Andy Erickson has spent his career challenging the status quo, shifting mindsets and enabling high-performing teams. Andy is a student of leadership development and organizational culture – and he excels at putting academic theories into practice. Andy’s experience and commitment to helping others has culminated in founding Humanus Solutions, a team of collaborative consultants who coach leaders to champion people-centered organizations.
Andy earned degrees in Economics and Mathematics from Hamilton College before securing a job in Boeing 777 Operations in 1989. He received intensive training in the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing, but became frustrated: finding opportunities to eliminate waste was easy, but implementing changes was always a challenge. He began to see that process improvement methods alone don’t cause lasting change. Something more is required.
Following a promotion into factory management in 1996, Andy assumed he would have the leverage necessary to improve processes and repair fractured systems. But he soon realized that authority alone wasn’t sufficient. No matter how much sense an idea made, or how clear the directions, if people don’t buy-in, changes won’t stick.
After years of chasing process improvement, and positions of increasing authority, Andy realized he was missing a key truth: the people hold the answers. And everything he had tried, to date, had alienated and diminished people, rather than engaging them.
Andy has dedicated his career since to applying this insight. Andy explains, “When employees feel disempowered, disengaged, and disrespected, no amount of process improvement is going to effect performance. But leaders who serve their employees, as well as the systems, unleash the ideas, insights and creativity of their team members.”
Andy’s leadership philosophy is summed up in his motto: “Work shouldn’t suck.” Andy says, “For most folks, work is work –it may not be a fun, joyful opportunity for self-actualization… there’s a reason they pay us for our time. But if people don’t feel their boss has some level of respect, concern and commitment to them, they won’t do their best work. Leaders who want to improve their organization’s performance need to attend to how people feel, as well as the tools and processes they use.”
As a result of his insights, Andy went back to school and earned a Masters of Arts in Organizational Systems from Antioch University 2005. In 2007, he left Boeing to join JMJ Associates, a global consultancy, where he worked for managers of large-scale constructions projects for companies like Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Skanska and Jacobs Engineering. He served as a coach to senior executives and front-line leaders, helping them bring their full selves to serving their teams; he facilitated workshops and teams in which people could speak candidly, raise tough issues, and align on actions to address them. He became a valued advisor to leaders seeking to create strong organizational cultures and break-through performance.
While at JMJ, Andy met Greg Landrum. In 2016, Greg and Andy began conversations about how they apply their experiences and talents to the challenges facing the healthcare industry. In 2017, Andy and Greg created Humanus Solutions.
Humanus believes it’s time to take on what you’ve tolerated. Once you do, you will unleash a corps of people who will transform your organization. Humanus embeds in theorganizations it serves to gain an understanding ofperceptions and to lay the groundwork for improved safety, effectiveness and engagement. Assessing pain points and measuring results, Humanus illuminates the power of choice, fostering the belief that performance is a matter of intention, not compliance. In partnership with clients, Humanus harnesses existing processes and tools, provides practical leadership skills training for supervisors and engages the front lines.