Productivity in Crisis – Sustaining Productivity in an Era of Change | Gerry Cahill

Gerry Cahill Roche.  Productivity in Crisis.

Gerry is the Managing Director of Roche’s Pharmaceutical manufacturing facility located close to Ennis in County Clare.

The facility opened up in 1974, was put for sale in 2016 and is now due to close on at the end of 2019.

In 2016 300 people were let go and the feedback from HR was people were good but didn’t know what they know.  They could not sell themselves to employers.

This change in the company’s facility posed a serious management challenge in keeping people engaged for the 3 years of a closure scenario.

How do you turn misery into something positive?

The corporate mandate was the flawless supply of medicine which is life-saving, the only source world-wide with annual revenues of €700 million and produced in a highly regulated environment.

The local role was to upskill, apply skills at work to show success and give candidates successes that they could share in job interviews.  Management also wanted to leave the site with pride.

The Change message was clear to delivering above average results will improve job opportunities.  A series of lean tools and behaviours were use to articulate the benefits for both the business and theindividual.  The individual was rewarded with enhanced employability and building capability while the business received stability and capacity.

A report card in 2017 showed the programme was going in the right direction but with the brakes on with leadership not aligned, managing huge change and work streams not connected.  Difficult dialogue asked if management were “content with slightly above average performance”

The 2018 plan improved the process by a top down lean deployment and growing the learning organization with visual management, A3, Kata and leaders standard work enabling the upskilling of employees.

The results from the programme include some solid metrics with

  • 75% new roles
  • 72% external skills
  • 95% LEAN skills
  • -8% expenses
  • -17% cycle time
  • Increase compliance and engagement
  • And 1.3 million saved

Gerry finished his presentation by sharing his Leadership learnings including

  1. Should have a shared common purpose i.e. WHY
  2. Leaders must lead & roll-model behaviours
  3. Leaders don’t have all the answers!!!! It’s ok to say I don’t know!!!
  4. Take time to reflect
  5. Practice, practice, practice  …………
  6. Resource & Accelerate the Learning & Deployment
  7. Treat people like adults & build respect
  8. A learning organisation is fun (and challenging)