261: Culture Done Right, With Jamie Notter

May 2, 2023

Read Transcript

Dr. Pelè (00:00):

Hello, happy people. Welcome to the Profitable Happiness Podcast. Hello everyone. This is Dr. Pelè with the Profitable Happiness Podcast, and today we are going to learn from someone who talks about getting culture done right. Jamie Notter is the co-founder and culture strategist at Propel. Jamie, I am so honored to have you on this show. How are you doing today, my friend?

Jamie Notter (00:28):

I am great. I am great. And thank you so much for inviting me to be here. Appreciate it.

Dr. Pelè (00:32):

Oh, a absolutely. I've seen your, your, your speaking videos, boy, you bring energy, you bring passion and you mean business. You are not playing when you talk about culture being done. Right. Let's start off with that. How exactly does culture get done? Right? What is the challenge that companies are dealing with with respect to culture in the first place?

Jamie Notter (00:54):

Well, I think, I think part of it is they don't even know what their culture is, right? Like a lot of them, they, you know, they're like, well, I think I have a pretty good culture. Or, uh, you know, we, we have some core values, things like that, that we think are good, but they don't know it at a granular level. Mm. And the challenges they're facing, uh, particularly these days with the great resignation is keeping good people. Mm-hmm. And attracting top talent. Like they all wanna know what's the culture like there. Yeah. And so many of the people I work with, they're like, oh, our culture's great. You know, like, but they can't describe it. They can't, uh, show how it'll make the candidate or the existing employee successful. Like, it just, it's weak. And so we go in to actually help them be more systemic and methodical about it, and actually intentionally design a culture mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, rather than, uh, having it evolve by default. Cuz that's usually not as good. So,

Dr. Pelè (01:52):

You know, what's interesting about, about your viewpoint, which I really appreciate, is you are so right. I'm not sure there are, there are that many people who even know what the definition of the word culture really is. <laugh>. I mean, and I'm not trying to say that people don't know what it means, it's just what is it really? Right. Yeah.

Jamie Notter (02:11):

I get it all the time. They're like, oh, it's too complex to define <laugh>. Right. Like, really? Or they're like, oh, it's just the way we do things here. Like, Hmm. Not enough either. Yeah.

Dr. Pelè (02:22):

Uh, well, what, what is your definition of culture? Just kind of set the, the, the table straight for everyone listening.

Jamie Notter (02:28):

Yeah. So culture is the collection of words, thoughts, actions, and, sorry for the technical term here, stuff

Dr. Pelè (02:37):


Jamie Notter (02:38):

That clarifies and reinforces what is truly valued inside an organization. So words and actions and thoughts, like that's what your people do to create the culture. It's how you describe it. That's why I ask people when I say, how do you describe your culture? And they give me vague answers. Like, Nope, you gotta be really detailed. Yeah. And then once you describe your culture, you then have to look at the behaviors inside. Because if the behaviors are different

Dr. Pelè (03:01):


Jamie Notter (03:02):

Behaviors win, right? Yeah, absolutely. Then sometimes thoughts, that's like underlying assumptions, beliefs, sometimes that plays into it. Not always, but sometimes you have to pull those out and say, wait a minute. That's not, we set our culture as this, but we have these beliefs that are different. And then stuff is just the tangible parts of work. Your office design, your dress code, the equipment you use, all those things. Also tell your people what's really valued there. And the valued piece is not about core values. It's lovely that you like honesty and integrity. Like con congratulations for distinguishing yourself from all the other companies that value lying in deceit. Right. <laugh>, like <laugh>, no, it's what's valued, like what's deeply valued. Cuz what's valued is what drives behaviors. Yeah. If I know that this co culture values this, then I'm gonna do that. And if it doesn't value this, I'm not gonna do it. And so that's, you know, that's it in a nutshell. I I can, it fits on one slide, right? It's not,

Dr. Pelè (04:00):

I see, actually you should send that to some encyclopedia somewhere cuz that was spot on. That, that first, the first sentence or or paragraph you shared was just like, whoa, this is a textbook. I love it. Um, you know, the, if I were gonna add anything to what you said, only because this is my passion particularly, is once you get down to the behavior side, then there's the habits right behind it, right? Yeah. Because, you know, behaviors when repeated over time sort of become automatic and habits and guess what? Back into culture, right? Yeah. So

Jamie Notter (04:31):

No, well particularly cuz you'll have, you'll intentionally say, no, I want my culture to be this. And you don't recognize that you have a habit that's the opposite.

