Aug 2, 2021
At this point in the pandemic, none of us are strangers to
change. But for Kyoko Minegishi, change has been the one and only
constants in a life full of cross-cultural moves, varied leadership
positions, and now spearheading a startup with an eye on the
convergence of living spaces and robotics.
On this episode of the Building Better Cultures podcast, host
Scott McInnes talks with Kyoko, the vice president of marketing for
transformable furniture company Ori, about what forms change has
taken in her own life, how change affects her teams, and why change
is and always will be a driver of progress in company culture.
Kyoko began her career in the music industry, right when the
traditional model of record companies and labels was making way for
the digital age of streaming. She then spent time at Red Bull,
helping transform the beverage company into the sports and
adventure brand it’s known as today. Recently she landed at Ori, a
startup bent on transforming the way we see and live in spaces
through tech-driven furniture and architecture.
That’s a lot of change for one individual to manage, but Kyoko
has used the changes to her advantage—driving the way she views
company culture and creating effective communications both
externally and internally. Throughout their conversation, Scott and
Kyoko touch on how to maintain and enhance a culture of community
despite the constraints of the pandemic, why companies need to
maintain a constant level of engagement with their teams, and how
poor internal communication can really hurt a company’s bottom
The episode wraps up with a look at hybrid work and how to build
culture despite employees working from different locations. Kyoko
believes listening to your employees and customizing communications
to their needs and preferences is key to not only increased success
and productivity, but also necessary for success in this new hybrid
work world we’re all living in.
- An introduction to Kyoko and a look at her upbringing in the
midst of constant change.
- Kyoko’s journey from starting in the music industry and
transforming Red Bull into a media business to landing at Ori,
where she now helps people maximize and enhance spaces.
- Kyoko’s thoughts on creating a culture of hyper-transformation
at its core.
- Culture is a nonnegotiable for Kyoko because it bonds a
business and team together, and if there’s a lack of culture
there’s a cost to the bottom line.
- The sense of community in culture has suffered over the last 18
months of the pandemic.
- Companies maintain a constant level of engagement with their
employees—even in the presence of hybrid work models—through
intentionality, flexibility, and creating meaningful moments, even
- Kyoko’s transformation of Red Bull’s brand from a beverage
company to a sports/adventure brand.
- Kyoko’s keys to creating culture during her tenure at Red Bull:
- Being intentional about bringing people together and creating a
bond of community
- Global conferences every year
- Connecting with communities
- Mix of people on teams
- Red Bull’s high-octane energy externally was also true on the
inside, and it was driven by passion.
- The story-first approach and person-first approach Red Bull
championed while Kyoko was there gave its individuals and teams
- Culture is all about people, according to Kyoko.
- Poor internal communication can be detrimental to a company’s
bottom line because change is constant and team members can get
lost if comms are poor.
- In order to communicate effectively, you need to ask yourself
these two questions:
- Who’s your audience and what’s their current reality?
- What are you trying to actually achieve with that
- Poor internal communication is often due to a lack of
follow-through when it comes to relaying a message.
- Internal communications need to be paired with empathy and the
correct tools to leverage that information into something useful
- The most important thing in the current state of hybrid work we
find ourselves in is being connected with the workforce you’re
- Kyoko believes it depends on the work and workforce to see
whether hybrid work will be successful.
- Customize for your audience to make sure whatever you’re
relating to them is workable and effective.
- Listening to your workforce about how you’re developing and
progressing is crucial for success in this new hybrid work
- Culture in startups is ignited by the founder and founding
- Kyoko’s current experience at Ori shows that behavior really
brings to life the culture of the company.
- It’s tricky to determine when to formalize and instill a
cultural muscle into a startup to allow it to grow its own company
- Kyoko’s biggest drivers of culture: behavior and decision
About Kyoko Minegishi
Ori website: https://www.oriliving.com/
More about Scott:
Learn more about Scott McInnes, founder and director of
Inspiring Change, by clicking here.
More about WorkVivo
To discover Workvivo, a workplace communication platform that
offers seamless digital integration, please click here.