Jan Carlzon: CEO at SAS (A)
Describes Jan Carlzon's actions on assuming the CEO's responsibility at SAS in a time of financial and organizational difficulty. After tracing Carlzon's development as a manager, it focuses on the way in which he developed, then communicated a clear and motivating strategic mission to become "the world's best businessman's airline." After a spectacular turnaround, organizational problems re-emerge, and the case concludes with Carlzon wondering if his "second wave" can provide the same impetus that he gained on his first wave. Highlights the power of a clear and well-communicated strategic mission (strategic intent), but also explores problems and limits that can arise. Specifically, focuses on the common problem of motivating middle managers who often feel disenfranchised by front line empowerment.