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W. L. Gore

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Alexis Wilkinson

on 14 July 2014

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Transcript of W. L. Gore

Alexis Wilkinson
ABA 152


W. L. Gore
Founded in 1958

By Wilbert and Genevieve Gore in their basement

Global enterprise that serves multiple industries

Divisions include:

Medical Products
Industrial Products
Bill was born in Idaho

Earned his degrees from the University of Utah

Worked for DuPont and helped develop PTFE
aka Teflon (which is Gore's main material).

Son Bob first came up with idea
for Teflon insulated wire in 1969.

Bill dipped into savings and refinanced his house to pay for company.

Products derived from Teflon were called
Gore-Tex fabric (stretched Teflon)
Woman CEO since 2005- Terri Kelly

Family like,
entrepreneurial culture

$2.5 billion
in annual revenues

9,000 associates in 30 countries on 6 continents
(products are on all 7)

Company has been on
100 Best Companies To Work For
list since

Fabric Division on brands like North Face, Marmot, L.L. Bean, Adidas, Puma
Gore-Tex has a
reputation of its own
More about the Company...
Four Divisions (Electronics, Fabrics, Industrial, Medical)

Divisions are diverse, which reduces risk

Currently investing in Medical Division

Goal - create highest quality goods (Quality Differentiation)

3 Legged Stool
Competitive Strategy
Rigorous testing and product integrity checks (recalling products for even cosmetic problems)

Believe name and reputation drives sales in other products

Sharing knowledge (even technical knowledge) between Divisions and people is a MUST

Monthly meetings that are diverse and open (except patents)

Proprietary knowledge shared on a need-to-know basis
Competitive Strategy
At inception, Bill knew globalization was important

Factories in 30 countries

Global leader in vascular medical grafts

Continued global growth based on 2 sources

1. Associate innovation (Organic)- culture fostering new products

2. External Acquisitions (Small factor)
Mostly technology
Cultural compatibility important
Less hierarchical
, more dynamic and fluid where people developed a natural following
of other associates (credibility with employees)

a. Natural Leadership- gain credibility by exhibiting special skills, knowledge or experience.

b. Knowledge Based Decision Making- most informed people make decisions
Corporate Leaders

Product Specialists

Plant Leaders

Functional Leaders

Intrapreneuring Associates who organize new teams.
Bill Gore's Types of Leaders
Short organizational pyramid

(no job titles, hierarchy, or structural arrangement)

Lattice Structure

1. Direct lines of communication (person to person)

2. No fixed or assigned authority

3. Sponsors or mentors, not 'bosses'

4. Natural Leadership

5. Objectives set by those who must make them happen (hands on)

6. Tasks and functions organized through commitments
Unique and Flexible Structure
Special teams drawing on employees from any division to help fix special problems

Consensus decision allows for easier implementation
Unique and Flexible Structure
Lack of quick response time
Designs that promote inspiration (lunchroom)

Rigorous hiring practices to ensure the right people got the job

Each new associate gets a sponsor

New Employees focus on personal relationships

Gorecom- company-wide voice interaction

8 hours paid off-time to work community service (7800 total nonprofit hrs for US employees)
Global H. R. Practices
Peer ranking system in order of contribution

Profit sharing for short term rewards

Associate stock ownership program (long term)

Gore matched 12% per employee

Sales people paid a salary with stocks (Commissions against Co. Culture)

Many benefits- fitness centers, medical & dental insurance, child care
Product Differentiation
Gore uses core technology to create highly diversified and unique products
The goal is to create the highest quality goods that meet and exceed the needs of customers
True form of differentiation strategy
Gore makes it a priority to create the absolute most quality goods in their product market
Brand recognition
Quality and Consistency
Diversified working in
4 Divisions
Recruitment of Talent
Continued Global Expansion
New Acquisitions
New Product Development
Global Team Communication
Difficulty in making time-sensitive, critical decisions that affect the organization at-large.
Patent Litigation
Potential for Leaked Proprietary Information/Technology
Ever advancing technology
Core Competencies
Gore's core competencies are the basis for competitive advantage
Continued innovation (ex: dabble time)
Company structure - HR management
High quality products
Differentiated products
How are they
trying to improve the matter?
Global Coordination and Communication of Teams
Develop a Method for making quicker critical decisions
Greater use of Telecommunications to facilitate long distant communications
Establish Greater Accountability
September 16, 2013

Expiring Patents (Polartec)
Gore's Egalitarian Mindset
Egalitarian: asserting, resulting from, or characterized by equality of all people and opportunities*
Lattice Structure:
1. Direct lines of communication – person to person – with no intermediary
2. No fixed or assigned authority
3. Sponsors, not bosses
4. Natural leadership as evidenced by the willingness of others to follow
5. Objectives set by those who must “make them happen”
6. Tasks and functions organized through commitments
*Site: Dictionary.com
Core Values
"Herding Cats"
Why is Gore's Model Successful?
CULTURE- "Driven to Succeed"

Knowledge-based decision making
Decisions are made by the most knowledgeable person, not the person in charge
Leads to innovation of new products

Unique environment allows for effective and efficient decision making

Private company - do not have to answer to public shareholders
Full transcript