We are passionate leaders with extensive experience in culture transformation, innovation, coaching and business strategy. We care about the world, about people, and about making a difference.

Watch a video of the Culture Company CEO Alicia Korten interviewing Eileen Fisher on values-driven cultures.You'll find more videos on our insights page. 

Our clients include household names like the Ford Foundation, the United Nations and Levi's, high growth companies like Mary's Gone Crackers, and smaller place-based institutions like the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union and the Longfellow Health Clubs.

Who We Are

Alicia Korten

CEO & Culture Creator

An award-winning author and speaker, Alicia leads values-driven culture initiatives that have helped clients achieve growth turn arounds, maintain the culture that made them great during periods of rapid growth, and achieve awards such as best place to work and best in industry. Formerly, she worked as Culture and Communications Strategist for Mary's Gone Crackers, helping the company leverage its core values to drive significant growth. Her books include Values Ignite, Values Sustain and Change Philanthropy (winner of the Axiom gold medal for Best Business Book of the Year).

As a Fulbright Scholar, Alicia took a life-changing trip where she witnessed the Embera and Wounaan tribes collectively write their governing constitution. Villagers explored every aspect of their tribal life--from voting rights, to environmental stewardship, to their system of justice.  Inspired, she worked with them for seven years. She now draws on the lessons she learned about building tribes to shape highly engaged values-driven workforce cultures. She is a graduate of Brown University and speaks English and Spanish.


A pioneer of organizational storytelling and culture transformation, Paul has trained hundreds of students on how to use narrative to drive organizational culture. He has led cultural transformation initiatives for NASA, Lockheed Martin, Department of Treasury and many others. 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 holds an MFA from American University.

Paul and Alicia met in 2001 through an organizational storytelling practitioner's group in Washington, D.C. As leaders of this group, they helped organize annual conferences on organizational narrative hosted at the Smithsonian Institue and George Mason University. These, as well as their writing and teaching work, were instrumental in mainstreaming narrative as a business practice.

Paul Costello

Leadership & Culture Expert

Michelle Maldonado 

Culture & Mindfulness Expert

Michelle has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Cisco and Dell, government agencies such as the Department of Defense, and non-profits such as Uncommon Schools. She also is a Certified Genos International Emotional Intelligence Practitioner® and one of a small handful of the Google-inspired Search Inside Yourself (SIY) Certified Master Teachers® in the world.  Michelle also serves as a faculty member and meta coach with Daniel Goleman's Emotional and Social Intelligence Coaching Certification program.

In recognition of her work, Michelle was inducted as an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, and was named "Top Corporate Leader" by HR.com's Leadership Essentials and "Woman of the Year" by the National Association of Professional Women. Michelle is a graduate of Barnard College at Columbia University and holds a law degree. She is fluent in English and Spanish. 

Michael Perman

 Creativity Leader

As a Fortune 500 senior executive, Michael spearheaded innovation, consumer insights and global marketing at Levi's and the Gap. At Levi's, he used the science of how the human brain works to lead breakthrough product innovations that helped return Levi's to prosperity and generated over $600 million in new revenue streams. As Dean of Innovation at the Gap, he trained over 3,000 employees in innovation methods. His upcoming book is entitled Craving the Future.

Client experience includes Fair Trade USA, Google, Adidas, Nike, Starbucks, General Mills and Banana Republic.

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.

A certified coach through the Coaches Training Institute, Barbara has been coaching teams and executives in the private, public and voluntary sectors for fifteen years including for the USDA Forestry Service, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Vermont. After working with Barbara, clients state they are better prepared to strategically manage staff and operations, feel greater confidence, and have stronger relationships, leading to more productive work environments. Organizations experience growth as they reconnect to their values and use these to drive value creation and market alignment.


Previously Barbara worked with the Aspen Institute and the Ford Foundation. She holds an MA from American University and lived for twenty years in Africa. Barbara lives in Maryland with her husband and dogs, and--when she is not visiting family and clients--enjoys taking long walks. 

Barbara Wyckoff

Culture Coach & Strategy Expert

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. 

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 building a sustainable future and work with many socially responsible businesses and organizations helping them to realize their mission in new and exciting ways.