Building Culture and Values

with Mary Goggans, President, Encapsys

Patrick and Mary discuss how to build culture in a new and quickly growing company, the importance of making sure values drive everything you do, and advice for women looking to grow in leadership roles in manufacturing. Encapsys is the global leader in microencapsulated phase change materials (PCM) for bedding, in controlled release microencapsulation and for fragrance microcapsules.


Pat: Mary Goggans, welcome to “Coffee & CEOs.”
Mary: If you’re very transparent in what you want out of your career and you tell your boss or somebody, I’ve found, 8 out of 10 times, they hand it to you.
Pat: Tell us about Encapsys. It’s, it’s really intriguing technology and industry, and you guys have been around about 60 years or so, right? So, can you give us a little background of Encapsys?
Mary: Sure. Well, Encapsys started as a division of Appvion or Appleton Papers. And the technology started with carbonless paper. And for those of you who don’t know carbonless paper, it’s the four-part form, and when you write on it, you get an image on the paper underneath, and that’s actually capsules.
Pat: Mm-hmm.
Mary: Very simple.
Pat: Yeah.
Mary: When you write, you break the capsules and the image is created on the other pages. And that technology is 60 years old, invented by Appleton scientists.
Pat: Wow. I didn’t know that was invented by them.
Mary: Yeah, it was.
Pat: Wow.
Mary: And so a lot of patents in that space, and it evolved into putting fragrance into the capsules, probably about 10 years ago. And today, those fragrance capsules are used in dryer sheets …
Pat: Mm-hmm.
Mary: … in any laundry detergent you use that might have a fragrance in it, those capsules could be sitting in your clothes today.
Pat: Yeah.
Mary: As part of Appleton, we were trying to grow and expand our market bases. About two years ago, almost exactly two years ago, Appvion sold the division off as a standalone company.
Pat: Sure.
Mary: We added resources in the back and the backrooms. So, IT resources, payroll resources, all the things a division wouldn’t have.
Pat: Mm-hmm.
Mary: In the first year and in our second year, which is just finishing now, we’re trying to become a well-run company.
Pat: Okay.
Mary: All at the same time of growing double digit growth.
Pat: Wow. There’s a challenge.
Mary: It’s so fun.
Pat: Good [laughs].
Mary: Oh, yeah.
Pat: So, culture. Culture is a really big conversation in, in a lot of manufacturing environments and all over the place today. Tell us about your culture. How would you describe your culture?
Mary: Yeah. So when Encapsys spun off, it gave us a great opportunity to ask people, and there’s only 100 of us, what they liked about the old culture, what they would do different, and what they would embrace. And we brought in an outside group to get people to really talk. And we found out two things, is our plant down in Portage and our headquarters had slightly different cultures.
Pat: Mm-hmm.
Mary: So, the first thing we all want to do is have us more merge and act like one. And that’s going to be the journey, because a plant’s very different than headquarters. And then second, surprisingly, from the interviews, most people, it was very consistent what they liked and didn’t like.
Pat: Mm-hmm.
Mary: And it was really easy to dial in on what was important to people. The hard part was finding five meaningful succinct way, you know, no more than five, and succinct statements that captured it.
Pat: The value statements?
Mary: Yes. We’re very much of a Six Sigma Lean culture. So, we use the Kaizen type of approach to involve multiple people, um, to get groups and get input and get consensus on a few. So, it was a, it was one all-day session that got us to the key topics. Then that consulting group went off and created the nice language around them. And we launched in year one, knowing it wouldn’t be perfect. And then in year two, we refined. And I think we’re moving into year three and I, we’re seeing no need to refine right now.
Pat: How did you roll it out when you rolled it out? How did you get down in front of people?
Mary: You know, so, remember we’re a small company.
Pat: Yeah.
Mary: So, it wasn’t a big “ta-da.” But, it was in one of the quarterly meetings and everybody got a card and it’s on the website and handouts. The rollout isn’t as important as it is to talk about it every day.
Pat: The reinforcement, yeah.
Mary: Yeah. And so, I kick off every quarterly meeting, I remember to talk about it. And I try to bring up examples of where I saw the value demonstrated. And the other bigger thing we did is we totally wiped out, um, we use it in our performance management. So the old leadership skills of communication and results orientation are gone and there’s just the five values.
Pat: Okay.
Mary: So, your, your performance is against the five values, your roles and responsibilities and your objectives.
Pat: And I take it, so, managers are having the conversations about how those five values fit into their jobs every day?
Mary: Yeah. Yeah, excellent.
Pat: So, in your career, you’ve been up against a lot. You’ve had a lot of challenges in front of you. It’s not always easy for women in the manufacturing world.
Mary: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Pat: What are some of the challenges you faced kind of coming up through the ranks?
Mary: I think the biggest thing is I have to earn my peers’ respect. I don’t start off with it …
Pat: Mm-hmm.
Mary: …versus other men.
Pat: Okay.
Mary: And, you know, I’m getting there, but I have to prove myself.
Pat: What kind of advice would you, would you give to some of the younger women today who want to get into management and leadership roles?
Mary: Embrace other people’s experiences and wisdom. You know, learn from others. A lot of transparency. And I always say, watch what you ask for, because I think if you’re very transparent in what you want out of your career and you tell your boss or somebody, I’ve found 8 out of 10 times they hand it to you. So, don’t sit around and be frustrated that no one’s noticed how smart you are.

See more videos with Mary Goggans, President, Encapsys

Mary Goggans on the Importance of Mentors
Mary Goggans on Developing Your Values
Mary Goggans on Servant Leadership
Mary Goggans on Smart Growth
Mary Goggans on a Path to Leadership

See more posts about Internal Alignment

About the author:


Imaginasium helps manufacturing leaders drive profitable growth and change through inside-out marketing—building communication programs that drive culture, draw customers, and deliver a superior customer experience.