June 23, 2020 0 Comments

How to Change a Culture: Lessons From NUMMI. How to Change a Culture: Lessons From NUMMI. case study. John Shook. Save; Share. Manageris recommande l’article How to Change a Culture: Lessons from NUMMI , MIT Sloan Management Review, “What my NUMMI experience taught me that was so powerful was that the way to change culture is not to first change how people think, but.

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This is followed by further questions that delve into the realities of being a leader in a global world Moran et al, A world that is in such a constant state of change must be met with minds that are equally willing to adapt and change.

For growth, there must first be a willingness to learn, followed by a readiness to apply what has been learned. Lessnos, application does not necessarily mean direct application. What I mean to say is, learning from others may lead to incorporating what has been learned, or it may mean discovering what will not work. For example, some aspects of Japanese management may meld well with American management, nkmmi some practices from each culture do not work well in the other culture Moran et al, The real hurdle goes back to the concept of having an open mind and a willingness to learn and change.

Leaders need to keep up with scientific, technological, economic, and industrial changes Moran et al, There may be bumps in the road, as Moran et al. The concept of learning from others and embracing change reminded me of NUMMI, which I learned about a while back in my education.

The joint venture was a true exploration of the power of cultural influence, learning, and adaptation Shook, Shook explained how the new training plan was implemented and started a complete turn-around of the Fremont plant employees Shook, Photo retrieved from http: Shook explained that the NUMMI experience gave him a new way of thinking from the general Western approach to organizational change Shook, Instead of focusing on the mindset of everyone involved in the change, it is more effective to focus on the actions of those involved in the change Shook, This example shows the power of learning from others with a different perspective and welcoming change that can make all the difference.


The challenges global leaders face in the twenty-first century include how to effectively deal with change and where to look for solutions to the problems they face. The answer may not be within the organization. The answer may not even be within the same culture.

Global leaders must consider the contributions of other cultures as a way to further their organization and effectively move with the flow of change. The key is removing the fear or reservation of looking at differences as opportunity.

Video retrieved from https: Global leaders learning from others and change. Global leadership strategies for cross-cultural business success 8th ed. How to change a culture: So I decided ot read up on it. Now, prior, GM had severe issues. That really is all there can be said on it. Workers never showed up on time, people would literally get drunk on the job, workers actually threw their empty liquor bottles into the door frames of cars!

But the most disastrous aspect of the GM production process was the typical American way of thinking about manufacturing lessnos production back then.

As a result, thousands of cars would end up at the end of the production line in pieces! Very lessohs, they were missing nuts, bolts, weld tacks, windows and windshields, tires, even engines! Fix those cars out in the back lot, but the line keeps moving!

Learning for Change: the NUMMI Experience

A Toyota in Japan, any time a problem nummmi encountered with a vehicle while on the line, if it could not be fixed within a given number of seconds or so, a long red cord was pulled by the line operator or team member; the line was completely halted as a result.


While this stopped production from continuing, the team was able to address the problem right then and there, and after the problem was fixed, the lone restarted, the end result was a finished product at the end of the line FREE of problems, issues, and missing parts. GM was dumbfounded… they instantly realized their way of chamge about production was wrong, and came back to NUMMI armed for success. All that was left was a change in culture for those who showed up for work at the new plant.

Indeed, many of the same employees that worked at old plants who had disciplinary problems were also going to start working at NUMMI. Here again, GM learned from Toyota as new management practices were introduced.

How to Change a Culture: Lessons From NUMMI

Employee relations was improved with open door policies, direct communication, continuing education programs, and peer mentoring. As a result, employee behavior dramatically improved, and NUMMI — nearly over night in the business world — because the greatest success GM, and American auto manufacturers, ever saw.

The new company, Tesla, eventually bought the facility and uses it today, but NUMMI will go down in history as the origins of American business cultural humility in recognizing a need for change, a willingness to accept that and learn, and achieve measured success as a result. You must be logged in to post a comment.

Thanks again for discussing this, -AJ. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. Skip to toolbar Sites at Penn State.