Winner HR Club 2013: ArcelorMittal & Evolutiv story (english)


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The story of the programs implemented between 2010-2012 by the Evolutiv team at ArcelorMittal Galați started in 2009, a tough year for the company, and for the Romanian economy as a whole. A new reality unfolded at the largest Romanian steelmaker’s doorsteps. The price of raw materials had unexpectedly grown. The huge demand - which brought about, in 2006-2007, outstanding profits – collapsed. New competitors, employing better technology and delivering higher quality, emerged. The country’s best steelmaker had to relearn what winning was like in this new world. Here's the story of this endeavor.

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Winner HR Club 2013: ArcelorMittal & Evolutiv story (english)

  1. 1. The ACT project, a learning anddevelopment program developedby Evolutiv in cooperation withboth the plant’s top managementand the HR team in Galați, isunprecedented in terms ofcomplexity in ArcelorMittal – theno. 1 steel producer of the world.ACT’s mission (whose designationcame from the initials of the wordcollocation “Acting Constantly forTransformation”) was to translatethe business objectives ofArcelorMittal Galați - increasedquality and productivity, reducedoperational costs – in trainingobjectives. The program wasenvisaged to include some 1,500participants (about 20% of theplant employees) and almost100.000 hours of training. Thiswas one of the reasons theprogram was thoroughly andminutely designed to be readilyapplied by foremen and engineersin their daily work, after thetraining was completed. Theprogram provided the middlemanagement both with adequatetools (management concepts,methods and techniques) andappropriate behaviors, with afocus on five key competencies inArcelorMittal.The program „drilled” deep indeedin people’s beliefs and motivation.It alligned diverging interests,explained and made thingssmoother, revealed variousaspects, and generated „aha”moments – not only for the peoplein ArcelorMittal, but also for thosein Evolutiv, who tested their limitsin such a difficult and challengingproject. These are the things thatmade ACT both unique andoutstanding: it has broughttogether hundreds of people whohave discovered, looking at oneanother, that they actually wantone and the same thing: a work-place where they can contribute,where their ideas are valued,where their effort makes sense,and where the individual welfare isa result of the common welfare.TWO ACTS EVOLUTIONEVOLUTIV CONSULTANTS NETWORK A LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT PROJECTcase studyPartners: Evolutiv and ArcelorMittal GalațiHow It Has Begun...2010, GALAȚI. Evolutiv trainers Delia Andrieș, Gigi Andrieș and LetițiaLucescu side by side with Liviu Bogdan, head of the Learning Departamentof ArcelorMittal, the man who made possible for such a giant program -98,000 training hours - to be run by the clock, without any Galați, one of the largestRomanian industrial companies, launched atender in 2009. The tender included offeringsfor a training program dedicated to more than1,000 foremen and engineers whose missionwas to fulfill one of the streams in thecompany transformation program –ArcelorMittal Romania 2012 (ARC 2012).The program focused initially on mindsets andbehaviors of the ArcelorMittal employees.The training brief read as follows: “Eachparticipant will understand and accept his/herrole and contribution in the new leadershipculture of ArcelorMittal Galați”.The tender allowed for the participation ofseveral training and consulting companies.The proposal put forward by Evolutiv, a 100%Romanian company, was selected, in January2010, by a committee made up of members ofthe ArcelorMittal University and ArcelorMittalGalați. This is how, in 2010, Evolutiv started aproject due to which 10 trainers became partof the Galați community.The pages that follow tell the story of one of the most complex organizationaltransformation programs ever undertaken in Romania.  Transforming ArcelorMittal Galați“We, in Evolutiv, have decided to focus on training and developing middlemanagement because we feel that this is the main breach in Romanianorganizations. This is where we can make a difference”.ArcelorMittal Galați, a company living, by anydefinition, at the steel’s melting temperature
