Sustained growth is John Brown's mantra. "Building a worldwide manufacturing organization to support the company's earnings growth target of 20%," is how he describes his legacy. His leadership resulted in Stryker Corp. achieving annual earnings growth of not less than 20% for 25 years.
The goal of growing earnings per share by at least 20% each year began in 1977 when Brown became CEO.
"That goal united us and challenged everyone in the company to continually perform at an exceptional level," reflected Brown in his final letter to shareholders in 2010. This feat was recognized in Jim Collins' recent book "Great By Choice."
Brown says his obsession with goals and numbers allowed him to transform Stryker. His leadership style is based on his view that "people within an organization pay more attention to what you do than what you say. So lead by example."
Brown transformed a small Kalamazoo, Mich.-based manufacturer of hospital beds and cast cutters into one of the world's largest medical-device makers, with a portfolio of more than 55,000 products.
When Brown joined Stryker 32 years ago, the company had sales of $17 million a year and employed 400 people.
In 2010, the company reported revenue of $7.3 billion, its 31st consecutive year of revenue growth. The company employs 17,000 globally.
Brown started his career as an engineer for Ormet Corp., an aluminum manufacturer, and then joined Squibb Corp., becoming president of Edward Weck & Co., a subsidiary of Squibb. He was chairman of the board at Stryker from 1980 to 2010.
He is a director at the American Business Conference, cardiovascular device company St. Jude Medical Inc. and nucleic acid diagnostics provider Gen-Probe Inc. He also serves as chairman of The Institute for Health Technology Studies.
Leading the nation's largest steelmaker isn't enough for Dan DiMicco. He also is a leading voice for U.S. manufacturing and the nation's steel industry.
Named CEO of Charlotte-based Nucor Corp. in 2000, DiMicco shepherded the company through a period of unprecedented growth. During the past five years the company has provided a 371% return to shareholders. And its commitment to employees is demonstrated through its no-layoff philosophy.
DiMicco, who joined Nucor in 1982 as a plant metallurgist and manager of quality control, became chairman in 2006. Prior to joining Nucor he was with Republic Steel Corp. He has a bachelor of science in engineering, metallurgy and materials science from Brown University and a master of science degree in metallurgy and materials science from the University of Pennsylvania.
Nucor, which operates through three segments -- steel mills, steel products, and raw materials, was a pioneer with electric-arc furnaces and minimills. The company also is one of the world's largest steel recyclers.
An outspoken critic of China's alleged steel dumping and currency manipulation, DiMicco has helped keep fair trade on the forefront of the public-policy agenda. In 2006, he was appointed to the U.S. Manufacturing Council by U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and re-appointed in 2010.
In testimony before Congress in 2010, he expressed his support of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act.
"For far too long our government has tried 'quiet diplomacy' to address currency manipulation," he stated. "This approach has failed. Passing the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act is the type of firm and decisive action needed. This bill allows injured industries and workers to seek a remedy under our trade laws by treating currency manipulation for what it is -- an illegal export subsidy."
In January 2010, the Harvard Business Review included DiMicco as one of the top-performing CEOs in the world.
The concept of total quality control is directly attributed to the work of Armand Feigenbaum. When the American Society for Quality named Feigenbaum an honorary board member in 1986, the society acknowledged him for a career in which "the precepts of total quality control were carefully laid out and tirelessly promulgated in the United States and around the world."
While still a student at MIT Sloan, he published his first book on quality. His seminal book, "Total Quality Control," which appeared in 1951, remains the bible of quality.
Feigenbaum also is a pioneer in quality cost management, and ASQ notes his book "was the first text to characterize quality costs as the costs of prevention, appraisal and internal and external failure."
Feigenbaum is the founder and president of General System Co., an international engineering company that designs and implements total quality systems. Prior to that he was the manager of worldwide manufacturing operations and quality control for General Electric Co.
Feigenbaum was the founding chairman of the board of the International Academy for Quality, which brought together leaders of the European Organization for Quality, the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers and ASQ.
He also received the National Security Industrial Association Award of Merit for leadership in defense of the nation. He has been a member of the U.S. Army's advisory group, general chairman of the Army Materiel Command's evaluation of quality assurance activities and a consultant with the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He has written five books, including the most recent, "The Power of Management Capital." In 2009, he accepted ASQ's Technology and Innovation award.
