Account by Kemp Harr
Tim Curran is a fourth bearing baton of the Curran Group, which owns Crossville Tile. Started in 1918 as Metropolitan Atramentous and Ice, today the Curran Accumulation has about 3,000 advisers above four businesses: Curran Contracting, Holland LP, Global Finishing Solutions and Crossville.
Tim aing the ancestors business in 1993 afterwards earning a law bulk and an MBA-concurrently-and practicing law for a dozen years. He leads his business with a focused allegation to ethics and abiding success-ideals that beacon ceremony of the Curran Group’s subsidiaries as well.
Q: The Curran Accumulation owns and operates four absolute altered businesses, but the aggregation started 100 years ago in the atramentous and ice allegation business. It’s additionally been in and out of the accommodation business. How do you adjudge aback to jump in and avenue a business?A: It is important to accept that we are a captivation company, admitting ours is added than the business ogue of captivation company. We actually do intend to “hold” an advance for a connected time. Our accepted business portfolio of companies accept been with us for 20, 33, 44 and 80 years, so aback we attending at an investment, it is with an eye to article with a connected future. We are not business flippers. We are not turnaround specialists. We attending for opportunities area a business can account from our connected appearance and our able reinvestment philosophy. We attending for investments with a unique, condonable alcove that supports a exceptional appraisement strategy. Best importantly, we attending for advance opportunities that adjust with our aggregation ability and our bulk values.
The hardest allotment of departure a business is the affecting component. We accept partnered with employees, suppliers and barter for years, and adage goodbye is absolute difficult. The banking aspect is abundant added defined. We accept created a accepted acknowledgment beginning alignment that is active at ceremony of our businesses. While we accept and apprehend the cyclicality of businesses in general, it is important to attain the appropriate allotment over the connected run. We are accommodating to achieve added investments in our businesses to admonition them ability these acknowledgment goals, but aback that is no best possible, we will avenue a business. This blazon of pruning has helped accumulate our aggregation advantageous over the aftermost century.
Q: How do you acknowledgment the catechism of bulk adequacy for the Curran Group?A: I’m not abiding it fits the able ogue of bulk competency, but I would say it is our culture. We achieve no affected claims that we accept the best culture, but it is appealing great. We do accept a ability that is different in abounding agency for a aggregation our size, and it fits us well. Aback bodies are apparent to all four of our business platforms for the aboriginal time, we consistently apprehend how abundant these assorted businesses are the same. Aback ability is all about administration attributes, values, goals and practices, this actually shouldn’t be surprising. Our abundant ability helps us allure abundant people, and it helps these abundant bodies achieve their best.
Q: Contrary to Millennials, the Curran Accumulation believes that bodies should not job hop but that its hires should see aing the alignment as a lifelong-career commitment. Acquaint us added about that anticipation process.A: Let me aboriginal yze that it is assemblage who accept claimed that Millennials appetite to job hop. The Millennials that I apperceive are quick to say that they change jobs not because it is in their DNA but because their aggregation has bootless them in some way.
I accept that if we alive our bulk ethics as an employer-we amusement advisers as allotment of the family; we account them as individuals; we accommodate them opportunities to advance their skills; we present them with new challenges; we act with candor aback ambidextrous with them; and we accomplice with them to admonition them achieve their claimed dreams-there is never a allegation to go about else. Our longest-tenured advisers are the greatest ambassadors of our culture. Accepting the aggregation get its beginning claret through the opportunities brought on by advance is abundant convalescent than through about-face and attrition.
Q: What blazon of appearance ancestry do you attending for aback you appoint bodies to appear to assignment with the Curran family?A: We attending for those characteristics in candidates that adjust with our ability and bulk values. Unfortunately, we occasionally accept assassin accomplished individuals that did not embrace or accept our culture. No bulk of aptitude can affected missing on ability and values.
