The Washington D.C. Event Focuses on Building a Unified Coalition
Over 200 people and 29 vendors gathered on October 11th in Washington D.C. for Utility’s biennial Service Managers Meeting. Themed “Team of Teams”, the mission was to build on the collective success of prior meetings. “Team of Teams is the culmination of our past meetings,” said Joe Vergel de Dios, National Accounts Manager, Field Service Department for Utility. “In 2013, our focus was on continuous improvement and how best to document incremental changes that improve product, service and our processes. At our next meeting in 2015, we turned our attention to better understanding the data and how it could be used for improvement and standardization.”
“Our mission today is to continue to make service at both the corporate and the dealer level more efficient, and use data to further enhance product quality,” said Paul Bennett, Chairman and CEO of Utility.
“When we do this, we continue to enhance the value of the Utility brand and reinforce that our customers are our highest priority.” The event’s theme was based on the book Team of Teams written by retired US Army General Stanley McChrystal, who also served as the keynote speaker. He stressed that, “Decision-making must be pushed to the men and women who execute and/or oversee the immediate action(s),” and added, “The length of time it takes in traditional top down style management for information to flow up, be deliberated on, action plans created, orders/directives given, then be trickled back down to the front line can be detrimental to servicing business needs and the perception of a brand.”
The LGL (Leaders Growing Leaders) team spearheaded and set the tone for the event. LGL, a leadership development organization has been involved with Utility for the past 4 years. This year, Utility translated the value of the organization to its dealership network. LGL stressed three key points: First, trust the people you work with to provide good information. Second, there is value in being selfless in order to see something succeed, and finally, at some point we need to make a sacrifice for the good of the project, company and/or employee in order to achieve the desired outcome.
One activity of note was a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, hosted by Edward Byers, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator, Navy SEAL, and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. He shared a powerful story about the Trust, Selflessness and Sacrifice that earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. He embodied the 3 key topics that LGL detailed throughout the three-day event.
“Arlington was an amazing place to visit,” said Mr. Vergel de Dios. “On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I and now there are unknown soldiers there from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. To honor them and their service, sentinels guard the tomb and their gravesites 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of weather conditions. Being able to personally see the changing of the guard is something I will never forget.”
At Arlington, Senior Chief Byers presented Paul Bennett, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Utility with a challenge coin. A challenge coin is a medallion or coin that bears the insignia of a branch or unit of the military. “The coin is a wonderful memento of our visit to Arlington, and to receive it from Senior Chief Byers – a decorated hero was quite meaningful,” said Mr. Bennett.