Leadership Excellence: Around the world in 480 minutes

December 15, 2021 | Leadership and Organizational Development, Leadership und Organisationsentwicklung, Staufen Academy

Staufen BestPractice Tour 

Transformation of the economy and society is gaining more and more momentum. The dynamics of change require “effective leadership” from a company’s management – especially in times of rapidly changing conditions. All levels of a company are put to the test: What is being preserved and what needs to be changed to ensure the success of the organization? How can employees get involved in achieving the company’s goals in a climate of cooperation and trust? 

In the full-day Staufen workshop “Leadership Excellence” at the end of November, participants gained insight into the individual levels and framework conditions of leadership. The workshop took place virtually, as all live offerings of this year’s BestPratice Day unfortunately had to be postponed to summer 2022 due to the Corona pandemic. In the workshop, the participants then worked out in three groups, based on the Staufen Leadership Framework, how to succeed in “leading yourself,” “leading others” and “leading an organization.” 

Afterwards, the participants went on a virtual international BestPractice Tour around the globe, which was also originally planned as such. On this trip, successful managers from different areas described the projects they implemented together with Staufen. At Rittal, MTU Aero Engines, Endress+Hauser and Embraer, up to 100 “passengers” gained insights into leadership initiatives and new plant organizations. 

Participants of the Staufen BestPractice Tour

Rittal: Lean Transformation as a holistic process

After the virtual take-off, the first stop was Rittal in China. The largest company in the German Friedhelm Loh Group produces housings for air conditioning units, control cabinets and IT infrastructure at its Shanghai site. The company identified some fundamental flaws that had caused productivity to decline year over year. 

Michael Galler, Vice President Operations, presented the Lean Transformation in detail with regards to the structure of the organization, the strategy and the culture of the company. Cultural change played a prominent role, both among managers and employees. Guiding principles were developed for both, which today stand for continuous optimization in daily cooperation.  

Lean Transformation led to a measurable increase in performance at Rittal within five years. Michael Galler: “We have made holistic advancements as a result.” Among other things, the employee turnover rate was reduced by 68 percent and customer complaints dropped by 28 percent. Lean Transformation also brought enormous improvements in lead times, reliability and costs. 

MTU Aero Engines: Shop Floor Management improves competitiveness 

Back in Germany, the participants took a company tour of engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines in Munich. There, they learned from Ulrich Peters, Head of Production, and René Rohne, Director Continuous Improvement Program, how all levels of the management system have been carefully reviewed in recent years and, with the help of Shop Floor Management, have been developed into a very efficient tool that helps the company position itself for the future in a competitive environment.  

Shop Floor Management was developed in close consultation with all stakeholders in order to achieve a sustainable impact. Today, key figures are communicated transparently and used to control daily processes. Ulrich Peters: “It was important for our success that we flexibly adapted the tool to the needs of individual departments so that it would be accepted. For example, in some of our administrative departments, the tool is called Office Management instead of Shop Floor Management. Just a little thing, but it feels better for people that way.” 

Ulrich Peters, Head of Production, MTU Aero Engines and René Rohne, Director Continuous Improvement Program, MTU Aero Engines

Endress+Hauser: One-piece flow ensures greater efficiency

From Munich, we flew over the Alps to Endress+Hauser in Pessano. Gianfranco Migliarotti, CFO & HR Director gave the participants a virtual tour of the Italian division of the Swiss supplier of equipment for process engineering. Temperature measuring instruments are manufactured in Pessano. “When we started the transformation, we were already successful. But we have improved our performance even further,” says the CFO. “To do that, we thought about a completely new model of the factory.” 

The production processes were converted to one-piece flow. As in many small mini-factories, agile teams act autonomously today. Shop Floor Management enables managers and employees to manage potential performance deviations on a daily basis and initiate targeted countermeasures. 

Giancarlo Oriani, General Manager, Staufen Italia and Gianfranco Migliarotti, HR Director & CFO, Endress+Hauser

Embraer: Getting through the crisis thanks to Lean Management

The last stop took the participants to Brazil to aircraft manufacturer Embraer. Francisco Gomes Neto, President & CEO gave an impressive description of how the Corona consequences (lockdown, travel restrictions, etc.) have affected the entire aircraft industry and thus also his company. But that was not all: In the middle of the pandemic, an intended joint venture with Boeing failed. 

Embraer CEO explained how the company has held its own during this dual crisis: “Focusing on lean principles has helped Embraer recover,” he said. “We have a disciplined team of 18,000 employees who are all connected and focused on the company’s results.” That helped the aircraft maker write black figures again. 

Francisco Gomes Neto, President & CEO, Embraer, Remco Peters, Partner, Staufen.AG, and Dario Spinola, General Manager, Staufen.Táktica


After landing, the participants had three key insights in their luggage: 

  • Excellent processes require excellent leadership for sustainability in performance and culture. 
  • Companies need a holistic strategic approach that includes structures, processes and cultural aspects. 
  • Lean Transformation requires time and energy at all levels of the organization. 

More interesting topics

Contact us

Want to learn more about Lean Transformation and operational excellence? We look forward to speaking with you. 

Remco Peters

Remco Peters, Partner, STAUFEN.AG

Eric Timmer, Senior Expert, STAUFEN.AG

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