Leading and sustaining a high performance culture within your organization
14 January 2016: Rochestown Park Hotel.
“Clients do not come first, employees come first”, was just one of the statements that captured people gathered at the recent MBAAI Southern Chapter meeting, held in the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork. Some 35 people from as far away as Dublin and Galway attended the meeting, to hear Frank Divine (Accelerated Improvement, UK), Colin Denman (Promed Medical Supplies) and Pat Donnellan (Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, ICBF), talk on the leadership attributes that were needed to sustain a high performance culture within the work-place.
On the evening Frank contended that the continuous improvement process was based on a number of simple techniques which had to be delivered at very high levels of quality and quantity to systematically reinforce continuous improvement within the work-place. He also challenged the notion that improved systems resulted in a better work-place culture, arguing that “mass engagement” of all staff to help create the right work-place culture was a much more effective way of developing the internal systems that would result in continuous improvement within the organization.
His assessment was supported by two practitioners in the field, Colin Denman, CEO of Promed Medical Supplies, Killorglin, Kerry, and Pat Donnellan, Continuous Improvement facilitator with ICBF, Cork.
Colin presented a leadership perspective on the continuous improvement process, arguing that his role as CEO of Promed was to create the right environment that would allow people prosper and fulfil their potential within the organization. From the outset, this was based on “creating the necessary space” within the organization that would allow the establishment of an employee owned continuous improvement culture. In the context of the Promed, this was based on divesting all employees (not just managers) with the responsibility for developing the higher purpose of the organization, as well as the change-plan needed to support the new employee created culture. He acknowledged that this approach of “mass engagement” with all employees, whilst daunting initially has had a profound impact of the success of their organization, as evidenced by their recent winning of the “Great Places to Work Award, 2015”, for companies in the 20-100 people size category.
Pat then gave the group an employee view of the overall engagement process, and the powerful impact it can have on empowering and developing individuals. “Two years ago, we were a company of 35 people with a turnover of €5m. Now we are a company of 60 people with a turnover of €18m. Furthermore, we are now in a much better place to take on new work in future. This would not have happened without the involvement of Frank and the continuous improvement culture, that he has helped create within ICBF”.
When asked by the group as to whether the mass engagement process was only applicable to small companies, Frank argued that it wasn’t, an example being Boston Scientific who had just finished the process with 3,000 employees at their Galway site. “The most important requirement in this process, is absolute commitment from the senior management team. Having the confidence to know that divesting responsibility for the organization in all staff as opposed to just managers, was the key to making this work. My role is to help facilitate that”.
There are no comments yet.