Leading a company can be a daunting task. It involves many different levels and many different people that all strive to maintain the organization. This is a major task for even the smallest companies. Most mom and pop companies can accomplish this with only two or three people. How can someone that runs a larger global sized organization accomplish this task? Regardless of the size of the organization this can overwhelm even the most experienced leaders. Ford Motor Company strives to maintain excellence across the organization. With many leaders in different countries, and at different levels they accomplish this.
Even though Ford Motor Company is a global company their leadership is very traditional. Ford has many leaders from CEO Allan Mulally, all the way down to the supervisor on the assembly line in one of its many plants located all across the world. How can ford make sure that all of the leaders from the corporate business suit, all the way to the greasy line boss are effective leaders, and communicators? Ford has an actual program that they put their leaders through. It is basically a Leadership college that is ran by Ford. What can leaders learn from this college of leadership at Ford?
According to Tom Grant, Ford’s manager of Executive Programs, and Leadership Development Center “Accelerating the growth of future leaders is the focus of Ford Motor Company’s New Business Leader (NBL) program, which reaches some 2,000 managers around the world each year.” This program is designed to drive change in Ford Motor Company. Ford believes that they can shape the future of the program by impacting the leaders they send through their NBL program today. This is truly a forward thinking move by Ford; it gives them a way to project the future of their company. Grant also stated that Participants in the program receive detailed feedback from peers, subordinates, managers, faculty, and team members on their performance and experience in designing and implementing their project. They are also mentored by senior managers throughout the program. While project results are important, the real measure of success is what these new business leaders learn from the experience rather than the success of the projects themselves.
The Leaders at Ford still have to communicate with the rest of the organization. How do the leaders communicate with the organization in a timely manner? Ford uses many of the tools that the average person uses on a daily basis. The internet is a large player in the organizations ability to communicate effectively. It allows Ford to almost instantly send out changes to policy, pay, product, and other types of information worldwide with a click of a button. Ford also uses video teleconferencing to meet with its employees and business partners around the globe. If you combine all of these items with the wide availability of cell phones it makes global communication a snap.
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