sábado, 10 de outubro de 2009


When the Great Depression began at the end of 1929 Herbert Taylor was an executive vice president at Chicago’s giant Jewel Tea Company. He earned $33,000 a year and was in line for the presidency.
In 1930 a local bank asked Jewel Tea to donate one-half of Taylor’s time to an attempt to save the Club Aluminum Company. Club manufactured and distributed cookware. Club’s debt exceeded total assets by $400,000 and there were several lawsuits.
Taylor took the job. He soon discovered that the problems at Club Aluminum required his full time attention if they were to be solved. Jewel’s president urged him to give up and return to Jewel full time, eventually becoming Jewel’s president. But Taylor thought he could do more good by saving the jobs of the Club Aluminum employees. So putting service above self he resigned from Jewel and assumed the job of Club Aluminum’s president. He cut his salary from $33,000 to $6,000. He also provided short term operating capital of $6,100 for the firm by borrowing against his Jewel stock and his home equity.
Taylor then made numerous changes which eventually returned the company to profitability. But in his mind the most important change he made was that of raising morale and performance by creating a new culture of high ethical standards. Club Aluminum became a company known for its honesty, fairness and commitment to doing business in ways that benefited all stakeholders- customers, employees, supplier and stockholder.
To change the culture Taylor needed a company code of ethics which was simple and effective. It took him some time to find what he needed. But the answer eventually came to him unexpectedly while he was sitting at his desk and praying. That answer was the FOUR-WAY TEST. The year was 1932.
Taylor wanted to be sure that the test would be consistent with the beliefs of all workers. So he conferred with employees representing four different faiths and found that the test did, indeed, appear to represent universal values.
The company soon returned to profitability. The profits made it possible to pay off the debt by 1937 and over the next 15 years stockholders received over one million dollars in dividends
In 1942 Taylor told the story of the Four-Way Test at a Rotary meeting. Several Rotarians asked if they could use it. A member of the RI board asked if Rotary International could use it and permission was granted. In 1943 the RI board of directors officially adopted the test.
When Herbert Taylor became president of Rotary International in 1954 he presented the Four-Way Test Copyright to Rotary.
By Rotary’s 100th anniversary the Four-Way Test was being used in 100 languages all over the world.
Morals of this story – The Four-Way Test works, Service Above Self is a winning business strategy, They Profit Most Who Serve the Best, and today’s Rotarians are the trustees of Herbert Taylor’s gift of the Four-Way Test copyright with all of the duties that trusteeship implies.

Useful on-line references (Use these to develop your own Rotary Information Minute):
In ALL OFFICIAL LANGUAGES – http://www.rotaryfirst100.org/presidents/1954taylor/taylor/essay.htm
(A service of RGHF Rotary Global History)
In ENGLISH ONLY – http://www.thefourwaytest.com/
(A service of the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach, California)
Richard Hattwick
World Coordinator for Literacy
October 09
PHOTOS: 1954, Herbert Taylor as RI President, shows rhe Rotary Copiright for The Four-Way-Test; Colours, Togo

1 comentário:

  1. You are doing a great job, Henrique. Thanks for all you do.

    California, USA)