Thursday, April 1, 2010

Guaranteed Employment that Works...

Numbers came out today indicating that Chinese manufacturing is up. Yet today, the last auto factory in California has shut its doors. Employment numbers are seeing their first increase since the start of the recession, but none of it is in manufacturing. Factories across the industrial heartland of America sit idle and decaying. Yet in Cleveland, one company, Lincoln Electric has thrived for more than a century. Lincoln Electric has made a unique promise to its workers, that no permanent employee will be laid off for economic reasons. The workers have also benefited from a unique system of incentives and profit-sharing. The company has expanded around the world, but has never lost sight of its home base of Cleveland.

Journalist Frank Koller, in his book Spark: How Old-Fashioned Values Drive a Twenty-First-Century Corporation: Lessons from Lincoln Electric's Unique Guaranteed Employment Program details the journey inside this multinational company of modern products and old fashions values. The success of Lincoln Electric gives us hope that our economy can do better.

My conversation with Frank Koller about Lincoln Electric:

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