Its been a while since I passed on a profound thought that I wrote down from this year’s Global Leadership Summit, hosted by Willow Creek Church.
Horst Schulze, CEO of the Capella Hotel Group (and former president of the Ritz Carlton hotel chain) has implemented this employee policy: if anyone hears of a problem for a customer, at that moment the employee owns that problem and they are empowered up to $2000 to fix it. Wow!
As I’ve thought about Horst’s comment over the past couple of months, I’ve come to understand that Pixar Studios has a similar approach with their employees being able to stop the presses to speak up about a potential (or real problem).
I also have read about W. Edwards Demings, who helped launch the Japanese renaissance of bringing quality to manufacturing back in the 50’s-70’s. Employees on assembly lines were given permission in many Japanese facilities to “pull the cord” – to stop the lines because they observed some sort of quality deficiency.
So, leaders and you know who you are:
* Are those individuals who report to you empowered to make decisions on the fly to satisfy their customers?
* Are those individuals who report to you caring enough about your business (and your customers) to be on the lookout for ways they can improve your business and the customer experience, or are they contented to come to work to get a paycheck and follow the letter of doing just what their job description outlines?
* Lastly, have you come to recognize that if the answers to either of the previous two questions are “no”, maybe its not your co-worker’s problem, maybe its yours? What are you going to do about it?