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Ari's Writing

A Look at Natural Law #24

Toni Morrison, who was born in 1931 about two hours east of Ann Arbor in Lorain, Ohio wrote, “This is the time for every artist in every genre to do what he or she does loudly and consistently. It doesn’t matter to me what your position is. You’ve got to keep asserting the complexity and […]

Organizational Culture

The Seemingly Small Act of Knowing People’s Names Can Make a Big Difference

In 1980, a couple years before we opened the Deli, the psychologist Carl Rogers wrote his classic A Way of Being. Rogers, who was born in 1902, the same year the Deli’s building was built, concluded that the country was moving towards a new future—one in which openness, authenticity, collaboration, community, an equitable and sustainable connection […]

Ari's Writing

Joy at Work (and Working at Joy)

What follows is a stepping stone; the start of my understanding of something that, on the one hand, I’ve lived with my whole life, and at the same time, I haven’t given nearly as much thought to as I could have. Fortunately, I get a lot of joy from learning, and maybe even more of […]

Organizational Culture

The Why, What, How, and Who of Writing a Statement of Beliefs

The Zingerman’s Statement of Beliefs: The *newest* ingredient in our special sauce! Many customers ask us what makes our organizational culture so special. We credit many, many ingredients (more than we could possibly touch on here), and the latest is rooted in our core beliefs. As best we can tell, we’re pioneers in the world […]

Ari's Writing

This I Believe…

Heather Richardson Cox closed her column about the meeting of the G7 leaders the other day with this simple line: “There are lots of moving pieces in the world right now.” Here’s a small bit about a piece that I believe is moving in a really positive direction. Over the last five weeks I’ve written […]

Open Book Management

5 Decisions to Make as You Implement Open Book Management

In prior installments in The Guide to Open Book Management posts, you learned what Open Book Management is, The Case for Open Book Management, whether Open Book is right for your business, and the 3 Key Components of Open Book Management. Next up, some decisions to consider before you launch Open Book Management. Given the […]

Organizational Culture

Additional Insights into the Importance of Organizational Culture

When I sat down to draft the piece about culture that ran here three weeks ago, my plan was, as it usually is, to move on to a different subject the following week. That shifted significantly. The more I explored the effect of cultural soil, the more I saw just how important it is. Actively […]

Organizational Culture

Another Deep Look at How We Can Continue to Enhance Our Cultural Soils

This is the third segment in what has become a four-part series on the subject of regenerating our organizational cultures. You can find the first part, as well as the second segment, in the resource library. Throughout this series, I’ve shared my metaphorical model where culture is the “soil” in which people, products, and processes are growing. All […]

Organizational Culture

Enhancing and Restoring Our Cultural Soil

Last week I wrote a bunch about the importance of organizational culture—how much difference it makes to be part of a healthy culture versus an unhealthy one, and my metaphorical context of imagining organizational culture as the soil in which we’re working. This week I’ll begin to share my list of things we can do to […]

Organizational Culture

The Importance of Organizational Culture

Over the past 20 or 30 years, organizational culture has become one of the most common topics of leadership discussion. Everyone seems to agree that it’s important. But, as Buffalo Springfield sang back in the late ’60s, “What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Progressive business writer Frederic Laloux says, “Culture is how things get done […]

Customer Service

5 Ways to Set Your Customers Up for Success

Chances are that the way you’re currently serving your customers looks a lot different than it did a year ago. We’ve all had to be agile and flexible as we work to set our businesses and our customers up for success in the face of so many changes and a lot of stress. Although not […]

Managing Ourselves

One Life and Three Sisters

In his lovely new book, A Little Devil in America, Hanif Abdurraqib writes, “There are moments when I question what I am taking in with my eyes and ears, and if it is vibrating at the same pitch as what everyone else is taking in with their eyes.” I can relate. For better or for worse, […]

See you in Ann Arbor?

In-person seminars return October 7th!

Check out the in-person training opportunities available this fall/winter.