Corporate Strategy

120. Thank You For Being a Friend

May 27, 2024 The Corporate Strategy Group Season 4 Episode 14
120. Thank You For Being a Friend
Corporate Strategy
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Corporate Strategy
120. Thank You For Being a Friend
May 27, 2024 Season 4 Episode 14
The Corporate Strategy Group

Ever wondered how bowing to the intricacies of Japanese corporate culture might affect your daily grind? Bruce and I swap stories from the Land of the Rising Sun, offering an insider’s glimpse into the world of honorifics, relentless work ethics, and the creative forces behind the gaming industry. It’s a cultural tapestry that's as complex as it is captivating; from the rigid business formalities to the allure of Japanese cuisine and entertainment, we're unraveling the contrasts and challenges of this fascinating corporate climate.

Burnout is a beast we all battle, especially with holiday weekends teasing us in the distance. Bruce and I get candid about the importance of workplace friendships in these trying times. As we share tales of carpool karaoke and post-shift pints, we reveal how these bonds transcend our paychecks, cultivating loyalty and driving us to new heights of performance. The conversation takes a turn, looking at how these relationships shape our work environment, affect our job satisfaction, and ultimately play a pivotal role in our decision to stick with a company through thick and thin.

To wrap things up, we don't just throw management tips at you; we weave them into stories that stick. Bruce and I chuckle over the little things that can make or break a workday, like the infamous "you're on mute" gaffe of the virtual age. We keep it real, reminding you to focus on the forest, not just the trees, and keep your business strategies as clear as your conference calls. Tune in, kick back, and let us lead you through the labyrinth of workplace dynamics with wit, wisdom, and a touch of whimsy.

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how bowing to the intricacies of Japanese corporate culture might affect your daily grind? Bruce and I swap stories from the Land of the Rising Sun, offering an insider’s glimpse into the world of honorifics, relentless work ethics, and the creative forces behind the gaming industry. It’s a cultural tapestry that's as complex as it is captivating; from the rigid business formalities to the allure of Japanese cuisine and entertainment, we're unraveling the contrasts and challenges of this fascinating corporate climate.

Burnout is a beast we all battle, especially with holiday weekends teasing us in the distance. Bruce and I get candid about the importance of workplace friendships in these trying times. As we share tales of carpool karaoke and post-shift pints, we reveal how these bonds transcend our paychecks, cultivating loyalty and driving us to new heights of performance. The conversation takes a turn, looking at how these relationships shape our work environment, affect our job satisfaction, and ultimately play a pivotal role in our decision to stick with a company through thick and thin.

To wrap things up, we don't just throw management tips at you; we weave them into stories that stick. Bruce and I chuckle over the little things that can make or break a workday, like the infamous "you're on mute" gaffe of the virtual age. We keep it real, reminding you to focus on the forest, not just the trees, and keep your business strategies as clear as your conference calls. Tune in, kick back, and let us lead you through the labyrinth of workplace dynamics with wit, wisdom, and a touch of whimsy.

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Speaker 1:

know what that means. That means yes, I, I do speak rudimentary japanese now, so, hi, I can't bruce son.

Speaker 2:

That's yes, hi, clark I actually do work with a lot of people in japan and, yeah, we do refer to them, as you say, son after yes, you know, basically gives them that respect and lets them know that you respect them and appreciate them.

Speaker 1:

So, honorifics, it's important also if you don't if you, if you were just to be like clark des, then people would think you were clark, which you are. But if you were like bruce des, if you're like bruce on this, then you're basically like, oh yeah, yeah, he is bruce. But if you're like bruce des and it's like, well, I am bruce, oh well, that's not, that's not helpful. So, uh, everyone listening to the pre-pod is already confused and stopped listening to the episode. That's great.

Speaker 2:

I mean, that's honestly what we've been doing the last couple episodes. We just start with just some meaningless ramble and the drop-off rate is probably an avalanche.

Speaker 1:

We don't get that kind of data, but I would assume it's definitely there. I actually have to close this thought thought just so. Nobody offends anybody.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, if you're working with people in Japan, you go last name and then son. So you know Bruce Bangers would be Bangersan Correct, which sounds totally inappropriate. Don't go first name and son because that is not respectful, especially when you don't know someone well Over time. If you build the relationship, they'll let you kind of simplify it down to their first name and they're okay with it. But start with last name and then son. That's respectful.

Speaker 1:

I believe you can also do like Banger's Bruce son too, if you wanted to give the full name, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Honorifics.

Speaker 1:

Honorifics Something we probably could benefit from. Uh, well, I would. I would fail miserably at it because I do not respect authority title, anything like that. I would quickly get fired.

Speaker 2:

But uh, so you wanted to live in japan, because everything you just said is not the japanese, it's not japanese way, it's not I want to.

Speaker 1:

I want to live in a land where I eat Japanese food all day and, you know, go see Japanese film, play Japanese video games. You know, take a walk in a nice little woods with a torii gate in it and potentially a little Japanese tea garden, but I do not want to work in Japanese corporate. I think that would be a death sentence for me personally.

Speaker 2:

I think you have like a mall that can fulfill your needs. You know, you got like saku japan. You might have some movies on. I think a mall is where you deserve to live for the rest of your life I need to live in a mall, I think.

