decisions as employee rewards, promotions, capital improvements, and areas for future growth.
Guardian then uses the information to make corporate decisions on aligning its resources with the
best investment opportunities. This process also allows the company to better align its manpower
and resources with its management strategy.
Thus, like the BB model, strategy is a continuous process with front-line mangers able to quickly
respond to challenges in the work and market place.
4. Resource Management
Plant managers have the freedom to manage resources. The company operates under a system
it calls “managed trust”. This means that while managers have dollar authority levels, they do not
need any approvals for amounts within these guidelines. This means that they acquire resources
when they need them rather than ‘spend or lose’ resources that they would have negotiated
under a traditional budgeting system. Plant managers report directly to the president; there are no
VPs of manufacturing. Managers also have complete authority to acquire and divest operational
resources such as people.
Plants continuously share information. All plants can see the performance of other plants. This
drives the sharing of knowledge and best practices. Managers are given freedom to visit other
plants to learn from their experiences. This form of knowledge sharing and peer learning happens
6. Measurement and Control
Also similar to the BB model, Guardian uses a select few performance measures to gauge
performance. But as Trofholz notes, there are no scorecards or fixed financial targets. “The
company posts selective measures online, making activity information visible to many of its
managers. You have the power to make mistakes but you must be held accountable for them,” he
said. However, while Guardian conducts a “post mortem” review of performance, its measures
are not as clear and straightforward as the BB model suggests. Trofholz...