It was a turning point for General Motors last month when product development chief Mary Barra joined the board of directors at General Dynamics. GM finally is looking beyond its walls, listening to other opinions and exposing its executives to business operations outside Detroit. GM is making the right move by encouraging employees to join other boards.
For decades, joining the boards of other companies was discouraged. That myopic view fostered a limited perspective inside GM. It created a false sense of security and a heightened state of insularity. History has shown that the old view didn't work.
GM CEO Dan Akerson sees it differently. Exposing GM executives to the inner workings of other companies makes good sense.