DISHER Selected Example of Excellence in U of M’s Positive Business Project for 2017

DISHER Selected Example of Excellence in U of M’s Positive Business Project for 2017



DISHER Selected Example of Excellence in U of M’s Positive Business Project for 2017

DISHER was recognized as an Example of Excellence recipient at an award ceremony during the Positive Business Conference on May 12 at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Within U of M’s prestigious Stephen M. Ross School of Business is the Center for Positive Organizations. Inside this Center is a student-led initiative called The Positive Business Project (PBP). Every year PBP students identify, study, celebrate, and promote positive business organizations. Companies who create positive change are invited to participate in this annual competition.

Founded in 2000, DISHER helps a variety of clients with Product and Manufacturing Solutions, Business Solutions, and Talent Solutions. Headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, the organization employs a network of 160 professionals in three offices throughout Michigan and Indiana. DISHER and other PBP participants were asked to describe a positive business practice that impacted business objectives, culture, community, or environment. Winners were chosen based on: 1) the extent to which the practice aligned with positive business; 2) the ability of the practice to be replicated in other companies; and 3) its impact. The submissions were reviewed by a panel of U of M students, U of M professors, and business leaders involved with the Center for Positive Organizations.

DISHER submitted creating Ripples of Influence (ROI) as their positive business practice. “During our interview with the PBP panel, we talked about the ways we create Ripples of Influence,” commented Chad Barnes, DISHER Team Lead of Product Development. “We strive to live out our mission, Make a Positive Difference, with our customers, co-workers, and customers. Our 12 culture characteristics guide our attitudes and actions every day. We focus on one discipline a month at team meetings to remind us, they are: unvarnished communication, executing the fundamentals, planning and preparation, finding your sweet spot, taking risks, trusting relationships, innovation, rejuvenation, just do it, two extra things, high expectations, and stewardship.” The team at DISHER has high-ownership, in fact it’s an ESOP. “As owners,” continued Barnes, “we align our attitudes, our work, and our giving with the long-term mission of DISHER.”

The panel also asked DISHER how they get buy-in from employees. Allison Ives a DISHER Talent Engineer responded, “We hire for a strong cultural fit first; we look for candidates with a servant heart to join our team.” Barnes agreed and added, “We also lead by example, point out opportunities, and encourage others to participate.” When asked if ROIs ever fail, Barnes replied, “We have a Make It Right policy. When an ROI is not positive, we try to mend the wrong. Sometimes this means we are not as profitable with a project.” The priorities at DISHER are: 1) Mission, 2) Profit, and 3) Growth. Living out the mission is what creates the ROI that drives long-term profit and growth.

DISHER was questioned how ROI’s create a positive change within their employees. Barnes responded with his own personal story. “At my previous place of employment,” he said, “the culture was toxic and corrosive. Backstabbing, belittling, and public shaming were the norm. Close coworkers threw each other under the bus to save face or gain a leg-up on a promotion. The selfishness, greed, and negativity in the workplace was draining, demeaning, and depressing. Being at DISHER has brought light back into my life, it’s healed and revitalized me. A daily immersion into DISHER’s positive culture is refreshing. It energizes me and gives me the ability to spread positive energy. This is how DISHER ROI’s work. A positive action is performed and creates a ripple of positive influence. That ripple grows and moves outward to make small positive differences in the lives of those it contacts. It’s a life-giving practice that has far-reaching impact.”


DISHER is a nationally-recognized product development, talent attraction and business consulting firm. Since 2000, DISHER has helped hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, suppliers, and independent inventors successfully discover, design, engineer, and manufacture high-impact products and services. The experienced team of over 130 qualified experts partner with clients to deliver a breadth of solutions including: Product Development Solutions, Talent Solutions, and Business Solutions. DISHER is passionate about helping customers achieve higher performance, productivity, and profits. With offices in Michigan and Indiana, DISHER is making a positive difference alongside clients locally, nationally, and around the world.