Paper360 - November/December 2015 - (Page 32)
the bottom line | LEADERShIP
New Leadership model Focuses
on Caring, Compassion
Engineering consulting company Barry-Wehmiller
prefers to measure its success by the way it
touches the lives of people.
Barry-Wehmiller (B-W) is a global supplier of manufacturing
technology and solutions serving a diverse platform of industries - packaging, paper converting, sheeting, corrugating, engineering and IT consulting. It consists of close to 80 companies, including Paper Converting
Machine Company and MarquipWardUnited. According to Chairman
and CEO Bob Chapman, it is "a collection of business units around a
common theme of creating value for its stockholders." What makes the
company stand out is its every-person-matters team concept that underlies
its techniques and initiatives.
B-W began in 1885 as a small midwestern USA-based beer pasteurizer
and bottle washer business. "We made a decision in the mid-1980s - when
the business was under tremendous stress and didn't appear to have a
future - that we needed to find other markets that would lead to a better
future for our people," says Chapman.
"We studied other companies that had grown through acquisitions
and determined that the only way to give our people what they needed
and deserved was to begin acquiring companies with fundamentals and
technology." As a result, the then $20 million company with an uncertain
future grew to be a $2 billion-plus company today with 11,000 employees
and 14 operating companies.
"It astounds me that we have created this unique business model
through a rich blend of organic and acquisition growth," says Chapman.
"Our overall goal is to be good stewards of the lives entrusted to us - our
team members, our shareholders, key members, and clients - so that no
change in any one market, technology or customer can put those businesses at risk. We are about more than just savvy investments, and we're
not a private equity firm concerned with financial engineering. We're
about operational excellence and value creation for all stakeholders."
GPL PHILOSOPHY, L3 JOURNEY
Chapman says that when B-W acquires a company, it knows exactly how it
will make it better and give it a future. "Our knowledge in this regard grew out
of the 1980s, when we had to resolve some of our own difficulties. Basically,
we learned that we were good at inspiring our way through problems. So
we began looking for other companies that sometimes faced challenges and
didn't quite have the leadership, the capital base or the technology. We tried
to bring our value drivers into those, to give them a better future and give
people hope," Chapman says. "B-W's strategy has progressively evolved,
shaping us into stewards of the lives that come to us through the acquisition of new companies and through the growth of the companies we have."
In the 1990s, B-W continued trying things to inspire people and create
value in doing it. "We began seeing some profound changes in behavior,
fulfillment and achievement,"
said Chapman. "Our efforts to
inspire people were bringing about a dramatic value increase and we came
to realize that something was going on that was bigger than we knew."
To explore the phenomena, Chapman assembled a select group of 20
people. "We gathered to talk about what was beneath all of these dramatic
changes in behavior when we decided to try to make business fun.
"We started listing our various actions and initiatives and the profound
results they were bringing about in terms of team joy, value creation,
service to our customers, etc. As it turned out, these could actually be
called 'principles of leadership,'" Chapman points out.
These revelations were occurring during the time of the nation's Enron
issues and various government scandals that rocked the public's belief and
trust in political leaders. "We decided that we were not going to measure
our success by money, power or position," says Chapman. "Instead, we
would measure our success by the way we touch the lives of people, which
became the overriding statement of principle for B-W.
"Beneath this, of course, was the question of how you actualize caring,"
says Chapman. "In this regard, we talked about trust, personal growth,
recognition and celebration. We talked about principles that call us to a
higher level of stewardship in our leadership role, and collectively we came
to call these the Guiding Principles of Leadership (GPLs), which define
why and how we are called to lead."
At about the time B-W created the GPLs, one of the companies it
acquired was intensely committed to the 'lean' journey. "The leader of
this company was insisting that 'lean' is all about people and said that to
embrace our GPLs we also needed to embrace lean. We agreed that this
made some sense, and thus began our journey as articulated by the Lean
Principles of continuous improvement.
"We brought in advisers, not to help us begin eliminating waste or
improve our operations (we were doing exceptionally well in this regard),
but because we believed we needed to bring discipline to the process of
caring. But what we soon found was that this intense noise about lean
being all about people was not really true. Rather, it was all about metrics
- numbers, and improving the process through waste elimination. So we
stopped calling our journey 'lean.'
"We wanted to bring our Guiding Principles to life and drive them deep
into the corners of the organization so that they lasted well beyond our
time. We wanted to create an environment where those whose lives are
entrusted to us, felt listened to and cared for. So we called it the Living
Legacy of Leadership (L3) - leadership principles so profoundly powerful
they will stand the test of time. And because it is ongoing, we call it our
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - November/December 2015
Over the Wire
Proud to be a Papermaker
Solenis’ Total Mill Perspective Helps Mills Stay Competitive
Maintaining Knife Gate Valves
An Automated Solution to the Kappa Number Test by Titration
Higher Alloyed Composite Tubes Make Recovery Boilers Safer and More Efficient
TAPPI Journal Summaries
New Leadership Model Focuses on Caring, Compassion
Index of Advertisers
Paper360 - November/December 2015