Showing posts from October 11, 2009

Fiat has a lesson for the business software industry?

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Fiat in 2004. Lost money. Witnessed the failure of its new car. Had a staff strike. Etc. That's downhill in most aspects of business. And then Sergio Marchionne steps in as CEO -- the company's fifth in only 3 years.

In Harvard Business Review (December 2008), Marchionne says "Fiat's culture was traditionally dominated by engineers. That has given us some great advantage in developing cars and engines -- we have long been at the leading edge in diesel, for instance. But it has also made us rather inward-looking, and part of a leader's job is to get the organization focused on markets and the competition. In our case, the engineering focus had taken our eyes off our brands, which had been in a long, slow decline."

Marchionne appears to have fixed this and most other problems. Fiat has reduced time-to-market from 48 months to just 18 months. And its bottom line is in the black.

In the business software world too, technology foc…