Not too long ago I read an article in The Wall Street Journal that talked about Toyota's "GUIDING PRINCIPLES." I seem to remember there being 14 real common sense messages. One of them went something like "Don't worry about how the numbers come out at the end of the business quarter; if you're doing the right thing for the customer, it'll all work out in the long run." In contrast, American automakers base everything on hitting quarterly goals. It's like, "Heads will roll if you don't hit your numbers." And, from what I'm hearing, the Detroit makers haven't been hitting their targets lately.
Duh! How about doing things the Toyota way? Hey, GM, ford and Chrysler -- the it WORKS!
(Now, I have to admit I looked up the Guiding Principles on the Web and could not find exactly the one mentioned in the article. It seems like the corporate philosophy has been refined from time to time. But even if I have the one adage wrong, the guiding principles you will find make good reading, too. I wonder why the Big 3 doesn't read them and learn?)