"In today's global markets, management innovation is the principal driver of business growth, and quality is the principal driver of market strength," he said.
Retired Exxon Mobil Corp. executive Raymond Floyd is recognized as one of the earliest adopters of lean principles in the North American chemical-processing industry. But it's his legacy as an adapter of lean principles that has left such an indelible mark on process manufacturing.
In a sector that has been slow to bring lean methodologies into the fold, Floyd distilled lean to its basic elements and constructed a new version that would work for the chemical industry and other process manufacturers.
Leading six different businesses -- including some of the world's largest industrial sites as well as global multiplant operations -- during his 24-year career at Exxon, Floyd was "instrumental" in creating a culture "that fully embraced lean," says former Exxon Chemical President and CEO Gene McBrayer.
"Ray and his team demonstrated how lean principles like just-in-time and single-minute-exchange-of-dies are equally applicable to continuous chemical-manufacturing processes as they are to durable-goods manufacturing," McBrayer says, noting that as Floyd implemented lean at Exxon's operations, its performance metrics improved dramatically.
Key to Floyd's success in adapting lean to the chemical industry has been his ability to engage workers in continuous-improvement cultures. As the site manager of Exxon's Baytown, Texas, manufacturing complex -- a 1993 IndustryWeek Best Plants winner -- Floyd championed an innovative awareness program called Diversity Pioneers. The program challenged "the prevailing white-male culture to begin valuing differences in people," McBrayer says, and produced marked improvements in employee performance and engagement.
"At Baytown, Ray and his key leaders turned the entire 2,000-person workforce into an improvement-idea-generating machine," McBrayer says.
Diversity Pioneers and other lean operating practices that Floyd championed not only served as a template for Mobil plants as they integrated into the Exxon system during the epic 1999 merger, but they also have been replicated throughout Exxon and the global energy industry.
Floyd, now a vice president at Calgary, Alberta-based Suncor Energy, has written two books about lean in the process industries. In August, his second book -- "Liquid Lean: Developing Lean Culture in the Process Industries" -- earned a 2012 Shingo Research and Professional Publications Award.
The modern notion of a "supply chain" can be traced back to "the pioneering research conducted by Jay Forrester and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," IndustryWeek contributing editor David Blanchard asserts in the second edition of his book "Supply Chain Management Best Practices."
"A half-century ago, Forrester began studying supply pipelines and channel interrelationships between suppliers and customers, and he identified a phenomenon that later came to be known as the ‘bullwhip effect,'" Blanchard explains in his book. "Forrester noticed that inventories in a company's pipeline (i.e. supply chain) tend to fluctuate the further they are from the ultimate end user.
"...Supply chain management as a discipline basically evolved out of Forrester's quest to understand and ultimately control these increases in demand fluctuations."
However, Forrester's groundbreaking work in the field of supply chain management is just one node in a fascinating research and academic career that spans six decades and continues today.
During World War II, Forrester and MIT colleague Gordon Brown -- Forrester's mentor -- developed servomechanisms for controlling military radar antennas and gun mounts.
After the war, the U.S. Navy commissioned them to design an aircraft flight simulator using analog computer technology. Instead, Forrester and Brown designed the Whirlwind digital computer for experimental development of military combat information systems -- which evolved into computers for NORAD's air-defense system and helped launch the modern computer revolution.
Ultimately, though, Forrester sees his legacy as the creator of "system dynamics," a methodology that used computer simulation to analyze problems in complex social, managerial, economic or ecological systems.
Introduced in Forrester's book "Industrial Dynamics" in 1961, the methodology was born from his analysis of supply chain management practices at a General Electric plant in Kentucky.
Decades later, system dynamics is being applied in economics, public policy, environmental studies, defense, theory-building in social science and other areas.
Forrester, now 93, devotes much of his time and energy to promoting system dynamics as a core curriculum for K-12 schools.
"I think that system dynamics and what we're doing in K-12 will far overshadow what we did in computers," Forrester says.
