Unit 1 Assessment
In “What was Volkswagen Thinking?”, Jerry Useem was relating how corporate employees, as well and their leaders, seem to go around corners to accomplish their goals. That doing the easy wrong, is harder that doing the hard right. Meaning, that they take the easy way out in order to save themselves instead of looking into the bigger picture of the future and the damages that they can cause. Take the Goodrich company for example. They were so eager to get the Air Force to use them for all their supplies, they made a primise that they could not keep. A super unrealistic goal and a timeline that was not going to be met. They promised a lighter brake system that would be cheaper to produce. In turn, during the testing processes, each brake system failed over and over again. It was stated, “a data analyst at the test lab who later testified at a Senate hearing, fans were brought in for cooling. Warped components were machined back into shape between stops. Test instrumentation was deliberately miscalibrated.” (Useem, 2016). This meant that the company cheated the testing to gain a positive test to make sure the Air Force took their contract and used Goodrich as a supplier. Both the leadership of the company as well as the employees were making the decision to do the wrong thing. They falsified documents and evidence that they presented to the Air Force. When the Air Force asked for the evidence of the testing, they knew they were caught and the leader actually resigned from the company and took another job elsewhere. I believe people are always tested in the sense of doing what is right. When you have a set of rules, and guidelines, then everyone should follow them. The young engineer noticed the issues that the brakes were having and were wanting to continue the testing until he got it right, but the senior engineer instead did the wrong thing and told him to ignore the testing. This is a common issue that a lot of workplaces are going through. The young new employees who know the rules and regulations of their job, and want to follow them, are told about workarounds and loopholes that can be used to make the processes faster. This is where the problems start. The guild lines and loop holes. Being in the military, this is seen a lot. Leaders who teach their Soldiers how to take shortcuts and work around issues at hand to get the job done and go home instead of taking the time to do it right. Usually, this leads to issues in the future when the Command Sergeant Major or the Colonel want an inspection and a brief on what the details were, kind of like the Goodrich issue with the Air Force wanting the raw test data. When they can’t answer to what they have done, then credibility comes into question and will in turn cause a huge issue to the individuals involved, and the company. This article was a very good read, and although I want say that this type of communication within a company is crazy and can never be true, I have seen it first-hand. I, as a leader of my Soldiers, try my hardest to instill integrity in everything they do. I try to set a good “communication” example and show them to always take the hard right over the easy wrong, no matter what the outcome should be. This is something companies should take as well. Rules are set for a reason, and if followed correctly, the company will thrive. Useem was stating all this within the article. That communication from the top down has to be changed and get out of the negativity and cheating mentalities to get the job done or reach a certain goal.
Useem, J. (2016). What was Volkswagen thinking? The Atlantic Monthly, 317(1), 26-28. Retrieved from https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libraryresources.c olumbiasouthern.edu/docview/1759008356?accountid=33337