Your dream is only as good as the people who believe in it. If you want to create change, then you cannot do it alone, or against the will of the people who work with you. But creating shared belief is never straightforward, especially if some of the team members you are asking to change like the status quo.
In this chapter, we will look at what happened in the job I did immediately after Porsche, when I moved to the position of CEO of BMW GB, and discovered that success can be as big an impediment to culture change as failure.
Finding a sense of shared purpose in a business that previously had treated strategy as a sort of optional extra helped to create growth that was far in excess of what anyone expected.
In 1994, the British car manufacturer Rover Group plc was acquired by BMW, the German luxury car manufacturer, in a negotiation that took only 10 days. BMW paid £800 million for a manufacturer that it hoped would create economies of scale, as it became involved in mass manufacturing. BMW considered that, until it sold 1 million cars a year, it could be vulnerable in the future. I had always admired BMW's engineering and business, and I thought of Tom Purves, who had risen from an apprenticeship at Rolls Royce to run BMW's business in the UK, as a mentor.
Tom was an experienced, skilled leader who had overseen BMW GB's steady ...