We probably all remember where we were when news started to break about COVID-19 shutting down the world around us. Dan Stutterheim was at the NCAA Big 12 Tournament when he got word that sports – and everything else – were going on hiatus. As it became clear that life as we know was about to change, he quickly doubled-down on protecting his team and his business.
Dan is the CEO of Kasa, a Salina, KS-based controls and automation company that is known just as much for their resilient culture as they are for their engineering expertise. In this episode, Dan walks us through the steps he took to keep his people and his business healthy at the start of COVID-19. This includes activities Kasa had been focused on long before the pandemic, including courageous culture dialogues and narrowing focus to a few key success metrics. Dan also shares lessons he’s learned from his team as they navigate these uncharted waters, and new business practices they plan to maintain moving forward.
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3 Quick Things from this Episode
- Prioritizing both employee health and business health has been essential to leading through this pandemic.
- Creating a strong culture requires consistent, intentional focus and a willingness to listen.
- Remote work is here to stay, and it’s providing opportunities for C-suite leaders to be more engaged with their teams and customers across multiple geographies.
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- “I don’t know if it’s that we’re working remotely or that ‘we’re all in this together,’ but customers want to talk. They pick up the phone.” –Dan Stutterheim
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What We Discuss with Dan
- Dan shares what was going through his head at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and how he prioritized protecting the health of his team and the business at Kasa
- Kasa hosts regular culture dialogues and increased their frequency as soon as COVID-19 hit in order to maintain their focus on their people and avoid blindspots during the pandemic
- Quarterly themes also help strengthen the culture at Kasa; Dan and his team adjusted their focus to “Kasa Health” for the spring of 2020
- Cash, sales, backlog, and execution are the 4 top metrics that Dan has used to measure company health during the pandemic
- Dan shares some silver linings from the past months, including how customers have become more willing to talk and the efficiency of remote meetings