RAI worked with General Mills from 1985 to 1993. RAI was first asked to lead a company and union strategic planning process. The joint committee led by RAI developed a comprehensive description of the characteristics and critical capabilities that food processing organizations would need in order to be successful in the future. [Harvard Business School Case Study #9-587-111.]
The Year 2000 Project led to another joint task force to determine the future of the West Coast production operations. This resulted in the addition of various new technologies and products, and a RAI led design and implementation process to develop self-managing, team-based, multi-skilled, pay-for-skills, pay-for-performance plan organizations in the California factory. Subsequently, RAI led similar joint union-company design processes to develop similar high performance organizations and new work systems in two factories in the Midwest.
The company publicly states that it has achieved 30 to 40 percent improvement in operating performance resulting from these efforts. The Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California wrote a case study of this overall change process. The high performance organization, new work system development was also the subject of a cover story in Fortune ("Who Needs a Boss," Fortune , May 7, 1990). General Mills case study section