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New Ideas, Inc. Formerly IDEAS

IDEAS, an acronym for "Industrial Distribution Education Association Sales" was founded in South Bend Indiana by three former employees of Dodge Manufacturing; John Gyorgi, Bob Grundtner and Lee VanStone.

The objective of the company was to provide generic training relevant to the identification, selection and maintenance of Fluid and Mechanical Power Transmission components to A) Industrial Distributor Personnel and B) Industrial End Users.

intro1The first class was conducted in the fall of 1972 on the campus of Notre Dame. The actual length of the first PT Workshop was six weeks. Students attended class for two weeks of training, returning to their jobs for two weeks and returned for another two weeks, repeating this sequence until all 6 weeks of the curriculum had been completed.

In April of 1993
Ron Whistler purchased IDEAS from then owner Bill Pitcher.

In January of 2015
Ron Whistler suspended NEW IDEAS, INC.'s training initiatives and his two sons; Parrish and Chadd joined the company as principals and Senior Vice Presidents.

The primary MISSION was and is to explore new opportunities within new markets and to continue to implement new ideas using



In June of 1998
Ron Whistler suspended regularly scheduled training programs offered by NEW IDEAS, INC. (formerly IDEAS) to pursue Long Term Contractual Training and Development opportunities.

From June 1998 until January 2015, NEW IDEAS, INC./Ron Whistler provided customized training, development and implementation, of training programs, on a contractual basis, for Industrial Manufacturers, Training companies and major trade Associations.

In April of 1993

Bill Pitcher, because of personal reasons decided to discontinue his association with NEW IDEAS, INC.

Ron Whistler purchased the company from Bill Pitcher (including all rights to the IDEAS curriculums) except for the "PST" (Professional Selling Skills) program.

Bob Baker retained the IDEAS PST curriculum

Ron Whistler added Soft Skill and Predictive Maintenance training curriculums to the IDEAS product line.

June of 1992

Bill Pitcher REORGANIZES IDEAS After Bob Baker announced his intentions to retire from IDEAS.

Bill Pitcher asked Ron Whistler to take over the general management of IDEAS.

A new company was formed under the name of NEW IDEAS, INC.

All rights to IDEAS and its products were transferred to NEW IDEAS, INC. and the operations were moved from South Bend, Indiana to Kansas City, Missouri.

January 1990 - IDEAS
Bill Pitcher contracted Ron Whistler as a part time instructor for IDEAS.

September 1989

Ron Whistler left IBT as their Corporate Training Director and formed his own training company WHISTLER & ASSOCIATES offering Bearing Maintenance and Lubrication Maintenance training seminars to industrial manufacturers and educational facilities.

1988 - IDEAS

Bill Pitcher is appointed Director of Training for Motion Industries. Due to his schedule with Motion, he is forced to resign his position as President with IDEAS.

Bill Pitcher maintains his involvement with IDEAS as owner and silent financial partner until 1993.

1986 - IDEAS

Bill Pitcher buys the rights to the IDEAS curriculums from Bob Grundtner's estate.

Bill Pitcher becomes the owner and President of IDEAS.

1986 - IDEAS

Bob Grundtner served as the President of IDEAS until his untimely death in January of 1986 at the age of 56.

Many of the initial concepts and curriculums that influenced the organizations
goals and objectives of IDEAS are due to Bob Grundtner's insights.

1980 - IDEAS

Bob Grundtner hires Bill Pritcher as a part time instructor specifically for the Hydraulics curriculum offered by IDEAS.

Bill Pitcher at the time was the director of the Hydraulics training program for Motion Industries.

1977 - IDEAS

Bob Grundtner hires Bob Baker in the fall of 1977 as General Administrator and Principle Instructor.

Bob Baker maintained this position with IDEAS until announcing his retirement in June of 1992.

1975 - IDEAS

John Gyorgi left IDEAS to accept an offer from the Masten Bearing Division of Eagle-Pitcher Industries as Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

John Gyorgi held a number of challenging positions including; Chairman and CEO of Bunting Bearing Corporation in Holland Ohio.

1973 - IDEAS

Lee VanStone left IDEAS to accept an offer from Motion Industries, Inc. to manage their Fluid Power Division in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lee VanStone stayed with Motion until 1987.
He resigned his position with Motion and moved to Coldwater, Michigan.


The key to NEW IDEAS INC'S success now and in the future

Only 11% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 still exist today and the average time that companies stay in the top 500 has fallen from 75 years to 15 years.

The race for national competitiveness includes competing for: investments, talent, growth, and opportunity. Those that are pushed out of the running surrender the greatest prize of all: prosperity.

