Get Together

Instigating grassroots culture change 🧩 Steve Garguilo, Cultivate

Episode Summary

An interview hosted by Bailey and Kevin with Steve Garguilo, partner at Cultivate, which helps organizations unlock their full potential and bring their culture to life. We talked with Steve about his early career at Johnson & Johnson and his work now at Cultivate, sparking company culture shifts from the ground up.

Episode Notes

“There's strategic value in giving up some control when you're a leader at a company and you want new ideas to emerge.” - Steve Garguilo

Early in his career, Steve did the (seemingly) impossible—he led a grassroots transformation of the culture of Johnson & Johnson, the fifth largest company in the world. 

Frustrated by the pace and challenges of big company culture, Steve decided to do something he’d done in college: host a TEDx.  He hosted a casual TEDx event at a bar and invited employees within Johnson & Johnson to share their research, wild ideas, and learn from one another. Within an hour and a half of posting the event internally, 90 people had signed up. Soon employees at other offices around the world wanted to host their own. By the time Steve was done, 23,000 people at Johnson & Johnson had engaged in a TEDx and he had a new title: “Head of Instigation at Johnson & Johnson.”

Today Steve continues this work shifting big company cultures from the ground up. As a partner at Cultivate, he’s taking the transformative work he did at Johnson & Johnson to other organizations. He co-authored Surge: Your Guide to Put Any Idea into Action which captures the two-decade on the quest to find better ways to take action on our ideas.

We talk with Steve about how he pinpointed fellow changemakers within Johnson & Johnson and supercharged their ideas using the TEDx format. 

Highlights, inspiration, & key learnings:

👋🏻Say hi to Steve and learn more about Cultivate.

📄See the full transcript and annotate insights.

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Episode Transcription

See full transcript here.