Difficult Conversations Can Jump Start Company Innovation | Entrepreneur


Harley-Davidson was in trouble in the early eighties. The booming popularity of imported Japanese motorcycles cut Harley’s market share from 75 percent to a flickering 25 percent. To protect the homegrown brand’s viability, CEO Vaughn Beals adopted an authoritarian stance modeled after the fearsomely efficient managers at his Japanese competitors.

Beals slashed his workforce by 40 percent, overhauled the manufacturing process, and doubled down on promotional marketing tactics to win back market share and save the HOG.

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