Dr. Pelè (04:38):

Exactly. Exactly.

Jamie Notter (04:40):

And as I said, you're, particularly if you're a leadership employees look up when defining the culture and if they see that behavior, you can tell me you have a culture of empowerment until you're blue in the face. But I get it, you have a culture where you, where you gotta get everything approved. You know what I mean? Yeah. You're, you're constantly asking me for if if it's been approved cuz it's your happen.

Dr. Pelè (04:57):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, you are an evidence-based person for sure. Uh, you're, you're not listening to the words, you're looking at the actions. I appreciate that. Jamie, tell us how you became Jamie Nodder, the speaker, the author, the thought leader on this topic. How did you Yes.

Jamie Notter (05:13):

Well, I actually started my career in the international conflict resolution field. So I got my master's degree in conflict resolution 30 years ago. And did that work internationally. Did a lot of work on the island of Cyprus, where the Greek Cipris and Turkish cipris haven't been getting along for the last 400 years or so. Um, and eventually transitioned into doing work in organizations. And it was 20 years ago that I started my own consulting practice mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it was about 2008, nine, I started working with my now partner, Matt Grant. We started writing some books and the books, which our first book humanized was really about how social media was changing leadership and management. <affirmative> not just marketing and communications and our follow on books built on that. And to, to sort of identify that we're in a transition, we're moving away from traditional management. Yeah. Like 1950s, command and control, all that, that's sort of going away slowly. Yep. And this future of work is emerging, right. These organizations that are doing things really differently, different set of rules for how to lead and manage mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and in all of those books, the un the, like, the fundamental premise was this is rooted in culture.

Dr. Pelè (06:28):


Jamie Notter (06:29):

Right. And so Maddie and I started our, our company together in 2014. It was originally called Culture That Works mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and it was the beginning of our sort of explicit focus on workplace culture. And then a couple years later we created a culture assessment, which we then sold to Question Pro. But we still use that a lot still out on the marketplace. And, um, you know, propels the name of our company now and, and we're just focused exclusively, exclusively on culture, culture design, culture assessment, culture change mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But yeah, it's, it, it, for me, it all started in the conflict resolution field because the core of that field is that the parties need to resolve their own conflict mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> not the mediator. Our consulting with culture, it's the same thing. You have to define your culture. Yeah. You can't bring your consultant in to define your culture. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you gotta know what it is and you gotta decide whether that's the one that's right for you. And so, uh, it's, it's the same approach of empowering the client or the organization or the parties in conflict to do this themselves and, and just own it. So.

Dr. Pelè (07:34):

Mm-hmm. And, and I, I imagine that your experience where you started from really feeds into not just the design or the assessment piece, but the change piece. Like how do you change culture? Right. Um, I I I I bet that's a place where you just come alive, correct. <laugh>.

Jamie Notter (07:49):

Yeah. That's, so when I, you know, first of all, I tell people, oh, they, a culture is too hard to define. I'm like, Nope, it's not, here's my one slide definition. And they're like, oh, that was actually pretty simple. And then on, then they're like, I'm like, oh, now we need to change culture. They're like, oh, <laugh>,

It takes eight years to change a culture. I'm like, no, it doesn't. I mean, you can take eight years if you want, but it's real simple. You just change processes, structures and, and the way you design things, you use technology in a different way. There's so many technology tools that you can implement tomorrow that will change people's behaviors and actually change the culture, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and then there's some longer term stuff around talent in HR and creating like culture stewardship. How do you manage culture on an ongoing basis? But like, this is our, our playbook model. You just need a bunch of plays, run a bunch of plays, and you'll change your culture and it'll start changing right away. Some of them are long, long-term plays, right? Like some of your culture change work is gonna take years mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, because it's deep and, and broad. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, but some of it's easy, some of it can happen tomorrow and you can see results in two weeks. Yeah. And so I, I'm done with the myth that culture is hard to change <laugh>.

Dr. Pelè (09:01):


Jamie Notter (09:01):

And, and by the way, it's changing even if you don't do anything.

Dr. Pelè (09:05):

That's right. It's defaults are designed, you pick. Right.

