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BIOGRAPHY
Ram Charan was raised in a small Indian town. Working at his family shoe shop he became in contact with business. After earning an engineering degree he took a job in Australia and later in Hawaii. When he discovered how much he liked business and his talent for it he earned doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School.
He is known for given speeches and providing advice to important companies. He has worked with some really important and successful companies such as Verizon, Thomson Corporation and Bank of America. He is identified by Fortune as the leading expert in Corporate governance.
He is also a teacher and has won several awards such as the Bell Ringer awards and he was among Businessweek´s top ten resources for in-house executive development programs.
He has written many books such as “What the CEO wants you to know”, “Boards at work” or “Profitable Growth”.
He was also elected a Distinguish Tellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and has served on the Blue Ribbon Commission.
LEADERSHIP IN THE ERA OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY
The CEO of DuPont reacted to the crisis firstly by making every employee reduce cost and secondly by cutting back on the over 20,000 outside contractor the company had hired.
Holliday designed the “Corporate Crisis Plan” that brought together the 17 standing teams that always assemble when there is a crisis. Of these 17 teams 8 of them stood down and the rest worked together to try to solve the problem. The decision they came up with was to make every employee conserve cash and reduce costs. Every employee had a meeting with a manager who explained what they need to do. The result of this was good because travel was curtailed, internal meetings were canceled, and consultants and contractors were eliminated. However, this wasn’t enough because it was taking too long.
The second action Holliday took, consisted on spending an hour and a half with each of the company’s top 14 leaders. Even though each leader made a list of the things that could be improved, Holliday considered that it would take a very long time and the problem needed to be solved in a shorter term. He came up with the idea of cutting back as much as possible on the over 20,000 outside contractor the company had hired to save the most cash. This was possible because a contractor could be released with one week’s notice and without any severance costs.
Now, Holliday is predicting that the inflationary trends that preceded the financial meltdown will reassert themselves. However, if that happens DuPont will be ready for it.

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