As Canada’s largest steel producer, ArcelorMittal Dofasco (AMD) is a sprawling facility with thousands of employees, specialized roes and departments, a deep and rich cultural history, and abundant complexity. Starting in the early 1990’s AMD realized there was a shift beginning in the steel landscape and unless they changed with it, and even lead it they would be left in the past. With thousands of employees and great diversity within this team they knew they needed a special and long term solution. AMD’s moto “Our product is steel, our strength is people” has always rung true for them and been at the forefront of all they do.
AMD engaged in what they called the “Let Go” program. This was a three-day intensive program designed to break the organizational culture down and start the transition to a new way of being. Once this was accomplished the “Play to Win” program began to bring all employees on board and to maintain the cultural transformation. Summit has been working with AMD for 18+ years to provide training services, specialized ropes course facilitation and consulting. We have now seen 11,000+ employees move through this program and it has become part of the AMD cultural fabric. All new hires are initiated through this program and it has become a highlight of the AMD culture. This three-day program focuses on the vision and values of AMD and the role of teamwork within the organization. It seeks to foster open trusting relationships, built on understanding and support. The ropes course component is a highlight of the program taking participants outside their comfort zones to really examine what it means to be a high performance team. In a difficult steel market, AMD has maintained its place as a successful operation when many others have shut down. AMD is one of the largest steel manufacturing facilities in the Western world to be non-unionized. This can only be achieved by creating a positive work culture where trust and communication rule.