Jamie Notter (09:09):

So, um, so yeah, I'm very passionate about the change and it's, it's, it's the, that's the long term work that I really like doing is actually building a roadmap and checking in on a quarterly basis, how are you doing? And developing new metrics for how the culture is changing and how the, that is actually driving results. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because if, if your culture change isn't making your organization better, you're wasting your time. Mm mm Right. You gotta, this, this is not, again, this is not fluff, this is, I'm changing my culture because that's gonna help us win.

Dr. Pelè (09:41):


Jamie Notter (09:42):

Right. It's gonna help people be successful in their work. Like that's gold, uh, from an engagement point of view. So yeah, I'm very, I'm very focused on the change piece and I've actually really in probably since the pandemic clients have been asking me to even accelerate that. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Pelè (10:00):


Jamie Notter (10:00):

Like, we can't wait six months to start changing.

Dr. Pelè (10:03):


Jamie Notter (10:04):

We gotta do it now. I'm like, okay, well some of it's gonna take six months, but here's the fast track stuff we'll work on. Exactly. And so now I'm doing it simultaneously, the immediate change plus the long term change. And I think that's sort of the way to go.

Dr. Pelè (10:15):

Yeah. You know, um, talking about engagement, which you just, uh, brought up and, uh, I think is a central, you know, part, part of your body at work, your 2019 book, the Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement, um, has some really strong, powerful nuggets in it. C could you maybe walk us through what that book was about? And if you could, some of the tips and tricks, if you will, that people can walk away from this conversation with that will help them begin to build engagement in their employee cultures?

Jamie Notter (10:48):

Yeah. So I mean, our premise in writing that book, and it was based on some really depressing data, which I'm sure you've seen, which is like in 25 years we haven't moved the needle at all on engagement.

Dr. Pelè (11:00):

70% disengaged has been Right. Like over and over year in year. I

Jamie Notter (11:05):

Know, I, I mean, I, I won't, I won't name the company that does the surveys and we all know who that is, but they, they did some headline that I caught me. I went to the, it was like record engagement. And I'm like, what, sweet. And I, it's 35%. I'm like, that's 5% more than it was 20 years ago.

Dr. Pelè (11:26):

<laugh>. Yeah.

Jamie Notter (11:26):

Well, anyway, the, the, where we came from is why, why is this, why can we not move the needle on engagement? Mm. And our premise is because so much of engagement is focused on surface level satisfaction,

I wanna make my people satisfied. I wanna find out whatever's bugging them on the surface and try and fix that. And then they'll be satisfied and then they'll be engaged. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and that's not going deep enough. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right. The root of engagement from my perspective is success. Okay. An engaged employee is part, a part of a successful enterprise. So if I work for a company that's going down the tubes, I'm not engaged no matter what my job is or how smart I am. If if we're failing, I'm checking out. Right? Yeah. Be a successful enterprise, that one's usually easy to, to handle, but I also need to be successful in my role. Right. Don't, don't constantly make me jump over hurdles and push through roadblocks to get my job done. Hmm. I have to do that. I'm checking out Yeah. I'm, I'm working.

Right. That, that, that middle band and, and the engagement that are like putting in effort and they're not failing, but they're not giving you the extra effort. So that's where I am. If you're blocking me in my role and then actually deeply as a human, I need to be successful. This has to be, uh, connected to who I am and where I'm going in my life. Or the more it doesn't have to be, but the more it's connected to that, the more engaged I am. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And actually one of our epiphanies in writing the book was realizing there is a population that's, it's a hundred percent engaged all the time. And you and I both know this, this is entrepreneurs, right? Yes. You running your own business, you love it. Yes. You and probably know as well as I do, we work too hard.

Yes. Too many hours. We're too engaged almost. Yeah. And it's because we feel that success at all three levels, right? Like, the only time I see an an entrepreneur check out, like of a startup is when they realized their business model was wrong and it's not gonna win. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's like no matter how hard you work, you guess wrong in the business model. That's when they phone it in. They're like, this isn't, I'm not enjoying this anymore. They check out. So you gotta find that deep success. And for us, it's obviously we're culture people, so we focus on culture. If you design your culture specifically to address success at those three levels mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you'll unlock unbelievable amounts of engagement. Right. And so it's, it's a different lens than, let me ask you what you're unhappy about, what you don't like about work, and let's try and fix that.

