Productivity: TOTAL EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT


As the founder of a Fortune 500 company, I view the future in
terms of what it offers for business.

But I also see that the edge of our prosperity is wearing thin. Our manufacturing base is eroding, our technology is being used more fruitfully in other countries and our reputation for producing quality products has almost vanished.

The huge negative trade balance affects our future.

I am not here today to talk about technology and manufacturing directly. What I have in mind is the quality of our workforce and how it interacts with technological advances and manufacturing methods.

How do we achieve a skilled workforce that1 s dedicated and committed?

That will seek to eliminate inefficiencies?

That will be flexible in the face of rapid product changeovers?

That will be open to new ways of doing things?

That will renew America’s reputation for quality?

I cannot generalize about what everyone that reads this article should do. But I can tell you about what has worked for me while I managed JP Industries, Inc – that showed great promise for the future.

At J.P. Industries we had a philosophy called “Better Makes Us Best.”

Let me take just a couple of minutes to describe the background of this philosophy and then I will share with you some of our success stories.

“Better Makes Us Best” is a philosophy I have followed all of my life. I have overcome adversities throughout the years by believing the following:

By striving to perform better each day than we did the day before, and by setting realistic, attainable and yet worthy goals, we can be more successful and more fulfilled. Goals stimulate us to move forward. Goals are the yardstick by which we measure our growth and performance.

My goal was to apply new technology to old manufacturing processes, to transform underperforming companies into profitable ventures. Some of the underperforming companies we acquired were in danger of losing supplier status with their customers. While that is no longer true — one division alone won 33 quality awards back then.

You can provide machinery and technology but if you lack employee commitment the formula won’t work. The buildings, the machines, don’t really do much unless people have the motivation, the desire and the know-how to do a good job. They turn it around. We provide leadership and creative management.

Some time ago, I wrote and published a book, describing the “Better Makes Us Best” philosophy, which was distributed free to all of our employees – over 8,000 people at the time.

That was important because it got the word out on the plant floor that we were serious about this philosophy. We wanted everyone to start thinking about how to be better. Then we backed up this effort by encouraging managers and supervisors to stimulate discussion at the plant level along the same lines.

We also asked our managers to file reports describing their efforts. The responses were gratifying. People actually began thinking about how they could perform their daily tasks better, about how they could improve working conditions, about how they could increase output and make better products.

They began to understand that job security is a two-way street. As a corporation, we provide jobs. The employees responsibility is to perform those jobs to the best of their abilities, to acquire training (which we provided) and to be flexible in the face of change.

I would like to interject here that one of the things our employees learned was economic literacy. That is important because the traditional employee in the United States is economically illiterate. He doesn’t understand how his performance affects the company or the economy. If he’s careless the company can lose a customer; that customer may go abroad for suppliers if he can obtain better quality parts overseas. But if that employee is careful, his company may win more business, achieving its security in the global marketplace — which, in turn, gives the employee job security.

Well, we built on the “Better Makes Us Best” philosophy the rewards were substantial. I would like to describe a few of our success stories.

I will begin by telling you what happened at the plant Atlantic, Iowa.as an example

A little over a year before our plant manager there decided there was a need for change – to meet the demands of the marketplace and remain competitive. We provided him with opportunities to review alternatives and he eventually selected a program the plant employees called “Real Participative Management” – or RPM, which was rather apt in the Transportation Products industry.

The crux of the program was actually an extension of “Better Makes Us Best” because it teaches employees to consider the needs of three groups:

* The investor: wants good returns on his (or her) investment;

* The customer: wants on-time delivery, high quality and cost efficiency;

* The employee: wants job security, better wages and fringe benefits and involvement in decisions affecting him (or her).

If the employees perform better each day, they influence all of these demands in a positive way.

And dramatic changes have occurred. In the six months’ time the plan has been operative profits have increased almost 100 percent at the plant; the cost of quality has decreased by 20 percent; and productivity has increased 20 percent.

Of course, one of the keys to these successes is having the proper management talent because while employees have the opportunity to influence management, the final decisions remain with management. You have to have in place or be willing to train management to have the proper attitude to influence these cultural changes within the organization. Our corporate philosophy has provided the framework for this to be true at J.P. Industries.

Another key to the program’s success is employee willingness to spend time in extensive training. Employee involvement requires education in learning to accept responsibility for change and improvement on a personal level. Again, I believe “Better Makes Us Best” provided the framework for our employees to move forward.

At another one of our plants in McConnelsville, Ohio, was operating on the team concept. We negotiated with the union to achieve a single classification for all of the 40 employees in the plant. Thus, all of them are salaried and receive the same benefits. Supervisors work as part of a team with everyone trained to perform the electrical, mechanical, set up, maintenance and operating jobs.

We provided the training –I think more corporations are going to have to take on the task of backing training programs for prospective employees if we are going to attain the kind of skilled labor we need in this country to compete in the global marketplace. In some cases in the future, corporations may even have to assume the responsibility for educating their employees in basic skills, either on their own or working with schools in their areas or regions. And I’m not just talking about vocational skills which can become outmoded more quickly than we’d like to think. I’m talking about basic skills of reading, writing, mathematics and geography.

