Sunday, February 24, 2013

Exit with Grace - repeat

In 2009, I was presented the challenge of establishing multiple international manufacturing operations for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.  Four years later, major operations have been established and are delivering helicopter hardware from India, China, Poland and the Czech Republic, and the S-92 global partners in Taiwan, China, Brazil, Spain and Mexico have met the production ramp-up.  I was given the opportunity to prove international operations can be established using a robust program management orientation,  on-demand domain expertise, virtual leadership, cultural awareness and strict progress gate criteria and metrics.  It is now time to return to our Huntington Beach, CA home, enjoy life and see what new challenge presents arises.

When I left Boeing in 2009, I posted a LiaV blog on how to leave a company titled “Exit with Grace.”  It was an exploration of the best way to leave a company and I concluded that we should all leave gracefully and truthfully. I get to take my own advice again. That post got 49 comments that varied greatly.

What do you believe is the general rule of advice for an exit?


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Democratizing Quality

Once upon a time there was a talented carpenter worked for the King. He had constructed many beautiful palaces and monuments for the king. He had grown old and wanted to retire from service. So one day he went to the king and requested to be relived from service. The King was sad and asked him to do one final project. The carpenter was given the task of constructing a house before he retired. The carpenter was upset. The King gave another task even though he wanted to retire. He decided to finish off the house at the earliest, with least possible effort. To speed up the work he decided on a low involvement design, shallow high speed foundation, low cost material and fast, poor quality workmanship. He was focused on completing the house and retiring forever from the service. He rarely found time for site supervision. Soon the house project was completed. The carpenter called the King, to hand over the house. The King took the Keys, but handed over the keys back to the carpenter. The King said “You have served me faithfully my friend. This is my Farewell Gift to you, my loyal one”. The carpenter was left dumbstruck – Only if I had known the house was meant for me.

This story illustrates the quality dilemma, which many of us face in course of our professional career. We are tempted/prompted to make a trade-offs between quality of work/product versus speed of work/ throughput time/profits / cost of product. At least at some point of time many people are tempted to sacrifice quality for cost or delivery.

How do you deal with the cost/quality tradeoff?  What do you teach you people?

(This LiaV post was provided by Tony Joseph, member of United Technology’s Operations Leadership Program based in India).


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