Consumer-driven innovation and consistent sustainable growth was the hallmark of Alan (A.G.) Lafley's leadership at Procter & Gamble Co.
Lafley served as president and CEO of Procter & Gamble from 2000 to 2009, capping a three-decade career with the company. At a time when P&G's results had been slipping, Lafley in the 2000s focused the company on core businesses and brands; faster-growing and higher-margin beauty, grooming and health care businesses; and winning in developing markets.
When Lafley retired in 2010, P&G had more than doubled its sales since the beginning of the decade, and the company's portfolio of billion-dollar brands had grown from 10 to 22. The number of brands with sales between $500 million and $1 billion had increased fivefold and P&G's market capitalization had more than doubled.
He joined the company in 1977, after receiving his bachelor of arts degree from Hamilton College and an MBA from Harvard University and became chairman of the board in 2002.
His dedication to the philosophy that the "consumer is boss" resulted in a book he co-authored called "The Game-Changer." At P&G the phrase was more than a slogan. "It was a clear, simple and inclusive cultural priority for both our employees and our external stakeholders, such as suppliers and retail partners," Lafley wrote.
In 2010, he was recognized with the Edison Achievement Award -- one of just a handful of business CEOs to ever receive the honor. The award recognizes distinguished business executives who have made a significant and lasting contribution to innovation.
Lafley serves as a special partner at Clayton, Dubilier and Rice, a private-equity investment firm, and as chairman of the board of trustees of Hamilton College. Lafley also served as a director at Dell Inc. during the past five years.
Lafley's successor Bob McDonald called Lafley "one of the greatest CEOs, if not the greatest CEO, in the history of P&G."
Anyone who has ever used a personal computer owes a debt of gratitude to Gordon Moore.
When Moore and Robert Noyce left Fairchild Semiconductor to form Intel Corp. in 1968, they created a company -- and an industry -- that forever changed how the world works.
"There were no personal computers before Intel drove the microprocessor to the level it's achieved," Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates noted in a video marking the 40th anniversary of the world's first microprocessor, which Intel launched in 1971.
While Noyce served as CEO during Intel's early years, Moore's now-famous theory on the pace of silicon-technology development laid the foundation for the company's -- and the industry's -- basic business model.
In 1965, Moore predicted that the number of components the semiconductor industry would be able to place on a computer chip would double every year (in 1975, he revised his theory to two years). Business-performance author Jim Collins believes "Moore's Law" has been a cornerstone of Intel's success.
"Is Intel an innovation story? Yes, in part. But ultimately it is a consistency story of driving down Moore's Law year after year," Collins said in a recent interview with IndustryWeek. "The original Gordon Moore article appeared in 1965. The early articulation of Moore's Law wasn't just to double the number of components on a chip, but to do so at affordable cost. That was the critical thing -- at affordable cost.
"... [Intel] had this incredible reputation for delivering consistently and getting its cost in line and making good on its promises to customers consistently, and then its customers could rely on them consistently. If Intel only had innovative chips but hadn't had that incredible consistency in the way it went about building things, it would not have been Intel."
After serving as executive vice president during Intel's early years, Moore became president and CEO in 1975 and held that post until he was elected chairman and CEO in 1979. He remained CEO until 1987 and was named chairman emeritus in 1997.
The birth of the first programmable controller -- perhaps the most important innovation in the history of factory automation -- began with a hangover.
It was Jan. 1, 1968, and Dick Morley was working on a project for Bedford Associates, a contract-engineering firm that he and a friend launched a few years earlier in Bedford, Mass. Morley -- an engineer, machinist and MIT dropout -- was feeling the effects of his New Year's Eve revelry. "I had a hangover, and I didn't feel good," Morley says. "And I was late on the project."
It wasn't just the hangover that had made Morley cranky. After several years of building the same custom machine-tool controls for his clients "over and over again," Morley couldn't bear the thought of building yet another one.
"Everything was built on an individual basis," he recalls. "And I said, ‘Geez, I don't want to do this again.' That was my incentive."
With the goal of designing a controller that would work for every job, Morley came up with the architecture for the programmable controller in about a day.
It took another nine months for Morley and his colleagues to build the first one -- dubbed the 084 because it was Bedford Associates' 84th project -- and soon after, the team found investors and formed a company called Modicon, which stood for Modular Digital Controller.
