Santiago Jaramillo Speech

Ohana Editor Blog

Guest post by Jared Bertram, Sales Associate

Last week I attended an Insights Live event at the Biltwell Event Center near downtown Indianapolis. At this event, I had the opportunity to listen to Santiago Jaramillo speak about employee engagement, culture, and innovation in the business world.

As a football player, I know the impact of culture on results. In sports, culture is what separates champions from winners. Culture is what drives each player to show up to practice every day, to be focused and motivated, and do whatever needs to be done to help his or her team win. Culture is having a meaningful relationship with teammates and playing for something bigger than yourself. Culture is why Nick Saban has won five national championships and holds a 141-21 record at Alabama. It is the trust in one another and the full commitment to the program that separates the Crimson Tide.

When most athletes walk off the field for the last time, they have a feeling of emptiness. The feeling of no longer being a part of a team, or experiencing the comradery that comes with sports. In reality, transferring from college athletics into the real world is just another team change. Until joining the Ohana team this summer, offering a mobile application aimed at employee engagement, listening to Santiago’s speech and reading his book Agile Engagement, I did not realize how similar business teams are to sports teams and how pertinent culture is in the professional world. I also didn’t realize how much of a problem it was.

Santiago’s speech dove into this topic. He talked about how missions matter, and the importance of finding a why or deeper meaning behind your daily actions. He related this to Ikigai, which is a Japanese concept for “a reason of being”. There are four notions of the Ikigai: what you love, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you are good at. Overlap of these concepts bring either a passion, mission, profession, or vocation. But together, they form Ikigai.

Santiago lead this part of his speech into what employees seek today. Most individuals, including myself, would say either more money or a promotion. This is not the case. Employees seek a shared confidence in management, a trustworthy relationship with their coworkers, and a mission statement that they are proud to stand behind. Employees want to be engaged.

Many people may confuse this desire with job satisfaction. Satisfaction is not engagement. Being satisfied means doing your job at the status quo. Being engaged means going above and beyond what is expected, because you feel part of a purpose larger than yourself; a culture. Employees today desire to be a part of a strong company culture. A company with a strong culture generates greater productivity, profits, and provides a happier life for their employees on and off work.

I encourage you to take a second and ask yourself, am I or are my employees truly engaged at work? If not, how can I change this? Culture matters. 

Thanks for reading,

Jared Bertram 

P.S. If you are interested in learning more on how to create company culture in an ever-developing business world, reach out to us at