1st Edition

A Culture of Rapid Improvement Creating and Sustaining an Engaged Workforce

By Raymond C. Floyd Copyright 2008
    324 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    328 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    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.

    Industrial Culture: The Human Side of Change
    Improve the Performance of Your Business by Creating a New Industrial Culture
    The Importance of a Culture of Rapid Improvement
    How Your Culture Affects the Potential for Improvement
    How Culture Is Influenced by Strategy
    A Simple Model of Culture
    Element 1: Values
    Element 2: Beliefs
    Element 3: Behavior
    Element 4: Rituals
    How to Use This Simple Model of Culture
    Designing a Corporate Culture
    Elements of a Culture of Rapid Improvement: An Overview of How This Book Is Organized
    Section I: Establish the Values and Beliefs of Your New Culture
    Strategy: The Values and Beliefs of an Industrial Culture
    Establishing Strategic Goals for Your Organization
    Establishing Your Organization’s Tactical Goals
    Setting Strategic Goals Is the Responsibility of the Senior Leader
    A Process for Establishing Strategic Goals
    Look Outside Your Organization
    Evaluate Your Customers and Competitors
    Consider the Owners of Your Business
    Do Not Forget to Consider Your Employees
    Assess the Needs of Your Organization’s Community
    Next, Look Inside Your Organization
    Analyze the Gap between Your Current Capabilities and Your Future Requirements
    Write Your Goals
    1. Strategic Goals Have a Simple, Memorable Statement of the Gap You Are Closing
    2. Strategic Goals Have a Directionally Correct Statement of Future Needs
    3. Strategic Goals Have a Credible Description of Current Capabilities
    4. Strategic Goals Have a Few Objective Measures That Define Progress
    5. Strategic Goals Have Interim Tactical Performance
    Targets to Be Achieved
    Present Your Goals to Your Organization
    3 Making Your Cultural Values Personal
    A Three-Level View for Translating Goals into Actions
    The CEO’s Three-Level View
    The Division Managers’ Three-Level View
    Individual Department Managers’ Three-Level View
    A Case Study of the Three-Level View of Translating Goals to Actions
    Keeping the Whole Team on Board
    Refreshing Your Goals
    A Final Word on Translating Strategic Goals into Tactical Goals and Tactical Actions
    Quality Stations: The Rituals of Your Culture
    Rituals at Work
    Using Quality Stations to Implement the Four Rituals of Improvement
    Ritual 1: Quality Stations Help Show Tactical Goals
    Ritual 2: Quality Stations Show Activities in Progress
    Ritual 3: Quality Stations Show Projects Completed and Measure and Communicate Results
    Ritual 4: Quality Stations Show Ideas for the Future
     Details on the Four Rituals of Improvement
    Ritual 1: Show the Tactical Goals of the Team
    Ritual 2: Show the Projects in Progress
    Ritual 3: Measure and Communicate Results
    Ritual 4: Make Ideas for the Future Visible
    Culturally Appropriate Small-Team Leadership
    Communications at the Quality Stations
    Appearance of a Quality Station
    The Work of a Quality Station
    Management Quality Stations
    A Final Word on Quality Stations
    Section II: Engaging People in Your New Culture
    The Objective Elements of Engaging People
    Creating a Framework That Engages People to Help
    Element 1: People Need Goals to Achieve
    Element 2: People Need New Skills to Do New Things
    Root Cause Analysis
    Element 3: People Need Time to Work on Improvement
    Element 4: People Need Access to Resources
    Providing Funds
    Small-Event Improvements
    Element 5: People Need a Structure for Action
    The Subjective Elements That Disrupt Engagement of People
    What if Improvement Does Not Happen?
    The Subjective Elements That Disrupt Engagement
    Element 1: Some Teams Do Not Trust Management
    Element 2: Some Teams Have Disruptive Members
    Intentionally Disruptive Team Members
    Direct Relationships with Management
    Intentionally Disruptive Individuals
    Unintentionally Disruptive Team Members
    Section III: The Social Design of Your New Culture
    Understanding the Theory of Industrial Culture
    Personalities and Personal Cultures at Work
    Each Business Has a Culture That Defines the Workplace
    Social Cultures at Work
    Three Typical Responses to a Dominant Culture
    1. People of Different Cultures Will Appear to Fit the
    Dominant Culture at Work
    2. People of Different Cultures Will Adopt a Neutral Behavior while at Work
    3. People of Different Cultures Will Resist the Dominant
    Culture at Work
    What to Do about These Three Responses to Your Dominant Work Culture
    Situational Cultures
    The Social Design of a New Culture
    Social Design in Industry
    Social Consideration 1: Precision and Timeliness
    How to Handle Routine Work
