Mini-Series Part 3: Our Journey to Focus on Culture

The Results Came Faster Than I Expected

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Once we decided to take our cultural journey, I wondered how we would know whether all the time and effort we put into it would yield a return on investment.

It didn’t take long. The feedback came in fast and furious. You see, it wasn’t about some “thing” getting better. It was about people … And those people were impacted immediately.

It started first with the leaders. Most of them had never been invested in like that. They were overwhelmed by what they learned, the bonds they made with others and the incredible feeling that they were 100 percent enabled to take that knowledge and go impact others — their teams, peers and customers.

I was told time and time again things such as, “You changed my life,” “You inspired me to do things I never felt possible,” and “You invested so much in me, I can’t wait to pay that forward.”

I will never forget the day after our leadership summit finished. I had my monthly operating review meeting with our CEO. I kept kicking around in my head whether I should talk about the leadership summit as part of my update.

While I was still flying high from it, would he really care about something that sounded “fluffy” and elusive? Would he care about something in which I couldn’t yet articulate the business impact that resulted?

Then I thought, I must tell him. I will just make it really succinct. When I got to my update, I simply said, “We held our first ever leadership summit over the last few days. It was the proudest three days of my life.”

We had changed lives. I was certain the team would continue to bring it forward … And they did.

We put in place several things that created a platform for the team to continue to inspire the systemic change we wanted to achieve. We spent time at the beginning of standing meetings giving people time to share inspiring stories, quotes and new ways they were leading their teams.

We even had people often share personal achievements of their own weight loss, quitting smoking or family accomplishments. And then, the unexpected happened.

Check back this week for the fourth and final part in the cultural journey mini-series, which focuses on the profound impact of our endeavors.

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