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114 Businessexcellence November 07 President and COO Tom Carmazzi tells Keith Regan how Tuthill Corp. believes in developing leaders for long term gains, rather than going for a quick fi x Thelearningzone

November 07 Businessexcellence 115 As part of the development of Conscious Leaders, global manufacturer Tuthill Corp. encourages key employees to think about what they most want to be doing. “We ask them what they want to do that would have them very energized,” says president and chief operating officer Tom Carmazzi. “What will compel them to get up before the alarm clock goes off in the morning.” That approach underscores Tuthill’s belief in focusing on people first. The company’s customized version of continuous improvement, known as the Tuthill Business System (TBS), places heavy emphasis on training “conscious” leaders first, with the belief that doing so will eventually create ongoing improvements that will impact the bottom-line. “We focus on developing leaders,” Carmazzi says. “Those leaders then create and inspire teams that focus on business drivers, which in turn will drive results.” Tuthill recognizes that the passion stirred in its workers may cause them to make choices to pursue other interests. In fact, one plant manager resigned to return home to his agricultural roots in Iowa. “He said he wanted to pick apples with his son from the tree he planted with his father. I do not want to compete with that,” Carmazzi says. Instead, the company wants to help employees make these transitions and find their true calling, even if outside the firm. “The philosophy is that if folks are doing what they love, they’ll do it much better than if they’re just punching the clock. Yes, we may have a very small percentage of our employees that will leave us when they realize there are things that they love more that cannot be supported by staying at Tuthill, but the balance of the folks are going to be more excited about what they do.” Tuthill got its start in 1892 as a foundry that made many of the bricks used to build the city of Chicago. It has since evolved into a diversified manufacturer with 25 factories around the world and nine business lines: Tuthill Controls Group, Tuthill Coupling Group, Tuthill Drive Systems, Tuthill Plastics Group, Tuthill Pump Group, Tuthill Transfer Systems, Tuthill Transport Technologies, Tuthill Vacuum & Blower Systems, and Tuthill China. Customers, include OEMs such as John Deere, Caterpillar, Boeing and Freightliner. The company, which is headquartered in Burr Ridge, Illinois, does about $400 million a year in sales and employs about 2,300 people. In 2006 the company issued its first Vision, Mission, Values and Brand statement. The focus for 2007 has been on Conscious Leadership to make that statement a reality. “It’s all based on people, so that’s where we knew we had to start,” Carmazzi says. “We wanted to get to a point where TBS and our conscious leadership efforts were shaking hands and creating a much more powerful company than either could alone. To ensure our leadership understands this relationship, a training process was created that included a case study in which team leaders are presented with a scenario in which an entire business unit’s leaders depart the company, presenting an urgent need for a turnaround that is at once a crisis and an opportunity. The intention is to immediately plunge the participants into the learning zone as teams are asked to come up with the “least waste” way plan to turn the imaginary business unit around. “What’s neat is that after they finish the case they start to realize that if they can do this in a hypothetical situation, why not in the real world, and they start to bring it back to their jobs,” Carmazzi notes. “We really are not following any leadership book and we’re not in any way saying we’ve got this right, but this is something that seems to be working well with our folks. What we’re trying to do in a very fundamental way is to get folks to step into the learning zone and out of their comfort zone. From there, they can see some possibilities they didn’t see before.” This approach will mean a longer timeline for end results, but the company’s owner, Jay Tuthill, is willing to wait a little longer TuthillCorp. “We focus on developing leaders. Those leaders then create and inspire teams that focus on business drivers, which in turn will drive results”