Managing Leadership and Cultural Change at Beak and Johnston: A Work in Progress
Harvey, W.S., Parry, S. and Vorbach, P. (2014). Beak and Johnston: Managing Leadership and Cultural Change in the Meat Industry. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 23 May 2014 Last revised: 4 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2014
As it strives to attain its goal of becoming an AUD$1 billion company by 2020, Beak and Johnston (B&J), a family-owned food processing business based in Sydney, Australia, has embarked on a transformative leadership and cultural enhancement process. The company’s founder and CEO, David Beak, is trying to improve the capabilities of his senior strategy team while stepping back from the business. To that end, the company has adopted a leadership development approach with an eye on succession planning in which workers at all levels are encouraged to speak openly. It also is fostering cultural change with a less hierarchical organizational structure in which factory managers are empowered with greater levels of responsibility and accountability. The insights revealed in this candid snapshot of an organization in transition offer valuable lessons on the essential elements of an effective change effort.
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