Global teamwork wins
By Gregory Hale, InTech, Editor
When Joseph Hogan was playing pick up basketball games on his driveway, or something close to that, when he was 11 or 12 years old on a sunny spring day in New Brighton, Pa., he was most likely thinking about important things—like how he and his team were going to whip his opponents.
If one of his mates would just set a pick, it would free the other to get a pass for an easy lay up. Just like that, two quick points. Just a few friends working together to get one basket, which would lead to another, and another, and ultimately all the hoops would add up to victory. Teamwork and competition at its best.
At that point, Hogan was hardly thinking about the global economic situation, and he was surely not thinking about life lessons. But, in reality, he was learning on the basketball court the basics of how a global company can achieve greatness. You can tell today he truly understood that basic lesson and is now applying it to running his company in the current turbid economic environment.
"In this cycle, every economy is in a negative cycle," said Hogan, chief executive at ABB Group, during his keynote address at the company's ABB Automation & Power World in Orlando, Fla. "For the first time ever in the world, every economy is in the same cycle. We have to approach business in a different way.
"The world is linked together, and financial situations are linked today," he said. "When you look at the amount of GDP that is exported around the world, the economies are certainly linked, and we have to deal with it on a global sense, and we will all feel it that way."
The end result will be the world economy will come back, but when and where remains the question.
"It is difficult to see where the economy is going. The world has changed so irrevocably; it will never be the same.
"With the ascendance of the Asian economy; the ascendance of areas like Brazil, Russia, China, and India, that demand will come back," he said. "We just have to get through the situation where the securitization of debt around the world failed. And, when that is over, the future will be incredible.
"There is a good future out there for us. Things have changed. The world ahead of us has a great deal of opportunity going forward."
Everyone in the global automation business knows there are plenty of great opportunities out there. But the main issue: Will today's leaders be able to guide companies through this economic muck to be in a position to capitalize on those opportunities?
Leaders show themselves in many different ways. But the ultimate true leader will be able to see through all the smoke and truly know the correct course of action and not be afraid to implement it. Hogan set ABB's priorities, and time will tell if the team can execute on those plans.
Does your company allow its true leaders to lead? Or, are the bureaucratic bean counters taking over and running the organization like they are reading it from a textbook? Like a good play on the basketball court, having confidence in your team from top to bottom to get the job done is key. Being smart and allowing the true concept of teamwork to take hold is a very difficult task. But, done correctly, you will come out the victor.
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