Leadership and Decision Making

Updated: January 06, 2010

Here is an example that I found to be costly on many levels. I was doing interviews for a book on decision making, and spoke with one of the CEOs of a two-company merger between two extremely well-known brands. This man told me how he went about ensuring the national team bought-in to the change. He developed a multimillion dollar 'dog and pony' show, and went out with a team to 30,000 employees in store-fronts across America to give them an understanding of the merger (that had already been planned and executed, with no one's knowledge or buy-in). How successful was it?

"They all loved it. Loved it. Well, most of them did anyway. There were about 10% who didn't buy-in."

SDM: What happened to these 3,000 people?

"They became a retention issue." [A 'retention issue'?]

SDM: You mean you fired them all?

"Well, we had to. But not to worry: they were the folks that had been around the longest - 18 or 20 years. It was time to make room for new blood anyway."

They fired the wisdom, the bedrock of their company - the skeleton, the bones, the legacy - because these 'old-timers' didn't like a dog-and-pony-show.

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