Dean is a passionate and enthusiastic industry expert with over 30 years of experience and demonstrated success under his belt. He is driven by his desire to help people and believes in doing business with people, not companies. For the last year at IMEC, Dean has demonstrated his passion by working with and helping a wide range of organizations to create competitive futures in Northern Illinois.
MOST REWARDING PROJECT?
Workforce development is a significant issue facing companies throughout the state. Addressing this challenge requires a multi-faceted approach and the need to collaborate with other economic development organizations. These partnerships allow organizations to more fully work together driving move positive results that benefit the community.
A key training program for IMEC is the Training Within Industry (TWI) program directed towards supervisory level training. In collaborating with community leaders, this IMEC program became endorsed by a local chamber of commerce and supported through the local WIOA grant funding organization. It was quite rewarding to bring together this level of collaboration with people who are all dedicated to the same goals of meeting the workforce shortage and gap skills challenge. It’s a real example of people working together to drive positive results in our community.
MOST CHALLENGING PROJECT THAT RESULTED IN POSITIVE IMPACTS?
I had a 2 week training program setup and ready to launch. And then just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The biggest issue was the wonderful winter weather in Northern Illinois during January and February. Classes had to be cancelled, and rescheduling always raises challenges – from attendees to administrative and operational issues. Several people were involved with priorities that created other concerns. And did I mention the weather? It was just really, really cold and that added to the challenges.
But in the midst, it all refocused back on people. Through continued communication, collaboration and flexibility, we were able to pull the program back on track albeit to an entirely different schedule than expected. The emphasis on this effort was the overall value of the training for area supervisors. In the end, the training was highly impactful. It was a determination to see it through and maintain relationships. And it wrapped up with a project evaluation offering high praise.
NEW INDUSTRY TREND YOU’RE INTERESTED IN PURSUING THAT DRIVES GROWTH THROUGH ENTERPRISE EXCELLENCE?
Smart Glasses, digital technology for recording, documenting and editing production line work instructions and operational processes. This is a great tool to capture first-person video of work to assist organizations in advancing continuous improvement and workforce development.
COMMON TOPICS NOTICED WITHIN THE INDUSTRY?
Workforce Development in the areas of workforce shortages and skill gaps is facing every organization. This issue is having a far reaching impact in the areas of quality, delivery and lost revenue. We face it today and the issue is not going away any time soon. It is a changing landscape that requires organizations to rethink and retool the methods used for workforce development.
MOST USEFUL MEDIA FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT?
There are a lot of good resources, but I tend to lean towards reading. Books I’ve recently read include The Coaching Habit and Trusted Advisor. Both have been highly insightful and impactful. Additionally, hands-on activities such as project shadowing are great as it not only ties in learning but does while interacting with people.
“P2P – People working with people.” Dean Harms, Regional Manager (IMEC)
Learn more about Dean and how he can help you create your competitive future here.