Chapter 1. Breaking the Mold

There Has to Be a Better Way

All the powers of management at the Chrysler Corporation were seated in the massive leather chairs of the Executive Conference Room1 on that still morning in 1990. The senior operating and administrative members of the company sat around the oval table, while various staff members eager to watch the show from safe positions (the peanut gallery, in company jargon) sat in chairs along the walls. At the head of the table was Bob Lutz, then president of Chrysler, who used this weekly meeting of his staff and others to review the operational and financial issues affecting the company in the short run. In short, this meeting was intended to cajole the functional areas under his command to update ...

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