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Continued: Deere thrives by values others just claim

  • Article by: FRED ZIMMERMAN
  • Last update: March 14, 2006 - 12:08 PM

However, very few of those qualities necessary for success get much attention in the major business periodicals. Instead, we read about the latest resource-wasting acquisition or sophomoric cost-reduction programs implemented without integrity, cooperation, efficiency or commitment.

Good management is stable. In 169 years, Deere has had only eight CEOs.

Shouldn't we wonder what the world would be like if the leadership of Northwest Airlines, Control Data, Enron, WorldCom, Qwest and many others could have managed with the quality, innovation, integrity and commitment exhibited by Deere?

Maybe they would have lasted longer. Maybe there are some lessons here that other companies could use. Or, maybe companies should just start doing what their mission and value statements say.

Fred Zimmerman retired as a professor at the University of St. Thomas at the end of 2005. Since that time, he and his wife, Joanell, have been visiting children, factories, and presidential libraries. She likes presidential libraries and he likes factories. Both like their children, of course. His e-mail is zimco@visi.com.

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