Better Results Start with Culture

August 30, 2023
August 30, 2023 Jamie Notter


Your culture drives your results. Stop thinking of culture as what people “feel” about working there. Culture is an operating system that nudges people towards certain behaviors, and if you can nudge them toward the behaviors that make you successful, you’ll get better results than you’re getting today. But none of that happens until you see the patterns.


I saw a quote in the email signature of a colleague the other day that went something like this:

“Your culture is perfectly aligned to the results you are currently getting.”

If you take stock of your current situation, and conclude that your results are disappointing, or could/should be better, then please understand that it is your culture that is guaranteeing your mediocre results right now. Your current culture is driving the behaviors that get you your current results.

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This is why we think that our research into culture patterns is so important (and why they are the focus of our upcoming book). The culture patterns we have identified tend to mask the parts of your culture that end up driving the mediocre results. Like an organization might be outwardly committed to agility or transparency, yet the pattern reveals that they don’t value critical parts of those capacities. Like for agility—the culture doesn’t emphasize fixing things or stopping things, creating inefficiency and slowing things down. Or for transparency—the culture doesn’t do anything proactively to get information in people’s hands BEFORE they need to ask for it, so the quality of decisions declines.

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The journey to better results doesn’t end with creating a good culture—it starts with changing the culture that is getting in your way right now. As stated above, culture is an operating system that nudges people towards certain behaviors. If you can nudge them toward the behaviors that make you successful, you’ll have a strong culture. But it starts with seeing the patterns.

Jamie Notter

Jamie is a co-founder and culture strategist at PROPEL, where he helps leaders create amazing workplace cultures that drive greater performance and impact. He brings thirty years of experience to his work designing and managing culture, and has specialized along the way in areas like conflict resolution and generations. Jamie is the co-author of four popular business books, including the award-winning Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement, and his fall 2023 release, Culture Change Made Easy. He holds a Master’s in conflict resolution from George Mason and a certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown, where he serves as adjunct faculty.