A guy by the name of Tony Carr wrote a piece called “Degraded by Dogs and Ponies: The Lying game of Air Force VIP culture” in which he decries the nonsense of visits by top political and military folks to the air base operations. He writes, “Confounding popular myth, visits don’t help senior officials better understand the mission, either. In fact, visits reduce understanding of the mission. There’s nothing about a superficial walk-through that ingrains the essential truths of day-to-day operations.” Of course he’s right; and of course he could be talking about any organization. Nothing unique to the Air Force when it comes to senior folks dropping in for a planned visit, learning next to nothing and accomplishing little more than disrupting things.
Let me save GM – and most disappointing, Honda and Toyota who profess to know better – and the rest of the wholly dysfunctional auto industry the trouble. The root cause is abysmal leadership that runs their business through the accounting system.
If you hang around watching people do stuff long enough sooner or later they will make a mistake. That’s an absolute. People being human they will drop the ball eventually.
Now in all probability they will see the error, correct it and get back on track. But if you are observant enough you can point out the mistake before they have time to fix it. You can then give yourself a hearty pat on the back for catching their screw-ups. Do it all day, every day and you can convince yourself that you are really doing important work. If it weren’t for you keeping an eye on things the whole place will go to hell in a hand cart what with all this screwing up going on.
For the leading edge of operations management and financial thinking it is increasingly obvious you need to look somewhere other than to the experts.
“In a 2011 performance review of roughly 300 hospitals, Amanda Goodall, a professor at City University’s Cass Business School in London, found that the ones led by physicians were ranked 25 percent higher than the average hospital. Another study, released last year, showed that hospital systems in England with more clinicians in the boardroom had lower death rates.”
Page 5 of 8