Setting a World Record Pt. 2

In our last blog, we presented the planning that took place in preparation for a special day of engine production at the Tonawanda Engine Plant. The purpose for that plan was to determine what the actual engine production per day could be.

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Marie Pazych
Setting a World Record

Question: In a union shop with a history of hostility, can management gain the cooperation of workers to test the maximum capacity of a manufacturing plant? Answer: Yes; read how in our latest blog post.

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Marie Pazych
How to Launch a Culture Change

In this day of tight labor markets, many companies are looking to their culture as a way of attracting and retaining talented employees. The question is where to begin. For some, they will look to enhancing employee benefits and offering more flexible work rules.

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Alan Weinstein
A Case Study in Transformation through Culture Change

Note: This blog was written by Jim Frost, a protégé of Don Rust. Jim is a retired GM operations executive who works as a change agent, executive coach, and leadership expert. We invited him to share his experience in transforming a failing company into a highly energized employee- and customer-centric company.  

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USING CULTURE CHANGE TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TALENTED EMPLOYEES

Employee engagement has become a major initiative in organizations attempting to improve their performance. It makes sense: Engaged employees are committed and more likely to volunteer their energy toward organizational goals. How to create this energy is not as clear. We believe the key to engagement is to create a culture that will unleash energy toward organizational goals and improved performance. 

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What Does it Take to Lead an Organizational Culture Change?

There are two major conditions necessary to create an organizational culture change: first, there must be a compelling reason to change and, second, there needs to be a leader who will engage organizational members in change.  In their recent book, Unleashing Human Energy through Culture Change Don Rust and Alan Weinstein tell the story of how a major manufacturing plant of General Motors, two weeks from closure, not only changed its culture but set a world record in production. 

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Alan Weinstein
The Pivotal Role of Human Energy

Human energy is not easily measured.   Even within the discipline of industrial engineering, we do not currently have any valid way to measure it in units.  Yet, it can be inferred that once released, human energy can make something happen.  We all possess a certain amount of energy that can be called upon when we have a task to perform, and, depending on the magnitude of the task, we can probably complete it and then go on to another task.  Whether we are willing to limit our energy output or expend it beyond what is normally called for is an open question that every organization must deal with.  Clearly, whichever of these paths is taken will make a difference in productivity and performance.

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