When Albemarle Corporation was created as a $2.2 billion spin off of Ethyl Corporation's specialty chemical businesses in 1994, president and COO Gary Cook found himself at the helm of a company that lacked viable strategies for growth. Its production processes were driven by tradition, not the marketplace. Manufacturing and R&D barely communicated, and no one spoke to marketing. Worst of all, no one paid attention to the customer. Clearly radical change was in order, and the order of the day in 1994 was reengineering. Learning as he went, Cook discovered what he called the “seven really obvious” truths about the much maligned, often mismanaged, and sometimes successful practice of reengineering.
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