Bob Rupp is a close friend and mentor of The Lawton Standard Co. and is also the founder of Leadership Resources of Wisconsin. His guidance has been extremely helpful during this time of expansion of transitioning from one location to many. Rupp has a lot of insight and wisdom when it comes to the concept of culture. He believes that “Culture is not something that you name, culture is something that evolves from the work practices that you have and the common objectives that you work on… and the shared beliefs and the shared fate, and when that comes together, a culture emanates.”
Rupp attended the Leadership Summit that took place in the fall and ended up joining the Culture Committee, known as the Culture Club, which was formed as a result of that conference. This is where he began to switch the conversation from culture to good people practices. He highlights the importance of “human capital” within an organization and asks the Culture Club how they plan to advance the human capital of The Lawton Standard Co.
“The culture is always formed by what I call defining moments of the business… When the business is faced with something that was unexpected and how the company reacts to that, and how unified they are in adjusting to that and in moving forward…” Bob says. He goes on to explain that these moments are crucial in setting the tone for the culture that will emerge within the organization.
As we have always believed, in order for an organization to be successful, it needs to prioritize people, customers, and the company and learn to balance the three effectively over time. Rupp makes an important point that many companies fail because oftentimes they focus too much on the balance sheet, which although important, should not be the only priority.
Rupp finished off our conversation by giving some advice to the employees, asking them to have grace and to “…take some time to understand each other and understand everybody’s greatest hits…” adding that they should also get to know one another personally as well as professionally. He believes that if these things take place, things will come together and even be fun.