    How to Handle Nonroutine Work
    When to Begin
    Social Consideration 2: Collaboration and Teamwork
    Communicating about Differences within a Team
    Different Expressions of the Same Family Values
    Different Interpretations and Assumptions of a Simple Task: Getting the Mail
    How to Handle Aberrant Behavior
    Social Consideration 3: Inclusion and Contribution
    Valuing Individuals
    Five Elements of Valuing Individuals
    Element 1: Develop Corporate Awareness That Individuals Are Different and Valuable
    Recognize That Many Personal Qualities Are a Mixed Blessing
    Element 2: Provide Emotional and Social Support during Cultural Changes
    Dealing with “Heritage” Issues
    Establish Affinity Groups
    Facilitate Meetings of Affinity Groups
    Unexpected Affinity Groups
    Establish a Group of “Diversity Pioneers”
    Element 3: Establish New Policies and Practices for Your New Culture
    Element 4: Enforcement of Your New Culture’s Policies and Practices
    Element 5: Celebration of Your Cultural Change
    Managing Emotion at Work
    Exploring Emotions at Work
    Listen to What Your People Tell You about Their Feelings about Work
    Everything Is Not Good When Real Change Is Happening
    Interpreting the Emotions of Change
    If You Cannot Interpret Emotions at Work, Find Someone Who Can?
    Interpreting Emotions Is Key to Implementing Successful Change
    SECTION IV: Managing and Sustaining Cultural Change
    How Communication Reflects Your Culture
    Three Types of Messages from Management
    1. Delivering News
    2. Making Statements of Belief and Support
    3. Giving Instructions for Action
    Organizational Implications of Communication: The Role of Senior Management
    The Role of Middle Managers in Communicating
    Problem 1: People Do Not Get Your Message
    Problem 2: Middle Managers Are Disenfranchised
    Manage and Measure the Communication
    Measuring the Performance of Small Events
    Principles of Measuring Small-Event and Autonomous Improvement
    Measuring How Engaged Your People Are in Improving Your Business
    Using Bulk Measurements to Ensure You Are All Working toward the Same Goal
    Measuring Visible Results Reinforces an Intuitive Understanding of Performance
    Make Sure Your Measures Are Consistent and Credible to the People Being Measured
    Make Your Measurements Direct and Exact
    Keep Your System Fair and Accurate
    Create a Subject Matter Expert for Measurement
    Other Interesting Measurements
    Useful and Nearly Objective Assessment of Subjective Data
    Use Bulk Measures When Individual Data Are Not Available
    Look for Useful Trends in Meaningless Data
    Defend Your Measures
    Managing the Competence of Your Employees, Especially in
    Business-Critical Roles
    Early Assessments of Individual Employee Competence
    Recognizing the Importance of Critical Positions to the Overall Performance of the Organization
    The Basis of Data Gathering to Assess Employee Competence
    Measure the Percentage of Critical Positions Occupied by Highly Competent People
    Measure the Overall Performance of the Organization
    The Process of Data Gathering to Assess Employee Competence
    Step 1: Identify the Critical Positions in Your Organization
    Step 2: Assess the Individuals Working in Your Critical Positions
    Correlating Personal Competence with Organizational Performance
    Management Lessons from Competence Assessment
    Focus Your First Personnel Development Actions on Critical Positions
    Begin Promptly
    Spread the Word about Competence Management
    Recognize That Not All Managers Need to Be Highly Competent
    Many Critical Positions Are Underappreciated
    Lessons to be Learned from the Exceptions
    Section V: Getting Started in Your Organization
    Phase I: The First Six Months
    Create Strategic Goals For Your Business
    Give Your People New Capabilities or Tools to Practice Improvement
    Single Minutes Exchange of Dies
    Total Productive Maintenance
    Reliability Engineering
    Value-Stream Mapping
    Task 3: Establish the Basis for a New Social Culture That Is More Inclusive and More Autonomous
    Task 4: Conduct Your First Pilot Project
    Task 5: Sustain Your Gains
    Phase II: The Second Six Months
    Complete the Process of Deploying and Translating Your Goals
    Initiate a Second Round of Pilot Projects
    Take Formal Steps to Include Individuals in Your Culture Change
    Implement New Tools and Methods in Your New Pilot Projects
    Use Quality Stations
    Sustain Your Gains in Communication and Performance
    Phase III: The Third Six Months
    Create Quality Stations That Small Teams Will Use to Advance Your Goals
    Establish Pilot Projects on the Front Line
    Select New Tools That Support Autonomous Action
    Create Affinity Groups to Ensure Inclusion of All Individuals
    Sustain Your Gains by Establishing New Formal Practices
    Phase IV: The Fourth Six Months


    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