'THE GM SYSTEM IS LIKE A BLANKET OF FOG'
By Thomas Moore / Ross Perot
February 15, 1988
(FORTUNE Magazine) – In a genial, three-hour interview recently in his Dallas office, Ross Perot spoke expansively to FORTUNE's Thomas Moore about how he came to understand the depth of GM's troubles and how he began to formulate his plan for putting them right.
Excerpts: "We've got to nuke the GM system. We've got to throw away Sloan's book ('My Years With General Motors', former chairman Alfred P. Sloan Jr.'s description of GM's management system). It's like the Old Testament -- frozen thousands of years ago. We still believe that we can find the right page and paragraph to give us the answer to any question we have today. When you get down to the guys who actually have their hands on things, they know what to do. They can design, engineer, and build the best products in the world. My question is: Why haven't we unleashed their potential? The answer is: the General Motors system. It's like a blanket of fog that keeps these people from doing what they know needs to be done. I come from an environment where, if you see a snake, you kill it. At GM, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is go hire a consultant on snakes. Then you get a committee on snakes, and then you discuss it for a couple of years. The most likely course of action is -- nothing. You figure, the snake hasn't bitten anybody yet, so you just let him crawl around on the factory floor."
Continued - http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortu...0199/index.htm