Everybody Matters

Everybody Matters

The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family

Portfolio, 2015 more...

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In this corporate biography, Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller (BW), a worldwide capital equipment supplier and consultancy, offers a surprising message for a contentious world: Be caring and treat others with respect. Writing with Babson professor Raj Sisodia, Chapman details how a family-owned machinery company grew globally, energized by a philosophy of putting people above profits. He tells valued stories of the impact individual employees have had on the company. The authors discuss BW’s unique corporate culture, origins, growth and acquisitions, celebrations and continuing education opportunities as examples of employee-relations policies that work. Chapman is quite candidly self-promotional and you might sigh at his cheerleader attitude, but his heartfelt message of treating employees with love and respect deserves attention from entrepreneurs and executives at all levels.

“Guiding Principles of Leadership”

Today, Chapman and Sisodia explain, Barry-Wehmiller (BW) is a worldwide capital equipment supplier and engineering consultancy. It was a much smaller firm back in October 2005, when it purchased a Green Bay, Wisconsin, company that built machines for the world’s largest tissue suppliers, the Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC). 

Even then, the authors relate, the people of Green Bay considered PCMC one of the town’s best places to work despite the wild swings it underwent before BW bought it. PCMC endured cycles of receiving large orders followed by periods of drought and layoffs. Its corporate culture became toxic, in part due to mistaken rightsizing efforts. In its final year under family ownership, PCMC lost “$25 million on $200 million in revenue.”

About the Authors

Bob Chapman is CEO and chairman of Barry-Wehmiller. Babson College business professor Raj Sisodia is the co-author of Conscious Capitalism.

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