Speaker 1:

I mean there's a lot of. The word is otaku. Otaku is a, you know, a lover of japan. Uh, japan culture and things. I think otak and I put myself in an otaku camp are all kind of the same. We just love the culture, we love the style, we love the food, the language, everything. But I don't know a single person who is a Japanophile that thinks their corporate situation is just the dream. Like I really want to be a salary man, bleeding my eyes at 12 hours a day. Corporate situation is just the dream. Like I really want to be a salary man, you know, bleeding my eyes at 12 hours a day, go home to my small little one-bedroom apartment and then rinse, lather, repeat, like I think that is probably the unsavory part. There's there's others, obviously, but that japanese corporate would not be. Uh, I couldn't do it.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah, the honor, the work ethic, like the way their culture is, is you basically, you work, you live to work, you live to work. That's it, that's what you do, that is your legacy, that's how you contribute to society and that's their mindset. It's like if you're there all day, every day, if you need to, for the rest of your life, ideally working in the same job for like 20 plus years, like that's what they see and I think that's. It's such an interesting perspective. As you think about, like historically, because of the world and the way we are, it's like they were. They used to be so great at technology advances but because they've gotten like so perfect about everything over time, they're actually falling behind. Because it takes so long to do things, because they're not afraid, or they're very afraid, to take risks and not follow order, when in the Western world we're like, yeah, whatever. If I blow that up, you know.

Speaker 1:

I blew it up and the company decides to fire me. That's their problem. You know, like I don't think you or I get to our career where we are in Japan.

Speaker 1:

No, definitely, they would never trust us to move from developer to product manager or developer to sales or developer to you know, marketing, like it would not happen. We'd have to just be in the developer ladder a whole life, because that's what we studied in, that's what we got our career in, so like it, I think. Um, you know, when you look at, I'm a big fan of Japanese games. So, like some of my favorite studios is like Capcom, square Enix, nintendo, like they're really cool companies. But you'll even hear stories like in the more creative markets of you know, bandai, namco, the guy who made Katamari Damacy, which is a super weird game that if you know it, you know it.

Speaker 1:

If you don't, it's a game where you're a little dude who has a ball and you roll up things into the ball and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger Very fun game. And you roll up things into the ball and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger very fun game. Highly recommend everyone on planet earth play katamari domicey because just it's fun and it's weird, it's cool. But like his idea, his whole thing, this creator this game was like I want to make something new and unique every time. And bandai was like nah, you're gonna make katamari domicey sequels till the day you die. So he left the company like, started his own thing, like it just. You can't, even when you are weird and experimental, you can't do that in the confines of even more creative companies. That's just.

Speaker 2:

It's interesting you stay within the lines and we think the barrier to entry of like entry level jobs are hard here. There it's like you take a decade to master the skill and you don't deviate from that path, like you become the expert in that skill and you stay within the lines and you follow the rules and you do what you're told.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it makes for amazing content when you have people who, like the, you know some of the composers of various like Final Fantasy, nintendo games. They've got like 40 years experience of composing video game music and there's no American video game music composer that can come close to these dudes and what they put out there. But like that's all they're ever gonna do, like they can't, they can't get out of their own way. You know, you look at like uh, you know american musicians and you know they they'll go out or they'll go uh, do art and and things beyond just music itself. Like you just don't see that.

Speaker 2:

So it's uh yeah, cultures different very interesting and it's important you remember that when you work with different cultures, because are they working with like somebody in?

Speaker 2:

india and europe and china and japan and australia. Everyone kind of looks at the world a little differently. So when you're working with other people, have some patience, because it's like you guys probably aren't seeing eye to eye on how to get work done. So keep that in mind as you're. As you're working with other people, have some patience, because it's like you guys probably aren't seeing eye to eye on how to get work done. So keep that in mind as you're, as you're working with people across the world, and think about how can we just understand each other a little better so that we can work more collaboratively.

Speaker 1:

I've got a. I got a challenge for us Like it would be really cool if we could pull it off is to interview someone from every country that has a corporate. You know culture to it, so you know we're not going to go third world where they don't have companies at all, they barely have Internet, Like if you, if you work in a corporate environment outside of the United States. I would love to interview you on this show and have you explain to us what's different from from your world to our world, just so we could know and educate our listeners too, Because the differences are vast place to place, I agree.

Speaker 2:

That's a call to action for our listeners.

Speaker 1:

If you want to be on the show, if you work in somewhere that's not the United States, reach out, please do.

Speaker 2:

And actually I think I have a friend from China and Japan that would probably be willing to come on the show.

Speaker 1:

Let's get them on. I love it.

Speaker 2:

Holding out on us Jeez. Clark, sorry, I'm trying my best.

Speaker 1:

Okay, well, I appreciate you, and we'll get into why I appreciate you just a little bit later, but for now, do you want to start the show? Are we not in?

Speaker 2:

it, we're not, we're not over.

Speaker 1:

Okay, well, I guess we should do this thing. Okay, I'll start it. Welcome back to Corporate Strategy, the podcast. That could have been an email. I should have took a breath before that. I'm Bruce and I'm Clark.

Speaker 2:

Hey Clark, how's it going? You know, it's Friday, it's burnout Friday yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'm burnt out. You have Monday off right, I do Good.

Speaker 2:

Yes, there's a holiday coming up Memorial Day.

Speaker 1:

It's nice.

