Something evident to me in working on this project is that real change at General Motors requires an overhaul of their corporate culture. An editorial cartoon published in the Buffalo News depicts the role of corporate culture in the ignition switch crisis.
Consequently, I was searching for articles that might relate strategies GM is using to shift its culture to one that prioritizes customers and safety. I was very excited to find this story:
That, is, I was excited until I saw the date of publication: February 4, 1993. The message, however, is as relevant today as it was 22 years ago.
Mary Barra seems to take the challenge of changing GM’s culture seriously. She and GM President Mark Ruess use a different leadership style than previous CEOs (Burke, 2014, May 28). Last April, she unveiled the “Speak up for Safety” program that rewards employees who identify ways to improve safety on vehicles or who speak up when they observe issues (like the faulty ignition switch) that affect safety (GM creates speak up for safety program for employees, 2014).
Barra remarked, “GM must embrace a culture where safety and quality come first. GM employees should raise safety concerns quickly and forcefully, and be recognized for doing so.”
Now, she just needs to make it stick.
See also: Root Causes
Burke, K. (2014, May 28). Ruess: GM morale high despite recalls. Automotive News. Retrieved from http://www.autonews.com/article/20140528/OEM02/140529863/reuss:-gm-employee-morale-high-despite-recalls
GM creates speak up for safety program for employees. (2014, April 10). [Press release]. GM News. Retrieved from http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2014/Apr/0410-speakup.html