Client Success Stories
$1.50 Solution Solves a $40,000 a Week Problem
After attending one of Dr. Roger Firestien’s classes at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State, Austin Saccia Administrator for Personnel and Safety, facilitated a Creative Problem Solving session with employees at the General Motors Saginaw Division Forge plant in Tonawanda, New York. The employees set their sights on finding a way to prevent the ring gears made at their plant from sticking in and breaking dies during production – a problem that was costing the plant thousands per week. While brainstorming, one teammate suggested using the cooking product PAM to prevent the sticking and another participant quickly built on the idea. The result: Using a $1.00 spray bottle and fifty cents worth of solutions, plant operators now spray the dies before making ring gears to prevent sticking and the plant saves as much as $40,000 weekly.
U.A.W. Problem Solving Training Coordinator, General Motors Saginaw Division Forge Plant
Administrator for Personnel and Safety, General Motors Saginaw Division Forge Plant
Western New York Economic Development Council Meeting Facilitation wins One Billion Dollars for Economic Development
Dr. Firestien, serving as an Innovation Consultant, along with alumni of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State developed and facilitated strategy sessions for the Western New York Economic Development Council.
The strategies for growth and collaboration that resulted from these sessions were used to create a plan that resulted in New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration awarding Buffalo and Western New York one billion dollars for economic development.
“The support and guidance you provided to the council were invaluable to the success of this transformative process. Your dedication to the initiative was truly impressive and will continue to drive New York forward. I look forward to continuing our work together to make New York the Empire State once again.” Andrew M.Cuomo
Solves a 77-Year-Old Consumer Complaint Problem
Chemist Mike Fryan once solved a vexing 77-year old consumer problem by using ideas he picked up in a Creative Problem Solving session conducted by Roger Firestien. For more than seven decades scientists at Clorox had tried and failed to fix a glitch that generated more than 50 percent of all consumer complaints on a popular product. Mike and his colleagues spent more than a man-year trying to find their own solutions – until Mike decided to apply a lesson learned in the CPS session and challenged the accepted problem statement. In fifteen minutes he set up a crude experiment which, in two weeks gave him the answer he and the company had pursued for so long.
Develops World Class Products and Saves $1/2 Million a Year
When first asked by a key customer to supply paper that was 95% bright. Mead said, “We simply can’t do it.” In fact, Mead struggled for years to enhance the brightness of its papers without success. Invigorated by one of Dr. Roger Firestien’s creativity workshops, sponsored by Senior Research Scientist, Dave Newcomer, Mead assembled a team to tackle the problem. The result: the team improved the brightness of Mead’s paper, developed a new world-class line of products superior to any of Mead’s competitors, and came up with a new process that saves more than $1/2 million per year.
Saves $22,000 The First Day After Training
Pat Troy, Training Project Manager at Newsday, after attending one of Roger Firestien’s Creative Problem Solving facilitation courses, lead a Creative Problem Solving session for the paper’s production department. The group eventually decided to focus on how to develop a system to check the paper for accuracy before it is released. That afternoon, the production team went back to the composing room and created a comprehensive checklist. By using the list, that very night, the team caught an error in a full-page color advertisement that would have cost $22,000 to fix.
Thirty-Five Hundred People Trained In Creativity
So far over 3,500 of our people have been trained in the “Breakthrough to New Ideas” seminar Roger developed for us. This program enables our employees to use their creative insights in everyday work activities to fulfill the company’s philosophy of constant improvement, or Kaizen.
Kenneth J. Kumiega
Director, Training and Development
Breakthrough Creates OFF ® Mosquito Lamp
You’re sitting on your patio on a luscious summer night…crickets are singing, outdoor torches are creating the perfect ambience…and SLAP! Your reverie is zapped short by the mosquito you’ve just had to squash as it went in for the kill on your neck. This was the pesky problem Mike Fryan wanted to solve for customers of his company’s already popular insect repellent products. Obvious solutions weren’t working, but when Mike, Section Manager for Home Cleaning and New Products at S.C. Johnson, participated in Dr. Roger Firestien’s Leading on the Creative Edge seminar, he came away with Creative Problem Solving techniques that led him and his team to a breakthrough. By rephrasing the problem and combining already existing products and technologies in new ways, the new OFF! ® Mosquito Lamp was born. The team’s ongoing efforts to making creativity techniques a way of life have also led to shortened product development cycles and many additional patent filings for S.C. Johnson.
Increases Circulation and Advertising Revenue
When Todd Smith took the helm at Outdoor Life magazine the publication boasted a proud heritage… but a troubled bottom line. Prior to his arrival, a failed attempt to reposition the magazine from its traditional hunting and fishing roots to a more general sporting focus had eroded circulation and damaged profits. Using principles of Creative Problem Solving, that employees had learned in one of Dr. Roger Firestien’s seminars, Todd re-energized the magazine and within a year and a half subscriptions rose 30 percent, newsstand sell-through jumped 37 percent, and both circulation and advertising revenue sharply increased.
Execution of Crucial Change Management Activities
At the United States Treasury we have successfully used Roger’s facilitation services and techniques over a course of the past two-years to facilitate a massive transformation in human resources services delivery. Roger has been instrumental in planning for and ensuring execution of crucial change management activities. His approach brings out the best in class participants, both as individuals as well as through an amazing-to-behold group synergy.
Todd H. Turner
Director, Office of HR Enterprise Solutions
United States Department of the Treasury
Los Angeles Times sets their vision for the future.
I am very impressed with your approaches to creativity and innovation. The feedback from the Executive Leadership Institute and Leadership Institute for Managers participants and the changes in how they solve problems is exciting and overwhelmingly positive. It was on this track record, that I asked you to facilitate the strategic planning session for the Los Angeles Times senior management team and the company-wide development of our vision. You inspired us!
The processes you introduced, which were fact based yet open enough for us to conceptualize our future, were the most important determinant in our success. The sessions were not “yet another meeting,” rather they were energizing, motivating and fun. Thank you for making us a better newspaper! You are masterful.
Kathryn M. Downing
President and Chief Executive Officer
Vision Defines Our Parish and It's Future
“We have used the vision statement both with parish leadership, regularly referring to it at Parish Council and Parish Staff Meetings. We have also used the vision statement at our New Parishioner Orientation Sessions to articulate for new members in a precise and concise manner as to who we are and what we are about as a faith community. It defines with clarity and dynamism our parish and its future.”
Father Jack Ledwon, Ph.D.
Pastor St. Joseph University Parish
Buffalo, New York
Created The Gold Standard of Creativity Training for Clorox
Lisa M. Lubniewski
Project Manager, R&D Organizational Effectiveness