Episode 79: Cultivating Culture with Michael Delfausse

Who is Michael Delfausse and the key takeaways in this episode?

Michael Delfausse comes from a unique background which comprises a mix of social work and engineering. Having seen how dysfunctional human behavior can be at times, he decided to try and help by using his understanding of organizational psychology to become a creative organizer. This episode chronicles his intriguing story.

Listen to this thought-provoking interview and learn:

  • What organizational psychology entails
  • Michael’s definition of company culture
  • The importance of culture in attracting and retaining talent
  • And much, much more

The Questions

What is organizational psychology? What problems does it solve? How do you help people?

Answer:Psychology is just about human behavior and getting someone from A to B. Organizational psychology is the psychology of people at work, so whether or not people enjoy their work, how you deal with conflict at work, and how you organize people at work. There are multiple levels: individual, group and organizational. It’s not a perfect science, but we analyze human behavior in the context of work and try and solve work-related problems.

I want to talk about a situation where a company has a tremendous culture, they have great people, great technology, and you walked into their site and you said, “This matches. There’s no brand disconnect.” Can you tell us a story where you saw that and how you think it helped them gauge the staff they have and helped them attract additional talent?

Answer: It’s like a first date situation. We are able to suss out whether we are attracted to a person within roughly 9 seconds. In that time we are able to determine whether or not we even want to continue the conversation. It’s startling, but it’s sort of telling. This organization that I know of, you walk into their space and, because they want you to feel welcome, they create a space that not only has colors but has a design so that you feel like part of the organization. They allow you to see all of the workings, how the sauce is made, so there isn’t any illusion about what they can or cannot do. As a result, there’s just a level of honesty.

Can you give my listeners a tip about an area that’s really worthwhile focusing on?

Answer:The first thing I’d ask them to think about is how they decompress. It’s easy to work hard. The tricky part is actually running the marathon. I know some people who can go only sleeping four hours a day, and that is amazing, but if they’re not taking care of themselves then they will not be in a place to even consider what other people need. Especially when it comes to revitalizing themselves, you may get a star performer on your workforce, but if you burn them to the ground then you’re creating a really bad pattern. […] Self-care is a simple way to put it, and it should start with you because clearly hard work is the only way you can get anywhere, but if there’s no healthy way for you to decompress afterwards that you can instil and demand from your people, you are going to burn out.

Culture According to Michael Delfausse:

It’s repeated behaviors that are engrained around core values. There are lots of different definitions […] but if the person at the top, or even at the bottom, understands implicitly what they’re supposed to do and why they’re supposed to do it, that’s the culture.

Book Recommendations:

  • Workplace by Design by Franklin Becker and Fritz Steele

Go To Quote for Inspiration

What Michael Delfausse Wants His Company to BE:

  • BE Smart
  • BE Reflective
  • BE Good

Where to Find Michael Delfausse:

  • Email him at: midelfausse@yahoo.com

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