for growth-driven brands.

Let us take a minute to blow your mind with a few stats:

  • 86 percent of North American employees are currently disengaged at work
  • 72 percent of companies will fail within 10 years because their employees simply aren’t engaged in their work
  • It only takes 1 day where all employees are fully engaged to see a 3% increase in revenue

Those stats come courtesy of CultureSmith, who happens to be the focus of our next Impact Story.

More than just a business coach

There are a lot of business coaches out there—a lot of recruiting firms, executive coaches, and HR practitioners. They all promise to make your company better. And, maybe they can, but CultureSmith is proving that maybe they don’t have the solutions after all.

A lot of companies think from the outside in. They have a troubled employee, or a business model that just doesn’t seem to be working, and they want someone else to swoop in and fix it.

Shane Wallace, the Chief Engagement Officer at CultureSmith, has personal experience with this problem. While recovering from a surgery in the hospital as a traditional recruiter, he realized he couldn’t stand his clients and he couldn’t stand his employees. Before he made it home from the hospital, he convinced his dad to drop him off at the office.

“I hobbled upstairs on crutches and I fired 90 percent of my staff on the spot. I shut down three divisions and said, ‘Okay, we’re gonna build this thing back the right way.’”

The questions Shane then started asking himself helped him create CultureSmith.

“How do I build a company that fits my life, that doesn’t kill me, that doesn’t have me blowing past my kids when I get home at night and ignoring them because I’ve had this tough day? Culture and engagement became the answer.”

CultureSmith is a one-of-a-kind culture firm that focuses on engagement. The process may start by finding the right person for the job, but Shane and his team believe that keeping those people engaged through a strong company culture is what will make the business thrive.

An immersive brand experience

Here at BottomLine Marketing, we’re passionate about Marketing with Impact. There isn’t a brand pillar that is necessarily any better than the others, but we do find that companies tend to gravitate towards the same pillars. Identifying a greater purpose for your brand and determining your value are common pillars for companies to focus on, but CultureSmith does something even greater—they offer an immersive brand experience. And it works because their process starts from the inside and radiates out.

Let’s start with a common problem that the average coaching firm gets from its clients, “We want you to get rid of this person, go hire us somebody new.”

Most firms would then very carefully consider new candidates and do their darndest to find the right person for the job in the hopes that finding the right person will fix all their client’s problems.

If you take a minute to go back to those statistics we mentioned earlier, you now know it doesn’t fix the problem at all. If it did, those stellar employees would forever be engaged in their work, increasing revenue and creating a positive working environment.


Instead, CultureSmith forces you to immerse yourself in your own brand by flipping the script. Instead, they ask, “Well, what if that person you’re trying to get rid of isn’t the issue? What if you are the issue? What if you’re not taking care of yourself and that’s what’s causing all your problems?”

These are hard questions to ask, and not every company is up to find the answers.

“The vast majority of clients didn’t like hearing that!” chuckles Shane.

But, as CultureSmith kept working with area businesses, other businesses caught on to what they were doing because, as Shane explains, “Most entrepreneurs know how to run their business, they just need to get out of their own way. And that’s what we try and help them do. If we can up their consciousness, up their awareness, and they get out of their own way, they know how to solve the problems within their business.”

And how Does CultureSmith help you get out of your own way? “Our job is to manufacture ‘aha’ moments on a daily basis.”

It doesn’t get any more immersive than that.

Making the process easy

Creating “aha” moments sounds easier than it really is. Any entrepreneur will tell you that those “aha” moments can be elusive, and they never seem to show up when they’re most needed. CultureSmith makes it easy by breaking down important decisions into simple yes or no answers. By understanding those answers, they can help you quantify your culture and create a place where people actually want to do their best at work.

Of course, they use other innovative methods as well.

“SPIRAL is a daily check-in system. Our clients check-in through their phones, and then a message comes to me and our coaches in terms of what’s going on with their people. And what we have encouraged clients to do is add people they trust so that we’re not the only ones giving support.”

That’s not all CultureSmith has to offer. They also use a color-based system to help leaders and employees identify their workplace strengths.

According to Shane, it all boils down to the fact that, “Culture doesn’t exist without values.” And with the kind of values that Shane and his team help the companies they work with identify, we’re all expecting to hear great things from them in the future.