Jeanne Malnati is the CEO and founder of The Culture Group, where she’s been making an impact in organizations and in her community. This post is based on her Ultimate Culture Conference presentation and features insights from her consulting work and in building an award-winning family business, Lou Malnati’s.
Lou Malnati came to America from Italy by boat when he was 17 years old with a dream to make a lot of money. He worked for 22 years making pizza at Uno’s’ and Dues’ in Chicago with his dad and grandfather. The day arrived when he decided it was time to go out on his own.
My fascination with culture began more than 40 years ago when another young industrial engineer named Jim Delaney and I started a process improvement consulting firm not long after graduating from University of California Los Angeles. I quickly discovered that it was easier to decide on change than to get people to change. I observed that companies, like people, had personalities and, while some were healthy, most were like dysfunctional families. They had trust issues, turf issues and resistance to change. The difference between working with Sam Walton on the supply chain at Walmart versus with Woolworth was like night and day. It was clear one would succeed and the other would fail because of the mindset and habits of the firms.
Process versus the People
Are your year-end performance discussions more painful than they’re worth? Are you doing them merely to comply with legal requirements or to decide who gets paid what? Would most of your managers prefer to throw the system out? If so, you are missing the mark on a very powerful system that can build your brand as a talent-based culture and market leader.