The Corporate Dream: Making It Big in Business

Hank Johnson, Author
Hank Johnson, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $19.95 (218p) ISBN 978-0-8184-0517-4
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
When Johnson took the helm as CEO of Spiegel in 1976, the general-merchandise catalogue house was resistant to change even though profits were nonexistent and their catalogue ``had all the style of the telephone directory.'' He told the near-bankrupt company's owners that it would take him five years to effect a turnaround and, sure enough, by 1981 Spiegel was the country's leading catalogue direct-marketer. How he did this is spelled out with brio in a manual designed to help corporate dreamers break rules creatively and make maverick ideas a reality. Johnson frequently challenges accepted wisdom: don't put the squeeze on for profits; let the trends come to you, etc. How Spiegel survived a breakdown of its computerized warehousing system, which caused delays in deliveries and irate customers, is only one of the instructive lessons he offers. Early chapters trace his rags-to-riches rise from mailroom clerk at Montgomery Ward to CEO at Avon. (July)
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