All posts by John Psarouthakis

drjohn11aDr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, publisher of www.GavdosPress.com and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

The role of the humanities, arts, and social sciences has expanded in recognition that these are essential intellectual and cultural components of the creative spirit and ethos of education and scholarship at universities and particularly at technological institutes such as MIT. The humanities and social science faculty have played leadership roles in extending the global reach of many of the programs and in broadening the perspectives and expertise needed to engineer, manage, and set policy. MIT’s world-renowned strengths in economics and linguistics continues to build and evolve. Writing and the performing arts have continually expanded their importance and, in addition, have played a notable role in developing an appreciation of the role of diversity in living and learning. The visual arts have evolved in new directions and have expanded their strength and centrality in our institutions.

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Real Participative Management


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor.

Well, we have applied the “Better Makes Us Best” philosophy in JP Industries and the rewards were substantial. I would like to describe a few of our success stories.

I will begin by telling you what happened, as an example,  at one of the plants.

The plant manager 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 now called “Real Participative Management” – or RPM, which is rather apt in the Transportation Products industry.

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Apply new technology to old manufacturing


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

My goal IN BETTER MAKES US BEST (see previous article) 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.

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.

I wrote and published a book, describing the “Better Makes Us Best” philosophy, which was distributed free of cost to all of our employees – over 7,000 people at the time.

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How do we achieve a skilled workforce that is dedicated and committed?


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

How do we achieve a skilled workforce that is 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 should do. But I can tell you about what has worked for me – and showed great promise for the future.

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Key dominant technologies in the 21st century era.


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

Here is a list of Key technologies to become dominant as we look ahead.

•wireless networks

•all-optical networks

•intelligent software

•high-speed rail

•new spacecraft concepts

•gene therapy

•artificial organs

•self-assembling materials

•microscopic machinery

•high-temperature superconductivity

•industrial ecology

•sustainable agriculture

•the information economy.

will shape the longevity and the quality of life we will have.

Managing the Manufacturing Enterprise


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor.

We must recognize that the development and deployment of new technology is only one part of our competitiveness problem. Technology may, in fact, not be the primary or most important factor in regaining manufacturing competitiveness. Perhaps foremost among these other factors is a lack of ability in managing the manufacturing enterprise.

There are a number of ways in which our managerial shortcomings manifest themselves.

One is that many accepted management structures and practices do not interface well with advanced manufacturing technology. The product and process flexibility of new technologies, the linking together of different operational nodes on an electronic network, and the “knowledge-embededness” of the new technologies tends to make a traditional “bureaucratic” command structure obsolete. There is a much greater emphasis on inter-functional and interdepartmental integration in the organization of the future,as well as less of a need for hierarchy and accompanying rigid status structure. There is a requirement for multi-skilled employees, and greater responsibilities must be given to each of them than is required by task specialization.

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The Future Workforce

Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

Let us turn once again to general workforce issues. In this case, however, I would like to concentrate my observations on the workforce of the year 2025 and beyond,.

The entry-level workforce for the challenges ahead is now in the early grades. To understand what the implications of that statement are for the future of manufacturing, one needs to examine, a few demographics of that seven to twelve year old group which is now struggling with the basic skills of grammar and math school.

For one thing, that age cohort is  smaller than previous groups of the past twenty years. There has been a decline in fertility among most groups in this country, and unless reversed will result in a much smaller group of youths ready to start work as we look at the next couple decades. Again, manufacturing will be competing against all the other employment possibilities, but this time for a shrinking supply of person power.

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KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER PLATFORM


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

During the recent four decades we find ourselves in an accelerating, globally-interconnected, knowledge and technology driven times full of opportunities driven these accelerating knowledge and technologies, with ever more open national borders.

As the information and technology advancements gather momentum, society will, as always, look to university graduates, faculty, and staff for fundamental research, and for creative understanding and application of the knowledge they generate and engaging business, industry, governments, and other social institutions in new endeavors of learning, research, and problem solving. This will be an important element of the leading universities of the future.

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Accepting a job challenge–3

Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

A very important, in my opinion,  message I have for you at this point in time is based on my experiences and background:

Let me flesh it out by telling you some of the experiences and observations which lead me to this point of view.

First, about my accent.

What you would hear when i talk are lingering cadences of a town called Chania on the Greek island of Crete. I lived there until I was 19 and a half years old,

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100 years ago and Today–2

Dr. john Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

One hundred years and more ago  most Americans were still living and dying by their muscles. The overwhelming majority used their brawn to extract food from the topsail, or to extract resources from deep in the Earth, or – in increasing numbers – to hammer raw materials into some kind of usable product.

At the same time, business was also a creature of muscle. Building a railroad was not a subtle enterprise. Clear-cutting a million acres of trees was not a subtle enterprise. Pulling all the iron or gold or oil out of a particular region was not a subtle enterprise. Though I might add that even then a good engineer came in handy. I’ll let you guess what discipline I was educated in.

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