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A Culture of Change

An end-of-supply chain perspective
Retail Reflections_2017

Managing the convergence of two very distinct cultures is up to senior leadership—to do this well, there must be tremendous sensitivity. And while one might think this would only be the responsibility of the acquirer, the target firm can have a significant, positive impact on the culture of the other.

There’s another adage that says “you can’t create culture, but you can identify it,” and this is only partially true. Effective leaders establish the key principles that drive a company’s decision processes, but the ability to express these principles in simple, easily understood language goes a long way in helping to build and sustain a healthy company culture.

Of course, there are many other things that need to be managed in a “change environment,” but if you can work effectively on the three areas highlighted above, you have a better-than-even chance of an effective transition.

Bruce Peterson is the founder and president of Peterson Insights, Inc., a consulting company specializing in the complex challenges of the fresh food industry. Peterson began his career bagging groceries, and went on to work for several supermarket chains, including 17 years at Walmart Stores, Inc. He has owned and operated a wholesale produce company, and served as chief executive officer of both Naturipe Foods LLC and Bland Farms.