AME Conference, Latest

How fast can you get out of the way?

“BOOM!” From the very first opening comment, Billy Ray Taylor captivated our complete attention. His stories were riveting as they were personal and inspiring.

He gave us two choices to consider when we encounter FEAR:

  1. “Forget Everything And Run”
  2. “Face Everything And Rise”

“Too often companies look and sound like Toyota but we forget what it means to sustain. There is a hidden factory full of talent and potential. Human Potential.  When we give people a voice, we make them visible.”

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“When I first joined the Fayetteville plant, we were asked to make a 38,000 tires a day but we couldn’t seem to get anywhere close. I brought all the managers together in a room and asked them what the ticket was but only two or three could tell me. That’s when I knew if the managers of the company did not know what our goal was, how could we expect the people working here to achieve it?  Do you get what you expect, or expect what you get?”

“The most important thing is to define winning by the importance of your own core values”, and Billy Ray Taylor told us the story of how his mother held to her principles and change him forever.

Billy Ray Taylor coined the 10 second rule. “If you can’t understand a report within 10 seconds, it’s too confusing. Complex financial reports with reams of numbers don’t resonate with most people. So how can you design your reports so that you know the status of it within 10 seconds?”

“We have to be brutally honest with each other, so we opened up a mall and have the people from the floor give feedback to the people from the office and walk through their work areas.  At the same time we had people from the office walking to the plant areas and giving feedback. Because really, this is for all of us and that is what really matters.”

“We have to find the ugly baby — you know the one at the grocery store when you complement a new mother about how beautiful her baby is by the color of the eyes when it’s actually the ugliest baby you’ve ever seen!”  The point is we have to take off your rose colored glasses and her blinders in order to get a clear picture of what the current condition is and we need to be open with our communications and invite people with different perspectives to look at our work.

“When you unleashed talent, the challenge is how fast can you get out of the way? Give people trust and they will give you value. When we make people visible, we give them rewards metals recognition. When we achieve our goals it is important that people feel like we care enough to give them some recognition like a plaque.” In recognition for her great service, Billy Taylor presents Pat Wardwell with a plaque during his keynote speech to drive the point of integrity deeper.

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Billy Ray Taylor bought everyone in the Lafayette plant, a football jersey with the number 38 on it. Everyone knew what the ticket was in the goal was 38,000 tires and they achieved it. “You have to understand the culture that you’re getting into and undersigned at people side of lean.  Impossible is not a fact, it is an opinion.  I am nobody’s boss, I work for them.”


Thanks to AME for taking the two pictures in this post.