Cultural Brilliance: The DNA of Organizational Excellence

With Host Claudette Rowley – Transformation Talk Radio – Every 2nd & 4th Friday 10 AM (PT)/1 PM (ET)

“Glass Box Brands: Connecting Culture and Brand with Archetypes”

With Special Guest Cynthia Forstmann

I had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia Forstmann on my show Cultural Brilliance Radio. As a founding partner of CultureTalk, Cynthia has helped organizations design culture, brands, and communications programs that are driven from a place of authenticity and deep awareness. With a background in Psychology, Cynthia is also an Archetypal explorer and works with individuals to uncover and connect the hidden symbols, patterns and passions that give their lives and work meaning. Cynthia Forstmann earned her Bachelor’s at Villanova University, her Master’s at Marymount, and has a passion for storytelling. Known for her warmth and humor, Cynthia speaks to diverse audiences about the power of story in creating culture, inspiring purpose, and enhancing fulfillment. Today, Cynthia and I will discuss “glass box brands”.

Below is an article written by the Conscious Business Radio team about the show.

Cultural Brilliance helps you experience groundbreaking ways to transform your company’s culture. Host Claudette Rowley invites some of the foremost experts on organizational culture to help understand how to make a brilliant culture the rule rather than the exception.

As a founding partner of CultureTalk, Cynthia Forstmann has helped organizations design cultures, brands, and communications programs that derive from a place of authenticity and deep awareness. A background in psychology led to her fascination withCarl Jung’s archetypes in organizational culture and brands, and after studying with Jungian researcher, Carol Pearson, Ph.D., Cynthia architected the framework for her firm’s archetypal tools, trainings and engagements. In addition, Cynthia facilitates strategic focus groups with executives, boards, marketing and HR directors, and other leaders who share a stake in the culture and communications of any group. She has led award-winning rebranding projects, and designed strategic communication and team-building programs to recruit, retain and engage top talent.

Today’s discussion starts with an explanation of the term “glass box brands”, which was coined by global trend watcher David Mattin. He says, “…thanks to the radical transparency made possible by a connected world, your business is a glass box. People can see all the way inside. And that means that now the brand is everything they see. Every person. Every process. Every value. Everything that happens, ever. There’s a single word that sums up what a person sees when they look deep inside your business: they see your culture.”

Cynthia Forstmann goes deeper into this concept, explaining that within organizations – the idea and development of brands used to be a kind of black box exercise, where you could decide what you wanted your brand to look like, and you could paint the outside of the box. However, today the world is much more transparent, with access to so much information, and so the brand is more like a “glass box” that people can see inside all the way to your organizational culture.

Cynthia continues the discussion by talking about the imperative need for authentic internal culture in an organization. If an organization has a brand that isn’t authentic and isn’t who they really are, it can be hard to live up to that. While some business leaders and CEOs might feel a little more vulnerable having their weaknesses exposed in this manner, at the same time, with the “glass box” concept – you know you can be yourself, and by focusing on that self and who you are, the organization can really be something that’s worth being. Even with the negative trends that point to the vulnerability that business leaders feel, it’s extremely important for them to look at this is as a whole, because as a “glass box” – we can see all the way inside.



To listen to the full show, click here

For more information on Cynthia Forstmann’s work, visit

Click here for Claudette Rowley’s website, Cultural Brilliance

(Archived episodes available at and