Factories Cutting Corners To Keep Up With Fast Fashion Josiah Wedgwood – The Manager and Entrepreneur

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Josiah Wedgwood – The Manager and Entrepreneur

Most of us have favorites. Sports heroes, politicians, movie stars, chefs, and more. It’s as if our choices of certain people have a positive effect on our insight, insight, and naive taste. For example, in the world of management, there are flavors of the moment. At one stage it was a “celebrity CEO” (until they realized they were also prone to mistakes). I even tried to uncover leadership lessons from various figures.

In all this quest, it is inevitable that some people worthy of recognition and moments in the sun will be overlooked. The ceramist and founder of his company Wedgwood, Charles he is Darwin’s grandfather.

Wedgwood adopted work practices and introduced innovations 100 years before they became an accepted part of everyday organizational life. In the process, he increased his £20 inheritance to his £500,000.

Here are 10 Wedgwood qualities that contribute to our current management. [1]

he accepted the change

The Industrial Revolution brought great changes to society, industry, and the economy. In the early 18th century, pottery was a functional, crude container primarily for storage and transportation. Wedgwood embraced many changes that affected how his products were made and sold. Craftsmanship, design, process and innovation flourished.

The size and sophistication of the market developed throughout the 18th century. Industrial wages were paid, wealth and disposable income increased. Stylish table accessories were in great demand in burgeoning industrial cities and increasingly wealthy colonies. Drinking tea and coffee has joined the traditional pastime of drinking beer as a national feature.

The Industrial Revolution provided an opportunity for the pottery industry to replace traditional water-powered factories and windmills with coal-fired steam engines. In 1782 Wedgwood purchased his one of James Watt’s steam engines. The rest of the industry quickly followed his lead.

Wedgwood also moved into the liberal Reformed society. He applied the principle of division of labor espoused by his contemporary Adam Smith. He was an avid reader of Payne and Rousseau. He supported the American Revolutionary War and was an active member of the Anti-Slavery Commission.

he established and maintained productive relationships

Today, Wedgwood would be described as “the man of the Renaissance.” He was the master network creator and collaborator. He valued and nurtured friendships and personal connections. Many of them had very diverse interests. For example, he worked with leaders in the arts and science community to design better products. His friend and business partner Thomas Bentley expertly read the social trends that allowed Wedgwood to produce in-demand and superior products. The market was surprised that Wedgwood read social trends, responded to them, and ultimately increased sales.

His collaboration with leaders in their field at the time allowed Wedgwood to (confidently) replace the drab, crude and mundane with a vast range of beautiful and affordable products. He also worked with fellow Staffordshire potters to solve common technical problems. For example, in 1775 he initiated perhaps the world’s first joint industrial research project.

he practiced MBWA

The term Management-By-Walking-Around (MBWA) was borrowed from Hewlett-Packard and enshrined in the first business bestsellers by Tom Peters and Bob Watermanin. Seeking excellence , was practiced by Josiah Wedgwood almost 200 years ago. Wedgwood believed and practiced making employees visible, including mentoring and coaching, rather than being “nosy.” His MBWA practice has enabled him to produce highly detailed “Potters Instructions” developed from his 30+ years of practical experience.

The first drawback was a weakened knee, left over from childhood smallpox. Dealing with that inconvenience, he was strapped to a wooden leg and continued his MBWA practice.

he insisted on WH&S

Wedgwood was conscious of health and safety, especially the ever-present danger of lead poisoning. He insisted on proper cleaning methods, work clothes and laundry facilities. Substance abuse was not tolerated. He banned drinking altogether. Punctuality was required. Regular attendance was encouraged. Fixed hours and a rudimentary check-in system were introduced. Wedgwood was meticulous about cleanliness and avoiding waste. Workers were fined heavily for leaving scraps of material unattended.

he led by example

Wedgwood started working as a potter at the age of 11 (Josiah was the youngest of 13 children when her father died when she was 9). He knew all the “tricks of the trade”. His “Potters Instructions” included detailed descriptions of all the processes performed and all the tricks employees used to cut corners.

Wedgwood was hardworking, driven, demanding, questioning established practices with intellectual curiosity and always looking for a better way of doing things. He was very ambitious, obsessed with quality, and did everything very well. And he expected the same from his workers.

