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Want to be successful? Consider joining an RCE group

Publication date: 
April 2015
Dale Hamil, Illinois Electric Works
Type of media: 

“Excellent firms don't believe in excellence - only in constant improvement and constant change.” 
Tom Peters 

This is one of my favorite quotations from noted management writer Tom Peters. Constant improvement and constant change should be what we all should strive to achieve. It’s not just a goal in itself. It defines the process by which a company must become better tomorrow than it is today. 

Yet change is so difficult. Your best managers and employees crave change while at the same time decrying and cursing the effort required in implementation. Some changes a company undertakes must happen to react to outside influences, so whether the challenge is cheaper imported motors, low scrap values, energy efficiency standards, insurance, government regulations, or general economic conditions, there are common headwinds and obstacles we must overcome as EASAns.

Leading the company team 

Recognizing the need for change is one of the primary jobs of a company’s chief executive. The temptation for a leader of any organization is to present solutions and strategies from say, a 10,000 ft. view. I have learned from experience that I am never 100% right so I only make changes after consulting with our team. Valuable inputs from the lowest level employee to the most trusted confidant can modify a change strategy and hone it to a razors edge. Your team will implement a strategy better if they had a hand in creating it. 

The effective use of strategists from outside your company cannot be overstated. Getting advice or seeing how the other guy does it is the biggest shortcut to success. EASA’s Roving Chief Executive (RCE) Program is the most valuable time I spend working on the business and not in the business. There is no greater influence upon our improvement strategy than consulting with my fellow service center owners. It’s like having a cheat sheet with all the answers. 

RCE Program is an investment 

If you want to excel, you should avoid thinking that the RCE Program is not for you. No matter what size your business, the return on the investment in time, money and energy will come back to your business tenfold. You will make alliances that will help your company through difficult situations, find an alternative source for products to compete and find methods to utilize and markets to explore. More than a technical source of information, fellow RCE Program members provide sage advice like the most experienced Board of Directors could possibly assemble. 

I note with interest that my RCE group of 9 companies includes 6 of the 35 or so of the EASA accredited service centers so far. This is not a coincidence in my opinion. I feel that the most ambitious leaders make the changes to strive for excellence. They are more likely to be involved in EASA programs. And that’s not just RCE groups; they try to participate in all programs such as chapter/regional meetings and the convention. 

EASAns are fortunate to have a bevy of outside experts every year at the convention as well as experienced engineers and a staff eager to help EASA members make the changes needed to prosper. I encourage you to take another look at the RCE Program. Chances are pretty good that there is an EASA member in your service area already involved in a group and making strategic changes. Don’t be left out. 

Visit the EASA website ( for further information and consider joining a group today.

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