As I stated in my last post I’d like to continue my discussion about the current situation at Boeing. I have enjoyed all the emails and comments received from my friends at Boeing, and hope to continue to hear from you as I express my opinion about the company.
There were several articles in the paper this morning discussing Boeing. The company announced it earnings yesterday for the first quarter.It was announced that Boeing posted a 13% rise in the first quarter of this year, while revenue fell 2%. Without knowing all the particulars anytime revenue goes down and earnings go up someone is doing something right. Efficiency is producing higher levels of productivity.
The comment I really want to focus on today though was one that McNerney made on Wednesday. When asked about the 5 foot hole in the 737 and the subsequent rivet problems, McNerney called it a “workmanship issue.” Japan Airlines has also found problems with a new 767. Metal filings were found in the fuel tanks. Both of these issues have resulted in a plethora of FAA inspectors visiting both the Everett and Renton plants to determine if production processes are out of control.
These types of occurrences are not new, and Boeing deals with these events well. However, what concerns me is the comment McNerney made about workmanship issues. It appears he is immediately jumping to a conclusion that someone made a mistake.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Jim McNerney’s management style, but what has happened to him? In the recent book, You Can’t Order Change, by Peter Cohen McNerney’s management style is explored. According to Cohen, McNerney has worked hard to win the hearts and minds of employees.
Now with this comment about workmanship issues is McNerney demonstrating what he really believes? The Cohen book explores McNerney’s espoused values, what he says he believes, but his comment may demonstrate what he really believes? This comment plus the move of the second 787 assembly line to South Carolina makes me think that something has happened.
If McNerney has changed his beliefs about people being the most important asset to the company, then the ability of management and employees to work together for the good of all stakeholders will diminish, and that worries me. I own Boeing stock, and I hope that it continues to create future value for me.
This blog which I hope to turn into a book someday explores the relationship between management and labor. To think that management decisions can just be business is incorrect. Every decision made by management impacts people. It is business and personal, may management never forget that.
And that is my thought for the day!