46 Boeing Frontiers At Boeing, Corvi covered lots of ground by asking a lot of questions. She said she pushed for change by engaging and empowering her teams, often using all of her powers of persuasion. She trusted her instincts and the people she worked with. “It was making it OK to speak up and do things not conforming to standard,” Corvi said of her impact on Boeing. “You could be one of the guys but not be one of the guys. You could be yourself and come to work every day and not have to compromise yourself. I believe I was true to myself and true to everyone I worked with.” n email@example.com Photo: Carolyn Corvi, who served as 737 and 757 vice president and general manager among her many Boeing roles, in the factory in Renton, Wash., in December 2001. boeing based on the continual elimination or removal of waste in every process, in everything you do,” she said. “That’s the approach we took on the 737 program. It’s a huge cultural change— to me, that’s the legacy.” In 2001, an earthquake in the Seattle area damaged a Boeing facility that held 737 engineers. Rather than rebuild, Corvi received approval to create a new workspace inside the Renton factory. She brought engineering and manufacturing together in a more collaborative fashion, all under one roof. “All of it was based on Carolyn having a very clear and inspired vision in seeing us working together in the future—it just made sense,” said Mark Garvin, Boeing Business Jets completion manager, who was heavily involved in planning the move. “She had strong beliefs. She’s about as courageous as they come.” Plenty of companies have tried to implement the Toyota Production System through the years, but few sustain it, unwilling to take the next step and make the cultural changes required, according to Corvi. Boeing has been a notable exception. “She truly embedded Lean in the culture of The Boeing Company,” Lund said. Corvi, who retired in 2008 as vice president and general manager of Airplane Programs, lives in Seattle and serves on three corporate boards and two nonprofit boards. One nonprofit is the Museum of Flight. Another is a medical center, one that asked her to help support the implementation of the Toyota principles and transformation of the center’s health care system. Corvi and her husband have embraced retirement. They pursue adventure travel, hiking across the world in such places as Ethiopia, India, Japan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. In the European destination, they walked more than 190 miles (310 kilometers) in 12 days.
Frontiers October 2015 Issue
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