2: Call to adventure

Disruption from within is better than disruption from without.

The love letter continues — a call to adventure

During the odyssey of the renaissance of Georg Sörman, my love letter to Mum has evolved and taken different shapes. In later iterations, the reinvention strategy for Aktiebolaget Georg Sörman — established in 1916 by my great-grandfather — was co-developed with my mother, Birgitta Sörman-Nilsson, and my father, Lars-Olof Nilsson, who at the time of writing jointly own this business; and their team of 11 staff. In its first iteration, the love letter took the form of my Global Executive MBA thesis, and was put to the test by some of the brightest professors and peers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the London School of Economics, the Indian Institute of Management, and the University of Sydney Business School.

The love letter, unfortunately by necessity and serious examination, took on a tone of tough love. When I began to write it in late 2012, the situation was already severe. For nearly a decade Mum had been injecting her life savings into keeping the unsustainable business model, which she ‘inherited' from her father, alive. But the love letter also issued a call to adventure for Mum and her team. The analysis showed some slight hopes for the future, on certain premises. For example, the strategy we ultimately developed, and which we termed ‘Georg Sörman 100' courtesy of the centenary celebrations in 2016, focused on the combination ...

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