an excellent strategy and processes for the organization. How do you see strategy working together with culture to drive success, ROI, etc.?
  • Can you remark on the statement: “What worked for top companies might not necessarily work for you.” What can we learn from organizations who have great cultures?
    • Use personalization and reflect on feedback to help your team feel engaged
  • There’s often an assumption that HR/P&C is responsible for creating and maintaining culture. While that’s not wrong, I want to talk about how leaders can actively partner with HR to strengthen culture. Thoughts?
    • Working with HR to gather suggestions for programs
    • Leading with humanity and being present. Maybe you have office hours or set up coffee chats. 
  • What services are available through Culture ‘n Strategy? What is some of the feedback you have received? 
    • Where do we follow what you are doing?
  • Thoughts as we wrap up this conversation?
  • I want to finish with this idea from Andrew’s book: culture + strategy together leads to sustainable growth and innovation. There’s so much that goes into each of these, but the small things you do as a leader from day-to-day will build your organization’s culture.