The Technological Enterprise and Its Culture
Air Products has always had engineering as a root of its growth. Initially growth came through diversification in the equipment the company built, moving from generators supplying only oxygen to those producing a variety of gases; from plants supplying gaseous oxygen to those delivering liquid oxygen and other liquefied gases; and from air separation units to gas purification systems. Later, growth came through other, linked endeavors: the move to a sale-of-gas orientation in the company's core business; the designing and operating of chemical plants; and the application of the company's skills to environmental and energy systems. What remained constant was the way in which the culture of Air Products was shaped by a dual stress on process engineering and on sales.
In the company's early days Leonard Pool frequently made a sale and then returned to the office and challenged his engineers, led by Anderson, Pavlis, and Schilling, to devise a novel solution that would meet the contract's specifications. Sales set the direction and pace for technical change. Pool had enormous faith in his engineers. He assumed that if he could sell a project, then his engineers could certainly turn the project into reality.
Leonard Pool approached business in a highly personal manner. Like most good salesmen, he wanted to deal with his customers, his