Doug Conant was the CEO of Campbell Soups in 2001 when the company’s business was at rock bottom due to several organisational issues including a toxic culture. Among the many leadership strategies, Doug adopted, one of them was to engage with each staff member and personally, connect with them.
He did something that was unheard of – in his 10 years at the helm, he wrote 20 notes a day, resulting in more than 30,000 notes to thank employees for their contribution to the company. On his visits to offices, he would find his notes stapled to the softboards, bulletin boards and sharing pride of place on their desks.
Not surprisingly, as a result in 2009 Campbell Soups outperformed its competitors.
None of this required new technology, new techniques or new advisors.
It simply required new communication. We know that, above all, effective communication requires a will, a desire to communicate. Conant’s desire to communicate changed the culture of the organisation – and transformed its performance.