Speaker 2:

It's nice to know there's a three-day weekend coming, but you know what's also bad to know. It's going to go by way too quick yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean for me you know we talked about this in the last episode I've got a huge event. Me, you know we talked about this in the last episode I've got a huge event, not next week, but the week after. It's our biggest event. Yeah, so you know I'm gonna go dark basically the week after next for a few days, while I just do interviews and presentations all day. But I'm gonna just savor every minute of not working for the next three days. I'm so, so ready for it and hopefully, you know we're through the woods after that and it'll be a nice little reprieve from the chaos. I love it.

Speaker 1:

You're almost there, you're so close, almost there, countdown, I can smell it Best feeling. You're so close, I'm ready for it.

Speaker 2:

So vibe check on this Friday, are you good?

Speaker 1:

so, so, vibe, check on this friday, are you good, I'm great. Wrapped up for the day you said I'm I'm so sad, I'm so great, I'm I'm the best that's what I'd like to hear.

Speaker 2:

You're the best around and nothing is ever going to let you down.

Speaker 1:

That's, that is it? How about you how?

Speaker 2:

you do. Yeah, brain is mush. I still have some things I got to do. Today was one of those days. You probably have them too, bruce. We're like you have a lot to do, but you just can't like focus on anything material. You know what I mean. Like I just like respond to chats. I attended the meetings that were on the calendar and like the meetings were fine, but I had some focus stuff I needed to do and I'm like, is it effective for me to even be trying to do this, or should I just like respond to people instead and do focus work next week? And I kind of hit the point where I'm just like there's no point in trying. My brain is too much to be effective on this, so I'm just going to respond to everybody instead and clean that up a little bit.

Speaker 1:

I hit a point today where, to your, to your, do I feel this way, you can answer the question after I tell you what I'm about to say. I hit a point today where I just needed to send an email to a group of people saying what days do y'all want to meet next week so we can prepare our presentation for the big event? The big event. And it took me, like all of my will, all of my mental will, to write a two-sentence email, to send it out to her, just asking him when they wanted to meet.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, yeah, that's the. That's the point I get to as well. It's just like you're so like mentally exhausted that doing the simplest things, like I look at my to-do list and I have like two administrative things left, I'm just like so exhausting when in reality I know each of them will take like five minutes, so I should just do them.

Speaker 1:

It's so funny Cause, like I did, I did a press interview today or an analyst interview today, which you know those are intense. I got to be on my game just to answer lots of questions, give lots of information. I had to review like two different documents that were very long, kind of arduous, and it's like sending out this two line email. I just couldn't do it. You know it's it's funny what we get hung up on and yeah, that was that, was it today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the meetings kind of force you to, you know, be in there and be productive and tackle the reason. So, like the meetings are there to help you be productive but work outside of that on a long week, it's like it's just not happening, like there's no point before for a long weekend. It just ain't happening, guys, sorry about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, sorry about it, leave it be, leave it be, you know.

Speaker 2:

You know, I think we've given ourselves tips before that like when we're in this scenario, we should just go for like a walk or something or get a workout in, and then we'll come back and feel a little more energized. I did not do those things. I just lounge around, listen to meetings, watch the youtube video. I was very not productive this afternoon you know, I don't.

Speaker 1:

I think if I went for a walk I wouldn't have came back.

Speaker 2:

So at least I stayed glued to my computer, so that way I was ready for anybody who wanted to ping me or needing something for me same.

Speaker 1:

That is exactly, is exactly what I was like. If I leave, I'll eat lunch, but if I leave my desk for any other reason than just sustenance, I'm not coming back. So fair enough. But you know I am, I am doing good, I'm doing great. I'm sure everyone, everyone can attest. Do you have any news, clark? I got nothing. I don't either. I feel like nothing's really happened.

Speaker 2:

You know, I mean, probably a lot has happened. I just haven't been too with it, because this week has just been a grind yeah, it has been I'm just not paying attention to anything outside of the grind, which is probably not great, but and probably not great for our listeners who are like all you ever talk about is ai, or you just don't have news at all. So sorry guys, we'll get that.

Speaker 1:

I mean, you know the problem with news. The problem with news is it's so depressing Like how, how rarely do we get like good, positive corporate news to share with the world?

Speaker 2:

It's true. I mean we got to use like we used to go back to the the watering. Well, you know, going to blind the app. By the way, gosh, I think we recommend in discord, if you're looking for like a company and the culture and like something like that, go to blind and search for that company and see what their employees are saying about the company. It'll open your eyes to what the culture really is like yes glass door.

Speaker 2:

Public review plays places like. They make their money off, either advertisements or those companies kind of paying them to get a good reputation. So utilize those anonymous resources that are going to be truthful completely agree.

Speaker 1:

It's uh. It is not only a great resource for education, but it's a great resource for education, but it's a great resource for entertainment. It very much is.

Speaker 1:

I'll say nothing more beyond. You should go see one, and I'm fine with skipping news today because, in all honesty, our topic is good. I'm so excited for our topic I've already posted it in the Corporate Strategy channel If you want to look at the article we'll be referencing, but this comes from Gallupcom, who does a lot of surveys. You've probably seen Gallup before or heard of them if you're in the corporate world. This comes from their workplace column and their. Their article is called the Increasing Importance of a Best Friend Work and I thought it would be perfect for Clark and I to talk about whether we agree, disagree and what we think about some of the data they present here. So, Clark, have you ever had a best friend at work?

Speaker 2:

Once upon a time I lived in this magical world where I had a best friend. We carpooled, we walked to the park, we got Starbucks here and there we got lunch every day. Those seem like distant memories distant, distant memories.