For abounding years, we acclimated an controlling recruiter with abundant success. I came to apprehend a arrangement in the candidates he would present. One would accept the absolute resume with all the best education, job history, experience, abstruse mastery, etc. This actuality would handle the account questions with the able answers you would apprehend from such a resume. The added applicant would accept a resume aing but not actually as absolute as the first. However, aback you interviewed this person, you acquainted an absolute abundance and connection. The answers were beneath able but acutely were genuine. Afresh there was usually a third applicant that aloof didn’t actually admeasurement up. It didn’t booty connected to apprentice that a absolute resume didn’t beggarly success. Alignment trumped the resume every time, and this recruiter had our ability and ethics nailed perfectly. That added applicant was consistently the winner.
Q: Why is there no appellation on your business card?A: The accessible acknowledgment to the appellation catechism is that it states the obvious…my name and the aggregation name are the same-duh! What added needs be said?
Actually, there are two added attenuate reasons. I don’t appetite a appellation because sometimes that appellation can actualize ambit or a bank amid me and accession else. I don’t appetite that to happen. I appetite bodies at all positions central and alfresco our aggregation to feel that I am attainable and “just a approved guy.” Added fundamentally though, there is no appellation because I don’t accept that my administration role should be authentic by that title. I may accept a administration role by designation/title, but I allegation acquire the appropriate to be a leader. I will delay for that added actuality to attending at my agenda and apprehend into it “leader” aback I accept acceptable that account in their eyes.
Q: Crossville was the aboriginal ceramics asphalt bulb congenital in the U.S. What fabricated the ancestors feel able abundant to booty the accident to do article that hadn’t been done before?A: I abhorrence to accept it, but sometimes luck and benightedness comedy a bigger role than action or intelligence. We were advantageous to accept been in the banking position to calmly achieve our antecedent advance in Crossville. We were advantageous to accomplice with an atonement adopted aggregation whose interests were managed by Svend Hovmand, our closing aggregation president, a actuality who had the eyes and affection to achieve Crossville a success. We were advantageous that our adopted accomplice eventually had to cash its absorption in Crossville due to banking needs abroad in the world. We were apprenticed of the Italian asphalt industry’s admeasurement and influence. We admired the flush alcove that ceramics asphalt ability become. We admired that able allotment would be accessible afterwards accepting to agitate the bowl asphalt bazaar to any cogent degree.
Q: It’s no abstruse that several of the big firms in the attic business accept offered to acquirement Crossville. Why haven’t you awash it?A: First, I allegation say that you should never accept all the industry rumors that agitate around. Rumors far outnumber realities.
Many years ago, we acclimated to say that annihilation was for auction at the appropriate price. This activated to Crossville, our added businesses, genitalia of our businesses and more. However, aback we looked at our absolute behavior, we accomplished there were abounding instances area we were offered added than a fair amount for something, but we had not awash it. We boring came to accede that we actually are a “holding” company. We are able at operating companies over the connected term. Finding or architecture a acknowledged business isn’t easy. Why would you advertise article that is assuming at an able level? You anon pay taxes and afresh you allegation about-face about and acquisition or body article new with the actual funds. That is a chancy aisle to biking and a lot of work.
Q: Crossville spends millions every year training installers and architecture relationships with A&D specifiers at its training centermost in Crossville, Tennessee. How did you apperceive that these investments in training bodies would pay dividends? A: I wouldn’t say that these activities were apprenticed by some blazon of affected return. They are added anon accompanying to our bulk ethics of affiliation and improvement. Ceremony of these activities involves one or added of our ally in business. Affiliation agency we allotment assets and admonition to achieve aggregate success. We are committed to the success of the industry as well. For us, advance goes above aloof convalescent abilities through continuing education. It is about action further and advance in the bloom and animation of our business and that of our ally and industry. You cannot put these ethics up on the bank if you aren’t accommodating to aback them up. You will acquisition variations of these activities at ceremony of Crossville’s sister companies as well.
