In-Sink: Good to Great: A Process, Not A Milestone
By Dean Sink, Mickey President
In 2014 Mickey Truck Bodies had a great year – the best in our 110-year history, in fact. Over the holidays I reflected on this achievement, searching for the single watershed event, or series of events, that turned a good year into a great year. I couldn’t put my finger on anything specific. I revisited the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, a leadership guru who studies great companies and what makes them tick.
Within his list of good-to-great corporate transformations, which includes the likes of Abbott Laboratories, Fannie Mae, Kimberly-Clark, Nucor Corp., Wells Fargo and Kroger, Collins found the same thing: “There was no miracle moment. Instead, a down-to-earth, pragmatic, committed-to-excellence process — a framework — kept each company, its leaders and its people on track for the long haul.”So I stopped looking at 2014 and began looking at Mickey over the past several years, a span in which we have consistently improved employee safety, productivity, sales, profitability and virtually every other measure year over year. I looked at our “committed-to-excellence process.” Here’s what I saw:
1. Employee safety is our #1 priority.
2. 100% customer satisfaction is our absolute commitment.
3. We communicate with and at all levels of our organization; we share our successes, as well as our failures, so that we learn and improve together, as a single team. We talk to each other – not at each other. We are great as a team.
4. Not only do we grow by getting better at what we’ve always done, we also grow by finding better ways to do the things we have always done, and also by doing things we have never done before.
5. And last but certainly not least: we innovate. Great companies innovate, and I’m not just talking about new products. When you Google “innovate” here’s what you get: “Make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas or products.”
Innovation is part of the “committed-to-excellence” process at Mickey. Every single person that works at Mickey has the opportunity, the ability and the responsibility to innovate. We innovate the way we do our jobs by finding new and better methods of working safer, smarter and more productively. We are absolutely committed to offering products that truly innovate each of the industries we serve; products that help our customers work safer, smarter and more productively and make more money.
So we had a great year. That’s what great companies do. They have great years.