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In the Fast Lane

Susan’s point about protecting the workgroup reminded me of Ford. When the automaker was under pressure to deliver its first hybrid vehicle, management insulated its Escape Hybrid team from the usual distractions. Instead of stopping what they were doing and putting together a Power Point progress report, what one team member called “the dog and pony show,” they focused on solving the problems at hand, such as getting nine completely new technologies to work together. Execs loosened other rules and accelerated the teams requests for resources. The result? During those six months, the group doubled its productivity. It was an eye-opening approach that Ford’s product development execs said they were eager to try with other teams.

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