Laurie Ruettimann is a workforce expert and podcaster. Please check the homepage for her most recent podcastsLinkedIn courses, and newsletters.


Cult or Culture | Laurie Ruettimann | DisruptHR Talks

I’m all over the internet talking about culture because you want to lie to me, and I’m sick of it.

* The Culture Myth
* Company Culture is a Myth
* What Defines Culture?
Cult or Culture? It Takes More than a Makeover to Make Your Company Great

(There’s more. So much more. You can google it.)

You want to tell me that your company has a culture. I say that culture is bigger than work. It’s the manifestation of intellectual and human accomplishment. It’s the pursuit of truth and beauty. And it’s bigger than beer in the fridge.

This week, I will cover the four components of company culture: creativity, collaboration, curation and continuity. Those four elements are only possible to discuss once you do the basics: pay people well, treat them with dignity and protect their civil rights.

Are you ready for candid “HR talk” on my blog?

(I’m not.)

To kick things off, I have a post up on The Hiring Site where I ask my fellow talent advisors to weigh in on culture and then I make fun of them. I’m also doing a webinar with The Conference Board of Canada where I’m talking about social media and culture in the workplace.

(You can email them and ask for a 50% discount.)

Stay tuned for more. I hope you enjoy the posts. I want you to challenge the status quo, even when the status quo tries to tell you that it’s edgy and disruptive.

(It’s not. You are being duped into forgetting what’s important — equal opportunity, diversity, inclusion — and being sold on forced fun and ping-pong tables in the office.

I don’t blog to read my words. (I could be a graffiti artist like Banksy.) I blog about the fake allure of culture, hoping that you stop lying to yourselves and your workers about company culture.


  1. I am head of HR in a tech company and our employees love our culture. I love my co-workers a lot, it is easy to be their HR person. Here are the reasons our people love to work here:

    It feels safe here. They do interesting work for very good pay and can come and go as they please. We have unlimited PTO, flex hours, work from home, whatever you need and no one abuses it. Everyone here is smart (and knows it) and love working with people who are just as talented and accomplished. The bar to work here is crazy high. No one quits. Sound amazing? Here is the result:

    We have no diversity, no need of mentorship, few new ideas that weren’t invented in the 80’s and 90’s. Our managers will only manage people who don’t need managing, kind of like the teacher who has only the gifted class and takes credit for their accomplishments.

    And our business is not growing…. A fabulous “culture” can hold you back from success as much as inspiring it, if the right factors are not included, and Laurie, yours make sense to me. We have great collaboration and continuity but that’s not enough. Thanks for the forum to talk and think about this critical aspect work.

    • Thank you EMR for your honest and candid comment to Laurie’s post. It is so refreshing to hear of someone who is honest about their culture (which sounds awesome, BTW) and also honest about what that has created. Great posts on culture Laurie, thank you.

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