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Restructure Your Company to Win in the New Economy

Keynote speech describes the shape of manufacturing to come: "Prospector' companies will prosper as "Defender' organizations disappear.

What type of organizational model will succeed in today's hyper competitive global economy? Mike Collins knows. Drawing on several decades of research and experience, Collins has identified the 5 common attributes of the organizational models used by winning manufacturing companies. In this speech, Restructure Your Company to Win in the New Economy, Collins weaves a narrative that will have the audience nodding their heads, as he explains the rise and fall of the old "Defender' type organization, contrasted with the emergence of the new "Prospector' organization.

The Stars of Manufacturing

Collins' findings are vividly illustrated by the stories of 25 new "Stars of Manufacturing" that are organized to be fast, flexible and effective, enabling them to find new opportunities in the global economy while many other manufacturers struggle to survive. The Stars of Manufacturing are a group of companies that hail from industries old and new that are bucking the downward trend of U.S. manufacturing. All are profitably growing, and many grew right through the manufacturing recession early this decade - even though many compete in sectors that are shrinking in the U.S. In dozens of interviews and years of tracking these successful companies, Collins has amassed and is ready to share detailed information about the strategies used by these successful small and midsize manufacturing companies.

The 5 attributes of effective organizations

The stories from the Stars show the characteristics of the organizational models that are most effective. The organizations are:

  1. Decentralized and Flat: They've eliminated middle-manager levels and created self-governing units at the division, team and cell level, so they are quick to respond and deliver solutions that customers demand.
  2. Customer Facing: They've eliminated the command-and-control management that keeps employees looking inward toward upper management, and replaced it with a decentralized system that keeps employees connected to customers.
  3. Lean and Streamlined: They've carefully evaluated every indirect function in terms of cost vs. benefits, and eliminated rules, policies and handbooks that strangle decision-making. They're focused on doing the right things, rather than doing things right.
  4. Innovative at all Levels: They've given employees throughout the organization more freedom to think, innovate and make their own decisions.
  5. Market Focused: They constantly scan the market for new opportunities.

Most executives know that new business models are needed to effectively compete, but too many of them are still mired in the past. As Collins describes how and why the "Defender' model worked so well in the past, and why it fails today, executives will be motivated to change. They'll fully understand why centralized control, stability, reliability and efficiency were hallmarks of past success, and how decentralized decision-making, flexibility, speed and effectiveness will herald success in the future.

Take the Test

Collins keeps audiences engaged in his presentation by having them rate their own companies' success - using his' "Key Strategies Rating Sheet" to compare their efforts to those Collins describes. With the results of their self-evaluation combined with the vivid examples Collins recounts, attendees leave knowing what they're good at and what they must change when they return to the plant.

Discounts on Books

As part of a speaking contract, Collins will offer his books to attendees at discounted prices. The books, Saving American Manufacturing and Growth Planning Handbook for Small and Midsize Manufacturers, distill and detail the strategies and tactics that helped small and midsize industrial and technology companies transform from "Defender' to "Prospector' organizations and set them on course toward ongoing future growth.


Collins' energetic speaking style, use of real-life experiences, and ability to engage manufacturing leaders in meaningful dialogue is truly effective. When people leave Collins' sessions they are compelled to make changes in their organizations.

Joe Boyle
Business Advisor Northern Initiatives
Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center

He brings to the table a powerful combination of not only manufacturing knowledge but also of understanding how to find, develop, and penetrate profitable markets for existing and new products. Thus, he can speak with authority about creating and making products and getting them through sales distribution channels to end-users.

Charles France
Manager of Strategic Services
Economic Development Institute
Georgia Tech University


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