The Challenge of Transforming Your Culture

“There’s no two people that are the same, but it’s about how we can bring them all together to pull in the same direction.”

Alex Carver


As Managing Director of Medi Australia, Alex Carver’s focus is on delivering results for the business by getting the best out of his team. The reality he was faced with, on the path to generating and creating a high performing team, was walking through the door and immediately thinking, “Wow, ok, how have people survived this long in the business when this is how they’ve been treated?”


It was three years ago that the global Medi company acquired an Australian distributor, one which had been operating for many years under a matriarchal/patriarchal dictatorship. As the new Managing Director Alex quickly learnt that although the majority of the team had been with the organisation for 20+ years and had amazing knowledge of the industry and business, they had not been involved, or been asked to contribute any input.


Medi is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical aids. It has production facilities in Germany and the USA and exports to more than 90 countries worldwide. Alex is responsible for overseeing the sales and operational side of the business; integrating the warehouse, office and sales team, while reporting directly to the Board of Directors in Germany. What he quickly discovered, after the business takeover, was that the current team was working in a siloed structure which lacked cohesion.


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Alex began by connecting the operational team with the sales team. The operational team had to acknowledge that good sales managers and salespeople are integral to business growth and success. The sales team needed to understand that without the operational side, customers would not receive the product. The end goal of building a multidisciplinary team is to have the different specialties all ‘rowing together in the one direction’.


Tying these two disciplines together, while growing and changing operations, involved understanding how the market perceived the company and how the company interacted and engaged with customers. During this transformational process Alex established a culture of continuous improvement.


Related Post: Why You Should Have a Smarketing™ Team – Peter Strohkorb


As a physiotherapist by trade, with no formal business degree, Alex uses his experience gained in human resources (HR) recruitment and sports wagering and working with inspirational leaders that really cared about their team, to create Standards of Behaviour within Medi Australia. Culture is about establishing behaviour, i.e. what is and is not acceptable in the business and Alex, together with his newly formed leadership team, are holding themselves accountable to behaviours they are uncompromising on.  


The first step was gaining input from his new team.


Medi Australia exists to make a positive impact on the lives of their patients and customers and so Alex needed to establish: 

  1. How the team wanted Medi to be seen
  2. What behaviours needed to be rewarded
  3. Where Medi needed to be
  4. The steps needed to reach future goals


With a mixture of extroverts and introverts within his team, Alex has taken the role of facilitator by managing the process the team need to take to reach these goals. He has chosen to take a supporting role, as opposed to an enforcing one, while ensuring the business remains in line with Medi globally.


Join us here on The Culture of Leadership (TCoL) as Alex shares with us the challenge of transforming your culture. Learn how Alex has improved the level of buy-in within his team by committing to the core values of ‘Customer first’, ‘We give a shit’ and ‘Wanting to learn’ as well as the aspirational value of ‘Be proactive’. Alex, albeit a Tottenham Hotspurs supporter, though we won’t discriminate, certainly has made huge leaps within the last three years, but something tells me he is really only just getting started…


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