Lessons From Home Depot's Bob Nardelli--Why Command And Control Is So Bad.

Bruce Nussbaum

I just got back from a long stay in Sante Fe to gather my thoughts on innovation and design to see what I consider to be one of the great enemies of innovation--Home Depot's CEO Bob Nardelli--bite the dust. Nardelli is a classic, GE-trained Six Sigma, command-and-control CEO and he imposed his mechanical process on a company that was known for its great fuzzy-front-end, pro-consumer culture. At a time when companies are learning that they are in the business of building tools to empower customers to create their own, personal products and services, Home Depot was literally in that space decades ago. It faltered and brought in a systems guy--trained in 1990s GE--and made the classic mistake that other companies make. Unfortunately, the new guy replacing Nardelli is another GE-alumnus. Let's hope he's more like Jeff Immelt than Nardelli.

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