Bob Lutz is in The Wall Street Journal this week, and the former Vice Chairman at General Motors discusses what he sees as the reason for the automaker's previous failings. His illustrative example? A company Christmas card. Sounds weird, but Mr. Lutz's example hit home nicely.
Lutz tells the story of Cadillac then-boss Jim Roche, and a drawn-out mission to get the Wreath and Crest's Christmas card just right. After countless versions, a simple painting of a boy with a sled turned into a Cadillac driving to a mansion along a snow-covered drive.
The point? Lutz's example shows in glaring detail the level of corporate waste and inefficiency that characterized GM through much of the post-war period. That culture, and the lack of an iron-fisted leader, are what Lutz blames for dragging the company down. Check out Lutz's full thoughts here.