dancker has been around for 190 years and we will turn 200 years old in the year 2029. The world has changed greatly since our founder, a craftsman of roll-top desks in lower Manhattan, decided to create a better way to support the business workers of the time. Many leaders have come and gone, and inventions have changed the way we communicate with one another and how we experience the world around us. Throughout those years one thing has remained constant at dancker, our commitment to understanding how work actually works, and applying that insight to create better work experiences.
It is a huge responsibility to take custodial ownership of a nearly 200-year-old company. Despite that, our CEO, Steven Lang, not only currently holds the mantle, but does so with great success. While admitting that being in a position of leadership has its challenges, during a recent interview with The Advocates, he also spoke about what he thinks has helped him find success along the way. To sum it up in one word- inspiration. As our industry continues to go through a consolidation, dancker has found itself on the right side of that growth. When asked if it’s been easy to maintain the company’s culture through its increasing acquisitions, Lang revealed that after earning trust-through action, his focus is on creating a culture where the right people are aligned so that they’re inspired. From his perspective, culture is like the air. You can’t see it, but you certainly know if there’s a problem with it. Lang believes the best way to achieve the changes necessary isn’t through legislation, rather it’s best done through inspiration. He describes legislation as “I have to work here, and I have to do what you tell me.” Inspiration is “I believe what you believe, and I want to do an awesome job where I can write in my role so that together we can be better.” In his eyes, that is fundamental in any business.
“We didn’t invent any new technology. This is about service. It’s about the application of products. It’s about design and thinking around the interior environment. But at the end of the day, it’s really the application of those things through people.”
Just how does he create a culture that inspires? Lang leads by example. While building longevity is important to any organization, Steve recognizes that longevity impacts everyone and that every organization at the end of the day is about people. Whilst many businesses follow a generational leadership model, he views himself as the best supporting actor rather than the superhero in this story. His reverence for the company’s long history has led to building an environment that focuses on unlocking an employee’s passion and potential. One where value and strategy is communicated through cascading messages, and everyone has a hand in building it. This leads to having great employees who love the company. He considers this love for what we do to be at the core of dancker’s value proposition.
The workplace is constantly changing, and our culture continues to evolve. Lang is convinced that it must grow and adapt based on where we are and who’s part of the organization. In spite of that change, he’s convinced what will remain is our deep commitment to our clients, partners and employees success; our underlying pride in the history and purpose of the company; a widespread respect for peers, and a talented group of dedicated professionals making an impact in the communities we serve..