Blog posts tagged with Leadership

Manufacturing can be the cornerstone to economic recovery

September 13, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program is the foremost public-private partnership in the U.S. MEP is tightly focused on sustaining and growing vibrant economies through innovative manufacturing. So those of us in leadership roles within the MEP are pleased to hear words coming from Washington that re-affirm our belief that innovation in manufacturing can be a cornerstone to the economic recovery strategy. In the 21st century, manufacturing will rely on engineers, technicians and creative leadership—brains not brawn—to elevate the status of U.S. know-how and ingenuity. We at MAGNET, which is the MEP organization for Northern Ohio, are encouraged by President Obama’s remarks during his address to the joint session of Congress on Sept. 8, 2011. The President emphasized the importance of manufacturing and, in particular, the importance of establishing on-the-job training and tuition incentives for students to study engineering. In the President’s words: "Already, we’ve mobilized business leaders to train 10,000 American engineers a year, by providing company internships and training. Other businesses are covering tuition for workers who learn new skills at community colleges. And we’re going to make sure the next generation of manufacturing takes root not in China or Europe, but right here, in the United States

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Continuous Improvement Part 1: A Culture of Change and Results

March 08, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

I often wonder: Why does Continuous Improvement work in some organizations and not in others? I think the difference must be the organization’s culture and acceptance to change. Management is crucial in changing and maintaining culture. At its best management encourages change, and at its worst resists or blocks change. Here are some of the change-resisting cliché responses we at MAGNET sometimes hear: That won’t work here. We tried that before, but it didn’t work. The initial results were impressive, but were not sustainable. Here’s the kind of response that tells us a project is going to be successful: "Management encourages change and ongoing results." A systems approach For Continuous Improvement to be effective and sustainable, it requires a systems approach involving the entire organization. Management should guide the organization in four fundamental areas, to ensure success: Purpose – maximizing customer value; Process – continually improving speed and defects for factory and office; People – involving people in improving the process, providing knowledge and tools; and Sustainable culture – encouraging change, communicating success and results. Although knowledge and tools are important to implementation and results, they are not sufficient to ensure sustainability. Many organizations, hungry for quick fixes, focus heavily

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