U.S. LBM’s culture of freedom, accountability -- and the future of work

CIO Joseph Spagnoletti reflects on a singular organizational philosophy that accentuates agility and accountability -- while doing away with familiar trappings of corporate life

“I say this every day that I’m here: Every day is opposite day for me,” says Joseph Spagnoletti, vice president and CIO at U.S. LBM. “Every single thing I felt working in a large institutional corporation that held me back doesn’t exist here.”

U.S. LBM is one of the largest building products distributors in the United States. It is a relatively new entrant in a traditional industry. L.T. Gibson, president and CEO, founded the company in 2009.

Gibson believed in the power of a corporate name to provide context for its nascent culture. The "LBM" in the company’s name is short for lumber and building-material distributors. The "U.S." that precedes it, however, refers not only to the company’s geographic sweep — and its willingness to work far beyond Gibson’s native Midwest — but also the "us" collaborations that combine “people, partnerships and continuous improvement.”

According to CIO’s 2018 State of the CIO research, increasing operational efficiency is the top priority driving enterprise technology investment, for IT heads and line-of-business managers alike. U.S. LBM’s Spagnoletti maintains that his company’s approach towards work — by his lights, dynamic, refreshing, perhaps iconoclastic — offers its own set of efficiencies while dispensing with corporate sacred cows.

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