Q: What was the problem you were grappling with?
A: In 2005/06, Allcargo Logistics acquired Belgium-based ECU-Line, with whom we were formerly associated as an agent. The challenge was to integrate an organisation five times our size and align teams, values and businesses. Achieving this would mean a massive turnaround and would establish Allcargo as a global company . So success was critical.
Q: Who did you approach and why?
A: While integration was underway, my focus was on deepening collaboration between the two entities to ensure sustainable growth. As luck would have it, during an interaction, I came across an insightful thought from Jim Collins, an eminent American researcher and author. He spoke about a work culture based on discipline and an entrepreneurship ethic for growth. The right advice came my way just at the right time.
Q: What was the advice you received?
A: Jim's concept of the culture of discipline talks about responsibility people have towards themselves and the organisation, and the ethics of entrepreneurship that help to realise those ambitions. The line that caught my attention was, "It is important for any organisation to build a very effective work culture for sustainability and growth". It reinforced that an organisation can withstand the most testing times with resilience, if it has the vision of sustainable growth, good governance and a work culture conducive to thinking about benefiting all stakeholders.
Q: How effective was it in solving your problem?
A: ECU-Line, now rechristened ECU Worldwide, is the largest LCL (refers to less than container load, where a companys products share a container since it may not have a full container's worth) consolidator in the world. The wisdom from Jim held us in good stead.