To the Desert and Back tells the inside story of the transformation in the words of the people in all quarters of the company who made it happen. It documents five years of personal soul-searching, teamwork, companywide learning conferences, memorable journeys to the mountains and desert, and inspired promotions that show how these efforts produced a remarkable top-to-bottom turnaround. This story delivers authentic and convincing proof that a revitalized business is about personal growth.
The lessons learned from this dramatic business turnaround provide unexpected insights and encouraging inspiration for other companies and leaders ready to embark on their own remarkable journey of transformation, growth, and success.
Part I: Turnaround
1. Wake-Up Call 3
2. Rebuilding the Business 15
Part II: Takeover
3. Merger or Takeover? 31
4. Going into Therapy 41
5. Revolution and Chaos 55
Part III: Transforming the Organization
180 Leaders in Charge 67
7. Community or Cult? 79
8. The McVan den Bergh Clan 89
Part IV: Transforming the Business
9. Growing a Market: Foods 103
10. Growing a Brand: Fats 117
11. Cascading Change: Uniquisine, Calvé, Royco, and Nassaukade 129
Part V: Transfer
12. To the Desert 145
13. The Legacy of Growth 155
Part VI: Takeaways for Leading Change
14. Change Models and Methods 169
15. Change as Theater 183
16. Holistic Integration 195
Appendix 1: Cast of Characters - Then and Now 207
Appendix 2: Learning History 211
Notes and Sources 221
About the Authors 247
Karen Ayas Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
George Roth MIT's Sloan School of Management.