The Ford Comeback Story!

Could you change the game, like Mulally did, and do a better job of aligning teams, cascading strategy and helping them pull together as one?

How do you engage everyone in your strategy, evolve a culture of honesty and transparency, and help teams pull together as one, towards one goal?

Alan Mulally was the CEO at Boeing during 9/11 – he joined Ford when the company was on the brink of declaring bankruptcy… and was on track to lose $17B that year. This was at the time when the ‘Big 3’ American motor manufacturers were facing the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008.

They all knew what needed to be done, but only one of them implemented a turnaround strategy. It was Ford, under Mulally’s leadership, who made the bold moves and ensured the ultimate comeback story.

This case study is a game changer for aligning teams, cascading strategy, and achieving epic transformation, despite incredible odds. Might your business need a few Mulally’s?

You can’t fix what you can’t see

Your strategy is set, your teams know what the objectives and priorities are, but how visible is their progress? Do you know what obstacles and struggles they’re facing? How are they solving their problems? Does your leadership team know the whole truth? 

Mulally set about crafting Ford’s turnaround strategy by creating clear priorities and a definition of what success looks like, and then backing that up with three key habits: 

1. Model openness and vulnerability 

Don’t act like you have all the answers. Openly discuss challenges and tough decisions. Invite discussions around issues and risks – and provide the help needed to overcome these and make progress. 

2. Implement weekly meetings 

One weekly meeting (Mulally called them “Business Plan Reviews”) for the leadership team to review priorities, discuss status and focus on what is standing in the way of success in a transparent manner. 

3. Treating ‘Ambers’ and ‘Reds’ as gifts 

Use the Red, Amber, Green (RAG) colour coding system to direct focus and attention to where support is needed (Mulally’s advice here is that people will only report amber and red status when they believe they will get help).

Ignite team and leadership conversations

How might I lead to align teams, cascade strategy, and achieve epic transformation despite incredible odds within my team? 

Team contribution: 

  • What orientates and guides your teams to perform to their highest point of contribution, as one team, with one plan, towards one goal? 

Success mindset: 

  • How might blind spot bias, group think, over confidence or complacency be affecting judgment and decision- making?  
  • What success mindset should your teams be building? 

Competitive forces: 

  • What competitive forces might your team be facing? 
  • How might your team prepare a competitive response?  

Strategy execution: 

  • How is your team setting a roadmap for the execution of your strategy?  
  • How are they tracking progress?  
  • How are they improving and cascading improvements? 

Format and Approach

Engage your teams in highly participative, inspiring, soulful and practical lessons. Delivered as a media-rich virtual experience – facilitator-led conversation on Zoom, supported with moderated conversations in breakout rooms (hosted by our team of Pod Coaches), to ignite teams to think differently about performance.


This case study is available in a 90-minute or 180-minute online (Zoom) format

How does it work?

  • Contact us to let us know that you want LRMG to share this case study with your team 
  • We will work with you to design or customise key conversation and reflection questions 
  • Participants will get a link to a pre-case study primer to complete prior to the presentation and conversation 
  • Your team will receive our Get into Gear! Toolkit as a take-away to ignite further learning and reflection after the case study 
“Leadership is having a compelling vision, a comprehensive plan, relentless implementation, and talented people working together.” – Alan Mulally

Are you interested in moving your people?

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource.

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource

Fill in the form below and we will give you access to this exciting resource

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