The CEO of a property management company knew that time was running out for the organization if they did not quickly implement bold new solutions to meet customer needs.
He decided to ask his top six middle managers to work as a dedicated team on a one-month project to turn the company around. The CEO told the team members to be boldly innovative, to think way out of the box, to redesign the value proposition, to break new ground. The mandate seemed clear, and the excitement of the team was palpable. The team believed the CEO had instructed them to create the new path for the organization. When the team leader asked if there were any specific issues to focus on or any limits or “non-negotiables,” the CEO replied that there were none that really mattered.
Inspired, the team went to work right away to understand their customers better and to analyze best practices. They asked the best consultants to help them and ran multiple brainstorming sessions. Finally, they had it—the magic answer that got everybody on the team incredibly excited. It would be the major breakthrough the organization needed. It would also mean dramatic changes—new skills the organization did not have currently and lots of capital to fund the research, the design, the new technologies, and the implementation. The team was confident their plan would achieve the required turnaround and that the CEO and executive team would approve it.
During the presentation of the plan, the CEO ...