A THEME to beat all THEMES….and a PLAN to get everyone engaged…

Tony Jost and Dawne Wentzel of Superior Tube are definitely “Scaling Up” fans.  Tony and his team have been using the Habits and the Four Decisions in their planning process for over a year now with great results.

“It’s been a business lifestyle change for us,” shares Tony, the CEO and President for the past five years. “And having the management team go through the process together really has made a difference in our alignment and commitment. We are now a team who’s sharing the load.”

The Challenge…?              

They’ve only begun the journey.  Superior may have been in business for over seventy five years but Tony and his team know that they can’t afford to rest on their laurels.  And while his management team is working together well – in 2011 the focus needs to be on “cascading the message” throughout the over 200 person manufacturing company – AND – figuring out how to deal with a late order issue that’s causing the company to turn down work.

But how do you…

…solve the problem….get the message out effectively and…create the same buy-in and commitment from a mostly union workforce as they’ve gotten from management?

Those were the questions but that’s where Dawne comes in…as the Director of Organizational Development, she was charged with creating a process to get everyone engaged.  So – pulling  from the “Habits” toolkit – she and Kelly Mest, Superior’s Lean Manufacturing “guru” – designed a THEME  to beat all themes.

“Journey to Excellence”

Using the theme of “Journey to Excellence” as well as the idea of “roadblocks” along the road to “Superior”performance (with the first major issue being late orders) – Dawne and Kelly led the management team to pull together a comprehensive plan to eliminate “the roadblocks” (late orders) which are color coded into five categories, illustrating the root cause of each late order.

The Kickoff…

Then – they kicked off the theme with a lunch and a surprise “visual” to keep people inspired – see the picture above.

Over the holiday break, they sponsored a couple of local college art students to paint a tunnel on the door to the plant, along with pictures of airplanes and nuclear power plants – two of the industries that use the tubing that Superior makes.

“It also helped us to reinforce one of our Core Values,” shares Dawne, “Pride.  We want to rejuvenate Pride in the company this year.”

But what’s the rest of the plan?  The next installment in Superior’s Journey to Excellence will be coming early next week.  It will definitely give you inspiration and ideas to help you make 2011 a success!

And to give you more ideas and inspiration – our Fifth Annual Growth Strategies Breakfast at the Union League is coming Tuesday, April 5th  so SAVE THE DATE! 

Invites will be coming out shortly but if you want more info, email me at info@CEOThinkTank.com .

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