Adam Witty is a world-renowned entrepreneur, publisher, author, and speaker.
The Advantage family includes Advantage Media Group, one of the largest independent business book publishers in the world consisting of Advantage and ForbesBooks; Magnetic Marketing, a marketing education company for entrepreneurs; BusinessAdvantage TV, a video-on-demand learning platform for entrepreneurs; and mLive, a multi-step marketing automation software for dentists.
Adam has been featured in Investors Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal, and on ABC and Fox, and was named to the prestigious Inc. 30 Under 30 list of America’s Coolest Entrepreneurs in 2011.
Adam has also authored 7 books including “Authority Marketing” and "Lead The Field," and is a top-rated speaker on business growth strategies for entrepreneurs and creating a world class business culture.
“Culture is something I am very passionate about. Having a great strategy is important, but I think having a great culture is more important. As Peter Drucker famously said, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast.’”
We asked Adam a few questions about the importance of having a strong workplace culture, and how business leaders can improve their own company culture:
What does a strong workplace culture look like for you?
With a strong workplace culture, you’ll find people who really embrace and believe in the mission and purpose of the company. The people in your company hopefully want to make a difference in the lives of the people your company serves.
For a great workplace culture you need core values, and people who hold themselves accountable to those values every day.
A great workplace culture is also filled with A players.
People are invigorated by working with their colleagues and they derive energy from working with other smart, talented, and creative people.
A strong workplace culture is a place that people want to be a part of, where they can do meaningful work that makes a difference, and have some fun all at the same time.
How does having a strong workplace culture affect business growth?
Workplace culture is the biggest lever of business growth, profit, and customer satisfaction. Any company of any significance that I’m familiar with has people as its core asset.
Motivated and committed people are going to work harder and smarter and are going to go the extra mile.
What are some signs of a poor workplace culture?
When you walk into a business, you can immediately tell whether people enjoy coming to work or not. You can see it in each and every interaction they have with their colleagues and with customers.
A poor workplace culture is one that’s divided - politics, silos, backstabbing, gossip, rumors - it’s where people are putting their own personal needs and desires ahead of the greater good.
How can you maintain a strong culture while your employees work from home?
It goes back to defining the core purpose that binds us together and why we are all here in the first place. Do we have core values? Do we have an operating system as an organization that people buy into, believe in, and are willing to follow?
The key is to also have multiple communication channels and opportunities for collaboration, recognition, and team building. Using Zoom, Slack, Loom, and other software has allowed us to do that.
At the Advantage Family, we’ve created a program called “Caught in The Act of Greatness” where team members recognize each other for going the extra mile.
In addition to that, we also have something called “dream boards” where we proactively work with our team members to discover what it is that keeps them motivated and excited.
Do you have any recommendations for business leaders who want to improve their corporate culture?
To start, you need to have a core purpose that’s exciting and that people want to be a part of. Not a single person wakes up in the morning and says “I'm so excited I get to make my boss richer today!”
Core values are also extremely important because it’s how we hold ourselves and each other accountable. Everyone’s got them personally, but few businesses have them and talk about them frequently.
To build a better workplace culture, you also need constant communication from leadership to the team.
Each week I record a short video called “Adam’s Advantage” where I communicate what’s going through my mind and identify important strategic moves that we as a company are making to grow and to get to the next level. This creates connection and trust and lets team members know that there’s always an open door, even if we’re not physically in the same place.
If you want to improve your workplace culture, you need to become the chief recognition officer and you need to push the responsibility of recognition down to everyone at the company. Create a culture of recognition where people feel appreciated for their contributions.
Interested in reading more interviews? Check out our blog, where we interview thought leaders and executives across a variety of industries on topics such as goal setting, empathy, resilience, and gratitude.