Wedgwood’s tenacity is legendary. His favorite motto was “everything beats experimentation”. Edison’s efforts to perfect the light bulb are familiar to most (although the number of failed attempts is open to speculation), but Wedgwood’s tenacity in producing jasper nearly 100 years ago It was barely recognized. After recording his more than 5,000 experiments, Wedgwood (1775) produced jasper, known as one of his most important innovations since the invention of porcelain in China nearly 1,000 years ago. .

he pioneered productive work practices

When Wedgwood established a major factory (Etruria), he set out to industrialize what had been a peasant industry. He applied Adam Smith’s principle of division of labor, involving specialists who focused on specific elements of the production process, increasing efficiency. Training and skill development were key features of this process. In 1790, nearly a quarter of his workforce were apprentices, many of whom were women.

In the factory system of that time, there was no tradition of foremen, clerks and managers to be disciplined. As a predecessor to scientific management in the early 20th century, he created highly detailed “Potter’s Instructions” based on the rules and regulations he developed in his thirty years of experience. All the tricks employees use to cut corners, and instructions on how to reward good performers and reprimand bad ones.

Its flexibility allowed Wedgwood’s factory to produce a great variety of goods in a short period of time, changing colors, fashions, styles and prices quickly in response to market demand. His production system minimized ownership risk, reduced fixed costs and maximized input from skilled labor.

he was picky about quality

Wedgwood was a visionary. He wanted to make the world a better place as a result of his contribution. One of his boasts was that he “made an artist out of a mere mortal.” For that reason (and others, of course), he was notoriously intolerant of poor quality. He was loitering around the factory, smashing substandard pots and writing in chalk on problematic workbenches, “This is not for Josiah Wedgwood.” The worker was fined for violating his demands for quality.

However, he trained his employees and dedicated himself to providing the highest quality raw materials. He supported apprenticeships and invested in employee education, health, food and housing. In what is today called “global sourcing,” he purchased clay from America in trade with the Cherokee, from Canton in China, and through contacts with Joseph his Banks, from his cove in Sydney.

He used marketing to create demand and increase sales

Wedgwood offered marketing resistance to a take-or-leave world. He opened a new showroom in London and incorporated customer feedback into design and production. He introduced self-service, catalog sales, pattern books, free shipping on merchandise, money-back guarantees, and subscriptions, all of which, in Wedgwood’s words, “entertain, distract, please, surprise, and even It was intended to seduce women. ‘.

He eagerly sought patronage from nobles and politicians and took advantage of their orders as testimony is used today.In 1776 Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, ordered a tea service. When he did, he expressed his royal endorsement on letterhead, showrooms, and advertisements. He called the cream line “Queen’s Ware” and aroused the admiration of users. As a privilege, he charged a premium price compared to his competitors for those wanting to dine off-the-plate fit for a queen.On another occasion, he did so for Russia’s Empress Catherine II. provided 932 services. People, including royalty, have beckoned to watch the sensation outside his London store.

he chose open innovation over intellectual property

Wedgwood was inspired by the work of others and was therefore happy for others to copy his work. As this example shows, he was less concerned with preserving intellectual capital than with contributing to the development and strengthening of relationships.

One of the long-standing challenges in making ceramics has been measuring the high temperatures inside the kiln to control the manufacturing process. Wedgwood invented a pyrometer or thermometer to record these temperatures. In true Wedgwood fashion, he didn’t try to keep the technology to himself. He also provided his fellow scientists with specially designed experimental equipment.

he was a master of logistics and infrastructure

Wedgwood has gone to great lengths to pursue product and sales excellence. He spent an enormous amount of time and money improving communications and transportation. Especially in the ports that brought him raw materials and provided routes to markets. He facilitated the development of the Turnpike Road, a 93-mile-long (93 miles) extraordinary engineering feat linking Staffordshire with the ports of Liverpool in the west and Hull in the east. was a person After the completion of the canal, he estimates that freight charges have decreased by 90%.

1. Occam’s RazorRadio National, Australia: “A Timeless Innovator”, 14 December 2008, presented by Professor Mark Dodgson, Director, Center for Technology and Innovation Management, University of Queensland, Australia.

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