That Used To Be Us Summary: Chapter 5

by The Quicklet Team

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on That Used To Be Us.

Workers in the new economy will have to be more adaptive and more additive. Ellen Kullman the CEO of DuPont states that all rote jobs will soon be gone. Today’s worker has to be someone who can think, interact, and collaborate.

Kullman gives the example of a Dell plant in Spruance, Virginia. An inordinate number of the machines which cut the Kevlar material were failing. The engineers had a difficult time finding the reasons for the failures. A line operator participating in the discussion noted that the machines that failed had an odd sound to them compared to the other machines.


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Workers in the new economy will have to be more adaptive and more additive. Ellen Kullman the CEO of DuPont states that all rote jobs will soon be gone. Today’s worker has to be someone who can think, interact, and collaborate.

Kullman gives the example of a Dell plant in Spruance, Virginia. An inordinate number of the machines which cut the Kevlar material were failing. The engineers had a difficult time finding the reasons for the failures. A line operator participating in the discussion noted that the machines that failed had an odd sound to them compared to the other machines.

The engineers created tests based on that analysis and were able to isolate the problem. Although the engineers were excellent, they were not on the line everyday. The line operator was there every day and was listening to the machines as they functioned. It took a true partnership between different different workers in different roles to make the company successful.

Continuous innovation is not just a luxury anymore. It is becoming a necessary component of any business that wishes to thrive. Any business that fails to make constant use of brainpower at all levels will fall behind faster than ever.

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