Engine Trouble 
BEST spreads itself too thin, but there is one untapped resource that could help it find a new focus: the staff. to spread thinly - like you havenßt got much butter 
untapped - not yet exploited 
BEST is too close to its problems to be able to see them clearly. Even with only 25 staff, good communications cannot be taken for granted. That Strand is discussing the company's future with only two colleagues is symptomatic of his failure to tap his staff's energy and initiative. Rather than abandon everything and, perhaps, make the same mistakes again, he should stand back so that he can analyse his own and his colleagues' performance more objectively. to be too close to see clearly 
to take something for granted - to assume it is true - to think that it is a given fact 
is symptomatic - shows the symptoms - is evidence 
to tap their energy and initiative - to utilize these qualities 
to abandon everything - to give it all up 
to make the same mistakes again - to repeat the errors 
to analyse objectively - to determine the real performance
One easy and inexpensive way would be to talk to entrepreneurs who have faced similar problems. Organizations exist to provide suitable forums; otherwise, a management training programme might offer the right opportunity.  But Strand must realize that in whatever direction he decides to take BEST, he is leading intelligent, highly qualified people. His efforts will be useless unless he carries them with him. entrepreneurs - successful business managers 
Discussion: what organisations? 
he decides to take Best - he leads the company 
to carry people with you - to motivate them to follow the same path 
First, he should get rid of the internal barriers to co-operation. It might be possible to restructure the Trondheim joint venture, preferably buying out Hansen in a way that retains his services. The barriers surrounding BEST Programnüng should also be removed. to get rid of something - to dispose of it - to throw it out 
to restructure the joint venture - to reorganise the cooperation 
to buy someone out - to purchase his stockholding 
to retain his services - to continue to employ him 
to remove the barrier - to break down the walls
Next, Strand should consider taking the executive team on a long study weekend (the group is still small enough to make this practical) to discuss the company's circumstances and methods of operation, its markets, prospects, structure and reward systems. Participants should feel free to raise any issue and make suggestions. An outside moderator could help. Exercise: List the items to be discussed. 
1. circumstances = situation, environment 
2. methods of operation 
3. markets 
4. prospects - the future directions which are possible 
5. structure - the organisational structure 
6. reward systems - the salary scheme - remuneration
Two questions need to be settled in a way that achieves general support. First, which customers to serve and the products and services they should be offered. In casting round for new sources of growth, BEST has clearly spread its resources too thinly: it must select the most promising, and keep an eye an the rest. Circumstances change rapidly in its business, and it must be prepared to re-examine its selection regularly. to settle a question - to decide a matter 
to achieve general support - to reach consensus - to agree 
1. which customers 
2. which products and services 
to spread your resources thinly - to start too many projects at the same time 
to keep an eye on something - to check regularly
Second, how to create the right structure to serve its chosen markets most effectively. A simple matrix is probably the most appropriate, enabling the best person available to be deployed for each assignment. Details of segments and their leaders will have to be decided. to create the right structure
to serve the chosen markets
a matrix structure
segments of the organisation
If these steps are completed effectively, matters such as staff morale and internal communication will look after themselves. So might profitability. The company will still have big strategic issues to face, but at least there will be no danger that it will just lie down and die. morale - motivation, enthusiasm
morals - standards of behaviour - ethics
So might profitability: explain the grammar of this sentence.  (adverb, verb, subject, predicate:
Also in this way, profits may look after themselves)
to lie down and die - to give up

This fictional case was devloped by Tom Laster in conjunction with Harald Mikkelsen, a partner of Internet of Oslo.