Stevens continues lockheed martin''s diversity initiatives

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CASE

Robert Stevens Continues Lockheed Martin's Diversity Initiatives

Lockheed Martin, a highly diversified, advanced technology multinational corporation with approximately $41.9 billion in annualized sales and approximately 140,000 employees worldwide, has one of the most successful diversity programs in the nation today. Lockheed Martin's varied businesses are organized into four broad strategic business units (SBUs): Aeronautics, Electronic Systems, Integrated Systems & Global Solutions, and Space Systems. Vance Coffman served as chairman of Lockheed Martin from 1998 to 2004. Coffman was replaced by Robert Stevens in August 2004. Prior to becoming CEO, Stevens served as Lockheed Martin's president and chief operating officer. He has also served as the corporation's chief financial officer, among other key positions. Coffman is most admired for his efforts at creating a work environment that fosters greater awareness and sensitivity to the needs of Lockheed's diverse employee population. These efforts include crafting a "mission success" statement that clearly delineates the corporation's commitment to diversity, and hiring executives with the skills and commitment to implement the corporation's diversity initiatives. Lockheed Martin's core values in its mission statement are ethics, excellence, "can-do," integrity, people, and teamwork. On people, Lockheed maintains that it will "embrace lifelong learning . . . combined with company-sponsored education and development programs." On teamwork, it will "multiply the creativity, talents, and contributions of . . . by focusing on team goals." Teams will "assume collective responsibility for . . . share trust and leadership, embrace diversity, and accept responsibility for prudent risk-taking." It is clear from the speeches and comments of Stevens that he intends to continue right where Coffman left off. Upon receiving the "Executive of the Year" award from the National Management Association in November 2004, Stevens laid out what Lockheed Martin was looking for in its leaders as follows: At Lockheed Martin, we want: . . . highly principled and ethical people who place a high priority on honesty and integrity, both in their personal and professional lives . . . advocates for diversity who actively foster an inclusive environment where individual respect and teamwork matters . . . disciplined hard workers who are fearless in their pursuit of excellence and who demonstrate great pride and loyalty toward their organization . . . "whole-system creative thinkers" who can pursue innovation, get to the root of a challenge, and commit themselves to the process of life-long learning . . . and valued colleagues who possess humor, humility, and common sense. At Lockheed Martin, the belief is that to attract the best of the best, the corporation must include all segments of the population. In this respect, the corporation's Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) has created a Workforce Diversity Initiative that provides guidelines for implementing diversity programs at the strategic business unit levels. The EOO is set up to provide information to Lockheed Martin's SBUs on how to achieve diversity. Many Lockheed Martin companies have diversity departments charged with ensuring, among other things, that their companies are flexible enough to meet the needs of all employees. A number of Lockheed Martin companies have enhanced their diversity efforts by creating employee councils that serve as the conduits to carry concerns from employees to the councils and from the councils to management. The councils, all of which work on a volunteer basis, carry out the goals and programs suggested by the diversity department and by fellow employees. Another diversity initiative of Lockheed Martin has been the creation of employee networks. The following affinity groups were established by employees to foster career development and upward mobility through education, training and mentoring programs for employees in minority groups: the African American Mentoring and Information Network; the Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual at Lockheed Martin (GLOBAL) Organization; the Asian American and Pacific-Islander American Lockheed Martin Association (ALMA); Lockheed Martin Employees with Disability; and the Lockheed Martin Latino Mentoring Network. Minority-based social networks such as these are important because they tailor their training and mentoring to the specific issues of a particular subculture. Lockheed Martin has also actively advocated community outreach, which allows employees of the corporation to work with the community. Several community programs are sponsored by Lockheed. In Baltimore, teachers from around the country explore new, active, collaborative, and project-centered practices that bring math and science to life for kids. In Dallas, a special resource center gives indigent patients the care and guidance they might otherwise never receive; and in classrooms around the globe, students experience the thrill of space through virtual field trips and exciting hands-on activities. From educational opportunities to career placement to leadership training, Lockheed Martin has made it a priority to reach students from underrepresented groups. Helping to advance minority youth participation in the fields of math, science, and technology is a corporatewide effort. Lockheed Martin awards scholarships to minority students, and sponsors and participates in local and national conferences, such as the Emerald Honors Conference, the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference, the Asian American Engineer of the Year Awards, the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards, and Women in Aerospace. Lockheed Martin's Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) grants are aimed at developing academic and leadership skills, raising educational expectation, and instilling confidence in the nation's African-American, American Indian, Mexican-American, and Latino-American students within the fields of engineering, physical science, and other math-based fields. Its "INROADS" program develops and places talented minority students in business and industry, and prepares them for corporate and community leadership. Diversity managers and volunteers at companies throughout Lockheed Martin take different approaches to assessing how big a role their diversity initiatives have played in helping current employees feel at home. One of the most quantifiable approaches for self-evaluation is the Diversity Progress Index, which measures improvements in diversity over time. The index, which was first piloted in 1997, evaluates a department's approach to advocacy, assessment, planning, and implementation--as they relate to diversity. The index also allows a department to evaluate the role diversity has played in its business success. Outstanding performers are honored with the prestigious President's Diversity Awards. Because of strong leadership from Robert Stevens and his executive team and a highly motivated and committed group of managers, Lockheed Martin has received national attention and recognition for its diversity efforts. In 2005 alone, Lockheed Martin received the following recognitions:

