Passed along by Verne Harnish in his Weekly Insight. Love the color coding of presentations.

“I live for Thursday mornings at 8 a.m.,” says Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally in a Fortune article by Alex Taylor III (5/25/09). Thursdays at eight is when Alan meets with his direct reports from 12 functional areas in the Thunderbird conference room at the Ford headquarters. Alan and his team sit “around a circular dark-wood table” with Alan in the “pilot’s seat.” Blackberries aren’t allowed and neither are side conversations.

“If somebody starts to talk or they don’t respect each other, the meeting just stops,” says Alan. “They know I’ve removed vice presidents because they couldn’t stop talking because they thought they were so damn important.” Instead the team presents reports coded as either “green for good, yellow for caution, red for problems.” The first few times Alan held these meetings everybody coded their reports “green,” but Alan fixed that in a hurry.

He said: “You guys, you know we lost a few billion dollars last year. Is there anything that’s not going well?” Well, um, maybe. Within a week, says Alan, “the entire set of charts were all rainbows.” Whether there are pots of gold waiting for Ford at the end of those rainbows remains to be seen, of course. But Alan sounds resolute: “I am here to save an American and global icon,” he says. His secret is, there are no secrets. “This is a huge enterprise, and the magic is, everybody knows the plan,” he says.

Thanks Verne, for passing this along