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When breaking the rules is great for business


That giant of customer service, the late Sam Walton, advised other managements to 'break all the rules.'

That was the tenth and last of the great man's commandments, the foundation of the unexampled growth of Wal-Mart to become the world's largest retailer. Wal-Mart's own control systems must, of course, be superb – effective control is the essence of successful retailing. Yet Walton wasn't just paying lip-service to an impossible ideal. Great businesses need to combine regularity with improvisation, order with elements of spontaneity and disorder.


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