Book Release: Resilience

The Beginning
When I (David) first walked into that factory as a laborer over 25 years ago, I had no idea what the future held for me.  I journeyed from working on the floor, to General Manager, CEO, and ultimately founding my own management and leadership consulting company. Additional life roles included Strategic Change Agent, Speaker, Organizational Culture Creator, Coach, Facilitator, and Writer, amongst many others. My whole life has been about change – evolving and transforming as required to be not only successful professionally but also personally fulfilled. The one characteristic that has made each of my life roles reach new heights is resilience. The very characteristic that has made Ford one of my favorite corporations.

Resilience Cover for Press Release-1
When the 2008 global financial crisis hit, Ford leadership demonstrated resounding resilience.   Resilience was not only modeled by leadership, but was permeated throughout the whole company – it was part of the Ford organizational culture. Ford reinvented the company through a culture of resilience.

How Bad Was It?
In case you have forgotten the intensity of the 2008 financial crisis and its correlating impact on the automotive industry, here are a couple of perspectives:

“In late 2008 our nation’s economy – and the auto industry in particular – entered its deepest crisis since the Great Depression. Almost overnight, demand for new automobiles fell from an annual rate of over 17 million units to an annual rate under 10 million units.” (UAW Solidarity, May-June 2010)

“Should all of the Detroit Three’s U.S. operations cease in 2009, the first-year total employment impact would be a loss of nearly three million jobs in the U.S. economy…Lost tax revenue between 2009 and 2011 would be an estimated $156.4 billion (U.S. dollars).” 
(The Center for Auto Research , USA)

So, what made the difference?
“The number one factor in getting here is our culture; our people pulled this off.”
William Clay Ford Jr, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company

There is no sure way of knowing what life will bring and a static, linear process does not facilitate adaptive ability.  Therefore, we stand the best chance at resilience (where we not only survive, but thrive, emerging better through the challenge) when we adopt language and actions based in defined principles. This allows us to become deliberate and consistent in our individual lives, our collective efforts in business and our inhabitation of this planet.  The principles of purpose, promise, passion, partnership and posture, serve to facilitate resilience. It is the brilliance of One Ford.

Here’s what one reader had to say:
“The Ford stories, individually and as concrete examples of your 5 P’s, create a great handbook to trigger positive change. It is funny how often I find myself thinking about my personal life while reading. It reminds me how the philosophy behind determining core values and the strategy for change applies to life and business quite universally.”

Resilience is available at iBookstore through iTunes.