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VOL. 129 | NO. 167 | Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crosby to Keynote Daily News HR Seminar

By Andy Meek

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Companies with employees who are enthusiastic about going the extra mile, who race to the office each day enthusiastic about their tasks, and where the vibe is a tight-knit one akin to a family don’t get that way by accident.

“Knowing who you are, that’s the first step in changing a company’s culture.”

–Meg Crosby
Co-Founder, PeopleCap Advisors

Creating and cultivating that kind of culture is the result of a comprehensive examination of a company’s values, plus its goals, ambitions and strategic vision. And even attaining it isn’t a guarantee that such a thing will stick around.

Professionals such as Meg Crosby, co-founder of the organizational consulting firm PeopleCap Advisors, are relied on to help companies identify strengths, weaknesses and action steps that can help them get from here to there. And next week, she’ll be the keynote presenter for the latest installment of The Daily News’ seminar series, which will take a look at company cultures and the myriad factors that determine them.

The seminar is “HR Challenges: Creating a Strong Corporate Culture,” and it will happen Sept. 4 in the Brooks Museum of Art auditorium, 1934 Poplar Ave. The event will start at 3:30 p.m., and a wine and cheese reception will follow.

Crosby will not only expand on that idea and take a deep dive into modern HR challenges – she’ll also share five steps to creating a strong business culture. And she’ll be joined by a panel that includes Jackson Lewis PC managing shareholder James Mulroy III, Rhodes College director of alumni relations Tracy Patterson and archer-malmo CEO Russ Williams.

The event is sponsored by Jackson Lewis PC.

For her part, Crosby has been in a wide range of corporate settings and has gotten a look at these challenges and environments firsthand.

She’d joined the management team of a software development startup in 2000 called Applied Semantics as the HR director. That company later got snatched up by Google, where Crosby became an executive in the search giant’s people operations team.

Changing the culture at any organization, she says, doesn’t happen overnight.

“It can take as long as 12 to 18 months,” she said. “It requires a lot of thought and time. And there are so many things that feed into a company culture.”

She’ll detail some of those things in her presentation. It’s work that forms the core of PeopleCap and its guiding principles, which include the idea that a company’s people strategy is as important as its financial strategy.

Crosby’s firm also stresses that company cultures can’t be left to chance, and that only the strong survive. Also, that messaging can sometimes be the deciding factor in whether an initiative flops or takes flight, and that while business transitions are inevitable, they often come with opportunities a firm can capitalize on.

“What we can do for folks is come in as a third party and put together a snapshot of what the company culture is and what influences it,” Crosby said. “Knowing who you are, that’s the first step in changing a company’s culture.”

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