Harvard Business School professor John Kotter has said that 70 percent of all major change initiatives fail. With those odds, the deck certainly was stacked against Alan Mulally when he took over Ford Motor Co. in September 2006. As we all know by now, though, Mulally led Ford from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability, respectability and stability. In the process, Mulally positioned himself as this decade's ultimate business icon - the Lee Iacocca of the 2000s.
So why - and how - did Mulally succeed where countless others have failed to turn around their struggling companies? It's important to know why because at least one former Ford exec believes Mulally's turnaround strategies can be applied in any industry.
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