October 27, 2014

More on "Aggressive Change"

In February we discussed Jack Greenberg’s late 1990s attempt to reinvent McDonald’s.

Our previous post is HERE.

This is where Greenberg said:

"Those of us who weren't with you at the beginning of McDonald's are excited to be 

  with you during the reinvention of McDonald's".

Welcome to the 21st century version of Greenberg's statement.

On last week’s conference call with Wall Street analysts Don Thompson used the phrase “aggressive change” numerous times. This is code for “reinvention” and could be just

as destructive as Greenberg’s attempts to change McDonald’s.

Another key theme of the conference call was “localization” or “A flatter, more nimble organization that ensures key business decisions are made closer to the customer, by 

people with local market expertise.”

It’s hard to believe that a bureaucracy run by control freaks that’s been top-down for 

30 years is going to turn on a dime and encourage creativity and entrepreneurship in 
the field. But, this is a shrewd political move that takes the spotlight off Oak Brook and
puts the onus on McDonald’s Operators and faceless corporate field people.

This buys management time to deflect blame and gets them through the 2015 share -

holders meeting. If things aren’t going better by the spring it will be time for a full
on attack on the Operator community.

Which, McDonald’s veterans will remember, was another Greenberg strategy (one of 

his last).
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