Talking Workplace Safety with Donald Leon Farrow

6 Jan

Donald Leon Farrow on Workplace Safety

For two years, Donald Leon Farrow worked as the Maintenance and Engineering Department Manager for a major food company. When he accepted the position, Donald Leon Farrow was told he would be asked to look for workplace inefficiencies and come up with innovative ways to help the company cut costs. Donald Leon Farrow also wanted to do his part to make the company a better place to work, so he could retain his skilled staff members and cut down on his recruitment and training costs.

Donald Leon Farrow quickly learned that he could both cut costs and improve worker morale if he did one thing: Focus on safety.

Working in a factory can be incredibly dangerous. Machines are heavy, obviously, and they tend to move quite quickly. If a worker is not paying the right amount of attention at the proper time, that worker could quickly end up in the hospital. When a worker is injured in this manner, it impacts the morale of the entire team, as everyone wonders if they will be next to be hurt.

When the workplace is undergoing a construction project, the risks grow yet higher. Construction workers might be injured during the course of their work, or their work might create hazards that could cause permanent staff to be injured. Donald Leon Farrow’s company was going through such a project, and he knew he had to do something to reduce injury risks.

In order to tackle this problem, Donald Leon Farrow decided to hold daily meetings with his staff. While people might groan at the idea of attending yet another meeting, the sessions that Donald Leon Farrow held were meant to be short, entertaining and informative. In each meeting, Donald Leon Farrow discussed OSHA safety rules and how they should be followed. He spent a lot of time thinking about what he would say and how he would say it. Contractors, maintenance and engineering personnel were all required to attend.

The work that Donald Leon Farrow did proved quite effective. As a result of these meetings and the culture of safety that Donald Leon Farrow created, injuries were reduced. In fact, no major injuries occurred among in house and construction crews. While meetings may not be the best solution for all problems, Donald Leon Farrow believes that more companies should do their part to improve safety standards. Workers will stay safe, and the company will be more efficient as a result.

Donald Leon Farrow Discusses A3 Problem Solving

6 Jan

Donald Leon Farrow on A3 Problem Solving

Engineers like Donald Leon Farrow are often asked to step in and solve problems. Engineers are logical people who are comfortable dealing with complicated problems, so it makes sense to ask these professionals for help when it comes to tackling a difficult issue. When Donald Leon Farrow is asked to work on these sorts of tasks, he often utilizes the A3 system.

The A3 system was originally designed by Toyota, and the name refers to the size of paper the A3 forms are typically printed on. When an engineer like Donald Leon Farrow begins to use the A3 system, he uses the Toyota-designed paperwork to help guide his thoughts. The A3 paperwork requires Donald Leon Farrow to:

  • Identify the problem
  • Understand why that problem is occurring
  • Identify a root cause
  • Brainstorm solutions
  • Create a plan
  • Put that plan in action
  • Watch for results
  • Repeat if needed

It sounds simple enough to accomplish, but it takes the skill and dedication of someone like Donald Leon Farrow in order to achieve true success with the A3 system. So many people simply skip past the research portion of the plan and they jump directly into brainstorming solutions and implementing them right away.

When Donald Leon Farrow uses the A3 system, he takes his time with the research portion of the process. He really wants to understand why the problem is occurring, and he wants to be able to explain it clearly. Sometimes Donald Leon Farrow uses graphics like pie charts or drawings to help him clearly conceptualize a problem.

When Donald Leon Farrow has completed his research, he opens the floor to brainstorming suggestions. He encourages everyone to bring an idea to the table, no matter how zany that idea might seem at the time. Sometimes, two ideas can be combined into one stronger unit. Other times, an idea can move from crazy to brilliant with just one minor tweak. Donald Leon Farrow likes to have multiple ideas to work with during the brainstorming sessions.

The solutions Donald Leon Farrow provides as the result of this A3 process are grounded in research, steeped in creativity and easy to implement. He has found the process to be incredibly helpful in his work. Donald Leon Farrow is likely to continue to use the A3 process when he is asked to solve problems in the future.

Why is Cross-Department Communication Important? Donald Leon Farrow Explains

1 Jan

Donald Leon Farrow on Cross-Department Communication

Donald Leon Farrow has worked as an engineer for many years. He’s held a variety of leadership positions in the companies he’s worked for, and he’s led teams both large and small. During this lengthy career, Donald Leon Farrow has discovered that many company problems can be distilled into one basic cause: Departments in standard companies often don’t talk to one another.

Cross-departmental communication, according to Donald Leon Farrow, can completely transform a business. Consider this example: Donald Leon Farrow sets out to transform the way his manufacturing floor works. He cuts down inefficiencies and allows the plant to work without any downtime whatsoever. If he doesn’t speak to the purchasing department, however, the department doesn’t know to buy more raw materials. As a result, even though Donald Leon Farrow has improved the efficiency of his department, those efficiency gains mean nothing because his department has no raw materials to work with.

According to Donald Leon Farrow, cross-departmental communication means more than shooting out email messages to everyone in the company. Instead, Donald Leon Farrow encourages face-to-face meetings. When he’s working on a problem that might impact other departments, he holds meetings and asks for input from those other departments. When he’s completed a report, he delivers it by hand and makes sure the other department head doesn’t have questions about the report. In this way, he fosters rapport and he builds relationships. These can also come in handy down the line, as those department heads will remember to include Donald Leon Farrow when they’re working on issues that could impact him and his department.

Donald Leon Farrow believes that companies with strong cross-departmental communication develop a teamwork approach. All departments work toward a common good, and they become much more efficient as a result. These businesses also become more pleasant places to work, as the employees are all spending their effort on improving and sharing, rather than hiding and blaming.

Companies that have never shared information like this may find it difficult to begin. Donald Leon Farrow suggests that managers sit their teams down and ask them to brainstorm ideas about other departments they should talk with most often. Then, managers should set a good example by working closely with these departments. In this way, the culture of good cross-department communication begins.


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