The Key Differences Between Culture, Purpose And Employee Engagement
The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.
This week, John and Rachel discuss a Forbes article, “The Key Differences Between Culture, Purpose And Employee Engagement” by Dan Pontefract.
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Good morning. Happy Monday. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices and I have with me, I can’t believe she picked up the phone again, Rachel Fisch.
Rachel: Hey, John. How are you?
John: Doing great. You need to get caller ID because I can’t believe you continue to pick up. It’s unbelievable, it’s unbelievable.
Rachel: Of course. How was your Thanksgiving?
John: Yeah. It was really, really good. I just woke up from my turkey coma and it’s all good. Just in time to record this.
John: Yeah, it was really good. A couple of days before that, I was in Connecticut speaking to the Insurance Accounting and Systems Association, the Northeast Chapter, was their closing keynote and brought the Green Apple message to them and really, really fun. Really fun. It was good. And you’re on the road like crazy again.
Rachel: A little bit, I know. We had kind of a couple of weeks there to have some down time and then the last week, I was in Alberta for three days, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary. This week, I’m just hanging around Ontario a little bit, London, Ottawa, and Toronto.
John: Oh, good. That’s nice. You can stay in your own bed, that’s always nice.
Rachel: A little bit, yeah.
John: Every Monday, we always talk through an article and this one is super fun because it involves candy. I was like starving just reading the article but it was in Forbes, an article by Dan Pontefract. It was The Key Differences Between Culture, Purpose And Employee Engagement and he equates it to a Reese’s Cup, the peanut butter and chocolate Reese’s Cup and oh, my gosh just so —
Rachel: I happen to love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and I think they taste even better after you put them in the fridge for about an hour. I like them cold. I like them straight out of the fridge.
John: That’s very Canadian of you. That’s very good. Isn’t everything cool out there?
Rachel: Or just outside in the snow. I’ll just leave it outside for a little bit.
John: Great. That’s so funny. But yeah, I thought it was really cool because he equates each of the parts that culture is the chocolate and purpose is the peanut butter and then you put them together and that’s when you get engagement.
Rachel: Yeah, because I think he kind of starts of by saying, culture and purpose and engagement, sometimes people use these terms and words interchangeably and they’re not. They’re actually different things and so he goes on to talk about how dependent they are in each other but how different they actually are.
John: Right, exactly, exactly. And that the culture is the how an organization operates so it’s not the words that are painted on the wall or the values or the mission statements or the things like that. The philosophy that’s made up of the behaviors and it’s the do as I do not, as I say, type of a thing I guess.
Rachel: Right. I’m not sure if you know this about me, John. I’m a bit of a “How?” person.
John: A little bit, little bit.
Rachel: When it comes to taking theoretical things or things that you’re told to do as a practitioner or whatever, for me, it always comes down to okay, how? What is my first step? How do I take this great knowledge that I have and actually get into a step 1? How do I get started transforming my firm or whatever it may be?
I think it’s great that he identified that the culture is the “How?” Basically, that systemic leadership philosophy that defines how it functions with one another and of course as you said, people follow the actions that they see. They don’t, as much, follow things that they’re told to do. So culture is really that “How?” piece of it.
John: Right, right, and then he goes on to say that purpose is what an organization stands for and purpose is the peanut better because it always gets stuck to the roof of your mouth I think that’s why it’s the — oh, wait. That’s totally different.
Rachel: I don’t think that’s why.
John: That’s not why at all. What the heck? It’s probably because I’m eating one right now and that’s what’s happening. But it’s great what the organization stands for.
Rachel: For sure, and as you said, profits of course are good and essential and will keep that business going but what really drives the organization is the purpose so if your culture is your chocolate, which is your “How?” and your purpose is your peanut butter which is kind of what drives the whole thing, that the engagement is how employees feel about those two things together and that is the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup when you’ve taken that first bite into it.
John: Exactly. Right, right, yeah. Because I mean like you said, profits are nice but there needs to be another level to this. There needs to be a purpose bigger than that and then you address that purpose and then profits will happen, just it’ll fall into line and people will be engaged, they’ll be excited to work there, they’ll be excited to work with each other, work is fun. All that good thing, you take a genuine interest in the people around you, the Green Apple message, and then magic happens, and it’s really fun. So that’s how it works, everybody. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Rachel: It’s just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, exactly.
John: There it is. So yeah, so that’s it. If you like to read the article, go to greenapplepodcast.com and you can check it out there, and also I have a survey about corporate culture that’s anonymous so if you could click that big green button there, it’ll take about 60 seconds to do, that’d be much appreciated.
And yeah, have a great rest of the week, Rachel.
Rachel: Awesome. You too, John.