Changing the Culture to Support Growth

Company Background:

A well-established, successful distributor of supplies, the leader in its industry, was acquired and became part of a nationwide firm. The Vice President of Sales who had worked with the owner for twenty years and knew the company and industry well was promoted to President of the division. The previous President ruled with an iron hand, calling all the shots. The result was a culture of non-participation.

The Situation:
The new President was faced with how to accomplish several key changes in anticipation of future growth. These included:

  • Shifting the organizational culture to be more participatory with an emphasis on accountability
  • Moving the company, which was a major undertaking. Failure was not an option.

The Process:
Inner Resources worked with the President in performing a staff assessment of the current members of the management team. Interviewing dozens of employees across all departments, Inner Resources was able to assess the perspective of employees on the company. Simultaneously, the President had decided on a new location for the company offices and was moving quickly to relocate all operations within his first year as President.

Given the tremendous scope of work to be accomplished in making the move over and above the day-to-day operations, Inner Resources proposed an approach to utilize “the Move” as it came to be known as the catalyst to bring about the critical changes with the Executive Management Team and the organization’s culture. The move could become the event that brought the company together.

Inner Resources coached the President through the process of putting some processes into place that had never existed under the prior owner. Whereas every function had previously focused on their own areas, rarely working together, cross-functional teams were assembled to become part of an overall “move-team.” This move-team would work with the President to design a plan for the move and execute on it together. Since the move impacted every employee in the company, an internal communication program was put together to keep all staff informed of the status of the move and how they could partake in its success.

Committees were formed to handle the myriad details and the executives in charge of the major projects were coached to bring people together from different functions. A series of “town meetings” were also set up for the President to meet periodically with all the staff and get their feedback on how the new offices could be set up more efficiently to handle the company’s anticipated future growth.

The Outcome:
The new President was thrilled to find a way to accomplish his initial goals of bringing his people together in a new participatory culture and was doubly thrilled to use the move of the company as a catalyst to bring about this change.

Two years later, after leading the company to great success, the President reflected, “much of the success of our company goes back to that first year when we made such substantive changes.”

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