“It is not the strongest of the speciesthat survive,or the most intelligent, but the onesmost responsive to change.”
THE HOME-IMPROVEMENT colossus had been the fastest-growing retailer in U.S. history, its revenues doubling every two or three years for more than a decade. But by 2000, Home Depot was showing signs of wear. So the board of directors filled the top job with a high-powered fixer-upper, Robert L. Nardelli, who had proven his mettle as a senior executive at General Electric.
The new chairman and CEO thought he knew just what Home Depot needed, a jolt of new-found efficiency. He simplified processes, slashed costs, and invested $1 billion in new technology while doubling the number ...