Robert Thikoll, the Vice President of Global Operations at Ingersoll Rand, recently sat down with CEOCFO Magazine to discuss a variety of topics related to modern corporate philosophies. Of the topics discussed, one stood as particularly interesting though: lean thinking. More specifically, Thikoll talked about his experiences in helping to reshape his company’s focus on lean thinking, as well as how other companies can do it effectively.
Given Thikoll’s work history and immersion in Japanese culture, it’s understandable that his focus would be on helping employees to find the right balance between sustainability and results. With regards to lean thinking, this meant developing a positive team environment, which helped employees to feel like they succeeded, or failed, together as a unit. Of course, Thikoll admits that every company is different, so it’s hard to develop an overarching strategy that can be applied to businesses of all sizes. Still, in his experience, Thikoll has found that companies which are able to strike an effective balance have found the most success in the marketplace.
Despite his current interests, Thikoll actually started his education with a focus on political science and the Japanese language. By his own admission, Thikoll was less focused on the content of his education, and instead used that time to hone his critical thinking skills. In fact, it could be said that this skill is what has helped Thikoll to find so much success in the business world. By being able to look at areas that aren’t performing well, and then approaching them from a unique perspective, Thikoll has managed to develop innovative solutions for the companies he’s worked for, from Toyota to Ingersoll Rand.