Not long ago, materials were cheap and labor was expensive. Today, the reverse is true, which is why it makes sense to re-shore production in many sectors. But more importantly, the product is increasingly part of the process, driving more companies to embed their know-how and innovativeness with the product itself, says GE CEO Jeff Immelt. That and the prospect of cheaper energy due to the fracking revolution will boost manufacturing in America.
According to a recent Dallas Morning News story, a vast majority of Americans believe engineers are among the least likely professionals to succeed at the top of the corporate ladder. This, despite the fact that a third of all S&P 500 company CEOs had majored in engineering as undergraduates, according to a Spencer Stuart study. There is a reason why engineers make good CEOs…but don’t tell the folks in finance or sales.
Sixty years ago, Japan lay in a burned out heap of debris. America sent statistician and management consultant Dr. W. Edwards Deming to help - and indeed he did. What can American leaders, particularly those in manufacturing, learn from this historical improvement in culture to improve themselves?