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    3 Responses to “BFD Learning Moments: Links”

    1. J Murray Says:

      Ed, let’s not confuse activity for action. Sending some ED people to China does not transform an economy. If Michigan really wants to alter its economy, it should make every white collar manager at GM, Ford, and Chrysler to apprentice at Toyota and Honda for a year.

    2. Ed Morrison Says:

      Jonathan:

      A few points:

      1. Sending economic development professionals to China is a good idea. More should be going.

      I’ve been going to China since 1990. Up until about 2001, I was going three to four times a year.

      So, I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing the speed with which the Chinese economy is developing. If more leaders in the United States had some sense of the dynamism of the Chinese economy, they would be less complacent with our mediocre performance in primary and secondary schools and increasing competition we face in postsecondary education.

      2. Your suggestion of having every automobile executive from a domestic car company and spend time with the Japanese automaker is a good one. Sadly, my experience tells me that the US auto executives will still not fully understand the plight in which they find themselves.

      In 1984, I was part of the first corporate strategy team to analyze in detail a Japanese automaker. Our clients, Ford and the UAW, asked us to complete a detailed cost study of a Mazda GLC and a Ford Escort. I spent nearly 2 weeks in Japan doing detailed cost studies of the Mazda facility in Hiroshima.

      It was clear to me then, as it is clear to me now, that the Japanese automakers manufacture with a fundamentally different business model.

      Their manufacturing model is more networked, leaner, and more agile. Despite outlining these differences 20 years ago, Ford and the UAW have done very little to change. (Indeed, Ford’s current chief financial officer was one of the young Ford executives on the trip.)

      Your suggestion, although a good one, probably comes too late.

    3. Ed Morrison Says:

      From today’s NYT:

      Kerkorian Sells Part of His Ford Stake