The Robert W. Galvin Connection
The father of Chris and Mike Galvin, Robert Galvin, joined Motorola in 1940, starting in the stock room and working up to CEO in 1959. In 1986, Bill Smith, a company engineer, approached him with the Six Sigma concept in response to customer quality complaints. Galvin was struck by Smith’s passion and recognized the approach as key to addressing quality concerns. Galvin officially launched the Six Sigma program in 1987. The next year, Motorola became the first company to win the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
In order to establish a culture of continuous improvement, employee training and education was required. Motorola University became the nerve center for constant reeducation and retooling of the workforce. By the mid 1980s every department was required to devote 1.5% of its budget to education and employees had to take a minimum of 40 hours of training/year.
In 1999 the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) named Motorola the “Top Training company” and conferred on Robert Galvin its “Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance Award”. ASTD said “Galvin is a true champion of employees being an integral part of the organizational success. He set the corporate standard for investing in education and has demonstrated that training and development pay off in productivity, performance and quality.”
In 2000, Jill Brosig, a then Motorola employee, co-founded Motorola University Consulting, focusing projects on driving improvements, from quality to talent management, across the Motorola value chain. Project teams that involved key customers, suppliers and other business partners became the norm.
Harrison Street University is building on this heritage of quality and corporate university created more than a quarter century ago at Motorola, as it drives business improvement across the Harrison Street ecosystem.