February 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 9 
Cover Story


Jerry LinesAt Boeing manufacturing locations companywide, employees are turning the promise of the company's Vision 2016 mission statement-"People working together as a global enterprise for aerospace leadership"-into a reality that benefits stakeholders.

Over the past nine years-about as long as Vision 2016 has been around-Boeing and some of its unions have forged unique working-together relationships to ensure Boeing's success in an increasingly challenging global market. These relationships are having lasting impacts on the workers who participate and on the company's ability to compete.


'This is what leadership is all about'

Greg CottonGreg Cotton joined Boeing in 1979 as a utility worker. But for the past eight-plus years, he's been a High Performance Work Organization team leader and facilitator in St. Louis. Cotton shared with Boeing Frontiers his experiences in this role and what it's meant for his career, the teams he's worked on and the company.

Q: What process did you go through to become a team leader?

A: Team leaders are selected by the team members. The group first asks for volunteers to take the team leader role, and then the group decides who the team leader will be. There must be a consensus among all team members on who the leader will be. Once the teams choose their leaders, team leaders go through 28 hours of training to learn how to perform the role. [Employees in HPWOs get] 16 hours of basic team-member training, so the training team leaders get is in addition to that.


Corporate coalitions

Wichita factoryFormer U.S. President John F. Kennedy observed, "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future."

Boeing and several of its unions have their eyes clearly on the future-changing what has been a wary relationship into a true partnership, focused on mutual success.

Several unions across Boeing have written into their contracts special articles or letters of understanding specifically targeting partnership opportunities to improve performance at the shop level.



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