I can’t say that I’m mentored by a lot of people because I’m a difficult individual. But if there’s one person that I learn from, that I grow from, that I actually pay attention to, and try to figure out which way the wind blows, it’s Damon Klotz.

I have known Damon for over 11 years, and a lot of people mistake his optimism for naivete. But here’s the deal about Damon, he is savvy, he understands how to build relationships, he understands the world of work. And yet, knowing how nefarious the startup scene can be, and knowing how crazy the world of work is, he still believes that people are good and that human resources can make a difference. And then when it comes down to it, culture first really matters. 

Damon Klotz has spent his career working at the intersection of people and technology. He’s held roles as an HR Consultant, Digital Strategist, and he’s the co-founder of a men’s mental health charity. He joined Culture Amp as an early employee where he grew their community to one of the largest in the world and scaled the company during a time where the employees and customer base grew by over 2500%. 

As Culture Amp’s first Work Culture Evangelist he represents what’s possible within people and culture through storytelling, consulting, coaching, strategy execution, and thought leadership.

As the host of The Culture First Podcast, Damon interviews people like Esther Perel, Claude Silver, Adam Grant & Simon Sinek to have conversations about why a better world of work can exist for the individual, team, leader & organization by focusing on workplace culture as the lever for change. 

So, what is culture?

According to Damon, he thinks culture is a set of beliefs, expectations, structures, and intentions around how a group of people decide together, that’s actualized through behaviors, and it can exist at an organizational level. He also believes culture can exist within a team and within a small project as well. We spend a lot of time talking about what we do at work. Damon believes we don’t spend as much time focusing on how we’re working. Who were the people who were in the room? Who are the people who are not in the room? Who are the decision-makers? Why are they the decision-makers? How are we going to make decisions? These are all the things that make up a culture of a team, culture of a project, and culture of an organization. 

I’m talking about these topics—as well what Damon’s company is doing in the marketplace —in my weekly newsletter. I’m also sharing a video to help you think about your week ahead. You can sign up here.