Three Envelopes

A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech
corporation. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and
presented him with three numbered envelopes. “Open these if you run up
against a problem you don’t think you can solve,” he said. Well, things went
along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he
was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit’s end, he remembered the
envelopes. He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The
message read, “Blame your predecessor.” The new CEO called a press
conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO.
Satisfied with his comments, the press — and Wall Street — responded
positively, sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him.
About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in
sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his
previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. The message
read, “Reorganise.” This he did, and the company quickly rebounded. After
several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on
difficult times. The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the
third envelope. The message said, “Prepare three envelopes.”