The Value of Empowerment

No matter how large or small your role, you are contributing to business success

During a visit to the NASA space centre in 1962, President John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man, and said, « Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing? »

« Well, Mr. President, » the janitor responded, « I’m helping put a man on the moon. »

To most people, this janitor was just cleaning the building. But in the broader sense, he was helping to make history.

The point being, that no matter how large or small your role, you are contributing to the success of the organisation and its mission, and when your entire team embraces that type of attitude and belief system, incredible things can happen.

This may have happened 60 years ago, but the sentiment behind this wonderful anecdote is just as relevant today as it was back then. It’s also testament to NASA’s capacity – not only for leading the world in space exploration (and asteroid redirection!) but for being at the forefront of workforce engagement and recognising the value of their people.

With empowerment comes innovation and here at IMET Alloys, we actively encourage an innovative culture that is not exclusive to the leadership team but runs through all our teams, across all our locations.

We want our people to feel valued and encourage them to come forward with ideas, no matter how big or small, as sometimes even the most incremental or marginal gains can have a positive impact on the bottom line leading to more far-reaching innovations.

The global challenges associated with the supply of primary raw materials (material derived directly from ores) has been exacerbated in the last few years by events out-with our control. This makes IMET Alloy’s industry leading technologies and processes even more significant in the supply of titanium and superalloy metals for remelting, in the form of secondary raw material with no loss of quality versus using primary raw material.

We may not be sending a man to the moon again just yet, although I’m sure that IMET Alloys and its strong alliances with our aerospace partners will ultimately play a role in that pursuit.  Perhaps more importantly, as was the case with the janitor at the NASA Space Centre, our people are already contributing to something that many would argue is far more important – by helping safeguard the environment and protecting our planet from global warming.

I’d like to think that JFK….and indeed, the NASA Space Centre Janitor would both heartily agree.


Article by Ruaraidh Williamson, CEO IMET Alloys