A Culture of Rapid Improvement : Creating and Sustaining an Engaged Workforce book cover
1st Edition

A Culture of Rapid Improvement
Creating and Sustaining an Engaged Workforce

ISBN 9781563273780
Published April 28, 2008 by Productivity Press
324 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Become a corporate change agent

Learn to implement and cultivate a culture of improvement with the assistance of one of the world’s most respected experts

Managing a business so that it achieves a supreme pace of improvement requires that all members of an organization can and do make their best contributions to the success of the enterprise. Management must provide employees with a shared set of values and beliefs so that they can decide for themselves how to behave in accordance with the expectations of a nurturing and empowering culture.

A Culture of Rapid Improvement is intended for those leaders seeking to encourage dramatic improvement within their organizations. It shows these change agents how they can—

·         Develop the shared values and beliefs that serve as the foundation for a dynamic culture

·         Engage all employees to join the new culture and provide opportunities for these stakeholders to initiate and participate in improvement

·         Measure, evaluate, and manage the performance of the new culture

Filled with lessons garnered from practical examples, this text is based on Raymond C. Floyd's 40 years of industrial management experience, including his more than 20 years at Exxon Mobil. He is the winner of a Shingo Prize and also holds the unique distinction of having led businesses from two different industries that were both recognized by IndustryWeek magazine as being among the Best Plants in America.

 If you approach the task of improvement with proper action and full participation, improvement is not just possible, but inevitable. At six months, you will notice a difference in your organizational culture; at the end of two years, you will be operating with near–world-class performance.

Table of Contents

Industrial Culture - The Human Side Of Change. Establish the Values and Beliefs of Your Culture. Strategy—The Values and Beliefs of an Industrial Culture. Making Your Cultural Values Personal. Quality Stations: The Rituals of Your Culture. Engaging People in Your New Culture. The Objective Elements of Engaging People. The Subjective Elements that Disrupt Engagement of People. The Social Design of Your New Culture. Understanding the Theory of Industrial Culture. The Social Design of a New Culture. Valuing Individuals. Managing Emotion at Work. Managing and Sustaining Cultural Change. How Communication Reflects Your Culture. Measuring the Performance of Small Events. Managing the Competence of Your Employees — Especially in Business-Critical Roles. Getting Started in Your Organization. Phase I: The First Six Months. Phase II: The Second Six Months. Phase III: The Third Six Months. Phase IV: The Fourth Six Months.

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Raymond C. Floyd began his career as a production foreman with Inland Division of General Motors, a manufacturer of more than 30 families of automotive components. Following 10 years of increasingly responsible roles in manufacturing and engineering with General Motors, Ray joined Exxon as an affiliate vice president in Exxon Enterprises, an aggregate of more than 40 small and medium-size companies, each operating in a different industry segment. As a result, although Ray is best known for his work with Exxon Chemical, he has spent nearly half his career working broadly in discrete manufacturing. Ray is generally recognized as among the first people in the world to practice lean manufacturing within the liquid industries. The ability to adapt the technology and examples from prior experience to new business and social cultures was critical to his success. Using exactly the theory and practices described in this book, Ray led Exxon Chemical’s giant Baytown, Texas, site to international recognition for operational excellence. Later, as Global Manager of Manufacturing Services, Ray spread these practices to every plant in Exxon Chemical and used these practices to facilitate integration of operations when Exxon and Mobil joined in the world’s largest merger. Ray is the only person leading organizations in both discrete and liquid manufacturing to receive the “America’s Best” designation from Industry Week magazine. Organizations that Ray has led have also received the Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence and the “Best in Large Industry” designation from Maintenance Technology magazine. Ray received the Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Managing the Human Side of Change. Ray was appointed by President Reagan to participate in the Japan Business Study Program as a guest of Japan’s Ministry of International Trade. Raymond C. Floyd has degrees in chemical engineering (BS, Case Western Reserve University), law (JD, Capital University), and business administration (EMBA, University of Houston). He has also completed senior executive programs at the Institute for International Studies in Fuji City, Japan, and the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is licensed as a registered professional engineer, attorney-at-law, and patent attorney. His wife, Marsha, is also an attorney-at-law. Ray and Marsha have two daughters who are both physicians.


