SHOP FLOOR INSTEAD OF LECTURE HALL

Without Freudenberg, the air in indoor rooms would not be as pure, cars would not drive and wounds would not heal as quickly. And these are only three examples illustrating thousands of applications.

Freudenberg is successful through change. The company continues to evolve daily. With its unique expertise in materials, systems and technology, Freudenberg continuously adapts to new developments and plays an active role in shaping them. From chrome tanning and the Simmerring to the most sophisticated components in medical technology or for mobility: For the past 170 years, the company has focused on finding groundbreaking solutions that contribute to its customers’ success while promoting sustainable development of the environment and society.

With around 50,000 employees in 60 countries, four independent business units, and more than € 9.4 billion in sales – Freudenberg is a true global player. The Group’s headquarters are in Weinheim in the heart of Germany’s Rhine-Neckar region.

INITIAL SITUATION

Freudenberg has set up a global qualification program to promote an entrepreneurial mindset among site managers. The “Operations Leadership Program” (OLP) is targeted at the leaders of the 200 or so production sites throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.

The qualification program was not intended as an intellectual training program in a lecture hall, but instead had a direct link to the Shop Floor. The training needed to promote professional and, above all, personal development. One thing was certain – there was no off-the-shelf solution for this.

Dr. Makoto Makabe, Director Corporate Learning & Development

The decision to implement the training program together with Staufen AG was, therefore, not least due to the Best Practice visits, which were to be held both inside and outside the Freudenberg Group. Staufen consultants’ many years of experience with this learning method and the large network of- partners was absolutely convincing.

Results

The training does not offer patent remedies or even specific instructions that apply equally to everyone later on. Every attendee will have something else that they will take away with them. In addition to the core elements relating to  self-reflection and learning from others each module focuses on specific topics ranging from operational excellence to supply chain management and compliance. The topic of leadership plays a central role in all modules. Every attendee is responsible for transferring the content covered to their own roles, that of their team and the respective organization.

It is well known that learning takes place outside the comfort zone. It’s completely normal for leaders to not always be particularly thrilled when they hold up a mirror to themselves. Especially since this approach with no template-like learning objective also takes away the attendee’s’ outlet to complain about requirements from the head office. But the feeling of being part of a ”community of excellence” after the program and being prepared to take on your own corporate responsibility really makes up for everything.  

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