During the Q&A session of Louisville’s recent Family Business Awards ceremony, the chairman of the famed Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory revealed his career’s biggest highlight – something that occurred in 1984 and still impacts him today.
Listening to a presentation by management consultant Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Jack Hillerich was struck by Dr. Deming’s philosophy regarding good versus unproductive workers. This view bucked the prevailing rule-of-thumb that 60 percent are good or willing, 20 percent are on the fence while the other 20 percent are bad workers.
“Dr. Deming said workers have a right to enjoy their work,” Mr. Hillerich recalled. “In the four years I went to business college, I never heard the word joy once. And he said everyone is a willing worker. The bottom line is, if you don’t enjoy your work, how can you be proud of what you do? If you’re not proud of what you do, how can you be productive? If you don’t enjoy what you do, how can you be creative?
“So, my whole career has been can I find ways to bring joy to the company and the people who work with me,” he said. “Because working with people who are joyful or happy is really great.”
As a family business, Advanced Global Communications (AGC) credits these principles, and the combined efforts of our team, in receiving a Small Business of the Year honor during the ceremony.
Brothers Chris and Patrick Keller, who co-founded AGC in 1995, accepted the award May 24 during the event, hosted at The Olmsted by Louisville Business First newspaper. The University of Louisville’s College of Business and Family Business Center were presenting sponsors.
During the segment’s video presentation, which featured acceptance remarks by all Family Business Awards honorees, Chris Keller echoed Mr. Hillerich’s observations. He stressed the importance of treating employees with respect and trust while delivering “white-glove” service to clients. Being a family-owned firm gives AGC a distinct advantage in living out such values.
In presenting the honor, program officials praised AGC for using its family-owned status and values to outcompete global firms, some with tens of millions of customers and billions in revenue.
A special section with more coverage of the Family Business Awards ceremony, including profiles of each Small Business of the Year honoree, is available to Louisville Business First subscribers. In the section, Chris and Patrick Keller stated what the future holds for business telecom and security-system integration.
“We’re excited about cutting-edge developments within our industry, such as cloud-hosted telephone systems, surveillance cameras guided by artificial intelligence, new ways to protect clients’ data and more. We see these developments before the public and even most competitors. But we look deeper to see how they can be applied to clients’ needs.”