Cultivate Wins Top Austin Workplace In 2018 By Austin American Statesman

Ever since Cultivate was born into existence, we had this mission of being an anomaly in the autism services industry. We wanted to play the game so that our staff and patients could win and thrive, and we were determined to never settle for mediocrity. We had the clinical expertise to ensure that our patients would excel, yet we really needed to focus on building an operational culture that was commensurate with our clinical excellence. That has proven to be one of the most rewarding and challenging professional ventures of my career.

Culture is a buzzword. So many companies are in pursuit of good culture, but often times there’s a massive dichotomy between what individuals within organizations say and what they ultimately do. This is the difference between stated and actual values. Cultivators have core values and we do a lot more than simply stating them to one another like meaningless platitudes, we behave in a manner that’s consistent with these values. Winning the Austin American Statesman Top Workplace Award means that we cannot simply rest on our laurels, but that we have to get up each and every day with a renewed commitment and vigor to keep hustling so that we can make this place better and better. The moment we get complacent is the moment that we no longer deserve to be a Top Workplace.

Earlier this year I shared a brief quote about grittiness in healthcare to our staff. They exude grit in the purest sense. We have clinicians and administrators that work diligently to provide a stellar patient experience. We go home at the end of each day in good conscience knowing that we did everything we could do to provide excellent services. When we win, we win big. When we lose, we lose fast and we refine and adjust until we’re winning again. This is how we collectively run this organization. Cultivators play to win, and that’s evident not just in our words, but in our actions and behaviors.

BF Skinner, the innovator of our science, did so much more than people both inside and outside the field realize. He discussed culture extensively, and this is what he had to say about the subject in Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971):

“The practices of a culture, like the characteristics of a species, are carried by its members, who transmit them to other members. In general, the greater the number of individuals who carry a culture, the greater its chance of survival.”

What does that reveal to us? It explains places like Cultivate and the other Top Workplaces, whether on the list or not. Building good culture is not a thing we speak into existence. It’s not a quick process that yields an immediate harvest. It’s a daily grind and effort to ensure that you’re building and reinforcing behavior in an environment where patients and staff can thrive and win. Jack Stack in the Great Game of Business said “You get what you give.” This means that no one person can build a great culture. It’s the collective effort that makes this place great. The moments of cohesion matter, and they matter a lot.

One of our staff members congratulated me over the weekend on the accomplishment. I congratulated her right back. This is not about a single Cultivator, this is about the whole tribe of Cultivators that behave in a manner worthy of our accomplishments. Earlier this year we were named a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and scored in the Top 5% according to their extensive evaluation and metrics. While that award was very special, this one is different. It’s special to be named a Top Workplace in Austin, Texas, where amazing employers are everywhere. It’s the little things that matter most, and the accumulation of the little things that start to make a culture great. Our competitors can imitate us (and they do), but it’s not that easy. Cultivate is more than words on a website. It’s a collection of stellar humans who love the work that they do and have a passion for serving others. This award is a reflection of our entire organization. Cultivators, celebrate this win and enjoy the fruits of your labor. As your leader, I could not be more proud to serve you daily as you serve your patients with everything you’ve got.


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Wanna be a part of the Cultivate team? Currently, we are hiring Behavior Technicians (BTs/RBTs) & Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in the San Antonio, Austin, and the Houston area. Apply to become the next Cultivator today!