I have been writing and lecturing on this very idea for years: get out of the C-suite and find out how work is really done. When I have had teams switch roles, live in each other’s worlds, amazing ideas and changes happen. Of course, it’s a hard thing to convince a senior level person to do. One of my colleagues told me of executives who talked about taking over the reception desk just to discover what the literal front line experiences. However, they discarded the idea and took execs on a “retreat” for golf. Fools. Larry O’Donnell, president and COO of Waste Management - a $13 billion company with 45 thousand employees, left his corner office to clean toilets and recycle garbage on the February 8 opening segment of Undercover Boss. Read this interview and you’ll hear Larry talk about what a huge difference it made in employee engagement and opening the lines of communication. You’ll read why he did it. And you’ll also learn about “Kevin” who—on television— was “eaten alive”. Read carefully. This was not a one-time PR stunt but rather an organizational strategy backed by follow-up to maintain the conversation. You’ll discover what Waste Management has been doing in the year since the filming. I find it fascinating. Your thoughts?