The Culture Advantage with Dan Strode

Dan Strode at the CultureLab podcast

Innovation is the lifeblood of a company. Without it, a business will struggle to stay relevant and competitive in today’s fast-changing world. But where does innovation really come from?

It’s not just about hiring the smartest people or investing in the newest technology. While those factors certainly play a role, the true driving force behind innovation is company culture.

A positive and supportive company culture fosters an environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks, voicing their ideas, and collaborating with their colleagues. It encourages a growth mindset and a willingness to try new things, even if they might fail.

And these are all things we talk about with my guest today, Dan Strode.

Dan is the Global Group Director of Culture & Strategy at Banco Santander, a Spanish multinational financial services company. He is also the author of a recently published book called The Culture Advantage – Empowering Your People to Drive Innovation.

Dan generously shares his knowledge and experience with shaping a healthy culture as a guest lecturer at a number of universities around the globe. He is also a member of the CultureBrained Community, where he actively participates in a collective effort to develop new ways of cultivating thriving company cultures at scale.

Episode highlights
  • Why creating an environment of psychological safety is essential for fostering a growth mindset in individuals and teams.
  • The best practices for creating psychological safety including setting clear expectations, having courageous conversations, and not rushing to give advice.
  • How allowing space for experimentation and learning from failures helps to foster a growth mindset.
  • The relationship between diversity and innovation.
  • The value of hiring from within and promoting from within and how it can foster a culture of growth.
  • The importance of setting high and hard goals for both personal and business growth.
  • Why it’s important for leaders to recognize and address anxiety and stress in the workplace and how well-being programs and great communication from leadership can help to support individuals and teams in times of stress.

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 Daniel Strode

Dan Strode brings an uncommon and fairly unique view to the culture table. He is a practitioner, as Head of Culture for Banco Santander – a 200,000 strong global bank – leading the global effort to implement a strong common culture across the whole workforce.

For the past five years his culture work sees him cross 32 different countries globally, implementing “The Santander Way” and embedding the culture across a range of activities. In addition to being a practitioner he is an academic, teaching at universities and business schools around the world including Madrid’s IE Business School in Spain, and Bologna Business School in Italy.

His main topics of teaching focus on how to create cultures where innovation can thrive, how to lead in the digital era, and, how to give and receive world class feedback. And finally, Dan turned author and recently released “The Culture Advantage – empowering your people to drive innovation” which was published by Kogan Page and can be found in all good bookstores now.

Books mentioned in this episode

The Culture Advantage – Empowering Your People to Drive Innovation by Dan Strode.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck.

Additional resources

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.

New Amsterdam TV show.

COVID-19 President and CEO Arne Sorenson’s speech on Youtube.

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