Interesting quote in today’s WSJ regarding Kirk Kerkorian and the proposed GM/Nissan/Renault deal:
He and Mr. York, his 67-year-old sidekick, have decided — it is clear from their actions, from Mr. York’s public statements and from persons privy to their thinking — that the problem at GM is management. And everything else, ranging from high labor costs to lackluster vehicles, is just a symptom.
I would have to agree with their assessment that GM has systemic leadership problems. You have to hold Wagoner responsible, but can you fix things just by bringing in Carlos Ghosn?
We had an analogous situation when I worked at a GM engine plant in 1995 and 1996. The plant was really struggling in all areas. We had a new plant manager brought it who was NUMMI trained. He stood up in front of the whole plant and said basically that we had suffered through a management problem. With the same workers, we were going to change the management approach (to lean, although we couldn’t call it “lean” due to politics) and success would follow. I was very impressed that the new plant manager didn’t blame the workers, as the old regime would have done (and did).
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