Today In Automotive History
1917 Cadillac founder resigns
Henry Leland, the founder of the Cadillac Motor Car Company, resigned as company president on this date in 1917. Ever since William Durant had arranged for General Motors (GM) to purchase Cadillac, Leland and Durant had endured a strained relationship. But Leland's electric starter had made Cadillac so successful early on that Durant had avoided meddling with the autonomy of his company. Leland's next great achievement at Cadillac was his supervision of his son's proposal that Cadillac should introduce a V-8 engine. Previously Cadillac, and most other American companies, had only offered four-cylinder engines. The in-line six- and eight-cylinder engines experimented with by other companies had proven troublesome and required constant maintenance. Henry's son, Wilfred Leland, suggested that Cadillac oppose two four-cylinder engines in a V-shaped formation. The idea was not unheard of, as the French automaker, DeDion-Bouton, had already used such a configuration. But Cadillac aimed to create a more powerful, higher quality V-8 engine. In order to keep the project secret, Leland contracted the engine parts for his new engine to over half a dozen New England firms in such a way that the companies had no idea what the parts were for. They were then delivered to a dummy manufacturing firm called Ideal Manufacturing Company. The new Cadillac car with its V-8 was put on the market in 1914. It was received with a good deal of skepticism, based on the claim that such a complicated engine would create problems for drivers. Nonetheless, the engine proved a great success and was standard in Cadillacs until 1927. The success was followed, however, by the outbreak of war in Europe. Leland had visited the continent a few years earlier as part of a contingent of engineers. He had returned to America convinced that war in Europe was inevitable, and that it would decide the fate of Western Civilization. He was adamant that the United States would become involved sooner or later, and at the outbreak of the war he urged Durant to let Cadillac convert its facilities to the manufacture of aircraft engines, specifically the Liberty engine. The two stubborn men butted heads. Durant refused to respond to Leland's urgings, and Leland resigned. Durant assistant Charles Mott suggested that Leland had not resigned but was fired for other reasons. Whatever the circumstances, Leland left and started the Lincoln Motor Car Company. In 1917, he won the first contract to manufacture Liberty engines for the war effort. Leland worked closely with British, French, and American engineers to design a high-production, high-powered twelve-cylinder airplane engine for the war effort. By the war's end, Lincoln had manufactured more Liberty engines than any other single company. Two GM brands, Cadillac and Buick, also manufactured Liberty engines.
Posted by Quality Weenie at June 1, 2006 07:10 AM
I thought your readers might be interested in Lloyd Dobyns' and my latest documentary. (you quote us at the top of your website.) Here is the information;
It is called Good News: How Hospitals Heal Themselves which is airing on PBS stations this Spring and Summer.
For the first time, it reports the depth of the patient safety problem and how two large hospital systems have saved lives and reduced errors, infections and waste by using Toyota management principles. These methods could improve every hospital in America dramatically and reduce health care cost by as much as 50 percent. And it does not require outside help or additional funding.
Could you please tell your Friends, Colleagues, Relatives, long ago Washington dinner partners, etc. about it. It will be especially interesting to anyone who has been a hospital patient, may someday be a hospital patient or has had a relative/loved one involved with a hospital.
We are convinced that this documentary and companion book can raise an important national conversation on improving hospitals as well as how to manage change in American organizations.
A more detailed description follows.
GOOD NEWS…HOW HOSPITALS HEAL THEMSELVES
A One-Hour Documentary Airing on Public Television Spring/Summer 2006
Reported by Former NBC Anchor Lloyd Dobyns
Call your local PBS station for time of broadcast
This rare good news documentary reports on a surprising solution to escalating costs, unnecessary deaths and waste in America’s hospitals. Doctors and nurses tell how they did their best, working overtime, while hospital conditions worsened. They were delighted to learn a new way to improve patient care dramatically and reduce unnecessary deaths, suffering, errors, infections and costs without additional resources or government regulations.
A patient is not an automobile, but…
The unlikely solution was to use Toyota management principles called “systems thinking” to improve their hospitals. Systems thinking allows leaders and staff to see the complex, modern workplace with “new eyes” and turn problems into improvements. It has saved up to 50 percent in costs, thousands of lives, and avoided hundreds of thousands of medical errors. Significant improvements have already begun in hospitals in several major cities.
The documentary also describes America’s deadly healthcare problem in detail for the first time on television:
• Doctors, nurses and administrators reveal the dangerous conditions of American hospitals, and
• How the patient became lost in modern hospitals.
