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Go For It, Boeing, It’s All Yours

November 11th, 2009 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

The French Government are not particularly renowned for their smart decision-making. This is certainly the current view of the French people, with President Sarkozy enjoying an all-time low popularity rate of 39%, and his Prime Minister (yes, we manage to get both over here) having less than half of surveyed people appreciating what he was doing.

However, there was one absolutely fantastic decision they made last year and implemented at the beginning of this one. Basically, public televison (the channels that we licence-payers pay for) is no longer allowed to show (and therefore sell) advertising after eight in the evening. This has had a couple of effects. Firstly, evening prime time starts earlier than that of the other private channels – who are all showing a lot more advertising, to such an extent that there is often a great urge not to try to watch anything on these channels as all we ever see is BMW, Audi and a comprehensive selection of the big banks every twenty minutes or so.

Secondly, the public services have had to do some serious thinking on how to exploit this tremendous opportunity… and came up with a world-beating plan. Basically, they started making programmes which are worth watching. They are having a go at increasing customer value. And it’s working. Last night, there was another belter, following the ‘Death of Work’ programmes a couple of weeks ago.

This one traced the history of EADS, the ‘European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Company’, basically the European conglomerate that Airbus represents the most important part of. In fact, the history traced back to the origins of the aeronautic industry in each of the main European countries, and the event that led up to the creation of EADS almost ten years ago.

Since that date in July 2000, it’s basically been all uphill. Talk about European collaboration!! This was nationalistic infighting like you’ve only ever seen in the ex-Yugoslavia over the past twenty years or so. Sorry, let’s not bring the Brits and the Spanish into this – let’s just say that if you wanted to show your kids just how well the French and the Germans get on these days, you wouldn’t use this programme as your introduction.

All the main directors over the past ten years were profiled and most interviewed. And not all of them were convincing. At all. Especially one, who will remain nameless just in case I ever have him in front of me as a customer, although I think my maybe too stringent ethical morals would prevent me from even turning up at the initial meeting.

And you really did get the impression that the management was spending basically all of its time defending attacks from behind, developing national alliances and positioning itself for press photos. Oh, and maximising the value of their shareholding – there was obviously a large part of the programme dedicated to the insider dealing.

We also got inputs from the shop floor. People wanting just to be able to get on with their jobs, but puzzled by what was going on above them, and becoming and more impregnated by the franco-german rivalry that was raining down from up above.

The result of all of this? We’re told that only one in ten of all employees (I think we’re taking Airbus here, as we little of the other divisions) is motivated. And only one in five has confidence in the management to turn things around. I make that 10% raring to go, 10% turn up for their pay having confidence in  the boss, and 80% demotivated with no expectations of the current management.

They are having a go at implementing Lean Manufacturing, by the way!!!

Go for it, Boeing – the road ahead is wide open.

Unless you have similar issues, that is!

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