Hell, there are no rules here—we're trying to accomplish something.
—Thomas A. Edison
Northland Fishing Tackle was founded 40 years ago by John Peterson, a fishing guide in Minnesota who started making his own tackle to improve the fishing for his clients. Word of his great lures and accessories spread and soon a company was born. Located in Bemijdi, Minnesota, Northland grew over the years to offer thousands of different lures, baits, hooks, fishing line, and other accessories.
By late 2012, however, it became clear that the company's profitability was stuck in a long slow decline due to increasing costs and tough competition. Throughout this period, as the business deteriorated, Northland managers kept to the same basic operating routines hoping that the results would somehow improve, as opposed to developing new strategies to improve the trajectory.
Pat McIntyre was a Northland shareholder and board member. When it became clear that major changes were needed, he stepped in as CEO to address this slow-fuse failure. McIntyre and his team came to the conclusion that they needed to simplify an overly complicated product line, outsource manufacturing (in many cases to local suppliers), and upgrade their internal systems and processes. An ambitious agenda. In early 2013 Project ...