Adam Bryant interviewed F. Mark Gumz, president and C.E.O. of the Olympus Corporation of the Americas, earlier this year. I was intrigued by many of the points made by Mr. Gumz. His comments relative to building a strong company culture, and through doing so, how a company can minimize the struggle faced with the lack of alignment and collaboration between silos. The entire article is worth reading. Below are a few of the key bullets (paraphrased) relative to his approach. They are brilliant in their simplicity.
- Insist employees never eat at their desks. Encourage getting to know your co-workers in the company cafe. This will help build friendly relationships and bridges before they are needed.
- Let people freely talk in meetings. Have frequent coffees, lunches, and gatherings with your employees to truly learn what is going on within the company.
- Tie compensation to collaboration between silos to financially encouage that behavior.
- Do volunteer work together as a team. Give to the community and encourage company values outside of the company walls.
- Always tell the truth. Tell it openly and honestly – both the good and the bad. This builds trust within the company. Without trust – we have nothing.