I love love love a good business reinvention story.
You can find many of them in the fancy magazines. Yet, most seem to feature big untouchable companies far far away (think Tesla, Apple, Stripe).
But what about the "normal" businesses we can actually relate to?
The reinvention of PENZONE is exactly that kind of story.
At the time of its founding in 1969, PENZONE was a contemporary to some of corporate America’s most powerful titans. Take, for example, RCA. In the year of PENZONE’s incorporation, RCA appeared on the Fortune 500 list as №20.
A giant in electronics, radio equipment, marine, and international communications. When General Electric acquired RCA in 1986, most of its assets were liquidated.
The year 1969 was also great at Pan American World Airways, known to most as Pan Am. Advertised with the slogan “The World’s Most Experienced Airline,” Pan Am had 150 jets flying to 86 countries on every continent except Antarctica. It made enough profit to stock up cash reserves of $1 billion.
By the late 1980s, however, the company was hit by a series of external disruptions, including rising fuel prices caused by the Gulf War. By January 1991, Pan Am filed for bankruptcy, and it closed up shop in December that year.
PENZONE, though, is still here.
How did a small hair salon from sparsely populated mid-Ohio survive and thrive while the giants disappeared?
To get your answer, turn to page 60 of our free 85-page preview of the "Chief Reinvention Officer Handbook" (which you can download here).
Or you can listen to the story as it was read by the company CEO Debbie Penzone as a special bonus episode of her podcast:
I have no doubt the story will inspire you - and the workbook at the end of thecase will give you some ideas for how to apply PENZONE's wisdom to your reinvention efforts.
So, don't forget to share this story with others. We all need a healthy doze of inspiration in our lives.
Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva helps companies such as Coca-Cola, Kohler, and IBM turn change and disruption into an opportunity.
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