The greatest roadblock facing Hinrichs is GM’s tendency to merely react to problems. Issues within the plant are addressed as they arise including personnel issues related to the union. External issues are also reactionary. There is not enough done to prevent problems. Final evidence of GM’s unwillingness to be a proactive problem solver is evident in the breakage of the 1500-ton press. The press was eighteen years old and suffered from excessive wear (“GM Powertrain”, 2000, p.9). GM and Hinrichs must have known breakage was likely in the near-term yet they did nothing to prevent it. This is a poor business practice considering that the press was an essential component needed to fulfill the operations of the Fredericksburg plant. Instead of reacting more proactive strategies needs to be implemented in to mitigate problems from coming to fruition.
In order to effect proactive change with sustainable results Hinrichs and GM need to be focused on strategies which are proactive versus reactive. There must be a focus on defining the opportunities within the plant, short-term objectives should only be pursued when determined to add value to the long-term goals (Hamel, 1996, Kindle location 77). Further, they need to address how each of the components of the factor are connected in order to define a strategy to effect change. “Mastery does not mean having a plan for the whole, but having an awareness of the whole” (Senge, 1999, para. 1). A proactive and systems thinking based strategy would have resulted in mitigation of the problems experienced by the press among others. This is true because the inoperability of the press resulted in the breakdown of all of other dependent operations...
... middle of paper ...
...e to stakeholders. Accordingly, the best solution is one which is comprehensive – a strategy based on systems thinking and a proactive business model. This strategy will be one which has the possibility to effect change for the Fredericksburg plant, the employees and the operations of GM as a whole. The first step of strategy is defining the root cause of a problem in order to create a value-added solution. Systems thinking based strategies will be ones which mitigate the issues which result out of reactions to problems. Further, a systems thinking based strategy will help mitigate problems so they never come to fruition. Hinrichs has his work cut out for him. He has the opportunity to positively effect change by utilizing proactive foresight creating benefits for GM and all of the stakeholders who depend on the efficient operation of the Fredericksburg plant.
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