Michelle Brien - Co-Founder

Michelle Brien - Co-founder Salple - Purpose and Culture ConsultantLinkedin profile

Most of my career, I’ve been fortunate to work for companies with fabulous cultures. In my first full time role with the Cancer Council of Victoria I saw first-hand the power of a strong shared purpose - curing cancer! No matter what role you had (and my first three months were spent filing!) there was a sense of contributing to a greater purpose.  It permeated everything.
 
From there I moved to the Pharmaceutical industry, joining Beecham Research Laboratories. It was the 1989 merger between Beecham and Smith Kline & Beckman where I experienced first-hand a large scale transformation process – two very big, multi-national companies into one. It was one of the largest mergers ever and created a transatlantic giant with, what was then, the world’s biggest research and development facilities.  Combining the best of both to create something new – SmithKline Beecham became a powerful global force.  Until the next merger when it morphed again, this time into Glaxo SmithKline. 
 
I’d always had an entrepreneurial spirit so channeled this into a startup with my then-husband. We had a disruptive technology, a disruptive business model and a strong purpose. Applying the principles I’d learnt in the corporate world, we co-founded a manufacturing business - Australian Rotomoulding Industries.  Our vision was to see polyethylene water tanks in every backyard!  It seemed ambitious in a time when galvanised and concrete tanks were the norm - and nobody had even seen a polyethylene water tank!  The business was very successful and went on to exit via a trade sale.
 
More recently, I’ve had the opportunity to really go deeper in the area of culture and brand alignment, working for Sodia with CEO’s and their leadership teams in South Africa and Australia. 
 
Whilst I’ve been consulting for many years, the businesses that have fascinated me most are those with a compelling purpose – passed on by their founder and lived through their people.  A purpose that is infused through every aspect of the culture, aligning and engaging employees and attracting passionate and loyal customers.
 
It seems all my experience has been converging to this. With the rise of technology as an enabler of business innovation, there has been no better time for businesses to truly understand and be intentional about their culture as a major strategic lever and competitive advantage.  It’s an exciting time to be in business.
 
This is why we started Salple.

Dr. Glenn Brien - Co-Founder

Glenn Brien - Co-founder Salple - Purpose and Culture ConsultantLinkedin profile

I used to think technology was the answer to every business problem. Starting as a programmer, I earned my PhD in technology and spent years developing and marketing disruptive technology. At ANCA, we commercialised my PhD research which over the intervening years has earned Australia over $1B in export sales. It was disruptive innovation in the true sense of the term - and an exhilarating ride.

In the years since, I’ve been consulting in product development and marketing, and there’s one blocker that I’ve consistently run into. Culture. As tech businesses grow, they hit a point where “getting things done” gets harder and harder. Where the Entrepreneur’s drive doesn’t ripple down to the company’s people. Where innovation starts to dry up.

I’ve always had a keen interest in psychology and neuroscience and recognised that what I was seeing in many organisations was a failure to galvanise around a central purpose, with a powerful and focused culture to support it. In psychological terms, most businesses were not connecting their “why” with their people’s “why”. After studying the literature and some time spent working with Sodia, I felt that, with Michelle, we had something unique to offer Australian businesses. My tech and marketing background, combined with Michelle’s organisational development and research background are the perfect combination to help founders of disruptive businesses leverage culture to change the world.

And that is why we started Salple.