If you can’t read, how can you operate computer controlled machinery? If you don’t know geography, how can you understand the global marketplace?

Getting back to McConnelsville, while we have experienced some start up problems with a new product line, we know our employees are dedicated. There has been no turnover. We don’t measure absenteeism because there isn’t any. Employees are working to help improve the speed of the line. And employees are working with management to set up their own shift schedules.

Now our Grand Haven, Michigan, plant begun the process toward employee participation. The managers and supervisors completed 18 weeks of training as a first step toward getting everyone involved.

I need to emphasize, however, that to accomplish this goal, you must provide direction from the top and be sure the proper atmosphere is communicated to cultivate acceptance because this is a scary idea for some employees «they have to learn how to want to be responsible. And you have to let them believe they can and should be.

We worked to help our employees understand that “Better Makes Us Best” is not distant or abstract. It begins as a personal and individual commitment that blossoms as people who believe similarly work together each day to perform better than they did the day before.

Employees working together who truly believe “Better Makes Us Best” can be a driving force in energizing the workplace across the United States.

This is my adopted homeland and I want to see America strong!

But it’s not just a personal desire; it is a belief that we can change the course of what is happening in our industries, in our manufacturing plants and laboratories. If we provide leadership, education and training – and the spirit to be better every day — we will remain competitive in the global marketplace.

The Business-Week magazine at that time in a whole page article wrote about our philosophy and the results and recommended that other companies adopt our approach.

About us in JPManagement Center

In today’s technologically driven world there is access to more information now than ever before, but navigating through the abundance of material available can be incredibly overwhelming and time consuming. With just a few keystrokes in a search engine you can find facts on any topic imaginable. Information and facts, however, are not enough to indefinitely sustain a business. There must be knowledge. Knowledge is born when facts and information come together to create a deep understanding of an idea, concept, principle, model, or design—the type of understanding that helps the individual, company, or corporation to make decisions that produce long-term growth and productivity.

At JPMCenter.LLC, we believe knowledge is invaluable. It informs us, challenges us, and helps us build on our talents, but acquiring knowledge takes time.

At JPMCenter.LLC we value and respect your time. Each of the materials, products, and services is designed to be accessible any time and any place. Our goal is to help you implement the knowledge you need on your own schedule.

We focus on equipping men and women in business with the information and tools necessary to gain the knowledge they need to keep their business healthy and growing. We don’t make get rich schemes or make broad guarantees. What we do promise is access to content generated by experts and industry professionals and tailored specifically to help businessmen and businesswomen grow as informed leaders. 

We will soon be announcing the posting of an updated site on Knowledge Transfer: drjp.com

Contact us via drjohn@jpmcenter.com if you wish to know more about us and particularly about our Knowledge Transfer Platform.

100 years old will be the new 60

By Peter Diamandis, PhD, MD.

This posting is Dr. Diamandis email sent to me shortly ago’

For the first time in history, leading scientists and entrepreneurs believe there’s a way to slow aging — and maybe even reverse it.The latest research on longevity suggests there is no reason that people born today can’t live to at least 120 years old… perhaps even to 150 and beyond.How would you change your life if you could live to 120 years old and remain healthy?What would you do differently today?Last week we explored the “Longevity Mindset.” Today and next week, I’ll do a quick review of the latest advancements toward rewiring the biology of aging. Every year, I take a group of my Abundance 360 Members on a “Platinum Longevity Trip” to meet with the cutting-edge researchers and companies. Following are some of the companies and technologies we observed that have the potential to increase your healthspan — the amount of time you have to live a healthy and functional life, avoiding expensive end-of-life care.

Over the past two decades, the cost of sequencing the human genome has dropped 100,000-fold: from $100 million per genome, to below $1,000 per genome (current estimates are as low as $300)
Genome sequencing can uncover disease susceptibilities years before symptoms present, allowing for personalized preventative care to begin sooner than ever before. 
For example, the Cancer Genome Atlas Program at the NIH is currently using gene sequencing to decode the genetic underpinnings of 30 cancer types.
Perhaps the most impactful potential of low-cost genome sequencing is its ability to be used in what is called a liquid biopsy — the ability to find free-flowing cancer DNA in your bloodstream that might indicate the existence of an undetected cancer in your body.  And, as we know, finding cancer at stage-zero or stage-one is the key to survival. 
There are two major companies we visited with during our Platinum Longevity Trip:
Cancer detection company GRAIL analyzes the mutated, fractionated DNA and RNA from cancer cells in your blood (from a simple blood draw) to diagnose over 50 cancer types in early stages. GRAIL recently received an $8 billion buy-out offer from biotech giant Illumina.
Freenome takes a similar approach to early cancer diagnosis from a real-time blood draw (called a liquid biopsy), initially focused on colon cancer. Freenome’s multiomics platform analyzes fragments of DNA, RNA, and protein from the cancer and from the host response. This form of precision medicine bridges early detection and early intervention to boost human healthspan. 

