The Power of What If

What could you learn if you sat down with your toughest critics, your mind open and your mouth shut

My favorite Invisible Thought Leader recently pointed out a great blog post about the Mulally Culture at Ford based on this Businessweek article from May 2007.

After getting over my bias that old content is less valuable content – tell me you didn’t think the same thing when you saw the 2007 date – some of Mulally’s actions really hit home. Case in point, sitting with his engineers as the Consumer Reports team criticized the (then) new Ford Edge. It got me thinking about customer service, corporate culture, and entrenched bureaucracies.

The term innovation is thrown around fairly liberally with questionable efficacy. True innovation comes when we set aside habits and preconceptions. So:

  • What if we were proactive and asked the tough questions? Of ourselves AND our customers?
  • What if we engaged and actually listened to and embraced the implications of the answers?
  • What if we broke down the barriers within our organization to create transparency – internally and externally?

If Mulally can walk into a staid corporate culture like Ford and shake things up, what can you do in your business?