We didn't really know what we were doing as far as sales. None of us did, including the founders. But we all were working for the same goal and that led us to be successful, even if early on it just felt frustrating.
—PAT KNEELAND, CATALANT EMPLOYEE #2
Try this on for size for a thought experiment. Tomorrow you take over as CEO of a Fortune 100 company we'll call the XYZ Corporation. The XYZ board of directors has chosen you specifically because you're an outsider. Shareholders complain that XYZ, a once‐great company, has grown bloated and calcified. The business press mocks the company as an aging relic. You're the change agent brought in to transform the company whatever it takes—no matter how unpopular—even if it means closing down offices or jettisoning large quantities of employees. Your mandate is to reimagine XYZ for a new era.
Or, to take this exercise one step further, what if you could imagine XYZ as a blank slate, to be reconfigured as if a classroom full of MBA students instructed you to focus on the business side and not the social costs? Where would you begin?
We'll give it a shot. For starters, you probably keep many of the people. Companies need at least some full‐time employees for continuity's sake, for institutional memory, to set and adjust a strategic vision. You might make changes in the C‐suite or among the division heads and other managers, but you're not eliminating those positions, either. Let's surmise that XYZ is an ...