DescriptionSwitchPoints is the inspiring story of how Canadian National Railway (CN) advanced from good to great in a few short years–becoming North America's top-performing railroad and a favorite with of corporate customers and investors. In it, the authors reveal how company-wide culture change propelled this aging transportation giant to become the profitable powerhouse it is today. Rich with insights and anecdotes, SwitchPoints offers lessons that can be applied to any organization seeking to improve the bottom line by improving their culture.
Introduction: A Broken Culture.
The Culture of Early Quits.
A New Trip Plan.
Spiking the Switch.
Part I: Building One of North America's Top Railroads.
Chapter 1: The Road to Best-in-Class.
1830: Pioneering Days.
The 1980s: Deregulation.
1992: Organizational Redesign.
A Quick Change.
The Right Leaders for the Job.
1998: Precision Railroading.
2003: Passing the Reins.
Chapter 2: Culture Change on the Fast Track.
Buying Other Cultures.
The Trip Plan for Culture Change on the Fast Track.
Part II: Clarifying the Vision.
Chapter 3: CN's Five Guiding Principles.
Chapter 4: The Culture of Precision Railroading.
The Organizational Culture Continuum.
The Spectrum of Employee Engagement.
The Role of Organizational Leaders.
Washing Out the Mud in the Middle.
Part III: Choosing the Right Switchpoints.
Chapter 5: How to Change CN's Culture?
Culture Equals Behavior.
Chapter 6: Creating a Culture of Discretionary Performance.
What’s in It for the Employee?
Chapter 7: Creating Q4 Leaders to Drive Change.
Culture Change Begins with Leadership.
The Q4 LeadershipSM Model.
How Did CN Create Q4 Leaders?
Changing Your Style Isn't Easy.
Building Leadership Fluency.
Part IV: Selecting the Tools for Change.
Chapter 8: The Science of the ABCs.
It's All about Behavior.
The ABCs of Behavior.
The ABCs Make Fundamental Sense.
Chapter 9: The Commanding Power of Consequences.
Importance to Recipient.
Probability of Recurring.
Where Does the Consequence Come From?
Which Consequences Should I Use?
Consequences and Culture Change.
Authors' Note: Doing the Right Thing with the ABCs.
Chapter 10: The ABC Toolkit.
The Five-Step Model.
Part V: Aligning the Switches.
Chapter 11: Finding a Champion.
A Quiet Tryout in Capreol.
“I Hate Consultants!”
Chapter 12: Testing the Business Case.
Pilot 1: Partnering in Memphis.
Pilot 2: Partnering in Capreol (Northern Ontario).
Pilot 3: Partnering in Transcona (Winnipeg).
Learnings from the Pilots.
We Did What We Said We Would Do.
A Skeptical Hunter Gives the Nod.
Chapter 13: Gaining Visible Sponsorship: The CEO’s Essential Role.
“How We Work and Why”.
Addressing the Naysayers.
Chapter 14: Learning from a Strike.
Spiking the Switch.
Start with the Supervisors.
Chapter 15: Planning the Trip.
Going to Rome (and Paying for It).
Implementing the ABCs CN-Wide.
Selling the ABCs to the Operating Regions.
I Love Your Passion, But . . . .
Managing the Pull.
Deployment Wasn't All Rosy.
Chapter 16: Making the Case for Change.
The Case for the ABCs.
Spreading the Word.
Answering Four Basic Questions.
Chapter 17: Expanding Sponsorship.
Example 1: Visiting Sites to Set the Stage.
Example 2: Sponsoring a Safety-First Culture.
Example 3: Personally Walking the Talk.
Part VI: Assessing Switchpoints’ Impact.
Chapter 18: Applying the ABCs: Dressed & Ready.
Guess I'll Have Another Coffee . . . .
The Science behind the Change.
Of Course There Was Resistance!
“I Can't Ask My Friends to Do That!”.
The Rewards of “Dressed & Ready”.
Chapter 19: Early Wins with the ABCs.
Release the Brakes!
Culture Change in the Michigan Division.
The ABCs Improve ETAs.
Want Better Meetings? Show Up on Time!
Small Things Matter.
Chapter 20: Demonstrating Q4 Leadership Through the ABCs.
“More Work? Are You Nuts?!”
Improving Reliability: Getting KIST.
Understanding Q4 LeadershipSM—by Knowing What It Is Not.
Chapter 21: Life or Death Leadership.
A Grim Tale.
Safety and Culture Change.
Developing Safety Programs.
Zero Tolerance and Why.
Chapter 22: Sawing Our Way to Improvement.
Tackling Old Problems in New Ways.
“Improve” Can Even Mean Tossing Old Paper Files.
Formalizing the Opportunity.
Part VII: Spiking the Switches.
Chapter 23: Leadership Competencies to Support the Change.
Accountability and Importance.
The New Competency Framework.
Leadership Equals Bonus.
The New Power of Performance Reviews.
Chapter 24: Performance Scorecards for Unionized Employees.
Doing the Unthinkable.
Then Came the Problems.
Rollout for Success.
Supervisors: I Didn't Know That!
EPS Was Another Switchpoint.
Chapter 25: Learning through the Railroad MBA.
The Railroad MBA.
Railroader Undergraduate Programs.
CN Is a Destination, Not a Job.
Today North America, Tomorrow the World.
Chapter 26: Hunter Camps Develop Leaders.
Expanding the Impact.
Learning from the Master.
Twelve Characteristics of Leadership.
Leadership Is about People.
Some Campers' Views.
Chapter 27: The Power of Consistency (17 out of 17).
Inconsistency in the Rules.
Inconsistency in Applying Rules.
Inconsistency Breeds Opportunity.
Be Consistently Flexible.
Chapter 28: Developing Internal Consultants.
Why Internal Consultants?
Transitioning from CLG to Internal CN Consultants.
Selecting the Right People.
Developing Internal Consultants.
The Value of Internal Consultants.
Chapter 29: Sustaining Culture Change.
Techniques for Sustaining Change.
Examples of Sustainability.
Chapter 30: Sharing Our Story.
Sharing with Our Customers.
Sharing with Our Suppliers.
Sharing with Our Competitors.
Sharing with Our Communities.
Chapter 31: Improving Relations with Our Unions.
The 2007 UTU Strike.
When to Say Yes, When to Say No.
Confronting a Long Legacy.
The United Steelworkers.
Improving Labor Relations.
What CN Brings to the Bargaining Table.
Part VIII: Learning from Our Journey.
Chapter 32: Top 10 Tips for Leaders Using the ABC Methodology.
Tip 1: Manage Your Culture.
Tip 2: Measure What You Value.
Tip 3: Challenge, Disagree, and Then Make the Decision.
Tip 4: Focus on Behavior You See or Hear at Work.
Tip 5: Ask “Would You, If Your Life Depended on It?”
Tip 6: Transition from Good to Great Performers.
Tip 7: Deal Quickly with Poor Performers.
Tip 8: Get Face-to-Face.
Tip 9: Balance Your Use of Consequences.
Tip 10: Manage the Learning Curve.
Chapter 33: The Culture Change We Achieved.
Ten Lessons Learned from Our Switchpoints.
Chapter 34: The Final Word.
What Lies Ahead.
Where We Are Now.
The Trip Is Not Over.
About the Authors.
About the Companies.