Speaker 1:

Would you say that they were good times?

Speaker 2:

I would say that they were the best of times, wow wow, that that's pretty.

Speaker 1:

That's pretty moving and that seems to align with exactly what gallop is suggesting in their poll here. So you know the too long didn't read of this whole article is having a best friend in the workplace isn't just good for you mentally and lets you think that you were in the best of times, but in truth actually helps productivity, helps culture, helps with. You know just general corporatisms Like there's some HR mentions in this of you know general corporatisms like there's some hr mentions in this of you know, like best friends that are both moms can commiserate on. You know, uh, what it's like to raise kids and how they deal with daycare and they can actually improve their productivity because they can share tips and tricks about. You know child rearing, so like it goes so much beyond just the fact that it's nice to have a friend. Uh, clark, I know exactly what you were talking about in your little setup there. That was me.

Speaker 1:

I was your best unless you're talking about someone else and I'm just embarrassing myself imagine I just don't say a word after that just crickets yikes?

Speaker 2:

no, no, it definitely was uh, yeah, once upon a time, bruce, uh, bangers and clark cheddar movements were were the bestest of friends in the workplace. Yeah, same office. We carpooled, which was really cool. Um, we hung out even outside of work, which was really great, and we kind of had like a small group of close friends.

Speaker 2:

But it was awesome having somebody really like it did make it fun to go to work because, like we would, we would do ridiculous things on the way to work during lunch. You kind of got to step away from work a little bit and since we I mean, at one point we weren't on, we're on the same team but, um, for a long time we were not on the same team but we could catch up on like all the things around us and how we can continue to, you know, make make things better for everyone around us too and organize fun events. And it was just cool because it was like it's not just about work, it's about the culture and about having fun, and so I think it made it much more interesting to work there and it made you kind of excited to go in.

Speaker 1:

I completely agree and it's.

Speaker 1:

It's interesting to me that you know, I see this article and I was like, oh, we have to talk about this, but like I never really thought about this from a like, should companies actually encourage this kind of behavior thing?

Speaker 1:

There was a topic brought up in our pod topics channel, in the discord about romance in the workplace, which I am not qualified to talk about.

Speaker 1:

That I I don't think you are either clark no Like I disagree vehemently just on the principle of it, but like a best friend or a friend or a group of friends, it just makes so much sense to me because when I think about, like the work that we did, so when, when Clark and I were working together, we were in a quality assurance slash development role and you know I would work on some automation script and then I'd pass it off to Clark and then when he sent it back to me, it's like I want to make this good because I like Clark and I don't want him to think that like I'm giving him something that's not my best. So it would encourage me to do better than I would have done otherwise, just by the very nature of the kind of relationship that we had, and I would assume the same was true for you no, absolutely yeah, as you like, as we work together.

Speaker 2:

It was really interesting because there's more than just there's more than just I'm doing the work. To do the work it's I can see how this would benefit bruce and how it would make his life better. So how can I do my best on this so he can also do his best on everything else? And so it was cool, like because we were supporting each other and it was more. It gave me more passion to work on it, because it wasn't like, oh, I'm building it for someone who sucks or for something that I don't really understand the value of. It's like I can directly see the value and if it's not doing well, obviously I I'm gonna face him every single day as we go to work and as we work together, so I better make it good, you know, so that bruce can be happy. Yeah like.

Speaker 1:

It's such an interesting thought because you're there to work and you're there to work to get paid, but and and again. This is why I think corporations really need to read this article and and think about some of the data showed here. If you're able to have a place where you foster these kind of friendships, where people want to come in, they want to work more, they want to do the best they can, not because of a company or their salary, but because the people around them they care about, if you can create that care, you've done it Right. If you can create that care, you've done it Right. Just to get to a little bit of the data, to kind of back up some of the things that this article is saying, they ran these surveys An impact of a best friend at work on likelihood to recommend their company as a great place to work amidst the pandemic and if you look at the data shown here we'll just look at the 2022 data the percentage of people that have a best friend at work that did not strongly agree was 21%.

Speaker 1:

The percentage that had a best friend at work and strongly agree 44. So double the number would say. If I had a best friend at work would recommend their company as a great place to work. Like that is crazy to me. You know, like we take all these surveys throughout our lives in these workplaces and we just give the most damning data and you know results to the people like, oh, this place sucks because product management doesn't listen to me, or you know, my manager sucks, or my team sucks, or the computer I have sucks. But like, look at this data, right, like you know, I don't know who they polled and what the ultimate thing is, but like 44 would recommend it.

Speaker 2:

Right, that's pretty wild to me you know what's interesting about this one and also the next ones that you talk about. It's like it's clear that companies went down after the pandemic, like satisfaction of workers, probably just because you're working too much, like it consistently dropped right and pretty big from 19, well, i21, no, but from like 2022 and on. But then you know, the having a best friend rating just like stayed constant and as I'm looking through the results, it's kind of all that way. It's like the best friend aspect of it, I think, is just something innately human that is going to be a constant. That if you have that person or those, that is going to be a constant. That if you have that person or that group of people at work, you're generally going to be happier and want to stay where you're working and do good work and regardless of the conditions of the company and everything, even though those might be suffering, that factor remains true, the human nature side of it, which is really interesting looking at this data.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think so too. And, like the other ones they talk about are impact of likelihood to leave the company, and this one's not as strong as the other one to recommend the company, but it's still. 37% would be, or 37% would still look for jobs outside the company, where 49% would not. And the other one they show is workplace satisfaction 15% that have a best friend at work do not feel satisfied, where 32% strongly agree and say that they feel very satisfied with their employment because they have a best friend there or they have a best friend and they feel strongly satisfied. So, like, all of the numbers go to show that this is just a net positive If you can make your employees pull it off. So my question to you, clark, is how do you do this?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, devil's advocates. All this is this article, cringy A little bit, like a little bit. I'm thinking about this, and maybe it's because the older I've gotten bruce, since we've separated yeah I've got a sloppy divorce, but you know it was you know, you got the kids.

