Chapter 2. Shadows of the Past

I will begin building the case for Adaptive Businesses with a walk through the history of manufacturing companies. Ramchandran Jaikumar—or Jai, as he was widely known—a brilliant mind who once occupied the Daewoo Chair at the Harvard Business School, will guide us.[1] Jai won the Frederick Winslow Taylor Medal, advised the U.S. Congress, and guided executive officers and the Boards of several top global companies. One of these companies was the Italian gun maker Beretta, which has been controlled by the same family for five hundred years. Beretta gave Jai access to the meticulous records it maintained over the centuries of all the changes it had experienced.[2]

By the end of the 1980s, Beretta had gone through several ...

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