Finding the Answers From Your Frontline Workers, with Tom Walter
Tom Walter

Tom Walter is a “serial entrepreneur,” author, speaker and a principal in numerous companies. He is best known as the Chief Culture Officer (CCO) of Chicago-area Tasty Catering, a suburban corporate caterer and event planner that was recently named a Forbes Best Small Company in America. Tom has more than 40 years of experience as an owner and operator in the service industry. He has participated in the startup of 32 companies, is currently active in 9 of those startups, has acquired three and—in a few cases—has terminated businesses in a broad spectrum of markets. Tom remains a principal, investor and advisor for several companies, most of which are part of 80 Nine Holdings and have been co-founded by his staff. He is also the co-author of the award-winning book "It's My Company Too!: How Entangled Companies Move Beyond Employee Engagement for Remarkable Results."

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Tasty Catering immediately identified opportunity in the face of extreme adversity, got creative, and continued to serve while other major caterers struggled
  • How their culture, which was built to embrace change, was able to lean into their seven core values to help them grow through the COVID-19 crisis
  • Why it is so powerful to look to your employees on the front line when you are looking for answers
  • How one conversation convinced Tom that Tasty Catering needed a culture shift away from command and control, to establish core values, and to clearly define their new culture
  • Why it is so important for Tom, as Chief Culture Officer, to get his people to focus on the behaviors that drive the process and not the outcomes or consequences
  • Why freedom and responsibility inside of a circle of discipline is so important
  • How vulnerability plays a significant role in Tasty Catering’s authenticity and the resulting resiliency

Additional resources:


Growing Through (Not Just Going Through) Crisis

Why vulnerability can be a powerful leadership asset