Ford: Smaller and Nimbler? Layoffs and Innovation Go Together?


The CNBC reporter is now saying that Ford will be “smaller and nimbler.” Smaller yes, but more nimble? That remains to be seen. But, I'd argue that companies in this shrinking cycle (and Ford has already been in this job-cutting cycle) hardly see the risk taking and innovation that Bill Ford and Mark Fields are calling for in the new culture.

I know friends at Ford and Visteon who have already been miserable because they're afraid for their jobs and not sure they can find something new in the Detroit area, with the auto industry struggles. This fear and malaise does not lead to risk-taking. It leads to keeping your head down and avoiding mistakes (that often come from risks) that would result in you ending up on the RIF list.

Mark Fields is quoted in the WSJ today
that fear “is a great motivator”. Ford has come a long way from when W. Edwards Deming preached about eliminating fear from Ford and other workplaces.

What do you think? Can Ford be a risk-taking and innovative company while laying off people and closing plants?? Click comments to chime in.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous says

    If enough gate keepers are retired or fired there is a distinct possibility of innovation when large budgets are not cut.

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