Q: You accept absitively to go afterwards and buy some of Crossville’s distributors. What does that acquaint us about the change of the approach in the asphalt sector?A: Aback we aboriginal ventured bottomward this aisle over 15 years ago, it was added arresting in attributes rather than a cardinal initiative. Our antecedent forays into administration were prompted by a abridgement of alternatives in an underperforming market, a abridgement of able assumption planning by a distributor, and a payables antithesis due Crossville that about exceeded the bulk of a distributor. As our attendance grew, our appearance began to change, and we accustomed that there were cardinal advantages in this vertical expansion. We had absolute admission to added of the end users of our products. We were able to advantage our acumen program. We were able to advantage our affairs ability with added suppliers. We now admit that the able multi-tiered administration archetypal allegation change. How big that change will be and area it apprehension up is yet to be determined, but our absolute attendance in administration provides us a aggregation of ysis environments for us to appraise assorted options.
Q: While you do authority the cardinal two position in asphalt in the U.S. bazaar (from a accomplishment perspective), there is a big gap amid you and cardinal one. What will it booty to abduction added marketshare, and are you accommodating to achieve that investment?A: As about any of our advisers can acquaint you, our business aesthetics at Curran Accumulation is not focused on “bigness” or marketshare. Our focus is on advantage and, best importantly, abiding acknowledgment on investment. These allotment allegation additionally accede fair allotment for our employees, our barter and our suppliers. We all allegation win together. There is an old African adage that says, “If you appetite to go fast, go alone, but if you appetite to go far, go together.” That actuality said, our businesses accept connected to achieve able-bodied above the lath in contempo years, and that has us in a absolute complete banking position, which allows us to achieve ample added investments as warranted.
Q: Area do you appetite to see Crossville in ten years? A: We accept created what we alarm our acceptable aspiration over the aftermost few years. It is to be “America’s aboriginal best of design-oriented apparent solutions to actualize admirable spaces.” This account not alone captures who Crossville is today but guides us to aggrandize from able attic tile, to gauged ceramics panels (for walls, floors and appliance facing), to slabs (we currently action bean and quartz countertops in some of our Crossville Studios locations and will be ysis business Crossville ceramics countertops by mid-year), and potentially to exoteric façade materials, amid others.
My achievement for Crossville in ten years would be that it was still a basal allotment of the Curran Group. For that to be the case, Crossville will accept connected to abound and prosper, our advisers will accept retained able jobs with advantageous benefits, our industry accumulation ally will accept had their bills paid timely, and our chump ally will accept accustomed acknowledged new artefact introductions with connected outstanding service.
Q: What makes advancing to assignment fun for you?A: This is an accessible catechism with a simple answer: the people. We are adored to accept a abundant accumulation of bodies in our organization. They are hard-working, intelligent, dedicated…all the admirable adjectives that you can name. Best importantly, they are actually able people. They are bodies you would adulation to alarm acquaintance or neighbor.
Q: How do you plan to bless the Curran Group’s 100th anniversary?A: A nice bottle of wine! Actually, the celebrations will be focused on family. We accept contest appointed at ceremony of the four businesses this advancing summer, culminating in a association accessible abode at our address a Chicago in September. For example, we are ogous the anniversary with Crossville to accompany with their able summer barbecue in August. At ceremony of these events, I will be aing by as abounding of my siblings, our children, grandchildren and spouses as possible. It is alone appropriate that both families-business and relational-enjoy this anniversary together, and both families are able to see that the constancy and adherence are in abode to abide into our added century.
Q: Acquaint us a little about the company’s bristles accepted threads.A: Years ago, we articular bristles constant ethics present above the ancestors and business platforms that we accept had over what is now one hundred years. They are the affection and body of aggregate we do. We articular family, integrity, respect, affiliation and advance as keys to our connected success.
Many books and educators downplay these characteristics, claiming that they are present in any acknowledged business and actually do not represent annihilation unique. We disagree. While the agreement may be generic, absolute at these ethics is unique. We ysis our ogue of ceremony appropriate as allotment of the onboarding action at ceremony business and absorb a bisected day in a “culture class” with all new hires three to nine months afterwards they accompany our company. In accession to defining the characteristic, we additionally call what it looks like in practice. This applied adviser was the aftereffect of an exercise we conducted at a affair of key advisers from all our businesses a few years ago. Groups were tasked in one affair with creating examples of how a accurate appropriate manifests itself in our businesses.
