The Top Reasons for Successful Culture Change

From baseball to big trucks, culture transformation is a commitment that is not for the faint of heart. 

Inspirational and informative case studies of such transformations have been presented by leaders from the Milwaukee Brewers and Oshkosh Corporation. I summarize here their two successful organizational culture change examples. Based on their stories, I identify and share the key success factors critical to these transformations and the consistent number one factor mandatory for changing organizational culture successfully. 

Oshkosh: Putting People First to Impact Culture

Angie Zeigler, VP of Talent Management at Oshkosh Corporation, began her presentation by sharing information about the various brands that make up the Oshkosh family. While many people associate Oshkosh with baby clothes, it is actually a Fortune 500 company that designs and builds the world’s toughest specialty trucks. They celebrated a 100-year anniversary and have numerous accolades (including the Forbes Best Large Employer and Most Ethical Company awards) that support their commitment to their customers and employees.

When Wilson Jones was promoted to CEO, he made a commitment for Oshkosh to become a People First organization. Something is working, because the reviews on Glassdoor are glowing: “The People First culture and our new levels of community engagement are inspiring. For the first time in my 29 years with Oshkosh, I actually encourage folks (including my own offspring) to apply for positions with Oshkosh, ” and ” I have never worked with a CEO who was so genuine and caring. Once he meets you, he will not forget your name ” are two examples.

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