Yeah. You can still do some of that in your culture work because it, like, if you've got a process that's annoying people, it's definitely a good idea to fix it. But it has to connect deeper than that. It has to say, now wait a minute, we have a pattern here that we help each out, other out as individuals, but we don't help each other out as groups inside our organization. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that pattern has to be fixed. So there may be some specific processes that you're gonna work on, but you're addressing the fact that you have this pattern that a lot of organizations have, which is we, if it needs to get done across levels of the hierarchy or across departments, it, it's hard. Yeah. Work. Right? And so that's a culture fix. Yeah. Not an engagement fix. Engagement is the result of a successfully designed culture. So that's where we're trying to get through in that book. Uh, I mean, honestly, we pitched our publisher initially on the non-obvious Guide to Workplace culture, and he's a marketer and he said, nah, not sexy enough.

Dr. Pelè (14:57):


Jamie Notter (14:58):

Probably true. I mean, he's a, he's a smart guy. He's like, I'm like, what about employee engagement? We spend a billion dollars a year on that and don't make progress. He's like, ah, now you're onto something.

Dr. Pelè (15:06):

Now you're onto something. You know, I have to say, and, and really this, I'm just gonna give you a straight up compliment because I, I hear it all. I've seen it all. And I, I, I, I know this topic intimately, but I just love the way you've positioned this problem. This, everybody's been at 70% in disengagement for years and years, and everybody seems to have a solution for it, but the needle isn't moving. And you're saying, wait a second, take a look over there at Entrepreneurs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they're 100% engaged. What can we learn from them? And then you got Daniel Pink writing a book talking about autonomy. Entrepreneurs have that. Right. And everybody's solution has little pieces of what entrepreneurs have. And I haven't yet heard someone put it quite the way you did. Um, I think that's brilliant. And I, I just want to compliment you on that. No,

Jamie Notter (15:54):

I, I appreciate that. I mean, I think you can't, you know, if you're a 10,000 person organization, you might not be able to have everyone act like an entrepreneur.

Dr. Pelè (16:01):

Intra, intra intrapreneur, <laugh>.

Jamie Notter (16:04):

There are some limits, but the, the concepts are there. And, and again, like in our culture assessment, one of the lowest scoring questions, which means it's just not very present in cultures Yep. Is, is we design organizations around the needs of employees. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> people just don't do that. And interestingly, the ones with really high engagement do. Right. So another

Dr. Pelè (16:29):

Place to look. Right. <laugh>,

Jamie Notter (16:30):

No. Like, it's just, uh, yeah. Cuz we, there's plenty of case studies that are, that are decent size organizations, they're not, you know, startups mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, that really do design around the needs of, of employees and really are caring about health and welfare and really are doing sort of both sides of innovation, both the, the concepts of it and the practices of it. Like they're out there mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and so it, there's, there's plenty of opportunity for, for moving in that direction. It's not something that's just impossible to do.

Dr. Pelè (16:58):

Yeah. Give us a sense, as you've been out in the world in the trenches trying to solve this challenge of, of culture, give us a, a sense of some of the biggest mind blocks, mindset roadblocks or just things that leaders just maybe <laugh> really struggle to get past that. If they could just get past those things, then building cultures would be so much easier for them.

Jamie Notter (17:24):

I mean, I think at the leadership level, there's still a lot of, I mean, I mentioned beliefs as part of the definition of culture. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there's still a lot of beliefs that are hanging around that people have, but don't admit they have. Mm. Okay. And the, the pandemic busted one of those, but pre pandemic, I, I could put you give me a leader, you got a 50 50 shot that they, they won't admit this, but they have a belief that says, if I can't see you, you're not working.

Dr. Pelè (17:53):


Jamie Notter (17:55):

And that makes no sense in this day and age. And honestly, when they're in the office, they're still shopping on Amazon. Okay. During the workday <laugh>. So, you know, but now they're at home and you're like, oh, they're doing their laundry and <laugh> taking care of their kids and this kind of thing. And like the pandemic happened and they all went home and productivity went up.