Speaker 2:

I got the kids. You kept the pets. It was real ugly, but maybe I've gotten more cynical. But this just feels like a ploy for like companies to read this and be like I'm gonna make my whole team best friends and like. It just feels like this results in icky corporate culture of being like all right guys, I set up someone at one time between us and then I'm gonna walk out the room so you two can become best friends. Here's something to talk about and it just feels so cringy for some reason. So here's what I think. I do think it's a little cringy for some reason.

Speaker 1:

So here's what I think. I do think it's a little cringy, but not for that reason. I think it's a little cringy because just like the idea of having to do a survey on best friends at work is just it's a cringy concept in general. But if a company reads this and thinks, well, I need to make my employees like even like there's that meme of the guy holding the two dolls and like holding together, like now kiff, like that's not gonna work right, like what you have to take from this is, if you are fostering and you are hiring people, I think I think there's there's two things that has to happen. That's why I asked about the how. From my opinion, first thing is you have to foster a culture that allows people to feel like they can be friendly with one another yeah, whether you're vertical in person. Like you have to have a culture that says it's okay to not talk about work at work and get to know each other and like have little trinkets in your background and say, oh yeah, you like anime, I like anime.

Speaker 2:

Go ahead. No, no, I was just going to jump on that point of like. I think it's just with my recent career experience I've kind of taken a lot of the personal emotional like I don't disclose like personal, emotional things, because I'm like work is work, personal is personal.

Speaker 2:

So much work to do and going up the ladder like it just made it. It made it easier for me to reach my goals if I kept the focus on the work and not on, you know, building these deep relationships, which works from like a corporate, nasty climb the ladder perspective, but from like a fun perspective. Have I had fun? Like no, because it's work right. And so like I definitely don't feel, as you know, like loyal to the companies or care as much if I were to leave, or you know, I'm always looking around. So but, like with when we work together, I think back to those times and I'm like I enjoyed it, it was fun, and like I enjoyed what we were doing and I didn't necessarily want to leave at the time. But when those situations change, that's when it kind of triggered it. So it is interesting because it's like you got to reflect on your goals and how to move forward from there. But to your question on the how because, sorry, I'm getting off topic no, it's all good To what you're saying about this point, though, you know, building that culture, it's so important that it's kind of something around vulnerability.

Speaker 2:

It's like you have to be vulnerable, allow people to be open, build a culture of like, trust and respect, and it's okay to fail, and we're going to work together through things for any of this to happen. Because if you don't allow for that space and you don't give that affordance of like we're all in this together, the camaraderie around it, like we're going to figure this out as a group and kind of build that culture around it for people to be vulnerable with each other and open up with each other and pull down those doors and open them up to everybody else, then none of this is possible. So if your culture is just like work, work, work. If you fail, it's failure, it's cutthroat, it's on to the next thing you will never have anything like this.

Speaker 1:

Yep, and I think, like you know, you're proving the data in the survey right Like you would be more likely to leave because you don't have that best friend.

Speaker 1:

And you know, in my current job I wouldn't say I have best friends, but you know we've had Sterling on the podcast.

Speaker 1:

He's on my team, friend of mine, and in all honesty it since folks like sterling have come on my company and I feel like I have people that I can confide in and be more open with my, my happiness and satisfaction has gone up like real talk. It's gotten better because of the people I work with, not just because I've I've managed to wrangle in some of the madness that I would lament about previously. So, yeah, I think you know one thing is being able to foster that culture and the other thing great time if you did, but being able to hire people that you know you'll work well with, not just because they can do the job but because you could see yourself talking to them beyond work, it sounds like that's a really strong improvement that can occur in the workplace. And I don't know how you get your HR, your hiring managers, on board with this, but like not just a cultural fit, but like a friendship fit I think should be considered in the hiring process based on this data.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's really interesting to think about, and I think that's kind of what people want to do when they say like a culture fit, you know what I mean. It's like if their intention is what we just talked about fit, you know what I mean it's like if their intention is what we just talked about, you know, for people to be friends in the workplace and to build that kind of camaraderie around whatever you're working on, then the culture fit should be kind of evaluating. Yeah, would I want to go, you know, grab a beer with this person you know, or just hang out outside the workplace and just talk about things that are not work related. I think it's a good like gut check after you have an interview, like, could I see myself hanging out with this person on the side? And if the answer is no, then it's like, okay, do I really want them here at work?

Speaker 2:

And even though they could have like the most impressive resume and a laundry list of accomplishments, they could be a real jerk and you could be like, okay, what's the best thing for the company overall? Is it that I have the immediate output from whatever they're doing and this person just knocks out whatever task it is, or is it. You know they might not be as fast or the best person to do this job, but they're going to be a good culture fit that's going to help us, long-term, achieve our goals and they're willing to learn and they're going to be a person that's going to help us kind of grow the culture that we want to see, person that's going to help us kind of grow the culture that we want to see. And I think that the second part is much more like long-sighted, strategic, rather than short-sighted. I just have a project in front of me I need to knock out and I'll hire whoever's the best to do the job.