  2. 2. internal diagnosis of 2008, conductedbefore the crisis undiscriminately brokeindustries and countries altogether,showed middle managers and foremenin Galați were unaware of basicmanagement tools, didn’t know theirroles and objectives, proved lowinitiative, and, obviously, poorinterdepartmental collaboration. In anpost-crisis world the plant could notachieve great results living up to thesame old rules. Without a profoundchange, in ArcelorMittal there would beno talk about quality, productivity, lowcosts and profits. A bold decision had tobe made.The decision came from Thierry LeGall, the steelmaker’s CEO, in the fall2009, when he initiated ArcelorMittalRomania Crestere 2012 – ARC 2012for short -, an unprecedented changeprogram, by scale and complexity, inthe 280.000 employees corporation.ARC 2012 projected a change on threedimensions. The first one was aboutoperations system. How strong was theconnection between tactics andstrategy? All the internal processeswere analyzed, redesigned, optimizedand integrated in a Master Plan. Thesecond dimension was related tomanagement infrastructure. Internalprocesses, staffing and organizationalschemes were redefined, employeeswere evaluated, a career managementplan was started.Last, but not least, the change had toaddress mindsets and behaviors. Howeffective could the 8.000 employeestake action for the implementation ofthe established tactic?To address ARC 2012’s third direction –mindsets and behaviors – a whole newprogram (Acționez Constant pentruTransformare - ACT) was elaborated.It was a learning & development projectspecifically tailored for the steelmaker’sneeds by the joint teams of Evolutivand ArcelorMittal.Company’s business objectives –increasing the quality and theproductivity while reducing operationalcosts – were translated into trainingobjectives: Evolutiv program wasfocused first on the appropriate tools(ACT 1) and then on the appropriatebehaviors (ACT 2). ACT 1 targeted thedevelopment of a proactive,participative culture at a middlemanagement level; the development ofa common culture and a commonlanguage; personal initiative; being“IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE”.2 EVOLUTIV CONSULTANTS NETWORKThe story of theprograms implementedbetween 2010-2012 bythe Evolutiv team atArcelorMittal Galațistarted in 2009, a toughyear for the company,and for the Romanianeconomy as a whole. Anew reality unfolded atthe largest Romaniansteelmaker’s doorsteps.The price of rawmaterials hadunexpectedly grown.The huge demand -which brought about, in2006-2007, outstandingprofits – collapsed. Newcompetitors, employingbetter technology anddelivering higherquality, emerged.The country’s beststeelmaker had torelearn what winningwas like in this newworld.The financial crisis unexpectedlyrevealed, in fact, the steelmaker’svulnerabilities, deemed less relevantduring the economic boom years. An“The difficulty is notabout knowing what wehave to do. The difficultyis to implement. Tosucceed in maintainingthe new procedures wehave decided upon”.THIERRY LE GALLArcelorMittal Galați CEO(2008-2011)“For ArcelorMittal Galațiit’s a first that a programis built and designed on ascientific analysis”.MIHAELA CRĂCIUNHR managerArcelorMittal GalațiACT 1 Program*Time lapse: February 2010 -February 2011Participants: 1,162Groups: 72Training hours: 47,856Post-training: follow-upsessions for every groupApplicability: 132 FACTprojects during the twomonths following the training*nominated at Performance Excellence Awards 2011, the annual prizes of ArcelorMittal University
  3. 3. THE STORY OF A L&D PROGRAM“I have a dream: that thisplant is making money,has no accidents, youngpeople want to work forus, and our customerskeep on doing businesswith us”.BRUNO RIBOArcelorMittal Galați CEO(2011-present)UN PROJECT OFLARGE NUMBERSNO. OF TRAINING HOURS(ACT 1 & ACT 2)98.000NO. OF EMPLOYEES WHOATTENDED EVOLUTIVTRAININGS1.500NO. OF TRAINERSINVOLVED IN THE PROJECT10“If we were to quantify thesavings achieved by those132 projects from ACT 1,there were hundreds ofthousands of dollars. Theinvestment in trainingpaid back in only twomonths”.LIVIU BOGDANHead of Learning DepartmentArcelorMittal GalațiProgramul ACT 2Time lapse: November 2011 -October 2012Participants: 1,185Groups: 78Training hours: 50,000Post-training: follow-upsessions for every groupApplicability: internal client/internal supplier contractsaccountable; basic managementinstruments.ACT 2 was designed to cover to thesteelmaker’s competencies needs.An internal research conducted in 2011at ArcelorMittal Galați - about 1,000employees out of a total of 8,000 wereinterviewed for the assessment -showed that of the ten key skillsrequired at a corporate level, five werebelow the required threshold in Galați."This is the first time in history ofArcelorMittal Galați when a programis organized and built on scientificanalysis," said Mihaela Craciun, thecompanys HR manager, at one of theopening sessions of ACT 2. "It’s firsttime," the HR manager told thetrainees, "when this company isassesing the needs of the organizationas compared to the competencies of itsemployees - and practical training andthreads are specifically constructed tomeet these gaps".And the five skills covered by the ACT 2program – that "gap" referred to by thesteelmaker’s Human ResourcesManager - were as follows: 1.teamwork and collaboration; 2. effectivecommunication; 3. strategic thinking; 4.developing people; 5. initiative anddelegation.Dozens, maybe even hundreds ofrecurring