On March 11th, chair of our Vocational Committee, PE Garry Higgins introduced around 24 members to Windsor Maine, Site Manager of Edlyn Foods in Maryborough. Windsor captured our attention with his challenging message of maintaining integrity in business, and kindness in life. He also gave us some wise advice for our upcoming Strategic and Action plans. See Read more... for details.

Windsor came to Edlyn Foods in Maryborough 5 years ago. One of the main reasons he took the job at Edlyn was because they included "integrity" as one of their most important business values. Windsor employed all the workers at Edlyn, starting with 10 people which has now grown to a staff of 29. 

Windsor explained that it used to be the expectation that you would leave your brain at the door of your workplace, and come in and do what you’re told. That is no longer acceptable, so managers have to be better than they were. One of the main things modern managers have to do is to allow for and encourage honestly different perspectives from their staff. Many times, people will be sharing completely different views which both turn out to be "right" in the end. People just have difficulty in explaining what they see. Good managers will encourage their workers to truthfully explain what they see from their perspective and this frequently results in better outcomes for everyone. As a manager, Windsor sees himself at the bottom of the organization chart - serving all the others in the company.

Windsor gave another example of integrity at work. The official mantra at Edlyn is safety, quality, and productivity. Everything always follows in that order - even when there are urgent orders - safety comes first, then quality. Everyone follows that pattern - the three things compete, but safety must come first, and then quality. Windsor argues that when that process is followed, productivity takes care of itself. And Windsor endeavours to lead by example from the top. He concluded,  "We don't cut corners. You have to have the guts to do this - this is what I believe, and what I stand up for - I never ask people to break any rules."

Windsor also shared two of his other projects. He recounts that he woke up one morning feeling a little flat - he was in a new town, and was missing some of his friends so he started Facebook page called the "Kindness Look" which now has 45,000 followers. He has since started a "Maryborough Kindness Look" page which has 700 followers. Windsor starts every day by looking for some act of kindness and posting it on his page.

He also started a men’s wellness retreat at his place in 2019. Rotary supplied the barbeque and he worked with 18 local men who connected with their hearts during the retreat. He is now developing his property so that he can continue this work.

To finish off, Windsor shared his "Three stages of change" model. (See the picture of his slide). When forced to change, people move from their comfort zone to a very uncomfortable transition state where they fear they have nothing to stand on - like trapeze artists in transition - they are leaving their swing, launching into mid air - they have no support, they can't turn back, they just have to keep going until they connect with their partner. But then it will be OK again, and everyone will have benefitted from the process. 

He also suggested that once any group makes some decision for change, they should let the decision settle for a week, and then return to the decision with common sense and see it with the perspective of hind site - and if necessary modify it. Relevant wise advice from a speaker who left us with much to think about.