Thursday, March 29, 1:30 PM . . .

When Barton had been in his new position as CIO for four days, a message arrived from the CEO to announce a series of leadership team meetings. They’d begin with a one-hour kickoff meeting and continue indefinitely with meetings of two-plus hours every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. The stated subject of the meetings: Review of costs and business operations, formulation of a plan to recover IVK growth trajectory.

Different departments, the message explained, would take the lead in each meeting. IT had been assigned Tuesday, April 17. This gave Barton some time to get his act together. He’d need, the message told him, answers to a few key questions: “How much are we spending in your ...

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