Nissan revival shows how Leadership personalities, management style and embracing culture changes could rescue a company. We would analyse the problems and especially Gohsn leadership in reviving Nissan.
Prior to the partnership and after 1990s, Nissan does not have a clear vision and mission. Complacency sits in during the 1990s and rather than building their core strength, they diversified into telecommunications and property estates. These resulted into USD450 million losses. Poor plan like selling assets and reducing the selling price (devalue the brand) resulted in four straight years of losses. Moreover, they were great in hardcore (engineering) but weak in customer intimacy. Too much concentration in chasing competitors in engineering excellence than in customer needs. When results require immediate step to revive the company, the anticipation and urgency were not exist. Lapse in communications from all departments. People were not hungry as promotion is based on seniority. Promoting Keiretsu System in supporting other allied parties in stock market also resulted in a shortage of funds. The company is practically in a mess.
Analysis of the Partnership
Great synergy as Nissan had great engineering system and global presence where Renault had management experience to overcome crisis (failed merger with Volvo). Renault need a global presence and possessed financial and management skill to rescue Nissan. The Cross Company Team discussion further reduces the learning curve. Essentially, is the foresight of both managements to insist Gohsn as the person to transform Nissan.
Analysis of Gohsn Personalities and Leadership
Gohsn arrival and earlier involvement in partnership negotiations bring about a realization that the declination had to do with leadership style. He possessed industry operational experience in crisis dealing with different continents(turnaround 3 crisis: Michelin Brazil as COO, Michelin North America as CEO and Renault as number 2 man for cost cutting). Thus, his experience brings credibility, stability and cultural adaptation. With age and management, he should possess the energetic and drive to lead the company.
Culture and staff morale were the challenges. Gohsn understands the asset of the company is the people and they were great soldiers. He builds the trust and bond within the staff by gathering feedback personally in fostering relationship with all levels. He was focus and had strong mind-set with little influence. His engagement and promoting two ways communications had clearly paved the way to gather issues and solutions from all departments. Gohsn task orientated style aligns his result orientated intention to the grounds. His humble approach had helped him to bridge closer relationships with all the managers. He created an Error Management culture that allows people to make an error, analyse the error and perform a solution to mitigate the damage.
Gohsn possessed different leadership styles in different stages.
Democratic leadership: Gohsn allows the grounds to voice their issues and promote high level of communications.
Task orientated leadership: Gohsn is focus and once plan was rolled out for cost reduction, Gohsn would cross the Rubicon and never look back till he achieved the goal.
Transactional Leadership: A bit on the transactional as Gohsn creates system of rewarding and punishment. This was showed in cost reduction and retrenchments stages.
Transformational Leadership: Gohsn adopts a more transformational style throughout the revival process. Ensuring visions and goals are constantly drilled through all levels. He clearly sets his objectives: Lowering down the debts by 50%, Increase profits to 4.5% and regain Nissan reputation. Constantly sharing visions and ensuring continuity (Anchoring vision into staff mind.)
His detailed analysis and observant strengths allowed him to look into...