5 Rules Alan Mulally used to turn around Ford, They make sense for most of us

How would you like to be faced with the challenge of turning around Ford in 2006.  Alan Mulally took the challenge and succeeded.

Barron’s has a post on the turn around

1) Internal fighting makes the company stronger.

2) Bend the truth to fit your view of the situation.

3) To make 1) and 2) easier everyone should have their own numbers.

4) Be like Teflon and let your actions slide pointing to others.

5) Look busy, doing more is most important.

OK, you know these can’t be the list.  I wrote the opposite on purpose.  The real list is: 

1) Stop fighting with each other. 
2) Tell the truth about the situation. 
3) Agree on one set of numbers. 
4) Be accountable for your actions. 
5) Do less, better.

The change included a weekly meeting for the immediate subordinates to know the #’s.

Mulally directed his immediate subordinates, from the chief financial officer to the general counsel, to attend a weekly business-plan review. They were to bring real numbers for their responsibilities. Few of the top guys knew them. They had subordinates to do those presentations. That was no longer allowed.

In most companies, such accountability -- up close and personal -- is rare at high levels, and it almost had never been seen at Ford. It now was required every seven days.


What caused this success? Ford, a company in which the top executives really knew their numbers, committed to take a high-risk leap forward with their whole product line. They did this knowing full well that their quality ratings would tank until factories and workers climbed the learning curve and customers climbed the confidence curve about its products.