We've all heard the story of Chrysler's financial problems, the work that Lee Iacocca did to save the corporation, and the $1.2 billion US federal loan guarantee that helped bring Chrysler back to health.
We know a lot less about Robert A. Lutz, the former President and Vice Chairman of Chrysler Corporation. Lutz saved Chrysler from its second financial crisis in the early 1990s. "Guts" is Bob Lutz's story of how he handled with Chrysler's second crisis.
It's a fascinating story, with a lot of implications for the software development industry.
One of the big differences between Chrysler and Honda, Lutz discovered, was the attitude that each company had when dealing with stakeholders.
- Honda fostered trust throughout their corporation. Chrysler's relationships, on the other hand, were built on a lack of trust.
- Honda trusted suppliers and dealers. Chrysler treated these stakeholders as the enemy.
- Honda empowered its workers to make decisions at every level in the organization. Chrysler micromanaged its employees.
As part of the recovery of Chrysler, Lutz turned around these destructive attitudes. For example, before Lutz took over, Chrysler didn't have many positive relationships with its suppliers. During every annual planning cycle, Chrysler demanded cost reductions from suppliers, without working together to figure out how these cost savings could be possible.