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Acumen in Action #10 / Seeing the Big Picture


Get your team together! 


Lesson outline:  

  1. Activity: Watch the video

  2. Discussion: Answer the questions

  3. Report: Insights and a team selfie



Choose a competitor and find a time to listen to its earnings call.


Go beyond adequate to exceptional when it comes to fighting for customers and beating the competition.

Have you ever wondered how we got the modern minivan? Likely not, but it's an interesting story regardless. In the early 1970s, designers and engineers at Ford were working on a van, code-named “the Ford Carousel,” which would fit in American's garages. However, the project was abruptly scrapped, and the biggest champion of the project – Ford's then President, Lee Iacocca – was fired.

Mr. Iacocca's unemployment didn't last long, however, and he soon took over the helm at Chrysler. By 1983, Chrysler launched the Dodge Caravan, and people loved it. Ford, realizing their mistake, launched their own minivan in 1986 – but it was too late, and by 2008 Ford was out of the minivan business.

So what happened at Ford? Insiders say that Ford’s station wagon guys were fearful of internal competition and convinced everyone that the minivan would kill their sales. And they were right — although it wasn't necessarily a Ford minivan that killed their sales, it was the Dodge Caravan, their external competition. For this lesson, we want you to take a look at your company’s competition.


👇🏼 Print out a worksheet for each team member before you get started. 👇🏼

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