The Power of Habit

by

Charles Duhigg

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Alcoa is the massive aluminum manufacturing corporation that Paul O’Neill ran as CEO and chairman from 1987 to 2000.

Alcoa Quotes in The Power of Habit

The The Power of Habit quotes below are all either spoken by Alcoa or refer to Alcoa. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Power of Habit published in 2014.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Where should a would-be habit master start? Understanding keystone habits holds the answer to that question: The habits that matter most are the ones that, when they start to shift, dislodge and remake other patterns.

Related Characters: Charles Duhigg (speaker), Paul O'Neill
Related Symbols: Keystone Habits
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:

What most people didn’t realize, however, was that O’Neill’s plan for getting to zero injuries entailed the most radical realignment in Alcoa’s history. The key to protecting Alcoa employees, O’Neill believed, was understanding why injuries happened in the first place. And to understand why injuries happened, you had to study how the manufacturing process was going wrong. To understand how things were going wrong, you had to bring in people who could educate workers about quality control and the most efficient work processes, so that it would be easier to do everything right, since correct work is also safer work.
In other words, to protect workers, Alcoa needed to become the best, most streamlined aluminum company on earth.

Related Characters: Charles Duhigg (speaker), Paul O'Neill
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:
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Alcoa Term Timeline in The Power of Habit

The timeline below shows where the term Alcoa appears in The Power of Habit. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Keystone Habits, or the Ballad of Paul O’Neill: Which Habits Matter Most
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In 1987, investors met with the new CEO of the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), the former bureaucrat Paul O’Neill. To everyone’s surprise, instead of promising to increase profits, he... (full context)
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At first, O’Neill wasn’t sure if he wanted the CEO job at Alcoa. After rising through the Veterans Administration, he moved to the Office of Management and Budget,... (full context)
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When O’Neill joined Alcoa, the company was struggling—quality was suffering and its workers were inefficient. But O’Neill couldn’t just... (full context)
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After taking over at Alcoa, O’Neill faced opposition from Wall Street, the workers’ unions, and the company’s vice presidents. But... (full context)
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O’Neill’s focus on safety also changed other parts of Alcoa’s culture. Unions agreed to measure individual workers’ productivity, and managers agreed to let individual employees... (full context)
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Six months into his job at Alcoa, Paul O’Neill learned that a young worker in Arizona had jumped over a safety wall... (full context)
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At Alcoa, O’Neill used safety as a justification for building a company-wide email network. This happened in... (full context)
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In 1996, a nun attended a shareholder meeting to report dangerous working conditions at an Alcoa plant in Mexico. While this was inconsistent with O’Neill’s records, he sent a team to... (full context)
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In 2000, O’Neill left Alcoa to become the U.S. secretary of the treasury. Other companies have adopted his focus on... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Power of a Crisis: How Leaders Create Habits Through Accident and Design
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...to fix doctors’ errors and accommodate their rage. The hospital’s culture was the opposite of Alcoa’s: it was toxic and developed erratically, without any real planning. (full context)