Not a good time to own a Toyota. Not a good time to be selling Toyotas. And especially not a good time to be an executive at Toyota. Because, according to Roberta Matuson, the company management has failed to follow the basic steps of rebuilding trust after making a blunder. These are:

1. When you make a mistake, own up immediately.


2. Take responsibility for your mistake by beginning your apology with “I” not “the company” or “the institution.”


3. Vow to make things right and keep people informed of your progress.


4. Re-define expectations by telling people what differences to expect in the future.


5. Do what you say you will do and in time you will regain trust.


Pastors and churches take note! So many pastoral resignations and church divisions are caused not by the initial blunder, but by the failure to follow these basic steps in responding to it.

And here’s another article that looks not so much at the after-effects of the blunder, but the causes of it. In summary, they were:

1. Over-expansion: the drive for quantity rather than quality
2. Over-complexity: more and more complicated products and services
3. Over-work: stressed-out and burned-out engineers and managers 
4. Over-confidence: underestimated the challenge and overestimated their ability to deal with it
Time for some pastors and churches to hit the brakes! And reverse at speed!

(BTW. I’d still buy a Toyota tomorrow)

Picture: 2009 © Ritu Jethani. Image from