Thu, 10 Nov 94 08:52:00 PST

Norman Frank made some interesting comments. I share some of the same
concerns, not just re: Ford, but about any organization that "embraces" the
methodologies blindly. I venture to say that the methodology is not the
underlying force that can "save" a company; in my opinion, there has to be a
willingness across all levels of the organization to learn to change (or
maybe "unlearn" what they "know as fact" about how the company and the world

Re: Ford. In the early 80s, I met one of three consultants who owned a
company that worked with Ford extensively. This story is second-hand, but
I have no reason to doubt its validity when I consider the personal
reliability of the source. He told me how they struggled when they first
started the consulting engagement to find out what the missing link
might be, and then one day he asked about the decision process to launch
a new vehicle. He was told that it took twentysomething (I think 27)
executives at Ford to make the GO / No GO decision. He asked how often these
executives met and made decisions on these matters. He was told there was no
scheduled meeting where they did this; after some research, he found out that
these executives had NEVER met in a single place, and that in fact some of
them did not know each other !!!

I wonder how many other large firms have the same situation... I guess it
goes back to my comment in the first paragraph about willingness.

Luis Mederos

REPLY FROM: Luis Mederos
Return-Path: <>
Received: from pp by id <>;
Thu, 10 Nov 94 07:05:49 PST
Received: from by pp with SMTP (PP); Thu, 10 Nov 1994 07:12:17
Received: from by ( id HAA00672;
Thu, 10 Nov 1994 07:04:40 -0500
Received: by (5.65c/Spike-2.0) id AA24243; Thu, 10 Nov 1994
12:01:07 GMT
Received: from by (5.65c/Spike-2.0) id AA24231; Thu,
10 Nov 1994 07:01:05 -0500
Received: (from nfrank@localhost) by (8.6.9/8.6.9) id HAA18112;
Thu, 10 Nov 1994 07:00:57 -0500
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 1994 07:00:57 -0500
Message-Id: <>
From: (Norman Frank)
Subject: Ford
Precedence: bulk

OK, I admit I'm dumb and gullible, but there is something I'm not
fully understanding.

Way back when...Ford's consultants said that SPC had turned around
and saved the company. Quality is No. 1!
Next Ford's consultants said that TQM had turned around and saved
the company.
Next Ford's consultants said that Continuous Improvement was the only
way to salvage what was left.
Hammer and Champy then used Ford as an example where Reengineering
had turned around a company and saved it.
Now Senge is saying that Ford is his example of what he can do with
a learning-organization.

Isn't it nice that Hammer and Champy and Senge can come along and take
credit for all the work that went on before them? Perhaps I don't
fully understand how this is possible. Maybe I'm too well informed
to be "snowed" by the latest management fad (reengineering or L-O).

Please enlighten me, particularly concerning how these latest fads
have saved Ford.

Norman C. Frank
MCI Mail:  4573434