What resources are you going to need to get this done?

Toyota has lost millions of dollars as a result of two massive recalls of its vehicles in recent months. The first recall was a result of the possibility of floor mats jamming accelerator pedals. The other case involves possibly sticky gas pedals that prevent a car from slowing down the way it should. As a result, Toyota is facing a hard time not only for having faulty vehicles that are unsafe but also for not handling the situation appropriately.

“President Akio Toyoda said he was “deeply sorry” for accidents caused by safety problems with Toyota vehicles…and that a period of explosive growth may have weakened the automaker’s internal controls.” He also said that “We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization, and we should sincerely be mindful of that (Krolicki, 2010, Globe and Mail)”.

This is a classic example of an organization  not having a full compliment of people in the process of assessing, contributing and allocating internal resources to new opportunities. The company did not have enough human capital and management capabilities to handle the rapid expansion. They didn’t have the people in place to achieve their objectives and handle the speed of the growth. This in turn led them to move away from their costumer-centric focus that made Toyota such an  innovative and renowned brand.

The one question that we remind our clients to ask during the strategic process is: What resources are you going to need to get this done? It ensures that they take the time to think through the implementation in cross-disciplinary team … carefully identifying the resources that will be needed to successfully execute on the opportunities that they wish to pursue. And, most importantly, to do so at a pace that they can manage and control.

Ken Tencer

* Krolocki, K., ‘Toyoda ‘deeply sorry’ for accidents’, The Globe and Mail, February 23, 2010.

1 Comment