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Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation by Ric Merrifield

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ONEHow the “How” Trap Is Trapping You

“It is not the strongest of the speciesthat survive,or the most intelligent, but the onesmost responsive to change.”

–Charles Darwin

THE HOME-IMPROVEMENT colossus had been the fastest-growing retailer in U.S. history, its revenues doubling every two or three years for more than a decade. But by 2000, Home Depot was showing signs of wear. So the board of directors filled the top job with a high-powered fixer-upper, Robert L. Nardelli, who had proven his mettle as a senior executive at General Electric.

The new chairman and CEO thought he knew just what Home Depot needed, a jolt of new-found efficiency. He simplified processes, slashed costs, and invested $1 billion in new technology while doubling the number ...

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