Time runs - Poland performs and progresses
On 18 and 19 January a group of managers from BSB Industry paid a visit to the Gdansk area in Poland. The two days offered the participants an overview of the past, present and future of their own company, introduction to CBI (Continuous Business Improvement), insight into Poland's present day history -and an inspiring visit to the windows manufacturer DOVISTA Polska.
Despite the condensed programme of the two days, the participants claimed not to be left with a feeling of stress because of the red thread running through the many and varied perspectives of the visit. The participants saw a society and a company that are in a continuous state of vivid progress, not only just these days but also over the past decade because human beings continue to perform, improve and learn.
This is a brief account from two condensed days in northern Poland.
'Time' is critical to everybody with a meaningful job, a loving family and in good health. There are just so many opportunities to see, hear, read, understand and experience. Work, family and friends offer so much for you to 'accumulate' and so much to 'consummate' Most of the readers of this newsletter find themselves in a part of their lives thus privileged –and know all about their challenges of the 'many options' versus 'too little time'. As an individual and as an organisation one way of overcoming the challenge is to combine several perspectives. This was exactly what a group of managers from BSB Industry did in Gdansk in Poland on 18 and 19 January 2017. These two days offered updates and information from the management, CBI training, Polish history, networking and an inspiring visit to another company.
The base for day 1 was the welcoming family hotel 'Trzy Stawy' (The Three Lakes) on the outskirts of Gdansk. The group of BSB managers were introduced to the core messages about where the company originally came from, where it is today and where it is heading in the future by CEO Teddy Norsgaard Jørgensen and the two owners Bjarne Elneff and Benny Elneff. This was topped up by CBI training conducted by internal and external experts –Marcin Foks and yours truly.
Towards the end of the first day the group went on a guided tour of the Solidarność Museum, just recently heralded as the best new museum in Europe in 2016. The museum relates the adventurous and yet true story about how a people's movement headed a 'change management process' which, with Gdansk as it basis, changed world history during a decade, meant the breakdown of an empire and lead to the first free elections in Eastern Europe after World War II. After the museum visit, everybody went for a tour of the city centre of Gdansk, which despite the harshness of the winter told of a city that has been warm and alive for centuries and not only for a few boisterous years in the 80s. Day 1 was rounded off with a Polish dinner that made the foreigners who were familiar with the Polish cuisine happy -and gave those who were unfamiliar with it a surprise. The food and beverages were absolutely stunning.
Day 2 took place at DOVISTA Polska. DOVISTA Polska is about half an hours' drive from Gdansk. The company manufactures high-quality windows and doors for the Northern European markets for VELFAC and Rationel. The company's CEO and CFO offered an introduction to the company. They told the attendants about a company and an organisation characterised by rapid growth and development. They now count in excess of 2 000 members of staff, and the company is constantly introducing hundreds of improvements in order to make good products and good processes even better.
During the visit, we met with various managers and employees who in very specific terms and in a committed manner told the visitors about how they are involved in the continued improvement efforts denoted 'Living Future Excellence'. Among the contributors were the FutEx manager who told us about systems and training, the quality assurance manager who demonstrated how FutEx and quality go hand in hand, and eventually the plant manager who demonstrates the abilities to manage and develop both the organisation and the processes in a highly professional way and with a keen eye to maintaining high standards.
Once again we would like to express our gratitude for the kind hospitality displayed by DOVISTA and for the way in which they openly and honestly shared not only the big successes but also their experiments, errors and learning processes. A clear sign of a company that is comparable with the very best of European industry -and which has an appetite for even more.
During two intense days, the managers of BSB Industry acquired an understanding of BSB's targets and the course set, insight into CBI training, overview of the history of Poland and an introduction to the success of DOVISTA. As an added bonus contacts were formed between highly skilled managers in the process.
In two weeks, CEO Teddy Nordsgaard Jørgensen, BSB Industry, and CBI and QA manager Marcin Foks will meet individually with the BSB participants. This gives each manager an opportunity to explain what he 'accumulated' and what he will 'consummate' by way of concrete actions and improvements in his own daily routines during the weeks and days to come.
The events of these two days once again confirmed my hunch that both the Polish society and Polish commerce possess a power to perform that is one-of-a-kind -actually you may rightly term it 'world class'. Poland is definitely worth a visit at the moment.
All readers of this newsletter will probably be familiar with the political crisis that Poland is going through. However, from the perspective of a neutral by-stander you should think that they must be able to overcome it, considering everything else the nation and its population have achieved. By means of peaceful, targeted and hard work the Polish people has managed to break down a dictator, a flawed economic system and an empire in a matter of just a few decades -while at the same time displaying the capacity to build a free, peaceful and dynamic society which is now a natural part of Europe. Looking at it this way, the nation is likely to overcome the current conflicts?