When it comes to innovation, a company’s legacy beliefs are a much bigger liability than its legacy costs.
IN THE EARLY 1990s, executives at CEMEX, a cement company headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, started receiving puzzling phone calls from their CEO. “Have you looked at your email?” he asked.2 Unable to ignore the prompt from their boss, they took a look at this new way of communicating. Initial reactions from the executives were mixed: some asked him why he was wasting his time typing in messages when he had a secretary to do it for him.3
The e-mailing CEO, Lorenzo Zambrano, was spearheading the early stages of what would become known as “the CEMEX Way,” a set of pioneering business ...