Apex Manufacturing* is a super place. It has super profits, super policies, super products, super productivity, super potential, and the ones who make this happen – super people.
This is the dramatic story of Arvind Patel*, owner and founder of Apex. When he speaks about the importance of workers, it sounds a bit like overselling. But after spending some time with him, we are convinced that there is more behind his management style that rhetoric. Much more.
He reminds his staff to “walk tall” with both his words and his deeds. He makes a point of going out on the shop floor at least twice a week to compliment those who have done exceptionally well, ask how things are going with the family, and check out the “climate” of the place.
His competitive strategy is based on quality and service, which seems to be what everybody is talking about these days. It is quite another thing to provide them to the customer, which Apex does.
An author of a magazine article observed that “the company’s success is primarily based on a considered strategy of building trust between employees and owners.”
From the outset, Arvind told key people the management philosophy was that “We are going down that highway right there. If you don’t understand it, shout. If you don’t agree, shout, and we will get it sorted out together.”
The vehicle for getting down that highway is Arvind’s management style, embodied in an assortment of informal corporate policies.
The closest we could come to a formal, explicit statement about his philosophy was a half-page bulletin he circulated among the company:
- People want to do a good job and be associated with success!
- People will do a good job if:
- They understand the need!
- They are provided facilities and equipment, procedures, material, know-how, and management that leads.
- Their efforts are recognised and appreciated.
- We attach no blame to “failures”.
- Everybody assumes responsibility for the product.
- We leave workers alone and allow them flexibility.
*The original name of the company and person are disguised to maintain confidentiality.
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