Robert Thikoll: Roles As Vice President Of Global Operational Excellence

Q&A with Robert Thikoll conducted by Lynn Fosse:

Mr. Thikoll was recently interviewed about his roles and responsibilities as the VP at Ingersoll Rand for Global Operational Excellence. He was asked a variety of questions including how his day-to-day efforts are focused in his position. He informed Miss Fosse that his role is to be responsible for the growth of the company and their commitment to Operational Excellence through the lean transformation. He also provides through his role influence, leadership and a hands-on engagement of lean initiatives throughout the company.

Day-To-Day Focus In Role

When asked about his daily role and focus, Mr. Thikoll says that his daily focus is always about people first. The company’s focus is on creating a continuously-improving environment which fosters leaders into becoming coaches of expert-level problem solving. Many corporations which begin a lean journey will end up either abandoning the journey or diluting it to the point where they aren’t using lean thinking anymore at all. He feels there needs to be a balance with striving for results through balancing creation and the process of standard work.

Robert Thikoll- Businessman

Thikoll learned a lot about how to perform his current role from past ones he has had. He had worked for Toyota in years past and was given the opportunity to learn how to build products with his own hands at a factory.

After Toyota, he worked for the Danaher Corporation where he learned that it isn’t always easy to transform businesses into lean thinking. He found that most businesses need to see ahead of time if lean thinking is going to be beneficial.

Mr. Thikoll believes that the most valuable and important evolution of his career came when he began to transform from a person who was just teaching lean thinking and expecting everyone to jump on board to being someone who was able to thoughtfully teach it. He therefore created “pull” for his assistance and mentorship from those who would eventually become true believers of the lean way of thinking.