The year was 1994, and 18% of Continental's flights were cash negative.
Aware that the fastest way to make money is to stop losing it, Greg Brenneman (their new president) recalls that he sat the scheduling team down and started asking questions:
"Why are we going from Greensboro to Greenvile six times a day when both customers who want to fly that route are on the first flight?"
"It's strategic" - somebody told me.
"When did it last make money?"
"It never did" was the reply.
"How strategic can that be?"
There was a silence. I asked "Does somebody's boyfriend or girlfriend live there? Why don't we just charter you a Lear jet? It would be cheaper".
This except is taken from 'What Management is', which I read this while on holiday last month.
Joan Magretta writes very well. She has mastered the very difficult job of writing a book that both beginners and veteran managers will find useful.
If you manage people or work on strategy, I think you'll enjoy this.