Action Management: Making Things Happen

The image of the Dexion product has both a cerebral and a practical element – the problem-solving and the “metal-bashing.” For, at the end of the day, any organization has physically to produce something. For all his intellectual sophistication, the physical product was dear to Demetrius Comino's heart. Furthermore, physical productivity is part and parcel of the company's heritage, as Bill Bates, the production manager, explains:

We built our families on the back of Comino. George Thomson, who started out as a sweeper on the factory floor and ended up as our managing director, would come in with Comino's ideas, and between them they'd make it work. During the Skopje earthquake we worked 24 hours a day to get the product out. During the three-day week in 1971 it happened again19.

When the company achieved production levels of one-million feet of slotted angle per week there were great celebrations. The physical image of the powerful “metal-bashers” or steel men is also central to the company ethos. Brian Stringer, a youthful but senior buyer in the storage division, joined Dexion not only because of its reputation for training and developing its people but also because “it is a big player in steel, and I love steel.”

Finally, as the umpteenth Dexionite extols the Dexion bedrock that forms the firm foundation of his personal and corporate working life, it is plain that vision and action, invisible dream and visible reality, remain connected. ...

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