Intro - Jon West Gabany
Thu, 29 Dec 1994 18:16:15 -0500 (EST)

I have lurked long enough...

I am new to the L-O discipline, though I feel I have practiced some of the
concepts during my career. I am half-way through 'The Fifth Discipline' and
will be reading '...Fieldbook' next. I have also kept a list of references
that have popped up on this list for later reading.

I have a diverse educational and professional background
- Trained in Participative Leadership, Interaction Management, etc.
- Designed electrical and software controls from sewage pump stations to
disposable diaper machines (or should that be from diaper machines to
sewage pump stations?)
- Held leadership (leader not manager) positions in production,
maintenance, engineering, distribution.

My background has allowed me to gain insights in all departments in a
manufacturing environment. I have worked in a team environment where
ownership and enthusiasm were at a peak, and have worked in an environment
where communication was limited and team-work didn't exist.

However, it wasn't until three years ago I began to grasp the 'big picture' on
how these departments interact. It was then that I began to focus on the
'soft' side of the issues. Though I know I can be a major individual
contributor on technical issues, I see the enormous untapped potential that
can be had in a team-oriented 'learning organization'.

I recently began employment in a heavy industry manufacturing plant where the
moral is low and there is no team work. I have spent much time 'on the floor'
watching and talking with many individuals in all departments. I have started
two teams in the past two months. One team is made up of the engineers (there
is no engineering manager). The only purpose of this team is to foster
communication between the engineers. Any other purpose will be developed as a

The other team is cross-functional and includes operators, maintenance,
engineers, and a supervisor. One purpose of this team is to reduce the
machine down time when making a setup. However, the major purpose for forming
this team is to improve interaction between individuals and departments and
break down barriers (such as "we've always done it this way") I have
communicated both purposes to the group.

Though I didn't intend to solicit for help at this point, feel free to provide
any insights concerning the two teams above. I hope to be a more active
pariticipant on this list as I gain more experience and have more questions.
My views/questions will be more pragmatic than theoretical.

Jon West Gabany