To achieve prosperity companies must focus on what really matters: How to be like the 11% of companies that have remained through the decades in the top 500. The secret of these successful companies is constant INNOVATION

To quote the late Steve Jobs:

"Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations."

The key to INNOVATION is not; an intellectual luxury, a topic confined to seminars and panel discussions, or a matter only of administrative reforms;

It is the recipe for human survival and the development, the fuel for consistent progress, and the blueprint for a company's survival.

The first key to business success is: INNOVATION that is used to focus on its employee's skills.

Top-tier companies continuously invest in their employees to provide them with the right skills that nurture INNOVATION - across key sectors of the company's business and marketplace. This requires constant EMPLOYEE EDUCATION.

A United States Department of Labor study found that:

65% of children currently in primary school will grow up to work in jobs that do not exist today

Another study at Oxford University found that:

47% of job categories are at high risk of ceasing to exist because they can be automated through technology.

These two studies set the stage for how a company should plan for its future and how it should compete, not only today, but in the coming future.

A company's success will depend on its INNOVATIVE-EDUCATIONALCREATIVITY to provide the employees with the analytical and communication skills needed to be competitive now and in the future.

The second key to business success is: INNOVATION that: A) uses the skills of its employee's, B) focus' on their creativity, analytical and communication skills and C) shifting investment towards the intangibles. . .


More than 80% of the value of the Standard & Poor's 500 consisted of tangible assets, 40 years ago.

Today that ratio is reversed: more than 80% of the largest companies' value is intangible; the knowledge and skills of their employees.

NEW IDEAS INC.’s background and the experience Chadd and Parrish Whistler ads to its depth in INNOVATIVE training, going forward, ideally positions it continue to provide innovative educational services that will inable companies to compete now and in the coming future.


Innovative Educational Training/Programs:
The Backbone To Corporate Strategy and Success

Training, when properly positioned, serves as a backbone to corporate strategy. And, training can contribute to this country's ability to gain back its position as a world competitor.

The importance of industry taking a leadership role in providing the workforce with the appropriate training to effectively meet these changes was emphasized in a report published by the National Council on Vocational Education titled "Time for Action". Per this report:

"Unless the powers of this country...does something to encourage training of competent, qualified workers for the jobs that need doing, our position in the world market place will be seriously, and for the long term, jeopardized."

Beginning with the 21st century we have seen and are continuing to see an accelerated amount of change in all levels of the workforce as companies strive to become world class.

The impact this is having on industry and training was addressed in a document published by the American Library Association. Per this report:

"New learning models need to be implemented that are based on using information resources from the real world and on learning methodology that is active and integrated, not passive."

Today's and tomorrow's training programs have to create a culture within a company that coincides with change. Part of the challenge is designing a training program that is keeping pace with new technology, the needs of the company, the needs of the market place and new training techniques.

Industry can, through training, emphasize what needs to be done with the existing proliferation of information so that operating costs are reduced, equipment uptime is increased, productivity is increased and bottom line profits are increased.



The backbone of any NEW IDEAS, INC. customized training program is a TRAINING NEEDS ANALYSIS. THE (TNA) PROCESS used by NEW IDEAS, INC. includes:
  • Focus input meetings
  • A 4 step analysis of each Focus Input Meeting to determine
    • Frequency of Topic versus need
    • Importance of Topic versus need
    • Existing expertise relevant to Topic versus need
    • The need to devote training time to Topic
  • A comparison of perceived need versus expressed need


As a senior consultant to the FROM INSTITUTE, NEW IDEAS, INC. has played a key role in developing and admistering several BMI’s for prominate trade associations: Example:
  • The Automotive Wholesale Distributor Assn. (AWDA)
  • Jewelers of America
  • Automotive Service Assn. (ASA)
  • Automotive Engine Rebuilders Ass. (AERA)
Each BMI was designed as a 4 year educational program with
  • The primary objective being to Grow and Retain Membership
  • The secondary objective being to increase revenue, increase membership participation and increase conference attendance.


The Strategic Educational Plan, when completed should serve as a foundation for
  • Guiding the company’s future training activities
  • Anticipate and serve its’ customers’ needs as well as its’ employee growth objectives and
  • Contribute to “Total Quality Initiatives”
The Planning process used by NEW IDEAS, INC. includes structuring a series of sequential surveys each of which builds on the information and direction generated from the previous activity/survey. These activities include conducting Focus Input Meetings with:
  • Selected Management Personnel
  • Selected Sales Personnel and
  • One or more specific customer base
These meetings are scheduled as one-on-one meetings with designated personnel. The results of these meetings provide the basis for developing a TNA which will provide the basis for developing a training curriculum.

