The Belonging Sessions 015: Aaron Reitkopf from Profero

Profero is a digitally-led, global, marketing & advertising agency.

I had the chance to sit down with CEO Aaron Reitkopf to talk about their culture of curiosity, competitiveness and collaboration.


1. You talk about ideas people can belong to. From a culture perspective, why do you think your employees join your company? 

We believe our external mission is the same as our
internal mission: Creating ideas people can belong to. It’s the most important
metric in the world. The core metric marketing has always been about.
Belonging is a fundamental need, so we take the same thing we create for our
clients and create it for ourselves.   This idea you can belong to
internally is a culture people want to belong to, defined by clear values,
and each of our eleven offices around the world have their own distinctive spin
on these values. For instance, you have to be globally curious. If you don’t
have a passport, that might make us alarmed about you.

2. The great workplaces of the world have soul. What do
you do to humanize your culture?

First, we work very hard on making sure there’s no
“me, I or my,” and more “we, our and us.” We’re pushing towards a common goal.
You can’t only be about yourself and your point of you. Our brainstorms are
about the third idea, which is yours plus mine to make ours. That makes
the idea more powerful. Third, bring yourself to work. You. The real you. Not
the business you. Not the you that you thought you were supposed to be. Be you.
Share your ideas, don’t just play the role you’re assigned. Be present.

3. Belonging is a basic human craving. How do employees
know that they’ve found a home

We have offices all around the world. And at our New
York office, almost nobody is from New York. We’re all from somewhere else.
Everyone brings a unique point of view, many from countries around the world. We
never tried to be diverse, we just have the values about global curiosity, and
that’s what creates a diverse culture organically. Diversity isn’t an
imperative you just create. We recruit in such a way that, even if get the
culture fit wrong, we always get the mindset fit and the value fit right, and
that’s what brings in the best people. Great culture isn’t constructed. There
are guardrails, but the culture comes together on its own, nobody really
controls it. And we love it that way. 

To learn more about Profero’s work, click here!


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