We might look at the current crisis faced by the big three American automobile makers as a failure of adaptation. One could make an argument that they have been unable to keep pace with changes external to their companies while others have reacted to the needs and wants of the consumer.
Their current situation might well be a case of very efficiently doing the wrong thing for too long -- producing the wrong product combined with an apparent inability to recognize that fact and initiate corrections.
Large and complex bureaucratic organizations, like the Big Three, are not known for their agility. The challenge of leadership in such organizations is to harness a sense of urgency, develop a climate that promotes creativity and innovation, and provide structures and processes that reward those who move the organization toward success.
While the auto executives are now making the right symbolic moves, the question remains whether it is another example of too little too late, or a real awakening to the needs of the contemporary environment.
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org | December 10, 2008 4:14 AM
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