Speaker 1:

See, and I do think, unfortunately I'm lucky in a sense, but at a startup, a lot of times you sacrifice on the culture because you need the go-getters, the ones who can go and do, and do it at a velocity that is, you know they might if they're slow, but they have great culture, then you know, like, if that's going to slow down the entire momentum of the company, then it's a no-go right.

Speaker 2:

Like you might go with the more toxic yeah Right Affordance for slow pace and in some business cases, in startups, you might go with the more toxic yeah Right Affordance for slow pace and in some business cases in startups, you might truthfully not have that affordance Right, but you're going to build probably a crappy culture because you haven't built your company right in order to scale to that or you quickly need to fix that issue so that you can build a scalable long-term company, and I think that's a difference between, like, short-term companies and companies that you know have a lasting legacy.

Speaker 1:

Yep, I agree and you know, I think, if anyone in HR is listening to this podcast, which we really need someone from HR.

Speaker 1:

We got to find someone One day we will. I'm sure they exist. I don't know them, but I'm sure they do exist. Anytime I've interacted with HR, it's been, you know, interesting. If you work in HR and you see someone whose best friend is in the workplace, or you know a very close friend is in the workplace and they leave, you should be interviewing the best friend who's still there right now to find out why, because chances are this can be a chain reaction.

Speaker 1:

You know, like, I think there's so much more to this concept. It's just funny that we've never talked about it or thought about it when we are it. We were, I mean, we are besties, but we were besties in the workplace, and when they separated us and moved us to different projects and different teams, that's when we started hating our jobs. It's true, it wasn't just Clark and I either. Like we had a really good friend circle and people started leaving the company. Uh, we started like falling out just with, you know, the, the teams we were in and the work we were doing, like the everything just got worse and it was because our, our little cabal, which was so tight knit and good at doing what we're doing, which you'd probably still be doing today if they hadn't moved us. So in a way it's a blessing monetarily but like right, you know that was the beginning of the end of staying in our roles.

Speaker 2:

It's a good point and as you kind of think back to it, it's like we were good at what we did.

Speaker 2:

We're great at what we did, and I think you can. You can basically point that back to we were a tight-knit group who had that camaraderie, who were willing to work hard for each other. And to your point, when a company sees, oh there's a huge group of good people here, like I'm going to put them on other, more important work, and then they split us all apart because we couldn't build those same you know cultures within other groups, it kind of was a downfall to all of us. Like okay, you separated us and now look what happened. But if you really were to analyze that, it's like if they were to keep us together in hindsight and put us on a project together that probably would have been the most beneficial thing to do. Do you remember the friends?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like do you remember the group I got put on after we separated? Like the average age of the person in the team I was on after clark and I split was 30 years older than me and had 20 years experience and I was like on three years out of college. Like it was so just awful and demoralizing and sad. I did eventually get back to like a group of people that I considered to be friends. I still talk to them to this day and like tighten it, but like it took me a year to get back to actually being happy in the workplace and it's all because they moved me, because we were so successful in our job. It's hilarious. They like they thought we were successful because we were skilled and in a way, you know you're very skilled. I'm not and I think what they actually did was they. They took, you know, captain Planet and broke it up into individual kids. Right, and individual kids are useless. Captain Planet's only good when they all come together.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. It's like the core was so strong because of that culture we built and that probably attributes all the success from there. But by splitting it apart thinking, disseminating the skills and the success to other places that need it, will also help those places be successful. Wasn't factoring in kind of the human element and the current state of those groups? And to do work, you probably should look at what groups are doing really well together and it's probably because they work well together and they care for each other and you can just put that group on important efforts together so that they can continue to do well rather than breaking them apart.

Speaker 1:

Really interesting. You just gave me the weirdest hypothetical thought and I don't know if this exists. I'm curious. Listeners tell us what if there was an interview for a job of like a team I'm not talking like a contract, Like you have to bring in your little team, like for this developer job, we want a group of friends to come work for us, not just individual contributor, but like the individual contributors, all four of you have to show up to the interview and talk about you know why you work together, why you want to continue to work together.

Speaker 1:

I bet you, if you hired that way, you would build such stronger teams out of the gate and you'd have so much less time spent ramping up to the 30, 60, 90, because as a team it's already comfortable with each other. You're already past that point of oh hey, can you help me figure out how to do this thing in Jira, Because I don't understand it. Like no, it's just. Like yo, bro, show me how to do this. Like you get past all that weird culture building and you go straight into problem solving, Right, Like I would love to see that. And I bet you, if you put that out there, like looking for a team of three to you know, build up this task as part of our, our new initiative.

Speaker 2:

Whatever, you would find teams that applied and you'd probably have way more success with it, right yeah, it's interesting to think about, like when you have multiple positions open on the same team, kind of positioning like that. I think I've seen that in actually some in some way shape or form by just referrals from people. I've actually I personally have that on my team. Now I have somebody who joined and they referred someone who was on their previous team that they knew was great and that was one of the best decisions we made, because now they work together and they're crushing it and I think that's, you know, something that I've seen in multiple places, where it's like one person leaves but then they start recruiting the people that were good from where they worked before and keeping those people together tends to yield, you know, really positive results. Yeah, it's super cool.

