Why Anthony Burke wants others to get the same out of TIC as he has.
Being homeless is something most of us just can’t fathom. For F Block group leader Anthony Burke though, it’s an experience that he not only lived through for two years but also something he’s used to help carve a path through JLR with the Team Improvement Circle (TIC) initiative.
In the last three years of his seven-year stay so far at Jaguar Land Rover, Anthony has made the jump from TIC member to TIC team leader and, this year, to TIC coach and he said it’s the support and opportunities he was given during his time of adversity that motivates him to do the same for his colleagues.
The 2018/19 TIC (Team Improvement Circle) opens to applicants from September 17th and is the third in succession that the F Block Group Leader has been involved in.
To say he’s an advocate of TIC would be bordering on one hell of an understatement.
“Being involved in the TIC journey and seeing first-hand the power it has to help people develop and showcase their new skills is what it is really all about for me,” said Anthony. “Coaching is the next obvious step, my goal is to share my knowledge and enable others to get the same out of it as I have over the last two years.”
As a member of the first Castle Bromwich team to make it all the way to an international convention Anthony definitely has some great experience to draw on. He was part of the ‘You Win Some You Improve Some’ circle that booked a place on the plane to India in 2017 with a project that greatly improved the quality of the centre control lids on our flagship Jaguar XJ.
Speaking about that ‘trip of a lifetime’ however brought back mixed feelings for the 36-year-old.
“The finals were an amazing experience, it was a jam packed schedule from the moment we got there and we were definitely kept busy,” he continued.
One day of the trip saw the team travel to help decorate a local orphanage as part of an ongoing community project and it was that particular experience that left the biggest impression on him.
“It was really quite harrowing the sheer scale of the poverty that those children were living in,” he recalled. “It really upset me, perhaps more than most.
“I didn’t mention it at the time to all the others but having been homeless myself at the age of 15 it just really struck a chord. Twenty years ago I was sleeping rough behind the Solihull plant so my situation was difficult but at least I was lucky enough to able to take the opportunities on offer within the homeless support community to improve my situation.”
That desire to seize chances to better himself is something that’s all too apparent, but even more so is his determination to help others do the same.
Going into the second year of TIC was a no brainer for Anthony, though he admits that doing so well the first year did come with a bit of added pressure. He helped form ‘Braking Bad’ and took on the role of TIC group leader.
The second year project to improve the jig for the XJ’s brake booster had its own challenges, but Anthony was able to draw on his previous experience and guided his team through the Regional Castle Bromwich convention and onto the UK-wide event held at the National Conference Centre.
“It was good to recognise a few faces from the previous year’s competition who like myself were returning with a new circle project,” he said. “The best part however was seeing my team mates Jeff, Abdul and Tom all experience how great being involved in TIC can be. Unfortunately we didn’t get through to the finals in Brazil, obviously it is nice to win but the real prize in the TIC programme is more about personal growth than about winning a trip away.”
The sentiment was echoed by Manufacturing Director and TIC Chair Grant McPherson in his closing speech at the UK Regional Convention, when he himself attributed early progress in his own career to employee improvement programmes like TIC.
The experience of leading a team and the pride Anthony felt at seeing his team grow and develop made the decision to become a coach this year an easy one. If you’ve learnt anything about Anthony from this story so far, you’ll not be surprised to hear that sitting back and waiting for teams to come to him is simply not his style.
With the aim of making TIC as accessible to everyone in F Block as it can be he has gone out of his way to create a TIC toolkit to help people in his area get involved. He is also running problem solving sessions where he’s helping people to identify potential improvement ideas that could turn into successful TIC projects.
“TIC is a great platform for people to show just what they are capable of. If I can support them in getting a circle started by removing the initial barriers and hurdles that I’ve overcome myself then why wouldn’t I?” he says.
“It’s easy to forget that some people, especially those working on a process don’t always have the same access to the information or may not have come across project planning or presenting before. I wouldn’t be a very good coach if I let these issues put people off coming up with the really great ideas that are going to improve F Block and the cars we build here.”
The new TIC season has now launched, if you have a great idea or want to be involved at Castle Bromwich then contact Ian Caulfield (icaulfie) in the IPS team.