A May 14, 2012 article in Fortune Magazine, “The Man Who Got Honeywell’s Groove Back” explains how CEO Dave Cote achieved the amazing turnaround using several disciplines, one of which was accountability. Through accountability he changed the culture, implemented a new strategy and boosted profitability.
I believe there are three keys to establishing accountability: vision, communication and measures. One of the problems Cote faced was a culture clash created by previous merger attempts of Allied Signal, Honeywell and Pittway, a fire and safety company. These organizations’ cultures were in constant conflict. By establishing a clear vision, Cote aligned the people and cultures to pull in the same direction.
He then established clear communications at all levels to let people know what was expected. He sent a team to Toyota to learn Lean, but did not apply massive layoffs to reduce costs. He knew that would demoralize the workforce, so he used a series of furloughs to reduce costs instead.
Finally, Cote implemented clear metrics to keep the focus of the organization on the right things. One of these was headcount.
Through strong, clearly communicated vision and a system of metrics to help people know how they are doing, organizations can really turn the corner to Operations innovation and financial performance. Accountability is a vital component of that transformation.
© 2012 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved