Name: Don Tornberg Age: 52
Title: Vice President of Progress, Amoco
Has Held Title For: 3 years
With Amoco For: 30 years
Previous Title: Manager, Customer Focus
Degrees: BA in Economics, MBA
What are the barriers to progress?
There is an inherent desire to maintain stability. Human nature says: Resist what you don't know.
What do you do to confront that resistance?
You need to change people's mind-sets and behavior. It's psychological as well as methodological.
What is the opposite of progress?
Status quo — which I'm not sure even exists. We are constantly moving forward or backward.
Can we make progress only incrementally?
No. In fact, incremental change is identified as stability. Progress means dealing on the edge of chaos constantly, and chaos is an uncomfortable place to function.
What's it take to be progress VP?
An inherent ability to deal with ambiguity. I know never to be comfortable with where I've been.
Is there such a thing as "enough" progress?
Ultimate progress is hard to get your hands around but I'd love to see it happen — the day I retire.
A version of this article appeared in the April/May 1996 issue of Fast Company magazine.