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Reimagining Work by Peter Maglathlin, Pat Petitti, Rob Biederman

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CHAPTER 11Fake It 'til You Make ItFall 2015–Spring 2016

In a conversation with an executive with a large company that had just started using our platform, we asked a simple question. How much do you figure your company spends on consulting each year? Little did we know that our casual query would point the way to another critical tool destined to help liberate all those businesses and employees eager to find a better, more sensible way of thinking about work.

The executive confessed he had no idea. But apparently we had piqued his interest. Just our asking the question made him determined to find out.

One week passed, then another. Finally, he got back to us with an answer. “Around $500 million?” Seemed fair. But then a week later, he was back in touch again. “Actually, we just found another $120 million in costs.” Hmmm, we thought. So he'd underestimated by more than 25 percent. We'd have been out of business a long time ago if our math was that bad. Turns out, our friend was not done. Clearly we had unleashed the monster within. We received several more updates over the coming weeks. They had found another $50 million here and another $50 million there. Then he got back to us with this. “Hey guys,” he said brightly. “Turns out that we don't really track anything under $200,000. So all the numbers we've given you so far are just for projects that cost more than that.”

Once we were done digesting this valuable kernel of data, we tried to figure out what to make of it. We thought ...

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