Needs Analysis

NEW IDEAS, INC's Training Needs Analysis Process


The following comments were taken from an article titled "Development Starts With Assessment" by Stephen E. Forrer that appeared in the Journal Executive Excellence, Vol. 7, May 1990 and as prophesied is to this day very appropriate:

In the coming decade, career development will become employee development. In a model for implementing career development programs, the role of assessment becomes clear: critical jobs and skills must be assessed.

Recruitment, employee retention and training will be the key to managing human resources in the 21st century.

To be successful, companies must undertake accurate and relevant assessments. Employers must recognize the need to provide flexibility and be willing to adapt to change.

Over the years, Training Needs Analysis (TNA) has been done in a variety of ways using a multitude of different forms. Initially, needs analysis was derived from a questionnaire that simply asked the participant to check off training courses they felt they needed in order to perform their job. Requirements were informally gathered and lightly documented. Justification frequently came from what was thought was needed, not from what was really required.


A process used by NEW IDEAS, INC. to structure a TNA (Training Needs Analysis)

Focus Input Meetings are used to establish the structure of a training event and/or series and should include: A.) selected management personnel B.) Selected sales personnel and C.) A selected customer base and D.) conducted as one-on-one meetings with each of the above designated employees

Based on the information obtained during one-on-one focus meetings, a list of topics should be incorporated into survey forms and distributed to a much broader base of potential training participants.

The result of this follow-up survey should:

  • Measure opinions
  • Define and prioritize goals
  • Generate management support
  • Encourage participant commitment
  • Provide the ability to uncover priority training needs versus what's "nice to have"
  • Provide a comparison between the perception of management, supervision and workers regarding training needs
  • Provide recommended training material and delivery methods necessary to meet the company's training needs
  • Provide direction for establishing training programs that will support the company's missions statement and strategic business plan
  • Provide a means for increasing productivity
  • Provide a means for increasing quality
  • Provide a means for increasing employee retention
  • Identify the need for the development of technical skills
  • Provide the means for installing a corporate culture
  • Provide encourgement for creativity and innovation
  • Provide information by employees about themselves and the organization
  • Provide information by the organization about itself and its employees
  • Provide a means for getting, maintaining and using various types of information
  • Provide a means for measuring the amount of support by management and employees regarding training

New Ideas, Inc. uses a 5-step analysis of the results of the survey(s) referred to above.

Step 1:

  • FREQUENCY: How often is a topic discussed?
  • IMPORTANCE: How important is it to have a working knowledge about this topic?
  • EXPERTISE: The level of expertise needed/available relevant to a given topic
  • NEED: How important is it that additional training on this topic be provided?

Step 2:
The results of Step 1 will be cross plotted to determine training priorities. For example:

  • FREQUENCY VERSUS IMPORTANCE: If the topic is frequently discussed but those surveyed feel that the importance of this topic is minimal, the amount of training time devoted to this topic should be limited.
    However, if the topic is frequently discussed and tose surveyed feel this topic is very important, training on this topic should be given high priority.
  • EXPERTISE VERSUS NEED: If those surveyed have a high proficiency level regarding the topic and feel that the need for additional training on this topic is low, the amount of training time devoted to this topic should be limited.
    However, if those surveyed have a minimal amount of expertise on the topic and feel that there is a need for additional training, training on this topic should be given high priority.

Step 3:
After cross plotting the above sets, a combined cross plot is made to compare training priorities between:

  • Management's perceived need versus the expressed needs of company employees and/or the company's client base
  • The difference in training needs between company divisions
  • The geographical influence regarding training needs

Step 4:
The results of Steps 1 - 3 are used to prioritize training needs and develop a training curriculum(s) with respect to, but not limited to:

  • Communication skills
  • Personal development skills
  • Business management skills such as billing and credit services and ordering procedures
  • Pricing policies
  • Inventory and warehouse services
  • Selling and marketing skills such as: time and territory management, selling and closing skills and associative selling
  • Problem solving skills
  • Customer service
  • Interviewing skills
  • Performance analysis
  • Leadership/team-building skills
  • Basic remedial skills
  • Technical skills (product knowledge)
  • Quality awareness skills (TQM, JIT, MRP, SPC, etc.)
  • Data processing skills (mainframe)
  • Personal computing skills
  • Product knowledge
  • Maintenance skills (predictive maintenance, proactive maintenance, root cause analysis, etc.)

Step 5:
Training curriculum(s) should be implemented taking into consideration available training resources versus the company's specific needs. This will require assessment of the following in order to achieve maximum productivity in the shortest amount of time versus the dollars required to provide training.

