Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Sunday, March 26, 2017

On Phil Hendrickson, Culture, Our 'Baggage', Oshkosh Corp., and more ...

On Phil Hendrickson
Yesterday, I attended the memorial service for Phil Hendrickson, who died at 97 back on March 7.  He was a humanitarian, philanthropist, investor, counselor, and a member of TEC III for many years (almost a founding member in 1967) while leading Krueger Furniture (later KI).  
The service included lots of stories about things he said regarding how to live one’s life, but this one resonates:  “There is always enough to go around, to share.  You always have enough to share with, to reward those who helped you succeed.”  He said this not only about “giving back,” but how you treat/reward your employees who make your organization successful.
Another one:  “Phil, what’s the best advice you ever got?”   “Well, to marry Betsy, of course!”  (Right answer; they were married for 65 years)  “Phil, who gave you that advice?”  “Betsy.”

Quotable Quotes from recent TEC speaker Dr. Paul Voss, Georgia State University … side comments during his recent presentation to my TEC members on Culture
A point he made:
-- Culture is HOW you do things that make life worthwhile.
-- HOW We DO ANYTHING Means Everything. Success is not in the What, but the HOW!
Quotes
• “He’s got more degrees than a thermometer.”
• Unknown: “Man gave us Beer, but God gave us Wine!”
• Misguided Maxim: “You can be anything you want to be, if you try hard enough.” “No, you probably can’t be anything you want to be, but you can be a lot more of who you already are!”
• The first marriage of a man adds five years to his life. For a woman, zero.

Our Baggage
Recently, I listened to a school superintendent tell this story:
He asked a long-time teacher with an excellent reputation to visit with him about a possible change in teaching approach based on new research.
The teacher came, bringing a teachers union rep with her.
As he explained the new research to get her reaction, she began to cry.
As he probed as to why, two reasons emerged:  First, she felt she was being told that her 15-year-approach to teaching was being discredited, and second, that her worth as a person was thereby diminished.
She didn’t take the knowledge for how he thought he was offering it … as new research, new approaches that could be tested.
His point:  As we undertake change based on new experiences, the change will meet barriers deep and varied within the people we are asking to behave differently.  His list:  Fear of failure, vision of self-worth, need for praise, drive for perfection, and others.  Her self-identity was rooted in what she did, how she taught.  Perhaps a better approach, he said:  Appreciate her for who she is, a committed teacher always looking for improved ways to provide a learning environment.  And then suggest the prevalence of new information to consider about technique.

The story was part of a broader presentation sponsored monthly by Fred Johnson and his InitiativeOne organization.  Other points made:
By Fred:  “From Baldrige days, less than 1% of organizations know and can articulate their Purpose.  But when they do, they engage employes more easily and consistently in living their values that move the organization towards that Purpose.”  Do you know and articulate your Purpose to your organization … constantly!
Consider:  Ask a group  of employees what they think your organization’s Purpose is, without hearing each other.  Then, compare what they say.  Betting each definition is different.
By another speaker:  “People are always scanning their work situations to see if they are ‘safe.’  Do your group norms provide an environment where each person is ‘safe’?”
Some recommended books that drive the school system’s own training:
•  Connors/Smith’s The Oz Principle and How Did That Happen.
•  Dieken’s Talk Less, Say More:  Three Habits to Influence Others and Change Your Life Forever.

Wilson Jones, Oshkosh Corp. CEO
He heads a $6 billion, 15,000 employee, 70-country behemoth best known for providing high durability trucks to our military, when actually it’s biggest division, $4 billion, provides cranes and other “access” equipment worldwide … in addition to fire and garbage trucks.
He took over as CEO in January 2016, returning to an organization he served for over a decade before.  In his presentation to St. Norbert’s CEO Breakfast & Strategy group, he illustrated that he understands that engaging his workforce takes precedence over any other strategic initiative.
“When I took over, I needed our leadership team to be all about ‘caring leadership,’ and not all of us were.  Now, we are.”  He said he undertook three initiatives with that team:
First, to lead a culture of Trust and Respect for every employee, which starts with listening.
Second, that we will be Collaborative, not competitive.
Third, that we will Gain Alignment.
“People watch the leadership team, and if we’re not doing it, neither will they.  And if we are, we have a better chance.”
His second initiative was to make embracing the Oshkosh Mission paramount.  “Everyone needs to know our Why.”
And Third, to install companywide initiatives that “Engage, Develop and Connect” everyone, based on HR studies and assessments, and feedback from Oshkosh employees.
This third initiative has resulted in programs like these:
•  Engage:  Getting teams to develop programs and awareness of preserving safe working environments, which has cut safety accidents and costs by half.  Also, to institute schedule flexibility … “what works for people within each work team.”  Might people take undue advantage of that?  “If you’re worried about it, they probably will.”
•  Develop:  He cited a study in 2015 by Deloitte that opined Career Devleopment is more important to employees than compensation, benefits and good work.
He cited guidelines that career development initiatives should be 10% educational (reading, workshops, conferences), 20% exposure (to what works), and 70% experiential (try something, make mistakes, learn).  He cited that 65% of employees are taking advantage of training through YOU/Your Oshkosh University.
•  Connect:  People want to be connected to Each Other, to Customers, and to the Community.  Managers develop approaches to create those exposures, and are reviewed and rated on how well they do this for their direct reports.

Great Quote as part of Jones’ presentation, by Mark Twain:
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out Why!”

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