Fast forward to November 2011, when JCPenney replaced longtime CEO Mike Ullman with Apple executive Ron Johnson. Johnson immediately fired many of the company's leaders and tried to promote sweeping culture change for the organization. Company stock nosedived. Johnson was fired after less than two years, and Ullman was asked to step back in.
It was my privilege to meet and share a platform with Mike earlier this year. I found him to be one of the most brilliant, engaging, humble leaders I've ever met. His Christian commitment is clear and bold. He has already improved the culture of JCPenney in remarkable ways. Now his company has done something especially unusual, a promotion called "the gift of giving."
The now-viral video tells the remarkable story. JCPenney wanted to buy gifts for customers, but in an unusual way. Store employees asked shoppers to find someone in the store they didn't know and offer to "buy" them a gift. One gave a woman a sofa. Another gave a couple their engagement ring. A delighted girl was given a pair of slippers. One tearful woman told her benefactors that it was her birthday. People were clearly blessed to receive, and even more blessed to give.
This post was written by Jim Denison. For the original post, go to: http://www.denisonforum.org/cultural-commentary/1277-why-did-jcpenney-video-go-viral