077: Building a rock solid culture with Arnie Malham

On this episode of the Working Without Pants Podcast, I talk to Arnie Malham about the success he has had in building multiple companies with rock solid cultures.

One of the things that I love about Arnie is that he is a big reader, and he attributes much of his success to what he calls R&D, ripping off and duplicating from the authors that he follows. And with a team of around 30 members and annual revenue around $10 million, I’d say he’s doing a great job.

Creating Culture

When I asked Arnie about how he created the company culture he has today, he talked about how he wanted to be in a place where he enjoyed working. And, having his employees enjoy what they were doing, made his own personal work environment better. To do this, he continually asks three questions regarding his employees.

  1. How much autonomy can I give you?

  2. What can I do to make you look forward to your workday?

  3. How do I make your day?

Because of this, he has developed a company with unrestricted PTO, open work hours, bonuses for reading professional development books, and monthly morale surveys. It is at the top of Arnie’s mind to make his companies places where employees enjoy working.


But, it isn’t just as easy as saying you are going to make an awesome place to work. Arnie talks about the planning, preparation and hiring process that goes into each position. Owners and managers are often faced with the challenge of how to help make people successful in their roles. Arnie’s approach is to really focus on building the position and expectations before you fill it. They set the position up with clear defined measures for success, then it is up to the person in that role to be successful.

Core Values

The other challenge of creating a rock solid company culture is getting everyone on the same page, and that involves creating and communicating core values to your team.

  • Make sure to explain why your core values are what they are.

  • Ask people to make sure they follow their core values when in the office.

  • Make sure you are always talking about your core values.

Worth Doing Wrong

Arnie is not a man who is afraid to do things wrong, and he is very open about the mistakes he has made so far in his journey. In fact, he has written a book on it.

One of the big things we talk about in this episode is mistakes with hiring, and Arnie goes into detail on some of the processes he currently uses to ensure new hires are a good fit and that they buy into the company culture.

I absolutely loved talking with Arnie. He is a huge wealth of information, and he had several books he recommended. So please take a look below, and enjoy doing a little “R&D” in your own company.


Learn how to win your dream clients

Sign up for my 7 part email course