Dr. Pelè (18:16):


Jamie Notter (18:17):

Okay. And then we started bringing back people back in the office and productivity went down. Okay. So that myth is busted, but there's a lot of other myths like that that, that it's wrong. That if you design around the needs of employees, you're coddling them and they'll take advantage of it. Like, that doesn't make research sense to me, nor intuitive sense, but that belief is still there. We can't give them control. We can't give them power. Yeah. We can't give, just make, let them make decisions that make sense for them because it'll either get chaotic or they'll get spoiled or they'll take advantage of me. Uh, there's still this belief that it's kind of us versus them management versus employees. Hmm. Um, and there's, again, there are plenty of examples of organizations that, that turn the, the table on that and design around employee needs and have employees lead the decision making. Um, and this, and this is old. There's a Morningstar tomato company, uh, written about in Harvard Visitors View years ago mm-hmm. <affirmative> and every empl, they're a tomato processing, they're like manufacturing basically. Yeah. And, but every employee can make their own decision about what purch what equipment to purchase.

Dr. Pelè (19:35):


Jamie Notter (19:36):

They need no approval because they've all been trained in how to manage their own team's profitability. So they're not gonna spend money that they can't afford to. Right. That's a completely different system of doing things. Um, and it's working great, you know what I mean? So these examples of different ways of doing things have been out there for a long time. But I think you're right. It's the mindsets that still keep you afraid to take that chance as a leader. Yeah. Afraid to risk or to try something new. And it's, that's, that's one reason why culture change takes a long time. It's not because you couldn't change it faster. It's cuz you won't.

Dr. Pelè (20:14):

Yeah. And, and, and I wonder how much trust, just the word trust has to do with, um, some of the things you're talking about as you were talking about the pandemic situation, I was thinking this sounds like a situation where you tell someone, I trust you very much, and then they go, oh, can I take the car to the, to the shop by myself? And they go, no, I'll drive you there <laugh>. Yeah. Right. Like, I trust you, but not really <laugh>.

Jamie Notter (20:35):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The, the this and the trust is, is core in the conflict resolution field. And um, I remember studying that in school and the epiphany is there is no trust without risk.

Dr. Pelè (20:48):


Jamie Notter (20:49):

Right. If I am not making myself vulnerable mm-hmm. <affirmative> or you could take advantage of me, then I'm not trusting you. Right. If there's no vulnerability, then whatever. I'm not, like I doesn't, it's not gonna hurt no matter what, whatever you do. Yeah. Or I put so many controls around it Yeah. That, you know, I'm trusting you to do this, but of course I know that you have to report to this person and that person and blah, blah blah. Yeah. Um, but true, true trust is based on risk. I will, I will risk the fact that we might lose something. Now the here's a, here's a practical tip. If you want to build trust or trust people more, build some boundaries around. Mm. Like the, the CEO of Gore, uh, um, people make goretex mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which is an innovation shop. Like they're, they're known for innovation and risk taking and, and and um, uh, sort of unlocking new value by, by moving into new dude directions. Right. So I heard her speak and she said, well, you know, we do have a, a phrase at gore, which is, if you're gonna punch holes in the boat, do it above the water line <laugh>.

Dr. Pelè (21:56):

So we don't think <laugh>

Jamie Notter (21:58):

We'll take risks, but you're not gonna risk the core business model. Yeah. Yeah. You gotta know, okay. Within these boundaries,

Dr. Pelè (22:05):


Jamie Notter (22:05):

You can take as many risks as you want. Just don't go outside of these walls Yeah. Or below this level. Right. Cuz you can't do that. So that takes extra work, honestly. And uh, uh, I think sort of related to the reason why we have trouble changing cultures cuz we don't have enough time. Mm. We're all too busy and almost every organization in every industry I come across is running too lean. Mm. They don't have the energy, the time to actually intentionally design a culture or to figure out where those boundaries are for what risks can be taken. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, that's effort. And we're all running so fast that we can't do it. Um, yeah. So I think that's a big challenge.

Dr. Pelè (22:47):

You, you know, you and I share a passion for helping people understand certain terms because <laugh>, by understanding them better, we can actually do something about them. So for example, you've talked about culture and you talk about the fact that you want culture to be about ensuring that workplace culture is designed to make people successful. Not just flimsy happiness running around, you know, parties, you know, the the ping pong table in the foyer. Right. So could you address that because I'm passionate about that. I, that's what I call profitable happiness as different from the whole hedonic happiness stuff. Right. Really happiness that's connected to engagement. Tell us how you draw the lines and, and how you make sure that the culture you're building is about making people successful.

