11. Leading Large Organizations

The Fabric of Values

It was a blazing summer day outside the conference room in Sedona, where American Express executive Brenda Blake and her former colleague Dave Edwards gathered their two teams of international managers. Brenda stepped to the podium to roll out the company’s two new corporate values. Amex had long espoused six values; now it had eight. For the past two weeks, Brenda had been pondering how to make the values memorable so that people would be more likely to practice them.

She decided to group the values into three categories—moral values, social values, and business values. Pushing aside her concerns about how her audience would react, she reminded them that success depends on a clear sense of ...

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