Once a year our EMC family gathers as a team from across Canada to network and collaborate, seek and share information on the latest projects, hone techniques that enable us to be more efficient, effective and nimble in our offerings and to provide thought and perspective in discussion and brainstorming scenario's for future growth and development. Quite simply, like many organizations who bring their teams together whether company wide, senior management related or with a continuous improvement mindset - it's our opportunity to focus on the achievements and challenges of the past, present activities underway and to gaze into that proverbial crystal ball that opens minds regarding blue sky issues and future possibilities.
Our annual retreat though as much as it is designed to acquire the latest information, hone skills and perfect techniques is really all about YOU! It's about providing the best of the best services to our Members and Community Partners in every nook and cranny of our great Country.
Our EMC Team is now 27 people strong living and working in or close to the communities they serve - from somewhere near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to Cornwall, PEI to Saint-Rapheal, Quebec to towns and cities across Ontario - Ottawa to Peterborough, Barrie to Penetanguishene, Brantford, Kitchener, London, Chatham and Kincardine plus our dynamic head office staff working and living in the Owen Sound region. TOGETHER, we work with over 5,000 manufacturers in 55 Consortiums and our online networks Canadian Manufacturing Network and iMiN - facilitating networking events, responding to member queries, enabling connections with peers and community partners, and providing services on a 24/7 365 day basis - we are always ready and willing to assist!
The 27 people forming EMC's Team bring a variety of rather interesting - perhaps somewhat eclectic - work and manufacturing related experiences to the table! During a break, we took the opportunity to get to know each other and one of our discussions was around prior careers - any position they might have held before becoming a part of the EMC family - What was it? What did you like about it? Why does it stand out as one you remember the most? Etc. There were undoubtedly some interesting answers that yielded good discussion for our participants! The outcome was ultimately an appreciation that behind every job was an interesting story to tell! Randomly, some of those positions included the following:
- University High School Liaison Officer
- "World Class" Maintenance Manager
- Mechanical Designer
- Commercial Diver
- Anti Submarine Warfare Equipment Designer
- Administrative Manager
- Canadian Tire Cashier
- National Sales Manager
- Human Resources Manager
- National Park Ranger / Alpine Rescue in Australia
- International Moving Company Operations Manager
- Coffee Barista
- Canadian Operations Plant Manager
- Process Improvement/Continuous Improvement Manager
- Quality & Food Safety Manager
- Tier One Automotive Supplier Director of Quality
- Front Desk Clerk
- Eastern Ontario Sales and Marketing Manager
- Independent Business Owner
This history, experience, diverse background if you will is important because it allows us to appreciate that every member of a team brings different perspectives and talents to a group or to a company at large. Our businesses, regardless of the product produced or in our case - service provided - need innovative thinkers, productive managers, planners, business minds, etc. etc. to stay alert, competitive, and nimble enough to meet growing demands in a world that never stops. Diversity of experience is good and presents an organization with an almost ready "kaizen-type" of mindset when it comes to improvement or developing future possibilities. Recognition that we learn and grow from our experiences - pre and post present positions - allows us to appreciate the organization's journey as a whole. Without a good team, a captain to lead the way and a compass and map to guide us, a company will be that much less likely to sail the oftentimes turbulent business waters smoothly, swiftly and with ease. We are fortunate to have a crew on the S.S. EMC with a cumulative experience in our own organization that equates to 164 years!
Good communication is essential for any organization and when you have a team spread across the country working somewhat independently on a day to day basis, keeping people involved, engaged and focused is imperative for organizational growth and development. The business world has changed considerably over the past several decades, and many large organizations who once had buildings to operate from have staff now working through home offices etc. EMC endeavours to stay closely connected with each of our team members through utilization of mediums such as Skype, weekly team calls, webinars, encouragement of CI sub-committee involvement, and pairing with our service providers, community partners or other team members for special events - we continue to strengthen our bond and commitment to the organization, our peers, our members and our community partners.
This dialogue and ongoing communication on a sometimes daily and weekly basis together with our annual retreat allows us to drill down on what's working, what's not and most importantly what should we be doing moving forward to enable manufacturers to be their very best? How do we continue to build upon the connectivity that makes Canadian Manufacturers competitive on a daily basis? Where can we assist our Community Partners and their offerings? Looking back to our humble beginnings, it amazes all of us that such a small company with a unique and determined mindset in helping manufacturers work together, has accessed almost $45 Million dollars in funding and projects specifically for manufacturers over the past 15 years alone - a tremendous accomplishment - by a committed team, by engaged Membership and by supportive Community Partners!
After participating in this year's team gathering, I took some time to think about the S.S. EMC... I joined as a Member while it was still somewhat in its infancy... I was looking for help and guidance in implementing ISO Procedures... I found that help and so much more! I found people who were facing similar issues and challenges - who were interested in our company and in helping. I began working full time for EMC in the spring of 2002, over 12 years ago now... I can tell you the journey has been phenomenal in countless ways and I have been extremely fortunate and am very humbled to be even a small part of such a talented, dynamic, diversified, educated and experienced team!!
All the best as always,
Bren de Leeuw, Director - Field Operations Canada & Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Program Canada
Excellence In Manufacturing Consortium - www.emccanada.org
email@example.com - 519-372-6009