A friend communicated a story to me about Alan Mulally, the former CEO of the Ford Motor Company. When Mulally first joined the organization, he gathered his senior management team together to identified what needed to change at Ford.
In a nutshell, Mulally asked his team to colour-code their initiatives:
- Red – things were in bad shape
- Yellow – an initative wasn’t going well
- Green – an initiative was on track
He wanted his team to be straightforward when presenting their reports so they could figure out the solutions.
Everyone’s reports were nothing but green. No red or yellow in sight. Keep in mind, at the time Ford had lost billions of dollars.