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March 20, 2009


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I really enjoyed Gipsie's article. I also believe it and support it. I worked many years off and on within GM and found it to have a culture of egos. Each manager lorded it over all who reported to them and over whom they had influence. CYA was rampant.

After WWII, General Douglas MacArthur removed the top managers in Japan's industrial companies. This move enabled change that brought economic success so quick to war ravaged Japan, and eventually to most of Asia.

This same effect may be an unintended consequence of GM's impending bankruptcy. It will be unfortunate to many in the short term. But, may lead to a better economy in the long run.


Great article Gipsie. An excerpt regarding General Motors’ Success Factors, circa 1970 from my comment posted at http://www.edelman.com/speak_up/blog/archives/2009/06/the_mba_oath.html follows:

Self-interest - General Motors’ Success Factors, circa 1970

• GM is in the business of making money, not cars
• Success comes not from technological leadership but from having the resources to quickly adopt innovations successfully introduced by others
• Cars are primarily status symbols. Styling is therefore more important than quality to buyers who are, after all going to trade up every other year
• The U.S. car market is isolated from the rest of the world. Foreign competitors will never gain more than 15% of the domestic market
• Energy will always be cheap and abundant
• Workers do not have an important impact on productivity or product quality
• The consumer movement does not represent the consensus of a significant portion of the U.S. population
• The government is the enemy. It must be fought tooth and nail every inch of the way
• Strict centralized financial controls are the secret to good administration
• Managers should be developed from the inside

--- Larry Wilson, Between Trapezes Thriving in Discontinuity

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