Keep Your Promises

I pulled my car into the garage of my Brookline, Massachusetts, home and stepped into the darkened house. Silence greeted me. It was August 2014. Nancy, Michael, and Emma were vacationing in Manchester, Massachusetts. More than three years in, I was still mired in the complexity of Panera’s transformation and was unable to get away from work to join them. Panera 2.0 was now being tested in several markets. We were working on our various new runways for growth. And we were deep in the process of rewriting our Concept Essence.

But profits were weighed down by the cost of the transformation, and same-store sales growth was still modest. Across the company, tempers were fraying, and I was struggling to hold it together at the ...

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