Operating and Organizational Excellence
Allen Todd Wilkes
In 2004, my family and I returned to Utah, when I became Barrick Gold Corporation’s regional manager for Continuous Improvement. Barrick is the world’s largest gold producer with twenty-seven mines in North and South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Barrick’s goal is to become the “best gold mining company” in the world through a focus on its core values, responsible mining, and continuous improvement.
While Barrick is a global corporation, my role in North America is focused on our seven Nevada gold operations, two Canadian mines, and developments in the Dominican Republic. I led a network of mining professionals dedicated to making our mines safer, and making employees jobs easier, more efficient and enjoyable. Our team helps employees “put their ideas to work.” We work to implement improvements effectively, value the gains in financial, safety, or environmental terms, and then recognize/reward the people that have done the work—we then put that idea to work at the next mine.
Operating and organizational excellence are growing trends in industrial corporations like Barrick Gold. Most of the world’s mining and petroleum corporations have implemented programs to drive improvements, engage their employees, and maintain their cost and strategic advantages. Many of these corporations employ combination approaches under the banner of “continuous improvement”—at Barrick, this translates to anything that can be done to make our mining operations safer and more efficient.