Change Process at Roadway Trucking

A Case Study by FENIX Associate David Bright

Roadway trucking was a large scale freight transportation company with over 27,000 employees. In the year 2000, the company was operating on razor thin margin. Management and union employees were often at odds with one another.

The industry was shifting in dramatic ways, and the senior leadership realized that they needed to create significant change in culture. As a consultant and facilitator, I collaborated and supported the design and implementation of a whole system change process, grounded in the appreciative inquiry approach. In this process, Roadway engaged its employees across the organization in meaningful, significant conversations.

Employees learned new skills, and how to think about themselves as leaders at every level of the organization. Many managers and workers were energized by this experience. Over time, our consultant team supported the transformation of a company culture. Within four years, the company’s profit margin improved from .5% to 11%.