Congressional panel gives a nod to the “GM nod”

Chevy CobaltHow does an automaker make the call on an expensive recall?

The questions become: Do we shell out millions now to recall a faulty part? Or do we shell out millions later to pay for the deaths it may cause? Which is cheaper?

How does one make such a decision to save money knowing that people will die?

Well, it’s a lot easier when you work in a culture that accepts the “GM nod.”

Mary Barra GM websiteGeneral Motors CEO Mary Barra went before Congress this week, promising the GM nod would no longer be a part of the automaker’s culture.

An investigative report that she commissioned reported:

“Although everyone had responsibility to fix the problem, nobody took responsibility. It was an example of what one GM executive described as the ‘GM Nod,’ when everyone nods in agreement to a proposed plan of action, but then leaves the room and does nothing.”

Somehow, the irony of reporting this group-think phenomena to a room full of Washington lawmakers was lost. And Barra, who has been at GM for 30 years, took no responsibility for whatever contributions she has made over the years to GM culture and the GM nod.

She also claimed that as a member of senior management, she never knew about problems with GM’s faulty ignition switches that are said to be responsible for the deaths of as least 13 people.

Click here to read my column on MarketWatch.

ALSO READ: GM goes public with dicey books.

1 Comment

  1. As with the Obama administration, who was held accountable and fired? When a company claims incompetence and fails to take correct action to the employees involved, how can we believe that this won’t happen again.

    Perhaps GM should develop their version of the New York Teacher Union Rubber room and put all of the incompetent people in one room.

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