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Creative Execution: What Great Leaders Do to Unleash Bold Thinking and Innovation by Eric Beaudan

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Thomas Cook’s North American Turnaround

Now that we’ve looked at Barack Obama’s election campaign, let’s return to the business sphere and explore the turnaround of Thomas Cook Americas. Unlike Issy Sharp, Kiichiro Toyoda, or the Google co-founders, Gary McDonald wasn’t asking himself how he could start a new company when he took over as CEO of Thomas Cook Americas in the late 1990s. Instead, McDonald was staring at a business that had lost $5 million the previous year and needed a radical shift in direction. He had just finished a two-year stint at Thomas Cook’s head office in the United Kingdom, where he had developed a strategy to transform the travel company into a technology-driven market leader. At the time, Thomas Cook was the world’s ...

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