Chapter 13. A Culture of Ownership Is a Bilateral Relationship

Corey had called an urgent meeting of his management team for the day he returned from New York—the day after the meeting with the bank. As he expected, his decision to get Owatt out of the gambling business had generated heated discussion. And he'd not been surprised when several days later, Kevin Manley, the vice president who was responsible for the Las Vegas operations, had submitted his resignation. The announcement of his decision to launch a new Cecil Owatt Fellows program, and his granting of the first fellowship to Brent Jacobs, had been better received. Cecil's Fellows, as they would be called, were encouraged to spend one day a week of paid time working on projects that had the potential to launch new businesses for Owatt. Corey already had a vision of Brent being Owatt's version of Art Fry, the man who created the Post-it note for 3M.

During their little adventure together, Corey and Walt had often talked about paradox. Now, he smiled at the paradox that the first steps toward building a culture of ownership had to be unilateral decisions on his part. A committee would never have agreed to sell the Desert Plum, and the Cecil Owatt Fellows program was so far out of the box for what had become a very conservative company that no committee would have even thought of it. He would, on occasion, have to make more tough decisions during his tenure as CEO—the way that James Burke had to insist upon the Tylenol recall ...

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