How Epic Bureaucracy Led To GM's Doom

Have you ever wondered how a profit-seeking entity could have possibly produced the Pontiac Aztek? The answer lies in GM’s century-old bureaucracy. Like all good bureaucracies, it helped to stifle innovation, squash dissent, and perpetuate bad ideas.

When G.M. collapsed last year and turned to the government for an emergency bailout, its century-old way of conducting business was laid bare, with all its flaws in plain sight. Decisions were made, if at all, at a glacial pace, bogged down by endless committees, reports and reviews that astonished members of President Obama’s auto task force.

“Everyone knew Detroit’s reputation for insular, slow-moving cultures,” Steven Rattner, head of the task force, wrote recently in Fortune magazine. “Even by that low standard, I was shocked by the stunningly poor management that we found.”

You know things are bad when your bureaucracy shocks people working for the federal government.

After Bankruptcy, G.M. Struggles to Shed a Legendary Bureaucracy [NY Times]

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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