How cool was that?! I was comparing notes with Alan Mulally (former CEO of Ford) the other afternoon in my Vistage CEO Group (Honorary Vistage Member: Alan Mulally) and we met at the intersection of “Working Together” and “Agility”.
“Working-Together” is the philosophy and approach Alan took in turning around Ford – a combination of principles and practices for building skilled and motivated teams, which he first used at Boeing (to turnaround the commercial airplane division of Boeing post 9/11, which was on its knees) and then at Ford (which was in worse shape than General Motors & Chrysler, both of whom took the government bailout and went bankrupt, which Ford did not). Read more: Agility Masters: Alan Mulally.
At the core of his “working-together” approach were meetings on a weekly and daily basis. To be on the same page and iterating as a team, sufficiently frequently enough to keep up with the chaos of some of the most tumultuous periods of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) in business history (post 9/11 with Boeing and the Great Recession with Ford).
Meetings were the engine of his agility as a leader, as a team and as an organization (Agile Meetings … are at the heart of your Enterprise Agility!). Able to stay abreast of rapidly changing circumstances on a daily and weekly basis, with increasing trust, transparency and teamwork which evolved over time, he facilitated his team to live in the organized-chaos of agility not the disorganized-chaos of fragility. At GM and Chrysler, not so much!
With daily/weekly meetings driving the quantity, quality and cadence of conversation-flow which cash-flow could follow (Conversation-Flow to Cash-Flow & The Secrets of Agile-Decision-Making), he got things back into traction on their desired trajectory to a bright future of an improving cash position, profit position and leadership position. At GM and Chrysler, not so much! Before long, Ford was setting records with profits, with products and, not least of all, with employee engagement statistics from employee surveys enterprise wide. At GM and Chrysler, not so much!
That’s Agile Teamwork built upon a platform of mutual respect, trust and transparency. At GM not so much – consider the ignition switch scandal! At VW not so much – consider the diesel emissions scandal!
That’s Agile Working Together! Here’s a message from Alan:
I love it! We are one at the intersection of agile and the creating-value-roadmap, with the agility embedded in the “working-together” process, behaviors and leadership delivering enterprise-agility over and over again! (Alan Mulally)