Thursday, October 2, 2014

Solving 90% of the Causes But Still Having 90% of the Problem

Time's recent cover article about GM's CEO, Mary Barra, has her stating that, in less than a year, GM has taken steps to implement 90% of the Valukas report's suggestion. We're to believe that an issue that's been suppressed for 12 years because of a culture of "silence, obfuscation and buck-passing" has suddenly changed and only 10% of the problem remains--like only 10% of the people are now leaving reports in their Drafts folder, can't clearly say what's going on or pointing fingers. To make that claim, it's probably more like this: they've taken care of 90% of the listed causes and have thereby dealt with the 'trivial many' reasons that prevented the safety problem--responsible for a lot of injuries and deaths--from being addressed. But the 'vital few' reasons--that have been indoctrinated for decades that would allow a problem to be hidden or ignored for 12 years--are still there.

Here's how it might look:

GM most likely got rid of all the low frequency reasons that perpetuated this problem since 2001.

If the corporation has so many timid, uncommunicative and irresponsible people that something like this can go on for over a decade, the corporation's behavior isn't going to change overnight because those people are still there. Did GM fire 90% of their people? Naw, they dealt with the easy solutions like amending a policy here or there, doing some training (which is only 20% useful and effective at creating new behaviors), putting some 'wrist slapping' notes in people's HR files, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment