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Great Business Cultures Don’t Just Happen: Are You Building with Intention?

April 03, 2024

  • Business is Business
  • Podcast
  • Teams

People problems keep entrepreneurs up at night, but building a strengths-based intentional culture can turn the worst personnel nightmares into a dream team. 


Ask any entrepreneur or team leader what’s on their mind, and there’s a good chance they’re thinking about people issues. 

We know this, in part, because EOS® Worldwide, a company whose Entrepreneurial Operating System is used by hundreds of thousands of companies around the world, did ask. And 82% agreed — the main thing keeping them up at night is getting the most out of their people. 

So how do you solve your biggest people issues and ensure maximum productivity from your team? 

Kelly Knight, President and Integrator of EOS Worldwide, shared one key answer with Kolbe Corp President and Integrator Amy Bruske on the Powered by Instinct podcast. 


“It starts with getting what we call RPRS, which stands for right people in the right seats,” Knight explained. “It’s a combination of adhering to the core values of an organization and at the same time making sure that individual is truly getting, wanting, and having the capacity for the seat that they sit in.” 

This starts with building your team in an intentional way. You need individuals who are committed to your mission and purpose and who are skilled. But it’s vitally important not to overlook the number one predictor for RPRS: aligning individuals to roles that fit the natural way they take action. 

This is measured through Kolbe and is a huge part of how EOS as an organization ensures they are hiring RPRS.  

All too often,” Knight continued, “we’re growing quickly as organizations, we have certain seats that need to be filled, and we can sometimes compromise a little bit. We reason that if there’s a 70% fit there, it’ll be okay. And most of the time, in my experience, it just isn’t true, especially if the 30% or whatever percent you’re compromising on are the really important things. Like, their Kolbe result.” 

It’s one reason why EOS has Kolbe Certified™ Consultants on their own team. Another? Because people evolve, and an intentional culture has to account for that. 

“The sweet spot is what we call the GWC channel,” said Knight, “which stands for the get it, the want it and the capacity channel. So, when you’re having your meetings with your independent members of your team in quarterly conversations, it’s important to recognize their current needs and situation. Where were they a year ago? Where were they last quarter? Where are they today? And am I delegating and elevating enough to them?” 


Really spectacular cultures where people are loving what they do and thriving and companies are growing,” Knight explained, “don’t just happen by accident. They require you to be really truly dedicated and thoughtful, and to put a ton of energy and thought and consideration into making sure that you’re building something of intention that you’re proud of.” 

Knight noted that it can often take 12 to 18 months to turn a culture around, and that it usually gets worse before it gets better. 

“And that is really hard,” she admitted. “It’s a hard pill to swallow for an entrepreneur who may already feel a little overwhelmed or who has a business that is growing at a rapid pace, and they don’t have the luxury of stopping to slow down.” 

But when you can build an intentional culture, those people problems become few and far between. And there is a roadmap, thanks to the second book in the EOS Mastery Series, People: Dare to Build an Intentional Culture. The book, penned by Knight and fellow EOS luminaries Mark O’Donnell and CJ Dubé, gives readers all the tools they need to create a thriving workplace culture and yes, get the most out of their people. 

“An amazing culture is the one thing that if you truly put people first and you do slow down and get really thoughtful and intentional about the steps needed,” Knight said, “that will really reflect something that you’re very proud of. And it becomes something that, for many entrepreneurs, is a legacy. They’re building something really important and the results do matter, but it’s got to feel good along the way too.” 

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