Last night, on the way home listening to Marketplace on WKNO FM, I came across a story that illustrates the commitment to knowing how the sausage is made by the top leadership at Honda.
About ten years or so ago, at some sort of Ground Breaking Event of their new plant in Alabama, the staff couldn’t get the Honda tractors to start up. After many attempts by the support staff to start the engines, the CEO of the company, took off his suit coat, rolled up his sleeves, and pitched in to help. He ended up solving the minor snafu that was holding things up and started the engines.
This is an incredible story on many levels. Culture for sure. But what struck me is that the CEO, someway, somehow never lost touch with how the engines, motorcycles, cars, tractors, etc were made and how they operate. He knew how the sausage was made at Honda.
Could this be a contributing factor to Honda’s unparalleled record of growing profitability? I’m sure there are more.
I’m looking forward to reading the book the Marketplace piece was based on. Ordering the book now. Driving Honda: Inside the World’s Most Innovative Car Company
Here’ a link to the story on NPR http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/why-honda-most-innovative-car-company-earth