Fostering a Culture of Growth and Innovation
Culture Features March/April 2020

Our Role in Fostering a Culture of Growth and Innovation

Message from CEO Steve Starks –

Each of us is busy. We have multiple obligations and demands for our time. We seek to find ways to efficiently and effectively get things done, both personally and professionally. We like to eliminate obstacles and reduce friction. Our customers, whether they are internal or external, are no different.

During the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies 2020 Leadership Conference, we focused on fostering a culture of growth and innovation across the enterprise and more specifically within our individual teams. One of our keynote speakers, Nicholas Webb, highlighted for us that removing friction for our customers can drive innovation in products and services. Think about the time it takes to make an appointment with a doctor and the inconvenience of going out when you’re not feeling well. Now we have telemedicine to receive a faster diagnosis and get back on our feet. When we need groceries or supplies quickly, we order online and have them delivered within a day or even hours. Businesses that eliminate obstacles and reduce friction for customers through innovative solutions will attract and retain new business. As we constantly strive to be the best place in town to work and the best place to do business, we will need to continue to reduce friction and innovate.

Our company has established a vision (see page 6) and will continue innovating through strategic investment in technology, processes, and a culture that fosters our collective best thinking. Our collective best thinking also includes sharing best practices and centers of excellence throughout the organization. Moving forward, we can do more with data, analytics, and our overall digital strategy. Doing so will help us continue leading the industry in each of our businesses and categories.

Our culture must ensure that employees and teammates feel comfortable sharing ideas and taking risks. We are inclusive and value different perspectives and individuals. The onus to innovate isn’t just on our leaders, it’s on every one of us. No matter your role within the Group, we expect you to think creatively, ask questions, and explore ideas from others in our markets. Innovation can be defined as removing friction from the guest experience while maintaining or increasing the value proposition. It can include a streamlined process through the service drive or improving the format of an internal report. Opportunities exist all around us—stay curious.

We will make mistakes. And we will learn from them. The greatest inventions throughout history went through multiple iterations and trial and error. We should be thoughtful when we approach new ideas and consider creating a small test or pilot project. Our overall goal is to grow, so we must be good stewards of our resources.

We all have a significant role to play in creating a culture that is inclusive, a culture of growth, and a culture of innovation. I encourage you to lean into whatever role, whatever assignment, whatever responsibility you have now. Bring your best self and ideas to work each day. Support the efforts of those around you. If you do, you will learn, the operation will get better, and you will personally be better prepared for future responsibilities.

Thank you for your commitment to our values, to our culture, and to one another. We appreciate all you do for the Group, for our customers, and for our communities.

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