Lessons from Culture Amp’s Founder and CEO, Didier Elzinga.
by Kaleena Murray
Hello out there, welcome!
I can’t tell you how genuinely excited I am to write about
my recent experience at Culture Amp’s Second Annual Culture First
conference. I’ve compiled a collection
of quotes I heard over the course of my 2 days in San Fran that left me
personally inspired, humbled, and energized to get back to our people here at
Telamon and Amplified. I’ll be sharing
these quotes with some of my thoughts and hope for any of you reading, you find
something that makes you stop and think about how you work, how you live, and
who you’re striving to be.
What you might not know is that I had the special opportunity to attend Culture Amp’s first annual Culture First conference last year, leaving me inspired to return. Culture Amp’s Founder and CEO Didier Elzinga said something in his keynote last year that has stayed with me since, framing my own work identity and thinking about what it means to cultivate a culture first organization here at Telamon and Amplified.
“We borrow our time at work from people much more important than the work is…it better be something meaningful, something you’re willing to hurt for.” Didier Elzinga
Wow, how does that not put things in perspective? Creating a culture first organization is
intentional with values at the core and a mission to build a better workplace
that not only takes great care, but also amplifies their people to be their
This year he did not disappoint. His keynote flowed between the challenges of
being a CEO, the power of storytelling, and the foundation that values lay in
our organizations. So often culture gets
mislabeled with free coffee, beer, and beanbag chairs (yes, we have all of
these, ha), but evaluating a culture requires a look beneath the surface.
Culture is about the manifestation of your values: how they show themselves daily through actions, observable behaviors, and the stories we tell.
“First we shape our values, then our values shape us.” Didier Elzinga
Ya, read that again.
You’ve uncovered values and wrote them down, check, but the next
evolution of living your values is how they shape you; they should make you
want to be a better version of you. Model
them and let them drive your experience.
Ok, one last thought I’ll pass along. Didier said,
“Take 100% responsibility.”
It sounds so simple on its own, and probably very familiar when you think back to your childhood. It’s what he said after that really stuck to me.
He challenged us to step to the line, but “don’t take 110%
because you diminish someone else’s ability to step to the line, leaving them
only with 90%.” We are an organization
with accountability at our core, which makes me think about how I hold myself
and our organization accountable, but how we must leave space for others…