In Howard Schultz's book, Onward, the Starbucks CEO candidly shares about his 2008 return to day-to-day operations of the coffee giant. His focus was stabilizing the company he founded and returning it to its core values.

An early turning point was a retreat with key leaders. His goal was to "organize an off-site retreat to flush us out of our familiar space and help us freely consider how we had lost our way, and then embark upon fresh thinking." Schultz continues, "we needed to rediscover who we were and imagine who we could be."

He reluctantly agreed to let a consulting firm run the retreat, but upon entering the retreat location, he was pleasantly surprised when he found:

  • A casual, fun atmosphere that piqued curiosity
  • The Beatles music playing loudly
  • Bright Beatles album covers and posters covering the room
  • Note cards with questions like What does it mean to reinvent an icon? and What did John, Paul, George, and Ringo teach us about the art of reinvention?

Schultz summarizes, "The retreat ...

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