Case Study: Woodard Cleaning & Restoration

Transitioning to a new generation of leadership.

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The Woodard Way makes my job a lot easier. I don’t have to make daily decisions for my team – it’s baked into The Woodard Way. It helps the team make decisions on their own.

Justin Woodard, CEO & Owner

Among Dialect’s most successful clients is Woodard Cleaning & Restoration, a family-owned business and the regional leader in residential and commercial Emergency (Water and Fire) Services, Cleaning, and Construction Services.

The Opportunity

Woodard Cleaning & Restoration (Woodard) has a rich history of customer service and growth. Founded in 1946, the company has progressed from a true “mom and pop” business to the regional industry leader. With a leadership transition to the third generation of the Woodard family, Justin Woodard, the current CEO, knew he needed to have employees aligned and focused without him telling people what to do.

“I couldn’t take on other leaders’ approaches because they didn’t fit my leadership style,” said Woodard. In Dialect’s approach he saw a process and model that can be applied to any organization. The strategy model (i.e. corporate identity) is comprehensive in that it guides the company in identifying the value promised to customers, the competitive advantage, how value is delivered, and a future that employees want to create.

The Action

Dialect led a process of discovery (discussion groups, interviews, etc…) with Woodard’s Leadership Team, Managers, and front line that built on its historical strengths while identifying the strengths needed in the future.
A draft Woodard identity was created and shared with employees to get feedback. The end result was an identity that focused on people more than tasks:

  • getting customers back to their lives
  • developing the most capable employees in the industry
  • developing leaders within the company, the industry, and the community

The identity, The Woodard Way, also outlined the behaviors necessary to deliver on these promises.

The Result

How did Woodard Cleaning & Restoration benefit from this work? First, it gave them greater clarity and got the leadership team on the same page. Secondly, it has led to a more disciplined use of the Rockefeller habits.

Woodard has also made investments that align with its new identity (e.g. creating new leadership roles, hiring new people, improving processes and information flow) and stopped its “initiative churn” – creating new initiatives every quarter. Finally, for the last three years the organization has measured how well The Woodard Way is coming to life by including input from employees beyond the leadership team.

“This work also helped us accelerate the shift from task focus to people focus,” Woodard observes. “It also surfaced a purpose for our company that we were living but had not yet articulated.”

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