Speaker 1:

Yeah it it in, like I mean, it's the net. That's the negative, right.

Speaker 2:

Is when, when you break them up or when you lose them, then you really have to keep an know on a board for an award or, like your, your decision making could be biased towards your best friend.

Speaker 2:

To be like yeah, we should give it to bruce because he's the, he's the best, even though his work may not be better than someone else's, it's not and so I think you really get bruce's work was always the best, but you always got to watch out, for that is like there are some things that you want to make sure you steer away from. Or if you create like a cool kids club and no one else is allowed in, then you're also creating a bad culture in the workplace. Like, I think the great thing about, um, just Bruce, I think the way that you kind of built a culture of, uh, our group that we had at the time, it was like it was open to everybody.

Speaker 2:

It didn't matter, you want to come, hang out and talk, like let's hang out and talk, and I think that, um, that went to many groups along the journey that we were at that company is we had so many people kind of float in or float out or come to lunch with us or hang out, and it was really cool to like meet those new people and have them as part of that. So it wasn't exclusive, it was very much open and it was really great to see when other people wanted to join because they were like you guys seem like you're having a good time, we should hang out I mean, like we, we would do the lean coffees even after we were separated and new people would come in and we'd be like, oh, you're really cool, make sure to come back.

Speaker 1:

Like, yeah, again, like I get. I get the negative of the cool kids club, like it's a really good call out Clark and there's something. Not everyone's going to get along with everybody. There have been really good people that I've worked with that I can honestly say I don't like, and I'm sure that many people would also say that about me. They'd like, oh yeah, I'd hire Anthony, but I don't really like him. I said my real name. Can you believe that?

Speaker 2:

oh, I'm not gonna bleep it.

Speaker 1:

Whatever I'm leaving it in, everyone already knows anyway. It's not like it's a secret on the discord, but uh, the point I'm trying to make is like you can't force it and right, you can't expect everyone to fall in and just be besties. And you know, at the same time too, like if there is a little cabal of best friends or you know, there's like six or seven people that just get along really well and they become exclusive, then you should talk to them about why and why they're not inclusive other people, because it might also be an indicator that the surrounding culture sucks. It can go both ways. They can suck, but it could be another problem too. Absolutely, it's a great tip Any other negative things.

Speaker 2:

Find best friends, you'll have fun, you'll enjoy it. Make sure it aligns with your goals. That is the hard part is finding them. Yeah, that's true Finding them. Even now, I hate to say it, I don't think I'd do it. You wouldn't find one. I wouldn't. I don't think I'd want to be best friends with people in the workplace. Is that a sign of my culture or is that because of my career goals?

Speaker 1:

No, that's a sign of your culture, I think. I think truly, if, if a best friend candidate was near you, clark, you'd you would find them and latch onto them. But there's not a good candidate for you.

Speaker 2:

That's a good point. Yeah, I like think around and like everyone's. I don't get it wrong, everyone's super nice. Like they're nice, they're cool people. Sure, I'd probably like have a beer with them in like a corporate setting.

Speaker 1:

But when I go out of my way to be like it's a Saturday, I want to hang out with them? Probably not. They're not Bruce. You know I only have one best friend and he's right here. I think that's the thing is like it's rare. It's very rare when it happens, although I do think like we have a lot of good candidates in our in our early days, but it was because we were closer to the bottom. We're both in the management layer. Now it's thin pickings in management and, unfortunately, the psychopaths that make it to management. We had Danny on and he talked about the difficulties and realizations of becoming a good manager. I think a lot of managers are just narcissistic psychopaths. You're just. You're not surrounded by people that you want to be besties with. The closer you are to the bottom, the more likely you are to find people like you, right?

Speaker 2:

And then also, I think, in the middle layer there's more people playing the game.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So opening up and being vulnerable is also more of a risk, because they could use it against you. This is so bad, but it's so. I mean for me, Bruce, I think it's true, Like I wouldn't want to open up because I don't want to have all my cards out there. You know what I mean and I think that speaks to the culture I'm in. But I think it also was very common for that. When you're in like the management layer, it's like everyone's trying to get to that next promotion. You kind of got to hold your cards here and there and some people are really open and they do it really really well, but I haven't been successful with that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I like again. I really like the people I work with. I'm grateful for a lot of the people I work with. No offense if you listen, but like I don't, there's not a best friend candidate yet. There might be and I might not have unlocked that yet, but you know the the best friend candidate. Would I go and start a podcast with them? You know that's our bar, that's the bar.

Speaker 2:

Start a podcast with them. You know, that's our bar, that's the bar. I will only be best friends if we will start a podcast and record over 120 episodes with each other.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think that's that's the bar it's really going to take. Is will you do 120 episodes with me on something? Uh, otherwise we're not there. But, like, uh, I agree with this article, though. I think it's great.

Speaker 2:

It's yeah it's a balance, though, because you have to, like, choose what's right for you and your career goals and your financial goals, and remember that work is, you know, a means to an end, and I think that's what you just need to remember. It's like do you want to continue having a lot of fun or do you want more money? And sometimes the right answer is you need more money, and sometimes that's the case, and you got to make that decision based on you know, your context and your situation, because, yeah, obviously you got to make money money to live.