Jamie Notter (23:37):

Well, so part part of what I do that I don't always get the opportunity to do, so I need a client to really work with me over the long term. Yeah. Cause once they start implementing the culture change, I help them develop actual metrics to see, I mean, some are basic, like, did we actually do the change we said we were gonna do? Right? Yeah. Said we're gonna do a new performance management program. Is it done? Right? So, but we're actually tracking those metrics and progress, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then those changes we have to do some data gathering with, with employees to say, are we getting better at this? Hmm. Like we said, we wanted to be more innovative or we wanted to be, uh, take more experi, have run more experiments or you know, we want our to be cross-functionally more collaborative. That's a big one.

I get that all the time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we gotta ask him, are we doing it? Yeah. Like, is it actually happening? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> because it's not enough to do the act, the change activities. Cuz not all change activities produce this results that you intend. Right. So you gotta make sure it's producing those results. And then the really hard part, which I haven't done as much, but I'm pushing with clients is, okay, did those changes make your organization and your people in it more successful? Mm-hmm. So the next book that Maddie and I are writing our next book that is about culture patterns. And I was literally talking to one of our case study organizations about collaboration and, and they, one of their, uh, plays in their playbook was to redo their, their project management system, which sounds really boring. Like really project management, this is like <laugh> to change.

They're like, no, they said it's transformed our experience now that we're all operating on the same rules. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And now that we know, any time a colleague comes to me from another department and says, Hey, will you help me with this? I know that the, this has been looked at by management and, and green lighted mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I'm no longer a skeptical and why are you asking me to do this and why aren't you doing my job and all that stuff. Right. That makes people unhappy, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, now I know why. And so all that's taken away. Yeah. And they come to me and they ask for help and I'm like, I've got time. Let's go, let's do it. Like the the amount of efficiency that is improved by not having to worry about that stuff. Yeah.

Dr. Pelè (26:02):


Jamie Notter (26:03):

They're like, we get so much more done. I talked to one client years ago. They did, they didn't do project management, but they did some other things to help clarify what the collaboration was gonna be. He said last quarter we got three huge projects thrown at us at the same time mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which not by choice and we didn't want it. And we finished them all ahead of, bit ahead of schedule under budget. Wow. So that wouldn't have happened before. Wow. So measuring the success is tough cuz it's often the absence of friction.

Dr. Pelè (26:31):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know,

Jamie Notter (26:33):

You know, how do you measure that? It's a little tough. Exactly. Qualitatively, like they're getting more done, they're getting it done with less drama mm-hmm. <affirmative> and less frustration and less going back to your people to talk about how this person asked me to do. Right. All that stuff. Yeah. Take that outta the equation. And that drives success. So again, that's a little harder to measure. I'm working on it, uh, trying to work with a model for it, but that's, that's where we have to go on this Yeah. Is really tangible about it.

Dr. Pelè (27:03):

Well, we'll think about, you know, things, talking about things that are hard to measure. Right. You know, happiness. Um, I, I'm always, uh, you know, I feel, I feel blessed to, to get, to ask thought leaders like you, what you think about the term profitable happiness, um, and how that could help or lead to a high performance, uh, culture. What was your first thought when you saw the word profitable happiness in this?

Jamie Notter (27:28):

No, I'm, well it's, it's, it's very much an alignment with all of, of our philosophy and practice mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, because it's, it's kind of like saying you have a good culture.

Dr. Pelè (27:41):


Jamie Notter (27:42):

What does that mean? Well, people like our culture, what does that mean? What do they like about it? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So happiness, anybody can be happy. Right? I mean, and, and, and of course we should all aspire for maximum or at least optimal happiness. Yeah. I don't know what that is from a Right. Just from a human point of view. But in organizations, I mean, put it this way, entrepreneurs, my new model on this Yep. Are not always happy.

Dr. Pelè (28:11):


Jamie Notter (28:12):

Okay. Something's not working. People aren't buying our new product that we just developed. I'm frustrated. I'm, I'm not happy. I'm getting negative feedback from customers that didn't work the way I thought it would. I'm not happy about that. But the profitable happiness is, I have a desire to achieve that state where I'm getting those results. Cuz that makes me happy.

Dr. Pelè (28:33):


Jamie Notter (28:33):

Right. And so there's happiness in the workplace is, is is more about, for me, you tell me if this fits with your definition. It's, it's like a, a deep satisfaction that this works. Like we want our effort inside an organization, however, you know, whatever cog in the machine you are Yeah. You want that effort to translate to success that makes me happy.

