Posted on Jul 19, 2017
W. Tom Simmons, who recently retired after a long career at Midco where he served the company as the Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, addressed the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls at the club’s weekly meeting, Monday July 17.

Simmons discussed key concepts from his hot-off-the-press book “How We Do Things Around Here – A 45 year discovery into the power of corporate culture.

Simmons is a nationally recognized industry spokesman appearing often before congressional committees, state and federal regulators yet his passion is people and organizations who work together in the best interest of others.  He makes the case culture can be the key and style still matters.  His key principles for business leaders include:
• All organizations have a culture, either by design or by default, and culture has considerable power to foster success or failure.  Leaders must acknowledge and clearly understand the culture of their organizations and manage it as carefully as their financial statements.

• Culture by design starts with a company's vision and is a direct reflection of the execution of its value system.  Disaster is assured when policies and procedures, and compromises in customer service get ahead of values. Can you say United Airlines?

• Which is more important, strategy or culture?  The answer is both are important.  But starting with culture is an excellent idea.  Without a culture of execution, a strategic plan might end up as nothing more than a collection of good intentions.

Simmons responded to questions from Rotarians following his presentation. Rotary International is the world’s premier service organization; the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls is among the 20 largest Rotary Clubs in North America.
Program Highlights July 17, 2017
  • Simmons discussed key concepts from a recent book he wrote, “How We Do Things Around Here -- A 45-year discovery into the power of corporate culture”
  • He started out in radio in Fargo, ND with an AM station; he moved to Green Bay, WI at the age of 28, announcing on WNFL, and became the voice of the Green Bay Packers.  Thirty years ago, he came to Sioux Falls and MIDCO.
  • Simmons states that all organizations have a culture, which has the power to make or break the organization.  Understanding the culture of an organization is key to success or failure.
  • Seven questions a leader should ask themselves:  What am I doing? What should I be doing? Who am I serving? Who should I be serving?   What is the value being offered?  Are the values being met?  How can I increase the value?
Next Week’s Program:
Christoph Bausch, Chief Scientific Officer for SAB—A United Strategy for Developing BioTech in SD