Guest Josh

GM Needs a Leader Who Isn't Afraid to Redefine an

5 posts in this topic

Guest Josh   
Guest Josh

GM Needs a Leader Who

Isn't Afraid to Redefine an Icon

By Carol Hymowitz

From The Wall Street Journal Online

Everyone these days is placing bets on whether General Motors can solve its morass of problems and earn money again.

Chief Executive Rick Wagoner insists the company can, and that he's still the right man for the job. In a news conference last week, Mr. Wagoner listed the "dramatic moves" he has made to begin turning around the company. Among them: eliminating thousands of employees through buyouts, raising capital by selling a majority stake in GM's prized GMAC financing unit for $14 billion, and trying to halt the steep erosion of GM's U.S. market share by lowering sticker prices, preparing new models faster and engineering them overseas at less cost.

Maybe he can pull this off and even get workers at Delphi, GM's big parts supplier now in Chapter 11, to accept big wage and benefit cuts. GM dealers placed an ad in this newspaper Friday announcing their support of him. But Mr. Wagoner's record after six years at the helm isn't inspiring a lot of confidence among shareholders. GM racked up losses of $10.6 billion in 2005 and last month announced a series of accounting errors that span Mr. Wagoner's tenure as CEO.

Lead director George Fisher, in a statement last week, said the board is behind Mr. Wagoner. But privately, some directors have been raising questions about a possible management shakeup, according to reports in this paper.

The situation raises another question: If Mr. Wagoner goes, what kind of leader should GM seek?

Given the magnitude of problems, it's not a job a lot of executives will want. And among those, few are likely to have the right mix of experience, wisdom and chutzpah.

Above all, GM needs a leader who can be believed, who doesn't make promises or forecasts that subsequently must be retracted, which has been a problem in the Wagoner regime. It's a job for a leader who is confident but not arrogant, who respects GM's legacy, yet has the creativity and boldness to sculpt something new.

GM's behemoth bureaucracy and huge scale are antiquated. The company's survival may very well depend on dumping its McMansion-size organization for a smaller, more flexible one.

Persuading employees to vacate the McMansion, however, won't be easy. For decades, GM managers have been proud of their company's size and the leverage it gave them with suppliers. They've become accustomed to waiting for proposals from production or marketing to wind their way through the hierarchy. "Every single problem is put through a management process analysis" that takes enormous time, says one former GM executive.

Full Story: http://www.careerjournal.com/columnists/in...cjrss=frontpage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
evok    0

Above all, GM needs a leader who can be believed, who doesn't make promises or forecasts that subsequently must be retracted, which has been a problem in the Wagoner regime. It's a job for a leader who is confident but not arrogant, who respects GM's legacy, yet has the creativity and boldness to sculpt something new.

Without examples her point is moot. Actually GM has not given any guidance for the last year.

GM's behemoth bureaucracy and huge scale are antiquated. The company's survival may very well depend on dumping its McMansion-size organization for a smaller, more flexible one.

Has Carol actually seen an Org chart and compared it to the competition.

Persuading employees to vacate the McMansion, however, won't be easy.

Pink slips and buy out!

For decades, GM managers have been proud of their company's size and the leverage it gave them with suppliers. They've become accustomed to waiting for proposals from production or marketing to wind their way through the hierarchy.

Where does Carol get this from? I have my problems with GM's VDP but this makes no sense.

"Every single problem is put through a management process analysis" that takes enormous time, says one former GM executive.

I have no idea what Carol is refering to? Maybe the old Ron Zarella school of Brand Management and Analysis? I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
haypops    0

. For decades, GM managers have been proud of their company's size and the leverage it gave them with suppliers. frontpage[/url]

It could be argued that the problem is just the opposite. That is, Toyota pressures its suppliers and GM is the pussy cat. In the area of logistics new Toyota suppliers are often shocked at what is required of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ellives    0

I'd say this is typical of "modern" companies. Walmart immediately comes to mind where their new suppliers are also shocked at what's required to do business with Walmart. GM will need to learn this and improve on it.

It could be argued that the problem is just the opposite.  That is, Toyota pressures its suppliers and GM is the pussy cat.    In the area of logistics new Toyota suppliers are often shocked at what is required of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ellives    0

I'd say this is fairly typical "me too" journalism we see today. A rehash of the same old garbage. These people just can't think for themselves. Opinion pieces like this are just that: opinions. Most of them are worth what you paid for them.

Without examples her point is moot.  Actually GM has not given any guidance for the last year.

Has Carol actually seen an Org chart and compared it to the competition.

Pink slips and buy out!

Where does Carol get this from?  I have my problems with GM's VDP but this makes no sense.

I have no idea what Carol is refering to?  Maybe the old Ron Zarella school of Brand Management and Analysis?  I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.