Chapter 1. Agility in a World of Change and Complexity

Robert faced the biggest leadership challenge of his career. An executive in a Canadian oil corporation, he'd just been named president of its refining and retailing company. Competitively, his company was positioned around the middle of the pack in a mature, margin-sensitive market where long-range demand was projected to be flat. With little to distinguish it from other regionals, it was watching its earnings go steadily downhill. In fact, its future looked dismal.

Within the company, morale was at an all-time low. People at all levels were frustrated and unhappy. The previous president had taken many steps to make the company more efficient, including a series of layoffs, but these steps ...

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