Friday, December 29, 2017

Building an Open Culture

Alan Mulally, former CEO at Boeing, was CEO of Ford Motor Company from 2006 until 2014. He presided over Ford while GM and Chrysler were regrouping and accepting government loans to bail them out.

Under Mulally’s leadership, Ford Motor Company transformed itself without accepting government money. Mulally moved Ford from near bankruptcy to profitability with a sound financial strategy and a laser focus on the Ford name.

But the biggest problem he faced was a culture in which the person bringing up a problem became the problem. Communication in the company was slim to non-existent. In this video clip, he explains how he impressed upon the team that there was no value in status meetings where everyone reports that all is well when things are not. It was a culture where people were more concerned with maintaining their status than dealing with reality.

A simple but poignant idea changed the culture; “It has to be safe for each of us to share. Because as human beings, you are not going to share the way it really is if you are going to catch abuse, or be yelled at, or be put down.”

Well said!

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