Go­ing fast on dig­i­tal high­way

Speed will sep­a­rate win­ners from losers in the in­ter­net age, says Honey­well’s CEO-in-wait­ing How are you go­ing to blend soft­ware pro­gram­ing with Honey­well’s ex­ist­ing phys­i­cal prod­ucts?

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - Q&A WITH CEO - By WANG ZHUOQIONG wangzhuo­qiong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Sit­ting in front of a room­sized aero­space sim­u­la­tor for pi­lots, Dar­ius Adam­czyk, pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Honey­well, deftly shifts from topic to topic — in­clud­ing in his an­i­mated dis­cus­sion such di­verse top­ics as aero­space, to the group’s new line of the breath­able masks that help pro­tect peo­ple dur­ing the high pol­lu­tion days in China.

The wide range of his in­ter­ests re­flects the ex­tra­or­di­nary range of busi­nesses of the $40 bil­lion tech­nol­ogy and man­u­fac­tur­ing gi­ant, from aero­space to con­trol tech­nolo­gies for build­ings, homes and tur­bocharg­ers, to per­for­mance ma­te­ri­als.

But Adam­czyk, 50, who is to be the new CEO from the end of March next year, is push­ing for even more changes in his group — de­ter­mined to take the com­pany to even higher lev­els of in­volve­ment in the dig­i­tal age.

On his re­cent trips to China, he talked to his Chi­nese teams about how the multi­na­tional would gain more growth from blend­ing its strengths in hard­ware with stronger pres­ences in soft­ware in the dig­i­tal age and how to en­cour­age them to cre­ate new ideas as star­tups rather than in an es­tab­lished in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate.

He be­lieves the place to achieve such “break­throughs” is in China, its sec­ond largest mar­ket af­ter the United States. Adam­czyk is clear about how com­mit­ted Honey­well is to the coun­try — with its ma­jor pres­ence, 13,000 em­ploy­ees and di­ver­si­fied busi­nesses in man­u­fac­tur­ing and re­search and de­vel­op­ment, serv­ing both the Chi­nese mar­ket and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

Honey­well wants to be viewed as a lo­cal player, act­ing at the brisk per­for­mance lev­els achieved by many do­mes­tic com­pa­nies, he said.

“When I think about China, I can’t think of a com­pany that’s more aligned to the needs of where the coun­try is head­ing,” said Adam­czyk, cit­ing the key ar­eas of en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, en­ergy so­lu­tions, clean air and wa­ter, smart build­ings, chem­i­cals and work safety.

Re­cently he spoke with China Daily about the com­pany’s strat­egy and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in China. The fol­low­ing is the edited ex­cerpts from the in­ter­view.

What are your strate­gies for the com­pany in the long term?

No 1 is to con­tinue to pro­vide su­pe­rior value to our cus­tomers and No 2 is to drive dig­i­tal­iza­tion through­out Honey­well. We have a strong pres­ence in soft­ware. But we have a lot of more op­por­tu­ni­ties to drive it. And all as­pects of our busi­ness and strate­gies of soft­ware are very cus­tomer­centric.

Lastly I want to make sure that we op­er­ate in seg­ments that are ex­cit­ing and grow­ing, and well aligned with mega trends.

Honey­well has been devel­op­ing in in­ter­net of things and we have ac­cess to data. Honey­well is the com­pany that has those prod­ucts that ac­tu­ally gen­er­ates that data.

How­ever, we’ve used that in­for­ma­tion just to make the ba­si­cally func­tional prod­ucts. We now aim to in­te­grate that data, with the in­for­ma­tion across the whole in­stal­la­tion base that we have and across all our prod­ucts, and think about our cus­tomers’ chal­lenges dif­fer­ently. We now have op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­de­fine how we cre­ate new value for our cus­tomers through our soft­ware ca­pa­bil­ity, in­stal­la­tion base and do­main knowl­edge.

What do you think are the most chal­leng­ing is­sues for Honey­well to be more flex­i­ble and nim­ble in the in­ter­net era?

The speed is some­thing that’s go­ing to sep­a­rate the win­ners from losers. And in this new in­dus­trial soft­ware — and cer­tainly one of the things that I’m try­ing to en­able in Honey­well — it’s im­por­tant for us to be able to op­er­ate and come up with ideas at a whole dif­fer­ent rate of speed than ever be­fore.

What’s your def­i­ni­tion of a break­through?