Speaker 1:

My cynical take on this and we can. We can put a cap on it after, because I feel like we have reached the end here. My cynical take this is actually something that our listeners should not do. Uh, because it will inhibit your growth. You will not be able to play the game and you will. Your best friend will become your achilles heel and you will start a podcast cynically. The. The companies need to read this article and figure out how to make that magic happen, because that's how you keep people in the low pay zone, that's how you keep them in their positions, that's how you keep them from looking at other options and other places to go. If you can create that little best friend zone and everyone feels like they're having a good time at work, their productivity is up, they care about each other, they want the quality. You got them right where you want them, squeeze them. So this is disgusting. Yeah, you got them right where you want them. Squeeze them.

Speaker 2:

So this is disgusting. Yeah, I threw up a little of my mouth on that turn. I didn't expect that from you, bruce, very cynical.

Speaker 1:

I mean in all honesty, that's the game, right, like? Our game is move up, get more money, do the most you can so you don't have to do it for the rest of your life. Their game is treat you like an ant. And how do you make ants happy? You give them a bunch of honey and then you put them all in a room together and let them play video games like that's, you know, funny video games. It's a compelling offer.

Speaker 2:

I might do it going, you know no, I agree with you, though it does. It sucks to say it because it is a lot of fun. But yeah, you know, at the end of the day it's, it's corporate, yeah, and it's going to be dirty and it's I do really want to work for that. You know, place for the rest of your life? Even if the you have the best friend, it's like probably not. You know, earn, get money, retire early so you don't have to be a slave to corporate for the rest of your life and get those benefits. Squeeze every penny you can out of the company with those benefits. Take your time off because they're going to do the same to you.

Speaker 1:

Yep, they absolutely are. I think we did it, we did, we did it again 120 times. We've done it. We'll do it 120 more. You know Bruce and Clark for 100 years. You know what I'm saying. Keep it going.

Speaker 2:

I can get on that train.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can take that train.

Speaker 2:

I think we already are on the train.

Speaker 1:

There's no getting off. We're not getting off. They can come up to us and say no ticket and I'm still staying on Same. Yeah, I don't think we have a meme, do we have a meme?

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

We don't have a meme.

Speaker 2:

I feel like we just recorded an episode, but it's been a week.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it has been a week so we can't play the game because you didn't give us a meme. So here's the challenge. Y'all listeners that made it this far in the episode what do you meme is a channel on our Discord. It's a game we play on the show. If you've listened enough, you know we have to describe the imagery of the meme with our mouths. Live for you. And it should relate to something we talked about in the episode. So your challenge is go get us a meme about being friends in the workplace and we will do our actually not we, clark, it's his turn. Clark will do his best to go through the memory. Next episode. I'm ready, clark, how would they even get to that? What do you mean? Channel corporate strategy dot biz, what dot biz? What do you meme? Channel corporate strategy dot biz, what dot biz? How do you spell that?

Speaker 2:

it's biz, because we're a business and bruce pays for this whole thing out of his pocket. We got a link tree show notes. Go to a show, literally. If you can't figure out how to get in the discord, grandpa, go home. You got to figure this out like it's one click away. It's one click away, it's in the show notes. Bruce put together literally a link tree that if you click on it will show you everything, every single thing we do. I don't know that you can buy merch, but we do have sweet mugs just yesterday. But it may be 404 and so we're going to fix that eventually.

Speaker 1:

But spent a good 30 minutes on our, our merch store trying to like figure it out like it says it's working. The page says it's live. As soon as I click it, I cannot get to the page. The sad thing about our merch is we never made any money on it anyway. We were literally selling it at cost. So you know if you want the merch. Let us know and we'll figure out a way to get it to you.

Speaker 2:

But dang I know. But yeah, join the Discord. It's great, you know a lot of great discussion. We've been interacting with it more. I've made up on my Q1 failures of my KPIs and I've made it up in Q2. I've been contributing and we have been having great discussion, been seeing some promotions, new jobs because of the advice given on this, and even had some really great people from the Discord join that we've never met before. So it's really cool to kind of see people have joined the community and just instantly providing value and coming on the show. So join.

Speaker 1:

It's great. The best thing you can do is join our Discord. I cannot recommend it enough. There's just great people in there, people way better than us. So get in there if you're not enjoying the conversation and, uh, for everything else show notes, link tree. That's it, everything's in there. If you want to support the show, like like clark mentioned, it is completely funded by me. If you want to help me out, feel free to toss us a dollar or two. We appreciate it and we'd love you for it. And if there are ads in the again, that's because we don't make any money on this, so we're just trying to recompensate ourselves however we can. But truly, we appreciate you, the listener, and if you like what you've heard, do share with your friends. Let them know about the goodness that is corporate strategy, leave us a kind review on your podcast platform of choice and, as always, you are the reason we do this. So, whatever you decide to engage with, we just appreciate that you're listening and that you're here. So thank you, thank you we appreciate you.

Speaker 1:

I think that rounds it out for this week. So remember, don't go herding cats.

Speaker 2:

I'm bruce I think he gives the herding cats one like every single time, and I love it, don't reinvent the wheel.

Speaker 1:

Don't go soup to nuts on me. Keep your head out of the washing machine. I'm Bruce.

Speaker 2:

Take your head out of the weeds a little while and look through the trees and the forests. And I'm Clark, I want the net net on that.

Speaker 1:

You're on mute. I'll see you next week.

Cultural Differences in Corporate Environments
Importance of Workplace Friendships
Importance of Friendship in the Workplace
Building Stronger Workplace Relationships
The Importance of Workplace Relationships
Business Management Tips and Reminders