Posted: 17 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 17, 2009
On a winter day in December 2007 at the American Family Mutual Insurance Company (AMFAM) headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, Dave Anderson and Jack Salzwedel remained in the conference room after the senior management meeting had concluded. Anderson, CEO of AMFAM since January 2007 and Salzwedel, named President in August 2006, reflected together on how far the company had come over the past two years. Both recalled meetings in which top executives simply read out activity reports to help prepare a previous CEO for a largely ceremonial board meeting. These days, they sensed energy and movement at different levels--whether in a strategic planning meeting, or in Salzwedel's recent visit to a regional office to explain in person the content of and motivation for the company's new strategic plan. Anderson and Salzwedel were pleased that the just-ended meeting exhibited the kind of engaged discussion, "pushback," and argumentation they had been encouraging.
Learning Objective: Reflect on conscious change of corporate mission and values to recenter business model on the "customer."
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