6Putting Divisions Out of Business

“Help me…help you.”

—from Jerry Maguire (TriStar Pictures, 1996)

The windowless conference room felt a bit stuffy as Olivia and a team of people sat around the table. Whiteboards filled the wall around the room, and in the middle of the table was a basket with granola bars, tangerines, and some sweet snacks. Olivia looked at her phone, and then at the clock in the room, as if to see if they matched.

“We'll see if he shows. He accepted the invite…” her voice trailed off.

“He did accept, yes,” replied Jadyn.

“That's good. Better than before – he didn't even respond.”

“Maybe it was the offer that we'll have snacks?” said Jadyn.

Olivia smiled. She had come to rely on Jadyn to track all of the things going on in this crazy initiative. Meetings, room setups, session notes, follow‐ups for feedback, all done in a no‐nonsense way that so far had worked really well to first get the stakeholder group to agree to the outcomes and measurements, and then to get people working together who might otherwise have wandered off in random directions.

Except for Marco.

Olivia looked at her watch again, wondering if he would eventually walk in the door, or if it'd be another occasion where everyone was waiting around until someone made the call to reschedule.

The door to the conference room opened, but it wasn't Marco. It was Nimit, whom Olivia had recently started working with, when the initiative was launched. Nimit was tall and lanky, and Olivia found herself ...

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