Building a Sustainable Culture of Continuous Improvement.
2013 Brandon Hall Silver Award, Excellence in Learning — Best Use of Blended Learning
Haworth, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of office furniture and Organic Workspaces®. Family owned and privately held, Haworth is headquartered in Holland, Michigan, and serves markets in more than 170 countries through a global network of 600 dealers.
Haworth drives for continuous improvement and encourages all members (employees) to engage in problem solving and innovation. The company started strong on this journey but later lost its way and struggled to re-engage its workforce. Haworth turned an eye toward making Lean part of the organization. The Haworth Management System (HMS) was created in 2006 as a set of Lean management processes and tools designed to engage all members in continuous improvement and innovation. A Corporate HMS team was formed to champion HMS.
Over the next several years, Corporate HMS tried unsuccessfully to instill an HMS culture. In February 2011, Corporate HMS approached the executive leadership team and made a strong business case for Lean. Together, they identified the rationale for HMS. It became known as the Haworth Way: We are a global company that requires one common proven business system to deliver break-through performance.
With executive approval of the plan for HMS, Corporate HMS moved immediately to identify the type of learning that would best support the plan, then to design and develop it. The goal of the HMS program was to reinvigorate Lean manufacturing practices and ultimately build a sustainable culture of continuous improvement
Over the next 11 months, Corporate HMS worked with several internal departments and engaged Innovative Learning Group (ILG) to partner with them on designing and developing the curriculum to ensure the HMS program would be ready for rollout in a year.
The team created a high-level design that included an overview, objectives, and strategy for each component of the program (Figure 1). ILG’s detailed designs ensured that objectives were achieved, and that content was relatable to all salaried members, referenced executive leadership support and expectations, and demonstrated the link between all materials in the program. Development of the modules, tools, and workbook were completed by ILG in a rolling manner.
The components of the HMS program are:
The video, all ILT materials, and the performance support tools are available on the HMS website. The blended learning solution is used both proactively and reactively to start building a culture of continuous improvement.
Since the rollout of the HMS program began, Haworth has seen the following results:
Important lessons learned from the success of this blended solution versus past solutions include:
The HMS blended learning solution is the driver putting Haworth back on track to creating a culture in which members engage in a never-ending cycle of improvement and innovation.
To learn more about how Innovative Learning Group can create custom learning solutions to help improve business results, contact us at info@innovativeLG.com.