Happy Holidays from all of us at VisionSpark!
Understanding Corporate Culture
Guest post from Ken Ackerman, President of the Ackerman Company, a management advisory service in Columbus, Ohio.
Alex Freytag

A unique and powerful culture may be the only thing your competitors cannot duplicate. All music is made from the same 12 notes.

Corporate cultures are largely made from just five components:

  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Behaviors
  • Relationships
  • Environment

Attitudes are far more important than skills. Skills can be acquired, but attitudes are hard to change. We have seen corporations where attitude changed from striving to arrogance. When your people think that customers need them more than they need customers, your culture has become dangerous. With arrogance comes lack of flexibility, and if your people suggest that they know more than the customer, your culture has reached a critical point.

Values are an outgrowth of attitude. Customers want to deal with a management that is honest and committed to success. If you cannot project this kind of value in your senior management team, or in your whole workforce, your culture is again in a dangerous position.

Does anyone in your team show behaviors that are not consistent with a great attitude and ideal values? The bottom line is the behavior of your staff. Some people may be insincere about values and attitude, but how they behave is recordable and undeniable.

The test of relationships is longevity. If your warehouse is churning people, relationships are fragile and short-term.When your people are fully engaged, relationships become long-term rather than transitory.

Finally, the corporate environment is the acid test of the culture. A toxic environment is not easy to describe, but most of us can smell it before we see it. It is worthwhile for you to engage an outside resource to examine and appraise your corporate culture. Nothing is more important to the future of your organization.

Ken is a respected thought leader in logistics and warehousing management. He edits and publishes the Warehousing Forum, a monthly subscription newsletter, and is the publisher of Lean Warehousing, Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, Auditing Warehouse Performance, and Warehousing Tips. Email Ken about subscriptions here

In the Spirit of Giving 

This holiday season, VisionSpark employees donated to the Great Christmas Giveaway, and VisionSpark matched their giving. The Great Christmas Giveaway serves underprivileged kids in the Columbus area. We are happy to support those in need here in our local communities this Christmas.



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Carolinas Dentist - COO/Integrator, Fayetteville, NC
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Meet Bob Spence, Senior Consultant

Bob SpenceMany of you know Bob Spence, who has been been a part of the VisionSpark team since its inception. In addition to being the architect of the Choosing Winners System that we use at VisionSpark, Bob bring cross-industry experience and a high record of success. Whether you already know Bob or have yet to meet him, please join us in a belated formal welcome.

As a senior consultant, Bob works with clients on key search projects. He is a trainer and HR professional who helps clients with people issues and provides executive coaching to CEOs and business owners. Bob has worked with clients in many and varied industries. He has interviewed over 5,000 candidates for more than 300 search projects, including Integrator searches for companies running on EOS.

Bob has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). He holds the Distinguished Service Award from BGSU, has received the 200 Club Achievement Award from Vistage, and in 2016, was awarded the Human Resources Lifetime Achievement Award from CEO Magazine. He is a Christian abstract artist and has published an art book featuring several of his designs.

Prior to his consulting career, Bob was a schoolteacher, principal, and superintendent. He has served school districts in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. As an intern at BGSU, Bob taught both undergraduate and graduate classes. While in Wyoming, he served as a member of the Wyoming State Board of Education.

Learn more about Bob here.

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