Philosophy and Guidelines
Precisely when Redpath’s philosophy and guidelines were written, and how they were first distributed, has been lost to memory. What is known for sure is that they came from the pen of company founder, Jim Redpath. He formulated the philosophy very early in the company’s existence, and it derived from his belief that the focus of every employee must be on doing a good job for the client.
Certainly these statements of principles put Redpath ahead of the times. It was around the late 1980s that such corporate declarations became vogue and nowadays many an organization has its Mission and Vision Statements up on its walls, or prominently featured in its annual report. What separates Redpath’s ideals from the sort of motherhood statements that you’re most likely to run into is that these documents have daily significance on every worksite and in every corporate communication. Unlike the bland sentences of so many similar statements, or the grandiosity of others, these are expressed in everyday language, with simple, direct declarations relating to situations in which every employee can see themselves. Every project is viewed through the lens of how a decision or action will affect both the client and the company. The philosophy and guidelines are cited in decision-making, quoted in publications, pointed to in discussions, and fifty years on, are still a fundamental element that shapes people’s thinking.
In practical terms, this has two important implications; ‘Challenge is an important part of life’ is not simply a catchphrase to be spouted by reflex, rather, it is a key to Redpath’s success. From the outset, Redpath has always tried to be innovative, to serve clients well by giving them what they really need – not necessarily just what they have asked for.
The second proposition is the people of Redpath. When the company started, it was only people; the equipment belonged to other companies. Those who have worked in the Arctic will recall such projects as great opportunity for young engineers, because they received such a huge variety of experience very, very, quickly. There typically weren’t many people on these jobs, so anyone who was capable and willing would work, and work they did. It was a great way to expand a person’s knowledge and skill set. Even now, when Redpath is using equipment from their vast fleet and inventory, doing a good job means having the right people – and they have to be treated well and feel challenged. These guidelines and the underlying philosophy have developed and instilled in Redpath’s people an attitude that defines the company’s dealings with clients and employees alike.
In accordance with the Guidelines, Redpath employees write technical papers that appear in publications and present them at various mining conferences. Part of the company’s marketing drive was to “get out there and tell people what Redpath had achieved and how it was done”. A telling example is a paper Jim Redpath wrote about sinking deep shafts, based on the company’s experience with the Creighton No. 9 shaft. His desire was to offer the industry the benefit of the lessons Redpath had learned the hard way and save others from wasting their efforts. Many Redpath colleagues were initially attracted to the organization by a paper they read or heard at a conference, and decided it was time to make a career change. If you ask people why they joined Redpath, what makes Redpath different from other contractors, the answer is usually their focus on safety and quality, and the fact that this focus is company-wide, across the globe.
With unsurpassed safety and quality as the goal of all projects, Redpath often exceeds client expectations. Working to exceed their own high standards of service and quality, Redpath has totally committed to meeting these goals and taking pride in a job well done.