General Motors Co. placed the first order for the programmable controller in 1969. Today, the PLC (which gained the "logic" in the early 1980s with the emergence of personal computers) is widely used in the auto industry and throughout manufacturing, serving as a cornerstone of factory automation.
While Morley has attained near-legend status for his role in the development of the PLC, the man is no one-hit wonder.
Morley also is the inventor of the floppy disk and holds more than 20 U.S. and foreign patents for innovations such as the handheld terminal, the parallel inference machine and magnetic thin film. As the co-founder of an angel-investor group called the Breakfast Club, Morley has helped launch more than 100 high-tech startups.
When Alan Mulally took over as president and CEO of Ford Motor Co. in September 2006, he was the right man at the right time for the ailing automaker.
With a focus on communication, collaboration and accountability, the former Boeing executive has led Ford from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability and has positioned the automaker for global growth.
"It's a fantastic story," says Gerhard Geyer, a former Ford executive and author of "Ford Motor Company: The Greatest Corporate Turnaround in U.S. History." "Here's a man who knew nothing about the auto industry ... coming into a new industry and with virtually the same team that his predecessor had, and he changed the culture and established Ford as one of the more dynamic companies in the world," Geyer says.
Soon after taking the helm at Ford, Mulally unveiled a transformation plan aiming to streamline the company's disjointed global operations, bolster its balance sheet, simplify its brand structure, reduce labor costs and match capacity to demand, among other objectives.
One of Mulally's first and most notable actions was to borrow $23.5 billion against Ford domestic assets in December 2006, which provided Ford the liquidity to pass on government bailout funds when the automotive market went into a tailspin -- and made Mulally a hero.
Mulally, though, says he is proudest of the strides that the automaker has made in building "a complete family of Ford vehicles."
Mulally also points to Ford's strengthening business fundamentals.
"We're really creating a strong business," Mulally says. "We've been growing. We've paid back the money that we borrowed. We're investing for the future -- we're going to add 12,000 jobs in the United States over the next couple of years, and they're great jobs, great careers."
The chairman and CEO of Lean Enterprise Institute Inc. believes his most enduring legacy to the manufacturing world is the "opportunity to play a role in one of the greatest experiments in the last 50 years." He is referring to the partnership between Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. in creating NUMMI in 1983. "We are still learning today from that venture," Shook says.
Shook's life mission has been to spread the principles of the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing. His passion about lean arose during his decade-long career with Toyota in Japan and the United States. He became the company's first American kacho (manager) in Japan. The Lean Enterprise Institute describes Shook as "a true sensei."
He has served as general manager of planning and administration for Toyota's engineering center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and was the senior U.S. manager at the Toyota Supplier Support Center in Lexington, Ky. An industrial anthropologist with a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree from the University of Hawaii, Shook is the former director of the University of Michigan's Japan Technological Management Program. He is also a graduate of the Japan-America Institute of Management Science.
His Shingo Prize-winning book "Learning to See," which he co-authored, helped introduce the world to value-stream mapping.
Shook also co-authored "Kaizen Express," a bilingual manual of the essential concepts and tools of the Toyota Production System and "Managing to Learn," in which he describes the A3 management process at the heart of lean management and leadership.
His excitement over the potential of this continuous-improvement strategy to produce profound results has not changed over the years. "Lean will continue to spread as a philosophy and move into the creative segments," Shook predicts. "It will be applied in areas that directly affect customers. The system will be used to provide customers with what they want when they want it."
Rather than the latest management fad, says Shook, "Lean, which has demonstrated robust staying power, is still going very strong."
What do our 2011 IW Manufacturing Hall of Fame inductees have in common? View this slide show and read these brief summations of some of the best and fiercest industrial giants.
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This would be valid if only colleagues could interact. I have seen many workplaces in large organizations where only management can interact. All infomation must flow through managers. To make it worse the work layout does not support interactions. ... If you want the benefits of co-location you have to have the right management structure and the right physical structure!!!
The story of Apollo 13 is a tale of courage, tenacity, inspired improvisation and technical acumen, but it is also part of an historic manufacturing enterprise.