We were in a dangerous position. It was 1996 and the Vice-Chairman had written an email to every employee. In it, he laid out five actions that he expected the company to embrace. Bullet point #3 had my attention! It said that my operational unit was going to move to a location eight time zones away.
I had no idea what was possible or reasonable. After two calls to make sure the email was serious, it was, I called my management team together.
The organization wanted us to solve the problem at hand.
Senior management had come up with what they believed a reasonable solution. Even without anyone involved that understood the business, the answer was on the table. It would require no major investment other than time.
I knew the answer would only move the problem from location A to B. I had no idea what the answer was. We would get no monies. We should not expect any significant system changes. Given this, did we have an alternative?
What followed was a recurring story when a group of people band together to solve the impossible. Even as I remember, I get goose bumps! One week after our management meeting, I sat in front of the Division Executive and members of his management team and offered them an alternative. We could go with the corporate mandate or we could let the local team attempt to solve the problem and realize the expense saves. As I laid out the local approach I contrasted the benefits and risks. We were willing to commit to 90% of the savings. We were asking for 90 days to prove the concept and 180 days to deliver everything.
Looking back, we had heard Paul’s advice. “You already have all you need. You already have more access to God than you can handle. Without bringing either Apollos or me into it, you’re sitting on top of the world—at least God’s world—and we’re right there, sitting alongside you!” (1 Corinthians 4.8)
We believed. The rest, as they say, is great history.