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General Motors CEO Mary Barra appeared before a Converse Usa Flag Shoes

Engineers like to be right. They like to prove that they have the correct answer.

Senate panel once again Thursday to discuss the company's flawed ignition switches and vowed that GM will "do all it can to make certain that this does not happen again."

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In terms of damage control, much of what Barra and GM appear to be doing right now is positive: fessing up about product failures, bringing in outside investigators and firing employees that failed to take appropriate measures.

And while these are important steps, they amount only to a good, if somewhat belated, crisis management strategy. In fact, these efforts pale against the very real organizational challenges that lay ahead for GM and Barra. In order make good on her promise to Congress, Barra must prevent the kinds of engineering failures that caused the ignition problems in the first place and the organizational failures that propelled the problem to its current tragic magnitude. And that will mean changing the culture at GM.

guaranteed to fall short on her promise to Congress and her customers if she cannot fundamentally change the way that engineers and other employees position and frame tests, experiments and design reviews.

For that reason, Barra is Converse Shoes Unique Sale

In short, Barra must model, coach and facilitate more expansive, open and solicitous communication rewarding those who present the result of their hard work precisely when they hit a difficult juncture and need additional input on their way to an answer.

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problems, at the point of releasing a design or demonstrating a model or a prototype, everything in them is wired to prove that they've arrived at the right answer. The premium is so high on being "right" that even when data starts proving them wrong, they work to show that they are right somehow. They seek to explain what is happening is an exceptional outlier or an aberration; not that it is a sign of a problem.

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Maintaining this organizational emphasis on being perceived as "right" guarantees that problems often go unidentified in their early stages right when they could have been addressed inexpensively and without disruption. As a result, these problems have a chance to blossom into outright failure or tragic malfunctions as the problems with the current ignition switches show.

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´╗┐General Motors should expect more failed parts

Because we've studied cases like the Challenger disaster, we know how to fix organizational practices like the ones that contributed to the current ignition switch problem at GM.

Changing the organizational rewards so that pre release designs are demonstrated for purposes of getting fresh eyes to poke, prod and otherwise look for flaws in thinking or execution means that what ultimately gets released will be far more robust, reliable, and responsive. In a word: safer.

GM is not alone in confronting these challenges. The failures at GM follow a similar, but not identical pattern, to other well known and documented organizational failures to respond to malfunctioning parts. The best known example of this is the failure to respond to cracks in the gaskets that led to the dramatic explosion of the Challenger Shuttle.

Barra's task, in other words, goes far beyond engineering. In order to make good on the promises she made today, she must fundamentally Converse All Star Leather Hi Top alter the way the company works. Only then can she be assured that this kind of tragic malfunctioning will never occur again.

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CEO of General Motors Mary Barra, and CEO and president of Delphi Automotive PLC Rodney O testify on Capitol Hill, July 17, 2014.(Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images)

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