Chapter 12. Internal Momentum

Give Me a Squiggly!

As mentioned earlier, Wal-Mart is a firm that enjoyed a phenomenal momentum for years, lost it, and is trying to regain it. Let’s first look at slices of Wal-Mart’s life that fostered its momentum under the leadership of Sam Walton and then focus on some incidents that presaged its loss of momentum.

Of the many practices that contributed to Wal-Mart’s success, there is one that I most enjoy sharing because it creates emotions. It is actually the one that is most frequently disliked and rejected by outsiders. The point is that it would not work in most companies and most environments,1 but it was beautifully designed to boost Wal-Mart’s internal momentum. It is the Wal-Mart cheer. Every day, hundreds ...

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