I’m never sat­is­fied with the cur­rent speed in growth. When we think of growth, I think about it as con­tin­u­ing to gain a share in our core mar­kets, but also com­ing up with ad­ja­cent strate­gies that will en­hance our over­all growth. CV


50 Ca­reer: 2017 March: CEO of Honey­well

Cur­rently: Pres­i­dent and Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of Honey­well Pre­vi­ous po­si­tions in­clude: Pres­i­dent and CEO of Honey­well Per­for­mance Ma­te­ri­als and Tech­nolo­gies;

Pres­i­dent of Honey­well Process So­lu­tions;

Pres­i­dent of Honey­well Scan­ning & Mo­bil­ity;

Se­nior as­so­ciate at Booz Allen Hamil­ton;

Elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer at Gen­eral Elec­tric.

So I’m push­ing and driv­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion to be more cre­ative to think about our of­fer­ings dif­fer­ently, to re­think what break­through growth means and to take the time to set met­rics and ex­pec­ta­tions to make sure that hap­pens.

What kind of in­cen­tives are you go­ing to of­fer to your em­ploy­ees to be cre­ative and to de­velop new prod­ucts and new ap­pli­ca­tions?

I am en­cour­ag­ing all of our busi­nesses to cre­ate new ideas and cre­ate new or­ga­ni­za­tional struc­tures, to cre­ate new small busi­nesses.

I want them to op­er­ate like star­tups. So I want to re­move a lot of bu­reau­cracy and en­cour­age our peo­ple and busi­nesses to em­brace higher-risk, higher-re­ward break­through ini­tia­tives to re­ally drive growth.

How do you pri­or­i­tize your busi­ness port­fo­lio to meet this goal?

As a new CEO takes over, we can take a look at the mar­kets we are in and the mar­kets we are not in and op­ti­mize our op­er­a­tions and where we are to­day.

I re­ally want to align our busi­nesses to­wards a lot of longer-term global macro trends. But most im­por­tantly for Honey­well, we have to be in seg­ments where you dif­fer­en­ti­ate your­self by tech­nol­ogy.

Honey­well is a tech­nol­ogy com­pany.

How have Honey­well’s Chi­nese op­er­a­tions per­formed this years, and what are their prospects?

They con­tinue to do very well. We’ve had an­other strong year in China and we are an­tic- ipat­ing it to be even stronger in 2017. We have seen a re­cov­ery in some ar­eas.

One of the more chal­leng­ing mar­ket sec­tors in China has been the oil and gas seg­ment due to do what’s been hap­pen­ing there.

But over­all, it has been a very strong year in 2016 and we look for­ward to an even stronger 2017.

You started your ca­reer as an en­gi­neer. What is your ad­vice to peo­ple mak­ing the tran­si­tion from en­gi­neer­ing to man­age­ment?

It’s the most chal­leng­ing thing to make that first tran­si­tion from be­ing an en­gi­neer. In my case, I hap­pened to bridge my en­gi­neer­ing ca­reer with an MBA, to go into the world of busi­ness.

But my ad­vice to en­gi­neers is to take an as­sign­ment out­side core en­gi­neer­ing. Be­cause the broader un­der­stand­ing you have, the more ef­fec­tively you can make that progress.

You’ve been praised for suc­ceed­ing in ev­ery busi­ness lead­er­ship role you have ever held. What’s your se­cret?

It’s about hav­ing strate­gies, hav­ing a group of peo­ple to work with and hav­ing the tac­tics to make sure the strat­egy is be­ing ex­e­cuted ev­ery day, ev­ery week, ev­ery month, ev­ery year.

Ev­ery­body in the or­ga­ni­za­tion should be able to say how they are con­tribut­ing to that strat­egy. Then it’s about putting the op­er­a­tional sys­tems in place. And lastly, peo­ple are crit­i­cal.

Ed­u­ca­tion: MBA from Har­vard Univer­sity;

Mas­ter’s de­gree in com­puter en­gi­neer­ing from Syra­cuse Univer­sity;

Bach­e­lor’s de­gree in elec­tri­cal and com­puter en­gi­neer­ing from Michi­gan State Univer­sity

What is the most im­por­tant qual­ity for a leader?

As a leader, you have to put a lot of en­ergy and a lot of pas­sion into the busi­ness. You have to be the spark that moves the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

That’s some­thing that I am al­ways try­ing to do. I think the job of leader is to al­ways set the bar higher, to al­ways chal­lenge the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

What are your hob­bies and in­ter­ests out­side of work?

I spend all my spare time with my fam­ily. To make sure that you stay re­ally grounded, what’s truly im­por­tant is your fam­ily.


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