Celebrating Nett Day with Eric Garton


Mathew Wozniczka , Staff Writer

Nett Day took place in the Lech Walesa Hall ett Day on Nov. 15, featuring NEIU’s College of Business and Management students and Eric Garton as the special guest speaker. Garton is a partner at Bain & Company, a global management consultancy headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of “the big three” management consultancies.

Established in 2010, Nett Day at NEIU  is an event that celebrates technology and teaches students entrepreneurial skills.

Garton introduced his book at NEIU’s Nett Day, whose main message to students was to create a working environment that values an employee’s time, talent and energy.

Being the co-author of  “Time, Talent, Energy” and a management consultant who has worked for Bain & Company since 1997, Garton supports clients in merger integration, organizational design and effectiveness, growth strategy and cost transformation.

One of the challenging issues that CEO’s of companies face is the problem of low productivity growth, according to Garton. So we are going to have to develop low friction environments that can inspire employees.

Garton has uncovered opportunities for companies to access productivity without having to invest any money of incremental capital. Capital is no longer the scarcest resource; it’s the time, talent and energy of the workforce that is today’s scarcest resource. Companies who have tapped into those assets were able to produce a lot of productivity.

“It might be harder to create energy in a retail environment where employees are making minimum wage,” Garton said. “But even in those environments, you can create a working environment that allows people to bring their whole self to work that gives them autonomy to do their job, that gives them the chance to improve their skills.”

Garton said autonomy is about having the ability to make your own decisions without the interference from others. It is important that there is a balance between employee autonomy with organizational needs because it will maximize the efficiency, engagement, and performance within the company.

NEIU’s College of Business and Management student Martin Wendelboe said he could see how time is being wasted while working at Kohl’s after reading the book. He said certain elements at the retailer could be improved and finds it easy to apply the book to different types of organizations.

Another COBM student Alex Keir said that after reading the book she can see how the role of a manager should not define what an employee does for the company, but it should allow the employee to define their role within the company.  

NEIU graduate program coordinator and associate professor Charletta Gutierrez said that the College of Business and Management assigns a book for the students to read each semester, then they have Nett Day that started eight years ago, which is about technology and humanity across the disciplines where they have students and special guest speakers discussing the subject of the book.