problems got to be dealt withusing management tools taught duringthe training hours - and that led tosavings of hundreds of thousands ofdollars for the plant.In addition, between the two mainstages of the program ACT, the topmanagement of ArcelorMittal Galațidecided to also develop projectmanager skills for a selected group ofemployees.The program lasted for six months, andwas carried out during the ACT 2project design process, ie between Apriland November 2011.48 plant employees were initiallyselected for this program to beattended, but the program soongained a larger importance thanexpected, reaching over 250participants. Top management goalwas to have the company a "reservoir"of already trained project managers,who would handle key investmentprojects that ArcelorMittal Galați planedto carry out. All participants received apost-training theme: three weeks toimplement one specific project usingthe project management skills acquiredduring training.By the end, of those 98,000 hours oftraining conducted over three years,ArcelorMittal Galați came to be adifferent company from the one it wasin 2009. People understood that whatthey do affects the company’s overallperformance - and that the job’ssecurity of each of them depends,fundamentally, on this performance.They learned, moreover, to crosscollaborate, to pass the informationquickly and more accurately, to worktogether and to seek for solutionsinstead of scapegoats. And, perhapsmost important of all, they startedtalking again about the future of their“combinat”.case
  4. 4. CONVERTING THEORY INTO PRACTICE4 EVOLUTIV CONSULTANTS NETWORKThe key question for allthe projects designed byEvolutiv in the three-year partnership withArcelorMittal Galați:how will the peopleimplement tomorrowwhat they are learningtoday?There were ten Evolutiv trainers thatshared their knowledge, starting 2010,in the classrooms of the Galați trainingcenter - Gigi Andrieș, Letiția Lucescu,Marian Staș, Delia Andrieș, GoguȘtefănescu, Cristina Țirulnic, DragoșTrâncă, Dan Pricop, Corina Curta,Ștefania Stuller.The program was challenging indeed:each concept, each module, eachexercise were carefully calibrated toanswer the business goals of thecompany. Each suggestion of the boardmembers was included into the trainingwork flow. And each curricula bit had toclearly answer the key question of theproject: how would all thoseclassroom theories be readilyapplied down tomorrow, in theworkplace?All three big projects - ACT 1, ACT 2and the Project Management Program –were crafted along the same red thread:to provide practical tools for thecompany’s needs. As a recognition, thefirst of three projects, ACT 1, wasnominated at the PerformanceExcellence Awards 2011, ArcelorMittalUniversity’s annual competition: the 132de internal projects that grew from thetraining program succeeded in solving,with no investment at all, recurrentproblems clogging the plant’sprocesses.They were short term, two-month longprojects that came to be known in thecompany’s lingo as FACTs (from FastActive Constant Transformation). “If wewere to quantify the savings achievedby those 132 projects from ACT 1, therewere hundreds of thousands of dollars”,said Liviu Bogdan, ArcelorMittal’s Headof the Learning Department. “Theinvestment in training paid back in onlytwo months”.In its turn, ACT 2 was also designedfrom a practical perspective. Trainersguided participants to readily apply whatthey learned about the five keycompetencies in each of their daily lifeat work. “We deployed, for example,specific assignements about strategicthinking, which is a rather abstractconcept, and all projects werepresented and discussed during thefollow-up sessions. Moreover, wedecided to build on the employeescurrent activities rather than improvisenew tasks extracted from sometextbook study cases”, Gigi Andrieș,Evolutiv trainer and project manager forACT 1 and for ACT 2, explained.In the end, this “two ACTs evolution” is astory about two partners, a steelmakerand a consultancy, sharing their skillsand strenghts to climb together the pathto the common objective.Certainly, after every such project partof the energy assembled in theclasroom fades away – that is a fact.Why is that happening? Maybebecause, as Albert Einstein used to say,“in theory, theory and practice arethe same. In practice, though, theyare not”. Not surprisingly, the logic ofthe exceptional theorist Einstein isfollowed here, at ArcelorMittal, as well.It seems, though, that more and morefrequently it fails to apply. Hundreds ofsteelmakers left behind, lately, theabove thinking pattern.And if you happen to stop by in Galațiand talk to the people of ArcelorMittalyou may feel around them some sort ofheatwave.Of course, you may say, it’s the touch ofthe steel’s melting temperature. Whatyou may not know is this temperaturemiraculously rose lately with fewhundreds degrees coming from a new,clean, fresh source - from the heat of”yes, we can make it”