5 Questions: Russell Bennett of The Opus One Group

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This is the first post in a new RecycleAmp blog series called “5 Questions.”  We’ll be asking experts from around the recycling industry a few questions about anything and everything.

Russell Bennett has been involved in the recycling industry in a variety of capacities for many years, including his current position at Tandus.  He also currently works as a corporate culture and professional development consultant at the Opus One Group.  If you have an interest in corporate culture consulting, be sure to visit the Opus One website here.

1) What is the core mission of the Opus One Group?

Our mission is to educate companies in optimizing their greatest asset…their people.  We then facilitate any desired changes and are on site to nurture the growth of the leadership group and staff.

2) How does corporate culture consulting help businesses?

If the leadership feels there is a need to change the culture, we identify strengths and weaknesses and then help create shifts in thinking.  This has to happen before actual physical changes will be seen.

3) I know that your faith is deeply important to you. How do you think that faith in the workplace affects corporate culture?

My faith is important and typically drives things like work ethics, values and energy.  The Opus One Group believes that everyone has some type of belief system.  Sometimes in the workplace, leaders are hesitant to acknowledge and honor their employees spiritual side, which really causes more harm than if it is embraced and honored.  The diversity that is present in the workplace can and should be seen as a positive, not something we sweep under the rug.

4) What are almost all businesses doing wrong from a business culture standpoint?

Their assumption that it is too difficult to change, and that the existing culture got them this far, so why try to improve it.  Most companies have some sort of ongoing process improvement program, why should the “people” part of the company not be given the same amount of attention?

5) What are 2-3 of the most important tangible steps most businesses can take to improve their corporate culture?

I would say Listen, Learn and Invest.

Listen to employees at all levels.  This can be done through reviews, surveys, and relationships.

Learn from these opportunities and determine what is needed to grow this asset.

Invest in the training, support and coaching of the people then watch as the return on that investment manifests itself through higher retention rates, lower absentee rates and increased performance.

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