VW have a big problem.
They're worried that they are behind Tesla when it comes to electric vehicle manufacturing capability, but they have another problem which is far, far more severe.
VW are struggling to let go of the entrenched mental model that they collectively have of themselves.
They still think of themselves as a car company.
What's funny is that in this article published by Bloomberg - it seems that they still firmly believe that to successfully innovate and create long-term value they simply need to 'rethink of their vehicles as rolling software devices.'
Their CEO, Herbert Diess, also thinks that the problem is that they're not fast enough.
In an address to staff, the big boss of VW told everyone:
“Nokia is probably a good example of how such a change can happen—if you’re not fast enough, you’re not going to survive,” Diess, 62, told Bloomberg at VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. “I’m always telling our people this example.”
But Nokia didn't fail because they were too slow.
Nokia failed because they still thought that they were marketing relevant products.
Nokia's strategic thinking was sadly constructed on the wrong time horizon. Their mindset was orientated on the past rather than the future.
Nokia collapsed because they failed to notice the change that was happening around them.
They were so busy trying to develop the world's best mobile phone that they notice a certain computer hardware company was rethinking the category entirely; and developing the first smartphone.
The CEO of one of the world's biggest car companies, Herbert Diess, is publicly admitting that he is solving the wrong problem.
Re-inventing an organisation to deliver sustainable long-term value is not found by simply adding a software component or working faster.
Slowness is not the problem here - the way you perceive the world, and yourself, is.