I was chatting with a former colleague about how things were going with family and at work. She’s been with her current employer for about seven or eight years now. When I asked her about her next career move, I was a little surprised about the focus of her response. She said, “I’m going to stick around for a little while. I think they still appreciate me. The moment they don’t, I’m out.”

“At its core, culture is about people”, says Garry Ridge, Chairman Emeritus of WD-40 Company. “It is about creating an environment where individuals feel valued, respected, and supported. It is about fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging collaboration and teamwork.”

My colleague’s sentiment about whether she’s valued or not and whether she’ll stay or go is a common one in today’s environment. Your top talent are making career decisions based on their experiences with your culture.


‘Culture work’ is often assigned to HR. But, as Garry Ridge reminds us in this episode of my podcast GGG Unleashed: Better Leaders, Better Workplaces“Culture is a responsibility of everybody because everybody in the organization either adds to or subtract subtracts from the culture.”

How do you build a culture where you and others are adding to its value? Where the best talent want to work and contribute? Garry led the transformation of organizational culture as CEO of the WD-40 Company. He shared five actionable tips for leaders looking to replicate WD-40’s success in their own organizations:

1. Embrace Learning Moments: Encourage a culture where failures are seen as opportunities for growth. Celebrate these moments to demystify failure and promote innovation.

2. Clarify Purpose & Values: Ensure that your organization’s purpose and values are not just words on a wall but principles that guide your daily operations and decisions. “WD-40 was a place, where when people went to work every day, they knew they made a contribution to something bigger than themselves because we had a clearly defined purpose, and purpose is so important.”Garry Ridge

3. Foster Psychological Safety: Create an environment where employees feel safe to express their ideas and concerns without fear of reprisal. This openness fosters innovation and team cohesion.

4. Lead By Example: Leadership should actively participate in and reinforce the cultural norms they wish to see throughout the organization. Their actions set the tone for the rest of the team.

5. Be Patient: Remember the ‘crockpot’ approach to culture. Building a positive and enduring culture takes time, consistency, and the involvement of everyone in the organization.

Do you add to or subtract from your organization’s culture? Is your culture one where individuals feel valued, respected, and supported? Do they feel a sense of belonging? Like most companies, I bet you have some work to do! It’s an ongoing journey.

How Can I Help?

I’ve been working with clients on building a winning culture for years. Does your organization need support creating a happy and healthy workplace? Are you unsure how to build better relationships and, ultimately, a better workplace? Let’s have a conversation. My specialty is results-based solutions in solving pressing burnout, turnover, and workplace culture challenges. I’m here to help.

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She’s a woman on a mission, prepped and ready to help you create resilient leaders and a workplace that is poised to succeed. Having weathered her fair share of corporate and career crises of all sizes, Vivian Blade MBA, MBB, PMP, is a global leadership expert and thought leader who equips leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and thrive in spite of insurmountable odds.

Vivian empowers leaders and organizations as a frequent keynote speaker for association conferences and in delivering transformative leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for corporations.

Copyright 2023 Vivian Blade