Homework features AHAM members’ insights on careers, success, life outside of work, and AHAM membership. This month, we spoke with Tim Ferry, Group President, Tools & Home Products, Emerson, and Second Vice Chair of AHAM’s Board of Directors.
What personal and professional goals are you currently pursuing?
On a personal level, I am trying to improve my work/life balance, as well as getting regular exercise. Professionally, we made a larger acquisition in 2018, and we have been busy with integration activities in order to achieve our synergy goals.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
To never compromise on hiring the best caliber talent. It is one of the most important decisions you can make as a leader. My approach is to always hire people that bring new ideas, are curious, and who have a strong sense of teamwork. Hire people who are better than you are, and let them run.
What are your secrets to having a productive day?
To prioritize and focus on what is truly important. Too often we get distracted, and it’s important to stay focused on what really matters. Clearly time management is crucial to being productive, and that is something I try to improve on a daily basis. It’s not easy and something I work on continuously.
Predict an appliance or other innovation that will revolutionize the next generation.
I think robotics and AI will begin to play a larger role in appliances. We are already seeing it in vacuum cleaners and I think it has broader applicability in the appliance space. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together.
How did you come to work in the appliance industry?
I have worked for Emerson for 31 years now, and initially was involved in the vacuum category with our Emerson Tool business. I then moved to InSinkErator, the global leader in food waste disposers, where I become more engaged with AHAM, and joined the board shortly after I started working at InSinkErator.
What do you gain from your involvement in AHAM?
One of the biggest benefits of being involved in AHAM is the tremendous network of highly engaged people. There are many dimensions of expertise with the staff and member association, and it is just a phenomenal resource for all involved. The whole AHAM team and members care deeply about doing the right thing for consumers and it shows in their daily interactions across the network. If you have questions, need help, have a technical challenge, need assistance with government connections, etc., this tremendous AHAM network is there to assist. Together, AHAM helps all of us become better industry stewards.
Outside of the appliance industry, what would be your dream job?
I really enjoy evaluating different companies, their management philosophies, strategies, competitive advantages, and ultimately what makes them tick. I always thought if I didn’t have my current job, which is very fulfilling and I love what I do, I would really enjoy being a portfolio manager in the investment world. It is something I certainly do on a personal level with my own investments, but doing it professionally would be interesting.
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