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Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution by Robert Simons

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FIVE

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HOW ARE YOU GENERATING CREATIVE TENSION?

Rod and Bob Johnstone, founders of J Boats, were worried. The boat-building industry was in a tailspin, and the survival of their business was in jeopardy.

On November 5, 1990, President George H. W. Bush had signed a new tax bill, famously breaking his pledge, “Read my lips: No new taxes.” Starting January 1, a 10 percent luxury tax was to be levied on jewelry and furs costing more than $10,000, cars valued above $30,000, boats costing more than $100,000, and recreational aircraft above $250,000.1

The effects on the boat industry were devastating. A prominent New York dealer, who had sold thirty luxury ...

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