Food Engineering

Editor's Note: Embracing the new methods of manufacturing leadership

August 1, 2011
The days of management by walking around the plant are long gone, and more collaborative work sessions and wireless tools will be embraced by future manufacturing leadership.

For those who think social media is not worth the time, I want you to know I came across an interesting webpage on manufacturing leadership this week as a result of something I saw from one of my LinkedIn connections. Yes, I actually hit the “like” button on it.

The topic: Today’s traditional manufacturing cultures simply aren’t good enough for the next generation of high-performance leaders. According to a column on the Manufacturing Executive’s website, the days of management by walking around the plant are long gone, and more collaborative work sessions and wireless tools will be embraced by future manufacturing leadership.

When I think about Food Engineering readers addressing that future, I’m not concerned. Five years ago, many would have dismissed social media as a waste of time. Today, I see many subscribers among Food Engineering’s LinkedIn ranks, and no one in food and beverage manufacturing management could function in 2011 without nearly constant contact to a wireless device.

Maybe it’s the nature of the beast. Our industry’s output is one of the few absolutely essential elements for sustaining human life. And supporting and improving human wellness is one of our industry’s leading mandates. That’s why this month’s cover story is about embracing not only change, but the quest for manufacturing transparency that supports food safety and enhances corporate social responsibility.

After having spent a quarter of a century working in this industry, I don’t think I have experienced as many changes as we have seen in the past two or three years from the Food Safety Modernization Act, third-party audits and the increase in sanitary design, to manufacturing transparency and industry strides to make healthy eating choices available.

Thanks for embracing the change.