  • Internal versus outside training resources:
    Can available employee (SME's) expertise be used?
  • Method(s) of training to be used or preferred
    OJT (On The Job Training)
    Self-Study Material
    Printed Text
    Video (existing or custom made)
    Audio Cassette (existing or custom made)
    Internal Training (lunch training, after work training, training integrated with working hours)
    Lecture type training
    Panel Discussion type training
    Facilitated Round Table Discussions
    External Training (resources from outside the workplace, Community Colleges, Outside Training Consultants, Trade Associations)


Building a Business Management Institute for Trade Associations

As a senior consultant to the From Institute Ron Whistler & NEW IDEAS, INC. has played a key role in developing and administering several Business Management Institutes (BMI’S) for prominent trade associations; Example: A.) the Automotive Wholesale Distributor Assn. (AWDA), B.) Jewelers of America, C.) Automotive Service Assn. (ASA), and D.) Automotive Engine Rebuilders Assn. (AERA).

Each BMI consisted of a series of technical courses specific to the nature of the association and five major tracks on Soft Skills, including:

  • People management skills
  • Business management skills
  • Finance management skills
  • Sales and marketing management skills
  • Personal enrichment skills

The BMI was generally designed as a 4 year educational/training program.

The primary objective: Grow membership, retain membership


The secondary objective:Increase revenue, increase membership participation and attendance at regional conferences and/or the annual convention.

Note: to obtain optimum employee acceptance of a training program it is best to use members from within the association or company who are SME's (Subject Matter Experts) to help develop, select topics and/or write core curriculums.

Curriculums are best structured on the principle of the "Layered Theory of Information Transfer".

For a maximum return on training dollars, if more than one form of a presentation on a given subject matter can be provided, this will increase the student's ability to learn and retain information. If a classroom environment is possible and training time available, the format of the Layered Theory of Information Transfer is recommended.

This format provides a flexible and optimum learning environment. It takes into consideration peer input and the way a person likes to learn.

This format is especially suited for trade associations during regional and/or annual conferences.


NEW IDEAS, INC'S Approach to Strategic Educational Planning

The Strategic Educational Plan, when completed, should serve as a foundation for A) guiding the company's future training activities, B) anticipate and serve its customers needs as well as its employee growth objectives and C) contribute to "Total Quality Improvement Initiatives".

Strategic Educational Planning as a means of improving the effectiveness of the company's efforts to establish quality service is a relatively new concept. At the beginning of the 1960's, after the publication on "Long-Range Planning for Management" by David W. Ewing, a great deal of attention was directed toward the nature, theory and process of planning.

In more recent years, the tools and techniques of business planning have been used to develop Strategic Educational Plans in order to deal with the complexity of competing in today's global markets. Some of the issues addressed in this approach include:

  • How best to obtain and convey educational information on product and services to maintain customer loyalty and provide quality service.
  • How best to generate among employees enthusiasm and support for the company's Strategic Educational Plan
  • How best to structure an educational curriculum to meet the challenge of "change" while providing management with the tools necessary to generate a challenging and rewarding professional work environment
  • How best to define and communicate the mission, goals, objectives and strategies of the eductional plan to employees, suppliers, clients/customers and community

Strategic Educational Plans, when properly implemented within a company, will allow management to deal effectively with the need to direct the company towards pre-defined educational goals which in turn supports the company's efforts to establish a quality environment.

A Strategic Educational Planning Survey is the basis for establishing a cost-effective training program. For example; when an association is considering a Business Management Institute, the objectives of the survey should be:

  • To determine what the employee and/or lay person want
  • To determine what the executive committee want
  • To determine what the Association Management (third party management personnel) thought the association wanted and needed
  • To determine what the association can afford

Issues that impact the structure of a Strategic Educational Planning Survey for a company and/or association and/or an Industrial Distributor are:

  • Product training (particularly catalog engineering)
  • What is needed to manage a sales territory
  • What is needed to manage multiple product lines
  • How to address associative selling
  • What geographic's should be considered (areas that are best for which product line(s), and what industries are propering within a given geographical area)
  • What are employee, association member and or customer demographics
  • How to identify applications with products

The planning process used to structure a survey involves a number of sequential activities each of which builds on the information and direction generated from the previous activity. These activities include conducting Focus Input Meetings with:

  • Selected management personnel
  • Selected sales personnel
  • A selected customer base

These meetings should be one-on-one meetings with designated employees.

The results of these meetings will provide the basis for developing a Training Needs Analysis which will provide the basis for developing a training curriculum.

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New Ideas, Inc.

  • Location: Kansas City, Missouri
  • Zip Code: 64119
  • E-mail:
  • Website: