Interview with M. Montague, CEO at Automotive Chemicals. He took control of the company in 1980 after four years of flat sales and declining profits and generated a classic turnaround in a tightening market.
“We had two things that we needed to accomplish with our people. First, we had to find some way to take each individual and unfold more of his or her potential. The demands were greater. Our people had to function more efficiently. Second, we felt we had to improve communications among all those people. Even if you have talented people, you have to get them to exchange their thoughts. There are a lot of people with good ideas who aren’t usually willing to come out and express them.“Did TM perform?
„I couldn’t have asked for better results. Even though most people started for their own personal reasons, the overall benefits were tremendous. One of my top managers took up TM only to help with his blood pressure, for instance — and his doctor took him off medication after six months. One of my sales people was worried about the stress of servicing $700,000 accounts, and he told me after a few months, ‘I’m handling my job better than I have in 30 years.‘ So each person had his own personal focus, but you could also see that, overall, the level of job performance was increasingly greatly.“
„Absolutely. I was amazed. People became more creative with their ideas and more aggressive in expressing them. We had been concerned that something like meditation might make people passive, but the result was exact opposite. People became clearer, more coherent, more confident. They had good ideas, and they weren’t afraid to express them. And the other thing is that people tended to become better listeners, too. Both ends of communication improved. It was just like we had connected the company up with a huge reservoir of intelligence and creativity that we hadn’t been able to tap before.“Was there any statistical evidence to support your own personal observations?
„The very best kind. We had 80% of our people get involved in the program, and over a four-year period our sales doubled and our profits grew five times. Annual sales per employee grew from $133,000 to $250,000, while at the same time, labor costs as percentage of sales decreased 39%. And once we introduced TM to the hourly work force, absenteeism was cut in half. There were other steps we took in that period, but none was more important than upgrading the talent and coherence and motivation of our workforce through TM.“
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