A collection of "fix GM" columns


    Jerry Flint, It Takes Many Arrows to Kill an Elephant – Forbes.com

    My dad sent me this a while back and laziness kept it off the blog. It's even more relevant this week.

    Flint's column begins:

    Companies don't downsize themselves to success. Downsizing is an admission that things are bad and that they aren't going to be what they used to be. What's happening now with General Motors and Ford Motor may be necessary, but it doesn't guarantee turnarounds.

    The WSJ also has a thought-provoking column today ($$ subscription required, sorry) about the idea of employee ownership for GM. The idea is to buy concessions from the UAW by basically giving them GMAC and a large stake in GM. Something has to be done to get the union on the same agenda as GM, rather than having such an acrimonious relationship. This has been tried in the airline industry, with United Airlines, but critics point out that United workers never had a true management share, something they would recommend for the UAW. Let the UAW share the struggle of running the company, not just being a critic, I say.

    If you wonder why the UAW is so combative with GM, this WSJ column talks about Walter Reuther and some UAW history. Reuther instilled the idea that you should be loyal to the UAW, not your employer. I remember, when I worked at GM, that there were many Dodge Ram pickups in the parking lot. The UAW encouraged their “brothers and sisters” to “buy UAW” rather than “buying GM”. That always frustrated me, as a salaried worker, who DID care about buying GM.

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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