27.01.2016

#CultureFirst: Steve Hopkins

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The #CultureFirst series is a chance to showcase the team here at Culture Amp. We asked everyone a few questions which will give you an opportunity to get to know each of us a bit better.

Steve Hopkins - Director of Customer Success

Culture Amp: What can you do as a CAmper that you haven’t been able to do elsewhere?

Steve Hopkins: This one is an easy one. I get to try a lot of new ideas about how best to create a purposeful, #culturefirst company. It sounds obvious to say it, but that's what I can do here that I can't do anywhere else. At Culture Amp, we're constantly asking how we nurture our operational culture to be as purposeful and generative for our people as possible. Getting to do that in a fast paced, tech environment with a bunch of crazy smart people I care about is a rare opportunity indeed!

CA: Best day you’ve ever had at work?

SH: I really love what I do. In my work I get to help our customers create a more purposeful culture within their organizations. I've been lucky to have a lot of great days at work doing that.

One in particular stands out. A couple of years ago, I was touring New Zealand with Yammer's cofounder and CTO, Adam Pisoni. We were meeting with executive customers and members of the Yammer community there. On one of the (early) mornings, Adam was speaking at a breakfast event and once he was off stage the CEO of a large insurance company approached him and said "My leadership team is in a hotel room all week working on how we'll make our company a responsive and great place to work. They need to hear what you just said. Can you spare 30 minutes today to visit them?"

Our schedule was already back-to-back, but we managed to shoehorn a visit. We were in a rush, so when we arrived we raced up stairs to a fairly nondescript meeting room in the hotel. We opened the doors and inside was a cacophony of post it notes, books, coffee and people. They welcomed us with open arms and immediately cut to the chase, discussing how they felt their company could be more responsive and generative for the people that worked there. We left only 20 minutes later, but the hunger we all shared for learning about creating a more purposeful place to work was amazing.

CA: What do you geek out about outside from work?

SH: Making espresso. I've got an espresso machine at home and am trying to get better at doing that. Chasing the perfect shot is how I start most mornings.

CA: What did you want to be when you grew up?

SH: I was one of those kids that knew what they wanted to do fairly early on. From early high school I wanted to be an osteopath and run my own little practice somewhere. Something about running my own business really appealed to me. In the end, I didn't do that, but I think the core idea of having ownership over what I do and helping others still resonates strongly.

CA: What is something about you not many people know?

SH: I once met David Allen, of Getting Things Done (GTD) fame. Some people know this, mostly because I occasionally brag about it. But I wish that number were bigger!

CA: If you could be a lead character in a movie, who would it be?

SH: Can I do TV instead? I'm West Wing tragic. I've watched most episodes a few times. If I could be one of the lead characters, it'd be Josh Lyman. Something about being the person working hard behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly appeals to me.

CA: Where would you go on an all expense paid trip tomorrow?

SH: Location-wise, I'm not sure, but I'd be trying to find a little cabin in the woods somewhere. I imagine lighting a pot-belly stove and brewing a tea or coffee before reading a book.

CA: What does workplace culture mean to you?

SH: There's a few ways to answer this. I define workplace culture as how I, work with others, to get it done. There's a lot of extra detail I could go into there but that's it in a nutshell.

Personally, I really love working in organizations where there's a culture of people working in community with our customers. Those environments tend to create places where decisions are simple and easy to make, because we've often worked openly with our customers during the decision process.

CA: What was the first and last concert you attended?

SH: Oh man. Do you know, I can't remember. It may have been a jazz concert in a little bar in Melbourne. I used to play the trumpet and my teacher at the time took me along to an album launch. Ditto on the last concert. I'm not much of a live music goer, I guess!

CA: What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

SH: Speaking of GTD, probably the best piece of advice I've ever been given is to take things off my mind and put them somewhere trusted. That clears space for better thinking and being more present in the moment. Once you start trying to do that, it changes a lot of your behaviors. Thanks to Ross for putting me onto GTD.

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