BizCompass: How do you sustain cultural change in your organization?

Peter Rathmann

Peter Rathmann
President and CEO, Allis Tool & Machine Co.

“Sustaining culture change is easy once you have the right people rowing in the same direction. Building the culture required painting a picture of success, changing mindsets, leading and living by example, feeding the right activities that reinforce the culture, and most importantly, you must kick out the cancerous attitudes.”   

Tom Kennedy
Chief operations officer, La Macchia Group

“We regularly bring our ‘family’ of employees together for non-work gatherings. It’s an opportunity for more seasoned employees to engage with those who are new to La Macchia Group. Additionally, we talk about our culture and goals, adding a layer of accountability to our employees and our clients.”

Jeff Kerlin
President and chief executive officer, Tailored Label Products

“Determine what attributes you like about or want in your culture and make decisions on people based on their demonstration of living out those attributes. Be extremely careful with who you place or leave in leadership. Leaders at all levels must be champions of the company’s culture.”

Marikris Coryell
President, St. Joan Antida High School

“Cultural change is sustained through being deliberate about the message and consistent about the behavior that supports the change. Once the change is communicated, then make sure you execute with visible action – consistently. Attach a new behavior to an existing meeting so it becomes embedded as a habit. Don’t slip backwards!”

J. Michael Nauman
President and CEO, Brady Corp. 

“Cultural change requires people of all perspectives and backgrounds in the company to be open to others’ perspectives and to be open to doing things differently than we’ve always done them. The driving element has to be creating an inclusive environment, because it’s a natural draw for high-talent and people who want change. We have an entrepreneurial spirit that makes people accountable and rewards them for what they do. That automatically drives change.”

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