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Alicia Korten

CEO & Culture Creator

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Alicia Korten

CEO & Culture Catalyst

An award-winning author and national speaker, Alicia leads values-driven culture initiatives. Her books include Values Ignite, Values Sustain and Change Philanthropy (a Wiley publication), winner of the Axiom gold medal for Best Business Book of the Year. She has trained and led culture initiatives for large companies like REI, Levi's and Boehringer Ingelheim and small place-based companies like Longfellow Health Clubs and the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union.  

All her life Alicia has straddled cultures. A U.S. citizen, Alicia grew up in Asia. As a young adult on a Fulbright Scholarship, she spent seven years working with Indigenous People in Latin America. She brings her knowledge of culture, and what makes people tick, into the business world to create engaged, values-driven workplace cultures. She is a graduate of Brown University and speaks English and Spanish.

Paul Costello

Culture Expert

A pioneer in organizational storytelling, Paul has been recognized by the U.S. Congress and the Northern Ireland Assembly for his contribution to peace and for developing innovative narrative methodologies for reconciliation. He has led culture transformation initiatives for NASA, Department of Treasury, Lockheed Martin and others. He holds an MFA from American University.

Paul and Alicia met while leading an organizational storytelling group in Washington, DC called the Golden Fleece. This community of practice held annual conferences at the Smithsonian Institute and helped mainstream narrative as a business practice.


Barbara Wyckoff

Culture Coach

A certified coach through the Coaches Training Institute, Barbara offers short term coaching to help leaders ignite culture and move past road blocks. She has led culture coaching at the USDA Forestry Service, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of Vermont among others. She holds an MA from American University and lived for twenty years in Africa. 


Alicia and Barbara met while working on forestry projects together at the Ford Foundation.  

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Michael Perman

Innovation Culture Creator

Michael has fostered innovation mindsets for a wide spectrum of brands and companies including Google, Adidas, REI, Hyatt and Pottery Barn. As an innovation executive at Levi's, Michael led breakthrough product innovations that helped return Levi's to prosperity and generated over $600 million in new revenue streams. Michael is the author of Craving the Future.

Michael and Alicia have joined forces to create Orange Grove Nine--a company that helps organizations navigate turbulence and uncertainty by building unity around values that matter and cultivating values-driven innovation.

Organizations We Work With

Our clients represent the best in business, nonprofits, foundations and government agencies. They are often pioneers. They care about the world. And they are committed--to their staff and to creating a truly great organization. 


Inspired by her years working with Indigenous Peoples in Panama's rain forested Darien Gap, Alicia is a passionate climate activist. Here she leads the session CEO MANDATE: The Importance in Leading Sustainability on climate and risk in her volunteer role with Business Climate Leaders


What Makes Us Tick


We build values-driven culture that will ignite you, your staff and your customers. Here's what you can expect from us.

Catalyze Remarkable Results. At the Culture Company transforming organizations isn't just a mantra, it's the heart of our company culture. We love being a part of the energy that's unleashed when organizations connect to what is truly important to them. It fuels our passion and sense of purpose. We delight in helping set an office abuzz with new ideas. When leaders connect to their courage and their call. When customers send rave reviews and profits grow.

Be Passionate and Purposeful. We love what we do. That's what keeps our offerings fresh and innovative. We build on our strengths to create programs our clients love. 

Do More with Less. We build products that help clients do more with less. While real culture transformation takes time, we are pioneering methodologies to create big impact with fewer resources.

Co-Create Culture. We believe every organization has its core DNA already coded within it. Our job is to help executives and staff discover their organizational story and then bring that story life. Getting everyone in the organization involved in the process builds commitment and excitement--it's the coding secret that makes your culture work.

Be in Service. Our love of transforming organizations is surpassed only by our dedication to those we serve. We listen. We tailor programs to fit client needs. And through the tumult of change--we welcome feedback and invite dialogue. 

Build Relationships. Relationships are the glue that makes change possible. We invest time in building high-trust relationships that work--with our clients and with the communities we are a part of.

Support a Healthy Planet. We want everyone to thrive. And that means living on a healthy planet. One with clean air and water. Trees and wild spaces. A livable climate. Where everyone can meet their basic needs. We have pro bono commitments with key partners such as Business Climate Leaders building a sustainable future and work with many socially responsible businesses and organizations helping them to realize their mission in new and exciting ways.

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