From Top Down to Radically Collaborative: Deeper Funner Change interviews Tasty Catering

How does an unlikely organization go from top-down, traditional and struggling to grow to become an award-winning organization – recognized by Inc, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, among others – that works in a radically collaborative way?

In mid-October 2017, we partnered with former CEO Tom Walter from Tasty Catering to tell his company’s story at the Organization Development Network Conference (ODN) in Chicago. Our aim: interview Tom, live, about his in-the-trenches experience, then share the replicable framework we developed from an in-depth research study to enable people like you to develop this way of working yourself.

At ODN, the room was filled with organization development experts, company leaders, and leadership educators, all hungry for Tom’s intel about living this radical shift. A rare chance to learn – and we didn’t want to leave questions on the table.


Two millenials walked into the CEO’s office. ‘Change, or we’re leaving.’

The challenge: A 90-minute conference session is a lot shorter than it sounds.

Wild idea: What if we gathered questions from the audience during the session, then followed up with answers in a simple, snappy way – perhaps continuing to interview Tom via video? Tom was game. We were excited… and had absolutely no experience creating a vlog. Which meant this would be a great time to learn.

What we did: After an initial interview with Tom in our ODN session, we engaged our audience in a collaborative facilitation structure (1-2-4-All, from our buddies at Liberating Structures) to gather burning questions on recipe cards. We promised participants answers to their deeply curious questions on our website before the end of the year. We grouped the questions based on themes, coordinated cross-country schedules, hit record on Zoom, and spent more (super fun) time with Tom. Then, we asked our favorite animator, Sarah Moyle, to help us frame up the vlogs.

Start with Part I, and go anywhere (you can watch them here or on our youtube channel).
Tom shares stories from the frontline of collaborative culture shift,
and these stories are the kind that are way too good to keep to yourself.

In four juicy segments, we get the scoop – how the transformation started (you’ll be surprised), who was impacted (everyone), how leadership took on a new definition (less about ego and power, more about what you can grow around you) and what the future holds (more than catering!).








Many thanks to Tom Walters and the amazing people at Tasty Catering and associate companies – and especially Jamie Pritscher of Nuphoriq – for sharing their work and time with us. We are grateful learners.

Wish there was a deep-dive dissertation about Tasty Catering’s transformational shift? You are in luck. Our very own Julie Huffaker studied Tasty, and is reducing her research into an article for publication in 2018 (which will be shorter than the original 305 page research paper) (if you want to read 305 pages of research, let’s talk).