More Than a Motorcycle: The Leadership Journey at Harley-Davidson

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Harvard Business Review Press, Sep 18, 2000 - Business & Economics - 278 pages
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In the late 1980s, Harley-Davidson beat back an assault by Japanese competitors and engineered a remarkable financial turnaround. But it subsequently faced an even more formidable challenge: maintaining and improving on its success in the absence of an external crisis. To answer this challenge, then-CEO Rich Teerlink, partnering with organizational consultant Lee Ozley, threw out the top-down strategies that had just saved the company and began building a different Harley-one that would be driven not by top management, but by employees at every level. What happened next is the stuff of turnaround legend.
More Than a Motorcycle is the story behind the story of the purposeful transformation of an American icon, as told by the two individuals most deeply involved in that decade-long process. The book chronicles the victories and setbacks along Harley's difficult journey from a traditional "command-and-control" culture to an open, participative learning environment.

Teerlink and Ozley deliver three fundamental messages: people are a company's only sustainable competitive advantage; there is no "quick fix" to effect lasting, beneficial organizational change; and leadership is not a person, but a process to which everyone must contribute. They provide practical, reality-tested prescriptions for critical tasks like developing employee alignment, building structures that support participation, and implementing effective reward programs. Finally, they draw lessons from the Harley experience-lessons about values, trust, and community-that apply broadly to any business.

An against-the-odds story of a business road less traveled, this book encourages today's leaders to look around the next bend-and to give every employee a view of the road from the driver's seat.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
xv
Authors Note
xvii
Introduction
1
1
5
2
19
This poor fellow Lee explained is living through an
34
3
43
4
69
6
107
7
121
8
145
9
167
10
191
11
209
12
233
13
255

5
83

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Page iv - —Edward E. Lawler III, Director, Center for Effective Organizations, University of Southern California
Page 18 - You've been leaders in new technology. You've stuck by the basic American values of hard work and fair play.
Page iii - —Jeffrey Pfeffer, Thomas D. Dee Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business,
Page 18 - As you've shown again, America is someplace special. We're on the road to unprecedented prosperity. . . and we'll get there on a Harley.

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About the author (2000)

Rich Teerlink is the retired Chairman and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc., and speaks internationally to corporate and educational institutions. Lee Ozley is an organizational consultant and coach. Both are Corporate Fellows at Auburn University's Graduate School of Business.

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