As we teach in our Lean Marketing Workshops, lack of results is usually a failure of process not people. Deming reported that fact many years ago.
We have been reading Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, & Total Nonsense and found the authors have identified additional research that further supports this truth. One example they cite is the old General Motors plant in Fremont, CA.
That plant was closed in 1982 because it was one of the worst GM plants in the country as measured by defects per car built and cost per car built. The plant also suffered from wildcat strikes and “rampant drug and alcohol abuse.” The plant was re-opened in 1985 as a joint venture between GM and Toyota, but it instituted the Toyota Production System (called Lean Manufacturing or Lean Thinking outside of Toyota).
85% of the initial workforce consisted of rehired former GM employees. The first year the plant produced cars, its output was among the highest quality and lowest cost cars produced in any plant in the U.S. Same people, new process, better results.
And least our senior management readers get too smug, the authors also note that Toyota is the ONLY automobile company where changing the CEO has had NO impact on company performance. In other words, the processes the company uses are so robust, there is little noticeable effect on the company due to any single person change … even the CEO.
They just keep relentlessly moving to #1 in revenue and profit.