A Study in Principles That Drive Habitual Excellence

D. Geoffrey Webster

Geoff Webster published A Study in Principles That Drive Habitual Excellence, for the Shingo Institute, in which Geoff lends personal insights to the recent Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership study of the leadership values of Paul O'Neill.  Geoff provides examples that demonstrate O'Neill's principles in action.  For example, Geoff writes of the principle, “Respect Every Individual”:

“You may know that Paul used zero worker safety incidents as an anchor of Alcoa’s transformation.  You may not know that Paul specifically selected safety because it is a fundamental pre-condition for respect.  ‘Almost every organization has in its annual report the words ‘people are our most valuable asset,’ but looking at their safety data they have no evidence that it is true.'  By selecting the elimination of worker safety incidents as a pre-condition, and not as a priority to be traded against other values, Paul lives respect every day.”

Geoff concludes his post by saying,

“It is a valuable read for any leader pursuing habitual excellence in his or her organization.  I hope this publication from the Johnson Center, and these informal lessons I’ve learned from working with Paul, will add value to your understanding of the Shingo Guiding Principles and to your journey toward habitual excellence.”

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