Three hundred senior managers of a Fortune 500 consumer goods company sat patiently in a ballroom of a posh San Francisco hotel. Like me, they were there to hear important news. Leadership changes, restructuring, and questions about the company’s strategy had spread confusion throughout the organization. The assembled group hoped for some clarity.
As a consultant, my job was to help the group discuss the implications of the new strategy later that day. The company’s senior executives had worked right up to the eleventh hour, and I knew only the bare outlines of what they were going to reveal. I was curious myself to see what would happen.
It started well enough. The morning had been finely choreographed. Professional videographers ...