Exploring the Perfect Fit: Insights on Workplace Culture and Personal Growth with Dr. André Martin
Dr André Martin is an organisational psychologist and author of the book ‘Wrong Fit, Right Fit – Why How We Work Matters More Than Ever’. It seeks to solve the crisis of commitment in the modern workplace, positing that the issue isn’t good or bad culture, but the fit between our ideal way of working day-to-day and that of the companies we join.
He has spent over 20 years as the Chief Talent Officer of iconic brands such as Mars, Nike, Google, and Target. Now, acting as an operating advisor, coach, and consultant, André continues to counsel leaders and founders to peak performance.
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02:45 The impetus for Dr André Martin writing the book ‘Wrong Fit, Right Fit’
- His lightbulb moment happened after he decided to write the book
- He started off researching building a highly engaged and committed culture in this new area of work
- He asked the question “What makes a great company?” and got a diverse range of answers
05:19 Why we’re losing productivity in the workforce
- According to Gallup’s 2022 report, there was an estimated loss of $7.8tn of productivity due to loss of engagement
- The big claim: can we build a workplace where people come out happier, healthier and better?
08:30 Aligning values for talent acquisition
- There are a lot of clear surface-level indicators
- What does a random Tuesday afternoon look like?
- Be clearer on the day-to-day culture of the work
10:35 What is a Wrong Fit and Right Fit
- Many answers in to Wrong Fit: doing the wrong thing, getting the ‘Sunday Scaries’, felt like walking through mud each day
- People lost confidence and purpose
- Right Fit: doing the best work, felt like doing their craft, the hard work didn’t feel hard
13:24 The principles of Wrong Fit, Right Fit
- The pandemic has opened up to broader definitions
- The principles are timeless
- People are searching for things that matter more than just bean bags and ping-pong tables
23:15 The focus is more on fitting in than the right fit
- Writing with your non-dominant hand is what it feels like to not fit in
- Founder-led companies often struggle with the Right Fit as, when they continue to grow and scale, it’s hard to teach others their ways of working
- “Growth puts pressure on culture”
26:24 The relationship between alignment and autonomy
- Alignment is about the framework to get the work done – which makes work easier
- Freedom within the framework is autonomy
- There is a common misconception that autonomy is just walking into work and doing what you want to do
29:11 The psychology of Right Fit
- There are over 37 factors that drive diversity, which include age, learning style, introversion/ extroversion, etc.
- How we work can be a galvanising force to make things happen
32:57 How to get out of a Wrong Fit situation
- Pause and don’t jump too quickly as you might jump into another Wrong Fit
- Find buffers, and how can you make your Wrong Fit bearable
- Be careful with your time, find more meaningful work outside of work
- Find your work doppelganger of someone who is like you but is thriving at work – explore how they are thriving
- Don’t just sit and be a victim – there is a real cost to being in the Wrong Fit situation
39:02 How can you assess a company’s culture in the interview process?
- The job interview is like a first date
- Be careful with confirmation bias – pay attention to everything
- Ask questions about day-to-day work and the people working there
- Research online – external interviews, articles, LinkedIn network
- There is no perfect fit, but know what matters to you
44:13 Reverse engineering the Wrong Fit
- Get clear on how the company works at its best
- Study the most successful tools
- Invest in the onboarding process
- Rethink your recruitment process
47:28 Some key concepts from ‘Wrong Fit, Right Fit’
- Basking in reflective glory: we will tend to make decisions to be a part of places that are doing inherently well
- This can be deceptive – the brand tells very little about how a company works
- Just because a place isn’t working right now, it doesn’t mean it won’t work well in the future
50:53 Will AI make work more meaningful?
- We need to think about our work in a different way
- Andre thinks about 60% of meetings could be done asynchronously on a shared document instead of a meeting
- Ensure there are more moments in your day of doing your craft
- “Our yes is only important if we say no”
55:33 What is good management and what does it look like?
- Managers are ‘star makers’
- You get less feedback the higher up you go