General Mills’ Search for New Strategies

General Mills is looking in some unusual places for ideas to help it reclaim the cereal throne. It sounds like they are making progress:

For example, the SWAT team's cooperative approach to nabbing fugitives inspired General Mills to replace separate performance goals for engineering, purchasing, and production with a single set of goals for all departments, eliminating the incentive for one department to cut corners at another's expense. Darcy cites a purchasing manager who met cost-cutting goals under the old system by buying thinner cartons — even though they jammed up the production lines, raising manufacturing costs. Gross margins have improved in the four years since the new incentives were implemented — from 44% to 47% — but it's unclear how much of the improvement can be attributed to the change.