“As Manager for our large manufacturing complex in Baytown, Texas, Ray Floyd and his team fundamentally changed performance by turning the entire workforce into an improvement-idea-generating machine. Over the seven-year period that Ray was manager, Baytown changed from a troubled plant to a world-scale example of manufacturing excellence. Manufacturing efficiency improved at a rate of 16 percent each year and employee participation grew to a level of 40 improvements per person per year – all resulting in outstanding bottom line profitability. I know of no one better than Ray to record and teach those lessons.”  
— H. Eugene McBrayer, President (retired), Exxon Chemical Company

“Ray Floyd has compiled a complete collection of all the theory, practice and examples that you will need to create an engaged workforce. If you truly want world-class performance, you will want a copy of this book on your desk as a ready reference manual.”
—  King Pouw, Executive Vice President Operations and Business Transformation, ConAgra Foods

“This book is a tour de force exposition of the high impact changes that are occurring in the world's best businesses to fully engage people and tap their exciting potential for improving performance. At Gilbarco I was witness to the power of these improvements as we increased productivity by a multiple of four in a four year period. Ray Floyd was the chief architect of those changes and one of the lead managers during implementation. This book contains detailed steps to implement those changes in your business buttressed with illuminating anecdotes from Ray's experiences in a number of different industries."
— Donald Powell, Senior Vice President (retired), Gilbarco, Inc.

“Ray Floyd is a World-class expert in creating improvement. He was a leader in adopting the Quality programs developed in Japan into a system for managing improvement that has been proven to work in both Europe and America. I can attest that the manager who thoroughly applies his concepts will see a meaningful improvement in the bottom line."  
— John Webb, Formerly President of the GlobalPolymers Business, Exxon Chemical Company.

“Ray has brought the ideas in this book into reality for us. Currently our Chairman, Ray’s experience has assisted us in taking strategy from the Board Room to practical application in creating a true highly productive service culture. I encourage others to read this book and apply these principles to your business so that you may benefit from his insight and experience as we have.”
— Randall Dixon, President, Energy Capital Credit Union

“Ray Floyd describes what a high contribution, autonomous action organization is and why you want and need one. He goes on to provide specific steps, subtle suggestions, and personal vignettes that show you how to achieve this. Because he provided a thorough understanding of both how and why his culture worked, I knew exactly how the cultural benefit that he has created in the petrochemical industry could be recreated in consumer products. I found the personal vignettes particularly refreshing.  I looked forward to each successive story to see whether it would parallel an experience of mine, bring me a new perspective, or simply make me smile.”
— David Roberts, Director Product Development (retired), The Proctor & Gamble Company

“This book is a must read for any organization wanting to out-perform their competition long term in a global economy. Through his own successful experience, Ray Floyd has demonstrated how a culture based on shared values and beliefs can drive the right behavior throughout an entire organization, and when coupled with using established tools and a ritual to review priorities and progress, can establish and maintain an environment of rapid improvement.
"If you want to get ahead of your competition and maintain a leadership position in your industry, this book shows the successful application of Ray Floyd's formula for establishing and maintaining an environment of rapid improvement and points out the fundamental importance of creating a culture based on shared values to drive the behavior of an entire organization toward the accomplishment of common goals."
— David K. Christein, Vice President of Operations, Molex Incorporated

"Each chapter concludes with a succinct summarization of the principles and ideas covered in that chapter making A Culture of Rapid Improvement an ideal textbook for MBA programs, a highly recommended addition to academic and corporate Business Management reference collections, as well as an informed and informative read for anyone aspiring to improve their business management skills within a corporate structure."

– James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief of The Midwest Book Review, in The Midwest Book Review, September 2008


"This book is a must read for any organization wanting to out-perform their competition long term in a global economy."

– In Sir-Read-A-Lot, May 2008