Gene Therapy
One of the most powerful technologies now available in the fight for longevity is called gene therapy — a technology theorized in the 1980s that has taken almost 40 years to mature. Gene therapy allows scientists to use a vector (typically an Adeno Associated Virus) to carry a desired gene to a set of desired cells in an organism. Want a specific gene put into retinal cells, or bone marrow, or neurons? No problem, there’s a gene therapy approach for that.
A new biotech start-up called Gordian Biotechnology is using the convergence of gene therapy and single cell sequencing to run hundreds of thousands of independent experiments in a single animal to determine the therapeutic effects of specific gene additions on specific cells of interest. Because aging is such a multifactorial process, this approach can run thousands of parallel experiments to tackle the many complexities of age-related diseases simultaneously. 
Next week, we’ll learn about a company called Rejuvenate Bio, and an extraordinary researcher named Dr. David Sinclair who is using gene therapy to potentially rejuvenate animals with the ultimate goal of age reversal in humans.

CRISPR: Cut, Paste, and Search Your Genes 
In addition to Gene Therapy, the other incredible tool in our longevity research arsenal is CRISPR. 
You may know CRISPR as the molecular scissors that can edit genes — think CTRL X (cut) and CTRL V (paste). But beyond cutting and pasting, CRISPR can also be used to help find and identify a sequence of DNA in your cell, sort of a “CTRL F” functionality. This discovery is so important and transformative that the Nobel Prize was just awarded this month to Dr. Jennifer Doudna of Gladstone Institutes for its discovery.
Here are several other exciting CRISPR developments:

Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology is using CRISPR to edit the T-cells of the immune system that play critical roles in cancer, infection, and autoimmunity. CRISPR can delete mutated genes or add new DNA to reprogram the T-cells. This personalized approach takes advantage of the body’s own immune system to tackle complex diseases. 
Rather than snipping and replacing genes, Mammoth Biosciences has programmed CRISPR proteins to locate and cleave target genes, acting as “molecular shredders.” The cleaved gene serves as a molecular readout if the target is successfully bound, enabling CRISPR to serve as a diagnostic tool. Additionally, the company’s novel CRISPR proteins (cas14, casV) exist in the micro and nano scales, opening the door for new delivery systems at smaller scales than ever before.
With the recent breakthroughs in CRISPR and Gene Therapy technologies, a variety of strategies for reversing disease have been tried. Yet countless experiments remain, and that’s where AI can help.

Artificial Intelligence: Catalyzing Discovery 
The explosion of novel imaging, sensing, and sequencing tools has unleashed an abundance of patient data. 
But bringing together this information across millions of patients to form actionable insights can only be achieved with Artificial Intelligence. 
One of the leading companies in this area is Insilico Medicine, which is leveraging AI in its end-to-end drug pipeline, extending healthy longevity through drug discovery and aging research. 
In their comprehensive drug discovery engine, Insilico uses millions of samples and multiple data types to A) discover signatures of diseases, and B) identify the most promising targets for billions of molecules. These molecules either already exist or can be generated de novo with the desired set of parameters.
Insilico uses an AI technique called generative adversarial networks (GANs) to “imagine” novel molecular structures. With reinforcement learning, Insilico’s system lets you generate a molecule with any of up to 20 different properties to hit a specified target.
Thanks to converging breakthroughs in machine learning, drug discovery and molecular biology, companies like Insilico can now do with 50 people what the pharmaceutical industry can barely do with an army of 5,000.
Another extraordinary company on the Longevity Platinum Trip was a company out of the Buck Institute called Edifice Health, which has developed the ability to determine your “inflammatory age” using advanced AI to score biomarkers of immune health. Inflammation is a leading contributor to most chronic illnesses, and greater awareness of this symptom will enhance preventative care. Even more important than measuring inflammatory age, Edifice Health is screening thousands of molecules to determine which can quell such inflammation.
An additional company out of the Buck Institute is Gerostate Alpha, a pharmaceutical company that is using large-scale AI to test millions of compounds for their ability to extend the life of a worm-like creature called the nematode. Once they get a hit in nematodes (rather short-lived creatures), they will then test the molecules in mice and eventually in humans. The company is testing millions of compounds in parallel, hoping to literally discover the pharmaceutical fountain of youth. 
In next week’s blog, we’ll continue to review other exciting companies on the cutting-edge of longevity science, diving more into gene therapy, senolytic medicines, vaccines, and stem cells.

Join Me at Abundance 360
If tracking the latest breakthroughs in longevity is something you desire… If developing a Longevity Mindset is important to you, then consider joining my Abundance 360 Mastermind. 
Every year, my team and I select a group of 360 entrepreneurs and CEOs to coach over the course of a year-long program. A360 starts each January with a live event and continues every two months with Implementation Workshops, in which I personally coach members in small groups over Zoom. (In January 2021, you have a choice of live “in-person” or “virtual” participation. See the A360 website for more info.)
My mission is to help A360 members identify their massively transformative purpose, select their moonshot, and hone an Abundance, Exponential, and Longevity Mindset. Together we will actively select and reinforce your preferred mindsets.

To learn more and apply, visit abundance360.com