Niagara Gazette

Features

October 2, 2013

Wedded wordsmiths work to change their world

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “I always tell him he’s a man ahead of his time,” Claire said.

Claire said that the books hit the lists one at a time, due, in part to her grass-roots marketing efforts, contacting professional and personal supporters and asking them to buy the books.  

“She’s really good,” said Richard of his wife’s marketing skills. 

“That is the power of social media networking,” Claire replied.

Part of what moves Claire to promote Richard’s book in her belief in his theories of business change, which Richard calls “The Process Enneagram,” which was created through his struggle to create order in the chaos of disfunctional manufacturing and industrial systems. 

“When you put a nice group of people together in an organization, things get messed up,” explained Richard. Oddly enough, he added, within that mess, a crisis will create order.  

“When you have a crisis, that same group of people become a high-performance team.”

He recalled when a fire occurred in DuPont’s New Jersey plant. 

“During that process people were extraordinary, helping each other, working together,” he said.

His goal has long been to create business practices that help create and maintain that level of high-functioning behavior without the crisis. 

He learned that management practices he was developing intuitively had actual business theory behind them. These days, he teaches those practices — which at one plant reduced injuries by 97 percent and cranked earnings by 300 percent —  and his work takes him around the world, especially to Australia and New Zealand. 

Claire joins him often, but also teaches her own life-enhancement practices, such as the workshop she’s giving at the Xerox women’s alliance later this fall.

Former Niagara Falls mayor Irene Elia has work with both Claire and Richard. 

“They’re both exceptional people,” she said. “They believe in bringing out the best in people.”

As such, their lives seem to reflect their written work.

“Regular people can do extraordinary stuff,” Richard said. “And it’s really a wonderful thing to see it happen.”

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