In 1980, Bill Brandt founded American Woodmark to acquire a small kitchen cabinet business. At the time, the business had annual sales of $30 million. In 1992 as Chairman and CEO, Bill attended a seminar conducted by Peter Senge, describing the principles of the learning organization as presented in his book, The Fifth Discipline.
It was through this seminar that Bill learned of the work of Robert Fritz work that was to have a profound impact on Bill, leading him to create a core management tool for American Woodmark based on Structural Dynamics and the principles from Fritzs book, The Path of Least Resistance.
By the mid-1990s the process had become the basic methodology by which the company did work. The methodology was incorporated into the companys business plans, meeting management, scorecard measurements, and performance planning and assessment for individuals. The process enabled the organization to better create goals, focus priorities, align resources, monitor performance, and achieve desired results.
The result for American Woodmark? It has grown from revenues of $30 million in 1980 to over $550 million today! American Woodmark products are carried at Lowes and Home Depot.
According to Mr. Brandt, Employees have found that they were successful using the process not only at work, but also in their personal lives-- at home and with their involvement in church, clubs and civic organizations.
James J. Gosa, President and CEO of American Woodmark, observes: This process was the most important management tool we used in helping American Woodmark to become a growth company.
In 2001, Mr. Brandt formed the Alisar Corporation to make popular the process that had served American Woodmark and its employees so well.
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