Re: Senge and Ford

Phil Crawford (
Thu, 10 Nov 1994 22:37:30 -0800

This discussion about Ford has been most interesting to one who knows little
about the history of the company and the many consultants who may or may not
have had significant influence. Seems like Ford might have been trying to be
a learning organization a long time ago. They took advantage of the ideas of
each consultant and each one "saved" the company. So what is wrong with
that? Does it really make that much difference if a consultant takes credit
for something that worked, even if only for a short time. Of course, the
people in the company who made the changes and do the work need the most
credit for "saving" the company. Change and ideas are dynamic; there very
likely is no one best, long lasting system or approach.
>Art and others,
>Why would I think that Senge claimed to have saved Ford? Try reading
>the article in the October 14, 1994 issue of Fortune magazine. True,
>it was written by a journalist, but with great input from Senge and
>Ford personnel. This article claims that Senge turned around the
>Lincoln, while previous articles say that Hammer and Champy turned
>around the Lincoln. I realize there is a lot of hype coming from
>consultants in order to make themselves look good in the eyes of
>potential clients, but the Ford example (and FedEx) is so egregious
>that almost everyone can see the multiple claims of savior.
>Sorry if that bothers anyone, but someday (like the elections
>yesterday) people will recognize what is going on and many of the
>consultants will go down the tubes in favor the tried and true.
>Norman C. Frank
>MCI Mail: 4573434
Phil Crawford
N.E. District Extension Director
415 Hulbert Hall
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington 99164-6230
FAX 509-335-2926