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Keys to Company Success
Presentation by Robert Shillman, President of Cognex Corporation of Massachusetts, at the Small Business Association of New England's annual conference "Coaching to Win"

Successful, knowledge worker companies build, motivate and develop a winning organizational team. That becomes the key market differentiator with customers and employees alike. To develop a winning company team:

1. Create a vision that both owners and employees believe in
Cognex sees itself as a world premier supplier of machine vision products, and to be a great company to associate with as customers, suppliers, employees and owners.

2. Communicate the vision message every day
Communicate orally and symbolically, in every leadership act.

3. Regulate who comes in the door
Obtain winners who can do the job, and test people before you hire them in accordance to the position they are vying for.

4. Delegate
You need smart people who have a head on their shoulders, good judgment and can accept input or criticism; you then need to give them the goals and a free hand to do the job.

5. Motivate
Get people excited about what the organization does; giving people challenges and having them meet them; building inner motivation through a sense of accomplishment and recognition about what they are doing for the company.

6. Educate
Continually investing in people; building their capability to do their job and advance their career.

7. Compensate
Put everyone on a bonus plan so they can share in the company's success; e.g., Cognex has a company bonus when it meets it goals, department bonuses, and President's cash awards of $1000-10000 to the top 10% of employees.

8. Celebrate
Celebrate all the good that happens and in achieving short-tern goals; Cognex has a company theme song, complete with hand gestures, that they play at all special events.

Harvy Simkovits, CMC, President of Business Wisdom, works with owner managed companies to help them grow, prosper and continue on by offering innovative approaches to business development, company management, organization leadership and learning, and management education. He can be reached at 781-862-3983 or .

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