Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit: Purpose powered performance

Posted on 19 Nov 2018 by Jonny Williamson

AstraZeneca’s Naveed Khawaja highlighted the vital, but often forgotten, role of purpose powered performance and vision alignment during his keynote at Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit 2018.

Business Agility Growth-Money-Sustainability-Stock - image courtesy of Adobe Stock.
Rather than concentrate on money, today’s businesses should focus on value – image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

People, without them there wouldn’t be any technology. Yet, with all the talk of digital manufacturing and everything it encapsulates (automation, robotics, cloud, big data, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, digital twins), people are often relegated to an afterthought.

Naveed Khawaja, business transformation director at AstraZeneca, wants to change that. He wants to see people put at the heart of the disruption impacting not just manufacturing, but every business and commerce sector globally.

According to Khawaja, the most important aspect is vision alignment, i.e. ensuring that everyone in a team, a department or an entire organisation is aware of a shared purpose and pulling in the same direction accordingly.

Revolution number ??

When discussing Industrial Revolutions, the dominating perspective is that there have been three and we are currently experiencing the fourth – steam and mechanisation (18th century), mass production (early-20th century), electronics (1970s) and digital technologies (today).

Khawaja, however, put forward the idea that there have previously been two (production and productivity), and we are currently undergoing the third, the defining characteristic of which he suggested centres on individual development.

Today’s revolution is about purpose; what is your purpose, he asked, and what is your business’?

Khawaja quoted Henry Ford: “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”

Rather than concentrate on money, today’s businesses should focus on value, he continued.

Sustainable value lasts beyond production and consumption, Meaningful value matters, and Authentic value grows businesses, it benefits boardrooms, shareholders, people, communities, society and the natural world.”

To achieve such value, we – as businesses and as individuals – need to embody purpose powered performance, which means becoming wiser, smarter, fitter, closer and tougher, Khawaja concluded.

Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit has been bringing together senior industry executives for more than a decade, and is the biggest manufacturer-to-manufacturer conference in the country.

It is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Digital Manufacturing Week, an annual celebration of UK manufacturing excellence that takes place every November in Liverpool. This year saw 887 delegates attend Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit (up 45% on 2017) and 5,322 visitors to Digital Manufacturing Week (up 36% on 2017).

Clear your diary and join us next year: 13-14 Nov 2019!