While factories across the Midwest shutter their doors, Cleveland-based manufacturer Lincoln Electric has thrived for more than a century. In addition to being profitable and technologically innovative, through good times and bad, the company has fulfilled its unique promise of guaranteed continuous employment. Workers are viewed as assetsnot liabilities. Through flexible hours and job assignments, as well as a merit-based bonus system, Lincoln Electrics employment policies have proven healthy for the companys bottom line its employees and its shareholders. In Spark, veteran journalist Frank Koller tells the story of how this unusual and profitable Fortune 1000 multinational company challenges the conventional wisdom shaping modern managements view of the workplace. Through insightful storytelling and extensive interviews with executives, workers, and leading business thinkers, Koller uses the Lincoln Electric example to illustrate how job security can inspire powerful growth and prosperity in our communities.
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Frank Koller covers the workplace for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Over a twenty-seven-year career with CBC, he has worked and lived around the world as a foreign correspondent, including seven years in the United States. He holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in Ottawa.From Publishers Weekly:
Veteran journalist Koller goes inside Lincoln Electric, a Cleveland arc-welding equipment manufacturer dating back to 1895, a company that promises that no permanent employee who meets the firm's performance standards will ever be laid off due to lack of work. This promise is so sacrosanct, it's included in the employee handbook and in the organization's annual report. The company has also paid out profit-sharing bonuses without fail since 1934, bonuses which almost always exceed 60% of an employee's basic earnings. Koller offers a fascinating glimpse into this remarkable yet, in many ways, ordinary organization, which survives, even thrives, in a sunset industry where overseas outsourcing is the norm. Readers follow the company through the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller, recessions in the 1950s, and the present crisis, and witness how it weathers challenges. Instructive and heartening, this book offers a proven model for companies that not only want healthy bottom lines but also satisfied, dedicated employees. (Feb.)
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