Dove, Lipton, Knorr, Ben & Jerry's, and Slim*Fast are a few of the brands that are part of the $66 billion global empire known as Unilever. When the story opens, one of its divisions is in deep trouble— declining volume, eroding margins, critical quality problems— and is close to being sold off. Then Tex Gunning, its visionary new division chairman, takes the stage, an expanding circle of young leaders takes charge, and once-skeptical workers embrace a challenging message of growth. The result? The division grows by double digits, year in and year out, and energizes Unilever's path to thrive around the globe.
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.
Wiley; August 2003
- ISBN 9780787970635
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: To the Desert and Back
- Author: Philip H. Mirvis; Karen Ayas; George Roth
About The Author
Philip Mirvis is an organizational psychologist whose research and practice concerns large-scale organizational change and its implications for a global workforce. He is the author of numerous books, including The Cynical Americans and Joining Forces, both from Jossey-Bass.
Karen Ayas is an author, educator, and research fellow at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and partner in the Ripples Groups, a consulting practice specializing in growth strategies and change management.
George Roth is a consultant, author, and research associate at MIT's Sloan School of Management.