Driving Innovation at a Major Auto Company

Interaction Associates helped a global motor company launch a new era of success.

This auto manufacturing giant was 24 months behind the Japanese in their production cycle for new cars. As a result, they realized that they were in a “going out of business” scenario. They needed to eliminate 24 months from their production cycle in order to compete with the Japanese. This required the collaboration of 21 business units across the globe.

After the failure of several large consulting firms to build this collaborative infrastructure, the president of Interaction Associates was called in to consult with the Vice President of the company's design center.

The organization became engaged and IA was able to build a broad partnership across the business. This led to the process redesign that inspired a culture shift that changed the way the company designed cars. Specifically, the key lever to this culture shift was an engaged leadership team who decided that the best use of their time was to create an atmosphere of learning about their business. They did this by reflecting on the organization, benchmarking best practices, and building agreements about their next move.

The result of this work, was an increased ability of leadership to: engage in divergent thinking, allow the best idea to emerge, and research and reflect on it. By engaging in this process, they were able to close on the best, data-driven decision possible. This new process is what yielded an award-winning new model (a successful adaptation to the mid-sized car,) that transformed the company in the early and mid-90s.

Read the thank you letter to IA.


IA Services Provided

Consulted with the president to help him strategize and articulate a vision for the design center.
Performed a cultural audit.
Involved everyone in creating a shared vision for the design center.
Created an effective employee involvement program.
Sparked collaboration to substantially improve working relationships among various units.

Project at a Glance

IA worked with the president of a major auto company's design center to achieve a cultural transformation: increasing collaboration, innovation, and productivity.