Paul Armstrong - Conducting Conversations Beyond Polite; Getting to Real Engineering Teamwork


Paul Armstrong, PE, an ASQ certified manager of Organizational Excellence and Six Sigma Black Belt has enjoyed helping industry, industry and non-profit organizations through the process and people dimensions of dramatic change for over 25 years. He continues to ignite enthusiastic improvement via insightful coaching on knowledge sharing, organizational learning, visioning and, sometimes just some FUNdamental teambuilding. A unique mix of engineering and right brain thinking, Paul has been especially helpful to technical and engineering enterprises, but also has a passion in assisting non-profit service agencies.  Paul received his BS in engineering from the US Merchant Marine Academy and his MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. With a background in engineering, project management, and process improvement at large organizations, he is now Partner and Chief Innovation Officer for eNthusaProve, LLC.

Abstract - Conducting Conversations Beyond Polite; Getting to Real Engineering Teamwork:

Teamwork is broadly defined as each member trusting their teammates, committing to the team goal and taking accountability for their unique contribution to the team results.  This teamwork idea is confounded by two realities on either end of the behavioral spectrum.  On one end, we confuse harmony with teamwork, and this is a dangerous proposition.  On the other end, engineers tend to say it like it is with such pragmatism that is causes friction that appears to be lack of trust.  Navigating the space between artificial harmony and insulting bluntness is where we as engineers need to operate as we push design limits to meet schedule, specification and cost constraints.  This workshop will explore team necessities and bounce them against prevailing engineering personality preferences to provide some tools or insights on how to more effectively achieve real engineering teamwork.