Scaling Culture: Navigating the Challenges of Growth with Cameron Herold

As organizations grow, they often encounter unique challenges in building and maintaining a thriving culture. The very things that made a company successful in its early stages – its core values, its startup mentality, its close-knit team – can become diluted or even lost as the company scales. So, how can leaders navigate the challenges of scaling culture?

According to our guest today, Cameron Herold, it’s important to recognize that scaling culture is an ongoing process, not a one-time event but it begins at a very early stage.

Cameron is the Founder of the COO Alliance & Second In Command Podcast (iTunes). And I’m known around the world as THE CEO Whisperer. His latest book, Second in Command, is a powerful guidebook when you’re ready to scale up your business.

During our conversation, Cameron and I share the importance of growing people in a company’s culture, investing in employees’ skills to keep up with company growth, explore a significant shift in HR’s role and uncover how to bring your vision to life by using Cameron’s jigsaw puzzle approach.

Here is more on what Cameron and I explore in this conversation:

Episode highlights
  • What bringing up entrepreneurial kids and being a great leader have in common?
  • The secret to cultivating and scaling a thriving company culture in a business that grows.
  • How to build a strong culture without becoming cult-like.
  • Why do we need to care about people first if we want outstanding results?
  • The four core goals for every company according to Cameron: the employee net promoter score (eNPS), the customer net promoter score (NPS), the dollar figure for profit, and the dollar figure for revenue.
  • The relationships between growing people’s skills and helping them build their confidence.
  • The difference between a vivid vision and a BHAG (Big, Hairy, and Audacious Goal).
  • How to bring your vision to life by using the concept of a jigsaw puzzle and its four corners: purpose, core values, BHAG and 1-year plan + the sides of the puzzle: people, strategy, meeting cadence and financial systems.
  • The fundamental difference between perks and culture.
  • The critical importance of peer support, especially for people in leadership positions.
  • The evolving role of HR and the difference between being responsible for people function in large organization vs a scale-up organization.

Listen to the interview in the player below or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, and it may be featured on a future episode.

More about Cameron Herold

He is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth. Cameron’s built a dynamic consultancy – his current clients include a ‘Big 4’ wireless carrier and a monarchy. What do his clients say they like most about him? He isn’t a theory guy- they like that Cameron speaks only from experience. He earned his reputation as a business growth guru by guiding his clients to double their profit and double their revenue in just three years or less.

Cameron was an entrepreneur from day one. At age 21, he had 14 employees. By 35, he’d help build his first TWO $100 MILLION DOLLAR companies. By the age of 42, Cameron engineered 1-800-GOT-JUNK ?’s spectacular growth from $2 Million to $106 Million in revenue and 3100 employees – and he did that in just six years. His companies landed over 5,200 media placements in that same six years, including coverage on Oprah.

Not only does Cameron know how to grow businesses, but his delivery from the stage is second to none- the current publisher of Forbes magazine, Rich Karlgaard, stated: “Cameron Herold is THE BEST SPEAKER I’ve ever heard…he hits grand slams”.

When Cameron steps off the stage, he doesn’t stop teaching. He is the author of the global best-selling business book DOUBLE DOUBLE- in its 8th printing and in multiple translations around the world. He’s also the author of the top-selling books MEETINGS SUCK, VIVID VISION, MIRACLE MORNING FOR ENTREPRENEURS, and FREE PR.

Cameron is a top-rated international speaker and has been paid to speak in 26 countries. He is also the top-rated lecturer at EO/MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program and a powerful and effective speaker at Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer lead­ership events around the world.

People mentioned in this episode

Steve Jobs

Richard Branson

Henry Ford

Herb Kelleher

Books mentioned in this episode

The second in command by Cameron Herold

Insanely simple by Ken Segall

The hard thing about hard things by Ben Horowitz

One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Companies mentioned in this episode


Acceleration partners


Virgin Group

Southwest Airlines

Additional resources

Accreditation Program – Codifying Company Culture

CultureBrained® Community – a one-of-a-kind virtual community for Heads of Culture, founders, and leaders who want to up their culture game.

The Culture Playbook Guide

Discover Your Personal Values

COO Alliance

Want more tips on evolving culture?
Subscribe to my newsletter, the CultureLab Insider, and get the new blog posts, podcast episodes
and other free resources delivered to your inbox every Tuesday.