By Jon Griffith, Director of Operations and Partner Relations
On March 29, 2004, LFM and SDM alumni met over lunch at the Pratt & Whitney Customer Training Center to network with each other across educational programs and UTC divisional boundaries. The event, hosted by John Boyd, Vice President of Operations for Hamilton-Sundstrand and the Governing Board member representing UTC in the LFM-SDM partnership, brought together nearly 30 alumni working at UTC and other guests.
After lunch, Patrick Gnazzo, Vice President of Business Practices at UTC since 1993, spoke to the group about UTC’s efforts in compliance and ethics. With the Enron and Tyco scandals, Gnazzo noted, companies are clearly back in a time of intense focus on compliance and ethics, but Gnazzo pointed out that compliance and ethics are two very different approaches to a critical issue. While a company must focus on both, an ethical company will reach beyond the definition of compliance devised by lawyers.
Gnazzo talked about the problems that corporations face when managers say to their employees in crunch times that they don’t care how you get it done; just get it done. “That’s an incredible message. Unless you couple it with ‘I expect you to do the right thing,’ managers are putting the corporation at risk.” In this environment an individual’s actions can affect the whole organization, costing the company money and people’s jobs.
“Management has to publicly make sure our people know what the rules are,” Gnazzo told the group and discussed UTC’s Open Communication Program, which he feels has been an effective alternative to whistleblower programs currently in vogue. “With UTC’s program, last year we had 59,000 written dialogues and 10,000 visits to Ombudsman’s Office from our employees, but less than 4% of those interactions were about compliance issues. However, UTC responds to all of them, even going to the city to talk about the timing of traffic lights during shift changes. If you can’t respond to your employees on that level, they won’t trust you on the compliance/ethics level when you need it.”
The session ended with John Boyd noting that the luncheon’s purpose was to bring LFM and SDM alumni together, since at UTC, the experience and education that alumni from both programs have garnered is at the epicenter of what the corporation must do to maintain competitiveness.
“You are uniquely qualified to help UTC go through the transformation it needs to make—maturing a global end-to-end value chain with capabilities that support the design and manufacture of complex systems”, Boyd noted. “Don’t wait for UTC to reach out and say that this is your task. Reach out and look for opportunities where UTC can be competitive in the future, and I guarantee that the corporation will accept your energy. We need people like you who understand a holistic, systemic approach to the whole value chain.”
More joint LFM and SDM alumni events at UTC are being planned, according Andrew Muench and James Katzen, LFM 03 graduates working at Pratt & Whitney, who also coordinated the logistics for the event. Potential plans for further events include inviting alumni from like-programs working at UTC to form a larger network with greater impact.