BTOES Insights Official
February 07, 2019

BTOES ARTICLE: Three Unconventional Leadership Tools for Less Than US $10

The Johnson Controls Manufacturing Excellence Transformation strategy was recognized at the BTOES awards ceremony in 2018, as well as at the Frost & Sullivan and at the Industry Week Best Plants events.


In the three and half years since initiating the transformational journey, and as a result of deploying the Johnson Controls Manufacturing System (JCMS), significant sustained achievements, across more than 130 global facilities have been realized. These achievements include, at all mature facilities, exceeding target improvements in year-over-year conversion costs, significant percent reduction in safety recordables, 3X increase in energy saving projects, 2X increase in internal measures of customer satisfaction, as well as improvements in other key performance indicators (KPI).

More than 30,000 shopfloor employees are part of High Performance Teams, over 375 Plant Champions are certified in the manufacturing system (including Plant Managers), over 300 subject matter experts are equipped to coach plant teams, more than 250,000 training sessions have been completed and employee retention has improved by 68 percent.

Leaders are role-modeling and ‘walking the talk’ of the transformation. They demonstrate this behavior because JCMS is a robust driver for sustained value delivery.     

What are the three unconventional tools that have been and are foundational to lead and sustain Manufacturing Excellence? 

Tool #1: One of the messages that a flight attendance reinforces is to ‘put on your mask first before helping others’. Why is this so important? You cannot lead others, role model or walk the talk of your program, initiative, project or an enterprise transformation if you do not have the needed knowledge and skills. You need to be prepared; you are the one showing the way, coaching and providing the clarity, capability and reinforcement for the transformation. Go and get an oxygen mask; ensure you have the needed skills and knowledge and that you can reliably articulate the what, the how, the when and the why of the transformation.


Tool #2: A box of cotton swabs is a great reinforcement to actively listen to what the shopfloor is saying to you. Ensuring that we carefully listen to our factories and that we consistently are asking for their voice, inputs, ideas and feedback is key to deeply understanding their pain points. Ensure that your ‘ears are clean’ from any paradigms. Some examples include: daily 7 minute standup meetings, weekly 10 minute feedback loops, quarterly focus group report outs, annual pulse surveys and best practice sharing.    

Tool #3: A foundational Operational Excellence principle is to ‘go and see.’  A great tool to use is a comfortable pair of insoles. The only way to go and see and to actively listen is to ‘walk the shopfloor’ and spend time where raw materials and inputs are transformed to products and services. Walk the shopfloor every day, many times a day and at different shifts. Stop at the workstations and production lines.  Have comfortable insoles to walk the talk.

These 3-tools are not to be used as a metaphor or as a nice story to tell. Similar to, visual reinforcement and visual management systems, these tools are visual aids to reinforce the three foundational success factors required to drive and sustain a transformation. Put on your mask first before coaching or leading others, clear your ears for active listening and wear your insoles to walk the shopfloor.

More Leadership articles on BTOES Insights:

About Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and multi industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries. Their 120,000 employees create intelligent buildings, efficient energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and next generation transportation systems that work seamlessly together to deliver on the promise of smart cities and communities. Their commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. They are committed to helping our customers win and creating greater value for all of our stakeholders through strategic focus on our buildings and energy growth platforms.


About the Author

ricardo estok picture

Ricardo Estok has more than 20 years of experience driving sustainable operations, commercial and business excellence transformations. He has multicultural and multifunctional experience at global companies in the US and Latin America, including Johnson Controls, S.C. Johnson, Abbott and Pepsi. Currently, his role is as the Enterprise Principal Leader, Manufacturing Excellence Transformation at Johnson Controls.


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