Client success story – Cortina Leathers

Client success story – Cortina Leathers

By on Mar 28, 2022 in Best Practices, Blog, HR Consulting, Human Resources consulting, Leadership, Performance Management, Success Stories, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting |

Changing a culture isn’t easy. Defining core values is an important part of a new way of doing business. But once they are defined, how do you really make them part of your DNA? Our recent project with Cortina Leathers shows one of the ways this is done.

Cortina Leathers started out as a small, handcrafted producer of upholstery leather for the office furniture market in 1903. They still manufacture leather at their original factory location in Ohio, and they also work with a network of artisanal tanneries around the globe to deliver a unique collection of the finest leathers. They believe in the enduring quality and timeless beauty of real leather – and this core belief informs everything they do.

Our partner on this project was President Jack Prause whom we’ve known for years since we worked with him at his prior company. Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Bernhardt was also a big part of this project. They said:

We had experience working with Organizational Architecture in the past and we reconnected with them to help with a major initiative…the roll-out of our new Core Values. Like many similar initiatives this can be in danger of being forgotten quickly unless action is taken to really ensure our employees know, understand, and embrace these Core Values.


A critical piece in all of this is the role our frontline supervisors play in driving this culture change. Many of them have not been part of such an initiative before and weren’t sure about their role. We wanted to set them up for success, and we knew the way to do this was to invest in their training.


Working with OA, we developed and delivered over the course of several months workshops on Successful Supervision, using our new Employee Handbook to manage effectively, and Conflict Resolution. We used these workshops to teach skills on being more effective leaders while at the same time demonstrating this in the context of our new Core Values. This practical approach helped ensure the Core Values took root, taught our supervisors valuable skills, and helped them become a stronger bridge between senior leadership and the staff.  Through this training, our supervisors were given the tools they needed to manage our people in a way that gets the best out of everyone while making this an even better place to work.


Unlike other corporate training we have seen, OA took the time to truly understand us and what we wanted to achieve and customized their training so that it had the look-and-feel of our other messaging and was ‘ours’…organically developed and in ‘our words’.  Their assistance was invaluable and made this project a success.

Critical to the success of this project was the support we received from Jack, Bonnie, and the rest of the leaders at Cortina Leathers.  Training is important…but it can’t do it all. Clear leadership support, consistency, and accountability are necessary for training to have lasting positive results. Cortina Leathers was the ideal partner and we really appreciate the support.

Change is constant…we know that. But for change initiatives to be successful, staff needs to receive appropriate training on the new ways of doing their jobs.  If you need help launching your training and development initiatives, contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.