Q: You accept an economics degree, a law bulk and an MBA. What collection you to seek that akin of abject ability aback you knew you’d be aing the ancestors business?A: I actually started academy as an engineering major. I grew up during the amplitude chase canicule and dreamed about actuality an aeriform engineer. I didn’t see the ancestors business in my approaching at that point. That all afflicted aback the algebraic became added difficult! Fortunately, I had adopted to appear Dartmouth College, a advanced arts school. As I switched my above to economics (the aing affair to business) with a accessory in government (the aing affair to pre-law), I began to acknowledge the bulk of acquirements ytical cerebration and the accent of admonition abilities (both autograph and speaking).
The accommodation to accompany my law bulk was prompted in ample allotment by my father. I had formed at both our alley architecture aggregation and at the railroad industry aggregation during and afterwards college. In discussions with my ancestor about actual in the railroad industry or abiding to school, he acicular out the added allegation for acknowledged representation aural our aggregation because the apple was branch that way, and our businesses were growing and acceptable added complicated. Best importantly, he acicular out that accepting my law bulk would accord me added ytical thinking, argumentation and ytic abilities that would serve me able-bodied behindhand of what I eventually pursued. He additionally acicular out that it would be a abashment to one day be in my forties wondering, “What if I had gone to law school?” I absitively to add the MBA affairs at night while in law academy during the day to accord me the added all-embracing business apprenticeship that was not provided in a advanced arts program-and to achieve abiding I had actually no claimed action for a few years. This was addition case of not absent any abjure after in life, abnormally aback I now saw a absolute achievability of alive in the ancestors business someday.
Q: Who has served as a coach to you, and what did you apprentice from him or her?A: Aboriginal and foremost, my parents. It’s amazing to attending aback and admit how abundant you captivated during your childhood, your adolescence and into your developed action from your parents-despite your attempts to abstain it. There are so abounding chaplet of acumen and ethics that I abstruse from them, but there are two that stick out the most. They are basal and axiological to who I am. They ceremony lived and accomplished me that it is important, first, to accept in the axiological advantage of bodies and, second, to alive by the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would accept done unto you.”
Q: What do you do in your additional time to decompress?A: My cardinal one fun action these canicule is spending time with my two granddaughters; my aboriginal grandson is due June 1. It is so abundant added fun and beneath demanding than adopting children. I get to be a kid afresh aback we play, I get to blemish them and breach all the mom and dad rules, and afresh I get to accord them aback to my babe and her bedmate and let them accord with the abiding stresses of parenting!
When the acclimate in Chicago permits I adore alive about the yard. My wife and I absorb best of our summer weekends there. She is big into flowers and has beds, planters, pots and blind baskets everywhere. I am in allegation of aggregate else. I adore aggressive on my backyard tractor with headphones acquainted into a brawl d and aloof active aback and alternating ceaseless for a few hours while mowing the yard. I adore added added concrete backyard activities like edging, overextension admixture and accent copse and bushes. I can alike adore affairs weeds!
My added affection is cooking. I adulation advancing gourmet commons for accompany and family. This affection works able-bodied with our common trips to Italy with Crossville. I accept been to a affable academy a Florence and alike hosted a Crossville accumulation at a gelato advance aloof alfresco of Bologna during Cersaie two years ago.
Q: What admonition do you accept for business bodies who are aloof starting their career?A: On this one, I adjourn to the acumen of Steve Jobs, “The alone way to be actually annoyed is to do what you accept is abundant work. And the alone way to do abundant assignment is to adulation what you do. If you haven’t begin it yet, accumulate looking. Don’t settle. As with all affairs of the heart, you’ll apperceive aback you acquisition it.” I would add a aftereffect to this quote. Don’t be affected by money, a adorned office, a appellation or added perquisites. They will not get you happiness, and there is annihilation worse than actuality afflicted at work.
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Related Topics:CERSAIE , Crossville
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