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Q&A: Company Culture, Productivity, and Retention: How Does Your Company Measure Up?

The Softwood Forest Products Buyer is reaching out to company leaders across the industry to solicit their input on key issues that impact overall business success. In this publication, Kevin Hancock shares his insights.

“Some organizations collect leadership power into the bureaucratic center, where a few people can make the majority of the decisions for the many. This is the traditional model of business—and government—leadership and, during a period of time in human history, this may have been optimal. But, that time has passed.

In the 21st century, organizations that disperse power, share leadership, and give everyone a voice are going to win because they recognize and celebrate the capabilities of everyone on the team. These types of cultures don’t see employees as expendable commodities whose purpose is to serve the company. In fact, these types of cultures flip the traditional script by recognizing that the company exists to serve the people who work there. In a great company, profit is an outcome of a higher calling. That higher calling is the celebration of the human spirit and human capacity. In this way, culture makes all the difference.” Read the complete interview here >>>




The Breakfast Club Guest: Kevin Hancock

In this radio podcast, Kevin Hancock speaks with The Breakfast Club host Mark about his career, his newest book, 48 Whispers, and his mission to empower and strengthen the voices of those around him. During Kevin’s life journey, he has adapted Hancock Lumber to create balance for the employees and ensure that their voices are heard in the company. Kevin also shares how he became involved with the Lakota at Pine Ridge and how this led to his idea of shared leadership.

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

Here are a few highlights from the podcast (click here for the full transcription):

  • You’ve always got to live in the present and really perform in the present moment. And certainly our company has become very focused on the employee experience, the people who work at the company, making sure that work is a meaningful for them. So that’s really kind of what brought us down that best places to work path. (01:13-01:39)
  • This book is really about coming into your own voice. It’s a photojournalism book that takes a bunch of my favorite pictures from over a decade of traveling out to the reservation in South Dakota. And then pairs that with 48 short meditations. And if I had to summarize what all those meditations have in common, it’s really about coming into your own voice, self-awareness, really turning inward to find your strength, your purpose, your path. Where we’re all living in a world where there’s so much external noise, 24/7, internet wired world, that what can get lost in that I think is our sense of self. And this book is really about the idea that you’ve got to build your future from within. You’ve got to really look within yourself, connect with the essence of who you are, and then build an external life that’s true to that. (12:58-14:05)
  • Simply put, the people who work in a company know how to make it better. They know what holds it back. And all leaders really have to do is to create a safe environment where the right questions get asked, and the people that work there feel good about just actually saying what they honestly think and know. (19:59-20:21)

Click here to download a PDF of the transcription.




The 7th Power: One CEO’s Journey Into the Business of Shared Leadership After a Rare Voice Disorder

In this podcast, Kevin Hancock speaks with The Quiet Warrior Show host Tom Dutta about his new book The Seventh Power: One CEO’s Journey Into the Business of Shared Leadership. They begin by talking about Kevin’s trip to Pine Ridge. They also discuss the new leadership style implemented at Hancock Lumber, transforming the company culture into one where everyone at the company has power, is encouraged to lead, and can openly discuss ideas. He talks about how the culture has been received and the ways that the company has flourished.

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

Here are a few highlights from the podcast (click here for the full transcription):

  • And I really got focused for the first time in a long time on my own identity, beyond my roles and really got to see my role as a CEO for what it was, which was an important role I played, but not the essence of who I was. (6:52-7:14)
  • They didn’t actually need a top-down directive. They just needed encouragement and a safe work culture to trust their judgment. (17:08-17:17)
  • But when you change your mission, you’ve got to develop a whole new set of metrics around how to measure that and a whole new set of systems to make sure everyone has a voice and everyone has the opportunity to share in the responsibilities of leadership, which we’ve been working on now for the better part of a decade. And it’s had a big impact on our performance. But I really, now, talk about that as the outcome of a higher calling, not the ultimate calling, is to be valuable to the lives of these human beings who are working at the company. (11:29-12:12)

Click here to download a PDF of the transcription.




7 Signs That Say You Have the Mindset of a Great Leader

Centralized power and decision-making control is out. Shared leadership is in.

To read the full article, click here.



Culture Makes the Difference

In this article, Kevin Hancock writes about how company culture plays a significant role in differentiating one business from another. To Kevin, culture is fostered heavily by who controls the power of the entity. If the power is consolidated at the top, employees may begin to feel unheard and easily replaced. In cultures where leadership and power is dispersed, employees begin finding their true voice and feel a higher level of engagement and satisfaction.

“Work should serve the people who do it in more than just economic ways. Work should be a place where humans flourish—where people learn, lead, and grow. If the employees of a company have an exceptional experience, they will ensure that customers thrive and will protect and grow their company with loyalty and pride.” – Kevin Hancock

Click here to read the full article.




Culture Makes the Difference: Great People are Everywhere, Great Cultures Aren’t

Written by Kevin Hancock, “Culture Makes the Difference” explores the differences between companies and what are the key differentials between them.

“Culture makes the difference.  An organization’s culture either creates an environment where great people can flourish, or an environment where people are frustrated, held back, or stymied. 

What makes one corporate culture different from another?  To me, it’s all about control and where it lives.  Some organizations collect leadership power into the bureaucratic center, where a few people can make the majority of the decisions for the many.  This is the traditional model of business—and government—leadership and, during a period of time in human history, this may have been optimal.  But, that time has passed.” – Kevin Hancock 

To read the full article, click here.