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Cultural Change Management - 'Innovation Runs through Everything that We Do'

Presented by John Housego

The traditional hierarchy of a company involves a tiered model of upper and lower management; orders trickle down from the top and results trickle up from below. This model works for most and is widely adopted. But not at W.L. Gore & Associates, who, over the past 50 years of their operation, have adopted a model that will appear confusing and enlightening to most, in the continuous pursuit of growth and innovation.

  • Understanding the utmost importance of communication and interaction in business success
  • What does the flat-structure of W.L. Gore look like and what are its obvious implications?
  • What does it mean to be a 'values-based' company versus a traditional model? Exploring the 4 principles upon which this model is founded:
  • Commitment: no one tells anyone what to do; there are no job titles or descriptions and everyone is accountable for what they deliver
  • Fairness: always be fair in all internal and external transactions; always position a win-win approach to business
  • Water Line: everyone is in one boat; if you make a decision that translates into a hole in the boat above the water line, then take sole responsibility for your choice, but if it is below, consult and get advice
  • Freedom: take a promotional concept to your work and self-promote; there is no official salary grade and you are reviewed by your peers
  • Understanding the basic concept: no structure around departments means no restrictions to growth
John Housego, W.L. Gore & Associates
John Housego

Executive, W.L. Gore & Associates

John Housego joined Gore in 1996 as a process Engineer before taking manufacturing leadership commitments. His current commitment is helping the development of enterprise wide manufacturing business processes and automation systems. Before Gore John held engineering positions with Kodak and Eastman Kodak.