February 2014 DIESEL PROGRESS NORTH AMERICAN EDITION 43
that’s not easy, especially for hard-driving people. We’re all trying to get
more and do better and we want to do
it and you just don’t get to do that. You
get to do some of the things the way you
want, some of the things the way they
want and some of the things are halfway in between. That sort of patience
and modesty is kind of a hard cultural
adaptation, but I think leadership in our
company understands that. We have
our temper tantrums now and then, but
basically we understand that.
Secondly, we have a set of practices
that we use now, after doing so many,
that say basically here are some of the
key elements of success, here’s how
you match up, here’s how you form
things, here’s how you think through different mechanisms to make it work. You
don’t get overly hung up on legal agreements, you get focused on operational
activities and operational agreements
… we just have these practices now set
up which have been more successful
over time and are less likely to lead to
some collapse or failure later on.
The last thing is, I think we understand
the criteria under which joint ventures
will work and won’t. For example, you
see very few joint ventures with us and
another engine company. We’ve tried
a couple and they weren’t so successful. We’ve kind of figured out where they
can work and where they can’t work.
It doesn’t mean we wouldn’t try other
things, but it just means we have a pretty
good strategic handle on where it works.
All that said, I would still say there are
challenges in managing joint ventures
and I recommend all my competitors never to try it.
X. For a long time, a lot of people
doubted whether Cummins — or
anybody —– could be successful
as an independent engine manufacturer and expected it to eventually
be part of something else. Do you
think you’ve persuaded people that
your business model is viable and
do you expect Cummins to be able
to maintain its independence over
the long haul?
market — from working to build an engine and brokering it to as many people
as we could who would want to buy it,
to we’re going to partner with people to
figure out how to provide them with products that are to help meet their needs.
That means thinking through what
are the engines they’re going to provide,
10 QUESTIONS WITH TOM LINEBARGER OF CUMMINS dpX
continued on page 44
Two things I would say. One is that
to some degree, I think that the people
talking about independence were right.
I don’t think of us so much as an independent company in a true sense. What
I think about is being partners with a lot
I think we changed our idea of the way
we were going to be successful in the