Executive Series: Company Culture Impacts Performance

Have you intentionally developed each element of your company culture?

A company’s culture can be challenging to define and is often a product of the personality traits and professional experiences of its leaders. We help leaders separate culture into different components, allowing business owners to assess and intentionally develop each element. The result? A comprehensive company culture that resonates with all employees, ultimately impacting company performance.

John Hunter founded NSL Aerospace (NSL) over 30 years ago with a plan to precisely source the aerospace sealants customers need, work quickly, and always provide the best possible service. He firmly believes that NSL must differentiate itself from the competition through the customer experience because achieving product differentiation in this business is challenging. John partnered with Jim Carney fifteen years ago, who now runs day-to-day operations and makes everything at NSL “click.” Jim views his President role as one of a servant leader, empowering the team to view and operate the company as their own allowing them to provide genuine personal care to others, both in and outside the company.

NSL Team

Together, John and Jim realized there was a missing piece of the NSL puzzle limiting their potential: the tie that binds. Both leaders felt the team exhibited a number of positive behaviors, perhaps developed through luck and happenstance. Still, they knew there was power in establishing core values and unifying the team with a well-articulated company vision. Jim said, “At NSL, we had core values that we were living, but we had never put words to those principles. We realized we had to do things differently to support the growth of our company.”

Culture Spark was the perfect partner to assist NSL in their cultural development. Sheryl engaged with the NSL Team at every level through focus groups to uncover the internal magic behind NSL’s success. Every team member participated. Their feedback on the process is captured in the words of Marketing Manager Caitlin Hunter:

“Our entire team had a positive experience in developing our company vision and values because we were all included, heard, and able to be vulnerable.

With Sheryl’s guidance, we were encouraged to talk about culture openly and intentionally. I witnessed growth in each individual, which elevated us as a company. As a result, there was a positive shift in energy when expectations were established and adopted company-wide. Sheryl led us to a cultural standard that we can all, and should all, expect.”

John and Jim agreed!

“The best advice I can give other leaders is to set things up so that your company is managed properly by a set of commonly agreed upon beliefs. In other words, skip some of the stumbling we did for years. We always had good intentions when trying to work on these important initiatives, but the urgent always got in the way. Ultimately, we realized we needed help structurally, and Sheryl was that missing piece. She not only helped us set a strategic direction for our beliefs and values, she also keeps us on track and holds us accountable,” said Owner and Founder John Hunter.

“In addition to developing values, Sheryl helped us put in a process, rhythm, routine, and cadence that enabled us to evolve our culture intentionally. Our entire team was involved in the process and well-versed in our long-term vision and goals. As a result, we saw benefits almost immediately. It’s been an amazing journey, and I’m so glad she’s been able to lead and share in it with us,” said Owner and President Jim Carney.

When the right people are on the bus, in the right seats, inspired by a clear and achievable vision, running a business is fun, rewarding, and highly profitable. Culture Spark’s Ignite Methodology provides the direction to help companies shed their distractions, focus their teams’ energy, and empower their leadership teams to ignite their true potential. By partnering with Sheryl Lyons, NSL is well on its way to achieving culture as competitive advantage.

That’s our spark, what’s yours?