President, Network Centric Systems
Dan Crowley is president of Raytheon Network Centric Systems. Before joining NCS in November 2010, he served as chief operating officer for Lockheed Martin's aircraft business. With more than 27 years of experience in aerospace and defense in a variety of senior leadership roles in almost every product area in our industry, Crowley's diverse background is a great fit with the rich mix of programs and products found at NCS. He has a passion for engineering since starting as a cooperative engineering student at age 20. He continues to serve on the Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Texas at Austin where he received both a bachelor's and master's degree in engineering. Crowley also received a master's degree in management from Stanford University as a Sloan Fellow.
Technology Today recently spoke with Crowley about his priorities and technology strategy for Raytheon's Network Centric Systems business.
TT: What attracted you to Raytheon?
DC: I have watched Raytheon from afar for many years and always respected the company's focus on owning technology content within its products and for its commitment to process excellence. Raytheon was often a key partner on products like aircraft radars and missile defense and sometimes they were a competitor. Before joining the company, I worked with Jon Jones and Rick Yuse and respected both of them, as I do Bill Swanson. He is intensely committed to his customers, company and people. The company also stands out for having strong values, ethics and a culture of innovation, diversity and inclusion. When I was approached about leading Network Centric Systems, I had to do some online research. I was really excited about the breadth of NCS' programs and products — approximately $5 billion in revenue, 6,700 programs and 13,300 employees located around the globe. As I approach my first anniversary with the company, I could not be happier with my decision to join NCS and the opportunity to serve as a member of Raytheon's senior leadership team.
TT: Excellence in program leadership and technology are top priorities at Raytheon. Please share your experience in these areas.
DC: I have spent a substantial portion of my career in program management on some of the largest, most complex programs in our industry, including the Atlas launch vehicle, commercial satellites, the THAAD missile defense program and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Program managers blend the hard skills of technical, cost, schedule and risk management with the soft skills of customer relationship management and team leadership. This duality, along with the privilege of leading and the scar tissue that accompanies difficult assignments, makes these jobs difficult but rewarding. Raytheon's program managers are professional, extremely competent and have a wealth of capabilities. It was a pleasure to host Raytheon's Program Leadership Awards earlier this year and see the tremendous impact program leaders are making across the company.
Since joining Raytheon, I have seen many outstanding technology development efforts, including our enterprise campaigns under the leadership of Mark Russell. Raytheon's top technologists and innovators impressed me greatly when I met them at this year's Excellence in Engineering and Technology Awards banquet. I look forward to continuing to work with Mark and others to enhance Raytheon's technology portfolio.
TT: What is the "Campaign 2011" customer initiative at NCS and what benefits do you expect?
DC: We launched the "Campaign 2011" initiative to reinforce the importance of knowing our customers and anticipating their needs. The goal is for the NCS leadership team, including staff functions, to visit at least 2,011 customers this year. To meet this aggressive target, each leadership team member would need to meet with a customer once every two or three days. We're all working hard at this; it's easy to go weeks without seeing a customer in person.
I believe that everyone in NCS is in business development, and to be successful, we must have the best possible customer relationships. Everyone plays a part in understanding and addressing customer needs and expectations, and in identifying new opportunities.
TT: With the breadth of NCS' business portfolio and a changing business environment (slower DoD growth and more international opportunities), how are you reshaping NCS business strategies?
DC: Winning companies do not wish for things to be the way they were; rather they find ways to adapt to and exploit new realities, and that's our attitude at NCS. Though today's uncertainties and the dynamic world environment are creating challenges for our business, NCS has the franchises and capabilities to make opportunities from these challenges.
In NCS, we are positioning ourselves for growth by analyzing our markets, evaluating our differentiators and adjusting our vision, mission and strategy for success. Our new vision is to "help protect lives and ensure customer success through innovative, net-enabled solutions." We will accomplish this by providing new and innovative products, solutions and services that tap the "Power of the Network." By engaging the power of our global team and delivering interoperable, scalable solutions, we will help our customers achieve mission success and enable them to make critical decisions with speed and accuracy.
Each of NCS' six product lines has their own specific technology and product strategies, but this unifying strategy for growth will shape our investments and pursuits, and ultimately our success.
TT: The ability to develop people is an important skill for any business leader. What have you found to be effective ?
DC: I love how Raytheon places so much emphasis on leadership development and offers such extensive training. Still, much of the responsibility falls on our own shoulders for self-development and helping those under our responsibility. I read extensively on the subject of leadership, and I am a student of the pioneering industrialists like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. They had a vision for the future and engaged others in this vision, and great results followed. The next step is to build a strategy that is aligned with the needs of the customer and the company — including forming the team needed for success. Once the right people are in the right positions, my focus is to provide timely, specific feedback that reinforces that impact of people's behavior, good or bad. Annual development reviews help, but ongoing feedback has worked best for me. I also try to lead by example because people watch your hips not your lips.
TT: What is NCS doing, both internally and externally, to make a difference in the environment?
DC: A young man was once encouraged to "Buy land — they are not making any more of this stuff." The same idea applies to environmental sustainability, which is an important priority at Raytheon and NCS. At our headquarters in McKinney, Texas, we have partnered with a company to purchase renewable energy from a landfill. This gas-to-energy facility just began operations and is now supplying 25 percent of the power at five of our North Texas sites. Using this alternative renewable energy source reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent compared to what would otherwise be generated. We also discovered a way to reduce electricity use in our factories by implementing alternative cooling devices to maintain temperatures in environmental test chambers. [Both of these "green" initiatives are discussed in more detail in the "Raytheon Sustainability" article in this magazine.]
We are also developing technology to help our customers improve their carbon footprint. We are redesigning our air traffic radar power supplies, which cut energy consumption while improving performance and reliability. One of the more exciting technologies we have is for wind farm mitigation. Since wind farms can have negative impacts on air traffic control, we have developed technology to minimize the effects of wind turbines on radar signals. This allows for more efficient flight routes, increased renewable energy opportunities and lower CO2 emissions.
TT: You introduced the "Winning EDGE" focus at the NCS Leadership Forum. Can you tell us more about it?
DC: The "Winning EDGE" is a simple but important framework that helps focus our efforts as a business. We must ENGAGE with fellow employees, customers, suppliers, teammates and in our communities based on our company's vision and values, and then DELIVER on our commitments to our customers and each other by providing best-value solutions and achieving exceptional program performance. We must GROW our business through the right strategies, capture excellence, and successful execution. Lastly, we must EVOLVE by improving our processes through Raytheon Six Sigma, driving innovation, adapting to the changing environment and developing ourselves and our employees on whom our success ultimately depends.
TT: Is there anything else you would like to share?
DC: Sure, when I accepted Raytheon's offer, I knew I was joining a good firm. But I did not realize how good until after I got on board. Most of the people reading this article have been here far longer than I, so Raytheon is sort of the water they swim in — they are used to it. But the combination of incredible technology, disciplined execution, enabling toolsets, collaborative leadership, and an overall positive energy has made me feel like I am where I belong. As I travel around the country and the globe, I continue to be impressed with our capable and dedicated people, incredible technology, and persistent focus on our customers' mission and success. I feel lucky to be a part of Team Raytheon.