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Michael L. Tushman; Ruth Page; Tom Ryder: Teaching Note Included

The case examines leadership and organizational change within a strong culture context through a multimedia study
of lululemon, a specialty retailer of high-end athletic apparel. Video segments trace the company's history from its
founding in 1998 as a single retail store in Vancouver, Canada, through its IPO and expansion across Canada and
the United States. The case is set at a crossroads for the company, as incoming CEO Christine Day prepares to take
the helm in mid 2008. At that time, lululemon was publicly traded $350 million company with close to 100 stores,
including 56 in the United States, and nearly 3,000 employees. The mission from the board was to continue the
company's growth trajectory by opening more stores and, ultimately, increasing sales to $1 billion. Among the
challenges that Day would inherit were outperforming stores. According to Day, mismanagement of the real estate
strategy had resulted in high-cost locations in many new U.S. markets with little to no demand. Lululemon was
struggling to implement new inventory systems to keep pace with the demands of its expanding marketplace. Day
also observed that cross-functional barriers had eroded the sense of teamwork within what was originally a strong
values-led organization, resulting in an inability to achieve compromise. "The whole organization slowed down." said
Day, "because people weren't aligned. "Leadership, Culture, and Transition at lululemon" highlights the fundamental
tensions that entrepreneurial companies and their leaders face when going to scale: balancing rapid growth and the
need to leverage their organization architecture (and associated cultures) as the firm evolves.

Learning objective:
The case illustrates the choices boards and leaders face when an entrepreneurial firm attempts to go to scale. It also
illustrates the board, senior team, and organization design and cultural issues associated with rapid growth. the case
nicely illustrates choices associated with organization architecture, culture, and building senior teams at transition

Subjects Covered:
Leadership; Leadership transitions; Organizational change; Organizational culture; Succession planning


Geographic: British Columbia

Industry: Retail trade

Company Employee Count: 3,000

Company Revenue: $353 million

Event Year Begin: 2008

Event Year End: 2009


Linda A. Hill; Mark Rennella: Teaching Note Available

Martha Rinaldi has been an assistant product manager at leading beverage company Potomac Waters since
graduating from business school. Rinaldi is frustrated by her relationships with her boss and a close co-worker. Even
though she works hard to please her manager, she has received a negative performance evaluation for her first four
months. Should Rinaldi leave Potomac for a standing job offer at a company she previously interned with or try to
improve her current situation?

Learning objective:
Learning Objectives: Explore the challenges of building power and credibility in a new job and managing relationships
with superiors and peers. Provide an opportunity for students to practice both their diagnostic and their empathic
skills to appreciate the perspectives of individuals on all sides of a conflict.

Subjects Covered:
Career planning; Conflict; Conflict resolution; Interpersonal relations; Management styles; Managing up;
Organizational culture; Power and influence; Relationships


Geographic: United States

Industry: Beverages

Industry: Food services

Event Year Begin: 2011

Julie M. Wulf: Teaching note available

Discusses how Alibaba Group successfully managed new business ventures to become a leader in China's online
marketplaces. Students follow Alibaba Group's transition from a startup to a multibusiness firm with over 15,000
employees in just over a decade. They analyze the evolving dynamics of internal competition and cooperation among
Alibaba Group's subsidiaries. Students are also asked to address Alibaba Group's strategy, the role of its corporate
center and how to incentivize subsidiary executives.

Learning objective:
To examine some of the strategic and organizational challenges faced by the CEO of a rapidly growing business in a
rapidly evolving industry.

Subjects Covered:
Business & government relations; Collaboration; Corporate strategy; Innovation; Organizational structure; Profit
sharing plans; Technology


Geographic: China

Company Employee Count: 17,000

Company Revenue: $636 Million

Event Year Begin: 2008