Dean Johnson | Career Path – Blog 4

Impacting company culture as a new CEO

Up until recently Johnson says he managed to push through problems without bringing people onboard.  All that changed at Sodexo Canada. “It’s a big organization, have 10,000 employees in Canada. What we went through over the last five years is really a cultural change. You can either influence people and engage them or dictate to them.”

Johnson realized what Sodexo did as a company went deep within the organization’s culture. He knew he needed to have a cultural impact right down to the account level if he wanted to promote change.  “It’s important to affect people at the unit level, all the way to the front line to drive accountability for our services and create a better sales culture.”

Johnson has always been a hands-on leader. Trammell Crow was small enough that one person could have a real impact on operations but at a large organization like Sodexo, he realized he needed good people to work with. “I couldn’t do it all myself. I knew I needed to have the best people around me and they needed to understand the company vision, the goals and the objectives – and they needed to follow through.”