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W.L. Gore & Associates

Team 6 Case Presentation
by

Kelly Romanowski

on 25 March 2013

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Transcript of W.L. Gore & Associates

W.L. Gore & Associates Commitment to Innovation What is W.L. Gore & Associates? Global
Diversified
Unique culture
Focus on quality and innovation
Private enterprise W.L. Gore & Associates Team 6 Four Guiding Principles Fairness: Try to be fair
Freedom: Encourage, help, and allow other associates to grow in knowledge, skill, and scope of activity and responsibility
Commitment: Make your own commitments and keep them
Waterline: Consult with other associates before taking actions that may be “below the waterline” Gore's Foundation Founded by Wilbert L. (Bill) Gore along with his wife Vieve
“Well, lets clear up the dishes, go downstairs, and get to work.”
Bill’s idea for Gore began with his work with the PTFE compound (Teflon) and its uses at DuPont 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 Kimberly Still
Graham Perry
Tamara Brady
Kelly Romanowski Gore's Business Strategy Gore has been described as a diversified conglomerate with four main business divisions:
Electronic Products Division
Fabrics Division
Industrial Products Division
Medical Products Division
“Four Cylinders” analogy Gore, Associates, and PTFE While working with PTFE, Bill realized the wide capabilities of the product
He left DuPont to begin his work with PTFE
PTFE was first used in wire coatings and sealants
Gore has developed a number of products derived from PTFE such as GORE-TEX, which is one of their most popular products A Culture of Quality Gore’s culture is one that only accepts quality
“a cosmetic flaw, not a fitness-for-use flaw was found in finished garments, so we (Gore) bought back the garments from the manufacturer because we didn’t want those garments out on the market” Internal Knowledge Transfer “There is a real willingness and openness to share knowledge”
Formal and informal technical meetings that are described as “passionate and exciting”
Patents and proprietary knowledge
Need-to-know basis (even the CEO!) Gore's Leadership Structure “Leaders emerge because they gain credibility with other associates”
Natural leadership
“Decisions are made by the most knowledgeable person…not the person in charge”
Less hierarchical – more of a lattice structure
The role an associate plays in a team dictates their title for that project – not the other way around Gore's Egalitarian Mindset Egalitarian: asserting, resulting from, or characterized by equality of all people and opportunities*
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 Gore and Organic Growth Innovative ideas support continued growth
Ideas are energetically pursued, developed, and evaluated
Value is placed on original thought and innovation
One product that began internally was GLIDE Floss
“to meet demand when the product took off, leaders were processing credit cards, human resource associates and accountants were out on the manufacturing floor packaging glide floss, and everybody else in the facility pitched in to make sure that the product got out the door.”
Acquisitions are looked to for growth but are much less important Resource-Based Model Relies heavily on tangible and intangible resources
Resources create Gore's capabilities
Capabilities lead to above-average returns Gore's Resources Intangible Resources
Culture
Human resources
Company lattice
Strong focus on innovation
Intellectual property
Reputation Tangible Resources
Company property
High quality products
Revenues of $2.5 billion
Facilities located globally 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 Competitive Strategy Creation of quality, differentiated products
Globalization and deliberate growth
Two main sources:
Innovative ideas contributed by associates
External acquisitions
Protection of core technology
Patents, internal knowledge, need-to-know basis
Retaining knowledgeable talent
Presence in a wide variety of markets Decision Making Capabilities Knowledge-based decision making
Decisions are made by the most knowledgeable person, not the person in charge
Leads to innovation of new products
Allows for effective decision making
Unique environment allows for effective and efficient decision making
Private company - do not have to answer to public shareholders Globalization Constantly growing
Has a presence on 6 continents, products are used on all 7
Majority of fabric sales are generated overseas
Company culture is maintained globally Perpetual Innovation Encouraged to think outside the box and create new ideas
Dabble time
Given raw materials to experiment with ideas
Allows creation of products from unexpected areas of the company
Ex: GLIDE floss, RIDE ON
Creates an opportunity for success against competitors Knowledge Intensity Intensive employee selection process
Pre-screening process with personnel specialist
Board of associates
Knowledge based decision making
Need to-know-basis
Spend time meeting new people
Gore values shared knowledge Potential Obstacles
Maintaining entrepreneurial spirit
Loss of IP (patents are expiring)
POLARTEC
Lack of marketing and brand recognition
Lack of continued quality of existing products due to concentration on innovation
Customer support challenges with increasing globalization
Associates that focus on different markets are located globally Recommendations Have yearly innovation conventions
Involve associates from all countries and all departments
Extension of "dabble time"
Share knowledge and experiences to collaboratively innovate new products and ideas *Site: Dictionary.com Works Cited "Developing Global Teams to Meet Twenty-First Century Challenges at W.L. Gore & Associates" case study
Dictionary.com
www.Gore.com Agenda Company introduction and background - Kimberly
Business strategy
Culture - Graham
Internal knowledge
Leadership
Growth
Model of above-average returns - Tamara
Resources
Core competencies
Competitive strategy - Kelly
Potential obstacles
Recommendations Recommendations Cont'd Marketing
Work to gain market share
Try to encourage brand recognition and loyalty Questions? Recommendations Cont'd Invest in and maintain a strong base of communication technology
Have a set schedule of weekly meetings to discuss issues
Develop strong relationships among virtual teams
Face-to-face meetings
Full transcript