Dr. Pelè (29:01):

There you go.

Jamie Notter (29:02):

Right. And, and it's like, and it's not just, I don't know. I'm happy if I, like if I have a best friend at work, cool. I don't think that actually drives success. Sorry to challenge organization again. Uh Right. So there's nothing wrong with that kind of happiness. I am. I'm happy when I'm in a good mood. Cool. Um, organizationally you can't control people's mood.

Dr. Pelè (29:26):


Jamie Notter (29:26):

<affirmative> or nor would you want to. That sounds a little, a little creepy actually. Right. <laugh>. Uh, but what you can is do is create an environment where they get that kind of happiness by being able to contribute to the success of the enterprise. The success, success of our and your own success in your own role. Like that kind of stuff. Yeah. I'm assuming that's what you're getting at. That's

Dr. Pelè (29:46):

Exactly what it is. And in fact, you could just replace the word success with profitability. Right. And once you connect happiness with profitability in the same environment, then you're, you're really pushing in the right direction. Um, you know, I I have to say one of the, one of the things I love about doing podcasts is just sitting back and learning from, you know, tough guys like you that just are in the trenches. It's just so good to hear your perspective. Tell us what you're excited about working on right now and how people can, uh, find you online.

Jamie Notter (30:18):

Well, I mentioned the book. So, so our, in our culture assessment, the, the piece that we've created in 2016, so it's been around for a while mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but the next round of research out of that was to identify culture patterns. Mm. Our dominant patterns inside culture. Now everyone's culture is unique and different, but, you know, humans are unique and different, but we all have roughly the same shape of body and two arms and that, so there's a lot of similarities. Right. So these culture patterns I think are really important for doing good culture change. Cuz if you just say, what is your culture? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's really broad. But if I say, all right, wait a minute, how are you all on transparency? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, do you do the proactive parts where you're ahead of the, the curve or are you just reacting mm-hmm. <affirmative> like those, once you see those patterns, then you're like, oh wow, that's getting in the way of success. There you go. So the book right now is, is carving out patterns around transparency, collaboration, innovation, and agility.

Dr. Pelè (31:17):


Jamie Notter (31:18):

There's four more that we'll cover in one last chapter, but we're gonna do those four. And I'm doing case study research and I just, I love <inaudible>. I just write books for a living <laugh> and, and make millions. I would, uh, but I gotta pay the bills with the consulting. But it's, it's, it's, you know, the consulting gives me the case study. So it's really cool research that's gonna be coming out in September. Uh, well, I, we think September in the fall.

Dr. Pelè (31:42):

And what were those? Were those four again? Transparency,

Jamie Notter (31:45):

Transparency, collaboration, uh, innovation and agility.

Dr. Pelè (31:51):

Man, I was so, so I was trying so hard to make that into some kind of a, like a, like a thing. I <laugh>

Jamie Notter (32:00):

I'm I'm horrible at that. So I you're

Dr. Pelè (32:01):

Horrible. Hey, I'll tell you what, in my current book that's coming out, it's called Profitable Happiness. I have a five-step model. Guess what it is? H a p p y. <laugh> Very good. Remember, actually stands for Happiness, appreciation, pride, participation and Yardstick. But I'll leave it at that. <laugh>. Oh my gosh, Jamie, we are having too much fun. This is not supposed to be so much fun. I'm supposed to just be asking you questions, but I really enjoy just the, the back and forth and I look forward to speaking with you again in the future. How exactly can people find you online? What's the best way?

Jamie Notter (32:37):

Yeah, so our, our website is Propel now.co uhhuh <affirmative>. Um, and that will have, that's got our blog on it if you wanna see what we're writing about. It also has all the information on our consulting, um, and coaching services. And, uh, our, my speaker site, uh, is@jamienotter.com.

Dr. Pelè (32:55):

Okay. And I'll also include the, uh, LinkedIn, uh, uh, page that you have. Jamie, thank you so much for being a guest on the Profitable Happiness Podcast. It's been a blast.

Jamie Notter (33:05):

Thank you very much. I had just as much fun as you did, I think.

Dr. Pelè (33:10):

Thanks for tuning in to the Profitable Happiness Podcast. For more episodes, visit dr pa.com. And remember, get happy first and success will follow.