• How staff put patient care and safety first and quickly began to reduce waste and improve clinical outcomes;
• How the reporting of errors and potential errors significantly increased and enabled better patient care when hospital administrators ceased focusing on blame; and
• An MD administrator predicts these new methods will solve the malpractice crisis.
The documentary reports on SSM Health Care system with 20 hospitals and 21,000 employees across the Midwest and a Pittsburgh initiative involving more than 40 hospitals. In 1989 SSM CEO Sister Mary Jean Ryan began to adopt methods developed by Americans in the l950s’s to help Japanese industry. She also used the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria to teach systems ideas.
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, who raised safety and profits dramatically at Alcoa, when he was that company’s CEO, using Toyota automobile manufacturing methods, introduced these ideas in l997 to the Pittsburgh hospitals with equally significant results.
No outside funds were required. Not incidentally, these hospitals leaders and staffs have done what the American automobile makers were not able to sustain as they tried such systems methods in the l980s. The automakers abandoned these ideas for short-term profits, and currently are suffering huge, possibly fatal, losses while Japanese car manufacturers prosper. Systems management can be used to make any organization from a hospital, school, government agency, manufacturing plant--even an entire nation--more effective, efficient, and competitive.
Lloyd Dobyns Reports
Lloyd Dobyns, former NBC News anchor, is the reporter for the documentary and notes that everyone is a potential patient. Producer Clare Crawford-Mason was also the producer of If Japan Can…Why Can’t We? the NBC White Paper, also anchored by Dobyns, which introduced systems and quality ideas to the West in l980.
A companion how-to book, The Nun and the Bureaucrat—How They Found an Unlikely Cure for America's Sick Hospitals, is available from www.managementwisdom.com.
Note: This was the last documentary of the late Reuven Frank, legendary pioneer television documentary producer. He served as its consulting senior producer. Frank, former NBC News president, was senior producer of the If Japan Can…Why Can’t We? recently named the second-most influential documentary in the history of film and television by The Washington Times.
This project is a pro-bono effort by a former Peabody-award NBC television production team—most in their eighth decade—to raise a national discussion on America’s grave patient safety problems and straightforward, local solutions.
If you and other members of your organization and friends will call your local PBS station and ask the time of broadcast, callers can thank the stations who are broadcasting it and tell the others they have heard about it from you and would like to see it. Already stations in 50 percent of the country have scheduled it.
If you have any other ideas or organizations to which we might send a press release and information, please let me know. Or if you need more information, please contact me.
If you will forward this to your email list within 24 hours you will probably not have to go to a hospital and if you do, it will be much more likely that it will be one practicing Toyota methods and offering better care and lower costs.
Would like to hear from you. Let me know if you need any more information.
CC-M Productions, 7755 16th Street N.W., Washington, D. C., 20012, 202 882-7430 Fax 202 882-7432
http://www.managementwisdom.com Check this site for clip from the documentary and a chapter from the book.
and here are some comments from the experts:
If you think that hospital care cannot be significantly improved in quality and cost, you have another think coming. Read this book.
Dr. Russell Ackoff, Professor Emeritus, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. author Ackoff’s Best, Re=creating the Corporation, and Redesigning Society (with Sheldon Roven)
This book describes the kind of leadership that's essential for making our hospitals safe and patient friendly and at the same time cutting costs by driving out waste. And that is leadership that
employs systems thinking to realize an inspiring vision. Read this book to learn how two leaders educated and transformed their hospitals. They show the way that others can and should follow.
Dr, Michael Maccoby, anthropologist, psychoanalyst and consultant on leadership, strategy and organization. author, The Gamesman; Why Work? Motivating the New Work Force and Narcissistic Leaders, Who Succeeds and Who Fails
Most of us realize that living and doing daily work requires us to depend on other people and predictable work processes. Taking those understandings into health care and the work of improving it is a complex undertaking. These authors have created an inviting introduction to health care as a system. In the midst of widespread recognition that we must improve our health care, they offer a starting point for creating the changes we need. Their attention to the insightful people making these changes happen allows us to learn from what's working. They have seen what is hard to see at first: health care as a system. Their writing is clear and inviting. In short, this is a welcome addition to the public conversation. Read it, share it and tell your elected officials about what you now understand needs to be encouraged to make health care better.
Paul Batalden, M.D.
Professor, Dartmouth Medical School
This book gives me hope that we can make similar improvements at many hospitals around the country
Kenneth H. Cohn, MD, MBA, Cambridge Management Group, author:Better Communication for Better Care: Mastering Physician-Administrator Collaboration, and Collaborate for Success: Breakthrough Strategies for Engaging Physicians, Nurses, and Hospital Executives
(They liked the documentary too.)