Director, labour relations and empowerment, Michelin Group
Seminar Business life | Friday February 3, 2017 - 9h30 - 12h00
After Michelin applied a rational quality programme to improve industrial performance called the ‘Michelin Manufacturing Way’, productivity greatly increased, but employees appeared to lack motivation. Workers and middle management felt confined by the constraints imposed. The Group launched a project to empower those involved in the company starting with the lower levels of employees and moving up the hierarchy to management. Bertrand Ballarin, who was in charge of this project, instigated an initial step which involved thirty-eight production units in eighteen Michelin factories. This phase produced credible results at the end of twelve months, after which five sites were asked to disseminate the experiences of the demonstrator production units, to oversee and to develop how support structures worked (assessing methods, analysing relations between hierarchical levels, and so on), and devise new managerial guidelines. Such procedures are revolutionary for Michelin which is gradually implementing them in a conservative way, while dealing with the inherent complexity common to very large companies, while still managing to preserve a corporate history which is more than a century old.
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