  • Sustained membership in the "Billion Dollar Roundtable" (BDR). Sponsored by Minority Business News and Women's Enterprise Magazine, the BDR recognizes companies that achieve annual spending of at least $1 billion with minority and women-owned suppliers.
  • Voted #1 by readers of Woman Engineer magazine as the place they would most like to work or they believe provides the best working environment for women.
  • Listed as one of the top ten employers for African-American College Graduates by The Black Collegian.
  • Ranked #1 for the "Top Corporate Supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities".
  • Ranked #1 for the "Top Corporate Supporter of the Hispanic Serving Institutions Engineering".
  • Listed as one of the "Best Places to Work" by Baltimore magazine.
  • Voted #5 by readers of Minority Engineering magazine in "Top 50 Companies".
  • Ranked #5 on the Top 100 list by Training Magazine. Lockheed is in the top ten among the national elite of corporate training.

Lockheed Martin is the true embodiment of a company with a high-performance culture and a well-managed diversity program. Diversity at Lockheed Martin is an institutionalized concept, not just a principle on paper. GO TO THE INTERNET: To learn more about Lockheed Martin, visit its Web site (https://www.lockheedmartin.com). Support your answers to the following questions with specific information from the case and text or with other information you get from the Web or other sources.

1. Would you say Lockheed Martin Corporation has a low- or high-performance culture? Support your answer with evidence from the case.

2. In what ways has Lockheed Martin taken a proactive approach toward supporting and encouraging diversity?

3. Based on the discussion of leadership actions that can help shape culture (see Exhibit 10.3 on page 379), what leadership actions has Lockheed Martin employed in shaping the corporation's culture?

 CUMULATIVE CASE QUESTIONS

4. The self-managed team concept deals with the transfer of authority and responsibility to autonomous teams of employees who are responsible for complete, well-defined tasks that relate either to a final product or service or an ongoing process (Chapter 8). In your opinion, do you think the self-managed team structure can be used to implement Lockheed Martin's diversity initiatives? Support your answer.

5. Transformational versus transactional leadership describes two leadership styles commonly associated with senior leaders of corporations (Chapter 9). Which of these types of leadership do you think Robert Stevens represents? Support your answer. CAS E EX E R C IS E AN D RO LE -P LAY Preparation: Put yourself in Robert Stevens's position. You have been invited to make a special appearance at a ceremonial event honoring departments that have achieved the highest score on the Diversity Progress Index. Honorees will receive the President's Diversity Award. Develop an inspirational speech highlighting the value of diversity to your corporation and why it is necessary to continue the effort toward greater diversity. Your instructor may elect to form groups to share ideas and develop the speech. Groups should select one leader to present the speech to the entire class. Role-Play: One student (representing themselves or their group) may give the speech to the entire class. Use information from this chapter on diversity for input.

Reference no: EM131069671

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